The Rules

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Spectre
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The Rules

Post by Spectre » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:09 am

I would like to see a revision of the rules to include a solid list of what is and isn't considered offensive language or behavior. I've seen far too many instances of unclear rules leading to unfair punishment, when at the root of it is simply misunderstanding. The GU league website (http://guleague.org/) simply says: "Match disturbance, player harassment, language, cheat accusations in public (1 day -7 days)" and "The GU League Admin Team has prepared general guidelines of ban penalties for bad behavior." Neither actually outlines what bad language, match disturbance, and language are. Heck, I've even seen a playful "hax!" be blown out of proportion into a cheat accusation, so I'd appreciate an outline of that too.

Also, I'd like to point out that the Rules page says: "We do not want this to become a police state." Wikipedia says, "A police state is one in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive." Obviously economic and political life don't really apply to an online gaming community, but I'm seeing a lot of social limits and no distinction at all between "law" and exercise of "political" power.

Ultimately, all I care about is that somewhere we have a more solid reference to what is and isn't bad behavior. "Language and harassment" just doesn't cut it. I'm doing my best not to attack anyone, but I really am tired of seeing misunderstandings turn into misdemeanors. Punishments are being handed out too often lately for me to be comfortable with such a vague list of rules. If anyone else feels the same, please chime in.
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Re: The Rules

Post by FiringSquad » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:10 pm

I'm glad this issue is being brought up here. I certainly would like to hear what the players think.
Admins have a duty to maintain a safe and pleasurable environment for all participants. They are certainly not here to become ersatz parents, here to preach morality to the unwashed masses. ;-)
Admins do not just drop the ban-hammer on someone because they let one comment slip. Players are warned first and if the behaviour continues, they receive a ban.
This is not a punishment, it's just the only way we have at present to maintain an environment suitable for minors from all nations.

When it comes to profanity, many cultures have different standards.
In Ireland, where I'm from, many words are used on common speech that would be considered offensive in the U.S.
That means that in order to keep servers pleasurable for U.S. players, I need to prevent players from using words that I use myself.

Typing something takes a degree of forethought. It doesn't just slip out. I fail to understand why it's so difficult for people not to type words that get them into trouble.
I know this is straying a little from your text, but nevertheless I'd welcome any insight into why players feel compelled to type expletives instead of just shouting at the screen.

To get back to your point though about specifying exactly what is and is not considered offensive.
I do not believe it is a good idea to specify it exactly.
Every time we try, we would leave gaps and would end up getting into endless discussion of whether or not it's offensive.
Remember also that it's possible to be offensive in several languages, so imagine how difficult the task would be.

Also, most of the time it's very obvious what will get you into trouble. When it's on the borderline, there is always a warning and then, if there is a repeat of the offense, some action is taken.

There seems to be more aggression lately towards how admins are policing language.
It is true that language is probably being policed more in recent years, but frankly we received many complaints from players about how language had become a major problem and we lost many good players because of it.
We had to do something, so we did our best to set a standard and stick to it.

Believe me, none of the admins are there on a power-trip. I'd give up the job in a heartbeat if I thought there was somebody responsible that wanted to take my place. And I'm not the only one.
We're all doing our best to make this as fun as possible for all and unfortunately for some, that means they need to curb their language when playing. That might reduce the fun they can have, but is that really too much to ask so that others can enjoy themselves on the server too?

Of course you may disagree and still believe that we should specify exactly what is considered profane, so if that's the case, feel free to propose the exact specification here.
It's very easy to sit there and complain, but making a positive contribution would be a much better way to support the league.
I promise that if you can come up with a description that would prevent, or even greatly reduce, confusion about what is profane, then I will make every effort to have it adopted.
I suspect it would be an easy sell. The admins would readily welcome something that would make their job easier.

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Re: The Rules

Post by Spectre » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:48 pm

I'm glad the admins are willing to discuss it. Generally, anyone I present this issue to blows me off or otherwise dismisses it. I understand that a safe, pleasurable environment is needed, but I think it's becoming a bit of a tighter control than is needed - and I believe there's plenty of moral policing going on. And I'm sorry, but yes, I've seen some admins be perfectly willing to drop the ban-hammer because of one slipped comment. If you had any idea how long it's been since I've seen a warning, THEN a repeated offense, THEN a ban...

