- Jul 14, 2018
Shenmue Dojo Frequently Asked Questions
Last Revised July 29th, 2018.
Welcome to the Shenmue Dojo, a place for Shenmue enthusiasts to come together and discuss all things related to Yu Suzuki's ambitious video game series.
Our goal is to offer a dedicated website and forum that inspires people to have passionate discussions, build bonds with different kinds of people from all over the world, and in general have a good time in a moderated environment. We want the Shenmue Dojo to be a worthy Shenmue resource for people who love the series and everything surrounding these remarkable video games. We put a lot of value in being fair, transparent, and reasonable with our moderation, and we want you to feel safe without feeling oppressed.
This document will outline some of the policies and guidelines that we’ve been working on to make the Shenmue Dojo a great forum for discussion. Please keep in mind that while we’ve put great effort into making this guide as detailed and specific as we can, it is not possible to foresee or enumerate every behaviour that might require moderation.
How to participate
After you've successfully registered your account on the Shenmue Dojo, the activation process begins. This means that administrators will manually check your registration. Once approved, you'll be ready to actively participate in discussions. Account approval will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please note that the activation process is being done manually, and that it can take some time until your account is activated. Please refrain from contacting staff members about the approval process for your account outside of the forum. If you have any questions concerning the status of your approval, please contact us only at [email protected]. Note that due to the large volume of emails we receive and variances in staff availability, we may not be able to reply to your email immediately. We appreciate your patience throughout this process.
III. One Account Only
Each user is allowed only one account. If you are found to have created multiple accounts out of benign misunderstanding, you will be asked to pick one and the others will be closed. If you are found to have created multiple accounts in bad faith, such as for ban evasion or trolling, all of your accounts will be subject to an automatic permanent ban.
IV. Use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Proxys
The Shenmue Dojo understands the desire of some users to remain anonymous online which may extend to using a VPN or proxy server to access and contribute to these boards. Unfortunately these are tools that can and have been used by previously banned members to regain access to the site. As such, members who do access the site this way may be at increased risk of having their account closed. By using a VPN or proxy, you acknowledge this and accept any consequences that may incur.
To prevent any accounts from being wrongfully closed, an administrator or moderator may contact users using a VPN and ask them to disable it for a period of time. If you receive such a request, you should oblige and disable it until you receive permission to re-enable. This way, we can ensure that you are not using a VPN for malicious purposes and whitelist your account.
In the event that using a VPN to access the boards is absolutely necessary (government restrictions, ISP blocks etc.) you should take the time after registering to contact a moderator/administrator and explain the situation.
V. Member Etiquette
Shenmue Dojo as a forum and as a community values inclusivity and seeks to provide a welcoming space for all members to come together to discuss video games and more. We do not tolerate behaviour or language that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise maliciously exclusionary with regard to identity. Our mission is to foster an environment that brings people together in open dialogue. We might not see each other face to face, but behind each username is another human being who may have a different background. Accordingly, the Cardinal Rule for using the Shenmue Dojo's website and services is to be mindful of the above and to enter dialogue in good faith.
The Shenmue Dojo User Agreement sets forth a non-exclusive list of prohibited activities. Shenmue Dojo reserves the exclusive right to use its discretion in taking any action against a user, from account suspension (temporary banning) to account termination (permanent banning).
VI. Posting Etiquette
- Please be polite: Please be respectful and polite when posting in threads. This includes when addressing other users and when posting about the topic at hand. You can post in a thread without making it personal or insulting other users. Impolite posting and using improper grammar and spelling is frowned upon here. Consistently low quality posts can lead to a ban.
- Use text options responsibly: We presently allow posters access to a variety of text options including size, colour, and font. Please do not abuse these to make obnoxious or visually distracting replies.
- Users and creators: As a Shenmue Dojo user, it is important to understand that Shenmue games and related projects carry with them their own unique set of processes and responsibilities. The people who work hard on all of these games and projects, from Shenmue III developers, publisher employees, community managers and all other employees/hobbyists working on these games and projects have a life outside of Shenmue, and are passionate about what they do. Claiming that a studio, company, employee or community fan is "lazy" is not only disrespectful but also very naive and uninformed. We will NOT tolerate disrespectful comments made to anyone working on Shenmue related content, and will be dealt with accordingly.
The same goes for people who are covering Shenmue games and content: vilifying an entire media outlet for any reason is typically unhelpful. It is crucial to understand that these people share a similar high passion for the gaming industry in general, as you do, and try their best to do their jobs. These outlets are not monoliths but groups of people that keep changing over the years. None of them are perfect and while reasoned discussion is always welcome, try to refrain from dismissing a website or magazine for petty reasons.
- Do not argue in bad faith: Honest dissent and debate is generally welcome. However, we do not welcome disingenuous arguments, deliberately ignoring or refusing to acknowledge counterarguments, or arguing for no reason than to upset other members. If your contributions to a discussion are clearly unproductive or lead in circles, it’s time to stop.
