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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Splitting the New Site by Age Thu 18th Aug 2011 10:10am


The recent poll has made me wonder whether to actually implement some kind of age-related *something* on the new version of the site, and here's the idea that I've come up with.

Anyone of any age could join the site freely, and they'd be encouraged to use their real information rather than lying; you'd only be able to input your date of birth at the join screen and you could never change it later, instead being banned if you were found out to have lied.

While everyone could join, the forum would effectively be split in two... or three. Hm, actually, I've had ideas recently about the forum too so I'll explain what I intend to do with it, since it'll be different.

Currently there are a whole load of different sections in the forum, and it feels like there are far too many...
So instead, I'd just divide the forum into two (or three) parts: one part for discussing all the games on the site, and one for talking about basically everything else.
You'd be able to mark posts with categories like 'Religion' or 'Temperaments' or 'Rant' or 'General', and you could apply filters to the list display thing to show or hide certain categories.

Forum threads would use posts of the same format as normal comments rather than special Forum Posts, and you could either reply to the first post or to one of the individual posters directly. I think it'd create a rather different and perhaps more involving experience.

Perhaps there would be one general discussion room for younglings, and another for the rest of us... Members over a certain age could access *both* rooms, maybe (or maybe not?), but younger people would be restricted to just the one aimed at them.
The Games section might be shared by everyone... unless people would prefer it to be otherwise?

Similarly, the site-wide polls might not show up for younglings (or maybe *some* wouldn't), though everyone would be able to create custom polls with their forum threads.

This way, everyone can enjoy the site and talk to people more on the same age level as themselves... and I'm not barring membership to anyone. Everyone would be able to play the same games, and I suppose comments on things like userpages and blog posts might be similarly open for everyone (unless I rethink that).
It'd mainly just be the forum that'd be affected by this.

Though the chatroom might similarly be split in two for the two different groups...

Does this sound reasonable?

I'm not sure what the dividing age could be though. It could be as young as 13 or as old as 16 or even 18.

Oh, and I can imagine everyone just ending up in the part meant for young people while the 'adult' part died, but to hopefully discourage that, I'd name it something like, uh... rather than having an "Adult" forum and "General" forum, I'd have "General" and "Youngling" sections... maybe. Yes.


42 Commentson 27 roots

Jakers`s Avatar
Rating Orb Jakers 18 Australia PhlegmaticMelancholic 39C 3F
6 years ago | (1)
While there is a large group of people saying that they're against this split, because 'age is no indicator of wisdom or intelligence', I'd have to disagree. GENERALLY speaking, a 12-year old will not be, mentally speaking, on even near the same level as an adult. I know that I'm still incapable of arguing properly with my parents, despite being able to out-debate almost everyone else that I know.

While there are topics on which a child may be able to behave as /near/ an equal to an adult, they are few and far between. It certainly irritates me when I see, on this very website, eleven-year-olds trying to argue with people ten years their senior, who are obviously their intellectual superiors and making outrageous or illogical claims and assertions.
waaaghpower`s Avatar
Rating Orb waaaghpower 15 United States 18C 103F
6 years ago | (1)
But where do you draw the line? Maybe mature eleven year olds might be hard to find, but how many are on this site? What about 13-14 year olds? I know for a fact that they can be just as clever and brilliant as most adults.
Jakers`s Avatar
Rating Orb Jakers 18 Australia PhlegmaticMelancholic 39C 3F
6 years ago | (1)
I'm not speaking in specifics; rather generalities. The purpose of the intended separation is to get rid of the 13-14 year olds that are /not/ as brilliant as most adults, and they're much easier to find than kids who are. One shouldn't cater to exceptions, but to the rule. And the rule is that most kids of that age are incapable of arguing on the same level as somewhere five-ten years their senior.
1 Reply
woolfguy`s Avatar
Rating Orb woolfguy 15 Ireland PhlegmaticSanguine 37C 2F
6 years ago | (1)
I have never liked the idea of someone being judged by their age. Is there a certain age when people suddenly start thinking maturely? Being the oldest in my family, as well as any of my cousins, the last few years I have often found myself without anyone my ow age to talk to. Every family gathering I went to few adults were willing to have a decent conversation with me. At best they would listen to whatever I said, at worse they would talk to me in a ridiculously high pitched voice and ask awkward questions about stuff I was far to old to care about. I am now sixteen and most adults are willing to take what I say seriously. In fact I often surprise people with my intelligent views on whats going on in the world.
Age doesn't mean kindness either. I have met many adults who were unreasonable, obnoxious, or just plain stupid. I have also had many decent conversations with nine and ten year olds. I think people do just generally feel more comfortable with certain subjects when discussing them with someone their own age. Some younger kids have asked me questions they wouldn't be comfortable asking adults. Questions about things like sex and drugs. When this happens I mostly try to be honest, tell them about some of my experiences, and advise them to simply do what they think is right when the time comes.
There were some earlier comments suggesting an age limit for subjects like sex. Well believe me by the age of fifteen there won't be much on the website your average teenager won't already have heard. In fact things like that could even be beneficial for younger members. It can be hard for teenagers to find honest information on sex with all but our best friends saying 'do it soon as you get the chance' while pretty much everything else tries to convince you to wait for marriage. Despite this an age limit for some things would be a good idea. Simply making the threads invisible to younger members would mean they wouldn't be tempted to raise their age to view the thread since they wouldn't be aware of its existence.
The idea of multiple chat rooms seems a good one. I wouldn't worry about immature members messing up chat rooms for things like religion and politics since unintelligent people, regardless of age, are never really interested in that stuff anyway.
This really isn't that big of a problem. tends to attract people looking for sophisticated talk and anyone else would probably get bored after a while and leave.
SunChilde`s Avatar
Rating Orb SunChilde 23 South Africa CholericPhlegmatic 66C 29F
6 years ago | (4)
Hello. I have been a fair member of this site for a while. I have not posted often . . . because for the most part, if I see someone expressing my sentiment I simply leave it be, or just like it.
I have an active disagreement with this sentiment, that very few people ( at least people over 23 . . . ) have expressed.

