[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Gossamer on June 19th, 2010, 7:40 pm

Hey Guys-

I've received numerous complaints both in PMs and in person about people's behavior in chat. It seems the talk can quickly turn offensive in chat, and truthfully it doesn't need to be. We need to post some Chat Rules in the wiki and towards that end, I'd like to ask you guys what you think is a good set of boundaries for chat.

Already, we've maintained that sexual discussion is out of bounds for chat. And we've forbidden any singing, lyric reprints, or conversation on the infamous "barbie song". But that being said, we need to set up a Wiki article people can point offensive folks towards when chat gets out of hand. So... what do you all think some of the ground rules should be?
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Mao on June 19th, 2010, 9:07 pm

Don't be a douche. 'Nuff said!

No but in all seriousness, it would be nice if people kept the attitude out of chat. It really reflects on the kind of person they are and how they'll treat others in the future. But anyways, chat should be where you can hang out and relax, not be uptight with a stick up your bum.

People should be able to ask questions, but when a question has been answered ten times already by multiple people... I mean you'd think they'd get the hint.
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Sorian on June 19th, 2010, 9:30 pm

Although I'm very guilty about the sexual crap part (hands up if you also are!) I for one thought it was fun. Sorry if I have offended anyone, that's why I've been asking people in chat if they were ladies because I'm supposed to be a lot more discreet towards them personally, and since Jen has laid the smackdown I'm gonna stop it.

I'm the resident chat idiot, to those who didn't know me earlier. But that's gonna stop now.

That said, I totally agree with Mao. If a question is obvious, try not to ask it for the public eyes to see because it will cause you a lot of scrutiny and even resentment. The mods are busy enough with their lives and their work and it would be a shame for them to have to deal with tiny details that really just require common sense to solve.

In case anyone is not familiar with forum etiquette, I have some advice for you.

1. Don't ever declare anything before you do it if you know you can't. You wanna fight a goddess and not get killed? You wanna fight an entire bar without incurring anger because you're the keeper's son? That's a whole lotta crap friends. I'm sorry for using this as an example but really, we've been dealing with this since yesterday and I've never been so distressed with chat.

2. If you wanna act all nice and cuddly in the game, I got no problem with that. But many people here do have a problem with Mary Sue's. Please think about the consequences of being a soft and gentle flower in a field of thorns. They find it annoying, even though I don't usually do. There is a whole bunch of danger out there in Miz, and its bound to get you killed if you keep moving about like its all sunshines and butterflies around, dancing in the rain or something like that.

3. Respect the mods and the staff, and also players who know better than you. When they tell you to stop something, stop it because its either disrespecting or stupid. Don't go declaring "I'm gonna fight you all and win the name of Truth and Justice!" because that's your way of fighting it out. People will start laughing and not taking you seriously at all. The mods are there to determine how this game goes, never take things into your own hands (unless you know how to self-mod) because if a mod decides that they're pissed at you, you're in a heap of trouble here.

4. If you want attention, don't scream out and say "I WANT SOMEBODY TO LOVE ME!" That is just... Well, suffice to say that is very poor. if you want attention, distinguish yourself by playing right and by telling people what they want to hear, not trying to poke people to say what you want THEM to say.

5. Study the lore before you ask questions. Please. You'll feel much more rewarded for it.

What am I talking about again? Oh yeah, chat rules.

I think all I said applies to chat, don't they? Except the Mary Sue thing. Hoho. <3
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Hania on June 20th, 2010, 7:31 pm

I've always seen chats as a double edged sword. They're places for people to go and talk about rp, or just fool around. But newer, or less experienced, people seem to think of chat as an easy way to find out all of their questions.

"If there's a mod in chat, I can just ask them, I don't have to read." Kinda deal. I've seen it happen before on other sites and they eventually closed the chat. Now I don't know about you all, but the shenanigans that happen in chat would be sorely missed on my end.

Maybe some kind of message people should read before entering chat somewhere?

"Chat is not a place to ask ten thousand little questions that cold easily be fond in our Lore section or on the Wiki. Ask about things you absolutely can not find or figure out." ?

It's unfair on both sides of the equation really. The more seasoned players here have heard the same questions so many times answering the question comes out like they're ridiculing the newb. I'm not saying those people don't have a reason to get upset, they do, ten or twenty minutes reading around on the site answers so many questions and avoids all of the aggravation. Plus everyone always explains why they have...passionate responses, but the impression is still stuck. It's easy to remember one bad thing over ten good things.

But that's my two cents.
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Gossamer on June 20th, 2010, 8:20 pm

I think the main problem is that we are growing. We don't mind answering questions as Storytellers in chat. I never have.. nor have I minded posting up links to where the info is. I have most of them bookmarked.

That's not the issue.

The issue is the constant rudeness, the unnecessary sexual talk, the flat out disgusting behavior that sometimes occurs. Its generally one or two individuals doing it, and as Founders, we've started booting people for doing it. But we need to get more serious about this because people are getting offended.

