It's been a while since any kind of personal message from our staff has been featured on the front page. We try not to make side-wide announcements very often, as this website exists to build a community around a game, and not for its own sake.
However, as we approach the three-thousand member mark (wow!) and more people join every day, I would like to write on behalf of myself and the site staff. There's a few things I'd like to talk about with recent events; many newcomers may not be familiar with the roots and ideals this site was created with.
TESO-RP was founded in the hope of creating a Role Play community where people felt safe. Our goal is for people to be able to talk about the game and roleplay itself in a mature fashion; this concept includes carefully selected staff who don't engage in power-plays or use their influence to decide who can and cannot use the site based on personal likes and dislikes. This was our founding ideal, and we still adhere to it today.
With that being said, the number of registered users on TESO-RP is now equivalent to a large concert venue! We have many prominent regulars both on the forums and in the chat-box, and we're massively grateful to everyone who contributes. This website is constantly changing and evolving, but remains, at its core, a fan-service created for and by fans of The Elder Scrolls Online; the site leadership does its very best to remain professional as possible, but this is not a paid position for any of us. We do this out of passion, and we all share the same ethical approach to community building. There are other communities out there - communities that you might enjoy better than this one, or that aren't to your tastes. You are free to like and dislike whatever suits you best; we are under no illusions that we can please everyone at once.
Personally, I am very much of the mindset that Kyte is Tom, Tom is Kyte - you can call me by either or both! I have friends both online and in real life who use the two names interchangeably. I don't feel I need to hide - I stand by my beliefs and what I say, I have nothing to fear.
I would like for everyone to have that kind of mindset. Lately, there have been some worrying ideals and concepts being thrown around. In particular, the glorification and normalization of sexual assault in an artistic context has really troubled me.
We know it exists, we know that it happens - and while we can acknowledge those things, it really troubles me to see it thrown around in a casual fashion. We value the freedom everyone has to write and create what they want to, but please keep in mind that with the ability to create, comes a certain responsibility as well. By creating art and stories, you influence and inspire others, you create emotions - when you create, what you do will have an impact on other human beings. It is up to you how you want to influence people and the world around you.
As a Humanist and an Egalitarian, I want a world where my future children are safe - where they can believe what they want as long as it doesn't hurt others. Where they can do the jobs they want to do, they can be who they want to be, regardless of gender, sexuality, or disability. I want to think that everyone here could get behind that ideal - but maybe not everyone will. Part of being human is the ability to make that choice, to have differences in opinion and different dreams than other people. I'm open to debating an talking about these things with anyone, in private.
I would like to think that regardless of your subject matter, you can identify the morality of the things you say, and the things you create, both in character and out of character. I want to make sure that the line between what is ICly believed, and what is OOCly believed, is very clearly marked! Otherwise, it becomes difficult for the rest of us not to think that perhaps it is you, on some level, that believes that these morally reprehensible acts are to be shrugged off.
I'm not saying you can't discuss them; personally, I'd prefer it i they weren't discussed, but we're all adults here. My team and I are not in the business of silencing people, but we do need to ensure that our community members feel safe and welcome. If it takes the former to ensure the latter, then we will have to do so.
Some say that trying to force people on the Internet to be civil and kind is like herding cats. But so far, this community has been overwhelmingly impressive - I believe that this particular corner of the Internet is full of wonderful, passionate, artistic people. If you've been made to feel upset or uncomfortable by a topic or an individual, please come to us - we will do what we can to help. We can't promise we will always completely understand your point of view, but we will do our best to make sure everyone feels safe on TESO-RP.
With that being said, please do review the site rules, and I'd like to extend a big welcome to all newcomers!