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 Post subject: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:24 pm 
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The DCI just purged 10 accounts for a varying amount of time, including Jeremy Hambly of Unsleeved Media and Travis Woo, whom one is banned for life, the other for a year. Is it right for WotC to do this for stuff that didn't happen at an event?

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:15 am 
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No, but social interactions rule the world unfortunately and companies don't want outcasts associated with them and have he right to not have them be. (I have no idea what happened but I really don't want to know because I either won't care or it will make me angry)

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:29 am 
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I think this is connected to events (abuse) that led a cosplayer to quit the Magic community. And yes, I think Wizards have the right, and the duty, to enforce norms of behavior in their community.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:51 am 
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i think that its probably bad for the competitive sanctity of the game, but good for some other aspects of it

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:03 pm 
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LilyStorm wrote:
No, but social interactions rule the world unfortunately and companies don't want outcasts associated with them and have he right to not have them be. (I have no idea what happened but I really don't want to know because I either won't care or it will make me angry)


That's pretty rich coming from a game who's entire base is encompassed by outcasts.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Is it right for WotC to do this for stuff that didn't happen at an event?
Events don't happen in a vacuum; things can happen on the way to and on the way from an event. If someone doesn't feel safe being physically near someone else for reasons that are otherwise outside WotC's control, WotC has a bitter choice to make. No choice they make can welcome both people at once, but by applying bans like this, they can try to be welcoming to more people than they're not.

People matter more than competition, but it's probably a good decision for competition too. Since being predatory or bigoted outside the event can help someone scare off their opposition or put their opposition off tilt, a competition that allows it is broken already. Therefore, banning people based on information about threatening behavior outside the competition is a step toward a Platonic ideal of competition, not away from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:59 pm 
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LilyStorm wrote:
No, but social interactions rule the world unfortunately and companies don't want outcasts associated with them and have he right to not have them be. (I have no idea what happened but I really don't want to know because I either won't care or it will make me angry)
That's pretty rich coming from a game who's entire base is encompassed by outcasts.
This isn't an 80's movie. It's 2017 and Magic is 25 years old and fairly mainstream. Normal people like to play and tabletop gaming hasn't been the purview of supposed "outcasts" for decades.

Even if your assertion were true, that doesn't give those supposed outcasts license to be horrible people who subject others to their misanthropic ministrations and scare others away from this community. There may not be a code of conduct or an expectation of decency for being a casual Magic player, but if a person wants to be part of a community regulated by the game's developers, then not being an ass to other members of that community might be a good idea if that person wants to continue participating.

In short, I don't see anything wrong with this recent streak of bannings.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:39 pm 
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AzureShade wrote:
LilyStorm wrote:
No, but social interactions rule the world unfortunately and companies don't want outcasts associated with them and have he right to not have them be. (I have no idea what happened but I really don't want to know because I either won't care or it will make me angry)
That's pretty rich coming from a game who's entire base is encompassed by outcasts.
This isn't an 80's movie. It's 2017 and Magic is 25 years old and fairly mainstream. Normal people like to play and tabletop gaming hasn't been the purview of supposed "outcasts" for decades.

Even if your assertion were true, that doesn't give those supposed outcasts license to be horrible people who subject others to their misanthropic ministrations and scare others away from this community. There may not be a code of conduct or an expectation of decency for being a casual Magic player, but if a person wants to be part of a community regulated by the game's developers, then not being an ass to other members of that community might be a good idea if that person wants to continue participating.

In short, I don't see anything wrong with this recent streak of bannings.



Except that it's foray in the Mainstream is more and more looking like a boon due to a fad, with sales declining back to pre-2012 levels. So while it might be a bit more mainstream then it was a decade ago, you can't deny most of it's core is still under the classical definition 'outcasts'.

Further more, there was hardly anything misanthropic about Jeremy, and while he certainly might be an ass, the last time I checked that wasn't on the grounds for execution.

Plus, wouldn't the Professors or Wedges call to arms again Jeremy Hambly also fall underline with this new Code of Conduct?

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Further more, there was hardly anything misanthropic about Jeremy, and while he certainly might be an ass, the last time I checked that wasn't on the grounds for execution.

