GameDev.Net Taboo Topics

You've been directed here because of one of the following:

  • You've asked a taboo topic on the #gamedev IRC channel or on the forums.
  • You've asked your topic in a taboo manner
  • You're wondering why we don't like a certain taboo topic

While it's generally accepted that #gamedev might be better named #notgamedev considering that off topic chat is the usual state of things, there are a few topics which are generally considered inappropriate, and will likely illicit a poor response from the regulars and moderators (possibly kicking you if you've annoyed them by repeating an inane question enough on the topic when nobody responds to you, or banning you if you do so in a particularly rude fashion).

If you illicited such a poor response, and you just didn't know any better, no worries. Now you do. It's understandable.

If you're wondering why a particular topic is taboo in #gamedev, feel free to select from one of the following:

By Mannerism

Personal Messages

The IRC channel and website forums are a communal experience. You can ask a question for all to see. Anyone not busy with something else can skim over it, and, if they think they have something relevant to say or comment or help with, they can answer if they choose. This is part of the reason why good topic titles are more likely to get responses, and bad ones resented as a waste of our times.

Personal Messages, however, remove this filtering mechanism. They demand attention from an individual — a spastic link on the forums or a blinking tab causing sounds in most IRC clients, and instead of being able to silently ignore a topic we have no comment on due to lack of knowledge on the subject matter, lack of interest in discussing it, or distraction by more important matters at the moment, they force the recipient to reply.

My reply is "Why the hell are you demanding my time with this?". PMs are only kosher among friends/regulars, about topics you know the recipient will want to know about, or for things actually concerning them specifically (NOT the same as "because they helped earlier and I'm hoping they have more to say"), for the most part. And no, embarrassment isn't a valid excuse either.

By Topic

The act of Piracy

This one is obvious. Admission to, or mentioning any attempt at Piracy will probably warrant an instant ban if any moderators are paying even the remotest of attentions. It doesn't matter if it's not a game, and it's pure hypocrisy if it's any game development related tools — game developers, the people who do the very thing for which GameDev.NET is named and is for, are in the same boat as with general software developers everywhere. Solidarity and all that. Zero tolerance.


This one is because of the obvious implications of the former. It also depends on the network. Bittorrent, for example, is generally tolerated — it has legitimate applications, and even many professional games have used it to help ease their network loads (EVE Online, Blizzard, and Guild Wars come to mind).

On the other hand, don't be surprised if you're kicked for talking about your Limewire download collection. Whining about it won't gain you any solidarity, understanding, or clarifications as to why, either — rather the opposite. And of course, regardless of network, kindly drop it if a moderator asks anyone to… before they feel the need to drop you from the channel.

Requests for computer help (Technical Support)

As the topic of game development requires a good bit of technical expertize, compared to the average user, it seems #gamedev might be a good place to ask for general computer help. While we tolerate this from regulars (we don't mind the occasional favor to our friends), one needs to consider that we're also doing the same for the rest of our friends and families. Not only that, but it's an atrociously boring topic most of the time, and last but not least: You're not the only one who thinks that.

If we acted as tech support, #gamedev really *would* be #notgamedev — it wouldn't just be that we talk about other things more than we do game development, it'd be we're talking about tech support issues *specifically* more often than game development, for which our channel is *named*!

Not only that, but in light of the fact that an appropriate support forum can easily be found using Google, it's even rarer that we get an interesting question on the topic than would otherwise be. We get the bottom of the bin — people who couldn't be bothered to input so much as one freaking keyword describing their problem into Google. Zero effort on their part. In response, we provide zero effort to help them, and have zero patience with the inanity. "Not this again…"

If you're one of the few people who ARE making an effort and just really suck at google and *still* feel an unstoppable urge to ask us the question again anyways, say as much (no, really, say "Sorry, I suck at googling…"), show your effort ("I tried googling X and Y, but got no results"), and trick us — don't ask us the question again.

Ask us: "Could you give any recommendations for what to google?". If you've asked us nicely, humbly, and without annoying us, chances are you'll actually get a link straight to a google query with relevant results — and maybe even some direct links to relevant articles that were found on the google page. This is the best response you could hope for from the channel.

Even the author, a definite regular to #gamedev, would prefix his question with a dose of humble pie. "Sorry to bug you guys about this, but I'm having a dickens of a time trying to find …."

Hope this helps.