There are rules to every game, even this one. These policies are put in place more to allow us recourse, when necessary, than because we expect to have to police them constantly. Generally, we here at CoMUX have faith that our players are mature enough and intelligent enough to figure out how to play nicely with one another without needing their knuckles rapped or heads knocked together.
Still, just in case anyone needs a reminder, we've posted the rules to our game here:
Terms of Acceptable Use
CoMUX is created for the enjoyment of its staff and players and is provided as a free service. As a result, the creators, owners, staff and providers of the game assume no liability for its use. Users play at their own discretion and assume all risks and responsibility for themselves while logged into the game. By logging in and using this service, each player must agree to and abide by the following terms:
- Players must be at least 18 years old to play.
Due to the nature of the theme of the game, we've chosen to classify this game as an "adult" game. It is not a game about sex (we cover that below), but the theme does lend itself to requiring a certain level of maturity to handle the political and physical conflict that may crop up throughout the course of the story. Thus, no one under the age of 18 is permitted to play here.
By logging on and creating a character, you're telling us that you're at least 18 years of age and able to take responsibility for your own actions. We, the creators, owners, staff and providers of this game, will not be held responsible for underage users. If we find out you're underage, you will be removed from the game1.
See Game Rating for more information.
- Harassment of any sort (sexual or otherwise) will not be tolerated.
Those players found to be harassing others in any way will have sanctions applied against them and may ultimately be banned from the game.
See Harassment for more information.
- Public rooms on the grid are to be treated as public rooms in the real world.
Despite the fact that all players are considered to be fully adult and must be 18 years of age or older to play, a PG-13 public playing environment is expected to be maintained. All players are expected to respect the sensibilities of their fellow players and roleplay accordingly.
See Conduct for more information.
- Users waive the right to privacy.
This game currently runs on a TinyMUX 22.214.171.124 server. This server and the code installed on it is provided to facilitate the needs of the game. There is no encryption, so all connections are assumed to be open and may be accessible to outside parties with or without the users' or administrators' knowledge. Thus, no assurance of privacy is implied or assumed.
All information transmitted to or from and stored by the server, including but not limited to private messages, commands, and network information provided by users' systems and other third-party networks may be subject to outside monitoring and/or interference. By logging on, you accept this risk and agree to waive any expectation of privacy.
See Privacy for more information.
- Breaking into the database or another player's account is not permitted.
This includes, but isn't limited to, breaking into and/or altering any of the game databases, global objects, and/or objects you don't own or control; adding or executing malicious code with or without the intent of damaging game systems or user experience; stealing another player's password and using their account without their knowledge or permission, and without the staff's knowledge and permission2.
Each player is responsible for the actions taken by their own accounts. Anyone found guilty of such activities will be permanently removed from the game3
See Abuse for more information.
In North America, most computer games carry an ESRB rating. These ratings provide consumers with a sort of guideline as to the type of content that can be expected to be experienced when the game is played. Obviously, we haven't submitted CoMUX to the ESRB for any sort of formal rating, but we do think their guidelines are good for helping us define the nature of our content.
According to the ESRB, a game awarded a mature rating "have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language." Games awarded an adults only rating "have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity."
Though we expect most public scenes will conform more to a teen rating4 than anything else, we've chosen to adopt the adults only label as an acknowledgement that the theme we're playing with can and will frequently lend itself to more adult situations.
Why the age limit?
Frankly, we know that comic books and comic book TV shows and movies are a big hit with teens, right now. (As well as with adults, obviously.) But, here's the rub: The internet is an interactive medium. It's one thing to sit in a cinema or on the couch with friends, watching a show on TV or chatting about the latest cool title you've read. It's another thing to actively engage with strangers you've never met in roleplaying scenes that may involve or lead to other scenes involving graphic violence or sexually charged situations.
Though we certainly don't permit public sex on the game (this isn't that sort of playground, thanks; there are other games for that), we know it can happen in private rooms, or private messages. As long as it's between consenting adults, we don't care. The age of 18 is generally what most age-of-consent statutes determine as the full age of consent, so that's the limit we're using. That way, both the staff and the players know they're protected from wrongfully engaging a minor.
Let's be plain:
CoMUX is not a sexually-oriented game.
There are other MU*s out there that cater to that sort of thing. If that's what you enjoy, we don't have a problem with it, we'd just prefer that you look for that sort of pleasure elsewhere.
