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Halo, the Unconquered Community


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Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officer

  • [C] UNIT LEADER
  • ACCESS [4] TOP SECRET〔CW〕

Since role-play clans first came to prevalence around Halo 3, many would-be despots have claimed the ever elusive title of "community leader". These Napoleon wannabes often claimed to have "conquered" the mainstream community, but fail to grasp the fact that doing so is not possible.

Regardless of the number of members or victories that a clan accumulates, no leader can truly say that his/her clan has more right to rule than any other, and no amount of delusion can alter that fact. Clans have always been in a near-paradoxical state of existing non-existence. The measure of existence of any entity is gauged on a basis of how said entity effects the world in which it exists. Clans undeniably have an impact on the Halo Community, but don't necessarily alter the Halo series. Say that a player with the gamer tag GenericDictator founds a clan and calls it "The Empire". Let's also assume that Generic is an excellent recruiter, and manages to grow his clan to 100 members. Finally, let's say that Generic is able to somehow defeat every "major" clan in the community. Based on the rules of conventional human conquest, this could lead someone to logically assume that Generic is now the community leader. This assumption would be wrong.

A title of any kind is only valid so long as a single claimant holds it, that's the point of the title. If anyone contests the title, its legitimacy is placed into question and the holder receives scrutiny from his/her peers. Now, in the real world, this is fixed by eliminating the claimant and his/her followers. However, the Internet doesn't go by the same rules. Anyone can claim to be anything, without consequence beyond making other people angry. If a clan leader is challenged for a title, he/she can either ignore the challenge or refuse to keep his/her word when he/she loses.

Titles are held on a basis of absolute law, because their legitimacy can be enforced. This is why no titles granted or self-granted are ever truly valid. They are based on the consensus of more than just the holder, but those below the holder.

Now one can make the counter-argument of, "Well not everyone in real life has always gone along with a title, and not every challenger in real life has been killed." This is a valid argument until one considers who actually challenges authority figures for their titles. A citizen of Rome could easily say that they didn't accept Julius Caesar as his/her Emperor, but his/her word would carry such little weight that Caesar likely wouldn't even hear about it, much less be forced into a response. The strength of a challenge lies in the position and quantity of the challenges. A single noble can challenge a King, but it takes a thousand peasants to do the same. This is due to the simple fact that societal roles of cast people into positions of inequality. This principle does not apply to the Internet.

On the Internet, everyone is equal. No one holds title, land, or authority in any non-hypothetical sense. No lasting punishments can be levied against naysayers. This means that anyone that challenges the power of an individual holds as much authority to do so as the individual does to deny the challenge, making any structuring of power meaningless beyond the relative perception of those who take part in it. If I walk up to a Chinese Embassy in America, and introduce myself as a member of ONI, I will still be seen as a regular American Citizen and be barred from entrance. Authority is only such when it can be enforced, and no claim within the Halo Community can be enforced.

All of this is fairly obvious, so why do people still come out of the woodwork claiming to be the voice of the community?

This ties in to the reason that "SII's" (among other title holders) claim titles for themselves, its a matter of ego. This isn't to say that all role-players are inherently narcissistic, but it's usually easy to determine who role-plays for immersion, and who does so to feel powerful. The idea of role-play is to assume the life of a different person, or at least alter the circumstances by which one lives. It's not meant as an escape from real life so much as it's a foray into new perspectives. Most personas that people build in role-plays are based on desires that they keep hidden in real life. This idea also extends into non-RP gaming areas like casual and competitive gaming, because all areas fall under the umbrella of anonymity. Psychological studies have shown that masks reduce socially ingrained inhibition, and the Internet acts as a mask like no other. Online personalities are usually more confident and open because the idea of consequence seems far away.

Sometimes this is taken to an extreme. Desire always stems from deprivation (though not always in an active sense). This is where claimants of the "community leader" title come from. These are often people who are deprived of personal power in real life and feel the need to exercise such power via an online medium. Clan leaders that discuss the building of "great empires" and how they "crushed their enemies" are actually expressing an impotent need to feel like a winner. This concept can even be seen in those who aren't in perceived positions of high power. Plenty of people in the community choose to discriminate against certain groups on a basis of their narrative, because it gives them justification to place their needs and desires above someone else's. For example, someone enjoys leading a clan with a UNSC narrative. A Covenant themed clan comes along and immediately marks the UNSC clan as adversaries. However, the leader of the Covenant clan establishes the goal of "destroying" the UNSC clan. This is done through harassment of members, demoralization through battle, and the usage of spies. Any good role-player knows that, while immersion is important, role-play is meant to be a fun experience for all involved. Disassembling a clan that holds differing beliefs about role-play generally boils to down an ego issue on the part of the attacking clan's leadership.

Any and all action taken within a role-play community is inherently meaningless to everyone beyond those within. While that might seem to delve into the realm of nihilism, it's a simple truth. So long as clans exist, so will a variable slew of "conquerors". Fortunately, clans lead by people like that tend to lose their novelty within a fairly short period of time. So the next time you feel any concern about the up and coming despot of the block, just remember these wise words:

“Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.”
― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

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  • 7 months later...
Agent

Agent

  • ONI INTERN

This is another brilliant example of some of the extremely informative and fascinating in-depth analysis I have very much enjoyed finding here!

R10 Senior Director of the Hard Style Assassins Gaming Community.
HSA 2022 Hall of Fame
Gaming Hub Council Member
He/Him
"Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us?"
"Our Creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise."

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Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Assistant Special Agent in Charge

  • [R] RESIGNED SERVICEMEN

This is actually reposted from a user long before by the name of Glatix. He was well known for many of the threads here in the Clan Disputes forums. He had a keen eye for some of the details around clans back then on our old website from 2015-2018 and was active for a bit in his own intelligence effort with ONI. His insight and essays helps people even today and is still great topics for conversations.

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Agent

Agent

  • ONI INTERN
On 12/6/2023 at 5:28 AM, ADM S Osman said:

His insight and essays helps people even today and is still great topics for conversations.

I hope that if someone is still in contact with him, that he knows how keen, perceptive, and well received his essays are regarded even to this day!

R10 Senior Director of the Hard Style Assassins Gaming Community.
HSA 2022 Hall of Fame
Gaming Hub Council Member
He/Him
"Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us?"
"Our Creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise."

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  • 1 month later...
Agent

Agent

  • FORUM BASIC MEMBER

And so the question remains: Who really is "The voice" of the entire HCC or smaller factions like UNSC/ONI?

Who hath been deemed or beseech'd as the giant who may stand as one for all and not for none?

Is it really possible for someone well known as the head of the serpent or a relic of the past who'd been long gone and still the top of it all?!? A remnant of the very thing we eagerly all seek within our darkest of deceptions?

Can there really be that of a sum who reigns above with law to claim supremely and justified?

Agent Nyx

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