Tuesday, 13 March 2007

I am truly honored...

I just have to say thanks to all you guys that have shown support on BGG- I saw some of you guys changed your avatar to mine and I have to say I was actually _moved_ by that gesture...contrary to what a bunch of people over there think, I never cared much about the attention or the silly degree of "celebrity" that being a loudmouth dissenter seems to offer, but I did want to make a difference- to get people talking about games, to get people to think about games, and to make people laugh about games. When I see that you guys are not only supporting me but also openly criticizing Aldie and BGG I see that a real spirit of dissent and dissatisfaction lives on without me, and that means a lot to me. Why? Because when we allow dissenting voices to express dissatisfaction we are moving toward something better.


Adam Skinner said...

Will you, at least, give us the whole story? I'm interested in hearing the voice of the silenced.

Hancock.Tom said...

I'm curious as to what the straw that broke the camel's back was. I looked around and didn't see any one post that looked particularly bad, but perhaps it was deleted.

I think with time Aldie will regret this... it is essentially admitting that his moderation system isn't enough.

Ken Bradford said...

According to some brief chats I've had with Michael, there was no warning. Just "boom, then crash into yassir, then BANISHED!"

I'm guessing some prominent BGG peeps got their panties in a wad and complained...their few voices drown out the tons of others who actually welcome and enjoy (or at least are entertained) by such "rabble-rousing" content.

Lame...and sadly, some of my preconceptions about BGG that I had in the beginning (and I thought I had gotten over) are now coming true, and that's pretty sad.

Michael Barnes said...

That's the case...I have no "story"...this happened without warning, no communication from Aldie or any other admin.

As Ken points out, it seems likely that a few "prominent" voices are more important than others.

maibock said...

The real oddity is the stark contrast between both Aldie's and Derk's comments on Weeks' show in regards to Michael, and then the quick impromptu banning. There was obviously something else at play there. I just can't understand how sensitive a lot of the users are over there.

As with most of the well wishers here, good luck with this site guys!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see you gone, Michael, and glad you've landed on your feet with this site. I'll be checking back often.

I've been growing sick of the Geek for a while. Now, I'm just going to use it like IMDB. It's a great source of information, but populated with a majority of dicks.

BradH said...

Whoops. That was me, by the way.

Adam Skinner said...

Hold on, Brad! Aren't we mourning the loss of one of the biggest dicks on BGG? If anything, Michael was banned because he was consistently being a dick!

If anything, you should leave BGG because Aldie has shown himself intolerant of dickery.

Michael Barnes said...

Adam, I wasn't just being a dick...I was also a:

violent redneck
internet personality
Ameritrash apologist

Among other things BGG users kindly pointed out in a finger-wagging attempt to correct my unruly behavior.

Ken Bradford said...

I think "internet personality" is the most damning.

Is that the sort of thing you want to tell the parents that you've done with your life?

"What are you doing these days, son?"

"Well, I...uh...I was recently promoted to 'internet personality'."

"Oh. I see."

Blindspot said...

Add "demagogue" and "fomenter" to that list.

Chad Krizan said...

"I have no "story"...this happened without warning, no communication from Aldie or any other admin."

Huh? You received warnings to tone things down, chose to fling them back in BGG's face, and now continue to claim innocence on the whole deal.

Why couldn't your tone on BGG be at the same level you portray on this site or when you were on the Weeks podcast? We certainly liked having your opinions, and didn't at all mind the debates that you brought up. It was just the inflammatory, insulting nature of your posts which you refused to tone down that was the problem. If you could have just humbled yourself a little bit and admitted that you were, in fact, causing a lot of hurt feelings by your posts, things would have been just fine!

As for "a few prominent voices" making the decision, sure Aldie's post about banning you has plenty of thumbs down, but it had 30 more thumbs up than down. Sorry man.

Anyways, I hope this helps clear things up about why the decision was made, and I'm sorry it had to end up the way it did.

TheRankO said...

Weird. I didn't know dicks had thumbs.

Michael Barnes said...

Thanks for your input Chad, but there was never any 'warning' from administration about being banned, nor were there any comments or personal geekmails that had suggested that I was specifically going over the top.

