Let's talk about pseudonyms again

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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:05 am

nalin wrote:what you are suggesting is that you got a competitive advantage which you shouldn't have been allowed to have.
I'm tired of arguments that continually declare that [reason that people might like pseudonyms X] is an advantage that they don't deserve or shouldn't be permitted to enjoy. Why shouldn't they be allowed to have that competitive advantage from pseudonyms? Why shouldn't other teams who need the help use pseudonyms? A good argument would have been, for example, "they'll never learn to be more confident under their own names; they'll never develop." But I don't know, don't they have that right?
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:55 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote: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.
It's a very big deal for tournaments like the NSC, where during the seeding process we do look at tons of old tournament results. It's very helpful to know who actually did what (and, naturally, who will be coming) so we can produce accurate seeding.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:01 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote: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.
It's a very big deal for tournaments like the NSC, where during the seeding process we do look at tons of old tournament results. It's very helpful to know who actually did what (and, naturally, who will be coming) so we can produce accurate seeding.
Seconded re: HSNCT seeding. (This is one reason we ask for rosters in advance.) Avoiding pseudonyms at qualifying tournaments helps us seed the tournament better.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Duncan Idaho » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:42 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote: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.
It's a very big deal for tournaments like the NSC, where during the seeding process we do look at tons of old tournament results. It's very helpful to know who actually did what (and, naturally, who will be coming) so we can produce accurate seeding.
To provide an example of when this matters, Kay, Southside's typical A team composition last year was Ming, Neil, Max and me. However, for the NSC, Amit took Max's place on the A team. The difference between Max's and Amit's points-per-game at previous tournaments was massive, (e.g. Max's PATH at EFT was 13.04, but Amit's was 84.21) so I felt obligated to send Trygve those old stats.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:58 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote: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.
State College, notably, got away with stupid pseudonyms at HSNCT in 2009. http://www.naqt.com/stats/team-performa ... m_id=16327
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:18 pm

State College used pseudonyms at the 2007 and 2010 HSNCTs as well.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by theMoMA » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:30 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
nalin wrote:what you are suggesting is that you got a competitive advantage which you shouldn't have been allowed to have.
I'm tired of arguments that continually declare that [reason that people might like pseudonyms X] is an advantage that they don't deserve or shouldn't be permitted to enjoy. Why shouldn't they be allowed to have that competitive advantage from pseudonyms? Why shouldn't other teams who need the help use pseudonyms? A good argument would have been, for example, "they'll never learn to be more confident under their own names; they'll never develop." But I don't know, don't they have that right?
Uh, no? Not playing under a pseudonym seems to be a pretty reasonable condition that a TD or editor can impose on a team playing their tournament. Tournaments don't just fall from the sky. People write them and host them. Those people should be able to bar a practice as annoying as pseudonym use.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:05 pm

theMoMA wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
nalin wrote:what you are suggesting is that you got a competitive advantage which you shouldn't have been allowed to have.
I'm tired of arguments that continually declare that [reason that people might like pseudonyms X] is an advantage that they don't deserve or shouldn't be permitted to enjoy. Why shouldn't they be allowed to have that competitive advantage from pseudonyms? Why shouldn't other teams who need the help use pseudonyms? A good argument would have been, for example, "they'll never learn to be more confident under their own names; they'll never develop." But I don't know, don't they have that right?
Uh, no? Not playing under a pseudonym seems to be a pretty reasonable condition that a TD or editor can impose on a team playing their tournament. Tournaments don't just fall from the sky. People write them and host them. Those people should be able to bar a practice as annoying as pseudonym use.
I'm okay with TDs banning people from using pseudonyms. I helped enforce this at the '09 NSC (Charter's A team had someone who apparently goes by "Crabby" in real life, too, but the NSC wants legal names), in fact--Sorice asked me to get his name and eventually I weaseled it out. But this is a case of the quizbowl community raging over people using pseudonyms at a tournament where no one told them "you can't use pseudonyms." That's just stupid: I agree that TDs are in that reasonable position, but if TDs don't say "no pseudonyms" then the whole internet being indignant about them doesn't make me care about them any more.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by TheKingInYellow » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:45 pm

