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Staff Complaint: Xelnagahunter


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BYOND Key: Lord Fowl

Staff BYOND Key: Xelnagahunter

Reason for complaint: Firstly, I'm not really complaining about Xelnaga's actions, I'm just contesting his ruling. As Doomberg said, it's impolite to argue via in-game PMs.


The situation: During Tenenza's latest "Mysteries Uncovered" event, which was today (Aug/23rd/2015), I, Lord Fowl, was in the AI role playing my newest AI, Blaktoof. Blaktoof is much like SOLO, as he is a reference to largely fictional characters, SOLO being a reference to the Western cowboy, and Blaktoof being reference to the popular WH40k franchise, namely referring to the Ork species. Blaktoof speaks with an Orkish accent, and uses Ork slang. Xelnagahunter in particular to offense to the slang term 'dakka'.


Xelnagahunter's ruling (Summary): "The use-age of the term Dakka is absolutely unacceptable, as it borrows from another universe of science-fiction (The WH40k universe, and fictional universes CANNOT borrow from each other" (presumably to maintain integrity)


I would like to contest Xelnaga's ruling, as his reasons for it fail to convince me whatsoever. In the log below, I make the point that our language and fictional genres in general draw from previous fictional universes already (Lord of the Rings pretty much invented modern fantasy, Starship Troopers invented the concept of the Space Marine, etc.) Xelnagahunter contests that many of those borrowings are 'official'. I ask, by what party? There is no party that /officializes/ introduction of words into the English language. (We're not the French!). I could make the point that the term 'Dakka' is just onomatopoeia of the sound of a machine gun firing and was only popularized by WH40k, not invented by Games Workshop, and thus really doesn't belong to any fictional universe (In fact, I /did/ just make that point), but I believe very highly in precedents, and that no fair arbiter can act without precedents nor can overrule previous precedents. And by singling out 'Dakka' Xelnagahunter has established a precedent, the precedent that /no/ terms that were coined by other fictional universes can be used in-game. This precedent is ridiculous, in my opinion, because I press the point that our language is inundated with words from other universes. To remove them all from our dialogue while we play on Aurora would be counter-productive, if not impossible


It would be counterproductive because I press the point that isolating each and every fictional universe is not good. Much like people, universes build upon one another in their respective genre. From the concepts of previous universes unique ideas form anew. And sure, while Dakka isn't likely to form /too/ many unique ideas, the ruling is prejudiced if it only targets the term Dakka. By isolating each fictional universe, you do not preserve their integrity, in fact you often destroy their integrity.


For clarity's sake, I'm not arguing for the right to bring a /character/ from other fictional universes, but rather ideas and concepts. If my AI had suddenly started praising the deities Gork and Mork and vowed destruction upon Spehsss Muhreens, then I could empathize, because at that point he becomes a direct character port. But Blaktoof doesn't do that, and I don't argue for the right to do that.


Finally, to conclude this admittedly poorly structured argument, I'd like to say that ss13 is at its heart a very referential game. Its built upon references to other universe. Yet, despite that, we've built our own arguably unique fictional universe upon these references and concepts that technically belong to other universes. To start kicking out these references would be to kick at the heart of ss13, and at the foundation of our server.



Evidence/logs/etc: There are the two important quotes from our short contention in-game.

Lord Fowl: "In short, the english language is inundated with terms from fictional universes, and it is impossible to root them all out, and counter-productive, If you start rooting out terms like 'dakka' you'll have to root out words like 'utopia' or any of the other plethora of words we borrow from other science fiction universes. Its a poor precedent to set."


Xelnagahunter: "Many such words have been pulled into the english language officially. Terms like "dakka" have not. But I'm going to give you the /really/ short reason. you were asked by a member of the staff team to stop."

 

Other words that are from fiction AND in the dictionary (The dictionary being the closest to an 'official' compendium of 'official words'. In this case I used the Oxford online dictionary. I'm sure if I had found an Oxford solid dictionary the selection might be even more refined.)


-Utopia

-Nerd

-EMP (This one is debatable, because the Oxford dictionary defines it as something that is not quite what an EMP is in the way we use it.)

-Warp (But only as a noun, not a verb)


Words that are used in our server, but are not found in the Oxford dictionary.

-FTL

-Warp drive

-Ion blast/cannon/rifle

-Plasma (Although to be fair I don't even know if this counts because of the Plasma/Phoron argument)


Additional remarks: In response to Xelnaga's closing statement above, I /kindly/ ask permission from the staff team to continue using the term 'Dakka', and to overrule the precedent of purging references to other fictional universes.

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Appreciate that you halted your activity during the course of the round and brought the issue up in a different format later. I respect, fully, your ability to disagree with my ruling and if I am told otherwise, then sure you may resume the use of such terminology for whatever purposes you like. I'd like to point out that no warning was given and I didn't even go out of my way to create a note on the topic, I simply made a request for the cessation of a particular activity, I didn't even threaten moderation action. Lastly, my decision was backed, and partially spurred on by fellow staff.


I will admit to coming across crass and short durring the conversation because I was running short on time before I needed to leave my house, and I apologize for that.


I'm not sure this really deserved a staff complaint being written, but I'll leave that decision to a third party. If there's anything else I need to comment on, please let me know. Otherwise I'll keep my personal opinions free from further posts.

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As I said in the prelude of my complaint, I'm not really looking for administrative action to be taken on you, but rather want to formally contest the ruling that you made in-game. Doomberg has previously stated that its better to take a developing argument to the forums instead of persisting it in-game, and I agree, because arguing in game gets both confusing, and sending pm's lags my system.