Plus, wouldn't the Professors or Wedges call to arms again Jeremy Hambly also fall underline with this new Code of Conduct?
I'm pretty sure nobody was executed. There is no need for that sort of hyperbole. Having seen the videos and his own posts made to harass and bully other people to the point where they left the community, I feel there was plenty of evidence for WotC to enforce a ban partially removing him from the community at large. Nothing is preventing him from continuing to play Magic with his friends. Nothing is preventing him from continuing to comment about Magic product on any of his media outlets. He just has lost access to MTGO (one of many ways to play Magic online) and cannot partake in official events that require a DCI number.

Having not read or watched anything from either the Professor or Wedge in months, I cannot speak to their actions or how it falls under any civilized code of conduct (not new). If Wizards finds their conduct unbecoming, I'm sure it will be dealt with similarly. If not, then maybe there is actually a marked difference in what they and Jeremy Hambly was saying or doing.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:30 pm 
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When there's such a toxic person like that in a community, there's no way to just be neutral and accepting of everyone. Not banning that individual means excluding their targets from the community. Kudos to Wizards for making the right choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:53 am 
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@adeyke: Jeremy being banned is irrelevant to him, and the community at large. However, it's the principal, you shouldn't be banned for being a douchebag outside of an event. However, this being said, I understand WotC decision.

@Azureshade: His Magic career was executed (and in reality, so was Woo's), so it's a fitting metaphor. Sprankle is still going to be showing up at events, mark my words, but now her Patreon is a lot more wealthy then it was before. Now I said, Jeremy in a lot of ways probably deserves his ban, from what I gathered from him, but what about the other nine people? Eight people banned for three months for being caught in a screen cap (the only reason I'm not is I don't have my real name on Facebook).

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:54 pm 
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Preface: I have not watched the video that allegedly represents the bullying/offense

Thesis: I feel like WotC has a bad mechanism for responding to persons of ill repute in the community.

Point: WotC is within their rights to do what they do, but that doesn't mean they're taking the right response

Evidence: This is the second, "fairly recent" incident where an individual has been banned from competition for factors at best tangentially related to the competition (The Zach Jesse issue was the other). In the elder case, no current or Magic-related offense was involved: WotC simply decided, arguably at the hands of Social Media, to remove target player from the game in the interests of PR. Whether you think that was the right call or not, and there are legit arguments on both sides, it was within their rights ("Play Magic in a competitive setting" is not part of the rights that can be restored to felons that have done their time, nor is WotC obligated to be fair, impartial, or just).

In the current incident, a player is banned and a MtGO account (representing real value) negated over what can be described as drama between internet personalities, again under social media pressure. Once again, WotC is fully within their rights to do this: they can ban you, including from MtGO, for just about any reason or (I believe; no one has ever actually read the terms & conditions) no reason at all if they feel like it. And this time there was at least provocation related to Wizards of the Coast.

Let's be clear; bullying is not OK. I've heard different accounts of what Mr. Hambly actually did ranging from "A five minute video where he complains about her attitude doing some card-ripping nonsense with free product" to "Long and sustained abuse the likes of which no human should be subjected to". In anything approaching the latter case, such behavior is very not cool, and possibly even criminal (Remember kids; Harassment is still harassment, even if not face to face). I've also heard various accounts of the reaction, sometimes flagging other personalities (rarely the aggrieved woman herself) as functioning as attack dogs on the return, whether that is leading their own harassment attack that saw their target banned or whether it would be replying in kind.

Whatever did happen, there are a few possible responses. Choose one

Justice - Investigate the matter in a thorough and impartial manner and hand out punishments to and only to those who have committed some manner of infraction over which you have jurisdiction. Leave any actual harassment to the cops, though if anything goes through on that score there's a precedent for bans at that time. If it's just folks arguing about who's a meany-pants, do nothing.

Schoolyard Justice - Round up everyone involved and punish everyone who "Threw a punch" -- Mr. Hambly, everyone who stood with him, AND everyone who came against him in vitriolic anger. Make it clear that neither the initial provocation NOR turning it into a screaming match will be tolerated. Under this model it's likely that everyone (except perhaps the cosplayer in question) would get a year suspension or something (except perhaps Mr. Hambly who, as the prime instigator, would suffer far worse)

Impassive - Prove you aren't ruled by the mob by doing absolutely nothing. If the community will have Mr. Hambly removed, let the community shame and shun him without the authority figure's say.

