Most basic, simple courtesy online

After yet another instance of basic rudeness at KGS, namely failure to offer or respond to “Hi” or “Thanks” at start/end of a game (in this case playing with an unranked opponent so they can get a rating), I felt motivated to open a discussion to find out what others have found. The distinct impression I’ve formed from KGS is that the Russian group is the worst in this respect.

Beginner? Nah. Language? Nah. If a player types tglo0(8&&6 at the start and @@@34%^990 at the end, I can make a high odds guess at the meaning.

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Hi or thanks doesnt matter, thats what i think. Still do it but it doesnt matter.


You never know people’s motives. Better to give them benefit of the doubt. Chrome on my tablet I use for blitz games for example doesn’t work with OGS chat…


On tygem/foxy no one ever talks to you ever (maybe 1 per 100 games). On IGS Japanese leave you automated messages (which is the same as not talking in my view), I tried to start a conversation many times, no one answered. Maybe if you stumble upon European you could start talking.

I uphold the western tradition of greeting by typing “hf” and “gg” on OGS/KGS, but I don’t see much point in it unless you want to discuss the game. If my opponent doesn’t respond, that just means they aren’t open to conversation at the moment. So who cares. (But I’m Russian, maybe that’s why I think like that :stuck_out_tongue: )


I like the idea of chatting but the clock scares me so much I don’t do anything but play stones. Although, if I see my opponent say something, I’ll respond. I save my chatting for forums.


Why doesn’t it matter? It’s such a small thing - even a bot could be set to do it - that acknowledges that there is a person at the other end. And it is such a distance from the politeness associated with the game’s origins (btw, I’ve been surprised by so many Japanese players online not being especially polite, but I guess that’s how it is). And if you play a person face to face at a club or tournament, it would be pretty rude to ignore themI don’t see why being separated by computer screens should change that.


Over a decade ago, I had a well-traveled friend, originally from France, that spent one summer here in America in a mid-sized college town. After his stay, I asked him what he thought of America. He said: “The United States is the only place I’ve ever been where two people, in broad daylight and all alone, can cross paths on a sidewalk and not even wave or say hello.”

I fear his observation is even more universal today. :iphone:


Months ago I made a topic 10 Great Habits for Playing Go, in which it was suggested that greeting one’s opponent (hello and goodbye) was the first and most basic principle of Go etiquette, at least in China. I believe this is true also in Japan, whose professional players brought these traditions to western countries. (See British Go Journal.) As a result, when I learned Go, etiquette and respect were taught as part of the Go culture. Like, you can’t have one without the other.

I feel the Internet kind of changed that. It’s so impersonal and anonymous that people are used to acting differently (worse) than they would in person. Add to that the fact that some players play from third-party apps or clients, do not speak english, or came to Go from technical domains like math or computer science and may not have learned the traditional etiquette, and it begins to look like an epidemic of bad manners. But knowing this is the case helps me not get too worked up about it. It’s best just to move on.


I agree with Mark5000.

Now that we are playing anonymous people from different countries, there is much less point in the greeting.

Especially when you consider that the greeting you receive, that might feel “polite” to you, is just some auto-generated thing that the other person didn’t even type. What is the point of that?

I admit to feeling a little sad when the person doesn’t say “good game” or some other comment at the end of the game, but even then: you have to ask “what is the point of that? At OGS, the other person might not even see the comment, because when the game ends they don’t come back to the game screen”.

So overall, I like it to be polite where we come to talk - in the forums - and see less point about expecting
to talk in-game.


If you want people to greet each other, shouldn’t you be the first one to comply by that rule? After all, one’s own behaviour has a huge impact on how others behave. That is something one should not neglect.

I fail to see the difference if your opponent cannot understand you. (Which is only an assumption).

I would say it is basic courtesy to greet each other (at the beginning of any kind of interaction). If others don’t agree, then so be it. I am certainly not going to force them.


As already said in another thread, I think there is a difference between correspondence games and live games. In correspondence games, you have weeks or months for conversation. I would say I have such conversations in more than half on my games. About the game (outloud comments), or the weather, or whatever comes. For me, the game is a social interaction. I’m happy to talk from France to folks from Australia, America (North and South), Russia, China, wherever.
And as also said in another thread, I play mostly ladder games, or games with people met on the ladder. At some point in the ladder, you get to know a bunch of people around your rank fighting to keep their position, so it gives an extra taste to the conversation like “you again on my way up”. Humour helps. The problem is with people who take the game too seriously, like if it was war.


