N4G Admin & Community Manager .::. I read every PM, I just may not respond to every PM.


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N4G: A Rule Amendment on Relevance & A Reminder on Guideline Abuse and Lame Reports

Hello everyone.

I wanted to address some things that I think have been progressing unhealthily in the last few months.

Let me first get this out of the way: Preferring one company over another, liking one service over another, supporting one developer over another, or just having an opinion that is different from your fellows is common, natural, and not an issue. N4G is what it is, but at its core, it's an amalgamation of people with opinions that are not required to line up behind one opinion or where people are required to be ruled by the majority or loudest voice on a topic.

What isn't natural, though, is how we learn to defend these opinions. Rather than learn to agree to disagree, we hold our opinions in such high regard that we begin to support an opinion with tangential data not specific to said opinion ("most consoles sold this generation say what?"), utilize various logical fallacies ("Review scores say otherwise"), or hold onto facts that we don't understand and often misuse ("custom RDNA 2" in general).

Regardless of these faults in our arguments, though, the general use of them isn't necessarily purposeful or ill-intent. It's how we've evolved to defend our opinions. It's how we've evolved to respond to attacks.

As moderators, it's our task to not just restrict or ban people for having opinions or for just being wrong, but for purposefully antagonizing, eliciting negative responses, and playing a game aimed at a person or group of people and not their arguments. It's also our job to determine when someone deserves a restriction or ban, not when a part of the community believes they deserve it. A task itself seeped in perception bias from every party involved. A task the moderation team wishes they honestly didn't have to partake in, but we do and that is that.

So what is all this about?

We've seen a progression in the use of submissions and reports as fuel for these opinions.

This is troubling because the purpose of submissions is to allow the community to submit gaming news and not to antagonize specific N4G users. And, the purpose of reports is to ensure that the submissions follow our guidelines.

We understand there's a lot of opinion on the upcoming hardware. We understand, as briefly explained above, how people learn to defend these opinions. It's a heated time in the community. There is a lot of missing information, many rumors, many opinions from industry professionals, and just so many things changing as companies start to define who they are in the upcoming generation and what this means for gamers.

Regardless of this, we would like to reiterate a few things as well as add an amendment to a guideline regarding submission relevance.


Our guidelines exist to keep submissions honest and to make sure they all stand equally based on those guidelines. When people submit things that don't abide by those guidelines, and when people approve those same submissions without regard to our guidelines, they are not working under good faith.

You can disagree with our guidelines, that is your right. But, you still have to follow them. And failure to do so regularly, let alone to do so to push specific news, will likely result in restrictions or outright bans.

Ignorance is not an acceptable defense, especially after months of repeated issues.


There exists no system in place that allows a person to disapprove of a submission. This is why lame reports exist. Lame reports represent the opinion of the user that the content is not appropriate for or of good enough quality for N4G.

But, this opinion doesn't apply to actual news. News is news. It can't just be disregarded because you don't want it to be seen. The guidelines regarding the quality and sourcing of news already exist in our guidelines. For the validity of whether a submission is allowed, per our guidelines, users should use the other submission report options, including 'Other' for those items not covered by the other report options. You can also submit a ticket to the mod team from about submission issues.

If you start to use the lame report to try and stifle actual news, and nothing else, it will likely result in restrictions or outright bans.


As of today, we have updated the guidelines regarding industry professional (developers or publishers) opinions on topics related to hardware and not their game.

You can see the update to these guidelines at

Specifically, we have updated our guidelines as follows:

"c) a generic tweet or single response interview item from an industry professional may not be relevant if it provides no new information, is an opinion and not news on hardware, or is a generic response without any specifications as to how something may or may not be handled;"

This update is to further clarify relevance as well as to plug what we find to be a loophole that people, especially journalists, have utilized to sell headlines rather than actual news that is relevant rather than just the opinion of one person among many.

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neutralgamer199221d ago (Edited 21d ago )

Bring back the bubble system and have an open zone for those wanting to be fanboys

Those open zones made sure we could have mature conventions and the bubble system made sure to stop fanboys. It wasn't a perfect system but it was better than this

VenomUK21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

I think this needed to be said. The format wars prior to a new generation launch can be a lot of fun if the arguing is good-natured! But some people take it too far trying to bury news they don’t like, abusing the lame reports or promoting any scrap of opinion that supports their console preference, just yesterday there was a story from an indie developer like this.

