Code of Conduct (obsolete)
This is an earlier, obsolete version of Storium’s Code of Conduct, originally published on 3/25/2017. It has been superseded by Storium’s new Code of Conduct and is provided here only for historical reference.
Storium is a place where anyone is welcome and encouraged to tell stories from their imagination. Everyone has different ideas of what makes up a good story, but since Storium is a collaborative game it requires players to bring a spirit of cooperation and open-mindedness to the table, and to take responsibility both for their conduct and for how it can impact other peoples’ experience.
To ensure that Storium remains a vibrant and welcoming community, we expect all users to adhere to this Code of Conduct in all their interactions on Storium (including in games, forums, private messages, and anywhere else interactions can occur). Violators may have their access to Storium limited or revoked.
1. Play well with others
Respect is a core value on Storium. Always treat your fellow players, narrators, moderators, and Storium staff with respect.
Embody Storium’s spirit of collaboration by following these principles:
- Be polite, considerate, honest, and constructive in your interactions here.
- When disagreements arise, address them respectfully, peacefully, and in good faith.
- Empower and encourage other people’s voices, both creatively and otherwise.
- Welcome and support newcomers to the community.
- Follow through on your commitments to other players. If you can’t, be courteous and let them know. After all, life happens!
- Recognize that there is no single “right way” to play Storium. Offer your advice and help, but accept that not everyone may agree with you.
- Don’t behave disruptively or “hijack” discussions on Storium’s forums, in Green rooms and Open lobbies, or in game Commentary.
- If someone doesn’t want to engage with you on Storium, be considerate and don’t push it.
2. Don’t be a jerk
Abusive language, hostility, hate, bullying, harassment, or spamming of any kind are not permitted in user interactions on Storium. Examples of such behavior include but are not limited to:
- Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, ageist, religist, or otherwise discriminatory language or jokes.
- Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, or disability.
- Violence, threats of violence, incitement to violence, or violent language directed against another person.
- Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information in a public forum ("doxing").
- Unwelcome romantic or sexual attention. This includes romantic or sexualized comments or jokes, or non-consensual (i.e. not agreed to by the players involved) sexual material in games, forums, or private messages.
- Intimidation or stalking.
- Continued communication after requests to stop.
- Impersonating a member of the Storium team.
- Spamming or any marketing of outside services or products.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
Sometimes characters in stories are jerks even though their writers aren’t. If you think that any of the above themes, language, or behaviors may arise in-character in the course of play, discuss it with your fellow players first and make sure everyone is comfortable. And at all times show respect and compassion for the sensibilities and experiences of your fellow players.
3. Agree and communicate
Storytelling can be an intensely personal experience. Some stories explore topics that some people may find inappropriate, disturbing, or even painful. Storium games can also represent significant investments of both time and creative energy. All of this makes the following guidelines critical to success when playing with others:
- Before playing, reach agreement with your fellow players about content, tone, speed of play, and other fundamental aspects of the game you’ll be playing together.
- If there are topics that you do not want to be a part of your game, let your fellow players know as early as possible.
- Keep an open dialog with your fellow players. This should start from the very beginning of the game and continue throughout.
- If your game goes in a direction that bothers you, let your fellow players know as soon as possible.
- If one of your fellow players raises a concern, take it — and them — seriously.
If you’re a game’s host or narrator it is your responsibility to ensure that the above principles are followed. Ensuring up-front agreement and ongoing communication between players is the clearest path to success for your game(s). Set the right tone early on, and use tools like “Host’s rules,” “Triggers,” “Info for invitees and applicants,” and the Green room to set expectations, build understanding, and communicate any sensitive subjects that you expect your game may touch upon.
4. Play it safe
Storium does not require users to provide a real name or other personally identifying information. As with many sites on the Internet you can never be sure of the true identity of the people with whom you play unless you already know them from another context. Our Terms of Service and Code of Conduct are intended to protect all of Storium’s users, and we provide tools both for managing your interactions with others and reporting incidents of abuse (see below). That said, it is still important to follow basic online safety practices on Storium:
- Protect your personally identifying information.
- Before playing with strangers, get to know them by looking at their play history and talking with them directly.
- Recognize that you can’t always be sure that anyone you meet here is the same in real life as they present themselves online.