I agreed with Aldie's post that the discussion needed to be refocused, but I also felt that he was furthering divisive exaggerations. Plus he pretty much admitted that Thornquist left because of the "controversy" going on. Yeah, I thought he was full of crap. But I didn't call him names. I didn't insult him.

I never said I was "innocent"- I purposefully and continually posted opinions that I knew weren't popular and would polarize people- but they were also my honest opinions and like I always say, if it ain't from the heart then it ain't shit. I also posted a lot of things that I thought were so ridiculous that they would be recognized as satire, humour, or just bizarre ranting but apparently they weren't. So no, I'm not innocent...but to try to characterize the ban as anything other than what it appears to be in light of recent events is silly on your part as well.

At any rate, you're welcome here and I hope you'll enjoy the content and contribute contents...say whatever you want, we're not gonna ban you.

Lajos Brons said...

Adam, I wasn't just being a dick...I was also a:

violent redneck
internet personality
Ameritrash apologist

I thought those were honorary titles...

AlexB said...

I won't get into the politics of the BGG banning, but just wanted to say to Michael that I'll miss your insight on BGG, and I'll be coming here to get my fix.

Zapata said...

Unbelievable. Never read any true offending post from you on BGG. And I 've been reading a lot of them, because they were so funny, even for my poor english knowledge. Not to forget the extremely accurate and interesting comments you were delivering on games. Describing you just as the bad boy using rude language doesn't match the reality. I found most of your reviews far more interesting than the stuff uploaded by the usual prima donnas. I wonder how these guys use to play a game. We use to tease each other constantly, and that's part of the fun. Do they have a specific etiquette when gaming ? wearing a tie ? Making a paryer before set-up ? I had already lost a lot of interest in the BGG since that infamous moderation system took place. Now, I've lost my favourite geekbuddy. From now, I'll use this site as a pure information source, period. And I bookmark your blog, joining the axle of evil.

"Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left." "Yes, I have." "Look!" "It's just a flesh wound." (Monty Python, Holy Grail)

Michael Barnes said...

"Do they have a specific etiquette when gaming ? wearing a tie ? Making a prayer before set-up?"

HA HA HA HA!!!! Zapata, congrats on being the first person to really make me laugh on here...wearing a tie...heh heh!

Michael Barnes said...

Whoa...still laughting...hey, maybe if I wore a tie while posting I'd be regarded as "nice"...ha ha!

Mark Edwards said...

contrary to what a bunch of people over there think, I never cared much about the attention or the silly degree of "celebrity" that being a loudmouth dissenter seems to offer, but I did want to make a difference- to get people talking about games, to get people to think about games, and to make people laugh about games. ... and that means a lot to me. Why? Because when we allow dissenting voices to express dissatisfaction we are moving toward something better.

I dunno Michael, I get the distinct impression you eat this stuff up. You spend (or spent unfortunately) a lot of time in that BGG persona and you do seem to enjoy it. From everything I've read and heard it's not the real you either.

I disagree about your conclusion here also. I think stirring up shit sometimes accomplishes only that. It certainly doesn't seem to be helping the gaming community, just polarizing it.

Where's the discussion about games in all this? Isn't that intent, as described above, getting lost because of the tone and style of your delivery?

As one of the guys that loves Ra, Fury of Dracula and ASL I just can't get my head around the spite coming from all sides.

Anyhoot, hopefully cooler heads (Aldie's, yours, etc.) will prevail and the ban will be lifted and you'll grace BGG with your unique viewpoint once again. Then again I do wonder if you are capable of dissent without the sneering tone.

Alexiusexfalso said...

The one thing in the world worse than being talked about, Barnes Old Coot, is not being talked about.

Congratulations on the furore & all the best to the team for the new blog! :)

New Zombie said...

i'm a bit of a fence sitter in this debate, i've read michael's posts and understood/enjoyed the humour but can also understand that some folk got offended.

i can sympathise with aldie and with michael.

i think michael was a lightning rod within the geek. often his comments were intentionally inflammatory and would draw undeniably offensive comments from both sides of the debate. i think aldie had to do something and he chose to remove the lightning rod.

while the ban in my opinion was over the top. i personally think it's worked out quite well. this blog is excellent to date and i presume it wouldn't have been created if it weren't for the ban. for the time being i can come here and get michael's intelligent, frequently caustic, insight about the industry - without the barnes haters-lovers diluting the salient points by calling each other dicks etc.

as an aside, i'll continue to use the geek as i have in the past with my semi lurker user NZRPGR - i don't see the point in tossing toys and abandoning the site.

