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Principles of the Iron Symphony

By Anthony Lehane & Lurdan Huszar


The Iron Symphony is a collection of Second Life military groups that share similar views as to how combat in Second Life should be conducted. Webster's Dictionary defines fair as "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice." Unfortunately, in a community where literally anybody can buy a plot of land and make their mark on what we call "SL Military" - bias, dishonesty and injustice is rampant. That is why we have created the Iron Symphony. The Iron Symphony strives to unify this community, rid it from hate and disrespect, and maintain this in a fair environment.

The Iron Symphony is not an alliance - we are politically allied and share the same principles and standards, but combat diplomacy within the Iron Symphony is up to the IS Military in question. For more information regarding IS Combat Diplomacy, read section F. In regards to rules and regulations, rather than relying on treaties to regulate technology and conduct, the members of the Iron Symphony rely on their higher morals and responsibility to ensure fair, enjoyable combat. This is called the Golden Rule and will be explained later in the document.

This document acts as a layer of accountability for all members to use. If one of your superiors is blatantly disrespecting the values detailed below, call them out on it. We can't change a community with a document alone. We must act when we can.

Do not take the following words lightly. The Iron Symphony is far from a mediocre collection of paramilitaries attempting to claim victory in a world where victory can never be fully achieved. We are striving to inspire and create more moral and considerate people. To create friends rather than enemies. To unify a torn community. As an Iron Symphony member, you are taking part in this change.

Consideration & Respect

Consideration is a key element to building a strong unified community. Without giving any consideration or respect to our enemies, our militaries would become hated by many. Nobody wants to be hated and it creates grief and drama. Some militaries brush consideration off, because they believe that it doesn't matter what their enemies think of them. On the contrary, it's very important. It's the difference between enjoyable or bitter encounters.

Being considerate involves respecting your opponent. We should never judge by the tag over someone's head. Instead, we should hold individuals accountable for their own actions, and never smear what one person does against their entire group.

Consideration also includes respecting members of your alliance or group. We are all on the same side, and there are plenty of civil ways to deal with the problems and conflicts you may encounter with your comrades. The first step to a unified community is a unified alliance.

In short, whenever you argue with or insult an individual within the military community, you become detrimental to all that we have been striving for, and in the end that hurts the Iron Symphony to a degree that far surpasses poor field performance.

Respect - being one of the most important values of the Iron Symphony, cannot be stressed enough. I will bestow the same degree of respect to an individual that I am speaking to from my computer that I will deliver to an individual that I am speaking to in real life, face to face. It is that simple logic that makes me a person of integrity, and I can be proud of that. Hopefully you can reflect this upon yourself as being a member of the Iron Symphony.

You should never reserve your respect for only those who have gained your respect or approval. Being a person of integrity involves respecting everyone. However, we are not asking you to be a saint. There are people in this world that will want to harm and humiliate you. However it is important to always remain on the moral high ground and never subside to their mentality.

Remembering this code will hinder individuals or groups from tearing down your character. Stand tall, proud, and steadfast for what you believe in.

Fairness & Regulation

Any military that is seeking to garner respect in Second Life will preach fairness. However, there are varying types of fairness and it is necessary to delve into these concepts before we can understand the type of fairness the Iron Symphony promotes.

There are two types of regulation, regulation for self-interest, and respectful regulation and fairness for community.

  • Regulation for Self Interest

Most militaries will promote this type of fairness simply because they see no need for anything more than just a set of rules to keep combat running consistently, or are simply just looking out for themselves. Regulation for self interest is basically laying down rules for combat to ensure combat remains uniform, but nothing more. What this leaves room for is spite and banning.

Militaries that employ this type of "fairness" will often not reserve any consideration or respect for their adversaries. A worst case scenario is a military that can be ruthless with accusations and will only build up hate as rules come close to, or are broken. The worst-case group will even consider banning positive, as it eliminates soldiers from the enemy force - and sadly, will watch intently for people breaking the rules so they can do so. Sound familiar? Well, let's review the Iron Symphony approach.

  • Respectful Regulation and Fairness for the Community

Any respectful military commander should consider themselves not just as a leader of their group, but a leader of a community. As a community leader, we do not want to create hate as a result of a member of the community breaking a sim rule.

