The Comments Section: Tips for A Positive Experience in Games Journalism
In the gaming industry, and even on the Internet in general, it's a well-known fact that opinionated people are everywhere. No matter what community you partake in, you'll run into someone who doesn't agree with you.
GameSkinny is growing, and some may feel that the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with a small community will be quashed by the dreaded, yet inevitable, variety of replies in the comments section. Here are some tips and tricks for JTP members, new contributors, and current writers, that will hopefully help preserve the warm fuzzies.
Remember, comments are a good thing.
While comments calling you terrible names or just plain hateful statements are grounds for spam and should be reported, comments that promote discussion--regardless of whether or not you agree with it--are valuable input from the gaming community. Commenters who offer their input in a civil way should be respected.
Comments mean that people are reading, and thinking about, the things you say--even if it's in a rage-induced ramble. Your audience (the civil portion of it) is important!
You don't have to respond.
If you aren't comfortable having a discussion with someone, or just don't want to argue anymore, you always have the option of not responding. GameSkinny does not force authors to interact with readers any more than they want to. This includes JTP members. Your duty as an intern does not include forcing yourself into awful situations. You may leave the comments section completely blank if you want.
This includes choosing not to respond someone who is completely civil towards you, even if they disagree.
Don't read the comments section.
Some authors will never even read the comments section of some articles. While I wouldn't recommend never reading them, some swear by how stress-free it makes their experience as a writer--especially on articles that they know are unpopular by opinion or highly controversial.
If you're writing an article that you know you won't read the comments section of, I would strongly encourage you to look at your content and decide if perhaps some revision or editorial feedback could help soften any strong opinions or aggressive language. Often, a fresh pair of eyes can be an excellent way to introduce a new perspective.
Comments that break our TOS should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a comment is name-calling or hate speech, we mark it as spam so that it disappears from the comments section. If you run into a comment that you think could be breaking our TOS, please send an email to email@example.com, and we'll remove it as soon as possible.