Can I disable chat for safe use by kids?

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transistor
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Can I disable chat for safe use by kids?

Post by transistor » Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:54 pm

Are there any switches on the client to disable chat mode? I'd rather they weren't chatting to people I don't know. I'm running BZFlag on Linux and Windows.

Are there other aspects I should worry about (apart from the ethics of war games)?

Thanks.

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Post by CannonBallGuy » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:33 pm

The ethics of the game are pretty family friendly - yes you "shoot" at other tanks, but there is no blood or gore, the tanks are pretty unrealistic and no humans or animals are used anywhere in the game.
As for the chat box - I'm not sure. If I remember correctly, it's possible to use a local bad-word-list that would clock out any words you want...
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Post by Winny » Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:07 am

BZFlag is basically a game where:

You drive around in flying tanks that shoot deadly ping-pong balls, and when you "die" all that happens is your windsheild cracks.

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Re: Can I disable chat for safe use by kids?

Post by RPG » Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:21 am

transistor wrote:Are there any switches on the client to disable chat mode? I'd rather they weren't chatting to people I don't know. I'm running BZFlag on Linux and Windows.

Are there other aspects I should worry about (apart from the ethics of war games)?

Thanks.
A simple solution is to Press in this order: (while on a server)
k * Enter

What that will do is silence all chat messages. You will still be able to say messages, but you won't be able to hear anything. If you don't like not hearing, and want to hear again, pressing
k * Enter
will undo the silence. You can also silence individual callsigns. 'k' is the command to bring up the silence dialog. '*' tells it to silence everything (* is a common wildcard in programming for "everything"). However this is where you can also type specific callsigns. 'Enter' applies the changes.

Happy tanking :)

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Post by Longhair » Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:55 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think transistor is looking for a way to disable chat altogether without the kids having any option. I don't think that it exists, but I've never had a reason to go looking for it either.... BZland is pretty safe compared to a lot of online games.

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Post by Hannibal » Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:58 am

AFAIK there are also the tabs..Shift+1 for all, +2 for the second (not sure what it is)..etc. for all 4.

I dont really use those, so im not fully sure.
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Post by MonsterMan++ » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:05 am

Well he should use the
k * ENTER because his kids wouldn't know would they?
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Post by Tanner » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:11 am

MonsterMan++ wrote:Well he should use the
k * ENTER because his kids wouldn't know would they?
Thats probaly the best solution, but I don't know of any way to execute it automatically. :\

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Post by MonsterMan++ » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:13 am

That could be something to do in the next version of BZFlag maybe, something that turns off chat so your kids don't chat if you don't want them to.
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Post by Hannibal » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:15 am

Tanner wrote:
MonsterMan++ wrote:Well he should use the
k * ENTER because his kids wouldn't know would they?
Thats probaly the best solution, but I don't know of any way to execute it automatically. :\

-Tanner
there are the preset messages..not sure wheres they are. I dont really use em.
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Post by Tanner » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:17 am

Hannibal wrote:
Tanner wrote:
MonsterMan++ wrote:Well he should use the
k * ENTER because his kids wouldn't know would they?
Thats probaly the best solution, but I don't know of any way to execute it automatically. :\

-Tanner
there are the preset messages..not sure wheres they are. I dont really use em.
Huh?

If your kids really want to play BZFlag and we don't find some way to get rid of chat (even if we do), educate them on the dangers of giving away information and things.

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Post by Hannibal » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:23 am

I know for a fact that somewhere in the Options menu you can set preset messages. "hi", 'sry', 'np'..whatever. so every time you hit the appropriate keys [I think its shift+alt/ctrl+F#(alt/ctrl controlling to all or team)], the keyed message is sent. go and find it if you dont believe me.
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Post by I_Died_Once » Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:04 am

Hannibal wrote:I know for a fact that somewhere in the Options menu you can set preset messages. "hi", 'sry', 'np'..whatever. so every time you hit the appropriate keys [I think its shift+alt/ctrl+F#(alt/ctrl controlling to all or team)], the keyed message is sent. go and find it if you dont believe me.
What you're talking about are quick keys, for retards who like to spam the same six or so messages in a room.