Allow me to clarify my position: I personally enjoy pseudonyms, for reasons I think Barry did a wonderful job of summarizing. I also understand and appreciate the arguments against them: tournament directors have every right to enforce a no-pseudonyms policy. My problem with UVA on this issue was that we were never informed that they didn't want pseudonyms. If a tournament director explains ahead of time, or even halfway through the tournament why they don't feel pseudonyms are appropriate for their tournament, I may not be happy about it, but I can respect that decision. Without such a warning or explanation though, I feel like we had every right to use our pseudonyms, and that ignoring them without first talking to us was somewhat underhanded, or at least impolite.

Again, this isn't a huge deal, and I don't want to detract from UVA's well-run and enjoyable tournament.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Wall of Ham » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:33 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:State College used pseudonyms at the 2007 and 2010 HSNCTs as well.
Also, 2004 and 2006, and many tournaments in between. It's a tradition.

But no one seemed bothered by it (or even commented on it) until this very thread....
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:37 pm

Wall of Ham wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:State College used pseudonyms at the 2007 and 2010 HSNCTs as well.
Also, 2004 and 2006, and many tournaments in between. It's a tradition.

But no one seemed bothered by it (or even commented on it) until this very thread....
Congratulations on just making things up.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Wall of Ham » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:38 pm

Fred wrote:
Wall of Ham wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:State College used pseudonyms at the 2007 and 2010 HSNCTs as well.
Also, 2004 and 2006, and many tournaments in between. It's a tradition.

But no one seemed bothered by it (or even commented on it) until this very thread....
Congratulations on just making things up.
My bad, I must have missed that thread. But while I was playing, it didn't seem a big deal.

EDIT: Oh wait, that was the old pseudonym thread. Jeez I'm getting old.

EDIT2: This is beginning to feel like a game of mafia again. I think I'll step out before I stick any more feet in my mouth.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Kwang the Ninja » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:45 pm

Heh, Sorice's post in that thread is hilariously prescient.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Edward Elric » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:06 am

Fred wrote:
Wall of Ham wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:State College used pseudonyms at the 2007 and 2010 HSNCTs as well.
Also, 2004 and 2006, and many tournaments in between. It's a tradition.

But no one seemed bothered by it (or even commented on it) until this very thread....
Congratulations on just making things up.
Deja Vu much?
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:12 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
nalin wrote:
what you are suggesting is that you got a competitive advantage which you shouldn't have been allowed to have.

I'm tired of arguments that continually declare that [reason that people might like pseudonyms X] is an advantage that they don't deserve or shouldn't be permitted to enjoy. Why shouldn't they be allowed to have that competitive advantage from pseudonyms? Why shouldn't other teams who need the help use pseudonyms? A good argument would have been, for example, "they'll never learn to be more confident under their own names; they'll never develop." But I don't know, don't they have that right?
Did I ever say that it was an advantage. Plus our intention was for us to have fun. Did you ever play a round where a team used a pseudonym and you played differently as a result. Really? This whole matter has been blown out of proportions.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by AKKOLADE » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:29 am

Matt Weiner wrote: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.
Cheynem wrote: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.

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.
myamphigory wrote: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.
Fred wrote: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.
Since people continue to handwave the whole thing as harmless fun, I wanted to point out the specific problems caused by pseudonyms that no one has offered a real response to. I also believe that there is no defense against these points, particularly the first three.

But, you know, if you want to continue this thread with people saying PSEUDONYMS ARE COOL while Andy Watkins argues that quiz bowlers should be allowed to play while wearing luchadore masks and you should just trust that they're who they're supposed to be, even when they keep rolling under the desk and then another luchadore mask guy comes out, be my guest...
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:49 am

I can see the first point. I think Fall tournament directors, and perhaps the editor himself, would be well advised to ban pseudonyms. That said, I think the characterization of people who use pseudonyms as "people who refuse to identify themselves as anything but [whatever]" causes a lot of otherwise undue sympathy for the notion of pseudonyms being mystifying and in-groupy. I don't deny that there's some element of that--after all, when you get a letter from a Fall host or something trying to help you start up a team at your school, there's no footnote saying "sometimes people call themselves funny things." But I think that Matt's phrasing connotes people who actually refuse to tell you, in an interpersonal interaction, their names.

