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Subject: Why this game should definitely be deleted... rss

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Moritz Eggert
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I think the discussion about this game has been led in a serious and thoughtful way, which is good!
I would again propose to delete this game, for these reasons:

- people who stumble on our site and see this game listed could get a very (!!!) bad impression of the hobby, especially as their are also many wargames about world war II listed as well (I'm not condemning wargamers at all - I just think that the combination does not bode well to ourtsiders and can easily be misinterpreted, especially when there is such a concentration on "German" boardgames as well!)

- although the game is certainly of historical interest to scholars, the Geek is not really the place to research this theme in a way which does it justice

- and IF we want to do this theme justice, we have to be complete and list the thousands of other awful propaganda games from all over the world. The Eastern German Republic alone published dozens of very ideological war- and boardgames which are similarly horrible, and I'm sure that there are also ideological board- and card games in North Korea. Shall we really list all this crap? Wouldn't it be better to further our hobby in a positive way? Wouldn't it be a horrible task to list all these bad, bad games? Who wants to do it? And wouldn't it be better to create a site independent from the Geek that explores "ideology in board games" as a theme in a singular way, so that it REALLY serves to inform about the tools of propaganda in history and now?

Just my two cents worth...
Moritz Eggert

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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
While the theme is deplorable, I'm not sure that we should begin censorship of the game database. Your reasons for deleting them seem a little strange to me.

Eggo wrote:

- people who stumble on our site and see this game listed could get a very (!!!) bad impression of the hobby,


This seems unlikely. There are more than 10,000 games in the database and perhaps a handful are as questionable as this one. If somebody forms an opinion of all boardgames or all boardgamers from this example (which I don't expect will end up with as many reviews or session reports as a popular modern game) that indicates a lack of proper judgment on their part.

Eggo wrote:
- although the game is certainly of historical interest to scholars, the Geek is not really the place to research this theme in a way which does it justice

- and IF we want to do this theme justice, we have to be complete and list the thousands of other awful propaganda games from all over the world.


This is a bit of a strawman. The 'geek isn't about doing justice to a particular theme, ideology or period of history. The 'geek is designed to catalogue boardgames, plain and simple. This means that if people make boardgames that we don't like, they still warrant a place here.

Eggo wrote:
Shall we really list all this crap? Wouldn't it be better to further our hobby in a positive way? Wouldn't it be a horrible task to list all these bad, bad games? Who wants to do it?


Yes it would probably be a horrible task to go through a list of games like this, but no one is demanding that you (or anyone else) do it. It is silly to propose deleting this game on the basis that you wouldn't have wanted to add it yourself.

A website cataloging boardgames and their history will either be incomplete or have dark patches. This is true of any historical survey of almost anything. Comic books of the 30's and 40's have similarly propagandized themes and messages, but are still part of comic book history.

Ignoring this (and other similar) games will not make them go away, and hiding your head in the sand won't make the boardgame hobby any better or any worse.

However, that said, I hasten to point out that I *do* support the idea of deleting any comment, review, Geeklist or other posting that is racist or in any way incites hatred. If a BGG admin is listening, I would suggest adding this to the list of rules that appears when you begin writing a comment or reply.

Tim
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
I agree with most, if not all, of what Tim says, except that I don't think Moritz has said anything "silly." Moritz is legitimately addressing issues of editorial policy and audience expectations.
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Ido Magal
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Censoring games by theme is an awful idea.

Would you also insist that IMDB delete their entry for Birth of a Nation? Or that online music databases eliminate evidence of Orff, Wagner, or Prokofiev?

The BGG is a morally-neutral repository of boardgame information. It is an information resource. While you may use it for one purpose, (inoffensive contemporary boardgame shopping guide) others have the wonderful freedom to utilize this knowledge base for whatever educational purposes they want.

I would support a "controversial" or "adult" category for games if a large user base decided they wanted to be shielded from material that doesn't produce warm fuzzies.
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Do we know if this game even exists? It seems almost like a entry that you might find as a (sick) joke on ebay.
 
