KGS Rooms / English Chat Room

Sub-page of KGSRooms

The ECR, or also known as the English Chat Room, was a counterpart to the English Game Room on KGS. Originally found under the main rooms, but now residing under social, this room was created to hold most of the off topic conversation on KGS, but the room has been vastly underutilised. As there is a greater population of users in the english game room, people seeking to have a conversation often go there first as they will have a larger and more diverse audience. The Admins are usually tolerant of these out-of-place offtopic conversations as long as they are constructive and courteous in nature, obey the TOS, and as long as any go conversation or question takes priority over the conversation. If the conversation gets too big or too wild, they may ask you to move the conversation to the ECR. Please don't argue with them, there is very little you can do to change their mind and talking back is an easy way to earn yourself a vacation from KGS. The ECR is preferred by many for conversations because of its isolation from the rest of KGS. Because there are few users who use the room, chances are, a troll seeking to cause havoc will not target the ECR due to its reputation as a "dead" room, and will go to the EGR instead. But the ECR is very alive, if you stick around, you will find that only the best of the best topics survive in such a quiet room.

To see the history or the huge discussion about the ECR, see the wall of text below.


Today (2004-04-22) there was a big change in the KGS main room. The room formerly known as the English Room has been divided in two parts: English Game Room and English Chat Room.

This was done to avoid, if i (Conan) know right, discussion far away from being go related and so not bothering any player that is "forced" to play in the english room to read such things over and over. (I may be wrong about this).

In any case, im not sure if it was right or wrong, but this is not the point. 15 minutes after i logged in i was messaged "leave the english chat room as a protest, so if no ones there they close it". And i dont understand the issue. Whats the big problem with having 2 rooms?. It would be great if people talked go along with the games and not go along with no games.


IanDavis: There are basically 2 problems.

  1. Offensive Trolls and the lack of a Trolling Policy to ban them
  2. Rampaging politics debates - the Iraq War for example created the failure that was the Playing Room

I for one feel like I have walked into my local Go cafe to find a Brick Wall built across the middle. Trolls are a problem, a better solution for everyone is to ban them.

Hu: I think having two rooms, English Game Room and English Chat Room, is a good idea. In fact I like it so much that nearly two years ago I advocated having a room where people could let off steam (like the English Chat Room).

BrendenT: I rather liked the old English room. The offbeat conversations gave it character. Now, I think there is more room for conflict, as anyone mentioning any subject that someone else thinks is off topic will get yelled at. I'm honestly concerned that this'll make KGS a much less friendly place to play.

As far as trolls go, they are easy to censor. I have probably about half of them permenently on my censor list, and they've been on there so long I've forgot who the heck they all are.

For those who can't tolerate any off topic discussion, may I suggest that you simply use private chat, or maybe *gasp* play a game.

NeoNemesis: I think 1 room is good enough... two rooms is a bit annoying to switch and stuff... maybe i'm just too lazy. But I believe if KGS admins flex their power a little more and ban people who spam or talk too much about useless stuff, randomly changing the topic... etc... maybe they can ban. Maybe KGS should have an IRC style chat, i dunno, just an idea :P


PatrickB: This has been a long time coming as the old English room has gotten progressively worse and worse. We made this change because there were a number of people in the english room regularly seeing just how obnoxious and juvenille they could be without getting booted. We also know that a number of new users decided not to stay on KGS because of such chatter (Gilles: I hope this is a joke! It reminds me of some stupid arguments about Iraq war in English rooms some monthes ago...). Finally, admins were having to wade through hours of political garbage that the vast majority of people weren't interested in to make sure that the first thing people saw when they came on wasn't someone being obnoxiuos, abusive, and obscene.

If you want long-running conversations, or conversations about controversial or inflammatory subjects, feel free to take those to the English Chat room. If you just want to make short-term small talk while watching games and waiting for a game, however, feel free to do that in the English Games room.


Rakshasa: IMO, you can't put 800+ people in one room and expect any good results, even if most of them just want to play... The Playing Room failed because it wasn't the default room you'd start your games in... i hope this will work out better.

Grindel: Maybe I'm now considered a troll or wutever. Hoever the old english room had charm and was a fun place to hang out. If the users wanted to play go and discuss go maybe they could have whent to the playing room. Okay a few problems that are going to occure with this new chage. Admins are going to have more problems because people will begin off topic conversations in the new game room. This is going to result in more bans. That make people angry then they leave the server. This action I can only see negative results from.

It was ill-advised and I also find it disappointing that the admins would take this action on themselves without consulting the user base. Not good. There should have been perhaps a discussion about this major change so that the users could have input about it. This at least would have made the change known and more acceptable. Perhaps meany people wouldn't have gotten upset about it. Anyways this is their server and they can rule by draconian force if they like. I will not however post a game in the new game room or engage in any discussion.


ethanb: Well, I'm all in favor of non-violent resistance and disobedience of authority as a means of getting a point across, but I think the "Everybody leave the English Chat Room" isn't very well thought out. In this case, the system has already provided you with a way to play games in a room with non-go related conversations. Simply open your games in the English Chat Room. Nobody's forcing you to play in the English Game Room if you really don't feel like it. People who do prefer to do so can. Same thing as the Playing Room really - I always figured the only reason that failed was because most people, in fact, didn't mind the chatter. My computer's been broken recently (and before that I got a job, so less free time to play on KGS anyway), so maybe the chatter in the English Room got really bad or something, but I never found it annoying.