2020 is an auspicious year because two brand new consoles are launching, so WE all need to just chill and enjoy the ride.

21d ago
rainslacker21d ago


Most "news" nowadays is more editorial or relaying PR over actual news. This is true all over news media. The commentary allows them to fill space, and nowadays people seem to care more about relaying their opinions, as opposed to learning or understanding what is going on.

GamerRN20d ago

Unfortunately N4G itself is a pro Sony site and it only seems to step in when someone defends Xbox and I can't help but notice all the examples in the post reference things said negatively about Sony. So suddenly, we want to remind people that we won't tolerate this behavior..... When it's against Sony.

I've been banned 6 times for defending Xbox or simply saying just buy both systems... It's absurd... All Consoles Matter!


KyRo21d ago

The bubble system didn't work as great as you seem to remember. You would still get that guy with one bubble spouting their hate for a game or console they had no interest in which would then open the comments to mountain of other childish replies from people who still had multiple bubbles. Just because the initial troll couldn't comment no more, a lot of other people would. You would also have them people begging for bubbles and writing replies they didn't necessarily agree with for upvotes.

It was a good idea but one which was flawed. I wouldn't mind it coming back with a few adjustments.

UltraNova21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

Name some adjustments, because as things stand the bubble system and open zone is exactly what N4G needs right now, including the latest guideline amendment. To be clear I'm not saying the bubble system as we knew it was perfect. What I'm saying is that we need to provide some ideas on how to improve it before re-introducing it.

Kudos to the mods for finally acknowledging and acting on this.

PS: Gamingbolt and Forbes be gone.

rainslacker21d ago

I think a rating system that moves comments up or down in relevance would be good. No bubbles, or even the 10 comment limit which I assume is a carryover from the old site design they couldn't just do away with.

N4G would have to get some control over its sporadic but problem that seems to randomly see huge numbers of up or downvotes despite it being atypical on that type of comment or articlw

Hutch235520d ago

Problem with the bubble system, is when you favor one of the consoles that is considered the inferior one on this message board, you get down bubbled even when it was a normal comment. Especially during ps3/360 days, man I remember just making a comment about how my experience with RROD was not bad, only had 1 and it was a couple years into my console and the down bubble votes flew. So I don't think that system works either.

ChrisW20d ago

Another problem with the bubble system was that people with multiple accounts could simply inflate their number of bubbles, and then of course, there were like minded people who would also help inflate the number of bubbles. In addition, those same people would then spam dislikes (which we still get) against those who said the slightest thing against their general opinion -- reducing the number of bubbles -- and thus keeping the argument extremely one-sided.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 20d ago
DiRtY21d ago

I disliked the bubble system, because you could not have a real discussion, when you ran out of bubbles.
To limit the amount of comments for everyone, because some can't behave would be a step in the wrong direction IMO.

IRetrouk21d ago

Everyone has a limit of 10 comments per article.

OB1Biker21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

Then you had the 'flag bearers' usual suspects with a gazillion bubbles each camp was giving a lot of 'well said' crap because they were speaking for one 'camp'

rainslacker21d ago

I found people who were never contentious, generally respectful, and. Ever rocked the status quo, but just talked about games or things they liked without making it personal, were prone to being stuck at the starting number or bubbles indefinitely. While there was a system in place for gaining or losing bubbles, gaining them was too hard, and losing them was too easy.

For those coming to the site for actual discussion, it was a turn off, because good discussions could go on for many comments.

I don't want the bubble system back. I just think better, or maybe more consistent moderation overall would be a good thing.

BlackIceJoe21d ago

I understand what you're trying to say, but I have to disagree with you on the bubble system.

I remember people abusing it, so if you disliked what someone said, instead of giving them a down vote, you'd press the button to have them lose a bubble instead.

So it wasn't as perfect as you remember.

ElementX21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

I agree. Some of the most annoying people had the most bubbles just because people agreed with them and several people who were stating facts had fewer because people don't like facts when they don't support the console of choice

Palitera21d ago

^ And now politics as well. In today’s trumpist N4G, saying that you appreciate TLOU2 or that the Earth is round would mean -1 bubble immediately.

21d ago
Christopher21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

100% out of the hands of the moderation team.

