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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:45 pm 
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Mafia is a game of secrecy and deception in which an uninformed majority competes in an all out death match versus an informed minority. Because of the nature of the game, tensions can usually run high. But when does it cease being high tension, deception, and politics, and start being something more sinister? At the conclusion of a Mafia game on these message boards (the name of which I will not mention because the specifics of that case are not what I am looking to discuss here) the discussion was raised on the limit of acceptable behaviour in a Mafia game, and whether "insults" or "bullying" (things which clearly violate NGA's Code of Conduct) simply come with the territory of playing in this kind of game.

Here's the original posts that Ragnarokio and I made which started this debate:
Zinger2099 wrote:
Ragnarokio wrote:
I talked about it briefly during the game, but I found [Redacted]'s attacks excessively harsh and hurtful at times. There have always been mafia players like that, or so I've found. Its a part of the game that I have learned to deal with, and wouldn't think less of anyone for behaving that way during a game.

It is a game that to some extent encourages that kind of behaviour. All the more reason for players to show off their maturity by not engaging in petty insulting matches (which ultimately do derail the game). Perhaps it is something worth discussing with this community just how much we are willing to consider is acceptable in-game behaviour for mafia games. This goes beyond the scope of just [Redacted]'s behaviour in this game, but rather encompasses all Mafia games on this site. We're trying (last I checked) to build up this community, we don't want to scare any potential new players off with distasteful behaviour (a legitimate concern). I mean, I personally make it a rule in all of my games that players are to respect each other and would absolutely take action as a mod against anyone I felt was bullying someone else in a way that went beyond what was necessary for the game, but perhaps it should go beyond just my games. The NGA CoC clearly has rules banning such behaviour, so why do we turn a blind eye to it in a mafia game?

I'd like to open a forum for discussing this topic and encourage GobO's and Admin's alike to take part, because this is a divisive issue with no simple answer.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:03 pm 
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Managing other player's emotional states and influencing people's perceptions of you during a game can be strategically important, and it is for that reason that I am in favor of allowing a lot of things to slide during a game. Mafia can be rough at times, its not a game for everyone.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:12 pm 
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Ragnarokio wrote:
Managing other player's emotional states and influencing people's perceptions of you during a game can be strategically important, and it is for that reason that I am in favor of allowing a lot of things to slide during a game. Mafia can be rough at times, its not a game for everyone.

That's a fair point. So we accept that some things are allowed and even necessary in Mafia that wouldn't be okay outside a Mafia game. But what is acceptable? What is going too far? The site clearly has a section in the CoC about acceptable behaviour on the site; does it need a subsection for acceptable behaviour in a Mafia game? Is it okay for players to ignore any of the rules in the CoC if it is strategically important for them to do so to gain advantage in a Mafia game? Or just select rules? If so, which ones?

It's a lot to think about.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:18 pm 
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Can someone PM me, either on this, or as my mod account, links to some of the posts that seemed to breach the CoC? I remember people arguing, but, from what I remember of the last game, I'm not sure what specific posts people felt went over the line.

It's a really tough line with these games, as, clearly, trying to get someone emotional and off of their game is one of the strategies that both town and scum try.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:29 pm 
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Ideally I would allow everything.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:31 pm 
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NeoSilk wrote:
Can someone PM me, either on this, or as my mod account, links to some of the posts that seemed to breach the CoC? I remember people arguing, but, from what I remember of the last game, I'm not sure what specific posts people felt went over the line.

It's a really tough line with these games, as, clearly, trying to get someone emotional and off of their game is one of the strategies that both town and scum try.

I'm not looking to point fingers or raise a fuss about specific instances here. I'm looking to have a general discussion about the idea of abhorrent behaviour in Mafia games and whether or not it should be deemed acceptable.

I also didn't know you had a mod account? :confused: Who is your alter-ego?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:36 pm 
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pointing out posts made by anybody in past mafia games may serve to give some concrete idea as to what specifically is troubling people.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:44 pm 
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I'd like to know who to PM about specific posts as I've got at least one to two I can point out.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm 
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Ragnarokio wrote:
pointing out posts made by anybody in past mafia games may serve to give some concrete idea as to what specifically is troubling people.

Eh... That IS a fair point...

I'll open the floor if anyone else wants to discuss specific examples, but I won't personally bring up specific examples because I don't like to point fingers at other people.

Oh! But I have no problems pointing fingers at myself. Here's a specific example in which I am the culprit:
Zinger2099 wrote:
[Redacted] just because you're Mafia aligned and thus against me, doesn't give you cause to be an absolute dick.

This was a post I made in response to someone whose behaviour I disapproved of. My response was less than ideal, in that I insulted him in a similar fashion. This kind of behaviour is not necessary in a Mafia game. It's harsh, hurtful, and mean. I don't see why I (or anyone) should be allowed to get away with that just because we're playing a game where influencing other people is important.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Ideally you would expect players to control themselves and not make such offensive posts in the first place.

That being said, your particular example (which had a GobO in the game) was probably resolved in a somewhat peaceful manner that didn't have the need for action.

After all, it's not like a fight broke out after you made that comment, right?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:59 pm 
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After all, it's not like a fight broke out after you made that comment, right?

I would argue the fight broke out before that, which prompted the comment.

But again, I am not looking to devolve this thread into an argument about specific circumstances. I want to talk about the value of treating people better in games in general.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:12 pm 
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If you would argue that, then you'd be arguing incorrectly.

If you're not looking at specific instances, then, in general, the rules already established deal fairly well with how players act. After all, you don't have any major incidents where players have devolved into literal flame wars with all kinds of hurtful, offensive words being thrown back and forth (your particular post excluded of course as that is the first time I've seen something like that).

