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The new age requirement
#1
I have to ask. Why precisely was this implemented? The two things that leap immediately to mind (for me, anyway) is legal liability and just plain content of the server.

Content of the server, at least as far as I have seen it, has been pretty PG-13 in public. I'm sure there are various people who do more adult things in private, but we do not have people cursing each other out in Orgrimmar, nor having cybersex in the streets. Using any popular colloquialisms is a rule violation, for goodness sake.

As far as legal liability....well, that is not an issue. The same laws that protect ISPs and message board administrators protect server owners. If someone gets harassed or conned or anything else on this server, the server owners are not responsible for it. Plain and simple. It's on the law books and the United States Supreme Court has upheld it at least a half dozen times in the last decade. I'm sure I can produce court transcripts from Oyez Oyez Oyez if people want me to prove it.

If you want people who are mentally ready to roleplay with adults, then 18+ is not the bar you want to set. 15+ or 16+ maybe. 18+ is only going to make every visitor who comes here immediately wonder if this is a sex server, and I'd rather not see this place go that way.

Plus, to be perfectly honest, I've worked with 15 year olds during volunteer work who outclass some 30 year olds I've met in maturity.
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#2
I don't think the problem is necessarily maturity, though that may play a part in the decision. And, while there may be many very mature 15 year-olds out there, they're still kids. I think the main issue here is that, yes, there are things here that we really don't want minors to see.

No, I don't want people to think that this is a "sex server" or anything of that nature. However, people do cyber here. Heck, I'm not opposed to the idea myself. There are adult situations beyond this as well, including more extreme depictions of violence and death. One of the first rules of the server is that nearly any RP is allowable. We don't want minors stumbling into some things that should be for adults only.

Legal ramifications? Whatever, this server is outside of the law to begin with.

Some people would be uncomfortable RPing certain situations if they knew minors were present. Some people are uncomfortable that minors might be exploited, mocked, whatever. There are several reasons to keep the server adult-only.
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#3
It seems pretty obvious to me that this is going to boil down to a value disagreement, so I will say my piece in reply to those notions and be done with this.

First off, you can't have things both ways. On one hand you say that nearly any RP is allowable. That's all well and good.

On the other, political correctness is starkly enforced, and you claim there's things 'we don't really want minors to see'. This essentially makes ultimate moral choices for everyone on the server as to what they are and are not comfortable with--and, worse, making the 'Big Brother knows best' judgment for anyone who happens to be under 18. How can one's fantasy be unrestricted when their reality IS restricted? This is a clear contradiction in the rules. Either do away with insisting everyone be 'nice', or do away with this age limit. Or, just do away with saying that any RP is allowable. These values are mutually exclusive and will butt heads sooner rather than later.

Further, while you might not want people to think this isn't a 'sex server', "18+" and "roleplaying" taken next to each other means EXACTLY THAT. I'm positive a search of Yahoo Groups will back me up on this. I can take screenshots of Neverwinter Nights servers with those two keywords and post extremely censored versions of them here if anyone requests that I produce the body on this claim.

Also, on the note of 'extreme depictions of violence and death'; I'm sorry, you could write a paragraph intricately describing blood, gore, and pain, and the depiction of it is still going to be weaker than the violence in any of a huge list of M rated games. Half Life 2, for example, allows players to light humans on fire and listen to their agonized screams of "GOD, KILL ME!" or the sobbing cries of "PUT IT OUUUUUTTT". I'll also note that Half Life 2 sold millions upon millions of copies...with a huge chunk of the target demographic being 14-17. Here's a clip from youtube to show what I mean. It's not only a wasted gesture, it's counter-productive to blanketly assume that anyone under 18 is a kid. I'm not saying that there aren't fragile people who couldn't handle roleplaying with adults--I'm saying that there are at least as many people, if not more, that ARE.

Some people are uncomfortable that minors might be exploited or mocked? Aren't those things already forbidden in the server's rule of 'be friendly and politically correct'? Also, none of the roleplaying that I've seen done so far was done in such a way that the entire world could see it and not look away. If someone is uncomfortable RPing around minors, it only takes a simple question and a quick request to get rid of them.

