Forum Rules Discussion

Forum organization and occasional community-building.
Forum rules
Questions about Ren'Py should go in the Ren'Py Questions and Announcements forum.
Message
Author
User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15255
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Forum Rules Discussion

#1 Post by PyTom » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:08 am

I've gone ahead and posted a change to the forum forum rules, that we've been discussing for the past few months. (Albeit at a low rate of actual discussion.) IIRC, these were based on Sake-Bento's old rules, rewritten by Lemma, and then we all did passes over them.

The big change is a ban on political discussions unless they are narrowly related to VNs, story-based games, or forum operation.

Another change is that we disclose that we have the ability to see your private messages, and are willing to do so to investigate user behavior, and may do so as part of the technical bit of forum administration. (This is more of a disclosure than a change - we always had this ability, in much the same way as Facebook can read your private Facebook posts.)
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
Crocosquirrel
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:28 am
Completed: Mobile Food Madness, Super Otome Quest
Projects: Academy Daze
Organization: Polymorphic Games
Location: Perpendicularly parked in a parallel universe
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#2 Post by Crocosquirrel » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:50 pm

None of it sounds horribly unreasonable from where I'm sitting. You're likely to get some resistance and issues with the trolling thing-- It's going to get you a whole lot more reported posts. You sure you don't want a spare pair of eyes?
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

Academy Daze- Back in production! Complete with ecchi-ness ;)

User avatar
Sapphi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1685
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:31 am
Completed: Boku no Taisetsu na Yumeko
Projects: Twelve, PAW ★ PRINTS
Organization: Kitsch-soft
Location: Illinois, USA
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#3 Post by Sapphi » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:59 pm

So, just to get this straight... political discussions as happened in this thread are probably not allowed anymore because they are about the video game scene in general and not visual novels specifically, am I right?
"It is [the writer's] privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart,
by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride
and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past."
— William Faulkner
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬..+X+..▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Image

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15255
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#4 Post by PyTom » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:03 pm

Sapphi wrote:So, just to get this straight... political discussions as happened in this thread are probably not allowed anymore because they are about the video game scene in general and not visual novels specifically, am I right?
That's correct. The scope is a little broader - we'd also count other story-based games, especially those made by the people in the community.

The reasoning behind this is that political issues are divisive, by their very nature - there have to be a large number of people on both sides of an issue for it to be a political one. We've had several huge and dramatic threads that we had to lock because politics heated up - and what's worse, we lost several good members of the forum because of those threads.

Basically, the rule I want is that we should only have a political discussion on this forum if this is the best place for that discussion to happen. So if the comment is about visual novels and other story based games, or the discussion affects the future of the forum itself, we should have it here. Otherwise, it's probably best to find a forum with a less specific mandate to have the discussion at.
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
Samu-kun
King of Moé
Posts: 2262
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:49 pm
Organization: Love in Space Inc
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#5 Post by Samu-kun » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:01 am

I'm not getting the exception for political discussion "related to" the creation of visual novel and story-based games. It's unclear whether the exception applies to discussion about the creation or visual novels, the speech contained within a visual novel, or discussion about a visual novel.

I'd say the most logical choice would be to have the exception apply to discussion about the creation of visual novels, for the speech contained within the visual novels themselves, and the discussion of particular visual novels

If I'm making a visual novel about the life of Barack Obama, it makes no sense that everyone is allowed to talk about politics while the game is being created, or if I'm just thinking of making such a game, but then to suddenly not be allowed to talk about politics after the game is finished. The way the rule's set up now, there's no prohibition on political talk during creation, but a prohibition on political talk after the product is completed. Since the rules say you may talk about politics related to visual novel creation, you have full latitude to talk about politics all you want while the work is being created, but then the exception ceases as soon as the work is complete and creation stops. The rule would then just discourage political games from being finished, since there'd be censorship as soon as it's done.

