Code of Ethics
Much of these tenets are common sense, but we wish to be explicit in what our expectations are, so we can be held accountable in a fair and civilized manner. We use the Society of Professional Journalists’ Rules (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp) as the basis for our own code of conduct.
If we cannot be honest and fair in what we write, we should not write. Each member of MMO Central’s staff should hold their work to the highest standards of integrity and respect to the truth. Report no falsehoods, label rumors correctly, leave commentary on developers’ personal lives at the door, and always properly cite your sources.
In all content published on the site, be it article, interview, or comment on an article, at no time is it acceptable for a member of MMO Central’s staff to use hate speech. This includes homophobic/transphobic slurs, sexist terms, racial slurs, nationalistic or religious slurs, and the like. Be respectful to everyone, regardless of whether you agree with their beliefs or not.
Conflicts of Interest
At no point shall a member of MMO Central’s staff publish an article or conduct an interview about a game from a studio in which an extended relative, significant other, or regular real life social contact is employed. Nepotism is not cool in the 21st century, nor is writing stuff about your drinking buddies’ games.
Every potential conflict of interest must be brought to the Editor’s attention immediately. The work will be reassigned to a writer or editor who is not connected as a relative, significant other, or regular social contact.
Full disclosures are required on any article where there isn’t an overt conflict of interest but an implied one might be presumed. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Gifts / Games
MMO Central and its staff will accept no gifts from game developers or gaming personalities in excess of what is considered industry standard and may refuse even standard gifting if it will give the appearance of impropriety. This includes buffs to one’s personal gaming accounts, swag, chocolates, trips to studios, booze, etc.
It is permissible to accept review copies of games for their stated purpose. Any accounts provided by the game studio for the review must be relinquished once the review is published. No other gifts or payment may be accepted for a review. Our reviews cannot and will not be bought by a game studio or its developer(s).
Embargoes / Non-Disclosure Agreements
As a journalistic site, there may come times when we are invited by game studios to preview content and prep interviews or articles to be released at a certain time, with the early information under a timed embargo or a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement. Any staff member of MMO Central who willfully violates an embargo and/or any associated NDA will be removed from the staff.
Reviewers will spend at least 20 hours playing a game before writing a review, so that the review can involve more than just the starter areas for the game. As much as is humanly possible, MMO Central staff should never use personal accounts in order to conduct their reviews, unless the game studio did not supply a suitable test account to provide a proper review.
Any member of MMO Central’s staff proven to have plagiarized another’s work will be removed from staff.