The Central Outpost
A Member's Role
by Oddball
July 23, 2006 (Last updated on January 17, 2008)

Most clans usually put a lot of emphases on a leaders responsibility, and a leaders job in the role of that clan. Yet, coincidently there is less emphasis put on a member’s role in a clan than there should be. There are too often instances were a leader is made to feel that it his/her job is to steer the clan in the direction that most people want it to go; usually by pressure from within. In America, there is a term used to describe a person who gains without effort, “Free Rider”. This is normally a person who gains something by a social decision being made without that person contributing to the cause. In gaming clans this is the general rule of thumb. The leader gives a member inventive to join, tells him all that is required of him is to play every once in a while so that his dream is aided. Most of the time this dream is creating a clan which is successful; a clan that bears the fruits of all the leaders hard work. So the member joins, lets his presence in the clan be known, and sets a status for himself.

In most cases, clans are formed from a spontaneous idea; it’s rarer for a clan that is heavily thought out to be created than it is for a clan of lesser measure to be created. When this happens, the clan of lesser measure takes in anyone they can, blindly. Most of the time the only thing that the leader is focused on is gaining a broader member base. What’s overlooked is a members role in the clan; it is as important as a leaders if not more important than the leaders. It is important for a member to show loyalty, and dedication to his clan. Seeing as I am speaking to a wide audience, it is important to stress that your clan is what you make of it. There is little that can come between you and your friends if you have loyalty and dedication to your clan. You may be wondering why I only stress loyalty and dedication. Well, first you have the loyalty element. Loyalty is defined by Dictionary.com as, “A feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection.” You see, a mere feeling can effect whether the clan for which you have devoted a good portion of your time to is going to succeed or not. Though, this is just skimming the surface of what loyalty in a clan means.

When you join a clan strangers are allowing you into their realm. A realm for which they control, and offer unto you. Despite what type of ulterior motives you have for joining a clan, your clan buddies enact a certain trust in you that they hold special. How often is it that a stranger is willing to open his or her doors to you, and offer you a stay? Not very often in the real world. Yet in the online world it happens all of the time. It is your job not to take this act of kindness for granted. What is it they say in the marriage vows: “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”…? Indeed it is. Let’s take a realistic excerpt out of that quote for a moment: “For better or for worse.” We can all agree that this is a suitable vow that is understood, spoken or not, that you take when entering a clan. It’s important to realize that every member of a clan is there for their own purpose. Yet how is that purpose helped if more of your interest lies with your own agenda than the over all picture? If you do not give all that you can give to your clan, in the end you will have wasted a lot of time.

Dedication. Dictionary.com defines dedication as, “The act of dedicating or the state of being dedicated; selfish devotion.” If you don’t see your stay all the way through, what point is there to it at all? If you see troubles brewing within, it is not your place to give up, it is your place to try and help. Your leader is not God. He is not a divine being just because he has access to your web sites FTP server and has a higher rank than you. Your leader is there to set an example; but leaders are people too. Coming from a stand point of leadership, I know what it is like to lead. It’s no cup of tea. You may think all it takes is a couple bucks and the ability to boss people around. Well it doesn’t. The members are what leaders constantly are concerned about. Members are what make a clan; from 3 to 300. Without members, it would be one lonely ole fellow with a tag on. Whether you are aware of it or not, leaders do not gain anything from working as hard as they do. The clan does. Does it take a leader to win a match? No. It takes a clan to win a match. Does it take a leader to get to the top of a gaming ladder? No. It takes a clan. Here is a list of simple tips that every member should follow:
  • Offer whatever services you can to your leader or higher officials.
  • Do not overwhelm your leader with too much at anyone time.
  • Send a weekly or bi-weekly email to your leader, or message on forums, telling him your status and if you will be absent for a period of time. Though this may seem menial, it really helps your leader to know what your standing in the clan is.
  • Follow the rules or guidelines that your clan has posted.
  • Offer ideas, write up certain things that you think could help the clan, and submit it to your leader or post it on the forums.
  • Do not hesitate in asking for help, or telling someone (preferably a higher official) a problem that you may have encountered with a member or something that bothers you about the clan.
  • Keep quarrels to a minimum. If that is not applicable then try and keep your arguments with fellow members to yourselves.
  • Probably one of the most important tips that you can take off of this list is to never provoke an argument between your clan, and another clan.
I hope this article finds clan members well. There are thousands of people who look towards clans to enrich their gaming experience. You must remember that gaming is gaming; clans are a whole other subject. Be able to differentiate the position of being a teammate, and a clan buddy. Teams change between maps, clans are long term.