Civility, for the purpose of this guide, is defined as "Playing to mercilessly defeat your opponents, while still treating them with respect." The intent is to establish guidelines for civility among ALL Urban Dead enthusiasts.
Urban Dead pits players from around the world against each other in a contest to control territory whilst repeatedly killing each other. Faceless zombie hordes maul and feast on the living, trenchcoaters delight in setting the undead on fire, and, behind the barricades, survivors savagely attack other survivors in a never-ending system of bounties and blood-feuds.
By its very nature, Urban Dead breeds contempt. There is no end-game, just a long and drawn out repetition of virtual violence. Because of this, there is a natural urge for some players to disparage their opponents before temporarily defeating them. Also, the setting is a zombie apocalypse, and so for roleplaying purposes, a certain amount of verbal abuse is justified.
To clear up the difference between acceptable, role-playing verbal taunts, and unacceptable, uncivilized language, let's have a look at some examples.
Survivor on Zombie
|Haha! You lose AGAIN! You stupid filthy zed, I hate your guts bitch.||DIE ZED DIE! DIE DIE! You're just one more notch on my fire-axe. That makes 87 notches.||I command you, in the name of Zombie Jesus, RETURN TO THE GRAVE!|
In this first unacceptable example the player has gone way over the edge. Let's take a look:
- "Haha! You Lose AGAIN!" - The tone here is mocking and vengeful. Also, why frame it in the context of winning and losing if your in-game character would see it as life and death? Clearly that's just rubbing it in.
- "You stupid filthy zed" - This is needlessly abusive. Remember that while you may not like zombies, there is a human player at the other end of your comments.
- "I hate your guts bitch. - This crosses the line of role-playing mockery to saying "I hate you, personally". Never, ever get so confused with your virtual hatred of virtual zombies that you feel the need to hate an actual person that you've never even met. Also, the profanity is childish.
In this Somewhat Acceptable example the player is keeping the taunts related to the game, but there are still some problems.
- "DIE ZED DIE! DIE DIE! - This gets old really quickly. Maybe for your first week in Malton you're excited to be playing the game and you get all pumped up before killing a zombie. But after a while this kind of over-the-top bravado is lame.
- "87 notches" - This kind of score keeping is tired and obnoxious. The way the game is designed, zombies must die quite a bit more than survivors in order to be effective. They don't have barricades to hide behind (generally), and by the time they get to survivors they are often APed out. You don't see zombies keeping track of how many barricades they've smashed, do you? How many survivors wear a necklace of all the empty needles it took to bring them back to life? or the number of FAKs they've had to use on themselves? Zombie death is just one part of the game. There's no reason to keep a running tally and there's really no reason to point it out to a zombie.
And now look at the civil example - perfect!
It's got a sense of humour, doesn't break role-playing, there are no personal insults or childish oneupmanship, and yet it still lets the zombie know they're getting a headshot.
Survivor on PKer
|Listen. LEAVE MY GROUP ALONE! Stop PKing! Go play runeskape you phucking noob!!||This has been a long time coming you dirty rat. Suck on my shotgun!||Well, well, well. If it isn't my old friend SillyLillyPilly. You can run but you can't hide silly. This is for Giles!|
- Unacceptable example - Here the player has crossed the line by making a personal attack, name-calling "noob" and using a profanity.
- Acceptable - This is okay. In-theory a survivor character would be quite upset if someone killed their friend (or them) and it's not a terrible role-playing stretch to think of expressing some anger. However, it does cross the line by making a personal insult "you rat." Also the phallic shotgun reference is juvenile.
- Civil - Now that's what I'm talking about. It's okay to to brag a little and let them know the name of the person you are avenging. This adds character and history to the game. The great thing about this taunt is that it doesn't make any personal attacks or demean another human player just for taking in-game actions that you don't agree with.
- SPECIAL NOTE - When pro-survivors retaliate against PKings they tend to resort to name-calling and abusive language more than in any other situation. Be especially mindful of the impulse to be nasty in these situations and rise above it!
PKer on Survivor
|Die you phucking cop. Fuk the police!||Mmmm... MissPerry, you are looking quite juicy today. *You shiver. I slide my knife slowly into your neck and then sever your arteries*||When you get to hell, tell Satan I want my 5 dollars back|
- Unacceptable - This is an actual quote from someone who PKed a member of my group. It goes way overboard because it makes a personal attack, uses vulgar language, and makes a blanket statement at the end that would probably be very offensive to real-world cops or those players who have police officers in their family. Even if your character hates the police for role-playing purposes, there are better, more civil ways to impart this through in-game dialog. Even if you feel this way in real life, you don't have to bring that kind of abusiveness into an online game.
