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12:11 AM
The Town Hall Chat will take place Tuesday the 16th at 10pm UTC / 6pm EDT.
If you would like to pose a question to one/some/all of the candidates, you must post it in the other chatroom. Please star questions asked by others if you'd like it to be asked. I'll take the highest voted questions and ask them during the town hall chat.
10 hours later…
9:53 AM
badp has added Kevin Y to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added Raven Dreamer to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added Arda Xi to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added fredley to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added Tom Wijsman to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added Mana ಠдಠ to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added sjohnston to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added bwarner to the list of this room's owners.
badp has added FallenAngelEyes to the list of this room's owners.
I gave ownership to candidates who aren't already blue
this way you know candidates are in italic
except for Anna, Matthew and Ivo. They can't be blue and italic :/
10:09 AM
room topic changed to Gaming Town Hall Chat: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/2579 (no tags)
9 hours later…
6:56 PM
badp has added Nick T to the list of this room's owners.
3 hours later…
9:40 PM
We'll get started in about 20 minutes.
21 hours ago, by Rebecca Chernoff
If you would like to pose a question to one/some/all of the candidates, you must post it in the other chatroom. Please star questions asked by others if you'd like it to be asked. I'll take the highest voted questions and ask them during the town hall chat.
9:54 PM
Alright, let's see how this experiment rolls!
Hi everyone! (:
10:00 PM
oi! (:
@IvoFlipse Combo breaker.
10:01 PM
tried to say my name backwards, but I failed
Can I say Hi?
@IvoFlipse lol.
Welcome to the Gaming.SE Town Hall Chat
We're just here to get to know the candidates and ask questions regarding the candidates views on moderation that may help in voting.
A few notes about the format:
The format is a bit different this time to prevent overwhelming the candidates. Feel free to ask your question(s) in the Question Queue Room and star any you want to see asked. I'll take the highest voted and ask them here. I'm not going to restrict speaking access in here though, so feel free to ask clarifications as the chat progresses.

 Gaming Town Hall Chat - Questions for

Proposed questions for the candidates should be asked here. S...
Candidates, please use the reply feature so that questions and their answers are linked together. (Hover your mouse over the left of the message, click the down arrow, click reply)
When a question is asked, I'll star it - please star it yourself also to help! Please save stars for the questions so that candidates can refer to the star list to make sure they haven't missed a question.
We will be creating a digest version of the town hall chat after it is completed. This digest will take the form of a question on meta, containing all the questions asked as well as their answers for easier reading.
There's a system message up on the site, so we may get some stragglers joining us.
The candidates I see here are: @Mana, @AnnaLear, @TomWijsman, @fredley, @ArdaXi, @sjohnston, @FallenAngelEyes, @KevinY, and @IvoFlipse.
Any questions about the format / THC itself before we get started?
Where may I find the refreshments?
Please note that the candidates are marked with their name in an italic font, except for Anna Lear and Ivo Flipse.
10:05 PM
@ThomasMcDonald @MichaelMrozek was in charge of bringing those. Feel free to poke him with a sharp stick if he failed at this.
This is tonight?
@RebeccaChernoff Excuse me? They're right here -- I'm drinking them
In case I get booted from my internet, I vote for anybody but @Mana.
Ok, let's get started!
@GnomeSliceツ The election starts in three weeks sharp. Don't be late.
10:07 PM
@nhinkle asks: What about being a moderator appeals to you? Why do you want to take on this responsibility?
@MichaelMyers This isn't the election?
@RebeccaChernoff The thing that appeals me about being a moderator is helping the community as well as individual pople; providing support when they have problems, explanation when they don't understand a choice made by the community as well as handle flags to apply the site attributes /scope as discussed in meta the community clean.
@RebeccaChernoff Responsibility is my main concern, this is why I will not act out of my own opinion when I'm a moderator but act out of the decisions the community has made on meta. The only places where you would see my opinion would be in a non-heated discussion; either on meta or on the chat. But I will not be participating in heated debates in comments, I have learned over time that these are usually pointless...
@GnomeSliceツ are you drunk?
@JuanManuel Usually
@JuanManuel I don't drink, but I get lots of comments from strangers about various intoxicants.
Apparently I look like I'm stoned all the time.
10:09 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Mostly being able to do what I'm already doing, but better. As my flag weight signifies, I flag a lot and often monitor the flag list to see what is valid and is invalid. Actually having diamond status would help me to act on these flags, and not just advise.
@RebeccaChernoff I like to help keep everything on the site in order, and I really like the community, so I'd love to be able to take on the role of a leader here and help make sure everything on this site is awesome.
@Manaಠдಠ The site doesn't need you to be awesome.
@Tom I think the question is more about why you personally want to be a mod, not what you will do once you're a mod.
Also, sorry for not being here initially, Bell decided to perform emergency system maintenance at 6 PM. Whee~
@RebeccaChernoff The part about being a moderator that appeals to me the most is the access to tools that aren't available to regular users, that assist in keeping the site clean and awesome. For example, being able to actually deal with flagged posts, and being able to lead the community. I think the Gaming community is great, and I'd love to be able to help make it even better.
Oh, the reply number changed.
10:11 PM
@Oak As I see it... The first question is about the why. The second question is about the do.
@KevinY No, leave it.
@RebeccaChernoff Helping stop bad questions before they spiral out of control, as seems to happen fairly often. One thing that seems to keep happening is bad questions being edited into good (or at least better questions), which causes a lot of confusion. Being able to sort these out quickly is essential.
@GnomeSliceツ Too bad.
@RebeccaChernoff I already flag problematic posts, but I like handling flags and responding to issues instead of just hunting for them and handing them off to someone else to resolve. I also like the user relations aspect of things and being a sort of a bridge between SE's community coordinators and site users. It's most about being able to do the janitorial tasks that make the community better and enable it to thrive while I get out of the way.
