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TOPIC: Time to Revisit Age Policy?

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #25

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Or perhaps there could be "kids hours" for some days or times where the minimum age is lower?


That might be a solution, provided that the volunteer shifts are then also specially scheduled so that only DM's who love or are okay with kids, are staffed to work during those times.


I think you have the wrong perspective here.

Volunteers don't get to veto what sorts of people TD will allow to play.


If volunteers have to babysit, then yes, that does change the scope of the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of being a volunteer. The responsibilities of the role should be changed to reflect that. If the volunteer did not agree to that when signing up, then yes, they should be consulted.

For example, when I sign up to volunteer, I'm not signing up to be a janitor. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but that's not something I would spend my convention time doing. So if a drunk adult player vomits on the floor of my room or a adult player makes a mess of the toilets in the bathroom - sorry, that's not my job to clean up after them.

I think *you* have the wrong perspective here, but my main point isn't even specifically about the volunteers. It's about parents who are too self-centered to realize the impact they are having and costs they are incurring on other people. Sorry, but not everyone loves your darling little angel. (Same can be said for pet owners. Sure, you might love your dog or cat, but that doesn't mean everyone wants the animal to be jumping all over them). It's very, very narrow minded to simply think that "it's okay if everyone in the group is fine with it." There are other people involved - volunteers, other groups who might get disrupted (say by a wailing baby). Similarly, if you take mis-behaving children to a nice restaurant, it's not okay just because everyone you are eating with is okay with it. Other people have to deal with the consequences of your decision.

I feel slightly differently about babies who are carried. I think it's OK to permit this, under the clear understanding that if the baby begins to cry or be disruptive the guardian and baby will be escorted out with no refund. It might be too much hassle to administer such a program for the benefit it's going to bring.


If there are kids or babies on the run, should the rest of the party members be forced to moderate their language? For example, no adult topics, no "swearing," no talk of violence, no talk of religion, etc.


You can't talk about religion in front of babies?

Players should behave within some reasonable bounds of decorum at all times. The presence of a baby changes nothing.[/quote]

Uh, young children might not be able to handle discussion of the afterlife (or whether there is one or whether there exists some sort of punishment for bad people). Or some parents might not want their children exposed to beliefs other than their own.

In TDC, we had DEATH show up in the final room. You wanna explain DEATH to some little kids? That'll be fun to watch!

Apparently, nowadays, even some innocuous comments about the non-existence of Santa / Easter Bunny / Tooth Fairy could end up "horribly scarring some kids for life." (Here's another case where I'd love to use that eye-rolling red panda emoticon).

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #26

I have to laugh at some of the ideas that have been expressed...

Mainly because there are adults I would never want to be in a group with... and young children I would have no problem with.

For example, even thought that the mother of my children is an adult (so I have been assured!) I would never want to see her in any group -- not even my worst enemies group, assuming he/she played TD. In her mindset, If an event is not spiritually uplifting (in her own mind, at least) then it is of the devil and a complete waste of time and must be avoided. Yes, she is many years older than the minimum age, but lacks the maturity to let other people enjoy their activity...

I made the mistake of bringing her to an event a single time, and she became vocally offended that a cleric healing another character, let alone raising the dead, would insult her ideology and mock her dirty...

I ramble, maybe I've had too much of a night cap...

But my point is sound...

Yes, I think we need an absolute minimum age...
BUT
We need to take into account the maturity of a person, and realize some people no matter their age would be inappropriate to play.

I would hate to be asked to hold someone's baby while they "slid" their attack... No, I don't dislike children, but I go to events to ESCAPE this very thing (I was probably a poor example of a father). Nor would I want to have to be constantly wondering if my vocabulary was appropriate in front of some players... or even topic of conversation. Those that know me know that I take care of my ex's children from a previous "life" as if they were my own, still today, but the younger would not be appropriate to force on others who are there to escape from the reality of real life and enjoy themselves.

