Off-Topic Discussion Help Thread

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nutDAVE3

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#1 nutDAVE3
Member since 2003 • 18277 Posts
Hello! Welcome to Off-Topic Discussion. This board is yours to freely use for all your non-gaming related needs, however, you still have to abide by the GameSpot terms of service. This thread contains help for new users, the rules of OT, and some basic FAQs. Let's get started, shall we?

What's the terms of service?
Remember clicking the box next to "I Agree" before signing up for the GameSpot forums? Well, the terms of service is what you agreed to. The terms of service is basically a bunch of basic guidelines that help keep this community from exploding, and can be found by clicking here. You are expected to follow these terms, and if you don't you will be punished.

Help! I'm new, where can I go to get help?
The board Welcome Newbies is a great place to go to recieve help from some of GameSpot's veteran users.

I have a moderation issue, where do I go?
Head on over to Ask the Mods! where we'll be able to answer any questions or concerns you have with specific moderation issues, users, or any general questions about the terms of service.

I'm having technical troubles with GameSpot, where can I post my issues?
Check out GameSpot Technical Support, dude! The floated threads contain information about various technical troubles and their fixes. Be warned, however, that the GameSpot staff is around only during work hours (9-5 PST, Monday-Friday).

Who are GameSpot's community manager?
That would be Bethany Massimilla and Jody Robinson. If you need to contact them in any way please fill out this customer service page.

What are floated threads?
Floated threads are located at the top of the forum. These are dark orange, and have a pin on top of a sheet of paper for an icon. Here's an example of what they look like (click on it for a full size image):



What does "LOL" or "IDK" mean?
Those are what we call Internet acronyms, or abreviations for often-used phrases. A large list of these acronyms can be found by clicking here.

How do I level up!?
GameSpot's level system incorporates all areas of the site. GameSpot's developers have not released an exact answer to this question, but through trial and area many users have found out how that posting, watching video, reading reviews, previews. In essence, if you actively visit the site, then your level will go up. To find out more information about the levels (such as what they mean), visit Goose's Forum Ranking/Emblem Guide.

What's a signature and/or an avatar/icon?
A signature is what you see below a user's post. They can include text, links or images. To request a signature from a user, rate other user's signatures, or just discuss the art of signature making in general, visit the floated signature/avatar discussion thread. An avatar, or icon, is a small image 36 pixels by 36 pixels in size just above your username, or to the left of your post. You can change your icon, signature, and many other things by clicking "prefs" in the upper right hand corner of this page, to the right of your user name (or, you can click on this).

Where's the GameSpot toolbar?
A toolbar has been created by a few members of the community which includes such features as a Google search, and easy one click access to certain portions of the site. The toolbar is located here, and is compatible with Mozilla Firefox 1.01 and above, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 and above.

Someone made fun of me, how do I report them?
If a user violates the terms of service, you have the option of reporting them. If your report is deemed worthy, you will recieve points towards your level. After all, we need your help to keep the GameSpot forums clean! To report a user, navigate to the pull down menu to the right of the reply and quote buttons and select "Report Abuse To Moderator". From there, you have the option of choosing one of the violations you felt the user commited, and submitting the report.

What are GameSpot Total Access and GameSpot Plus?
GameSpot Total Access and GameSpot Plus were announced in Feb. 2006. GameSpot Total Access is basically GameSpot Complete, while GameSpot Plus is an entirely new service. Check out the FAQ and comparison chart between free registration, Plus, and Total Access here.

Is there a help page around?
Why, yes, there is! It can be found here and here.

I can't post images!
In order to use HTML or BBCode in your posts or signatures, you must be at least level three (Level 3). Of course, that's only for GameSpot Basic members, if you're a Complete member, you can use BBCode and HTML no matter what level you are!

Where can I host signatures, images, or icons?
ImageShack, UploadHouse, PhotoBucket, and SupLoad are all great answers for all your hosting needs.

What are GameSpot moderators?
GameSpot moderators are volunteers who help keep these forums clean! You can tell a moderators from a regular user by the dark brown "MOD" tag next to their username. If they have a purple "MOD" tag next to their username, they're a specific board board, not a global moderator. If you have an issue with the forums, feel free to contact a user with a brown "MOD" tag next to their name.

*Note: Material taken from KittyKat's guide to OT, Thr22's Off-Topic's guidelines, and VinceL's avatar/signature help.
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nutDAVE3

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#2 nutDAVE3
Member since 2003 • 18277 Posts
Now, onto some words of wisdom brought to you by the lovely, the talented, and the very good looking GameSpot moderators (crowd goes wild)!

