Subject: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:18 AM
By: rbead

Content:

So, CMJ suggested we start up a discussion here. Floor's open, let's have at it! Also, let's be nice to one another when opinions differ. I shall put that up as the first anti-dickishness postulate: Respect opposing points of view.



Replies:

Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: October 13 2014 @ 02:17 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Places like that do exist on the Internet. I've yet to come across one that isn't a cesspit, but I've also yet to come across a baby pigeon, and I'm fairly sure they must exist because there are pigeons.



Nothing actually useful to add, just that I hadn't seen 'em at all until last year, and while adult pigeons surely are goofy-lokin' creatures, baby piegons are cute and fuzzy.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: October 12 2014 @ 05:08 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

There was, for a short period, an "argument clinic" at Byte's Place. In practice, it was a pretty terrible idea. Maybe as a standalone place it would be a little better, but... ugh. It was bad.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: October 12 2014 @ 05:18 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Places like that do exist on the Internet. I've yet to come across one that isn't a cesspit, but I've also yet to come across a baby pigeon, and I'm fairly sure they must exist because there are pigeons.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 24 2014 @ 01:50 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Sessine and Kolojang said it best:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

My suggestion of "Argument Clinic" for a name was facetious. It was only intended to suggest that any such place would be a lot more fun if it wasn't always dead serious. There could also be exaggerated, silly, over-the-top arguments in the style of that ==> famous Monty Python sketch. <==




Quote by: Count+Sessine

Moreover, any opinion posted to the Forum will remain here and searchable for as long as the Enquirer exists. I think discussions on controversial topics should be more ephemeral than that. A player's possibly-ill-thought remarks on a hot-button topic will exist for at most seven days (or less, if the Place owner happens to take exception to them). They won't stick around to haunt the player forever.




Quote by: Kolojang

I think the Argument Clinic could be a good idea. For starters, if it's remote enough, the people who think it isn't don't even have to go out of their way to avoid it.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 24 2014 @ 12:45 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Politics / religion / fandom / operating systems / whatever other topics tend to cause pointless arguments, in a Place? Sure, if that's what the Place owner wants - we're not gonna get involved. Not our circus, not our monkeys, at least up until the point where the drama starts leaking out onto the rest of the Island (at which point it's no skin off our nose to go "Experiment failed! HULK SMAAAAAAASH!").

Topics like that, on the Enquirer? Nope, no chance, never gonna happen.

Topics about things we need to talk about for the good of the game? Etiquette, policy, whatever? Yeah, those're best on the Enquirer. There's a two-minute barrier to entry in the form of an additional account signup, which helps keep things thoughtful, and stuff sticks around here so it can be checked out later and reflected on.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 23 2014 @ 11:19 PM
By: Temper

Content:

Having a non-mod be in charge of this sort of thing is instantly a huge turn-off for me. I feel like this invites an incredible bias in any argument- or at least the appearance of one. Say it's me in charge, and there's a topic I'm very invested in. Don't like the post? Delete it! Who cares if it's a decent point, I'm in charge. I'm also not a mod, and I have absolutely no need for any sort of restraint in the use of my power because, hey, it's my place. I'm not saying everyone (or even anyone) would necessarily do this, but I don't think it encourages all viewpoints.

That comes down to me being pessimistic about the internet, sure. But I've seen things like that happen on the Island, just a good deal less often than elsewhere.


I'm not, however, at all knowledgeable about working the forums- though I still think they'd be a better place for it than some podunk Place plopped out in the wilderness.



Also, if all it is is arguing for arguing's sake (which it seems like it would be, if it were left under the jurisdiction of a random player and the conversations didn't stick around) I guess I just really don't see a need to make a specific Place for it. You can literally walk into any Place one of the arguers owns, and have essentially the same situation. Don't have a Place? We have Distractions- they're a bit slower, but entirely viable. There's also any number of messaging services available off the Island (there's also Loc 4, though maybe that's discouraged{technically it's just for general OOC whatevers}).


Of course, I'm also very much for nuking the vast majority of the Places out there and letting the wilderness reclaim the land, so uh. I suppose I'm carrying a sort of bias into this discussion anyways!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 23 2014 @ 10:45 PM
By: Matthew

Content:

Quote by: Temper

I'm gonna side with Matthew here, if for perhaps different reasons.



I'd say we actually agree for a lot of the same reasons.

Yeah, I do assume the worst, and if I wanted to be catty I might say something like 'you don't? Welcome to the internet, enjoy your stay!' Maybe I don't have enough faith.

But I guess my main point is that literally anywhere else than Improbable Island is a much better place for Serious Discussions about religion and philosophy. However, I'd be totally okay with seeing how a board like that on the Enquirer would work out. Perhaps we can call it Serious Discussions For Serious People. Put a joke in the name. Start it out light-hearted before you even click the link.

Now that Sessine mentions it though actually roleplaying a Monty Python style argument clinic would be pretty fun.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 23 2014 @ 04:36 PM
By: Kolojang

Content:

I think the Argument Clinic could be a good idea. For starters, if it's remote enough, the people who think it isn't don't even have to go out of their way to avoid it.

If anyone is interested, I have a few Places that are out of the way that I haven't used in a while that could lend themselves to this. There's the Quarry at the base of the mountain, or Ko's mansion at the south-eastern edge of the Island that could house it. I don't know who proposed it, but you can distract me if interested! I'll keep the rent cheap Razz


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 23 2014 @ 09:34 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

My idea in suggesting a Place was that within very broad already-discussed limits, what goes on inside a Place is pretty much up to the owner of that Place. They can turn on a Place-wide banter and have chat in every room. They set the tone. They set the rules. They have full powers to delete any comments that go beyond what they want to see. In effect, they are local moderators for their own Place. (And they will get full backup from any mod, I can promise, if the situation ever goes beyond what a Place-owner's powers can handle.)

My suggestion of "Argument Clinic" for a name was facetious. It was only intended to suggest that any such place would be a lot more fun if it wasn't always dead serious. There could also be exaggerated, silly, over-the-top arguments in the style of that ==> famous Monty Python sketch. <==

In actual fact, if I were naming it (which I'm not), I wouldn't use "Clinic" at all, because that would be expecting everyone to pick up on a pop culture reference, which... yeah, it's Monty Python, so almost everyone would get it, but it would be really misleading for anyone who didn't. I do think that the Place's name and description ought to let players know somehow what they're getting into before they walk in. Fair warning, and all that.

I don't think the Enquirer is a very good option for this sort of discussion. A forum is much harder to moderate fairly than the Island. Geeklog doesn't offer nearly as many fine-tuned tools as even the more modern BBSs, let alone the excellent ones CMJ has written for us on the Island. Moreover, any opinion posted to the Forum will remain here and searchable for as long as the Enquirer exists. I think discussions on controversial topics should be more ephemeral than that. A player's possibly-ill-thought remarks on a hot-button topic will exist for at most seven days (or less, if the Place owner happens to take exception to them). They won't stick around to haunt the player forever.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 22 2014 @ 05:01 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: Matthew

Sounds like a terrible idea, if I'm being completely honest. That's what gtalk is for.


No, gTalk's for private discussion. If you're arguing in a public forum, the point is for the public to see it.

An Argument Clinic would pretty much have an implied "it's okay to be a dick here" rule written all over it, which is so against the point.


Like Harris said, that's just assuming the worst. It's not like people aren't going to report someone for being a dick just because they're in a certain Place.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 22 2014 @ 11:47 PM
By: Temper

Content:

I'm gonna side with Matthew here, if for perhaps different reasons. I don't think, for starters, calling something an Argument Clinic is a good start. Argument already starts things off on- on, I guess, a slightly aggressive footing, and if there's something that the internet at large is really really good at, it's taking piddly little things and escalating them way out of proportion. Maybe Discussion Clinic could go better. It'd be a quiet reminder to keep things civil, hopefully. Secondly, I'm incredibly opposed to the idea of entirely OOC Places in general. I dislike the vast majority of the Places already (simply because I'm a terrible and awful person), and adding one that offers my characters nothing seems to me to be extra clutter on what is fast becoming a very cramped Island. That's a different issue though, so let's not get sidetracked.


Personally, my biggest thing is that we do have a set of forums, right here. I don't see why we simply can't direct people here to talk about issues where they might not agree and want public input. I don't think anyone on the Island should have to cater to people too lazy to make a forum account. If you're not willing to make an account, then it's clearly not very important to you. And, if you're not willing to talk about it in the forums for whatever reason, maybe it's not a discussion that needs to be in the public eye at all?
As an addition, the forums are much easier to get to for everyone than a Place that is far out of the way of outposts, and I personally think the forums could use some more discussion, and encouraging new people to make accounts and be active here could be, in my opinion, a good thing.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 22 2014 @ 05:49 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Somewhere off the beaten path and away from NewHome, if you don't mind. Mr. Green


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 22 2014 @ 02:20 PM
By: Matthew

Content:

Sounds like a terrible idea, if I'm being completely honest. That's what gtalk is for. An Argument Clinic would pretty much have an implied "it's okay to be a dick here" rule written all over it, which is so against the point.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 22 2014 @ 03:00 PM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: Matthew

Sounds like a terrible idea, if I'm being completely honest. That's what gtalk is for. An Argument Clinic would pretty much have an implied "it's okay to be a dick here" rule written all over it, which is so against the point.



Not everyone has or wants this chat program or that chat program, so that's not really fair; besides, some people WANT to talk with the community at large (raises his own hand for an example).
Could it go wrong? Sure. So could anything. Rather than doubt the community's ability to pull this off, look at it this way: ground rules! One way to do it is have those ready as soon as it's built. (i.e., No Profanity! ). Which leads into tthe fact that the tone of a situation colors our perceptions pretty readily. You've done plenty of things with friends or family that you'd never do with strangers, and often they've been just because the atmosphere was one you were comfortable with, right?
I know I have.
Examples here could include making it clear that it would be a place for arguement- nothing more, nothing less, and setting the whole thing up to inject some humor into the setting would go a long way toward keeping everyone on an even keel too.
Even when you hate someone's jokes, you're still more ready to listen to someone who's trying to make you laugh than someone who's just getting angry, right?


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 22 2014 @ 05:11 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Y'know, sometimes, sometimes, you read through all of the most recently replied to threads, and quite by accident, they mesh together.

Quote by: Rider

I want you to know that in the end, humans persevere. We know our limitations, we know our weaknesses, we know that we can't do everything. But there is a reason we ignore all of that.

A human being never gives up.

A human being has Hope.



Endarr, lemme know where you start to build? I'll gladly help finish any job, collect wood and stone, whatever you like. Mr. Green


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 21 2014 @ 06:38 PM
By: endarr

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine
Though, y'know... it has just occurred to me that if enough of you want to have debates on controversial topics, we do have Places, which we didn't when that policy was first established. Someone could set up a House of Controversy -- or even an Argument Clinic, like the Monty Python sketch!


Ooo, I like that idea! Now to start surveying the land to find the perfect spot!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 21 2014 @ 05:26 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

I see it as a combination of two things. As you have so eloquently said, Endarr, respect for others is essential. People are different. You can't always know what's going to bother someone. If a player comes right out and says a discussion is making them uncomfortable, then yes, of course: always respect them, always believe them, always change the subject.

There are certain topics (I think they've all been listed in this thread already) that mods have asked people to stay away from in Banter no matter what, mainly because Banter is a very public space, one of the first things new players are going to see on the Island. New players aren't going to say anything. They'll judge the Island by what they see. It's very very easy at that early stage... when there's no commitment, no knowledge of how much is here, no shared friendships and memories... to click away to something else and never come back. Many new signups do that anyway; we just want to make sure that if they're going to decide the Island's not for them, it's based on what the Island really is.

If a subject is a trigger for bad-memory flashbacks, some established players may not feel able to say anything, either. About all we can do about that is... well, stay away from the most obvious trigger topics, and try to be as friendly and receptive as possible, to make it easier for them to say something.

As for politics and religion: they're both minefields. I don't know that maturity has anything to do with it. If anything, I'd say older folks (like me) have spent more time working our way to the ideas we think are true, which makes it considerably harder to talk about them without implying that other ideas we've maybe already thought about and rejected are just false.

* Case in point: when I was young, I started out religious. I'm not, any more. I'm still interested in religions, but in an anthropological sense. How can I have a frank discussion with a true believer without revealing that I am very sure humans created gods, not the other way around? And if I do say that, one of two things is going to happen: either I'll convince them I'm right, or I won't. In the latter (far more likely!) eventuality they'll have every right to feel offended because I'll be suggesting that I think the very foundation of their life is false. But suppose I do plant doubts. Am I doing them a good turn? I don't think so. People invent religions for a reason. They serve a purpose. They help a lot of people. Do I have any right to try to take that away from anyone? Well... sometimes. If they're already struggling. But if they're depending on the help religion provides them, it'd be a jerk move for me to undermine that, wouldn't it?*

Anyway. Minefields. Tread carefully. Remember that what one person thinks is so true it should be obvious to everyone is someone else's pernicious lie that needs to be stamped out wherever it appears. Also, people come with different levels of tolerance for disagreement. What may seem to one to be a pleasing vigorous debate will (I guarantee it, based on my years as a mod) register to some others as a nasty argument.