PatrickB: Our hypothesis was that no one was playing in the playing room because there were already so many games in the English Room and so many people looking for games in there. It was much harder to get a game in the playing room, so no playing happened there. People that are already using KGS don't mind the chat in the ER to much, perhaps, though we've had increasing amounts of complaints about it lately as it's gotten increasingly bad. The problem, though, is that with no viable place to really play away from the chatter, people who didn't like the chatter simply left the server.

  • The sad thing is that it is 5 seconds work to drag down the chat area to half a line of chat OR simply move the window half offscreen so you can't see the chat.

Fwiffo: The problem isn't the chat -- it's the content. Over the past few months, if you'd actually had a go related question, asking in the English Room was made almost completely fruitless by the volume of chatter about politics, math homework, etc. The reason the playing room didn't work was because it tried to move the central, important, heavy thing, (namely, playing and discussing Go), to another room people weren't in by default and maybe didn't even know about. I think moving the "chaff" to the English Chat Room will work much better than trying to move the "wheat" to the Playing Room.

I also disagree, I can see what's going on, and when somebody gets stuck I give them the info they need. To me it's just an exaggeration that you can't get any help because people are trolling. In fact, it's a totally distortive allegation that doesn't reflect the normity of kgs.

Fwiffo: Others have had a less positive experience than your own. People have left KGS out of frustration - it's a fact, not an allegation. True, it's not like that all the time - sometime's it's fairly quiet, but that's becoming less and less common. I've been on the verge of pulling my hair out on more than one occasion either asking a question or trying to answer one. I'm not a slow reader by any stretch, nor am I unfamiliar with the perils of chatting on the internet (IRC, etc.) For a neophyte, a slower reader, or even somebody who has less tolerance for noise, I can imagine it would be quite frustrating indeed.

Gilles: This is wrong Fwiffo... There is always someone to answer go-related questions. Some people especially take care of this I think. If you go through the chat (well, when this stupid rule will be cancelled), you'll notice who are these people.

Fwiffo: I never suggested there wasn't anyone willing to answer questions. There are TONS of friendly and helpful people on KGS. The problem is the volume of off-topic conversation, which frequently makes having any other converstation difficult. Imagine being a newbie, or a child, or someone with a disability and having to sort your question and its answer out from 20 other messages about calculus, gun control, and bodily functions all while it's scrolling by faster than you can read. It's like trying to have a meaningful discussion in a dance club - it's just too loud.

Taking the go questions to private chat isn't helpful either - only two people can participate. Would you suggest moving the Go conversation to some other room? New users have been giving up on KGS because of the conversation in the English Room, and probably some have even gotten turned off of Go as a result. How can this small change possibly be worse than that?

JohnAspinall: Fwiffo nails the problem on the head, and his wheat versus chaff model is a great explanation for why this is the right solution. This is not a unique problem to KGS, on the contrary it is a very well studied problem in personal group dynamics. Go read [ext] Clay Shirky for example. I commend the KGS folks for both technical smarts and social smarts.

wms: Yes, fwiffo is right. If you only wanted to play games, chat about go or KGS, there was no place for you. Sure, you could be in the ER and ignore all the non-go stuff, but let's face it, you couldn't both see the relevant conversation and ignore the non-go stuff. There was way too much chatter! There were enough people who were upset by this that it made sense to give them their own room, and the English Game Room is that. It strikes me as odd that the people complaining all complain about the chatters getting punished. But they still have exactly what they always had. It's just that a new place (the EGR) has been cerated for the people who want to see chat only on certain topics.

crux: I've made the suggestion before to automatically stop guests from talking. I don't know whether guests are the main problem, but I thought I'd mention the idea again. I don't really like the three-way split of Playing Room/ECR/EGR, and I don't think it will solve the problem in the long term.

    • wms: This has been suggested; there are a couple of admins who have been asking me for this on and off for a while. But every time that I see lots of offtopic chat, it's from registered accounts, so I don't think that silencing guests will help much, and I think it really makes KGS horribly unfriendly - if you visited KGS, and your first attempt to say anything was answered by "You can't talk here, you're a guest," would you find that a pleasant experience?
    • tom: I agree with wms here. The people most likely to actually "need" the chat are guests, who often need help with how to work kgs. For the rest of us, I don't think the split is ideal for the usual reason, people want games and chat in the same room. Lazy I know, but that is what people (including me) are like. I think if large amounts of programming were not a problem, that the ideal solution would be optional multiple chat windows, with at least two ("go-related" and "non go-related", maybe "kgs help" too) in the main room.

Neil: I for one am very pleased that the English Room has been split. This is what I've wanted for a long time.

I just hope there are admins and assistants around the Enlgish Game Room to remind people that escaper witch hunts and random whining about KGS (including the English Room split) should go to the English Chat Room.

That's important: If the admins are going to let people dilute the Game room with nonsense becuase "it's not a problem yet" (as I just got told by one admin), then the room split is a waste of time.

Update: OK, I was just kicked out without warning for complaining. I've now changed my mind about the split - some deputies are too incompetent to handle this split effectively.

wms: Neil, sorry that you were booted. Looking over the chat logs, all I can say is that I'm a completely mystified as to why it happened. You were booted at the same time as somebode else more deserving, and all I can think is that the admin got your two chats mixed up or something. But something I'd like to say, please keep in mind that this split is very stressful for the admins and assistants as well as for the users. We're all doing our best, but there has been a lot of trolling, plus it'll take a while for everybody to get a good grip on how to handle the new policy, and mistakes will be made at first. Please try to bear with us, hopefully in the end it will improve KGS, although the first bit is obviously difficult.


cubyrop: This is one of those "improvements" about which very little can be done except throw up one's hands and laugh helplessly. With all due respect, it shows a lack of foresight and a very rash intent, and I am appalled that there are people shortsighted enough to support this. Allow me to lay down just a few out of the long list of reasons why this is a poor and hopeless idea.

