Channel Rules (For Everyone)

Our Acceptable Use Policy

Thousands of people have played our games, from countries all around the world, at many different times of the day and the night. In order to make sure that everyone has a good time, we have formulated the following rules which lay out guidelines for proper behaviour from all the users of our game channels. With so many games running, it is impossible to monitor all the channels all the time. Therefore, we rely on the operators to enforce the rules, particularly the rules regarding language and conduct on the channel. The games are designed to be family-friendly, which means we do have restrictions on language and content, for the comfort and enjoyment of all.

Channel operators are users entrusted to maintain order on the channel as well as to correct errors and notify the administration in the event of errors or mishaps. If you think someone is abusing their operator privileges or perhaps using them to cheat, please feel free to contact Eingang with details of the problem.

The most important rule for our game channels is that all people on the channel must be treated with respect, be they just regular game players, operators, game hosts ('bots), or game administrators. Treating people with respect means being polite, obeying the rules, and contributing in a positive way to a healthy channel atmosphere.

If you find yourself in a position where you are being verbally attacked, flooded, or otherwise harassed, please ask the offending party to cease. If they fail to cease, make use of the /ignore user@host -all command to ignore any message, public or private, coming from them and report to the problem to one of the game channel operators. Do not bother to respond to the person.

If you have a fight to pick with another user, please do it off channel or in private messages. Respecting other people means letting them enjoy the game without being subject to any personal problems you might have with other users. This would, of course, include any slights aimed at people on the basis of the colour, religion, sex, or age.

The games are meant to run in a "family" atmosphere, which means, ideally, no profanity or vulgarity at all. The users on the channel range in age from 10-80+. While the majority of us are adults and can handle language that is a little blue, it would be better to keep such language to a minimum. Going hand in hand with this is a caveat on language of a sexual nature. Vulgar comments or comments of a sexual nature are prohibited. This injunction also extends to the development of categories for any of the games.

The profanity rules do not constitute a violation of the American Constitution regarding free speech. The rules for free speech only apply to printed materials and areas of public congress. With these games, the administrators are inviting you into a private space and therefore are exempt from the rules regarding free speech. If you find their rules intolerable, you do not have to visit their "home."

We recognize that, at times, the game can be extremely frustrating. We would like to suggest that you make use of the following fun and clean expletives to express your displeasure: Krunk! Aaaargh! Ack! Wok?! Eep! Krunkola!

Channel Language
The official language of all the game channels is English. Unless the game category calls for something in a foreign language (in trivia or Chaos), all conversation on the channel and answers submitted to the bot should be English. Derivatives of English, such as Singlish, are frowned upon. The games are open to people from all over the world, so be friendly! Use proper English!

Category Complaints
Please refrain from complaining about the Americo-centric categories. The games have been running for a number of years now and most of the original players who contributed categories were from North America, which does the tilt the balance of play in their favour. Complaining about it, however, does not do anything and just annoys the other players. Instead of complaining, why not check out the category writing FAQ and write your own categories for inclusion in the game? This is a much more productive action than just complaining.

The operators are on the channel to ensure that the game runs smoothly. Operators are drawn from the pool of regular players. Asking an operator to op you is pointless and futile. If you are a regular IRC user, you probably already know how annoying it is to be constantly asked for access on a channel. If you are interested in becoming a channel operator, check out the FAQ on how to become a operator and apply!

Game bots and Errors in the Game
The game bots are programs, albeit programs with some degree of sophistication. The game bots have no idea of what is really right and what is really wrong. All they can go by is what was programmed into them by the category writer. Therefore, when the bot claims that the answer is "Aplpe" instead of "Apple," there is not much point in abusing the bot about it. Often channel operators will fix your score in such cases. If not, you yourself can report the problem using the "/msg botname /note answer x in category y should be answer z" so that it will be eventually fixed. Please do not bother to message one of the channel operators to reset your score. If they are paying attention, they will likely fix your score without prompting.

Flooding is defined as the rapid dumping of material to the channel or to other users via private messages, or repeated ctcp commands aimed at another user. Flooding often includes dumping ASCII art pictures to the screen, large pieces of conversations, textfiles, repeated pinging, etc. With the advent of colours in Ircle, mirc, and Pirch, dumping large amounts of coloured text to the channel can also be construed as flooding. We would request that you keep the use of colours to a minimum, since not all clients support colour.

Bot Commands
Most of the commands that can be issued to the game bots on a channel can also be sent to the bot via a private message. Repeatedly issuing "show scores", "show categories," etc. on the channel can be annoying. Use the /msg command instead to accomplish the same thing.

Idling on the game channels is not permitted except by the game administrators and the game show hosts ('bots). Most of the channels have a restriction on the number of users allowed on at a time. If you are idling there, you are probably preventing other users from playing.

Cheating often depends on the game being played. In general, however, the use of scripts to provide answers to trivia questions, solve Boggle boards, or provide Chaos category answers would be construed as cheating. There are some scripts around to help you play the games, such as the Boggle script and the IRC Game Machine (IGM). These scripts do not store answers of any kind, and thus are permitted. In a game such as Acro, cheating would include collaborating with other players on your acryonym expansion, using multiple nicknames or logins, or exchanging information about authorship of acronyms for the purposes of gaining points. For all the games, using multiple logins or multiple accounts to play is considered cheating as is using a search engine to look up material or keeping lists of answers. Cheating does not make the game fun for other people and, if you are caught, can be embarrassing and will result in a ban from all of the games. (See also the discussion of this in April, 2000's EinLetter. )

Revealing Answers
In the trivia games, there are moments when it is inappropriate to reveal the answer to a question, especially during the final round and during a steal. Please pay close attention to the status of the game before typing your answer.

Giving Up
In the trivia games, it is possible to say "we give up" and have the 'bot go on to the next questions. The 'bots all ignore repeated "we give up" commands from the same user for the same question; so only say it once. Secondly, it is better to have a concensus on the channel before giving up; try asking if it is OK to give up before issuing the command.

Electronic Terrorism
This category of behaviour includes nuking, sending people viruses or other programs when they join the channel, and spamming for other channels, networks, games, or anything that doesn't have to do with our games. In the case of nuking, firewall logs will be collected and sent to your ISP and you will be banned from all of the games. If you're auto-dccing people files when they join, you'll be told to stop and will be banned until you do so. You may be directed to an appropriate help channel on viruses or IRC for instruction on how to do this. If you're spamming inappropriately, you'll be asked to stop and banned if you fail to stop.

All interactions are logged and will be monitored in the event of a complaint. Please abide by the guidelines. Repeated violations of the guidelines will likely result in a global banning from all the game channels with little or no warning. Permanent channel bans for any user are the right of the game administrators.

Finally, if you have any complaints or questions about the channel guidelines, please contact one of the channel operators first and then one of the game administrators (See the game FAQs for information on contacting game administrators). We do want the games to be enjoyable for everyone.


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Michelle A. Hoyle
Accpetable Use Policy (Channel Rules), Last modified: October 8, 2000