So that's one reason CMJ has said all along that he doesn't want people to talk about politics or religion on the Island.

Though, y'know... it has just occurred to me that if enough of you want to have debates on controversial topics, we do have Places, which we didn't when that policy was first established. Someone could set up a House of Controversy -- or even an Argument Clinic, like the Monty Python sketch!

--
* Geeklog doesn't seem to have a spoiler tag. (Copy/paste to read.)


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 21 2014 @ 02:40 PM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: endarr


It all really comes down to respect. Respect enough for others so that you will step back when you're told you've gone too far or gotten too heated, and respect enough for yourself to speak up or to realize you're getting heated. Hell, I know I get upset about things, and I try (try, mind you, I'm not perfect about it. though, I suppose if i was perfect, I wouldn't need to xD) to step back and calm down. So we have to respect each other and ourselves. I think that's honestly what this thread should boil down to. Not a "don't do this, but do this" list. Respect.

And not talking about certain things, in my opinion, isn't going to help that, as it assumes that people aren't mature enough to handle an adult conversation without devolving into mud slinging. Plus, we could all use some practice in respecting other people's opinions. It's a huge world out there and we have access to all of it at our fingertips, but humans as a species are still getting used to it. It's gonna take a while to fully remove the xenophobia that's been bred into us by millennia of distance and rough terrain. We are pioneers on a new frontier! We are all kinda awesome. I mean, sure we're not exploring space or anything, but cyberspace has space in it! So let's all be awesome together!



/me applauds wildly

YES.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 21 2014 @ 02:31 PM
By: endarr

Content:

Quote by: Trowa

I know this is generally covered in the Rules already, but I'm going to toss in my two cents anyway: Banter discussions of hot-button, divisive issues can lead to Dickish behavior or comments. I won't go so far as to say "don't talk about x," but I think it should be emphasized that this community is extensively diverse with players from all over the world who carry innumerably differing viewpoints and ideals, and it can be very easy to upset someone with a crass comment or off-color joke without meaning to. Always be respectful of other people's opinions. (Personally, I even think just saying "I respectfully disagree" doesn't cut it because I feel it can come off patronizing.)

Some topics I've personally witnessed go from polite discussion to rude/ranting behavior in Banter:

And probably many more, but these were the ones I could think of off the top of my head. In fact, it's because of some of these discussion spiraling out of control we even have the "don't discuss the 'r' word" policy.

Usually when these sort of issues crop up in Banter, I'll see two things happen: several players stop responding in Banter, either ignoring the channel or closing it, and several players will jump into Banter who weren't active there a moment ago to try to change the subject (or sometimes even take sides, which is really counter-productive). I tend to do the former, myself, because I'd rather just keep my blood pressure down than get involved.

Most important of all: this community is about having fun, not for anyone's political or personal opinion sounding board.



While I agree that it's often true that a discussion about politics or religion or what have you can devolve into dickishness, it's not a given. And if it does start to devolve into said dickishness, someone needs to say "Hey, guys, it's getting bad. Time to pull back." Or multiple people. Because, as someone pointed out earlier (I forget who and am too lazy to scroll back) sometimes people don't realize they're being dickish in the heat of the moment.

And sometimes it comes down to people being uncomfortable with seeing it or hearing it or whatever. That goes back to what i was posting a few pages back. Sometimes everyone is okay with something going on, and sometimes not everyone is. But no one can know when someone is uncomfortable without being told that that is so.

It all really comes down to respect. Respect enough for others so that you will step back when you're told you've gone too far or gotten too heated, and respect enough for yourself to speak up or to realize you're getting heated. Hell, I know I get upset about things, and I try (try, mind you, I'm not perfect about it. though, I suppose if i was perfect, I wouldn't need to xD) to step back and calm down. So we have to respect each other and ourselves. I think that's honestly what this thread should boil down to. Not a "don't do this, but do this" list. Respect.

And not talking about certain things, in my opinion, isn't going to help that, as it assumes that people aren't mature enough to handle an adult conversation without devolving into mud slinging. Plus, we could all use some practice in respecting other people's opinions. It's a huge world out there and we have access to all of it at our fingertips, but humans as a species are still getting used to it. It's gonna take a while to fully remove the xenophobia that's been bred into us by millennia of distance and rough terrain. We are pioneers on a new frontier! We are all kinda awesome. I mean, sure we're not exploring space or anything, but cyberspace has space in it! So let's all be awesome together!

(Not talking about certain things should likely be a rule. Certain really bad and probably already agreed upon things. But not huge, broad topics. I mean, I love learning about other people's religions, personally, so discussing them is fun for me. But I dislike politics, so stay away from those conversations. Not that i mind that they happen. And it is rather nice to see people talk about things they're passionate about, even if I don't like said things.)


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 18 2014 @ 07:00 PM
By: Trowa

Content:

I know this is generally covered in the Rules already, but I'm going to toss in my two cents anyway: Banter discussions of hot-button, divisive issues can lead to Dickish behavior or comments. I won't go so far as to say "don't talk about x," but I think it should be emphasized that this community is extensively diverse with players from all over the world who carry innumerably differing viewpoints and ideals, and it can be very easy to upset someone with a crass comment or off-color joke without meaning to. Always be respectful of other people's opinions. (Personally, I even think just saying "I respectfully disagree" doesn't cut it because I feel it can come off patronizing.)

Some topics I've personally witnessed go from polite discussion to rude/ranting behavior in Banter:

And probably many more, but these were the ones I could think of off the top of my head. In fact, it's because of some of these discussion spiraling out of control we even have the "don't discuss the 'r' word" policy.

Usually when these sort of issues crop up in Banter, I'll see two things happen: several players stop responding in Banter, either ignoring the channel or closing it, and several players will jump into Banter who weren't active there a moment ago to try to change the subject (or sometimes even take sides, which is really counter-productive). I tend to do the former, myself, because I'd rather just keep my blood pressure down than get involved.

Most important of all: this community is about having fun, not for anyone's political or personal opinion sounding board.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 18 2014 @ 05:49 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

So, trying to return to where this thread started out, we currently have fighting and ERP listed. Are there any other specific things that anybody can think of which are frowned upon?

Mean remarks about other players.

If we see that, especially in Banter or the Noticeboard, we'll delete the comment, and maybe/maybe-not (depending on how mean it sounded) send a distraction to the poster to point out that even if it's just all a running joke between them and their friend, new players won't know that, and they'll think the Island is a place where mean things get said, which is so not the impression we want them to have!

But this isn't frowning, really. More like explaining, especially if it's only the first time someone does it.

If someone keeps on, and we have to keep telling them not to say mean things to other players, then yes, it starts to enter into frowning territory. There are a couple of players who've had to be told, "The next time any mod sees you being rude to another player in Banter, you're getting a permamute in Banter, and it will only be lifted if you can convince the mod who applies it that you won't ever do it again."

I'm happy to report that in both cases, the player in question seems to have finally understood that we really were serious about requiring them to change, and we have not had to follow through.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 18 2014 @ 05:07 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

Quote by: Denealus

One, the "If you think you might be breaking rule 1, you probably are..."

But really, there's plenty of a subset that have really poor interpersonal intelligence. They don't know how their actions affect other people. They don't see what they're doing is wrong. Other people are too sensitive, they're just trying to make their point, people keep shutting them down. They just thought something was interesting and had to share. People who "know what it means to be a dick" generally don't tend to be dicks. Not exclusively, but there's a very limited subset of people who are actively dickish knowing they're being dickish.



Yeah. Ok, you're right. I'll retract that comment.

Quote by: Denealus

If you're frustrated, it's also hard to recognize that you're being a dick and you're crossing the line and hey maybe you need an Island break because now you're breaking Rule 2.



Now that's definitely true, and I should know, for you see, I was that ignorant arsehole

So, trying to return to where this thread started out, we currently have fighting and ERP listed. Are there any other specific things that anybody can think of which are frowned upon?


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 03:36 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Oh, and the snuff film didn't get anyone banned. That got the player in question a slap-on-the-wrist short-term mute. The moderator did kick up a stink about it in Banter, but he was pretty new to the job, and has since left.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 04:57 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

And yeah, I'll quite happily talk about a ban from 2011 in terms of "Because he was a colossal twonkeroonie," but again, no details. The details, if you wanna know, you can try to get them from him - but if we ban someone, you can safely assume that they lie.

Since the "No more talking about bans" policy came into place a few years ago, I've only broken it once - and that was when a player was thinking of going to visit a previously-banned player who was actually dangerous. Safety of my players trumps policy or legal concerns, so I told the thinking-about-visiting player to stay the fuck away.

So, yeah. We won't be giving any juicy details, I'm afraid - but if anyone can think of any other times we might've abused our power, please let me know. This whole "Being scared of the big bad mods who'll ban you for blinking too fast" thing is poisonous, and I want it to stop.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 06:16 AM
By: Denealus

Content:

Uh...okay. So this thread has exploded since I've been gone...

I'll skip over most of the things that I kind of skimmed over anyway and focus on two specific areas. One, the "If you think you might be breaking rule 1, you probably are..." or "We shouldn't need to tell you what it means to be a dick..." Sigh...

I'm sorry to be cynical, but if this were true, we wouldn't need moderation. There are a percentage of very obvious trolls. These people know they're getting peoples goats. They know that they're pulling on strings. They know that they're bothering people. These are the easy decisions.

But really, there's plenty of a subset that have really poor interpersonal intelligence. They don't know how their actions affect other people. They don't see what they're doing is wrong. Other people are too sensitive, they're just trying to make their point, people keep shutting them down. They just thought something was interesting and had to share. People who "know what it means to be a dick" generally don't tend to be dicks. Not exclusively, but there's a very limited subset of people who are actively dickish knowing they're being dickish. If you're frustrated, it's also hard to recognize that you're being a dick and you're crossing the line and hey maybe you need an Island break because now you're breaking Rule 2.

Guidelines may be a bit taboo and should be kept short but what a dick means means different things to different people. It likely means different things to different moderators (it's like there's a post here about that or something...) And not everyone might agree with the moderation policy. Which is why it's important to be able to speak up.

As for not talking about bans...

I'm fully up for moderators not talking about bans. Public censuring of any player, regardless of what they did, is not the type of community that I feel we're trying to create here. Witch hunts are never helpful for anyone. I do think people might want to know, for example, "Sorry, they had multiple complaints against them." And things should be able to be left at that. Beyond that puts everyone in an awkward spot, moderator and player. And as soon as a moderator feels they have to defend their actions, they've already lost. Moderators aren't going to be perfect, but we should definitely support their ability to moderate. And that trust is lost as soon as you have to define in minutiae ever decision you ever made. Just my two cents.

P.S. If you do want some good general real-life guidelines to not being a dick, well here you go.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 03:02 AM
By: Raine+Bofirn

Content:

...and on that note...with personal experience, I see what you mean.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 03:13 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Also that guy, Kero, was so much of a dick that Ebenezer banned him.

EBENEZER. Who is famous for his gentleness. Whose lip trembles when kittens look at him. Who never, ever gets angry. Ebenezer took him under his wing, pointed out every time he was a dick to someone, told him what he was doing wrong, begged him to stop doing it, muted him to try to knock some sense into him, muted him again, muted him for longer, and then finally came to me asking my permission to issue a ban (yes, although my mods have a lot of autonomy, bans are still my final decision). To which I said "For the sake of your own mental wellbeing, ban that douchecanoe." This was like three months after I'd chatted with Ebenezer over gChat and he'd told me about this guy, and I'd said "Why don't you just ban him," and Eben said "I wanna try some things. He's my project."

Which is actually how most bans play out. In a long, careful, draining, emotionally-exhausting way that causes loss of sleep and awfulness, and the situation where my mods are trying their damned hardest to help people who they don't like, and in most cases, who nobody likes, or who nobody would like if they know what other shit they were up to.

In short - we only ban dicks, and we warn first, so if you're not a dick, then you don't have anything to worry about.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 02:56 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

The hardest part of a mod's job is not talking about bans.

It'd be cathartic to tell everyone why we banned a troll or a pedo - but it really, really wouldn't do the Island any good. It's bad enough, for those left behind, hearing that we banned their friend - we really don't wanna post a bunch of logs of their friend being total dicks to others, or saying shitty things about the friend behind their backs. That'd just make everyone feel worse, feel cheated, feel dumb for having fallen for a load of lies, and feel paranoid about who's an alt of who. What's more, it's none of your business. A ban is between me and the player who's been banned. Sometimes they'll tell people why they were banned - more often, they'll lie, and say they were banned for something really minor.

We don't ban for minor things. Ever. And players always get many, many opportunities to not get banned, suggestions followed by warnings followed by "Dude, next time you're banned, seriously, I don't know how to make this any clearer, please don't make me ban you." The only time we don't warn first is if it's either a) a brand-new player who's signed up and posted "POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP LOL FAGETS" (because dude, if that's your first impression, I don't wanna take the time to teach you how to not be an awful waste of an internet connection) or b) a Rule 4 violation.