What makes the English Room fun is that it is a continuum. That means that conversation effortlessly flows from one thing to the next, picking up people along the way, losing some people as well. Some may drop out of a discussion only to rejoin shortly with a renewed perspective or interesting opinion.

If you cut off a conversation in the middle and ask (order) people to move it to another room, then one needs to be sure that all the people who might take part in the convo are in the Chat Room as well. Most people do not like the idea of having so many rooms open or switching between rooms, and so will most likely wash their hands of it and let it migrate elsewhere, which means that the only people who bring the convo over will be the determined loudmouths like myself.

Then, you end up with a chatroom filled with nothing but loudmouths. But a fruitful conversation or argument is dependent upon those quieter, more demure voices who are not so used to these arguments, and who chime in here and there like sparrows during a raven's feast, offering us a new note us carnivores could not have imagined ourselves. Basically, you are robbing the wonderful english room discourse of its depth and variety.

And in return, you have a ghetto where all of the loudmouths have been banished to annoy only each other in what will, admittedly, turn into useless blabbing that goes nowhere.

The character of the English Chat room is one of a prison. Once it's in the Chat Room, the admins are basically saying "ok here now you guys can battle it out". It becomes less a room and more a debate with podiums. It is no longer a continuum that could shift gears at any moment (which the english room is famous for). Now, people are in this chat room for one purpose: This Conversation -- be it political, philosophical, or DMXdawg's physics homework. "Conversation" has now taken on an identity that cannot be changed...and if it does change, let's say, BACK to the topic of go, then someone must make the decision "hey guys let's move it back to the game room". We are not robots who can do these things so fluidly.

It is in fact extremely fussy, and absolutely devastates the natural dynamic of conversations, which is to say, it robs it of its natural fluidity, its crescendos and diminuendos, and it eliminates the natural entrance and exit of participants so important to the form of online convo.

And it is now encumbent upon the admins to decide when a conversation is "inappropriate". The second you give someone the power to exercise subjective judgment with binding consequences. If people feel that their conversations are being scrutinized under the eye of an invisible metric, then they will FEEL as though under the watchful and oppressive force of authority.

The last point I wanted to make was that people only rarely talk about Go in chat rooms. The reason for this is not that they are drowned out by chatter, but that there is no board. People do the bulk of their go chatting in game rooms. Cuz see, there's a board.

And, go comprising by FAR the minority of conversation topics -- even when non-go chat is absent -- then isn't it the go-chatters who should go to a designated go-room to ask go-questions? It sounds absurd, I know, KGS being a go server after all...

...but the English Room was created -- by the people who inhabit it, mind you -- into the creature we have today, which is littered with all kinds of conversations. It was through a natural selection that the ER came to have its particular character.

Attempting to force the character of a room is an attempt to force the character of people, which is one of the classic failures known to society. You can't force people to keep their conversations to go, and you _certainly_ can't expect people to accept the periodic "calm the non-go talk" from the gaggle of irrational, authoritarian mid-pubescent administrators which have been appointed for this task (excepting of course those bolds who do not fit this admittedly broad stroke).

People simply will not stand for it and, this being a privately held server which is open to the PUBLIC, it is futile to attempt to control it in this way.

There are so very many things which betray this room-split as absurd, that one could go on for many hours discussing it. It is almost embarrassing to have to argue against it, self-evident as it seems. Thankfully, this is one of those issues that will self-correct. It cannot last.

Hu: cubyrop makes some good points about conversation. However, it must be remembered that KGS is a Go server. Since this will make the experience more pleasant for Go players in the main Go playing room, I think it is a good thing and will last. Chatters, debaters, trolls, and whiners have a room to blow off steam in. Relax and go with the flow. A place for everything and everything in its place.

Yes, all moderation and administration has, is, and will be done by humans who are not 100 percent consistent. Welcome to the real world. Get used to it. However it is clear that individually and as a group they are much less mid-pubescent than their detractors and challengers.

If you don't like it, make your own private room. If you really don't like it, go to a chat server. If you really really don't like it, play Go. Now there's a concept.

Fwiffo: I still don't see what people find so strange and offensive about this change. Virtually every discussion/chat forum on the internet (web forums, IRC, mailing lists, usenet, etc. etc.) is divided into different areas for different topics, and there's usually an area devoted to off-topic chatter. Usually if you go off topic for too long, you'll be asked to move your conversation. If you persist, you're likely to get swatted. There's nothing unusual about this. It's completely and totally normal. Dedicated off-topic zones are not a rare phenomenon.

There's nothing unique or magical about the English Room on KGS that makes it some singular nexus for stimulating discussions. Every bulliten board, chat group, etc. with intelligent people sharing a common interest generates interesting conversations. Having a designated area just for such discussions hardly stifles conversation - if anything, it encourages it.

cubyrop: When one feels that ones conversation might be running into an invisible authority which would seek to control and divert that conversation, one feels all of a sudden not so free.

