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#1 TheOptician

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:53 AM

TC has recently initiated an Alias Register which requires players to disclose or delete past aliases, and provide GMT Timezone, country and nationality.

 

Players who wish to participate in tournaments, but do not wish to disclose certain information, may contact TC in private.

 

http://forum.strateg...alias-register/

 

there is bound to be some discussion on this topic, soTo keep the register free,This thread is the place to do so.



#2 TheOptician

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:56 AM

I do not understand why TC requests all members to disclose nationality and country. How is this information going to be used by TC?

 

How will the TC decide if someone has requested an account to be deleted? Could someone reasonably avoid declaring alternates by fictitiously stating they are "going to be removed by admins"? 

 

It may be better to request players list all accounts. Or, all accounts used within the last 3 months. For example, Master Mind also has the undeclared aliases "Zebravink" and "Blackface" (maybe more?) but they are inactive.

 

A list of account names is not personal information by any interpretation of the law. 

 

Section 6.1 of the privacy policy only covers personal information (e.g. IP Address) that is provided to Stratego.com's administration staff upon opening an account. A user-hosted tournament is unofficial (not endorsed by the site) so hence the privacy policy does not apply. Users are not forced to join the event. However, if a user wishes to join he/she must provide the necessary info to the TC committee. 

 

 
Master Mind's accounts aren't important.  Any honest player will declare his/her accounts. It is a nice initiative but the mischievous players (e.g. Brainysmurf) still won't declare their alternates so I do not think this changes much. It is harder to manage than the simple trust policy TC had before. 

 

 



#3 --Wogomite--

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:28 AM

I have mailed admin to take care of accounts to be deleted. I will choose to no longer use any alias except those that are disclosed in the "Alias Register" section. 

 

I have created a lot of aliases in the past and would like to know that if I forgot to add one I will not have to worry about being banned just because of forgetfulness. Like I said, I will not be using them from this point forward and would like peace of mind that this new law will not come back to punish me later. 



#4 TheOptician

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:48 PM

Providing country and nationality is a basic safeguard against deception.

Unedited Victory screenshots (which are required for all TC Tournaments - and may be requested) are expected to display the entire screen.

We would expect this information to be consistent with the players country and nationality, otherwise it may be an indication that a player has provided false information.

A player can of course manipulate their computer settings to appear to be from a different country. So we would expect that player to be able to converse in the language of that country (which is where nationality enters the picture).

Of course a player can claim they have requested an account to be deleted (when they haven't)

But If you were to play a game today and get matched with eg Blackface, then this would demonstrate that eg MasterMind is using an undisclosed alias. Whether you have requested the alias be deleted or not - Playing a game on an undisclosed alias is considered a breach. We do not need any form of proof that the request to delete has been made - as evidence of a game being played by an account is enough to show that it is active.

To answer the question - what would the information be used for?

For the most part it won't be used at all. But if a certain player garners suspicion, then the information made in the declaration would become useful. And this of course has to be made prior to any suspicions being raised, so players cannot later fit stories to the circumstance.

Finally, as is mentioned in the opening post of the Alias Register, if any player does not wish to disclose certain information they may contact TC in private.

#5 scottrussia

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:40 PM

My objection is twofold.

 

1. I actually have good reasons for not publicly disclosing information.  Do I believe anything bad will happen?  Probably not.  But being that I've got a family there is zero reason to provide public information to play a game.

 

2. All this alias stuff is nonsense.  We choose to play a game via computer - it would be great if we could play in person but that is not practical.  So we are all a screen name to each other.  What is the point of creating aliases? 

 

1. To scout out other players setups.  Ok, I do believe there are a few poor souls with nothing else in their lives other than their stratego ELO score and are willing to sacrifice hundreds if not thousands of hours of their lives to achieve it.  Personally, I'm not worried about it one iota.  That's why we have tournaments - no ELO's - just put your army on the field.

