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Subject: Guns? Up-front aiming in avatars? rss

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Dimitri Gia
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Disclaimer : I'm not against guns, I think that everyone who has gone through a rigourous selection process (psychological mostly) should be able to purchase a gun and keep it somewhere in the privacy of his home. As the best countermeasure against sick drugged b*st*rds who might invade your home.

Another disclaimer: I'm from Europe myself (as if you couldn't tell) and we have a different stance against guns and such > that's why I am posting the following : have a look here :

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And here :

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The discussion I would like to start (having a look around to see if I'm the only one having a problem with it) > is nobody "offended" by a guy pointing a gun at you? Isn't this a boardgaming site? Also visited by children?
If guns are allowed, what's next? Jolly good swastika's?

Just venting an opinion,
/dimi

*** edited for formatting ***

PS : If someone can tell me how to move this to the complaint section, do let me know. (didn't know the "complaint" forum existed)
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The Steak Fairy
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*yawn* Could somebody please move this to the complaint forum?
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Nasty McHaggis
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The Steak Fairy
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Helen Holzgrafe
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Do I dislike Scribidinus' current avatar? Yes, absolutely. Does it make me cringe? Yes. Do I wish he would change it sooner, rather than later? Yes.

Do I think he should be able to have it? Absolutely. I would never suggest anyone change their avatar unless it's against the BGG's specific guidelines. The admins would take care of that anyway. So, no need for any users to do anything.

I just scroll very quickly past his posts these days so I don't have to look at that avatar. It's too bad, too, because some of his posts are priceless. I just can't enjoy them right now. I also know that he put a lot of work into creating that avatar and is pretty proud of the result and wants to enjoy the fruits of his labor for a while to come.

My kids adult children can pretty easily keep me out of any room they are in by playing first person shooter video games or watching movies with gratuitous violence in them. I get pretty queasy seeing that stuff.

-Helen
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Dimitri Gia
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Thanks Helen for your valued opinion, I must also express the fact that I don't "mind" them having those avatars, freedom of speech and all that, but I am missing the point of having some avatar on my screen with a guy pointing a gun at me (I refuse to put "Remove it Permanently"'s magic [a Firefox plugin] to good use as it's just a silly avatar). Didn't that Asian student do the same thing? Posting pictures of him with a gun pointing at a camera?

What it's really about: if this is allowed, would I also be allowed to have a big nazi-sign featured on my avatar? Or a big 666? Or a cross that's upside down? Because they are also meant to stir up emotions, in the same way as a pointed gun.

/dimi

PS : For those out there that might misunderstand me : I'm AGAIN racism and fascism. Let that be crystalclear. And "Jesus" and the "devil" are just hollow terms standing on the same level as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus so even though I see no 'meaning' in a cross that's upside down, I know AND understand what it stands for.
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Hiding Tiger
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FireFox + Adblock = you don't have to see those avatars if you don't want to.
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Paul DeStefano
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echdareez wrote:
I am missing the point of having some avatar on my screen with a guy pointing a gun at me


Maybe you don't read a lot of the personal posts here.

Scribidinus is a gun enthusiast. A collector. A lover of firearms.

He goes to the range regularly. He regales us with stories of bargain hunting and of taking his lady friends to the shooting range.

If asked what his favorite hobby is, "guns" will be the answer as often as "games".

And he's got a pretty biting wit and acerbic sense of humor.

That avatar might BE Scrib. It looks like him.

I am not nearly as disgusted as an avatar striking an iconic James Bond like gun pose as I am that someone is offended by the avatar.

I have made my voice clear many time that I am absolutely 100% anti-gun. But I am ferociously in favor of these guys being allowed to have that avatar.

And in all seriousness, if someone is a Satanist on this site (yep, there's the microbadge they can buy), then they better well be able to have that upside down cross on their avatar. Shall you start banning user avatars based on their religion as well as their other hobbies?

The Nazi symbolism is different. Being that symbol is actually illegal to display in many places, it has been elevated to an issue of international agreement. How would BGG continue if users placed an image that were illegal? Pornography as well would clash with many internet laws, requiring users to validate their age upon log.

BGG does not allow porn or Nazi avatars. These are reasonable and generally accepted as offensive world wide. Guns are not.

Firearms and weapons in general are most definitely allowed on a site that has forums devoted to wargames and many, many games dealing with various forms of violence and death.

Guns disgust me. I wish they did not exist. But they do.

They disgust me almost as much as people who feel others should be restricted in their ability display what they feel in the fairly well defined legal boundaries of acceptance.

Do you think I should allow my kids to go to a site where users are trying to impose their own rules on others with their definitions of acceptable?

