The Polygon Community Handbook. Start here, new person!

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WELCOME TO THE POLYGON ONLINE COMMUNITY

Hey there, welcome to the Polygon community here at our temporary home on The Verge. If you'd rather get advice on getting the most out of The Verge then why not check this post by DrTechno.

The purpose of this post is to provide you with a primer on the following:

  • What exactly to expect here within the Polygon community on The Verge
  • How to get the best out of Polygon.
  • How you can be a productive member of the Polynauts community.
  • How to deal with problems in the community.

Once Polygon launches as its own entity later in the year we’ll look to add more community focused features to what we’ve already established below, but for now we’re focussed on getting to know each other, joining in conversation and playing games - core elements of any gaming community you’d agree, right?

WHAT EXACTLY IS POLYGON?

Polygon is the newest member of the Vox Media family, joining SB Nation (sports) and The Verge (technology, arts, culture and science) as part of a drive to revolutionise how you absorb your topic specific news - in this instance videogames. If you consider Voltron to be the ultimate super-robot, then Polygon could be considered to be the ultimate super-team in the field of games journalism.

Editor-in-Chief Christopher Grant describes Polygon as

"[a] word derived from the Greek "poly" for many and "gonia" for angles; so polygon means "many angles," a suitable goal for any editorial imprint.

Those angles he refers to are the voices which make up the team at Polygon, the highest-profile team assembled thus far in videogame journalism from outlets such as Joystiq, Kotaku, The Escapist, IGN, 1UP, Game Informer, MTV, The Daily, Kotaku AU, and Videogamer.com.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what will make Polygon different from what you’re used to, then why not check out Press Reset: The Story of Polygon - a documentary which chronicles the development of the site from inception to launch, with no stone left unturned.

Remember to check the Press Reset hub on Polygon every Wednesday for a new episode leading up to the launch of the Polygon.com later this year.

WHAT DOES POLYGON WRITE OR TALK ABOUT?

Polygon cover everything from features, reviews, previews, interviews and breaking gaming news. They've got a dearth of video content which is available over on YouTube which includes developer interviews, expo tours and Polygon livecasts.

On the audio side of things you've got The Besties starring the McElroy brothers Justin and Griffin, Russ Frushtick and Chris Plante. Their job? To find out what is the best game of the year, but to do that they need to go through 52 weeks of console, PC and mobile/handheld gaming until there is only one winner remaining. Subscribe to that here on iTunes or just check out the Besties hub for direct download links.

WHAT'S A POLYNAUT?

A member of the Polygon community is referred to as a Polynaut. This was decided back in June after much discussion as formerly a majority of current community folk resided on Kotaku, and were known as Kotakuites (see the connection here?).

At one stage we were seriously considering using terrible alternate names like Polygonians - the best decision we made. So, if you’re reading this, you’re a Polynaut - and that’s cool because we have a ton of cool stuff in the community for you to enjoy.

To get you up to speed on usability and technical issues I'm going to direct you to BlackKnightRebels advanced tips for using The Verge.

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WHAT IS POLYNAUTS CENTRAL?

Polynauts Central is a daily topic that runs Monday to Sunday with six ‘episodes’ a week with Saturday and Sunday being a combined effort. Your regular hosts for this thread are myself Shaun McIlroy, PaddyStardust and joining us as a part-time contributor twice a week - Salias!

In this thread you’re encouraged to talk about anything you want, no matter how exciting, boring or just plain weird. To borrow a popular phrase, this is a thread to ‘talk amongst yourselves’.

Every day at Polynauts Central we round up the best of Polygon news that you might have missed, splice in some of the most recent and interesting community topics then multiply that by the power of ‘90 Seconds on The Verge’ before adding a dash of ‘Comment of the Day’. The result might sound like a mixed bag, but that’s the power of Polynauts Central - a community which grows day by day with content you'd never expect from gamers.

Just a reminder though folks. Moderators do police this thread, as they do with all threads so you please make sure you keep all hands within the vehicle at all times - and stick to ye olde Community Guidelines.

WHAT ARE THE COMMUNITY GUIDELINES?

I’m glad you asked! As we’re currently living on The Verge (until Polygon.com launches later this year) we’re bound by their rules, their guidelines, and their expectations of good behaviour. Polygon might well adopt those same rules wholesale, they might make their own but until that day comes I’m going to take those rules and redigest them here in a more direct manner so we all know what's what, and what's not.

There are several ways to get involved with both the Polygon and The Verge communities:

  • Comment on an existing article or forum post
  • Create a new fanpost on the forums to begin a discussion.

The Verge and Polygon have a crack team of moderators and community building types who watch out for great content to promote on the site - as well as well as watch for inappropriate content. Therefore all the following rules apply to spam, abusive behavior, and basic human decency apply doubly as do forum posts.

To summarise - just play nice.

WHAT IF I HAVE 99 PROBLEMS WITH SOMEONE?

Simple, flag them. There’s nothing more irksome when someone intentionally goes out of their way to make your community experience a bad one, and 9/10 times if you reply it’ll escalate out of control. Nobody wants that and it’ll just add more unnecessary drama to the cooler parts of the conversation, yeah?