As good of an idea as making a ./configure option to disallow chat messaqges in a client, you gotta be careful, as sometimes, communication is important. On some servers, there are big headed admins that will kick and ban you for not responding when they ask stupid questions and such. Not to meantion usage for teamwork in CTF games.

But what someone else said is best - you should teach the said children not to talk to strangers, not to give out certain info, and how to be on guard from online dangers. Thats a lesson that'll be far more useful and purposeful than ANY ./configure --option.

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Post by transistor » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:25 am

Thanks for all the rapid responses.

I agree that education is really important. But even if BZ-land is fairly safe I would rather not have some idiot using bad language, or worse, and it getting through to my kids.

k * ENTER would only work if I started the game, wouldn't it? It would not be enabled the next time the kids started the game.

If the chat disable feature (a command line switch) is implemented in a future game then maybe it should include an automatic "chat disabled" response for politeness to the other game members.

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Post by CannonBallGuy » Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:50 am

transistor wrote:k * ENTER would only work if I started the game, wouldn't it? It would not be enabled the next time the kids started the game.
It would stay there.
Once you silence somebody (or everybody in this case) they remain silenced until you un-silence them. If you never unsilsnce them, they will be silenced forever - even if you quit the game and reopen it.
The command is stored in your client config, so unless you are your kids unsilence * from the game or take the line out of the config, it will work.

transistor wrote:If the chat disable feature (a command line switch) is implemented in a future game then maybe it should include an automatic "chat disabled" response for politeness to the other game members.
Good idea, I like it.
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Post by mistake » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:00 am

In addition to the k * you can after this open the config file and map 'k' (silence/unsilence) , 'n' and 'm' to some exotic keys, maybe something that involves pressing shift, or change the mapping of 'k', 'n' and 'm' to jumping or firing. That way they can't talk either, as in children should be seen, but not heared. :D
I havent tried the above, but I think it should work.
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Post by RPG » Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:29 pm

transistor
So here's an outline of everything said here:

k * ENTER will silence all chat messages. It will be applied until somebody presses K * ENTER again, which will unsilence them. They will stay silenced between client restarts.

You can take a look at your config.cfg file and re-map the chat keys, "n" "m" "," "." "z" to something other than chat.

Cheers 8)

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Post by TD-Linux » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:07 pm

Maybe there is a way to allow the client to go only to certain servers? Many servers, such as Silvercat, norang, and Viper are heavily moderated and/or have chat filtering in place. I've rarely ever had problems with chat at these servers.

Or, just tell your kids not to go on certain servers and trust that they don't. Though, it sounds like this may not work for you. It's what I do, though my parents don't make me :)

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Post by transistor » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:49 pm

Thanks again, guys. I don't even want them to "rarely" have problems so I think disabling chat is best for now.

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Post by A Meteorite » Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:23 pm

A source mod would certainly be the most secure and unchangeable way to do this. :)
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Post by trepan » Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:46 pm

A file named "ServerAccess.txt" in the config directory
will limit which servers a client can connected to. It works
for both IPs and hostnames. The format of the file is the
same as that for the DownloadAccess.txt file in the same
location (the default DownloadAccess.txt has instructions
at the top).

Example files:

Only allow specified server

Code: Select all

allow viper2.pimpi.org
allow *.bzflag.bz
allow silvercat.bzflag.org
deny *
Block specific servers

Code: Select all

# servers known to allow / encourage swearing
deny_regex .*mofo.*

P.S. The globbing tests are currently case sensitive,
the regex (regular expression) tests are case insensitive.

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Post by macsforme » Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:16 am

I like the idea of an automatic message to other tanks when they send messages to a "chat-disabled" tank. Maybe someone could come up with a source code patch for this? I would do it, but I'm not a patchfile expert.

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Post by chandler583 » Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:29 pm

It's a good idea, but what if someone address your tank in the everyone chat?
Reality is nice place to visit, but i wouldn't want to live there. :)

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Post by CannonBallGuy » Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:30 pm

chandler583 wrote:It's a good idea, but what if someone address your tank in the everyone chat?
How would you know if EVERYONE is silenced? :roll:
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Post by L4m3r » Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:04 pm

Probably the simplest way to notify others that you're not using chat would be to put it in your email string. ;)

Also, server admins should still be able to reach you with /say if absolutely necessary, right?
Optimism is just a milder alternative to denial.

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