The place to discuss the changes to what was once P&C.
Welcome to Discussions & Debates!*
When we'd started GWJ 13 years ago we didn't even have a forum section like this because we'd never assumed a bunch of video game fans would want to discuss worldly events. It quickly became apparent that as we got to know each other and feel comfortable in the community we also wanted to delve into some pretty heavy stuff. So P&C was born and I dare say it's lead to a lot of personal growth and deeper understanding of the world at large and the people who live here. I know I've learned a lot and changed a ton thanks to P&C.
A few months ago we had a big thread about the P&C section of the site, what it means to us and what we'd like to get out of it. As I read through it I realized that our old code of conduct (which we wrote early in the site's life) wasn't keeping up with the concerns of the day or representing the full diversity of our community. I also recognized that anything I came up with would be incomplete by nature because my point of view was limited to my own direct experiences.
To that end I reached out to Hypatian and sometimesdee and we read through the whole thread together and took copious notes. Why them? I'll be honest, it's mostly because in the past they've called me on my sh*t and they're respected by the community at large. They also represent viewpoints and experiences different from my own and that's exactly what we needed here.
After a few hours working through all the feedback and forming the bones of what a new P&C could look like, I sprung my devious trap and asked them to collaborate on writing the Code of Conduct and ultimately helping me moderate this section of the forums. I'm incredibly grateful they said yes! Double special thanks to Hypatian for doing the bulk of the first draft writing so we had a strong base to work from.
The ultimate goal here is giving the creator of a given thread some extra tools so people who'd like to jump in have a clear idea of what the intention behind it is. You can read the new CoC for clarifications on what these different thread categories are and how they work. I'm anticipating most threads will still be "Discussion" threads much like they are now, but there's also some additional options in there.
More moderators? I fear change and this is the beginning of the end!
While Hyp and dee will be moderating within the scope of the CoC and obvious infractions, we'll be collaborating on the stickier issues and ultimately the decision to ban someone is up to me. On a practical level, I just can't keep up with the sheer bulk of comments anymore so some extra hands and eyes will be really helpful.
Categories and Scopes are going to create exclusionary, echo chamber threads!
I'm not really expecting that to be the case. If anything, the added guidelines should lead to deeper, more varied discussions when the "basic" assumptions of the topic are laid out up front.
Does my scope have to be really specific?
Not at all. It could be as simple as "This thread is for discussing all aspects of the 2016 Presidential election." A scope is as wide or narrow as you want to make it.
Is this new category thing site-wide?
This section only. The new Code of Conduct on the general site will be updated though.
Why the new name?
It's part of that wider intention for clarity of purpose. "Politics and Controversy" lends a certain aggressive tone that doesn't fit anymore.
We're not anticipating everything being perfect from day one, so please report any technical bugs or issues. After over a decade of doing it one way it will take some getting used to, so try to give it a few days before offering any broader feedback on the overall structure.
Thanks for reading! Also big thanks to Jeff Beeman for the technical aspects of getting all this in place.
*I don't think D&D is used for anything else so we should be fine.