@RebeccaChernoff I really enjoy this site and its community. I want to be able to help the site on the backend of things, as I feel that the community itself runs things pretty well on the front end. We have a number of active users who consistently flag, edit tag wikis, vote to close, etc. I think our current mod team has done a great job these past few months, and with the gaps in moderation we're anticipating, I think I would make a good candidate to help responsibly manage running it.
10:12 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I like being able to keep things running smoothly, because I'm a perfectionist, and don't trust others to do it for me. That said, the SE network is too confusing, which is why I'm not running.
@RebeccaChernoff So that I can give to people. Oh right, I'm not running either.
@AnnaLear I find myself disagreeing (just a little) with some of your flags. How do you plan to resolve this with the other mods if you are elected? How do you do it on programmers?
@Powerlord I'd vote for you if mods had the power to give to people.
(I'll carry on while Anna replies to the clarification...)
10:13 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I'm mostly interested in helping the site grow, but I didn't feel fully accepted in that role before, especially because it was also in part Grace's task (with her community grant). Hopefully as a mod that situation will change
Rebecca Chernoff asks: How would you handle a question that gets lots of upvotes/answers that the community likes/supports, but is off-topic?
I forget how this is supposed to work. Aren't we supposed to ask questions?
11 mins ago, by Rebecca Chernoff
The format is a bit different this time to prevent overwhelming the candidates. Feel free to ask your question(s) in the Question Queue Room and star any you want to see asked. I'll take the highest voted and ask them here. I'm not going to restrict speaking access in here though, so feel free to ask clarifications as the chat progresses.
@RebeccaChernoff If there is another Stack Exchange community available where this question would be considered on-topic, it shouldn't hurt asking them if they want the question and migrating the question there. If the community has upvoted and answered the question in a way that is not conflictive (subjective answers with discussions in their comments) and does have value in terms of learning or usefulness; then there is no direct need to close the question.
@RebeccaChernoff Now, if an user would flag this question for being off-topic; I would leave a comment to him or explain him my reasoning in the chat. If he however disagrees or multiple users flag the question for being off-topic, I would leave a question on meta asking where people could vote if the question should be closed and look out for a certain amount of votes over time. There is no hurry, it's an useful question that you learn from in the first place…
@MichaelMrozek Oops. Thanks.
10:15 PM
@GnomeSliceツ feedback has been that that can be a bit chaotic, so we're experimenting. At the end I'll want to know if people think it helped or hurt. (:
@RebeccaChernoff Burn it with fire
@RebeccaChernoff The same as any question really. I learnt very early in this site's infancy that upvotes are about the quality of the question, not about whether it should stay open or closed. There are very well-written but still off-topic questions, and these are the most harmful because they can be a 'foot in the door' to get more and more off-topic questions through.
@IvoFlipse :)
@RebeccaChernoff My actions would be dependent on whether or not the question is clearly off-topic or more borderline. For the former (for example, in the case of a game-rec question) I would close the topic first before it gets too out of hand, leaving a comment explaining why it's off-topic. It's important to emphasize that these topics aren't allowed on the site. I would be open to a discussion in chat about why it's off-topic, but in order to reverse the decision and reopen the question...
@RebeccaChernoff ...I would need to be thoroughly persuaded and a meta topic would be required. If we allow even a single one of these questions, it redefines the scope and nature of our site, so that's not my call to make alone.
@JuanManuel On Programmers, I tend to wait for confirmation - either multiple flags or close votes. I also check with other moderators a fair bit and leave comments on the question asking for clarification or making a note of potential pitfalls. I intend to continue doing this here. It doesn't take much to ask for a sanity check and everyone's usually better off for it.
10:16 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Stack Overflow has some questions that are only around for "historical significance", because they were highly voted before the rules were set in stone. However, in the case of Gaming, I believe we've made our rules pretty clear already, which will prevent most of these questions from appearing (they would be voted against by the community before they become super popular).
@RebeccaChernoff First of all, all the things which I can do anyway - start a meta topic and discuss with the community if/why it's off topic, and try and work out a way of re-phrasing the question. This should hopefully sort out a resolution, but if the question still remains un-closed, and is clearly off-topic (i.e. a game recommendation) then I would close it!
@RebeccaChernoff If, though, the community happens to support an extremely off-topic question, I'd voice my opinion on that, and see if the community agrees.
@RebeccaChernoff We deal with this a fair bit on Programmers. How I handle these cases depends on the question. If the question is clearly off-topic for the site, I support closing it (especially if it receives flags or a few close votes).
@RebeccaChernoff If the question is a bad fit for Stack Exchange but is still ostensibly on topic, I prefer to try and turn it into a better question through editing or even just moderating the answers to encourage a high quality of responses. If the question is in a gray area and has flags, I am likely to close it and open a post on meta to see what the general consensus is. A closed question can always be reopened, so the community always has a say in whether or not it stays closed.
(@Mana please use the reply arrows in the Town Hall Chat, I know about your left-to-right reading but it really helps for our format to have that direct link)
(@Grace whoops, thanks)
10:17 PM
Yeah @Mana.
@RebeccaChernoff Users shouldn't forget that deleting and closing isn't final. If there are convincing arguments for reversing it, nobody will object. Its strange how everyone acts like these things are set in stone.
Not really necessary, as hovering still works. But indeed, if Rebecca posted a message in between...
@RebeccaChernoff Last but not least, any action I take on a popular question is accompanied by comments explaining the reasons. I'm not a fan of unilateral unexplained closures.
@IvoFlipse usually people don't try to reverse mod votes
@IvoFlipse So, you believe that all policies should be fluid, rather than make absolute decisions to judge questions by?
