On Forum Rules and Moderation

Forum organization and occasional community-building.
Forum rules
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noeinan
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#91 Post by noeinan » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:37 pm

PyTom wrote: That isn't carte blanche to go around randomly hurting people - but it does show why simply saying something is hurtful isn't enough reason for us to disallow it.
I don't think anyone said that everything hurtful should be disallowed on the forums, though.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#92 Post by trooper6 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:43 pm

PyTom wrote:At this point, I don't think we really need more or less off-topic discussion, although I do think that trying to increase the amount of interaction on General Discussion isn't a bad thing. I think the chance of opening a new forum to encourage more off-topic chat is basically nil.
What do you think about daikiraikimi's suggestion of renaming the Anime Board to something encompassing a broader slice of fandom/entertainment than "Anime, Games, and Japan?"
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#93 Post by PyTom » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:01 pm

I think the Anime board is fine as is.

Visual Novels developed from a mix of Anime - construed broadly - and gaming culture, and remain linked to it in a number of ways. And even if we probably wouldn't have opened it up today, the board has been around under its current title and subject matter for over a decade without problems, so I think we should leave it.


daikiraikimi wrote:I don't think anyone said that everything hurtful should be disallowed on the forums, though.
You said,
This tends to avoid acknowledging that the other person was hurt, and instead talks about why they should not be held responsible for the other person being hurt, why they should not have to care, and why they should not have to stop hurting that person.
Among many other things.

My point is that there are times on this forum when peoples' feeling will be hurt as part of the course of our mission - and while unproductive hurt is to be avoided, emotional pain by itself shouldn't be enough to stop all discussion.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#94 Post by Rossfellow » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:42 am

Seeing some of these posts already offer a glimpse, a tiny droplet of a glimpse, of what I believe PyTom is trying to avoid.

People who want a subforum where people "Openly discuss controversial identity topics" should *know* what this invites. People of conflicting opinions. People with similar opinions flocking together under a banner (some would call it a "cause"). Combine these all together and that subforum may as well be named "Gamergate". You might be surprised how more effective that will be at alienating and marginalizing people, not to mention making an unnecessary mess.

As it stands, the LSF forums is predominantly about people who use Renpy as their preferred engine. -That- is the community. It caters to VN developers and artists of the necessary assets to build it (Illustrations, music, writing), nothing less, nothing more. Would you go to a panel at an anime convention to bring up racial issues in Madoka Magica? Would you go to a gathering of car enthusiasts to bring up sexual identity crisis in mechanics? Would you join a rock band telling them you never really liked it and wish they read books instead?

I hope you hold PyTom and LSF to that same standard, because otherwise it's unfair to him.

Edit: A forum for non-anime/Japan related book/ TV/ film enthusiasts is pretty cool too, though. I'd love to be able to talk about Bill Willingham's Fables but that doesn't count as a Story-Based Game, nor is it Japanese anime. I can get behind that.

To OP: Passions are kind of like that. You never know which ones die off, but that's an inevitability for people who change (in tastes and preferences) as time passes. It doesn't really have anything to do with not being a strong enough community. RIP MySpace.

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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#95 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:40 am

ThisIsNoName wrote:But that's the point I was trying to make. If you read further down, you see the Mad Harlequin was the one using an out-dated definition. If they'd done the proper research, they'd know that the absolute worst thing you can say to someone who has PTSD is "I don't believe you". How hard is it to just let something like that slide?
I apologize for my inability to communicate appropriately. I admit I was a little curt, but I was blinded by my feelings back then. For what it's worth, I have a loved one with PTSD, so I'm not unaware of its definition.

