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In the interest of openness and transparency

 
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Aaron
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 2473
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:34 pm    Post subject: In the interest of openness and transparency Reply with quote

I am deeply saddened to report that I have had to ban Ralf (FiveStars) from posting to the SDG forums. His account access remains otherwise unaffected. The only reason I am announcing this publicly is because it is the first time and I want to be sure the community at large understands my stance on these matters.

The Terms of Service are quite clear. I expect nothing more than common human courtesy and politeness. Disagreements are inevitable, but disagreeability is not. I am not against free expression of ideas. I don't want anyone to feel repressed. I do, however, want people to feel safe. One should be able to express a contrary opinion without fear of reprisal. That safety was jeopardized and I for one felt very uncomfortable.

Anyway, the crux of what I want to say is my door is always open. Feedback and constructive criticism is warmly welcomed. If you have an opinion or suggestions regarding the handling of these situations, feel free to contact me.

I sincerely appreciate everybody's continued support and patience. Good gaming!


Last edited by Aaron on Sun May 20, 2007 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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MarkSteere
Designer
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 645
Location: Palo Alto

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Aaron. You absolutely did the right thing. This was not a free speech issue. This was a common decency issue. Yes, I goaded Ralf from the outset. I can't really explain that except as instinct. I knew Ralf's first order of business would be to install himself as our intellectual superior. Not by learning the games and achieving high ratings - but by blustering, pontificating, hand waving, accusations of persecution, and the inevitable vitriolic temper tantrums. The basic artifice of tyranny. If I'd told you all this up front you wouldn't have believed it.
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Laurie_Menke



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 790

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaron, I am saddened by all of this, as you are. But I do think you made the right decision...at least until things calm down. Perhaps eventually Ralf could be given a second chance.

Mark, I understand that Ralf pushes your buttons. But if you're saying that you purposely baited Ralf in order to speed the process to this particular conclusion, I think that's even sadder.

Hoping for happier days on SDG,

Laurie

P.S. Aaron, thank you very much for the wonderful compliment you gave me in another thread. Embarassed
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MarkSteere
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 645
Location: Palo Alto

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laurie_Menke wrote:
Perhaps eventually Ralf could be given a second chance.


I couldn't possibly disagree more. Ralf's megalomania was the source of the problem and will be so again, if given a chance. You don't show up at SDG, declare all of the games to be "boring," and then try to establish your intellectual superiority with bluster, belligerence, and hysterical temper tantrums. Given another chance, Ralf will play exactly the same hand.

Laurie_Menke wrote:
Mark, I understand that Ralf pushes your buttons. But if you're saying that you purposely baited Ralf in order to speed the process to this particular conclusion, I think that's even sadder.


It wasn't quite that calculated on my part. I think I just wanted Ralf to either stand down and show a modicum of deference to the community, or go on his rampage and get it over with. I was starting to sense that sickly smell of tyranny in the wind. I had already seen what Ralf can do to a forum. Twice. I care about SDG too much to have just sat back and watch Ralf put another notch on his belt.

You were one of the people Ralf attacked, and one of many more to come. I admire your sense of generosity toward Ralf, but what about the rest of us?
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Aaron
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 2473
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would prefer that we refrain from any public "Ralf-bashing." I personally hold no hard feelings and would like to see this just pass away.

Mark, I understand that you and Ralf have a long and rocky history and I didn't take your comments as baiting. (I was preparing a private intervention between you two before he took his attacks to others with whom he had no such history.) It is obvious, however, that you and he are very skilled at pushing each other's buttons. You too have been known to let slip a little rhetoric now and again but have also shown genuine remorse. You have also been a productive member and staunch supporter of this community. I hope we can restore and maintain the civility and genuine friendliness that prevailed a few weeks ago.

To use a legal term, I took these actions "without prejudice." I only restricted his posting to the forums and am completely open to reconciliation. My most recent communications with him leave me little hope of that, however. I have not, nor shall I, remove him from the community as a whole unless he himself withdraws or brings his conflict to other areas of the site. I did not take this action with pleasure nor do I have any rancor towards him. I wish him the best of luck in the future and fully intend to take very seriously the many good suggestions he made.
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MarkSteere
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 645
Location: Palo Alto

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right Aaron. It's not like I was an unbiased third party. I will accept your decisions, respect Laurie's opinions, and leave it at that.

Gotta go to work and sell some books. Have a good day.
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bigby



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Ypsilanti, MI

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, this was an unfortunate occurrence and, gladly, a situation that is exceedingly rare in this community. It would be nice if we all could get along all the time, but this isn't a perfect world. I support the actions you took, Aaron, and I think it was very nice of you to not ban him from the community entirely.

Finally, as we all know, if you don't have anything nice to say, it's probably better not to say it. If you know someone can not be persuaded, and your comments will only escalate a situation, it can only be destructive to the community as a whole, resulting in insults being hurled in a public forum. In my opinion, the whole flamewar should have been taken to e-mail after the first 55stones thread. Hopefully, this will be the end of this particular drama.
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Aaron
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have chosen to remove Ralf from the community. Obviously he is unhappy here. I cannot express how frustrated I am that it had to come to this. I sincerely hope it won't happen again.

Mark, I would deeply appreciate it if you would refrain from any and all public postings on this matter. You and he have a history that I am not willing to get involved with and don't want drug around any more in this venue.

To any others that may have any uncomfortable feelings whatsoever regarding this incident or my behaviour, you are more than welcome to contact me privately or even start a forum thread about it. I am open to all criticism and am happy to discuss my reasoning with anyone. The last thing I want is for any member of this community to feel trapped by some dictatorial caprice. SDG has been a refuge for me and I desire that it remain strong and grow. I appreciate your continued support and look forward to many more games with all of you.

Now, back to the games!
Aaron
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MarkSteere
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Location: Palo Alto

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it. Back to the games.
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jeep



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 540

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not Mark, so I guess I'm free to talk. Wink

Well, this saddens me. I'm disappointed that this occurred. Aaron, I don't think that your actions have been out of line. I worry about potential retaliation. Do you ban by IP? What's to prevent Ralf from joining under a different name.

Personally, as long as there wasn't trouble, I wouldn't mind. I don't know if that is possible, though. I guess it's inevitable that eventually every online community will get someone who disrupts the site. It's not pelasant when it happens, though.

-JEEP
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Lexicon



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 354

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jeep wrote:
Aaron, I don't think that your actions have been out of line. I worry about potential retaliation. Do you ban by IP? What's to prevent Ralf from joining under a different name.


Might it be appropriate to remove his games? Keeping them seems likely to irk him.
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unic



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would rather see that his games stayed here. The conflict is not about problems with the games he has designed, but with his behaviour here. As the game works fine, and don't cause any problems (in fact, they cause enjoyment through being played), I think they should stay.

I would hate to see such a petty conflict leading to this site not supporting the games any longer.
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Aaron
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no intention of removing his games unless he requests it. I too hope he doesn't, but it's his call. I've always said I would honour a developer's request to not implement or to remove one of their games. I'm not out to cause trouble, just to play games.

To be honest, I don't expect Ralf to retaliate in any "physical" way. I won't talk much about site and server security except to say that I guard them jealously.

I agree that this is a most unfortunate incident and I guess I should have seen it coming. I was just floored by how quickly this whole situation exploded. I too sincerely hope this won't happen again.
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jeep



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 540

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this can be reset to normal. I don't think there is any need to have it stickied, is there?

-JEEP
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