Yes, it's quite likely sexual situations or suggestive themes may present themselves during play. Just be aware that's not the focus of the game. The same could be said for violence, frankly. Violent encounters will happen. Again, they're not the focus of the game. Sex and violence are occasional by-products, not thematic staples.
So, if you're looking for a place to explore alternative sexuality or sexual fantasies, please look elsewhere.
Also just for the record:
No one (and we mean no one) can force you to participate in a sexual encounter (or any other sort of RP scene) you don't want.
[Plagiarism and Original Content]Plagiarism and Original Content
This one's easy. Please, use your own original work when apping for characters. Yes we know that if you're apping a comic book character odds are someone else created it and ten billion words have been written about it on the internet, but we want to see your take, not some Wiki's. If staff reasonably suspects that you have plagiarized or copy-pasted your app, the bit will be denied and you will not be able to re-app for three months. If it happens a second time, your account will be banned.
For the purposes of this policy, this shall include both the original works of other players and the wiki information sites. If something absolutely, positively seems like the best way word a particular bit of application (and it's public domain), please, talk it out with the staffer handling your app. Our wordsmiths are pretty good so odds are they can help you find something that doesn't violate this policy. Yes, we understand that when applying for a character that's been hashed over it comics a hundred times that it can be hard to find words that seem like your own. We don't expect you to be the next Stan Lee, just take a little pride in the bit you want us to give you.
Harassment comes in many forms, but can basically be defined as any sort of behaviour intended to disturb, upset, or threaten another person. The staff on CoMUX take a very dim view of people who harass others, and reserve the right to deal with them as they see fit5.
The most common forms of harassment we've encountered online, generally in games such as this, include:
- Sexual — persistent, unwanted sexual advances (whether made ICly or OOCly);
- Contact -- persistent, unwanted communication (whether made publicly in chat or on com-channels, or privately via pages or @mail);
- Stalking — persistently following someone around in hopes of getting their attention, interrupting them, or otherwise annoying them after they've clearly told you to stop;
- Abuse — humiliating, intimidating, or other such behaviour that causes torment, manipulates, or harms another (usually mentally or emotionally in an online situation);
- Discrimination — picking on or treating someone unfairly because something about them is different.
Harassment in any form will not be tolerated on the game — no matter what kind of harassment. If you feel you're being harassed, take the following steps:
- Make a log of the incident.
- Send the log, along with a formal complaint, to the staff.
The staff will fully investigate all instances of harassment that are brought to their attention, and we will deal with each one as the situation requires. All submitted logs will be kept confidential, unless the complainant gives us permission to disclose it.
If the staff finds appropriate evidence and due cause for the complaint, we will apply sanctions as necessary. Sanctions may range from a warning to removal and banning from the game.
The first rule of conduct on the game is simple:
Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
It's not rocket science. Treat others politely and with respect, and everything else just kind of falls into place.
That said, if you want a few more-structured guidelines, check these out:
- Be polite.
Use 'Please' and 'Thank you'. Just like your mother taught you, they're good phrases to keep on hand, and can't hurt.
- If in doubt, ask.
Ask your fellow players, out-of-character. Try paging them if it's inconvenient to speak publicly. Or call on the staff for help. That's why we have a help channel.
- Don't "powerpose".
Powerposing happens when you assume, in your pose, what someone else is doing without having first asked their permission to do so. This is especially easy to do in an opening pose, or in a fight scene. Particularly when special talents or training are being used6.
- Don't be a "lemming".
Lemmings are those little animals that follow one another across the land until they hit a cliff. But, instead of stopping, they just keep going, to smash on the rocks, or into the water below. In online gaming, a lemming is a particularly annoying sort of fellow that follows you around, or continuously sends you unwelcome pages or messages, not listening to you when you tell him to stop. It's harassment, plain and simple. Harassment will get you banned from most games out there — including this one. Don't be a lemming.
- Don't be a "TS Hound".
'TS' is short for "tinysex". It's the same as 'cybersex', so don't be fooled7. The fact is, TS happens. Just like sex in real life. That's fine. But, if that's all you're online looking for…
We're serious. There's more out there than that and, frankly, advertising openly that you're out looking for sex is another sure-fire way to get yourself banned from many games. Most admins scowl very darkly on sexual harassment. (We certainly do.) Second chances are rare.
Oh, and though it sounds like an afterthought, it's not: Remember — 'NO' means 'no'. No matter what.
- Wait your turn.
Scenes run a lot smoother if some sort of pose order is followed. This is especially true of crowded scenes. The first round of poses usually sets the order and that's a good thing. Yes, it can be a pain sometimes — when you have to wait for a long time because of an idler or simply because there are so many people in the scene. But it keeps things clean8.
