The Purpose of the + in Thread Titles

MGibster

Legend
What's the purpose of a + in the thread title? I mean, I kind of get it, if I want to discuss the best way to handle social encounters in D&D I might put a little + sign so we can avoid having people telling me to play Vampire, somthing Powered by the Apocalypse, or some other hippie game. But there are some threads that are inherently controversial or even political. We currently have a thread titled PETITION: Stop Hasbro's hurtful content—no more Black orcs, Asian yellow orcs, or Native American red orcs—amend GAZ10 (+positive, A-game thread). I'd like a little clarification on the use of the + title. Because in this case, it appears as though someone is using the thread as a pulpit to bash WotC and no dissenting opinions are welcome because of the little +.

As always, moderating is an often underappreciated and thankless undertaking. As a guest here, I appreciate being allowed to play in your backyard and appreciate your efforts.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
What's the purpose of a + in the thread title?

A (+) thread is a way to allow some types of discussion to continue without having to justify its existence or be hijacked.

I am sure you've seen some topic always relitigate the same territory, or otherwise turn into arguments that the thread should even exist. For example, someone says, "Hey, I want to try X in my game," but the discussion can't delve into how to do X in a game, because there's a swarm of folks who want to argue that X is badwrongfun that nobody should ever do in a game. And this happens every time that X comes up.

It gets old.

So, a "+ thread" is one in which, for example we assume X is going to happen in a game. Everyone in the discussion is supposed to be on board with that basic premise, and if you aren't, then the discussion isn't for you.

No arguing that the basic premise of the thread is wrongheaded, badwrongfun, or just not your thing. Arguing against the basic premise of the thread is considered threadcrapping, and grounds for being removed from the discussion.
 

MGibster

Legend
I am sure you've seen some topic always relitigate the same territory, or otherwise turn into arguments that the thread should even exist. For example, someone says, "Hey, I want to try X in my game," but the discussion can't delve into how to do X in a game, because there's a swarm of folks who want to argue that X is badwrongfun that nobody should ever do in a game. And this happens every time that X comes up.
And this makes perfect sense to me. If I'm asking how to best adapt Savage Worlds to run my pulp 1950s rockabilly mystery adventures, I don't need someone telling me to use GURPS instead. But I woud like a little guideance on how to use the + symbol for meta discussions about gaming but aren't actually about playing. Especially with subjects that are known to be controversial.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
To me, a (+) means that we all agree with the premise of the thread and are working towards solutions to the problem(s) associated with the premise. We might grant that there are those that disagree with the premise of the thread, but we don't want to spend the time arguing over the premise or whether there's actually any problem(s) at all.

For an example, I posted a thread a while back asking for help modifying Curse of Strahd, because I wanted to run it for some friends, but knew they would object to some of the content therein. I listed the things I wanted to change and asked for advice. The thread got bogged down in repeatedly explaining WHY I wanted to change those things, that I was wrong to change things, that I/my players were being too sensitive, etc. The thread soon got locked. I restarted the thread with a (+) in the title, and the resulting thread was much less lively but much more productive as a result.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
There's a big difference between a) using the '+' tag to request useful contributions to the discussion and-or answers to the question posed (good) and b) using the tag almost to suppress the raising of different viewpoints on controversial topics (bad).

Echo chambers are Bad Things, no matter what is being echoed.
 

Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
In the case of that thread, it's not breaking the forum rules, right?

The + thread protects the petition's right to exist, but it does not require that positive contributions to the premise must be 100% comfortable to the OP point-of-view, right?

If a + thread is so uncomfortable to someone, I guess realistically there are two options:
1. Offer well-intentioned (and articulated as such) constructive criticism in line with the premise
2. Ignore or decenter ourselves from engaging with it
 
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aco175

Legend
There have been several + threads that I just decided that are not for me engaging. It's like that cartoon where the guy is not going to bed and typing that someone is wrong on the internet. A few of the + threads I found I do not really agree with, but try to give some help on the actual question asked.

I think some of the problem is the writing and thinking that everyone else is at the point of knowing or caring where you are when you make the thread. Some of the context jumps to the knowing what is wanted without the background to understand in the first place. There is also some problems with abbreviating things and thinking everyone knows what you mean. A new book may be coming out in a month and the thread says "Lets talk about ABCD."
 

Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
I think some of the problem is the writing and thinking that everyone else is at the point of knowing or caring where you are when you make the thread. Some of the context jumps to the knowing what is wanted without the background to understand in the first place. There is also some problems with abbreviating things and thinking everyone knows what you mean. A new book may be coming out in a month and the thread says "Lets talk about ABCD."
Ya, that's a tough problem. The following assumes (depending on the reader) that a solution is desirable:

For the poster: I think it's incumbent on the poster to be as clear as they can, within reason (including whatever real-life stuff they have going on) (or refrain from posting until a more suitable time to articulate their thoughts).

For the reader: If the above fails, assuming one still wants to engage, it's probably ideal for the reader to ask clarifying questions?
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I get the initial need for + threads but im seeing annoying trends.
  • "X is stupid garbage butt gross and this is a + thread so you cant say it isnt".
  • "I want to talk about W,X,Y, and Z, but only in A,B,C, and D ways..."
So, if I see any of the above I just unwatch.
 

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