tl;dr: This is a problem the sim staff (host, admins, group managers etc) have to deal with.
First of all, I know from own experience that Second Life (SL) does seem to attract a lot of different folks. Powerposers meet people that extensively use try, paraposers meet one-line-say-emoters, third-person-view meets first-person-view. And of course, people that think they are the greatest and can't be held accountable by rules.
But SL also has some basic stuff you always should remember:
- Everybody in a sim or parcel is a guest of the one paying the rent (the host) for it.
- If the host declares rules, it is expected and good manners to uphold them - just like in real life.
So, we have established the basic principle we need to rely on when dealing with RP in SL: householder's/domiciliary rights. The host usually establishes a council of responsible people as admins/staff for the game on his land and together they should formulate guidelines and rules. They are kind of the underlying social contract of the sim.
Example of sim rules:
Often these sim rules are pretty explicit and contain punishments that are used on people breaching this. I have gathered some of these rules in a document here. Exemplary, these were the sim rules that had been used on Tython from the SWRP community between ca 2010 to 2014:
Upon entering our sims for rp you are agreeing to act as an adult, you understand we are here to rp, have fun, and build stories and characters not just be all powerful. If all you want to do is win all the time this is not the sim for you. We will NOT tolerate sore losers. If you get beat rp it out, DO NOT complain or tp out directly after a loss this will result in a Ban. DO NOT just run up and fight with no rp, this will be considered harassment and will result in a Ban.
Respect the on going stories here, do not just think you will come in and do whatever you want with no regards to what we have going on, failure to do so will result in a Ban, as previously stated we are building characters and stories here. Do not be disrespectful to staff or other players here failure to do so will result in a Ban. Take all excessive ooc chat to im's when rp is going on failure to do so will result in a Ban.
Leave all of the ooc drama somewhere else do not bring it here, you also understand that ic and ooc are not the same so DO NOT take what is said, and what happens ic personally ooc. Understand that you are playing a character and what you do ic will have ic consequences, and that the person playing against you is also playing a character and will re-act as per their character, failure to do this will result in a Ban.
I know this all should not have to be said but it does because in swrp it is often forgotten and the stuff that goes on everywhere else will NOT be tolerated here. Though we are on staff we are here to rp also, so we DO NOT want to, and WILL NOT spend our time in childish fights and arguments we will simply rid ourselves or your bullshit and rp with people who are here to have fun and not cause drama. ALL GROUP LEADRERS BRINGING YOUR PEOPLE TO RP HERE PLEASE POLICE THEM, IF WE HAVE TO STEP IN OUR DECISION WILL BE FINAL.
Upon getting banned: first offense will be re-viewable in two days. This gives everybody time to cool off and the offender to learn how things work here. I believe in a second chance so everyone will get one, however after this chance is given a permanent ban will be laid on you. If you have any questions on how to rp or rp etiquette, please refer to the box in our welcome center titled "so you want to swrp".
If you have any issues with a staff member DO NOT insult simply log the incident and submit the NC to myself [name redacted].
The other rules are pretty much standard rules for swrp
[rules about combat/combat meters]
Breaking any of the rules and practices of the sim while rping on Tython or Naboo will result in the pre mentioned Ban process. Thank you and enjoy your rping here.
What happened here?
So first of all, you need to establish the following:
- Did he break the sim rules?
- Did he disturb the game in a manner not adressed in the sim rules?
In either case, there are several things you can do:
Remind him of the rules. They are (or should be) stated somewhere. Reminding him that he broke the rules might help in that he rereads them and adjusts his play. It would be better though if the sim's staff does this as a mediation (see below).
Deny him to play with you. If he comes to play and continiues to impose his vision of RP on you, tell him ooc-ly and in public chat (so others notice and you may quote this later) that you don't wish to play with him like this. Do so in a civil manner to prevent being called badmouthing. If he follows you around after you told him you have no interest in playing with him, go to a place where you or your peer group has the domicilary rights - your base of operations for example - and deny him entry on the base of the sim rules and domicilary rights.
Don't fight back with fire! Do not become a bad sport and powerposer against him because of a bad sport. This is a downwards spiral. If it is allowable to powerpose for Staff to enforce the worlds reactions is something many playstyles dispute about.
Contact the staff team of the sim, and it is best to provide logs of the incident for this. However, keep in mind that Linden Lab's ToS does not allow disclosing your IMs with somebody without consent of both parties. Once staff is aware of the situation, they should handle it according to their procedure. Usually that includes a warning, and if the player does not adhere to the rules after that a (temporary or permanent) ban. Sometimes this includes the inability to return to the game ever because they are banned from the land.
Escalation of steps
Just to make it entirely clear: Ban is (usually) not the first but the last step in this, this is a situation of careful escalation. (Suspension is pretty much Ban-light)
- Try to explain to him that there are rules in the sim, that dictate what you can and can't do, even if it is freeform.
- Try to ask staff to mediate.
- Exclude him from your RP if he is disturbing - for example by asking him kindly to leave your scene.
- If he continues to be disruptive and blatantly breaks the established rules, even after staff mediated, then at staffs discretion the ban will come. If the ban can be repealed, when or how often this is possible is entirely up to staff.
You can only do so much as a player. If he doesn't listen to your reason, then your only way is to address staff and let them handle the problem.
Second Life is a mixing bowl of people from various backgrounds. Some of them are good sports, some bad sports, some don't speak even English and then there are griefers. In this vast mixture and with only the ToS of Linden Lab limiting what is possible, it relies on the host (=sim owner) and those he delegates it to (=staff) to establish the guidelines and rules to play in. It is up to the players to play in the rules or break them. However, the only tools Staff has to enforce their rules and thus protect their community are twofold: Mediation (aka trying to explain) and the Banhammer.
Only if the rules are enforced by some means (and there are only two), the RP can flow freely within the established, consistent world. If the rules are not enforced, disruptive players who powerpose and godmode will crop up with ideas of why they are overlord over everything and why the others should do what they say. Those will drive away the players that actually wanted to play in the world that was established. It is the duty of staff to protect the game and community, and this can mean that sometimes it is needed to get rid of a player. But it is up to the host and staff to decide where to draw this line and cut the losses, even if that might make their (now former) problem someone's else problem.
What about hurt feelings?
Make yourself no illusions, there will be hurt feelings on both sides, no matter how you tell them to reread the rules, change their playstyle or to ask them to leave the game. There is no way around this unless they can endure like Mahatma Gandhi.
Staff can try to lessen the blow by mediation and keeping the process clear. As a staff on a telnet based game myself and having been close to the former staff of several past iterations of the Tython sim(s) I know pretty well that rejection of someone's brilliant ideas will hurt the feelings on the player side, as will talking against the brick wall of a player will frustrate a staffer.
I believe though that Mr. Gandhi would have read all the rules and guidelines and familiarized himself with his surroundings before acting.