As most members of the Creatures community know, I used to be a moderator and active member of Creatures Caves. I disappeared on a couple of occasions, before leaving the site entirely this past April. I’m not the only one: Kezune of Designer Genes posted about her blog’s retirement to the dismay of many. It’s come to my attention that there is now a discussion and poll designed to get opinions about the current moderation team. Not to be negative, but the results of the poll are statistically irrelevant: Users must be signed in to vote, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel comfortable logging into Creatures Caves just to cast a vote. It seems like some are curious as to why some members have left Creatures Caves rather abruptly. I’m all about transparency, so I’ll gladly share my experiences.
I lost my moderator role when I left the site temporarily, after a fellow staff member started ignoring me and shutting down every idea I had. It was awkward and stressful. No attempt was made to contact me outside of Creatures Caves, so I learned of my lost role when I logged in again. That wasn’t much of a problem for me: It was my fault for not scheduling a leave of absence, although I wasn’t quite sure how to bring up this issue to anyone else. I thought that I might have been overreacting, and I was happy just to be a member of Creatures Caves again. Not being a moderator anymore actually gave me a little space away from this staff member, so all seemed to be alright.
Later on, I made the personal choice to limit my time on Creatures Caves because a lot of activity was unrelated to Creatures. Let me be very clear in saying that I don’t mean to criticize the site for allowing members to talk about other subjects. After all, Creatures isn’t our entire lives! There were a lot of individuals who had negative life experiences going on, and I knew I wasn’t equipped to offer advice. So I took another break to focus on other Creatures subjects, mainly in the form of new Discover Albia posts! I simply wanted to keep things positive in relation to Creatures. This was my own choice, though. My only other concern was how individual content was slowly being centralized on the site. I understand its philosophy of being the hub of Creatures activity, yet it seemed like everyone was being encouraged to post everything to Creatures Caves, and not their own sites or blogs.
Soon enough, I started noticing help topics that went unanswered, even though I had some possible answers. I decided to get active on Creatures Caves again, but only gave my attention to the Creatures-related content. So I started answering questions, interacting with people I hadn’t talked with in awhile, and it was wonderful! I found a good balance. All until it went sour in this resource article. My comment was deleted, without explanation. I was simply trying to point out that a certain individual’s policy was being interpreted incorrectly. I was agreeing with a point made by someone else, and Kezune (a moderator at the time) was having an open discussion about it. Suddenly, the moderator who wrote the resource spoke of me in the third-person and stated that only the site staff could decide on changes to be made. I still don’t think this person even understands what I was trying to say. There was no attempt to cover up anything… An important element of the policy had been left out and misinterpreted. It wasn’t that I was asking that things change simply because I disagreed: I was pointing out an inaccuracy, and trying to help out.
It got worse, though. I was stunned, and responded stating that I would be leaving Creatures Caves for good. The current comment says, “Okay.” This was edited, with no proof of the edit, because this originally said, “Okay. So long then.” A staff member came in to say that this was not the right place for this discussion, and it should be taken to the private messaging system. After being treated this way publicly, I felt even more uncomfortable hearing what this moderator had to say to me privately. Kezune was kind enough to try to continue the conversation, but it was too late. I blame myself a bit for her leaving the community, because a lot of the problems started with what happened to me. This moderator was fine with chasing someone off of the site, without even a second thought. Editing that original comment was, and still is, very questionable.
Was I wrong? I’m sure I made mistakes along the way at Creatures Caves, both as a moderator and a normal member. I apologize for my part in any confusion. I don’t begrudge the individuals, but I will never feel comfortable on the site. There is also this odd assumption that those who speak out about the Creatures Caves staff somehow insinuate that they’re “evil” or not doing good things. This is a case of accountability, and what it is to be a moderator. Deleting and editing comments based on personal motivations is a problem, and I still wonder how a moderator could retain these responsibilities after what happened. It’s not just the fact that it happened: It’s the fact that the moderator never apologized, nor saw the mistake in this. I only hope that this hasn’t happened to anyone else. Note that the majority of the current moderators and staff have never given me cause to question them: This involves a couple of individuals, yet it seems like I’m not alone with this sort of experience.
I do check Creatures Caves from time to time, although I haven’t logged in since April. My decision to leave was based on my own personal experiences, and I hope that everyone understands that this was my choice to make. In many ways, Creatures Caves is a wonderful place for Creatures players to get together and talk about the games. I do miss talking with a lot of the people who can’t be reached anywhere else, yet I want to keep my experiences with Creatures as positive as possible. I was only a member of Creatures Caves for a few years, but my love of Creatures reaches back more than a decade. In the end, I hope that everyone has a positive experience in the community, whether it be on Creatures Caves or elsewhere! The most important thing is to have fun with Creatures. Keep your love of the games alive and healthy!
Images Credited to Gameware Europe
Comments are open, but please keep in mind that this is my personal story. I admit that I may not have done everything right in these situations, yet I’m happy with where I am. If that means that I’ll never be a member of Creatures Caves again, then so be it. This doesn’t mean that I have anything against those who are active members of the site, though. Please continue to enjoy Creatures Caves now and in the future!