And freedom is obviously what this is all about, i think. Yes, as i mentioned, it's a fussy, mechanical hassle to pick up a conversation and move, dedicating yourself to a convo in which you didn't necessarily want to become so involved, and it is obnoxious and cluttered keeping 2 main rooms open, but most of all this is about a feeling of freedom.

People come to a server -- go or whatever -- and make the decision to remain based on the feeling they get. If they feel that they are under constant watch, and that they are in danger of being IP-banned at any moment (like i just was, incidentally), then they feel oppressed.

It sounds exaggerated to speak in such grandiose terms, but in this current age, we have come to expect a certain standard of freedom in our dealings online. This is the place we come to to be done with bosses, and orders, and deadlines. Now, i feel under a certain pressure. I feel it more acutely because i'm vocal, but it exists in varying intensities for everyone now.

It may be a go server, but in the spirit of go, isn't the principle behind the server integral to its success? Go ... a game which intrigues through virtue of the unmatched freedom, wherein one can play anywhere, one can formulate any strategy, housed in a server where one cannot even continue an interesting conversation.

Freedom, for me, is not _something_, it is the _absence_ of something. Freedom is in the oppression I am _not_ feeling. If this is too idealistic for whatever fekakte reason, then so be it. But the English Room is, for many of us, a special place indeed, and it used to be utterly free of the shackles which now encage it. It's sad.

Split groups, not rooms.

Hu: Freedom requires responsibility or suffer the consequences of a race to the bottom. Freedom does not mean "no limits".

Go is simultaneously very free and very constrained. There are only two colors of stone, stones are played only on points, and so on.

Read the excellent [ext] Clay Shirky article John Aspinall pointed to earlier. It is very applicable to KGS, given its number of online and registered users. In it, he makes many good points and gives many examples. An important point is that there are core groups that form who have "rights" of a kind that can't be ignored. At the same time, the "social software" writers and providers are advised to make technical and organizational decisions to control the social interactivity.

As one of the more articulate regulars (when he allows himself that cogency), cubyrop is one of the "core" group Shirky refers to that has a role in shaping the social space at KGS. However, even though wms has indicated the split is not carved in stone, my expectation is that is will not be a great hindrance to the KGS social space and on the whole will have a positive effect and also actually interfere less with the unique topics cubyrop usually discusses at KGS. As it was before, there was one English room filled with the loudmouths cubyrop referred to. Now there is one English room filled with the loudmouths. Additionally there is a room filled with games, incidental chat, and Go discussion. On the face of it and under deeper examination, that is an upgrade, an extension of service.


Gilles : Okay, my turn. To make things clear, I'm Neoptoleme on KGS. After 5 mins of chat under the new policy, I've been ban by a competent admin. Without a word, just kicked. First this policy is not really defendable (IMO), second it is applied by people with a true diplomatic talent (this is meant ironic).

The main concern to me is the politically correct chat that wms wants to see in his english room. And so ? Is KGS the "universal go server" ? Do you admins have a kind of "mission" to promote go in the western world ?


starline: Probably I'm straying slightly off topic here, but shouldn't the main 'default' room on KGS be called something other than the 'English Game Room'. I know that English is the most widespread international language, but I don't think that KGS needs to be so forceful about that. I don't see why people should be denied from using other languages in the main playing room. I suggest that it is changed to something like 'subterranean cavern'. As for the current argument, I am all for the main room having the respectful atmosphere of a library, or indeed a real life go tournament. I don't see the problem with this, there are plenty of rooms where people can take their conversations.

Rakshasa: starline, Babel is a aardig verhaal この主題について that you should ledo. Mme si vous no se ocupe non-english languages doesn't mean it won't be confusing to read for others.

wms: starline, maybe Rakshasa already answered you, not sure. But the EGR isn't the default room for everybody, it is *only* the default room for english speakers. There is a different default room for each language...at least, that was the plan, and the server maintains that by putting people into the room for their language when they log in the first time. But most people had congregated in the ER (and are now in the EGR&ECR). Perhaps it should be renamed, but first I want to try a few methods of making it easier to see games when you aren't in the EGR.


eng60340: why doesn't wms decouple the chat from the game list. you should be able to select the chat room you want. and the game list you want....

Neil: He tried, with the Open Games list.

eng60340: oh. i get it now. i go to english chat room. click the dock/undock button. then switch window focus to open game list.. then i can have the best of both worlds.. hmmmm. there should be a guide for this. not very intuitive.

.... having done the above, i found that the window for the chat room is very small (half a screen width) and you can't resize the other window (the game list window)....

Slade: Wouldn't it be easier to put a check box for the room that can enable/disable chatter and have it be set off by default...then instruct the user that if they want to see chatter they can turn it on? Seems much easier to do this than to try to take away the english room as people know it. I've personally almost been banned, and i know a few people who have been banned. All of them smart, and intellegent people who are apart of the kgs community. Is this what we want? People being banned for saying the wrong things.


dreadneck has no opinion anymore


cubyrop: Yesterday, during a conversation in the Game Room about computer go (which is to say, go being played on computer), KGS admin DrStraw shouted (which is to say, in all caps), "MOVE THIS CONVERSATION TO COMPUTER GO ROOM NOW".

I invite absolutely anyone who supports and is willing to defend his position on this to come here and do so (wms or other admin included, of course). If you can make his position seem anything but absolutely ludicrous, let alone clearly insane, I will (and I mean this with utmost sincerity) eat my own hat. It's made of 100% cotton, which as a considerably fibrous material figures to be seriously unpleasant to consume, so you can see this is no small wager on my part.