- Read beyond the headline: There is no prize for being the first person to comment on something. Instead of reading headlines, please take your time to read the snippets and the content in question. Don't let your own laziness potentially make you look like a fool.
- No drive-by posting: Do not come into a thread, write something purposefully provocative, and bail out. We'd suggest either making a solid argument or ignoring a thread altogether if you have nothing to contribute. We would also like to remind users not to derail threads and post about topics which are not related to the content posted in the OP.
- It's okay to not post: It is fine to see a thread about a subject that you absolutely don't care about and to not post in it. It's absolutely fine to let people celebrate tiny successes without dropping a snarky comment between posts. We are not asking of you to not be critical, but to be aware that your opinion is just one among many and not necessary for every single thread. Please note that the forum has an ignore feature that you can use if you do not want to see a certain user’s posts.
- Take a break: From time to time it is necessary to step away for a few minutes or hours if a discussion you participate in gets too heated or you feel like you can't contribute anymore. Keep taking care of yourself and don't lose yourself between dozens of posts and threads. It is also helpful to remember that spending too much time on the Shenmue Dojo alone can create a bubble in your mind about what gaming is and what it isn't. Be aware that there is a world outside of it.
- Rumours: Posting rumours from external websites is allowed but we ask users to use common sense when doing so. Do not post rumours from random blogs with no track record. If you believe the rumour you’re reading couldn’t possibly be true then it is best not to post it here.
- Spoiler and hidden tags: Many posters like to experience entertainment without knowing what to expect from it, and with new Shenmue games on the horizon, this is something that everyone should strive to accommodate. Spoiler sensitivity, however, cannot be allowed to stifle discussion of actual news. If information is publicised as part of promotional material, or otherwise announced through official channels, it is fair game.
Our forum software allows you to clearly title the contents of your spoiler. Whenever possible and appropriate, please use this feature so that members will know exactly what you are hiding behind the tags. If a thread title has the word ‘spoiler’ in the title then you do not need to use spoiler tags in that thread and you can assume that discussion in that thread will revolve around said spoiler.
VII. New Thread Etiquette
- Show some effort: It’s wonderful that you want to start a discussion, but being the Original Poster (OP) carries some responsibility to start things off on the right foot. If you’re going to create a thread, try to include more content and care than one or two short sentences. Consider whether the thread will generate good discussion, and scrutinise any sources you decide to cite. Consistently low quality threads may lead to your thread making privileges being revoked. If it does come to this, thread making privileges will be restored after a defined period of time, subject to a review by staff.
- Content threads: Please do not create threads that have illegal links or full magazine scans in them. If you create a thread based on an article, please do not copy the entire article and use snippets instead and a link to the article. Respect that these are written by people who make their living with those clicks, no matter if you agree and disagree with the premise. Also, properly represent these articles and don't spin them to create a narrative to your liking. If you create a thread based on a video, please create a short summary of it or write down your own opinion on why people should watch it (this of course isn't necessary for new game trailers though additional info is always helpful to have).
- Reaction threads: In our experience, these lead to nothing but pages and pages of emotionally fuelled hot-takes that mostly resemble spam rather than actual material of value. Instead, use the relevant event and announcement threads for your instant reactions to keep them in one place. This rule may be waved if warranted, for example, new Shenmue releases or press events where Shenmue is confirmed to appear at.
- Review threads: By creating a review thread for something we expect you to be active and keep updating the original post with more information instead of adding just the first few reviews and then bail out. Please refrain from creating a review thread if you are unable to do so. Similar to content threads, we expect you to share a snippet of the review, a score/final verdict and a link to it. You can also add the OpenCritic and MetaCritic scores.
- Announcement threads: If something gets announced and you decide to make a thread for it, please try to include as much and as precise information as possible. Don't copy/paste an entire Kickstarter body over all for the sole purpose of having the, "I got there first" mentality, and this is "MY" topic. Include links and relevant imagery, as well as comment some thoughts. Don't worry if multiple threads are being created about the same announcement: the Shenmue Dojo team will merge these threads.
- Event threads: Event threads should be created on the day the event starts and include schedules, stream links and some basic information. Those things should be included; the rest is up to you.
VIII. Not Safe For Work
- Not safe for network TV: Do not post any material that would be too explicit to be aired on network television. Many of our members from around the world have a good grasp of what this means and will be able to tell you where that line is.
- Public indecency: Do not post any material featuring characters wearing clothing that would get a real person arrested for public indecency.
- No underage sexualisation: Do not post images, artwork, figurines, or any other material, no matter how stylised or fictional, which clearly fetishes or sexualises characters under the age of 18. This restriction also uniquely extends to discussions; do not condone, defend, or otherwise excuse the sexualisation of children.