I see no justification for a ban on visual novels that promote a political viewpoint, or for the speech surrounding such works, for the reason that in all the years I've been here, I've never seen a single flame war caused by a politically divisive visual novel. In fact, every single political flame war has been caused by topics with hot button political statements ostensibly related to game development, not discussion about particular games. The rule misses the point of what it's trying to accomplish by a large margin. It's a large infringement on the freedom of creators with no redeeming benefit for the board.

I'd say this would be a much more clear and fair statement of the rules

"This forum has members from many countries and cultures. Naturally, there will be diverse views and disagreements on topics. Discussion of divisive social issues is discouraged, though they may be discussed only so long as the discussion is civil and relevant. Threads that degenerate into personal attacks, insults, and name-calling will be locked or deleted, with administrative action taken against the offending parties.
However, this rule has three exceptions:
1) The full freedom of creators to include within their works commentary and discussion of social, political, religious, cultural, and any other sensitive issues will not be abridged by the administration.
2) All members are entitled to discuss the works of the creators on this board without censorship, subject to the limitations of the other rules.
3) All members may discuss any political issues related to the creation of visual novels, story-related games, and board administration, so long as they are reasonably curtailed to respect the opinions of others, in addition to the limitations of other rules."

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15255
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#6 Post by PyTom » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:26 pm

The rule says "Those who wish to discuss political or social issues - except as they pertain directly to the creation of visual novel and story-based games, or to the operation of the forum - should do so on a more appropriate forum."

My intent with that is that we would allow the discussion of political issues related to VNs as a whole, or to large subgenres of visual novels and storytelling games. So talking about the portrayal of female characters in VNs would be on-topic. So would talking about attempts to censor VNs. Discussing the copyright law, and even advocating for changes to it, is on topic - all VNs are covered by copyright.

While we'd allow people to make political VNs on the forum, the discussion of them should be strictly limited to the VN aspects. So in the Barack Obama game, we can talk about the look of the game and so on. But we can't debate if he has a birth certificate or not. That's true in general, wip, completed, and everywhere else.

It's really hard for us, as forum admins, to step in after a thread has degraded and try to bottle it back up. We've tried to come up with a rule that we can apply fairly and neutrally before things go out of control.
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
Samu-kun
King of Moé
Posts: 2262
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:49 pm
Organization: Love in Space Inc
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#7 Post by Samu-kun » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:12 pm

I still don't think that's the right approach to take. In my experience here, all the fights have arisen from generalized topics which fall under the category of
"[discussion of] portrayal of female characters in VNs... attempts to censor VNs... Discussing the copyright law, and even advocating for changes to it..."

What you'd want to avoid are general, broad topics, like "Why Women in Otome/Moe Visual Novels Are Subservient to Men," since those kinds of topics have caused the biggest flame wars in the past. However, such topics have no prior restrictions on them, until they get out of hand.

Conversely, there have been a number of political games, but not one of them have caused any flame wars.
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 11&t=13661
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =11&t=1297
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =11&t=9456
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =11&t=4660
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 11&t=14607

First, not many play political games unless they support the message, and even if many people do, discussion is naturally focused about talking about the game. However, these topics have a stronger restraint on them then the generalized discussion about visual novels that are much more likely to degenerate into flame wars. The current rules misses the point of what it's trying to accomplish. If it's trying to stop flame wars, then it's aiming at the wrong place by restricting discussion about games.

Further, the fact that the rules implicitly side with the people who talk rather than the people who work and finish projects is what's disturbing. Someone who takes the time to put together a project about something they believe in should be entitled to more protection than someone who just posts a topic about it. It's bad form for a board which is supposed to support creators to impose more restrictions on creators than chatters.

Adorya
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 4:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#8 Post by Adorya » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:14 am

What about the others "highly trollable/debate" thread like religion, economical and social ones? Seems like a potential troll thread would start in thread type like "what is your religion?" or "what do you think about x?" with x being a hot forum thread based on recent dramatic events...

