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Our House Rules

Commenting guidelines for what's allowed, not allowed and how you can make GI.biz a better environment

With over 100,000 registered users spanning every facet of the games business, GamesIndustry.biz offers industry professionals a forum to discuss the key issues of the day, whether that's mobile, free-to-play, indies, the newest consoles or social issues involving gender, sexual orientation or race. The recent GamerGate storm has brought out the worst in some individuals, and debates in our comments section have gotten quite heated.

Considering that tensions are extremely high at the moment, this is a good opportunity for us to remind you explicitly of what we feel is appropriate, inappropriate and how you can make this website and professional community more comfortable and inclusive for all involved.

Who has commenting privileges?

GamesIndustry.biz is a trade publication, and as such our key audience is composed of game developers, executives, marketers, PR, analysts or anyone involved in the games business in a professional capacity, or at the very least studying for a degree to get into the industry. If you're a journalist attempting to register, we will require links to at least three articles you've published in the last few months. Once you've registered, demonstrated proof of your background in the industry and been verified by our staff, you're free to comment on any story you'd like.

The House Rules

A lot of what we expect from our readers should be common sense to the majority of you, but in an era where online discourse and hashtags quickly spin out of control, it's only fair that we explicitly spell out the rules.

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

This cannot be stressed enough. It's our number one rule, and it should be easy to obey. If you cannot respect each other even as you disagree with one another then you shouldn't be here commenting at all. So please, show respect for fellow commenters, the company you represent, and the industry at large.

2. Verbal abuse.

Any sexist, misogynistic, homophobic comments or racial slurs are strictly forbidden and will immediately result in a ban. Cursing is discouraged but allowable in the context of a conversation; however, cursing in anger as part of an attack on someone else is also strictly forbidden and will result in a ban.

3. Trolling.

If in our judgment you're deliberately provoking others or derailing a comments thread, your comments may be subject to deletion and repeated offenses will result in a ban. If one of the GamesIndustry.biz staff feels the need to enter a thread and say something to you, consider it fair warning.

4. Complaints.

If you don't like a story we've chosen to cover, then don't waste our time and the time of fellow commenters by complaining. We do want to hear your feedback, but that's what contact@gamesindustry.biz is for. If you have nothing of substance to say to further the dialogue on a story, then please do refrain from commenting on it.

5. Self-promotion and spam.

If you enter a comments thread just to push your latest product or some company agenda, consider your comment ripe for deletion. This isn't Facebook - put your spam elsewhere.

6. Abuse of the Report button.

As you may have seen, one of the recent additions to our system is a Report button. This has been implemented so that you can help us make GamesIndustry.biz a better place. If you see someone breaking the rules, hit the button to flag a comment and that will alert our staff. DO NOT, however, hit the button just because you disagree with someone else's opinion. Abusing this button will not be allowed and could result in a ban.

7. The Ignore button.

Next month, we'll be implementing a new feature that will let any commenter selectively ignore all future comments from another user they vehemently disagree with. While we'd encourage you not to use this function much - as hearing opposing viewpoints from people you disagree with can be quite healthy and productive - we're offering this to you as a way to make the website and commenting more enjoyable.

8. Closing a thread.

We have now programmed comments threads to automatically close after one month. However, if discussion gets out of control on any particular story, we will close it when necessary before then, and you will no longer be able to add further comments.

9. Our house, our rules.

Some of you may cry "censorship!" when we moderate or delete comments. As editors of GamesIndustry.biz we determine what's appropriate and what's not, and if we feel the need to steer the conversation in a certain direction, that's our prerogative. If you can't play by our rules, then you won't be commenting here.

10. Above all, have fun!

This is an entertainment industry built around fun interactive experiences. If you can't have fun while talking about video games, then something isn't right! The world is mired in fears about Ebola, Isis and a myriad of other problems. GamesIndustry.biz is simply encouraging you to have a constructive conversation about a hobby and industry that we all are passionate about.

