Let's talk about pseudonyms again

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Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby TheKingInYellow » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:53 pm

Just a quick question: if State College, or any team, plays under pseudonyms that aren't inappropriate or in any way disrespectful, shouldn't the host keep stats under those pseudonyms? It's not a big deal, but it seems to me that teams have the right to use pseudonyms (particularly when the hosts say nothing to the contrary), and that its a bit presumptuous to take away that right, as happened at this tournament. Again, I don't want to make a big deal out of this, but I think it should be considered.

Also, I'm fully aware quizbowl hates pseudonyms. I would hope that people could refrain posting responses along the lines of "PSEUDONYMS ARE STUPID SO NO" and consider this issue outside the frame of whether or not you would use (or let players at your tournaments use) pseudonyms.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Cheynem » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:58 pm

PSEUDONYMS ARE STUPID SO NO

Edit: Whoops!
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:01 pm

PSEUDONYMS ARE STUPID SO NO is in fact a pretty good response.
And no, I wouldn't keep pseudonymous stats. If you're not going to keep statistics that actually mean anything to the outside world, why bother keeping them at all?
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:11 pm

I in fact was really excited to finally actually get to see REAL stats from State College where i could tell how each person did. Kudos to UVA for this. Screw pseudonyms.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:20 pm

PSEUDONYMS ARE STUPID BECAUSE THEY COMPLETELY CONTRADICT THE PURPOSE OF STATISTICS















SO NO
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Thread about pseudonyms

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:22 pm

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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:28 pm

Also, I'm sorry, but the description of what happened as you having your right to use pseudonyms taken from you retroactively without your permission should be self-evidently silly upon a second look.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Public safety diving » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:29 pm

Be careful that SC doesn't decide to pull a Chad Johnson and legally change they names before each tournament.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Black-throated Antshrike » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:16 pm

I personally disagree. I feel that if teams use pseudonyms, and the weren't told they specifically couldn't use the, then the host school should ask the team if it would be alright to post the stats without their pseudonyms present.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby BGSO » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:18 pm

Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:I personally disagree. I feel that if teams use pseudonyms, and the weren't told they specifically couldn't use the, then the host school should ask the team if it would be alright to post the stats without their pseudonyms present.



Why should permission have to be asked?! Besides a trivial amusement for the affected teams all pseudonyms do is convolute statistics that are meant to be a metric for which the rest of the nation can compare performance.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby dtaylor4 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:48 am

BGSO wrote:
Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:I personally disagree. I feel that if teams use pseudonyms, and the weren't told they specifically couldn't use the, then the host school should ask the team if it would be alright to post the stats without their pseudonyms present.



Why should permission have to be asked?! Besides a trivial amusement for the affected teams all pseudonyms do is convolute statistics that are meant to be a metric for which the rest of the nation can compare performance.


Um, some teams have to use pseudonyms to dodge administrative issues? Much as some people may not like it, there is a practical use for them.

I don't mind if teams use pseudonyms, but please keep it consistent, and relatively short. Stats entry folk have enough on their plates with having to decipher scoresheets as is.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby something similarly dumb » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:00 am

This isn't the case here, though; I think this discussion is more about recreational pseudonyms.
And I can't really think of a good reason for a statkeeper to keep them, if he knows people's actual names.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby BGSO » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:08 am

dtaylor4 wrote:
BGSO wrote:
Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:I personally disagree. I feel that if teams use pseudonyms, and the weren't told they specifically couldn't use the, then the host school should ask the team if it would be alright to post the stats without their pseudonyms present.



Why should permission have to be asked?! Besides a trivial amusement for the affected teams all pseudonyms do is convolute statistics that are meant to be a metric for which the rest of the nation can compare performance.


Um, some teams have to use pseudonyms to dodge administrative issues? Much as some people may not like it, there is a practical use for them.

I don't mind if teams use pseudonyms, but please keep it consistent, and relatively short. Stats entry folk have enough on their plates with having to decipher scoresheets as is.


Obviously if a team is dodging administration then they should be allowed to use them, but I see absolutely zero reason that "recreational" pseudonyms should be allowed, and if a TD is gracious enough to allow them then use them then it should be changed in the stats undoubtedly.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Edward Powers » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:09 am

Graham,

Just curious. Your program is currently the flagship HS program in the nation. You are the reigning National Champs from the NSC and NASAT, and the unanimous choice as the #1 team this year, a selection made by peers in the quizbowl community from across the nation. And, in your post about pseudonyms you concede that most of the quizbowl community hates the use of pseudonyms.

So, given the universal respect your program commands, and given your own understanding that the very community that respects you so much HATES the use of pseudonyms, why is it so important to you to continue using them? No one seems to have asked you this so far, but I respect you and your team enough to at least ask why you seem willing to risk the ire of a community that otherwise seems to have universal respect for your obviously outstanding program?

