I began work on the Fox Haven in 2013. Back then, I just wanted to give people a chance to join a drama-free gaming community. I was sick and tired of seeing hate-speech, trolling, griefing, and downright disgusting behavior on gaming servers and in the places I looked for friends to play games with. I looked hard for a place where one could truly be open about themselves among people with similar interests and not be shamed for it, where you could speak up as a new member without fear of being shouted down, where you could have intelligent discussions and civil arguments without anger or grudges, a place where one could feel safe . . . and I just couldn’t find anywhere to turn.
So, I decided to make a place of my own, and open it up to others.
The short story is; what I started has been able to accomplish a lot of good. We’ve gone through some rough patches, but we’ve always emerged as a stronger and more focused group, afterwards. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and look forward to what we will accomplish in the future. We're currently working on applications to register as a 501c3, and anticipate opening our first group home in 2018!
The above information should be enough to satisfy any casual interest in our background, but if your curiosity is not yet sated, by all means read on . . . but be warned, I can be long-winded, and have 100% control over the format; I do own the website, after all. :3
The long story:
“Fox Haven” is a name that I have been attached to for the majority of my life. I’ve used it in various forms for nearly thirty years, and can still recall the first time those two words were formed by my lips.
I was six, and discovering music. That is, music other than the classical music and childrens’ songs my mother had previously allowed me to hear. Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Bill Haley, Paul Simon, The Beach Boys, The Ramones; these were among the first artists whose albums I owned. I’ve always loved listening to music, but one thing I’ve always liked more is sharing music with others. When I was a child, the only way that anyone shared music to a large audience was by being a radio DJ, so . . . while other kids were pretending to be rock stars or sports stars, I was sitting in my room with a dual-deck cassette tape recorder / radio, recording songs from FM stations. I’d then mix all the recorded songs onto a third tape - along with my own DJ commentary - as a continuous mix. MY DJ commentary included station identification spots, and “Fox Haven Radio” ( or WFHR ) was the name of my imaginary radio station.
I must clarify, I’ve had a strong affinity for foxes since I was old enough to know what a fox is. Foxes have pretty much always been a part of my life, so the name “Fox Haven” came naturally to me. I imagined a safe place where foxes could be free from human persecution, and eat all the chickens they wanted. Yeah, I watched lots of Disney movies as a child, can you tell? Anyhow, moving on . . .
From that point on, the name “Fox Haven” was used for various things; my imaginary radio station, an epic Lego village I built with my brother, a short-lived attempt at producing an art zine during high school, and many other projects. I’ve also used it as the name for a few MMO guilds which I founded, and as a name for the building in which I host tabletop gaming sessions ( think D&D ). I’ve grown attached to the name, but I had never used it for anything more significant than personal projects. This all changed the moment I needed a name for what we are doing here, prompting me to turn to the name that I’d used as a banner over all the projects I truly invested myself in: “Fox Haven”.
Since the day I began using that name - later appended to "the Fox Haven" - to represent this community, I've come to realize that this is one of the greatest projects I have ever been involved with. Initially, I founded our community as a safe-haven for people in Second Life; a place for mature people to retreat to, and avoid trolls, griefers, and disrespectful individuals. It remains that, but has gone through many changes over the years. We began as a small, close-knit family, expanded to a completely open roleplaying and gaming group, and learned that the best place for us is a happy medium between the two. We now exist as a mostly-private social gaming club, open to new members while being guarded against those whom intend to disrupt and agitatate.
That's not to say that we don't have our fair share of problems, now and then. Yes, because we advocate for tolerance and acceptance, we are a haven for some with emotional disorders. We do our best to accommodate and understand those with such difficulties, and hold true to the ideals of not judging someone by the actions they take while under extreme stress. As someone with his own issues, I've encountered groups that weren't willing to give their members that level of understanding, and ejected individuals who exhibit the behaviors associated with mood, emotional, and personality disorders. The Fox Haven will never be that kind of place, as the proposition of "amity through mediation" is something we hold dear.
Another of our core principles is assisting members in need. We've facilitated the cross-country and intercontinental relocation of several members, have helped others with medical bills, and have partially funded computer builds for those in dire need. Members of our community have provided real-life safe havens for other members to retreat to, up to and including permanent living arrangements.
We also believe that the best family is the one you choose. Many of us are very close, trust one another implicitly, and even take time to travel in order visit one another. The winter holidays are also a special time, when many of us exchange gifts. The more financially fortunate among us also tend to send gifts to members of our community for no reason other than a sort of familial affection.
As the founder of the Fox Haven, I am proud to see my creation flourish and bloom into a well-rounded home for a great group of people. Though we remain ever-watchful for new and interesting people to add to our little community, we're also happy to remain the moderately-sized group we are, today. I'm satisfied with where we are, and know there are many great moments still to come.