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Site-Wide Rules & Terms of Use

These rules apply at all times to every facet of site usage, including but not limited to posts, threads, comments, resource submissions, user file bins, profiles, layouts, avatars and private messages (PMs). These rules apply at all times to all users of the site, including all levels of staff. The table below lists the typical consequence for violating a given rule; a different penalty may be issued, however, depending on the context of the offense and the history of the offender. Accounts created for the sole purpose of spamming, trolling or breaking the rules in general will be disabled without warning. For the vast majority of rules violations, actions are decided as a result of deliberation between multiple moderators. Cases in which a moderator may apply punishment unilaterally are rare and comprise only the most flagrant and/or dangerous infractions.

While rule breaks generally apply only to users' conduct within the context of the site (and its extensions, such as the Discord server), the staff reserve the right to discipline users for cases of off-site behaviour that is deemed to be indicative of potential threat or harm to the rest of the userbase.

Note that private messages can be read by Administrators, though this ability is only used sparingly in the course of warranted investigations in order to protect user privacy. If a rules violation is discovered in a PM, punishment may be issued after the date of discovery, regardless of how much time has passed since the message's creation.

For general information regarding site usage, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Section A: Conduct Rules

# Summary Description Justification Consequence
A1 Do not harass or troll other users. Bullying, harassing or directing harassment of a user. It's unfair to deliberately make the site unpleasant for others to use. Warning.
A2 Do not purposely cultivate drama. Baiting a negative emotional response from other users or otherwise attempting to incite a fight. Provoking a fight/outburst for one's own amusement is as unacceptable as engaging in a fight/outburst directly, and creates unnecessary tension. Warning.
A3 Do not engage in discriminatory behavior. Treating users or non-users differently based upon their apparent social, financial or physical class or category, individually or as a group. This includes the use of slurs and the sharing of images or other content with discriminatory messages, implied or otherwise, in earnest or as a joke.

SMW Central has zero tolerance for those who espouse and express hateful and discriminatory beliefs. Our moderation team will, however, make an effort to recognize when harmful content is shared out of ignorance rather than bad faith, and administer discipline accordingly and constructively.
SMW Central seeks to appeal to and include as wide an audience as possible, and will not abide content that marginalizes or alienates others based on sex, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical/mental ability, etc. SMW Central has a zero tolerance stance on this kind of behaviour, and each instance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. While any potential instances are being investigated, the offending user(s) may have their posting privileges revoked until an outcome is reached.
A4 Do not attempt to impersonate or otherwise act on behalf of site staff. Reprimanding other users for violating site rules, or generally acting in the capacity of a moderator ("backseat moderating"). Bring rules violations and section issues to a moderator's attention. Each forum is marked with links to appropriate moderators. Only the site staff have the authority to discipline offending users. Warning.
A5 Be aware of any additional rules in an individual forum. Abide by forum-specific rules. Some forums have their own rules, usually presented in a thread with elevated importance. Said regulations apply in addition to the site rules. Some forums have a particular focus that necessitates extra regulations. Warning or forum ban.
A6 Do not create more than one account for a single user. Creating multiple accounts for the same user. Contact an Administrator if a name change or password reset is desired, or if multiple users will be using the same device and/or IP address. Each user is allowed just one account in order to prevent impersonation and ban evasion, as well as to maintain disciplinary history. Warning. All extra accounts will be disabled.
A7 Do not evade a site or section ban. Circumventing a ban by any means, including but not limited to creating a new account. Bans are issued in order to temporarily disengage users to allow them to reassess how they choose to use the site. Attempts to act around a ban represent a rejection of this opportunity. Account deactivation.
A8 Do not post, submit, or otherwise act on behalf of a banned user. Knowingly assisting a banned user in circumventing the restrictions of their ban. Helping another user ignore or evade a ban undermines its strength as a disciplinary action, and necessitates a greater penalty in order to ensure that the site rules remain enforceable. Warning. The banned user may get a harsher penalty.
A9 Do not use the site to engage in dangerous and/or criminal activity. Using the site in order to engage in an illegal activity, or in a way that places any individual or group at risk, be it physically, financially or otherwise. This includes but is not limited to: threatening, stalking or defrauding an individual or other legal entity, and stealing or distributing personal or financial information. The SMW Central staff are committed to operating a legal website that users may enjoy without risk to their safety and security. Account deactivation; may be reported to legal authorities.
A10 You may not use SMW Central, any of the services it hosts, or provide/submit any personal information to the website unless you are at least 13 years of age. This is including, but not limited to: accessing the website (and its extensions), registering an account, downloading resources/hacks. In order to comply with various laws across the globe, we require all users who access the site to be at least 13 years of age. SMW Central is not specifically intended to be a website catering to children. Account deactivation or barred access to the site.

