liblarva
 member, 588 posts
Wed 7 Nov 2018
at 06:19
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
Okay, so the relevant texts are here:

From the Help:

quote:
Game Rating: Games may be rated as "General", "Mature", or "Adult".

Rating a game as General indicates that the content of that game is suitable to all ages.  "General" rated games must not contain any material to which children and teens should not be exposed.

Mature rated games are games which, while not adult, might possibly be considered offensive to some users; in the Main Menu they will display with a small M next to them.

Adult games are games which contain graphic material (whether sex, drug use, or violence) which is not suitable to younger audiences; they will display in the Main Menu with a small green A next to them.


From the Mature Games Policy:

quote:
Adult and Mature Ratings

Games on RPoL may be rated either Adult or Mature to signal that they are not suitable for all site users.

Mature games are games which have (as some minor portion of them) mature themes, strong language, drug use, and/or extensive violence.  Mature games use the Mature Content flag to warn potential readers that some of the game material may be considered offensive.  Despite this flag, Mature Games must remain suitable to all ages.

Adult games are games which have as part of their content graphic sex or graphic and gratuitous violence.  Though their story and plot may be very strong and elaborate, they detail sex and/or gore in a way to which children and teens should not be exposed.  Adult games are restricted in access to those who are (1) of the age of majority and (2) have specifically requested access to Adult games.  In no case are Adult materials permitted in any public area of RPoL: GMs of Adult games must take care that only those users who are members of their game can view the Adult materials contained therein.

The difference between a Mature game and an Adult game is the descriptive level and the amount of mature content in the game.  Games which focus exclusively on mature content for their plot or which describe such content in graphic detail are required to display the Adult rating.


I'm not concerned about violence. Most D&D games have a rather large amount of violence, but since it's not described in gory detail, they can easily be listed as General games. Violence in the game I'm considering would be about the same level as most D&D games, in regards to amount and level of description. "I stab the orc" vs "I shoot the narc".

I'm not concerned about sex. I have a strict fade-to-black policy for all my games any way, so that doesn't matter.

The question is one of drug use and drug dealing. I'm considering running a game of Cartel, a PBTA game where the PCs are members of a Mexican drug cartel, and in the regular course of play they will do drugs and sell drugs. But it would not "focus exclusively on mature content for their plot". The cartel would basically be their job and they'd interact with that while also playing through violence surrounding the job and the struggle of family and friends dealing with that job.

One version of the Mature / Adult game policy seems to point toward any representation of drugs at all will automatically result in a hard and fast Adult rating requirement, whilst the other seems to indicate that it's a question of descriptive detail more than the mere presence of drugs.

If I could get some moderator feedback on this that would be most helpful. My thought is that the game would be solidly Mature rather than Adult.

EDIT: Sorry if this is the wrong forum, it seemed like the best fit.

This message was last edited by the user at 06:29, Wed 07 Nov 2018.

donsr
 member, 1443 posts
Wed 7 Nov 2018
at 06:30
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
I'm not a Mod..but here's my take on my years here.

 My  two 'war' games  on space..on D&Dish  are   rated  M..because people die... bad guys do bad stuff..good guys  do bad stuff to bad  guys.

 a lot of things  are  for effect, of either the scene, or the story.
'
 I like to think of  the  ratings  as  Video game ish… as you said, , to me  ,sex is a fade to black' thing.. an alien  Monster  eating a trooper..or describing an alien melting  due to a weapon developed is part of the story..the kind of stuff you can see in   movies   and  most decent  video games

  though I have  a M  rating, I still ask that those  who wish to join are 18 or older, mostly, ebcause I  want good RP posters  and  not a kid here for a lark.

a couple folks, whom I have played in thier  games   use  'adult' just to keep folks out of the game, as  'Adult' tends to turn some folks away.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15664 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 7 Nov 2018
at 07:05
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
The first quoted section is not a "version of the Mature / Adult game policy", it's just general information on ratings, while the second is the actual policy.

Go with the Mature Games Policy rules (the second quoted section).
facemaker329
 member, 7059 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 7 Nov 2018
at 08:14
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
My interpretation of the policy, in terms that might put it in a more relatable frame of reference, is if it's something you'd see on broadcast TV, it's for a General audience (mainstream network television, etc...)  So, something like CSI would be riding the line, but it handles the material in such a way that it's not particularly offensive to anyone (or shouldn't be...I know from work experience that people will find the most ridiculously trivial things to be massively offended about, sometimes...)

