(tap tap.. Hello, is this mike on?)
This here's your friendly1) local mods2)3) speaking:4) Sessine (aka Junebug), Ebenezer, Alexander Quandle (aka Hairy Mary), Omega, Quinn, Mango, Carlynne, Escemfer, Tinkerbinker, and Darling. We've come up with this page to give you some idea of what to expect from the Island's moderators.
To start with, since we are ten different people, expect individual differences in how situations are handled. We've all been picked because CMJ trusts our judgement, and because each of us is the sort who tends to spend a lot of time thinking about how to be fair. Also, we try our best to communicate with each other, but we're not telepaths, we have different time zones and schedules, and once in a while the left hand isn't going to be aware of what the right hand just did. Or learned.
We're human, so yes, we know we're bound to mess up once in a while. When any one of us does put a foot wrong, we're going to do exactly the same common sense thing we expect you to do. We'll sort it out as best we can, and then we'll think hard about ways not to make that mistake again.
Our job is only this: to keep the game as fun as possible for as many people as possible. The Rules are in the FAQ; there is no legal code beyond that. All the same, someone has to interpret those Rules and make sure people follow them - and that's us. Players are supposed to use common sense, good manners, and respect for other players as their guide. Believe it or not, this works nearly all the time! Most of you are wonderful. When someone forgets, or is new, or doesn't think about how what they're posting is going to look to other people, that's where we come in.
If one day you should happen to be that someone, here's all you need to know: we're looking for a change in behaviour. Once we see that, we can stop worrying about you. What we're after is having things go better in the future.
Most of the time, we're not dealing with big issues. We're helping to resolve minor frictions and questionable player actions. If we let these continue they would make the Island a much less enjoyable place. We could run on and on listing the particular things we are trying to discourage, but frankly, there are too many of them, and people keep coming up with new ones.5) Your eyes would glaze over. Besides, the whole thing would start looking like a legal code. The Island doesn't have one of those, and isn't ever going to.
Instead, we'll tell you our guiding principle:
If it would spoil another player's fun, or make anyone reading it think less of the Island, don't do it.
Example: If another player comes right out and asks you to stop a certain line of conversation in Banter because it's making them uncomfortable, it doesn't matter if you're on a roll and think you're being very funny, or if you're making a devastatingly logical debating point. The polite, considerate answer that makes us think better of you is to say immediately, "Oh, sorry about that," and switch to talking about something else. (The absolute worst answer is to keep it up and claim that the other player ought not to be bothered by it.)
If you're not sure whether something would be okay, it's fine to ask one of us.
About those other people reading.. It's easy to forget when chatting away with friends in Banter that it's a very public place. It's right there on the front page of the Island, so to speak. Everyone has access to it. New players see NewHome chat - and Banter. Everything we've always said about how to chat in outposts, and especially NewHome, applies even more in Banter. (So, for instance: no shooting, stabbing, slapping, or eating other players, please! Even if done cartoonishly, it's not going to make a good impression on a new arrival.)
Keeping the game fun for players also includes fixing stuff that goes wrong, from those annoying badnav loops to "Oh no! I forgot to log into my character for a while and now it's gone!" If the fix takes a code change it'll have to go on CMJ's long to-do list. Short of that though, there's plenty we can do on our own to straighten things out and let you go on playing.
So whether it's a game glitch or another player whose good judgement seems to have gone out the window, please don't hesitate to call us in. The Tell us about a problem link is right there at the top of every game page.
When does the Ban Hammer come out? A player who won't stop causing problems for other players even after we've explained a number of times how they need to change will - eventually - be required to leave. (We're patient, but not infinitely so. We get to decide how long to be patient.)
Other than that, this will get a player booted off right away with no second chances:
1. Being under the age of 18, or roleplaying an underaged character having a sex life.
The Island is hosted in the UK, where the laws are very strict. If you do either of these, you are putting the entire game and CMJ's livelihood at legal risk. We have to ban you as soon as we find out.
If you are under 18 when you read this - and have otherwise been behaving well and enjoying the Island - please, just beg, borrow, or buy a HyperRing if you want to hang on to your character,6) go do other things with your free time, and come back after your 18th birthday. Players with the good sense to do this voluntarily will be welcomed back.
If you're engaging in ageplay and haven't been caught yet, stop right now.
Ageplay is going to get you permanently banned, no matter who you are.
2. You are also liable to be insta-banned if you do something sufficiently outrageous that CMJ decides he doesn't want you in his game. This is rare. Normally he has more important matters to deal with: writing Season Three, for instance. But it's his game. He has the final say.7)
CMJ Sez: that's extremely rare, in fact. I usually only do an instant, no-talking-about-it-first permaban when a new player signs up and immediately starts spewing racist or homophobic slurs - and that's only because I happen to see it first, before a mod does.8)9) The line in the FAQ about having more players get real-life married than get permabanned is true, and remains true to this day. Bans in general are vanishingly rare.
In general, we don't talk to other players about how we've handled a situation. This may cause some frustration in curious bystanders who are dying to know what happened, but hey, we know about the rumour mill. In the long term, it's a lot better for everyone to have your moderators being careful not to feed it. If two players are arguing, we're not going to tell either of them what we said to the other. If someone is banned, we're not going to broadcast the reasons. (And if someone is banned for a Rule 4 violation, don't even ask. We can't tell you.)
All right, some people have been saying this is all very well, but what about those little mod-policy rules you have to keep explaining over and over again because they aren't written down anywhere? Wouldn't it be easier on the mods and everyone else if they were collected someplace players could refer to on their own?
That makes sense. Okay... this still isn't a legal code.10) It's more like a top ten collection11) of explanations we do seem to have to keep on making. If you've been around the Island for a while, chances are very little of this will be news to you.
No player on player violence in outposts or on the Failboat.
Keep all ERP including heavy petting, making out, and foreplay, behind a locked door or in a double bed.
Don't use alts as sockpuppets,12)
or a way to cheat.
Don't lie to other players. It never ends well.
If someone asks for a subject change in banter then change the subject.
No sp refunds for the Noticeboard.
Don't post ads. (Chatting in Banter about other games is fine.)
If a character has expired for inactivity, don't despair! Petition with the character's name and we can restore it.
You can have one free (reasonable) name change.13)14)15)
...and other things that will be added as we think of them, but hey, it's a wiki. This is a start.
The most important thing is, we're here for you. If you're not sure about something, just ask. If there's a problem let us know - we'll do our best to solve it.
Okay, that's it! Come on, let's all head back to the game. Have fun!