We updated the rules fairly recently to spell out, so that nobody has any doubt, what we mean when we talk about a Rule 4 violation. Since we're talking about rules, here's an extra-emphatic version, since about half our bans are for Rule 4:

"Just like with Rule 1, if you have to ask (or even wonder) "Am I breaking rule four?" then the answer is YES. Except that while breaking rule 1 will get you a slap on the wrist, breaking rule 4 will get you banned forever without warning. Don't play underage characters with a sex life. Don't play underage characters who don't have a sex life, but who do have graphically-described tits that you just can't help dropping into conversation here and there. Don't play underage characters in adult bodies. Don't play adult characters in children's bodies. Don't claim to be eighteen in your bio and then upload an avatar that looks twelve years old. Don't be a creepy motherfucker. If you don't know what a creepy motherfucker is, then you're probably a creepy motherfucker. Don't go into a grey area. Don't go near a grey area. Don't go into the grey area of the grey area. Don't do things that you think are technically okay because xyz. Don't do things that are legal in a lot of countries. Don't do anything that would make people think twice about letting you babysit their kids. I see you taking a breath to ask "is it okay if I -" no. No, however that sentence ends. This is the one thing we'll outright ban you for without even stopping to talk first. We're not kidding. This is our only hard line, and if you're worried that you might be skirting it, you're already past it and we just haven't noticed yet. Quit making us ban you."

(the creepiest bans are the ones where we ban some creepy-ass mouthbreathing neckbeard, and then a friend of theirs shows up and asks us "Why did you ban my friend? She was so nice! We had a real connection!" and we can only shrug our shoulders and say "Because he was a creepy pervert who pissed everyone off and we actually got fan mail from people when they found out we banned him." and the friend replies with "What do you mean, him?" and we reply with "He was also these five other people, three of whom hated your guts. Sorry, your life is a lie." That's one of the reasons why we stopped discussing bans.)

(the most depressing bans are the ones where we ban someone, and then they use proxies to sneak back in, and start contacting their old friends to say "Psst - it's me, BannedGuy!" And then the friends - who never liked the guy to begin with, but were polite about it - quietly Distract me to say "Hey, um. Just to let you know, SuspiciouslyKnowledgeableNewbie is actually BannedGuy. Please don't tell him I told you. But, uh... do please ban him again." This happens with nearly all bans, and always, the people who were banned were dicks - and either didn't know it, or did, and thought that being a dick was fun.)


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 01:43 AM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

Quote by: Docenspiel

Several people were complaining about Kero and his actions. His banning certainly wasn't out of the blue or based solely on the final incident.



True enough, but that's not directly relevant. What's relevant isn't what happened, but what is perceived to have happened. These two things are not the same. As has been noted above, people only hearing one side of the story, Chinese Whispers, and the rumour mill in general can make them quite different. Publishing full details of why somebody has been banned would be a bad idea for several reasons, and probably wouldn't do much to help correct perceptions either. It would just add grist to the rumour mill really.

Also, people arrive here with a whole load of baggage based on experiences on other sites and all sorts of other things. If they start off with an idea of mods as a bunch of scary ogres who shit all over people from a great height if they step out of line in the slightest way, then they're not likely to poke their head over the parapet far enough to find out they're wrong, and they're likely to give greater credence to, and misconstrue, any stories they hear. Us human beings are fantastic at deciding what is happening and then seeing that, rather than what is actually out there.

I think that this is the point that rbead is trying to make (correct me if I'm wrong.) Even if it's not what he's trying to say, then I think that it's both true and relevant.



No, that's exactly right! Thank you for saying my point so much better, I'm having trouble with words of lately.

I also agree, incidentally, with Raine. This is definitely a Catch-22 situation, helped only by trust.

(PS: I'm female, I play Fish. Smile)


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 01:35 AM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Several people were complaining about Kero and his actions. His banning certainly wasn't out of the blue or based solely on the final incident.



True enough, but that's not directly relevant. What's relevant isn't what happened, but what is perceived to have happened. These two things are not the same. As has been noted above, people only hearing one side of the story, Chinese Whispers, and the rumour mill in general can make them quite different. Publishing full details of why somebody has been banned would be a bad idea for several reasons, and probably wouldn't do much to help correct perceptions either. It would just add grist to the rumour mill really.

Also, people arrive here with a whole load of baggage based on experiences on other sites and all sorts of other things. If they start off with an idea of mods as a bunch of scary ogres who shit all over people from a great height if they step out of line in the slightest way, then they're not likely to poke their head over the parapet far enough to find out they're wrong, and they're likely to give greater credence to, and misconstrue, any stories they hear. Us human beings are fantastic at deciding what is happening and then seeing that, rather than what is actually out there.

I think that this is the point that rbead is trying to make (correct me if I'm wrong.) Even if it's not what he's trying to say, then I think that it's both true and relevant.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 01:18 AM
By: Raine+Bofirn

Content:

Trowa does raise a good point: I hear all sorts of reasons why a player gets banned, muted, etc. etc. I know it probably shouldn't be broadcast why that happens, but at the same time, if it's stated(from one example) that the player was, say, talking about rape in Banter...well, that's actually something that might be good to say "this is why we pulled them away".

At the same time, yeah, the Mods also have to have their judgements protected, and the "brick wall of silence" isn't a bad way to go. Telling us personally would just feed the curious gTalk pokes of "WHY DID MY FRIEND GET BANNED WEEEEEH", and telling us publicly would be like burning someone at the stake. Kind of a Kobiyashi Maru type of scenario, in where you can't win if you reveal it.

That said, would it be better to publicize reasoning, or no? It seems a difference of making someone disappear quietly as opposed to an announcement.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 12:50 AM
By: rbead

Content:

Sorry about that.

That being said, the worry is still there, and valid-- and the progress, too, is awesome. I know there are plenty of people who are just fine with talking to mods, but I also know of plenty of people who aren't. It's my hope that they'll come to learn just how much better the Island is.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 11:57 PM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: rbead

Quote by: CavemanJoe

You're gonna have to be much less vague, dude.



Okay. Sorry!

Condensed version of my post:
People might be afraid of speaking up, of asking mods about this or that, and by extension afraid of discussion what should and shouldn't count as 'dickish' because they might think they're not supposed to. They might think it would constitute arguing with a mod. However, recently things have gotten better, and people are becoming more willing to speak up, even if it takes major incidents for discussion to be held. That's awesome.



No, no - don't condense it, tell me what you're actually talking about. What incident or incidents are you referring to? Let's get ourselves on the same page.



The first one, the old one, was with a player called Kero. The more recent one was the video incident.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 12:03 AM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Several people were complaining about Kero and his actions. His banning certainly wasn't out of the blue or based solely on the final incident.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 17 2014 @ 12:05 AM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Several people were complaining about Kero and his actions. His banning certainly wasn't out of the blue or based solely on the final incident.



Aaaaaand that would be an example of the information issue! D:


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 11:48 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: rbead

Quote by: CavemanJoe

You're gonna have to be much less vague, dude.



Okay. Sorry!

Condensed version of my post:
People might be afraid of speaking up, of asking mods about this or that, and by extension afraid of discussion what should and shouldn't count as 'dickish' because they might think they're not supposed to. They might think it would constitute arguing with a mod. However, recently things have gotten better, and people are becoming more willing to speak up, even if it takes major incidents for discussion to be held. That's awesome.



No, no - don't condense it, tell me what you're actually talking about. What incident or incidents are you referring to? Let's get ourselves on the same page.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 11:44 PM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: rbead

Quote by: CavemanJoe

You're gonna have to be much less vague, dude.



Okay. Sorry!

Condensed version of my post:
People might be afraid of speaking up, of asking mods about this or that, and by extension afraid of discussion what should and shouldn't count as 'dickish' because they might think they're not supposed to. They might think it would constitute arguing with a mod. However, recently things have gotten better, and people are becoming more willing to speak up, even if it takes major incidents for discussion to be held. That's awesome.


Where does it say you can't do that? I've argued with Sessine a number of times; it's practically becoming routine. It doesn't really get anything done but I at least try to voice the concerns I have. And with all the places it says "Don't be afraid to talk to mods", I have no idea where people would get the idea that they aren't open to discussing differing opinions and views.

Mods are people, they can and will make mistakes. They're not your employers, disagreeing with them won't get you in trouble. Blatantly disregarding their opinions will.



I'm not sure either, but it is what it is. Most sites aren't half as tolerant or reasonable as this one is, and that's a big part of what makes II amazing! It seems to be getting better, though, if the way that these discussions are handled when they crop up in Banter is any indication. (Maybe Banter isn't the best place for them, but it's certainly highly visible...)


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 11:39 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: rbead

Quote by: CavemanJoe

You're gonna have to be much less vague, dude.



Okay. Sorry!

Condensed version of my post:
People might be afraid of speaking up, of asking mods about this or that, and by extension afraid of discussion what should and shouldn't count as 'dickish' because they might think they're not supposed to. They might think it would constitute arguing with a mod. However, recently things have gotten better, and people are becoming more willing to speak up, even if it takes major incidents for discussion to be held. That's awesome.


Where does it say you can't do that? I've argued with Sessine a number of times; it's practically becoming routine. It doesn't really get anything done but I at least try to voice the concerns I have. And with all the places it says "Don't be afraid to talk to mods", I have no idea where people would get the idea that they aren't open to discussing differing opinions and views.

Mods are people, they can and will make mistakes. They're not your employers, disagreeing with them won't get you in trouble. Blatantly disregarding their opinions will.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 11:21 PM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

You're gonna have to be much less vague, dude.



Okay. Sorry!

Condensed version of my post:
People might be afraid of speaking up, of asking mods about this or that, and by extension afraid of discussion what should and shouldn't count as 'dickish' because they might think they're not supposed to. They might think it would constitute arguing with a mod. However, recently things have gotten better, and people are becoming more willing to speak up, even if it takes major incidents for discussion to be held. That's awesome.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 11:17 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

You're gonna have to be much less vague, dude. I have literally no idea which incidents you're talking about.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 10:58 PM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

As mods, my team is about the most easy-going that you're ever going to find in any game that isn't a complete cesspit. I would dearly love to know where this paranoia has come from.


Quote by: Harris

This discussion about distrust of Moderator actions of the past makes me sad..



Perhaps it is a conversation best had in another thread, or possibly in some anonymous forum.

The reason for the anonymity connects to why people might not be so willing to air possibly-contentious points of view. Argument with a mod, if the mod is presenting the modly and established administrative point of view, could or might be perceived as being uncooperative. I remember a (fairly old-- it was pre-Global Banter) case in which a player was banned for arguing a) with a mod b) in NewHome c) Banter d) about the use of a certain objectionable term e) that may have been either used by him or another player, that part I'm not clear on.

While that's a pretty solid case for administrative action (and our mods have gotten-- and for the most part always been!-- really really good at just talking these things down without needing to resort to those sorts of measures) it still serves as an example of a discussion about moderator action that went south.

People may perceive this discussion as being about, if not exactly then parallel to, moderation and moderation policies. 'If we're not supposed to discuss what should and shouldn't be rules, then we won't try to if we're going to get in trouble for that'. If nothing else, that might be an explanation for the lack of people coming forth with questions about if this or that is permissible-- they think that the laws of the land should be apparent and that they should keep their confusion to themselves.

PS: The more recent (and hotly debated at the time, that was the incident that instilled paranoia/mistrust in several of the people I'm concerned about, though some of them aired their specific grievances at the time) moderation event was handled very well. The very fact that discussion and clarification was allowed, albeit on collective tenterhooks, shows how far we've come. Even if it freaked me out at the time to see people getting so hot and heavy with the discussion, in retrospect I'm glad that we were able to have a discussion about which many people felt quite strongly, and still act reasonably about it. (yeah I know that's what being an adult is but it's still a good thing in my mind Big Grin)


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 07:52 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

I've been following this thread, reading the posts, then going away and thinking about it, coming back and finding another page of posts to read before I reply, so I have to go away again, and so the cycle repeats. So I'm just going to dive in this time.

Most of this I agree with. What constitutes dickery can't and shouldn't be defined as such. The boundaries are blurred and fractal and would need infinitely many rules to pin down.

One thing that I don't agree with though is the "if you're wondering if what you're doing is dickish, then it probably is" comment. To me, if you're caring about it, then you're already 95% of the way to not being a dick, almost by definition. I think that this bears putting in the preface. I haven't done so yet as it seems controversial, so I'd like to put that out here for discussion first.

On top of that, mention that almost everybody screws up at some point or other. If you apologise and stop when asked then it will be forgiven and forgotten pretty fast and not make you any worse than anybody else.

Lastly, what Harris said above. I can easily understand if people are nervous about their worries. But really, it is better to come and say something than worrying in a corner for ages. You're very welcome to contact any of us mods for advice, we'll be happy to advise and will treat it in confidence.

I fully intend to write something about these last points on the page, but haven't got round to it yet.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 06:27 PM
By: Harris

Content:

This discussion about distrust of Moderator actions of the past makes me sad.

I feel like I know our longest running Mods at least fairly well (except for Epaphus, but well, I've never heard anything approaching negative about him), and know some of our most recent too. I trust them, based on firsthand information, and even angry secondhand information. I do.
Those of more recent times who I don't know too well, I remain optimistic about, because of what I DO know about them, and the fact that CMJ picked 'em.
I know Dan'll take as good care of us as he possibly can.