And because its only fair to have a set outline of rules before said bootings occur.
And, as much as I appreciate Sorian's input, those aren't really 'chat rules' per say but more common courtesy things. We can turn them into rules with a little tweaking... but I need to know what peopel think is FAIR verses UNREASONABLE.
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Haya on June 20th, 2010, 9:16 pm

How about simply copying a large chunk of the general Terms of Use of this forum? It's seems a lot of the rules regarding Inappropriate Subject Matter can (or should already) be applied to the chat as well, like avoiding;

* Real World Politics or Political Propaganda in any form.
* Real World Religious or Religious Propaganda.
* Real World Social Issues which might be potentially inflammatory
* Piracy/Warez/Hacking
* Racism – Slurs, Jokes, or Culturally Offensive Material Relating to the Real World.
* Harassment
* Pornography – Images, Links, Explicit Threading
* Spamming
* Excessive Profanity
* Crude, derogatory, inappropriate, or disrespectful remarks aimed at any individual, group, or organization.



You can easily add the Barbie song to that list, no? Although I'd personally rather have Twilight banned ;)
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Dhanya on June 20th, 2010, 11:31 pm

I think it's difficult to police this stuff because even if you lay boundaries, there's always someone who feels like their freedom is being impinged on.

That said, I think racial stereotyping is entirely not on. I know I get annoyed about it, even the stuff that is "in good fun". Sexism, racism, heterosexism... All out.

I suppose anything related to politics should be kept private, it's not as if you can't discuss it in private messages with friends. We're from all over the world so it's unlikely we would agree on everything. Making it a group discussion usually doesn't end well.
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Gossamer on June 20th, 2010, 11:39 pm

Well, I think the point is if we had a LISTED set of chat rules, when someone got out of hand, it actually could be given to them as a link, and then a nice little log could be dropped in the HD if they persisted and didn't cease at the presentation of a link.

That would actually clean up chat in rapid order. In fact, this whole conversation has had chat on its best behavior all weekend.
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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Charon on June 21st, 2010, 1:48 am

I believe Haya is right. The general Terms of Use should, and in my opinion already do, apply to chat. We can either modify the terms of use to conscientiously cover both the forums and the chat or we can copy/paste/modify the terms to be used as separate "chat rules," but the fact of the matter is that the rules are already there.

As far as policing chat goes, the founders/storytellers simply need to try and do a better job of nipping things when they start. A gentle link to the rules (that are listed, as I think we all agree they should be) and a polite request that they refrain from talking about whatever the infringement is should work in 99% of all cases. If it persists, another warning should be sent to the player and, if the point is still not driven home, kicking and dropping a note in the Help Desk should happen. The key is that in chat, people have fun, and that's great, but when lines are crossed it needs to be known by ALL that the line was indeed crossed. Founders are typically on a lot, but if it would help to give RS (or DS since we don't have RS yet) the authority to kick people then it could help get the point across that we're serious about this reform. Think of it as a "show of force," if you will. This seems like a very minor additional duty for a storyteller who might already be in chat to begin with.

Concerning étiquette, this might be something we develop parallel to a list of hard, fast rules. Though this is a matter of subjectivity more than anything, it would be nice to have another quick link of items that we would like new folks to know. As Jen said, it's not that storytellers mind answering questions. In fact, most of us answer, with links, and offer advice to read the wiki or search the forums, etc. There are various ages and cultures on chat and some people may "get it" more or less than others, but let us not forget that it is those variations in our backgrounds that helps inspire the creativity that is, at its most basic foundation, the game we love. We need to be polite in chat and, for those various things we "all" find annoying, we could use an etiquette list to nicely point newbies in the right direction.

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[Discussion - Please Weigh In] Chat Rules

Postby Aren on June 21st, 2010, 1:51 am

The behavior the mods or founders should ban is just really the behavior they think the majority of people will be offended by. It'll be impossible to make everybody happy, just like it is IRL.

I'm actually one of the people that's been booted from chat for talking about things that some people didn't like (I believe it was prostitution), and I mention this not because I was booted, but because I was surprised I was booted for it.

The whole subject is not an offensive topic of discussion for me, but obviously people felt differently. I remember someone thought my comments were funny, while someone else seemed to be actually distressed by them (which, truthfully I didn't consider as much as I should have). Similarly, I actually like discussing politics and religion, as long as it's kept civil, while some people simply can't stand it.

As an example, I personally find it annoying when people start fawning over each others personal lives as if they were actually interesting (which very few are), but that's just my opinion. Since all you have to do is minimize chat, or turn your head away, I don't think any topic should be banned (with the exception of intentional and malicious racism, homophobia, etc.) but, again, that's just me. The point is, if you're going to ban something, you should just ban what you think should be banned, 'cause the person next you is going to have a different opinion.
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