And to be perfectly transparent here, I agree with the community at large---I dislike them as well, and here is the reason: :Last year I went to the U of Penn's QuAC with three teams. I read throughout the day and did not see my kids play. When I went home, stats were up and so I finally had a chance to get an overall sense of how my kids played. One of my own teams used pseudonyms without telling me they were doing so, so I could not evaluate the play of each of my kids on that specific team until I spoke to them at practice several days later in the week---a very frustrating position for a coach. So I now forbid their use. I trust you understand why. Yet you still seem to like them.

Care to explain why to the larger community? And, care to further elaborate, given your team's exceptional play at UVA---a performance which seems to be the best of any anywhere on this set---why pseudonyms rather than a substantive discussion of the set or your overall experience at UVA was your primary concern?

BTW: How did you like UVA, one of my favorite spots on earth?

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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Wall of Ham » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:43 am

Edward Powers wrote:Care to explain why to the larger community? And, care to further elaborate, given your team's exceptional play at UVA---a performance which seems to be the best of any anywhere on this set---why pseudonyms rather than a substantive discussion of the set or your overall experience at UVA was your primary concern?


As an alumnus of the school, I believe State College does not really need to explain itself for a harmless idiosyncrasy. They're a nice bunch of kids, and Coach Gittings always tries to instill a sense of class in the team. But, having used mainly pseudonyms in my high school tournaments, I'll offer a few explanations:

1. It's a tradition at State College. I believe we were one of the earlier programs to consistently use pseudonyms. There are a couple of stories associated with them, including one time when I unknowingly insulted Ken Jennings religion, and another time we all went secretly as something obscene.

2. It's harmless fun and builds up team camaraderie. Half the enjoyment of pseudonyms is making them up with some common theme, and heck even debating over which pseudonyms to use. Several times I've asked my teammates about what the heck my pseudonym actually meant, and several times I've learned something new.

3. There's less focus on the individual player. Often, looking over stats, I became confused over who was what myself, having long forgotten each pseudonym. Over time I'd realize stats are useless. To get better as a player, you don't look at increases in some number like a stock ticker. You remember those questions you negged, or sat on, or nobody got in competition, and you'd try to improve in those areas. As for resolving who is better in terms of fit for A or B team, well, Coach Gittings got to know us well enough through practice and following us around in competition. I don't think she ever looked at the stats for that purpose.

(There's also a side point of having your real name associated with a easily searchable number online like some grade of quizbowl participation, but that's probably not an issue for most)

Frankly, I think the community's nerdrage at pseudonyms is an overreaction, when at worst they are an annoyance, and there are far more harmful practices out there. Pseudonyms are merely a way to make a game a little more fun. The recent focus on individual stats of teams that are not your own seem pretty pointless, since quizbowl is ultimately a team game with actual tournaments to play, and all the ppg in the world won't make much difference if you still don't get a W, nor will it show if you've learned anything new from the questions, nor will it show if you had fun playing the game.

I may be the only one here, but I hope more teams adopt or at least try out pseudonyms.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:23 am

But quizbowl is still a game, and as in any game, you need to prepare for your opponent. It's good to know who the teammates are on other teams so you have an idea of what to expect. (And in looking at statistics after a competition is okay, it's nice to be able to see how specific people did on all teams.)

I also like my kids to know who is on what team just for personal sake. When teams use pseudonyms, to me, it's almost like they're saying "other people don't deserve to know what our real names are." Quizbowl (especially the recent incarnation of it) is an extremely friendly activity, and to prevent others from knowing who you are (or how you did) is really anti-social, and weird in my opinion. You're supposed to shake hands after every match, and it would seem odd that somebody would shake hands with someone else who refused (essentially) to give them their actual name.

One consideration i will concede to, i guess, is what Charter has done at their tournaments recently. If you think pseudonyms are just that FUNN and you really want to use them, you may write them down on the roster sheets given first thing in the morning, but it was also expected that you write down your real name too. So that means you can call yourself Earth, Wind, Fire, and Barack Obama in your matches, but on the statistics posted online your real name is also attached to your lame fake one. So i guess this is the one time i would be okay with pseudonyms.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Kyle » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:50 am

My feeling is that the use of pseudonyms is something of an overreaction to the very real problem of people being absolutely obsessed with individual stats. Over the years, I have had way too many teammates do stupid things and even lose games for the team for the sake of their individual points per game. It is now even becoming a problem in practice at Oxford, where I guess people haven't realized that nobody is even keeping individual scores. (To combine two recent discussions, incidentally, wouldn't a useful companion stat to PATH not keep track of points scored after the other team has negged, since at that point it's likely that your entire team knows the answer?) TJ '05 took the pseudonym phenomenon to its logical conclusion by rotating the pseudonyms each game such that their individual stats were completely meaningless. If doing so makes people focus on the fact that their team together had two and a half times as many powers as the next team, rather than standing around the stats worrying about the one game where Iceman embarrassed himself by not playing so well, how can you possibly begrudge them that?
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Susan » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:56 am

Pseudonyms in stats have the potential to make it more difficult to enforce eligibility restrictions on tournaments like Collegiate Novice (and, theoretically, SCT/ICT, though I haven't often seen people using pseudonyms at NAQT events). For me, that's enough reason to eschew them.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:58 am

Except in cases where you have to know who Space Ghost from Thomas Maggie State Side is because he punched a moderator and you want to press charges, pseudonyms are pretty dumb (both in the sense of "I wouldn't bother with them personally" and "I don't see why they cause quite so much a ruckus").