If it's something you'd see on a cable channel...Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, etc...it's Mature.  It's a little harder-edged, a little more gritty...not necessarily more realistic, but, yeah...stuff that wouldn't pass network censors, but isn't necessarily 'graphic' or 'gratuitous' by most standards (because, like I said before, some people will go off about anything...)

If it's something on a channel you specifically had to subscribe to...Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Spartacus, etc...where they aren't pulling punches in either violence or sexual content (but stop short of outright hardcore porn), then it's Adult.

Now, granted, that is purely my own interpretation of the standard.  One of the reasons they don't have hard and fast rules of what, exactly, is or is not permitted is because standards vary from region to region or even nation to nation.  You might see something on broadcast TV in Europe that American censors would never allow (nudity, for instance, although that barrier has been hurdled a time or two in the States), or vice versa (when I was in Sweden, twenty-five years ago, people kept going on and on about how much violence was on American TV...they were absolutely aghast at something like Miami Vice).  What passes for Mature in one person's mind may be Adult in another (example--I've been a costumer for a burlesque troupe for a decade, now, so it's no big deal to me...my mother, however, would have an absolute fit if she knew some of the situations I've been in because of my job).  What might seem a perfectly logical restriction to one person could seem unreasonably draconian to someone else.  So, they've given some general guidelines, and an explanation of what the 'spirit of the law' is, and left it to us to figure out where stuff is best sorted, with the caveat that they may step in and shut things down if someone errs a little too far on being permissive with their ratings/content.

So, my take has always been that if you're afraid your game may go a little too far at some point for a particular rating, go for the stronger rating.  Nobody cares if a Mature game has a lot of General content...but the inverse is not true.  And, as a player, be mindful of where that line should be drawn.  I've gone back and rewritten large sections of posts in some of the Mature games I play in, because some of the details got definitely too graphic.  But I enjoy those games, and I don't want my GMs to get in trouble for content going overboard, so I self-censor on their behalf.

Now, all that said...given that shows like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul had no age restriction on them and weren't relegated to late-night, behind-a-subscription slot, I think the game you're describing could easily and successfully be done at a Mature rating. I also think there are enough examples of R-rated cinema with those kinds of themes that you could easily bump it up to Adult...and which one you choose will largely impact just how graphic the players themselves get with what they write (I was a lot more graphic about the results of gunshots in the Adult-rated Shadowrun game than in the Mature-rated sci-fi game I'm in, for instance.)
liblarva
 member, 589 posts
Thu 8 Nov 2018
at 20:09
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 3):

Thanks for the response. Any advice on which rating (Mature / Adult) you'd think the game I described should be?
donsr
 member, 1445 posts
Thu 8 Nov 2018
at 20:28
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
here is the best what to answer it from the GMs  point of view....

1...woud you let your kids watch it as a TV show or movie

2.. would you feel ok with Teens and above?

3...would you, yourself  be ashamed  to show this on your TV to friends?


 I'm sure the Admins have a wayyyy better rule of thumb?..

 we get pretty Bloody in  my games.. there are a few  swear words..hardly ever  the 'bad stuff' unless it is  for effect..and  we have a lot of Genre  specific  swear words that  the characters who  react to..but RL  folks  would smile at.

 Its yur game?.. rate it  how you want it.
Shannara
 moderator, 3801 posts
 Keep calm, drink more
 COFFEE!!!!
Thu 8 Nov 2018
at 22:05
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
Please don't equate adult games as something that anyone should feel ashamed of -- whether or not they contain any sexual content -- even tongue in cheek.

RPoL outlines what needs to be in an adult game vs. mature or general very clearly.

The 'mature' classification holds NO significance to the moderators whatsoever - it's there purely for player comfort, but we have never required a game to be placed in mature over general.

Anyone who wants to rate their game adult to allow for possibilities, so long as it falls under RPoL's content restrictions, is welcome to do so -- providing they have access to adult games.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:11, Thu 08 Nov 2018.

liblarva
 member, 590 posts
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 04:23
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
In reply to Shannara (msg # 7):

Thanks for the response. The guidelines may be clear to you, but they’re not clear to me. Ultimately I don’t care either way (Mature vs Adult) so long as running the game won’t run afoul of the site’s rules.

If I run a game of Cartel (where the PCs are members of a Mexican drug cartel and occasionally do drugs and sell drugs), what would the mod staff prefer that game be rated?

I just don’t want to assume Mature, be wrong, then be admonished or banned because I chose the wrong one. If the mods could just flat tell me which the right one is for this kind of game that would be great.

