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Everyone has a bad day now and then?

Pete (tends to give people a few passes before deciding to hate on them)
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Rich Keiser
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russ wrote:
Is there a meta-support group for when some users respond extremely negatively to a user who responds extremely negatively to a game designer who responds extremely negatively to criticism on BGG? wow


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I can't think of a time where starting sentences with "nonsense" and "incorrect" led to a good dialogue.
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slinkydink wrote:
I can't think of a time where starting sentences with "nonsense" and "incorrect" led to a good dialogue.
There's some of that in both directions. Original poster leads with this:

Quote:
Is there a reason for this confusing design choice?
He's not asking if it's confusing. He's stating it, presupposing his own conclusion. Right there, the conversation is confrontational, from the very start.

He follows up with:

Quote:
Well, obviously you get the final say, but introducing unnecessary ambiguity for the sake of reducing the number of different symbols by one doesn't seem like a worthwhile tradeoff.
Again, he's not asking if there is unnecessary ambiguity, he's declaring it so. That's the sort of rhetoric that set the designer off.

Pete (would probably be irritated too, but would have challenged the presuppositions instead of letting them ride)
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that Matt
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Huh. If the contents of the rules thread in question hadn't been explicitly discussed and linked here, I'd never recognize it from Zoe M's description here. Tom's got a hell of a lot of patience to thoroughly explain his design decisions.

And now he's getting creeped on in the Complaints Dept.
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plezercruz wrote:
slinkydink wrote:
I can't think of a time where starting sentences with "nonsense" and "incorrect" led to a good dialogue.
There's some of that in both directions. Original poster leads with this:

Quote:
Is there a reason for this confusing design choice?
He's not asking if it's confusing. He's stating it, presupposing his own conclusion. Right there, the conversation is confrontational, from the very start.
There's a difference between calling something confusing and calling something nonsense. When you say something was a confusing design choice, what you're actually saying is "This design choice confused me. I had a hard time figuring it out." It's not necessarily attacking the other person so much as it's pointing out that you had an issue understanding the design. When you respond to an argument saying "nonsense" what you're actually saying is "Your argument lacks any validity. There is no sense to it." Which is much more confrontational.

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Russ (is struck by the irony of criticizing someone's tact in detail while referring to her as "he")
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Pete
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Thunkd wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
slinkydink wrote:
I can't think of a time where starting sentences with "nonsense" and "incorrect" led to a good dialogue.
There's some of that in both directions. Original poster leads with this:

Quote:
Is there a reason for this confusing design choice?
He's not asking if it's confusing. He's stating it, presupposing his own conclusion. Right there, the conversation is confrontational, from the very start.
There's a difference between calling something confusing and calling something nonsense. When you say something was a confusing design choice, what you're actually saying is "This design choice confused me. I had a hard time figuring it out." It's not necessarily attacking the other person so much as it's pointing out that you had an issue understanding the design. When you respond to an argument saying "nonsense" what you're actually saying is "Your argument lacks any validity. There is no sense to it." Which is much more confrontational.

I can't argue with that, though I would say I'm far more likely to accuse you of nonsense if you lead with a presuppositionary statement than an inquisitive one.

"Isn't that confusing?" is a lot less confrontational than "You're confusing everyone!"

It's also true that in this particular conversation, typically the designer would be more obliged to be deferential than the consumer, if for no other reason than he is a public figure more concerned with his image than the customer is.

Pete (again thinks the designer would have been best served pushing back against the conclusory statement right off the bat)
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russ wrote:
Russ (is struck by the irony of criticizing someone's tact in detail while referring to her as "he")
Sorry, I didn't notice the gender of the complainant!

Pete (didn't check)
 
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plezercruz wrote:
"Isn't that confusing?" is a lot less confrontational
Except that if I was confused by the design choice, I'm not going to be asking "Isn't that confusing?". I already know that it was. It confused me! That'd be like asking "Is the sky blue?" when I can look up and see it is. And given that there were other people asking the same question in the rules forum, it does seem like there was some confusion. (I don't know the game, so I can't speak to whether it is actually confusing to me personally or not).

Tom's tone and manner isn't one I would take as a game designer. Maybe he was having a bad day and came off worse than he intended. But when you're answering something professionally, you rarely want to interact with the public in a confrontational or hostile manner. Even if you think you're dealing with an idiot, you'll do yourself a lot of favors if you just answer calmly and politely.

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Thunkd wrote:
[q="plezercruz"]Tom's tone and manner isn't one I would take as a game designer. Maybe he was having a bad day and came off worse than he intended. But when you're answering something professionally, you rarely want to interact with the public in a confrontational or hostile manner. Even if you think you're dealing with an idiot, you'll do yourself a lot of favors if you just answer calmly and politely.

Yeah, I can't argue with that.

Pete (agrees)
 
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Thunkd wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
"Isn't that confusing?" is a lot less confrontational
Except that if I was confused by the design choice, I'm not going to be asking "Isn't that confusing?". I already know that it was. It confused me! That'd be like asking "Is the sky blue?" when I can look up and see it is. And given that there were other people asking the same question in the rules forum, it does seem like there was some confusion. (I don't know the game, so I can't speak to whether it is actually confusing to me personally or not).
The context here matters. Zoe apparently was confused because the "simplified" symbols did not match the symbols she had encountered in Race for the Galaxy. The designer was trying to explain that the symbols were condensed for new players who had not played Race for the Galaxy. It's pretty well established by now that many many gamers think the symbols on Race for the Galaxy are incomprehensible (I happen to disagree), so demanding uniformity with an already established confusing symbol set is essentially demanding additional incomprehensibility.

With that context set, Zoe's statement boils down to:

It would have been less confusing to all players if you used the same symbols, because even though those symbols have been shown to be confusing to a large number of players, I (and other RftG players) understand them and am now used to them.

Pete (doesn't think that's a particularly strong argument, but wouldn't go around calling it nonsense either)
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I've played Race before but not Jump Drive. I tried to follow the thread and had literally no idea what anyone was talking about.
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clydeiii wrote:
I've played Race before but not Jump Drive. I tried to follow the thread and had literally no idea what anyone was talking about.


BGGers discussing the minutiae of a gaming topic while communicating poorly?

Say it isn't so.

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slinkydink wrote:
I can't think of a time where starting sentences with "nonsense" and "incorrect" led to a good dialogue.


I thought it perfectly suited to the nonsense claim being made. Or should one dance around an error of fact?

I can't say I found anything objectionable in Tom's responses; I find them, in fact, to be remarkably restrained and patient. His are exactly the sorts of responses I wish to see from a designer.
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Brian S.
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It is also his damn game to design.
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