In any case, I recently apologized for any hurt I caused anyone, and I hope I'm allowed to resign the title of forum bogeyman in the future---though I don't mind holding onto it if it means somebody else will be kept from having to use it.
Rossfellow wrote:Edit: A forum for non-anime/Japan related book/ TV/ film enthusiasts is pretty cool too, though. I'd love to be able to talk about Bill Willingham's Fables but that doesn't count as a Story-Based Game, nor is it Japanese anime. I can get behind that.
Seconded. Even if we can't discuss serious issues, I'd like it if we were allowed this much.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#96 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:59 am

Damn this thread. Every time it derails enough for me to think that now it's a good time to pitch in and tell you people to stay on topic, it finds its way back by itself ^_^

I've intentionally stayed out of this discussion so far and let PyTom handle it. However, it's not as though I don't have any opinion here at all, and I'd like to leave my two cents, at least.

I've never experienced the LSF community as anything but welcoming and friendly. If I had any gripes with people, I wasn't alone in that, and most of the negative things I experienced here - no, make that ALL of the negative things - came from people who were new to the LSF and, more often than not, didn't stay long.

Considering how little drama we've seen in comparison to other large online communities, I believe we're doing a great many things right. Yup, I'm tooting my own horn here, but I'm not just talking about this site's administration. I'm talking about all of us, especially the really active members. You've been a very helpful, open-minded bunch of wonderful people, willing to devote tons of your time both to this community's proclaimed goal (create VNs) and to assisting your fellow lemmites (if I remember the term correctly) with whatever trouble they might have. At times, you're in disagreement with others, but you talk it out (mostly in a mature and reasonable way) and carry on.

If I'm really reluctant to change much about how this site is run, it's mostly because the way it's been run so far, it's managed to attract you, you wonderful crowd of people. And it always pains me to see if someone doesn't feel at home here anymore, like ThisIsNoName.

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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#97 Post by ThisIsNoName » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:45 am

Mad Harlequin wrote: I apologize for my inability to communicate appropriately. I admit I was a little curt, but I was blinded by my feelings back then. For what it's worth, I have a loved one with PTSD, so I'm not unaware of its definition.

In any case, I recently apologized for any hurt I caused anyone, and I hope I'm allowed to resign the title of forum bogeyman in the future---though I don't mind holding onto it if it means somebody else will be kept from having to use it.
For what it's worth, I wasn't trying to make you out to be a bogey-man. I used it because it's a fairly clear cut example of what can go wrong when calling others out.

And I apologize for my behavior on this thread. I've been having a very rough couple days, and being shut down like I was earlier was the straw that broke the camel's back. I know it doesn't excuse my actions, and I'll try to do better, but I thought I owed people on the forum at least a little explanation.

Anyways, I know I asked for my profile to be deleted, but if the mods don't mind, I'd like to stay a bit longer. :)

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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#98 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:49 am

ThisIsNoName wrote:Anyways, I know I asked for my profile to be deleted, but if the mods don't mind, I'd like to stay a bit longer. :)
Sure.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#99 Post by noeinan » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:18 pm

PyTom wrote:
You said,
This tends to avoid acknowledging that the other person was hurt, and instead talks about why they should not be held responsible for the other person being hurt, why they should not have to care, and why they should not have to stop hurting that person.
Among many other things.

My point is that there are times on this forum when peoples' feeling will be hurt as part of the course of our mission - and while unproductive hurt is to be avoided, emotional pain by itself shouldn't be enough to stop all discussion.
Yes, but that was more of a discussion with Sapphi about communication, and about people being hurt by bigotry (accidental or on purpose), not a request to change forum moderation to exclude all hurt feelings.

There is a rather big difference between receiving constructive criticism, which can hurt but is good for your project, having your feelings hurt because someone told you something you said hurt them, and being hurt because you were dehumanized.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#100 Post by MaiMai » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:33 pm

On the topic of making newbies feel more welcome, we have discussed that before, but I don't think anyone's followed up on the suggestion on making a, "Getting Started" post of sorts.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#101 Post by Kailoto » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:19 pm

I've refrained from posting in this thread again because I've already said what I had to say, but there is one thing that has come up that I do feel like backing. It's the inclusion of a place to talk about western literature and other media.