Play Favorites - Pick a side and smite it. Place the other on a pedestal.

What WotC did may have been a selection of Justice, but it looks an awful lot like Play Favorites because of the fact that the alleged punishment was NOT germane to the alleged crime. An appropriate reaction within WotC's scope would have been to sever all corporate ties to Mr. Hambly and denounce his behavior (if it was found to be malicious), giving him no further product nor consideration if he received any. That would match the provocation. Banning him retaliates in a sphere different than in the sphere of provocation

My personal opinion is that Schoolyard Justice would have been the best tenor of response. WotC's current pattern of behavior marks them as willing to hand down harsh punishments at the will of vocal minorities (as I sincerely doubt that the majority of the player base has even heard of Mr. Hambly. Certainly, before this incident, I hadn't). Perhaps it was a good thing this time? Certainly it could have been depending on how toxic Mr. Hambly was. The problem is that it establishes that if you have a beef with someone and can cry the right words to WotC, the hammer will fall on them. It's already left questionable whether the right action was taken here at all, whether or not any action (much less this action) was justified. It might properly intimidate those who would act out, but it does lower the boiling point for further incidents. You don't want to teach people that if they scream loud enough something they want will happen. By contrast, coming down with varying force on everyone who decided to make this a public issue would show that while it is NOT ALLOWED to do bad things, it's also not OK to make a mess, so maybe only do it if this is legitimately important enough to you to face the music.

What I really don't want is to see this become a common pattern.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:19 pm 
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Oh, right, I wanted to mention one more thing: Mike Long

For those of us who have been playing as long as I, that's a very... checkered name. He was a Pro Tour player and deck innovator and also a NOTORIOUS opponent of fair play and alleged (and once suspended) cheater -- in short, a noxious personality whose noxiousness was actually germane to the DCI

He was never lifetime banned. In fact, he was at one point recommended for/placed in the Hall of Fame for his deckbuilding, despite the controversy around him. When he was actually caught cheating, he got a year suspension, as was the penalty for the cheating he was caught with. He suffered no repercussions from WotC for jerkish or unsportsmanlike behavior in the game itself. This was probably the right call: the DCI only did what was germane to the DCI. They didn't react to accusations that "Long tricked me into conceding by flashing a lethal lightning bolt he couldn't cast", despite that being game-related, because it was not their place to move on such an accusation.

The takeaway, for someone who's been around as long as I have, is that Cheating is more acceptable to your Magic-playing career than getting into an internet argument with the wrong people. And however vitriolic the argument, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that result.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:14 pm 
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I'm not at all sure about this, but isn't the Mike Long story an old one? Policies change?

Also, there's the matter of proof. In the abuse case, I assume the abuse was public, and easy to verify. In the case of cheating, you have to actually catch the perpetrator in the act, and then you can only punish them for the acts you verified. No matter their reputation, and alleged previous shady behaviour. I do agree that penalties for cheating should be severe.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Oh, super old. I was making more of a comment on philosophy than on policy.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:02 am 
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(the only reason I'm not is I don't have my real name on Facebook).

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:40 pm 
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While I have used the Mike Long analogy before, it's super old, and while he designed one of my all time favorite decks, I'm afraid it's just no relevant.

However Alex Bertoncini, Patrick Chapin, and finally Drew Levin all fall under the same catagory as Woo, Hambly, and Jesse in terms of what has been done at events, or in the past, and as such, with justice being blind, should suffer the same fate as those who I listen above. Bertoncini is a chronic cheater, who's attempted to rule lawyer himself out of numerous incidents of cheating, so much so even Drew Levin has called him out on it. Drew Levin started a hate campaign and flame war against Zach Jesse, similar in vein to the one that happened again Sprankle and then Hambly, all over a casual game on MTGO. Levin has also been caught cheating numerous times, and has had an aggressive play style similar to Mike Long.