Section B: Content Rules

# Summary Description Justification Consequence
B1 Do not post suggestive, shocking, or pornographic material. Explicit or highly suggestive sexual content, gore or extreme violence, content that promotes abuse of a minor, including suggestive or sexual content involving a minor or anyone that appears to be a minor, or that facilitates or promotes child sexual abuse, or any other content deemed inappropriate for sensitive audiences. "Content" may include photos of real individuals, illustrations, animation, or text. In order to comply with the law, the site may not be used in a manner that makes pornography available to minors. Other graphic content is barred to maintain a comfortable environment for as many users as possible. Warning or ban. Offending content will be deleted.
B2 Do not make contentless or off-topic posts or threads. Uninformative, unintelligible, or irrelevant posts/threads, along with advertising and/or spam, as well as off-topic and contentless threads. A casual discussion thread exists here for general chatting. Forums are created with respect to a broad topic, and lose value when the threads within are irrelevant. Similarly, threads are created with respect to a specific topic, and lose value when the posts within are unfocused. Warning. Offending posts or threads will be deleted, closed or moved.
B3 Do not deliberately vandalize post history. Editing posts in order to retroactively alter the appearance of an event or to remove important information. Most edits are acceptable, however, and one may always remove personal or sensitive content from one's posts. Editing posts to obscure the nature of a conversation, removing useful posts (ex. a solution to a technical problem) or mass-deleting one's post history subverts the archival aspect of the site. Warning. Altered content will be reversed.
B4 Content posted outside of the International SMW Hacking forum must be presented in English. Submitting content in a language other than English. Non-English is acceptable in the International SMW Hacking forum within the appropriate threads/subforums. Content containing non-English is acceptable elsewhere if also accompanied by a good-faith attempt at an English translation. SMW Central uses English as its primary language because it is widely understood around the world. English is enforced outside of designated forums in order to present content that the community at large can understand. Warning. Offending content will be removed or translated.
B5 Do not use HTML or CSS content that alters or interferes with the intended design and usage of the site. Altering anything outside of your post area with CSS or HTML, or using code that increases the site loading time. Reducing or altering the usability of the site is an abuse of HTML/CSS privileges and poses an unfair impediment for other users. Warning. Offending content will be removed.
B6 Do not use content that is invisible or difficult to read on major browsers and/or site themes. Content that breaks on certain browsers/themes or is illegible in general. Leaving such content intact unfairly restricts a user's ability to use the site with a browser/theme of their choosing. Offending content will be removed.
B7 Avoid making posts, layouts, etc. with content that stretches the page off the screen or that creates excessive whitespace. Content that causes table stretch or arbitrarily renders otherwise legible content more difficult to read. Such content slightly hinders browsing and is easily corrected. Offending content will be edited or removed.
B8 Avoid embedding or otherwise forcing users to load content of excessive filesize. Static images, .gif files, or other content deemed to be too large. If posting content of a large filesize, link to the content instead and include a clear warning of such. Such content restricts usability of the site for users with a slower internet connection, and can cost money for those with metered connections. Offending content will be removed.
B9 Do not upload or promote content made with generative artificial intelligence or other "learning" algorithms. SMW Central defines "AI-generated content" as any text, media, or images produced fully or partially using generative artificial intelligence algorithms trained on data sets that were assembled without original authors' knowledge or permission. Examples include but are not limited to image generators like Midjourney and DALL-E, language models like ChatGPT, or voice cloning and music generation services.

This prohibition on AI content is site-wide and applies to all resource sections and hacks submitted to the site, including if that material was converted into a format usable in hacks, and extends to SMW Central events, such as the Creativity Convention and level design contests.

