Can I disable chat for safe use by kids?

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Legolas_
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Post by Legolas_ » Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:56 pm

I think you can also press 'q' to hide the text dialog (its either q or 'r')

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Post by A Meteorite » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:08 pm

Legolas_ wrote:I think you can also press 'q' to hide the text dialog (its either q or 'r')
W. Anyways, that's so easy to bring back - just hit w again. :|
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Post by MonsterMan++ » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:12 am

Like I said before just use the; k * ENTER thing and DON'T let your kid find out otherwise he'll know how to turn it on again.
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Post by Longhair » Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:26 pm

because his kids wouldn't know would they?
Don't EVER assume that your kids are stupid, ok? I don't know how old these kids are, but counting on them not figuring something out is, at it's very best, a temporary solution.
educate them on the dangers of giving away information
Exactly. Think of this as an opportunity to teach a valuable life lesson.

Despite their reputation for encouraging swearing, I've heard less swearing on the mofo servers than in the average school hallway between classes. It seems that the fun of swearing on bzflag wears off once you're "allowed" to.

Your kids WILL be exposed to swear words, no matter what you do. (short of never letting them out of the house) I'm sure that even the average homeschooler has heard many of these words hundreds, if not thousands of times by the time they reach the age of 10.

Do you disqualify all people who use 'foul' language as human beings right off the bat? I know some perfectly good people who can't seem to help peppering their speech with swearing.

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Post by L4m3r » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:53 pm

Longhair wrote:Despite their reputation for encouraging swearing, I've heard less swearing on the mofo servers than in the average school hallway between classes. It seems that the fun of swearing on bzflag wears off once you're "allowed" to.
True, mofo really isn't that vulgar aside from the occasional outburst. In general we (the mofos) care more about the message than the words used to convey it- we don't ban people for using colorful language, but we will remove someone who is being a jerk, regardless of the words he/she is using.

Just about everyone there is also pretty hard on everyone else, and you just have to take it with a grain of salt. It's all in good fun. :)

Anyway, to the OP: Really, if you're turning your kids loose on the internet, this game is the least of your worries. A white list of trusted servers should be more than enough.
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Post by MonsterMan++ » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:46 am

Longhair has a point that there's no point trying not to expose the to 'foul' language because it's basically an everyday thing that people do!
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Post by RPG » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:21 pm

I suppose we could get my.bzflag.org to put up a whitelist list server, where only "approved" servers would make it onto the list. THen for your client to use the list you'd have to edit the config file and tell it to use the list.

It's possible,

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Post by macsforme » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:05 am

There have been a lot of other ideas offered here as alternatives to transistor's original question. While they are good ideas, and may work for others, I certainly understand where transistor is coming from, and can relate to what he's saying. I was homeschooled, and playing BZFlag online was really my first introduction to foul language (I'd obviously heard these explicable words somewhere before, but not on a daily basis). I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to allow their young kids to play BZFlag online without chat disabled, and probably not without callsign filtering too.

I would say that most kids don't have the knowhow to modify the config file, although they might figure that out after a while. I would "silence" everyone, and then take the silence key out of the config file. While they could just set it again with the client, if they're relatively new then I doubt they'll figure that out (and they can't talk to anyone to ask about it). Maybe take the "send all," "send team," etc. keys out of the config file as well, so they don't send messages by mistake.

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Post by MonsterMan++ » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:14 am

I think if they want to say 'hi', 'oops', 'lol' ans so on that they could use something I've heard of that has auto comments so they can only post 'hi' and 'bye' etc etc.
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Re: Can I disable chat for safe use by kids?

Post by learner » Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:07 pm

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.
Scratched my mind for a few minutes on how you might be able to go about doing this in a manner that your kids wouldn't be able to disable. As another mentioned, you can silence all players -- and you should even be able to save that setting into the config file and set the config file as read-only to keep it that way -- but they could still unsilence in-game.

Another idea was to maybe bind the key that hides the chat to another key (like Enter or a mouse movement) so that the key performs the chat hide and it's usual event every time. It's still not unbreakable since your kids could rebind it back.

