An Important Note About The Nature Of These Rules
This thread is intended as a guide to the most important rules that must be followed by all members of our forums. It contains all of the most crucial information you will need in order to participate and also contains a FAQ about our forum culture.
On Rules Lawyering
These rules are not complete and are not intended to be. These forums are privately owned and the administration reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time. The excuse “but there's no rule about it!” will never be accepted as an excuse for bad behaviour. It is expected that all users are intelligent and mature enough. While we strive to be fair in the moderation of these boards, said enforcement is subjective by its very nature. Please see the FAQ below for information on what to do if you feel you have been treated unfairly.
Don't Be A Dick
This is the most important rule of all and its influence is wide-ranging. These forums are at various times a haven for silliness, debate, discussion, humour, advice and various other forms of discourse. They are not, at any time, a haven for pricks. Forums that are welcoming to pricks exist and you are more than welcome to go and find one, but we are not interested in running one here.
These forums are restricted to ages 13+ and it is expected that all users, regardless of age, are able to act in a mature and respectful fashion. Users are expected to have a reasonable level of social intuition regarding what is and is not acceptable social behaviour, and you should avoid saying anything to someone on these forums that you would not be willing to say to them if they were a) standing in front of you b) considerably bigger than you and holding a club. Things that we are not interested in seeing include (but are not limited to)
- Getting mad about videogames
- Racial epithets of any kind regardless of context
- Misogynist, misandrist, homophobic or transphobic behaviour or attitudes. “Pick up artists”, this includes you.
- Posting gigantic images or gifs. Anything above 1mb should be linked to.
The decision on what is and is not considered Being A Dick is determined by the mod staff. The defense “but I don't think I was being a dick” is not an acceptable one, nor is “but I didn't mean to be a dick”. Your message is what you communicate, not what you intend. That said, we understand that there is room for misunderstanding and interpretation in this rule and moderation staff will be open to polite and reasonable messages explaining why you do not feel an interpretation of this rule was fair.
Remember that we do not owe you an internet forum and that this forum is almost entirely run by volunteers.
The Glorious Edict
The only insult that is permitted on this forum is “silly goose”. No other adjective may be added, you cannot call someone a “fat, stupid, silly goose”. The only exception to this is the moderation staff, who work hard for free and therefore can call you bastards whatever they so desire. We are aware that this is very unfair and consider it to be part of the fun.
Among the insults this covers (ie; all of them) is the insult “troll”. Accusing someone of trolling will be treated as an edict violation. If you call someone a troll and they are, then you are an idiot for doing what they want. If you call them an troll and they're not, then you are an arsehole for calling them names. Please use the report button if you have a problem with another user.
The Glorious Edict is not negotiable.
One Account Per User
Users are only permitted one account. Any alternate accounts (or “alts”) started will be banned, and the original account may be banned as well.
We do not change usernames or delete accounts. Don't ask. Before you pick your username be certain that it is the one you want because it is yours for life. The only time in which name changes are granted is if they are purchased in our annual Solid Saints charity auction and the auction prices are often high.
Alternate accounts may be used if you are making an H&A thread and wish to remain anonymous. These accounts may only be used in this forum and only to solicit advice and discuss the advice you have been given. This does not require advance moderator permission but any abuses of this will result in both of your accounts being banned.
Don't have a horrible profile
Please keep your signature at or under the following dimensions
. The file size of your avatar and signature combined must be under 100kb. Don't put anything annoying or offensive in your avatar and signature. Obviously, this extends to any material that a reasonable person would consider not to be safe for a working environment. The moderation staff have the last word on what is and is not appropriate. Repeated violations of our profile rules will result in privileges being revoked.
No porn, piracy, or personal promotion
Piracy includes illegal MP3s, films, torrents, ROMs etc. You may not post links or advise others on how to obtain pirated goods of any sort, and you may not post about how you just totally pirated the hell out of this, that, or the other thing. We also do not allow threads or posts about private servers for MMORPGS. Threads on abandonware (software that is unavailable for sale anywhere) will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and permission must be sought first. If you want to post about something that you think might be borderline, PM a moderator.
Porn includes anything that a reasonable person would not want to open in a work environment. The final decision as to what is and is not work safe is left to the moderators. Use your common sense and if you think what you're posting might be questionable or near the line, don't post it at all.
Posting to promote your site or for anything that could be remotely considered marketing is absolutely not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to;
- Your hilarious youtube video
- Your blog
- Your webcomic
- The game you're making (this is true whether you are a startup indie developer or the high mucky-muck of Big Tits Town)
- Your kickstarter (or the kickstarters of others). There is a blanket ban on the linking of kickstarters.