Coach C. if quizbowl is "still a game," then your opponent equally needs to make it hard for you to prepare for them. If knowing the distribution of buzzes is so useful to you, then teams should definitely use pseudonyms, or if that's banned at a given tournament they should use their real names but rotate them much as they might rotate pseudonyms--after the fact, no one would know! You can't meaningfully say "but I have a right to that information"; at least, I don't see any reason why you have that right--rather, you expect to have that information because you usually have it. If quizbowl had never invented individual stats, you wouldn't be so keen to declare that you have a natural right to know a team's buzz distribution, and teams would be declaring their right to keep that secret.

Kyle wrote:(To combine two recent discussions, incidentally, wouldn't a useful companion stat to PATH not keep track of points scored after the other team has negged, since at that point it's likely that your entire team knows the answer?)


Well, yes, but then you have so much data--the order in which buzzes occurred means that you probably have a way to keep track of when, absolutely, they occurred--that you can do still more with it.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Broad-tailed Grassbird » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:27 am

BGSO wrote:Obviously if a team is dodging administration then they should be allowed to use them, but I see absolutely zero reason that "recreational" pseudonyms should be allowed, and if a TD is gracious enough to allow them then use them then it should be changed in the stats undoubtedly.


This way cooler and obnoxious than having pizza pseudonyms:

Dick Whitman
Sharmon Shah
Jacob
Ramon Estevez



And then all of a sudden in round 4 your team will be:
Donald Draper
Karim Abdul-Jabbar (not Law Alcindor)
Israel
Martin Sheen
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Kyle » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Well, yes, but then you have so much data--the order in which buzzes occurred means that you probably have a way to keep track of when, absolutely, they occurred--that you can do still more with it.


You know how at the end of a football game the players all get really close to each other and then the quarterback kneels down and lets time run out? Since centers are big guys, the quarterback is doing his kneeling at least a yard behind the line of scrimmage. But instead of messing up his personal stats with "quarterback rushes for -1 yards," ESPN GameDay writes "team rush for -1 yards." I think that's a nice thing for them to do, seeing how the quarterback is kneeling so that his team can win the game. Hypothetically, couldn't you just record any tossup correctly answered after the other team has negged as "team +10"? (Not that you should have to, of course)
Last edited by Kyle on Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Edward Powers » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:31 am

To "Wall of Ham"/ Barry from CU:

Of course you are correct---State College is under no compulsion to answer my request, but I did formulate it as a request and not as a demand. Be this as it may, I thank you for the insights you have given as an alumnus of SC. And, I can respect the three reasons you have given. A respect for tradition, a desire to allow students to have a little fun, and, most important to me, the effort to emphasize team play rather than individual stats, all make sense to me and place the practice in a different and more benevolent light.

But if we in the larger community can respect these reasons, perhaps you too can respect the community's general tendency to dislike pseudonyms as well, rather than simply suggest it is "nerdrage" or something to that effect (you did say something like this, did you not?). For me whenever I read a State College stat line after one of its generally amazing performances I almost always feel frustrated by the pseudonyms because I generally want to both disccern & acknowledge somehow the fine individual play of your players. There was no rage in my response, simply a desire to acknowledge excellence where I see it, and not just for your team, but for the individuals who compose it. Further, I sympathized with the stats people who sometimes had a hard time with stats because of the use of pseudonyms. Of course, in many ways this is a tempest in a teapot, and I do not wish to make more of it than it is. So I thank you for your efforts to help us better understand the practice as you understood it.

I still would like to hear from Graham himself, since he might have a different explanation than yours, and he is the one who launched this discussion in the first place, so obviously it is important to him, and I would hope he is willing to explain why.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:41 am

Kyle wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Well, yes, but then you have so much data--the order in which buzzes occurred means that you probably have a way to keep track of when, absolutely, they occurred--that you can do still more with it.


