I saw a post on the DragonFoot forum that made me think a bit more.
The question was "What kind of atmosphere do you maintain in the game?"
I've said I like to have fun, and I do. There is a bit of silliness I suppose with the energetic role playing that goes on.
On the other hand, I like to keep it known that, silliness aside, I am a "call it as the dice rolls" kind of guy.
I don't play favorites among players or characters. I don't "take it easy" on people or "soften the blow", "fudge the dice", etc... The dice roll and the result is what it is.
If a player is having a bad day or bad week or bad life, idon't see there's much I can do for them inside the game. I mean, if they can't suspend reality enough to get out of their funk to paly a fantasy role playing game, there's just not much I can do for them.
Having said that, I do run my games with the players in mind. If they are novices, younger kids, mixed ages, I will try to keep the games more PG/PG-13. If I have a group that is more intent and older I will let the hair grow a bit longer.
To me, that's all apart of keeping it "fun" After all, if the players aren't enjoying the game, you don't really have much of a game should they all pack it up.
I don't put up with a lot of reckless-ness though. Too much of that or or other time wasting tends to throw the pace of the game off and take valuable game playing time from the other players and that's not cool as they all made time for the game.
I reserve the right to make last minute changes, additions, monsters, etc..(it's not like the players will know if I planned it or not anyway, heh heh.) so being reckless and generally doing dumb things will likely result in something truly nasty "suddenly" popping up.
In summary, I guess I let the players determine the game for the most part, though not by polling them or even asking but more by observing and responding to the group as they play.