- Your band
- Your online petition
If you have something that you've created that you think we'd be interested in you should PM a moderator to ask for permission before you do it. If your first post violates this rule your account will almost certainly be banned permanently. Regularly contributing members who wish to post about their pet projects and ask first will often be given permission to do so. Otherwise you can generally feel free to post a link to your blog/band/indie game or whatever in your signature if you do not draw attention to it in your posts.
Stay on-topic (where appropriate)
All of the forums with the exception of Social Entropy are considered on-topic forums. This means all of your posts should be in some way relevant to the overarching topic of the thread. This means no “how's it going guys?” etc. Each topic should be contained within a single thread and it's expected that before making a thread you'll check to see if there is already a thread on that subject on the boards. Threads should also be appropriate to the forum they are posted in.
Help and Advice
Our on-topic rule in H&A means that all threads are required to be seeking help and all posts (without exception) must contain pertinent advice. Joke posts are not permitted and neither is terrible advice (either deliberately because you think you are being funny or accidentally because you are an idiot). The moderators are the final arbiter of what is and is not considered stupid advice.
The rules against being an arsehole are enforced particularly strongly in this forum and this is commonly sighted in the form of people being judgemental pricks. Don't be a judgemental prick.
The Artist's Corner
If you're posting to share your art, your art must be posted in the thread. Threads that only contain links to your site will be closed. Any art that you post in this forum will be criticised. Criticism is the entire reason for you to post art on our boards, don't post it if you don't want to be criticised.
NSFW can be posted in this forum, but must be clearly tagged as such in the thread title.
If you want to commission some art from our users, post in the chat thread. All commissions must be paid up front. No spec work.
The PAX Forum
Please post in the appropriate subforum (Prime/East/Aus) for threads that pertain specifically to one PAX or another. Use the top level for threads that don't.
Do not make single-issue threads. We have FAQ threads in each PAX subforum that any questions you have can be posted in. Single threads will be locked and/or merged into the relevant threads.
This forum is not a dating or hookup service. Don't be a creep. I wish I could say this had never come up.
During or shortly after every PAX there is a "PAX Swag Trading Thread". Please wait until during or after PAX before posting requests for things you may have missed. Any threads created to request swag before PAX will be locked. Swag trading is limited to people who have items to trade. If you don't have anything to trade, do not post in the thread.
Creating threads or PMing people to beg for game add-on codes or other swag from PAX is explicitly forbidden. If you sign up for this forum to create such a thread, post in existing threads or send Private Messages requesting such items, your account will be banned for spamming.
The buying or selling of PAX Passes, hotel room reservations, or anything else is expressly forbidden.
Exceptions to the above rule can be made by a moderator for community events that require monetary investment (Pre-PAX Dinner, Challenge Coins, etc). If you are unsure whether or not your event qualifies, PM a moderator FIRST. Do not post first and ask permission later.
The Writer's Block
The rules from The Artist's Corner regarding posting work for criticism also apply here.
We do not allow the posting of fan fiction or erotica.
The environment in SE is more relaxed, and you should feel free to post tangents and miscellany to your heart's content. Bullshit no-content posts are not welcome though, and it is still expected that you'll contribute to conversation in some capacity. Equally, threads in SE are expected to have a nominal topic to begin with, although topical drift is expected. SE is not a forum in which you can be an arsehole. It is simply one where the rules of topicality are relaxed. It has a unique atmosphere and lurking is encouraged.
Some notable topics that are verboten across the forums (this is not a complete list) include;
A note on the private messaging system
- Anime (don't ask)
- “I'm So High Right Now”
- Hi, I'm New
- I hate (insert other forum or site here) so much
- Help Me Break The Law
- Prank Ideas
- Direct messages to Mike and Jerry (they do not read the forums)
- No Morrissey, Hitman 2 or TV Tropes
- No talking shit on Highlander
- This is non-negotiable and includes Typing In Caps To Indicate You Are Referencing TVTropes.
Our private message system, while inexplicably named "conversations" is not intended as a way for you and thirty of your buddies to have your own private threads. Feel free to use an IRC program if that's what you desire, these forums are largely a public
means of communication. Any private conversations containing more than five people are liable to be shut down. Any ridiculously huge private conversations are likely to have their participants jailed or banned. Yes, we can check.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Who do I contact regarding questions or complaints about the management of the board?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Be warned that he is an 18th level Advanced Curmudgeon with a wide variety of relevant feats.
What should I bear in mind before I send that email or private message?