You know how at the end of a football game the players all get really close to each other and then the quarterback kneels down and lets time run out? Since centers are big guys, the quarterback is doing his kneeling at least a yard behind the line of scrimmage. But instead of messing up his personal stats with "quarterback rushes for -1 yards," ESPN GameDay writes "team rush for -1 yards." I think that's a nice thing for them to do, seeing how the quarterback is kneeling so that his team can win the game. Hypothetically, couldn't you just record any tossup correctly answered after the other team has negged as "team +10"? (Not that you should have to, of course)

Oh, you certainly could. Much as, even with current technology, you could have the mod estimate where in the tossup everyone buzzed so every neg and get could have a decimal for proportion of tossup heard. But I think all the stat-making games we play are assuming that we only have what's already being written on the scoresheet.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby BGSO » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:19 am

nalin wrote:
BGSO wrote:Obviously if a team is dodging administration then they should be allowed to use them.


This way cooler and obnoxious than having pizza pseudonyms:

Dick Whitman
Sharmon Shah
Jacob
Ramon Estevez



And then all of a sudden in round 4 your team will be:
Donald Draper
Karim Abdul-Jabbar (not Law Alcindor)
Israel
Martin Sheen
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Auroni » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:21 pm

Wall of Ham wrote:Frankly, I think the community's nerdrage at pseudonyms is an overreaction


I think that this is pretty insulting. Several people in this thread have voiced reasonable opposition to pseudonyms, claiming that they interfere with the very legitimate practices of pre-/post-/during- nationals prognostication and are antisocial in general, while you're dismissing this all as unfounded nerdrage.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Edward Powers » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:54 pm

Graham---you launched this discussion---care to rejoin it and respond to my questions upthread, as well as to add anything else that you might wish?
Last edited by Edward Powers on Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:55 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:
Wall of Ham wrote:Frankly, I think the community's nerdrage at pseudonyms is an overreaction


I think that this is pretty insulting. Several people in this thread have voiced reasonable opposition to pseudonyms, claiming that they interfere with the very legitimate practices of pre-/post-/during- nationals prognostication and are antisocial in general, while you're dismissing this all as unfounded nerdrage.

But only the saddest forms of quizbowl socialization actually involve sharing your individual stats. I don't really see pseudonyms as "antisocial" at all, unless if I walk up to Graham this weekend he'll roar THEY CALL ME MARDUK and walk away affronted. In which case, game-set-match, antisocial.

And your argument presupposes that pseudonyms are not themselves "very legitimate practices." Surely, they're less interesting from an analytical perspective than trying to figure out if LASA can beat State College or something using Kabbalah or something (and yeah, I know, post-Nationals is when it's important because it's not always obvious that it's Ice-T who's graduating this year), but that's not a great argument to suggest they're any less "legitimate." After all, apparently pseudonyms are pretty interesting to Barry Liu and the State College Crew. Is your prognostication fun-and-interest more important than theirs? I'm not sure.

I don't think tournaments have an obligation to permit pseudonyms, but I'm at least as doubtful that teams have an obligation not to use them at tournaments that don't forbid them solely so that other people think that those teams are more social or so that other people can predict their performance or something.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Matt Weiner » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:20 pm

Pseudonyms are ipso facto stupid. There is a delicate balance between fun (an ostensible purpose of having buzzers and points and teams as opposed to listening to a lecture or taking a test) and seriousness (a necessary component of asking people to devote lots of time and money to showing up at tournaments) in quizbowl. The good quizbowl community is nearly unanimous in its judgment that pseudonyms tilt the balance too far to the unserious side. Using ACF Fall as a cogent example, I think it would not be good to have teams who we need to coax into real quizbowl show up to both lose by 500 points AND do so to people who refuse to identify themselves as anything but "Rizzoli," "Isles," "Zeppelin," and "hapticity." It's mystifying and in-groupy and if there's anything quizbowl needs less of, it's that.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Cheynem » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:28 pm

I hope those were the pseudonyms SC actually used. It would make me like them more.

I have the following views about pseudonyms (this doesn't apply to instances when people are legally required to use them):

1. I think they are unfunny and in most cases stupid. In the worst occasions, they border on "Look at me! I'm so cute!" syndrome. I think I used pseudonyms once when I was hopped up on expensive pizza during Spring Offensive.

2. I understand that other people might want to use pseudonyms and may think they are funny. In this instance, I will let individual tournament directors decide what to do.

3. I hope we can agree that there are limits: Continually rotating pseudonyms should never be allowed, as these can prove very confusing for statskeepers, etc.

4. There are some tournaments where I just think it doesn't work. I am okay with tournaments like HSNCT, NSC, and NASAT, as well as if HS teams play ACF Nats, to completely disallow pseudonyms.

5. I think not using pseudonyms is helpful sometimes when TD's are attempting to form brackets or if teams are qualifying for national tournaments. In SC's case, it's pretty easy because they have a pretty set foursome, but if Blah Blah High School has like six major players who always play with pseudonyms, it can be difficult to know how to seed such team unless one has a deep familiarity with players. There are other reasons to examine old stats other than just sheer progonostical reasons. I frankly don't care about tracking the individual members of SC's scores and seeing how they match up against LASA and while you may, they have no responsbility to help you in this regard. So that reason doesn't bother me.

