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Thread: The Head of URPG Position

  1. #1
    pink ball Mistral's Avatar
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    Default The Head of URPG Position

    I'm going to open this by saying that I'm not here to attack Swifty, who has just taken on the position of Acting Head, or Harry, who's just stepped down as Head and already had his position questioned enough as it is to the point where I feel no need to continue to do so.

    What I am here to question is the position of URPG Head. I'm not questioning the people in the position. I'm questioning the position itself.

    I'd also like to note I'm not here to call for the removal of the Head of URPG position now. Not in this time in which we do need a leader. However, in the future, however distant that may be, I would like to propose for the removal of the Head of URPG position.

    My experience with this position draws from Harry holding it, so forgive me if I seem misinformed about it. It's the only person I've ever actively seen hold the position, so I can only speak on my experiences with him holding the position. I think we all know what that was like now more than ever, and I'm not going to get into specifics of it here, not because I don't feel it would be important to the conversation but because we already know about it: Harry was an inactive leader.

    Swifty is the current Acting Head of URPG, and I will support him in that role. However, as he has stated in line 104, a time will come where he will not be able to give URPG the appropriate amount of time and attention that it deserves. One day, he'll get far too busy with real life responsibilities to properly hold the position, and that's okay, it's understandable. I think it's safe to say we can all agree that an inactive Head is not what's best for URPG. When I read Swifty's Pastebin, one question popped into my mind:

    Why do we have the position of Head of URPG in the first place? Why does the staff not act as a collective in the first place?

    When I posed this question in the #urpg-transition chat, I never really got a straight response other than the Head makes decisions when the team is divided. While that's an understandable response, I don't feel like we need a whole position just for that. I feel like we should be able to trust in our Mods and Officials to make the appropriate decisions as necessary, and in the event there is a divide, I'm sure that there's some other compromise than a Head of URPG position.

    Under Harry's leadership, the work fell upon the Mods and Officials to make decisions the vast majority of the time. I don't remember any times where we were really divided to the point where we needed Harry to step in while I was on staff because we were able to settle most things ourselves. I feel like we should be able to trust our team of Mods and Officials to make decisions without the necessity of a potentially inactive Head who the situation would have to be explained to by two possibly biased parties.

    Could all of this change with a new Head? Perhaps.

    But when it comes time for Swifty to step down as Acting Head and appoint someone who will be the new permanent Head of URPG, who will take that place? It's not a question of leadership ability, it's a question of time. Who in this game has the appropriate amount of time (and leadership ability) to properly dedicate to the position of Head of URPG? It's not a question we can answer now, of course, but food for thought for the future. Each and every one of us has our own personal lives outside of this game. For the most part, all of us are adults, either holding jobs or going to school, or in some cases, going to school and holding a job. Our time is already fractured between those things as it is. And that's not to say that the URPG Staff as a whole isn't in that same boat; everyone on the staff team currently holds a job and/or goes to school. The difference between the URPG Head is that there's only one of him (or her) whereas with the URPG staff team as a whole, there's at least 10 of them (I dunno an exact number, sorry) that can make decisions and split the work amongst themselves.

    tl;dr I'm calling for the eventual removal of the URPG Head position on the premise that the amount of power the URPG Head has should not fall on one person, it should fall on a team of people, which we already have in the collective group of URPG Moderators and Officials.

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    Loyal Arcanine's Avatar
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    I really hear you. The position of Head of URPG and the actions by whoever holds the position are both so prone to controversy. Pidge posted about some reasons why he thought HKim wasn't fit for the position (many of which applied to Jack as well if you ask me), and Nyurgh described how HKim succeeding Jack as Head gave rise to sour opinions. Mine most of all, and it surely led to my eventual exit from URPG. Should it have affected me so much? Probably not. But regardless it shows how this position polarizes opinion, while really a team of sensible, committed and also active officials/moderators should be able to run the URPG together.
    Last edited by Loyal Arcanine; 12-23-17 at 07:03 PM.

