The GameFAQs Chat was the official Chat Room of GameFAQs from 2000 to 2001. During its operation, users logged in through a Java client or through an IRC program.
GameFAQs Chat was originally created on June 21, 2000. It had only a few main rooms when it was started, such as #gamefaqs, #trivia, #lobby, and #aaa. All users would enter chat at #lobby and could go wherever they wanted from there. Users could also create their own personal rooms at whim.
In early 2001, the chat rooms were dismantled and a new system for creating rooms was put in. A GameFAQs Chat regular could petition for a GameFAQs chat room, and if there were enough signatures, the room was created and that person would run it. Approximately 40 rooms were created by May 2001, ranging from #console_war, to #wrestling, to #bels_room_of_fun, to the secret room #attitude. As each chat room "petition" passed whereby each user could only vote once, and could not use multiple accounts to vote (one of the first signs that GameFAQs used usermaps to track user activity), the next petition required the previous number of signatures plus one more before it would pass. Initially the number was very low at around 20 signatures. As more rooms were made, ones with very little traffic or discussion were removed from the system with warnings about the impending closure being made public on the GameFAQs "Realtime Chat board" (aka RTC board 8).
It cost a lot of money to run, and eventually took its toll. On May 10, 2001, after Wroth was hacked, CJayC became fed up with chat and closed it permanently. Some spinoffs have been done, but none have come close to its original popularity.
GameFAQs Chat contained a different Terms of Service to the boards, although there are many areas of overlap. The TOS was enforced by Automatic Operators (AOPs) which were users automatically given Operator rights upon entering the room by the server and chosen by the relevant room owner known as the Site Operator (SOPs), and IRCOps, the Chat version of GameFAQs Moderators, usually selected from the older accounts and having some sort of contact with CJayC during the creation of the site. Incidentally, many IRCOps and SOPs became moderators later in time.
The Chat system also had a different user level system. At this stage, board levels were determined by the age of the account (Karma was not yet implemented). Appropriately, chat account levels were based on hours logged into GameFAQs chat (note that board accounts had to be registered to use Chat). The "golden" level was 7/4, with Board User Level 7 (Veteran, a 60-day-old account) and Chat User Level 4 (100 hours online). Reaching this level permitted users to be designated as OPs (User Level 5: Channel Operators) and petition for their own chatrooms (User Level 6: Site Operator).
The levelling system could be undermined by users idling in channels for days at a time, quickly notching up the required number of hours to attain the next level. Many channels had idle rules, such as #ddr's "10 minute rule", booting users who remained idle after a certain amount of time. On the other hand, channels like #lobby were filled with idlers.
- #2dfighters: Run by chickenboy; created for the purpose of talking about 2D fighting games, such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter.
- #aaa: A large cult following of GameFAQs users who had accounts at the Alien Adoption Agency, and was generally the third most populated room.
- #anime: Discussion of anything anime-related.
- #attitude: Secret chatroom with only around 100 people, at most, knowing about it. The members of this room were generally a tight-knit group, though what was discussed is unknown.
- #bels_room_of_fun: Run by Belgarath; a general-purpose chatroom.
- #console_war: Run by gloBal_enemy; became extremely popular late in the chat room's life when the next-gen systems (PS2, XBox, and Gamecube) were starting to be unveiled.
- #contributors: Run by Dallas; was made for FAQ, review, code and game save contributors.
- #couch: Run by Lady_Celtic_Warrior. A spinoff of The Couch board.
- #dbz: For the discussion of Dragonball Z.
- #ddr: Run by Bishounen_no_Miko, with only a few chat ops. Whilst intended for the discussion of Dance Dance Revolution, this was not always the case.
- #dreamcast: For the discussion of the Dreamcast.
- #finalfantasy: Run by Kingsmark. Discussion of the Final Fantasy series.
- #gamefaqs: Run by CVagts; the most popular chat room, usually averaging between 20 and 30 people at any given time. CJayC actually made a couple of appearances in this chat room in January 2001, to the surprise of many chat room members.
- #help: This chat room was solely for any problems that a chat user may have had, whether with chat or the boards.
- #lobby: Run by AEtherSPOON; was the first room a person would enter if they were using java. There were many people in this room at any given time, yet there was virtually no conversation.
- #nintendo_and_psx: For the discussion of the Nintendo 64, the PlayStation, and anything involving the two.
- #perfectdark: Run by JondaMon8.
- #raf: A spinoff of the Roleplaying and Fanfiction board.
- #seiken_densetsu: For the discussion of the Seiken Densetsu series.
- #sports: Run by Bears092; was for the discusion off all sports with the exception of wrestling when it was created.
- #squaresoft: Run by Desmond. For the discussion of Squaresoft and its plans. One of the last discussion topics before chat's closure was of Squaresoft and Disney possibly combining to form an RPG.
- #trivia: Run by Arrawnt; second in popularity only to #gamefaqs, averaging between 15 and 25 people. In chat's later months, trivia bots were created to make trivia games and challenges run smoother.
- #wrestling: Run by wizardman; for the discussion of wrestling, though almost no wrestling programs were discussed other than the WWF. XSquader became notorious on this chat room, being OPed, DeOPed, banned, and ReOPed at least 5 times with multiple accounts.