Forum rules and easily offended people


#1

has anyone read the forum rule and scratched thier heads wondering why these rule sound strange.
do these rule mean that we have to speak like we are talking with toddlers and sugarcoat everything? why cant i say anything to indicate any level of frustration about certain things, like rushed endings of storygames and spellcheck telling you what word you misspell, who pays attention to the spelling? and these rules feel so restricting, does freedom of speech even matter here am i just grovel at everyones feet and hope im not banned.


A note on "tyranny," kindness, and the reality of user self-sufficiency
#2

Since you brought it up… The US Constitution’s protection of free speech means that the federal government will not silence you. Unless I missed some big news, Choice of Games isn’t the federal government. So, let’s not pretend this is a constitutional issue. This is a business describing how patrons in their establishment are allowed to behave or be escorted from the premises. Anyone intent on spewing vitriol may continue to do so in a different venue of their choosing.

But I also think you may be misunderstanding the goal of the policy. As I read it, it isn’t about people who are “easily offended”. It’s about making criticism relevant and meaningful. If you can address frustration and criticism to the work as opposed to the author, I think you’ll get way more out of it both in terms of what you communicate as well as what the community and the author will tolerate.

There’s a big difference between, “This ending was awful. You are the worst author ever,” and, “This ending was awful. It was super rushed and there were so many loose ends.” Even better to leave out the “awful” bit, since it’s both subjective and universal sounding. Your awful might be my awesome, if you take my meaning.

Hopefully that helps you understand a bit.

Also, maybe someone who’s been here longer can correct me if I messed anything up, here.


#3

@benhamill has the gist of it, I think. Personally, I don’t hesitate to express my disdain for what I perceive to be unnecessarily heavy-handed forum staff. I haven’t found that it’s the case here, however. Feel free to express your opinions and any criticism you may have - you shouldn’t find any objections to frank talk here - but you must do so in a civilized manner. Just do your best to be polite and respectful to the people you share the forum with. That’s all we ask.

As for spellcheck, it’s always a good idea. It makes your posts easier to read and holds at bay the frothing, berserker rage of our resident grammar nazis.


#4

ill try to tone down my bluntness, but i wont be so nice if i get banned from slipping up from time to time, sometimes i just lose my temper a bit when im left scratching my head at an ending of a high action trilogy like heros rise, i feel that there was so much more the author could do with the trilogy and having been told that there may be a another heros rise series just doesnt help me at all, for example, MTV’s teen wolf season one was supposed to be only a 12 episode show but it is now working on a season 5, with the heros rise trilogy, i was hoping that there would be enough hype among the COG readers for the trilogy to become a full on series.


#5

CoG won’t ban you willy nilly for venting a little. They only ban people that consistently ignore the rules and just generally create a hostile environment in the forums. I’ve been coming to this forum for almost three years, and I can count on one hand the number of people that have been banned.


#6

I think it’s more a case of a symptom of society as a whole today. When people keep choosing security over freedom, the inevitable polarization that results from it tends to distill groups into extremes. This privately owned company is based in the US, where law-suits are an everyday occurrence over the pettiest of issues, and as such it’s hardly surprising that rules are kept strict. Even though all this politeness can understandably foster a sense of disingenuity for some. There have been times when I have just longed for nothing else than to tell someone off, but sadly it would be self-destructive to do so in this case, but the same is true for most forums these days.

In addition there are a lot of groups with non-traditional values finding a haven at COG, who are very vocal and passionate, and seeing as many of them have been persecuted for belonging to said group either through choice or otherwise, they are understandably sensitive to anything they perceive as criticism. Sometimes perhaps a bit overly so, but according to the rules, regardless of what you have said or how you meant it, if someone takes offense, you are at fault for that and MUST apologise. I personnally don’t agree with that notion, but if you’re planning on sticking around, you have to play by their rules. Pure and simple.

So the best advice I can give is, if someone takes offense at something you said, apologise and drop it.
If someone offends you, flag their post. Just walk away is another good one. It’s not at all satisfying and many times humiliating, but it beats the bitter feeling of getting kicked out I bet. And I say this as someone whose intentions often gets misunderstood and who often times misunderstands others in turn, and yes am also a very blunt person at the core, so I know where you are coming from.