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Guest Menown

I'll point out. Numerous in-game characters have used the term in reference to weapons. This isn't immersion breaking, or anything. I could argue the hypospray is a reference and shouldn't ever be mentioned because it'd make me think of Star Trek. Same for the blue labcoat.

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I'll point out. Numerous in-game characters have used the term in reference to weapons. This isn't immersion breaking, or anything. I could argue the hypospray is a reference and shouldn't ever be mentioned because it'd make me think of Star Trek. Same for the blue labcoat.

 

And what is at least half of the things in-game. The vast majority of SS13 is based on scifi and pop culture references.

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Guest Menown
I'll point out. Numerous in-game characters have used the term in reference to weapons. This isn't immersion breaking, or anything. I could argue the hypospray is a reference and shouldn't ever be mentioned because it'd make me think of Star Trek. Same for the blue labcoat.

 

And what is at least half of the things in-game. The vast majority of SS13 is based on scifi and pop culture references.

 

Exactly. Remove everything that's ever been determined to be a reference. Goodbye Hypospray, Vrisk Tea, Blue Labcoat, Red Security Unfiform, Changeling, The teleporter (Stargate), The AI core with the system shock face, the Dwarf Fortress References, the Xenomophs, Plasma Cutters, Rigsuits, ED-209s, Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, The RIPLEY APLU, the Energy Sword, the Multitools from Deus Ex, and every other reference.


I seriously don't understand how using a word is an issue. You can roleplay not knowing what it means, or roleplay what it does mean. It's not rulebreaking at all.

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When I was a moderator, I messaged a player with the character name Amy Rose, but Skull told me that it was a common enough name so it was let slid by. There's players that come in with common names that are a reference but it slides because of how common the first and last names are like Jack Black.


Halorocks walks around me all the time going "M'lady", which is a reference to an internet meme.


I dunno but it feels like it would be nice to not have ambiguity of what's acceptable and what's not.

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I think things that obviously break immersion probably shouldn't be allowed, obvious things like Adolf Hitler characters, or an AI that praises Gork AND Mork.


But then again, I wouldn't know what Amy Rose references to, so the immersion breaking would fly totally over my head.

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Oh, right, this.

I remember vaguely hearing about this.

Perhaps I might have said something to influence Xel's argument?

Yes, I do believe I said that Braktooth was being too referential, since we already had another synthetic using ork terminology and slang, and they were both on at the same time.

Perhaps that was a hasty statement.

I'll admit I was a bit busy with other things at the time, (event and other ahelps), and might not have thought throughly, but I still think it's kinda surreal to have two synthetics talking to eachother like orks.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

It does not violate the copyright of any party to use "dakka". It would only be questionable if Fowl-san claimed to have invented the word "dakka" or otherwise claimed it as his own.


It's not canon-breaking for someone to use it in conversation. Just don't go full out pretending to be orks.


And it's. You know. An onomatopoeia.

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It does not violate the copyright of any party to use "dakka". It would only be questionable if Fowl-san claimed to have invented the word "dakka" or otherwise claimed it as his own.


It's not canon-breaking for someone to use it in conversation. Just don't go full out pretending to be orks.


And it's. You know. An onomatopoeia.

 

This is the answer I was really looking for. I'll keep this in mind in the future when seeing things used in-game. Thank you.

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It does not violate the copyright of any party to use "dakka". It would only be questionable if Fowl-san claimed to have invented the word "dakka" or otherwise claimed it as his own.


It's not canon-breaking for someone to use it in conversation. Just don't go full out pretending to be orks.


And it's. You know. An onomatopoeia.

 

Even /if/ I did claim it for my own, the staff are here to uphold the rules of the server, not be arbiters of intellectual property laws.

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Not to mention the whole "infringing on commercial profit" requirement to even begin thinking about the pursuit of intellectual property laws, but I digress.


I believe it was agreed some time ago that synthetics had more leeway to be referential than other characters, due to the AI creators basing some of their creations on pop culture and whatnot. I did cringe a little when I saw the AI was acting like a WH40K ork, but that's more of a personal criticism.

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Alright. Just don't turn this into 40Kstation and don't make a habit of it. It's a gimmick, so it will get tiresome for both you and everyone else (though I don't pretend to know which will be first). I did, in fact, have the intention of asking you to tone it down a bit on said round, before being confronted by a sort of arab greytide and forgetting all about it.


Copyright on words is a non-issue. SS13 steals from everyone equally.


Conclusion: Yeah, okay, there's no disciplinary action to undo, just a note of "keep it reasonable, don't do it all the time". A trans-stellar megacorporation is probably not going to spend money on an AI based on 40K Orks, but we can probably suspend our disbelief once in a while.


Either way, thank you for being civil.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix
Even /if/ I did claim it for my own, the staff are here to uphold the rules of the server, not be arbiters of intellectual property laws.

 

I could argue otherwise, but let instead link to a similar case to portray what would happen if we adopted this philosophy and someone called foul.


http://maxbarry.com/2008/04/02/news.html


But once again, in this instance there isn't any fear of us getting a cease-and-desist order.

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Even /if/ I did claim it for my own, the staff are here to uphold the rules of the server, not be arbiters of intellectual property laws.

 

For the record, it unfortunately IS our job, as any actual copyright violations could be problematic for our host especially.

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This thread isn't about intellectual copyright.

For the record, they are not going to care if someone is pretending to be someone from something. They will care if we distribute or share copyrighted files, ie mp3's, books, movies.

A character name that is played by a person solely created by that person isn't going to grab their attention.


But as Doom said, this was a gimmick, just don't do it all the time or it stops being a gimmick and we would have to step in.

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