I debated on whether I should have made this post part of “Impy’s LeaderShop.” I decided to just label it as “Opinion,” because what I’m about to say is purely my own thoughts on what can be a touchy subject. It by no means necessarily reflects the thoughts or feelings of the KSI Board of Directors or Senior Clan-Ops leaders.
The history and transformation of KSI is fascinating. For those of you who have been here 3 or more years, you have seen the changes first hand. KSI seems to reinvent itself every so often.
The way we do things changes as we recruit in different members and promote different leaders.
You’ll often hear older members discuss “Old School KSI.” I was never a fan of that. I thought the differences were not that large, and KSI is KSI. But over the last few years, my mindset has changed. I feel now like I am part of the “Old School KSI” class, while those who used to claim to be in “Old School KSI” have graduated to “Old Old School KSI.”
That’s because things change. The people, the policies, the formula. It all changes.
I was in Clan-Ops from the middle of 2011 through early 2014. I hit my stride in early 2012 and moved my way from Lieutenant to Senior Director in that time. Not once did I take a “Leave of Absence” in that time.
For the sake of words, “Leave of Absence” will be shortened to “LOA” from here on out.
Now, what is a LOA? Well, it depends on who you ask. In its simplest terms, it’s a period of time during which someone will not be around — in theory. In actuality, it’s increasingly becoming a period in which people decide they simply don’t want to fulfill their responsibilities or be “burdened by the stress” being a leader in KSI can bring.
As I talked with KSI CEO KSI FuzzyMeep 7 earlier this week, we were having a discussion on LOAs. To both of us, as we ascended in KSI, the community was an escape from the harsh reality of the real world.
Bad break-ups, the rigors of school or work, drama with friends, family and other loved ones put stress on us. When we would come home and retreat to our rooms, we’d turn that Xbox on and enjoy the dynamic nature of KSI.
No matter how weird, dumb, or stressful KSI became, it was a walk in the park compared to real life. It was fun. It was always fun.
Now we look at the future leaders of KSI. We look at those who one day might force us into a KSI retirement home, and we see people blurring the lines between real life and KSI.
KSI is not meant to be stressful. The community is not meant to be a full time job. It is meant to be fun and relaxed. Of course as you rank up and take more responsibility, the challenges grow and the days might become a little longer.
Occasionally as you move up, things might get stressful. You might need some time off — it’s human nature. But why does it have to be weeks at a time? A good weekend away will clear your head and release your stress. Just let those around you know that you’ll be gone for a day or two or three.
But as LOAs have expanded in KSI, so have the time frames attached to them. Instead of taking a weekend off, people take a month off and return to squads and divisions that have completely changed and moved forward without them. It’s becoming a mess.
If you need a day or two, take it, of course, but if you don’t get enjoyment out of each and every day, and you look for reasons to excuse yourself for weeks at a time to “unwind” or “relax,” you’re not in the right place.
Of course KSI is the place for you, but is the rank you’re at the right one? Absolutely not.
Why do any of us do what we do in KSI? The answer should always be, “Because we enjoy it.”
LOAs have become a way for people to neglect the responsibilities they volunteered for. It’s become a reaction to the increasing pressure people put on themselves and others acting like this is a job.
This gaming community is not a job and it is not real life. If you need time to relax for some reason, give yourself a day or two. Let those around you know. But if you need two to four weeks to “get away from it all,” then you probably don’t need to return to the position you left.
If you get true enjoyment out of what you do, you shouldn’t need those breaks. If you can get online, you shouldn’t need those breaks. If you can communicate with other people, you shouldn’t need those breaks. If you love what you’re doing, you shouldn’t need those breaks.
If you dread getting online, those breaks won’t fix that. If you’re stressed or lost, those breaks won’t fix that. If you have lost your drive, those breaks won’t fix that.
Maybe if people stopped treating KSI as a job that requires all their time and energy and instead just got enjoyment out of whatever their role is, there wouldn’t be so many LOAs, so much drama and so much turnover in the community.
Treat KSI as it should be — a fun place to game and grow. If you want to rise up in rank, do so every day with enthusiasm and perspective on why you’re here.
I hope more people realize these things.
I hope more people enjoy what they’re doing here.