While not originally present as case law, the below additions were enacted after the writing of the original rules, per the denoted date of each respective addition. Unfortunately, all of these additions are a result of detracting sectors of the community either pressing their luck with regard to ban evasion, or acting in such a way that harms the reputation of this community (see below).
Keep our Impression in Mind (April 2021)
These have been trying times for virtually everyone here. The state of the forum has led us to take its continued survival even more seriously than we used to.
Over the last couple years, we have watched many a developer walk away from the community after nasty run-ins with communal vitriol and trollbate, after merely presenting us with their masterpieces, hard work at any rate. Not only has it been utterly appalling to see the outright ridicule flung in their direction, but this has resulted in many developers who would have taken to the forum being advised against it by prominent members of the game accessibility scene who have seen the writing on the wall. There certainly have been a fair number of influential community advocates and long-time developers who have done likewise, left without a trace. Is this what we want?
Now more than ever, it's exceedingly important to again remember why we're all here.
While we certainly understand that tempers will flare and disagreements will happen, we're committed to improving this forum however we can, and from here on out this will mean that we take prolonged or continuous unacceptable behavior more seriously than we have done in the past. At the end of the day, we are all here for at least one underlying reason, and I think it is high time that we remind one another of that by rallying to all do our best to save this community instead of watching it fracture.
Our position on VPN's (January 2020)
We recognize the fact that VPN's, proxies, and other such methods that may be used to hide an IP address have many legitimate uses. We also know that one of these uses happens to be skirting around bans and/or performing harmful activities under the cloak of anonymity. As a result, we require VPN, proxy, etc users to give a short explanation while introducing themselves. If you prefer, you may click the report link below your post and do so that way. We unfortunately have to look at these users more suspiciously. This means it can and will be used against you in the event of an infraction that may have us believe you aren't who you say you are.
Behavior Update (September 2019)
Due to the forum's greater responsibility to the audiogaming community
over the last few years, we feel that a firmer stance on personal
attacks and unauthorized resources is in order. Users will notice
that personal attacks and inflammatory bickering are no longer so
In light of the forum's slowly growing mainstream presence, we feel it is crucial to put our best foot forward and eliminate unwanted negativity and immaturity. We trust that most of our users will have no difficulty adapting to these changes. If you wish to antagonize fellow users, or attempt to distribute unauthorized forks or other material through this platform to which you do not have legal rights, you will likely find that your stay is very short and unproductive. If this change upsets you, we ask that you find another place to converse.
Rules1. Each person is permitted one (1) account. Duplicate accounts will be deleted, and users guilty of creating duplicate accounts for any reason will be subject to disciplinary action.
2. Everyone has the right to expect fair treatment. We are all individuals with equal rights and responsibilities. This means you should try and be polite when disagreeing with others. When in doubt, disagree with the post, not the person. Name-calling and personal attacks are not allowed. Moderators and administrators will become involved if members are abusing one another. Please do not attack or insult anyone on the basis of their age, race, gender, beliefs, sexual orientation, political affiliation, intelligence, ability level or lifestyle choices.
3. The sharing or encouragement of illegal material or activities (game cracks, copyrighted torrents that are not free to use, etc.) is not allowed. This also includes the use and redistribution of copyrighted assets. This can lead to potential legal complications with regard to copyrighted material. Additionally, theft of games and/or game assets can do serious harm to our community of independent game developers.
This also means you should take care when discussing the methods by which you might crack a game or program, and should not make any efforts to undermine anyone's security or livelihood. We cannot stop you pirating software or downloading music, movies and books through illicit sources, but we ask that you not do it here, and not encourage others to do it either. If links to any material not hosted here at audiogames.net are provided, we cannot endorse their safety or legality, so please consider carefully. This is a rule we take very seriously. As a side note: intent will be taken into account when citing the invocation of this rule, as will a user's prior history. Someone who is discussing security flaws in an attempt to help improve them, or in a general conversation about security, is very likely not intending malice and, so long as they don't provide tools for others to cause harm, they will not be punished. In cases where users have demonstrated a willingness to crack software or share illegal material, however, or in cases where clear support of piracy is evident, this rule may be enforced.
4. Please do not encourage or spread spam in any way. We generally define spam as repetitive, nonsensical or clearly off-topic strings, strings that may crash screen-readers, intentional post duplication, and the like. Spam will be removed on sight, and we will make every effort to keep spambots and the like away from the forum in order to limit the annoyance they cause when they inevitably show up.
5. Please do not hijack someone else's topic. Conversations change and evolve, but users who make a habit of derailing other people's conversations may face disciplinary action.
