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Subject: New Sub-Forum: Religion, Politics, Sexual Preference? rss

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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I was gonna ask for a new sub-forum for these threads that always end up in flam wars, so that fun-lovin people, who just wanna have a good time, and write run on sentences, don't have to see them when they go to the off topic forum for their daily laughs, trivia, cool links, etc.

Then I saw the new moderation system... which might make this request moot. I shall wait... and observe.
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Jack H.
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I can't help but feel that would be asking for trouble!
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I don't know how it could possibly get any worse. It's to clean up chit chat. It's probably a moot request anyway, like I said.
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Burke Glover
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I'd still prefer to see the subjects made taboo. BGG simply isn't the place for them.
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ejmowrer wrote:
I don't know how it could possibly get any worse. It's to clean up chit chat. It's probably a moot request anyway, like I said.



Worse? What are you talking about? You guys make it sound like this place has gone to pot. If you think so, you need to move around the internet a while, and find that BGG is downright cheery. Nothing wrong with it around here, there are no WMD's here, trust me.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Apples and Oranges. It's not like suddenly you'd have an army of 14 year olds showing up on the site because they made a sub-forum for taboo topics. I don't see it getting any worse than it already is with the people that are currently using the site.
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Severus Snape
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No! No! No! No! No! arrrh

Can we not just leave BGG for games and areas directly related to games?

goo
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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bentlarsen wrote:
No! No! No! No! No! arrrh

Can we not just leave BGG for games and areas directly related to games?

goo


That would be my first pick, but that horse is very, very, very dead. I was thinking about this as a compromise of sorts... Wait, did you read my original post?
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Severus Snape
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ejmowrer wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
No! No! No! No! No! arrrh

Can we not just leave BGG for games and areas directly related to games?

goo


That would be my first pick, but that horse is very, very, very dead. I was thinking about this as a compromise of sorts... Wait, did you read my original post?


No! No! No! No! No!

Actually, yes, but it seems to me that the forums are more about non-game related issues than they are game related issues; I am just venting into the winds of "change." Blah. goo
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Marshall P.
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ejmowrer wrote:
I was gonna ask for a new sub-forum for these threads that always end up in flame wars,


Actually the latest round of these threads hasn't devolved into flame wars and I find the threads quite interesting.

I don't have an opinion on your reccommendation on where to put them, I don't really care. I'm just saying that it's possible to have these discussions in an interesting manner and without name calling.
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Karl Schmit
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I'm failing to see how non-gaming topics aren't appropriate in a forum described as "Post anything off topic or not gaming related here."
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Michael Tagge
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bentlarsen wrote:
No! No! No! No! No! arrrh

Can we not just leave BGG for games and areas directly related to games?

goo


Your wish is my command. On your homepage click on edit front page and deselct Off Topic from the selection box.

Boy I love the easy requests.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Yeah, I happen to enjoy the PEOPLE here as much as the actual games. I could hang out at any different number of forums, but I find the level of discourse here is downright peachy compared to anywhere else.

Also this is the only place on the internet where people type like intelligent and reasonable human beings... for the most part.
 
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Big Woo
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bentlarsen wrote:
[size=7]No! ... Can we not just leave BGG for games and areas directly related to games?goo


Why impose your preference of what you want people to limit their chit-chat to when the admins have already given you a way to ignore absolutely everything that you want to ignore?

I quite like meeting people here. The BGG site has become an almost daily visit for me, and given the hours I have been working lately, it is nice to chill out afterwards with folk who are still awake, and don't need to talk games per-se.

Some of us quite enjoy the chit-chat, and like there are people who are mad keen on cats, well, politics and world matters interest me. As off-topic chit-chat they are equally valid as far as I can see, and I wouldn't like to see the what-is-often-defined-as-hot-potato-topics disappear simply because some people can't handle them. I agree that some post are guaranteed to flare up because the topic is on-the-edge to many, and some just don't know how to handle a conversation or debate, but they are usually quickly called back from the frothing fringes, and I, for one, would hate it to see the cat-lovers turfed out simply because some misbehave.

However, if you keep strolling into the chit-chat area just to say they shouldn't be here you would do everyone, including yourself, a bigger favour by ignoring them. If you are here because you expected a games thread, what bit of off-topic confused you?

I am glad it's here, I appreciate that the BGG owners and several visitors would like to see it kept separate, and giving it it's own module that can be switched off on demand is a near-perfect solution.

Besides, I have been pleasantly surprised that the recent change of tone in these threads. Lately, *controversial* threads here have been incredibly well mannered. It looks like Aldie's request for courtesy has been taken to heart (for a long as it lasts) by most posters in these thread. Some have been downright informative, even to those who were on the same side of the debate.