Mike's first point just makes some kind of limitation on pseudonyms. Fine by me, I say: give TDs the power to prevent a specific use of pseudonyms. (Though I'd like some elaboration--are you referring to the TJ '05 practice? Because, like, as a past statkeeper, I'd do an okay job of writing down "Iceman"'s tossups every time "Iceman" buzzes, even if it's a different person across multiple rounds. Maybe you're talking only about outsider staff? But, in any case, fine, do that. That's not an argument against pseudonyms in general, and Mike doesn't imply that it is one. You call it a "problem caused by pseudonyms" which to me means that it would be easier if we rotated our actual names and I am totally doing that now

It's a shame that the side I'm defending is the one that's being accused of hand-waving with regards to the last point. As I have already said in this thread, if you're seeding a team with a variable roster, you're basically sunk unless you contact someone with the team to ask who's playing. (Otherwise, you're just guessing who's, I don't know, most likely not to have a conflict on your date, or something.) Is there a way in which it's harder to ask a coach or player about who's coming just because you've got to refer to them by pseudonyms? Unless they forget, and I guess they couldn't forget their real names. But still, this is a corner case.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by kayli » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:02 am

Cheynem wrote: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.

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.
3. How? I've used SQBS before. You just select someone from the dropdown menu and input their stats. It shouldn't matter that someone took someone else's pseudonym because you're doing the exact same thing as you would have if they didn't.

5.
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote: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.
The seeding issue only really matters for HSNCT or NSC and not much for local tournaments because team composition is always quite variable. Even in the case of HSNCT and NSC, I doubt knowing exactly who is on a team will affect their seeding too much except in extreme cases (like a Matt Jackson-less GDS or something) which could probably be resolved in another way.

myamphigory wrote: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.
Eh, I don't think that's a real issue right now. I think most teams in the quizbowl have enough common decency to not cheat our way into winning collegiate novice (and, theoretically, SCT/ICT). It's probably not in the best interests of quizbowl to preemptively eliminate all possible Basilius II's when there isn't really a threat of one now.
Fred wrote: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.
Pseudonyms at nationals should be eschewed, but the "awfully silly" argument is awfully silly. You shouldn't stop someone from doing something just because you don't think it's funny or think that it's lame. If you do, you could get into all sorts of tyrannical abuses of the awfully silly clause and start doing stuff like banning stuffed animals from being on someone's desk or telling people not to where neon pink shirts.


I think this is all being blown out of proportion. This isn't the scourge plaguing the quizbowl community. It's a couple of isolated teams doing something fun. There has been no surge in pseudonym activity. There have been no issues thus far with people using pseudonyms. Can we stop trying to make up problems that don't exist right now?
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Auroni » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:05 am

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:There have been no issues thus far with people using pseudonyms. Can we stop trying to make up problems that don't exist right now?
Okay, then nobody should be upset when their real names, not their frivolous pseudonyms, appear in the stats when we know who is actually who. That's what prompted this thread, right?
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by kayli » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:06 am

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:There have been no issues thus far with people using pseudonyms. Can we stop trying to make up problems that don't exist right now?
Okay, then nobody should be upset when their real names, not their frivolous pseudonyms, appear in the stats when we know who is actually who. That's what prompted this thread, right?
Yeah, I agree.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Cheynem » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:09 am

The idea of people changing pseudonyms every round, even if the names remain stable, is terrible! It screws up the individual stats and while you may not personally care about a prize, maybe someone does, and thus "Scrappy Doo" having the stats of four different people across the day is not a good thing.