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Ah! My mistake. The entry has a link for a referencing article.

Now I'm reminded about the flap over a recent Monopoly-clone called Ghetto-opoly. Has that one been entered in the rolls?

I don't know how BGG should handle these examples. Maybe including them in the list so that people are aware of them from a historical or sholarly stanpoint, but disable features that would allow you to rate the game or cross-link to sites that have nothing to do with the mission of BGG.

Include enough evidentiary material to prove the game existed and how it was generally played. Leave people free to comment about it and leave it at that. No ratings, postings of supplementary materials for the game, user reviews, or session reports.
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
BradyLS (#34215),

Chris Brua (cbrua) points out in the original 'No Subject' thread that,

"There are several references to it on the Internet and apparantly a copy of the game is on display in the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City."
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Thanks, Scott. I caught my mistake.

And it seems that Ghetto-opoly has been entered into the database as any other game would be. I think Urban Outfitters was persuaded to remove that particular game from their shelves.

If that can remain here at BGG, probably this entry should, too. I'd recommend limiting the user features on both entries, though.
 
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
There are movies that spark controversy, video games that spark controversy, political topics such as abortiona and how to deal with terrorism that spark controversy, and yes! board games, like this one spark conroversy. So therefor, it is my duty to come up with a board game called "Controversy" the board game! Now I just need some topics to debate about, and away I go! Any suggestions for a board game about controversy?
 
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Yehuda Berlinger
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Captain_Physics wrote:
This is a bit of a strawman. The 'geek isn't about doing justice to a particular theme, ideology or period of history. The 'geek is designed to catalogue boardgames, plain and simple. This means that if people make boardgames that we don't like, they still warrant a place here.


I think it is a valid argument. Not everything produced that was once a boardgame warrants inclusion in the standard DB. Another strawman: what if someone produces a game called "101 ways to rape and slaughter black women"? Should it be entered into the DB under "action point" games, have session reports, user reviews, ratings, etc...

Not all arguments are morally relative to the vast majority of the world; you can't use that excuse to prevent the dissemination of hate and offensiveness, or to permit the continuation of patently evil activities. You must sometimes make moral choices. And BGG is NOT a public forum where we should just ignore what we don't like. The contents are subject to moderator approval, so the moderators are making a choice as to whether to include this, and how to include this. Removing, or moving the game to a seperate area, is not going to offend anyone except Neo-Nazis.

I don't think we should censor these things. But it is not a game that should be included in a DB of games people play, or a game that you could get to from a casual search for "roll and move" games. It is a chilling and important piece of historical information, and should presented as such, in a seperate DB.

Yehuda
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Moritz Eggert
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
fanboy (#34214),
I would like to stress again that I wouldn't want to "censor" this game. It should certainly be known that a game like this exists, and a jewish museum is for example a very good place for it. But not the Geek, as this awful game should not be played by people, and it's playing is also not something I would like to promote. And is therefore also not worth including in a database which wants to provide information for games people play.
Moritz
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Another two (3) cents, to make my point more clear:
1) Censoring Prokoffieff or Wagner's music because they have been politically very dodgy people doesn't make sense, as their musical work has definitely been influential in music history and cannot be ignored. Has "Juden Raus" been influential in gaming history? Has Knizia used it's mechanisms? Definitely not. And has Wagner ever have a character in his operas utter "Juden raus"? Also not....So I don't think this is a valid point that is made here.
2) Let's question the "why" of Boardgamegeek. What is it about? It is a huge database about GAMES THAT PEOPLE PLAY, providing information, variants about the games that people have a GAMING interest in. Where lies the gaming interest in "Juden Raus"? Does not the inclusion in the database imply that people can "look it up" because they WANT TO PLAY THE GAME? I think just the thought that a game entry like "Juden Raus" gives the very real possibility of uploading "house rules" or "variants" is offensive enough to remove it.
3) there is a fine line between "morally offensive" and "controversial". I have nothing against controversial games, I love "Junta" for example, and it is very controversial. But "Juden Raus" is morally offensive, like "Mein Kampf", and I would also not like to have "Mein Kampf" listed on a website called "goodbooksgeek.com".
Eggo
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Eggo (#34169),

I've never heard of a real boardgame being deleted by Aldie or the Moderators. My vote would be to never start limiting real boardgames from being entered into the database.