 

Now, would I LIKE to be able to say that whomever I play will not have been able to play me using a different name previously - yes - it would be nice.  BUT even with the list of aliases am I going to compile a list and keep it in front of me for the next several months to keep track???  No.  Am I losing any sleep over all this?  Nope.

 

But lets also be honest - some players share information.  So if you play player #2 and win, he/she may choose to share information with player #6 that you meet in the next round.  So there is no perfectly clean scenario where your opponent has no possibility of gaining information prior to the match.

 

2. To disguise who they really are in the tournament.  Ok, I agree some might try that - but so what?  Lets say ScottRussia creates a new account called crystalwaters.  And I win the tournament.  Now what?  Where are my bragging rights?  If I want to come out and claim my great victory I'll be called out as a cheat.  No, more likely I have to live in silence forever - where is the fun in that?

 

So, exactly how to stop all the alias stuff?  Well it seems to me that unless the owners of the site actively participate in identifying those usernames from the same IP address (and I assume there are ways around that) that it will continue unabated.  We could keep expanding and expanding the requests for information and still not stop the problem.   Eventually, you'll want everyone to be in front of a camera to confirm their identity against a passport before playing each match.  All for an online stratego tournament?

 

So ask for aliases - great.  Then work with the owners of the site to confirm.  If they won't, ok - lets play the game - no matter your name you still have to face Spartan Warriors on the battlefield!


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#6 TheOptician

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:12 PM

Explain to me how this registry does anything to stop cheating or misrepresentation?


Queenbee,

 

The purpose of the Alias Register is to prevent tournament participants from gaining a competitive advantage through the use of unknown aliases (even if those aliases are used outside of tournament play). The second purpose is so that all tournament participants have accepted that this practice is considered unfair. As a disincentive, any tournament player that is found to have played a game on any alias not disclosed in the Alias Register will be permanently banned from tournaments run by TC for a minimum of 1 year. 
 



#7 TheOptician

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 11:17 PM

Moved from another topic:
 
 

This is utterly useless. To identify a player we should have a phone number and city and state or country and a valid email. There is no organization that will allow you membership without basic contact info. TC and the NASF and not internet stalkers or hackers.

 

The purpose of the Alias Register is not to identify players. The purpose has already been outlined in the previous post above



#8 queenbee1

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:31 AM

Alias Register is to prevent tournament participants from gaining a competitive advantage.

 

I don't know of anyone who has done this. Nor do I understand how practicing on an alias would give anyone an advantage

 

The second purpose is so that all tournament participants have accepted that this practice is considered unfair. 

 

I don't accept it. Unfair to whom? How is playing on an alias is unfair?

 

If the alias registry is not to identify players then why have one at all. 

 

Is being a Tournament Director all about control and ego? Why are there no membership fees? I just held a tournament and had virtually no rules while the TC has a page and a half of rules. I would like to see an email registry so that we can contact all players without hoping they keep up with the forum. If you are unwilling to give an email to the tournament directors then no one is holding a gun to your head to play in them. 


Edited by queenbee1, 04 May 2017 - 07:45 AM.


#9 queenbee1

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:49 AM

My objection is twofold.

 

1. I actually have good reasons for not publicly disclosing information.  Do I believe anything bad will happen?  Probably not.  But being that I've got a family there is zero reason to provide public information to play a game.

 

I agree with everything you said in this comment, but do you no one is asking for public disclosure? Neither the TC or the NASF would ask you to post personal information, but what about an email address sent only to the TC or NASF? This doesn't endanger anyone and you can receive updates easier via email that the forum.



#10 TheOptician

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:36 AM

Why do aliases give players an advantage?

During matches players learn about their opponent - this may be style of play, types of set-up played etc etc. Knowing your opponent is a factor in the game and this can range from a small impact to a large impact. If Player A knows a lot about Player B (but not vice versa) this may be because she has played her on an alias. Playing on an undisclosed alias is a little like taking a sneak peek at the questions in an exam the night before. (Sometimes it can be as extreme as knowing all the questions).

