If you want to control information, putting your email archive behind a password is a pretty good idea

August 16th, 2004: Mike Sugarbaker says...
If you want to control information, putting your email archive behind a password is a pretty good idea

Self-exiled GAMA BoD president Treasurer Ryan Dancey says he didn’t “hack” into anything – rather, he found that GAMA’s internal communication email list archive was available for all to see on an un-password-protected web server. He claims he made someone at GAMA aware of this situation, and when he didn’t hear back about it, he just shrugged his shoulders and kept reading. Given my direct experience with disorganization and lack of web-savviness in the industry, I’m inclined to believe Dancey’s claim.

My BS detector starts to stir back to life when I read about his motivations for saving GAMA, however. He says that “[i]f GAMA fails, and the ORIGINS Awards fail with it, a dozen individuals will create separate trade associations and Awards programs, each with different charters and objectives, and each will aggregate a small, vocal minority of participants and none will ever be as successful or have as much chance for future success as GAMA does today.” That is certainly true if your criteria for a successful industry awards body is one in which the majority of voters understand little about the majority of categories. Balkanizing the awards doesn’t seem like a disastrous idea to me – the ENnies have demonstrated that a more focused awards program doesn’t have to mean a drop down to amateurishness. I could certainly see a world in which separate trade groups for D20 publishers, board and card game publishers, and miniatures companies could more productively serve the industry as a whole – after all, when it comes to doing market research, how much do, say, Privateer Press and Looney Labs really have in common?

Dancey has likely heard this kind of talk before, and it likely gives him a nightmare vision of the industry steadily dwindling down to nothing. Well… I think that might happen no matter what we do. But that’s another post.

[Update: for those who need still more drama in their gaming life, the remaining GAMA board has some more to say too.]


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