Nazi symbols are illegal to display in many places. Guns are not.
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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It is poor form, and someone who handles guns properly would never point a gun at a person, or feign doing so to camera for the sake of being provocative.

Doing so is destructive to the message of those who support the right to bear arms everywhere. That's tragic.

Any gun enthusiast knows that guns should never be pointed at a human being unless one is required to in self-defense, and only if you're willing to use it to kill.

'Nuff said.
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Dimitri Gia
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Paul : let me reply on your statements :
1. Scribi may have a complete arsenal for all I care, shoot his load in his garden, go hunt for rabbits with his .50 anti-tank gun, shoot out pigeons with his AA-guns. We all have hobbies and if he wants to have this particular hobby, fine by me. I don't understand why people would love blasting around but hey, as long as it's far from where I am living: go nuts! But... I have no intention on doing some background check on another user if he has a questionable avatar. The avatars are *there* when I read boardgame-related threads and the background of the poster is not important.
2. James Bond striking a pose VS a user/person aiming a gun > James Bond is a character, a fictional character which most (if not all) people can differentiate themselves from. Even if someone would have an avatar with 007 pointing the gun towards the camera, it's a cinematic frame that's become famous for that. The "meaning" is different. Like Duke Nuke'em, like that character from Halo holding a cannon, like Bruce Willis standing with a gun in some building, like ...
3. *sigh* / disgusted by the fact that I expressed my opinion? That I am offended by his avatar? And yet fighting for their right to proudly show their pointed gun? Sorry Paul, that's quite contradictory: I'm entitled to my opinion, I've never said they should remove it but being disgusted is rather incomprehensible. I'm not imposing anything and I think you (and most of you) are missing the point of my OP -> I'll point again to the massacre that happened a while ago in one of those American universities: some Asian guy went bonkers, killed some students and during the aftermath, some pictures appeared with him pointing a gun to the lens. It's *that* connotation that offends me...
4. another point : I should be entitled to a porn-avatar, porn is legal over here in Belgium (as per your definitions). But I don't, because I have the brains to understand there might be people offended by it. Even though I don't share their opinion, ... (putting the [puritan] BGG rules of not posting porn related avatars aside for a moment)
And please stop waving accusations: I don't want anyone banned or any avatars removed, I consider myself a liberal person. But... Let's be honest here : if I would have an avatar with an upside down cross and the line : "JESUS IS THE DEVIL'S LITTLE B*TCH", I would get banned, flamed, spammed and what else... But no, the scales of BGG allow people to proudly show they're aiming between my eyes but some incredible breasts are not allowed. Strange...
5. wargames being on BGG : showing a tank in your avatar, showing a Glock, showing any historical pictures : that's great! But I'm not sure that scribi participated in any wars? His avatar has just no "meaning" whatsoever...

Diehard4Life : I think you have made the best statement : THAT'S what I meant initially! Thanks for that!
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Randy Cox
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Yes, I am offended. Actually, "offended" is not the right word. I'm saddened.

However, I know that a firestorm could only bring a ruling that would piss off some people, so I just ignore all posts from people with these avatars. That's about all I can do.
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Stephen Dunne
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Seems to me that you are giving a small thumbnail sized picture a great deal of power.

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Mystery McMysteryface
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I think the bouncing boobie ones are more offensive/childish/provocative.

:shrugs:

That's my 2 cents. The gun-pointing avatars do not bother me or offend me in the least.
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Randy Cox
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Cringing Dragon wrote:
FireFox + Adblock = you don't have to see those avatars if you don't want to.
Not an answer -- in fact counterproductive -- when you are somewhere that IE must be used (e.g. work), or when you prefer to use the software that came with your computer (I know a LOT of people who could not install Firefox if their life depended upon it).
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Dimitri Gia
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Randy Cox wrote:
when you are somewhere that IE must be used (e.g. work)


Offtopic : The blasphemy! Twice even! IE must be used? Work? Oh my God!
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Jeff
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Well, I guess if we're looking for opinions, here's a supporting one.

I'm not a gun enthusiast, but I'm not anti-gun. I guess my stance is I personally don't own one, but I am trained in their use and qualified with pistols (typically 9mm berettas, if you care) though I only handle them rarely.

But the thing is... it's not a gun to me. It's a picture. So, in my mind, he's not pointing a gun at me any more than my picture of an airplane means I'm flying a plane at you.

Avatars are pictures designed (I believe) to reveal a little about ourselves, or chosen because of our wants, or just because we like a picture and want it associated with our name. The guy likes guns, I have no problem with the avatar.