10:19 PM
@Oak Then clearly they don't feel strongly enough, because normally they like to point out every mistake mods make. Though this may be more true on sites like SO and Programmers than on Gaming
@RebeccaChernoff It partially depends on the severity of how off-topic the question is. If it's gotten enough visibility that it's getting upvotes despite not being on topic, then it means that a number of users has seen it and/or have an opinion on it. I feel that the best course of action would be to open a Meta topic on the question at hand, and depending on the severity of its off-topicness, make a decision from there. If it's receiving votes for the wrong reasons then we want it closed.
@MarkTrapp asks: If you could change one aspect of the Gaming.SE community (not the software) without repercussion—whether it's banning a particular type of question that's currently acceptable, allowing a type of question that's not, emphasizing on something that Gaming ignores now, or something else—what would it be and why?
@IvoFlipse I completely agree. Sometimes it's better to just close the question and then re-open it than let it open and let people put effort in a question with no future. People often complain about that forgetting it's perfectly ok to reverse the decision
@RebeccaChernoff If a good deal of the community doesn't understand why it shouldn't be receiving votes, then we likely need to outline and emphasize our policy more clearly.
@RebeccaChernoff I wouldn't necessary change an aspect, but rather improve one of the four main aspects of a community listed on the about page. I feel we should lay a bit of focus on improving the wiki aspect of our site.
@RebeccaChernoff But this is of course not an easy thing to do and not every question can be a community wiki; although great answers also kind of serve as wiki value without necessarily be marked as CW. But none the less, looking at possible questions and asking meta or existing experienced moderators should be a good step towards it.
10:20 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I would take away questions. While they help to solve a problem (remembering the name of a game), it's a very localized problem (other people might take interest in finding out what game it is, but otherwise don't have the same issue) and so it doesn't really add much content to the site or attract new users.
@RebeccaChernoff Furthermore, the answers that each question gets are very rarely better than an educated guess(could it be <game x>? or perhaps <game y>?) which undermines the idea that we're a site of experts at solving gaming problems.
@RebeccaChernoff Gaming users are far too proud. If Portal and Witcher 2 have shown anything, we all have a lot more questions when we're playing games, but we're simply not asking them. Trying to stimulate users to ask a bit more (without going overboard) by sponsoring games seems to work fairly well though. Another thing is that a lot of users thing they can't blog. However, if you can write a great answer, you can also write a great blog post
@RebeccaChernoff While I was initially in favour of questions, I now realize they aren't the best fit for the Stack Exchange engine, because of the scope of each one of them. However, instead of completely disallowing them on the site, I'd start a chatroom where users could ask. (Or point them to The Bridge, whichever would work better at the time.)
@IvoFlipse Sure thing.
@GnomeSliceツ thank you :)
@IvoFlipse Except it takes a lot more time and effort to write a blog post for no real return. In effect, you gain more from answers than blog posts.
@KevinY We tried that, it didn't catch on.
10:25 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how to answer this question because it seems to exist in a bubble of fantasy. Nothing that we do on this site is without repercussion, especially as moderators, where we are in a position of more visibility. Theorizing on whether or not I'd ban/accept a certain type of question or change a policy wholesale on the basis of there being no repercussions is rather futile, imho, because everything that we do in actuality will have consequences.
@Powerlord Blogging is not for everyone, true
@RebeccaChernoff I would get rid of identify-this-game, as it sticks out like a sore thumb against the rest of the site's questions, which are all about the games themselves. It's handy, and I can't think of where else on the net you can get such good info (most are answered!) but here is not the place.
@RebeccaChernoff I'd also encourage users to post questions on a far wider variety of games, including casual and flash/browser games. There's a huge amount of traffic to be brought to the site like this (look at my top two viewed questions), but the focus is much more on big, 'serious' games.
@RebeccaChernoff I would start closing questions that are completely vague as Not a Real Question. While identification questions in general aren't a problem, IMHO, I think they should still be subject to the same rules as other questions. If it's too vague, it's too vague.
Well well well... so many people against ITG questions, and yet we couldn't make them officially off topic :)
@FallenAngelEyes oh come on give us something, it's a good question
10:26 PM
Well it seems we have enough consensus to delete [identify-this-game] then :)
@JuanManuel Some of us have no problem with ITG questions.
@Powerlord I feel that's because there was no official stance on the situation.
@tzenes asks: Recently, we've seen a large number of edits from certain users. Frequently rolling back their own changes or having other users do the same. Given edits bump the home page, what is the minimum quality an edit should have?
@IvoFlipse Uhm... How is two people a consensus?
@RebeccaChernoff I believe an edit should serve a larger purpose. I strongly dislike editing for editing's sake, but it's hard to quantify something like that. I think the problem isn't with the quality of an edit, but with the quantity of edits at a given time.
10:27 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I don't think there's a minimum quality an edit should have. Rather, if an edit is going to be in bulk, it shouldn't happen. Period.
@TomWijsman It was a joke, man.
@TomWijsman Oh. :(
@Oak Is it? I feel that it's asking me to imagine that I can do anything on the site without consequence, like god-modding, and that's a completely unrealistic scenario. I don't want to be a mod to be a one-person show. :)
@RebeccaChernoff Regarding the specific links, another user informed me that there has been decided that we should not have balance questions thus I rolled back my changes. I wouldn't call this a large number of edits as it's only about 5 questions. As for the Minecraft link, badp actually agreed with me but rather improved than rolled back my edit as to put the heavy GIF inside a link rather than in the answer.
10:28 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Most housekeeping edits like retagging can and should be throttled to avoid overwhelming the front page. I personally dislike trivial edits that don't add a lot of value. I think correcting grammar is important and often I see questions where grammar corrections can lead to a bigger improvement. Still, individually even the most minor edits are not be a problem, but if done to a lot of posts at the same time they could be an issue.
