Proposal: Add option for players to see spectator chat during unranked games

Today in chat this idea came up: @snakesss first proposed it, and from the few teaching game experiences I’ve had I think it would be very useful.

Of course there are a few caveats.

As @iridium pointed out, it shouldn’t be possible for ranked games, and I see the point since ideally all ranked games have to happen in the same conditions to make them as fair as possible, or something like that.

Also it needs to be possible to turn them off at any point in the game in case a troll shows up and moderators can’t intervene timely, or even just because different teachers might have different teaching styles and confuse the student.

In the end, I think it should come down to the sensibility of all the parties involved, but like @snakesss again pointed out, in a real Go club it’s mostly the mutual respect that keeps a game from being disturbed, and group discussions of a game for studying purposes, or even just to have fun, are common, so it’s a little strange that on OGS it’s not even possible to recreate those real life dynamics in the first place. If a spectator breaks etiquette, it should be an option to either mute them specifically or just mute all spectator comments.

Then, @Vegetable pointed out that, depending on how it’s implemented, someone could exploit the feature to one-sidedly turn on spectator comments after agreeing to have them off, and “gang up” with the spectator against the opponent. To prevent this, the switching on of spectator chat during the game should require consent from both players. Since we’re talking about unranked games, I’m not sure this is worth worrying about too much, but it’s an opinion worth considering. (it’s also possible that Vegetable didn’t read the part where it was specified that this would only be for unranked games, i don’t want to put words in their mouth)

Personally, I think to have the option to one-sidedly turn spectator chat OFF is still valuable, but I’d like to hear more opinions about it.

To sum up, for now the proposal is like this:

  • When creating an unranked custom challenge, there’s a tick-box to allow players to see spectator chat, turned off by default;
  • In general, the option to switch back and forth is present even during the game;
  • (Maybe) during the game, if spectator chat is turned off for both players, turning it on requires consent from both players;
  • (Maybe?) turning spectator chat one-sidedly off doesn’t require both to consent;
  • (Maybe) not only there’s an option to turn spectator chat off, but there’s an option to mute specific spectators; but depending on how the “block” option works, this might be redundant.

What do y’all think? Do you wish for this feature? What do you think about the “maybe” points? Do you have other considerations and caveats to contribute?

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I’ve had other ideas on this topic, but I can’t edit the post anymore, so I’ll have to reply.

I’ve realized there are other reasons this is not necessarily too important:

  • First, as similar things have been pointed out in other forum discussions in the past, this is actually already doable with clever use of browsers. You don’t even need to be particularly technically proficient, although it helps. I’m not sure I should explicitly explain the ins and outs of how since someone might be tempted to use the ideas I’ve just considered to actually cheat, but it is possible, and the only ways I can think of to prevent it would require OGS applying heavy and invasive counter-measures, essentially acting as a spyware and invading user privacy. So, you know, please don’t.

  • Second, to be honest it sounds like a very stupid way to “gank” on someone, since it would leave the entire body of evidence on record for everyone to see and open the people doing this to the risk of different kinds of drawbacks, including potentially being banned, I think. If a spectator wanted to one-sidedly and maliciously help one player, it would already be a better way to just message the player directly using the personal chat function, or better yet resort to establishing contact outside of OGS. The only inconvenient would be the inability to use the game chat’s incorporated variation feature.

Though I guess it’s still worth considering that adding an easily accessible feature might encourage distasteful behaviour. As in, the behaviour is already possible, but it’s harder as it stands now, and that will detract people just because of laziness. Making it easier to be unfair will very likely increase the amount of people who engage in unfair behaviour.

But is it worth sacrificing the opportunity to have fun and allow easier learning just because it also allows more opportunity for bullying? Bullies are always going to exist. You cannot solve bullying except by developing a culture of pointing it out when it happens. I say let’s not live in fear of it and let’s not allow that to take away our opportunities. Join me, citizens, in our fight for freedom! waves fist Alright, I’ll stop with the propaganda now.

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