A gaming clan is a place for people with a direct interest in competing against other gamers. It is not a haven for the socially unacceptable. The problem first and foremost is that a clan has an inescapable leader(s). Someone who claims the role as overseer. Usually a clan has multiple founders who often have played competitively together. This role as leader(s) can lead to a direct issue with the gamers recruited.
The Leader(s) Role:
The role of leader is tough. Irregardless of the stance you take, whether easy going or tough, you will undoubtedly find that your role as leader is really seen as a joke. You may be prone to anger at the way others see your role. The problem with gaming clans is the inescapable fact that your clan is not paid. You are not their boss, they reserve the unalienable right to tell you off for trying to discipline them. Unless you start paying, your passion for bossing around adults will end. A couple choice swear words and the leaving of many gamers is the fate of all clans.
The Gamers Role:
To be frank, the role is simply to have fun and compete. The whole point to a clan is to work together, and to kick ass. When gaming clans became popular during Halo 2, there were two types of clans.
The Competitive Clan:
This clan was based on a group of like minded individuals who wanted to compete in a hard core sense. They didn’t care about being great friends, or making lifetime friendships. They were there to play and win. Only the most dedicated players survive this clan.
The Social Clan:
Comprised of people who want to make lifetime friendships and possibly sexual relationships. These are the gamers who don’t like solitude, and reach out to clans to find a family. While there is nothing wrong with this for some, it poses many risks to gamers. Social clans thrive on drama. Breakups, fights, and jealousy are the beginning of the end. This is found even more commonly in clans with forums and websites.
Clans on the Web:
We all have been in, joined, or know someone who joined a clan. Most of which had a website with forums where people could talk and get to know each other. This is usually a social clan’s first mistake. While the clan may have good intentions about bringing gamers together, it leads to the first and biggest problem.
Social clans bring drama. They give the socially inept a chance to bring their real or fake problems to a group of others with exact issues. It’s one big family of depressed gamers who, most of the time, brought all the problems on themselves.
While making friends is fine, it often leads to a quest to find girl gamers. While I have many girl gamer friends, I have learned through many bad mistakes to not date online. I dated a girl online, I even helped her out a lot. Like most girls, they have a tendency to have many crushes. I was not the first, and from her track record, not the last. I will however say she is now dating a guy who has no self confidence, he was one of my best friends. I have no friendship with him anymore because he thinks I am jealous. I could care less, she was a tramp looking for a shoulder to lean on. He however was a virgin and a shy guy who couldn’t get a girl due to no confidence. Guys if you want to find a special girl, look around you not online. She used him and got herself knocked up to keep him around. This is not how you better yourself.
The Lack of Order:
The social clans fatal flaw is rank. No, not lack of, just the opposite. They take ranks seriously, and seem to crave the structure. The first and most important rule to creating a leader role is to have a voting system. Gamers need to control the clans decisions. To make a direct impact in who runs each clan section. Voting by quarter for a leader who has worked hard to make matches and tournaments happen to give the gamers a chance to compete. The elected takes active duty in making new members welcome. He shouldn’t have to attend a meeting once a week to talk with other leaders. He should have all the clan leader’s names and be able to set up matches often. This will direct the interests of the clan members in gaming and not the drama that often becomes an issue. Meetings should be held to bring others together to play games, not discuss pointless nonsense.
(Example of bad leadership)
I was in this clan, the clan general was a guy who was never online. He was constantly off the forums and never had any meetings he attended. The section leader was an irresponsible idiot who seemed indifferent on the issue because it was a friend. We badgered the leaders to be more pro-active, even had meetings to keep in touch without a leader present. I was always making matches and working hard to keep people active. We had a pretty large clan and every member wanted me as general. The section leader wouldn’t demote the WoW playing general. We finally gave up on that clan and soon many were generals in their own clans. I however was given a bad rep and became known as the clan breaker. I soon gave up on the clans and focused on the dead News Team. With help from a friend we tried to rebuild. They were extremely close minded on the changes and soon became frustrated at my constant badgering for more current news. Soon I was banned from the clan, and realized that I was fighting a battle with idiots. I moved on and went back to the peaceful life of gaming.
Removing the Gender Gap:
Girls are a huge part of gaming today. They are unfortunately seen as an opportunity to make a meaningful relationship with. They are often the center of attention, and lead to very strained clans. You can’t cover up the fact they are girls, and you can’t ask them not to game. You can however make a statement that reminds each gamer why they joined. It was and should always be about gaming. If a younger gamer joins, he will often make moves on girls in order to try and latch onto her. They are the weak link in a clan and should be watched and possibly booted if they get a little clingy and begin harassing the girl. This is a last resort of course, using best judgement may just mean a separation of the two. It is best to be open with the girl gamer community. They are just gamers and should not be treated differently. I often find it best to give girls the opportunity to have a clan team of their own. This way the drama will be less likely to start.
Finding a Common Game:
Base the different clan groups on the game played. Make a clan for CoD, Halo, Battlefield, etc… Don’t force multiple interests together, if the clans are game oriented it will bring more active gamers. Have an arena set up so that stats of members, clans, and divisions can be tracked. If a certain clan becomes very large and has many active members, split the clan with the whole clan’s approved vote. Make sure you have voted leaders beforehand, that way the new clan will not become inactive. Remember to vote quarterly for new leaders and encourage others to be pro-active to gain promotions.
To those who have a forum based site listen up. A homepage should always be different from the forums. A more upgraded look to the homepage catches the gamers eye and makes them want to join up to be apart of the community. Try to have an uncluttered page. Too many gadgets make browsing annoying. You also need to limit ads. I know you wanna make money, but try to place ads in places that won’t hinder the page. Featured pictures should be high resolution and have good articles to follow. I laugh when I see the way some of these clans feature news. Featured articles should be interest catchers. For instance, “Ubisoft slips that there will be a new Assassin’s Creed for 2011”. This title catches the interest of the viewer instantly. He/She wants to know what Ubisoft said. Therefore they will click and read.
Forums can be a good and bad thing. They give others a chance to vent, but that is also what article comments are for. Limit the forums as much as possible. Monitor the forums for the members who starts off topic threads. You have to be strict to keep a drama free environment. The administrator needs to work silently, giving the warnings when necessary, but avoiding the discipline at all costs. Discipline a member severely and they’ll leave. Wouldn’t you? Thats why the silent delete, is enough to remind a member to keep on topics about gaming.
Keep out religion, politics, and relationships.