KGS Clans / Discussion

Sub-page of KGSClans

This page has information about abandoned work(s).
Comment: KGS clan system is defunct see parent page, discussion kept for historical interest

Is this still needed? Anybody out there compiling a scrapbook or anything? :P -Owen

cuby: It's awesome that this page is still here. Clans have now taken on their own life and it's nifty to see the struggle that we went through just to gain basic acceptance :D

Clans vs Rooms

What is the difference between this idea of clan matches and the team tournament which was between rooms? Clan and room seem interchangeable to me. - DrStraw

cuby: There are some significant differences which encouraged us to build clans as an improvement over the loose system of rooms on KGS and their gentle, pawing interplay in occasional tournaments. I'll provide my own ideas:

  • Rooms come together only in organized tournaments, where there is a winner and a runner-up. Clan matches can happen at any place, any time. "Clan match?" "Let's do it." They can be spontaneous, or organized. And rather than having competitions which build towards one winner, every clan game counts towards a clan's record, which begets my next point...
  • ...clans have records which reflect on the clan. I do not know what kind of record-keeping goes on in rooms, but I certainly don't see anything at all centralized where rooms' overall records are compared. That's a big deal, because records build reputations for clans. No room on KGS has a "reputation" as such, both because they have no distinguishing characteristic of success or failure, and also because ...
  • ...rooms are just that: rooms. Pretty much anyone can come and go, and play on that room's team during tournaments (correct me if I am wrong). Rooms do not have any characteristics particular to that room (except for language, geographical identity, or school affiliation). Only in a group of people who chose each other according to their own criteria can that group build an actual identity. Rooms have generally only superficial identity, which makes them much, much less fun.
  • Clans also enable players to keep individual records for themselves, as indications of their own successes. There is neither effort nor motivation for room members to keep track of their game records against other rooms.
  • There are no rivalries in rooms. The reasons for this are that a) rooms only meet up in gentlemanly tournaments that have been organized for the express purpose of having fun, which does not exactly rile the blood, b) rooms are scattered loosely throughout KGS, and have varying degrees of membership. As such, they do not by nature come into contact with each other in any competitive way outside of tournaments or the odd game here or there. Clans, per contra, can come into contact at any time and build -- if you'll pardon the expression -- lore. If two 9d's in opposing clans (and yes, there will be 9d's) happen to log on and have a clan match, that game will be remembered, and that rivalry will be written. c) As mentioned before, rooms do not have identities. We already have gentlemanly clans, punk clans, troll clans, and yes DrStraw, we are very much looking forward to an admin clan. Each group has a much stronger team identity, which creates tension between clans, making things -- I believe the technical term is "badass".
  • Clans are built from the ground up for the purpose of being tight and agile for competition. They are small and mobile, and are easy to organize (with the ~10 member guideline we are recommending as ideal to start out). Rooms are not built for competition. They are built as rooms, as social enclosures which happen to get together for pillowfights every so often. Bleh.
  • The biggest difference may just be the semantic difference. A "room" is a place which may or may not contain people. In fact, its existence owes nothing to people. A clan, however, is defined as a group of people. Without the players, there is no clan.

Clans have already generated a lot of excitement on KGS (yes, both positive and negative), in a way that mere mention of "tournaments" never could. It embodies concepts both sinister and brotherly, and the stronger identity and more readily-personalized experience is really facking appealing.

That said, DrStraw, we are committed to working within the structure of KGS without causing any unwanted disruption or presence to KGS members who are not interested in clans. We are advising participants to keep as much as possible to the English Chat Room.

Remember that our intention is to build a new dimension within KGS, one which, while preserving the tone and mission of the KGS server, allows for a different kind of play.Think of clans as the KGS underground.

amadis: Is badassness considered to be good, somehow?

Phelan:I think the KGSClanList page should be renamed to KGSClanRecord?. It seems a more appropriate name.

cuby: maybe a good point? ideas?

(cuby: moved this note regarding the clan list, just to clean things up.)

It might make more sense to have these pages as subpages of the main page.

Steve: I disagree - this makes about as much sense as having all KGS User Homepages being subpages of the KGS page. The flat structure of links in SL makes cross-linking easier, and stuff easier to find - subpages should generally be used only for pages which will generally not be worth reading outside the context of the parent page.

