Burn2 RangersRiding the Edge of Chaos
Origin of the Black Rock Rangers
The Black Rock Rangers were founded in the physical world environment of Burning Man in 1992 by Danger Ranger; "M2Danger Ranger" in Second Life™ (SL). The Rangers’ initial role was as a desert search-and-rescue organization, which was expanded to the current role of guardians of community standards as the Burning Man community grew. Rangers are not a police force, but rather a community-based mediation organization whose only authority is that which is granted by the community. Rangers now work at regional Burner events worldwide and in the virtual world of SL's BURN2 (B2). They've now come full circle and span the Multiverse of virtual worlds, blurring all lines.
How Do We Ranger?
- A Ranger's focus is outside of him- or herself – it’s not about us
- We mediate, influence, and persuade rather than dictate, enforce or dominate
- We defuse tense situations
- We are non-confrontational in our interactions with participants
- We as Rangers only have perceived authority that the community gives us
- We provide a helping hand when we can, but mostly we help participants help themselves
- We are a source of solid information when needed
- Good Rangers know when to walk away, especially since they’ve kept their ego out of it
A Ranger's first reaction to most scenes is to do nothing. "Doing nothing" is an active process. It involves finding out what is going on from ALL sources and analyzing the situation in collaboration with other Rangers.
- Rangers let whatever it is that is happening play out in front of them until we have an initial assessment of the situation, know that we need to intervene, and that a good plan for intervention has presented itself
- Generally speaking, we try to intervene to the least degree possible in order to achieve whatever needs to be accomplished
- Our goal is, when possible, to get participants to solve their own problems instead of fixing things for them
What We Do NOT Do
We are not cops:
- We don’t battle griefers
- We don’t enforce builder guidelines
- We don’t enforce prim limits
- We don’t enforce rules
- We don’t enforce Linden Lab’s Terms of Service (ToS) and Community Standards (CS)
- We don’t search for “dirty” megaprims
- We don’t enforce anything!
We are not cops, nor are we a security force.
Remember the Ten Principles? That’s why we’re here! We may be asked to mediate someone who is not in compliance with prim limits or builder guidelines, or we may need to contact someone who is being disruptive and ask him or her to modify behavior, but we don’t go searching these issues out, nor are they our default roles.
How to Become a Ranger
Burn2 Rangers follow some of the same thinking as BRC Rangers have in place for prerequisites:
- Be active in other departments for at least 1 year; including the Octoburn and at least 2 other weekend-type events.
- Have a recommendation from another Department Lead attesting to the candidate’s reliability, level-headedness, and non-authoritarian approach to situations.
Ranger Self Quiz - Black Rock Rangers
- Attend all training sessions. Training is usually held in the summer and early fall prior to Octoburn. Training is LONG. There is a lengthy manual to be read and reflected upon, which mirrors the BRC Ranger’s manual. There are 4-6 hours of in-world training which includes basic mediation skills. Then there are 4-6 hours of role-play situations which promote problem solving with Ranger tools/special abilities, and collaboration among the Rangers. There is annual training for all Rangers.
- Ideally, the basic training will occur early enough in the summer so that Alpha (new) Rangers have an opportunity to shadow senior Rangers at Conception and/or Virtual Burn events. This provides experience for the Alpha Ranger to make a decision if being a Ranger is a good fit for them. Being a Ranger is not a compatible role for everyone.
- BRC Rangers (after verification of being in good standing) must attend the same training as Alpha Rangers. Once they feel comfortable with the Second Life tools and viewer, and have been active in Burn2 for 1 year, they may be considered “Senior Rangers.”