@RebeccaChernoff I personally detest this question. At least one of the people retagging questions in the past few days was doing it to remove tags that were being inconsistently used. I even pointed this out in chat the other day, which may have been what caused some of the edits to happen in the first place (I can't visit the site myself while at work)
@FallenAngelEyes OK, but as a future mod I would like to understand what is your vision to the future of the sight. Give us one change you would like to see, at least, that will bring the site closer to what you want it to be?
@FallenAngelEyes That's exactly why I didn't answer it.
@RebeccaChernoff As for the latest tag, I added Blizzard and you rolled it back and you have the full right to do so if you disagree. The question is indeed not about Blizzard itself. The actual edit bumps you are referring to on the home page have been made by other users, in large amounts. But after a discussion that problem has resolved itself.
@RebeccaChernoff It depends on the timescale. Digging up a 6-month old question for a minor spelling mistake isn't worth the effort, but it is for a 6-minute old question. I tend to edit only when I see something that needs fixing, which is usually on new questions anyway. Old questions may need significant edits if a game has changes (e.g. the constantly changing Minecraft situation)
10:29 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Edits should have a certain quality as to improve the question and answer so that other user benefit from it, trivial edits can be made but they should be made multiple times at the same time. In some specific case, it might be necessary to add a tag to multiple questions to benefit the people as they could search in the tag.
@RebeccaChernoff If necessary, they should be planned out well so that they do not interfere with the front page in such way that you can't see the recent non-editing activity anymore; there should always be a share of quality edits and recent new questions & answers.
@RebeccaChernoff Of course, in some extraordinary cases manual intervention is necessary to maintain quality of the community, but these should be planned out well on meta and chat: Get multiple editors together, prepare all edits in tabs and do some normal activity after the short flood to bump it halfway down the front page.
@RebeccaChernoff Well, this depends on the situation. Sometimes, a minor edit could turn a horrible answer into a great one. On the flip side, sometimes a major edit could do nothing more than make the answer easier to read (spelling and grammar).
@fredley Does your opinion change if the 6-month-old question is still unanswered and could use a bump?
@AnnaLear Why not let the Community bot do its job bumping old questions?
Yes, however editing it for editing's sake is not the way to do it. If the questions is unanswered because it's in poor shape, fine, but otherwise a comment would be a more appropriate way of bumping.
@Powerlord That helps too. But if you can make it better at the same time, why not?
10:31 PM
@KevinY I think most people consider a minor edit, by definition, as one that does not really change the nature of the question or answer. "Minor" and "major" aren't really about the number of characters changed.
If you can, then fine, of course.
@Powerlord The fact that we have that bot should mean that, in moderation, bumping old questions shouldn't be too much of a big deal.
I never really thought about changing old questions or answering them as bumping. It's all about improving the quality of the content we have on the site.
@fredley Please note that a comment does not bump a question.
@RebeccaChernoff Even small edits such as improving grammar and spelling help improve the content of our site and the potential opinion of visitors as to how we handle quality. We want to look like experts, not Yahoo answers. As long as edits are done in moderation (as in not flooding), then I think that even something as small as correcting a typo is acceptable for an edit.
10:32 PM
@tzenes asks: What is the biggest problem facing Gaming.StackExchange today?
@fredley There are three ways I am aware of to bump a question: Improving it. Adding a bounty. Waiting for the community user.
@RebeccaChernoff Attracting attention from other expert gaming communities. We're stuck in a Catch-22 situation where new users will only feel comfortable asking in-depth questions about different games if they feel like they're going to get an expert answer, and expert answerers are usually only going to take interest in our community if they see in-depth questions being asked.
@RebeccaChernoff In general, there seem to be too be too much edits on the front page. So, I consider that we need to keep promoting the community so that we can raise activity; actually, Brett White from the CHAOS team is already working on different kinds of promotional material and I would encourage people to help promote. In any case you are wondering, I'll wear my Gaming T-shirt where appropriate…
@FallenAngelEyes Exactly. I feel that every question should be representative of the site, and have perfect spelling and grammar, no matter the level of English the asker has.
@RebeccaChernoff This leads to entire genres, such as fighting games, that are neglected because there are much stronger communities dedicated entirely to those games(for example, Smash Boards for Smash Bros. players).
10:33 PM
@FallenAngelEyes More to the point, the CHAOS people were hired for the express purpose of doing this. Speaking of people who have been bumping a lot of questions.
whoa fast typers
@Powerlord They haven't.
@RebeccaChernoff we need more question and more diversity in the topics we cover
@Oak Actually, thinking on it, if I could have one change, I think it would be nice to actually have an official domain name that is catchy, concise, and easy to remember. And that would fit on a t-shirt.
Gah, I should have pre-written answers.
10:33 PM
@Juan shoves document into a corner Yeah man, 300 WPM.
@JuanManuel The questions are available in advance in another room... if you can guess which ones will be asked.
@FallenAngelEyes good enough for me :) thanks
@FallenAngelEyes The current one fits on a t-shirt. :P
@ArdaXi You know what I mean! Easy to remember in a glance!
@RebeccaChernoff I think the biggest problem is lack of variety in games covered. We see some spikes around new releases (especially if a community promotion is involved), but other than that, a lot of questions are about TF2 or Minecraft (or Starcraft 2). There's nothing wrong with those games, but it can be hard to get into the community if one doesn't play those. I can see how expanding the game coverage could help draw in new users.
10:34 PM
@IvoFlipse Diversity? Would you care to expand on that?
@FallenAngelEyes You mean without necessitating people staring at your chest for prolonged periods of time.
@RebeccaChernoff The selection of games with significant interest. Currently big-budget games are well represented, as well as geeky games like Minecraft/Dwarf Fortress, but there's a whole lot of games that are widely played with very few questions on the site. We need to either make a deliberate effort to ask/answer questions on these games, or attract players directly
@Powerlord During the time CHAOS had mod powers, I believe all edits they made were silent.
