Threaded comments? On my video game blog? It's more likely than you think, now that the nerds that power Kotaku's tech have pulled the trigger, introducing a new way to look at comments. The goal? In order to make conversations with your fellow readers here easier, the new "threaded comments" system organizes comment replies more logically and makes discussing the post at hand easier to do and digest. Hit up any post with comments to start tinkering with the new system yourself, or read on to get the full rundown of what's changed and why... and some helpful commenting tips!What's a threaded comment? Instead of a stacked list of one-off replies, you'll be able to respond to and have your response appear directly below another commenters remarks. We're told this makes the whole thing read more like a "conversation," something we vaguely remember before we started working on the internet. The best part? You won't have to scroll up to root out someone's smart-ass comment to an earlier smart-ass comment and you won't have to scroll all the way to the bottom to reply to another commenter. How do I respond to a comment? Simply click on the reply arrow and start pounding away at the keyboard. Are threads displayed in chronological order? Well sort of. Each conversation will be displayed in chronological order, but organization of those conversations overall will be displayed based on popularity. The most popular conversations will float to the top. The most recent comment that has no replies will appear on top for 15 minutes before being filtered down. If a more active conversation receives a reply within those 15 minutes, that conversation will overtake the stand-alone comment. What's this little heart next to a commenter's name? And, hey, where'd the plus and minus go?! You used to need to tick the plus or minus button to befriend or de-friend another commenter. Now you just tick the little heart button. It's sweeter this way. What's up with that star icon? Are these commenters invincible? Starred commenters were readers who have 25 or more followers or were designated as stars by an admin. With the introduction of threaded comments, the number of followers required to attain star is increasing to 40. There is no level cap. I'm frightened of change. Is there a way to view comments the "old-fashioned" way? Yes! You can switch to the old style comments layout by clicking the "classic view" link in the comments bar at the top of the threads. Good vs. Bad Comments Read carefully before you comment. Definitely read beyond the headline before you comment. If you're new to the notion of offering your anonymous opinion via the internet, here are a few guidelines for cranking out grade-A comments. Characteristics of a good comment: + Insight, additional information and helpful corrections + Intelligent critique + Wit, humor and amusing personal anecdotes + Calm, courteous, reasoned disagreement, either with the opinions/facts presented in a post itself or with other commenters Characteristics of a bad comment: - Attacks on other commenters or Kotaku editors - we don't mind the criticism, but if you are going to be a dick about it, we have no qualms over banning you and later belittling you via e-mail. - Trolling - Excessive vulgarity, including racist, sexist or homophobic attacks - Self-promotion - Irrelevance - "I don't know who this person is" or "First!" - Assumption/speculation over an editor's motivations - "This post was only put up in order to garner [editor name] pageviews" or "This is not news!" - Thread hijacking Disemvoweling or "Wht hppnd t my cmmnt?" One of the comment admins found your response to be either lame or just plain stupid enough to not warrant a ban, but to make it unreadable. We've removed the vowels from your post to make it nigh unreadable. Consider it a warning, or in some cases, evidence for your ban. Being banned. We reserve the right to ban for any reason. We do not owe banned commenters an explanation, although we may give one if we feel like it. As always, banned commenters can re-apply for commenting privileges after 2 weeks.