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    URPG Official URPG Staff Fierce Deity's Avatar
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    I agree that the removal of Head position () would work due to URPG Officials/Moderators being able to collectively work as a group. Not to mention the stress and weight that falls onto that one person is unfair as everything that happens in the game eventually do end up being placed on said person as the one held responsible.

    Working together as one unit is more than we need. I understand having one person in charge fits the history of how things are run in real life even, but I believe a collective group of staff would be able to get the job done just as efficiently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loyal Arcanine View Post
    I really hear you. The position of Head of URPG and the actions by whoever holds the position are both so prone to controversy. Pidge posted about some reasons why he thought HKim wasn't fit for the position (many of which applied to Jack as well if you ask me), and Nyurgh described how HKim succeeding Jack as Head gave rise to sour opinions. Mine most of all, and it surely led to my eventual exit from URPG. Should it have affected me so much? Probably not. But regardless it shows how this position polarizes opinion, while really a team of sensible, committed and also active officials/moderators should be able to run the URPG together.
    At least we got the greatest tree on the internet out of that fiasco.

    Anyway to stay on topic, I agree with this post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fierce Deity View Post
    I agree that the removal of Head position () would work due to URPG Officials/Moderators being able to collectively work as a group. Not to mention the stress and weight that falls onto that one person is unfair as everything that happens in the game eventually do end up being placed on said person as the one held responsible.

    Working together as one unit is more than we need. I understand having one person in charge fits the history of how things are run in real life even, but I believe a collective group of staff would be able to get the job done just as efficiently.

    Side Note: @Loyal Arcanine; Hi !!!
    That's great, if the Officials and Moderators are able to collectively work as a group. The point of a Head is to ultimately make a decision when the group disagrees.
    "Because it's always been this way" should never be an excuse to maintain a broken system.

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    On one hand, not having a Head means you don't need to worry about having an inactive Head, on the other hand, what do you do when Staff can't agree on something (like the recent example of dealing with Weir's money)? Staff couldn't agree on the necessary response and Harry had to issue a decision (even though it was controversial).
    Also, can Staff always function as one unit when they had a civil war over Onmyo?


    Another thing, what's the difference between official and mod?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SinnohEevee View Post
    On one hand, not having a Head means you don't need to worry about having an inactive Head, on the other hand, what do you do when Staff can't agree on something (like the recent example of dealing with Weir's money)? Staff couldn't agree on the necessary response and Harry had to issue a decision (even though it was controversial).
    Also, can Staff always function as one unit when they had a civil war over Onmyo?


    Another thing, what's the difference between official and mod?
    Weir's money issues were more consensus than anything. I think what you're referring to is the most recent issue with him in where there were more disagreement amongst staff. You're correct, though, that Harry as Head made the ultimate decision out of the conversation in staff.

    Calling it a civil war over Onmyo is really dramatizing what happened. A lot of staff were not even involved in that issue; I would have faith that staff could work together even if there are large disagreements between some.

    An Official is someone that contributes to staff, that is to say, they give their voice that helps weigh on decisions, they can host annual events (like New Life, Fresh Death, etc), they help in the development of ideas staff work on before showing the public/implementing (like new ranks for Pokemon when a new gen comes out, or things like URPG achievements, etc). Officials on Discord also can give out warnings, chat bans, and temp bans.

    Moderators, along with everything Officials do, do the editorial things on the forums as well. We can edit posts, move threads, delete posts/threads, etc. Mods can also give out heavier punishments if needed including permanent bans.

    All are still a part of URPG staff; all represent staff.

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    pink ball Mistral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinnohEevee View Post
    On one hand, not having a Head means you don't need to worry about having an inactive Head, on the other hand, what do you do when Staff can't agree on something (like the recent example of dealing with Weir's money)? Staff couldn't agree on the necessary response and Harry had to issue a decision (even though it was controversial).
    Also, can Staff always function as one unit when they had a civil war over Onmyo?