User avatar
Taleweaver
Writing Maniac
Posts: 3428
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:51 am
Completed: Metropolitan Blues, The Loyal Kinsman, Daemonophilia, The Dreaming, The Thirteenth Year, Adrift, Bionic Heart 2, Secrets of the Wolf, The Photographer
Projects: The Pilgrim's Path, Elspeth's Garden, Secret Adventure Game!
Organization: Tall Tales Productions
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#9 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:41 am

Adorya wrote:What about the others "highly trollable/debate" thread like religion, economical and social ones? Seems like a potential troll thread would start in thread type like "what is your religion?" or "what do you think about x?" with x being a hot forum thread based on recent dramatic events...
No problem in my book. We've had a few threads on religion and a few more on social topics, and none of them exploded into flame except for one or two on the depiction of women in games and other media. And these weren't trolled; it's more like the discussion became a little too heated for its own good. People started calling one another names after a while, perfectly reasonable people. And I'd still say it was good and important that these discussions were made.

If it was just me, I would allow any thread topic that doesn't contain spam, directly attacks other people (both forum members and non-members), incites hate, spreads adult content outside the H forums and isn't a simple "hello I am here" posting because we already have a single thread for this. Anything that happens within the scope of these basic rules should result in a moderatable discussion culture that rarely gets out of hand.
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman
Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming
Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year
Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift
More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira

User avatar
Ayutac
Regular
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:23 pm
Projects: Pokémon Dating Sim
Organization: A Breeze Of Science
Location: Mayence, Germany
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#10 Post by Ayutac » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:00 pm

Hey PyTom, I wanted to praise you for the board rules. Best I've read so far, and I was on some boards before. They are easy to understand, cover everything important and there are even some very clever ones (like "no poll-like threads") I've never seen before. Really good I have to say!

(I hope this does not count as off-topic :-P)

EDIT: Lol, should have thought so far. Well, then see it as you were the representative to recieve the praise for everyone who took a part in creating these rules ;)
Last edited by Ayutac on Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15255
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#11 Post by PyTom » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:28 pm

Thanks, but the credit isn't mine.

Sake-bento wrote the original rules, all the administrators have suggested changes to them, and some of the rules - like the new adult content rule - had a lot of input from forum members.

Running the forum is always a team effort.
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
kaki
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:10 pm
Location: Middle of the Ocean
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#12 Post by kaki » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:22 pm

Although this isn't mentioned in the rules, many people who have started forum games had their thread locked because forum games aren't allowed. Why aren't they allowed? Please take into account that I'm not trying to criticize or complain or anything like that. I'm just curious. :3

ebi brain
Regular
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:10 pm
Organization: Zettai Rookie Project
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#13 Post by ebi brain » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:51 pm

I kind of wanted to address that too today,

I don't mind that forum games aren't allowed, and maybe I overlooked it,
but so far I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere in the rules thread...
It might be an idea to add it to the rules, so people won't be surprised when their thread gets locked.
Since I have our site RSI, I used speech recognition by, sometimes this means I'll make some mistakes. :D

My sketchbook - Come yell at me :D

User avatar
sake-bento
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1893
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:58 pm
Completed: http://sakevisual.com/games.html
Projects: Every Sunrise, Shinsei
Organization: sakevisual
Tumblr: sakevisual
Deviantart: sakevisual
itch: sakevisual
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#14 Post by sake-bento » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:03 am

We have a variation on that in the rules, but we'll work on making it more clear. Basically, forum games aren't allowed because they eat up a lot of bandwidth without adding much to the main focus of the forum - VN creation. While we do encourage socialization and discussion with other forum members, we prefer discussion-type threads, as they are more effective at building relationships than threads where you name your favorite color or games.

User avatar
kaki
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:10 pm
Location: Middle of the Ocean
Contact:

Re: Forum Rules Discussion

#15 Post by kaki » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:41 pm

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you. ^__^

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users