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Rules Change - Animated Gifs

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In a nutshell, you can animate your avatars now!

Previously I've had the rule against animated avatars in place because many people (myself included) find them incredibly distracting when they're next to text that we're supposed to be reading. There are also accessibility concerns. However, as an admin, I prefer to empower rather than put restrictions on members. Therefore, I've found some scripts and written a couple of arguments to (hopefully) satisfy those who like animated avatars and those who don't.

Essentially, if you do not like animated avatars, you do not need to do anything. All animated avatars for characters are frozen for you. You can play them by clicking on the avatar, click again to stop them. Mobile users will not see gif avatars.

If you do like animated avatars, you need to go to your profile and click on edit profile. Click on the button that is next to Enable Gif Avatars to turn it green. Click save.

If you want to use an animated avatar, you can add one in the regular avatar field as well as your rotator images. Just upload a static image in the static image field as that is what appears for mobiles. If you do not provide a static avatar your character's avatar will be the default image on mobiles. This is covered in the Upload and Add Avatar guide.

Initially, I was hoping to find a reliable solution for anyone who struggles with a lot of animated images due to epilepsy or other conditions. The solution I have is a javascript and so you may see some animation before it loads. Due to this, I thought that it was better to recommend browser extensions for anyone who is motion sensitive.

Without any experience with them, here are some options to try:

  • Firefox - Superstop
  • Firefox - change your settings
    • Type "about:config" in the address bar.
    • Click "I accept the risk!" when it comes up.
    • Find "image.animation" using the search box (just type "anim")
    • Double-click "image.animation_mode."
    • In the next box, type ether "once," so the animated GIFs only get one chance to play, or "none" so they never can.


  • Chrome - Gif Jam
  • Chrome - Animation Policy
  • Opera - Chrome Extensions (add this extension to add the above solutions)
  • Internet Explorer - change your settings

    Go to Internet Options (via the Tools menu "gear"  at the upper right)

    Select the Advanced tab

    Scroll down to Multimedia to uncheck "Play animations in web pages."

    You'll need to restart your browser and your computer for this to take effect and go through the whole process to re-start animated images.

  • Safari - none currently. Deanimator is an old extension that is still recommended.

If you have any recommendations for gif blockers, please comment here and I will add them to the list!

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