Lastly, and mostly: How in any way are these really rather minor comfort preferences taking precedence over an entire group of people that are ALREADY on the server and have been making wonderful contributions? Why do a few peoples' desire for a little extra peace of mind outweigh the desire of an entire group of people to play at all?

I can fully understand the need to warn and qualify to people that this is not a rainbows and lollipops server. Rules like this arbitrary age limit are NOT the way to go about it, though.

I'm out. Peace.
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#4
The rule had stated that 'henceforth, all new players must agree that they're 18.'

At any rate, though, I tend to agree. My main reason for instituting it was the liability issue. While I can understand people's uncomfortable thoughts knowing there may be minors present, we cannot be held responsible if they believe they are mature enough to POSSIBLY encounter R-rated events. The warning is given, and it's their decision.

People can also take it upon themselves to assist with this - it should not fall upon a rule limiting a fair population from participating in the RP haven that's been created. That was not my original intent, as I wanted it to be for anyone unsatisfied with the huge lack of RP present on so-called RP servers.

"Content of the server, at least as far as I have seen it, has been pretty PG-13 in public. I'm sure there are various people who do more adult things in private, but we do not have people cursing each other out in Orgrimmar, nor having cybersex in the streets."
This has been the important thing for me, and why I wrote up rule 4 so long ago.

WoW itself has a T-rating. It also has an ESRB notice that "Game experience may change during online play," which can be found on the login screen of the client.

Anyhow, for the time being, the rule has been altered.
I Am the Sea



Need an easy way to host/link files and images? Check this thread!

Try to never just say, "My character isn't interested in that adventure." A lot of people mistake this for good roleplaying, because you are asserting your character's personality. Wrong. Good roleplaying should never bring the game to a screeching halt. One of your jobs as a player is to come up with a reason why your character would be interested in a plot. After all, your personality is entirely in your hands, not the DM's. Come up with a reason why the adventure (or the reward) might appeal to you, no matter how esoteric or roundabout the reasoning. -(Source)
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#5
I agree with Kretol on this one, this is not about maturity but protects the admins from some youngsters trying to start future trouble. It's just on of those facts of life things you got to deal with when providing a public venue, otherwise there would have to be rules restricting what behavior is allowable on the server to get to a 'PG-level' public behavior rating (which is probably easier, then no one has to check). It's more a legal age of consent issue less a social one.

I do think the people already here can stay though, but this is more a 'going forward' issue. This is just my two coppers.

It reminds me of one of my cardinal guild rules back in Everquest, "Never, ever, ever trust anyone, in any game, or the Internet. Anonymity is your right and protection. Never give out your real name, age, address, voice, primary email or IM handle, or anything someone can find out about you with in real life™. Need-To-Know is the golden rule, with the only exception being the people who run the service you are using, because they are the only liable party."
The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.
- Mark Twain
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#6
I've been thinking about this issue and I don't think it's wrong to desire a more mature group of players, but I also agree that maturity comes at several different ages. I don't think that a warning about the server containing R-rated themes, conversations, etc. is a bad one to place.
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#7
Quote:Vani wrote:
It seems pretty obvious to me that this is going to boil down to a value disagreement, so I will say my piece in reply to those notions and be done with this.

Is this a value discussion? Most definitely. If we are going to start quoting proof then let me open up the literature on child psychology and brain development. A 15 year old is NOT an adult. Maturity aside, or rather the lack of maturity of some adults aside, we need to remember when we are interacting with children it is not free game to RP whatever fantasy you wish.

Quote:First off, you can't have things both ways. On one hand you say that nearly any RP is allowable. That's all well and good.

On the other, political correctness is starkly enforced, and you claim there's things 'we don't really want minors to see'. This essentially makes ultimate moral choices for everyone on the server as to what they are and are not comfortable with--and, worse, making the 'Big Brother knows best' judgment for anyone who happens to be under 18. How can one's fantasy be unrestricted when their reality IS restricted? This is a clear contradiction in the rules. Either do away with insisting everyone be 'nice', or do away with this age limit. Or, just do away with saying that any RP is allowable. These values are mutually exclusive and will butt heads sooner rather than later.