GROGnads said...

Well, old chap, it would seem that YOU are stealing MY "thunder" at obtaining the "Offensive #-1" title out from under 'moi'! Man!, I am away from the "Geek" for just a few 'daze', and then ALL "hell" breaks loose, like with this current "bananation"!?! For those who haven't quite figured this out entirely, then I'll spell it O-U-T for one and any to then fully comprehend: an "exception" was given and taken in regards to what was being felt were disparaging "remarks" of certain 'beings', that are held in greatest "esteem" by the majority. True, I've done 'stuff' along the same "vein", except that I tend to lavish my 'espousals' with liberal amounts of "jest" as well. Since some of those folks are no longer 'responding' in kind, then it was believed that these further inflammatory replies of "Michael Barnes", were seen by many as "flinging poo" upon the vaunted "walls & halls" of the 'site', as it were. I won't state that I agreed with ALL that has been going on and particularly in this instance, but you have to admit to yourself that 'compromising' for such, would have been of very little consequence. I also agree with "Lajos" that a FORUM 'site' is better for anything like what you have here, so you guys should take him UP on his "offer" to HOST that. Good Luck on this and ALL you care to 'do'!

Michael Barnes said...

Grognads is here! SWEET!!!

MWChapel said...

Here's a homage for ya.


Michael Barnes said...

Chapel, in this horrible war of strife and mutual annihilation I've always regarded you like the "good" alien on V...you know, the Robert Englund character who helped out the humans but was still a slimy alien bastard...and then he knocked up some human lady and they had a lizard baby...glad to have you 'round, pal!

Anonymous said...

Man, you just don't get it. The goal should not have been to undermine BGG with your efforts to get people thinking about games! That's where you fucked it all up. Your efforts should have been to take the piss out of the Casper Milquetoast "Jesus died so I could play Caylus" passive aggressive fucks who DARE to pass injudicious judgements on such classic games as Chainsaw Warrior and History of the World! Oh, hang on, those games are both European in origin. Damn, you should have just shut up then when THE MAN told you to shut up. So what if you say THE MAN never told you squat! But hey, we'll never miss your avatar, because aside from all those tributes, David desJardin has crawled out of whatever contentious hole he was living in over at BGG to scare the world with his own LCD-cracking image. Party on, dude. Oh fuck that hippy shit. And everybody knows that you don't screw with THE MAN when THE MAN is composed of a bunch of pantywaisted testicularly-challenged computer fucks. So sad.

Oh yeah, BGGers, try to guess my secret identity! Hint, I'm the REAL Grognads.

Michael Barnes said...

Aldie, is that you?

Anonymous said...

from wmshub on BGG (I can never figure out how to get usernames here right)...

barnes, I'm really sad to see you go from BGG. Your comments were always informative and entertaining. I'm really sad that Aldie chose this route. I'll check your blog here.

Peregrine said...

Mike, you'll land on your feet, this blog is excellent so far, and the trouble that's been stirred up back in BGG land is pretty nice. Plus a lot of us will be carrying your memorial avatar just to cheese people off.

Julian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Bradford said...

GROGNads is here! How cool is that?

DKahnt said...

Hey Barnes,

I am sorry to hear about your banishment from BGG, I too am on the fence about this but am keeping rather quiet over on the geek... simply because I am still kind of new and some people don't like to hear from new people.

While I am not so much an "Ameritrash" fan, I did grow up playing those games and can respect those games, as you put it on the podcast with Weeks, [paraphrase] "change everytime you play them and not just playing a certain set of rules." I too have been scratching my head at some new games that if you play one way, others get angry at you...

That being said, I did enjoy you comments, I found them funny and at times a bit rude, but hey I am from New Jersey, where rudeness is a lifestyle... I also think some people on the geek are a bit too sensitive sometimes...

Good luck in all you do.


TheRankO said...

For anyone keeping score at home, two of Barnes' BGG geeklists have been thumbed into "Hot" status over the last two days.

TheRankO said...