- Somewhat Acceptable - This one is a stretch. It's understandable that a Player Killing character would come across as creepy, but watch it with gross or weird comments like "you are looking quite juicy". It's over the top, and it makes you look like a bum. Finally, the use of asterisks to denote in-game narrative is fine, but using it to describe how someone else feels or to graphically describe violence is just plain obnoxious.
- Civil - FLAWLESS VICTORY! Is there any reason why PKers can't deliver a punchy line that simultaneously gives another human being a laugh AND motivates them for revenge? No. Also, there's nothing personally offensive here. No disturbing sexual innuendo or mindlessly offensive taunting.
Zambah on Harman
|Ran bang abzang!||Grabagz mah manbagz, bananabra!n harmanz!!||rrrRRRAAAA!!! Graaaaagh!! Mrahahah! BRA!NZ!|
- In-game limitations - There's really not a whole lot zambahz can say in-game to harmanz. Few survivors can interpret kiZombie. Zambahz can say "Grabagz mah manbagz, bananabra!n harmanz"!! and then point at themselves, which in theory is offensive, however, most people find that to be pretty downright funny. Also it's been done so much that it's lost a bit of it's offensiveness. However, if a human were to realize that "Ran bang abzang!" means "Go f*** yourself!", it would be vulgar to the point of unacceptable.
- Forum Trash-Talking - One way for zambahz to taunt harmanz is to register on their group forums and then fire away. It is then possible for a zambah to be as civil or idiotic as survivors, having discarded the limitations of their zombie tongues. On our group's forums we have a thread set aside for our zombie brethren to come in and trash-talk us. This has led to many lively and humorous discussions between living and dead. I would encourage anyone with a group to consider reserving such an area for the enemy.
Why be Civil?
A valid question with a valid answer. In short, through civil discourse and competition, all our lives are enriched. Don't believe me? Consider the following:
The game needs opposing forces. Most notably, survivors need zombies. Zombies are actually just normal people who are playing the character of a zombie in Urban Dead. They don't have the ability to talk back to annoying, foul-mouthed survivors in-game, but they do have the ability to read what those foul-mouthed survivors say and wonder why they are playing a game in which they are totally under-appreciated and verbally abused. So every once in a while try logging onto the forum of the zombie group that just wrecked your suburb and congratulating them for a job well done instead of spray painting "Zedz r gay" all over the town. You'll be surprised by how lively those discussions can be and how much better it makes you feel about the recent devastation.
We're All People Here
Do you find yourself verbally abusing people online? Stop and ask yourself why. An easy answer is "Cuz I like to" or "They deserve it". But stop and examine that as well. It may be that the anonymity of the online environment makes it easier to be a jerk. However, everyone who plays Urban Dead is another person, just like you, who is simply entertaining a past-time. Just because it's easy to be a jerk doesn't mean it is right. Instead, try being civil. You'll find your interactions with others to be much more pleasant in general, even if they kill you, once you've treated them with a modicum of respect under the same circumstances.
Rule of Thumb
Here is a simple rule of thumb to keep you on the track of civility.
I should act as though I know this player in real life
Ask yourself this: What if the person you are about to berate or text-rape turned out to be a friend or a coworker? a family member? How would you feel about your own actions if you insulted and belittled another player and they turned out to be someone you care about? If the answer is "embarrassed", or "ashamed" then think about rephrasing what it is you are about to say.
By keeping this simple rule of thumb in mind, you can avoid behaving in a manner that is beneath you. Civilized ftw!
Now there is one type of player who doesn't enjoy the competition of Urban Dead. They have chosen to break the only rule that everyone else in the game agrees not to break. Because there are no real consequences to zergers, (has anyone ever been banned?) our only recourse is collective social sanction.
In the same way that gross behaviors like racism and pedophilia must be scorned and labeled unacceptable in the real-world, zerging must be griefed and openly mocked in Urban Dead. In this way, we will draw the clear line between the civilized competition enjoyed by 99% of the Urban Dead community, and the gutless, cowardly "tactics" of the 1% who chose to flaunt our conventions.
Having said this, it may be worth it to offer a zerger forgiveness, and warmly invite them to abandon their alts and play by the same rules as everyone else. This would be civil and exceedingly forgiving, regardless of its effectiveness in dealing with zergers. If anyone has ever talked a zerger into abandoning their dark, spineless craft, please share your success stories below:
To include the civility template on your user and/or group page, add the following line to it:
|This user or group believes that while zambahz and humans must kill each other, they can still be civil about it.|
Here's some other templates, more or less related.
|PKers are people too!|
|This user or group acknowledges the fact that PKers play a legitimate role in a zombie apocalypse and that they are people too.|
|Fair Tactics Player|
|This user has signed the Coalition for Fair Tactics Player Pledge.|