Seeding for local tournaments can be just as important as national tournaments. If I were a Minnesota TD trying to decide where to seed St. Thomas, I would naturally turn to old tournament results. My life would be a lot easier if I could get a sense of what their usual roster was.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by kayli » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:16 am

Cheynem wrote:The idea of people changing pseudonyms every round, even if the names remain stable, is terrible! It screws up the individual stats and while you may not personally care about a prize, maybe someone does, and thus "Scrappy Doo" having the stats of four different people across the day is not a good thing.
Wait. Which person is caring about the prize? If an entire team cycles through the name Scrappy Doo, then I assume that they know they aren't going to get an individual prize. If it's someone not on that team worried about getting a prize, then they should't be because by averaging their points out, the one or two people that could have been in the top x probably dropped out of the top x so the person worried about getting a prize would have a better chance of getting that prize.
Seeding for local tournaments can be just as important as national tournaments. If I were a Minnesota TD trying to decide where to seed St. Thomas, I would naturally turn to old tournament results. My life would be a lot easier if I could get a sense of what their usual roster was.
The variability of the composition of the players playing in past tournaments and the variability of the composition of the players playing in your tournament should be roughly equal. Thus, if you just average out their previous tournament results, you should get more-or-less an idea of how they'll do at your tournament given their average team.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Auroni » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:34 am

Rotating pseudonyms makes life hell for the statskeeper. I know this from experience. If you see a team rotating pseudonyms, contact them to tell them to stop; if they don't stop, drop them from the individual stats.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Golran » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:48 am

Or just drop them from the individual stats if they're using pseudonyms at all. Instead, dump all buzzes into "Team X".
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by cchiego » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:28 am

Seeding a tournament right now and relying heavily on non-pseudonymish names to figure out important things. For instance, a number of top teams split their A and B teams, which has major implications for how I balance out the schedule. Please folks, stick to your real names and make life much easier on TDs (requesting rosters in advance is also quite nice and helped me quickly narrow down which teams were serious about coming).
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by kayli » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:16 am

I still don't understand HOW rotating pseudonyms is any harder than non-rotating pseudonyms. You do the exact same thing to input stats for both. The exact same thing.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:25 am

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:I still don't understand HOW rotating pseudonyms is any harder than non-rotating pseudonyms. You do the exact same thing to input stats for both. The exact same thing.
It destroys what the actual individual stats mean.

YOUR team may not care about their individual placement, but you know, others do. It's really exciting for some kids when they place in the top 5 of a tournament. If this was prevented or ruined by a team that was having FUNN changing their names all day, and someone was shafted out of an individual award on another team (even if it's just a book, but i've seen tournaments give small trophies or plaques before), that would really be a shame.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Kyle » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:18 am

Kyle wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:It destroys what the actual individual stats mean.
Yeah, that's the point.

Also, if you rotate your pseudonyms, then you're lowering rather than raising the PPG of the highest scoring player on your team. You're actually giving other people a much better chance of being in the top 5 and getting a trophy or whatever meaningless award is given out. And let's be clear about how meaningless individual stats are in a team game.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Cheynem » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:38 am

Isn't there the odd chance that it could boost individual stats if you have four people who score quite a bit and the pseudonym, by chance, happens to hit the player with the hot hand in each round?

I just think there's politer ways to demonstrate your lack of concern with individual stats. Why not just politely decline your scoring prize? Look, I get that some teams get hung up on stats and maybe this is an extreme way to fight it, but I feel like there's better ways of doing it.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Kyle » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:00 pm

I don't think pseudonyms are impolite, but I agree that it isn't a good way to address the problem, which is why I called it an "overreaction" earlier in this thread and also why I have never played under a pseudonym. I'm just trying to point out how silly some of the arguments against pseudonyms being presented here are. The "other people like to get a $2 book for being the fifth leading scorer, therefore you should not use a pseudonym" argument seems to me by far the silliest.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Cheynem » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:02 pm

Certainly fair--I think Fred did a good job collecting the most important arguments against pseudonyms.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:58 pm

Kyle wrote:I don't think pseudonyms are impolite, but I agree that it isn't a good way to address the problem, which is why I called it an "overreaction" earlier in this thread and also why I have never played under a pseudonym. I'm just trying to point out how silly some of the arguments against pseudonyms being presented here are. The "other people like to get a $2 book for being the fifth leading scorer, therefore you should not use a pseudonym" argument seems to me by far the silliest.
I meant, therefore you should not rotate stupid pseudonyms. Individual prizes can still be given to Quetzalcoatl or Tezcatlipoca if they receive them.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Charbroil » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:08 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:Rotating pseudonyms makes life hell for the statskeeper.
I really don't care about pseudonyms either way, but I'm also curious what specifically about them causes issues for statskeepers.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:43 pm