Oh, and for what it's worth, i remember the thread where the avatar in question was born. There was a thread that derailed into self-portraits, and that's the one the OP offered. It really is him - though he had someone help him with the animations.

The reader's digest version of my opinion: It's a picture. Worst complaint I think you can offer is he's pointed a picture at you... and I can't be threatened by that any mopre than I can be threatened by the animated avatar of the guy with the huge chomping mouth instead of the face - god, why can't I remember the user? I'll go look him up...

Edit; how could I forget col_w? my sincere apologies!

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Edit2: somehow I missed that two users were now using the gun avatar - so I guess it's no longer a self portrait, at least for one of them...
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Randy Cox
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jeffreyac wrote:
But the thing is... it's not a gun to me. It's a picture.
When I first saw it, I knew it was a gun (hard to miss) and I knew it was a picture.

The very first thing I thought of was "how the hell did that picture get taken without actually having a gun pointed at the person taking the picture?" Scared the bejesus out of me even thinking about it.
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Scribidinus is a gun lover and EYE of NIGHT made a nice parody.

This is nothing. And allowed. Try uploading an avatar of a woman in dress with a nipple slightly showing through her dress (even if animated) and an admin will kindly ask you to replace it. It's an merican site. Voilence is cool, anything even remotely related to the female body in general or sex in particular is frowned upon.

Some user made an avatar of a guy smashing your face. Used it for months, or years. I made a parody of that, to see where the tolerance border lies in the use of avatar voilence and religion. In the end, I didn't use it because, well, I lost interest. I'll show it to ya. Mind you: the cross and the text is mine, the rest is an 'authentic' avatar, one that I found far more disturbing than an animated woman kissing the camera.

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Nasty McHaggis
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_Kael_ wrote:
Scribidinus is a gun lover and EYE of NIGHT made a nice parody.

This is nothing. And allowed. Try uploading an avatar of a woman in dress with a nipple slightly showing through her dress (even if animated) and an admin will kindly ask you to replace it. It's an merican site. Voilence is cool, anything even remotely related to the female body in general or sex in particular is frowned upon.

Some user made an avatar of a guy smashing your face. Used it for months, or years. I made a parody of that, to see where the tolerance border lies in the use of avatar voilence and religion. In the end, I didn't use it because, well, I lost interest. I'll show it to ya. Mind you: the cross and the text is mine, the rest is an 'authentic' avatar, one that I found far more disturbing than an animated woman kissing the camera.



Interestingly, that clip is taken from the movie Office Space, and in the movie, represents a bit of a spoof on gang violence. He's taking out his frustrations on a piece of office equipment....a photocopier.
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Jeff
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Randy Cox wrote:
jeffreyac wrote:
But the thing is... it's not a gun to me. It's a picture.
When I first saw it, I knew it was a gun (hard to miss) and I knew it was a picture.

The very first thing I thought of was "how the hell did that picture get taken without actually having a gun pointed at the person taking the picture?" Scared the bejesus out of me even thinking about it.


My understanding is he pointed the gun at his webcam, or the camera in his phone (that he was holdin), I forget which. but there wasn't another person involved.


I guess I'm torn here. To me, the pic isn't a big deal, as I see some guy pointing his gun at his camera. I don't see anything offensive or scary there.

But...

I guess I should also point out that I also respect and recognize the OP's right to decide what is personally offensive or acceptable. It's a fine line we try to walk - on one hand, we try to protect the majority from offensive content, on the other hand we try to protect an individual's right to self expression. Because we're all different with different tolerances... well, to be honest, i don't know what the right answer is.

I guess I think of it like some art I've seen. To me, it wasn't art - it was offensive crap. However, to the artist and his fans, i suppose it's art. My personal take - I try and avoid stuff that bothers me, but I also try to stop short of censoring others. Hard here, as the forum is a public place - so it's hard to 'avoid' an avatar if it bothers you.

So I dunno. It does seem the simplest solution (unless BGG implements a 'block avatar' button) is to disable avatars. Personally, there are far, far more cool avatars on this site than ones I don't like - so I'd hate that. But the option is there, should you feel strongly enough about it.


EDIT: hey, is that what happened to the avatar with the red dress girl and the kiss? I'd always wondered why I dodn't see it around anymore, but that was a while ago and honestly didn't remember who it was...
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Hiding Tiger
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Randy Cox wrote:
Cringing Dragon wrote:
FireFox + Adblock = you don't have to see those avatars if you don't want to.
Not an answer -- in fact counterproductive -- when you are somewhere that IE must be used (e.g. work), or when you prefer to use the software that came with your computer (I know a LOT of people who could not install Firefox if their life depended upon it).
Work + site which contains much NSFW material = avatars are the least of your worries.
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John O'Haver
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Well, I'm surprised at the controversy over this image. I was a serious photography student at one time *cough* 1980's *cough*. I didn't realize this image was so powerful at 64x64 dpi that anyone would be so deeply affected. Perhaps I should get a prize for it.