What there is to say about Chapin, has been already said numerous times. However, if Zach can be banned for his past, so should Patrick.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:25 pm 
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Is Zach the guy who was a convicted sex offender? If so, that's a pretty different situation to Chapin. Regardless, we shouldn't be trying to equate unique situations. He also made that meandering reddit post about how he should be forgiven while still trying to make himself seem super virtuous. The guy did something pretty damn horrible, and yeah he has shown that he tries to make up for it. He should be happy it hasn't ruined his actual career. I legitimately believe he has turned his life around and isn't a horrible human. But MTG requires you to be in situations where you will interact with people below the age of 18, and the law is pretty clear about how that works once you are on the list, despite some states having more stringent laws than others.

Zach got his ban for two reasons: PR, and potential legal issues. Chapin isn't on a sex offender list.

If I had my way, Alex Bertoncini would be banned for life. WotC honestly is too lenient against cheaters in general IMO.





But really, stop playing whataboutism. It doesn't make your point for you.





I am 200% fine with MTGHQ getting banned, and Woo should have, and probably did, know better when it came to this situation. If I had my way as CEO of WotC, I would be putting every ounce of litigious weight onto jeremy's two or three youtube channels and have them shut down. The guy is poison for the brand and you can probably make an argument for a takedown on that alone.

TWoo isn't some intellectual saint, he is a douche with an ego. He already got banned and had his MTG career go down the crapper once because he wanted to be edgy and a crappy human. If he is surprised he got banned for creating an environment to harbor trolls and horrible people, while occasionally interacting with them, then he isn't half the intellectual as he thinks he is.

Ben Friedman wrote a thing on his blog talking about how we should let TWoo slide because he is one of the good ol' boys or however you wanna phrase it (he was never bad in public only online!!!) and while I agree with some points, you don't get to just say "oh he's only a crappy human online" because nowadays that isn't a thing. Our lives are so heavily intertwined with the internet that your behavior online is essentially your behavior in person.

@UncleAlbert there has been plenty of proof that the guy who got a lifetime ban deserved it. I can vouch. A few years ago, he said that everyone in R&D should be fired on twitter because of the state of standard, and my reply of "that's a bit extreme" was given a succinct "well you should just go kill yourself."
I'm not paraphrasing. It went from "fire them all" to "it's not great but that's extreme" to "kill yourself." Those three tweets.



As to whether or not WotC SHOULD be banning people from tournaments for reasons not directly related to gameplay or behavior at tournaments, that's a pretty clear thing.
If a person is driving people away from the game, WotC needs to make it clear that isn't a tolerable behavior. Otherwise they are damaging their bottom line.
MTGHQ is a pretty far cry from "getting banned for having an internet argument with someone."

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Last edited by GobO_Lazarus on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Quote:
@adeyke: Jeremy being banned is irrelevant to him, and the community at large. However, it's the principal, you shouldn't be banned for being a douchebag outside of an event. However, this being said, I understand WotC decision.


WotC 100% has the right to tell people they aren't welcome at their events if they can't be decent humans. WotC 100% has the RESPONSIBILITY to make sure that anyone who might consider going to an event won't have to second guess because of the harassment of another person. A person who is going to be a douchebag outside of an event should not expect to be welcome to any events.
Quote:
@Azureshade: His Magic career was executed (and in reality, so was Woo's), so it's a fitting metaphor. Sprankle is still going to be showing up at events, mark my words, but now her Patreon is a lot more wealthy then it was before. Now I said, Jeremy in a lot of ways probably deserves his ban, from what I gathered from him, but what about the other nine people? Eight people banned for three months for being caught in a screen cap (the only reason I'm not is I don't have my real name on Facebook).


Sprankle announced she was donating the future money from her Patreon to Planned Parenthood before you even made this post, FYI. If she shows up to an event, it won't be for months, at least. Even so, what does that matter? Because a person is going to prove they won't let **** and harassment keep them down, we should just LET THE PEOPLE KEEP BEING ****?
As for the eight who are getting banned for the P1P1 screenshot, maybe they should have the damn common sense to think that Facebook is a public forum, and if you aren't going to talk like that in front of a person's face, you shouldn't act that way online. They didn't just "get caught in a screen cap." They were part of a group of ****. If you can't handle the consequences, you shouldn't take the action. They're all adults, so if they somehow haven't learned the "actions = consequences" lesson, sooner is better. So, I guess congrats for being in a group of **** and not getting caught? I'm not sure what to say.