    Another thing, what's the difference between official and mod?
    My thought process on cases where staff can't resolve issues would be to have the Mods (the highest ranking URPG staff), or the section leaders if it's a section specific issue brought to staff as a whole, discuss the issue among themselves and come to an agreement, though I'd hope that would be an absolute last resort case resolution, as I believe staff rarely has issues coming to agreements on stuff, at least from my experience of being on URPG staff. Obviously, I can't speak on how staff dealt with weir's money (other than that the way it was dealt with was more or less the same way it was dealt with when another user by the name of mlouden03 did the same thing with his money; both had to keep logs of their money from that point on, weir lost the EMs on his Pokemon, and mlouden basically had a forced restart) as I can't see staff chats and have no idea how staff dealt with it because I can't see that information. I fully believe staff can come to resolutions and issue them appropriately much more efficiently, quickly, and less controversially than with recent events without the use of a third party like the URPG Head, who has, at least in Harry's tenure of the position, been very inactive and very unaware of the events happening in URPG until he/she is told about those events.

    I'd like to note that in my 5 years of time at URPG, I've never seen any sort of conflict as we've had with Onmyo. URPG has had its fair share of conflicts, I'll say that much, but never anything like this. The conflict wasn't over Onmyo itself; I don't think anyone here is against the idea of Onmyo being in URPG (but correct me if I'm wrong). As an idea, Onmyo is interesting (though I'll also admit I haven't looked too much into it after its implementation). The issue with Onmyo was its implementation into URPG that started the conflict. Those issues have been outlined in another thread here on PWN, so I'm going to refrain from bringing them up here so as to not detract from the purpose of this thread, that is discussing the Head of URPG position. What I will say is this: I do not feel that the Harry, who was Head of URPG at the time, was too involved in the conflict from the beginning, when the idea of Onmyo was presented to K'sariya and shortly after, myself, as a Park replacement. I have scrolled through the group chat; Harry was added after I was, and I was added after the idea was presented to K'sariya. From what I can see in that chat, Harry didn't provide much in the way of help other than "just keep communication open," though I'll admit I just briefly scrolled through for the purposes of this post because I'm not interested in doing a more thorough read right now as I don't want to reopen wounds I'm trying to keep closed. My point is that in that private chat between those involved in the initial issues with Onmyo (it being presented as a Park replacement), Harry was not too terribly involved. Now, as I'm not staff and haven't been since May, I can't say how active he was in discussions that may have happened in the URPG staff chat because I can't see that chat. In my eyes, Harry was largely inactive during these discussions, and I believe that he wasn't terribly involved until the time was right for him to be involved.

    That does not make for a good Head. A good Head should be aware of what's happening in the URPG without having to hear the story from another (potentially biased) party, or even two (potentially biased) parties, or however many parties are involved. During my time as staff, I can only remember Harry being around for staff meetings and when promotions/demotions needed to happen. The majority of the time, URPG's problems were left to the Officials and Moderators of the game, and I think that they were dealt with fine. I can't remember very many times where Harry stepped in during disputes while I was staff, to be completely honest. Staff has very much functioned as a unite without Harry, and I believe that they can continue to do so; I think we've all learned from the implementation issues Onmyo had and know to not repeat them again in the future. A good URPG head should be someone who is active enough to be aware of the happenings and issues of URPG.

    I'd like to note that my post isn't about attacking Harry, and I apologize if it comes off that way. My intent isn't to attack Harry, but rather the position of URPG Head, and as he's the only URPG Head I've known, he's the only one I can reference in this post. I do not believe Harry was nearly active enough to hold the position of URPG Head, and I do not believe that the Head of URPG is someone who can come in whenever there's major conflict, hear what's happening from those involved, and make a decision on it. I do not believe that the Head of URPG is someone who can come in and hold staff meetings and be unaware of what's happening in the game to the point where they have to be told what's happening and filled in on the happenings on the game. I do not believe the Head of URPG is someone who should solely be present for staff promotions/developments or long term developments in the URPG. The Head of URPG should be someone who is active, someone who is aware of what's happening in the game, someone who doesn't just show up when there's major conflict, or when staff promotions/demotions need to happen, or when long term developments are happening within the URPG. I do not believe that anyone in the URPG, at least at the current moment, is capable of holding this position. The entire staff team at the moment goes to school, holds a job, or both. I'm not saying that the URPG Head should be around 24/7, but I also don't feel like anyone on the staff team can feasibly hold the position in URPG, continue to enjoy the game, and keep up with their real life commitments. (But of course, correct me if I'm wrong on this.)