Funnily enough I strolled over to the game threads this morning and ran into some pretty nasty Battle Lore bickering. Maybe it's time to ditch the game area to keep BGG a friendly meeting place?

I can't see the need for splitting the off-topic into different bits of off-topic. Headers are a pretty good guides to what bits are cat-free zones, and hence should be avoided by those who like it off-topic, but fluffy.
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Philip Thomas
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I don't see the need for a seperate (or subordinate) foum about which politician beleives in what while shagging who... Its all off-topic, and if you don't like that sort of thread it usually obvious what sort of thread it is in the first post...

OTOH I am strongly against banning discussion, especially on these subjects. Places where people aren't allowed to tallk religion or politics are quite scary... I'm not sure where you're going with the other category (is it like, marzipan or vanilla, or do you really mean sexuality but don't want to say?)

 
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shumyum
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Some sincere serious advice:

1. It's very easy to see when a topic has become a flame war or some other thing you don't like. You don't have to see very much of it to figure it out.
2. It's then very easy to ignore it.
3. That glimpse you saw will not affect your life in any way.
4. You will not be missing out on anything important when you ignore it. And it is not going to spiral out of control because you weren't there to control it (and you CAN'T control it).
5. Ignoring it will for the most part make the most amount of people happy including yourself; and if it really is that important that these topics get minimized, ignoring them really is the most effective course of action. More effective than either chiming in or moderation.
5. You children are safe. It really is only harmless text, and they already know this stuff.
6. BGG is safe. The percentage of flamable topics here is very very low; they don't by ANY stretch of the imagination except the most ambitiously sensitive define this site.
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Leo Zappa
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HBGlover wrote:
I'd still prefer to see the subjects made taboo. BGG simply isn't the place for them.


That may be true for the rest of the BGG site, but this is the OFF TOPIC forum, for goodness sake. It's sole purpose IS TO DISCUSS THINGS NOT RELATED TO GAMES! Some of you may have missed it, but there is a COMMUNITY here, and sometimes, COMMUNITIES like to talk about subjects OTHER THAN GAMES.

As for the OP, I absolutely do not see the need for an additional sub-forum from OT - it's already OT to begin with, so why do we need to sub-divide it FURTHER?!

Honestly, I don't understand where this need to sub-file, hide, and make taboo is coming from lately! What are some of you sooo afraid of??????????
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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desertfox2004 wrote:
What are some of you sooo afraid of??????????


Gay Transgendered Libertarian Atheists
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Severus Snape
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Why impose your preference of what you want people to limit their chit-chat to when the admins have already given you a way to ignore absolutely everything that you want to ignore


It is too laugh, Big Woo. That's rich. People keep reminding me how powerful I am at controlling BGG, whether it be my ability to skew game ratings with a single click of the mouse, or play Big Brother with the forums. All that's left is for me to figure out 1) how to make money from this ability; and 2) how to get rid of those bloody "thumb's down." goo
 
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Big Woo
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Sorry Bentlarsen, you stated that you wanted games only, and since the admins have cleverly put off-topic in a module called "off-topic" which you can then ignore, and that you can even make disappear completely from your frontpage view if you really get annoyed by its presence, well, I call that pretty much "given you what you asked for", a place just about games, without off-topic distractions.

I'm not getting anywhere near suggestion BGG is giving you any special favours, I'm just suggesting that some folk have figured out how to use the powers that all of us have been given, and wonder what bit is proving too hard for you?

I do think its a bit rich to request the area for those BBGeeks who do enjoy it to become silent simply because you want it so, an despite having an option to "wish it away". You show intelligence and reasonability in many other post (no snottiness intended), and I am flabbergasted why you can't let others have some fun here when you can just ignore it (even almost hide it completely).

As for the thumbs down, I do sympathise. I wish it was a genuine, scarcely and reasonably used communal moderating feature, but it has become a voting tool and popularity indicator with some serious rigging features. I did suggest an additional setting to those currently given to Aldie, and he did not reject a "show all/ ignore-hide thumbs" out of hand. So maybe "you" will be given that special power at some point. In which case you (again) won't be alone.
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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'm not getting anywhere near suggestion BGG is giving you any special favours, I'm just suggesting that some folk have figured out how to use the powers that all of us have been given, and wonder what bit is proving too hard for you?

I do think its a bit rich to request the area for those BBGeeks who do enjoy it to become silent simply because you want it so, an despite having an option to "wish it away". You show intelligence and reasonability in many other post (no snottiness intended), and I am flabbergasted why you can't let others have some fun here when you can just ignore it (even almost hide it completely).