Flagging those comments as either spam, trolling or inappropriate - depending on the content - will allow a moderator to dive in and deal with it appropriately. Meanwhile you get that warm, fuzzy feeling that you’ve helped keep the Polygon community forums a fun place to socialise. Go, you!

If someone really continues to lower the overall enjoyment of Polygons’ content, and participation in the community by ignoring the rules/guidelines then email moderators(at)theverge.com. That way it’s pushed to the top of the queue, and if necessary, dealt with. Before it gets to that, lets just stay cool and have fun though!

Remember that moderator stuff isn’t talked about publicly on the forums (or even over IM/email) so if you have any questions email the team and they'll happily address any concerns you have in private.

Just keep the best solution in mind folks. Flag and/or email if you see something objectionable and the mod squad will do the rest.

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HOW DO WE PLAY ONLINE TOGETHER FELLOW POLYNAUTS?

That one's easy. Just ask them to play with you. We’ve set up a number of ways to accommodate this request for an exchange of information. The current list of Polynauts and relevant platforms is available here, and will be updated throughout the week with any Gamertags added in the threads below. Just be sure to take a 15 minute break every hour to relax those eyes, okay?

  • We’ve got a Steam Community Group called PolygonForums - if you’re big up into PC/Mac gaming this is where you need to be. Of course there is also Origin, if you're so inclined. If you’re looking somewhere to throw your Steam/Origin ID’s then throw them here.
  • For all things Xbox LIVE related such as Gamertag exchange, Video Kinect chats or if you're looking for those perfect gaming cohorts for your next multiplayer session - drop your tag in here, we’ll add it to the list.
  • The same goes for PlayStation Network, Nintendo 3DS, and soon the WiiU.
  • If you’re a massive Halo fan, and you’re excited for the return of Master Chief then you’ll want to have a look at Halogon - a series of multiplayer threads maintained by your fellow Polynaut mintycrys.
  • Guild Wars 2 players! The Polyknights need you! Join them in their quest to be the most dominant force in all of Tyria. Speak to Lynith, Salias, Kapzer, Xylent or Phil Kollar if you want to enlist as a soldier in the war effort.
  • A war has been brewing. TC Sottek of The Verge declared WAR on the Polygon community in the world of Minecraft, or as they call it - Vergecraft. A call to arms was immediately put out and the community responded in force. But we still need more in our faction to turn the tide!
  • If you’re looking to add a specific game to this thread as a regular community thing then drop us an email to polynauts(at)gmail.com. Opening hours are 24/7 so drop by anytime.

WHAT OTHER COOL STUFF HAPPENS HERE ON THE FORUMS?

Lots of things! Sometimes we have giveaways, header art contests, other times we do podcasts and sometimes we just like a good old laugh. Occasionally DocSeuss will write a paper on something that he needs to talk about, something we'd like to see more of here on the community forums so if you've something to talk about - shout it out!

You might see instances of forum events known as Doublewings, Prinnying or Wonderbooking. You might want to know what those entail so here we go:

  • Doublewings: When someone posts two identical posts at the same time. Not a single word in the sentence missing. Nobody knows why this happens.
  • Prinnying: When a sentence stops abruptly, followed by a new paragraph which is exactly the same as the above sentence along with the rest of the post. Again, it's an unknown quantity.
  • Wonderbooking: Best summed up as a complete and utter disappointment for all gamers. Usually illustrated with this modified GIF of The Last of Us from E3, or any GIF with similar backstabbing action. Alternatively worded by Lulzjager as an expression of meleeing or assassinating an opponent in an odd and laughable manner.
  • PaddyStardust has a cave full of iPhones that he's holding for the likes of ProjectNatalie. Ask him where your iPhone is.

You might also notice Chaosbirdomaid rambling about the forums. Take anything they say with a hefty pinch of salt, they're our resident 'character' who'll do their best to both welcome you, and confuse you at the same time. They're also fond of 'traps', whatever that means.

And finally. away from the forums some Polynauts enjoy continuing their discussions on Steam and IRC. Whilst they're not officially sanctioned areas of discussion they're there regardless for your participation if you're interested.

LAST QUESTION, BUT HOW DO I STAY UP-TO-DATE?

There's a myriad of ways you can stay connected with Polygon throughout your social media world and here's a handy list of ways to do so.

If you want to subscribe to Polygon via RSS to get full updates on their content then here's the direct link.

The Polygon Twitter feed is great for getting the latest gaming news the moment it goes live. If you're looking to hear about community forum updates then follow the Polygon Polynauts Twitter feed. Both are updated throughout the day so feel free to tweet both for conversation.

You're probably on Facebook on another tab right now, yeah? Check out the Polygon page and like it, share it with your friends and spread the word to all. Maybe they'll like you back.

And finally, please feel welcome to sign up to the Polygon community forums and join in the discussion. We're a growing community and we enjoy welcoming those who come from fields afar. The more people, the greater the variety of opinions.

If you've any questions about Polygon related output then you can email those folks directly, for community stuff you know how to get a hold of us at the polynauts(at)gmail.com or Twitter accounts.

Welcome to the community fellow Polynaut, we look forward to talking to you here on Polygon.