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So you want to help out in Game Help? Great! We always appreciate people willing to offer a helping to those who need it. We just have a few guidelines for you, so you can help in the best way possible, and so people needing help can get the assistance they require.
How to Help
When you see a question asked that you know the answer to...
- Be right! First, double-check your answer. Make sure you're correct!
- Link to FAQs! Whenever possible, provide a direct link to a FAQ on the problem so the person asking questions doesn't have to search around.
- Give Multiple Solutions: Whenever possible, offer alternate solutions - if you know the problem might be two or three different things, give them links to the different FAQs on the issue so they don't have to wait for you to come back and say "Okay, next try..."
- Ask for More Info: If the person asking for help hasn't given enough information (like their system specs or exact text of the error message) or you don't quite understand their problem due to language issues/poor explaining, you can politely ask them for more information. If they need to give system specs, make sure to link them to Game Help:System Specs so they know how to find that information. If you can offer them something to try in the mean time as well, do so.
- If you're uncertain... If you're not 100% sure on something, say so! It's okay to say "I'm not completely sure, but I think the answer is to..." and then if you're incorrect, someone can correct you... or if you are right, someone can confirm what you've said is true and will work.
- If you can't help any more... If you're already in the process of helping someone and they ask a question you can't answer or it gets to a point you can't offer any more help, it's also okay to say, "I'm sorry, I don't know quite that much - good luck and I hope someone else can offer you some good answers."
- On Reinstalling... Advising people to reinstall is the LAST resort! Reinstalling often takes many hours and for many issues, it won't even help! Reinstalling is the absolute last thing they should try - don't tell people to try reinstalling their game until they've tried the Game Problem FAQ and patched their game at the very least.
- Questions in PM: If you tend to help out in Game Help you will find that people will start PMing you asking questions on how to fix their game. It is always better to politely ask that they read the FAQs and post their question in Game Help rather than helping in private messages. Why?
- They can get help from many people - generally faster than waiting for you to wake up, get on the computer, and respond.
- They can be more sure they're getting the right answer - if you're wrong or unclear about something, other people can correct you or clarify.
- If other people have the same issue, they can search and read previous questions and answers and get help without even having to ask.
- Be Nice! Remember to be courteous and kind - they're asking for help, not abuse. Though there may be a lot of silly questions that they could have found had they taken a moment to read the FAQs, a gentle push in the right direction is what most people need. If someone is rude or you find yourself getting upset, step away from the keyboard and let someone else respond.
If you think we need a new article on an issue, great - write us one!
On the wiki: You can create a new page on the wiki in the Game Help section by just typing the new page name, and then begin editing the new page. Make sure to use the same formatting that we use on existing Game Help pages - you can copy and paste it by using the Edit button on any existing FAQ (they're locked so you can't save your changes but you can still copy the formatting).
When your FAQ is complete, edit the discussion page on the main Game Help page to let us know about your new FAQ, and provide a link to it so we can take a look. A moderator may edit your FAQ to clarify certain things, so don't be offended or surprised if you find it edited some. We may also choose to instead incorporate your information into an existing FAQ. Either way you will get credit for your contribution, and we thank you for your efforts.
On the forums: If you are not familiar with wiki formatting and you would prefer to simply post it as a forum post, that's fine. Create a new thread in the Sims 2 Help Forum and make sure it says somewhere in your subject line "New FAQ" so we know it's an answer, not a question. One of the moderators will take a look and see how we can incorporate it into the wiki. If it's gone several days and you haven't seen a reply on your FAQ letting you know what we've done with it, you can private message any active moderators in the Game Help section (one you've seen posting recently) to link them to your thread - we're real people with real lives and sometimes we may accidentally overlook good information, but we do appreciate your help!
Becoming a Game Help Moderator
Occasionally we may add new moderators to the Game Help section when we find there is a need for them. These are people who are consistently:
- Active in Game Help, answering questions and, well, helping...
- Polite and helpful, following the guidelines listed above under "How to Help"
- Right! While we appreciate any effort to help, giving the right answer is important!
Please do not ask to become a moderator - it's the surest way to make sure you won't be one.
When we find we need more moderators, we have an internal nominations process done by existing moderators, and we'll suggest people we think fit the above criteria and discuss their performance.
If you want to be a moderator, help out and do your best in the ways listed above - even if you don't become a moderator eventually (MTS2 has over a million members and only about 20 active moderators, so it's very rare!), you'll find great satisfaction in a job well done, and you'll know you've made someone's day fixing their game problems.