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OOC - 'Why Aren't People Joining my Game' Template Discussion

This question is one that most OW moderators have probably asked themselves at some point. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get an answer to this question, as it feels wrong to email people and ask them why they aren't joining your game, and that's assuming you even have their email addresses.

I had the idea to create a place where people can comfortably ask for feedback as to why other OW Members are not joining there game. What exactly this space will look like down the road is up for discussion. Should there be rules that dictate what kind of speech is appropriate, or should people be allowed to provide whatever feedback they want regardless of how offensive it could be to the people being talked about?

The following is my rough draft of this template. If you guys have any thoughts about better ways to present this, let me know.


The purpose of this post is to be a place where moderators who are struggling to recruit members can get helpful feedback from people who have not yet joined your game as to why they haven't joined your game. I imagine this looking like the following:

In the Disqus comments to this post, someone seeking input from the community as to why people are not joining their game would comment, "Hi, this is (OW Username) seeking to understand why most of you have not joined my game (Game Name)."

Someone who has not yet attempted to join that game could then reply, "Hey (person I'm replying to), I have not joined your game for reasons x, y, and z. If you could clarify details i and j, and my current loads lessens, I would love to join your game."

For example, lets say that I want to try to understand why people aren't joining the OW Community Platform. I would comment to this post "Hi, I'm Nim, and I would like to know why you guys are not joining my game OW Community Platform."

If people were inclined to participate in this exercise (which I'd highly encourage), I might get replies like,

Person 1: "Hi Nim, the reason I haven't joined OW Community Platform is because I don't believe that I would benefit at all from doing so, and there are a few people who are a part of the game that I have not gotten along with that I'd prefer to avoid."

Person 2: "Basically what Person 1 said."

Person 3: "I don't need anyone to tell me how to do Ongoing Worlds."

Person 4: "Yeah, so, the reason I haven't joined is because you are the worst moderator ever, and frankly, the most horrid person I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. Please do the world a favor and kill yourself."

Person 5: "I haven't joined because Person C is a member of your game, and Person C is an asshole."

The comments from persons 1, 2, and 3 are at least somewhat helpful. Please do not make comments like those written by persons 4 and 5. Disagreements and bad blood between people is an unfortunate fact of the internet and life in general, but please don't make this a place where you try to publicly humiliate people that you don't like, no matter how much you feel they deserve it or the situation warrants it. If you are not sure whether to say something or not, Wheaton's Law is a pretty healthy guideline to go by.

Notice Person 1's second concern. He may be feeling the same way that Person 5 is, but he says it in a way that is not calling out a particular individual. If I read Person 1's and Person 2's comments, and I desperately want them to join the OWCP, I can reach out to them by email and get clarification on who they don't like and why they don't think the OWCP is beneficial. Not everyone needs to see that, though.

Also notice Person 2's comment. You may feel like this is a waste, but it most definitely is not. Person 2's comment is adding weight to the concerns that Person 1 so ably described. If five people agree with a given concern, that tells the moderator who is submitting themselves to this audit that the concern is very significant, whereas if there is another concern mentioned by somebody else that nobody else mentions, that concern is probably less important unless you really want the later person to join your game.

TLDR; when replying to a request for feedback, please try to be as honest and helpful with your reply as possible while not being malicious to other people, and don't fret about repeating concerns that have already been mentioned.

If this goes according to plan, game moderators can come to better understand their target audience (other OW members) and get feedback that can help them design their games to better accommodate those that would like to join, or if nothing else, that the game has a perfectly good concept but the timing of the launch just wasn't terribly great. This may also be a good way to get data about people's preferences in general.

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