I complained that it was absurd, and of course, I got booted for four hours.

PaperTiger: The reason for the change was to stop long conversations that overwhelmed the room. Even though Computer Go is go related, if the conversation was about why go is harder than chess then I can see good reason to request the conversation to be moved. I don't think it was an insane request, but please don't eat your hat if you see reason in this. For the record, I think the room split was poorly implemented, so I'm not just saying this because I'm on the other side.

  • DrStraw: This is exactly why I requested it be moved. They were discussing the relative merits of computer go and computer chess.

DU: Was this discussion terminated or something? cubyrop said that he'd been warned to not discuss Go in the Go Room and thought it was ridiculous. DrStraw says that yes, this is what happened. Is DrStraw a loose cannon that is about to stop being an admin or is this sanctioned behavior?

(Neil: Deleted from earlier in this discussion was my complaint that an anonymous admin, without warning or whatever, kicked me off for complaining to the admins that the EGR policies should be enforced. This childish behavior was so ridiculous, that even wms replied here by saying he was "mystified" as to why I was kicked off. Without this context, my words below don't carry the same impact. That is, the quality of wms's deputies is already suspect.)

Neil: The success or failure of this idea comes down to the quality of the administration. I'd like to see wms spell out more plainly what admins are supposed to be looking for, and how they are to police the rooms.

alex: Of course this is the real problem. You put the decision to suppress conversations in the hands of admins. This is a bad relationship to set up. They become censors and not simply helpful admins. Sometimes (often I would suggest) a non-go conversation is what adds to the characters of kgs and the sense of community you get here. When guests show up see people chatting in a friendly manner about something interestig it doesn't scare them off. It makes them realize that there are regular visitors who express themselves and get to know each other AND share an interest in go. By making the non-go conversations move to another (and let's face it, inherently lesser with how kgs is set up) room, you suppress all the non-go conversation. I think that really damages the atmosphere of the de facto main room on the server. A setting to suppress chat would be better. I don't even chat most of the time that I am on kgs. I also fid a lot of the conversation stupid and annoying, but I hate to see it go. Without that background of characters kgs feels a lot more cold and boring. next you won't be able to say negative things about go because that might discourage people just beginning. Please find a better way to satisfy those who don't want to see the idle non-go chat.

TimBrent: Another big issue against for me is I tend to go into a few oblique tangents dyring conversations,the start as Go (or any other topic) and then turn into something else. If people want to alk Go,fine,I don't mind. But sometimes talking about 1 thing leads to a different thing,that should be understood. Live and let live.

what: Today, during a go-related discussion, a request came through for the trolling to stop. I politely asked for a more concrete definition of trolling, and indicated that I would respect the wishes of the admin. The room's consensus was that the topic, go, was relevant. I was finally booted for asking "Is it conversation itself that is objectionable?"

PatrickB: The full story from my point of view: a long-running non-go conversation was filling up the room. You were very politely asked to move it to another room multiple times. You did not, and so were booted for 1 hour.

ilanpi: I also got booted yesterday for no reason that I can tell. It is true that other people had been rambling, but I was merely discussing the Dashn server. In total, I think I wrote about 10 lines before being booted. And without any direct warning. I think the administrators need an administrator.

  • PatrickB: You know, I like how people trolling on this issue seem to leave out crucial details. I'll email you exactly what you did, and you can post the details here if you like....
  • PatrickB: Except that email to the address on your KGS account bounces.

IanDavis: should I bother to point out that Chat is not forcibly opposed. You might like to reflect on the fact that the recently deceased playing room was a place where no non-Go related chat was supposed to occur. Or you might wish to watch the sunrise ;-p

Ellbur: For a long time, I drifted from Go server to Go server, never finding a place where I wanted to play. When I came to KGS, the first thing I saw when I logged on with my guest account was about a half screen of games, and about a half screen of chat. Most conversations were split by others; people rarely were able to keep a single topic for more than a few lines. Rarely was 'Go' even mentioned.

But somehow, this was perfect. The environment of IGS had always seemed intimidating. DGS seemed empty and cold. But this was never the case with KGS. Since then I have always played on KGS, and had no intention to leave.

After the recent split of the English Room, this all changed. The chatter of the English Chat Room reflects my own feelings: it is a prison. The chatter of the old English Room must suffer to be stripped of its meaning, and forced to live in a feeling of alienation. The English Game Room is very intimidating. It often seems as if we are farm animals, held there for one task, with no freedom.

I have left KGS, and don't intend to return until the English Room is reunited.

Ellbur: I looked again at the two English rooms today. It has not changed since I left it. The only difference is that people have become complicit. The English Chat Room still has no spirit, and the English Game Room still is still cold and uninviting.

Joonas Tyystjarvi, I like your idea, but wouldn't the constant echo of "Tell me more" "Please go on" "Would you like to talk about that?" be very, very irritating.

HighQ: Two points for general comment:

(1) This wonderful facility is FREE for use, doesn't have pop-ups or adverts and works excellently. Let's not be too critical and insist on something that suits us individually 100% when we're not even paying wms or the admins for their work.

(2) These things are like earthquakes: a big change that causes problems and pain followed by a period of adjustment, followed by the increasing need for a change, followed by another 'quake'. Let's just soak it up and things will gradually move back to the happiest compromise between the various users and the admins' needs to keep things going.

Thanks to wms and all the admins for their efforts. Respect!

ilanpi: I was booted again from KGS just now, by WMS himself. It happened after he sent me the personal message:

"ok stop it now"

I responded (in the private chat with him):

 "Could you please not use the imperative
 as in please stop it now, or, hello,
 please refrain from..."

