A Comment About Comments

So this past weekend apparently people got too much chocolate in their system or something as the comments sections of several threads were less than full of Springtime Cheer.

I want to take this moment to remind everyone about what are and aren’t comments that I want to see.
To do this, I direct everyone to the TGN FAQ.


What sort of comments are appropriate for TGN?
TGN has comments enabled for the news items and article that we post. Readers are always welcome to provide comments that pertain to the post or article they are reading. We do ask that people keep their comments limited to the news item, review or article at hand and do not stray into more general topic areas. If people wish to continue a conversation further, please post in TGN Talk. The main site is not intended to be a general hobby message board.

Can I complain about a figure or company?
Complain? No. Critique? Absolutely.

All that we ask is that if you are going to post criticisms of products or companies that you do so in an adult manner and that your criticisms are constructive. We also ask that if you want to critique something that you provide the other readers of TGN something with which to base a dialogue upon. Tell us why you don’t like something and explore the topic so other people can respond and build an interesting dialogue.

The internet is filled with message boards and sites that have, to be blunt, negative and crappy comments about minis, games and companies. Short, negative, pissy comments are a dime a dozen on the web and we want to build a community of gamers that post something more interesting when they post comments.

This subject is dealt with directly on TGN’s Comment Code of Conduct page.

What is constructive criticism?
A comment such as “that mini is horrible” is simply an opinion and don’t provide any reasons for the opinion. “That figure looks poorly sculpted because the arms are not propotionate to the body and the face lacks character” is an example of saying the same thing but in a constructive manner. Not only does it tell the sculptor or producer what you don’t like but it also provides the readers at TGN an example of why you don’t like a figure. The first comment is a conversational dead-end but the second opens up the topic and allows other people to expand on or debate the issue based on something other than an opinion.

Can I critique an advertiser of TGN?
There are no limits on commenting on products or services provided by TGN advertisers as long as those comments fit into the Comment Code of Conduct for the site. People who advertise on TGN are as much “fair game” as people who do not.

Is TGN just for “fanboys”?
We don’t think so but this is certainly an issue that comes up from time to time. Part of the reason for this is that the staff at TGN tend to take a dim view of people who post negative comments that don’t elaborate on the posters reasons for their opinions. People often get quite angry or annoyed at companies, sculptors or other gamers.

We also want to foster a more adult and opinioned culture here at TGN and this often means that people who just want to vent about a figure, game or company often find a less than welcoming atmosphere here.

Some people think that this means that the site only wants to see positive comments. This is simply not the case. What we want to see if well reasoned comments (positive or negative) and we often ask posters who do not want to participate in this to go elsewhere.

Note: We do, however, reserve the right to remove comments as we see fit without notice. We don’t make use of this often, but sometimes it is necessary.

This is reiterated in the Comment Code of Conduct Page, which is linked to at the top of every comment window. So to say “I’ve not seen the link to that” is not valid.

You readers know me. I take a fairly hands-off approach to moderating the comments. I want people to feel that TGN is a place they can speak their mind, for or against, news stories. But this past weekend has really shown me that I must be more hands-on and work to edit comments and delete things that shouldn’t be.

I hope that this will actually foster more people to start posting comments to stories. If I can get rid of a few bad apples, the whole bunch will be better off.