This isn’t the most exciting page on our site, but it’s worth taking some time to find out about the guidelines we follow. They may be updated from time to time to reflect changes in legislation or feedback from our community. If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.
Code of conduct
The gaming world is made up of many individual groups, and here at Later Levels we believe everyone is equal regardless of which of these groups they consider themselves to be a part of. All views are worthwhile and we’re interested in hearing them, so we invite discussion on all aspects of gaming from every member of the community.
Understanding and tolerance are therefore essential: open and mature conversations can only enhance the industry making for even better experiences going forward, and we want to be a part of that. We respectfully ask our audience to bear in mind the following points before posting a comment on our site, social media channels or Twitch chat room.
|Be respectful||Think before you write. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and is welcome to comment if they don’t agree with the views expressed within our content; but please be respectful and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see. They’ll ground you.|
|We won’t delete negative comments, and will instead respond in a constructive manner if we feel it’s appropriate to do so.|
|Format and audience||Try to post any comments clearly. Please don’t write in capitals or text-speak – it’s hard to read and people find it annoying!|
|Remember that the Later Levels site and associated channels are public forums, so if you wish to talk to us privately please send us an email.|
|Community and collaboration||Blogging is all about community and two-way discussion. We extremely appreciate your support, but please be respectful and don’t follow only in the hope of a follow-back. It won’t happen.|
|Out-of-context comments left only for promotional purposes will be edited. Leave a link back to your site if it isn’t asked for, and it will be changed – you don’t want to find out where we’ll point it to.|
|Inappropriate behaviour||We won’t tolerate aggression and intimidation, and reserve the right to block anyone displaying such inappropriate behaviour from access to Later Levels.|
|Comments containing racist, sexist or homophobic remarks, personal abuse, libel, copyrighted material, excessive swearing, references to illegal activities or requests for pirated software will be removed.|
Anyone who believes a comment should be removed is urged to contact us, so we can follow up accordingly.
Full disclosure statement
Later Levels is a collaborative effort created by a group of friends. We don’t accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship or paid topic insertions, and it’s only right for us to disclose the following information.
|Sourcing video games and equipment||Digital access codes for video games are sent to us by developers and publishers so we can publish revoews, or preview articles before the release of their title. However, the manner in which we receive software will never influence our opinions or content, and we will disclose the source within our content.|
|We’ll only accept items that will help us maintain our content (ie video games, consoles and peripherals). Other physical items provided and promotional items received will never be sold or traded; they will either be donated to Get-Well Gamers UK or used as a prize for a competition during one of our streams.|
|Crowdfunding campaigns||From time to time, members of the team may choose to back projects on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. This is done using their own money: their decision to back a campaign is a personal one. However, we may choose to publish a review of a video game obtained through such methods and will always reveal this within an article if it’s the case.|
|Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)||We sometimes have to agree to NDAs and embargoes with the developers or publishers of the video games we cover. We’ll never alter our opinion of a title just to negotiate for an earlier embargo or exclusive; and we don’t agree to those that lift after the game being covered is legally available. If a title is released on a Monday, we should be free to publish an article about it on the same day.|
|Press events||To gather content and develop relationships with people within the gaming industry, we sometimes travel to events and meetings. We usually fund the cost of travel and accommodation ourselves but may accept these from the companies we’re working with – as long as the arrangements are relevant to what we need to cover. This flexibility allows our team to attend more events deliver more coverage throughout the year.|
|Affiliations and independence||We don’t receive compensation when hyperlinks found within our content are clicked, to maintain our independence. We simply provide this information to be helpful.|
|Donations to charity||Donations made during charity marathon streams are taken online via a platform such as BT MyDonate or JustGiving. We don’t see any of this money and nor would we want to: our aim is to raise as much funds and awareness as possible for the organisation. Playing awesome video games, meeting new people and making a positive impact on the world is all the benefit we need.|
|Competitions and giveaways||When we hold a giveaway, we draw a winner at random based on the entry rules specified in the content by tallying the number of entries and using the random number generator at random.org.|
|You can only enter once unless the content rules specify otherwise; and if you violate the rules, we’ll disqualify you (and your 40 aliases). We’re not responsible if an item gets lost in the post or is delivered to a wrong address, and once in a while we may have to substitute a prize of comparable value.|
Everybody is different when it comes to reviews: some like a full evaluation and getting the detail on a video game, while others don’t have the time or inclination to sit through a lengthy article. That’s why we let each author decide on the best format when writing this type of content.
Whether they choose to assign a score out of ten, provide a list of positives and negatives, or give their final opinion in the form of interpretive dance, once thing you can be sure of is that integrity and honesty exist in all of our content. We’ll always objectively cover the highs and lows of any video game within a review and aim to do so in an impartial manner: we won’t be persuaded to take a particular line and take pride in every piece of content we produce.
We only review games which are available in full to the general public; doing it any other way just wouldn’t be fair and there’s always the possibility that a title could change significantly prior to its release. We don’t review games which haven’t yet been released; are in Early Access, alpha or beta phases; or are episodic in nature, where the entire season isn’t yet available. If we write about them, such articles will be classified as previews.
In addition, we won’t change a review after publication. But if we believe a title has changed significantly over time or if it has received a number of updates, we may choose to re-review it at a later date and will link to the previous article for clarity and transparency in such cases.
Regardless of how our team scores (or don’t score) their reviews, this shouldn’t be the end of the discussion and we invite everyone to continue the conversation. Everybody is welcome to leave their thoughts and opinions at the end of each article and to interact with us via any of our social media channels in a smart and professional way.
If you have any questions about our reviews, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re a developer and would like to submit your video game to us, we’d love to hear from you; we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to review everything received, but will definitely consider all submissions.
We’re committed to providing our audience with a website that respects their privacy. We’re therefore open and transparent about the information we collect and will only gather personally-identifiable information when we have specific consent to do so. All personal data will be managed in accordance with our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.
A cookie is a small piece of information that’s sent by an organisation to your computer and stored on the hard-drive, allowing them to recognise you. There are two types: session cookies that last until you leave the site, and persistent cookies which remain on your machine for much longer. Those shown in the picture are a lot more tasty but unfortunately don’t count in this situation.
Later Levels uses Google Analytics, which stores a persistent cookie on your hard-drive. Google uses this information about your use of the website and stored this on servers in the United States. We use the data to evaluate how readers use Later Levels and this is processed anonymously. It should be noted however that Google may transfer your information to third-parties if required to do so by law, or if the third-parties process the details on their behalf.
We’re committed to protecting your data from unauthorised access, alteration, disclosure and accidental loss. To do this we have a number of solutions and procedures in place; these are reviewed periodically to make sure they’re still effective and meet current best practice. We don’t rent, lease or sell your personal information to third-parties and will only disclose your details if we’re required to do so by law.
If you like what we’re doing and think you can dedicate time to writing articles or live streaming, why not consider becoming a Contributor?
The gaming world is made up of many individual groups, and Later Levels believes that everyone is equal regardless of which of these groups they consider themselves to be a part of. All views are worthwhile and we’re interested in hearing them. Every member of the community is therefore invited to become a Contributor and all applications will be reviewed on their own merits.
If you’re interested in joining us, please send us an email containing your details and links to examples of your work. We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible with further information and we can take it from there. We look forward to hearing from you!