Just a reminder, Rudolph was the only one to fly on their first try. He excelled. He was judged (harshly) because he was different. Even by Santa. They tried to make him mask his differences.
Only until proven uniquely useful was he accepted.
Now you know how autistic people feel.
Today on Autcraft, we had over 70 players on, gathered together at the Christmas Tree at spawn, all nestled in their bed. Each had a copy of a book in their hands which had the poem, Twas The Night Before Christmas.
The server recited the poem into the chat for all to read along with.
It was so quiet!! Here were 70 autistic children and adults and family members all gathered together in near total silence, reading along together for Christmas Eve. Several times staff members remarked how incredible it was that everyone was just sitting there, not messaging anyone, not saying in the chat... just reading!
Today is Player of the Week!
On Autcraft, my Minecraft server for autistic children and their families, we have one day a week where we share announcements and also celebrate our Player of the Week!
While most Minecraft servers are setup to be automated and reward players that finish first in some competition, Autcraft is different in that we reward people who help the most, are the most positive, who make the most self improvements, and so forth. We do that on the spot as it happens, in the form of CBAs (Caught Being Awesome), and we do it weekly at Player of the Week.
All players can get it, any age, regardless of how they did the week before. Have one good week and it just might happen!
Those who get Player of the Week get some credits to use in our store to buy some perks and also get their head and name showcased for all to see.
By encouraging everyone to be helpful and positive and supportive, the entire community benefits but more so than that, we see less anger, less meltdowns, less competition. We can actually see a direct correlation between the number of CBAs we give out and the number of incidents that happen such as arguments or rage quits. The more they are rewarded for the good things they do, the less likely they are to do the negative things due to negative emotions.
I may be biased, being the guy who started the server, but I can honestly say that I feel just as fortunate to be a part of this community as anyone else because everyone is just so kind, and encouraging, and supportive. It's a joy to be there each and every day, not a chore or a job, and it's always there for me when I feel down... and yes, me being autistic, and human... I have my days where I could use some support and encouragement too.
TED Talks and BuzzFeed have both called Autcraft "The Best Place on the Internet" and I agree with them... not because I started it, or because I made it that way, but because the community and each and every person it, makes it the best.
I'm just lucky to be a part of it.
The first door of Autcraft's #Christmas Advent Calendar opens tonight at midnight, EDT. This will begin 25 days of free items on Autcraft for all of the players
For 10 years now, we've had players from all around the world sign on during the holidays to tell us that it is not a happy time for them. Being #autistic, it can be very overwhelming, stressful, scary, and even depressing. Many miss out on all the family gatherings and good times because they simply can't endure the lights, the music, the smells, and the crowd.
But on Autcraft, they've found a place where they can celebrate with friends and even their family in a place where they control the volume of their speakers, the brightness of their monitors, and more, from the comfort of their own chair in their own home. They get fun, and games, and of course, presents.
Tonight kicks it all off with the opening of our Christmas Village, which is updated and improved each year, and the first door of the Advent Calendar opens to reveal a cute diorama and a free present inside.
"It's the little things"
As I added in some notes about a couple of our Minecraft server's newest players into the "important need to know" channel in our Staff Discord this morning, it occurred to me that you probably don't know that we do things like this behind the scenes.
For example, when a player is young, or not a strong reader, or maybe English isn't their first language, we'll make a note here so that all of the staff are aware to use shorter sentences and easier to read/understand explanations for things... maybe take them into a channel where chat isn't so busy.
Sometimes we have players who are feeling especially alone or ignored in life and we'll make a note here for the staff to take extra special time and care to make sure they get a response in chat or have giving them a special greeting when they sign on, such as "It's really great to see you!"
This is a very busy channel for us, one that nobody on our staff ignores. This way we can all know about the little things with each player to be aware of, to be careful of, and to be thoughtful about... because each player is unique and has something different about them that we should keep in mind.
It says it right in the title of the channel we use, it's "important" to know, because the little things to us are very big things to them.
Owner of Autcraft
QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
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