Official Forum Rules
*This thread will serve as the official version of the Forum Rules. In the event of any differences between rules posted here or found elsewhere, these rules will take priority. The team will make changes on an ongoing basis to these rules and will announce them in this thread. If you adhere to the general rule of "don't be a jerk to people" and "don't start fights", you will generally be on the side with most of these rules.
1. Moderation on VGChartz - VGChartz uses a progressive moderation system as a basic guideline for moderating users. This means that repeats of similar offenses will often result in harsher penalties, starting with a Warning and working up. *Note ~ In extreme cases, the Progressive System can be ignored at the Head Moderators' discretion.
- Any level of progression when it comes to ban length may be skipped in especially heinous/serious cases.
- In the same way, Moderators may be more lenient when issuing a moderation, due to a myriad of reasons (usually participating in the forums for a period of time without breaking rules). This leniency is at the discretion of the Mod Team.
- Generally, permanent bans are only handed out for extreme rule breaking, continued repeat offenses of the same rules, or actions that threaten the site's ability to function. However, the Administrators and Head Moderators reserve the right to permanently ban your account at any time if they feel you are a poor fit for the community, or a threat to the site.
- Do not post these issues in the forums, outside of Moderator-sanctioned threads, or on the Moderator’s wall. Doing so may result in moderation action against you.
- If you are Banned and cannot log in, you may contact The Mod Team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is accessible to every Moderator and provides the fastest way to get your issue(s) heard and addressed.
- Reporting Content - If you think a thread or post needs moderator attention, then you can let us know by clicking the Report button and telling us what the problem is in a respectful manner. This means no profanity of any kind. If things need to go further, send a PM to any of our Moderators. Naturally, we do not read every post in every thread, and appreciate a helpful heads-up from readers when something inappropriate is going on. Do not report the same post more than once; there might be plenty of reasons for a reported post not getting handled immediately. Be respectful of the process and trust that every report is carefully examined before it is either dismissed or acted upon.
2. New Users - Because new users have not yet shown a commitment to civil discourse, Moderators will look more harshly upon them (and upon prolific rule-breakers) rather than established users with relatively clear moderation histories. If you are a long-time member of the site, it is easy to tell the difference between a light-hearted, humorous post, and a genuine piece of flamebait. This distinction is far less clear when you are a new user, so we advise caution. Do not, however, take this to mean that the rules do not apply to established members.
If a Moderator deems your username to be inappropriate, they may permanently disable your account at his/her discretion. You are free to create a new account with a more appropriate name.
3. Thread Creation - Thread titles and content must be descriptive and on topic. Contentless threads and those who break the following rules can and will be locked. Repeat offenders may be moderated at the discretion of the Mod Team.
- Elimination Threads, Official Threads, Poster-Above-You Threads, and Voting Threads and the like require Moderator approval. If you do not have it, the thread will be locked, and if you are a repeat offender, you will be moderated. Note that an approved thread may still be locked by the Head Moderators.
- Thread Titles:
- Need to accurately describe the subject content.
- Should not use deceptive hooks to lure people in.
- Should not be used to pose simple questions.
- Should use full names rather than abbreviations (StarCraft instead of SC. Star Control 2 instead of SC2. Soul Calibur 3 instead of SC3. SimCity 4 instead of SC4).
- Should use proper capitalization (no CAPS), grammar, and spelling.
- Should not include inappropriate/foul language.
- Thread Content:
- Copy/Pasting full transcriptions of articles is strictly prohibited. Instead, you may paste specific sections of the article that pertain to the subject of your thread, along with your own commentary related to that article.
- Likewise, your thread should never only be a link to the story/article/video/etc. You must include your own commentary.
- Threads cannot be aimed at moderators or users, particularly to call them out or insult them. If you want to talk to a user, send them a Wall Post, or a Private Message.
- Posts that are clearly a reply or a response to a thread should be just that, a post. Threads should not be a response or a retaliation to another thread. Keep related discussion in the appropriate topic.
- Engage the thread. Don’t simply create a topic and not post again. Add some of your own thoughts and views. Moderators can lock and moderate you should this be ignored and if you are a frequent offender.
- Moderators may edit the content of your thread (including your thread title) if they deem it necessary to do so. If thread content is edited, please do not remove or change these edits without asking the Moderator who issued them (via PM).
