Should EPISODE be 15+ instead?

mustread

#41

Like I said, I’m not talking about the story itself, I’m talking about the story LINE. Because we do have these strict guidelines, we have to stay within the ‘do not show this’ or ‘do not do this’ and it’s getting a little annoying. And can you say what you disagree with? I’m a little confused because I actually agree with you on a lot of points, just say it differently, so you’re technically disagreeing with yourself…? And I’m not saying that everyone likes the featured, I’m just saying, that from what I see if ‘popular’ on EPISODE, and all the stories that bridge out from that, is mainly just this:
"Oh, a bad boy fell in love with me!“
or
"I have a boyfriend but this guy is really hot!” and I’m honestly getting tired of it. And I also never said that writers couldn’t write good stories within the community guidelines, it’s just the good stories that I’ve seen and read are all technically suppose to be classified as 15+ anyway. And here’s a list consisting of all the stuff you can’t have for 13+, vs what the good stories consist of.

  1. Mentions of suicide. vs. There’s a lot of stories that I’ve read that are REVOLVED around suicide.
  2. Sexual/anything relating to sex vs. I’ve seen teenagers in story go away to do the ‘nasty’ a lot of times.
  3. Swearing vs. there’s a lot of stories that have a wonderful variety of colourful words ranging from the c-word to the f- word.
  4. Violence/excessive amounts of it/torture vs. there’s a lot of spy and murder stories that I’ve seen, that show these types of things (only one that showed a full on torture scene).
  5. Rape/any mention of it vs. Again, some stories revolve around it, or at least some people trying to force themselves onto other people (which is considered sexual assault/almost rape).

That’s just barely scratching the surface of what 's in EPISODE at the moment. And good writers who want to talk about ‘different topics’, can’t because of these rules and guidelines that they have to follow. Some stories that I liked had to be taken down because in one way or another they ‘violated the content guidelines’ which I find plain stupid. Some do deserve it, but you can’t remove the only good stories on EPISODE or at least most of them, just to appeal to the younger audiences.

R.


#42

I think you’re not fully understanding the guidelines. As far as I know, the guidelines restrict promoting suicide, self-harm and bullying. That doesn’t mean you can’t include them in the story. It means that you shouldn’t portray them as a good thing. As I said, it’s about dealing with these topics in a sensitive and appropriate way. That’s true of any age group, in my opinion. We shouldn’t be making suicide look good no matter what age you are.

In terms of violence and torture, again, this is in excessive amounts or in a way which promotes these themes. Most of these things are discouraged by Episode if they are depicted in excessive or tactless ways, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include them at all. A lot of the other issues, like excessive swearing or graphic violence/sex, aren’t actually necessary to most stories.

Also, even if there was a section which allowed more lenient guidelines, that wouldn’t mean that all stories would turn to becoming about things like excessive violence, self-harm or sex. We all have specific audiences in mind and we don’t all have the same aims for our stories. There are often amazing stories which don’t need to be for an older audience to have an important or impactful storyline.


#43

I am disagreeing with you on the fact that the problem with featured stories is their age range.


#44

Alright then, first off, thank you for clarifying what you disagreed with. I don’t like feeling confused. And I didn’t say that all of them in the featured section were in the guidelines, Adrenaline is an example of that, though I don’t like EPISODE for not making that a 15+. I know the guidelines more than you think as well, I remember fully on studying it because I wanted to make a story with a girl who committed suicide. And I actually sent them a message, asking for information more about it, and they said even mentioning it after it’s been done, or even showing the person after they committed suicide is against the guidelines, even in a dream or memory (which is another thing I find annoying)! Even child characters aren’t allowed, even a 14yr old (another character of mine I asked about). Drugs are another thing that I find constantly being brought up in stories, kids, let alone just becoming teenagers, do not need to know about them, let alone add them in stories! Drugs, I find, are quite harmful and it’s extremely easy to be convinced to take them. Teenagers are being pressured into taking them in the real world, why should we allow them in stories as well? A story or two that I read actually did promote drugs, though it’s still not taken down.

And I’m not saying that swearing, graphical scenes or anything are necessary to stories. I’m saying, that stories that are on EPISODE are still getting by and kids/just becoming teenagers are reading them. And I know that promoting them is also bad, I just didn’t add that in there because a lot of stories don’t promote it. People aren’t that cruel. Though there are the occasional that are still there.

Please don’t twist my words,
cheers,
R.


#45

References to Assault, Violence & Torture:
No graphic / explicit / detailed descriptions of rape / assault / violence / gore / etc.
Authors can give general descriptions or broad strokes, but not details.
Ex: they can say a rape / murder / assault happened, but cannot describe the details, injuries or physical sensations.
Physical or sexual abuse can referenced provided the representation is respectful, contextually appropriate and doesn’t glorify being a victim / survivor.
Torture cannot be depicted on screen. References to torture, and evidence of torture are allowed, but cannot be explicit or gratuitous.

That’s from the Episode guide.