UPDATE: Of the 12 "Hot" Geeklists, two are Barnes tributes and three are old lists by Michael picking up new thumbs.

Raul Catalano said...

Well, Michael, the first times I saw your posts on BGG I said to myself "Who's this dork ? Isn't he able to say something without insulting the others ?".
Then I READ what you said, and I was convinced in most cases you really had something interesting to say ... with a funny sarcastic attitude.

I think it is not by chance that all this happened after the infamous "Podcast fever" begun: from there on, we are not all simply BoardGameGeeks anymore, but "peones" vs. "influent personalities".

Like many others, I will miss you but ... WAIT ... you're here ! ;-))

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

I'm a bit late with my 'nice blog, glad to be here' as I've been having great fun stomping on all the gutless wonders that are now coming out from under their stones ... it may just about be worth it buying a Patron07 badge for that fun ...... fuck off - just pissing with everyone ... so 'nice blog, crazy guys, glad to be here'.

And y'all be pleased to know that a subset of our group are getting monthy Sunday sessions going for theme type games - two FFG Warrior Knights under our belts so far(we did the GW version last year), with A&A Revised coming up plus AGoT (not my flavour though) and 1825 scheduled in.

And for something a bit different I got into 'LotR Combat Hex' with my 8yr old lad, also got Heroscape for him plus to blend the tiles into the LoTR game, and now getting some Star Wars Battles spaceship minis 'cos he likes them but also because I heard you can use them with 'Silent Death' (which I got in a BGG Math Trade last year).

Akhnaten said...

I just want to ask Mr Barnes whether, as a result of his celebrity, he has got laid?

bourbaki said...

Grognads here and here we are without colors, fonts, emoticons...

Who they really ought to ban is anti-abstract weenies who feel inferior when they find a game they do not completely grok on the first play and end up rating it a one to assuage their egos. If they do leave a comment it tends to be "I don't like abstracts." Fine and dandy, then leave rating them to your betters.

bourbaki said...

In case it wasn't clear from context I meant to contrast the former group of users with MB who always gave a valid reason for any rating...

milgate said...

"...you know, the Robert Englund character who helped out the humans but was still a slimy alien bastard...and then he knocked up some human lady and they had a lizard baby."

Michael, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the Robert Englund lizard who knocked up the human girl, Robin -- it was one of the little jackbooted thug lizards. He was captured by the resistance, and, after she gave birth, Robin showed him the baby and then killed his cold-blooded ass.

I, uhhh, maybe watch the miniseries a little too much.

Anyway ... I don't post on BGG that often, but I visit practically every day, and read a lot. When the great "Be Nice" edict first came down a few months ago, I agreed with it and thought that you, Michael, were perhaps protesting a bit too much.

But -- I never thought you were abusive or personally attacking anyone. Most of what you wrote that has been interpreted as such, was so over the top it should have been impossible to think you were serious.

On the other hand, I noticed a number of people following you around and sniping at you with actual venom in their posts. You would respond, then everyone would jump up and point: "See? See? There goes Barnes, slamming someone again!" without noting those who provoked you.

And if you really do throw chairs and threaten "I'll slit your throat if you make that move," then you're my kind of gamer. I've been known to sling uncooperative dice out the window during games of Risk: 2210, make suicidal attacks against a player in Shogun/Samurai Swords in order to keep a third player from winning (out of sheer spite), and once had to leave the room during a game of RoboRally to keep from doing something dumb after another player spent his entire turn lasering my robot.

Daniel said...

The voice of dissent may yet still live.
Glad to see everyone has their own forum, and it seems that the truly lively debate has made a jump from BGG.
There was even a geeklist celebrating censorship, that as I write this, has 34 positive thumbs. It also has an item that is a personal attack on MB, but per usual double standards abound.

Update: Barnes now has 1,034 thumbs, and it is climbing every time I check.

Update II: Aldie has now whipped out an AT badge, and is proudly portraying it under his avatar. Hmmm, anyone else find this.

The voices of dissent usually end up being the one's that truly matter. I really hope this will stick around. Oh, except I happen to agree with the notion that a website would be more useful than a blog for something like this.

Keep up the good work guys.


······ the relfords ·· said...

"violent redneck" ??

Redneck, YEP.

Violent ?! No way !