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  1. I'm announcing that after today I will be taking a hiatus from 343Industries.org. This is not a permanent leave of course (which is why I said "hiatus"), so perhaps one day I will visit the website again. Please don't misunderstand what you read below, I am not saying the website is bad or that I don't like, simply that these are a few reasons as to why I have a lack of drive and interest in visiting the website, why I'm not having as much fun as I used to, and why I need a break. The website seems to be going a more "child friendly" approach, at least from my point of view. Everything from the shoutbox, to the forums, to the status updates seem to be regulated and the rules enforced in such a way as to make it as friendly for the younger members as possible. While I do think those members should be taken into consideration, so too do I believe the older and more mature users should as well. A happy medium, a balance between the different age groups (and maturity levels), just doesn't seem to be in place. The website feels as if it's leaning more towards being as safe and sterile as possible so as not to cause any offense or discomfort to anyone. I'm all for everyone being happy and having fun on the website, but people will always get offended by and discomforted by things that others say or do. This can be lessened, but I don't believe it should come at the cost of taking away any freedoms that myself and others greatly enjoyed having. In general the laid-back feeling of the website I felt it had has either lessened or been erased completely. I'm not entirely sure at this point. I believe that things should only carry restrictions whenenough members report and complain about the lack thereof. If a person presents their point of view on a topic in a respectful and polite way for example, and another takes issue with it (it offends them, they disagree with it, etc.), I believe the member who took offense should either A) discuss it privately with the member in question, Pay it no mind, acting as if they did not see whatever it was, or C) Deal with it. Something that I believe would benefit the website is a section dedicated solely to more adult topics. These topics range from politics, to religion, other worldly affairs, etc. Things more mature and adult members would typically like to discuss. This does not include anything considered to be "X-Rated". I can see where those who are opposed to this kind of thing are coming from, they don't wish for members to start attacking one another based on their beliefs/views, this could be moderated just as anything else. A member who starts attacking and insulting others, not being civil, could have their access to such topics revoked. I do know this is possible with forums, as I've seen the option to myself when administrating other sites. The issue of members lying about their age is another concern I understand, however I believe that a persons age should not matter in this case so long as they maintain a civil, polite, and respectful attitude when discussing any of these topics. No doubt this kind of section would possibly require more attention than others and need to be thought out in detail, but if it was maintained and handled well it would be a very nice addition to the website, I think. Different sections of the shoutbox for these kinds of topics would also be a nice addition, though would require more moderation as well (possibly from members selected to monitor the shoutbox and mute anyone that gets out of hand).
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