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Ask Massively: Censorship edition

Shawn Schuster

Another Thursday, another installment of Ask Massively! This week we see an influx of even more site-related questions ranging from our hiring procedures to our recent code of conduct changes. Don't you people want to know about MMOs anymore?! Actually, we don't mind answering site-related questions at all, and enjoy being transparent with our community of dedicated readers.

Follow along after the jump for the answers to this week's Ask Massively and don't be shy about getting your own questions in by commenting on this post or sending your inquiries off to

Wade asks: Could you folks add some videos to your Choose My Adventure, Rise and Shiny, and some of the Massively groups that are playing together in several games? It could just be some game play with voice overs by the column writer, showing some of the things they are talking about in the article? For the groups it could just be some footage of some of the places they explored that night and maybe a group wave at the end of the session. I can't make any of them (or don't play the game) and it would be interesting (to me) to see where they have gotten to since the last installment.

Yeah, I know, bandwidth costs and such, so just put them up on YouTube and embed it in the article, if that is allowed. :)

Actually, bandwidth costs are not an issue. We're owned by Aol with near limitless bandwidth, so that helps. But that aside, we're working on a few ideas in this field. Streaming our gameplay is one area we're researching heavily. Each writer has his or her own favorite game(s) and it would take little effort to stream their regular play nights for all to watch.

You can head on over to our Livestream page for the initial testing phases of this project where you'll see game trailers, streaming gameplay and maybe even catch a glimpse of us accidentally turning on our webcam while shirtless (true story, don't ask). Look for more on this soon!

Kevin asks: How does one go about applying for a writing position with your website? Is it mostly freelance writers being paid for content submitted, or are there actual staff positions allocated with salary - etc?

I'm a year from graduation, hung up on too many MMOs, and eager to produce something other than flame threads and thesis papers.

When we need writers, we have an open call-out on the site. We had one last August and a few smaller ones earlier this year, but don't have another planned for quite a while. Check out that right sidebar over there. We're full, captain!

Massively is part of the Joystiq network (technically, we're supposed to be their "MMO branch") which employs both contracted freelancers and salaried editorial positions. This is fairly typical of most larger blogs or news sites you'll find out there. Aside from these hiring periods, we get dozens of unsolicited applications and resumes a year. If you're interested in writing for Massively one day, keep an eye out on the site for a call-out. While we are one of the few who actually pay their writers, many smaller sites start their contributors off as volunteers or unpaid interns. That could be an option for you, as well, just to get your foot in the door.

James asks: You people need to layoff the censorship, you act like a bunch of thin skinned sheep huddling together looking for that politician to guide you through political correctness. I can make my own choices on whether to pass by a post or read it to include the ignorant choice by your site of making blogs disappear. Vote them down don't hide them.

Your site has a large audience for a reason, one your going to lose soon if you keep the censorship up. Though I am beginning to believe your target audience are children, those that aren't being watched by parents.

Oooh! I'm sorry, that wasn't in the form of a question.

Actually, this is a good topic though. While most of us at Massively can be as foul-mouthed as Christian Bale on our worst days, there's a time and a place for everything. We like to keep Massively relatively asshat-free, and censoring excessively foul language and abuse is only a part of that. We don't want the comment section to become a troll cave, as happens on the forums of many popular gaming sites.

One thing that tipped my opinion regarding this was when we started doing more in-game events late last year. We had comments from several people saying they'd love to come play with us, but they don't want to play with our commenters. To have a reputation like that is dangerous territory.

I personally don't want to get to the point of some websites that remove all comments that disagree with the writers' opinions. We're not about that. We just don't want our readers to feel like they can't express their opinion for fear of having their mothers insulted and their lives threatened (both of which have happened in Massively comments).

If you feel that your only option when speaking your mind is to say it with F-words and personal threats, you might want to re-evaluate your perspective. Maturity does not equal profanity.

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