Overall I don’t really mind if I don’t get a response when I start a game, I guess I’ve gotten used to it by now, but it’s easy to understand given that most people play from their smartphones (I’ve missed a couple of messages because of this). I still greet but I don’t get any reply, so what? That just means the other person doesn’t want to talk or maybe not during game; in any case you don’t lose anything by being polite and you still get to play a game. That’s why we have the forums!


As you know, personally, I will greet each person :slight_smile:

And I try to make the greeting a bit “personal”, so they can tell it is not just an auto-greet.

But I do accept if they don’t reply. I don’t take it as “what a discourteous person”, and get offended.

Instead I understand it as a clear signal “I would prefer not to talk”, and I respect that from then on.


Probably better not to start the thread on the OGS forums with a complaint about conduct on KGS. If that’s your issues, complain on the “KGS forums” if they have such a thing. Or is complaining banned there?

I generally say hey at the start and gg at the end of the game as a minimum, but if other people don’t then I just assume that they’re on a phone and they don’t want to scroll down to see the chat. And as ZenModeOn says, if they don’t want to say hello then that’s their own choice; it’s not like I lose anything.


So many good replies, I’m going to respond here to most.

The sun never set on the English Empire for 300 years and the US has been world hegemon for over 70, A lot of people either understand “Hi” or are smart enough to guess that a noise or it’s representation (not hissing, spitting, growling, roaring, screeching,…) made by a primate is some form of greeting.

Who is this “If you want people to greet each other, shouldn’t you be the first one to comply by that rule?” directed at? Not me, shame on whoever the finger has pointed at!

There’s a wiff of the logic “assume the worst so don’t bother”.

How would I know a priori, if a greeting is auto-generated? If it is, at least a minor effort was made in recognition of courtesy. If it isn’t it’s a disservice to assume it is.

Who suggested anyone be forced to do anything?

A person has time to play a game but not acknowledge a human presence? You want to be treated like a bot, great.

KGS does not have a forum. There reason it was posted here is that doing so is entirely reasonable. KGS was the source of my experience, others have their own experiences. This happened to be where I thought to pull it together. Bugchat’s nasty order (“Probably better not to start the thread on the OGS forums with a complaint about conduct on KGS. If that’s your issues, complain on the “KGS forums” if they have such a thing. Or is complaining banned there?”) violates community guidelines.

Having suffered that abuse, I’ll leave this topic behind. Bye.

The phenomenon of people acting worse because of the impersonal nature of the medium did not start with the Internet. It has been widely observed and discussed in science fiction fandom for more than 40 years with reference to paper fanzines.


Probably not for me to say but I think this is a bit of an overreaction?

Absolutely true, probably a whole other (very interesting) topic to discuss but I think this sums this thread in a sentence. And yet I don’t think there’s any reason in this particular case to think the other person is being disrespectful, but rather a matter of convenience for those who, for whatever possible reason, want to focus on the game and ignore everything else.


By the way, since in go most of the talking is going on through placing stones… Isn’t first two moves is greeting between players? And surely two passes is like a farewell. Resignation is a bit one-sided though.


I always greet my opponent with “Thank You! I hope to give you a good game.” when the “Find a game” feature gets me an opponent. I often don’t have time to say “Thanks and Bye.” afterwards since the end of the game frequently is followed by a rapid departure by my opponent, but sometimes we have a nice chat. When playing, if my opponent does something I find really smart, or I get foxed, I do my best to acknowledge it (often with a “Good Move,” or “That was sharp!”). But these were drilled into me as a child and are common behaviors of my generation. If you raise your children demanding that they be polite with strangers you will find that for the most part this will stick. And sportsmanship is one of the higher forms of politeness. Unfortunately, sportsmanship is little respected in modern professional sports (witness “Trash Talking” to people who are not close personal friends), and this bad influence filters down into other areas of gaming, like GO. And it is easier when the person is an anonymous presence through a computer.


I use a text macro which is triggered when I type “ggame”:

Hello [name inserted manually], this is Tom in Germany :-) Good game!

And at the end I usually write “thanks, well played” (or something like that) if I lost, or “thanks for the game” (or something like that) if I won.

But I’ve also heard of people who have issues with typing/using a keyboard, spastic paralysis or something, but who can use a mouse for playing … or who don’t speak English … or who are autistic or something … or just intimidated … so while I do sometimes wonder when somebody doesn’t write anything, I don’t see a reason to get excited over it.

Also, they could have been chatbanned … and I’ve also met somebody who exclusively plays on the phone and was surprised when he found the chat because he didn’t know it existed. At least he told me so, apparently one has to scroll to see it (I’ve never used OGS on my phone).