- Get familiar with the theme.
We spent a lot of time detailing this world for you. Read the website. Read the news and +help files on-game. And, if worst comes to worst… Ask.
There's always more. There are always other nuances and such niceties as can only be learned from hard experience. But, by and large, these scant few points should help most people over the worst hurdles.
IC stands for In-Character. Similarly, OOC is short for Out-Of-Character. Both are important concepts to learn when roleplaying — no matter the roleplay format. For a game to operate effectively, the line between IC and OOC must be strictly maintained.
Differentiating between IC and OOC
For the purposes of our game, we need our players to clearly distinguish between IC and OOC knowledge of situations. To aid in this, we have developed some short descriptions.
- Character — the persona a player uses to play the game.
- Player — the person sitting behind the keyboard at the computer, who controls a character's actions.
- IC: In-Character — all that your character (not you, the player) knows, from what they have heard in the IC news, to what they hear from their daily conversations and investigations while you roleplay on the game.
- OOC: Out of Character — This refers to what you, the player, knows. Many times you will know things that your character does not know. This will include what you know about the overall structure of tinyplots (TPs) being run, to what another player told you in an OOC conversation about a crime being planned. Just because you as a player know that Yorick is Sorcerer doesn't mean that your character knows that… not unless your character has had some sort of IC encounter that would allow him to know.
For the sake of the story, we ask that you keep these two types of information separate. If your character starts using OOC information ICly, not only will that ruin plots in the making, but, if it becomes too severe, the scene may need to be retconned9. If staff receives complaints about this, the offending player will be put under warning. Continued complaints may result in sanctions and/or banning.
From an IC perspective, your character can act however you choose to have him act. Just remember, though, that how your character acts and presents himself will have a direct bearing on how other react and respond to him. Further, it's entirely possible that, if your character is always a jerk ICly, other players may begin to think that you are a jerk, OOCly. So, you need to be careful and be clear about distinguishing your character from yourself.
Keep in mind that if you find a particular action annoying, others may as well, so try to avoid such things.
OOC courtesy is often much more important than IC courtesy, though that in no way diminishes IC interaction. That said, OOC conduct almost entirely determines how you, the player, are judged by your fellow players and, thus, how they react to you personally. This can be very important. Generally, keep the following in mind:
- Try to avoid too much OOC chatter while in IC areas.
Excessive OOC chatter can be very annoying for those trying to concentrate on roleplay. Some people log their game sessions in order to keep the story and too much OOC chatter causes for unnecessary spam to edit away. If the conversation does not concern the IC scene, converse through pages or on channels people can turn off.
- Don't enter private rooms without asking permission, or announcing yourself OOCly first.
You won't always know what you might be interrupting, and some things are best left uninterrupted.
Remember the first rule of gaming etiquette: Treat others as well as or better than you would like to be treated. As with IC conduct, keep in mind that if you find something annoying, others may, too. So, be polite.
Defined, ICA=ICC means 'In Character Actions will result In Character Consequences'.
Translated, this means if your character rushes in to a burning building to save people from the flames, he could get burned… and if there's no one around to treat his injuries, he could end up with some very ugly scars — or worse. It's entirely possible your character could die.
Sad, but true.
The point, then, is simply be aware that whatever choices your character makes — right or wrong, good or bad — will lead to results both he and you, the player, are going to have to live with even if you don't like it. Just like real life.
That said, remember this:
It's only a game!
There are usually ways to mitigate undesirable consequences. But, for the sake of story integrity, it's not always possible10.
Realistically, we all get attached to our characters. But, in the end, it's important to realize that they're only part of a fictional story and not real. If your character dies, then his story (at least this version of it), tragic as it may be, has been told. You can always create a new character. Don't let yourself get all bent out of shape about it. Try something new, instead.
Realistic roleplaying and player consent
Frankly, this game operates on a premise of implied consent. That is, we are, in essence, playing a huge game of Let's Pretend, but with very few rules. By creating a character and beginning to play that character, you need to understand that some things, usually — but not always! — short of death, can happen to your character without your consent. When you start to play your character, it's implied that you understand this fact and are willing to live with it.
Generally, there are ways to control the damage and/or create alternative solutions. Another character cannot force your character to take a hit, but they can throw it at you. You have the right to dodge that hit or to accept it. What should mitigate your choice, however, is the reality of the situation.
