- 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) 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.
- Thread titles must be work safe, descriptive and on topic. Keep the language in thread titles clean. We don't restrict language usage in posts, but thread titles are a different matter. Whatever luridly foul things you wish to say about Luigi, you can find a work safe euphemism for the title. Also, letter substitution fools nobody, but strings of unpronounceable symbols are acceptable. Now for the descriptive and on topic bit. It's very simple - use the thread title to sum up or describe what you are saying in your post.
Do not use the title as a deceptive hook to lure people in. Do not post something useless like "How do I..." and put the question in the post. Use a game's full name rather than just an abbreviation of it. Starcraft instead of SC. Star Control 2 instead of SC2. Soul Calibur 3 instead of SC3. SimCity 4 instead of SC4. Abbreviations mean different things to different people, so Be Specific. Also, be careful about using the word "official”. Do not simply declare your thread official by fiat. Threads are only "official" if a moderator says so. In a decision between two threads on the same topic, the thread with the clearest thread title will take priority over the thread with a more obscure topic, even if the latter is posted first.
Threads should not be aimed at one user (or moderator) in particular, especially not to call them out or insult them. If you want to talk to one user, send them a wall post, or a private message if it is more private.
- Avoid thread duplication. As a general rule, moderators allow a good latitude for threads on closely related subjects. However, at a moderator's discretion, 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.
- Avatars. All Avatars must be safe for work. This means that they should not be overtly sexual (this includes blatantly sexualised poses), grotesque or graphically violent in nature. As a general guide, ask yourself whether you would see something like that in a PG-rated movie. There are children here, and people who are working, and there is no way for them to hide your obscene avatar. If in doubt, don’t use it. Avatars must not troll or flame (or violate any of the rules laid out for posts, especially 10, 11 and 13). Whether or not an avatar is appropriate is subject to moderator approval. Avatars may be removed by the Lead Moderator (axumblade) or Deputy Lead Moderator (Kantor) if they violate these rules.
- Signatures. Signatures must not be excessively long. GIFs contained within signatures must not exceed 1MB. Like avatars, signatures must contain no 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 (especially 10, 11 and 13) also applies to signatures. All content in a signature is subject to moderator approval. Failure to comply with these standards will result in moderator action. Signatures may be removed by the Lead Moderator (axumblade) or Deputy Lead Moderator (Kantor) if they violate these rules.
- 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 should go in NSFW Discussion. If your topic contains any NSFW material, this should be indicated in the title. If it’s in a post, it needs to be marked, and you must post a link rather than embedding the image unless you are in an appropriately marked thread. 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 content is never allowed, and the posting of such content will be treated as a very serious offence. All judgments on work safe content will be at the discretion of the moderator. Your avatar must be work safe - see Rule 5.
- Substance. Content is king. Threads lacking content can and will be locked. Some tips to keep you and your posts out of trouble:
- Poster Above You and voting threads 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 Lead or Deputy Lead Moderator.
- Do not post just a link. Links have context - expound upon that context. For example, Mario Piano Videos. Post a link, but also give some background on what the link is to. Try to avoid simply copy and pasting the article to which you are linking.
- Do not post only that Item A sucks, or that Item B is better than Item C. Give reasons why, post links to documented problems, of screenshots, or whatever you can. Similarly, do not reply to other posters with "you're wrong", or worse, “you’re an idiot/troll/fanboy.” Explain why you disagree, and perhaps point to the correct answer.
- No "In Before The Lock" (IBTL) posts. Repeat offenders will be warned, and disciplinary action will be taken if those warnings are not heeded.
- No spoilers in threads which are not clearly marked for them in the title. If you are in a non-spoiler thread, mark your spoilers by highlighting the text, selecting the “styles” drop-down menu, and choosing “Spoiler”. Be sensible here. The plot twist in Empire Strikes Back is not a spoiler. The plot twist in BioShock is.
- Keep posts on topic as much as possible. Threads do sometimes naturally transition into other discussions, but coming in and posting about a completely different topic in order to start arguments is not okay. Stay on topic, and if you have something different to talk about make your own topic.
- Spamming. Spam, or multiple short replies in a row without any substance, is not allowed. Explain and justify your opinions. If you have nothing to add to a topic, then go to another topic and post in there instead. Similarly, even if it's well defended, repeating your opinion about a console or game multiple times is also spamming.
- 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.
- You always have the right to express your opinion, as long as it is relevant to the thread topic, and you do so in a civil manner, justifying what you say. If you want to discuss something other than the thread topic, make your own thread.
- The forums are here for gamers of all persuasions, so unless you're in a thread specifically geared towards platform comparison/discussion, keep your anti-platform comments out of the thread. Note that there is a difference between having a reasonable argument in the correct thread and trolling.
- Similarly, do not create threads, posts or signatures 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.
- Website criticism. Do not attack the website without basis. Reasonable debate based on facts is acceptable, but repeated attacks and negative comments about the website and its staff 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.
- Multiple accounts. Creating a new account will result in it being permanently disabled. If you would like to make a new account, let a moderator know so that they can ban the old account. When you are banned you are expected to serve the ban. Repeatedly creating new accounts to dodge a ban will result in the lengthening of the ban and, in extreme circumstances, 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.
- Insults and flaming. Attacking other users for any reason is never acceptable.
- Do not insult someone's religion, race, sex, sexuality, nationality, political beliefs, or gaming preferences. Debate is encouraged, as is civil disagreement, but respect the beliefs and opinions of others.
- Similarly, do not insult without justification any group of people, be it a religious group, political group, or anything of that sort.
- Don’t use slurs (gay, f*ggot, n*gger, etc) as insults, even if you’re not using them maliciously.
- Do not personally insult other users. This includes calling them fanboys or trolls.
- Report it when another user insults you instead of insulting them back. If they report you and no one reported their post, guess which one of you gets banned? The moderators do not have time to read every post in a thread, so they will often miss things that are not reported.
- In general try to treat other users with respect and courtesy. We understand debates get heated, but don’t lose yourself in them. Remember you can’t continue the debate if you’re banned, so be respectful to your fellow forum members.
- Quality of Language. 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. You won’t be moderated for using text speak, but it 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. This is pretty well black and white - posting links to, or requests for, copyrighted content can and will get you banned. 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. Just because you've got your hot little digital hands on a leaked copy of the Half Life 3 open beta a few years/decades/centuries early, doesn't mean that you can share it here. The same goes for movies, unless they are hosted on a reputable video website. Feel free to defend and discuss piracy in general, but don’t use the forums as a means of sharing pirated content.
- Reporting Content. If you think a thread or post needs moderator attention then you can let us know by clicking "report this post" and telling us what the problem is. If things need to go further, send a PM to any of our fine moderators. Naturally, we as moderators do not read every post in every thread, and appreciate a helpful head's up from readers when something untoward is going on. If you have a problem with a moderator, send that moderator a private message, and if you are still dissatisfied, send a private message to axumblade, the Lead Moderator. If you are banned and cannot login, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your issue and you will get a response from the Lead Moderator. 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.
which governs general site conduct and legal obligations of both VGChartz Ltd and you as a user.