This message was last edited by the user at 04:24, Fri 09 Nov 2018.

bigbadron
 moderator, 15666 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 05:31
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
The Mature Game policy:
The difference between a Mature game and an Adult game is the descriptive level and the amount of mature content in the game.  Games which focus exclusively on mature content for their plot or which describe such content in graphic detail are required to display the Adult rating.

So how much Mature content will your game include?  And how detailed do you intend the descriptions of that content to be?  If you are unsure of the answers to these two questions, then you need to go with Adult.

And without knowing the answers to those two questions, that's the best answer you're going to get from a Moderator.
facemaker329
 member, 7061 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 05:38
Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
Not a mod, and Ron already summed up the first paragraph of what I had written...so the rest of this kind of expands on how he responded.

It all depends on how, exactly, you intend to run the game...how gritty and hardcore you're going to get.  And even then, unless you wind up with a problem player who just can't resist the urge to push the limits, if you rate it Mature, your players are most likely going to stick to those limits (if they don't, it becomes your responsibility to enforce site policies about keeping Adult content out of non-Adult games.)

A lot of people choose to rate their games Adult, just so they don't have to worry about the issue, even though they don't intend to have any Adult content featured...it just gives them a little breathing room in case their players get a little overzealous.  But if all the sex, drugs, and violence are handled like, say, they handle it on CSI, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc, then Mature is not going to cause you any issues.  If it's going to be more like The Sopranos or Dexter, then you should go Adult.  The question of which one is 'right' is entirely up to you, and what kind of tone you choose to set for your game.
liblarva
 member, 591 posts
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 06:10
Re: Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
bigbadron:
The Mature Game policy:
The difference between a Mature game and an Adult game is the descriptive level and the amount of mature content in the game.  Games which focus exclusively on mature content for their plot or which describe such content in graphic detail are required to display the Adult rating.

So how much Mature content will your game include?  And how detailed do you intend the descriptions of that content to be?  If you are unsure of the answers to these two questions, then you need to go with Adult.

And without knowing the answers to those two questions, that's the best answer you're going to get from a Moderator.


Thanks for the reply. I know it may seem like I'm intentionally being dense, but I honestly just want to get this right and avoid problems with the mods.

The description question is easy: not very detailed / not much. I'm not keen on paragraphs going into gory detail, so that's a minimum amount. Fine.

The "mature content" question is harder and the source of my confusion it seems.

Games with a some mature content described in a non-detailed way can be general games. See your average D&D where the PCs regularly murder innocent people in cold blood for money...but the description isn't heavy, so it's a general game.

Games with more mature content that's described in some detail can be mature games, but games that are "exclusively" mature content or that include extensive and detailed descriptions of mature content are adult games.

Well, the descriptive detail won't be there. And the game focuses on Mexican drug cartel members doing Mexican drug cartel type activities, which suggests adult, but the game would also include family-life scenes and having to deal with the inherent tension of work-live balance and family when you have an incredibly dangerous but lucrative job...so it wouldn't be "exclusively" mature content. Hence my confusion and concern over getting this right to avoid trouble with the mods.

The game would be somewhere between Breaking Bad and Narcos. More on the Breaking Bad side "ratings" wise.

Thanks again for all the responses. I'll let this be my last post on the topic.
facemaker329
 member, 7062 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 07:44
Re: Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
As a further point of consideration...not on how to rate your game, but on the driving concern behind that question...

Some people put an awful lot of sweat and anguish into these decisions because they're afraid the mods are going to come in and somehow lay waste to their game.  My experience with the moderators on this site has been that they are prompt and minimal in their moderations...unless you continue to pursue the action that led to them getting involved in the first place.

They're human, and they know we're human, and we all know humans make mistakes and have different perceptions and don't all share the same values and judgments.  If your game is too extreme for the rating, they aren't going to wade in and shut you down with no questions asked (unless this is, you know, the fourth or fifth time that you done this and they know that you know better.  Then Ron might dig out the Ban-Hammer or something...)

I've been moderated before...sometimes for redundant posts, sometimes for slipping up in my word choice and getting a little too casual with my profanity, a couple of times for getting too political in my statements...  The posts were moderated, either edited or deleted, and I was notified of the action and why...and that was the end of it.  They aren't out there, hovering like a swarm of vultures waiting for someone to stumble so they can swoop in.  They've got better things to do with their time...most, if not all of them are also players and GMs and would much rather focus their time on that, but experience has shown that the site needs caretakers, and they accepted that responsibility when it was asked of them.  Several of them also have additional duties involved in keeping the site running smoothly.  And I'm pretty sure all of them have real-life obligations they have to take care of, as well.  They have better things to do than scrutinize every post of every page of every game on the site.

