Posted Jun 22 2011 - 01:15 AM
Storyline and Theories Rules
1. Obey all general BZPower rules, as found in the Reference Desk.
2. No flaming. This essentially means insulting people. Before you submit your post, ask yourself if you have let slip an insult, and edit it out. And in general, calm down and remember this is all about entertainment. Chill and stuff.
Note: Posting in all caps is considered yelling which can be seen as flaming, so is also not allowed.
3. No trolling. This is a murky issue that basically means being stubbornly antagonistic or hostile -- failing to be cordial and polite even while disagreeing, for example -- without actually clearly flaming. This sparks others to flame, making them look like the culprit when really the troller is. In other words, to quote the main BZPower rules, it is "trying to force someone into an argument".
Note: Please do not confuse trolling with disagreement. This is a discussion site and so we do want you to speak your mind, but to do so politely and remember that we are a community. By the same token, please do not act offended if someone expressed disagreement with you, and do not claim that they have no right to do so.
4. No spam. Posts must add to the discussion's subject. Stay on topic, and avoid "repetition & agreement spam", which basically means posting the same thing others have already posted or just quoting them and saying "I agree".
(Note: Some topics ask for individual opinions on a subjective subject, and simple agreement posts in those are not necessarily spam. But in for example a topic asking for a canon answer to a storyline question, they would be spam. Many members seem to have trouble judging the difference -- basically, if there is a single objective answer that can't be logically debated, there's no need to add agreement.)
5. No confusing titles. The title must tell everybody what the topic is about -- any that don't should be edited by staff to clarify things.
Note: Along the same lines, do not use the uncanon term "Bionicle(s)" in titles (to refer to characters/sets); we have had flamewars about this issue in the past, and the final answer is that the term does not canonically work to describe the characters or sets, as "Bionicle" the franchise name means "biological (or biomechanical) chronicle". Overuse of this term encourages the spread of the misconception that it was intended by LEGO as a "species name" or that the franchise name on a set canister/box is meant to label the set and character itself, and others get fed up with running into the misconception, etc. This rule clears up the misconception right off the bat, right here, thus avoiding these problems.
The term is okay to use in posts informally, however, and can make sense if you think of it like "icicle" as a noncanon nickname. Flaming others for their choice whether or not to like the term will not be tolerated. Also, the similar term "Bionical(s)" for "biomechanical being(s)" can make canonical sense, and is not banned at all, nor are other similar fan-made terms or nicknames.
6. No topic revival past 30 days since the latest post. Exceptions include the official serials topics, and certain other topics such as Bionicle Story Squad topics.
7. Do not make "dupe" topics, which means a topic about the same specific subject as an existing active topic (meaning a topic that hasn't "died" by going past the revival limit). Before posting a new topic you should skim the current topic titles in S&T and if you find one about what you wanted to talk about, simply post in it.
8. Do not post your topic more than once. If you get a Mail error, or "Page cannot be displayed" when posting a topic, do NOT click "Back." Close the window, and bring BZP up in a new one, so that you can get back to this forum, and check to see if your topic really did go through. Most times it has.
Note: The exception to both of the above rules is if the previous topic (either by you or someone else) has died, but you think there is still room for discussion. In such cases you may repost the old topic, but please include a note about it as you do.
9. No offensive/inappropriate language or content, and no controversial subjects such as religion/origins/politics.
Note: Occasional comparisons of official Bionicle storyline aspects to controversial real-world subjects may be acceptable if they are done very carefully, but are best avoided because they tend to get out of line too, and Bionicle isn't the real world anyways. (But comments about such subjects posted only for their own sakes will be removed; find other sites to discuss them.) Above all, remember this is a family-friendly site.
10. If you have any questions or concerns about these rules, please PM me and I'll try to answer in a timely fashion.
* Theories on the official storyline, based on evidence. (See "theory definition" section below for more.)
* Questions about the official storyline (usually answered and closed).
* Comments/observations/praise/criticisms about the storyline.
* Asking for "like or dislike" opinions/reactions about story-only subjects.
* No speculation topics. (See "theory definition" section below for more.)
* No coincidence topics, such as "Makuta reminds me of the LOST Smoke Monster! Discuss!".
* No "little mistakes" topics, such as about comic artwork flubs (although there's a gray line here with criticism topics).
* No "post-it-here" topics, which means a topic trying to act like an official "only post about this subject here" topic, or a topic providing no content and asking repliers to make the content.
* No "what-if" topics; such as "what would have happened if Takua didn't become the Toa of Light"; we know canonically that thousands of different alternate timelines could have branched from such a change, and in fact did -- there's no legitimate way to pin down one as the only alternative per se.
S&T uses a very precise set of definitions of words related to theories, which are often confused for varying definitions in common parlance and jargon, so this little guide will clearly define them to avoid future confusion. There isn't a lot of new canon story anymore, but there is some, and there are still various unanswered questions about old story we can still theorize about.
By the way, these are essentially the definitions used in proper science and in standard English in general, with the exception that "speculation" is usually more informal than we use it here.
"Theory" -- This IS allowed. A theory is an idea that hopes to predict future story revelations, based on "evidence." You may post topics about your story theories, or post similar related theories to someone else's in their topic for sake of conversation there.
Note: Theories may be disproven sometimes and closed; this doesn't mean that you broke any rules by posting it, but merely that once it's disproven, there is nothing left to discuss. So such topics are treated like question topics and closed because they are answered, more or less.