That's when I got disconnected.

Apparently, there is no room for any discussion. Just an impolite warning and if you dare respond, you get booted.

I am reminded of Percy Weasly, that is uptight prefect with nothing better to do than try to make people who are having fun "behave".

But what strikes me most is the extremely rude behavior of the administrators who basically shout orders at very qualified professional adults (as if doing it to children wasn't bad enough). Stuff like this hasn't happened to me since High School and I graduated (gasp!) 30 years ago.

ilanpi: Incredibly, when I try to log back in, the error message reads: The reason for temporary blocking is "being a smartass after being offensive." There is an image here [ext] http://cf.geocities.com/ilanpi/kgs.jpg

That is really too much and clearly shows the contempt the KGS administration has for its users.

TimBrent: ilanpi,that is sick that they put that up there. I mean, to kick people over OT convos like that, too many fluffybunnies in there it seems. I mean,adults have to watch themselves because parents want to use the computer (like TV) as an electronic babysitter. As to language, believe you me, NOTHING said on KGS is as crude as in the street (or in many classrooms).

As for being put off of Go because of non-Go conversations, they're the losers if they can't take people talking about stuff they don't like. Also, a fair chunk of beginner questions are the same,and probably in a FAQ.

I honestly hate in any form censorship. I may not agree with 100% of what gets said,but we should have the right to say it in the old-style English Room. It was a fun virtual Go salon,now it has to be split because of the easily-offended fluffybunnies. Anyone can mentally filter out the stuff they dislike. Not hard. Besides,the only interesting Go conversations are game kibbutzes,because Go is difficult to discuss without visual aids.

Having read some of what people are being botted over,yeesh,it IS overreacting to very minor things IMO. There has to be some toleration for the vast amount of individuality we have,why make it as regimented as lifeless as IGS tended to be? I do feel that screen shown to ilanpi was unnecessary and wrong.

Hoe4: I think the problem here is that a group of people have developed a sense of entitlement toward the use of KGS that is grossly out of proportion with the meagre amount they've contributed to KGS and its community. Either quit whining or quit using KGS. I think I'll quit here myself, before my disgust causes me to do something rash.

Neil: The split is done and it's time to move on. Those who think that KGS really is so bad should switch to NNGS and stop buying any Kiseido books or materials.

Ellbur: Neil and Hoe4, your statements bare no significance of argument. Obviously, the decision of the KGS administrators' is their own. The purpose of the arguments on this page is to determine the decision that would be best. Your argument could silence any, including your own.

Thoreau said, "Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it." This is very applicable to our situation. Thoreau wrote this in explanation of his philosophy of Civil Disobedience. If everyone acts without regard to any rules, the irrational decisions of an authority will not stand.

"It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law." Respecting any rule made by another person simply because it is a rule, will be the fuel for an authority's abuse of power. When KGS is able to make decisions against the will of its users, it is our fault, for respecting their decision. The only reasonable option is to ignore the decision, and it must eventually be reversed.

The KGS has established a standing government. The loyalty of the users protects against what used to guide their decisions; they no longer must worry that KGS users will leave the server in large numbers, or that the KGS rules will suffer frequent disobedience. In this way the standing government can rule without consideration of the users. It is our responsibility to eliminate the power of the KGS standing government.

Neil: If you came on to a server of mine with an attitude like that, expressly looking to usurp my power, I'd ban you permanently. KGS never promised members any power.

Ellbur: If the KGS were to ban all users who choose to speak against its decisions, it be perfectly acceptible to me, and would in know way hinder the resistance. The more users to leave, the less the power of the KGS. Power is not promised to anyone, but it does form.

This is my request to any who oppose the English Room split: act as if it were not there. The rule only exists in theory. In practice, it is only the unproductive obedience of too many that holds any rule in place.

Notochord: Perhaps it is time to remember a sense of proportion. It seems that a crude oscillation is beginning between two somewhat stubborn arguments: "fight the power", and "you have no right to complain". We seem to be beginning to tuck to this argument with a degree of enthusiasm (fervor?) that should generally be reserved for things that affect the character of our lives more than a server-for-playing-games-and-maybe-chatting-with-the-nice-people-too. No offense, but when we reach the point in this situation where we are thinking of drumming up the effort for a sit-in, or for some protracted confrontation, we might as well devote that effort to just getting everyone who wants to chat to move to the other freaking room. The current problem is largely one of inertia, or misdirected effort; people on the whole don't (want to?) bother with changing rooms when they want to chat. The difficulty at hand is not that of a totalitarian state (I find it insulting to behave as if it is), but of an element of the design of a User Interface that has been criticized (just as the room not being split was criticized before by a different group of people). You won't be likely to improve the situation by being vociferous or stern or confrontational; rather, this tend to just make everyone crabbier, and create a (potentially very nasty and spiralling) human relations problem when the only difficulty that we should have to be resolving lies in computer code.

Try hard to be respectful (in both 'camps'), and if you think that there is a problem, go ahead and say so, but don't start calling people tyrants or ingrates. There was a problem in the structure of the server. In trying to fix it, new problems were created in that structure. So while this is sort of rambling, and has also somewhat been said before...

1. To be sensible, we should (if we care deeply) put our effort to finding a solution that helps to counteract both the old and the new problems, while leaving all people (and some are affected more by some problems than others) on the by and large as satisfied as possible. 2. Please don't turn this into a shouting constest, or worse yet, a pushing contest.


