meaning and definition

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    What is a ban?

    A ban is an action taken by the administrators or moderators of a roleplaying game, MUD, MUSH, or play-by-post to suspend a player’s account. This prevents the player from participating further in the game or on the platform.

    Bans can be temporary, lasting for a set period, or permanent, effectively removing the player’s access indefinitely.

    The reasons for issuing a ban can vary but typically include violations of the game or community’s rules, such as harassment, cheating, or spamming.

    The severity and duration of the ban often correspond to the nature of the violation and the player’s history of behavior.

    Ban FAQs

    How does a ban differ from a mute or a kick?

    A ban prevents a player from accessing the game or platform entirely, while a mute restricts a player’s ability to communicate with others but allows them to continue playing.

    A kick removes a player from a game session or chat room temporarily but does not prevent them from rejoining later.

    Can a ban be appealed?

    Yes, most games and platforms have a process for appealing bans. The player can usually submit a request for review, explaining why they believe the ban was unjust or providing evidence of their innocence. The final decision rests with the game’s administrators or moderators.

    What is a shadow ban?

    A shadow ban is a type of ban where the player is not explicitly informed of their ban. Instead, their activities, such as posts or messages, are invisible to other users. Shadow bans are often used to combat spam or malicious behavior without alerting the offending user.

    Are bans effective in maintaining community standards?

    Bans can be effective in maintaining community standards by removing problematic players and deterring others from breaking the rules. However, their effectiveness depends on consistent and fair enforcement by the game’s administrators or moderators.

    How can players avoid getting banned?

    Players can avoid getting banned by familiarizing themselves with and adhering to the game or platform’s rules and guidelines. Respectful and positive interaction with other players and the community can also help prevent conflicts that could lead to a ban.

    What steps should I take if I’ve been banned from a game?

    If you’ve been banned, first review the game’s rules and the reason for the ban (if given). Then, follow the game’s appeal process, which usually involves contacting the support team or moderators to discuss the situation and provide your perspective.

    If there is no obvious process (often the case for smaller indie games), you might try contacting the game’s administrator via email.

    Myths about bans

    A common misconception about bans in text-based RPGs (and multiplayer games more broadly) is that bans are final and non-negotiable. Many believe that once banned, there is no recourse.

    However, most platforms offer an appeal process allowing players to contest a ban, providing an opportunity for review and possible reinstatement, depending on the circumstances.

    Another common misconception is that bans are issued at whim or without good cause. In truth, bans are typically the result of clear violations of a game’s rules and guidelines and are only issued after ample evidence has been compiled by game staff.

    Understanding and adhering to the game’s rules can help prevent unintended infractions that lead to bans.

    Ban examples

    • A player repeatedly uses offensive language in a MUD’s public channel despite warnings and is permanently banned.
    • In a play-by-post forum, a user posts spam links in multiple threads and receives a temporary ban for 30 days.
    • A player in an MMORPG is caught exploiting a bug to gain unfair advantages and is banned for a week.

    Related terms

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."