4. Work-Safe Content - Some suggestive content is allowed, within limits, but it must be clearly marked before the image appears. Any content of this kind needs to go in NSFW Discussion, with no exceptions. If your topic contains any NSFW material, this should be clearly indicated in the title. We aren't trying to stop you from having fun, but people of all ages view this site, as well as people at work, so please keep your content appropriate and clearly marked. Pornographic or egregiously NSFW content (exposed genitalia, bared buttocks, and/or female nipple/areola) is never allowed anywhere on the site (including links to said content), and the posting of such content will be treated as a very serious offense. All judgments on work-safe content will be at the discretion of the Mod Team. Your avatar and signature must also be work-safe.
5. Substance - Content is king for all posts and threads (for more rules on thread creation, see Rule 3). Some tips to keep you and your posts out of trouble:
- Do not say that item A sucks, or that item B is better than item C. Give reasons why, and provide evidence (articles, screenshots, technical information, even opinion etc).
- Avoid "In Before The Lock" (IBTL) posts.
- Do not post spoilers unless you have CLEARLY marked them as such - if necessary using the 'spoiler' tool in Styles. Be sensible here. The plot twist in The Empire Strikes Back is not a spoiler. The plot twist in BioShock is.
- Threads sometimes naturally transition to new discussions, but try to stay on topic as much as possible.
- Quote trees should be no longer than three posts.
- Some profanity is understandable, but try not to over do it. VGC is a place for people of all ages, so just use a little discretion.
- Signatures must not be excessively long. GIFs contained within signatures must not exceed 1.5MB and 270 pixels in height. Like avatars, signatures cannot contain graphic violence or sexual/NSFW content, and must also be free from flashing lights and other discomfort-inducing GIFs. Quotes in signatures are subject to the approval of the quoted member. You must remove a quote of a member from your signature if they ask you to do so. Every rule applying to posts also applies to signatures. All content in a signature is subject to Moderator approval. Failure to comply with these standards will result in a moderation. Signatures may be removed by any Moderator if they violate these rules.
- Make an effort to type in full words and sentences. Put a space after punctuation and capitalise the start of sentences. You're not writing a text message, and you are not in any hurry. It is very easy to tell the difference between a non-native speaker (who is more than welcome here) and somebody who is simply not making any effort to be coherent. Writing in text speak certainly won't endear you to other users. Similarly, use paragraphs and line breaks, because nobody wants to read an enormous wall of text.
- Do not post links to or requests for copyrighted content - Posting links to, or requests for, copyrighted content can and will result in a ban. Copyrighted material includes, but is not limited to: copies of games, ROMs of console games (not including wholly from scratch creations, subject to any licenses said creations may have), and leaked versions of not-yet-released games, even ones that will be freely available in the future. Feel free to discuss piracy in general, but don't use the forums as a means of sharing pirated content.
6. Spamming - Spam, which is multiple replies in a row without any substance and replies that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, is not allowed.
- Explain and justify your opinions. If you have nothing to add to a topic, then don't post at all. Similarly, even if it's well defended, repeating your opinion multiple times is also spamming. Make your point and move on to your next idea or point.
- Necro-bumping (Namely posting in a non-Official/Moderator approved thread 30 days after the most recent post) will be treated as a form of Spamming if the post has no valid reason for being posted, or treated as a form of Flaming/Trolling if the post in question is malicious in its intent. If you are unsure if a necrobump is appropriate, check with a Moderator.
- Backseat Moderating in the forums will also be treated as Spamming, as it will derail the topic and conversation of the thread. You are not a Moderator, so if you do feel like a user is breaking the rules, report them and move on. Let The Mod Team handle it (examples of Backseat Moderating include statements like, "Reported." "You should be banned for that." "I give you a week tops." "I've been banned for less." and the like).
- Thread Duplication - Threads may be consolidated if they are not sufficiently distinct from other active threads. To help avoid having your thread locked, always review the thread titles on the' Hot Topics' page of gamrConnect before posting. If you are going to post a subject that is similar to that of an ongoing discussion, take great care to ensure that your thread topic and post body both clearly show how your thread differs from the others out there. In rare cases, if two threads on a topic are created around the same time, the one with the clearest title and most constructive content will remain open, the other will be locked. Even if the latter was created first.
7. Flamebait and Trolling - Posts or signatures slamming a particular platform without basis - be it a specific console, macs, windows, or anything similar - will not be tolerated. This applies to specific games as well as consoles.