Well, has anyone submitted this idea to WMS? This clan idea is awesome and maybe he can implement it in the next patch.


reprisal: KGS is more than capable of handling clan matches if we do the record keeping for now. So there's nothing we need implemented to start having clan matches. We've thought about requesting some clan-specific features such as a "clan" category in the rooms list or even a clan tag in the user info, but we want to see the idea gain some momentum before we make requests of WMS.

cuby: however, one could make the argument that the moment clans become "officially recognized", they stop being fun ;)

Remillard - It's probably too late for this, but have you considered calling it something other than "clan"? Clans (in online terms) are strongly associated with FPS type games, which really doesn't seem to reflect the spirit of Go. If "club" seems too blase, why not use "House"? There is history associated with Houses during the Edo time period in Japan and they did have house styles, house taisha strategies, etc.

cuby: you're right, "clans" do not historically reflect the history of go. we're looking more towards the future of go than to the history of it though. houses and clubs have already been done, and they're boring. we're doing something new :)

DrStraw: I have to agree with Remillard. This thread has struck a raw chord with me even since it was started, simply because of the connotation of the word "clan". Introducing an antagonistic term into a game which is supposed to be a game of harmony just sounds wrong. If "houses" and "clubs" have been done surely there is another word can be chosen.

Vertigo: A game of harmony?? My man, it's all about conquest in battle! Did you not notice all the pr0s around? Are they just engaging in a ritual of harmony? I can understand that it may not be so competitive to a lot of players, but you certainly can't discount this aspect.

Thad: We could go with "tong". Whatever we go with it should be decided soon. Otherwise we will have all these pages that have to be renamed ( to change "clan" to whatever. )

cuby: go is different things to different people. some people play the game as a meditation and do not mind losing, while others scream at the board, sweating bullets and find themselves utterly disconsolate at a loss. i do not believe that go is "supposed" to be anything, as you suggest DrStraw, and the fact that it is so many different things to so many different people ought to be cause for celebration on your part, rather than consternation.

i do not believe that "clans" connote "antagonism", regardless of the FPS association under which the term has labored in recent years. you might be imagining fevered adolescents jabbering and jawing at each other, gloating arrogantly over each others' losses, but after all, we are playing go, not counterstrike. so far in the process of building this project, we have encountered an amazing amount of support, motivation, and above all, seriously good vibes. clans are bantering back and forth, eagerly anticipating some high-stakes, emotionally pregnant games, all of it in decidedly good nature. high dans are becoming close with low kyus, people are coming to know other people with whom they might never have come into contact, and everyone is having a great time. we're not performing animal sacrifices and covering ourselves in warpaint in anticipation of THE HUNT.

despite its unique character as a game of "harmony", go is still, ultimately, about winning and losing. at the end of a game, you have someone who simply outplayed someone else. humans are hardwired to love these victories, and go is a pursuit which is in no way exempt from this essential facet of human nature. KGS clans will still foment the support, growth and brotherhood of houses and clubs. however, they will augment that aspect with a dimension plainly lacking from houses and rooms: an acknowledgement that winning is fun, and remains the single best motivation to improve and succeed. i'll tell you the truth, sometimes i am bothered by the weenie, emasculated attitude of many go players who urge me to play calmly, to learn from my mistakes and to study patiently. you know what? sometimes i want to scream and get drunk and root for my teammates, and erupt in jubilation when they win. they do it in other sports, and other games, why is it so anathema in go? is baseball truly lacking in grace and nuance compared? i want those emotions which so many people tell me a go player cannot have, and there is nothing on KGS -- not rooms, not clubs, not tournaments -- that encourages and fulfills that. if we're talking semantics, the term "clans" summons something slightly feral ... the terms "house", "room", and "team" summon unflavored jello.

the term "clans" was chosen absolutely deliberately as the best representation of this awesome combination of camaraderie and competition. it also provides a whole slew of attractive intangibles which are perhaps difficult to imagine unless one actually joins a clan. there's no question we're keeping the term; it's exactly what we want.

not everyone wants to honor and abide by the rich tapestry of asian history which has brought go where it is today. at what point can we take this game and make it our own? make of it something modern? KGS Clans is a project which, more than any other effort which i can recall, welcomes go into our own era.

even if i haven't convinced you, it is my hope that we have at least demonstrated thoughtfulness towards this project.