- Be considerate: Many of our members browse this website from their workplaces and material that excessively highlights or focuses on sexual or secondary sexual characteristics might be a bad look for them. Try to be tasteful and considerate if the option exists.
- When in doubt: You are encouraged to make use of spoiler tags or off-site links to hide images or other material that you believe may be on the borderline. If you have any questions feel free to contact a moderator beforehand.
IX. Other Disallowed Content
- Self-Promotion & Spam: The Shenmue community as a whole relies on each other to promote each other, and recognised outlets have no problem linking to their own material. However, spam of any kind is not allowed on on the Shenmue Dojo. This refers to malware and phishing content, referral links, self-promotion and abuse of the post or private message system. Self promotion includes any Shenmue related content created by an individual who registers at the Shenmue Dojo, with the sole purpose of pushing his own site. If anyone also thinks a few posts here and there will cut it, that's also not going to happen. New members must achieve a minimum of 100 posts to begin advertising their own outlet, and this will also be subject to staff scrutiny.
- Banned websites and sources: In specific cases, we may ban certain websites, social media outlets, or sources from being posted on the Shenmue Dojo. The reason for each ban may vary but in general we will ban a site if they are an unreliable source of information or if they have a history of attempting to self-promote on our site. This site also has a history, and any site or outlet we deem not fit for linking here is final. We ask that you not post content from these websites. You will know if a website is banned as the link will be replaced by asterisks.
For more information on why a particular website has been banned, you may contact a moderator.
- Hate speech, bullying, harassment and doxing: We have a zero-tolerance policy on hate speech, bullying, harassment and doxing. Any users found to be involved in this behaviour will be banned.
Moderation and Bans
Our international staff is made up of people with a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. To offer consistent moderation, we apply universal staff guidelines that are nevertheless flexible enough to evolve with the times. Every staff member has to follow the same rules as the rest of the forum and is expected to behave professionally when acting as a representative of the Shenmue Dojo.
On the Shenmue Dojo, we aim to be as transparent as possible about the moderation of the site, especially when it comes to the banning of accounts. If you have any questions about our moderation, please do not risk a thread derail and instead feel free to contact a moderator, or administrator if necessary.
There is a Complete Staff Roster available to the public that is regularly maintained and kept up to date.
Please also note that all bans from the old Dojo forums will still be enforced.
The majority of users on our website will never break a rule outlined in the FAQ and terms of service. We understand that some users may break a rule during a heated discussion or as a one off. We have a public warning system in place that allows us to warn the user for this behavior and communicate to our entire user base what sort of behavior is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
If a user breaks a rule they will receive a public warning first in most cases. A moderator will add a red bar above the user’s post with text that contains a clear reason as to why the user was warned. We hope that users will read all public warning messages they come across to understand how best to use the website.
Please note that repeated warnings will lead to a ban. In some cases, we may choose to ban a user without a warning first.
II. Banned Users
If a user continues to break the rules, especially after being warned in the past, we may temporarily ban the user. The length of the ban will depend on the user’s moderation history and the number of warnings that they have received in the past. For most users, we will start out with a 24-hour ban. We understand that sometimes what users need is a break, and so we want to give users the chance to learn from their mistakes so they can come back later with an improved mindset.
In the interest of transparency, we will also keep the ban reason public for each user. You can find the public ban reason in the red bar at the top of the offending post. The ban reason text will contain a clear reason as to why the user was banned as well as the duration of the ban. Please note that users who continue to break the rules will receive longer bans.
In certain cases, we may permanently ban a user. We will do this if a user continues to break the rules after multiple warnings or bans. We may also permanently ban users if they intentionally sign up to break our rules or violate the ToS.
III. Report System
We encourage users to take advantage of the report system we have in place. The report system allows you to report posts, private messages or users that break any of the forum rules and/or violate the terms of service. Due to the real-time nature of the Shenmue Dojo, moderators are unable to review every single post on the forum. Therefore, report feature is an extremely useful tool for both users and moderators as it allows site staff to respond to a post or thread where moderation is required soon after a report is received.
You can report a post by clicking the report option in the user bar below the relevant post. Once you’ve clicked the report button you’ll see a dialogue box where you can enter text. Please ensure you enter an accurate reason for why you are reporting the post. You can refer to the FAQ or Terms of Service for a list of rules.
Once you’ve done this you can click ‘Report Post’ and a moderator will deal with it soon after.
In addition to reporting other users posts, you can also report your own posts. This is useful in certain cases, such as requiring a moderator to change the title of your thread.
Please use the report button responsibly. Ensure that you have a valid reason for reporting a post and make sure to articulate this clearly in the text box. Do not send reports just because you do not like a certain user or because you disagree with a valid opinion. Do not threaten another user with the report system. Abuse of the report system violates our rules, and will lead to a warning or ban.
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