Feature Request: Optional pronouns in the title card

to be fair, putting it a prewritten greeting is a bit awkward… because it looks like you’re saying “Hi, I’m a [insert gender pronoun here]”, like, it’s not a huge problem in ice breakers, but when the conversation starts with that – it seems weird.

Putting it in the spot of useless information about you like your rating and ratings deviation makes sense


What I do like, perhaps straying away from the intended use, is just a small text field where you can say whatever, like we have here on the forum. It can be used for plenty of things, such as just stating your name, making a joke, giving your pronouns, etc.


Maybe not too many people will agree on that one, but yes, it is indeed too distracting, given that it is not necessary information. (It’s like having your company logo on every single slide of a presentation - not very intrusive, and somehow with a purpose…but actually it’s just another element your audience has to waste their limited focus on)

The Profile pictures are also not really necessary, but at least I can use them to quickly identify someone without memorizing every name, as they are generally quite unique.

This feature would only serve the minority of another minority, if I understand correctly: The subset of all the people who care that their pronoun is used correctly, which end up in a situation where people use their pronoun while they cannot correct it (e.g Streams and what-not)…

Why not just use another text field under the rarely used “Real Name” field on the profile? (While fixing the “Hide” function, while one is at it :D) Or directly use the Real Name textbox for that information

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I understand the relevance of this if one considers a game as a social experience.
An unintended consequence of a declaration of a preference is that certain types of people will find it attractive to use the opposite of the preference to unsettle an opponent and gain an advantage during the game.
Personally I prefer just the rank - the only thing relevant to the game and independent of the originator’s preferences - I do not chat.
Regards, Ed

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I feel that such a response, if not an honest mistake, would be violating OGS game chat policies, so I don’t think that would be much of a problem, though mods feel free to correct me.


I think it would be neat to have something like this as an optional thing, preferably in form of a free text field.

This sounds totally fine, even for people who don’t want to use this feature. I honestly can’t see why anybody would be against it.

Although… :smiling_imp: Let’s have a poll (it will be invisible who voted for which option):

  • I don’t like this idea, and I identify as male
  • I don’t like this feature, and I identify as some other gender
  • I like this feature, and I identify as male
  • I like this feature, and I identify as some other gender
  • I don’t care, and I identify as male
  • I don’t care, and I identify as some other gender

0 voters

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The poll is flawed, my choice isn’t even present


Yes, it’s a simplification, and it’s not very serious either.
The poll is not really about if we should have the feature or not, but I thought I’d like to find out if the people who oppose this idea in general are mostly male - and being male means that they are almost always referred to with the correct pronouns by default and get rarely misgendered.
However, I guess this poll won’t really help to support or disprove my hypothesis, because afaik the majority of Go players is male, and so the majority of people filling out this poll will most likely be male.

If this is such an important piece of information so much so that we want to put it on the player card, then awkwardness is just a minor inconvenience compared to that.

This issue seems so minor and unimportant. In 99% of games players won’t refer to each other in 3rd person. Pronouns start to matter mostly if you have continuous interaction with the same player but at that point you’ll look at their profile page at least once. So it really is a kind of “hey, look at me” badge.

And the pronouns, age, education, job experience are all your personal, private stuff. I don’t need to know that, and I don’t want to know that. Unless I do, then I’ll look at your profile or ask you.

Lastly, pronouns and gender are only a small fraction of person’s identity. Why should we choose specifically this aspect? Does it really define you so much we have to know this?

Because, maybe I want everyone to put their age at the player card. After all, in many places (maybe not the West, in more traditional countries) elderly are supposed to get quite a lot of respect. Or sometimes I wish I knew whether I’m talking to a kid, when talking to kids you need to be a little more cautious. I can make the same argument: “it’s about being nice”. Let’s have “age” field instead.

Or maybe some other person would like people to state their religion. Or something else.

But we choose specifically pronouns, elevate them as this all-encompassing defining aspect and say that this is what’s important. It feels like it’s a pet issue.



I don’t feel strongly about the decision made. If I have any strength of feeling it is probably that “cleaner and more minimalist is better”, but that’s because I have a personal preference for minimalism generally. Info on the card should be, IMO, go related - username, rank, rating, site supporter status … hard for me to find much more information that I would consider relevant. Info on the profile can contain literally anything that people want to write about themselves as far as I’m concerned.

If people are streaming / reviewing my game, it’s cleanest to refer to me as topazg (or topaz, which is for one thing easier to pronounce), or the colour stone I am in the game. If people wish to use a pronoun, they can use whatever they like. It might amuse me if they use one I haven’t heard before or use one that is rarely used for me, but it wouldn’t bother me.

FWIW regarding your poll, I somewhat dislike “I don’t care” as that implies more apathy than “I don’t mind”, which is more accurately my feelings on the request, and I don’t identify with any gender, which you had excluded from your poll.