Thad: I hope that people realise the "tong" comment was made with tongue in cheek. Now for a more serious suggestion. Simply replace "clan" with "team". Team feels like the perfect word for it.

InazumaHow about a Guild?

Codexus: Shouldn't the clan matches be team matches. With the proposed system it seems that clan matches are just like normal games except the result is recorded. Not very exciting. How about a team league system like in most fps? A clan would challenge another and then all their members (or at least a selected team) would fight for the honor of their clan. Individual victories don't matter, the clan has to succeed as a whole.

Thad: One thought I had would be a page with a Clan of the Month, and another with a Clan of the Year, for clans with the best record for the month and year. (Duh!) I think one aspect of clans that hasn't been looked at thoroughly is excellence. A clan may have a claim on excellence by having more KGS tournament wins than any other. Another clan may have a claim on excellence by being the one that produces the most high dans. Another may have excellence by constantly having the best overall record.

I think to do this one has to have a spectrum of competitions, and overall score doesn't seem to be the best competition.

Tamsin: This "clans" thing is not to my taste, but live and let live is what I say. I find negativity for negativity's sake a very depressing thing. As I've said before, on SL good pages develop and expand, and redundant or bad ones shrivel and die. So, if it's not your thing, DrStraw, then let it be and look somewhere else. Plenty of people evidently do think this is something worth doing, and since it's hardly harming or defaming anybody or anything, we who are not into it should let it be.

cuby: thanks for your thoughts tamsin, i think that's a very reasonable perspective.

to address the other points made, clan games will certainly not just be regular games that are recorded. there will by all means be full-on clan-vs-clan matches (and 2-on-2's, 4-on-4's, simuls, anything you can think of). but allowing members the freedom to compete on their own terms, at their own convenience, is a major aspect of the project. this system offers many different ways to play, and it is that freedom from strict organization which sets this apart. spontaneity is one of the strongest attributes of this project. consider the difference between two strangers walking down the street, eyeing each other, and a game breaking out, compared with two strangers with 2:30 appointments to meet and play. huge, huge difference.

consider the difference between two strangers walking down the street, eyeing each other, and a game breaking out

Velobici: News at 11:00: One 14 year old boy defeated another this evening at the corner of First and Main. Witnesses report a sudden argument, which grew increasingly heated, led to the confrontation. The survivor reportedly stated "Waz that boy doin' here anyway. Everyone know this me my house. He going get his sorry excuse back to his own turf now. He in his crib right now waiting for iz momma git home and patch im back up." Police have withheld the name of the suspect due to his young age.

regarding accolades for prospering clans, you can be sure that there will be ample incentives offered for success, though -- with all due respect to your idea -- they will be quite a bit more interesting than simple "clan of the week" awards. there may also be some completely unexpected and unforeseen twists in store, it depends on how creative people plan on being. we're firmly outside the go-box here :)

Q: I really like this clan idea. Some folks find it very childish it seems, but who cares. One is as old as one feels. So here is my suggestion for a competition system. Ever heard of Super Go Team Tournament System matches? Maybe it's a nice system for clan wars, I like it very much.

scsiduck: i've founded a clan for studying and clan games. although we love reviewing a lost game just as much as a won game. and no one erupts. ^^ Has a general 'clan' room been founded on KGS, so players looking for a clan-eligible match can find each other?

PeaceMaker?: I think there should be a room that every clan can be in that way we know whos out there and can talk to each other easier. I wouldn't worry about having too many rooms because this is one room that would actually be of use.

reprisal: Excellent idea. We've created a room called ♦ The Battlefield and we welcome everyone in clans or interested in them to join.

Celila: You can find the room ♦ The Battlefield under social at the end of the list ;)

axd: It is striking how much war language is packed in the clan concept [1]. Simply scanning this page, one finds loads of references to violence and destruction. I wonder if any of these people realise what violence really means; there is nothing heroic about it, nothing more than humans dying in more or less agony, for some abstract idea of land, country or belief. A game of Go has violence in it, but at the end both players shake hands and the war vaporises away. This clan idea seemingly encourages Go players to choose for camps, fight the other, become aggressive and trade one's personality for the group.