I see what you're saying about cultures. However, I don't think cultural difference comes into play here. I see a fairly evenly distributed population when it comes to who curses.

Ehm, yes and no. I really do type almost as fast as I speak. Also, people who are used to being able to use certain words will often forget and will take a long time to "break the habit." THIS is where "cultural" difference comes into play, though not necessarily based on where someone lives.

Perhaps you're right about specification leading to more questioning, but even a clearer understanding among the admins, not necessarily even communicated to the players, would be nice. More on this in a minute.

No, I disagree - it's far from obvious. It's often very hard to tell what's unacceptable. It varies from admin to admin and from match to match. It varies based on the admin's mood, their prejudice, and their experience. Sometimes it varies for no reason at all.

The reason for that aggression (I assume you mean from the players) is that the change was, in my opinion, not publicized enough, and in several opinions, far too quick and far too extreme. Now it's being taken the other direction, and at times it feels a bit like I'm tip-toeing around the admins. I understand that it's been a little loose in recent years, but you can't tighten it to the choking point just as a reactionary thing. That will just frustrate people and leave the problem untouched, if not compound it. And again, I feel there's very little standard.

I believe you wholly on this. I don't think any admins are on a power trip, but I think some are forgetting that they're here to keep things peaceful, not extrapolate the rules to their own standards. I've heard some other manners of phrasing this from other players. Some interpret it as getting a big head, some interpret it as putting their reputation before the league, and some will even go so far as to interpret it as a power trip. The last isn't my opinion, but it is some players'. And I don't feel it's about enjoyment anymore - it's about keeping people in line, and that's not what we're here for.

I don't mean to sit here and complain, and you make very good points about what specification could lead to. As for positive contributions, I'd love to see an IRC discussion on this topic. The players would readily welcome something that would make their job easier, as well. :)
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Re: The Rules

Post by joevano » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:08 pm

While I am not a GU Admin, I would like to share some thoughts on the warn/repeat/ban progression.

As an admin on public servers we see the ban progression complaint all of the time as well. The people who we see this complaint from tend to be those who know what they are doing is wrong (banned/warned repeatedly) but want 2 "free" acts of being a jerk and then they stop every session. That is not the purpose of the progression. I see the warn/ban progression as a once or twice in a lifetime thing for a player on a server. If you repeatedly need to be warned for bad behavior on the same server (across different playing sessions), you know the rules and the boundaries and deserve a ban, in my opinion.

I do agree that there are issues with enforcement between different admins. Rules will not change that. This is a similar issue seen between virus creators and anti-virus software makers. "Normal" programs rarely get classified as viruses and have action taken against them, but virus makers are always changing based on the definitions to push the envelope and circumvent the system.

Just my 2 cents...
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Re: The Rules

Post by FiringSquad » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:17 pm

Just to be clear on this.
The language issue is not some personal agenda by admins to enforce good manners on the GU community.
We received many complaints from players about how bad language had made our servers unplayable for them and people were leaving because of it.
It was because of what we heard from the GU-League community, that we decided to move language issues up in our priority list.
We welcomed the creation of another league where players could use whatever language they liked. For a while many people, myself included, played there and enjoyed the free-spirit & rebel atmosphere, but that's not what we are trying to promote here in the GU-League.
Here, we want a safe environment for all players, even the prudish ones, where skill, tactics and comradery are what's important.
If that means that we have to come down hard on some players who persistently use bad language, not caring for other players who might be offended, then so be it.

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Re: The Rules

Post by klavier » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:19 am

As a GU player and a non-admin, I think the rules are pretty clear. Don't be a jerk, don't be an idiot, and respect other people, and nobody will have problems with you.