@Wipqozn Yeah, I think they had a week to go through the top questions by views.
So...it seems that a lot of us agree that we need more diversity/in-depth coverage. This is great to hear.
10:35 PM
@Powerlord We have a very poor track record on some of the blockbuster game, you can't tell me there's no tactical aspect to COD if people play it for so long. We haven't managed to attract a large WoW audience. Well the list goes on, it has been pretty hit or miss. We do well on some games and epically fail on others
@Wipqozn: Correct, they are tho only ones that can do silent edits. Other than deleting content or a moderator removing or merging a tag.
@RebeccaChernoff Not so much policy as I would add a 'minor edit' feature that doesn't bump to the homepage.
@RebeccaChernoff I think one of our problems is that we don't have enough users. We should be getting more questions per day than we are now, because I times, I feel the flow of questions is quite slow. We have quite a few really active users, but it'd be great to bring in more users to expand the general knowledge of various games. CHAOS will help remedy this, though, by bringing in more users.
@RebeccaChernoff E.g. The Sims is a huge game, with millions of players, and <30 questions on the site across the whole Sims series.
I like how (almost) everyone here mentions the same or similar problem. :)
10:37 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I think one of the biggest impediments to getting new users is that the answers are quick, but not quick enough. If I'm playing a game now and have a problem, I don't want to wait a while for someone to get back to me with the answer. I'm not sure if there's a good solution to this beyond posting questions as we think of them and trying to draw people in with our existing content, but I do perceive it as a problem.
@RebeccaChernoff I agree with @Mana's assessment in regards to other expert communities. Places such as Shoryuken.com and other sites that already have established, expert communities either don't know we exist or are loathe to leave their own little corners of the internet. I think we really need to increase the site's visibility so that when we mention "Gaming.SE," people know who we are.
DMA57361 asks: What would you do with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable content, but at the same time generates a large number of arguments and/or flags?
@AnnaLear I think this depends on the game and the time, perhaps we should look into the activity of them as well as to what games don't get fast responses. When I was playing Recetteer I liked how quick responses I got on my questions, but I agree that there are some questions that need to wait too long.
@RebeccaChernoff Try to explain to them that they need to bring down the attitude to be welcome on the site. Valuable content is always nice but a single user starting fights and spouting nasty messages will not only offend and perhaps even drive away some of our new users and some of our best, but also tarnish the quality of the site itself.
@RebeccaChernoff i.e. What do you do with @ArdaXi? :D
10:38 PM
@RebeccaChernoff There are several games with established forum communities who just stay on their forums. We need to find a way to increase our visibility to various communities without alienating them outright and having them think we're just advertising.
@RebeccaChernoff Handle them with care; if the arguments/flags in question are against what the community wants I would explain it to him, we can't make things right for everyone.
(That was a joke, haha)
@RebeccaChernoff Let the community take care of them. Up/Down/close votes will take care of their inconsistent behaviour
@RebeccaChernoff Negative contributions always outweigh their positive contributions. So while you always try to solve things diplomatically, if the user refuses to change he will be dealt with like every other problem user
@RebeccaChernoff I'd try to resolve the issue in chat or alternatively by email trying to keep any drama off the site as much as possible. Valuable content but still arguments are a sort of trojan horse that isn't very desirable.
10:40 PM
@RebeccaChernoff First I'd talk to them in chat, to see if they could change their flag-provoking behavior. If this continues (or they refuse to change) and it gets worse, off-site email conversions may be needed, and possibly a suspension. (Of course, this all depends on the specific scenario.)
@IvoFlipse I disagree. Their positive contributions will be promoted, and people will see them (and good Q/As will get Google hits). Their negative contributions will sink away.
@RebeccaChernoff If they produce valuable content, their posts aren't likely to be downvoted. I first warn the person that their behaviour is problematic and is getting a negative response from the community via flags or comments. If their behaviour persists, my actions would depend on the severity of the problems. I consult with other moderators and consider issuing a brief suspension.
@fredley no users is worth the trouble of negative contribution
@RebeccaChernoff While positive contributions to the site shouldn't be overlooked, if the user is familiar enough and has been on the site long enough to have produced a lot of valuable content, then in theory they should be aware of the site's policies. A private warning/discussion, if possible via email or chat or some other medium, would probably be my first step, as people tend to be more accepting of having their faults pointed out when you don't do it in a public space.
@IvoFlipse What form of negative contribution are you thinking about? I feel like we're not on the same wave length here...
10:42 PM
@RebeccaChernoff It's always a delicate situation when a person contributing good content and/or a high rep user is causing problems. I don't want to drive them away and have them leave and take their expertise with them, but at the same time, there are other users to worry about and their experience on the site is just as valid. Everyone has to be treated the same and held to the same behavioural standard to keep things fair.
@tzenes asks: If you had to pick one other person to be a mod (instead of you) who would it be, and why?
@TomWijsman anything that annoys your fellow users is negative
@fredley There was a user on this site who I believe inspired this question to be asked in the last Town Hall Chat. While he was downvoted heavily, his attitude and his provocations did not simply sink away. Eventually he left the site but I'm pretty sure that had things gone on the way they were he should have been suspended. We tried talking to him but it didn't work.
@IvoFlipse Okay, thanks for clarifying.
@RebeccaChernoff @FallenAngelEyes. Between having no moderator obligations to any other sites, organizing and rallying community support around events such as Gamescom, large amounts of activity, and generally just having a kind, friendly disposition, I can't think of any stronger candidate.
10:43 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Raven, because he deserves it. He has been very valuable for the site by answering question, editing and voting a lot and performing all sorts of other user tasks. Basically, he's a great role model
@RebeccaChernoff sjohnston; he spent a lot of time on the Gaming community and I like his nomination, he deserves a chance to be a moderator. I don't want to simply vote for people that are friends, already have been moderators or which I simply know. I would love to give someone new a chance...