However it depends on what Aldie and the creators of BBG want this site to BE. Is BBG a complete reference guide to Boardgames that also happens to provote an outlet for discussions on boardgames? Or is it a specific community website that caters to social discussion about boardgames (and happens to contain a boardgame reference guide)? It all depends on what Aldie wants to see in this site.

I enjoy this site because it doesn't cater to a specific commumity or genre, but just presents the facts as is for us to discuss (thereby increasing the diversity of people you will find in this discussion).

This game, as horrible as it is, did provoke this thoughtful discussion. Thoughtful discussions are why I come to BBG. Realize that when you remove games like these you also remove these kinds of discussions.

I would, however, propose not listing this game with the standard mechanics and maybe create a lable like "Contriversial" That way people don't just stumble upon it.
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Eggo wrote:
I have nothing against controversial games, I love "Junta" for example, and it is very controversial. But "Juden Raus" is morally offensive, like "Mein Kampf", and I would also not like to have "Mein Kampf" listed on a website called "goodbooksgeek.com".
Eggo


While I sympathize with your reaction to this game and to Mein Kampf, it is useful to point out that those who agree with the ideas expressed in these cultural artifacts would actually prefer that they persist in an environment free of multifaceted discussion. Suppose that the administrators of BGG had noticed this Juden Raus game and the first post expressing some doubt about its legitimacy for inclusion, wherupon they immediately deleted it. In my judgement, ending the discussion there actually increases the potential argumentative power of the ideas in Juden Raus, since someone who happens upon it or the ideas contained in it would then have a less subtle context in which to evaluate its claims. In its own time, the power of Mein Kampf came from the lack of a multifaceted discussion of its ideas in Germany; it effectively intimidated those who opposed its ideology by making them feel alienated for being outspoken. It is possible to accomplish the same intimidation in 2004 while pursuing wholly different political and social goals; while I generally agree with those humanist goals, I think that segregating or deleting this game actually prevents us from accomplishing them.

Put more simply: If someone searches the word "Juden" and stumbles on this BGG entry, we should be proud for them to see what our community has written here.

Jim
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
jimc wrote:
Put more simply: If someone searches the word "Juden" and stumbles on this BGG entry, we should be proud for them to see what our community has written here.


As has already been noted, and I believe is now a pretty large consensus, people who search for "Juden" and "propaganda" should see this game, people who search for "roll and move" or "two player party games" should not.

The game must be moved to a special area of the BGG that allows for comments only, but no session reports or user reviews.

Yehuda
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Anthony Simons
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
I am all for freedom of speech and expression and all that, furthermore I believe we should tolerate the tasteless in order to stick to this ideal (of course this means the perpetrator of tasteless expression should expect distaste in return; I frequently exercise this right). I constantly listen to and engage in such discussions.

However, I don't think there is much of a game here so on those grounds alone the title should be deleted from the database. "Juden Raus" was obviously a propaganda tool designed to brainwash the youth of Germany into prejudicial thinking; not really a game at all.
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Yehuda Berlinger
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
fellonmyhead wrote:
I am all for freedom of speech and expression and all that, furthermore I believe we should tolerate the tasteless in order to stick to this ideal (of course this means the perpetrator of tasteless expression should expect distaste in return; I frequently exercise this right). I constantly listen to and engage in such discussions.


Everyone who keeps saying "freedom of speech": this applies to a public forum, not a private forum. Everyone has the right to toss out people and speech they don't like from their own house and their own website.