Whether players intend to gain an advantage through the use of aliases is irrelevant - it gives them one.

The Alias Register recognises that this practice (the use of undisclosed aliases) confers an advantage and is therefore outlawed due to the effect it can have on tournament games.

Players can still risk using them of course, but if caught a lengthy tournament ban is at stake. Requiring the players to actively make a declaration ensures that everyone is aware (rather than burying this in the rules) and means there can be no excuses (eg I didn't know).

There is also a distinction between identifying players and aliases. The former is personal, the latter is not. There is no need for the former, there is a need for the matter. I might also ask what does an email address achieve that access to a Stratego PM does not? Only a name identifies a player (an email address/country/nationality does not).

-------

Is being a Tournament Director all about control and ego? Why are there no membership fees?

These questions are not related to the Alias Register.

But to answer briefly (and I can only speak for myself) being a Tournament Director is about having a project (complete with ups and downs) and practicing management whilst also providing something beneficial for others in return.

Membership fees (in regards to TC) would limit participation and thus conflict with one of the objectives of TC (to attract players).
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#11 Unladen Swallow

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 02:24 PM

I'd just like to say I agree with everything TheO writes above.

 

Identifying Players-

How would this help improve TC's integrity? I do not understand why having access to a player's phone number/email would help, and many would be reluctant to provide this information. To some extent, TC already vet some newcomers if there is reasonable suspicion of being an alias account (e.g. Despy, Brainysmurf). 

Ultimately, it has to be admitted that the alias register does not accomplish that much. Only honest players will complete it, and the dishonest players will 'forget' to declare their aliases. However, the main difference is that if we eventually catch a player using another undeclared account, there is now 100% solid proof that the offender was being dishonest. 

 

Membership Fees -

NASF recently held a poll regarding whether it would be suitable to elicit donations from players (and start rewarding cash prizes), which got a somewhat critical response. Some stated -- especially the younger members - they would have to leave rather than pay the fee. Personally, I do not see the point of membership fees or rewards as I play for fun! TC's nature is to attract more participants to play in wonderful varied tourneys, and having membership fees would reduce participation. There are no costs associated with running these tournaments as everyone is a volunteer giving time to improve the community. 



#12 Lonello

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:03 PM

Given MT and TC are different bodies I may say I only partly agree. 
 

this practice is considered unfair. 

 

I don't accept it. Unfair to whom? How is playing on an alias is unfair?

 

 


Is being a Tournament Director all about control and ego? Why are there no membership fees? I just held a tournament and had virtually no rules while the TC has a page and a half of rules. 

 

 

I agree with Theo about the non-fees and the question why at all concern about aliases seems easy to me too: if you're playing yourself it's pretty easy to see who will win. So it's a good concern, taking in regard especially how Spartian Warriors view it ofcourse, their views are to be taken into high regards!

 

The point I agree with with Queenbee is what our Kingbee (trust me, the Dutch have a real one) has said about rulesfetishism. If you're having wallpapers of rules but in the end still depend on the interpretation of them, then what's the point, really? Best example ofcourse latest D1-ending. The player sevenseas was put on a pending ban and his match against Hielco was not played, costing Hielco the entire tournament.

 

There were a dozen argumentations by a dozen members brought and TC had to ponder and decide what the rules said about it in the end. Could have gone either way, or all ways. One solution brought I endorsed was not met in the end, but it was of a player now being considered as future TC-member. So in a future TC the rules could be interpretated a very other way indeed. 

 

Just saying Queenbee and Kingbee have a point there. In the end it's all about playing funtourneys. That should be the goal.


Lo

#13 Unladen Swallow

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 04:12 PM

Lonello, all tournaments are fun. I already said that I agree with Spartan Warrior's philosophy. ;)

 

 

Personally, I do not see the point of membership fees or rewards as I play for fun!

 

I agree that the extensive list of rules in TC's tournaments may seem daunting, but it is in the interest of having a clear structure for every possible scenario. No member needs to actually read these rules in full as everything is explained during the course of the tourney. All a tourney member is expected to do is provide reasonable availability and play a few matches. 

