Originally the Mailbag segment was an opportunity to just post about nonsense really, an opportunity for people to post whatever the heck they want. I more or less retired it a while ago, it seems like a redundant segment now that we have forums and member submissions. So I must admit to being somewhat surprised when Franklincob asked me if I’d been checking the mailbag (the answer, of course, was no) as we had gotten something.
This also gives me the opportunity to make a couple of announcements, so here is the first mailbag in next to forever.
Firstly, the observant may have noticed that the staff menu has an extra member – Juniper. While Juniper may prefer pushing cubes to setting off nukes, his attitude and life philosophy is 100% Ameritrash, so we asked him aboard. Just think of him as the Token Euro. Franklincob is going to write out a proper welcoming intro for Jupes next week, so for now you may all practice treating him like a god ‘till his official inauguration.
Secondly for those who don’t track the forums, Ubarose makes a guest appearance on The Ultimate podcast. Apart from not claiming anywhere near enough credit for the creation of this website, Shellie covers a lot of ground about this place as well as gaming in general, so I highly recommend checking it out at http://www.league-radio.com . Plus it’s always interesting getting to hear someone’s voice, especially as I always assumed she sounded like Mama Fratelli,
Finally onto the letters, and this first one is a long one.
Aitor G Guridi writes
I’m the guy who in BGG rated Agricola with a 1 with the comment “Hello gentlemen. All your hype are belong to us”. I present myself with that phrase because being quoted as a “bannable offense” by an Eurogamer is the most remarkable thing I apparently have made on that site, apart from some rules translation and minor stuff.I only use BGG as a game database. As a casual user who has not enough “golds” to buy even an avatar, I missed all the drama going there. I didn’t know Barnes was banned until last week (yeah, I come very late). In fact, I only knew him as “the angry avatar guy who made funny negative reviews which made me LOL”.So, if I didn’t even know about the “Ameritrash vs Euro Epic War”, why did I rate Agricola so low? Simple. I saw other guys doing the same and thought it would be funny to counter those mindless “10s” the game was receiving. Because being funny is the spirit of the Internets.
Some people think that “The Internet is Serious Business”. It’s not. It is made primarily of Porn, Drama and Lulz. We are too anonymous to take things seriously.
“It's been scientifically proven that the Internets instantly turns you into an asshole. This is due to the fact that unlike IRL (in real life), there are absolutely no social consequences to how you behave – Encyclopedia Dramatica
It was that way long ago before some n00bs came here with their seriousness and susceptibility, built webs surrounded with white fences and populated them as straight landlord-worshipping-peasants.
I feel sick when I read those comments about “that’s the Admin’s place and he can do anything he wants”, “there is no free speech on the internet”, etc… well, there won’t be, as long as you people are so conformist. BGG is only valuable because of his content, and it’s all user-provided content. Users can only speak and create and share while there is free speech. Everyone of us who has submitted something valuable to any community is giving the free speech for granted. There’s an implicit contract. The fences are worthless, the worth of BGG lies in it’s population. And that population is powerful enough to stand if they are abused. You can’t justify a ban “because the Admin can do it. Period.”, because common sense tells us that being able to do something is no reason to do it. Not only I'm talking of BGG here, this applies to every community. That said, I think your ban has been obscure, unjust and political. And the users wouldn’t have to take it so conformistly, even if they hated you. BGG will sadly pay the consequences of your ban.
Because there are consequences. Barnes’ reviews and posts were full of sarcasm and mockery, but they were also backed with good points and valuable opinions. He was a symbol of chaos, but chaos is good (Hail, Eris!). Without him around, bgg is a little more boring and opressive than before.
That said, I find some resemblance to the “seriousness” some people thinks of the internet with the “seriousness” some people thinks of games.
I’m primarily an Abstract gamer who likes also Euros. My few Ameritrash games are little random Steve Jackson games which I like but seldom play. But I agree with you totally with “games are for having FUN”. That’s the first point. Games are NOT “Serious Business”.
When I play, I like to engage my mind into a logic excercise with, lets, say, ZERTZ, but I also like mocking my opponent while destroying his University spending 5 golds with my Condottiere in Citadels.
So a game simulating fighting robots, ninjas, zombies, dinosaurs and lasers and randomness and lots of minis can be great because all those things are fun. I usually don’t like Ameritrash as much as my Abstracts, but those are personal tastes. I perfectly understand that those CAN BE THE FAVORITE OF SOME PEOPLE and that’s respectable and in no way inferior to my way of playing. And even more, that way of gaming is valuable, because we can learn things from it.
I always thought Euros had boring themes, or at least not cool enough. Build, manage, explore…you say there aren’t any orcs? As a former roleplayer, it was hard for me to play Catan for the first time, I thought it was silly, although I eventually liked it because that game is fucking good. But in my inside, I thought that Catan with orcs would be even better.
Little by little, more games are implementing cool themes (fantasy, sci-fi) with Euro-Ameri mixed mechanics which elude classification. We wanted orcs, they gave us the orcs. The Euros are not the ultimate game stage, and they are evolving merging with Ameritrash attributes. We now have cooperative Ameritrash (Arkham Horror…) and even diceless dungeon crawls (Dorn, Dungeon Twister…). This evolution wouldn’t have been possible wihouth the “high-themed-dicefests” many people scorn.For now, I’ll bookmark your Fortress and I hope your web succeeds and spreads good sarcasm, chaos, opinions and LOLs across the Internets. Agricola will soon be translated to spanish, and I’m thinking of buying it, and probably I’ll enjoy it, but definitively I’m mantaining my Agricola comment, for my own LOL.
No point in me adding anything further, I think that letter speaks pretty much for itself.
Lets look at our next letter.
Who the fuck do you think you are? You think you can hide from me you piece of shit? Where the fuck is my money? You'll be typing with your fucking nose once I get through with you, motherfucker. Start making peace with your God.
- Don Hordak
Umm, gotta go...