Bear in mind that our staff are instructed not to reply to messages that are rude, hostile or otherwise unpleasant. Should they choose to reply to such messages, they are considered well within their rights to inform you that you are being a cunt. At best, rude or unpleasant messages will simply be ignored, regardless of how insightful or correct your point might be. We're simply not interested in making the boards better for abrasive, hostile people who do not know how to behave like adults. The administrator in particular is a curmudgeon of astonishing experience and talent.
You should also be warned that sufficiently hilarious sulks or rants will be shared among the staff and laughed at, often at great length. No one has ever achieved anything on these boards by flaming a moderator, but we do find such messages adorable.
What should I do if I have a problem with another user?
Use the report button to bring it to the attention of our moderation staff. Dealing with problem users is solely the responsibility of the moderation team. Do not attack the user yourself or attempt to do our job for us. Any action you take that we see as exacerbating a situation may be punished with infractions or other punitive action.
Please be polite when reporting a post and do not spam the report button. Any reports that are snarky or phrased as orders will be dealt with harshly, up to and including infractions and having your access to the report button restricted. We read every single report. If you report an issue and no action is taken by the moderation staff it means that we have either dealt with the user privately or decided that no action needs to be taken. It does not mean that you should report the problem again.
If you feel that another user is harassing you personally and consider the issue sensitive enough that the report button is insufficient, you may bring it up with the administrator
What should I do if I have a problem with a moderator or a moderating decision?
Do not make the issue public. Your best recourse is to send a private message to the moderator expressing your concerns. If you are unsatisfied with the response, you can escalate the matter to the administrator via email.
What if I have a problem with the administrator?
If you raise an issue to the administrator and are unhappy with his response, you are shit out of luck.
I sent an email or message to a moderator/admin and didn't get a response!
Give it time. We receive a lot of messages. If you don't receive a response within a week, message again or raise the issue to the administrator.
Moderators are also instructed not to respond to rude or hostile message. This includes messages that display passive-aggressive behaviour. While a moderator may choose to respond to a rude or hostile message, they are not required to be polite when they do so and may even, should they so choose, invite you to go and shit on your mother's tits.
If you contact a moderator to ask for permission, you should assume that the answer is no until you receive a response. If you ask a moderator for permission and are refused it, escalating the matter to the administrator without telling him that permission has already been refused will cause him to become utterly fucking irate.
I've been infracted! Who do I contact about this?
All infractions should be accompanied with a message explaining the infraction, unless the moderator feels that the problem is so obvious that none is required. If you have further questions or believe your infraction was in error, contact the moderator using the PM system. If you and the moderator are unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, email the administrator at the address above. Be aware that if you contact the administrator before contacting the moderator in question, he will at best ignore you and at worst send you a really shitty message back.
Be aware that the administrator sees a record of every single infraction that is handed out. This is not to say that he does not occasionally miss things, but his tacit approval should be assumed based on the fact that he has not reversed it himself. If you are asking for clemency, be polite, concise and explain why you feel that the infraction was unfair or mistaken. Bear in mind that the administrator takes any verbal assaults on his staff extremely personally and that he will be taking your conduct in any exchanges with the staff into account.
The administrator's word on an infraction is final.
I've been banned! What should I do?!
Contact the administrator at the email given above with any questions you have about the ban. All the same points in the section above are also true here.
If you've been temporarily banned
If your appeal is rejected, serve out the rest of your ban and behave better when you come back. Users who are returning from temporary bans will be held to a higher standard than other forumers.
Do not make or post under an alternate account while you are banned. Doing so will result in your ban being upgraded to permanent.
If you've been permanently banned
You may ask the administrator for a minimum term before you can appeal. This term is likely to be at least six months. Once this term has been given to you (and it is not a matter for negotiation) you will be expected to shut up and do your time. Being given a term of appeal is not a guarantee that your appeal will be accepted. Permanent bans are always intended to be permanent, and a successful appeal will be conditioned on absolute contrition and a promise of exemplary behaviour in the future.
If you make an alternate account, any chance of appeal is rejected. If you're considering repeatedly using alternate accounts to get around a ban, bear in mind that it takes us less than five seconds to ban your account and remove all your posts and we have no problem doing this over and over again. Trying to have your account reinstated by repeatedly being an arse to try and get your own way has been tried many times and has yet to succeed.
Users who are granted an appeal to a permanent ban will be expected to show absolutely exemplary behaviour in absolutely all of their interactions on the forums for the rest of time. These users are expected to be absolutely the most well-behaved users on the forums and to conduct themselves impeccably.