@RebeccaChernoff I would pick @Mana. He's one of the most active and sensible users I know.
@RebeccaChernoff I'd choose @IvoFlipse. He's a great moderator on Super User and Meta.SO, and I'm sure he'd do just as well, if not better, here on Gaming. He's also taken great initiative to get our community blog rolling.
@RebeccaChernoff @RavenDreamer His consistently excellent questions and answers show someone who knows what this site is all about.
@JuanManuel asks: What would you do when you see a flag that you either disagree with, or are unsure how to act upon? (Examples: "This question is off-topic", "This question is not constructive", "This answer answers the question only partially", "This answer is low-quality (a one-liner for example)")
10:46 PM
@RebeccaChernoff If the user is available for chat, I would invite him and ask why he thinks it is that way. If there is no way to contact him/her I would leave the flag for other moderators to consider; or even better, discuss it with them. If it really seems that the question isn't that way, I would reject the flag. He still has the option to use the vote to close system which was designed for that purpose…
@RebeccaChernoff Such a difficult question! I would choose @Ivo. He was 4th in the last election, and for good reason. He has a high familiarity with the SE engine and without his incentives, we probably wouldn't have a blog.
@RebeccaChernoff If I disagree I dismiss it, however most of the time it was a premature flag and it was better to leave a comment. In that case I leave the comment myself and flag as valid, even though I don't do as the flagger requested. If I don't know what to do I either leave a flag for my fellow mods, leave a comment if its nothing sensitive/negative or I ask in the (mod) chatroom
@RebeccaChernoff If I disagree and the question is clearly not "off=topic|not-constructive|etc", I dismiss the flag. Usually I leave a comment on the post explaining that the question/answer is fine the way it is (with reasons). If I'm simply unsure on how to act, I leave a comment on the post, leave the flag up for other moderators to look at, ask for a second opinion, or some combination of the above. I never take an action I'm not absolutely sure of and can't explain.
@RebeccaChernoff If I'm unsure how to act upon the flag, I would simply leave it to see what the community thinks of it. If the post gathers more flags, I'd reconsider. If I can instantly tell that the flag is invalid, I would dismiss it as so. If it's a minor problem, I would comment on the post, telling the user how he / she could alter it to make it a great post.
@RebeccaChernoff I would probably discuss the matter with other mods before making a decision
10:49 PM
@RebeccaChernoff If I was unsure, I would consult our other moderators to see what their opinion was. There's a reason we have a moderation team rather than just a single overlord. I think that working with the other mods and making sure you're all on the same page in regards to consistent response is pretty important.
@RebeccaChernoff Leaving a comment on the post identified as a potential problem allows me to see if the community at large agrees or disagrees. I find that works well.
@AnnaLear Great minds think alike, I think our responses are nearly identical :)
But well, deleting that reply as we can only get to choose one person. :)
@IvoFlipse Yeah, pretty close. :)
@RebeccaChernoff If the flag's clearly not supposed to be used in the given situation, dismiss. If I'm unsure, consult with other mods. If it turns out to be a wrong use case, leave a general note in the chat about how the flag should or should not be used pointing no fingers at specific people.
10:50 PM
@tzenes asks: Moderators exist to help keep the community in line, but they also exist to act as leaders. This means not getting involved in heated debates (like I do) and presenting your opinion in well thought out posts (like Grace does). What is an example of your leadership that you have *already shown on GSE?*
@RebeccaChernoff I like the way Jeff Atwood places a well thought out post about his opinion and backs out only to leave a clear concise response when it's really necessary, I'll be imitating that kind of leadership. I will not be participating in heated debates in comments, I have learned over time that these are usually pointless. The Duty Calls comic by XKCD is a good example…
@RebeccaChernoff Interesting choice of bold-italic termination by Markdown there.
Wait, I'm cited in a question?
@GraceNote apparently (;
10:53 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I think my (hopefully) friendly and welcoming demeanor towards users both new and old is a solid example of personality leadership on my part.
@RebeccaChernoff I know it's not much, but my blog post :-)
@RebeccaChernoff We never had to, we only had to second Grace and get what we wanted. Though honestly I think that Gaming is a well behaved community compared to the Programmers and Math of this network. So its not a real issue here. @Wipqozn I mean that we never have had to show leadership, because we never bit each others heads off. Unless I'm romanticing the game-rec discussions
@RebeccaChernoff I've been in the back seat on GSE. The upside is that there isn't a single heated debate I've been a part of. :) The downside is that I don't have much to show for opinions on GSE beyond a few comments I left on posts that were flagged and later removed.
@RebeccaChernoff My behaviour on Programmers (including meta) and Meta SO, though, can speak for both my style and behaviour. I'm pretty even-keeled.
@RebeccaChernoff Personally, I feel that I haven't taken much of a leadership role on Gaming.SE yet. Instead, I've done my behind the scenes work – flagging posts, editing posts, etc. I have made a couple of posts on the community blog, and take the initiative to help new users when their questions are off-topic and such.
@DMA57361 asks: How will you handle only being able to cast binding vote (to close, flag, delete, reopen...)?
10:56 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I'll be more cautious. I've cast some close votes in the past that a mere few minutes later I regretted once users explained to me reasons why not to close; lately I've been trying to avoid this type of situation by asking on the chat when I'm unsure to poll some extra opinions. With flagged answers I feel more confident in my ability to diagnose what measures should be taken but I'll still ask where I'm unsure.
@RebeccaChernoff Unless the question should be closed or deleted for a very obvious reason as decided by the community on meta, I will stand back and let the community decide.
