OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


The reason why OngoingWorlds games have to be in English

Recently I noticed a game that was written in a language that wasn’t English. I had to close it, which is really unfortunate because I don’t like to discriminate at all, but sadly just can’t support other languages. If you’re interested, here’s an email conversation I sent to the owner of the closed game.

Hi ****** thanks for emailing me back. Unfortunately though the reason I closed your game was that it was in a language that wasn’t English.

It’s in our rules that all game content (description, posts, character bios) be in English – the reason why is that there’s a very small team behind this website – Essentially just me. I’m the one in charge of the site and I have to be responsible to make sure people aren’t using the site to do anything sinister like bully others, or to post horrible comments, promote racism, or promote terrorism, etc etc – But I can’t do that if games are written in non-English languages.

I’m sure you’re not doing either of these things of course, but unfortunately that’s how it has to be. Someone might start a new game with a language I don’t understand and start posting the most horrible of things, and I just wouldn’t know.

I know this sounds quite restrictive, and it’s something you probably don’t want to hear. But I’m really sorry. All games must be in English because I just can’t support other languages.
If you like, I can reactivate the site, and give you 2 weeks to copy and paste your content elsewhere. Would that be okay?
Really sorry about this dude. You are of course VERY welcome here, and welcome to create a new game but it has to be written in English.
I hope you understand
David “Onion” Ball, OngoingWorlds

Ensuring a safe and friendly environment

So yeah, it’s because I just don’t have the resources or ability to moderate games that aren’t in English to ensure they’re not posting horrible, hurtful, racist, stuff, or just using our site to plan terrorist attacks or anything really weird, even if that’s unlikely!

Maybe in the future if OngoingWorlds becomes crazy popular and I can start paying staff we could allow non-English languages, and make sure everyone is all roleplaying in a happy safe environment.

But for now, it’s English-only, sorry :-S

  • Perhaps you can find volunteers to help moderate in different languages. This would be important as you keep growing.

  • Micah Wedemeyer

    What about using something like Google Translate? It won’t be 100% perfect, but it should provide a clear enough picture if someone is using their game to promote racism or criminal activity.

    • True that’s possible. But what about if someone wants to raise an issue, perhaps report some abuse by another member? Maybe they don’t speak English so can’t communicate their problem to me.

      Josh’s idea is best I think. Having more staff to moderate whore familiar in the language. But that takes time to grow a team, and especially for me (most of the development is done by me) to code a backend system to allow moderators the control they need.

  • Jaxx

    Keep in mind in order to get multi-lingual moderators Dave will either have to get lucky recruiting trustworthy and qualified members or hire a service. Either way it will add to Dave’s work load and possible internet bill.

  • Baragon

    Some of my adventures will be based on old foreign movies. Are chapter titles in Italian okay?

    • Oh the odd word here and there will be absolutely fine. It’s only a problem if the entire post is incomprehensible

      • Jaxx

        What if someone wants a authentic Klingon game in Klingon language? That would be a trip LOL. 😉