A game of Go is two minds enjoying their mastery of the game; but here, Go is becoming a way to become proud of having defended the group. I always had the feeling that Go rallied people all over the world, flattening any differences that might exist and make two players forget about the rest of this sometimes miserable world. Now players want their clan - group - club - whatever to become the best, the one with the most victories, or any other way to distinguish clans. Some clans even will not accept newcomers just like that. Why isolate yourself? Why make yourself superior to the outsider? Wouldn't it be better to put your energy in raising your Go skills, rather than manage clans, dictate rules, decide who is the best clan, probably kick badly behaving members, and have everybody follow the leader? Is there a long-term need to record clan matches anyway? So that one clan can boast about its achievements against that other clan? Let me guess the next step: clans will have a rating.

Let's make a step forward and prove that humanity is worth to live the next centuries, rather than go back to the middle ages. Any form of competition has the potential of total destruction in it, whenever people have the chance to compare each other, the inferior one is a potential source of trouble. I am tempted to think that this whole clan idea will fade away in a year or so, because clans will fall apart, people will realise that playing Go remains a game between two minds in the first place; players will have more benefit and reward to play as an individual rather than for a group. More: the skill level of clans will go down over time, because the really good players will leave their clan so as to be able to claim their own victories, leaving clans populated with low and unstable ranks, mostly enthusiast newcomers.

Tamsin: We're sensible people, mostly, and we can play. Liking Xena: Warrior Princess or Buff the Vampire Slayer does not make you a violent person - it just means you like watching fantasy characters kicking fantasy butt. All the clan rivalry stuff is just another form of that fantasy play - taken in the right spirit, it's a lot of fun. In my experience so far, I've had some really tough fights with players from other clans, that were played to the best of our abilities because we both wanted to do well for our team, and which were followed up with generous and constructive reviews.

And, I have to ask, is a go clan any really different from a football club? Most normal football fans can enjoy inter-club rivalries going back for many years. I absolutely loathe everything Manchester United stand for, for example, but I could sit and watch my team, Newcastle, play against them in the company of a Manchester supporter, and have a good time, win or lose, because it's only a game. Without the passion and rivalry, the game would have a lot less intensity and drama. I suppose there is a danger that, like football hooligans, some people might get carried away and turn their clan allegiance into something childish and abusive, but in that case, it is up to clan heads to discipline them. Anybody caught flaming an opponent when representing Nishi No Hoshi would be warned and then kicked out.

But, it's just a game - and most of us know that.

axd: So, if it's just a game, why introduce artificialities? Doesn't the game offer enough already? What will "belonging to a club" add to the value of Go? We already have "king of the hill" competitions (which personally I find stupid, that's one of the reasons why I don't like this clan concept), why add another level "king club of the hill"?

Admitted, SL is a great medium, an easily accessible whiteboard to put whatever you want on the Internet. Because it is so easy to create web pages, automatically the quality of content will go down, due to the lower barrier. (I'll take the hit: as an example, most of my personal subpages are a mess). At the same time, SL is a jungle, growing every day with low-quality content such as clan results. Again, in two years time nobody will care any longer about the results of games listed in e.g. PH1. Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if some of these clan members will never care about SL at all, but only know it as that web site that hosts their clan result list.

[1] axd: Even the choice of the word "clan" is to me an indication of the mindset of those who introduced the concept.

IanDavis : Well you are entitled to your point of view. Personally I think it's quite enticing as a culture for younger players. The process of making a separate website for the clan results is already under way. DragonGoTourney is now as noisy as Clans on SL :) Whether or not it will be around in 50 years time is for me not really important. Nobody asks that of a Go Club when it opens, I don't understand why people feel the need to question other peoples iniatives like this.

Arno: rereading WhyKGSClansHaveBombed I see that I missed some personal attacks and have now deleted the page entirely. (I'm writing this here, as it will get the discussion participants' attention). Let me remind everyone of the first guideline in WikiEtiquette: Be considerate - Don't be rude or offensive.

Celila: thanks, arno.

Fishbulb: I only just saw this page for the first time... Can I point out that my clan is a ship? 'Houses' seems pretty cool for a name as well... changing that aspect of clans doesn't really affect what clans are or how they work. It's friendly rivalry, but in good fun.

KGS Clans / Discussion last edited by on January 23, 2015 - 09:13
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