 

For a loose comparison, consider the 'terms and conditions' you see when joining a website or downloading a smartphone app. These terms are necessary for legal reasons but no one needs to read them in full to understand how to use the app. 

 

I agree the Div1 ending was handled badly due to a lack of common sense. The best outcome was indeed to count Hielco as the winner and null the results of Sevenseas. Nortrom got 6 points due to playing him, and because Hielco didn't play sevenseas he got penalised for it. Anyway that's old news. What's done is done, even though I disagree with the outcome. 



#14 queenbee1

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:46 PM

If there is only one side there is no discussion. The point of email is reaching out to inactive players. Emails do not give location as I use one out of Switzerland.

 

The idea of membership ties one to belonging to something special rather than driving them away. It creates exclusivity rather inclusion. It also eliminates all the nonsense that went into vetting Despy or other players to come. Cheaters will not have multiple accounts. So am I to understand that if I use my aliases I am subject to a 1 year suspension?

 

As for the younger players leaving that is just so. Parent's give them money to go to the movies. There are many ways that young people can earn something mowing a neighbors grass, pulling weeds, washing cars etc. I know I did. We all play for fun, but in tournaments I am playing to win. Every game gives me a knew insight into the top players. 

 

I didn't say emails would help identify players. What I did say was "I would like to see an email registry so that we can contact all players without hoping they keep up with the forum."

 

So I stand by my opinion despite it is against the prevailing attitude of a little more than half the players. A dime a day is 36.50 a year. A quarter adds up to nearly 100.00 US and all you can say is no it will drive away players. Well so be it. 

 

IMO the whole scouting players is overblown. The game is the game and you make adjustments. I used to write a log of the players and style. It was utterly useless as players are constantly changing set up and play style. If they don't they will become stagnant.

 

My final comment is that exclusivity eliminates the need for a registry. An email directory helps us to reach players who may just need some encouragement to come back once they have left and it is a lot easier to direct players to an email than to get them to create an account on the forum and find the tournament topics.

 

I know you won't change, but this is the other side of the conversation. Membership keeps players it does not drive them away and who can't afford .25/day? Some of you say you don't want trophies, but some do. They can be purchased overseas and on Amazon Global and that way the shipping fees are not exorbitant. Buying in the US is not feasible when the best players are in Europe and a Flowerpot trophy is a joke.

 

You guys are literally the professionals and I am cannot fodder. You have memories like steal traps and mine is like a sieve. Imagine a professional in any sport of game playing just for the fun of it. There would be no football, no golf, no baseball and the only fans we have is ourselves.



#15 TheOptician

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:48 PM

Quote>If you're having wallpapers of rules but in the end still depend on the interpretation of them, then what's the point, really? Best example ofcourse latest D1-ending

----

Rules should strive to cover the difficult task of covering all eventualities (which means they get longer) so if a set of rules requires interpretation then I agree this is a weakness. However, your 'best example' is not appropriate as there was no room for interpretation. The rules explained how scoring works when a player is disqualified, and those rules were applied. TC would have had to bend their own rule (banned players may not participate) and be subject to inevitable criticisms of 'favouring their own player' had they done so. It is also worth mentioning that had a rule been bent for one Division it would have to be bent for all Divisions (and that would have made several new cases of unfairness that TC would have had to deal with). So no we did not consider it the best outcome.

Applying the existing rules does not lack common sense, just because a scenario emerges where it doesn't seem optimal. (Talking exclusively about one case doesn't account for the bigger picture). Opinions on how best to treat disqualified players may vary, and I can (and have already done so in other threads related to that subject) give examples where nullifying results produces outcomes which people will deem unfair. There are complex possibilities, and the apparent fairness or unfairness differs wildly depending on the context (and the perceived ability of the players in question). What appears best in one scenario fails in another. There is no one-fits all solution - and any valid criticism of the rules must accept this fact. We're not inclined to take any criticism seriously that does not address this point. And neither can the rules afford the luxury of looking at individual cases in hindsight - they need to be universal.