Respectful fairness calls for understanding and patience. Most people who break sim rules are not doing it on purpose. They are either unaware of the rules, or performed the action - whatever it may be, by accident. We can never know if it was on purpose or not without communication - and we can never hope to correct the problem without communication either.

Simply removing someone from your sim will not inspire that individual to better themselves if the unfair conduct was committed on purpose. As we talk to people, we slowly build a more aware, fair community. Therefore, banning without any attempt at communication is selfish and detrimental to the community as well as the reputation of your own group.

Golden Rule & House Rules

The core belief of the Iron Symphony is that fundamentally, all military groups belong to a family of sorts. Of course we bicker between one another, yet it is vital that we remember that behind the monitors, we are all human beings who enjoy combat, and because of this common interest, we are all on the same side at the end of the day. Therefore, what is good for one group is good for all of us, and what harms one group, harms us all. It is because of this underlying camaraderie that we engage one another not with the intent to harm, humiliate, and destroy, but rather to respect our adversaries, and allow common sense, sportsmanship, and maturity to take their rightful place as the dominant methods of regulation. This does indeed lead to confusion sometimes as to what is legal and what is not. In times of these uncertainties, the Golden Rule is used as the primary point of reference.

Soldiers and commanders alike should constantly ask themselves, "How would I feel if my enemy did this to me?". If there is still further doubt as to the validity of a strategy or tactic, Iron Symphony members are encouraged to converse with the leadership of opposing forces to inquire as to their particular feelings regarding the subject, especially in a proactive manner.

Time and time again it has been proven that strict treaties simply do not work. There are too many technologies, too much creativity, loopholes, and bluntly put - everybody has a different idea of what "fair" really is. This is why Iron Symphony militaries use the Golden Rule and House Rules system. The Golden Rule involves using common sense to dictate and judge what is fair and what is not to maintain a level field. The House Rules system that implies that an attacking military must abide by the individual military's set rules and vice versa, which is common amongst militaries that are not in the Iron Symphony as well.

Let's compare a treaty and the Golden Rule system. We will use the following example: An enemy soldier uses a plane to simply fly across the battlefield but deletes his plane in mid-air, bailing behind enemy lines and avoiding the entire sim set-up in the process. Any treaty that has been in Second Life has never recognized removing yourself from your plane against the rules, so therefore, bailing would be treaty compliant and "fair". However, in reality this is a horribly unfair tactic as it eliminates the point to building a base in the first place, and the perpetrator is exploiting what their plane was not intended to be used for. Using the Golden Rule we can dictate that this is not fair.

Let's use a real world analogy. Let's say a man buys a pack of expensive cigars and purchases fire insurance to protect them from perishing in a fire. The man then smokes the cigars and attempts to collect the insurance money. Technically, he is correct that the cigars were destroyed in a fire - but ethically, he is wrong. He tried to exploit a loophole. The Golden Rule helps prevent people from exploiting loopholes. In combat, though. I have yet to see any insurance companies in SL.

The first step to maintaining the Golden Rule and House Rules is good communication. How will your enemies respect your rules - what you perceive as fair, if they do not respect you, or hate you? To maintain an enjoyable battle, you must maintain your military's reputation so that everybody can enjoy and appreciate what you have laid out for them.

[End required recruit reading]

Iron Symphony Guidelines & Notes

-All Iron Symphony members must implement this document into their basic training program.

-Iron Symphony members are urged to contact eachother as soon as possible if problems arise. The key to a strong, unified alliance is communication.

-If there are multiple members of the IS that feel one member is promoting or committing any type of action that is detrimental to the Iron Symphony's values and expectations, a meeting should be called immediately.

-All members of any Iron Symphony military are to be in the "Faces of the Iron Symphony" group.

-All Iron Symphony militaries must have an Iron Symphony homepoint spot in their hub and in their barracks. To acquire the homepoint zone object, contact Lurdan Huszar.

-Transparency is very important, and therefore policy changes that will effect members of the Iron Symphony significantly should always be sent in a follow-up notice to the Faces of the Iron Symphony group.

-Militaries that wish to join the Iron Symphony should contact Lurdan Huszar or Anthony Lehane. Further information regarding admissions to the IS are explained in section I.