6. You can't have it both ways. I better not hear any complaining about player poll rankings from people who frequently use pseudonyms.

So to sum up:

I think pseudoynms are unfunny, terrible, and may not be the most helpful thing ever. But if individual TD's don't mind, then whatever. But nobody has a right to use them.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Zip Zap Rap Pants » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:32 pm

Kyle wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Well, yes, but then you have so much data--the order in which buzzes occurred means that you probably have a way to keep track of when, absolutely, they occurred--that you can do still more with it.


You know how at the end of a football game the players all get really close to each other and then the quarterback kneels down and lets time run out? Since centers are big guys, the quarterback is doing his kneeling at least a yard behind the line of scrimmage. But instead of messing up his personal stats with "quarterback rushes for -1 yards," ESPN GameDay writes "team rush for -1 yards." I think that's a nice thing for them to do, seeing how the quarterback is kneeling so that his team can win the game. Hypothetically, couldn't you just record any tossup correctly answered after the other team has negged as "team +10"? (Not that you should have to, of course)


Here here, that's one of the better ideas I've heard in a while. All too often someone who's not the best on their team will buzz immediately after a question is done or in the last sentence, thinking they definitely have a chance of boosting their stats, and it turns out they're completely off. If they didn't have the incentive to vulch for stats then this would be less likely. Back in my earlier years I'll admit I was even guilty of this two or three times.

Like Andy I'm kind of neutral towards pseudonyms. However, there are some cases where not just a team, but a player, is trying to protect his/her identity and remain anonymous at a tournament, such as S. R. Sidarth constantly using pseudonyms after the macaca incident so as not to draw attention. This is partly why I as a TD allow them unless it's something offensive or terribly distasteful. I can think of perhaps a less dramatic reason for pseudonyms: say a player is in both debate/model UN and quizbowl (as often happens), and the coach of the former tries to follow the quizbowl team's performances. If the player decides it's a better use time (or less work) to do quizbowl that weekend, but is sucked in to debate/MUN to the point of obligation, then he or she might tell a little white lie about it beforehand such as "oh, ahh, well, I'm going on a family trip this weekend." At the very least, I think TD's or moderators should tell players that they won't use pseudonyms in stats or ask if there's a particular reason for their pseudonyms, that way if they really need or want them they'll let it be known.

Also, this is a game, not a sport, it doesn't have to be super serial guys.

EDIT: Grammar
Last edited by Zip Zap Rap Pants on Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:40 pm

Zip Zap Rap Pants wrote:
Kyle wrote:You know how at the end of a football game the players all get really close to each other and then the quarterback kneels down and lets time run out? Since centers are big guys, the quarterback is doing his kneeling at least a yard behind the line of scrimmage. But instead of messing up his personal stats with "quarterback rushes for -1 yards," ESPN GameDay writes "team rush for -1 yards." I think that's a nice thing for them to do, seeing how the quarterback is kneeling so that his team can win the game. Hypothetically, couldn't you just record any tossup correctly answered after the other team has negged as "team +10"? (Not that you should have to, of course)


Here here, that's one of the better ideas I've heard in a while. All too often someone who's not the best on their team will buzz immediately after a question is done or in the last sentence, thinking they definitely have a chance of boosting their stats, and it turns out they're completely off. If they didn't have the incentive to vulch for stats then this would be less likely.

Is this a serious proposition? One of the problems with doing this in quiz bowl would be that you would basically have to reduce the number of tossups heard by 1 for each of the players on the non-negging team (because they wouldn't have the opportunity to get individual points for answering it), among other things. I'm pretty sure vulching is an issue that can be handled by coaching and by pressure from teammates rather than changing how the game is scored.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:46 pm

Pseudonyms for their own sake are awfully silly and actually harmful in a minor, limited way, both with Susan's point above and for people trying to seed tournaments based off past results. Also, if you're trying to run a tournament and care about looking professional, like at one of the major nationals, having pseudonyms looks dumb.

I think using pseudonyms for protective purposes is acceptable.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:48 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Coach C. if quizbowl is "still a game," then your opponent equally needs to make it hard for you to prepare for them. If knowing the distribution of buzzes is so useful to you, then teams should definitely use pseudonyms, or if that's banned at a given tournament they should use their real names but rotate them much as they might rotate pseudonyms--after the fact, no one would know! You can't meaningfully say "but I have a right to that information"; at least, I don't see any reason why you have that right--rather, you expect to have that information because you usually have it. If quizbowl had never invented individual stats, you wouldn't be so keen to declare that you have a natural right to know a team's buzz distribution, and teams would be declaring their right to keep that secret.