I am a person, who as a grade 8 student was thrown at his math class for being 'insubordinate' . . .
After this . .. thankfully, I was sent to the grade 10 math class and thrived.

I changed from an arts school to a science school. I understood nothing . . . survived, and scored the highest ad maths (read AP maths for Americans, or (from what I understand) University level maths for a 16 year old student in England) in my school, thus my district (10 000 000) people . . .

And was understood about as well as a quantum physicist at a homoeopathic ideologist tournament, or a evolutionary atheist at a bible camp.

I currently teach highschool. Look back . . . a few years ago I said I was a psychology major. Turns out, most high mark university majors can take a one year course (called a PGCE {post graduate certificate in Education}) to earn a teaching degree in something they learned well enough in. Thus, a math major can become a math teacher. A biology major can become a biology teacher, etc. I did enough courses that I am about to become a qualified math, science, and biology teacher. As a initially, psyche major.

(if you have any doubts about this, contact me further. I will send you to the various schools who I have been working with's websites/secretaries/administration)

I can personally attest, ideas of how age restricts your ideas are (obviously) vague ideas of how these things work, that make sense when one has to make a direct, and distinct cut-off with actions. As a law-making institute, I understand why the law has to place these kinds of restrictions.

However, as a site with many distinctly simple options for having real, genuine, multiple human choices involved with every ban, it is simple enough to have a committee like system that considers every person pulled up for 'kicking'. Thus people can exist here freely, until many people suggest they should "GTFO" (to use the vernacular) after which it is taken to a (real person) committee.

Stupid as this may sound, I have seen many administrative 'rules' and they have inevitably been more stupid than a single idiot making decisions. People are terrible at verbalizing rules, and attempts at such (at least at this point) fail more than dismally.

Sorry if this is an extra lengthy rant. I have been fighting with administrations for over a year since I came home from America, on everything from what I am allowed to take as a course, as to whether I am allowed to send a completely unruly student out of my class.
At this stage, I do not trust absolute administrative justice at all. Nor do I trust absolute democratic justice, it leads to pure anarchy. Anything other than these seems reasonable currently.

Please, this is written under (somewhat dire circumstances) duress. Please hold this in consideration, but feel more than welcome to comment positively or negatively, but in a constructive manner. No "OMFG PLEEYZ N00B YOU DON'S KNOW HOW TO BE WRITE TO ME ABEETS ANYHANGS! I WILL TELL YOU HOW i BE WITHS YOUR MOUMZ RIGHT NAO!"

Might sound odd, but this comes from a largely successful, well studied, if somewhat out of mind, adult individual (welcome to a billion messages how one cannot possibly imbibe mind-altering substances and consider oneself a human . . . to a person who studied neuropsychology for 4 years, from various 13 year olds who have yet to a) drop their balls, or, b) have their 20th period)
ChikinNuggit`s Avatar
Rating Orb ChikinNuggit 16 United States CholericSanguine 11C 22F
6 years ago | (3)
I've never liked the idea of age being such an important factor- a person doesn't instantly have large leaps of maturity at 13 and 18, like some sort of staircase- but I see the other side as well. Obviously there is a general correlation between a person's age and their maturity and intelligence. I've always defended those younger members, several of them being good friends, but on the other hand, we can't just have incredibly immature members.