The Internet at large is (or may be) a public forum; freedom of speech applies, barring jurisdiction by whatever government may claim it. BGG is a private forum owned and moderated by a private organization; freedom of speech does not apply here. (Otherwise, I might start posting my grandmother's recipes as new game entries, and nobody wants that.)

Yehuda
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
This is not a game, but a propaganda tool of the worst kind. It has led to a climate in which millions were killed.

My urgent advice PLEASE DELETE!!!!! ... and let us concentrate on games for joy, satisfaction and study.
 
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Shade_Jon (#34344),

BGG is a private forum owned and moderated by a private organization; freedom of speech does not apply here

Lol. That's assuming that the person (Aldie) who runs BBG doesn't enjoy allowing the freedom of speech on BBG. No one is claiming that any laws should apply here... just that some people (including me) would like BBG to retain a level of allowable speech that futhers intelligent conversation.

For those stateing that this entry is not a boardgame but a "propaganda tool" I'm afriad you are technically incorrect. It's both.... (Just like a recruitment poster is both a poster and a propaganda tool).
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Curtis Anderson wrote:
I agree with most, if not all, of what Tim says, except that I don't think Moritz has said anything "silly." Moritz is legitimately addressing issues of editorial policy and audience expectations.


Curtis, you are right. Moritz, I apologise, that was a poor choice of words on my part, and no personal slight was intended.
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
I do have a couple of suggestions for the BGG admins though. I think that the idea of a 'Controversial' game mechanic is a good one. I would propose two limitations on 'Controversial' games. Firstly, Controversial games can't have other attributes (i.e. 'Roll and Move'), and secondly, they can't appear on the front page as a Hot game for xx/xx/xxxx. This would mean that the game remains in the database, but that it would be much less likely to turn up as a result from a random search.
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Anthony Simons
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Shade_Jon (#34344) wrote
Everyone who keeps saying "freedom of speech": this applies to a public forum, not a private forum. Everyone has the right to toss out people and speech they don't like from their own house and their own website.

Yes, they do have that right, but I am afraid that has nothing to do with "freedom of speech". However much they exercise that right, there will be nothing to stop you posting your Grandmother's recipes in the first place; if these recipes are bad enough then expect to be ejected from the membership at the administrators' leisure ;-)

Likewise, as this isn't a public enterprise (just supported publicly) they may or may not choose to remove this "game" from their database. Freedom of speech and expression means they can do what they like with it. Naturally, they may also take the ultimate (or perhaps penultimate if they can legitimately point the finger at the poster) responsibility for it. They will undoubtedly be the first targets of any controversy from outside of the membership.

And I still say there is no game here; so let's lose it and leave it to those organisations that find propaganda from days (thankfully) gone by of interest.
 
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
fellonmyhead (#34395),

And I still say there is no game here

I'm curious as to how you came to this conclusion. Is it because you belive that it doesn't qualify as a "board game" and if so, what exactly is your definition of a board game?
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
Velusion (#34400),

There is a simple answer to your question; at the point where a game ceases to be entertaining or fun then it ceases to be a game. At the point where a game becomes propaganda it therefore ceases to be a game and exists as a propaganda tool.

Furthermore, if we were all to play this game and rate it according to the BGG rating system I would wager the average rating would be somewhere around "1" in most cases - that is to say (and I quote) "Defies description of a game". That, to me, is enough of a reason to say there is no game here.

If you wish to talk about mechanisms rather than theme then one might argue there is a game here; however, as with most boardgames on this database there is a predominant theme. In this case the theme leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth; I am certain my conclusion is justified.

Carry out this little exercise if you still don't get it. Think of the worst game you have ever played, then ask yourself if you would rather play this again or have a go at "Juden Raus". Now do you get it?
 
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Re:Why this game should definitely be deleted...
fellonmyhead (#34473),
I have to agree with Anthony here. A website devoted to an entertaining hobby is no place for a nazi propaganda tool.

The current disturbing rise on neo- anti-Semitism makes the inclusion of Juden Raus all the more inappropriate.
 
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