6. When moderators or administrators do choose to step into a discussion in an official capacity, we do so because we believe it is necessary. Usually, such intervention takes the form of closing a topic, or asking a subject to cool down. We ask that users in such a situation follow all related instructions from staff members to the best of their ability. Staff will attempt to maintain a hands-off approach wherever we can, but in the event that this is not possible, we expect your help in making sure the forum continues to run smoothly.
7. If you are banned from the forum, you may appeal it formally, but you may not attempt to get around it and access the forum by any means. This includes creating duplicate accounts; if we discover that you have done this, your original punishment's severity will increase.
8. Do not, under any circumstances, share personal details of other individuals without their express written permission. This includes publicly unavailable details, which may differ from case to case. Examples include, but are not limited to: a person's given first or last name, street address, telephone number, email address, place of employment, and any unauthorized recordings to which you may have access. Sharing this information, if it is not readily available to the public with the consent of the target, will result in punishment, as we take the privacy of our users seriously.
9. In the event that other available methods fail to stop a user's problematic behaviour, the administration may decide to invoke punitive action outside of the natural discipline protocol. This can also be invoked if an action whose consequences would be relatively minor are made much worse by content (repetition of similar offenses, inference of ill intent, etc). This process is referred to as a community failure clause, where unacceptable behavior or users are punished or even removed for the good of the community at large. The administrators and moderators will verify their punishment based on demonstrable evidence of wrongdoing. A staff majority, including at least one (1) administrator, must be reached before this clause can be used to punish someone. Staff may attempt to give the user in question one final chance to improve their behavior, but if problems persist, the agreed-upon punishment will be enforced immediately and without further deliberation. Staff are not required to give a user a last chance of this nature, but can do so at their own discretion.
GuidelinesBy using this site and its associated forums, you agree to try and abide by the guidelines as much as possible. These are put in place to help everyone communicate clearly and to minimize confusion. You will not face punishment for failing to adhere to our guidelines unless you are doing so repeatedly or for a prolonged period of time, or unless your breach of these guidelines is particularly problematic (see rule 9).
1. This website is public, and can be read by anyone. Please bear this in mind when posting, and share only what you are comfortable with sharing.
2. Please use English when you post. This is the official language of the forums, and while we respect people of any nationality, the staff team's only universal language is English. We will make every effort to support those whose mother tongue is not English.
3. Please try to put new topics in the correct forum, and give them titles which have something to do with what the topic is about. For instance, a topic entitled "Hello" in the Introduce Yourself forum would make sense, but a topic called "Hello" in the General Games Discussion might be unclear. If you place a topic in the wrong forum, it will be moved, but you will face no disciplinary action for it.
4. If you find a post that breaks the rules and which has not yet been responded to by a member of the staff team, please feel free to report it. This will give us a notification telling us that someone has flagged a post for investigation and potential moderation. Not all reported posts will result in punitive action, but we will look into all reports to determine their validity. Thank you in advance for helping us do our job. Please note that if you know or strongly suspect that multiple people have already reported a problematic post, adding another report with the same perspective may not be necessary. You will never be punished for over-reporting, but we may bring the issue to your attention if a large number of redundant reports slows down the moderation process.
5. Please consider others when you post information which could be seen as a spoiler. While some users do not mind having details discussed at length, others do not want their experience spoiled. As such, we ask that you clearly mark any info that could constitute a spoiler with some sort of text which denotes it as such. Please note that an accidental spoiler may not be grounds for anything except a little annoyance, but deliberate or repeated spoilers, or those designed to ambush other users, may warrant greater pushback.
6. Please do not revive very old topics without a good reason. If the last post in a thread is from a long time ago and the topic has clearly been quiet, please post elsewhere or create your own topic. Some threads go silent for awhile, only to legitimately flare up again later. This is fine, so long as it's not being done repeatedly and with no good reason. Excessive "thread necromancy" - raising threads from the dead - may be grounds for a caution or a warning if it continues unchecked.
7. Should you wish to leave the community, you are free to stop using your account at any time. We also invite you to edit your posts in order to remove or correct things as you see fit. In the event that you desire to have your actions on the forum stricken from public record, we urge you to contact Google or other search engine providers to begin that process. We are generally not in the habit of editing or deleting posts or accounts ourselves except in specific circumstances, and this is a precedent we intend to uphold, as it is unreasonable to expect this level of data control from a website with our size and scope.
8. If you have cause to believe that any project we support may be using copyrighted assets illegally, we encourage you to file an official claim with us. Please see the sticky threads concerning the reporting of copyrighted assets for more information on this. You are under no obligation to make these claims, and will not be punished for failing to do so or for continuing to enjoy these projects should you do so. Please do not submit claims against a project or developer in bad faith. We appreciate your help in making sure that our forum complies with copyright law to the fullest extent possible under the circumstances.