Iron Symphony Diplomactic Policy

As of July 2009, the Iron Symphony is no longer an alliance. Therefore, members of the Iron Symphony are free to choose who they wish to ally with and who they wish to battle.

  • Groups may declare war on any military within the IS, and may ally with any military in the IS, regardless of who is allied with who. This works due to the fact all IS militaries are politically allied, and practice sportsmanlike combat. Any inconsistencies are to be addressed at Iron Symphony meetings.
  • Iron Symphony members are free to ally and go to war with anyone outside the IS. The Iron Symphony has a hands-off policy to diplomacy. It is ultimately the group's decision.
  • Any Iron Symphony member can visit any other Iron Symphony member regardless of their combat stance toward that group, provided that they wear their Faces of the Iron Symphony tag while visiting.

The following are guidelines for inter-IS combat.

  • Prior to the battle, communication must be opened between both sides' commanders and must be maintained throughout the battle.
  • Any reasonable requests from any side should be abided by. (Example: Battle must end due to a scheduled meeting, training session, etc)

Iron Symphony Meetings & Admissions

In order to facilitate proper communication between IS leaders, there will be an Iron Symphony meeting the first and third Sunday of every month at 3:00PM SLT. If all members cannot attend, it can be adjusted. IS militaries may bring any relevant personnel to the meeting (Officers, diplomats, etc)

If a military would like to join the Iron Symphony, they will be present at the next Iron Symphony meeting and will explain why they believe they would make a good addition to the Iron Symphony. Current membership would then discuss, debate and ultimately come to a decision.

If a military would like to join in on a portion of the meeting for whatever reason, IM Anthony Lehane.

Iron Symphony Delegates

All Iron Symphony militaries are required to have at least two Iron Symphony Delegates (ISDs). Iron Symphony Delegates are diplomats whose responsibilities are not restricted to only the IS. They are encouraged to visit any and all militaries - friend or foe, to facilitate open communication and means for militaries to voice their concerns or comments through the ISDs to the relevant group's command.

Bad communication is the breeding ground for hate, rumours and malice. That is why an ISD makes it his or her mission to visit other militaries frequently to make sure everyone's concerns are heard and everyone is on the same page.

Iron Symphony militaries may structure their ISDs any way they please. I will use the Merczateers as an example. The Merczateers have two ISDs per class, and four classes, which makes eight ISDs in total. Of course, you may have as many ISDs as you please, as long as you have at least two.

Opposing Forces - Hub Spawnpoints

Most Iron Symphony groups now feature a hub homepoint for attacker convenience and to ease sim lag during large battles.

This group is called 'Opposing Forces' and it is in no way limited to only Iron Symphony militaries. Opposing Forces is a universal hub homepoint group that eventually we hope will be used in the majority of combat sims to save group space for attackers and to provide a channel of communcation to the majority of the combat community, so military leaders can provide updates on sim changes and base locations with ease.

If you'd like to sign your military up for the Opposing Forces hub spawnpoint, contact Lurdan Huszar.

C.A.D.U.S.C. (Coalition Against the Distribution & Use of Stolen Content)

CADUSC represents a shared effort by community leaders to defend and work against the use of copybotting and the distribution of stolen content. Member groups of CADUSC will not allow the use of stolen content in their simulators with no exceptions. Members are also obligated to send abuse reports when copybotting activity threatens our community, no matter where and to whom.

Known content offenders (theives and distributors alike) will be barred from accessing sims under ownership of CADUSC members, effectively deincentivizing content theft for the average SL military member. CADUSC militaries will engage in meetings to establish known content offenders and stay on the same page in regards to current threats in our community.

CADUSC members acknowledge their efforts do not completely wipe content theft off the face of the grid, but we must do what we can to protect our work and our community.

CADUSC is an Iron Symphony initiative, however any and all militaries are invited to take part in CADUSC and all it has to offer.

Members of the Iron Symphony & Contact Info

Merczateers - Badnarik - Anthony Lehane, Lurdan Huszar

Erebus Initiative - Ziost - Failius Falta, Arch Graves, Lilium Supermarine

Ordo Imperialis - Titan - Aryte Vesperia

Phoenix Embers - Sub Lupina - Laurina Hawks

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