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Re: The Rules

Post by mr64bit » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:01 pm

That sounds simple to those who follow them, but those who don't will always try to talk their way out of it. That's because those rules are quite relative. To the player, to the admin, to anyone of accusing another player of breaking them. Let's look at one of them. "Don't be a jerk" Exactly where is the hard and fast line between jerk and non-jerk? There really isn't one. It may be easy for you to look at one player and say "He's being a jerk" and see another and say "He's a non-jerk". That's easy, but determining a line that a player must cross to qualify for jerk-hood is not. And that is where this discussion is coming from. What one admin will ban you for, another might only warn you. It depends on the admin, it could depend on the response of the one who is offended, the guilty party's excuse, the list goes on.
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Re: The Rules

Post by joevano » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:24 pm

Yes, but it cannot be EXACTLY defined so that it can enforced in all situations for all people. This is where admins earn their keep. Rules that define "vauge" concepts are for the admin to determine, that is what they are there for and have been chosen for their ability to do so. If someone has the magic formula for defining it, the admins have always said they are open to listening to it. But in the absence of such clear, concise, enforceable and complete definition with no vagueness (which the admins themselves has said many times is undefinable) they will continue to enforce the rules as they stand.
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Re: The Rules

Post by FiringSquad » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:13 pm

Even in professional sports with highly paid, professionally-trained referees and umpires, there are disputes about whether a rule was actually broken.
Yet there are players that never get into trouble and players that are always in trouble and players that constantly risk repercussions by skirting along the edge of legality.
It's no different here, except admins and refs here don't get paid for their troubles.

Maybe player X gets put in the penalty bin for something that player Y got away with. That's the way it goes. Maybe player Y deserved the penalty bin too, maybe not, but you don't get put into the penalty bin without doing something wrong.
Even at times when player X is punished yet video footage later shows he did nothing wrong, Player X is in trouble because he has a reputation for such bad behaviour and the ref expects and watches out for just such an infraction.
In short, bad behaviour results in punishment.

Good behaviour and good sportsmanship never needs to be defended. If you find that you need to defend something you said or did then you are no longer in the good behaviour & good sportsmanship section of players.

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Re: The Rules

Post by sn0w_m0nkey » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:11 pm

Hi,
I've got to add a little here. I've witnessed player misconduct (both over the years, and after becoming an active GU player again) and thinking recently about why negative player behaviors seemingly go unchecked.

Here is my suggestion, when a player gets warnings (should be logged and sent to team owners) or receives a ban - the team they belong to should also have some points taken away in addition to the individual player ban. This might encourage team owners, and fellow team members to address the player conduct directly and internally. This is also because I have seen admins labeled by players, as the offender, due to ban.

Punishing the team as a whole shifts the blame game back on those who do not address poor behavior to begin with; and maintains the connection between individual player, team ownership and GU community responsibility.
-sm
oi!

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Re: The Rules

Post by Jacko H » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:51 am

I totally agree with snow monkey.
Oh, but what if they are teamless?
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Re: The Rules

Post by Iskskskks » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:05 pm

Well, they will just get banned or maybe if they join a team within a week or two then will the points will be taken?

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Re: The Rules

Post by blast » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:12 pm

a bullet gone crazy wrote:Well, they will just get banned or maybe if they join a team within a week or two then will the points will be taken?
It would be unfair to punish a future team.
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Re: The Rules

Post by Starski » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:24 pm

sn0w_m0nkey wrote:Hi,
I've got to add a little here. I've witnessed player misconduct (both over the years, and after becoming an active GU player again) and thinking recently about why negative player behaviors seemingly go unchecked.

Here is my suggestion, when a player gets warnings (should be logged and sent to team owners) or receives a ban - the team they belong to should also have some points taken away in addition to the individual player ban. This might encourage team owners, and fellow team members to address the player conduct directly and internally. This is also because I have seen admins labeled by players, as the offender, due to ban.

Punishing the team as a whole shifts the blame game back on those who do not address poor behavior to begin with; and maintains the connection between individual player, team ownership and GU community responsibility.
-sm
i dont meanto offend you, but that's insanity, just keep it plain and simple you act like a idiot you get banned, makes no sense to punish people that didn't do anything. example of what you just said-> if someone gets arrested, everyone in your household gets a ticket for knowing you.
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Re: The Rules

Post by Iskskskks » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:13 am

Well that would keep them from being On a team.
Last edited by Iskskskks on Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Rules

Post by Jacko H » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:46 am

Bullet, you couldn't do that.
That would be difficult to administrate.
They already strugle with spawn prvlidges ect.
I think that would be hard to judge and deem fair.
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