That said, I don't remember exactly what inspired it but it is a self-portrait taken with my cell phone held in my left hand. It was the first take and I am quite pleased at how well it turned out. But I do take gun ownership seriously-I checked twice to make sure the weapon used in the photo was not loaded, after all I was pointing it at my own hand - and the weapon was angled toward the floor. It was as much an experiment with the camera in my Blackberry as anything else.

I've had a dozen or so avatars. I get bored with them after awhile,as I would have eventually with this one. But perhaps an image this powerful should become my permanent avatar.

Nah, I'll get bored with it sooner or later. But it makes me wonder if one is offended because it is a real gun and it's really me. Would folks be offended if it were the movie poster from which I misquoted?

 


...or a still from a movie...
 
 
 


...or popular TV show...
 
 
You can see a tiny bit of cleavage in the second one.

How about cartoons?

 


Why or why not?

Do the folks who are offended at my avatar get equally offended at scenes from similar angles in movies and television? I can separate electronic imagery from reality. I do resent the attempted connection of my creative imagery and Nazi iconography, though.

I'd like to thank those who are supporting my avatar choice to one degree or another. Paul, in particular, for your thoughtful post. BTW, if you have a katana, people with edged weapons make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I'd rather be around gun-armed people. Helen, thank you, but my posts aren't priceless, they are royalty free. There is a difference.

Again, I am surprised at the reaction of a few folks here. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. So, I'll have to think about it.

Scrib

BTW, Randy, you jumped to a conclusion. I've never pointed a weapon at another human being. But this is not an uncommon photographic angle in gun magazine articles and advertisements.









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I had seen Eye of Night's avatar. The shaky gun just made me think he's not going to hit much. I think I saw the two avatars and never really noticed they were different or from different users.

Moving the thread? Maybe to RSP. I don't know if complaints is right.

Guns are iconic in frontier and recently post-frontier societies. Yes, we in the US have an overly romantic view of guns, but that's not limited to us. Consider James Bond. Also, in significant parts of the US and a few other countries, hunting for food is feasible, reasonable safe, and with proper controls, not likely to deplete the game (hunted animals). A fair number of people, I think, would consider it more morally honest to at least at times actually hunt, kill and butcher what you eat, so you remember that living beings die to feed you.

As for various symbols, you may be unaware that is an available microbadge. "Satanist." I am aware that Germany has some strict laws to prevent a certain political movement from reasserting itself. Probably you are aware that such laws would be highly illegal in the US.

As for pointing the gun at the person holding the camera, many--perhaps most--cameras have a timed shutter release. No one needs to be behind the camera. A mirror would also work. And, you're not seeing much more than the muzzle--the gun could be significantly disassembled and safed, though I was taught the same rule.
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Helen Holzgrafe
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scribidinus wrote:
Well, I'm surprised at the controversy over this image. I was a serious photography student at one time *cough* 1980's *cough*. I didn't realize this image was so powerful at 64x64 dpi that anyone would be so deeply affected. Perhaps I should get a prize for it.


It is a powerful and disturbing image image to me. BTW, it is not obvious from the image that you are pointing the gun at the floor.

I'd like not to get into avatar "beauty" contests at this site, myself. Then we'd lose the true individuality of them in a race for fame.

I also know that you do change your avatar often and was just waiting for that to happen someday.

I am perhaps overly sensitive about this. For example, I cannot bring myself to play Memoir '44 because of the little plastic army men. However, I really like Commands and Colors because the pieces are blocks. I guess I need a little abstraction.

Again, I would never, ever ask you to change your avatar. I just can't look at it.

-Helen
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Tall_Walt wrote:

Moving the thread? Maybe to RSP. I don't know if complaints is right.


There are as many opinions as regards what is an offensive avatar as there are users of BGG. Neither Chit Chat nor RSP are the appropriate fora for opening divisive discussions about what is essentially an operating policy of this website. I consider posts like the OP to be trolling this forum, frankly. Do I actually care if anybody trolls this forum? Not really. There just aren't enough games going on lately for me to try to play rules lawyer, I guess.

Edit: I am pleased to note that as I finised typing this post in Chit Chat, the thread "re-appeared" in Complaints Department. I feel very righteous this morning.
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