Charbroil wrote:
every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:Rotating pseudonyms makes life hell for the statskeeper.
I really don't care about pseudonyms either way, but I'm also curious what specifically about them causes issues for statskeepers.
I once got a scoresheet on which a teacher moderator had refused to record pseudonyms, leading my statkeeper to have 4 new names to deal with. I believe we were able to reasonably guess two of them based on previous scoresheets, which incidentally also made it seem that names were not being rotated, but at least two of those kids got randomly assigned stats that round.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by cvdwightw » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:22 pm

SQBS Guide, Page 6 wrote:You may have teams that play under pseudonyms. This is not a problem, just enter those pseudonyms where player names would go. If your area requires players to use their real names, or someone switches names in the middle of the tournament, you can write each player’s real name, or additional names the player is playing under, in parentheses.
Hey this solves every problem except "You're driving people away when someone who idiotically calls himself Gogo puts up 100 points on some new team!"

I don't know that Auroni's using "rotating pseudonyms" to mean "four people use four pseudonyms randomly," but rather something like "some players decide to use entirely new pseudonyms in the middle of the tournament, and then at some point go back to their old ones." Which has happened before.

More amusing problems include things like NAQT's results database being run by robots (three different spellings of "Ozymandias," you say?. Another weird problem is when teams are consistent in their use of pseudonyms (for instance, mid-2000s USC) and you identify them by their pseudonym instead of their real name.

And yes, pseudonyms are a giant problem when it comes to qualifying for national tournaments. In fact, I can think of at least one straw man nefarious usage of pseudonyms. Unless PACE qualification rules have changed, NSC requires multiple teams from the same school to qualify with entirely distinct rosters, though they do not need to qualify at the same tournament. This makes using pseudonyms already a nightmare for that PACE rule, but let's extend it further to Fred's example of that team with six good players who are sort of indistinguishable. Four of those players play with their "real names" at one tournament and qualify. At a second tournament, the other two players qualify on a team with one of the other four, who plays under some reasonable pseudonym like "Thomas" or "George." PACE probably isn't going to bother checking to see whether this "George" character is actually someone who played at the previous tournament, and a team is literally going to steal a NSC bid through judicious use pseudonyms.

[Note: the above fictional situation was based on a real-life situation from a tournament a couple years back. On the morning of the tournament, we only had three players and Stanford had five, so we agreed to play as an exhibition team and take a Stanford player so everyone could play full games. This was not in any way noted in the stats, so you pretty much had to be at the tournament or in correspondence with someone at the tournament to know who this random person on our team was. I got an e-mail from Willie Chen asking if the player was some kind of new recruit.]
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:50 pm

cvdwightw wrote:More amusing problems include things like NAQT's results database being run by robots (three different spellings of "Ozymandias," you say?.
Dwight, do you know if their intent was to have consistent spelling of "Ozymandias"? (I ask because it's exactly parallel to the three different spellings of "Gutenberg" by the same La Jolla B team.)
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by cvdwightw » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:17 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:More amusing problems include things like NAQT's results database being run by robots (three different spellings of "Ozymandias," you say?.
Dwight, do you know if their intent was to have consistent spelling of "Ozymandias"? (I ask because it's exactly parallel to the three different spellings of "Gutenberg" by the same La Jolla B team.)
My understanding is that La Jolla is one of those teams that mostly uses regular pseudonyms, so anything that looks similar is probably the same person with spelling errors due to scorekeepers/statkeepers. I like what NAQT has started to do with the pink background on obvious aliases, too.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by themanwho » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:17 am

To preserve privacy, post statistics online with initials (M. Meyer, for instance).

Keep records of the real names, provide them if necessary to purposes of seeding.