Big Woo, there are times and places for all kinds of topics; I am not certain that BGG is the "best" place for topics not related to games, no matter where such forum topics can be placed or hidden.

Is your right to free speech or my right to free speech worth having: 1) angry words; 2) vicious insults; 3) burnt bridges; 4) serious misunderstandings; 5) locked threads; and 6) complaints of censorship hurled at Aldie (and consider his recent response) on a website whose primary goal, as I understanding, is to promote a discussion of boardgames and encourage their growth? There are other places on the web where interested parites could freely do the first four things I have listed. Why here?

The internet is a terrible place to have serious discussions over serious issues. The format is self-inhibiting; the room for "error," too huge; the opportunity to act without taking responsibility for ones words is a constant. I am a Roman Catholic teacher who is interested in several of the "topics" discussed on the geek (e.g. the religion and evolution topics), but I learned the hard way not to enter these "discussions." As a teacher, no snottiness intended, I know the best ways to discuss such issues, and the internet is not among them. I try and limit my off-game postings, though I know that I am not as consistent as I should be.

Big Woo, consider how many members this site actually has, and how few, by comparison, of these members actually post. Might it be because of all the "off-topic," as in non-gaming threads that exist on the forums, i.e., minefields with "abandon all hope ye who enter here" signs.

I understand that mine is a losing argument and that things will not change; how absolutely appropriate in our proverbial day and age, and how will such desires match the spirit of the times. So be it.

But, Big Woo, the "special interest" groups run this site. It is not a democracy and the majority do not have an equal voice. When we express ours, we can always count on others to shut us down. Or haven't you noticed? goo
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Big Woo
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Hi Bentlarsen,

I quite agree with a lot that you are saying here about suitability, but all it adds up to me is an argument for you not to get involved and ignore it completely if it matters that much to you. It's quite clear that you have misgivings about what the hot-potato-threads in extreme cases end up being, and prefer a different platform for when *you* want to get involved in certain issues.

Sidestepping the issue if it is indeed true that the off-topic area is full of locked threads, deleted posts, and insults.

Since anger, poor-debate (topics, argumentation, manners, language, etc), locked threads and all those other things you don't want to see on the Geek can be just that, in a place where *you* can't see them, I still fail to understand why you can't let people, who clearly want to, engage with BGG members in a way that they enjoy about topics that interest them. Unless you want to argue that the way you set up your front-page should be the default for all other users too?

It's cute to see chit-chat being draped in a free-speech argument, not sure if anyone here in this thread has tried to elevate the module here to that status quite yet. I also don't think that issues raised here spill over into the BGG main area in any significant way, which might be the only argument for getting rid of it.

Given the size of the community, as a whole it will end up raising just about every issue possible, and if the off-topic area was not already included into the fabric, it would get raised in the main bulk. Now it can be moved out of it. Another argument for keeping it, even more so from your point of view.

Why here? Why not? BGG might be a tool for you, it is a community to others. If it can be both, great. A community can only thrive if bonds are made. Bonds depend on communication and interaction. If a heated debate about Iraq is the BGG Off-topic equivalent for a small sub-group of picking fleas from your fellow chimps, so what? It makes people feel they belong here, and are welcome. That sense of belonging is priceless. Free communication and topic choices also tells others which chimps you might want to bond with more. And who not to hang out with. It doesn't say that they aren't happy that in the and it is all about bananas, and that some chimps just can't understand why it can't be all about bananas.

Concerning the Aldie vs Moderation issue: I greatly respect Aldie, but in the end it is up to Aldie himself to find a balance in how seriously he takes things that get raised through BGG. I am not convinced his admirable desire to please everyone (my impression) actually helps him in all cases. He evidently takes the way people express themselves very seriously, but I think in some cases he takes some of them a wee bit too much too heart. I certainly don't think people should stop giving their 2 cents about what they would like to see on BGG simply because Aldie at times finds it hard to set his own boundaries. BGG is a fruitful symbiosis between Aldie and community. It's amazing what it has already become. I do believe it would help Aldie if we didn't add unnecessary weight to our own arguments by talking about "free speech" and "special interest groups" but simply talked about members with wishes, likes and dislikes. That way we wouldn't work up some other members to frothing levels, grab a flag, and start a campaign targeting Aldie.

In another thread someone got irked off because they felt Aldie should be responding to a long thread. Ignoring the fact that Aldie, maybe, is simply off for a couple off days. The constant demand by the community for Aldie's services can be as annoying as the attitude by some members to others, and the inability to engage their own brain to put themselves in someone else's shoes and see if there might be reasons why someone has been silent on BGG for say, 36 hours?

