Right. Short sharp sentences for the youth of today. HOW TO BEHAVE ON A FORUM Some of you may be under the impression that Iwaku is a democracy. It is not. I will state that again for the outraged screencappers. It is not. Iwaku is a community. In a community, the elders make the decisions and the people follow the traditions that have kept that community safe. We are here to roleplay. That is the goal of this community. That is why we call ourselves a roleplay forum. If you ruin the fun of the community majority, you will get a kick in the balls. Here are some scenarios in which your ball-kicking may occur: 1. Stating your opinion Some of you think that because you have an opinion, it means you can share it with the entire world and they are not allowed to get upset with you because it's "your right" to express yourself. No. You do not have the right to express every cruel, offensive, hostile and anti-social thought that comes into your head. If you want to do that, go write a diary. If you do it on Iwaku, you will be shut down. The fun of the majority is paramount and will ALWAYS trump your personal rights. Also, if you are "dark" and "edgy" and have "seen shit" and have "suffered" and "know what you're talking about", this does not give you any more of a right to offend people. No one is qualified to be a douche. You cannot get a certificate. It is not on a university syllabus. We all got bullied at school, we have all suffered and we all "know what we're talking about". Keep your opinions to yourself, unless they are friendly ones. And don't assume that because you are "just joking" that the other person will get it. Play it safe, and trust that God is laughing at whatever you would've said if this stuffy forum had allowed you to be a jerk. 2. Roleplay Etiquette GM stands for Game Master. It is the title for the Master of the Game. When this individual posts a roleplay, he/she does so with a certain mood in mind - a certain theme and atmosphere that he/she has envisaged. Some of you may think that because the GM is indulging the limits of their creativity, that you can also indulge the limits of your creativity. No. When you join a roleplay, you are playing a role. That is why we call it roleplay. You are there to support the GM's idea - to help them realise their vision and derive your own fun as a by-product of serving the greater story. You are not there to hijack, derail or obstruct the story in the name of your own creative experimentation. It doesn't matter how stylistically different you are or how "no one gets you". If you disrupt a roleplay you will be shut down. Read other people's posts. Read the GM's posts. Understand the roleplay you are entering and what is expected from you in terms of mood, character role and style. DO NOT get instantly swept up in how awesome your character is going to be and how you are going to "rock this roleplay" with your edgy ideas. If you want to make awesome characters, go write a novel. You are here to make roles, not characters. 3. Waiting for replies Iwaku is a past time. It is a recreational forum, where people come when they do not have other commitments to attend to. There may be times when someone will not reply straight away to your message, or may not post in your roleplay. Some of you may think this is because they do not like you or no longer care about your idea. No. This is something called life. Life is what happens in between storytelling. Life is very stressful these days, even if you are stuck at home with no job and no real friends and nothing to do. Stress comes in many forms. If you hassle other members for posts and then get upset when they don't reply, you are causing them further stress and, what is more, you are making yourself out to be an overbearing psychopath. Especially if you log into the Cbox and start hassling other members about it. We are here to relax and get on, not hassle and emotionally blackmail each other. Take a chill pill and accept that you cannot count on the activity of others. 4. Sulking Some of you may think that hanging around in the Cbox and complaining that no one loves you or the staff aren't listening to you or you're not allowed to join a group or your application to destroy the staff from within was rejected will somehow endear you to magical unicorns who will gallop to your aid on the back of white knights and carry you to Cookie Land. No. If you sulk, people will ignore you. They do not come to Iwaku to deal with self-pitying attention-seekers. And if they do, and they have a white knight complex, then you are a horrible, horrible human being if you exploit that. If you want to be included, interact with others in a friendly manner. This includes keeping your edgy opinions to yourself. It's not that hard. People do it every day. Put on a happy face and see the best in people. If you want to be true to your dark passenger and brood on the interminable blackness that nestles in your soul, go away. In Iwaku, your true self is second to your community self. Always. (Yes, I'm asking you to be false - it's what humans do.) 5. Relationships Iwaku is home to both genders (I have proof), and we are all at that difficult age where we are taking notice of each other and appreciating the bumps and holes on each other's bodies. Some of you may think that Iwaku has a secondary function as a dating site and that everything in this forum will make room for the course of true love. No. Though there are many couples on Iwaku, this does not make them special snowflakes. I myself have a fiancee on Iwaku and thank all the stars in heaven that I have found her. But this was an unexpected bounty - a by-product of my normal activity on the forum. Iwaku is not the personal playground for your libidos. Yes, we have Smut RPs. Yes, we have groups that touch on intimate subjects. But that is where it ends. The Cbox and the Discussion boards are not the place for lover's quarrels, backstabbing, bitchyness, mockery and cybersex. This forum is for roleplay, not personal drama. If High School crap spills out in the forum, it will be shut down. We also have homosexuals here and people with different opinions on gender identity. That is their own business and not the cue for debate. Discretion is called for, expected and enforced. 6. The Cbox This is the heart of the community - the melting pot where we can all mix and mingle, the stage on which dozens of people from dozens of countries can find instant connections. It is a platform that has launched enduring friendships, moments of hilarity, and ideas of brilliance. It is not your emotional crutch. It is not your sulking corner. It is not an enclosure of troll-snacks. It is not the High School playground. It is not a speed-dating restaurant. It is not your personal soapbox. It is not eternally guaranteed. The Cbox will be removed if it continues to be the sparking point of drama. This year the staff have been flooded with complaints, issues and incidents, and almost all of them have originated in the Cbox. This is causing stress for the staff and lowering the morale of the entire community. If the continued running of the forum depends on the removal of the Cbox then this choice will be made. It would not be the first time. And that's about it. I'm not sure how many more ways I can say "Don't be an idiot"... but I guess it's never enough for some people. Bottom line: Assume a community persona. Assume a role. On Iwaku you do NOT have freedom of speech and you do NOT have freedom of behaviour. Adjust to the community of the community will reject you. There are thousands of other places on the internet where you can go if you want to express your inner peacock. But it is not here. Within the next two weeks, if anyone breaks the above codes of behaviour they will be dealt with swiftly. Consider this your first warning. Here, we play roles, both in game and out. And we all know that roleplaying is easy, fun and makes for a great experience.