I have had a difficult, and disappointing, week with my PBEM campaign.
Last week I explained about the campaign and that I had to replace one player who had resigned. Despite asking for volunteers on the six forums I use, I had only received two replies. However I was pleased that at least I could replace the player who had left.
When anyone applies to join the campaign I send them a sort description of what is involved. I did so with the first applicant, and asked him to reply within 48 hours whether he still wanted to take part. I did the same with the second applicant, explained that I was holding the post provisionally for 48 hours, and asked him to confirm if he would like to take part if the first applicant decided he did not want to.
After three days no reply from either applicant.
I wrote to both, and asked if they had received my mail.
The first applicant replied “Sorry I forgot to reply. I feel that life is a tad busy to take part at present”
The second applicant replied “I sure thought I had. Yes, I do want to take part”
I don’t know how old they are, or anything about their background. But is it asking too much to expect the courtsey of a polite reply, even if they decide that they do not want to take part?
Perhaps it’s my age, and upbringing, but I always treat people on the internet just the same as I would someone I met at a club or in the street. I still do so, despite running a PBEM campaign for five years. I am, of course, aware that this type of attitude is not at all unusual on the internet. At least they took the trouble to reply after I sent a reminder.
But it does make me wonder how much longer I want to struggle to keep the PBEM campaign going.
The campaign is very much a labour of love. I don’t do it to be appreciated or expect players to be either grateful or to commit more than an hour or two a week. I have gotten as much out as I have put in. I would be very disappointed to end the campaign.
But I do resent the casual rudeness and general lack of appreciation of the amount of work that goes into the campaign. Had I been able to take part in such a campaign as a player I would have been impressed at how well it runs. I would have appreciated the amount of work to provide each player with comprehensive weekly updates. I would have enjoyed the detailed wargame reports, with photographs, of every battle fought.
I do not at present have any intention of ending the campaign. But I am not looking forward to replacing the next player who leaves.