Well, I think it's about time we go over some basic posting rules for the Off-Topic forum. For now, I'll leave this thread open for discussion since I always appreciate feedback, but no spam. Note please the bolding, italicizing and underlining of those two words.
Here's what I expect in general, which may include some of the overall forum rules (see top of page for those):
1. This is the Off-Topic Guild Wars incgamers forum. That means as silly as it might sound, this is the one place you cannot talk about Guild Wars beyond simple references in context regarding other subjects. If you wish to discuss the game, there are a myriad of other, more fitting subforums here to choose from.
2. Quality of posts. Sure, that's a pretty subjective theme. Poster A is going to think his posts are awesome, while poster B has other ideas. There are two engines in place for deciding what posts are worthy: the general reaction of the populace, and the moderator. The moderator naturally has final say over what remains and what doesn't, but also relies heavily on the general ambience and feedback of the other OT posters.
3. Appropriateness of posts. Again, very subjective. Keep in mind, however, that this is, in general, a family-oriented forum catering to posters of all ages. There is a recommended age requirement, I believe, of at least 13 years but naturally, there may be younger posters we're not aware of. And that is really beside the point, isn't it? Keep it clean in here. Just because you may believe in Freedom of Speech and that swearing is the bomb, doesn't mean everyone else does. Everything you say here affects everyone else. Pornographic pictures, links to inappropriate websites containing questionable subject matter are included.
4. Spam. In here, that basically means mindless drivel. There are several ongoing threads in place already that are dedicated mainly to mindless drivel. We don't need to flood the front page with them. We don't need to keep inventing new threads just to find out which poster has the bestest lobotomy. There's an awful lot of spamminess going on lately that only seems to be increasing; the moderator is getting more and more reports, and there will be repercussions if it continues.
5. Flaming. Mostly, that doesn't happen here. However, from time to time a discussion doesn't meet the personal requirements of one poster or another, and the flames begin. There will always be differences of opinion, which should be embraced as a sign of uniqueness rather than regarded as an opportunity to trash someone for thinking outside the box. Debate an issue, sure, but resort to personal insults? Never, not in here.
6. Freedom of Speech. An interesting concept, but it doesn't exist here. These are privately owned forums not subject to any specific government's laws or constitution, and we are beholden to nobody if we seem to thwart what you believe are your inalienable rights. The admins of these forums are also the owners, and their word is law. So, while we will strive to let you have as much Freedom of Speech as is possible, there are limits. Seek them if you dare.
7. In general: Be respectful, be civil, be polite. Be inventive, be creative, be unique. Stick to those concepts and we'll have a happy community here. Remember that, although the moderator has final say over what is acceptable and what isn't, the voice of the majority does count. That's what the report button is for, among other things. Use it.
Moderator's personal comment: Spam. Spam, spam, spammity spam. Sometimes I feel like I've walked into a playground of the mentally challenged where it's cooler to hit yourself in the head with a hammer than to build a neat sand castle. Most of the threads on this front page lately are variations of the same theme; they might as well all be called 'Say Something Silly About Something Silly', or 'What Silly Thing Beats Another Silly Thing For Silly Reasons?', etc. etc. I don't mind a few of those things and I realize that, among other things, you need a kind of 'break room' area to get rid of some excess energy, but come on. Any thoughtful threads involving real issues or seeking honest opinions end up getting lost in the Sea of Spam. I want to see that easing up soon, or I'm going to be closing down threads at random if they resemble others too much.
Edit: A Note About Spoiler Tags: As part of the OT fodder, we discuss a lot of movies, books and TV shows, many of them new releases that some members have not yet experienced. Using spoiler tags is polite and expected if you wish to impart your knowledge of key information. Please respect others and use them. Here's how:
SpoilerSpoiler tags are set up the same way as the clickable quote tag option located in the menu above the posting box. You can click that option and replace the word 'quote' with the word 'spoiler' at the beginning and end of your information, rather than inserting brackets yourself.
Telling someone not to read spoilers is a lame excuse for being lazy or inconsiderate. Some people--myself included--read very rapidly whilst scanning a thread, and will blaze through a spoiler in no time. Be considerate.