For instance, if the other player has a gun right up against your character's temple, you'd best OOCly discuss the potential of the scene with him, because if he pulls that trigger, realistically, your character's brains are gonna get spattered all over the nearest wall. He's not likely going to be able to dodge. (Well. Okay. Superheroes. Maybe, he can. But, you get the point, right?)
If you find yourself ICly getting into a dangerous or even deadly scene, it is your right to OOCly determine the outcome with the other players before continuing the scene. If you give up that right and decide to just go with the flow, you have thereby given your 'implied consent' to whatever happens. And that is how the staff will see it.
Consider this fair warning.
The Rule of Fair Warning
Speaking of 'fair warning'…
Although, CoMUX has adopted an ICA=ICC implied consent policy, a certain caveat must be made:
This setting allows for the use of super-powers, and the creation of characters with the potential to do serious harm to one another using those powers.
Therefore, players that abuse their characters' powers or use them to harass other players, may find those powers revoked by the staff and may find their right to play at all revoked as well11.
Thus, before doing anything to any character that will profoundly affect that character — particularly with regards to potential mind-control, long-term magical effects, or near-fatal or fatal injuries — you are expected to warn that character's player of the potential consequences. If the player then decides to go ahead anyway, you, having given a Fair Warning, can ICly respond as you feel is appropriate. If not, however, the player should be given an opportunity either to repose, withdraw or to negotiate another potential outcome12.
We've said this before, we'll say it again:
A mux is not a secure environment. There's no guarantee of privacy.
So, if you don't want something overheard, don't say it.
Be aware, it's possible that other people — staff or players — can hear what you're saying, even if you appear to be alone in your location. Exits may relay what's said in one location to another. Objects may have code on them that permits them to do the same13.
It is not the policy of the administration of CoMUX to secretly employ such techniques. Quite the contrary, whenever such code is applied, a notice will be made — either in the description of the exit/object or as a separate note object in the location.
Further, no player is permitted to employ that sort of code without approval from the staff — nor without applying the same notices.
What we're basically telling you here is that "Stuff happens." We try our best to keep it from happening, and to fix it if it does happen, but it's always a risk. You need to be aware of it and act accordingly.
The collection and use of personal information
From time to time, the staff on CoMUX may collect personal, identifying information from players. Typically, all we ask for is your email address — or some other way to contact you outside of the game — at the time your character is registered. We may also, however, collect information such as your Wikidot ID, which allows you to log in to this site. The only reason we collect this information is for communication purposes directly related to the status of the game.
Generally, the only communiques we send are notices of server or website downtime due to maintenance or technical malfunction, or to let you know about some sort of special event. (If the server and website were both to go down, for instance, we may send you an email.) Usually, however, we post advance notices of maintenance windows on the in-game message board and this website. So, the chances of our contacting you directly are extremely slim.
And you can opt-out of such communiques at any time. (To do so, simply drop us a note and say "Don't send me anything.")
Regardless, we will never use this information for spamming purposes or to sell anything. Neither will we ever give this information to any third parties — except if required by law.
We hate spam as much as you do.
You are responsible for your own personal information
Aside from the email addresses and/or Wikidot IDs we ask for, you are entirely responsible for the protection of your own personal information online. We've said before that a mux is not a secure medium. If you put attributes on your player account or on some object that could reveal your personal real-life information, this is not our responsibility. It's yours. We won't be held liable for the revelation of that information, should someone else discover it.
You have been warned.
The one thing that will piss the staff off faster than anything else — short of being a complete and utter twink14 — is messing with the game. We've worked really hard to put together an effective, enjoyable play environment that gives a fair shake to each character, super-powered or not.
Characters progress through active roleplay and getting involved in ongoing plots, not through gathering points and spending them on mechanical items or enhancements15. So, really, you can't cheat by messing with the game server or codebase.
But, we know there are those who'll try.
So, here's the deal: If we catch you abusing the game in any way, we'll remove you from it. And we don't need to give you any warnings, first. Consider this your warning.
Generally, we consider there to be two primary levels of abuse on the game.
The first and far more serious one is anything that involves hacking into the server, the various game databases, or the code. Whether it's a denial-of-service attack, or breaking into another user's account, or the insertion of a piece of code meant to take advantage of security gaps, collect private information, or otherwise exploit the available softcode to your advantage, adjust or alter code, objects, or other parts of the game databases, or anything else of that nature, we consider that more than just cheating. It's not just a bannable offence, it's a crime. If we have enough evidence to allow us to do so, we may even press charges.
