Sunday, July 14, 2013

Graduated Gamer's Comment Policy

Graduated Gamer loves offering you the reader a fun and safe commenting experience that supports free expression while at the same time striving to limit negative interactions. Here are a few of the things you should be aware of before posting comments on Graduated Gamer.

Insults, Flaming and Bashing

We encourage open discussions and sharing of personal opinions and viewpoints. While it’s okay to have disagreements in discussions, personal attacks against other users will not be tolerated. It is never acceptable to discriminate against another user's origin, appearance, age, sex, sexual orientation, or religion. If a user exhibits this behavior, his/her account will be blocked from commenting.

While the usage of usernames and custom avatars is a freedom offered by the blogging community, it is not to be used as a means to treat other posters or content creators with less civility than you would give them should they be standing in front of you face to face. Likewise, just because something's a meme, a popular quote, or other users have made the same comment before, it does not grant a commenter the right to repeat an insult against another person.

Trolling and Spam

Trolling is defined as posting anything specifically designed to attract a negative reaction from an individual or group. Not all negative opinions are automatically considered trolling, but constructive and positive discussions are encouraged. Gamers are vocal about their likes and dislikes and some display their partisanship by leaving comments on posts about subjects they oppose or don't enjoy. Constructive feedback and discussions are to be encouraged, but blatant trolling devoid of opinion/discourse (e.g. – “Xbox One sux” on an Xbox One post) should be removed. Active contributions to discussion will always be welcomed; however, determination of flaming, trolling, and spam posts will be made at the discretion of Graduated Gamer and staff.

Advertising or excessive spamming of posts is not permitted, and will result in a removal. Graduated Gamer welcomes someone posting a helpful link or highlighting a counterpoint on another website, but users who post repeat links, commerce, or constantly talk up another site should be warned. 


Use of profanity as personal expression, in pictures, or in text, is allowed on Graduated Gamer (hell, we use it ourselves sometimes). However, any profanity used is subject to guidelines and the discretion of Graduated Gamer. Still, keep it clean if you don't want your posts to get flagged or hidden from view. Graduated Gamer will take action against those who repeatedly use excessive profanity for no reason.

Racial slurs or hate speech are not allowed anywhere on the blog and any person caught using them will be immediately banned. Explicitly sexual or profane descriptions and writing are not allowed.

Profanity directed in an attack against another user is subject to the same considerations as flaming and trolling (see above).

Off-Topic Posts and Spoilers

Excessively posting off-topic comments or hijacking and driving a discussion off topic is not tolerated and may result in a ban from commenting. Please be considerate of the other users who may not have played a game that you're talking about (seriously, just because you and all your friends have played Mass Effect, there are likely people who haven’t but don’t want to have the ending spoiled for them…like me!).

When a game is released, please wait a few months before openly discussing spoiler content in article comments. You can use visible spoiler warnings in comments and avoid openly posting major plot points that could ruin the experience for those who aren't yet in the know (like Mass Effect – I’m serious about this; I’ve been avoiding this spoiler forever!). Posting information with the intent to spoil the experience for others may result in a ban from commenting on Graduated Gamer.

Pornography and Sexually Explicit Content

Absolutely no form of pornography is allowed. Images that contain sexual acts, pubic hair, female nipples, bare bottoms, bodily fluids or genitals that are in any way visible, even on clothing, are not permitted. We allow discussions of sexuality if it pertains to video game content, but these discussions must remain mature at all times and never contain sexually explicit or profane wording or imagery. Any posts, pictures, jokes, or discussions with a clear intent to sexualize children, including sexually suggestive photos of anyone seemingly under the age of 18 will incur a permanent ban and possible legal action.

Piracy and Copyrighted Material

Graduated Gamer has a policy against piracy and the illegal use of copyrighted material. Encouraging software or media piracy, including linking to or giving information about any site that seeks to distribute illegal software or media, or any site seeking help to circumvent any copyright laws is grounds for an immediate ban. This goes for all copyrighted material, including but not limited to games, movies, music, magazines, and videos. General discussions about customizing hardware, emulators, etc. are fine.

Questionable Content

These are public discussions, so act like you would if you were in a public place, or in front of your grandmother who’s knitting on the porch and telling a story of her youth. These issues are left to the discretion of Graduated Gamer, but may include any material that is knowingly false and/or defamatory, misleading, spam, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, sexist, obscene, racist, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, that otherwise violates any law, or that encourages conduct constituting a criminal offense. Asking for or offering any of the material listed above is also not permitted.

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We at Graduated Gamer value your feedback and comments (see our comment policy linked at the bottom of the blog). Just remember - have fun and be a decent human being.