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Rules: Regarding Profanity, Etc.

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The basic rule is this:  keep it work safe.

I've managed to avoid having to really talk about profanity here for a long while because the community was small and close, but now it's growing at an increasing rate and we need to make sure that everyone feels welcome here.  I'm not interested in clubbing people over the head for slips of the tongue or whatever, but let's just try to keep the language to a level that is PG/PG13. 

Mild Stuff Is Okay
I myself say crap, hell, bloody, etc, for emphasis, and as long as this isn't something that is maliciously directed at someone else I think that's just a part of normal adult speech in most areas, even in mixed company.  Excessive cursing, dropping the f-bomb all over the place, the b-word, the c-word, etc, and things of that nature tend to make a lot more people uncomfortable, however, so let's stay away from that.

Let's Try Not To Offend People
Beyond the issue of cursing itself is the use of slurs, which thankfully has not yet been an issue.  There have been some recent comments that have been reported to moderators, however, that were coming a bit close to slurs -- either they were offensive to women, or people with varying sexual preferences, or they were just plain out using some words that normally one wouldn't want to encounter in polite conversation ("cuddly hug," in particular, seems to offend some -- consider reamed, or decimated, or something else along those lines).  Please don't use those sorts of things, it just makes more work and trouble for me, and/or offends other customers.

Demographics Are Changing
The main demographic here in these forums is presently males between the ages of 20 to 40 or so.  When a group of guys get together, often our speech patterns shift a bit and we make jokes that we would not around our wives or girlfriends, etc -- or our kids (unless they are grown), for that matter.  We're seeing more youngsters and women entering the forums in general, though, and some of Arcen's future titles will be aimed very much at kids (this is a few years off, but still). 

We'll always have titles for hardcore gamers, but that's not all we're interested in making.  So let's keep it as clean and welcoming as reasonable, without putting a lid on things to a degree that people feel uncomfortable expressing themselves.  This isn't Disney or Nintendo, but this isn't a forum for M-rated games, either.  I have a feeling that most of the Arcen titles will be either E or T (on the American ESRB scale), so let's just keep that in mind.


Important Addendum:  Also, please remember that tone is very poorly conveyed through written mediums like this.  In most cases that have been reported for moderation, I knew enough about the person who made the comment to know that they had been joking or sarcastic, but to an outsider coming in this was not clear.  Does this mean we have to be humorless?  Not at all.  But keeping the innate unclarity of tone in writing in mind may help solve those few issues that have arisen. 

When writing suggestions in to me, it also helps if you keep that in mind -- some suggestions from new forum members (or old regulars, on rarer occasion) come off as overly aggressive, preachy, or demanding to me, which I never appreciate.  Often that's not at all the sense in which the suggestion was made, so I try to put my emotions aside and respond to each suggestion on its merits alone, but this causes me a lot of heartburn when it happens.  It's almost invariably a big misunderstanding, but if more care is taken to make the tone clear (or at least avoid a seemingly snarky tone), that just makes my life a little more pleasant. ;)

Haagenti II:
On an not wholly unrelated note, I always wondered what was wrong with some words, where similar words are allowed in SF shows like Battle Star Galactica (frak!) and Red Dwarf (smeg!)


--- Quote from: Haagenti II on September 16, 2009, 04:46:48 pm ---On an not wholly unrelated note, I always wondered what was wrong with some words, where similar words are allowed in SF shows like Battle Star Galactica (frak!) and Red Dwarf (smeg!)

--- End quote ---

Don't worry, I use Frak in every day conversation. ;D

I probably can safely assume that so far none of the reported posts to a moderator where actually profanity (what ever the hell that is (yes, that is hopefully flagged as profanity  ;D)  :D But given that i got one of those too its really.. ehm  ::) problematic.

If its not too big a change, can moderators please start to change posts (to their moderation urges) without sending the originator of a post a pm to do so? (Rather, send the originator a pm with the reason why it was edited).

Given that i am totally for moderation i hope the rules can be made a bit cleaner/sleaker and clear.

Thus far, none of the posts reported to me have been intentionally offensive/abusive, or included excessive obscene language, or links to such content. Therefore, I have had no interest in forcefully editing the posts without the user's permission because they didn't meet any of my criteria for instant moderation.

Instead, my policy in such cases is to make the poster aware that their post may be considered offensive by some, and give them the opportunity to edit it if they so wish. I will respect their decision either way. The user editing their own post in this way is as much a benefit to themselves as it is everyone else, as it affects how they will be perceived by others.

If it is the case that your post is obviously offensive, abusive, or obscene, it will be automatically edited and locked. I hope that this never happens, and given my experience of the community here I don't expect it to.


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