I realized that I my last post had been deleted. I, of course, did not see anything amiss, since the rank of "minor diety" allows me to see deleted posts. I looked at my journal today while not logged in, and yep, it was deleted, so here it is for the rest of you:
Since the early days of video games, there have always been top scores, halls of fame, and so on.
Since the day AFTER top scores were added to video games, there have been those individuals who feel a need to profane them.
Back in the days of Pac-Man and the like, the top scores only recorded three initials, but even then, it was pretty much expected that at least one of them would be "ASS" or "SEX".
So, I'm making a new version of Honeycomb and some of my other flash games. One of the things I'm adding is a Hall of Fame/Top Scores list.
If Honeycomb were a game that you downloaded onto your PC and kept a private top scores list for only you, then I don't really care if you want to call yourself "penisbreath", but one think I *DON'T* want is to have my online top scores list to be viewed by some kid, who proceeds to ask his mother what an "assmonkey" is.
So, the dilemma is... how can I make a globally accessible top scores list and maintain family friendliness?
Solution #1: Heavily moderate the Top Scores list.
Solution #2: Create a script to filter out profanity.
Solution #3: Don't store names of the Top Scorers.
Solution #1 is just not acceptable. I do not want to baby-sit a top scores list, and I shouldn't have to.
Solution #2 has been proven not to work the places I've seen it implemented. Sure, I can filter out all of the "sh*t"s and "f*ck"s, but that just makes the profaners more creative("Fuc|<"), and I wind up having to moderate anyway.
So, I'm left with solution #3. The player does not get to type in his name. I will, however, have the IP stored with the record, and partially show the IP in the standard "XXX.XXX.15.23" format (for privacy reasons), plus in any case, when a score is submitted to the list, it will be shown highlighted anyway, so the player will know how well they did.
And this is the comment by JohnHattan, who likewise has a "minor diety" status, and also did not know that anything was amiss.
- Only allow upper and lowercase alphabetic characters in names. That'd still allow creative stuff (phuck), but it'd be much more limited.
- Allow "canned" quotes, ala your adventure title generator. Have a series of combo-boxes where users could put together a silly quote describing their l33t skillz, like " the of ".
In any case, be sure to store some kind of metadata along with the score so that the user can see all of his scores. If I came back the next day to see how my score's doing, I shouldn't have to remember which one it was.