Over the past three years it has been my honor and privilege to serve on the moderator team, helping write the code of conduct, and adding to it and tweaking it over the years to make sure it actually works better. I have also served as a leader on the moderator team, helping to find, train, and coordinate the moderator staff. I also had the privilege of hosting a number of games that were well designed during the champs tournaments, and some not so well designed games of my own. And then I inexplicably became a red. Thingy is still not sure why, and I agree.
Basically, what I am saying is: I did... stuff.
I know you're skeptical. I know you never see me these days, and I am like a shadow creeping in the darkness, but I was totally a part of this town! I just, uncharacteristically, didn't speak a lot in public. And when I did, hoo boy. You never could get me to shut up. And then I would vanish again. (Much like this announcement.)
But about the whole never seeing me these days:
I have 'retired' from playing mafia several times, like a professional wrestler, it's always fake. Even when I meant it. But it's been quite a few months since I actually played, and I... don't miss it. And since we have a blue team that does an excellent job, I don't have to check on reports anymore, ever. And I don't miss that, either. And we have purples around to lead and manage the blue team, and look into adding more green team people. Stuff I do has become something that gets done when I am not around. Which is great timing, since my work in real life is sucking away the last bit of energy I have.
I just can't give this site my all anymore.
Without being in games, being personally involved in staff management, being needed for major emergencies, and not really having the time or energy to do this anymore, I realize that the Universe has been dropping hints.
So this is the State of The Universe, as I see it.
The community is a lot bigger than it was when Thingy began the site. A lot of people from a lot of different places playing games together, to keep the Mafia spirit alive, even though many of our own local sites end up dying due to lack of players, forum software changes, and baffling administrative decisions being made.
Many of us have very fond memories of playing games with our close friends, on a little site we can call our own. I know I sure do.
When those times came to an end, we could at least look to Mafia Universe as a place where we could have a second chance at fun and making friends. Which is ultimately the entire point of mafia, to me.
I wanted, from the moment I came on staff, to each day I served on it, to this day, and every day in the future, for Mafia Universe to be a place where people could come, have fun, make friends, and brighten up their lives.
It hasn't always been perfect and it hasn't always been easy. The ideal is great, living up to it is not automatic. More than just games happen on this site. It is about more than just playing well, or winning and losing. It is most definitely more than just stats.
I hoped that this idea would catch on like wildfire, and people would take it to heart. One of the things we try to do here when people don't live up to the ideal is to give people a reminder of what kind of site we wanted this to be, and give people sufficient chances to make the step up to that standard. We have our best games and best memories when we actually have fun, and aren't sniping at each other or being rude. That kind of stuff drives away people, and it's usually the people who are the most fun to play with, because they aren't doing that.
I just wanted to take one final opportunity to remind people why that higher standard exists. I know it can be difficult to live up to, especially in the heat of the moment, and most especially when someone else is not reaching that standard and directing flames at you. I know it is difficult and we're all only human. But the reward is a better site, a better community, and games where you actually want to sign up to the next one when the current game is done. People you actually look forward to playing with. Maybe even making friends.
That is the meaning behind everything I wanted for Mafia Universe. It is up to you to judge whether or not Mafia Universe has met such a standard. I hope it came close, for all that we put into it.
I fear I have spent too much time behind the curtain and not enough time actually in the games themselves on here, but it is my hope that the community we have built together has been able to bring you wonderful memories, lots of fun, and hopefully some friendships you wouldn't otherwise have had. If so, then I am proud of the community we have built together. If you care about this community, please do your best to personally uphold those standards, and be the example you want to see in others.
MafiaUniverse has a bright future, but only if we all try to make that future bright. It is not automatic. It is up to each of us to 'be the example'.
As for me, I may not vanish entirely, but I am at peace with retirement from mafia play, and also, retirement from bearing the mild burdens of being a volunteer staffer. Perhaps I will host a game for you later this year as a sort of going away party, and to re-live some of the best times.
And now my watch is ended.
Thank you for the honor of representing you over these many years. Please remember to take care of yourself, and take care of one another.