I do understand the idea of having the option to filter certain posts to a certain age group, as there are obviously topics that those of a younger age (the under 18 age group included), regardless of maturity, don't need to see or participate in. The only problem I see with this is that it could be used to exclude younger members, rather than actually having valid reasons to hide these posts.

I think the idea of moderators should be used. First, to prevent people from abusing these filters as I mentioned above, but also, another idea - rather than those younger people being banished to a 'kiddie' forum, moderators would have the ability to 'accept' or 'reject' posts from younger members, and if these members prove that they are mature enough to participate in the forum, the moderators would be able permanently 'accept' them, rather than constantly having to mull through a long list of posts.
max1995`s Avatar
Rating Orb max1995 16 Portugal CholericSanguine 39C 0F
6 years ago | (3)
I think that the forum could be divided by rating orbs.Like that we can avoid trolls.
Imagine that I entered 1 year after the opening of the new site. I would come as a non-rated member. I would come to the new members forum that is designed for the trolls, poor rated members and the new members. I receive good ratings by the other members that would allow me to be somewhat socially accepted. After I gain some points ( or a good enough rating orb) I wouldn't be able to access the forum designed for "trolls" and other members that were poor rated or new, however, I would be able to enter another forum. A forum with better rated members and "troll-free". I make a good impression and I, again, i got promoted to a new forum with even better rated members ( This might be known as the ultimate forum that is exclusive for some chosen members---VIP style)

In negative cases, the member can be demoted by misbehaving and other mistakes, causing him to lower his rank.

It would be harsh for a member that was "bad" but had a change of heart so what could fix that problem is the removal of old ratings ( like ratings of 2 months). Thus, giving members opportunities.

max1995`s Avatar
Rating Orb max1995 16 Portugal CholericSanguine 39C 0F
6 years ago | (2)
(Concluding) I disagree with splitting the forum by age but splitting the forum by the ratings and ranks of the members would be a reasonable idea ( as explained in the original comment).
rosate`s Avatar
Rating Orb rosate 13 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 13C 5F
6 years ago | (2)
This would be an even worse segregation. Having people go to a certain forum depending upon what people think about them is completely unfair. Also, the 'trolls' could be trollish and spam people with bad rating. It would be very hard/impossible to get to work, and it's very exploitable.
Avarion`s Avatar
Rating Orb Avarion 23 United Kingdom PhlegmaticSanguine 87C 9F
6 years ago | (2)
I generally don’t agree with the idea of splitting things up by age...

Having been around the internet for as long as I have, I’m more than willing to accept that unfortunately there are immature people all over the place (This applies to adults as well as kids, but I find it to be more apparent with kids). As someone who works at a school and helps out at a youth group however, I’m also very aware that there are plenty of kids out there that are mature, are capable of holding mature, thoughtful conversations and are willing to learn more from those around them.

I think by splitting things by age you’d be doing a disservice to the younger ones that get on well with the adults, particularly since there are quiet a few of the younger ones that have made friends with some of the older members of your fanbase.

The nature of the site itself might also turn younger people away if you try and divide them from the older ones. For me, as well as others I’d imagine, one of the main draws for me to keep coming here is the intelligent discussion and the idea of a place where that kind of thinking is the general focus. If you divide the younger users from the older ones, the younger ones may find it hard to have stimulating conversations, particularly if a lot of the troublesome ones are also online. Preventing them from conversing with the older users may deter them from the site needlessly when they could have a lot to contribute.

There are a lot of young people on this site with a lot to give to the community that would feel understandably restricted by an age division. In my own opinion, I think you should rethink this idea – it doesn’t benefit the younger users who wish to come here and discuss things intelligently and want to increase their knowledge, one of the things that was and hopefully still is a major part of this site.

