I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet (good luck to me) but I’d appreciate it if you’d all give it a read. Putting on CJB Dad Hat–
First off I want to say that building this amazing community has been the highpoint for me among all the cool things we’ve created this year. I’m insanely proud of the team we’ve built, how welcoming you all are, and how game you are to play along and invest your time and energy into this experience.
Recently I’ve noticed a slight tonal shift in the community energy and I want to address it, talk about what I think has caused it, and see if we can do some things about it.
We’ve had a flood of new players come in the past few weeks, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re excited to have you all, but given a couple hiccups that have gone on in the forum and elsewhere with new players I feel now’s a good time to revisit why we’re here and what makes this place, this group, so special.
I am single-mindedly dedicated to immersion and community. If anyone does anything to stray from those two mandates, I feel it’s necessary for me as the author to right that ship.
Snarky banter has its place in this community, but when it is impolitely directed at other readers, or it breaks immersion for the bulk of the community, who are roleplaying the existence of magic and the Mountaineers, I feel like I have to step in. So this letter is that first step.
I have never once used the flagging or banning system in this forum, because I never felt the need to, but I feel strongly about this issue and if I need to address it in that way going forward I will. Brrr Dad threats–
NUTS & BOLTS:
Any site affiliated with me, The Monarch Papers, or Ackerly Green is not a place to explicitly discuss sex, drugs, violence, or to debate politics, religion or any other “hot button” issue. There are a million other places to do that online. The world of Ackerly Green isn’t one of them. I love a good debate, and randy discussion, but doing it on these sites is like scrawling in a borrowed library book. This place is for everyone, of all backgrounds and all ages.
And yes, we are a community made up of lots of different-minded people, but this is also my livelihood, my company. If it would be inappropriate to discuss on any other company’s website, chances are it’s innappropriate here. It’s the price we all have to pay to create a world that is open for everyone to play and feel comfortable expressing themselves creatively.
A few Veteran Mountaineers have taken a step back recently, for personal reasons or to give the new recruits a chance to play, to shine, to play along. But because of that we’ve had less of a “guiding hand” presence in the forum. I’d like to invite back any regular readers who would like to be “Leaders” in the community to help me keep this place kind, warm, welcoming, and a safe place to play, or role play. If you’re interested, comment below or message me.
I think some eager readers hopped in without fully reading my Quickstart Guide, and hey, I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I want to say from the start that if you came here expecting a straight-up ARG, this isn’t one. If anything, I’d call this an ARB (Alternate Reality Book.) This is first and foremost a literary experience. The point of this is not solving puzzles, or winning. The puzzles and complications in The Monarch Papers are nothing more than roadblocks standing between the characters (that includes all of you) and the narrative.
I have created some crazy complicated puzzles in the past (the veterans can attest to that) but none of them have ever been as exciting as a tense museum heist, or a magic spell, or a mysterious live feed, or a revelation-filled transcript. Trust me, I’m a way better writer than I am a puzzle maker. I’d rather invest my time where my strengths lie.
I’ve found myself not worrying so much about the puzzles lately. There will be more, some will be simple, some might be hard. But if you came here to solve puzzles, and are disappointed in what’s being offered, it’s because this isn’t an ARG. At least not like a lot of other ones. But I hope you’ll stick around, because there’s a lot going on here, and mysteries will continue to abound.
I think I’ve said enough. And I want to express my concerns and thoughts without anyone feeling attacked or singled-out. But I am fiercely protective of this community and if I have to lift the flag, or the hammer, to keep it safe, I will without hesitation.
CJB Dad hat off–
If you have thoughts on all of this, I’d love to hear them, so please feel free to comment below. Love you guys,