Most of the things that PyTom has brought up I agree with - and even if things are not optimal for me, that's okay, since I'm not the one running this community. And while the arguments for dissolving the Anime, Games, and Japan forum are solid, so too are the reasons for keeping it. The problem then isn't the fact that the Anime, Games, and Japan (henceforth AGJ for brevity) forum exists - it's that a similar place for the discussion of art and culture outside of Japan doesn't.

If we're going to keep the AGJ forum (which it seems we are, as PyTom has been fairly adamant about it), then it seems unfair not to have an equivalent place for things not Japanese. Sure, visual novels originated in Japan, but what if we want to talk about CYOA books? What if we want to talk about an interesting TV show or book series? All of these are just as pertinent to VNs as the types of discussions you'll find in the AGJ forum. Right now, the most popular topic by post count on the first page is a thread for fetishes. I wouldn't consider that pertinent to VNs or their origins. And while the topic for the last game you've played is in its own forum, similar threads for books and movies are relegated to General Discussion.

It's this sort of nonequivalent treatment of subjects that people are arguing against. Why should Japanese culture be privileged above all others? I mean, I love Japan and all, but isn't there something to gain from having discussions about other cultures as well? I don't think it's unreasonable to state that if other cultures have no room in the forums, then Japanese culture shouldn't either. But I don't want to get rid of Japan's influence; I'd prefer to add to it. Visual novels as an art form will gain so much from taking inspiration from other cultures, and that's not something one can deny.

If we were to include an area for these discussions - and that is an if right now, although I'd certainly hope it becomes a reality - I think it would be best if it were merged with the existing AGJ forum and repurposed. Perhaps something along the lines of Literature, Film, Games, and Other Mediums? That way General Discussion can be used for anything outside of the realm of the arts, like the happy and sad threads, or to use a more specific example, the fetish thread. It would require a lot of moderation (some threads would have to be moved from AGJ to GD and vice versa), but I think it would be worth it in the long run.

That's really the only flaw I can see at the moment. As others have pointed out, these forums are quite effective at their primary purpose, and for the most part the community is respectful and courteous. Everything else comes down to a matter of preference; this is one thing that I think actually needs to change.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#102 Post by Sapphi » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:04 pm

MaiMai wrote:On the topic of making newbies feel more welcome, we have discussed that before, but I don't think anyone's followed up on the suggestion on making a, "Getting Started" post of sorts.
I have been kicking similar ideas around for awhile. Some forums send an automated PM to every new user with helpful links and places to get started. Is there a reason we do not do that here?
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#103 Post by MaiMai » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:12 pm

I didn't even know that was possible.

I mean, I'm willing to start an outline of such a post, but I've yet to make heads or tails of how to actually do that and what I would include. I'm usually here for the art asset portion anyways.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#104 Post by PyTom » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:48 pm

CYOA stuff is on-topic for the Other Story-Based Games section, and probably also the General and Creator's sections as well, depending on what you want to say about them.

If you can relate discussions on other mediums to VNs, have them. The influence of Anime on VNs is pretty direct, and vice versa - how many VNs have inspired anime? If you can make such a case for something else, post it in general. My feeling is there isn't a lot of such discussion, and so creating a forum for it is going to just encourage less productive discussion. If there is, we can make a place for it.


A getting started thread seems like a good idea. If someone makes one, we can bless it.


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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#105 Post by Lesleigh63 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:31 pm

MaiMai wrote:On the topic of making newbies feel more welcome, we have discussed that before, but I don't think anyone's followed up on the suggestion on making a, "Getting Started" post of sorts.
You could try a 'reception desk' under Welcome.

- don't know where to post something - ask here.
- don't know where to find something - ask here.
- don't know how to start to be active in the community - ask here.

You could answer simple questions here, but direct the newcomer to specific sections/threads for more indepth answers.

If you're manning the reception desk you need to be friendly, helpful and patient.
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