- If there are specific topics or themes that you prefer to avoid in your storytelling, indicate them on your profile page and also make sure your fellow players are aware of them before you start playing.
5. Think of the kids
Storium is available to users who are 13 years of age or older. This means that in addition to adults there can also be minors here. All users should bear this in mind when interacting with others.
- Storium requires users to confirm that they are 18 years of age or older before viewing or becoming a participant in any game that has been marked as “18+.”
- If you are playing in a game that includes or is expected to include themes or content inappropriate for readers under the age of 18, you must mark your game as “18+” and you must not knowingly invite under-18 users to participate.
- If you encounter a game that includes themes or content inappropriate for readers under the age of 18 and it has not already been marked as “18+,” help the community by marking it yourself.
- If you are playing in a game that becomes marked as “18+” after it has begun, and if you are not 18 years of age or older, it may no longer be appropriate for you to participate in that game. The host may ask you to leave the game or hand-off your role to another player. If this is requested, you should comply.
- Do not misrepresent your age with the intent of impersonating someone over (or under) the age of 18 or inappropriately gaining access to games marked as “18+.”
Games that include any of the following classes of content are considered “18+”:
- Written or visual content of a sexually explicit nature.
- Written or visual depictions of graphic violence or gore.
6. Follow the rules
In addition to this code of conduct, every area of the Storium site is also subject to Storium’s Terms of Service.
When conflicts arise
If you’re experiencing problematic interactions with another Storium user, when possible attempt to resolve the issue through direct communication.
- Tell the other party about your concerns and ask them to stop.
- Conversely, if someone voices concern about your own behavior, hear them out.
- Keep your interactions respectful and courteous.
- Look for a “win-win” solution, if one exists.
- Recognize that “winning” an argument is not always possible, or even the best goal. Know when to walk away.
- If the issue is occurring within a game that you are hosting, take responsibility for the situation and work with your fellow players to resolve it respectfully so that the group can continue playing.
Because it’s not always possible to resolve interpersonal conflicts, and because people should have the right to decide with whom they interact and on what terms, Storium provides a “block” feature that you can utilize at any time and at your sole discretion. This feature is accessed via “block” links in a number of locations across the site. Clicking any of these links adds the associated user to your block list. Blocking a user means:
- They can no longer send you private messages.
- They can no longer invite you to be a “friend.”
- They cannot “follow” your activity.
- They cannot view your profile page.
- They cannot apply to join Open Submission games you’re hosting, nor can they post in the Open Lobby of games you’re hosting.
- Threads they start on our forums are hidden from your view.
- Replies they make to forum threads are collapsed (but you can view them with an extra click).
- You will see a warning before viewing any games in which they participate.
(Note that blocking a user does not remove them from a game in which they’re already participating or to which they’ve already been invited.)
If you witness or experience behavior that violates either this Code of Conduct or our Terms of Service, you are encouraged to report it to the Storium team. You can do this in two ways:
- Click the “report” link, found in a number of locations across the site. This opens a box that lets you list your specific concern(s). A detailed report is then sent directly to the Storium team.
- Send email to “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Please include as much information as possible, including the user name of the party in question and all relevant information and correspondence regarding your concerns.
Our enforcement policy
The Storium team reviews all submitted reports. In the course of our review we may view private messages or private game content, but only that which is necessary to corroborate the complaint.
If we determine that no formal violation of our Code of Conduct or Terms of Service has occurred, we may still informally contact the reported party about their behavior.
If we determine that a violation has indeed occurred, consequences may vary depending on the severity, history, and context.
- For a first offense, the reported party may receive a warning.
- If the reported party has already received a warning for the same class of violation or for anything similar, we may take action including:
- Banishment from Storium’s forums.
- Removal of offending content.
- Account suspension.
- Account termination and a permanent ban from using the service.
- For severe violations, the reported party’s Storium account may be terminated immediately and they may be permanently banned from using the service, without warning.
Additionally, Storium staff monitor our public forums and may remove without warning messages that violate our Code of Conduct or Terms of Service.
Note that Storium will work to maintain a respectful and safe environment even outside of these rules, and we’ll step in at any time if we deem it necessary.