I am very opinionated, but I think I am mature enough to "agree to disagree" and avoid topics or vocabulary that some might find offensive... but I would feel cheated if I couldn't let loose (in an appropriate manner, at least) and enjoy my adventure where I am suspending my sense of reality to emerce myself deep in an adventure due to some underage or immature people in the group.

I agree that accommodations must be made for some players, mainly in case of allergies or legitimate handicaps. I hate it when the person sitting next to me on a 4 hour plus flight has their "emotional companion" with them (what others call a pet!) especially when they take the animals out of their cage to hold it while flying (and snaps at me, growls, etc, since they can detect that I don't appreciate them due to my allergies to animal dandruff and such). Would you want someone in your group who "has" to bring their pet, er, ah, emotional companion on your dungeon run which barks, howls, growls at the npc's in the dark and even other players? So far I haven't seen this, but I have been in hotel rooms that are suppose to be pet free where the previous guest had one of these animal companions in the room causing me to have allergic reactions... even though it was against hotel policy, they threatened to sue under the ADA to have their pet, er , animal companion in the room.

I find the excuse to impose on other people for their handicap inappropriate. People need to recognize that some activities just are not for them.

I ramble, and probably have offended many. But as I have said before, I will say again, "he who takes offense when offense is not int need is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense IS intended is an idiot".

Well, maybe I should listen to my friends and not post while drunk...

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Last edit: by Mongo. Reason: Fix grammar

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #27

These are my personal opinions. They do not represent TD.

Historically, TD has been fairly casual with rules. The "must be 13 to play" rule has been around ever since I can remember. I think it's a good rule, especially for safety and legal reasons. Sure, 13 is a somewhat arbitrary number, but so are 18 and 21 for things like voting, sex, and boozing. If a parent thinks their 12 year old is mature enough to play TD and the kiddo plays well, I'm not going to lose sleep over it and I doubt anyone else with either. Occasionally, bending the rules just a little bit isn't a big deal. But when someone wants to bring a toddler or an infant into a run, that's not bending a rules, it's breaking them.

I think it's frelling awesome that parents want to expose their young children to gaming and nerd culture at an early age. I wholeheartedly applaud those efforts. I think there are more appropriate places and ways to accomplish that goal.

Years ago, I attended a sold-out showing of Eyes Wide Shut . For those who may be unfamiliar with it, click the link. It's clearly a film for adults. But at the screening I was in, a couple chose to bring their (approximately) six and eight year olds. Because the kids didn't understand the on-screen goings-on, they kept asking questions. All. Through. The. Film! At first, audience members politely and repeatedly shushed the kids. That had zero effect. Then the shushes got less polite. Equally ignored. Ushers were brought in on a couple occasions, but during both visits, the kids happened to be silent so the cinema (somewhat understandably) did nothing. No matter how mentally mature those kids were, they should not have been in that auditorium watching that film. If the parents felt their very young children ought to see such a flick, they should have watched it in their own home where they could answer questions without disturbing hundreds of other people.

Rather than revisiting the age policy--which I think if fine as is--I really wish people with obviously too-young-to-play children would not put TD personnel in the awkward position of having to ask them to not bring the kids on a run. You know the rule, it's not unreasonable, so please do us the courtesy of abiding by it.
Have you looked it up in the TDb ?
Please post TDb corrections in this thread .
If I write something in teal, it should not be taken seriously

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #28

Incognito wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Or perhaps there could be "kids hours" for some days or times where the minimum age is lower?


That might be a solution, provided that the volunteer shifts are then also specially scheduled so that only DM's who love or are okay with kids, are staffed to work during those times.


I think you have the wrong perspective here.

Volunteers don't get to veto what sorts of people TD will allow to play.


If volunteers have to babysit, then yes, that does change the scope of the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of being a volunteer. The responsibilities of the role should be changed to reflect that. If the volunteer did not agree to that when signing up, then yes, they should be consulted.


Allowing children accompanied by a guardian to play TD is not the same as asking volunteers to babysit.