That being said, there's a lot of talk here, and on some occasions past that "people are worried about getting in trouble for saying or doing x or y"... and "x and y" are never defined.
People don't want to come forward with their concerns? Other people do it for them? Fine. I get that. I've been so utterly fucking horrified by social interaction in my past that I'd lie, cheat and steal to get out of parties, concerts, dances... the list goes on. And that was withzero explicit or implied threat to myself. I get not wanting to come forward when there's absolute danger, or even the possibilty of it.
It's an unproductive way to go about solving your problems, but I get it. I don't disrespect or even dislike you for it. That would be even worse. I get it, and I simply strenuously do not recommend keeping silent. That's the long and short of that.

What's vital, though, in any strife with other people you have in life, is that your problems are made known. Doesn't matter if you're a moutpiece for someone else's troubles, or you have some of your own. No-one can do anything about a problem they don't know exists.

No-one here has magic powers. No-one is telepathic. Please. Speak. Explain. Please.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 04:09 PM
By: Trowa

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: CavemanJoe

I would dearly love to know where this paranoia has come from.

From what I've seen, it's people getting warnings for their behavior misinforming others of why they were warned. They leave the context out and say "So you can't do this".


Or, to put it more clearly without negative connotations: People who've received warnings/mutes/bans telling others their side of the story. The moderation policy of this site is to not explain to the general public why someone has been disciplined:

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.)

As acknowledged by the Mods, the Rumour Mill churns away. In my experience, the folks who get warnings/mutes/bans talk to their Island friends using means outside the Island (GChat, for example), possibly even distributing their chats with the Mods (edited or unedited) to inflame and incite. One result can be paranoia setting in with those who feel guilt-by-association, which can even result in the spread of this paranoia when they try to retell what happened to other players.

Even just personal feelings - either positive or negative - towards a particular Mod can color a player's reaction to certain events and how they explain to others what they perceived to have happened. It probably goes without saying, and may already be common knowledge among the moderation team, but everything they say, either in Banter, Distractions, or e-mail, can and will be repeated to other Island players, and more than likely with a spin the Mod never intended.

Now I don't know if the moderation policy should change, and I'm not going to advocate for it one way or the other - in fact, it's probably had a lot of benefits over the years. After all, when someone feels unjustly muted/banned, it becomes a case of s/he-said against a brick wall of silence. Probably not a bad idea, really - keeps the Mods from contradicting each other - but it also fosters the air of paranoia we've been talking about. I can only recall one case where the reasons behind a permaban were ever revealed in an MoTD, but even then no names were named and everyone just sorta figured it out by playing a guessing game of "who's not logging onto the Island this week?" - those that didn't know the offending player or their friends personally, that is.

I think this ties back to the original Banter conversation: presently the only people that explain why they got warned, muted, or banned are the people who've been warned, muted, or banned themselves, and those they've told that spread the information. Personal feelings get involved, mutate the story, and we end up with the current state of paranoia among those who were never involved in the first place. In my opinion, I'd be very careful about making sure the "How not to be a dick" page doesn't just turn into a series of anecdotes about people who've received warnings/mutes/bans for one thing or another.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 03:07 PM
By: quinn

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: rbead

I wrote up a thing and then I lost it, so I'm just gonna make this shorter by summarizing what I was writing in response to Escemfer.

She mentioned that the Mods have a set of 'hard lines'. Yes, it's great to all obey our own sense of hard lines and those of the people around us, but I think what people are wanting is to know what that set of Modly lines might be. Chances are, from what I can tell, it's probably mostly already laid out! When I went and re-read the extended FAQ/rules section, it seemed pretty good to me. But the players aren't mods, and can't tell.


Ask and ye shall receive! As mods we put a fair bit of effort into writing THIS page. I'm a little sad that someone hasn't linked to it already in this discussion.



I linked it back on the first page, as a matter of fact. And said people should read it because that page, just like the Site Rules page in the FAQ, is amazing.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 12:01 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: rbead

I wrote up a thing and then I lost it, so I'm just gonna make this shorter by summarizing what I was writing in response to Escemfer.

She mentioned that the Mods have a set of 'hard lines'. Yes, it's great to all obey our own sense of hard lines and those of the people around us, but I think what people are wanting is to know what that set of Modly lines might be. Chances are, from what I can tell, it's probably mostly already laid out! When I went and re-read the extended FAQ/rules section, it seemed pretty good to me. But the players aren't mods, and can't tell.


Ask and ye shall receive! As mods we put a fair bit of effort into writing THIS page. I'm a little sad that someone hasn't linked to it already in this discussion.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 01:54 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: quinn

Quote by: rbead

Anonymously, of course, because dammit I don't want people getting in trouble for this stuff-- whenever anyone starts up this discussion, or (for much the same set of reasons) the Mod roster changes, I get this feeling I can only relate to guilt or dread.



I ask this seriously. Why would anyone get in trouble for suggesting a change to a document that is supposed to be the community's idea of guidelines to help others?

I mean that. Seriously.


The mods are not out to get anyone. They aren't looking for reasons to get people in trouble. We're just here to make sure people don't break the four established rules and (should someone break a rule) make sure that they know why what they did broke that rule so they don't repeat that in the future. We just want this place to be enjoyable for everyone!



Yaknow, this keeps coming up. It's, like, a recurring theme.

In six years of running this game, having had just under two hundred thousand players come and go, we've banned fewer than twenty. About half of them were for Rule 4, so if you're not a pedo, or a creepy "I'm not technically a pedo because reasons" sort of guy, your chances of getting banned in this game are roughly one in twenty thousand. You have to be a total irredeemable smeghead to get banned. Permamutes, much less common than bans, wouldja believe it - permamutes are applied to characters who've been around long enough to develop a shitty reputation, whereas bans are generally handed out to trolls who come in and immediately start posting spam or racist slurs. There are fewer than a dozen players on long-term or permanent mutes, and some of those are only muted in certain areas like Banter, free to post elsewhere. Short-term mutes, IE lasting a couple of days or less? I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm guessing around a hundred, maybe a hundred and twenty. Bans and mutes are things we use after carefully explaining to people why others are upset with them, only to see them do the same dumb things again.

That line in the FAQ, about more people having met up and gotten married IRL than have gotten their dumb asses banned? Completely true.

As mods, my team is about the most easy-going that you're ever going to find in any game that isn't a complete cesspit. I would dearly love to know where this paranoia has come from.


From what I've seen, it's people getting warnings for their behavior misinforming others of why they were warned. They leave the context out and say "So you can't do this".


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 04:57 AM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: Raine+Bofirn

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: quinn

Quote by: rbead

Anonymously, of course, because dammit I don't want people getting in trouble for this stuff-- whenever anyone starts up this discussion, or (for much the same set of reasons) the Mod roster changes, I get this feeling I can only relate to guilt or dread.



I ask this seriously. Why would anyone get in trouble for suggesting a change to a document that is supposed to be the community's idea of guidelines to help others?

I mean that. Seriously.


The mods are not out to get anyone. They aren't looking for reasons to get people in trouble. We're just here to make sure people don't break the four established rules and (should someone break a rule) make sure that they know why what they did broke that rule so they don't repeat that in the future. We just want this place to be enjoyable for everyone!



Yaknow, this keeps coming up. It's, like, a recurring theme.

In six years of running this game, having had just under two hundred thousand players come and go, we've banned fewer than twenty. About half of them were for Rule 4, so if you're not a pedo, or a creepy "I'm not technically a pedo because reasons" sort of guy, your chances of getting banned in this game are roughly one in twenty thousand. You have to be a total irredeemable smeghead to get banned. Permamutes, much less common than bans, wouldja believe it - permamutes are applied to characters who've been around long enough to develop a shitty reputation, whereas bans are generally handed out to trolls who come in and immediately start posting spam or racist slurs. There are fewer than a dozen players on long-term or permanent mutes, and some of those are only muted in certain areas like Banter, free to post elsewhere. Short-term mutes, IE lasting a couple of days or less? I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm guessing around a hundred, maybe a hundred and twenty. Bans and mutes are things we use after carefully explaining to people why others are upset with them, only to see them do the same dumb things again.

That line in the FAQ, about more people having met up and gotten married IRL than have gotten their dumb asses banned? Completely true.

As mods, my team is about the most easy-going that you're ever going to find in any game that isn't a complete cesspit. I would dearly love to know where this paranoia has come from.



Also pointing out that the number of married people increases twice as fast as the bans. Big Grin



Which is awesome. Hope to contribute to that someday, myself.

I'm not going to air other people's issues with this or that here. That's not the point of this thread, and the current set of mods is certifiably awesome.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 04:55 AM
By: Raine+Bofirn

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: quinn

Quote by: rbead

Anonymously, of course, because dammit I don't want people getting in trouble for this stuff-- whenever anyone starts up this discussion, or (for much the same set of reasons) the Mod roster changes, I get this feeling I can only relate to guilt or dread.



I ask this seriously. Why would anyone get in trouble for suggesting a change to a document that is supposed to be the community's idea of guidelines to help others?

I mean that. Seriously.


The mods are not out to get anyone. They aren't looking for reasons to get people in trouble. We're just here to make sure people don't break the four established rules and (should someone break a rule) make sure that they know why what they did broke that rule so they don't repeat that in the future. We just want this place to be enjoyable for everyone!



Yaknow, this keeps coming up. It's, like, a recurring theme.

In six years of running this game, having had just under two hundred thousand players come and go, we've banned fewer than twenty. About half of them were for Rule 4, so if you're not a pedo, or a creepy "I'm not technically a pedo because reasons" sort of guy, your chances of getting banned in this game are roughly one in twenty thousand. You have to be a total irredeemable smeghead to get banned. Permamutes, much less common than bans, wouldja believe it - permamutes are applied to characters who've been around long enough to develop a shitty reputation, whereas bans are generally handed out to trolls who come in and immediately start posting spam or racist slurs. There are fewer than a dozen players on long-term or permanent mutes, and some of those are only muted in certain areas like Banter, free to post elsewhere. Short-term mutes, IE lasting a couple of days or less? I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm guessing around a hundred, maybe a hundred and twenty. Bans and mutes are things we use after carefully explaining to people why others are upset with them, only to see them do the same dumb things again.

That line in the FAQ, about more people having met up and gotten married IRL than have gotten their dumb asses banned? Completely true.

As mods, my team is about the most easy-going that you're ever going to find in any game that isn't a complete cesspit. I would dearly love to know where this paranoia has come from.



Also pointing out that the number of married people increases twice as fast as the bans. Big Grin


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 04:22 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: quinn

Quote by: rbead

Anonymously, of course, because dammit I don't want people getting in trouble for this stuff-- whenever anyone starts up this discussion, or (for much the same set of reasons) the Mod roster changes, I get this feeling I can only relate to guilt or dread.



I ask this seriously. Why would anyone get in trouble for suggesting a change to a document that is supposed to be the community's idea of guidelines to help others?

I mean that. Seriously.


The mods are not out to get anyone. They aren't looking for reasons to get people in trouble. We're just here to make sure people don't break the four established rules and (should someone break a rule) make sure that they know why what they did broke that rule so they don't repeat that in the future. We just want this place to be enjoyable for everyone!



Yaknow, this keeps coming up. It's, like, a recurring theme.

In six years of running this game, having had just under two hundred thousand players come and go, we've banned fewer than twenty. About half of them were for Rule 4, so if you're not a pedo, or a creepy "I'm not technically a pedo because reasons" sort of guy, your chances of getting banned in this game are roughly one in twenty thousand. You have to be a total irredeemable smeghead to get banned. Permamutes, much less common than bans, wouldja believe it - permamutes are applied to characters who've been around long enough to develop a shitty reputation, whereas bans are generally handed out to trolls who come in and immediately start posting spam or racist slurs. There are fewer than a dozen players on long-term or permanent mutes, and some of those are only muted in certain areas like Banter, free to post elsewhere. Short-term mutes, IE lasting a couple of days or less? I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm guessing around a hundred, maybe a hundred and twenty. Bans and mutes are things we use after carefully explaining to people why others are upset with them, only to see them do the same dumb things again.

That line in the FAQ, about more people having met up and gotten married IRL than have gotten their dumb asses banned? Completely true.

As mods, my team is about the most easy-going that you're ever going to find in any game that isn't a complete cesspit. I would dearly love to know where this paranoia has come from.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 02:53 AM
By: Raine+Bofirn

Content:

Feel free to substitute "...smell what Barock is cooking?!" too.

But yeah. Not to be taken literally, but people do play Midgets. That's become something more acceptable, but if they're smacking around floppy dildos and you feel like it should stop, maybe tell them to. There's really a limit on some things.

If you feel like it's in bad taste, and it might be seen that way, think twice before doing it. Anywho.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 02:44 AM
By: Genevieve

Content:

Quote by: rbead

Quote by: Raine+Bofirn

As far as things go: if you have to be told specific guidelines on how not to be a dick, there's a problem, just as it's a problem that someone would have to tell you it's not socially acceptable to fart in the middle of a crowd and ask, "Can everyone smell what The Rock is cooking?!" Or that it's not socially acceptable to punt a kid's football into the alligator pond.

I'm not really contributing here, but as far as things go: if someone's going to take offense, or feel bad enough to where they need a Mod, then maybe you shouldn't say it or type it?



If we're talking Story... That comes into question with things like the actions of midgetdom, doesn't it? And if that were impermissible, Carlynne wouldn't be a mod!