This is a really goofy idea, that is allowed by literally no major competitive major activities. In fact, these activities go out of their way to make it clear who is playing. I'm willing to say that obscuring who's playing is harmful to the game.
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Re: ACF Fall at UVA 11/6/10

Postby Broad-tailed Grassbird » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:56 pm

BGSO wrote:
nalin wrote:
BGSO wrote:Obviously if a team is dodging administration then they should be allowed to use them.


This way cooler and obnoxious than having pizza pseudonyms:

Dick Whitman
Sharmon Shah
Jacob
Ramon Estevez



And then all of a sudden in round 4 your team will be:
Donald Draper
Karim Abdul-Jabbar (not Law Alcindor)
Israel
Martin Sheen


i remember, i was the TD for the tournament where you used pizza pseudonyms. i made a bad attempt at a joke. :sad: :oops:
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Ukonvasara » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:23 pm

Zip Zap Rap Pants wrote:Also, this is a game, not a sport, it doesn't have to be super serial guys.

Seems like a rather false dichotomy. The only reason quizbowl isn't "taken seriously" is because people don't proactively take it seriously, not because it hasn't achieved the lofty cultural cachet of football. People have relatively serious attitudes about relatively minor things all the time.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:32 pm

One argument for pseudonyms that I wouldn't mind going away is the idea that pseudonyms promote team play. I just don't buy it. I think team play is very important, but most great teams have excellent team chemistry and don't use pseudonyms. Since I don't usually moderate at tournaments with pseudonymous teams, I was wondering: do such teams expect individual awards at the end of the tournament? I know that getting a used book is a minor thing, but I would think that such teams wouldn't mind not getting those prizes if indeed they were interested in downplaying individual performances.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby theMoMA » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:14 pm

Kyle, I think that people should be able to obsess over whatever they feel like obsessing about, and that a TD shouldn't have to submit to allowing the use of pseudonyms to "combat" it. Pseudonyms are bad for all of the reasons Matt has enumerated. If a player's obsession with individual stats is really hurting their team, their teammates or their coach should deal with it without subjecting everyone else to pseudonyms.

As an aside, I also think the problem of stats-obsessed individuals is overstated; I've only ever played with one person who was obsessed with eking out the maximum PPG possible. That was frustrating, but I think that most people are good sports about letting the "correct" person get points for a tossup that the other team has negged. I also don't think that waiting until the end of a tossup to buzz after the other team negs is the best strategy; the best strategy is for the first player who is 100% sure of the correct answer to buzz soon after the moment of 100% certainty. I've seen too many players (myself definitely included) make mistakes by waiting until the end (it happened pretty devastatingly in an important match against your team at the 2009 ICT). There's typically confusion about who's actually in, and people sometimes forget what they're going to say or freeze up. I say that if you know it, you should ensure your team points by saying it.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Wall of Ham » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:43 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:
Wall of Ham wrote:Frankly, I think the community's nerdrage at pseudonyms is an overreaction


I think that this is pretty insulting. Several people in this thread have voiced reasonable opposition to pseudonyms, claiming that they interfere with the very legitimate practices of pre-/post-/during- nationals prognostication and are antisocial in general, while you're dismissing this all as unfounded nerdrage.


Take a look at the first 8 posts of this thread. Of those, I only see two posts that offer any reason as to their opposition. My point was that if you are so opposed to an idea that you respond with "is stupid"/CAPSLOCK/some permutation of the above, and yet give no reasons, that seems like an overreaction to me (especially since pseudonyms have a minimal, if any, effect on your individual playing experience).

Of course many reasons have been given, to which I will respond hereforth.

1. Eligibility Requirements. Applicable at the College level (I've rarely used pseudonyms in College for this reason), not so much in High School. If you are devious enough to want to escape eligibility requirements, well, banning pseudonyms won't stop you.

2. Seeding. Again, I feel that seeding should be done based only on team results because quizbowl is a team game. The uncertainty of having certain players being replaced within one team affecting the team results is far less than the uncertainty of players not showing up when expected/not playing as well/within the acceptable seeding margin.

3. For the personal pleasure of people who did not attend the tournament that likes to look at other people's stats. Do you really need to know the ppg of certain players? Wouldn't it be enough to see that this team has a player with so many ppg, and another with so many ppg, etc.?

4. No reason for them. Well, I don't think I'm articulate enough to explain a reason why people use pseudonyms, but I'll ofter this comparison. Why do Chicago open teams call themselves "The Gorilla Wrestles With The Superman", or "The Inexorable Sadness of Pencils"? Would it not be easier to call a team, say, "Matt's team" or something else more descriptive. Now I'm not comparing the use of names for a temporary one time team to individual names that would be used across a season, but lets just say that the reason people use non-descriptive names for both Open teams and pseudonyms are similar.

5. Not funny. Umm, pseudonyms aren't suppose to be funny? (Hey guys, my name is "Lac Operon". I expect much guffaws and merriment ensuing the announcement of said epithet.) Plus it's not like people have difference senses of humor, right?