I don't think TD should ask volunteers to babysit.

I guess this is the locust of our disagreement. Perhaps it would have been clearer if your post had just said: "I think whenever someone under age X is in the dungeon it is equivalent to asking volunteers to babysit, and volunteers shouldn't babysit, please let me know if you agree."


I think *you* have the wrong perspective here, but my main point isn't even specifically about the volunteers. It's about parents who are too self-centered to realize the impact they are having and costs they are incurring on other people. Sorry, but not everyone loves your darling little angel. (Same can be said for pet owners. Sure, you might love your dog or cat, but that doesn't mean everyone wants the animal to be jumping all over them). It's very, very narrow minded to simply think that "it's okay if everyone in the group is fine with it." There are other people involved - volunteers, other groups who might get disrupted (say by a wailing baby). Similarly, if you take mis-behaving children to a nice restaurant, it's not okay just because everyone you are eating with is okay with it. Other people have to deal with the consequences of your decision.


My comment about you having the wrong perspective related to your assessment that TD could only change age rules with the consent of the volunteers.

I maintain that volunteers do not have veto power over TD's age restrictions.

I maintain that people who think TD must get permission from their volunteers before changing age attendance policies have the wrong perspective on that issue.

I broadly agree with your assessments of the impacts children can have on people around them. However I think your demonization of parents (self-centered, narrow-minded) is beside the point and unhelpful to your argument to boot. We should argue policy based on its impact on the game, not on the negative character traits of the players.

I feel slightly differently about babies who are carried. I think it's OK to permit this, under the clear understanding that if the baby begins to cry or be disruptive the guardian and baby will be escorted out with no refund. It might be too much hassle to administer such a program for the benefit it's going to bring.


If there are kids or babies on the run, should the rest of the party members be forced to moderate their language? For example, no adult topics, no "swearing," no talk of violence, no talk of religion, etc.


You can't talk about religion in front of babies?

Players should behave within some reasonable bounds of decorum at all times. The presence of a baby changes nothing.


Uh, young children might not be able to handle discussion of the afterlife (or whether there is one or whether there exists some sort of punishment for bad people). Or some parents might not want their children exposed to beliefs other than their own.

In TDC, we had DEATH show up in the final room. You wanna explain DEATH to some little kids? That'll be fun to watch!

Apparently, nowadays, even some innocuous comments about the non-existence of Santa / Easter Bunny / Tooth Fairy could end up "horribly scarring some kids for life." (Here's another case where I'd love to use that eye-rolling red panda emoticon).


You are setting up and knocking down a straw man.

If you read the comment you quoted, you can see my comments pertain to babies who are carried.

No one proposed a workshop where the existential realities of death and speculation about the nature of the afterlife is discussed with small children except you. I think we can all agree that would be a bad idea.

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Last edit: by Matthew Hayward.

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #29

Some observations and comments:

1. Sunday’s at Gen Con are Family days. Good day for open allowance?
2. How will one know who is of age and who isn’t?
3. Buying all ten tickets does seem to give team acceptance to under 13 year olds.
4. Let’s say a father’s kids are 23, 19, 18, 14, 12, and 9 (maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, aren’t going to say!). All have played more than once last year. His wife plays. His friends fill the rest of the slots. Do the father leave the nine year old behind due to enforced rules? The nine year old is as tall as most 13 year olds, the 12 year old is taller than most adults. Now refer to point #2 above. Guess what the family oriented father is going to try to pull off.

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #30

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Incognito wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Or perhaps there could be "kids hours" for some days or times where the minimum age is lower?


That might be a solution, provided that the volunteer shifts are then also specially scheduled so that only DM's who love or are okay with kids, are staffed to work during those times.


I think you have the wrong perspective here.

Volunteers don't get to veto what sorts of people TD will allow to play.


If volunteers have to babysit, then yes, that does change the scope of the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of being a volunteer. The responsibilities of the role should be changed to reflect that. If the volunteer did not agree to that when signing up, then yes, they should be consulted.


