The following are rules which are expected to be followed, and kept up, at all times. Please do your best to observe them, and.. when in doubt: Ask an admin, or ask yourself, "Is this not a smart move?"
Anyway, here we go:
0. All board content should be kept at PG13
Since we have a vast number of users on the board, most of which are minors, we'd prefer all content to NOT exceed a PG13 Rating.
1. No Flaming or Personal Attacks.
This is, pretty much, all encompassing. Do not flame someone because they've given constructive criticism that you don't like, and don't call them names or make personal attacks against their character, or flaws that you might find within their character.
Additionally, this goes for the rest of the forum. Do not make any derogatory statements and such about people, no matter the circumstance. If you're getting into a heated debate, instead of making immature, inflammatory comments about their race, sex, sexual preference and so on, please take it to PM and discuss it like adults, or contact a staff member.
Lastly, flaming and personal attacks can fall under the trolling category - If you're going to be apart of this board, post constructively. Don't turn everything you see into a big drama-fest filled with flaming and nonsensical posts because you have an issue with a person, or multiple people, on the board.
2. The universal language of the board is English, please respect that.
We understand that there are members who fluently speak other languages, and we do not wish to suppress people who want to speak in other languages, but please use some discretion: Do you know Chinese and want to say something in Chinese in your thread? Go for it. However, know that not everyone is going to understand it, so please provide a translation.. and if your post is really meant for only one or two people to read, you'd be best off saving it for a private means, such as Instant Messaging or Private Messaging.
Secondly, we want to be able to understand you. Net-speak [or "shorthand"] annoys and is quite difficult to understand, especially since we have members from other countries whose English skills aren't perfect and thus, using net speak/shorthand would make things quite unnerving for them. Because of this, we ask that everyone refrains from using it. We don't require you to speak with perfect grammar, syntax and the like, but we want to be able to understand the point you're attempting to get across. Try your best to write as clearly as possible, and definitely no "1337-speak."
2a. The usage of bold, capitalization and other effects for your text.
Typing in all capitals is forbidden, as it is widely understood to be "Shouting," and very bad "netiquette." To add to this, the usage of StIcKY CaPs is not only annoying and difficult to read through, but is also not welcome.
Additionally, bold-face is used for emphasizing text. It alienates many users to see posts in completely bold-faced text, so please try not to do that.
Thirdly, there are two different styles on the board - a light style, and a dark style. Take this into consideration when choosing a text color for which to type your post. Black/dark text won't be readable by users using the dark layout, and likewise, white/light text won't be readable by users using the light layout. If someone asks you to change your text because they are unable to read it, you should probably comply. If I receive enough complaints, I will ask you to change the appearance of your text.
3. Generic Posting of "Favorites."
Do you want to tell us about your favorite movie/book/comic/anime/video game/etc? That's fine! However, there are a few guidelines: First, please use the "search" feature, located at the top of the forum, as well as at the top of each forum topic. If you're unable to find a topic similar to yours, go for it. Otherwise, please post in the per-existing thread.
Further, posting about your favorite subject is fine, but please post with something substantial. Posts like, "I like X-men!!" lacks some substance and will, more than likely, get locked as soon as it was posted. Consider the following: What if people haven't heard of the X-men? You'd be better off posting something like, "So I really like the X-men.. are there any other X-men fans here? I think it's great because../My favorite character is../" and so on. Please be advised that not everyone is going to share your love for whatever it is that you're posting, and people are entitled to posting their opinion, so long as it is constructive.
In short, keep everything substantial, use the search feature and don't be offended if someone doesn't share your opinion.
4. Remember Social Networks.
While the general chat section is, indeed, for general topics, it is not to be used as a rant-post. Mundane topics about how your mother is mean because she won't let you go out, or how terrible you feel because you accidentally knocked over your friend's house, are topics to be placed in one's LiveJournal, Facebook, or other similar sites. Also, detailing days of a trip that you've taken, or some other sort of endeavor should be kept there as well. It is perfectly acceptable for someone to link to their LiveJournal in the yellow pages, but please do not create a thread to talk about events surrounding your travel purposes. The only exception to this would be if you were to write about a voice acting related event, in which case it would go in the appropriate forum-section.
Understand that when a staff members explains that your post is more of a journal-entry, we are not issuing a warning. For more information around this, the appropriate topics, "Understanding what it means to have your thread locked/to be issued a warning."
There are exceptions to this rule. Marriages, births, and the like are more than welcome due to the fact that most of the members would be more than willing to give you well-wishes and appropriate congratulations. We also like cake and ice cream. ;D
5. Handling constructive criticism.
Chances are, if you're at the site, you're here to either produce some sort of project, voice act, sing, or all of the above. And there's another chance that something with your voice in it is going to be posted at some point during your stay at the Voice Acting Alliance.
