TL;DR I'm out.
Ahoy. I've been a moderator and head moderator of MafiaUniverse longer than anyone, but if you didn't know that, that's one of the reasons I'm leaving. Hi, people call me lute. I used to be a part of this community but now I'm really not. I haven't played a game in over a year, I barely talk in the Discord, and my contributions on the moderation end have been... minimal. I can't in good conscience justify representing the leadership of moderation on a site I'm no longer truly a part of. I had a good run. I did at least three things I'm proud of. I lack any desire to recount the things I'm not. I've forged some powerful memories and I've made a great many friends who will be abused and discarded in time. After several years and more brushes with death than I'm comfortable with, I'm leaving for good. This post represents my final indulgence, and I do hope you'll read it.
I joined this site to play mafia and pretend to be someone I'm not. The ploy worked. Too well. I was accepted. I made friends. I didn't deserve to, but I did. Slowly, I revealed who I truly was. It was too late by then. First impressions had stuck. I was still accepted. This was less than ideal, because it wasn't part of the plan. I had no intention of sticking around. Yet something about the community kept reeling me back in. Eventually, I relented. MU was my home. Even as everyone who had made it a home left, one by one, it was my home.
I became a moderator because the community had given me something very special and important, and I wanted to give back. I rose to the rank of head moderator because I was the only one willing. I plummeted further than I could've imagined. I rose again because my conviction was renewed. I fell again, this time confident I wouldn't rise. I did. It was a mistake. From the get-go it was a mistake. I won't devalue the work I and others with me did but my heart was never in it. It was a matter of necessity, not passion. I am scared for the future. Of the world and equally lofty things, but of this site as well. It's this fear that has kept me here, straining against the current, flotsam and kelp attempting to help. The anxiety gnaws at me. I do not leave because my work is done; I leave because my work is never done. I can only piteously crawl towards the vanishing horizon of the finish line for so long until there's nothing left to give. That, and I'm not stable enough to justify holding any position of relative power. This lesson was taught twice and never retained.
The reason I feel the need to say all this is because I'm a self-absorbed, vainglorious cretin with a penchant for melodrama. Additionally, I want it to serve as a lesson. In what, I can't rightly say. But there must be something important in here. There must be. It was a waste otherwise. Askthepizzaguy earned himself a farewell address, so the precedent is there to be capitalized upon. I recall his being largely optimistic. That's not my brand of farewell. Ill omens and a ritual sacrifice are how I choose to shuffle off this mafia coil. In many ways I consider Pizza's departure to be the signal of an era's finale, with the following being my era. I suppose that era's over now too. Good riddance. I was never fond of it. So much slipped through our fingers. I fear for the coming era. Not to say I expect the team to suddenly do a worse job now that I'm gone, but my pessimism has always been a bit of a weight.
My advice, to the staff in the future, to the community of the future, to the people of the future, is to demand better. We live in a world of taking. Do not settle for the minimum, from others or yourself. When the bar begins to lower, inertia takes over. Allow for the unacceptable to continue for long enough, and it becomes the new acceptable. Complacent adherence to the status quo is the foundation upon which evil paves the path to triumph. There is no shame in having standards. There is shame in allowing an aversion to conflict drive away those that belong to make room for those that do not. Failing to take a stand does not make you a moderate, it makes you a coward. If this sounds unreasonably lofty for the farewell address of some broad on an internet yelling board, that's only because I see this site as so much more.
This is the greatest forum mafia site to ever exist. I mean it. It didn't get this far effortlessly, without sacrifice, and without immense failure. It's going to need more of all of that to keep going. It's on you to provide. The simplest way you can do that is to have fun. Have fun and spread the fun. The victor is they who imbue the game with the most spirit. Joy. A community must be more than a club house. To thrive in the dying world of the internet forum means to be not a venue, but a union, a place of acceptance and laughs and love. Every action taken by moderation should reflect this philosophy and foster an environment where this ideal is realized. It is my hope that I was able to, once in a while, accomplish this. If not as a moderator, then as a community member. I want you to laugh. I want you to cry. I want you to feel alive.
I would like to give a final thank you to the community that accepted me, and for better or worse, made me lower my guard and venture outside my shell. I wouldn't be so arrogant as to suggest I left a permanent mark on this site, but this site left a permanent mark upon me. We did not always see eye to eye, but we always saw face to face, and for that I am grateful. I regret everything, and I would take none of it back.
Thank this post for a chance to win a free iPod Nano. It is unlikely you will hear from me again. Plaudite, acta est fabula.
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