moderator, 4262 posts
 positive thinking
 doesn't stop cancer.
Sat 10 Nov 2007
at 18:47
Mature and Adult Games
Adult and Mature Games

As there seems to be ever-lingering confusion about Adult and Mature games and what the responsibilities of the GMs and players of such games are, I thought I'd take the time here to try to explain some of it.

Mature Content
What we consider to be Mature Content is spelled out in our Mature Games Policy (located in the FAQs area under Site Policies).  The main confusion here is usually on two points:

  1. Do I have to hide/restrict access to Mature game materials?
    No.  We consider "Mature" simply to be a warning that some may consider the game "too intense" or that the GM is expecting a high level of quality and maturity from their players.  Mature materials however are merely that: mature.  In no way should content be included in a Mature game that younger audiences should not read.  At no time should the content of a Mature game go beyond what could be printed in a common periodical, such as a local newspaper.

  2. What's the minimum age required to play in or run a Mature game?
    Because there is no restricted content permitted in a Mature game, there is no need for a minimum age.  The GM of a game is, of course, allowed to set a minimum age for their game and enforce it as they like.  If, however, the content of the game is such that children should not be exposed to it, the game must be rated Adult, without exception.

Adult Content
On RPoL we take Adult content very seriously.  This is one of the few things that could cause us (and those participating in games which include it) serious legal issues should children and minors be allowed to access it.  Due to this, we're quite strict about it and can be somewhat unforgiving of those who show themselves to be irresponsible with their access to adult materials.

  1. What is the minimum age for access to Adult materials on RPoL?
    This is eighteen years of age, no exceptions, not even by a day.  GMs found to add players who they know are not 18, for any reason, will be banned from running adult games on this site.

  2. Are there other requirements besides age?
    Yes.  Not only must a participant be at least eighteen years old, they must also be legal to view adult materials in their place of residence.  The GMs of Adult games are responsible for asking all game participants about this legality since some jurisdictions restrict viewing adult materials to those older than 18.

  3. Does my game have to be Adult if the Adult content is in Private Messages only?
    Yes.  An Adult game is a game with any Adult content in it whatsoever.  No matter where that content is, how little of it there is, or how few people in the game can see it, the entire game must be rated Adult and all players must be both 18 years old (or older) and legal to view adult materials in their place of residence.  There should never be any case in which Adult materials are permitted in a non-Adult game.  Therefore, GMs of games are considered to be responsible for all content of their games, even Private Messages.

  4. Can I have a separate group for Adult content and only check ages for players who have access to it?
    No.  If there is any adult content anywhere in your game, you must ensure all players meet our Adult content requirements, whether they can see it or not, and your game must be rated Adult.

  5. What if my players write Adult materials without my permission?
    Move the Adult content so that no other users can see it, and inform us immediately using rMail.  All the GMs of a game are responsible for its content, even that in Private Messages, so games being found to allow adult content outside our rules will cause problems for all the GMs.  Likewise, players of games should report any Adult content they find in any game which is not rated Adult: we consider it the responsibility of every user of this site to work with us, not to assist others in breaking our rules.

  6. What other requirements are there?
    In an Adult game, any part of the game which contains Adult content must be out of view of the casual user.  This means that all threads with Adult content must be in groups other than 0 or public (since anyone can view threads in those groups).  Likewise, games are never permitted to have Adult content in the Game Intro or Character Descriptions since all visitors to the game cam see these items.

It is also important to remember that the GMs of adult games have additional responsibilities on RPoL.
  1. It is the responsibility of the GM to actively request the information on age and legality to view adult materials from every applicant of their game.  It is not good enough to post boilerplate such as "By applying to this game, you are agreeing that you meet RPoL requirements to view Adult games."  The GM must ask every applicant.

  2. The GM has the responsibility to ensure that those in their game are indeed mature adults, no matter what age they have said they are.  If a GM has any reason to believe a participant in their game is not actually an adult, or is not mature enough to be there, they are required to remove that person from their game immediately.  Remember that players must not only say that they are adults, but they must behave as responsible adults as well.  No RPoL user, regardless of age, has the "right" to participate in adult games on this site.

  3. The GM is responsible for controlling the content of their game so that it fits within our rules.  Even within adult games, there is content which is not permitted: graphic sex involving minors and graphic sex involving force or coercion are just two that are frequently ignored or misconstrued.  Every GM of an adult game is responsible for knowing our Adult Games Policy, for policing their game's content, and for working with the moderators to ensure that violators understand our policy and do not violate it again.

For the full list of restricted content, see our Adult Games Policy.

Update, 31 Dec 2007: Fixed three minor typos.

This message was last edited by a moderator at 18:11, Mon 31 Dec 2007.

 moderator, 4324 posts
 positive thinking
 doesn't stop cancer.
Mon 31 Dec 2007
at 18:34
Re: Mature and Adult Games
This information has been converted to a FAQ, and is now available via the FAQs link at the upper right of any RPoL page.  From FAQs, choose "General RPoL Information", and see the "Adult & Mature Games FAQ".

A link to this FAQ has also been appended to both the Mature Games Policy and the Adult Games Policy (both found under Site Policies in the FAQs and Help pages).
 moderator, 5193 posts
 Jack, you have
 debauched my sloth!
Thu 15 Apr 2010
at 14:41
Adult Games Policy Update
To provide some clarification, and to hopefully at least partially stem the tide of "is this allowed in my game" questions, we've added the following clarification to the section of the Adult Games Policy, under "Restricted Content" (new wording is shown here in blue):

    Games are not allowed to exist -- at all -- which graphically describe:
    • non-consensual sex, sexual assault, or rape;
    • the taking of life for sexual arousal;
    • incest;
    • bestiality;
    • necrophilia;
    • sexual acts involving children under the age of 18, or
    • the sexual exploitation of minors.
    The Artistic Merit clause (below) does not apply to this content ever.  While a character's story or history can involve these themes, and games can refer to them as plot points, they are not permitted, under any circumstances, to be graphically role-played or detailed on the site.

 moderator, 5215 posts
 Jack, you have
 debauched my sloth!
Mon 19 Apr 2010
at 20:22
Reminder: Character Descriptions must be suitable to all.
As we've been seeing more problems with this recently, we wanted to remind everyone that, even in adult games, any material that a visitor to the game can see must remain suitable to all ages.

This includes Character Descriptions.  The main problem lately has been players adding adult and borderline adult images to their Character Descriptions that are then displayed when anyone clicks on their name in the Cast List.

Please be conservative with images included in Character Descriptions.  If you must err, err on the side of not wanting RPoL moderators to have to contact your GM to ask you to clean it up.

Both the players and GMs of adult games should be aware that Character Descriptions are visible to game visitors, and should monitor them accordingly.

Now, on a note more related to online etiquette than to RPoL rules:  Displaying images you are not hosting on your own account somewhere is called hotlinking, and it is considered to be extremely bad form online.  It is something that causes the servers of those images extra expense, and it should never be done.  Moreover, the image is somewhat likely to become broken, or it can be replaced with something very embarassing by those serving the image -- neither of which you have control over, but which could get you and your GM into real trouble on RPoL.

If you wish to include an image of your character in your character's Description, you should only link to things you are personally hosting yourself (through your ISP, your account at photobucket, &c.).