Political Correctness is not -starkly enforced-. Some basic rules of respect when speaking to each other OOCly is enforced so that no one is subject to harassment. However, those rules do not apply to IC interactions. Never have. Why this came up is the worry that a minor might become involved in an IC encounter with adult content because the players are not aware of the age of the CHILD. Yes... CHILD.

Quote:Further, while you might not want people to think this isn't a 'sex server', "18+" and "roleplaying" taken next to each other means EXACTLY THAT. I'm positive a search of Yahoo Groups will back me up on this. I can take screenshots of Neverwinter Nights servers with those two keywords and post extremely censored versions of them here if anyone requests that I produce the body on this claim.

No one here wants this to be viewed as a sex server. That wasn't the intention of the discussion and I don't see why any age restriction even needs to be listed in the search parameters. When people come to check out the forum they can discern pretty well the reason for such in th rules.

Quote:It's not only a wasted gesture, it's counter-productive to blanketly assume that anyone under 18 is a kid. I'm not saying that there aren't fragile people who couldn't handle roleplaying with adults--I'm saying that there are at least as many people, if not more, that ARE.

Again, perceived maturity does not an adult make. That is why laws exist in your country and mine to protect minors from exploitation.

Quote:Some people are uncomfortable that minors might be exploited or mocked? Aren't those things already forbidden in the server's rule of 'be friendly and politically correct'? Also, none of the roleplaying that I've seen done so far was done in such a way that the entire world could see it and not look away. If someone is uncomfortable RPing around minors, it only takes a simple question and a quick request to get rid of them.

Lastly, and mostly: How in any way are these really rather minor comfort preferences taking precedence over an entire group of people that are ALREADY on the server and have been making wonderful contributions? Why do a few peoples' desire for a little extra peace of mind outweigh the desire of an entire group of people to play at all?

The notion that this issue was about a few players comfort level is insulting. I personally prefer to RP with adults but I do not object to RP with those under 18. I do object to RPing content with them that is of a sexually explicit nature. I do object to being a part of a community that thinks it is okay for adults to engage in sexually explicit conduct with minors simply because it is online and not in person. That is my only issue with age and we all know full and well how much cyber goes on in this server and the lack of really knowing the age of each other when it's not directly given.

So ya, I guess that is my 2cents. I don't mind under 18 on the server, I am only concerned for the exploitation of said minors in sexual situations, be it intentional or accidental. Maybe it's the high school teacher in me or the background in child development and psychology, but I will never condone the notion that a 15 year old is an adult and therefore adults have free reign to explore their roleplay fantasies with them online.
Isebella Drudaen - Merchant, entrepreneur and fire mage.
Drusilla - Shadow Priestess and Mistress of all things sadistic.
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#8
Quote:On the other, political correctness is starkly enforced, and you claim there's things 'we don't really want minors to see'. This essentially makes ultimate moral choices for everyone on the server as to what they are and are not comfortable with--and, worse, making the 'Big Brother knows best' judgment for anyone who happens to be under 18. How can one's fantasy be unrestricted when their reality IS restricted? This is a clear contradiction in the rules. Either do away with insisting everyone be 'nice', or do away with this age limit. Or, just do away with saying that any RP is allowable. These values are mutually exclusive and will butt heads sooner rather than later.

Because fantasy and reality are two separate and unrelated things. There is no contradiction here.

I think you confuse the notion of political correctness with rules that enforce maturity. And yes, I find making use of stereotypes or doing blanket insults on groups of people to be highly immature. Continuing on, this has nothing at all to do with how things operate ICly. You can be the worst bigot in the world ICly (so long as it fits within the world) and I wouldn't care.

If it were in my interests to have the server be totally "politically correct," you can imagine that I would not let as many of the off-color and inherently sexual jokes go by, that do so daily on the LFG channel.

We CAN have it both ways. I was on a MUD that successfully DID have it both ways. No problems occurred.