From fiddlecub:

"I would like to add to the fray. The moderation system exists to allow you, the GS forumite, to report violations of the Terms of Service, and when used for that purpose, it works very well. However, some of you have taken it upon yourselves to use the moderation system as some kind of game, or simply to troll and harrass other users invisibly by marking posts that have nothing wrong with them. In particular, some of you with apparent grudges have marked posts by GameSpot moderators and other forumites in an obvious effort to discredit them. Abusing the moderation system is not tolerated, and like any violation, it will get you moderated. Before you mark a post, you must ask yourself: "Is this actually a violation?" If you are unsure, it's better to mark and move on; however, some posts that are clearly fine have been marked in recent days, and generally by the same people. Reports meant clearly to harass the posting user by way of the moderation queue will cause the reporter to be suspended, with no exceptions. In the same vein, please note that the following words are not censor bypasses, so you should NOT report them: 1. ass (so do NOT report ass, a$$, @ss, or variants. The common 7-letter variant of "ass" is censored, however.) 2. crap 3. damn (or variants damned, dammit, goddamned, and similar words) 4. bastard (if used to flame other users, however, you will be moderated) We appreciate greatly those of you that help bring our attention to where it is needed. Some of you, however, have decided to make a game out of trying to get people in trouble. We are on to this game, so if you find yourself suspended for a "generated message," you will now understand why. And no--we will not buy that any posts are marked by accident. It is essentially impossible to mark by accident; reports are a conscious effort, so please take care when reporting posts to use the system wisely."

From duxup:

"There has been a rash of flamebaite in the OT forum as of late and I felt a PSA was in order. As there are already numerous threads floated here I thought I’d piggyback onto another floated thread. Flamebait and You *insert 1950s educational film music* For those who don’t know what flamebait is, flamebait is a post made with the intent of provoking an angry response (flames). It is not something new to these forums. However, what does seem to be new are the number of users in the OT forum who fall for flamebait. I’m honestly not sure why that is but it is a problem. Something to keep in mind is that flamebait comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be a simple flame intended to provoke another flame such as a direct insult, it can be backhanded comment “people like you would say that…” or it can be even more subtle. The more sublte forms of flamebait seem to be where everyone is getting caught. An example of a more subtle form flamebait would some of the recent posts where new users reveal some sort of personal problem or note something that is easily or frequently mocked on these forums. Here’s a hint: They’re lying and trying to get you to flame them so that they can get you suspended. You’d be surprised by how many threads I look into where some users are flaming another user and declaring how they "owned" them, when in fact the new user is lying and all along was trying to bait everyone into the very flame fest that occurred. The only people who are “owned” in such cases are those people who are foolish enough to respond to the bait with flames. Keep in mind that while we will moderate those people who flamebait we will also moderate those who respond to them. Flaming / Trolling is not acceptable in any case. The best advice is to carry a healthy dose skepticism and not flame. We thank you for your cooperation"

From nutDAVE3:

"Hello folks! As of late, there seems to be a lot of replies simply saying "I don't know". If someone asks a question, and you don't have an answer, there is absolutely no need to post "I don't know". Now, I am sick of moderating these, so in the hope that you'll actually listen to me, I am going to say this: If you simply say "I don't know" in a thread, you will be moderated. If you don't know the answer, don't post a reply. It's as simple as that.'
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jobano

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#3 jobano
Member since 2003 • 5476 Posts
..
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Omni-Slash

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#4 Omni-Slash
Member since 2003 • 54450 Posts

Other Important Off Topic Links

  • OT Photo Album
  • Instant Suspension for Posting in Suicide Threads ***Read***
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#5 duxup
Member since 2002 • 43443 Posts

nutDAVE3 feel free to add this to the above rules and then delete the content of this post.

Note that this rule isn't new by any means. Just something I thought would be helpful in this thread:

No "hot chick" threads.
For better or worse 90% of the internet exists as a place you can ogle women. This site is part of the 10% that does not exist for that purpose. Some call such threads offensive, some think it is just spamy, and others call it fun. Call it what you want but it's not allowed here. Threads created to ogle women (yes men too) such as "hot or not", "nobody is more attractive than actress ____", IWHI threads, and similar are not allowed. If you want to participate in that activity, then you know where the rest of the internet is. Thanks for understanding.

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#6 uglyduck-uk
Member since 2003 • 6816 Posts

Do NOT post in obviously offensive threads such as Porn etc.

Anyone posting in such threads will be suspended even if you are posting to warn others..  All you are doing is helping to keep the thread "alive".

If a thread looks like it is lockable then stay out of it.

If you really want your account banned for some reason then just ask in the Ask The Mods forum.  There is no need to disrupt the forums for other people.