Rules? We don't need no steeenkin rules!
Well, maybe we do. This site started off small, and the rules back then were pretty simple - be nice to each other. The site has grown however, and while that's great, it does lead to a larger number of people who have differing ideas about what that means. Hence.... the rules:
1. Be nice to each other. We're serious about this one. Disagree, debate, argue at will - but please be respectful. Messages that are flame-bait, hateful, racist, or otherwise pointlessly antagonistic will likely be sent to post-hell, and repeat offenders banned from posting.
2. Don't work around the profanity filter. People from all walks of life visit here, and I want all to feel welcome. If you post something and the board automatically censors the word, don't use a misspelling, "g33k-sp3@k", or f-unny spa-cing to get around the auto-filter. It's not a contest to see how clever you can be in defeating the auto-censor. If the properly spelled word is censored, don't find a way around it please.
3. Keep the avatars and signatures PG-13 please. Women and young people visit here as well as adult males. Some people will be checking the forums at work or in front of their spouses/children. Please avoid the cheesecake, sexually suggestive, and graphically violent avatars/signatures. If that's a bit too Disneyland for you I'm sorry, but I want everyone to feel welcome here. I will personally miss some of the racier avatars though . . . Deep and heavy sigh... :)
4. Exercise tolerance. Everyone was a newbie once, and not everyone speaks English well. Everyone interested in being part of the arcade controls community is welcome here. A gentle suggestion to someone regarding their grammar or spelling is fine - mocking them or flaming is not. File this under the "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" category.
5. Nothing illegal! Do I even need to explain this one? Need a ROM to repair an arcade board you own? Fine to talk about. Need a ROM to complete your MAME collection? Don't bother to post here. If someone posts such a request, please don't answer it -- no direct answers, no hints, no private messages.
6. Don't take it personally if you get edited by an admin or moderator. Things aren't always black and white and sometimes what is or isn't in line with the rules here is simply a judgement call. If your post gets edited but no other comment is made to you, don't stress about it. No one's mad at you or trying to censor your point of view. Just trying to keep it family friendly.
7. If you have a beef with the way something's moderated, don't get into a flame-war over it. The moderators and admins here are volunteers trying to help keep this web site and forums running and in line with the rules here. Everyone's human - we try, but maybe we don't always get it right. Point out your position (that might be a perfect time for a private-message), and if you can't see eye to eye post a message to me (saint) to see if I can help resolve the issue. When all's said and done though, please remember the buck stops on saint's desk. That's not egotism or a power play - it's two points. The first is that if there's a final decision you don't like, it's not the fault of any of the moderators or admins here - it's mine (saint). If you're going to get mad at someone, get mad at me. The rest of the mods and admins don't deserve to have someone take it out on them. The second point is that if we just can't see eye-to-eye on something, please bear in mind that this is my web site and a virtual extension of my home. I'll respect your opinion even if I don't agree with it, but ultimately I do need to ask that you respect the rules as laid out here even if you don't agree with them. I don't think they're particularly unreasonable.
8. Oh, also - I do not mind the occasional emulation related or other off-topic post. This is an online community as well as a discussion forum after all. In fact, there's a forum dedicated to "everything else" that seems to have morphed into a political think tank destined to either 1) destroy the world, or 2) save it. We're not quite sure which. However, please do bear in mind the intent of the rest of the forum is to discuss arcade controls and related topics.
9. BYOAC strives to be a MAME-friendly site. There's a page discussing BYOAC and MAME's relationship that you should read, but the short nutshell is that BYOAC will strive to honor MAMEDev wishes regarding distribution of MAME and derivatives thereof.
10. Generally annoying behavior. If you're following all the rules but are still managing through conduct or behavior to annoy a significant portion of the BYOAC membership to the point where the forum as a whole suffers, you will first be asked to modify your conduct and then will possibly be banned.
11. Signatures, avatars, and the like. I wish they wouldn't, but fights between users are going to happen from time to time. Those will be dealt with as appropriate, if necessary (this is usually not the case). However, regardless of the individual threads that spark an argument, forum users should not let these arguments spill over to the rest of the forum. Please do not post snippets of the arguments or jabs at one another in your signature, avatar, unrelated posts, etc. Violators may find themselves with a new signature/avatar/etc selected by saint that they won't be able to change. saint has a nasty sense of humor. This rule is to stop specific arguments from polluting the rest of the forum. This rule applies to individual users -- it does not apply to commercial interests. You may post a thought (politely, please) about a vendor in your signature if you feel the need, but keep it from being obnoxious please.
12. Other. Moderators and admins will do what is deemed necessary to keep things cordial and flame-free. This includes dealing with thread-poisoning, flaming, trolling, etc. This is the "catch-all" rule for the inevitable rule-lawyer.
13. This hobby is a blast - enjoy the interaction here, contribute what you can, and have fun!
These rules apply equally to the chat room as well as the message forums.