Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

17 Nov


Woke up to the”let’s piss on Agricola, because that would be funny” party on BGG. While in theory I realise that it was a misguided attempt to be funny, and was not meant in any way seriously … it was a really dumb and mean idea. I have said my piece, although none of the instigators of the “prank” has done me the courtesy of a reply.

“Jeez, grow a sense of humour”/”Get a thicker skin” is one of those have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-yet comments that simply shows that the person making it has no reasonable response.

It’s also made me consider the openness of much of the industry. The publishers and game designers that participate in and post on forums, answering questions and clarifying or elaborating on rules and on the design process. Repaying them by putting down their efforts – not for cause, for a game design that didn’t quite work (or didn’t quite appeal) – but for an arbitrary whim “because it would be fun” – hardly rewards that. This is not telling Lookout Games or Z-Man that the gaming community wants to see quality games rewarded.

Let me be clear –  if someone plays a game and dislikes it then I would fight for their right to rate the game as they see fit. It’s the haters who are deliberately sabotaging a game that they even admit they would probably enjoy that I don’t understand. Someone compared them to the jocks that turn over the clever kids’ boardgames, which I thought was a great comparison.

Anyway. Very very upsetting morning. We’d planned to do some (urgent) shopping and then pick the kids up … but …

Then I finally heard from our doctor – could we bring Otto in in an hour to check whether she needed a repeat of her antibiotics? Only problem was, she was half an hour away at my parents’ place and they weren’t answering their phone. We jumped into the car and zoomed over and they beat us home by about 5 minutes. Got to the doctor with 2 minutes to spare. She sent us off to the children’s hospital with a referral letter – so I spent the next 2 hours or so waiting in triage with Otto (and this was the “quiet” time).

We finally got through to see a doctor – who had the same first name as Otto, which Otto found pretty exciting. Dr Otto referred us to one of the more senior doctors, who decided that yes, she did need more than just antibiotics. Unfortunately, he mentioned “putting a needle in” in front of Otto, who got rather distressed. She then had numbing cream slathered on and covered with a dressing, and we were left alone for a while. She sobbed and sobbed – the numbing cream and sticker were really uncomfortable for her, poor bean.

Weird moment – I took her to the toilet, but there was already a woman in there with her son. She was getting him dressed, washing his hands carefully, etc., then came out and we started to move in. “Oh!” she said, “I didn’t flush the toilet.” – and she went back in and flushed. She clearly knew that she hadn’t flushed, and wasn’t going to bother as long as no-one would know that she was the culprit. Weird.

They then brought Otto some medicine called (imaginatively) Pain Stop. It’s your standard dose paracetamol – with the extra kick of codeine. It certainly helped her to settle down – she still has a slightly stoned look on her face.

And then – time to  hurt her 😦  These doctors, too, stressed the potential seriousness of what they were doing – which is good (knowing that they know what they are doing) but also kinda scary (OMG she could be scarred for life).

We eventually were released with antibiotics and a piece of paper with “Pain Stop” written on it – and instructions to see our GP on Monday. All in all, I think we were at the hospital for around 4 hours.

Home – via the supermarket and the pharmacy – to more vitriol and hating. Most disappointing were a couple of people I know personally who apparently don’t have the respect for or understanding of the industry that I thought they did. At the moment, this is something that I can’t help but take personally, so those reactions in particular were extremely hurtful. It feels like a betrayal. One is someone who I expected to really enjoy the game … and he might, but – well, at least tonight, it won’t be with my copy.

This is something that  I just don’t understand. Where is the fun in arbitrarily dissing something that other people have worked hard on (by all accounts, successfully)? Why is that an amusing or clever thing to do?

Congratulations, haters. You’ve successfully knocked a game that is still building a reputation and still seeking pre-orders for its English edition down 95 places in the ratings.

Now if only I could understand why you would want to.

1 Comment

Posted by on November 17, 2007 in children, family, games, health, parenting, rant


One response to “Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

  1. amphibolous

    November 20, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    This is the reason I don’t really bother with anything but the files section of BGG. Too many of the reviewers and forum folks just want to hear themselves speaking, and know others do too. As I said previously, the copies looked great and were getting rave reviews at the con, so hopefully the bruhaha will backfire. I mean, if you just played a great game and returned to such stupid atacks, the pranksters just made their real opinions and reviews worthless.

    I would hope the visitors to BGG less aware of the community will be able to see decent reviews in the near future rather than a bunch of flame posts and some arbitrary number.

    Hope otto’s doing well,



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