The Golden Rule
While there are many ways this could be stated, in spirit it is to: treat others as you wish to be treated. This is aptly at the top of our list. Often overlooked, especially when misunderstandings or disagreements arise, this is a powerful mentality that oversees all other unspoken rules.
Communicating via Text
Think, rethink, and think again before you send that message – whatever avenue you may be sending it through. Why? Often even the most basic of communication can be read in many ways. The reader will inevitably read your message with a tone – positive or negative. While this may seem to put the responsibility on the reader, in many cases, the poster could have worded their message more thoughtfully. I think we would all agree that effective communication is difficult through the medium of text. This can be more pronounced when speaking to others who do not share your primary language.
- What does your message convey and how could readers perceive it?
- Could I be more detailed to avoid misunderstanding?
- Does this reflect my values as well as my community’s?
This also applies to a responder but there are some added modifiers – What if the person you are responding to did not consider the above pointers? Utilize questions to clarify and/or ascertain the meaning. Do so kindly and considerately. If no positive outcome is immediately discernable, disengage from the conversation entirely and, if your concern involves a breach of rules or the code of conduct, contact a moderator.
Yep, it’s that simple, but often it’s the hardest thing to do when disagreements arise. Keep in mind the rules sited for the community and if serious wrongdoing has occurred, contact a moderator or administrator.
One of the greatest assets to any gaming session with friends is the ability to communicate through voice. While in most cases it may be casual fun, in other cases it may be end-game content, high difficulties, or Raids. It is important to remember when joining a voice chat:
- Is my voice clearly heard? If not, you may want to ask someone to assist in adjusting your mic in a separate room or private chat.
- I have a lot of background noise. Do not worry! You may consider using the Push-to-Talk feature. Or, you may find the Noise Suppression feature worthwhile.
This means that a group of community members made prior arrangements for a certain time to play together. Regardless of the content they may be playing, it’s always appropriate to reach out via text communication with any inquiries before joining their voice chat. While in some instances a group may not mind an extra member in group to chat with, in other cases where clear and concise communication are crucial, it may not be as welcomed.
Many in the community enjoy streaming and many audiences enjoy hearing the style of communication between group members – assuming all group members wish to be included in your stream. It is important to be considerate of all who join your voice chat.
I’m the Streamer
Inform group members that you are streaming and ask if they prefer to be excluded from the chat. Note: Depending on your audio setup, you may have the ability to exclude specific members from transmitting voice to your stream. In cases where this is not possible, you may have to take other actions to ensure their preference is heeded.
I’m joining the Streamer
Keep in mind this is the streamers show. While conversation back and forth can enhance the experience for you, the group, and the audience watching the streamer, it is important to remember that the streamer is in control of their channel. Likewise, they are responsible for its administration and conduct.
Unless otherwise indicated by the streamer, here are some general etiquette guidelines to follow and remember – the streamer is, in a sense, the driver of the car:
- Keep responses concise.
- If the streamer recognizes a new follower, subscriber, etc – it is appropriate to keep comms clear while they address their viewers.
- While it can be tempting to read their chat to them, refrain from doing so unless otherwise indicated.
- Equally tempting – responding to comments made in chat. Refrain from doing so unless otherwise indicated by the streamer.
- Whatever these specifics may not cover – Always be considerate.
Interacting with Streamers
Whether inside or outside of your community, interacting with a streamer can be the highlight of your day! Equally important to remember is a few etiquette guidelines that can help you make their day too:
Keep in mind all points inside of the General section.
The “@” Function
Utilizing the “@” function – This highlights the message for the person your tagging and it’s handy for getting their attention, especially in a busy chat. Keep in mind, however, overuse can be distracting to the streamer and overuse may carry its own negative impression. Using the “@” function with each message to the streamer is not necessary and in most cases is discouraged. Many viewers are not only speaking to each other but also the channel owner and at times many conversations will be happening at once. The streamer tries their best to see and respond to them all. Keep in mind, you are in the same room with everyone else. Be considerate of the streamer and everyone else in chat.
You may have a statement, question, or response, that the streamer misses. This can happen in busy chat rooms. It can be tempting to copy and paste your response to get the attention of the streamer. Refrain from doing so. As mentioned above, the streamer is interacting with many viewers at once and may have simply missed your message. A streamer may also see a comment but decide not to respond to it. Don’t be the reason a streamer decides to not interact with you. Again, consider the General section.
While these Etiquette Guidelines are not all encompassing, I hope they help shed some light into the complicated world of gaming communities and content creators. Remember – Always Be Kind.