The game I play is a little bit touchy because we are portraying real people, namely celebrities.
EDIT to add: None of the players are supposed to know each other in real life. Now, of course after playing for a while, some of them met, became friends or enemies... whatever. Point is: this is an online celebrity RPG community, perhaps the largest of its kind.
- Problem number one: How do we get the other players to put up their disclaimers?
We advertise, some characters don't read the main communities. We are warning about possible consequences from LJ Abuse or the actual celebrity, but not everybody is willing to read our administrative stuff. I would just shrug it off and say it's the player's own fault if they get suspended, but characters without appropriate disclaimers as defined by LJ Abuse are a threat to our game as a whole - and possibly all celebrity impersonation games on LJ servers.
The actual problem here is really: how to get people interested in administrative questions? I mean, even my fellow moderators are getting sick of those. One actually told us that they wanted to quit because the problems go in one ear and out the other. One way to motivate people is usually to make them feel in charge... but whenever we ask for input and post polls, we get very few responses, and a very small percentage of people bothers to fill out the poll. It's really frustrating.
- Problem number two: How do we keep track of characters?
We do not have any application forms, but there is a community for newbies that gets an average of 5 to 10 new characters a day. Most of them die off quickly before ever making it into the main community.
We have a "dead journal rule" that says if a journal has not been updated for six weeks in a row, the character is considered vacant again. There is no requirement of telling anyone when a player wants to exit stage left.
There are currently close to 700 characters in the main community, and it would be a full-time job in itself to maintain a list with every single active character. Yet, people usually come to the moderators to ask if a celebrity is taken already, so we try to maintain a list anyway. It is terribly outdated.
- Problem number three: clonage.
Say, there's already a Britney, and somebody decides to create another one. By the rules of our game, first come is first served, but unfortunately it's not that easy to find out who was there first. I remember one particular issue where the creation dates of two journals were three minutes apart.
- Problem number four: enforcing rules.
We do have basic rules, but we don't have any means of enforcing them. We can't control what players do with their characters' journals. There are no points we could take off, we can't kick them out of the game because we don't control entrance, we can't tell anyone whom to play with.
Problems two, three and four are somehow related.
I increasingly get the feeling that the system this game has worked with since 2001, is terribly outdated. To this day, characters just kind of created and made themselves known somehow. I think it's impossible to keep this up, simply because there are so many characters in the game, and even though there are countless celebrities in this World, we are getting to a point where you have to be really careful when choosing a character.
Thus, the real question is: how can we change the creation process in a smooth manner, and advertize it so ALL potential newbies know about it. (Newbies to the game wouldn't be such a problem here because they usually tend to read up on the game before starting up. But when veteran players create new characters, I just know they won't check for changes in the rules.)