If we're talking Banter... right on!



Carlynne cooks for the Rock, she knows exactly what that smell is.

Also she'd punt the entire child, so that he's got something soft to help pass that football.

I believe Raine was using humor to illustrate her point, and that it wasn't to be taken literally. Big Grin

The point she was trying to make, I think, is that if you think you may offend someone, you probably will.

Story, I believe, operates under the assumption that nobody is Taking It Seriously, so you can get away with quite a lot (even the occasional poop joke! I know it's in the rules not to but hey, I'm all about the poop and here I am. (It's a matter of tastefulness(because the badger shit canon is tasteful)))

I believe that most of what causes issues in the Story channel is when people aren't being aware of their surroundings, are being exclusive, or are trying to force everyone to pay attention to them.

So if Carlynne were to walk into the middle of a funeral procession and then fart and inquire as to if anyone knew what the rock was cooking, I'd be being an absolute dick (unless I got the consent of all those participating beforehand in a nice and respectable way, in which case it was planned and only my character, Carlynne, was being a dick, which is par for the course.)

I hope that clarifies things. Big Grin

Also now I probably am going to fart near my little brother and ask if he can smell what The Rock is cooking because he'd just about die of laughter, so thank you for that one.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 02:43 AM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: Raine+Bofirn

As far as things go: if you have to be told specific guidelines on how not to be a dick, there's a problem, just as it's a problem that someone would have to tell you it's not socially acceptable to fart in the middle of a crowd and ask, "Can everyone smell what The Rock is cooking?!"


I'm doing this the next time I'm in a crowd.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 01:39 AM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: Raine+Bofirn

As far as things go: if you have to be told specific guidelines on how not to be a dick, there's a problem, just as it's a problem that someone would have to tell you it's not socially acceptable to fart in the middle of a crowd and ask, "Can everyone smell what The Rock is cooking?!" Or that it's not socially acceptable to punt a kid's football into the alligator pond.

I'm not really contributing here, but as far as things go: if someone's going to take offense, or feel bad enough to where they need a Mod, then maybe you shouldn't say it or type it?



If we're talking Story... That comes into question with things like the actions of midgetdom, doesn't it? And if that were impermissible, Carlynne wouldn't be a mod!

If we're talking Banter... right on!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 16 2014 @ 01:29 AM
By: Raine+Bofirn

Content:

As far as things go: if you have to be told specific guidelines on how not to be a dick, there's a problem, just as it's a problem that someone would have to tell you it's not socially acceptable to fart in the middle of a crowd and ask, "Can everyone smell what The Rock is cooking?!" Or that it's not socially acceptable to punt a kid's football into the alligator pond.

I'm not really contributing here, but as far as things go: if someone's going to take offense, or feel bad enough to where they need a Mod, then maybe you shouldn't say it or type it?


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 11:49 PM
By: quinn

Content:

Quote by: rbead

Anonymously, of course, because dammit I don't want people getting in trouble for this stuff-- whenever anyone starts up this discussion, or (for much the same set of reasons) the Mod roster changes, I get this feeling I can only relate to guilt or dread.



I ask this seriously. Why would anyone get in trouble for suggesting a change to a document that is supposed to be the community's idea of guidelines to help others?

I mean that. Seriously.


The mods are not out to get anyone. They aren't looking for reasons to get people in trouble. We're just here to make sure people don't break the four established rules and (should someone break a rule) make sure that they know why what they did broke that rule so they don't repeat that in the future. We just want this place to be enjoyable for everyone!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 11:46 PM
By: Darling

Content:



It also brings up another point, though. Is this page going to be intended to be silly, or serious?[/p]


Well, seeing as my comment was also a little silly, I'm sure it should be in the vein. All of the stuff on the wiki is a little tongue in cheek. Which I like!

People can be as anonymous as they like. Frankly, if these are their opinions I really want to hear them out!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 11:31 PM
By: Darling

Content:

Ok so.

I honestly agree with Fish - it comes down to the fact that we can't tell other people how to play pretend.

This place is supposed to be welcoming, friendly and a place to foster creativity. Sometimes, not everyone keeps that in mind, myself included.

Frankly, I think that the rules so far are quite clear, and well laid out. People learn by example, and by the atmosphere. The huge majority of the time, people are wonderful and helpful and oh so nice in Banter! Sometimes, tempers flare, or we forget that how we present an idea maybe isn't the best way to go about it.

I like the idea of the wiki, to lay out questions, and maybe clear a few things up. However this made me very sad faced.

...a big amount of curses will usually make a player report the behavior to a Mod, which are inherently lazy and hate intervening...


Frown

That equals a sad Darling.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 11:42 PM
By: rbead

Content:

To that end, though, I'm going to try and get the people I personally know were wanting changes made to have a look at that page and tell me what they might want changed. Anonymously, of course, because dammit I don't want people getting in trouble for this stuff-- whenever anyone starts up this discussion, or (for much the same set of reasons) the Mod roster changes, I get this feeling I can only relate to guilt or dread. But I'm not gonna necro the discussion we had back when the 's player changes were implemented.
The point here is either a solution or, failing that, a release valve for that discussion. Here's hoping it works!


Quote by: Darling

...a big amount of curses will usually make a player report the behavior to a Mod, which are inherently lazy and hate intervening...


Frown

That equals a sad Darling.



Maybe that needs revision; maybe that's in the theme of the silliness of the rest of the wiki; maybe that was just meant as a joke; maybe it was meant as a rehash of some self-jabs that the mods had made at themselves before.
Maybe we just need to send that page to the page about truth being a lie. Or maybe the citation needed does it?

It also brings up another point, though. Is this page going to be intended to be silly, or serious?


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 10:53 PM
By: quinn

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

It also says poop jokes aren't funny! I will not stand for this!



Most of the time they're pretty shitty. (See what I did there? Big Grin) Okay, that was really bad. Sorry.

But in all seriousness, they really aren't usually funny. I could live the rest of my life without seeing another poop joke.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 11:20 PM
By: rbead

Content:

I wrote up a thing and then I lost it, so I'm just gonna make this shorter by summarizing what I was writing in response to Escemfer.

She mentioned that the Mods have a set of 'hard lines'. Yes, it's great to all obey our own sense of hard lines and those of the people around us, but I think what people are wanting is to know what that set of Modly lines might be. Chances are, from what I can tell, it's probably mostly already laid out! When I went and re-read the extended FAQ/rules section, it seemed pretty good to me. But the players are't mods, and can't tell.


The aforementioned How to Win Friends and Influence Roleplayers page also appears to have a pretty contentious history. It was started by dizzy, and it's since been modified a lot of times. It had a lot of other stuff that's been removed, for some degree of Reasons or another. But it looks a lot like what I guess people are asking for (of those who are asking for it), as far as I can tell (and that sense is admittedly flawed!)

The old versions are also really heavy-handed, even more than the present one is. That seems to be what CMJ wants to avoid. I remember a related thread a while back about what should and shouldn't be done, back in the day of the Pokemon People. Some people want to be told what to do, and others prefer creative freedom. That's a hard balance to strike, and I'm of the opinion that we're already striking it pretty well... but apparently I'm wrong, because every time this comes up in Banter it becomes a huge discussion.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 10:48 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: quinn

So to add a little to what Esc just said... I want everyone who has an issue with the rules to take a moment, visit an Outpost and take a few minutes to actually re-read the FAQs and Site Rules. Seriously. Go do it. (Please? I know some of you haven't in a while!) Just a little challenge from me as a player, because I just went and did it.

Maybe it's just me, but it's not like CMJ just left the rule as "Don't be a dick" and left us hanging here. There's more than two paragraphs of expanded explanation under there!! It might not give yes-and-nos for every situation under the sun, but it gives you a very good idea of what we don't like to see. It even tells you to play nice in NewHome and Global Banter. Heck, it tells you what to do if you aren't sure about something!


It also says poop jokes aren't funny! I will not stand for this!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 10:42 PM
By: quinn

Content:

So to add a little to what Esc just said... I want everyone who has an issue with the rules to take a moment, visit an Outpost and take a few minutes to actually re-read the FAQs and Site Rules. Seriously. Go do it. (Please? I know some of you haven't in a while!) Just a little challenge from me as a player, because I just went and did it.

Maybe it's just me, but it's not like CMJ just left the rule as "Don't be a dick" and left us hanging here. There's more than two paragraphs of expanded explanation under there!! It might not give yes-and-nos for every situation under the sun, but it gives you a very good idea of what we don't like to see. It even tells you to play nice in NewHome and Global Banter. Heck, it tells you what to do if you aren't sure about something!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 10:37 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: Genevieve

Alright, so I've gone through and read all of this here stuff and figured I'd put in my two cents. Not as a Moderator but as a person who plays this game. I'll be talking specifically on Banter as it's really where most of the issues are, in my opinion.

Imagine for a moment that Banter Channel is a Food Court in a particularly massive mall. Some tables are full of people sharing chicken fingers and conversation about whatever their plans are, some other people are talking amongst themselves over some questionable taquitos. They're all engaged in their own conversations, but everyone can hear one another. Some people are just walking past on their way someplace else. Some people aren't talking to anyone, relaxing with a churro and just listening to all the other conversations. If you wouldn't talk about it in your local mall, why would you talk about it here?

You see, there's no written rule in the Mall that says "no PDA of any kind" or "Don't tickle strangers" or "Don't slap people." There doesn't need to be. People in the mall are all functioning under the expectation that everyone is going to be decent to one another, why make a rule for something most everyone knows is rude?

The same applies here. Even though this is a grown-up text adventure game, and we're all vaguely protected by this abstract concept of Internet Anonymity, we're all people and should just be decent because it's common sense. If you're ever in doubt about an OOC topic of conversation, think sincerely on how you'd feel overhearing it in a mall food court. Would you feel uncomfortable if someone was talking loudly about a mental illness? About a suicide, or a rape? Would you want to sit near the table where someone's got a hand in someone else's shirt? Even though this is a chatspace, a text world, Banter is public and that's how it should be treated.


Not the greatest analogy. I've overheard some pretty uncomfortable things in food courts and other public eateries. I think it's something to do with tables. An airport terminal would be a better comparison, I think. There's quite a bit of open space but you can hear everything because everyone's just over your shoulder. The proximity makes you always aware that someone else is hearing your conversation and can interrupt it.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 10:25 PM
By: rbead

Content:

o7 Yessir!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 10:32 PM
By: Escemfer

Content:

I'm gonna try to be brief, because this is a subject I've thought a lot about, as a player, over the years, and I have some new insight now that I'm a Mod. Some people have made really excellent points:

Quote by: DocenspielRule 1and 2 are kept vague so every action can be judged individually based on the context and those involved. Making a list of Thou Shalt Nots is just going to be followed by a dozen-and-a-half exceptions for when Thou May, and they'd be constantly adding more because the community decides what is and isn't acceptable behavior regardless of what is officially labeled.

Quote by: endarrAny behavior can make someone feel bad, but that doesn't mean said behavior is dickish. It's when it is made known that that makes said person feel bad, and said action is continued despite that fact, then it becomes dickish.


Since people seem to be afraid of unexpected Moderator action, let me try to clarify what we do real quick. Since I was made a Mod a couple months ago, I've asked plenty of people to Please Don't, but "chewing them out," muting, or banning isn't part of that routine. People make mistakes, and Moderators are here to politely point out what they did wrong, or what they could have done better. It rarely goes beyond that: a simple request, from a Mod, that you be more sensitive to others in the future. When we do mute a player, it's not because they made a mistake in Banter, or said something rude, or disagreed with us. It's either because they have crossed a hard line (and they are always warned about that line before they get in trouble), or because they have an extensive history of being warned over and over about a specific thing. We don't just mute and ban left and right; we talk to people, in Banter or in Distractions, we try to resolve things cooperatively, and if something's gotten bad, we talk to each other and check our records before considering stronger measures. Please, don't be afraid. I've made a million mistakes, and I'm still standing. We are not going to beat you up for stepping over some invisible line.

Moderators have very few hard lines on behaviors we consider unacceptable. Almost everything is judged on a case-by-case basis. We try to take into account the tone in which things are being said, what's happening in Banter as a whole, how new the player in question is, and so on and so forth, every possible variable. That's why Rule 1 is so vague: between two similar "misbehaviors," one might be more acceptable than the other in a different context. As intelligent people, players are expected to be able to judge for themselves when the context is appropriate for their remark. We all, as players (and Mods), have the capacity to think things through. Sometimes people mistake the tone or context of a situation, and say something inappropriate (or react inappropriately)... and that's okay.

More to the point, about those hard lines: as I said, there are very few of them, on the Mod end of things. When there is a hard line, like talking about or roleplaying rape, we still don't insta-mute people. If the subject comes up, we tell people PLEASE NO, and try to make it clear that it's unacceptable and why. That's all! Nobody gets muted, nobody gets banned. If we tell someone to stop, and they continue, that person does get muted, because that is a hard line, and they did get warned.