There are a lot of members who will be very willing to listen to your work, and some of those members will give in-depth reviews that we like to call "constructive criticism." Sometimes, it may not be what you want to hear, and it may not make you feel so great to read, but constructive criticism is a good thing. People who post it care only about you and your skills as a voice actor/producer, as well as the growth of those skills. Take everything they say to heart and try to learn from it so that you can apply what you've learned for the next time you record or mix.
If you can't take constructive criticism, please say that you do not wish to have your project critiqued, otherwise, people are going to give it to you. And if someone does end up saying something you don't want to hear, please don't blow a gasket over it and end up turning the thread into an argument.
We're aware, though, that sometimes people aren't always constructive and, instead, downright rude. If someone says something that's over the line, such as "You have the worst voice I've ever heard, why are you even voice acting? You make me want to shove bricks in my ears." please notify the administration so that the situation can be handled appropriately.
6. Staying in topic.
If you see a topic that you'd like to post in, and something that is said while in topic reminds you of something similar, it's definitely okay to post it. However, if it veers so far off topic that you're talking about Flying Elephants instead of the most recent Naruto video game, someone's going to step in and ask you to bring the subject back to the topic at hand.
7. Word Games, and the like.
Word-games, quizzes and other types of games that you'd find on other forums go in one of two places: The Fun! Section of the forum, or the separate LiveJournal: the "VAA Playground."
Please keep in mind, that not everything is acceptable for the forum-section. As Tony writes in the stickied topic, "Let's not turn it into a crapfest." This means, not posting things like, "LOL I FARTED" or something else that's equally needless. Also, please do not start threads about spam games ["Let's see how long it takes to get to 1,000 posts;" or things that ask that you just post any old thing, etc.], or threads with inappropriate content.
If the forum-section gets too out of hand, we will remove it from the forum.
8. Understanding what it means to have your thread locked.
Sometimes, subjects will get so out of hand that they need to be locked. And, sometimes, such as instances when there's already a topic for your subject, or if it belongs in a journal-space, we will lock your thread as well.
A locked thread neither equates to a warning, nor does it mean you're going to be banned. It simply means that we either:
- wanted to cease drama before it continues,
- there's already a topic that's started, or
- that it should be posted somewhere that it can be more constructively viewed, such as the aforementioned journal-space.
Many of our administration will give some posts the benefit of the doubt, and wait to see how the thread will turn out. If it seems that nothing constructive will be coming from the thread, expect it to be locked. Do not take offense to it, as it doesn't mean we have something against you, or want to ban you, it's just to keep our board clean, organized and/or drama-free.
9. Understanding what it means to be issued a warning.
Everyone breaks rules from time to time, whether it's known that you're doing it, or whether it's inadvertantly. Usually, we're pretty lenient the first time or so, and merely advise you against doing what you're doing. However, if it's a serious offense [i.e. Trolling, or flame-baiting], or if you ignore the requests, we will issue a warning.
One warning is not going to get you banned. In fact, there are very few instances in which people will be instantaneously banned, but that will be saved for another topic.
If you are issued a warning, do not worry, but please don't push it to the side. If you were issued a warning, it was because you weren't listening to what was asked of you, and something needs to change. If you continue to act in the manner that earned you the warning, you'll continue to get warnings and you will be banned eventually.
We hope that if you are issued a warning, you'll learn from it. Learning from your mistakes means there's no need to worry about being issued another warning. We trust you'll respect the rules.
As mentioned previously, if a user continues to break the rules and ignore the requests given by the staff, said user will be banned from the forum. Typically, the board operates on a "Three Strikes and You're Gone," policy, but oftentimes, we tend to be more patient with people.
There are situations where we feel an instantaneous ban is necessary:
- Posting advertisements, such as "Free Lasik in Dallas!!!"
- Posting pornography, in videos or pictures. Also, it's a good idea not to take videos of yourself, where people will accidentally see your genitalia.
- Signing up just to troll.
- Turning entire threads into a mini war because you don't like certain people of a certain sex, race, sexual preference, etc.
Banning is not something that we like to do. And we try to be as patient as possible before taking this action with people, but sometimes, it's necessary. Just follow the rules, and you won't have to worry about it.
11. One account per user
No exceptions. If you'd like a name change, please contact Nikki Wright, Matt Alan, OR Erica via private message. Think long and hard about what your account name is going to be because you're only allowed to change it once per year.
12. Requesting copyrighted content downloads
Over time people have posted regularly, inquiring as to where they can find episodes of anime, music and/or other various forms of illegal software for download. This is not what the VAA is for. We are not your personal bit-torrent service and we will not allow this on the board. Please do not request for people to upload, or find, anime episodes, soundtracks [anime or otherwise], video games,movies, books, etc. for you. If we see posts like this, they will be promptly locked, and a warning will follow.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation.