Well, this story suddenly grew legs and jumped all over the room, didn’t it.

I really hesitated to publish Zaronia’s story. I get about a dozen like them a day, all with poor grammar and punctuation, all various degrees of what I like to call “OSI Fucked My Monkey And Didn’t Even Leave A Banana”. Most of them I read and file. This one caught my eye for some reason. So I cleaned up the grammar and spelling (like I do on almost every long story I file, for the ease of your reading, not to make them appear any more likeable or believable) and posted it without comment.

Now. Here’s where it gets painful. I think overall Origin has been doing a commendable job of trying to cleaning up the cesspool that is the Volunteer Program. But it’s still a cesspool.

If you think I delight in dragging smurfs into the mud, let me tell you, if I posted ONE PERCENT of the rumors I get, you would vomit. Let’s just say that if ANYTHING I am getting from MULTIPLE sources are true, the relations all the way down the hierarchy, from the GMs all the way down to the newest smurf, make Melrose Place look like a monastery.

I firmly believe that Origin’s Volunteer program is fatally flawed, in concept and in execution, and should be abolished. It encourages the worst of our community – the cliquishness, the in-fighting, the gossip, the influence peddling.

For every volunteer that works their ASS off for no pay, and no thanks, to help those who play UO, there’s someone who’s there because they get off on what little raw power the Program gives them access to. Hundreds of little Hitlers, playing out their “office politics” games, trading influence and favors for anything they have… gossip, sex, money, and most often, and most sadly, simple human companionship.

You want to know why I keep “going off on the smurfs?” Because this is wrong. The system that we have allowed to build up, that encourages the worst power-mongering among those who supposedly volunteer to serve us, is wrong. Morally wrong. And for every sign that it’s getting better, we get another sign that no, it’s still sunk in the mire of human frailty.

Like this one. Is SRC Zaronia telling the truth? I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Is she blameless herself? Hell no. She said herself that she was personally involved with GMs, even to the point of bailing one out of jail, and that she traded on that influence to gain information that normal players never would, namely who accessed her account. And it stretches credulity that Origin would actually be able to tell from IP addresses which SRCs were hacking her account.

But the story isn’t so much in those details as in the thoughts, feeling and anger behind them. Could you see 2 SRCs conspiring with a GM to totally trash another SRC’s account out of spite?

Yeah, me too.