While systems that have been coded and trained on local, original datasets would be exempt from this policy, we don't have the resources to confirm the source of or methods used for AI generated content so the ban will still encompass that material.
SMW Central does not recognize AI-generated content as original material and does not view the use of generative AI as a creative practice.

We understand AI tools have usefulness in some contexts or as an aide to other forms or work, but we feel the modification and redistribution of the output of such tools is another matter entirely.
Warning. Offending content will be removed.

Section C: Submission & Upload Rules

# Summary Description Justification Consequence
C1 By uploading your file to the site, you are giving SMW Central a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive and worldwide license to host and redistribute your file.

By uploading your file to the site, you also allow anyone, including SMW Central and its staff, to submit as an update at their discretion a modified version of your file if your account is not active or to fix performance or incompatibility issues, compliant with the same license, unless otherwise prohibited by the license provided with the file.

If you cannot grant the site this license, do not upload your file.
This license allows SMW Central to host your file for an unlimited amount of time (perpetual) and may not be withdrawn once granted (irrevocable). The file is granted to us without charge (royalty-free). You are free to give anyone else the rights to your file (non-exclusive), but SMW Central may still distribute the file to users anywhere in the world (worldwide). SMW Central does not own your file and may not authorize others to store and redistribute (non-transferable).

Any SMW Central user, including SMW Central staff members, may update your file during a remoderation event or to correct explicit performance failures. For all other updates, your permission is required, unless your account is not active. For the purposes of this license, an "active account" is defined as any individual user's account which has been logged into at any point within the last six months as aligned with server time.
This license is required from you when you submit files or content to SMW Central as to allow the site to legally distribute those files and content globally, for as long as those materials are on the site. Additionally, this does not mean SMW Central owns or claims any exclusivity to your submissions or can grant the same license to other parties. You own your content and files and are free to post them elsewhere with whatever other licensing you wish, but it does mean once submitted you cannot revoke the granted license or remove your submissions yourself. If this is not a license you are comfortable granting SMW Central, do not submit your content here. Submissions uploaded without permission of the author(s) (if required) will be removed, and may result in a warning or ban.

SMW Central reserves the right to remove any file for any reason.
C2 Do not upload, link to, or otherwise distribute commercial ROMs, malware, or other malicious/ copyrighted material. Making copyrighted or harmful material available. If the legality of an item is in question, do not share it. Homebrew ROM files free of any and all copyrighted content may be distributed. In order to comply with the law, SMW Central cannot contain links to illegal goods or services; in order to protect our userbase, SMW Central cannot contain links to harmful materials. Warning or ban. Offending content will be removed.
C3 Be aware of the submission guidelines in each section. Abide by hack and/or resource submission guidelines. Each section has its own set of submission guidelines found on its respective upload page. Guidelines serve to ensure every resource in the site works as intended and can be used easily. For hacks, this ensures they are playable. Offending submissions will be removed and a log will be written detailing the reasons for removal.
C4 Do not resubmit a rejected submission without first correcting the issues pointed out in the submission's rejection log. Resubmitting a rejected resource with insufficient changes or none at all. Hasty resubmissions keep other users' submissions in waiting even longer, and are a drain on a moderator's limited time. Warning or section ban.
C5 Do not use the site to buy or sell any goods or services, including hacks or resources for hacks. Using the site to offer, ask for, or accept commissions or other financial reward, for ROM hacks or content for ROM hacks, including but not limited to ASM code, graphics, or music. SMW Central is fundamentally based upon intellectual property whose rights are not owned or licensed by the site owner. Using the site to negotiate financial transactions is forbidden in order to comply with the law as thoroughly as possible. Warning or ban.
C6 Do not distribute or modify and redistribute content made by anyone but yourself without explicit approval from the author. Uploading/distributing content that isn't made by you, claiming someone else's work as your own and/or taking someone else's work, modifying it then reuploading/redistributing it, without explicit permission from the resource's author. Distributing somebody else's work without their permission is theft and disrespectful towards the original author, even if you modify it. Claiming others' work as your own is plagiarism. Warning, offending content will be removed.