The basic rule is this: keep it work safe
I've managed to avoid having to really talk about profanity here for a long while because the community was small and close, but now it's growing at an increasing rate and we need to make sure that everyone feels welcome here. I'm not interested in clubbing people over the head for slips of the tongue or whatever, but let's just try to keep the language to a level that is PG/PG13. Mild Stuff Is Okay
I myself say crap, hell, bloody, etc, for emphasis, and as long as this isn't something that is maliciously directed at someone else I think that's just a part of normal adult speech in most areas, even in mixed company. Excessive cursing, dropping the f-bomb all over the place, the b-word, the c-word, etc, and things of that nature tend to make a lot more people uncomfortable, however, so let's stay away from that.Let's Try Not To Offend People
Beyond the issue of cursing itself is the use of slurs, which thankfully has not yet been an issue. There have been some recent comments that have been reported to moderators, however, that were coming a bit close to slurs -- either they were offensive to women, or people with varying sexual preferences, or they were just plain out using some words that normally one wouldn't want to encounter in polite conversation ("rape," in particular, seems to offend some -- consider reamed, or decimated, or something else along those lines). Please don't use those sorts of things, it just makes more work and trouble for me, and/or offends other customers.Demographics Are Changing
The main demographic here in these forums is presently males between the ages of 20 to 40 or so. When a group of guys get together, often our speech patterns shift a bit and we make jokes that we would not around our wives or girlfriends, etc -- or our kids (unless they are grown), for that matter. We're seeing more youngsters and women entering the forums in general, though, and some of Arcen's future titles will be aimed very much at kids (this is a few years off, but still).
We'll always have titles for hardcore gamers, but that's not all we're interested in making. So let's keep it as clean and welcoming as reasonable, without putting a lid on things to a degree that people feel uncomfortable expressing themselves. This isn't Disney or Nintendo, but this isn't a forum for M-rated games, either. I have a feeling that most of the Arcen titles will be either E or T (on the American ESRB scale), so let's just keep that in mind.
Also, please remember that tone is very poorly conveyed through written mediums like this
. In most cases that have been reported for moderation, I knew enough about the person who made the comment to know that they had been joking or sarcastic, but to an outsider coming in this was not clear. Does this mean we have to be humorless? Not at all. But keeping the innate unclarity of tone in writing in mind may help solve those few issues that have arisen.
When writing suggestions in to me, it also helps if you keep that in mind -- some suggestions from new forum members (or old regulars, on rarer occasion) come off as overly aggressive, preachy, or demanding to me, which I never appreciate. Often that's not at all the sense in which the suggestion was made, so I try to put my emotions aside and respond to each suggestion on its merits alone, but this causes me a lot of heartburn when it happens. It's almost invariably a big misunderstanding, but if more care is taken to make the tone clear (or at least avoid a seemingly snarky tone), that just makes my life a little more pleasant.