6. In-group/Anti-Social. Honestly, if I found a team anti-social, it would be the result of their behavior before, during, and after a match, not what they said the instant they're asked to give their names. If you want to know a player's real name, why not ask it? Or you can ask why they use the pseudonyms that they use, which has happened many times when I've used pseudonyms. In my personal experience, far from being anti-social, pseudonyms have been a good starting point for a conversation between teams.

In conclusion, although I know the community disapproves of them, and I respect the right of tournament directors to change/ban pseudonyms, I would like to ask them to please consider allowing them, because my net personal experience with pseudonyms has been a positive one.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Susan » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:23 pm

Barry wrote:Take a look at the first 8 posts of this thread. Of those, I only see two posts that offer any reason as to their opposition. My point was that if you are so opposed to an idea that you respond with "is stupid"/CAPSLOCK/some permutation of the above, and yet give no reasons, that seems like an overreaction to me (especially since pseudonyms have a minimal, if any, effect on your individual playing experience).


I believe those first couple of posts are jokes in response to Graham's request that people not post "PSEUDONYMS ARE STUPID". Most of the people who made such posts have since made posts that more cogently outline their opposition to pseudonyms.

1. Eligibility Requirements. Applicable at the College level (I've rarely used pseudonyms in College for this reason), not so much in High School. If you are devious enough to want to escape eligibility requirements, well, banning pseudonyms won't stop you.


The eligibility requirements for Collegiate Novice, at least, refer to players' high school careers (placement on playoff teams at HSNCT and NSC).

2. Seeding. Again, I feel that seeding should be done based only on team results because quizbowl is a team game. The uncertainty of having certain players being replaced within one team affecting the team results is far less than the uncertainty of players not showing up when expected/not playing as well/within the acceptable seeding margin.


This may be more true for a team with comparatively balanced scoring like State College, but for a lot of teams, perhaps most teams, the presence or absence of one player can make a HUGE difference in how they should be seeded.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Wall of Ham wrote:Take a look at the first 8 posts of this thread. Of those, I only see two posts that offer any reason as to their opposition. My point was that if you are so opposed to an idea that you respond with "is stupid"/CAPSLOCK/some permutation of the above, and yet give no reasons, that seems like an overreaction to me (especially since pseudonyms have a minimal, if any, effect on your individual playing experience).

...

5. Not funny. Umm, pseudonyms aren't suppose to be funny? (Hey guys, my name is "Lac Operon". I expect much guffaws and merriment ensuing the announcement of said epithet.) Plus it's not like people have difference senses of humor, right?


Hmmmmm.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Dominator » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:41 pm

I pretty much agree with everything in Barry's last post as to reasons why pseudonyms do not offend me.

The major reason I see to allow pseudonyms is that these names are posted online with stats and I do believe that high schoolers have a right to privacy. If a high school student does not want his or her name posted online, then I respect the right to privacy and will allow a pseudonym. This covers cases where players are avoiding administration, but also fits in well with my Huxleyesque worldview.

However, if a TD is willing to allow a pseudonym out of respect for the players, the players can also respect the TD enough to register that pseudonym with the TD and not change names throughout the day so that the TD knows the complete stats picture.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Black-throated Antshrike » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:00 am

I dont know about many other players, but when I play teams that I know are definitively better than mine, such as SC, I don't look at each person to know if we need to play more aggressive but more the entire team as a whole. Honestly I cant think of a single instance where I would even do this, besides; the stats only show you the number of questions that each player got: it doesnt even tell you what subjects the questions were so you dont know whether you should be aggressive on a given question. Also last year at Penn Bowl when Charter went up there, all of us in attendance rotated our pseudonyms so that we wouldnt be worried about a neg reflecting on our total points since we wouldnt know who had played as who.

In all I think that pseudonyms arent that big of a deal provided that they arent overtly offensive or a huge disruption to the stats room, but that just me
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Unicolored Jay » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:41 am

As someone who used pseudonyms in the past: I and the rest of my team did it just as a light-hearted joke. None of us gave a thought to individual scoring or how people would rate our team or team seeding or anything like that. Basically, we were oblivious to whatever was going on around us.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby idrayer » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:47 am

A bunch of us at UCLA use nicknames at tournaments because they have been part of our club's camaraderie. Mik will often play as "The Larsenal" and Ray sometimes plays as "The Luomance". I really don't have any problems with teams using pseudonyms as long as I know as tournament director ahead of time who is coming for the teams so I can seed properly.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby jonah » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:01 am

idrayer wrote:I really don't have any problems with teams using pseudonyms as long as I know as tournament director ahead of time who is coming for the teams so I can seed properly.
But if they used pseudonyms at previous tournaments whose stats you're using to determine appropriate seeding, so you don't know who played at those tournaments, what good is knowing who will be at your tournament?
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:19 am

jonah wrote:
idrayer wrote:I really don't have any problems with teams using pseudonyms as long as I know as tournament director ahead of time who is coming for the teams so I can seed properly.
But if they used pseudonyms at previous tournaments whose stats you're using to determine appropriate seeding, so you don't know who played at those tournaments, what good is knowing who will be at your tournament?