Edit: And the reason for that is because players mind their actions for the most part.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:26 pm 
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I'm not arguing anything, KoD. I'm trying to have a frank discussion. Some people believe that it is perfectly okay to defy the CoC for the sake of a Mafia game. Others feel differently. As the OP states, it is a divisive issue that I feel should be addressed, hence the discussion.

If you feel that the CoC adequately covers Mafia games, and that people's treatment of others in Mafia games should be governed by the CoC no differently than the rest of the website (which you've implied), and if everyone felt that way, then we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place. People would simply report offensive posts and then things would be taken care of. But currently that is not the case. Currently people turn a blind eye to offensive posts because it is in the nature of Mafia games to instil that kind of behaviour in some. That's why we are having this discussion.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:38 pm 
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I'm not saying -- ok, look back at what you said. You said you would argue that a fight occurred after that post. I simply said if you would, not that you are, then you'd be arguing incorrectly.

As for the discussion here, some feel that way only in the respect that people don't, and I'm going to say it as such, "take advantage" of it.

Case in point: You don't have people running around referring to people as dicks out of context of the game.

What you brought up, in regards to spawning this topic, was due to an isolated incident where you lost control of your emotions and posted in such a way due to an imagined attack on you by me.

More over, Rag's response to your first post that spawned this was awfully opinion-based much like how you are viewing things. That is, Rag may have felt that the attacks seen were "harsh" and "hurtful", but not in the capacity that you think warrants reports for violations against the CoC. What you interrupt as "people turning a blind eye" to what happened may very well be because they didn't feel it was as offensive as you believe it to be.

Were it truly against, I'm sure someone would have reported it, someone would have reviewed it, and appropriate actions would have been taken.

So as far as this discussion goes, to which I am adding my opinion, there isn't an issue of people ignoring something bad happening in front of them. It's more along the lines similar to how Rag has stated -- that they feel it is within the context of the game and allowable.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:52 pm 
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Case in point: You don't have people running around referring to people as dicks out of context of the game.

What you brought up, in regards to spawning this topic, was due to an isolated incident where you lost control of your emotions and posted in such a way due to an imagined attack on you by me.
Eh, to be fair, I called you a dick for very real attacks on other players by you (I don't like bullies), not because of anything you said about me. As for "losing control of my emotions" I think that's an eroneous statement but whatever, it's not within the scope of this topic.

With regards to your case in point: True, nobody is running around outside of Mafia games calling people dicks, which is exactly my point. Why are we turning a blind eye to this behaviour in Mafia games?

Rag makes a very good counterpoint though, that perhaps such behaviour IS an inherent part of the game which can't be so easily removed (as it is a valid strategical tactic).

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:55 pm 
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Zinger2099 wrote:

I also didn't know you had a mod account? :confused: Who is your alter-ego?


Sorry - thought everyone knew by now - I'm the (recently absent) Gobo_Kheldar.

Trying to set aside some time for mod duties, just don't seem to find that much anymore...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:18 pm 
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First, my point about people running around calling each other names wasn't an indication of what happens *outside* of the games. I meant that within the games. In no mafia games aside from the one we just played, you didn't have people taking it upon themselves to refer to other players as dicks or any other type of hostile word during the course of the games.

Two, no one is turning a blind eye. In particular, it is a matter of opinion on the players (like yourself). You felt that my actions in the game were abhorrent. As I've seen you clearly just nitpicked out particular wordings that [b]you[b/] felt were against the spirit of the game despite their context. The opinions of the players are going to differ as I'm sure you know well.

As for what Rag said, yes, but only in regards to things like what you were nitpicking on.

For example, you don't have someone going:

"Rag is a **** moron who has no **** idea what the **** he is talking about. He's got to be scum because no one is this stupid."

Obviously that is offensive and extremely harsh. It differs though from:

"Rag has no idea what he is saying. Clearly, based on his previous stance, he has no clue what he is talking about. He has to be scum."

Obviously not as offensive. Or harsh. As Rag indicated in the quote you made, he may feel this is harsh and hurtful though as it is his opinion. But the first case is definitely in violation of the rules. And I'm sure you'll agree you don't see people in mafia games running around speaking to others in such a manner. Just in manners that may upset a particular person depending on their emotional state.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:04 pm 
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Let's start with working away a first myth:
Just because I'm in the game, does not mean every post in the game is 'alright' as far as Im concerned. Especially during long discussions between two people I will have my 'game face' on and will tend to skip those posts. Like how I said ingame that I thought the KoD/Zinger was 2 townies bickering and that I would ignore those posts for game's argument sake and I focused on Fruit/Garren instead.

Now for the proper response:
If you feel like something is crossing the line, feel free to file a report (of course, for future games. No sense in doing stuff so far after the fact). Only the mods can see them and almost always, only the mod of the area will take a look at it, so they know a bit of background and context. This goes with mafia games too of course.
It really does not matter if I'm in the game or not. I'm pretty good at balancing things between modding and playing with this one account.

I stepped in once a few games back, but the people involved had already made up so there was little further action necessary. I just posted once in the game to caution people on the use of language, but that was it.

Mafia is a game where lines are perhaps a bit more blurred because of the competitive scene and the possible stakes, but that is why it is also imperative as a player to know when an argument becomes too heated or too focused on one thing. Remember, it's always best to spread around. It helps in scumhunting, but it also prevents yourself from becoming too invested in a single point that can be a dealbreaker.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:02 am 
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Blizzard's approach to modding is "only step in if people have a problem with whatever's going on, and use the rules as a guideline to help solve that problem". I think that's a good approach. Whenever someone feels that someone else has crossed a line, they can have a mod get involved and help sort out that problem individually.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:45 am 
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Sounds like what Scar outlined.


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