Allowing children accompanied by a guardian to play TD is not the same as asking volunteers to babysit.

I don't think TD should ask volunteers to babysit.

I guess this is the locust of our disagreement. Perhaps it would have been clearer if your post had just said: "I think whenever someone under age X is in the dungeon it is equivalent to asking volunteers to babysit, and volunteers shouldn't babysit, please let me know if you agree."


I think *you* have the wrong perspective here, but my main point isn't even specifically about the volunteers. It's about parents who are too self-centered to realize the impact they are having and costs they are incurring on other people. Sorry, but not everyone loves your darling little angel. (Same can be said for pet owners. Sure, you might love your dog or cat, but that doesn't mean everyone wants the animal to be jumping all over them). It's very, very narrow minded to simply think that "it's okay if everyone in the group is fine with it." There are other people involved - volunteers, other groups who might get disrupted (say by a wailing baby). Similarly, if you take mis-behaving children to a nice restaurant, it's not okay just because everyone you are eating with is okay with it. Other people have to deal with the consequences of your decision.


My comment about you having the wrong perspective related to your assessment that TD could only change age rules with the consent of the volunteers.

I maintain that volunteers do not have veto power over TD's age restrictions.

I maintain that people who think TD must get permission from their volunteers before changing age attendance policies have the wrong perspective on that issue.

I broadly agree with your assessments of the impacts children can have on people around them. However I think your demonization of parents (self-centered, narrow-minded) is beside the point and unhelpful to your argument to boot. We should argue policy based on its impact on the game, not on the negative character traits of the players.

I feel slightly differently about babies who are carried. I think it's OK to permit this, under the clear understanding that if the baby begins to cry or be disruptive the guardian and baby will be escorted out with no refund. It might be too much hassle to administer such a program for the benefit it's going to bring.


If there are kids or babies on the run, should the rest of the party members be forced to moderate their language? For example, no adult topics, no "swearing," no talk of violence, no talk of religion, etc.


You can't talk about religion in front of babies?

Players should behave within some reasonable bounds of decorum at all times. The presence of a baby changes nothing.


Uh, young children might not be able to handle discussion of the afterlife (or whether there is one or whether there exists some sort of punishment for bad people). Or some parents might not want their children exposed to beliefs other than their own.

In TDC, we had DEATH show up in the final room. You wanna explain DEATH to some little kids? That'll be fun to watch!

Apparently, nowadays, even some innocuous comments about the non-existence of Santa / Easter Bunny / Tooth Fairy could end up "horribly scarring some kids for life." (Here's another case where I'd love to use that eye-rolling red panda emoticon).


You are setting up and knocking down a straw man.

If you read the comment you quoted, you can see my comments pertain to babies who are carried.

No one proposed a workshop where the existential realities of death and speculation about the nature of the afterlife is discussed with small children except you. I think we can all agree that would be a bad idea.


Matthew, maybe I'm misreading your post, but in this case I'd say that Volunteers absolutely do have veto power over people bringing babies and toddlers into True Dungeon. It's against the rules for anyone younger than 13 to be there, with emphasis on babies and infants, so a Volunteer would simply be enforcing the rules by not allowing someone to bring a baby or infant into True Dungeon.

If you're saying that Volunteers don't have veto power over True Dungeon setting a rule, I agree with that. The only real veto power a Volunteer has in that case would be to stop being a Volunteer if they disagree.

This portion of the rules seems pretty definitive: Infants & toddlers are absolutely not allowed to go in the dungeon.

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Last edit: by Mike Steele.

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #31

If it's a liability issue, TD is setting itself up for legal trouble by allowing young kids. No one, including the rest of the party, has a right to force TD to expose itself to lawsuits.

If it's an annoying-other-players issue, buying the run should imply consent.

If it's a volunteer issue, I think the DM has every right IMO to deal with unruly kids in character.

"Your clumsy running circles around the room triggers the puzzle failure and causes the entire party to take (the appropriate) damage."

