these_balls: (Default)
Route 29: mods ([personal profile] these_balls) wrote in [community profile] route_292014-09-19 09:55 pm
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A Clarification of Our Application Spoilers Policy!

Having received several questions relating to our linking-for-spoilers policy on applications, we would like to clarify our stance on when it is appropriate to link an application for spoilers, and when that application should be posted to the comments of our applications page.

Our current policy states that we prefer applications be comment-posted; linking applications is intended to be used when an application "contains explicit references to 'hard' spoilers (character death, unforeseen plot twists, big reveals, he was evil all along, etc)". The purpose for linking applications as opposed to posting them in the comments of the applications page is as a courtesy to other players in the game, the same way that we frequently ask players to tag spoilers in their comment headers in gameplay as a courtesy to others.

However, there are many spoilers that do not warrant a linked application. For example:

"Darth Vader dies at the end of Return of the Jedi" is an explicit reference to character death. However, this is not the type of spoiler that warrants linking an application because:

1) The canon is 31 years old.
2) This death is not unforeseen or particularly surprising in a narrative sense.

"Bruce Willis was a ghost all along in The Sixth Sense" is the variety of spoiler that would be likely to warrant a spoiler cut, if the applicant were applying for the character immediately after the film came out. However, this is not the type of spoiler that warrants linking an application in 2014 because:

1) The canon is 15 years old.
2) This twist has sufficiently become entrenched in popular culture that it is reasonable to assume most people are aware of it.

Therefore, to reiterate and clarify our position on linking applications for the purposes of spoilers: please err on the side of posting the application to the comments. In nineteen cases out of twenty, an application should be comment-posted as opposed to linked. Linking for applications should only become a player consideration if one or several of the following apply:

1) The canon is recently released or currently ongoing; canons older than a year are highly unlikely to warrant a spoiler cut.

2) The spoiler being cut for is major and significant to the character; applying for the Secret Traitor from a thriller canon may warrant a spoiler cut, given that the spoilers relating to the fact that the character is The Traitor are essentially unavoidable in the application.

3) The spoiler being cut for is a twist or unforeseeable in a narrative sense; a member of the character's party dying in a battle they are fighting together is unlikely to warrant a spoiler cut.

4) The spoiler being cut for is not widely-known or disseminated through popular culture. Understandably, this criterion is very flexible and will change for a canon over time; a spoiler that may warrant linking two months after a canon is released may not warrant linking a year after its release. The revelation that "Darth Vader is Luke's father" would have warranted a spoiler cut in June of 1980, following the movie's release in May of that year; it would not warrant a spoiler cut thirty-four years later in the present day of 2014.

Understandably, there is no "one size fits all" rule for addressing spoilers in applications. We appreciate and approve of our players doing their best to be courteous to others where canon spoilers may come into play. However, we as a team would prefer that linking applications be used only in exceptional circumstances, and therefore reiterate that in the vast majority of cases, applications should be posted to the comments of the applications page instead of being linked.

If you are still concerned about obscuring possible spoilers for other players, we would recommend whiting out the spoilers within the application as an alternative; this allows the application to still be comment-posted while protecting against visible spoilers. The HTML to do so is as follows:

We appreciate your time and understanding, and now return you to your regularly scheduled gameplay.

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