Over the past few weeks we have received dozens of mod reports targeting a wide variety of players for conduct such as trolling, sandbagging, playing random moves, using AI to make moves, being an AI player, refusing to resign, refusing to score, wasting time, and cheating in general. Many of these players fall into the same pattern: a new account, playing the first games, bad moves, losing hundreds of points, won’t resign, playing well past move 300. Then they get reported and insulted and abused.
I humbly suggest to you that players fitting this description are far more likely to be BEGINNERS than they are cheaters. As it happens, OGS attracts new players daily. Many of them don’t know the rules and have come here because of our Internet search visibility hoping (for better or for worse) to learn by doing. I can totally see how more veteran players would be annoyed by these players, since Go is also a long game with an ill-defined win condition that takes a significant time commitment. At the same time, I’m appalled by the poor treatment I’m seeing in the moderation queue each day, and this coming from veteran players in our community. Unfortunately for a game like Go, 5 minutes of toxicity IS enough to make the player not want to return.
This a call to better treatment of new players. Everyone whose opponent is a new account should be prepared that they may be facing a beginner. If that is the case, you have only two choices: (1) be prepared to help them along the way or (2) decline the challenge. My plea is that most of you will choose option #1 and help OGS live up to its advertised claim of “the best place to play Go online!”
For the remaining players who are clearly not beginners, please continue to report wrongful conduct.