So, if we have those hard lines, and know what they are, then why don't we add them to the rules? Simply, as Docenspiel said, because if we list a bunch of things that people Aren't Allowed To Do, then someone's going to come along and say, "but you didn't also say that I couldn't do this other similar thing!" And, honestly, our hard lines (like the rape subject) are easy to avoid anyway if you're being conscientious about Not Being a Dick. Rule 1 basically translates into "Be sensitive to those around you," and if you're doing that, you're probably not going to stumble across making unforgivably offensive comments. And even when you do, Mods are quick to forgive as long as you don't get into the habit of making repeat performances.


SO. Now that I've definitely not been very brief: if you guys really want to make a set of community guidelines beyond the Official Rules, I recommend focusing primarily on what your hard lines are. Are there things that everyone generally agrees they don't want to see in Banter? A short, concise, and clear list will do a lot more good than a long, rambling document full of Dos and Do-Nots and Sometimes and Unless. We also already have a couple of pages about roleplay ettiquette. Be wary that if there are 30 pages of extensive guidelines, nobody is ever going to read it (which is another reason our Rules page is short and to the point). Think about what's important, and focus only on that.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 10:23 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: rbead

Maybe we should just expand and/or add to that one page.



Go on, then. Do it. If your edits are awesome, they'll stick around. If they suck, they'll be changed or reverted. It's just bits and bytes, don't be shy.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 04:15 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

The rules for behavior are already simple. Don't be a dick and don't take it seriously. They're simple enough to allow context to be an important part and clear enough to not confuse the hell out of people. And most importantly, they can change with the community.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 08:32 PM
By: Genevieve

Content:

Alright, so I've gone through and read all of this here stuff and figured I'd put in my two cents. Not as a Moderator but as a person who plays this game. I'll be talking specifically on Banter as it's really where most of the issues are, in my opinion.

Imagine for a moment that Banter Channel is a Food Court in a particularly massive mall. Some tables are full of people sharing chicken fingers and conversation about whatever their plans are, some other people are talking amongst themselves over some questionable taquitos. They're all engaged in their own conversations, but everyone can hear one another. Some people are just walking past on their way someplace else. Some people aren't talking to anyone, relaxing with a churro and just listening to all the other conversations. If you wouldn't talk about it in your local mall, why would you talk about it here?

You see, there's no written rule in the Mall that says "no PDA of any kind" or "Don't tickle strangers" or "Don't slap people." There doesn't need to be. People in the mall are all functioning under the expectation that everyone is going to be decent to one another, why make a rule for something most everyone knows is rude?

The same applies here. Even though this is a grown-up text adventure game, and we're all vaguely protected by this abstract concept of Internet Anonymity, we're all people and should just be decent because it's common sense. If you're ever in doubt about an OOC topic of conversation, think sincerely on how you'd feel overhearing it in a mall food court. Would you feel uncomfortable if someone was talking loudly about a mental illness? About a suicide, or a rape? Would you want to sit near the table where someone's got a hand in someone else's shirt? Even though this is a chatspace, a text world, Banter is public and that's how it should be treated.

Ultimately, though, I have this to say in my official capacity as a Moderator:


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 09:36 PM
By: rbead

Content:

Without rehashing all of everyone's individual points, so far a convincing argument (to me) seems to be a combination of 'common sense/treat it as a public space' and 'individual basis'.

The latter is more of interest to my argument, here. Everyone's lines are going to be different; people will always be tolerant of some stuff more than others. So you can pick how carefully you want to tread.

Nevertheless, there are cultures, like CMJ said, and every area has a different one. Maybe the target audience of a page like this isn't necessarily the person who wants to know what the 'rules' are; maybe they want to know the 'culture'. The Wiki page currently serving that (somewhat heavy-handed) purpose is the How To Win Friends And Influence Roleplayers, and I personally think it does a great job of giving some, if not all, of the lay of the land, particularly the points that chafe people most around here.

Maybe what we're after isn't as much any sort of rules, or even strict guidelines that everybody 'should' follow. What I'm hearing people are wanting is a map of what toes not to tread on, because they're worried about that. Maybe we should just expand and/or add to that one page.

I don't know. I'm not an expert, or a genius (socially or academically), and I'm sure as heck not a mod.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 15 2014 @ 01:47 PM
By: Harris

Content:

Yes, it's right above me on this same page, but just for clarity's sake, I am going to refer to these posts by Docenspiel and endarr:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: rbeadOn the other hand, the violence thing will get you chewed out; it seems to be a pretty agreed-upon thing. I'm not sure if that means it should be a community guideline or not; that's why we're having this discussion.

Quote by: Docenspiel


It's agreed-upon because people have kept using it without knowing what it's actually for. It already is a guideline, just not the guideline people claim it is. And making a tangible list of the community's norms is just going to make it worse. Rule 1and 2 are kept vague so every action can be judged individually based on the context and those involved. Making a list of Thou Shalt Nots is just going to be followed by a dozen-and-a-half exceptions for when Thou May, and they'd be constantly adding more because the community decides what is and isn't acceptable behavior regardless of what is officially labeled.

Newcomers to a community learn the norms by observing and taking part in the community; you don't start a new job and immediately act like you did at your old one. If they don't observe the norms in action and go solely off of the "official" norms, then they don't actually know how the community functions. A noob should look at the rules, see the vagueness used in them, then look to see how they're actually applied within the community. "Don't be a dick? Well, I've got my own thoughts on that, let's see what everyone else thinks."

But if after seeing the vagueness in the rules, they're supplied with a list of clarifications, they have no context with which to help determine when an action that technically falls under the listed guideline is actually determined to be under the guideline. "Oh, no violence in Outposts? Well I just saw those two guys throw rocks at each other's china sets, I better report them." To prevent that, there'd need to be a billion caveats to try and cover every context.



AND

Quote by: endarr

Oh oh! Also! If the fear is that you don't know when you're crossing the line, then I say: If you have to question if it's a dick move, it probably is.

And everyone slips now and again. I'm pretty sure you're not gonna get banned or even muted for a slip up every now and again. I mean, we're all human (well, most of us) so we make mistakes, yeah? so you get a warning? So what? That basically happens when either a mod is upset by something, or if someone else is upset but is too scared to make it publicly known. Y'know what it does? It tells you that someone is upset by that and you can say "Oh! I should not do that." Warnings aren't bad. They're learning experiences.




The above is why we need to make rules and guidelines of behavior simple. What we can all agree on with what we want, judging by this thread's contents, and my years playing is this: We're not going to agree on everything.

Therefore, what about the rules that our parents, teachers, and Occam taught us?

"If someone asks you, out of character, to stop doing something, you need to stop doing it around them. If someone else asks you to stop doing something, you need to stop doing it around them. Repeat as many times as necessary. Feel free to discuss with the persons you have offended (AFTER having clearly stopped.). Do so politely."

The End.




Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 10:44 PM
By: endarr

Content:

Oh oh! Also! If the fear is that you don't know when you're crossing the line, then I say: If you have to question if it's a dick move, it probably is.

And everyone slips now and again. I'm pretty sure you're not gonna get banned or even muted for a slip up every now and again. I mean, we're all human (well, most of us) so we make mistakes, yeah? so you get a warning? So what? That basically happens when either a mod is upset by something, or if someone else is upset but is too scared to make it publicly known. Y'know what it does? It tells you that someone is upset by that and you can say "Oh! I should not do that." Warnings aren't bad. They're learning experiences.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 10:38 PM
By: endarr

Content:

Personally, my belief is that being a dick is deliberately doing something to make someone feel generally bad (yes, I know, I'm a wizard of wordery). Any behavior can make someone feel bad, but that doesn't mean said behavior is dickish. It's when it is made known that that makes said person feel bad, and said action is continued despite that fact, then it becomes dickish. To codify what is and isn't dickery (even in an unofficial term) seems silly to me. It seems like it's a way to see what people can get away with. Can't the code just be to make sure everyone has fun? And not get upset if they don't like your fun? Maybe take it elsewhere if they don't like it? Well, take it elsewhere if you're in a public area. I mean, it really doesn't hurt to move your scene if it's causing other people issues. (Which kinda bleeds into rule 3, I suppose. I think it's 3... I forget. The one about not taking it seriously)

And the same things can be said about Banter, honestly. The way I see it, you should discuss what you like. But if you're in a public chat space and someone asks you to change the subject, just change it, or take it elsewhere. Honestly, the whole rule is about respect. And when you don't have respect for the people of your community, it devolves. And I believe that having to codify what it means to respect others is, in and of itself, a form of disrespect in that it assumes that the community as a whole isn't able to be mature enough to respect each other.

other players are likely to give you frowny faces if you stagger into Outposts - right past the Medic outside, apparently - clutching a sucking chest wound.


And this! The frowny faces! That is how you know if you're being upsetting! (I mean, not frowny faces, per se, but the idea is there!) It should be as simple as that! Should be like "Whoops, what I did upset these people. Let's not do that around them." But then there's others who won't be upset by it, so you can do that around them, y'know? As mature adults, we should all be able to come to understand (which can be hard, but every truly good thing is) and respect our fellows, without being told how we need to act to do so. We should be able to say "Hmm, if someone did this to me, would I like it?" and then not do it if the answer is a resounding no! (And that means not just the action that is upsetting, but the ignoring of remarks saying said action is upsetting etc.) I mean, we all come from different cultures and backgrounds, so we all see the world differently, right? Which means we all are upset by different things (or nothing, I guess, if you're super zen).

I know I got a little rambly, but the point I'm trying to make is: Why codify when you can just say "respect others and treat them how you want to be treated"? It's simple, it's effective, and it doesn't leave loopholes for people to exploit. Because, in the end, the people who follow the rules are going to follow the rules no matter what they are, and the people who break them are just going to break them, even if they're more strict.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 09:54 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Yaknow, perhaps a History of Banter Flavours might explain the unwritten community standards a little better - because most of the things that people get narked about are things that happen (or used to happen) all the time.

Taken one at a time, they weren't that bad - but they ended up being exclusionary. People (KittyMorphs especially) used to cuddle each other all the damn time in Banter and outposts, and a bit of cuddling is fine, and it sure beat the phases that came before that - but we didn't have a bit, we had nothing but. And while it was pretty awesome if you like being cuddled by furry strangers, it did lead to most new players taking a quick look at Banter, adopting a fixed smile, and backing away slowly.

We had the Huge Violent Drama phase which we alleviated by adding more chatrooms and discouraging violence in Outposts, then the Pokemon phase which we pretty much let slide, then the MS Paint Adventures phase which stuck around longer (we had double-digit permutations of Sollux) but fizzled out on its own around the time Global Banter came in, then the Furry CuddlePile phase which we talked about earlier this year and last year, and right now we're... not so much in a phase, which is nice. But people are kinda wary of behaviours which could spread into us having another Phase, so yeah, other players are likely to give you frowny faces if you stagger into Outposts - right past the Medic outside, apparently - clutching a sucking chest wound.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 08:44 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: rbeadOn the other hand, the violence thing will get you chewed out; it seems to be a pretty agreed-upon thing. I'm not sure if that means it should be a community guideline or not; that's why we're having this discussion.[/p]

It's agreed-upon because people have kept using it without knowing what it's actually for. It already is a guideline, just not the guideline people claim it is. And making a tangible list of the community's norms is just going to make it worse. Rule 1and 2 are kept vague so every action can be judged individually based on the context and those involved. Making a list of Thou Shalt Nots is just going to be followed by a dozen-and-a-half exceptions for when Thou May, and they'd be constantly adding more because the community decides what is and isn't acceptable behavior regardless of what is officially labeled.

Newcomers to a community learn the norms by observing and taking part in the community; you don't start a new job and immediately act like you did at your old one. If they don't observe the norms in action and go solely off of the "official" norms, then they don't actually know how the community functions. A noob should look at the rules, see the vagueness used in them, then look to see how they're actually applied within the community. "Don't be a dick? Well, I've got my own thoughts on that, let's see what everyone else thinks."

But if after seeing the vagueness in the rules, they're supplied with a list of clarifications, they have no context with which to help determine when an action that technically falls under the listed guideline is actually determined to be under the guideline. "Oh, no violence in Outposts? Well I just saw those two guys throw rocks at each other's china sets, I better report them." To prevent that, there'd need to be a billion caveats to try and cover every context.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 08:15 PM
By: Denealus

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: rbead


-Please don't play out serious illnesses (except for zombie-ism), it's a) depressing and b) sickness has been canonically eliminated anyhow


No. Some of us actually like trying to write a semi-serious story sometimes. "Serious illness" is also as vague as "don't be a dick"; alcoholism's pretty serious. What you're asking for is for people to not display a serious illness in a way that will disturb someone with the illness or have personal ties with someone with it. And that's a case of writing ability, which absolutely shouldn't be a rule.



With this one, I think it's important to put "suggestions" in but I wouldn't call this dickish. The general thing that seems to be frowned upon is "causing Drama in public places" (as in melodrama, not dramatic tension). "I don't care for it" is more an RP suggestion, but it's not actually being a dick, which is what I think Docen is saying. Some of the things are explicitly written in the Don't Be a Dick rule that fall under this category, so it practically already is under the rule.

That said, keeping public areas low Drama is kind of an unspoken rule. Playing serious illnesses is fine. Playing up that illness in a way that is meant to make another player go "poor baby, pay attention to me" is something that potentially pushes players away from playing there. There's plenty of space to do that that aren't open and public.