Q: Help us clean up Super User

Ivo FlipseWaaaay back in the early days of Stack Overflow Jeff wrote a blog post about the Stack Overflow Question Lifecycle. Who decides what questions don’t fit? Trusted members of the Stack Overflow community decide which questions belong on Stack Overflow. Every question goes through a communi...

@RebeccaChernoff I work on editing the Gaming blog's posts (though I took a break from May to July because of personal reasons), editing them for spelling/grammar, as well as suggesting improvements to the articles. I questioned what level of exclusion was healthy for the site in the middle of the game-rec debate in early beta.
@RebeccaChernoff In addition, I'm going to Gamescom so I can do coverage for the blog and try to increase the visibility of Gaming.SE.
@RebeccaChernoff I handle it with care. I'm always mindful of the fact that my vote's binding. I'm always a bit uneasy about making unilateral decisions, so I tend to hold off on taking action until I have community backing and guide things through comments in the meantime.
@RebeccaChernoff Wait for a community consensus. For example, now, if I see a question I feel is off-topic, I'll cast a close vote almost immediately, knowing if it's invalid, it will just fade away. However, with a binding vote, I'd wait for more votes from the community (3 or 4), to ensure I'm not closing a valid question by accident. If a question is clearly off-topic or not fit for the site, I would cast my binding vote.
10:58 PM
@IvoFlipse Whoa... Been busy with answering the election questions so that I haven't seen that question yet. +1 I'll be helping out there...
@RebeccaChernoff Let the community deal with it, unless it's an extremely obvious breach of the faq. I'm happy to let the community deal with the majority of problems, and only step in where absolutely neccessary.
@RebeccaChernoff I foresee myself casting fewer close votes and letting the community handle closing first, unless a question is particularly egregious. As I mentioned before, we have many users who are vary active in casting close votes, especially as the question feed goes to chat, where questions get immediate attention from those active users. This community tends to police itself very well on the front-end, so I would wield my closing stick with care.
@Mvy asks: You all seem very serious in your descriptions. Apart from that are you gaming? Which game has your favour ATM and why?
@RebeccaChernoff The Gaming community is more active in moderating itself than I'm used to, so I'm hoping to enjoy seeing more of that and not having to use my binding votes as much. :)
11:00 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Why. So. Serious!
@RebeccaChernoff StarCraft II: I've heard a lot of people talk about this game so I had to buy it to check it out, what I saw was a game with an excellent match-making system and certain complexity so there will always be someone able to beat you (working on your macro economy while saving units by making sure that they don't die but do the most effect).
@RebeccaChernoff most important question of the day right here. This alone will decide who wins.
@RebeccaChernoff Minecraft, because I enjoy the creative aspect of it, and getting to know the various mechanics that make it unique. Plus, Redstone is a lot of fun to mess around with.
@RebeccaChernoff Minecraft, all the way. I'm still nowhere near out of things to do, after playing almost daily for over a year.
@RebeccaChernoff I'm always gaming. I'm perpetually a couple years behind these days, so right now I'm (re)playing Dragon Age and trying to desperately hang on to my WoW subscription. I usually play stuff on my Xbox or PC, but there's some iPhone stuff in there too for those times when I'm not at home.
11:02 PM
starts crossing off the names of everyone who says MineCraft on his voting sheet
@RebeccaChernoff None, I'm trying to get some actual work done before the vacation and waiting for the new blockbusters to release. But there's always Games for Google+ to pass the time
@RebeccaChernoff Alas, Minecraft is not my thing. I'm not a fan of open sandboxy kinda games. Give me a story progression and (optionally) an ending instead. :)
@RebeccaChernoff Recettear is pretty awesome, haha. I'm totally hooked on the dynamics between the different characters and the store management stuff. It's ridiculously fun.
@RebeccaChernoff Am I gaming? Uh... to be honest, I sometimes game more hours in a week than some people work. The game I've most recently extensively played is Chantelise, but I fear I may never finish it because I'm addicting to fishing. Terraria has also captured me quite thoroughly, as it rewards exploration more than Minecraft (though I'm looking forward to the 1.8 update). MMO-wise, I have an active sub to City of Heroes and I also play Guild Wars fairly regularly.
@Mana Recettear is kicking my tail. :( And I almost believed that debt repayment could be fun!
11:03 PM
@IvoFlipse Nice :) how to exploit an answer for the blog :P
@RebeccaChernoff Correction, if you go by a 40-hour work week, than I nearly always game more in a week than people work.
@FallenAngelEyes Pssh, you're not the only one.
Ok, already about out of time. Last question.
But... I have so much answers. :(
@tzenes asks: Moderating is an around the clock job, what sort of time can you dedicate to moderating GSE? and as a follow up for those of you who participate on other stack exchanges how do you plan to balance your time between GSE and other places?
11:04 PM
Although I didn't this week because of redoing carpet and stuff.
@AnnaLear You should ask more questions on that game, then. ♪
@TomWijsman what do you mean by "another" time zone? Another compared to what?
@TomWijsman Which time zone? We have an extraordinarily high number of people in UTC+1 in this election.
@GraceNote I understand how it works. I just suck at it. ;)
@RebeccaChernoff I go back to university in early September. While this will effectively limit the amount of hours I can spend lurking/chatting on here, I still believe that I will be able to dedicate a very sizable amount of time to the site, due to being able to check up on everything in-between classes(maybe even during class) and having plenty of time in the evenings if I manage my schedule properly.
11:05 PM
@Powerlord Oh, woops, never mind then... :(
@RebeccaChernoff I'm on the site many times a day. I'd say it's not so much about chunks of time, but more how often, and how regularly you're there, and for me that's at least a dozen times spread throughout the day (and night!). (GMT/BST)
@Manaಠдಠ Willing to scrap class in the name of gaming! A star candidate if I ever saw one.