-M
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:24 am

Kwang the Ninja wrote:Heh, Sorice's post in that thread is hilariously prescient.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Cheynem » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:32 am

That's right, DUDE!
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:38 am

themanwho wrote:To preserve privacy, post statistics online with initials (M. Meyer, for instance).

Keep records of the real names, provide them if necessary to purposes of seeding.

-M
Say what?
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Howard » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:53 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
themanwho wrote:To preserve privacy, post statistics online with initials (M. Meyer, for instance).

Keep records of the real names, provide them if necessary to purposes of seeding.

-M
Say what?
Should participants not have the right to not have their name posted on the internet? First names only (or first names with an initial) or pseudonyms allow people the opportunity to exercise this right. In addition, most of the participants in high school events are not of the age of majority; they don't have the legal power to give up their rights to privacy.

While I respect Fred's collection of points, it still seems that the bulk of the reason for discussing pseudonyms in the first place is simply that they were once in fashion but now aren't. Just like anything else, some people hang onto fads even after their popularity has waned, myself included.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Charbroil » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:15 pm

Howard wrote:
While I respect Fred's collection of points, it still seems that the bulk of the reason for discussing pseudonyms in the first place is simply that they were once in fashion but now aren't. Just like anything else, some people hang onto fads even after their popularity has waned, myself included.
I don't think anyone is arguing that people who want to use pseudonyms to preserve their privacy shouldn't have that right; rather, I think Charlie was just a little confused as to the odd way Myron's statement was worded.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:35 am

I agree with the reasons for using pseudonyms. When we go to Battle of the Burgh (A tournament we've been going to for I don't know how long), it is a four hour drive and a van ride creates a ton of camaraderie, however one of the funnest things we like about this tournament is the pseudonym game. At Battle of the Burgh, if I'm correct, they actually give you a roster the morning of the tournament, for which your coach is to fill out the players' name, grade level and pseudonym if they care to play under one. This past Battle of the Burgh. both of our teams filled our pseudonym sheets (all were completely appropriate, tv show theme) and we gave the moderator our pseudonyms and when we look at NAQT.com it shows our real names. I don't at all have a problem with this, it's not a big deal to us. However, there were many other teams that got pseudonyms posted. Again, reinforcing the point that it's not the end of the world for us, its just for fun. Personally I don't mind having my own stat line building up for four years where I do well :P. My point is that its just a lot of fun to work together and create these. It's high school quiz bowl, it requires dedication time and monetary wise, let us have some fun.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:32 pm

Wall of Ham wrote: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.
Chicago Open team names are generally picked by the TD, and assigned to teams who have no say in the matter. Often times, the TD will make the name a reference to the players on the team. E.g., when Ted, Chris Ray, and myself were a CO team, we were dubbed "Comrade Goodbar's Sestina", presumably as a reference to my fascination with eastern european communism, Chris's love of candy, and a humorous story about Ted's dad and sestinas. Other times, the TD will pick names based on obscure or humorous clues that he found while writing the tournament. At some CO's that followed this pattern, each team's name came up as a clue at some point in the tournament. Yet other times, the team names seem completely random and unrelated to anything.

Perhaps some well-connected teams are able to convince the TD to give them a name of their choice, and for all I know your examples might be ones that did. But I've never played on a CO team that picked its own name.

I frequently find this annoying (I think most teams would prefer to name themselves). Perhaps one day we can have a discussion about it. But as a TD I can understand why they do it. For each of my History Doubles tournaments, I forcibly assigned team names that were WWI puns, often over the vociferous protests of players. I do it for the same reason that I insert jokes and humor into my questions: writing hundreds of quizbowl questions, even on subjects you enjoy, can be a tedious and even boring process, and making up team names is a way to stay sane and amused.
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Re: Let's talk about pseudonyms again

Post by DumbJaques » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:03 am

But I've never played on a CO team that picked its own name.
I came up with our 2009 CO name "Gentleman from Sangala," based on Ike Jose's affinity for 24 and suspiciously-Dubakuesque first name, as well as Guy Tabachnick's obvious similarities to Tony Todd.

Also this thread sucks, why is it still happening.
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