    As for the difference between an Official and a Mod, the Staff Authority Guide details all of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    Harry was not too terribly involved. Now, as I'm not staff and haven't been since May, I can't say how active he was in discussions that may have happened in the URPG staff chat because I can't see that chat. In my eyes, Harry was largely inactive during these discussions, and I believe that he wasn't terribly involved until the time was right for him to be involved.

    That does not make for a good Head. A good Head should be aware of what's happening in the URPG without having to hear the story from another (potentially biased) party, or even two (potentially biased) parties, or however many parties are involved. During my time as staff, I can only remember Harry being around for staff meetings and when promotions/demotions needed to happen. The majority of the time, URPG's problems were left to the Officials and Moderators of the game, and I think that they were dealt with fine. I can't remember very many times where Harry stepped in during disputes while I was staff, to be completely honest. Staff has very much functioned as a unite without Harry, and I believe that they can continue to do so; I think we've all learned from the implementation issues Onmyo had and know to not repeat them again in the future. A good URPG head should be someone who is active enough to be aware of the happenings and issues of URPG.
    Why not? The alternative is that the URPG Head-- or the moderators involved-- is a biased party. If the Officials and Moderators are usually able to come to an agreement without the help of the URPG head, that's great and everything is functioning like it should be.
    When things are so divisive or get so out of hand that a "Head" needs to step in, hear all sides, and make a ruling, why shouldn't it be a distant, impartial, uninvolved party?



    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    I do not believe Harry was nearly active enough to hold the position of URPG Head, and I do not believe that the Head of URPG is someone who can come in whenever there's major conflict, hear what's happening from those involved, and make a decision on it. I do not believe that the Head of URPG is someone who can come in and hold staff meetings and be unaware of what's happening in the game to the point where they have to be told what's happening and filled in on the happenings on the game. I do not believe the Head of URPG is someone who should solely be present for staff promotions/developments or long term developments in the URPG.

    Considering that most of the time URPG operates without the input of the URPG Head
    , it does no harm to retain the position. You rattle off all these things that the URPG Head should not be, but then also want to do away with the position entirely-- even if it is all those things.
    I think you are mistaking it's function. If the URPG Head is anything but an impartial ruler that only steps in when it absolutely needs to, then yeah, get rid of it, because it's obsolete. But in my eyes, it absolutely should be a person who has to ask what's going on in staff meetings, and it absolutely should have to hear both sides of a problem that arises.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    The Head of URPG should be someone who is active, someone who is aware of what's happening in the game, someone who doesn't just show up when there's major conflict, or when staff promotions/demotions need to happen, or when long term developments are happening within the URPG. I do not believe that anyone in the URPG, at least at the current moment, is capable of holding this position. The entire staff team at the moment goes to school, holds a job, or both. I'm not saying that the URPG Head should be around 24/7, but I also don't feel like anyone on the staff team can feasibly hold the position in URPG, continue to enjoy the game, and keep up with their real life commitments. (But of course, correct me if I'm wrong on this.)
    So maybe you can tell me why you think that this is what the URPG Head should be? You simultaneously seem to want it to be a super-involved super-Moderator who has their hands on everything, and also to do away with it entirely. What role do you think the URPG Head position is meant to serve?

    Because I think it's a role entirely different than the one served by Officials.
    "Because it's always been this way" should never be an excuse to maintain a broken system.

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