Whether you’re new to digital sports or not, you will have noticed a massive amount of red tape issued by pseudo-organisations, old wives tales, political opinions and agendas which seem to dominate everywhere you turn. The “must do’s” and “definitely don’ts” that seem to vary from person to person.
The simple fact is; They’re all optional.
Organisations in SL are set up by one or two people, who determine what they deem to be a global, definitive ruleset, then proceed to claim that their ruleset needs to be adhered to in order for you to gain validity in their chosen arena. Some even then require/request payment to ensure that validity. Which is pretty much the same as printing your own money.
But lets back up a little before you think this is just a rant. Many people in these organisations, work very hard for our entertainment, donating hundreds of hours of their lives, and their own money, literally for nothing other than the love for their chosen sport and the people around them. That in itself is massively admirable and my hat comes off to them for their dedication. Not everyone has that kind of tenacity or community spirit and those people make our collective world a better place.
But there comes a time when you have to question the authority. These rulesets are often massively outdated and the mission statements left by the wayside. They’re self-regulated after all, and “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
Given the very nature of SL community, this often leads to directorships becoming nothing but a close social circle, using the ruleset as a rolled up newspaper smacking the noses of those who dare to either think differently or have aspirations of progression. But again, they’re all optional, which people seem to forget due to the dogmatic way the rulesets are presented.
So perhaps it’s time for some blue-sky thinking?
While I agree, some of the people in these organisations are amazing, they’re also tied to the rulesets which seem to defy amendment. Time moves on, technology changes, attitudes change, but many of the rulesets don’t. Change and progression happens on digital platforms daily, we crave it, we demand and expect it. But its also our responsibility to embrace it and adapt to that change, especially in organisational rulesets, or they simply become obsolete. Thats what people pay these organisations to do after all, right? That’s how they maintain their own relevance, or atleast it should be.
SL is a creative platform where you are able to do literally anything you want; so create your own world, create your own events, talk to region owners and ask if they would be interested in your ideas, feel free to think outside the ruleset bubble, flex your ideas on how you think things should be. Just play your way and enjoy it. More often than not, the people within existing organisations will be happy to help you with alternatives to their ideas, thats how evolution works. But importantly, don’t think the existing “association” rules are anything more than someone else’s ideals.
Just because they did it first, doesnt mean you can’t create something new.