What else can I do to help?

Apart from following the rules above, we'd love for more of you to get involved. Tell your co-workers, Tweet about us, do whatever you can to spread the word. GamesIndustry.biz strives to be a safe place where anyone in the games business can have an interesting dialogue without fear of repercussion. It doesn't matter what your gender, race or sexual orientation is - we want you to feel comfortable and to help us raise the level of discourse here. We already have some of the top people in games commenting, but we'd like to see even more of you here. Thanks for participating!

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Latest comments (12)

Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 2 years ago
I am all for this! Seems like some pretty fair rules to me.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend2 years ago
So in short, don't be a dick.
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James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
Yes, absolutely Darren. Unfortunately, some have failed to understand that ;-)
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Show all comments (12)
Craig Burkey Software Engineer 2 years ago
It's good to have some rules, I do think most of the debates on here have been pretty level headed and GI is one of the few places the issues can be debated and discussed without name calling and insults. Long may it continue.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
John, it's something to consider and of course we want to continue to improve the site, but it's up to our tech team to make changes. If I could just wave a wand and make anything happen that would be great :-)
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 2 years ago
@John,

Oftentimes, "Design decision" is code for "What do you mean, we have to replace THE ENTIRE COMMENT SYSTEM to do this ONE THING?!"

;)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Joel Hruska on 20th October 2014 9:19pm

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Lee Hansiel Lim Game Developer - Unity3D, Anino PlayLab2 years ago
While I do love the thinking that we should all be mature enough to "move forward, and simply do without rules" (meaning all these should already be a natural part or tendency of each individual commenter/member of any forum and/or article), I do think it was a very good idea (high time, in fact!) for this article (thumbsup).
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Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital2 years ago
I used to comment quite a lot here whenever I though I had something interesting to add to the debate. GI used to be a great place to help me see things through the eyes of others who also commented a lot. I was looking forward to being disagreed with, because even if the opinions were different from mine, they weren't wrong and they helped me understand some new things.

But more and more, the comments became flooded by self-righteous trolls who didn't present "opinions", but the "truth" and attacked me whenever I presented an opinion that wasn't in line with what was considered right at the moment and they killed any desire in me to actively debate here and most of the others from the "good old days" have left as well.

The damage has been done.

Anyway, I really wish that one day these comments can get "professional" again. Fingers crossed.
8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rules Rock! Joke aside, moderating is one thing, respecting others is basically everyone's responsibility and number #1 rule to keep a healthy community.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 2 years ago
Use the same system most online forums - like Slashdot. Allow users to rate comments, let user hide comments below a certain rating.

One would assume its possible to licence a forum engine - nowadays there is a middleware for everything.
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Andrei Streche Senior Online Multiplayer Programmer, Gameloft Romania2 years ago
Sound a lot like Quora's BNBR ("Be Nice, Be Respectful") policy: http://www.quora.com/What-is-Quoras-Be-Nice-Be-Respectful-policy
A level-headed and active moderating team is absolutely necessary to maintain the standards; if the community has a problem then community votes alone can't fix it.
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Keldon Alleyne Developer, leader, writer, Avasopht Ltd2 years ago
Hmm, I think the reality of it all is that when individuals with different worldviews, assumptions, beliefs and interpretations come together in a forum of discussion, conflict of those mental models is inevitable, which fuels argument when opposing viewpoints cannot be resolved.

In politics they have a concept of tolerance to accommodate for this because people will, in believing they are clearly right, tend to make an effort to be louder. But given the medium is text we express volume in other forms such as vulgarities, rudeness, sarcasm and personal attacks.

I do believe bad behaviour should be moderated, particularly trolls, but personally I think the most important effort of all is the cultivation of tolerance, respect, rational discussion and positive vibes all around.



I'm not a fan of muting, particularly if there is good moderation. Though if there is muting I like Facebook's two way approach so that people don't waste their time addressing someone who cannot see the response.
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