I'm a little confused by this. To start out with, you must be assuming that there's a chance that rosters will be different (or else you could just use the previous tournament's stats without worry). So that means that even if they weren't using pseudonyms, you have some source of information that will tell you who is playing at your tournament.

If you have a source of information telling you who is going to play at your tournament, couldn't you just ask them which of the pseudonyms from previous tournament x will be missing?

I absolutely agree that it's slightly more inconvenient (you have to ask two questions instead of one) but it's such a corner case that I really can't get too excited about it.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:24 am

Fred wrote:This is a really goofy idea, that is allowed by literally no major competitive major activities. In fact, these activities go out of their way to make it clear who is playing. I'm willing to say that obscuring who's playing is harmful to the game.

I mean, one is permitted one's own interpretation of various injury report adjectives, and in fact various football teams underreport/overreport injuries accordingly. And that's not the point: the point is that those competitive activities include "disguising elements of one's own preparation"--teams don't share playbooks, right? there is some closed information.

And it's not like "what our names were" is that important unless there's a roster change. And it's not like roster changes can really violently alter strategy away from "get as many questions as possible," particularly when from individual stats sheets--the only things affected--you can't really glean much strategically useful information. You can determine that a team would be better or weaker, or likely would have an additional (or be missing a) specialist in... some subject.

I'm just saying that "this is a game, so you are obligated to make it easy for us to prepare for you" takes a whole lot of assumptions, and aside from that there's the assumption that pseudonyms have really such an important effect on preparations.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Kyle » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:09 am

theMoMA wrote:Kyle, I think that people should be able to obsess over whatever they feel like obsessing about, and that a TD shouldn't have to submit to allowing the use of pseudonyms to "combat" it.


From the perspective of a neutral bystander looking at the stats, absolutely. But from the perspective of a player or coach on a team where players are getting too competitive with each other, why shouldn't those people be allowed to decide for themselves what they obsess over? Again, this isn't just an abstract discussion; the fierce enmity between certain of the players was the reason that TJ '05 used and rotated pseudonyms.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Touko Kettunen » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:46 am

For the purpose of seeding, I'm not so sure how individual stats help. Typically, teams register by saying "We're bringing 2 teams, 2 buzzers, and 1 moderator," and the tournament director seeds as if they're bring their normal teams. This is because team composition (at least for a couple schools I know) can change a lot in the days leading up to a tournament. As a person registering for a tournament, I do not feel obligated to send up to the minute information on who exactly is going on what team. Thus, the difference between seeding team A with pseudonyms and team A without pseudonyms is 0.

As for strategy, I don't see how individual stats help anyway aside from "this person can score points." If I know Nikhil averages n points, that doesn't help me in any way because it's not like I can tackle him before he buzzes. I can see how individual stats could be useful if they included things like "science tossups got" or "history tossups got" because then I can play to my opponent's weaknesses (or challenge them to their strengths); but as of now, we don't have those so that's sort of a moot point.

Also, I'm pretty sure that all team members have to use their real names for national tournaments so the eligibility issue is sort of resolved by that.

Personally I don't think there's much harm in using pseudonyms. I mean, we're in high school. It's something fun a lot of us like to do for the fun of it. I haven't done it personally, but I can see how it could bring an extra element of fun and camaraderie into the game, and I don't see how that can be a bad thing.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Postby Broad-tailed Grassbird » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:34 am

Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:I dont know about many other players, but when I play teams that I know are definitively better than mine, such as SC, I don't look at each person to know if we need to play more aggressive but more the entire team as a whole. Honestly I cant think of a single instance where I would even do this, besides; the stats only show you the number of questions that each player got: it doesnt even tell you what subjects the questions were so you dont know whether you should be aggressive on a given question. Also last year at Penn Bowl when Charter went up there, all of us in attendance rotated our pseudonyms so that we wouldnt be worried about a neg reflecting on our total points since we wouldnt know who had played as who.

In all I think that pseudonyms arent that big of a deal provided that they arent overtly offensive or a huge disruption to the stats room, but that just me


So what your saying is that no one wants to get their feelings hurt. If you're playing in a college tournament suck it up, and use your real name. This isn't a Patrick Press league, players on your team should not be afraid to buzz. Using pseudonyms isn't a good way too compensate for people's insecurities, and what you are suggesting is that you got a competitive advantage which you shouldn't have been allowed to have.
Nalin
Scranton Middle School (2000-2003)
Brighton High School (2003-2007)
Michigan State University (2007-2011)
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