-No violence in the outposts, and don't do drama in NewHome, since it's the first place new players see


I've said over and over that this isn't a rule (barring NewHome). It's just shorthand for saying "don't clog up an Outpost with crappy fight scenes and/or ridiculously mutilate yourself for no reason". And "violence" is still as vague as "dick".

The only appendix to the rules that I've ever seen as needed is in regards to eRP and how to make sure it's not visible to any Tom, Dick or Harry.



It's definitely shorthand, but it also doesn't make sense generally. Med tents are right outside. Guards are posted at all the walls. At the very least if violence is going to happen in the outposts, the guards shouldn't be ignoring it. If for no other reason that it's good public entertainment and hey, I'm gonna bet on that purple guy.

And NewHome doesn't say "no violence" either. It says "Be nice in NewHome" which can imply no violence. But is also at the same time broader strokes and less specific than "no violence."

As a side-note, I also recommend people getting creative with redirection. It's far more fun to give a subtle hint that guards are there or of other contestants shying away from a volatile contestant than to do the "No violence in the outpost!" chant I see often. Heck, make it into a song! Make it fun! Fun is the best anti-drama there is really if there's something RPwise going on that's a bit uncomfortable. (And a mod call if they don't get the hint, always an option!)


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 04:12 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Guys, none of the things you write in this wiki should be capital-R Rules. We just want some community-generated guidelines on what does and does not, in the eyes of the community, constitute a violation of Rule 1.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 05:50 PM
By: rbead

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: rbead


-Please don't play out serious illnesses (except for zombie-ism), it's a) depressing and b) sickness has been canonically eliminated anyhow


No. Some of us actually like trying to write a semi-serious story sometimes. "Serious illness" is also as vague as "don't be a dick"; alcoholism's pretty serious. What you're asking for is for people to not display a serious illness in a way that will disturb someone with the illness or have personal ties with someone with it. And that's a case of writing ability, which absolutely shouldn't be a rule.



I definitely understand this; I only mentioned that one because it was a thing that I saw (to my recollection) Esc (and maybe Eben?) mention once as being pretty squicky.

In general these aren't hard and fast Rules. I'm imagining this stuff as largely guideline type things, more along the lines of How to Win Friends and Influence Roleplayers.

On the other hand, the violence thing will get you chewed out; it seems to be a pretty agreed-upon thing. I'm not sure if that means it should be a community guideline or not; that's why we're having this discussion.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 01:31 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: rbead


-Please don't play out serious illnesses (except for zombie-ism), it's a) depressing and b) sickness has been canonically eliminated anyhow


No. Some of us actually like trying to write a semi-serious story sometimes. "Serious illness" is also as vague as "don't be a dick"; alcoholism's pretty serious. What you're asking for is for people to not display a serious illness in a way that will disturb someone with the illness or have personal ties with someone with it. And that's a case of writing ability, which absolutely shouldn't be a rule.


-No violence in the outposts, and don't do drama in NewHome, since it's the first place new players see


I've said over and over that this isn't a rule (barring NewHome). It's just shorthand for saying "don't clog up an Outpost with crappy fight scenes and/or ridiculously mutilate yourself for no reason". And "violence" is still as vague as "dick".

The only appendix to the rules that I've ever seen as needed is in regards to eRP and how to make sure it's not visible to any Tom, Dick or Harry.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 09:20 AM
By: quinn

Content:

I added a mention of the FAQ as it really does spell out the actual rules rather well and linked to the Moderation Policies page because both are great resources that already already exist.

If you haven't looked at it yet, you should!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 07:29 AM
By: rbead

Content:

That being said, though, this thread is intended to be a place for discussion, so let's not stop the discussion just because there's a page. It'd be especially important if someone wanted to air a question, worry, belief, or concern and see what everybody thought about it, without taking Banter down that road again.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 07:26 AM
By: Kolojang

Content:

Quote by: rbead

I went to go and make a page only to find Kolojang had made one! I'll see what I can add to it tomorrow. Thanks, Ko!



My pleasure! And yes, please, add. Everyone. These are my own every personal views on the topic, colored by me personal experience. Heck, I'm sure that even though I've been here for years, there's a few of these "rules" I don't even know about yet.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 07:24 AM
By: rbead

Content:

I went to go and make a page only to find Kolojang had made one! I'll see what I can add to it tomorrow. Thanks, Ko!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 07:17 AM
By: Kolojang

Content:

Here is a little something I cooked up. Maybe people will like it, maybe not. Either, I'm sure there's more work to be done on it.

http://enquirer.improbableisland.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=unwrittenrules


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 07:05 AM
By: Denealus

Content:

I would add-:

-Suggestions and advice is always appreciated; Telling someone how they should be playing the game or playing their character is not. No one can tell someone else how to play make-believe.
-If someone asks you to stop or change topics, they probably have a good reason. Please do it.

And this one's a personal opinion, so I'm willing to have it filter out, but it is a personal peeve:

-If someone else's story bores you, you can always create your own entertainment! Broadcasting your boredom publically adds nothing.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:51 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

If you don't, someone else will - and it doesn't matter who starts the page, because whoever starts it, we'll have a hundred people all splashing paint over the same wall. It'll be GLORIOUS.

(and what to call it doesn't matter, it's text in a wiki, light on a screen, magnetic blips on a hard drive in Nottingham. It's not welded letters on a plate of titanium. We can change the name! Indeed, we SHOULD change the name, and we probably will - this should be a living document, updated as the community shifts.)

For all my disdain for codified etiquette (for reasons gone over many, many times over the six years this game's been live), I'm actually kinda excited.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:38 AM
By: rbead

Content:

Good point! Let me amend the list.

LIST:
-Do NOT mention that word for nonconsensual sex, that's not an OK word or topic
-Please don't play out serious illnesses (except for zombie-ism), it's a) depressing and b) sickness has been canonically eliminated anyhow
-No violence in the outposts, and don't do drama in NewHome, since it's the first place new players see
-Please don't make Banter a cuddle pile: keep the cuddling, hugging, etc to a minimum, and don't autohit such actions anyway, as some might not want to be hugged/touched/etc


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:43 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Well, someone make a wiki page! Don't be shy!


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:46 AM
By: rbead

Content:

We got lots of discussion about the whole Banter thing back when that cropped up; I was hoping we'd get something like that going on, give it a few days before we make even a tentative list. It's nice to be able to tell who's saying what, and I want to get at least a few perspectives before writing anything down... besides, I'm sure there's lots of stuff I'm forgetting that would be clearer to others!
alsoIdon'tknowwhattocallsuchapage


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:35 AM
By: quinn

Content:

Quote by: rbead

Some things I can think of off the top of my head that bear mention because they're locally verboten or have been recently insisted on:
-Do NOT mention that word for nonconsensual sex, that's not an OK word or topic
-Please don't play out serious illnesses (except for zombie-ism), it's a) depressing and b) sickness has been canonically eliminated anyhow
-No fighting in the outposts, and don't do drama in NewHome, since it's the first place new players see
-Please don't make Banter a cuddle pile: keep the cuddling, hugging, etc to a minimum, and don't autohit such actions anyway, as some might not want to be hugged/touched/etc



Violence is a better word than 'fighting' because there are some things like midget wrestling or NERF wars or water ballon fights that someone will say 'no fighting' to when it's all just good and silly fun. Violence in a public area that rooks frequent is not so good or silly fun.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:34 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

For reference: the rules, as posted on the Rules page (in the FAQ, accessible from any Outpost):

The Rules
On Improbable Island, there are just four short, sweet rules. Here they are:
1. Don't be a dick.
2. Don't take it seriously.
3. No alts.
4. No kids.
That's it! Dead simple, right?

The rules in detail
You probably don't need to read about the rules in any great detail, because we've tried to make them as self-explanatory as possible, but if you need a reminder or an example, the next sections might be useful as a reference.

Don't be a dick
This one's easy. The Island is meant for fun, for you and for everyone. Enjoy yourself, and don't do things that will spoil other players' fun.

Some things that aren't fun to roleplay: bullying, violent rages, cruelty, self-pity, depression, suicidal tendencies, mental illness, LOL-speak, name-calling, perpetual victimhood, prejudice, politics, poop jokes... well, you get the idea. No, demonic possession will not be accepted as an excuse.

For Banter, the same rules apply, but in a broader scope that doesn't just apply to roleplay; don't post links to violent or bloody videos or pictures, don't go on tedious rants about whether or not MS Paint Adventures sucks and if so how much, don't be a dick to newbies, don't be a dick to established characters, don't make jokes about stuff like rape or suicide, keep your politics-or-lack-thereof and religion-or-lack-thereof out of the discussion, and so on.

Just use common sense and assume the best of people.

Also, be nice in NewHome and Global Banter. Really nice. It's the first place new players see, so we want them to want to stay and explore! Be welcoming, helpful, encouraging and as funny as you like!

Admin CavemanJoe says: The truth is, Rule One is concise for a reason. With this much experience running an online game, I could post a hundred-page list of Thou Shalt Nots and then end up showing the Ban Hammer to someone who's saying "But you didn't say I couldn't do that Extremely Specific Thing with my penis!" and that's why we don't have a hundred-page list of Thou Shalt Nots. Rule One trusts you to understand it and know instincively what it means. If you need further clarification on what behaviours might cause people to think you're a dick, or if you're unsure about something, either err on the side of caution and don't post, or contact a Moderator and just straight-up ask us. We don't bite.

If you see someone breaking Rule One:
Use the "Report a Problem" link at the top of every page. Tell us what's going on, and where. Most times we don't have to do anything except show up and say "Hello, I'm a mod!" or gently change the subject, and the situation will calm down naturally (because on the whole this place is pretty awesome), so don't worry about getting people in trouble. We're not here to get people in trouble, we're here to keep things fun for everyone and make sure nobody has a bad experience. If you see something that is probably breaking Rule 1 but you're not sure, or just see a situation or conversation that's okay right now but has potential to get dicey, then use the same link and the same procedure and just give us a heads-up so we can keep an eye on it. The mods won't mind if it turns out to be a false alarm.


Don't take it seriously.
While Rule 1 is meant to make the Island more fun for everyone, Rule 2 is designed to make it more fun for you in particular. It doesn't mean your character can't have a serious story here; it means you have to remind yourself sometimes that you and your character are separate entities. This is, after all, only a silly Internet game.

If you stay here long enough, the chances are that sooner or later you'll end up breaking Rule 2. Don't worry about it too much - it happens. Rule 1 trumps everything, and as long as you're not breaking Rule 1 as well, people will understand.

If you're worried about someone who might be taking the game too seriously:
If you know them well enough that you think you can talk to them about it, try it. If you don't know the person, or if talking about it isn't helping, or if they're also breaking Rule 1, talk to a mod or use the problem link.


No Alts
An Alt is a secondary character made by the same player. If these secondary characters are used as mules to shuffle resources around, then the game becomes a meaningless exercise in proving who has the most spare time and the least life outside the Island - and that's not a game anybody wants to win. If the alts are used for social engineering - like running a clan with one character while applying to a rival clan with another, or using alts as a way to deceive people - then we have problems trusting each other, and that's covered by Rule 1. Thankfully, the admins and moderators can always see which characters are alts.

Rule 3 is special in that if you can break Rule 3 without breaking any of the other rules, then it can be quite fun to break. Rule 3 gets broken willy-nilly all the time by players using alts for comedic effect, without using alts for nefarious purposes. Breaking Rule 3 will usually only earn you Frowny Admin Faces if you break Rule 1 at the same time.

If you suspect someone is breaking Rule 3:
Is it funny? Then don't worry about it. Is it mean? Problem link. No, mods usually won't tell you whose alt belongs to who.


No Kids
Remember when we asked you if you were over eighteen? Well, we meant it. If you were stretching the truth a little bit there, you might want to come back later on, when you really are over eighteen - 'cause if we find out, we'll have to ban you.

Also, please don't play as an underage character - people do like to create plots and story events that involve romance and sex on the Island, and combining those elements with underage characters creates a mess that usually ends up with people getting banned. The Island is hosted in the UK, where the laws on child porn err on the side of prosecution; there's no wriggle room on this at all. For the avoidance of doubt, if you're pretty sure that technically your character is okay because you don't mention their age in the bio / they're an adult in a kid's body or vice versa / they're totally over eighteen but they just look really young / they don't have a sex life but you do kinda focus on their boobs in your bio / you say they're 22 but upload an avatar that looks about twelve - knock it off, because you're about to get permabanned.

If you think someone is underage, or playing an underage character in a squicky way:
Use the Problem link, straight away. Seriously. This is a legal liability thing, and we absolutely need to be very diligent, or the Island itself could be at risk. Also, ick.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:26 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

TL;DR: some players want specific guidelines on how to not be a dick. I am reluctant to codify "Don't be a dick," because if we do, then people will be dicks and then claim otherwise when their behaviour isn't covered in the list of Examples of Being a Dick. If you lot can define "Don't be a dick" on the Wiki, in such a way that the sort of people who need that advice will read it and heed it, then we'll link to it in the FAQ thing on the Island.