We're dealing with a rather diverse group here, and as I said, although I can understand your desire for seeing BGG as it would please you best (probably a quality site with respectful on-message members sharing a communal vision, and one I would probably be more than happy with), I think you add a bit too much value to the noise coming from the slightly less rounded members, and off-topic fringes when you think that it is (staying) here because of some sort of special-interest-brigade.

One conspiracy too far in my book. A lot of us off-topicers are just here, hanging out, having a chat. And some like cats, others like to crack the mysteries of life as a bar-topic. In even if, in the end, we only end up getting drunk on our own saps, so what? I don't think its fair that simply because you quite rightly identify the internet as far from ideal for having a debate, we there for all should avoid the internet as medium for debate and engagement. Maybe what some want or get out of it is very different what you want to get out of it? Does that make *theirs* less valid?

Besides, we must be one of the rare sites where members actually edit their postings to correct spelling mistakes. There are some intelligent and interesting people here, and sometimes it is worth listening to arguments made, even in the most heated debates, by folk on your own side of the mud-slinging-feast, as inevitably there will be a Marshall spouting more facts, figures and interesting off-site links than I am likely to retain in that memory scrapbook of mine.

Since you are a teacher, you are probably aware that even in the most ideal platform possible, it is ultimately up to the attitude of the participants how fruitful any debate is. And up to the attitude of any participants and onlookers how a debate in any arena affects them.

I'm a firm believer that people should employ or develop their skills in dealing with things they get confronted with without crying for a structure that deals with these tricky calls for them. But if off-topic isn't fruitful to you, let it go. It isn't important enough to get worked up about. Its special interests groups aren't running BGG either, unless the Gnomes of Zurich haven't only killed one of the two Illiminati authors through poison, Aldie is nothing more than an AI Discordia invention with a cute avatar.
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Severus Snape
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Big Woo,

Perhaps we are not reading the same forum threads (from December until now); there's "evidence" aplenty of the "special interest brigades" at work.

I have done a poor job of communicating my "wants" for this site. Given your comments to how I have shaped some of my concerns under the "exercise free speech, but take responsibility for your words" umbrella, you do not really understand me at all.

The too little I have written explains just that: too little. And given that the constraints of the medium, it would not matter anyway; as I said, I am fighting a losing battle. There is absolutely no point to cutting & pasting each others "thoughts" while responding. We do each other a disservice in the name of making our own points. I need to break myself free from selectively quoting other Geeks, which means taking thoughts out of context, or quoting their entire threads, only to respond to a part of what is said.

In an "ideal" world, Big Woo, we could both have what we "want" on the same site. I do not believe in "hiding" forum topics or threads. I just finished a class study of 1984 last month; I have had enough of the Thought Police and I do not want to become that which I both fear and despise. But asking me to hide or avoid things hardly "solves" the problem, not the "real" problem. Then again, I ask for the impossible.

You may, of course, respond if you wish Big Woo, but I have wasted enough cyber-ink and precious time saying to what amounts to nothing in the world of the internet. goo
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David Seddon
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I think that inevitably, Big Woo, those with the loudest voices are those that end up having the final say on a medium like the internet.

I know Joseph better than most here because he's part of Forward Observer (forgive me for that comment, Joseph), and I can tell you that he's not one to shout his mouth off, nor is he one to suffer fools gladly*. Those two facts tell you why he's not been getting involved with debates that he would actually enjoy where they face to face.

Frankly, I sympathise. It was with great reluctance that I first spoke out on one of those religion threads. Actually, I'm not entirely convinced that that was the right thing to do. Frankly, I think maybe Joseph's way is better.

All we have largely had is those with the most most fundamental views steaming in. So, if you're a dedicated atheist with oddles of evolutionary "facts and info" to spout, it's been your thing. If you're a fundamentalist who takes every word of The Bible literally, it's also been your thing. If you believe that faith is faith and science is science and the two can co-exist fine alongside each other, which was incidentally the view of perhaps the 3 greatest scientists of all time - Aristotle, Newton and Einstein - then these debates were frustrating and perhaps best avoided.

Actually, the recent debates have probably, though perhaps unfortunately shown that Joseph is correct.

* I am not saying anyone in this debate was "a fool," but I am saying that this sort of debate will tend to bring them out if it continues long enough. An Atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell, said this:

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

Wiser words have never been spoken, and they hold true for scientists as much as they do for religious people. Alas, the internet merely reinforces Russell's viewpoint.

I suspect that Joseph, knows that the world is not full of certainties - much less the internet.

(editted for typos)
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Philip Thomas
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"All that is necessary for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing"

(I forget the source of the quotation, which is obviously untrue, but anyway)

Perhaps we 'moderates' should speak out more, eh Admiral?
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