Dear members and users of N4G, we have once again made an upgrade to the site, and this time it is the quite overdue update to the comment section. Yes believe it or not N4G will finally turn into a community of intelligent and educated gamers talking peacefully about games and the industry. Ok, something tells me over-promising and under-delivering doesn’t go too well these days, so I will be more humble and say that the N4G team will from today do our best to improve the current situation in the comment area.
The reason that the comment area has been left as good as unmoderated is that we have been focusing on the main function of the site, keeping the site updated with news. We have been adding some more staff lately, as you probably have noticed we now also update news in the weekends, which I know many of you have been asking about. We are still working on many more upgrades to the site regarding the game news, but for now lets get back to today’s update.
I have lately spent some time looking at other popular game sites and their comment sections and forums, and do you know what I discovered? They all pretty much suffer from the same problems that this site does, flamewars, pointless comments and immature language. Well I kind of knew this already but it made me wonder if there was a way I could set up a new type of comment system that would at least reduce the problem without having our moderators threatening to ban people that “break the rules.”
The problem isn’t that most people on game sites are immature or stupid (ok some are but hear me out), it is just that they don’t give a damn because they don’t have to. Invite the same people to a real world forum and they suddenly speak sense and talk respectfully to other gamers even though they don’t agree with them. More importantly in real world forums people don’t have unlimited chances to speak, so when you get the word you better say something interesting or people will just not be interested to hear you out next time.
This is also the philosophy behind the new comment system that is now live on the site.
Each member is given 5 speech bubbles that will be visible on all posts. A member with 5 speech bubbles is allowed to post a maximum of 5 comments per news article. As comments are made the speech bubbles will turn yellow, representing how many comments a member has made per news post. Members who post comments of low quality will risk having their comment limit reduced, while members who receive positive feedback from other members and makes useful and interesting comments will be granted more speech bubbles. This way I hope more people will put more thought behind their comments since they only have a certain number of turns to speak.
Things that will raise your comment limit
- Provide relevant and useful info related to the news posts
- Give constructive and intelligent feedback/criticism/comments to the news post
- Debate with other members in a mature and tasteful manner
- A good sense of humor
Things that will lower your comment limit
- Offensive language and personal attacks on other members
- Pointless comments like the classic “I am first” post
- Extreme Fanboyism
- Bad sense of humor
- Immature language
- Immature screen names (You can edit your screen name through your CP if you feel you have made a mistake when signing up as XboxRoxPS3Sucks)
- Posting with celebrity names (unless you are that person)
- Using forum language like LOL and ROTFL and similar
- Making up “funny” names for consoles like PayStation 3 and CrapBox 360, seriously these jokes are so old so please save your self the humiliation.
- Posting lies and made up facts.
- Posting with all CAPS or using more than one exclamation mark.
- Using Avatars with pics of people having sex , yes you know who you are.
Remember the comment section is not a message board. It is not meant for endless discussion between a few members who basically are just repeating themselves over and over again. The comment section is a forum where you can comment and post your opinion or info relevant to the news. Well it is of course ok to have small civilized discussions about the news, but you get the point. We will add a full blown message board to the site later this year so the ones of you who likes to engage in long 1000+ posts discussions can soon do that too. Point is that the comments you post to the news gets read by tens of thousands of people each day, and they do prefer you post something worth reading instead 500 posts of Xbox rocks PS3 sucks…
Opinions about our site upgrades will be divided as always but hopefully most of you will welcome this change. All of you will get a fresh start from today and keep in mind that you are not stuck with 5 speech bubbles. Prove yourself with good/interesting comments and you could have 10 speech bubbles before the end of the month. After all this is not so far from playing video games where you have to collect these heart containers , so most of you should feel right at home.
To clarify one thing that might not have been explained properly in my original post. When you vote for somebody with the “Let him/her speak link” or report a member for “spam/offensive” the upgrade or down grade does not happen in real time. All reports will be reviewed by our staff who will decide if this member does deserve to have more speech bubble containers or not. Also any upgrade or downgrade is not permanent. Members who break away from their bad posting habits may regain the lost speech bubble containers, and vice versa.
Update 2 : Some are wondering why we don’t want people to use internet language like “LOL” on the site. Well the reason is that this type of language is unprofessional, it kills creativity and some people do not know what these things stand for. The comment area is not a message board or chat room so keep your language clean and easy to read.