Ok first off this is not intended to be antagonistic but hopefully thought provoking. I am not intending to point fingers at any one person and it seems like this has become more or less the standard way of doing things for right or wrong. This is merely just my opinion and I may be using something that is a bit extreme but I think it is a good comparison.
So what does the KKK have to do with mu*? That’s simple it’s the way a lot of staffs on various locations work. Now before you say ‘Whatcha Talkin Bout Willis’ for those children of the 80s just hear me out. When the KKK first started out they wore hoods for various reasons. Growing up in a small town where kids were not allowed to dress as ghosts for Halloween because it would cause people to think they forgot about a klan meeting (no I am not kidding) I’ve had a bit of dealing with this mindset over the years. So why did they wear hoods? Well in my opinion it was mainly twofold. The first was to create an environment of fear and mistrust. Is the guy your talking to the one that burned the cross in your front yard? What’s he really doing behind your back? The second was to help hide the identity of the people under the hood so there wouldn’t be retaliation or them being arrested for breaking the law. But even the Klan is starting to change the ways not that I agree with them in any way shape or form. But a lot of them are not hiding behind the hood at their meetings anymore.
So now lets look at staffing on a mu*. The common convention is the headwiz comes up with a naming scheme like on AM we were trying to use demons and devils which cause other headaches but it something for another topic and I’ve briefly covered it already in things I have posted on ElectricSoup.net and Community.Pennmush.Org. And as you can see in the sample files I have posted here already that if staff don’t want to reveal their alts then they don’t have to. But lets think about this for a moment. When I interview staff I don’t do it by myself, I make sure at least one other person talks to them. Luckily, I’ve got a co-headwiz I trust and we think along the same lines. And of course one of the first questions I’m going to ask is, "Where have you staff/played before and who were you?" We all know why we do this so lets not beat around the bush. We ask that for the same reason that a job interview asks you for a reference. I’m going to check up on you. I’m going to ask around and see what kind of problems you’ve had in our little community. So one day someone said something that really torqued you off and you did something stupid to prove a point. Does that mean I’m not going to want you to staff? Not necessarily unless it is a habit of yours cause /everyone/ has a bad day or two. I learned a long time ago that if you do something stupid, even if you sit and defend it for a couple of weeks, months, years. Most of the time if you come back and say, "Hey.. I screwed up." It impresses people because for better or worse most people do not like taking responsibility for their actions. If you take responsibility for it most people well tend to give you a second chance.
So now I as a headwiz know who you are and the issues you’ve had elsemu*. But your players don’t. Your players login do a +Staff and have no idea who any of these people are or what their personality is like but you expect them or in some case demand they trust you. That you know what’s best for the game and you’ve got secret alts that your RPing with as well. How do they know that the person their RPing with isn’t the one that burned the cross in their front yard? Some will say they hide their alts because they fear retributions on the games they play on. But if you’re treating everyone fairly then why do you need to fear retribution? You should only need fear retribution in 2 cases. You were unfair and what goes around comes around. Or the person you had to deal with isn’t playing fair and wants to take OOC action against you which to me means that I wouldn’t want to play on their game anyway because you’re more than likely having problems there already. People who staff should be /PROUD/ of the work they do and want people to know they were responsible for something someone else enjoyed. And if your players aren’t enjoying it then you should take a step back and evaluate why.
The other excuse I see for secret alts is, "Whaaa . . . my players will bother me and not understand I’m trying to relax." As I said I’ve been mu* since 82. In all that time I can count maybe.. MAYBE 10 times that when I’ve told someone that I’m just trying to relax and could they shoot me a @mail or a +request that they’ve continued to talk about the issue. If you respect your players they will respect you. And the first way to show your players that you respect them is to be honest with them about who you are and not hide behind a hood.