I’ve been thinking about this for a while. For how extreme the idea can be, I can’t see a valid reason not to do it.
– You make official forums for a game, where your forum account is linked to your game account (not publicly). Everyone can read the forums, but to post you need an active account to the game.
– You then enforce rules on the forums by taking actions on both the forum and the *game* account.
Yeah, exactly what happened with that EA story recently, with people banned from the game as consequence of them being jerks on the forums.
I can’t suffer to read the Vault for more than 2 minutes. 90% of what is written there is plain spam or trolling.
How to fix all that? Simple, you use official forums and then make reflect the forum behavior on the game account. In the same way you can get banned in the game if you harass players and break the rules, you would be banned from the game if you break the rules on the forums.
The rules would be simple. It’s not a matter of censorship or arguing the merit of what someone says. What should be regulated is all those stupid posts like “First!” “IBTL!” “QQ” and all those messages that add absolutely nothing to a discussion. Use a general discussion forum where players can write down all the shit they want, but keep the game discussion forum clean of that shit. Use a ban system that is granular enough, so that you educate progressively players to behave even on the forum (something they aren’t used to). 3-hours ban from forums and game if you post spam messages, or messages that say nothing at all. Then make consequent offenses correspond to longer ban timers.
Ban the fuck out of the idiots and I’m sure you could have a more constructive and useful discussion.
Sure, you could lose some customers, but I’m pretty sure they’ll learn and stick to the rules.
I repeat: this shouldn’t be a way to ease censorship. Opinions, no matter how harsh and blunt they are, should be untouched, as much to allow the general bitchyness that you would find on F13. The rules should instead enforce *arguments*. If what you write has no arguments it should be deleted by a moderator and the user banned for a short amount of time. Subsequent offenses get longer bans.
Clear, unmistakable rules and direct consequences on the *game* account if you don’t respect them. You would be surprised how quickly people learn how to behave.