Quote:Further, while you might not want people to think this isn't a 'sex server', "18+" and "roleplaying" taken next to each other means EXACTLY THAT. I'm positive a search of Yahoo Groups will back me up on this. I can take screenshots of Neverwinter Nights servers with those two keywords and post extremely censored versions of them here if anyone requests that I produce the body on this claim.

And I can also show you adult-themed games and servers that AREN'T entirely sex-oriented. I don't think this logic is going to go anywhere.

Quote:Also, on the note of 'extreme depictions of violence and death'; I'm sorry, you could write a paragraph intricately describing blood, gore, and pain, and the depiction of it is still going to be weaker than the violence in any of a huge list of M rated games. Half Life 2, for example, allows players to light humans on fire and listen to their agonized screams of "GOD, KILL ME!" or the sobbing cries of "PUT IT OUUUUUTTT". I'll also note that Half Life 2 sold millions upon millions of copies...with a huge chunk of the target demographic being 14-17.

Half-life 2 is rated M. The ESRB's website notes that this means the game is intended for people aged seventeen and older. If people below that age bracket get the game, then it's not on Valve or the ESRB. Point being, HL2 was *warned as being an adult-oriented game.* Your example just strengthens that case. The only difference is that for games, there are no laws that prohibit the sale to minors (in the US.)

Also to point out, the ESRB has the ability to stamp an AO (Adults Only) rating on games simply for being too violent. Their definition of an AO rating shows that.

The point being, sexuality is not the only "adult theme" possible in a game. On that note, do not underestimate what people can do with words.

Quote:It's not only a wasted gesture, it's counter-productive to blanketly assume that anyone under 18 is a kid. I'm not saying that there aren't fragile people who couldn't handle roleplaying with adults--I'm saying that there are at least as many people, if not more, that ARE.

Everyone under 18 IS a kid. That's the definition. Yes, there are some adults that are immature. That's why we have other rules that enforce maturity.

Quote:Some people are uncomfortable that minors might be exploited or mocked? Aren't those things already forbidden in the server's rule of 'be friendly and politically correct'? Also, none of the roleplaying that I've seen done so far was done in such a way that the entire world could see it and not look away. If someone is uncomfortable RPing around minors, it only takes a simple question and a quick request to get rid of them.

You greatly overestimate people if you think they're going to pause before every adult situation and say "Ok, is everyone here over 18?" It's not going to happen, period.

Quote:Lastly, and mostly: How in any way are these really rather minor comfort preferences taking precedence over an entire group of people that are ALREADY on the server and have been making wonderful contributions? Why do a few peoples' desire for a little extra peace of mind outweigh the desire of an entire group of people to play at all?

First off, playing here is a privilege. We can remove you from the server for any reason whatsoever. Kretol doesn't like the color of your shirt, he can boot you off the server. That is how private servers work.

Does peace of mind outweigh the desire of a group of people to play here? In this case, I think it does. Mark my words that, as populations grow there WILL be a problem caused if minors and adult situations are continued to allow to be happened side-by-side. It's only a matter of time. I see no problem with working to prevent a problem before it occurs, instead of waiting for it to happen and then dealing with the likely messy aftermath.

Another note on legal liability: there may be a law that protects server owners. Guess what? That doesn't apply here. The server is illegal, the law wouldn't protect it or Kretol. On a more extreme example, a drug-dealer cannot press charges on someone who stole his merchandise. He shouldn't have had drugs to begin with.
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#9
First off, I agree with the age requirement, and I won't repeat the excellent points made by Bella and Grakor. I feel it is something that needs to be set now to avoid trouble later, and very well thought out.

I always like to think of this server as Kretol's house, and logging on is like him inviting us over for drinks and a party. He has every right to say 'no kids'. I am always honored he would have me over, and I always try to be a good guest. In the end, it is his house, he makes the rules, and I respect them.

And the party has been wonderful so far! tyvm :)

-Shmoo
Shademoon - Human Priestess, Humanitarian
Chayne - Human Paladin, Tradewind Mercenary
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