- The forums are here for all gamers. Unless you're in a thread specifically geared towards platform or game comparison/discussion, keep your anti-platform/game comments to yourself. There is a difference between reasonable argument, and Trolling.
- You have the right to express your opinion, as long as it is relevant, justified, and presented in a civil manner. If you want to discuss something other than the thread topic, make your own thread.
- You cannot create threads, posts, signatures, etc. just to bait people of a specific fan group. Bait threads will be locked and you will be moderated for them. If you spend a lot of time making hit-and-run negative threads or posts about a specific platform, you will also be moderated at the discretion of the moderators
- Any user has the right to request that you stop posting on his/her personal wall, for any reason. If you continue to post on the user's wall, you can and will be moderated for it. Respect the user's wishes and move on.
8. Alternate IDs and Multiple Accounts - Creating multiple accounts will result in the new accounts being permanently disabled and a ban to the original account.
- When you are banned, you are expected to serve the ban. Creating new accounts to dodge a ban will result in the lengthening of the original ban and, in extreme repeated instances, a permanent ban for all accounts (both present and in the future). Relatives or others sharing the same IP may have separate accounts, but any bans imposed on one may be imposed on the other in order to prevent ban dodging.
- If you would like to make a new account for a "fresh start", new name (must be an appropriate name, see Rule 7), etc., let a Moderator know so that they can ban the old account (after an account is switched, we will not allow you to return to your old account). Keep in mind that your entire Moderation History will be moved to your new account.
- Sharing your account password with any other user will result in a permanent ban for that account.
9. Insults and Flaming - Attacking other users for any reason is never acceptable.
You should avoid:
- Insulting a person's religion, religious beliefs, race, sex, sexuality, nationality, political beliefs, gaming preferences, etc. Debate is encouraged, as is civil disagreement, but respect the beliefs and opinions of others.
- Insulting any group without proper justification.
- Do not call people names, such as fanboy, idiot, troll, etc, etc... Also, avoid offensive racial, religious, or sexual terms and slurs.
- Disparaging, insulting, or baiting comments about users who are not participating in the thread.
- Making highly offensive comments about people outside the site (though greater leniency will be shown for comments about non-members).
- Inciting abuse or harassment - of anyone. This includes attempting to discredit any user based on their preferences.
- Similarly, avoid discussing the user who created the thread in a negative, insulting, or accusational fashion, rather than discussing the thread topic itself. If you feel a topic is baiting, trolling or rule-breaking, report it.
- Taunting banned members, in threads, on walls, or anywhere else, about their ban.
- All the previous rules apply to the forums as well as every other venue of this website. That includes User Walls, Personal Messages, Game Walls, and the like.
- Moderators will look at overt discrimination very harshly. Blatant forms of racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other sort of hatred towards a group of people(s) will not be tolerated, and will be met with firm moderation.
- VGChartz is a place for any and every type of person, so try to avoid generalizing a particular group. It's in poor taste and is sure to cause problems in the forums. This will be strictly enforced if you make a habit out of it.
10. Staff And Website Abuse - This is any unnecessary attacks or insults on Staff Members concerning Site Duties or attacking the Site itself.
- Do not attack Staff. If there is a problem with anything done on (or to) VGChartz, we can have someone take a look at it. Some critiquing is okay (such as suggestions for site databases/fixes), but that's the extent of it. No bullying or continuous badgering will be allowed. This includes PMs, thread posts, wall posts, and any other Staff related conversation. A Head Moderator or Site Administrator can act against you should this be ignored or violated.
- Do not attack the website. Reasonable debate based on facts is acceptable, but repeated attacks and negative comments about the website will not be tolerated. People are here to discuss games and sales, and doing nothing but attacking the site is disruptive to those who are trying to participate in a discussion. As with Staff, this also applies to PMs, thread posts, wall posts, and any other Site-related conversation.
- *THREATS OR ACTS OF RETALIATION/REVENGE ON ANY STAFF MEMBER (SUCH AS BLACKMAIL, HACKING, OR ANY TYPE OF POTENTIAL VIOLENCE) WILL BE MET WITH THE HARSHEST PENALTIES. We are happy to give controversial situations another look, but will not tolerate any threats whatsoever. Violating this will result in a Permanent Ban from the Site by a Head Moderator or Site Administrator. No exceptions to this.