As for spelling/grammar, if you have any ambition to make your own text game, it’s just good common sense that you write properly, just as if you were planning on releasing a traditional book.


#7

I love the tone of the forums.

Let’s face it, many people treat online forums like the Wild West and don’t treat other forums members as “real people.” We’ve all witnessed horrible trolling and general rudeness on other forums, even those with FB signups where you’d think the lessened anonymity would encourage some level of decorum. This is not one of those places.

There are a ton of creative thoughtful people here, and so I don’t think its asking too much to handle disagreements or critiques in thoughtful ways, even if it means apologizing to someone who may have a thinner skin or more sensitive reaction to some issues. We’re all capable of being civil.

And writers may sometimes take a comment the wrong way. If so, just be gracious about it. Many view their WIPs and completed works as their babies and so when you say something they view as overly harsh or combative instead of constructive, they might well take it personally. It takes very little effort to apologize and you might just buy some goodwill in the process.


#8

@Zeke I have, in the past, described the forums as a coffeeshop (adjacent to a film-house, but that part of the metaphor isn’t relevant here).

And there are a lot of people in this coffeeshop who come here to relax and be with friends, and look at the dailies from each other’s movies.

And while I can see from your history that, yes, you’ve purchased a scone or a latte a couple of times over the past two years, you are not a regular, and you’re not tuned in to the culture of the coffeeshop.

So when you swagger in and start screaming, “Where’s the fucking waiter? Bring me my latte!” everyone’s going to stop and look at you, because you’re the only one screaming for table service. Everyone else has learned that they have to go up to the counter and wait in line to order.

Thankfully, in the meantime, you haven’t been harassing the people at the other tables, otherwise you would have been banned. But right now, we’re all just sitting here, watching and waiting for you to get the hint that no one’s going to come and wait on you at your table. Instead, you need to get in line if you want to order something, and if you think it should be otherwise, then maybe this isn’t the coffeeshop for you.


Why do some WIP's close in 14 days and others close by 21?
New Hosted Game! “Double/Cross” by Toni Owen-Blue
#9

Iced americano please, no room for cream, thanks.


#10

When the whole “free speech” thing comes up…well, this hits the issue far better than I ever could:


#11

Your analogies are always spot on. X.X


#12

I’d hardly call asking for politeness and common civility while expressing your opinion ‘groveling at anyone’s feet’. What I very much dislike in real life, as well as on the internet, is when someone cannot be bothered to respect another person enough to take a step back and phrase their opinion in a manner that is not offesnsive - no matter how right or wrong they are.

Like, if I see someone cooking and putting too much salt in the food I’m not going to go all ‘YOU DAMNED IDIOT WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU ARE USELESS AND WORTHLESS FOR THIS AND U SUK’ on them. Or claim that freedom of speech gives me a right to treat them like that. Even if I’m right and even if it’s like, my birthday dish or I have the president coming over for lunch or something xDD. So I, for one am glad to see a forum where the rules regarding that are actually enforced and people actually face reprecussions for being offensive, yes. ^^


#13

…Yet. lightning strike


#14

Viva le revolution! C.o.G will be our government!

Jason for President!


#15

Watch as I be blunt, here, without violating the forum’s rules. I want to point this out because “I’m blunt” is sometimes code for “I can’t be bothered to learn social skills”. I don’t know if it is in this case, but I wanted to cover that base. And as someone who is bad at social skills, I know they can be hard to learn. It doesn’t mean they are impossible to learn. If that’s not true in this case, then great and sorry for assuming pessimistically.

I didn’t address this in my initial post because I wasn’t sure if it was on topic or not. But this gets really close, so let’s go ahead and address it head-on.

The big deal with people in these “groups” is not being criticized or getting offended. The issue is that society systematically oppresses those people. There are many words, phrases and ideas that are completely different when directed at someone with a lot of privilege as opposed to someone who suffers a lot of oppression. If someone reacts in a way that seems “overly sensitive”, it is almost assuredly because the statement is part of a tapestry of BS that have to deal with on the regular in their life. This isn’t sensitivity, this is natural if you’re under a constant barrage.