This isn't the first time and it won't be the last where a tournament that uses Method A suffers the criticism 'you should have used Method B'. Down the line, I'm sure of it - we will hear an unfortunate case of misfortune which leaves the players calling for the execution of Method B in place of Method A.

To circle back, this is one of the important functions of the rules. They tell people from the outset which methods are used in a tournament. You can disagree on which is the optimal solution for eternity, but you are not in doubt as how to proceed that time around.

The rules about the treatment of disqualified players have been changed since and hopefully for the better - time will tell. It's too long to go into now but anyone who wishes can inform themselves by reading the Champions League rules on that section. But there will always be the potential for misfortune when you are dealing with what ifs.

I would test for rules fetishism by determining whether a rule is either useful or necessary. So this is of course subjective, and certainly you can run a tournament without publicising rules - I have no problem with that. But although having long rules may bore people to death (they don't have to read them) this is again not an appropriate criticism of TC.

#16 TheOptician

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:57 PM

<My final comment is that exclusivity eliminates the need for a registry.

>The point of email is reaching out to inactive players.

The Alias register is about aliases and transparency. I agree that in terms of membership, an email address is a good way to get through to inactive players - but should not be an obligation to provide in terms of the Alias Register.

#17 queenbee1

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 09:47 PM

I am not sure why I involved myself in this topic. I think a voluntary email list would be nice for the tournament directors to use in communicating with the players. This is off the topic. Maybe this is the only way for the rank and file to see that others agree with them. I could address all these issues privately, but I want to show my support for both the players and the Tournament Directors who give their time voluntarily.


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#18 Lonello

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:21 PM

That's an awful lot of words but not really aimed at my question, Theo. Maybe it's an unwarranted one but are you then going to clone yourself? Again: bringing in the new will give another interpretation of your rules, as was consulting the old TC.

 

But even if you were to clone yourself I would advise you to read the Consciousness topic of Queenbee in where she explains in other words the 50 year old Theo would rule very differently from the 20-30-40-etc. year old Theo.

 

I agree the Div1 ending was handled badly due to a lack of common sense. The best outcome was indeed to count Hielco as the winner and null the results of Sevenseas 

The player is called sevenseas, Unladen Swallow... mind the capital. But a birdie told me sevenseas was not even asked if he had wanted to play that game. Maybe he wouldn't have wanted, given he would only have been helping out a site that had thrown him out. But he was not even consulted. 

 

I agree with you on the common sense thing but the most commons of senses would have simply been to have let the game played. That's what fun should be... playing the game... not hiding behind rules. So your solution would not have been mine either... no nulling of sevenseas but have him play the game, is what the proposal on the forum was from one of the best Greeks. Anyway, water under the bridge and all that, and I've seen Hielco is again interested in playing TC-tourneys, so what gives? It's all fine. Let him play Queenbee's too ;).


Lo

#19 TheOptician

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:52 PM

Lonello,

You asked what is the point of rules if there is room for interpretation.

I answered there was no room for interpretation - the rules did not need to be interpreted - they were clear.

If you are willing to ignore/over-ride/retrospectively change rules - then this would in most cases make rules less useful, but that is not to say that using the rules merely as guidelines would never be the best course of action.

And to correct you, sevenseas was asked if he would be willing to play the game (as TC did consider all options available before making a decision).

Ultimately, as already explained in full, there were many other factors that were involved in the decision (not least all the other results in all the other divisions that would have been affected and caused further problems).

#20 Nortrom

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 01:14 PM

I agree the Div1 ending was handled badly due to a lack of common sense. The best outcome was indeed to count Hielco as the winner and null the results of Sevenseas my results. Nortrom got 6 points due to playing him, and because Hielco didn't play sevenseas me he got penalised for it. Anyway that's old news. What's done is done, even though I disagree with the outcome. 

Fixed that for you.


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