On a related note, there is a way to utilize a client-side language filter. When I added server-side filtering, that same capability was added to the client so that you can filter the language of all servers yourself regardless of whether that remote server has filtering enabled. The details for that are on the manual page iirc, but basically involves putting a line or two into your config file and putting a filter file somewhere on your system (we provide a massive multilingual default filter file that I compiled a couple years ago in the source distribution).

Other than that, the only other method that comes to mind is to disable the chat via the source code (very trivial to do).

Cheers!
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Source code patch

Post by macsforme » Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:32 am

Okay, I made a source code modification to make disabling chat more feasable. This change features:

1. Automatic "Chat disabled" message sent in reply to all private messages from any silenced tanks, whether it be one tank, two, or everyone (with silence all).
2. Automatic "Chat disabled. Sorry!" message sent to team-kill victim when the victim tank is silenced.

These messages can also be changed to suit your liking, simply by modifying the patchfile or source file. The "Chat disabled" message will only be sent in reply to personal (or private) messages, and will therefore not be sent in reply to a message to sent to everyone, to one's whole team, sent by the server, or sent to the admin channel.

Here are the steps I recommend to securing a BZFlag client for use by your kids:

1. Patch and compile your sources. Preferably, make the new client the only one on the computer, so your kids can't just use a different client to bypass the kid-friendly one.
2. Start up the BZFlag client. Type "k*<ENTER>" (or whatever key you have configured to silence/unsilence). This will silence messages from all tanks, and will also not allow the local client to send outgoing messages.
3. Unmap the silence/unsilence key in your client or config file. In the client, this can usually be done by navigating to the silence/unsilence key mapping, pushing "ENTER" until it's ready for the new key, and then pushing "ESC." OPTIONAL: Have your kids set up their key preferences, and lock the config file. This will prevent their changing it, and make things more secure. In *nix or Mac OS X, this can be done with a `chmod a-w /path/to/config.cfg`.

Remember, this code patch works in cooperation with the silence/unsilence setting, so if no one is silenced, it doesn't work.

This patch can be applied by copying the patchfile into your master source directory, and then running "patch -p0 ./src/bzflag/playing.cxx kidclientpatch.diff.txt" (or something like that; see the man pages with "man patch" for info on your specific OS configuration). The patch file should patch against the current 2.0.8/2.0.9 source code version. I've also attached the actual file, in case you just want to replace the whole thing. See elsewhere on this site for general info on how to compile BZFlag.
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Post by [dmp] » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:00 am

Its buggy. I saw the client in action and it mass-private messaged everyone that chat was disabled, causing some confusion among other players. They and I didnt write or otherwise give any reason for the script to respond.

I had to mute the player.

Later the player was lagging pretty bad. You might consider allowing admins to bypass the filter, so that they can contact the player in case of problems. Otherwise the only actions left is kick and ban.
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Post by macsforme » Sat Jul 01, 2006 3:20 am

[dmp],

If that was yesterday afternoon, then that was earlier in the process when my brother and I were debugging the code. There was a bug where the client would respond to messages sent to the team with "Chat disabled." That has since been fixed. Sorry about the trouble on your server.

There was another small bug in the patchfile and source file that I originally posted where the client would go into an infinite loop of sending "Chat disabled" to himself, then of course responding to himself with "Chat disabled" again, thinking it was a private message. I've since fixed that bug, and updated the files. It was pretty invisible, since private messages were blocked anyway. It just kind of makes a mess on the server log files. My apologies to anyone who was affected. The new file should work just fine.

An admin bypass feature might be a welcome addition. Unfortunately, the code I submitted doesn't really affect that, since all messages are blocked anyway with "k *". Perhaps the developers of bzflag could consider enhancing the silence feature with something like "k standardplayers" or something to allow admins to get through to them.

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Post by netochka nezvanova » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:42 am

and make a kids version of the game
instead of exploding tanks which is kinda violent
tanks will get a "flat tire" or broken caterpillar track .


hmmm maybe make an optoin where you are shot once and can't move but still shoot . if you're shot again your cannon will be bend.
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