Hi QT. I want to thank everyone – including those that joined and left again – who’ve been part of QT in 2016; a year that I think everyone can agree has been… challenging. Which is not to say there hasn’t been good stuff – there has!

IndieWeekend in February was a great success. It was a lot of stress for me, a whole bunch of panicking from Syn, and a whole collection of really awesome games from some fantastic streamers.

We also had our first ‘official’ QT meet-up in Texas in October. It was a lot of fun. Completely nerve-wracking for me, since I have sometimes terrible social anxiety. But, in the end, despite my installing a plethora of games on my laptop ‘just in case’ nobody turned up… everyone that said they were going to turn up, did in fact turn up. I had a great (and oftentimes lazy) vacation; probably one of the best ones I’ve had in a long time, primarily because I got to spend it with friends and I didn’t feel much of the usual holiday-based internal nagging to go out and do stuff that my social anxiety prevents me from doing anyway. I highly encourage other people to start organising some meet-ups, because they’re totally worth-while!

But as I mentioned previously, it isn’t all happiness and roses. I’d like to think that this is growing pains; that we’re encountering some bumps in the road that any collection of people go through when they reach a certain size and struggle to grow any further: goodness knows that fits the bill.

I’ve (personally) had a great deal of concerns raised in the latter part of this year pertaining to toxicity. Toxicity in this respect relates to a number of different things:

  • Not being welcoming to new users, or our being overly suspicious of new users’ intentions and allowing our actions to be tainted by that opinion.
  • An ‘old guard’ mentality. Or, as I refer to it – people who have been here for a while thinking they can get away with stuff because they’ve been here for a while.
  • Negative attitudes. As mentioned, this year has been a bit of a rollercoaster, with what feels like a lot more downs that it’s had ups. But I think this is more of an opportunity for us to create a haven away from all the stuff going on in the outside world, rather than reflect it. That’s part of the reason the #feels channel exists.

A lot of this lies specifically with my fellow admins and moderators. For a long time we’ve had some vague guidelines in terms of what you can and can’t do, and while I think it was a good idea at the time (I wrote them), I want you to know we have been working on some actual rule-rules, because we’ve collectively made it clear that we’re not mature enough yet to handle ourselves with guidelines alone.

I know not everyone is going to be happy with the re-introduction of rules, but it’s something we want to try. These rules are not going to be extensive; just a few notes of things that you need keep in mind. I’ll be finalising these rules today (before I start drinking, obviously), getting some feedback from mods/admins tomorrow and then putting them live. It’s nothing to extreme or intense though, don’t worry.

So I would like to wish everyone a happier and more prosperous 2017. A year where we can get past QT’s awkward puberty phase. A year with more events; for both good causes and for ourselves. A year with more meet-ups and gatherings. A year where we can be the best community we can be – for ourselves and for others.

If you are willing to work with me to make this community as awesome as it can be, then I’ll make a personal pledge; stick by me and I’ll stick by you.

Thank you.