#46

I also disagree with your suggestion that young teenagers don’t need to know about those things. I mean, we can’t hide people from things like that, but we can portray them in ways which are appropriate and sensitive.


#47

They were fine with my story and mine has the possibility of a character committing suicide.


#48

Yes, however, like I said, I personally contacted an EPISODE staff member and questioned them about it. They said this (they were extremely nice by the way, shout out to them), “The ‘you can’ parts, well, you can, but EPISODE will be closely monitoring what you do, if you do so choose to include them in. And if you add too much (they’re referring to a question that I asked earlier about if you add a lot of the 'you can’s if it will slip by and be okay) then EPISODE will surely put you on their watch list and most likely take it down. You have to be extremely careful if you choose to add these things in, it’s akin to that of treading on already cracked ice.” And that’s what they had to say about it.
What I meant by “teenagers don’t need to know about it” was referring to my following comment of, in the most basic probably unprofessional terms, “people actually take these things and experience some weird stuff, and so that they think she’ll be right if they take them too.” That’s what I meant by it. Teenagers should not be allowed to be exposed to drugs or the idea of them from a earlier age, hormones rage through the body and the temptation is strong to be a rebel, so there’a an increased chance they’ll take them, even if they know it’s bad.

@asophiewish200 ‘the possibility’ is the key word. They can only keep an eye on your story, they can’t touch it.

Cheers,
R.


#49

I think this was a little misleading then.

Suicide & Self-Harm:
Themes of suicide and self harm are allowed on the Episode platform, but must be presented respectfully, maturely and in a non-glorifying way.
No graphic / explicit / detailed descriptions of suicide / self-harm / etc.
Authors can give highlights or broad strokes, but not details
Ex: they can say a suicide / self harm happened, but cannot have in-depth descriptions of the details, injuries or physical sensations.
Suicide and self harm cannot be depicted as feeling good, being a relief, or as a means of escape.
Creators cannot show blood, gore or bodies resulting from a suicide.
Ex: blood dripping down the wrists, cuts, gunshot wounds or a body hanging in a noose, etc.


#50

I’m really not trying to argue with you at all. I just hope you can understand and appreciate my point of view.


#51

I’m not trying to argue either, I’m just offering my opinion as to why a problem is occuring, and some suggestions as to how we can stop it. I’m glad that you were calm though, I’ve had a lot of people getting angry whenever I try to voice my own opinion/suggest a solution. I enjoyed debating with you, and it was nice to see the side of a young teenager on the internet. But I guess we both have to step back and look at the bigger picture and take in the best interest for others, mentally and I guess physically.

Thank you again for being mature about this,
R.


#52

Maybe this is a dumb idea but you could work around the guidelines forgive me if you’ve already thought of this or if this was your original idea but maybe make the story about the sister of the girl, and how the sister deals with the loss. However the family is disgraced by her sister’s actions and they make a vow to never mention her again. If you need help coming up with another idea my pms are always open!


#53

It’s not likely, it’s possible, but not likely. I mean, as long as you don’t show the person who has died, or mention the death immaturely/basically at all, then you should be alright to go. But like I said, even if you create loopholes, “you’ll be treading on already cracked ice.” To quote a nice EPISODE staff member.

Cheers,
R.


#54

Haha I’m actually a 20 year old and I’ve been doing creative writing for about 10 years. I know my little sister (14) absolutely adores Episode and it would be sad to see people her age barred from it because they’re too young for a lot of the stories. I definitely agree that there should be sections, but all in all, I don’t believe that all stories in the app are restricted or limited by these guidelines. I also think that featured stories just pander to what is considered popular. If we change what kind of stories we are interested in as a community, there may be more great stories that meet the guidelines.


#55

lol forgive me, I thought you were another person. (I used ‘lol’ there correctly didn’t I…? anyway,) I also do have a younger brother who has seen me on the website and been like, ‘why can’t I go on there?’ and whenever I think of him and EPISODE’s stories, I just say, “You have to be older.” Maybe the whole section thing could work out.

Cheers,
R.


#56

I definitely think sections would be a good idea! It would encourage people to write the story they want to write and then consider afterwards what age group their story would appeal to. They may find themselves pleasantly surprised that it could actually be something for all ages.

I mean, I’ve written a story about a princess who finds herself disowned after discovering that she has powers. I made sure it fits the guidelines and I guess it would appeal to 13+ people. It completely depends on the story as to whether or not mature themes are necessary or just superfluous.


#57

Cool! So now that we all agree on it, how do we get EPISODE to consider it? Is there an already existing post or something?

R.


#58

Have you tried putting in a suggestion ticket to episode staff?


#59

honey, I have NO idea how this website works, I was struggling to figure out how to make a post until a day or so ago, let alone ‘suggestion ticket’ to the EPISODE staff.

Cheers,
R.


#60

https://pocketgems.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

This should be it! If you really want to get episode in on the idea of the 15+ shelf then try having a petition and have multiple people submit tickets!