This goes for pretty much all aggression, but goes doubly for aggression based on whatever it is that society uses to categorize them (skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc.).

I wanted to call the above out as distinctly different from criticism. Calling a woman the b-word, or using “gay” for something you don’t like are right out… and also not criticism; they’re just oppressive attacks. This isn’t a matter of politeness so much as social justice. Calling something “terrible” with no other information is also not criticism, but just an attack. This is a matter of politeness, mostly. Criticism points to a specific problem and talks about why it’s a problem, and is mostly a matter of usefulness and providing value to a community.

I really like the coffee shop analogy above because it hints at another thing: The presumption of importance. The guy walking into the shop and hollering about a waiter is assuming that the people around him are interested in hearing what he has to say, or at least don’t matter enough to worry about whether inflicting himself on them. If someone reacts negatively to your thoughts on something (whether they made it or not), it might be because your thoughts didn’t provide enough value to compensate for the delivery (and there’s always some cost, if just the time spent reading). One good way to avoid this is to reduce the cost imposed by the delivery, or, as normal humans out say it: To be polite.


#16

The origin of the coffeeshop metaphor, for those that are new.


#17

I want to hug this entire discussion. Especially the coffee shop analogy.

Honesty, I have been so very impressed with these forums, I’ve been going through a lot of discussions about many subjects that would normally have led to infected arguments elsewhere, and here it leads to a heated discussion and disagreement, yes, but it didn’t devolve into a screaming match.

I love it when people can disagree and still keep talking.


#18

It’s not always a case of can’t be bothered, some people inherently struggle with this. Keep in mind that what kind of language is found acceptable in one place may not be so in another. A word in itself isn’t always the root of all evil, depending on the setting and who says it, it could be a joke or even empowering in that it is used in a relaxed context and not meant to harm. Furthermore, this is the internet, we communicate via text. Experiments have shown that humans are predisposed to reading body language moreso than what we are actually saying, there are no such cues online, and for people who already struggle, this additional handicap isn’t always easy to overcome. At best we can assume that whoever we’re talking to means well, but not everyone is prepared to do so, assuming instead a pessimistic stance.

I don’t know why you felt the need to put quotes around the word groups, as if I had meant it negatively, what word would you have prefered that I use to specify a number of people who share some common characteristics? I am firmly against the whole, if you and/or those like you havent been oppressed in the past you have no right to complain about being oppressed now. Anyone can be oppressed even the “privileged”. Just because you can be categorised as something doesn’t mean you belong to a stereotype. And just because you are/have been a victim of oppression doesn’t mean you are incapable of overreacting, one does not exclude the other, in fact the risk that you are going to overreact instead goes up if you are constantly on your guard.

No I never implied that either, I was trying to deconstruct the general culture here and why things are as they are, or at least as far as I can tell. Regarding criticism my views are no different than anyone else’s, I wouldn’t want to hear “your game is shit” either, so I didn’t write anything about that, opting instead to try and explain why bluntness can sometimes be frowned upon in such an enviroment and how best to conduct himself.

Everyone thinks they’re important on a forum, otherwise they wouldn’t bother posting anything at all. Which I admit is sometimes tempting when you know that overly sensitive people can go off on a tangent over something you said in good faith trying to help a new member fit in. I would advise you to try and have a more positive outlook on things, most people don’t get out of bed intending to be rude, and some of us can appear rude even when we intend the opposite. Intelligence does not neccesarily imply social skills and one can be socially handicapped as well as anything else.


#19

Couldn’t have been put better


#20

Of course not. I tried, and obviously failed, to acknowledge this. All I meant was that it is possible to be blunt and not rude. And that sometimes, people who are simply rude hide behind the legitimate excuse of “I’m a blunt person.” I, personally, struggle with social skills, so I know that they can be overcome. But, as evidenced here, I’m not immune to messing it up. Sorry I wasn’t more clear.