Moved from former KGSEnglishReunification:

The Initial Problem

The discussion in the English room is free-form. It has been noted that it is off-putting to new users. It is certainly, at times, not welcoming to children. KGS needs to be a safe environment for new users and users of all ages.

The Solution As Implemented

English is the only language to bear the indignity of being split into two rooms. In the English Chat Room, long discussion is allowed within the parameters of community sensibilities. In the English Game Room, a tighter environment is in effect wherein even a request for clarification on the rules of discussion is bootable.

Proposed Alternative Solutions

what: The admins should exist to help users. If moderation is desired, a set of moderators might be appointed to keep conversation on track. These non-admin individuals would be imbued with the power to limit or restrict server access to trolls.

These people might even be automatically selected from a pool of users with positive (or non-negative) social conduct rating. The length of tenure could be limited and rotating.

A feature could be added to the English Room to allow the community to vote to temporarily ban an obnoxious user in the absence of a moderator.

Cheyenne: Yet another alternative.. quit the complaining and simply start your own Go server with the rules that you want. True censorship would be to deny you the ability to run your own server.

  • Neil: At Designing A Go Server I have a Jabber-based design that would decouple game playing from chatting. It'd be nice if someone put it to practice (I would but it's not very high on my list of priorities).

cubyrop: I propose nothing so complex.

  • Reunify the rooms
  • Give admin the green light to instantly boot people blatantly cursing, or blatantly crossing the KGS ToS. No warning for these people, they know exactly what they are doing.
  • If conversation gets seriously frenzied, simply flash a polite (POLITE) boldface message along the lines of "calm it down fellas". After what has gone on here, I am certain we would oblige.

Voila, friendly environment, good positive community self-regulation, and a zero tolerance for the worst offenders. People who crave go chat can have their conversations heard, and people who adore the unpredictable discourse of the classic english room won't be let down.

blubb: All the squabble aside, it feels some strange to me that the entire "do we need a split?" phenomenon seems to affect the (former) English Room only. Sure, it had become overcrowded and very loud. I can see the advantage of having at least one quiet room at kgs opened by default. There people ought to behave maybe similarly to kibitzers in a rengo game. However, isn't it more like the current Open Games list but with ongoing games attached and a chatline for *occasional* questions or comments? I don't see why that quiet playing room has to be called "English" and contain "English" games only, nor do I why the English Chat Room shouldn't be the same to English speaking people as e. g. Deutsche Ecke is to German speakers.

what: A popular solution making the rounds is to mirror the EGR games list in ECR. In that manner, people would be able to chat in the designated playpen and still keep tabs on interesting games.


Dieter - What I find most disturbing about this whole case - and somewhere on this page I made an attempt to show the irony of it all - is that the KGS people (which I'm part of as the responsible of the Belgian Friday Night Club) take measures to keep the English room free of rants unrelated to Go, while they do not mind about feeding this rant here at a rate of 14 edits a day, consuming a great deal of my window when I access SL through my favourite entrance, Recent Changes. This rant doesn't concern any non-KGS user and it doesn't concern me at all either, as an ardent KGS user.

The ongoing rant is most likely to keep people away from both KGS and Sensei's Library. I for sure, if I hadn't learnt KGS to be the wonderful server it is, would not feel encouraged to go and meet the people who are keeping this discussion alive.

As for now, I await the advent of the "unwatch" option [1].

[1] Arno: which is already reality since some months. Toggle watch, then go to your list of watched pages and set the category of the watched page to category 3. Also, check that in UserPreferences that category 3 is not shown.


amadis: I hear that a pro was kicked from the server yesterday (May 9). This is disturbing, particularly since the individual in question has been very generous to the KGS community in the past.

Please, folks. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water....

Zarlan: So what if he/she's a pro? There might be valid reasons as to why he/she shouldn't have been kicked, but being a pro isn't, even if it is a generous pro.

If it would be counted as an excuse, then I'd make it my goal to become a pro and then do everything on KGS that anyone else would be kicked for.

wms: This was not an English Room "new rules" boot, it was a clearcut case of the player flooding the room with essentially the same information over & over. An admin asked him to stop, he did not, and so he was booted. We do like having pros on KGS, but at the same time, having a pro certificate does not give you the right to be obnoxious.

As a side note, the repeated information was messages urging people to try out a different go server. I want to make clear that discussing other go servers on KGS is fine, and even asking other people to try another go server is fine - but when you repeat anything on KGS over and over, it becomes flooding, and that is not allowed.

Bob McGuigan: With some trepidation at entering a controversial discussion I would like to point out that being a professional go player does not confer any special status in other areas. In recent years we have seen top pros engage in a bar room brawl and collaborate in cheating in a go server tournament. In this KGS case I think the pro in question does not have a very strong command of English and perhaps did not understand the policy.

Neil: If I were running a chess server I sure wouldn't let Bobby Fischer come on and spout off. Badly behaving pros on Go servers shoudln't be treated specially, either.

Ellbur: If there is anything good I can say for the new English Room policy, it is that it will be used fairly, without regard to irrelevant characteristics of superiority, such as player strength.

The reason I oppose deviding the English Room in this manner is that it requires admins to act as censors, leaving it to their very fallable judgement to filter the harmless and disruptive chatters. Voting will be no solution; it would be unreasonable to allow the irritation of, say, 40% of KGS users.