Oh, right, I wanted to mention one more thing: Mike Long

For those of us who have been playing as long as I, that's a very... checkered name. He was a Pro Tour player and deck innovator and also a NOTORIOUS opponent of fair play and alleged (and once suspended) cheater -- in short, a noxious personality whose noxiousness was actually germane to the DCI

He was never lifetime banned. In fact, he was at one point recommended for/placed in the Hall of Fame for his deckbuilding, despite the controversy around him. When he was actually caught cheating, he got a year suspension, as was the penalty for the cheating he was caught with. He suffered no repercussions from WotC for jerkish or unsportsmanlike behavior in the game itself. This was probably the right call: the DCI only did what was germane to the DCI. They didn't react to accusations that "Long tricked me into conceding by flashing a lethal lightning bolt he couldn't cast", despite that being game-related, because it was not their place to move on such an accusation.

The takeaway, for someone who's been around as long as I have, is that Cheating is more acceptable to your Magic-playing career than getting into an internet argument with the wrong people. And however vitriolic the argument, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that result.


I touched on this some in my first post, but choosing to say something is an action, and people are responsible for their actions. There is a pretty thick line between "internet argument with the wrong people" and "being a pariah."

If I had my way, WotC would ban people more heavily for cheating, but those people buy cards so they don't want to unless they have to.

As for the "he should be in the HOF" thing, I remember that. People were saying that because 1) he had good numbers; which is part of what I hate about the MTGHOF - they really are too arbitrary and actually leads into 2) The man IS a part of Magic History, being the Biggest Heel to ever Heel in MTG. Guy is scum obviously but he is ingrained into that period of MTG.
Some of the people that were making the argument to put him in the HOF were doing it BECAUSE the HOF has put in some people that probably shouldn't have been in, while having some obvious people left out. They were saying that the HOF is too arbitrary.
And obviously the idea didn't gain real traction.

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Last edited by GobO_Lazarus on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Recent DCI Purge
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:04 am 
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1. WotC shouldn't have any power outside of an event. It's 2017, WotC makes a lukewarm version of D&D, a children's card game, A YGO clone in Japan, and whatever boardgame AH prints out these days. You can't even call them the gaming juggernaut they were in the 90's.

2. Yes and Anita Sarkessian announced she was using her Patreon too create a series she never even finished. Instead she flaunted the high end restaurants she went too, and her new shoes. I don't put a lot of faith in Sprankle for the same reason. Now, if I'm wrong, I'll be glad to be wrong, but there is an old saying about history repeating itself.

3. They are public figures, and as such, get the mockery of being public figures. Plus it isn't like women don't have the same conversations about men, ****, that same month there was a P1P1 picture of male players too, but Sean's mole had the good grace of not sharing that image, now didn't they? Further more, it was a closed group, and Sean only shared the photo's to add fuel to the flamewar. Also, welcome to the old way of thinking on the Internet, no name=no consequences.

4. Every Magic player buys cards. **** Hambly has been playing since 94, in fact 6 of the 10 banned been playing since the mid-90's, and the majority of the groups have. Most of us spend a good amount of money on product, and with the 2012 fad winding down, sales have been declining. WotC would be wise to side with people that actually buy their product, because MtG is the one thing that is still keeping them afloat, and with their Facebook page currently sitting at 1 star, it's only a matter of time before Hasbro takes notice and starts asking questions.

5. Zach was convicted of sexual assault, not rape, there is a mile of difference between the two. Two parties being black out drunk and **** is a big difference between murdering someone, and quiet frankly, one crime is considerably more heinous then the other. However, I said I understand WotC stance on it, even if MTGO doesn't require you to physically interact w/ minors.

Bertonici and WotC are in each others pocket. Look into the collusion.

**** Twoo didn't even post anything, he just made the group, which is the big ironic part about it, but hey, racism is okay when they don't align to your religious ideology I suppose. WotC started this, and it's going to hurt their wallets in the long run.

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