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 bookmarkyour 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.