The second level is anything that gives the impression of the first. This can include (but isn't limited to) things like spoofing a +roll result, so as to ensure that you win a contest; or purposely trying to secretly gain access to code or information that gives you an unfair advantage over other players. Any way you slice it, it's cheating, and we won't stand for it.
Even the staff are bound by these rules. Their characters are subject to the same scrutiny as any other character applying to the game. They're not allowed to use their wizard and royalty powers or position to make things easier on their characters, nor to smooth the way for their friends. They are expected to behave honestly and with integrity — and we have every faith that they will and do. (If you disagree, you need to speak with one of us about it, so we can address that concern A.S.A.P.)
Frankly, there's no reason to cheat on a game like this. I mean, think about it:
It's just a game!
The things that happen to you on the game shouldn't affect what happens to you in real life. This is not a life-or-death situation. There's no reason to cheat.
So, why bother?
Over the course of any game, there is bound to be conflict. This is true anywhere a group of people with a variety of backgrounds and personalities meet and interact. So, this is where we come back to the whole 'everyone on the game is considered an adult' thing.
We, as a staff, really don't want to be playing referee all the time. We'd rather rely on the maturity and common sense of our players to sort out their own difficulties in an amicable manner.
But, we're not so foolish as to think there won't be times when even the best players forget, or choose to ignore, the rules of consent or common courtesy, and get their shorts in a knot about something or other. And if there is a situation that goes beyond the ability of the players involved to work out among themselves, staff may be called upon to intervene. We don't want to see it happen too often, but we know it may.
So, here's how we intend to deal with such situations:
There are a couple of ways to request dispute mediation. The first, and easiest way, is to page an on-duty staffer and request their assistance. At that point, the staffer will step in and listen to both sides of the dispute, examine any supporting material, listen to any supporting statements and attempt to come to a fair decision on the matter.
If that doesn't work, you can file a formal complaint by @mail'ing *staff with the nature of the dispute, the names of the people involved, and the staff will look into it as soon as we can.
Note: In order to fairly mitigate any dispute, the staff needs some sort of 'objective' evidence. As this is an electronic environment, the only truly objective evidence is an unedited or unretouched log of the incident. While statements of the involved parties and supporting statements from other players are helpful, we need logs.
Send logs and related material to ten.ega-ht6|egahtxis#ten.ega-ht6|egahtxis, or in a +request.
Once we've spoken with everyone involved and looked at the related logs and other material, the staff will come to a decision as to what action should be taken and will take that action as appropriate. Any appeals to this decision should be taken directly to Bahamut, the chief admin.
Whatever happens, remember this:
We believe staff intervention in the form of mediation or arbitration should only be requested when all other avenues of conflict resolution have been exhausted. This includes an 'agreement to disagree'. Staffers really don't want to spend all their time separating people that simply don't know how to play nicely together. Everyone on the game should be a mature, reasonable adult with the ability to work out whatever common problems come up. Thus, the staff sees itself as a last resort in these matters (excepting in matters of harassment, which should be dealt with immediately).
Therefore, don't abuse the right to arbitration or mediation.
Please note and refer back to the age guidelines:
Acting as an adult means you will be adult about handling things in the game, be it ICly or OOCly. Yes, you will be interacting with other adults and as such you should be able to fix instances on your own without staff assistance. If we are called in to handle the problems or occurrences there will be little leniency because we would like to enjoy the game as well and not be spending it hand-holding other adults in poor situations.
If you come to us be it in pages or @mail complaining about another player, tread carefully, we can and likely will handle it as a formal +complaint and something that could have been easily handled as adults between each other will be handled a bit more harshly and with repercussions neither party will like.
Again, we are not here to babysit, coddle, handhold, or act as parental units or authorities. We are here to provide you a game you and we enjoy, so let's keep it that way!
While CoMUX has pulled many ideas, situations, terms, and setting aspects from existing authors, television, and film franchises, we have intended to mix them together into our own unique world that, while highly reminiscent of these other properties, is not meant to entirely duplicate these other properties.
This game is a shared medium, and represents a shared story. Characters created on this game, unless otherwise specified, remain the property of their original creator — often Marvel or DC. In the case of Original Characters, the original creator may, at their option, cede the rights to their characters to other players or the game as a whole. Or they may remove them entirely.
Unless otherwise noted, the copyright on this game and its related stories is considered to be Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 — except in those instances where copyright is clearly owned by a commercial property, which retains all rights to their property.
Links to Additional Policies & Important Information
- Characters — for an overview of our character creation, alt, and idle-dest policies;
- Logs — for an overview of our logging, and log-posting policies.