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(HOST from page 2)

mer looking to be a host for power or control, you will definitely be disappointed in what you find. Hosts... real hosts, have to be the backbone of every sim group in existence, they have to be the most unappreciated among all sim groups, and they have to be the most dedicated members among all the sims in existence today. Very seldom do hosts get congratulated for their hard work. Hosting is a thankless job, where their only reward in a job well done is the enjoyment of the simmers for the game they manage... for the game they host... for the game they call a sim.

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(LURKING from page 3)

and leave them alone. Basically, this kind of lurker just takes up space. The "Fear of Commitment Lurkers" are not to be confused with your timid simmers. Newbies tend to stand back and watch for a while before they get the gist of how to insert their character into the plot. You can usually coax these players into the game and all is well. Not so with the "Commitment Lurkers" ….no matter how much cajoling you do….they refuse to take part.

The reasons a GM allows a Lurker to remain on their sim are varied. Most games require everyone to enroll with their group in some form or another. Lurker numbers can greatly enhance a sims roster or members list and give an obscured impression that the game is flourishing, when in fact there may

be only a small number of active participants. GM's are people too, and can get lazy ignoring timely inspections of their roster. In addition, there can be a group of simmers that have retired from the active part of the sim, but wish to continue following the storyline. Whatever the reasons, a GM should have guidelines in place to help them identify potential problems. Here are a few suggestions:

1. State clearly in your posted rules if Lurkers are welcome or not and for how long.

2. Use your moderator tools and do not approve an applicant unless you have a confirmed email address.

3. When a new simmer is added to your roster, send out a Welcome email with explicit instructions regarding the sim, and a request to acknowledge the receipt of the rules. If the simmer does not show up on the sim or in posts,

you may want to contact him again. After an allotted amount of time (2-weeks for example) and the simmer is still quiet; he is deleted.

4. Pay attention to the circumstances that a Lurker uses to finally join into the sim. If they are particularly pushy towards one person, you might need to talk with them and find out if this was intentional on both their parts.

5. Choose a day of the month, perhaps the first, fifteenth or last, to take the time to go thru your member list and delete people you do not recognize as part of your sim.

6. Ultimately, there is no way to guard against plagiarisms, however, if by chance you do discover all or part of your unique work somewhere, report it!

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