POLL: Has anyone ever used the Malkovich log for its intended purpose?

The Malkovich log is a feature accessed with the little chevron on the chat box label. It is like chat, except your opponent’s account can’t see it during the game. Other accounts and guests can see it during the game (so your opponent can see it if they sign out of their account). Everyone can see it after the game. It is named after the film Being John Malkovich in which the characters find a portal into John Malkovich’s (an actor playing himself in the film) head. It was made many years ago on old OGS to facilitate the playing of Malkovich games in which the players write down what they are thinking about during the game for the interest of kibitzers.

It is not private board notes visible just to you. That feature doesn’t exist, though some people mistake Malkovich log for it or just use it for that purpose anyway and don’t mind that observers can see it and hope their opponent doesn’t use an incognito window to read their secret plans.

I would like to know about people’s knowledge and use of this feature so here’s some polls.

8 Likes

Knowledge of Malkovich log feature

  • I already knew what Malkovich log was before I discovered the OGS feature
  • I found the feature on OGS and correctly understood it
  • I found the feature on OGS and had to look up what it was
  • I only just learnt about it from this or other recent forum post
  • I still don’t understand what Malkovich log is

0 voters

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Have you used the Malkovich log feature for intended purpose of notes visible to observers and not opponent?

  • No
  • Yes, rarely
  • Yes, often
  • Don’t know

0 voters

Have you used the Malkovich log feature as a quasi private board notes feature?

  • No
  • Yes, rarely
  • Yes, often
  • Don’t know

0 voters

What features would you like on OGS as alternatives to regular game chat accessed from the chevron?

  • Just Malkovich log
  • Just private board notes
  • Both Malkovich and private notes

0 voters

I dont often use malkologs, but when i do its usually a correspondence teaching game where i leave comments and variations for my opponent to read after the game.

I didnt know about the log being a thing until i joined OGS and found the feature, but i understood it right away (as a fan of ‘Being John Malkovich’ i guessed correctly how the feature works when i first saw it)

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I didn’t answer this one as for me it would be “I find the feature on OGS, didn’t know what it was and ignored it. I’ve since learned about it through people complaining on the forums”

Mine might be a slightly niche experience but I think that it might not be so uncommon for people just to ignore features they don’t understand (or need) rather than necessarily bothering to investigate them.

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I write sometimes private notes in Malkovich log.

I’m happy with them being visible to my opponent after the game, which wouldn’t be possible with just private notes.
I don’t actually care a lot about my opponent peeping at my plans. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: They aren’t so interesting nor so useful. Usually they are just question marks about moment in the game when I don’t know what I should do first. Any IRL opponent would read that immediately from my body language. :rofl:

So I think I’m happy with it.

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I imagine that could likely be the case for a bunch of people :slight_smile: Seems very plausible.

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I start to use it all the time, just to show some variations and most importantly my estimation halfway without losing track. And quite useful in teaching games, as well as normal games, if I want to say something that doesn’t seem to be appropriate during the game.

A lot of time, it might be for the benefit of the spectators, and audiences, as well as myself. When I write something, I will have to think them through.

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I am grateful to the Malkovich log for introducing me to the movie, which I had never heard of.

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hmmm maybe that’s a misunderstanding but… do people really have an expectation of “quasi privacy” in OGS?

I mean… I often see people having quasi-private conversations in public chat of games, specially in correspondance games.

I just say that because of the connection between this topic and mine (Malkovitch notes visible to opponents? - #31 by shinuito) where my initial problem was that markovich logs are not implemented as documented, but the topic was hijacked by people wanting/expecting mark logs being fully private… for some reason.

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I would expect a ‘private notes’ features on games to only be visible to the account of the player who made them (and developers with DB access, and maybe admins to investigate problems but seeing as it’s not communication with another maybe not needed). I would not expect anyone else to see them. They shouldn’t be in the sgf download of the game, unless initiated by the player who made those notes and ticked an ‘include private notes’ box. I would use it for things like recording my score estimate, reminding me of some sneaky aji (e.g. don’t forget f7 is sente for sneaking kill of that group) and recording endgame move values I calculated.

People having a chat amongst themselves, but visible to all, in the game chat channel of a game which is public seems fine to me. If the game is marked with private flag, then such a game chat would be private to those 2 players by virtue of the entire game being private (and admins could access to check on e.g reports of abuse but shouldn’t use this admin power without good reason). Most people don’t bother to make their games private, and might then chat about relatively private stuff, but if they want others to not see it should have made the game private.

By “Have you used the Malkovich log feature as a quasi private board notes feature?” I didn’t mean they were private or it would be reasonably to expect them to be, it’s just a workaround of using the existing Malkovich log feature as a board notes feature which isn’t private but you wished it was.

2 Likes

your polls don’t have variant “I just never used it”
I guess result of “No” is sum of “I just never used it” and “I always use it for unintended purpose”

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AKA when I want my opponent to know when they should have resigned but I know it’s rude to tell your opponent they should resign during the game

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I have used the Malkovich log feature for comments that I wanted my opponent to see once
the game was over but not before then. ​ I don’t know if that qualifies as its intended purpose.
(though, in light of this thread, I’m now wondering if that in fact works)

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So it is useful in the borderom tesuji situation … (and I think I did that a couple of times…)

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I just want to point out that in the movie, Malkovich did not want these people in his head. So the fact that people are frustrated and confused by this feature totally tracks with the name :joy:

10 Likes

Thanks all for your votes and replies.

1 Like