Edit: Personally, no to bubbles, they had their own problems with the majority voice stifling the minority voice. But, I would love to be able to send certain people to permanent open zone only commenting rather than having to outright ban them.

neutralgamer199221d ago

Let's have some sort of open zone so people who just want to troll and act our their fanboynism

Also I feel like the fee who are known fanboys have multiple accounts maybe your team can look into that

rainslacker21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

I thought the mods made the call on actual adding or removing bubbles? Didnt know it was based purely on number of votes.

Not that I liked the system, and on that note I dont like the 10 comment limit now....which I realize is probably also out of your hands, and I assume a hold over from the old site design, and the databases require it too deeply in the code

I wouldnt mind the actual forums coming back...particularly if they can link them to the articles so people can discuss older topics

Unfortunately, n4g doesnt lend itself to random discussion without running the risk of being off topic

@Darth below

From what I understand, they did away with the open zone to promote more discussion in the regular zone.

I havent seen forums here for a long time, do they still have them?

UltraNova20d ago

Maybe the old bubble system won't work today. You should consider adding a drop down list to the agree/disagree button naming people who cliked either option.

And yeah sending antagonistic people to an open some for x period of time is a good idea.

lociefer21d ago

Ya, i think we're long overdue for a "gloves off" open zone. Just put a disclaimer that it's 18+ and let people fight to their hearts' content. This "default" comment section would be reserved for more civilized discussions.

darthv7221d ago

Isnt there still the forum for that sort of thing? I cant remember as I have not been in there in years, but i thought they kept the forums for just such a thing.

21d ago
darthv7221d ago

The main problem with the bubbles was, again... the difference of opinion. You don't like what someone says... not only do you give a disagree but you take away a bubble. Over a difference of opinion???? Come on. The bubble popping was to be used as a last resort if someone was blatantly calling out aggression in their comment or using profanity towards others. Not because they liked sega more than nintendo or played mobile more than console.

The open zone was kind of a fun though. It was a side to let off steam but even that was abused. Right now the way they have it set up, everyone has the same ability to comment. I cant recall how many comments one person can make in a thread but i know its like 7 or 8 maybe. So long as people keep track of their own comments then you can tell when someone has reached their limit (like the bubbles only not as visually obvious).

ShadowWolf71220d ago

Yes and no. I liked the Bubble System to a degree, but it actually eventually evolved to the point where the fanboys had the biggest megaphone. Sure, it made it rougher on people whose accounts were banned and had to make a new one, but at the same time, some of the highest bubble counts I used to see were on blatant fanboys, and I'd watch people who weren't those actually LOSE bubbles and thus be restricted because fanboys would downvote them or report their comments.

TheRealTedCruz20d ago

This would definitely be a positive move.

FullmetalRoyale20d ago (Edited 20d ago )

I used to comment all the time, but I've lost interest because of how immature too many people are. Too often I think "ugh it's not even worth it" when I go to start typing a comment that isn't whatever the thread seems to be echoing. I don't use any social media for that very reason. It's been a bummer seeing this place spiral downward.
We also have some submitters acting like this is their personal website, constantly talking down to people, and just being rude about disagreements.
I didn't *like the bubbles because it was very clearly abused, and used like some sort of a class system. I've lost my ability to speak my mind effectively because people didn't agree with my thoughts. To me that system is unacceptable. I don't know the answer, but I used to enjoy coming here and having little conversations with people about video games.

Sorry for the wall of text, I just needed to vent that.

thorstein20d ago (Edited 20d ago )

It's interesting that you say that because I found myself coming here less because the bubbles used to reward us for insightful comments and trolls would have 1 bubble.

I miss Cat.

Perhaps that's the solution? Bubbles. Everyone gets 10. Instead of the old way: Trolling = loss of bubbles?

S2Killinit20d ago

The bubble system was abused. Some of the biggest trolls on the site had the most bubbles while others did not.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 20d ago
aaronaton21d ago

As long as it doesn't end up like some American college campus, i'm all for it.

anast21d ago

What an inane thing to say. As American's are the only people that engage in "PC" culture or whatever else you are alluding to.

TheRealTedCruz20d ago

And Canada. And the UK. The list goes on.

What an inane thing to say.

FirstSonOfKrypton20d ago

Liberal indoctrination is everywhere not just America