"Evidence" -- This means some canon fact that is already known, which could be used to support a theory, but does NOT absolutely prove it to definately be true.
Evidence can be interpreted in many different ways based on your "presuppositions" or starting assumptions, and often what will seem like good evidence for one theory to one member will to another member seem the exact opposite. Please do not be surprised or alarmed at this -- it's normal. And please remember not to tear down others for having a theory you disagree with; rather try to congratulate them for being creative and thinking, even as you disagree, because we want as much story discussion as we can get.
"Proof" -- This refers to things that are known absolutely to be true, with no room for logical debate against them, in the canon storyline.
A lot of members get confused about this, thinking that a theory is illegitimate if it isn't proven, but that would miss the point of theories to begin with. Theories are NOT proven. Also, we do not use the term "proof" to refer to evidence for theories; novices using that term have caused some problems, so I wanna clear that up right now; it would imply more about your theory than you can truly claim, which can rile people's tempers. In other words, if an idea is proven, it's already canon fact and there's no need, generally, to make a topic about it.
As a rule, you should treat even your own theories with granules of salt, and not invest yourself emotionally in "demanding" it must be true. Just see your theories as one possibility, and be prepared for the strong possibility, no matter how good your evidence, that it isn't the case.
Note: You should be very careful when assuming something is proven. Very often people claim something is a fact when it is actually only strongly inferred or implied. Greg is famous for his expert ability to use exact careful wording to steer us away from the truth, so that when it is revealed we get the maximum "hey that's a cool shocking twist" value. Any statement anywhere in the story or from Greg that does not emphatically state what is true might not actaully be quite or fully true.
Also, we've had a lot of problems in the past with people illogically taking the word of villain characters in the story as the same as true canon facts, even though those villains are liars or at best willing to twist the truth. For example, Makuta's statements about who and what he is in the Mata Nui Online Game or the movie Mask of Light were useful evidence in terms of establishing his psychology, but were never meant to be taken as canon truth.
It's also possible for good guy characters to simply be wrong about things due to ignorance, or in the case of the Turaga's original legends, even lie in a sense (for what they believed was a good reason). Keep in mind that good guys are still flawed characters, not "Gary Stus/Mary Sues".
"Speculation" -- This is NOT allowed as topic startpost content. Speculation is exactly the same as theories in one way -- it's cool story ideas that often could very well turn out to be true. We do not wish to put a damper on the imagination -- quite the opposite. But speculation is very different in an important way -- it has no evidence; it's just something that "MIGHT" be true.
There IS, however, a gray area where speculation can be okay in replies to a theory; in response to one person's theory about a well-known mystery, you could simply say "I tend to feel this other idea is the answer, though I don't really have good evidence, so I applaud your evidenced-theory." And such an aside comment can even be okay in a topic's startpost content, as long as your main theory is not dependent on it (for example, a brief comment speculating on how your basic theory could be expanded on in the story).
Also, of course, non-canon storyline ideas are greatly encouraged to be turned into fan fiction stories and posted in BZPower's Library forum divisions.
NOTE: A similar system to this is used for canon suggestion proposals sent to the Bionicle Story Squad. These are not meant to actually be theories, but generally we require evidence -- we do NOT require proof that the suggestions MUST be true (or else they wouldn't really be suggestions but mere observations) -- and we generally turn down proposals that don't have any valid evidence at all.
But there is an important distinction here because at some point the best proposals are usually voted on by the public to decide if they are popular enough to enter the canon, whereas if a theory turns out to be true that usually happens without the public's input. (Although sometimes good theories can be turned into acceptable proposals.)
See the BSS post below for more.
For new Web Serial chapters, please use the spoiler tag for two days after BZP announces the new chapter on the front page. Before we do, don't post serial spoilers at all.
This applies across all of BZPower, including sigs, blogs, etc. and applies especially to character deaths and other major storyline events.
Other sources of Bionicle story have been discontinued, but you may read the entire old policy here, which would still apply if future Bionicle story content is ever produced.
Official Topics Policy
As of the latest BZPower forum upgrade and archiving of all old BZP topics, the only official topics are for ongoing story serials.
Other past official topics are still archived and may be read for reference's sake, but if you wish to have discussions about their subjects of interest, please start new unofficial topics, or continue in any existing ones others have already made on your specific subject.
The new policy details are:
1) Most discussion about ongoing story serials belongs in the corresponding official topic, such as general review-style feedback about new chapters and commenting on new revelations.
2) The official serials topics are revivable.
3) If your subject for discussion overlaps two official Serials topics, it may be posted as its own topic (no need for permission).
4) Theory topics with evidence may be posted as new topics (even if they are about serials subjects, as really most theories now must be since all new story is from serials). However, theories may also be discussed in the official topics, if you prefer.
5) You may also link such separate theory and overlap topics in the corresponding official topic.
NOTE: Prior to the upgrade and archiving we had modified the old official topic system to turn the other topics besides serial ones into revivable guide topics. However, with scant exception they received no attention anyways. We may change the policy in the future again to reclaim some of that abandoned territory or make new official topics, but for now let's just try out this simplified system, which would seem fitting to the far simplified range of new Bionicle story coming out (and that rarely now).
Edited by Black Six, Sep 12 2011 - 07:44 PM.