I actually think this raises a good point in terms of the kind of information we want on OGS, and what OGS will become as a result of saturation of personal information.

The more personal information on OGS, the more social it becomes. The more social that OGS becomes, the more it becomes a social network. Now, some people may like the idea of a social network come Go-playing server, but I don’t.

I log in to the forums to be a social member of the GO community… As such, it has much more information about who I am, on my profile, (Except the about me part is filled with a riddle, that I’d forgotten about)

I guess my point can be boiled down into this. OGS is for playing go. The forums, are the social experience. Thus, it matters more that you or any other person be able to advertise gender/ pronouns, on the forums, than on the OGS game site.

I’m not really fully opposed to the idea of the text field, especially because I saw how it could look, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it may have been. But, in terms of misgendering in chat, would it simply not be easier to ask the person you are talking to, to refer to you in the gender or with the pronouns that you prefer?

I know I speak from a position of never really being misgendered, (Well there was this one time, that I was mistaken for a woman from behind because I have long hair, but that is neither here nor there) and I recognize that is a privilege. But, at the same time, is it so much of an issue if people are willing to comply online with the gender of your choice? and if not, then there is the option of either no responding to the chat, or if it becomes abusive, then calling a moderator is to make sure that the issue is dealt with properly.

I would also have to agree with what S_Alexander said when he stated:

To me, in total summary, I’m not against the free text field, so long as it’s not invasive. But in terms of the gender issue, I don’t think its a problem at all. And even if these changes were to be made, there is no guarantee that the free text field is going to be used as a means to advertise pronouns, and thus, therein lies the crux of the matter, that misgendering people would still be a very probable reality thereafter.


There are also people who identify as agender.

More concisely, sex is what your body has and gender is what your brain has. For most people they are the same, but for gender dysphoric individuals they differ (probably because of a genticmutation)


I like the idea of a “quick info” field into which you can put basic stuff, e.g. “my preferred pronoun is xe”, or “Male, Mandarin, Japanese, poor English”, or “crazy cat lady”. But given that about 90% of people can’t be bothered to set a flag, I suspect that a lot of people won’t use this either.

The main counter-argument seems to be concern about visual clutter. I can think of three possible solutions.

First, provide a button in the title card, which reads “quick info” on mouseover and which people can click on to get the info in a popup.

Second, add this information to the popup you get when you click on someone’s name. I often click on this already to get their flag, out of curiosity.

Third, add a “quick info” button to the popup. At the moment the popup only has 5 buttons on it (challenge, message, friend etc). This isn’t visually balanced and has always annoyed me slightly. Having 6 buttons there would be a bit more visually pleasing. This proposal would require two clicks to get the information, but you wouldn’t have to leave the page by going to their profile to get it.


I wouldn’t have any problems with a feature like this.

Reminds me of this userscript that adds a similar functionality over on Stack Overflow: https://stackapps.com/questions/8440/pronoun-assistant

I have that userscript installed, and anecdotally speaking, maybe less than 5% of the users I come across on a daily basis on that site have some kind of pronoun in their bio profile for the userscript to grab. I still like having it around, though. I don’t think it’s particularly intrusive or anything. Most of the time, I hardly notice it.


That’s a nice userscript. I didn’t remember if I had declared my pronouns on Stack Overflow, but turns out I’m one of the < 5% who do :innocent:

I guess it might come in handy if one day I need to quote an answer and refer to the author.


I have to agree with all the points here. There is no reason for preferred pronouns to be an elevated piece of information above and beyond anything else.

I’m strongly against putting this information in the player card. The preferred pronoun issue is intrinsically a political one, as it boils down to “political correctness.” It is already tiring to deal with political correctness everywhere else on the internet. I don’t want to see it when I want to play go.

If you implement this, make an option to hide it.


I believe that’s everyone’s opinion on that one, that the default is no text


Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s not my understanding. I want an option to not see preferred pronouns on other player’s cards.


I already addressed that earlier in the thread:

In particular:

  1. If your opponent chooses to fill in this field, and you see their preferred pronouns in the player/title card, you are free to ignore it. […] I’m sure steps can be taken to make this minimally intrusive to the UI, and you are free to still play in zen mode and never know about this at all. If you are strongly opposed to knowing which pronoun you opponent prefers, I’m sure a complimentary feature could be added in you settings page to always hide it.
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I‘d rather we don’t go this route. As go players we should strive to respect our opponents, if they want to be addressed with a specific pronoun we should respect that. This feature would simply give them a way to discretely declare that.

I don’t care about “political correctness”, “gender politics” or any of these. Being nice is not a political issue. This has been pointed out as a political decision above and I fail to see the logic behind that. Deeming this feature as a political one is by it self not enough to discredit it. We should debate this feature on it’s merit. That’s all I ask.