GMs; Rights and Responsibilities
Rights and responsibilities are essentially what makes up the fabric of any social contract based society. A citizen is defined by what rights they are entitled to and what responsibilities they are given. But on RPG, we can hardly expect to enforce any notions of citizenship and social contract now, can we? There's certain measures we take; we agree to certain rules, we have moderators to enforce them, and we all have a general idea of what's acceptable, even if there are obvious variations in opinion when it comes to the details. But it's impossible to have a functioning RP without at least attempting to emulate the social contract system. It might sound silly, but that's essentially what we're trying to do when we have rules and regulations prescribed by a GM; we're setting out a system in which players agree to follow certain rules in exchange for participating in the game and the inferred services of the GM in keeping it running. But then again, I've seen very few rules that actually define the role of the GM in any given game. Sure, there's the usual cliche rule that says "The GMs word is law" or something, but that's never good enough for anyone and it often begs people to scream "FASCISM" the moment something doesn't go their way. The problem I'm bringing up here is that there's no real definition of a GM's power or responsibilities within an RP. Lots of responsibilities for the players, naturally :ezlol: But nothing that quite states exactly what the GM is supposed to do and be capable of.
My question is simple; what do you believe are the rights and responsibilities of a GM? Are they unconditionally allowed to run a pseudo dictatorship just because they're in charge? Or is there an invisible inference that they're supposed to act like we're actually in a liberal democracy? And more importantly (to me, because I'm honestly less than interested in bringing the fight for freedom and liberty into RPG any more than it has been :ezlol: ), what is their role in a game? Are they supposed to do everything they possibly can to promote the RP and assist the players that are participating? For instance, is it expected of a GM to approach and assist a player that is having trouble getting involved, or should they be expected to help themselves? Should a GM be the taking the sole initiative to drive the plot forward, or should the players have a responsibility to take the lead too? Or is it a balance, or a mix of everything (I hope at least ONE person answers something other than balance and moderation XD )?