(Afterva warning or two) "Climbing on the curtain triggers a rock slide. Everyone take push damage."

"Your paladin's constant whining annoys the ogre, who hits him for a buttload of damage."

Punish the adults and maybe they'll deal with their brats. Or, TPK them and shoo them out.

So which problem are we trying to solve?

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #32

Mike Steele wrote:
Matthew, maybe I'm misreading your post, but in this case I'd say that Volunteers absolutely do have veto power over people bringing babies and toddlers into True Dungeon. It's against the rules for anyone younger than 13 to be there, with emphasis on babies and infants, so a Volunteer would simply be enforcing the rules by not allowing someone to bring a baby or infant into True Dungeon.

If you're saying that Volunteers don't have veto power over True Dungeon setting a rule, I agree with that. The only real veto power a Volunteer has in that case would be to stop being a Volunteer if they disagree.



I'm saying the second thing: TD sets policy and volunteers apply/enforce.

Here is what I'm saying from the post you quoted:

My comment about you having the wrong perspective related to your assessment that TD could only change age rules with the consent of the volunteers.

I maintain that volunteers do not have veto power over TD's age restrictions.

I maintain that people who think TD must get permission from their volunteers before changing age attendance policies have the wrong perspective on that issue.



This entire discussion and note is for the purpose of discussion of changes to current policy.

I acknowledge the existence current policy.

I'm not arguing the current policy can't or shouldn't be enforced.

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Last edit: by Matthew Hayward.

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #33

Matthew Hayward wrote: Allowing children accompanied by a guardian to play TD is not the same as asking volunteers to babysit.

I don't think TD should ask volunteers to babysit.

I guess this is the locust of our disagreement. Perhaps it would have been clearer if your post had just said: "I think whenever someone under age X is in the dungeon it is equivalent to asking volunteers to babysit, and volunteers shouldn't babysit, please let me know if you agree."


Okay. I think whenever someone under age X is in the dungeon it is equivalent to asking volunteers to babysit, and volunteers shouldn't babysit, please let me know if you agree or disagree.

As one example, a few years ago a well-known forumite brought their underage child for a run (but they bought out the run, so of course it was okay!).

Just like in Druegar's movie anecdote, the child was incredibly irritating because they were constantly asking me (the DM) questions. The child also had a "look at me! look at me!" mentality and constantly wanted to be the center of attention. It was extremely frustrating and distracting, and I wasn't able to give the rest of the group the full attention they deserved as a result. It definitely felt like babysitting to me!

My comment about you having the wrong perspective related to your assessment that TD could only change age rules with the consent of the volunteers.

I maintain that volunteers do not have veto power over TD's age restrictions.

I maintain that people who think TD must get permission from their volunteers before changing age attendance policies have the wrong perspective on that issue.


I'm not saying that volunteers should have "veto power". What I *am* saying is:

Before volunteers are chosen (or applications submitted), TD is welcome to unilaterally change the rules or guidelines. People are then aware of those before deciding whether or not to volunteer.

Once volunteers are confirmed, if TD changes any rules or guidelines that affect the scope of the volunteering duties, then volunteers should be allowed to withdraw or modify their volunteer commitment because TD has changed the initial working terms.

It gets more complicated if TD wants to change rules or guidelines at the actual con. I don't think any volunteers should be forced to do something they are not comfortable with or did not agree to do (especially because, you know, they are "volunteers"). If TD wants them to do something that is outside the scope of what was originally agreed upon, the volunteer should be allowed the opportunity to withdraw (though that may make things complex with free badge, hotel room, and other compensation) because TD is changing the terms. It would be like bait-and-switch.

This is especially relevant because TD's own explicit policies establish an Age Limit and specifically state that "Infants & toddlers are absolutely not allowed to go in the dungeon." Also, DM training emphasizes "consistency."

I am not a lawyer, but there theoretically could be liability issues if TD is not abiding by its own policies and rules.