Also, bear in mind that a large part of your fanbase are quite young; you might end up separating the older users more than the younger ones.
vincenacen`s Avatar
Rating Orb vincenacen 17 South Korea PhlegmaticSanguine 43C 86F
6 years ago | (3)
I personally think that this might become problematic since lying about one's age is quite prevalent in the online society, and because of that, the segregation might not achieve its intended purpose. Younger people, especially at the pre-teen age, tend to want to associate with older people. If we were to prevent younger people from joining the "older" area of the forums, they would find a way in there anyway. It's sort of like Cartman's "You can't come" tactic from South Park, where he generates interest in a theme park he owns by denying all admission requests. Likewise, the younger people will think there is something desirable to be found in the "older" forums, and for the newer members of the site, they might thing that it might contain NSFW content, which will almost certainly not be the case.

From my experience, and from having two younger brothers, people at that age tend to dislike being segregated from older teenagers even if it's for their benefit and enjoyment, because as many of us here probably know, they won't believe any of our justifications for setting them apart without observing the differences for themselves, and by that time, they will have already gained access to the "older" section, by which time they are free to comment on the younger section anyway, but are still free to roam the "older" forums as well.
Brilliand`s Avatar
Rating Orb Brilliand 23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 27C 6F
6 years ago | (9)
Rather than making the youngster forum a separate subforum, I suggest including age limits in the tag system. Whoever creates the thread would have the ability to put a minimum age on that thread - anyone younger than that age would be unable to see the thread. This would allow users to post topics on i.e. love and sex without revealing them to minors. This does open up the loophole that very old members could hide their posts from the moderation - this could be fixed by making Pseudolonewolf's age (or something slightly lower such as 20) the maximum setting for the age bar, or by making moderators exempt from the age limits. The idea of allowing people to filter posts by poster date would also be good.

I wouldn't expect most people to use the age-limit setting, given the strong sentiment against age limits in the poll, but it would certainly be appropriate for topics on love & sex, for which the "reasonably mature" limit (13, going by the other comments) would not be quite right.

The tag system could possibly replace separate subforums entirely, but if that happens, the filter-by-tag controls should be prominent (maybe even shown where the subforums are now, in a similar format), as otherwise many people would simply treat the forum as an undifferentiated mass. Granted, I'm not entirely sure that an undifferentiated mass would be bad.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (2)
Hmm, that's not a bad idea, actually. I imagine something sort of like the rating for films and stuff in the UK, so threads could be marked as 'U' (for everyone), '12' (for people aged 12 and up), '15' or '18'... and each would just be shown as a little icon thing next to the thread name or something.
Perhaps I could also use a similar thing to mark poll and blog posts, and could even split the chatroom by those ratings (so there'd be four rooms), and you'd be able to set your 'Default Room' thing or something so not everyone would end up entering in the same room, hmm...

Yet it seems like it'd be rarely used, and the *overall atmosphere* of the site might not change in the sort of way that I want it to change... So I don't know. I'll have to plan this better.
ScintillaTinge`s Avatar
Rating Orb ScintillaTinge 18 United States 59C 0F
6 years ago | (3)
I don't like the idea of segregating the chat by age; there are members years older than me and members years younger than me whom I enjoy talking to. I don't want to have to go 'visit' younger members I like in some sort of kids' chat. I'd rather propose having multiple chatrooms— the way we do now except described neutrally, none of this 'Cybersex'!— and everyone is free to enter any chatroom they like. However, each person can only be in one room at a time. This way, it's easier to have manageably-sized conversations if the population gets more active, and if some younger members are being annoying, the rest of us can head to a different room and avoid them.
Abbx901`s Avatar
Rating Orb Abbx901 15 Pakistan SanguineCholeric 149C 20F
6 years ago | (3)
I think this may have its fair share of cons.
If it were implemented, there might be a slight irritation from people who might dislike this generalization, and how children are incapable of discussing topics like 'Religion' or something. Most young'uns would probably either never comment on these things, or joke around, or maybe even say simple statements of two lines each. It would be an opportunity for them to learn about different things and they might like this freedom that the site offers. I can imagine Pseudolonewolf being irritated by prolonged, puerile ranting by children who think they're hotshots, but as a matter of fact, I don't think they're like that at all, but would rather prefer for them to share whatever limited knowledge they have.It might also reduce the number of times people visit the site.
On the other hand, this idea will immediately direct all the stupid ranting to the Games section which will have more young'uns visiting them, while the General section may degenerate to something too intellectual and boring, although it might achieve the purpose it was designated for.
And besides, who doesn't love these cute, adorable little children, with all their sincerity and innocence?
Abbx901`s Avatar
Rating Orb Abbx901 15 Pakistan SanguineCholeric 149C 20F
6 years ago | (3)
Sorry, for the double post, you people. It was unintentional and accidental.
I think I'll need to do something about this because it's happened once before as well.
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