They're for playing puzzley games in real time.
Each of them has a pinned message to explain the rules of the game. Anyone is welcome to take part, and the room owners tend to be people who are particularly active players of the game (or, sometimes, bots whose automatic pinning powers are necessary for playing the game).
Direct link to chatroom
Note: I'm going to have to bend a few rules with this submission. For example, even though it's technically about a single clue, I'd have to at least mention many other clues for reasons that will be obvious soon.
Regarding potentially common solution to an archived minipuzzle?? (2, 4) — Sp3000
Gareth McCaughan has been an active and polite user in The Sphinx's Lair. He always strikes me as level-headed and insightful, and is willing and able to give helpful tips on improving puzzles when asked.
Gareth is one of the most prolific answerers on the site, with over 20k reputation earned from answers alone. While he has posed no ...
So the main concern with a private chatroom is that it's difficult to moderate. We really don't want to stumble across an illicit puzzle piracy ring (or much, much worse) a few months/years down the line. That's the main reason creating private rooms is limited to moderators and there's a scary warning about using it for moderation purposes. But just like ...
Codenames has an espionage setting, in which players in teams try to identify their own team's secret agents, based on their agents' code names. Codenames is a game of guessing which code names (words) in a set are related to a hint-word given by another player.
The game's espionage setting explains some of ...
Spyfall is best played with 4 or more players.
All players are in some location. This could be a circus tent, a space station, a theater, etc. Each player is also assigned a role for the location; this might be an acrobat for the circus tent, an alien for the space station, an actor for the theater, etc. However, one player is told ...
Contact requires at least three people, one person to create a word and at least two people to guess it. The word creator thinks of a word and gives the guessers the first letter. The guessers' objective at any stage is to get the word creator to give them the next letter of the word. They do this by coming up with words which they can (...
Oh God, please don't combine them.
Can you imagine how confusing it would be to have both games going on at the same time? You say that's unlikely to happen, but many people in chat have roughly similar daily activity patterns, so at peak time there could well be enough people for both games to be played. Why should they have to take turns? It seems silly ...
It isn't clear to me whether we need more room owners at this point, but if so then I think Rubio is an obvious choice.
is one of the more active chat users
isn't already a mod or room owner
is somewhat active in chat at times of day when the existing owners/mods are usually not around
is consistently reasonable and sensible in chat
There's already at least one precedent for this that I'm aware of: Deusovi set up a private chatroom for those of us who'd volunteered to be involved in the Community Metapuzzle he made a while back. He sent out some specific instructions to each of us individually by email, but much of the group organisation was done in that chatroom.
I propose a ...
FWIW I ...
quite like it
think it's a little too intrusive and would be better if (I've no idea whether this is possible) its posts looked like ordinary users', without the extra-wide margin and big bold linky header and image and tags in boxes
don't feel strongly one way or the other, and would not be greatly upset if it went away, nor if it continued as ...
Chat profiles aren't synced immediately with your network account; it automatically refreshes every couple hours or so (or when a moderator force-refreshes your chat profile). Especially for the initial 20 reputation to allow you to chat, it's going to take a bit of time for chat to catch up to the main site.
The "Sphinx" bot is better than the dropdown because:
you can "ignore" the bot, as you can any other user
after a screenful of chat, the bot's box scrolls up off the screen, whereas the dropdown stays there occupying space needlessly
the number of unread questions in puzzling.SE is in any case shown by a number in parens in its tab's text
Split original answer into 3 to be voted on separately
I am in the top 10 of the frequently active list.
The fact that I am in the top 10 of the list shows that I am very active in chat. I am very active on site too.
I am rated third most active in chat overall.
I am English which means I am in a different timezone from the majority of people, ...
The Sphinx's Lair doesn't need additional room owners.
Compared to places like the Bridge, the Nineteenth Byte, and a certain wretched hive of scum and villainy which I frequent, the Sphinx's Lair is pretty inactive (the number of messages in a given day usually isn't enough to go over the limit that fits on a single page in the transcript) and almost ...
While I like the idea of fostering community and having fun, I'm afraid I don't like this particular idea. You sum up most of my objections fairly clearly yourself, but in the interests of finding a more "official" reason, I'd argue the very first paragraph of the reputation help page makes a fairly clear cut case:
"Reputation is a rough measurement of ...