Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.
These are not hard and fast rules, merely aids to the human judgment of our community. Use these guidelines to keep this a clean, well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.
Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.
The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the games, stories, topics, and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.
One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.
You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:
- Ad hominem attacks.
- Shouting, either by writing in ALL CAPS, images, or any other means.
- Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
- Knee-jerk contradiction.
Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.
The conversations we have here set the tone for everyone. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.
Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: favorites, bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.
Let’s try to leave our park better than we found it.
Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.
When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.
In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts in any way; the moderators and CoG staff take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.
Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:
- Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
- Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit directly in a post. (See below about linking to adult content.)
- Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
- Respect our authors. When an author posts a thread about their game, provide constructive feedback. If you dislike the game, be sure to explain why, or how it it might be improved.
- When you disagree with a decision that someone has made in their game, feel free to express that disagreement. However, if they continue with their design choices, stop arguing.
- If the author asks you to stop arguing about a design decision, please do so.
- Don’t disrespect any group of people. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other kinds of bias make others feel uncomfortable.
- Avoid subtle -isms. These are small things that make others feel uncomfortable, things that we all sometimes do by mistake. For example, saying "It's so easy my grandmother could do it" is a subtle -ism.
- Do not post highly sexualized images. (For example, images of women 'spilling out of their tops', or men posing in form fitting underwear.)
- Apologize. If you make other people uncomfortable on our forums, especially by mistake, apologize, or say nothing.
- Don’t argue about civility on public channels. Don’t defend yourself, don’t defend others, and don’t pile on to someone who made a mistake. If you see a problem, flag it; don’t reply.
- Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
- If someone asks that you stop PMing them, stop PMing them.
These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.
This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language and images safe for family and friends.
We generally recommend against posting links to obscene or sexually explicit content, but we generally allow links to interactive-fiction games that include such content, as long as they are clearly marked as “adult only.”
This includes games with intense horror themes, graphic descriptions of violence, explicit sexual content/erotica, or rape (explicit or implied). Use your best judgment.
If any discussion about adult-only games becomes offensive, the moderators reserve the right to censor the objectionable posts and close or remove the thread. Moreover, all discussion of pedophilia is banned from the forum (exception: raising concerns about the presence of pedophilia in a WIP).
Minors: If you are a minor, you should not follow links that are explicitly marked as "adult". If you do follow those links, we take no responsibility for what you find there. Furthermore, if you are a minor, and you tell us that you are a minor, and you post in a thread explicitly marked as "adult", we will censor your posts.
Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:
- Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
- Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
- Don’t post no-content replies. (This includes “BUMP”ing dead threads.)
- Unless you're the author, don't post in WIP threads that are dormant for more than two weeks or so.
- Posting to the threads of published games is always fine; we prefer to keep things in one place!
- Don't create "I'm new to the forum!" threads or posts. Just jump in!
- Don’t ask when a game will be updated or released. Usually the author doesn’t know.
- This includes asking WIP authors when they're going to push an update or release more content.
- Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
- Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.
Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a New Topic.
There are a few topics that come up way too often, so they are also forbidden:
- If you’re a writer, don’t advertise for coders. Most people here fancy themselves writers, not programmers. If you're a coder that wants to pair up with a writer, feel free to say so. But advertising for coders is just cluttering the forums.
- We don’t allow roleplaying threads, in which players participate in an RPG by posting on the forums. They can become so noisy that they clutter all other discussion.
You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.
I’m @jasonstevanhill, and I’m in charge of this forum. I’m a member/owner of Choice of Games LLC and Hosted Games LLC, along with @dfabulich and @adam. @ladybird is also a member/partner of Choice of Games LLC. @Mary_Duffy and @RETowers are employees of Choice of Games LLC.
In addition to me, there are six forum moderators: @Havenstone, @JimD, @CJW, @FairyGodfeather, @Sashira, and @Cecilia_Rosewood. Their words carry a lot of weight with me, as they should with you.
The moderators are not employees of Choice of Games LLC or Hosted Games LLC. They are volunteers, contributors, and community members. Their statements should not be taken as coming from the companies.
(I am not looking to add additional moderators at this time.)
I very much prefer if you communicate with me using regular email rather than the forum mail system. My email is jason AT choiceofgames.
CoG staff and moderators have the power to read private messages. By sending a private message on this forum, you allow any present or future staff or moderator to read the message. (Moderators usually won’t read other people’s private messages, but it can happen.) If you don't want your message read by staff or moderators, take your conversation elsewhere.
Moderators and staff can also view the email address that you used to register on the forums.
Yes, legalese is boring, but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.