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:30 AM
By: rbead

Content:

Some things I can think of off the top of my head that bear mention because they're locally verboten or have been recently insisted on:
-Do NOT mention that word for nonconsensual sex, that's not an OK word or topic
-Please don't play out serious illnesses (except for zombie-ism), it's a) depressing and b) sickness has been canonically eliminated anyhow
-No fighting in the outposts, and don't do drama in NewHome, since it's the first place new players see
-Please don't make Banter a cuddle pile: keep the cuddling, hugging, etc to a minimum, and don't autohit such actions anyway, as some might not want to be hugged/touched/etc


Re: Rules/Guidelines/How Not to Be a Dick

Posted on: September 14 2014 @ 06:23 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Since the context that inspired this thread will be gone by the time you read it, here's a Banter log:






Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "I have a little problem. You see...The rules to this game are rather vague. And it's somewhat uncomfortable not knowing exactly what people should and shouldn't do..."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "What do you have in mind?"
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "It also seems confusing to new people..."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Yeah, the rules are deliberately vague."
Rookie Mina's player thought that not being a dick was fairly self-explanatory, honestly >_>
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player says "Like the r-word. I know that's not a thing that should be said but could it be super super clear that that's an instant no-no? As much as 'don't be a dick' is helpful, there are some stuff people are more and less tolerant of!"
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "I just...Think maybe the rules should be laid out. That way people aren't nervous to do things. People get warnings and such for things they never thought they would and it's extremely weird."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "That's to encourage people to use their common sense, take cues from the atmosphere of the game, and in general not be a dick."
Keg o' Chuck's player says "Hullo, Kolojang!"
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "Don't be a dick, is kind of too vague though. I know we all know what that means. But it means something different to everyone."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Well, err on the side of caution. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask the mods or myself. We don't bite!"
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "Is the 'Best Behavior in NewHome' thing actually put in an easy to find place? That might help some?"
That's Probably Werns's player says "People sometimes have a hard time doing that, as might be evident by the amount of warnings that go out."
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "And, sadly, common sense is something people should have but generally forsake in the heat of things."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Amount of warnings...?"
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "We give out very few."
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player hasn't seen that many warnings go out.
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "That's pretty much because "don't be a dick" is mutually defined."
The Chained Kastril's player says "Make the rules specific, and people will find ways to be dicks very specifically."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "A general rule of thumb is if someone else finds you to be acting like a dick and asks you to stop, stop."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "Also what Kasi said."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "And anything sterner than a warning is vanishingly rare. Generally people get on just fine with the "Don't be a dick" rule."
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "Eh...Nevermind. It's probably silly."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "(except for people who are dicks, obviously)"
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "It's not silly at all to have concerns, but there is far less to worry about than people think!"
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "Our 'warnings' are usually a "Hey! We don't like seeing this sort of thing." said really nicely."
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "There'd be less to worry about if it was clearly defined, though."
That's Probably Werns's player says "I did not mean by the staff, Joe."
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "There's no way to clearly define everything, though, Flaxin. That's why things are left vague,"
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Basically, treat this place like a pub that you don't know. Get a feel for the general atmosphere before you jump in, and you'll be fine."
That's Probably Werns's player says "99% of the warnings I see are by players that are warning each other that things might be against the rules, and since we don't know exactly what those are they're are sometimes wrong."
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "If someone is uncomfortable with something, they should say so and the subject/story moved on to something or somewhere else. There are just some things you don't do in public."
Susurrant Lyssa's player says "Even if people do make mistakes and cross lines, from what I've seen everyone's very nice about letting them know, and it's all cleared up pretty quickly."
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "Also, players shouldn't be modding! They should be telling the mods that something iffy might be happening so we can say something if it's not good. Right, Joe?"
Flickering WindRapier's player says "There are plenty of rules that were said once upon a time in banter and expected to be passed around. I don't think that every rule should be defined, the "don't be a dick" should stay, but if there are things commonly being pushed, write up a guideline.."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "I don't see that as modding, Quinn. Or think that's what was being said."
Torrie's player says "Wind stole my words from my mouth."
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "Those rules that I think you are remembering were a genreal 'welcome to the Island' and not rules."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Y'arr, they're more guidelines."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "It's just people giving gentle reminders "Hey, that might not be cool.""
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "That's what I mean, Wind~"
Captain Reimsill's player chucles at that refrence
The Riverking, Meenos's player is the meanest and most offensive person.
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player still has one of her documents saved, actually. The closest to a rule it had was 'keep violence out of NewHome' and 'when in doubt, ask'
That's How The Cookie's player doesn't remember calling Parlay.
That's Probably Werns's player says "Then write down the guidelines, then."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "I think there's, like, some roleplaying etiquette guides in the Enquirer that players have been fiddling about with over the years?"
The Chained Kastril's player says "There is, Omega will link it time to time."
Titan Slayer Tamar's player says "CMJ, do debuff items like Zombie Donkey, Budget Horse Tail, etc, work on FoeBots?"
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "You write down the guidelines! That's what we have a Wiki for. Razz"
Captain Reimsill's player says "You know, for being the sole creatro of this game you know relatively little about this games culture/fanbase."
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player nods! There are two of them. Basic and Advanced as well as the 'NewbWiki'.
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player says "But we're not supposed to mod, right...? :s"
Susurrant Lyssa's player remembers those! They were very helpful when she started out. She'll have to start linking to them.
That's Probably Werns's player says "We aren't supposed to be the moderators. That's your job. We feel the rules need to be more defined or there needs to be "guidelines"."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Fish, you're overcomplicating this. Just don't be a dick."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "You know what a dick is."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player has also been putting down roleplay theory stuff. Or did at one point. I need to start doing that again.
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "You learned in school."
Bone tInkerbinker's player says "The etiquette guides are wonderful! People usually seem to like them, and enjoy reading what other players have written."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "And at work."
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player fussfussfusses. Yahuh.
War-torn John's player says "school is a good place where to learn how to not be a dick, but sometimes it's the other way around?"
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "Did...Den just say that Winter Is Coming?"
Captain Reimsill's player male genitalia or do you mean the figurative meaning, aka a rude person?
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "And during every other human interaction you've had until right this very moment."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "...yes. Yes he did, Flax."
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player says "Also don't use my school as an example of how not to be a dick because really it's mostly dicks around here. That and bro-tees."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "He actually said exactly those words earlier at one point."
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "I just yelled in my best stark voice, too xD"
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "...actually that was kind of said pretty dickishly, Joe. Sorry."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "If you really, truly, honestly need a guide on how to not be a dick to people, then I can't help you."
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "It was crappy."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "Especially since that's not what Fish was saying."
That's Probably Werns's player says "My definition of "being a dick" can be vastly different than yours."
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player says "No, it's true! I'm just still worried. Whiiiich I will probably always do, I'm just a worrywart. I fuss, that's how I do. Um."
Unstable Kolojang's player thinks the "no fighting in outposts" rule should be stated somewhere. Newcomers usually get flooded with well meaning people wanting to educate them on this particular non written rule, and it can be intimidating. "I know it was for me, anyway."
Not So Itsy Somati's player got bitched out for talking about not abusing the inflated prices of gum. He was told he was being aggressive when he was merely conversing and promoting use of the inflated prices for obtaining gear instead of banking req or getting a hat.
Flickering WindRapier's player says "If a warning is given out to people and that type of warning is given out multiple times, can we have a small blurb in the faq/rules to give an official basis of things, not all the rumors and worry?"
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "Joe, what I'm asking is for a set of mod-made or You-made guidelines because it seems easy to abuse and it feels easy to abuse. There's a lot of uneasiness floating around about this and it keeps popping up. I'm just afraid it may become a problem and"
Not So Itsy Somati's player says "Apparently some people thought I was being a dick, while I thought I was being helpful an mindful of others. What is dickish is vastly different to everyone.."
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "maybe it'd be better to try and cut it off at the pass."
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player is curious if anyone's come up with etiquette type things for modern day youths and such... hrm... To the googles!
Captain Reimsill's player says "May we shut up for a minute without typing so that we all can think this over? Please?"
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "Soma, that's so true."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Holy balls, there's an actual book."
That's Probably Werns's player says "Reimsill, don't ask us to stop talking. We're having a debate, if you want to think then just think."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "HARDCOVER AND EVERYTHING."
War-torn John's player says "wait a book on what?"
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "www.amazon.com/How-Not-Be-Dick-Etiquette/dp/1 936976021"
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player cracks up.
Captain Reimsill's player draws 6 of hearts and slings it at Joe for braking the vey brief silence
That's Probably Werns's player says "Because everybody and their mother has read this book, Joe."
War-torn John's player looks at it... snickers, then breaks out laughing
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player says "They should! It's got pictures. Pictures are helpful."
Bone tInkerbinker's player says "Oh my goodness that book. That is absolutely hilarious."
That's Probably Werns's player says "Yeah, they probably should. But I'd wager a large portion of us have not."
The Riverking, Meenos's player says "I haven't read it."
Susurrant Lyssa's player really wants to.
That's Probably Werns's player says "Or if they read it, disagreed with it. Because we're human beings that have differing opinions. Not everybody agrees on the same thing, and personality is a big issue when it comes to disagreement."
Torrie's player says "I like the other recomended books with it."
The Chained Kastril's player finds it kind of amusing that someone actually wrote a book for it. "Kinda want to read it."
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "I should buy this book for my coffee table. It would be a great conversation starter"
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "I'm pretty sure that 99% of players here are humans, Werns."
Captain Reimsill's player says "Can we stop discussing the morality of man and get on with other stuff we are supposed to do, like work or lunch?"
That's Probably Werns's player says "I'd wager 100% of us are human and 100% of us have differing opinions, yeah."
That's How The Cookie's player is a sweet treat.
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player says "Morality is so much more fun to talk about though."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "1% are cats."
That's Probably Werns's player says "Well yes, that too."
War-torn John's player says "I thought the 1% was robots, but cats work too"
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player is Pinrut, speaking personally. And she's not sure what Pinrut is.
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "Wern: Joe is being silly. Quit taking silly as serious!"
Bone tInkerbinker's player says "0.05 are probably birds. Being chased across the keyboard by the cats."
The Riverking, Meenos's player identifies as a krogan.
Torrie's player Maows.
Return of the Fist Denealus's player's just this guy, y'know?
That's How The Cookie's player says "It sounds like others are trying to be serious and aren't being treated as such, though."
Captain Reimsill's player says "Who wants gum?"
Not So Itsy Somati's player is one of the cats. Meow. See, he has the ears and the tail. Ignore the eyes. Ignore the fact that he has propped up his character over here as supposed proof for his claim.
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "Cookie: Which was cause for my earlier comment about being a dick, yes."
That's Probably Werns's player says "I'd rather him not though, Dene, as I'm trying to be serious here."
Flickering WindRapier's player points to Den. Points. "This kind of thing! One person tries to be silly and the other takes offense and then the silly person is seen as "being a dick" and this happens all the time! Even if he is joking with his comment, it illustrates a point."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Well, if you're serious about wanting more rules, the Enquirer would be a good place to have the discussion - your posts won't get, like, expired after they scroll off a hundred pages."
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player says "Let's do that then! Let's have a discussion!"
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Go on, then."
That's Probably Werns's player says "Please do, yes."
Keg o' Chuck's player raises a fist in celebration of discussion in general. A metaphorical fist, at least.
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Y'all want a defined list of community guidelines, make one, put it in the Wiki, and we'll link to it on the FAQ thing."
That's Probably Werns's player says "We don't want to make it, we want you guys to make it cause it's your game."
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "But anyone can change that...Anyone can write it. YES WERNS"
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "We won't make it."
That's Probably Werns's player says "Why?"
Captain Reimsill's player try as he might, the other players still we sadly discussing the morality of man, and wheter specific rules should be implemented, he knew that the only way to stop this would be to join it.
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Flat-out, no, we won't make it."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "Because it's not just "Joe's game." It's a community."
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "You want Joe to be the hardass or you want to make a better community?"
Heart of Gold, Quinn's player says "Reimsill, you can start another topic if you don't want to join in the other. That's why we've suggested taking it out of Banter."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "The rules we've defined in the FAQ page are that way for a reason. What we'll do is ask the community for what they want to see, and then we'll link to it."
Sleeping Ugly Fish's player started up the Forum topic here! enquirer.improbableisland.com/forum/viewtopic .php
Return of the Fist Denealus's player says "I mean most of these unspoken rules are "community defined.""
That's Probably Werns's player says "It's a community inside of his game, but it's most assuredly his game. There's no question that he runs the site, pays the pills, creates content, and controls the group of moderators."
Captain Reimsill's player says "The deal is that this game while made by them, is mostly you people, all the wiki's, all the data collected, the rules are vague so that people know that they should tread lightly, if any specific rules shoudl eb made then they should be made by players"
Unstable Kolojang's player points out that even though he thinks some points could be made clearer, an intervention on the staff's part is unlikely. "It's quite apparent that the whole point of this is to get the community involved, like most things implemented in the game"
Fancy Free Flaxin's player says "Are...We just heading outside, Den? Or somewhere specific?"
Not So Itsy Somati's player says "There are problems with consistency as well, but I feel it's pointless to go into."
Captain Reimsill's player says "Players who talk a lot in this game, becasue they knwo how different people are, and only they can produce the very specific rules needd to get the akwardness and the uncofortable feeling when people discussing an issue take it on different levels..."


The Improbable Island Enquirer - Forum
http://enquirer.improbableisland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=32374