The MoGZ of War

The MoGZ of War is a Battlefield gaming clan that I’ve been a member of since early 2013.

I quickly started helping out, initially with their social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and became a Leader and then Administrator. To put this in context – the clan has over 100 members, split across PS3 and PS4.

Run by ShadowQueen, I would often exchange emails with her, discussing new members and, more often than not, members who may have left or simply disappeared. Keeping membership details up-to-date was an almost daily job. She appreciated the logic I applied to such matters but also the fact that I questioned decisions.

However, last Friday, things began to go wrong.

One of the other leaders, LuckyWolfert, left as the result of one of Queen’s decisions. I backed his concerns, as did another leader. By Monday I too had resigned from the clan.

But to understand what happened we have to rewind a few weeks. The clan has a number of rules for entry….

  1.  You have to be aged 25+ (this was latterly changed to 24+, but I’m not sure when that change occurred)
  2. You have to register on the clan’s website
  3. You have to wear the MoGZ “tags”
  4. MoGZ has to be your primary clan – no swapping with another
  5. You need to use a mic during gameplay so that you can communicate with fellow clan members

They’re not too tough. However, Queen allowed a couple of guys to join who didn’t meet, by quite some way, the age limit. She instantly regretted doing so as they weren’t very mature and told the leaders she’d follow the rules more strictly in future (although I think it was around this time the age limit went from 25 to 24). One of the leaders, LuckyWolfert (who I’ll now refer to as Lucky), was less impressed with our discussions about the age range and whether it should change or even be removed. Personally, you can get an immature 26 year old and a mature 24 year old so a strict cut-off seemed wrong to me. Lucky wanted nothing more than the strict no-exceptions age rule and that’s where it stood.

Back to last Thursday night. Queen had been honing her jet flying skills with the help of a young chap named Raptor and, on that night, let him into the squad. He was 18, he didn’t register on the website, he was still showing to be in another clan and was wearing their tags still. Once she’d done this she added a post to the leader’s forum basically telling us what she’d done, knew she’d done wrong and apologised.

Lucky was angry and left the clan.

I defended Lucky and I was joined by another leader. However, others believed that Queen, as the founder and owner, has a right to do this. I don’t disagree. But she didn’t even think of discussing it first. Where’s the democracy? One leader stated that we had 2 choices if we didn’t like the decision – leave or accept it. I said there was a third – stay and fight the corner. All of the discussion remained civil but I believed I was doing the right thing for the clan – never did anything personal come into my views.

On Saturday Queen emailed me with an olive branch – would I like to take on recruitment? It was a great opportunity to review what we did, but all along ensuring that it was a group decision. I accepted, not realising that in doing so I was damning myself.

On Monday, I think, I told the other leaders what had happened. I was then turned on by one of the other leaders. He told me I should be ashamed and that I’d done the thing that I’d damned Queen for – taking control. He was very, very angry (Queen admitted he was “aggressive”). Realising this was going to cause a split in the leadership I decided to fall on my sword and leave. I told the leaders in their forum, emailed Queen separately but also added a friendly “goodbye” post to the main forum. Almost as soon as I’d done this my site access was reduced to being a simple “Friend” and my goodbye post moved to an obscure forum that nobody reads. Queen contacted me to ask if I wanted a refund on the contribution I’d made to the clan server (I declined). Of course, now without access I couldn’t read what the leaders were saying about what had happened. Queen said, “tracking any future discussions would not in my opinion be healthy for you”. Oh. That doesn’t sound good.

I chatted with Queen via email over the next couple of days but there was certainly no regret at what had happened – either from me or her. What I said I stand by.

When I suggested that maybe accepting Raptor could have been discussed first she said, “no I do not believe I will ever ask about things like raptor joining as I don’t believe it worth the effort, life is too short”. More worryingly the conversations included lines such as “my mistake was in apologizing for it which showed weakness”. I can almost hear the Imperial March playing in the background.

“This isn’t a democracy, and I probably create more issues by trying to please too many people. As I said – I can be judged on results, not style. No business is a democracy. Everyone enjoys free speech, and I do listen to views I have asked for and let them influence me. However, in the end I will make the final call and people are free to leave, like lucky did, if they don’t like it.”

MoGZ is a dictatorship which is far from the friendly, fun, clan they try and suggest it is. But that’s behind the scenes – in front, it’s a group of good, funny lads, enjoying a game. But for a clan to continue and remain cohesive it needs an equally cohesive leadership – MoGZ doesn’t have it. You can’t therefore avoid all of this by keeping out of the clan’s leadership as, sooner or later, it will affect anyone within the clan.

On Wednesday night I played Battlefield again for the first time since I’d left. There were MoGZ online but I didn’t join them. I created my own Party Chat and joined a random game. Within minutes other MoGZ had joined me, both in game and in chat, and within 45 minutes the chat was full and included two other leaders. There was no discussion about what happened and it was sometime until somebody even noticed I wasn’t using the MoGZ tags. I didn’t explain the reasons, preferring to say “it was complicated”. It was a good evening all round.

Next day Queen contacted me again to ask me to consider re-joining but suggesting I do so as a member and not a leader. I declined. I hadn’t done anything wrong so didn’t want to feel as if I’d somehow been demoted.

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