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Dear Critters: An open letter about #CritterHug and #CRLovesYou

The following was a post I wrote for reddit’s r/criticalrole. It was, unfortunately, not approved by the mods:

Discussion about the behavior of the community and certain groups or subgroups of the community (e.g Subreddit Meta, Twitch Chat, Twitter Drama, and similar topics) are considered Meta community discussion. Those types of discussions frequently create divisions in the community, cause otherwise civil discussions to get out of hand

I can respect that logic, even while I’m disappointed by the deletion.

I’ll leave the original post here for posterity.


((( Before we start, I know tone is hard to get across in text form, and I’m not great at it. I ask that you err on the side of interpreting my tone as aspirational — a shared desire for all of us to get better. )))

Dear Critters,

Last night, as he’s done before, Matt tweeted a call to action for the community to join him on the Bootie Mashup twitch stream. And we did. The goal was to get the stream to 1000 viewers, which was hit around 11:15. DJ Tyme was spinning and paying attention to the chat, and when the mark was hit he played an appropriate shots-themed track.

Great. Awesome. People had fun. Bootie Mashup got some exposure. Hopefully some folks blew off some steam from a long week.

But here’s the thing: I saw some things I wish we, as a Critter community, could be better at.

First, we could do better at remembering the CR cast and crew are people, just like us. If you read through the chat for the stream, you’ll see an overwhelming number of messages trying to get the attention of Matt, Marisha, Travis, Dani, etc. Not just treating them like fellow humans who are there trying to have a good time, but actively calling for their attention. It was the twitch chat equivalent of mobbing them in the lobby of a convention center.

I posit that it’s great to say things like “thanks, Matt and Marisha, for exposing me to this new thing I can love”. But can you see the difference between that and asking questions? (Which I’m not going to include examples of here, because I don’t want anyone to think I’m calling them out specifically.)

Second, we could do better at pointing #CRLovesYou outwards instead of inwards.

There were a metric boatload of “I’m here for you, Matt”-type messages in chat. Pause for a moment and think about how that looked to DJ Tyme and the other Bootie Mashup hosts. We came into their space and then turned most of our attention to another guest instead of to the people working hard to create and grow their own community.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some great acts of generosity. A few folks, who might have been Critters, gave away a number of twitch subscriptions — it seemed like 50 or so in the few hours I watched. Great. Help the community grow. Awesome.

But look at the Bootie Mashup donation page on ko-fi. It’s only a snapshot — not all donations are public, and you can’t see numbers — but you’ll also notice that my name is down there a bit, so I happen to have some insider knowledge because I know how much I donated. (I’m not humblebragging, I’m just giving some context to the numbers I’m about to put forth.)

I count maybe 9 donations for what amounts to a total of ~$100. And I know that one of those donations is responsible for half that because I was watching the page when it happened. So if we assume that Venmo and direct PayPal donations were similar (which is probably generous) we probably saw 20-30 Critters tip the artists.

That’s 20-30 out of 1000+ Critters.

Look. I get it. Not everyone has disposable cash to throw around. And a few hundred bucks over the course of a night is better than nothing. As I write this, Jupiter Gatling is still spinning, 8 hours later. A long day’s work.

With Monday bringing us #CritterHug boy howdy would I love to see the trampling Critter herd do more to support the spaces they visit. Not just stampede from one place to the next trying to just be in the glowing halos of Matt’s and Marisha’s presence.

I’m not associated with Bootie Mashup. I’m not anyone special. I’m just a fellow Critter.

Thanks for listening.

-R