Although you are free to move to a different room, or create your own, the same problem that we used to have still remains: everyone goes to the room with the most people. With the number of rooms KGS already has, it should have been obvious that splitting one of them would do nothing. Somehow, the admins didn't see what would happen as a result of their strange decision.

Another problem is the strange social structure that has developed in KGS. Most people simply want to play Go, and when this is a sufficient majority, there is no problem. However, there will inevitably be times when the largest room, whichever that is, becomes to crowded, and to noisy. The same is now happening in the KGS English Game Room, except now it is with the pressure of futile censorship.


Tamsin: I trawled through the above posts with my mouth hanging open in amazement. Here's my 0.02 worth:

You're ALL taking it far too seriously.

Personally, I wish things could go back to the old set-up. If anybody goes on too long or says something offensive, warn them then boot them. Having two rooms is cumbersome and opens up lots of grey areas of interpretation, leaving everybody confused, and leading to byzantine arguments such as the above. But, it shouldn't be beyond any of us to get used to the new system, if the powers that be won't change it. I simply don't think it's worth getting heated about it: you go to KGS to play go, not to chat. Time will tell whether the new system works better than the old one.

ilanpi Would this still be referred to as "tuppence" (that is pronounced in this way)?

penguin Actually many people do go to KGS to chat (also). It's part of the living go community.


penguin I've joined the ranks of the banned. Where do I get my t-shirt? But seriously, banning from the server is a bit of overkill, admins should be able to ban from a room. This is a technical point only; I don't like the split. There was nothing about "English Room" that implied there was a limit on content. If people need help with go, and can't get through the storm of discussion, well, there are quite a few other rooms that are dedicated to go discussion. They are populated and friendly; was it so hard to find them? If so, then the suggestion for a newbie popup introduction is a good one. If the default room needs to be friendlier than the ER was, then the default English room should have been changed to the English Foyer. It boggles my mind how anyone could think that uprooting the existing community to please the people who aren't part of it was a good idea. I can't help thinking of a vibrant cafe interrupted by people who come in and build a wall down the middle and start segregating people into this half or that and throwing out people whose conversation they don't like. Who will wonder that the cafe goes out of business? But that seems to be the idea, and that's too bad. Wall-builders have a deservedly bad historical reputation. Finally, to quote one comedian/commentator regarding American impulse to make everything absolutely safe for absolutely everyone: I'm tired of organizing my life around what the stupidest person might do. Applicable to the speech code Fluffybunnies as well.

Ellbur: Interesting you being booted, as it was almost entirely my fault, and one or two others. I was booted for "refusing to move a conversation when asked." This shows that the censors are not reading what is being said at the time, they just eliminate the conversation as quickly as possible.

Soon afterwards, someone told me not to remind the admins to censor the conversations. By argueing, they said, I called attention to the rules, which would result in harsher censoring. I agree with most of that. I will no longer start long arguements in the English Game Room. I will, however, continue to advocate disobedience of the censors. If an admin asks a conversation to be moved, I will not obey for that reason only.

Ellbur: I'm not quite sure what you meant, so I will respond to what I can understand. You cannot critisize any people for speaking their opinion, especially not in these circumstances, because to do so assumes the correctness of some idea, creating a system of dogma.

I critisize your willingness to accept rules, because it makes the existence of rules much too easy for their creators. There is no reason to assume that any group of people are automatically correct, and to do anything simply in respect to a rule, with no other reason, assumes that the rule itself is above reason, creating power for those who do not necessarily deserve it.

Even if you believe that the KGS admins are deserving of power, this does not prove that they are infallible, so you ought to think rationally, not obediently.

naruto3 Well up there I think you sort of misunderstood me anyway what I really meant is that if you choose to disobey the rules after you have been warned then it's fair but if your censored and not warned then it is sorta crazy. Whenever I was censored I was warned.

Rules I do not agree with are unwritten rules like advertisments for rooms and such. I got censored for that which is totally loony who cares if I use games as advertisments If i put a game up in that room it's like advertising anyway so what's up with that.

Also I deleted the last few entrys cause I'm sure Dieter does not want all this wasted space


amadis: wms says in rec.games.go that he may share games between the English Game Room and the English Chat Room. He thinks the game room is "just about right now" but the chat room is "not a success."

By the way, this is a sub-page of KGS but doesn't show up there - why not?

If it's not clear to you by now, games should not be associated with rooms at all - Go transcends language. I would never join the Chinese or Korean rooms to chat, but have no preference what so ever for playing an English speaking player (in fact I might slightly prefer to play a non-English speaking player so they can't curse at you if the game isn't going their way, or gloat if it is; not to mention being exposed to diverse national styles, if such a thing exists). In fact I would likely unjoin the English Game Room if games weren't associated with rooms.

edgy? The previous poster should realize that his preference is not a universal rule. Many people will want to play others who speak their language, to review the game for example.

I think you can unjoin all the rooms and still join games from the "Open Games" tab in the Rooms window, by the way.


Karl Knechtel: Three years later, the EGR/ECR split has proven itself, IMHO, a fantastic failure. As I have a fair bit to say and this page is already quite unwieldy, I will state my piece on a user subpage.

Tas: Ha ha. This was interesting reading. I have used KGS for more than a year now, and never knew the ECR existed. On the other hand I like the EGR with its polite discussions of almost anything. Too me it seems that it has become the old english room described, perhaps a little more well behaved. I have got too check out the english chat room now though.


KGS Rooms / English Chat Room last edited by 82.231.50.129 on December 16, 2016 - 07:25
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