@RebeccaChernoff I'm online nearly all the time. I drive my spouse nuts because I refresh SE as often as some people refresh Facebook or Twitter. I'm usually active throughout the day. Weekends are usually a quiet time, but I still check in a few times to make sure nothing crazy happened.
@RebeccaChernoff I'm almost constantly on Gaming.SE. Currently, I'm constantly refreshing the page to see if any new questions have popped up, and while doing this, I check moderator flags and the suggested edit queue. I'm on almost the entire day (especially when school gets boring), so I'd have more than enough time to do moderator activities.
@RebeccaChernoff See previous answer. I currently have a lot of free time on my hands, as I don't work or go to school at the moment. I'm planning on job-seeking soon, but anything I get will be part-time so it wouldn't interfere with my schedule. I may apply to university for next spring, but that's up in the air at the moment. I'm in Central European Time, so I'm available in what may be off-hours for the US. I currently have no other moderation obligations.
11:06 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I don't have enough availability. Which is part of the reason I decided not to run this time.
@GraceNote I once stayed in my dorm room during a fire drill because I was naked and playing the closed beta for a game I liked. :x
@RebeccaChernoff As most people know, I'm a moderator on Programmers as well. Programmers does not receive a huge amount of flags and does not generally require a lot of attention. I see no problems with being able to do stuff on Gaming... since I already spend time on gaming! I'm here every day looking at questions and answers, posting where I can. Adding some flag handling and administrivia will not be a problem.
@RebeccaChernoff To my surprise I've managed to handout to most votes of all users on Gaming (2970), which should at least show that I'm able to see a lot of questions on Gaming even though I'm active on other sites as well. Besides, I've been working on the blog for the past few months, so Gaming already get's a lot of my premium time. Besides, I have great fellow mods on SU who have my back so I can broaden my horizon a little bit. Fitness only get's 5 questions/day, Gaming only 20.
@RebeccaChernoff I spend too much time on here. Which is part of the reason I decided not to run this time.
@Grace Hardly scrap it, more just doze off and check flags when the teacher goes over the Turing problem for the fifth time.
11:07 PM
That'll put us at the hour mark, so...
Final thoughts from the candidates?
@Manaಠдಠ Obviously, your professor teaching you about Turing complete machines did not sound exactly like a StarCraft Battlecruiser pilot.
@RebeccaChernoff Go ask the SO guys how they are handling their thousands of flags. Besides I'm on chat all day, though just not in the Bridge :)
@RebeccaChernoff Last but not least, I take my commitments very seriously, so if anything ever had to give, it'd be my reading time for other SE sites.
@RebeccaChernoff Several hours a day; sometimes I'm awake at night or at the early morning so I also cover periods where others might not be online, I can adjust myself to the community's activity and need for moderation. GSE would get my main attention and I will spent most of the time here, I will still visit a very limited amount of other sites but I will not let they distract my attention away from GSE. In the end, I've nominated myself to help the Gaming community; so, I'm here for you.
11:08 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Vote for Raven!
@RebeccaChernoff New plan: Last two people in this room win
if we're on final thoughts...
in Gaming Town Hall Chat - Questions for Candidates, 49 mins ago, by Thomas McDonald
How will you deal with GnomeSlice's appetite for tagging questions with quite frankly terrible tags?
@IvoFlipse I agree, vote for Raven
11:08 PM
oy is pretty good as far as last thoughts go.
@RebeccaChernoff Help out with the blog!
@RebeccaChernoff Thank you @Rebecca for taking the time to organize this chat for us and deal with our conflicting schedules! And preemptive thanks to whomever will be putting the transcript together.
well not you, but you get the point
@Manaಠдಠ It's also @RebeccaChernoff's signature word.
@RebeccaChernoff Good luck to all the other candidates! And thank you @RebeccaChernoff for scheduling this!
11:09 PM
@Powerlord I know, I lurk on dem chats.
Great thanks to all of you. And good luck!
@RebeccaChernoff Thank you everyone for coming. And may the best mod win. :) I'm still gonna be active on the site whether I get elected or not, so I'll see everyone around.
@FallenAngelEyes Indeed, a big thanks to the people that make this possible. This allows the community to much better decide who we should elect...
@Manaಠдಠ We'll teach you to use the Reply button yet!
@Powerlord :(
11:10 PM
I'd like to thank the Academy...
I very much want feedback on what people thought of this format for the THC. Please let me know in any chat room I'm in or email me (rebecca@se), it was very much an experiment.
I'm iffy about accruing questions before time
@RebeccaChernoff I think it worked very well, though publicizing the "questions for candidates" chatroom more would be good. Perhaps another banner?
@Rebecca I think I need to email you about dem blogs anyway, I might drop some thoughts in
11:10 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Would you like that now or later?
it kinda takes away from the... interactivity.
Well, good luck everybody. I'm certain we'll wind up with an awesome pair of mods regardless of how this goes.
A digest of the THC will be posted on meta within a couple days. If you were unable to attend or missed any questions, feel free to answer them now/soon in here and we'll get them in the digest.
Thanks everyone for participating and good luck to all the candidates!
@RebeccaChernoff I think its much more streamlined than last time, besides we can't prevent users from preparing anyway
Also, free !
11:11 PM
And, free , or, is it a lie?
@FallenAngelEyes anytime
@RebeccaChernoff I liked the format. I like to be able to take my time and put thought into questions, so I've noticed I'm often slow in replying. The last THC felt very hectic to me, and I felt kind of perpetually behind.
@Powerlord @stackexchange.com >_<
I agree with @FallenAngelEyes – during the last election, I wasn't able to keep up with the flow of questions. This one was much better.
And now... dinner! (Which hopefully will be much unlike cake and not a lie.)
11:17 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I know, the se thing is a pet peeve. Particularly if someone says "gaming.se" which is a real domain name not owned by StackExchange.

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