I broadly agree with your assessments of the impacts children can have on people around them. However I think your demonization of parents (self-centered, narrow-minded) is beside the point and unhelpful to your argument to boot. We should argue policy based on its impact on the game, not on the negative character traits of the players.


As I've argued before, it *is* self-centered and narrow-minded to think "as long as my group is okay with it, then it's okay to do it" precisely because it is not considering the perspectives of anyone outside of your group.

I feel slightly differently about babies who are carried. I think it's OK to permit this, under the clear understanding that if the baby begins to cry or be disruptive the guardian and baby will be escorted out with no refund. It might be too much hassle to administer such a program for the benefit it's going to bring.


If there are kids or babies on the run, should the rest of the party members be forced to moderate their language? For example, no adult topics, no "swearing," no talk of violence, no talk of religion, etc.


You can't talk about religion in front of babies?

Players should behave within some reasonable bounds of decorum at all times. The presence of a baby changes nothing.


Uh, young children might not be able to handle discussion of the afterlife (or whether there is one or whether there exists some sort of punishment for bad people). Or some parents might not want their children exposed to beliefs other than their own.

In TDC, we had DEATH show up in the final room. You wanna explain DEATH to some little kids? That'll be fun to watch!

Apparently, nowadays, even some innocuous comments about the non-existence of Santa / Easter Bunny / Tooth Fairy could end up "horribly scarring some kids for life." (Here's another case where I'd love to use that eye-rolling red panda emoticon).


You are setting up and knocking down a straw man.

If you read the comment you quoted, you can see my comments pertain to babies who are carried.

No one proposed a workshop where the existential realities of death and speculation about the nature of the afterlife is discussed with small children except you. I think we can all agree that would be a bad idea.


Well, you didn't address my broader point (about both kids and babies, and about many types of language, not just religion). So I didn't know what you meant by "You can't talk about religion in front of babies?"

This is a genuine question: Is it okay to swear in front of babies, especially because they probably won't understand it? Is it okay to maturely talk about adult topics in front of either babies or young children?

Your comment was simply about "behave[ing] within some reasonable bounds of decorum" but there are plenty of adult discussions that can be had within the bounds of decorum, that nonetheless would not be appropriate for young children (or possibly babies) to hear.

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Last edit: by Incognito.

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #34

Donald Rients wrote: Some observations and comments:

1. Sunday’s at Gen Con are Family days. Good day for open allowance?


Maybe except there won't be any Sunday TD runs this year at Gen Con. Thursday through Saturday only. I hope everyone knows this already and I am not letting a cat out of any bag.
You either discover a star or you don't. You arrogant punk.

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #35

jedibcg wrote:

Donald Rients wrote: Some observations and comments:

1. Sunday’s at Gen Con are Family days. Good day for open allowance?


Maybe except there won't be any Sunday TD runs this year at Gen Con. Thursday through Saturday only. I hope everyone knows this already and I am not letting a cat out of any bag.


I had heard that from someone who says they got some newsletter stating that. I hadn't seen it. Is it confirmed for sure that there will not be any runs on Sunday? This is when my family does the runs since they are easier to get a set of ten that day. This is the 50th year for Gen Con, the 15th for TD, but the runs are going to be cut down by one day even though the tickets are basically sell outs in the first place? Noting how late Gen Con is this year will limit Jr. High and High School kids running on Thursday and Friday. My Jr. High and High School kids are in school that Thursday and Friday since school starts that week. I had already bought 4-day passes for us all, and now Saturday is the only day we can run? Good luck getting tickets that day due to the increased competition for them. Now I am seriously rethinking about going to Gen Con this year. Looks like I have until July 2nd to dump those six four day passes (I hadn't bought the other two yet).

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #36

Brad Mortensen wrote: which problem are we trying to solve?

I don't think the issues you mentioned are mutually exclusive.
Have you looked it up in the TDb ?
Please post TDb corrections in this thread .
If I write something in teal, it should not be taken seriously

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