If you have a few minor slip-ups and someone gets a little carried away with a post here and there, odds are good they're never going to say anything about it.  It's only if/when it becomes a chronic problem that they're going to step in.  And, while I've never been moderated for game content, I'm pretty sure the first step is to say something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, but your game has gotten a little too mature for the rating you've got.  Please either rein it in, or upgrade the rating to reflect the actual content of the game."  And if you do that, it's the end of it...they'll probably check back a few times to verify that action was taken, and that it's being sustained...but you're not going to wind up on the Moderator Hit List because your Mature game got Adult for a post or two (unless they ask you to do something about it and you fail to do so, or outright refuse.)  Like you, they're here to have fun, primarily, and they want to make it so you can have fun (within the limitations of the site policies).

They know the policy is open to interpretation.  They'll step in if they think your interpretation is a little too loose.  But it's nothing to be afraid of, unless you plan on doing a bunch of other stuff to get on their bad side, or have already gotten on their bad side.  Then, their response might be a little more stringent.

But in my experience, you have to be pretty deliberate and intentional to get the moderators mad at you.
donsr
 member, 1446 posts
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 12:37
Re: Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
Ineed.. I had a Plyer in my , most active, game. That had a breach in the rules  and was banned.. the Mods  contacted me to remove  him, and that was that.

if you are flagged for something, it is something that matters  to the site, and you can adjust it... you aren't 'shoved out the airlock'.
icosahedron152
 member, 916 posts
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 16:38
Re: Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
I play a lot of Mature games, and it sounds to me, liblarva, that your game might be ideal for the Mature band. Fair enough, your PCs are drug barons, but in other games they might be hired killers, smugglers, terrorists (oops, sorry, rebel freedom fighters) or other criminal types. so I don’t see that that would necessarily create a problem.

It’s about the focus of your game.

What might create problems is if you’re writing what amounts to a 'How To' manual that graphically describes how to take drugs, how to have sex, how to kill someone effectively, or you’re writing something that makes drug-taking, or drug pushing, or extortion sound cool - basically a document that might corrupt young minds. The Devil is literally in the detail, but you don’t intend that much detail.

If the focus of your game is PCs who are revelling in taking drugs, pushing drugs, torturing rivals and selling women, your game will be shut down, and rightly so (some of that might get you into trouble in an Adult game, too - even the Adult tag has its limits).

However, if the focus of your game is on how human beings caught up in a bad world try to better themselves and cope with their everyday lives, despite everything thrown at them, they OCCASIONALLY take drugs OFF-CAMERA because they fell in with a bad crowd and got hooked, and they have to shoot the guy with the Uzi before he shoots them, it might well be OK as a Mature game.

Or at least, that’s my interpretation. I’m not a Moderator.

A more altruistic way of looking at it is that, unless you’re the type who specifically want to exclude them, you have a golden opportunity here to provide some interesting game play for teenagers. They’re the future of gaming. Treat ’em right and they’ll be available to give you a game when you’re in the retirement home and your mates are pushing up daisies. :)
JohnB
 member, 2078 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 17:27
Re: Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
icosahedron152:
A more altruistic way of looking at it is that, unless you’re the type who specifically want to exclude them, you have a golden opportunity here to provide some interesting game play for teenagers. They’re the future of gaming. Treat ’em right and they’ll be available to give you a game when you’re in the retirement home and your mates are pushing up daisies. :)



Did that years ago, they're all in their 40s and 50s now ...

But back on point.  The Mods are human (as Donsr said earlier)  and so long as you aren't deliberately or repeatedly break rules, they will guide you rather than punish you.
Shannara
 moderator, 3802 posts
 Keep calm, drink more
 COFFEE!!!!
Fri 9 Nov 2018
at 18:24
Re: Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
Looking back at the Chamber of Lost Souls ...


Aside from the people making duplicate accounts, who sometimes get banned just to get their attention to STOP making duplicate accounts ...

I don't really see anyone in the list who didn't work pretty darn hard to earn their ban, usually with single-minded determination and effort.
facemaker329
 member, 7063 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sat 10 Nov 2018
at 06:34
Re: Confusion over Mature / Adult split...
...and a liberal dose of back-talk, on many occasions...*laugh*

(Anytime I feel frustrated about some of the people I work with, I can go look through CoLS and see plenty of examples that make me say, 'Ah, these guys aren't THAT bad...')