Logo, Label and Cliques; “Who’s Deserving?”; Discussion Begins.

I intentionally intended this post to be only about the Discussion, if you want to skip my thoughts, go to the end. However, I keep having ideas put in my head when I’m thinking of posts, and since these are relevant and may further ferment the discussion to follow, I will post these ideas. It’s not like you can stop me.

So, the current Project is about finding a logo for CSI Games, but once we have it, a new question arises. The question will be put to voting in a future Project, which gives us time till then(a month or so) to discuss the issue here, to bring up whatever you want to discuss regarding it.
The issue is, who gets to use the Logo and/or “Label”?

Some people are against the Logo because it puts a Label on their product, Labels are often associated with Cliques, and this is my personal belief on why people have an inherent resistance to the idea. Often because they may already be part of their own clique.
Most people have no need to belong to more than a couple of social circles, because these fit their needs, and once they settle down they are slow to change. Why accept another label, another clique when you have no need for one?

I currently “Pull” people, I actively approach people whose works I think fit the profile about using the Label(and perchance even the Logo). This is done in order to kick-start the idea, rather than an attempt by myself to form a clique. I will not lie that when published/noted game designers’ games fit, it makes me a little happier, but that is not because I try to form my own clique, but because through them I will be able to extend the word into their social circles, of which I may not be part.

Let’s leave aside that for now, and let us hear what you think should be the way(Leave aside the “For what?”, that will be the next Discussion) people who are interested in applying the label/logo to their game could get to do so; Matthijs Holter, maker of The President is Superf****d, may not have used the label had it not been up for him to decide if his game is or isn’t, free for all and free of commitments. Or at least, that’s the impression I have received.
On the other hand, Andrew Cooper(I think), who’s working on Fantasy Game Engine, raised the issue of “Quality Control”, where if you apply the Label, you’re in part identifying with all games with the label, which requires a certain quality control to prevent “bad seeds” from dropping into the barrel.

A method suggested was a committee, on which all those who already have games identified as “CSI Games” sit, and they “pass judgement” if a new candidate applies or not. I think that idea is cumbersome and unwieldy, and also raises financial questions as those people need to read the text(even if provided in .txt format, they may still opt not to buy it based on that, though Clinton R. Nixon‘s Creative Commons products initiative give us hope there), and thus suggested the idea that you’ll have three members, who rotate(perhaps with one permanent member) who review the submission and decide.

You can always decide that it’ll be decided by one sole person, me, though as you may have noticed, I’m slowly setting this project so it could theoretically survive and prosper without me.

Well, this discussion is open for everyone, those who work on CSI Games and those who don’t, feel free to state your opposition to the Label, to the Logo(as a concept), to give us your thoughts on how the Logo/Lable rights should be handed down, the sort.

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8 comments on “Logo, Label and Cliques; “Who’s Deserving?”; Discussion Begins.

  1. John Kirk says:

    How you handle assigning rights to use the logo depends on your goals. I’m not quite sure about those right now, so I can’t give you a definate answer. You need to be clear about what your goals are before you can decide how the logo use should be determined.

    If you are trying to create a “brand name” which will help market any game using the logo, then you certainly have a quality control issue to deal with and need a rigorous method to ensure a high level of quality in any game using it. This implies a high level of commitment by those making the decision and by those game designers who use the logo.

    On the other hand, if you are merely trying to educate people about a particular type of game (competitive RPG’s), then you want the logo to be put on all games that fit in that category. You also want to make sure that games that don’t fit the category don’t use the logo. This also entails some kind of process to ensure that a game fits the definition, but it would be far less of a burden on those making the decision. (Does the game enforce an overall winner and loser?) It also allows for lots of leeway in terms of what a game designer can and cannot do with his game after getting approval for use of the logo.

    My personal preference is for the “educational” option. Either way, you’ll need some kind of process. Otherwise, use of the logo will become meaningless.

  2. Guy Shalev says:

    I must begin by saying this: I love your comment. You don’t say “I don’t know the goal and thus I can’t answer”, you state possible goals, possible answers and the goal which you prefer.
    Bravo!

    Ok, so let me ask further, how would you decide on “Educational” and “Brand name”? Would for Educational you’d say that if you say your game fits, it’s enough, for Brand Name, how would you handle the quality control issue, committee, me, one member of who was already “Accepted”…?

  3. John Kirk says:

    One primary reason you might want to create a brand name is for financial gain. In other words, you would put work into promoting the brand so that it had true marketing value that would attract gamers based purely on the logo: “Hey, look! This is a CSI game! It must rock!” Once you attained that level of recognition and credibility, you could start charging money for use of the logo. So, if you want the CSI logo to be a money-making enterprise, this is the way to go. Be warned, though, there’s a lot of marketing work you’ll have to do this way. Either a single individual or a committe of devoted (i.e. financially interested) folks with a commitment to increasing the value of the brand would be fine here. What’s important here is that the value of the brand be increased with every additional game.

    For Educational, I think you would still need an approval process. But, it could be much more streamlined. Perhaps a questionaire asking various questions about the game that would determine whether it fit the CSI definition and a requirement for the logo petitioner to provide three copies of the game (electronic is fine) so that the answers could be verified. Here’s an example question/answer:

    Question: Where in your game does it state that players directly compete against one another?

    Answer: Page 5, near the bottom of the page, it states: “The first player to win five scenes wins the game and the right to narrate the final outcome.”

    There are a number of Open Source projects that have this same kind of problem. Only, in that case it entails deciding whether a code submission is of high enough quality and/or worth to be added to the code base of the project. Often, they will have a committe of around 7 members, but a solicitor only needs to get approval of any three of them to have his work accepted (the numbers vary from project to project, of course). That way, the majority of the committee members aren’t involved in any one decision, but there are enough to ensure that the project’s needs are met.

  4. Andrew Cooper says:

    The major issue I think is that regardless of what CSI Games’ goals are (and by extention Guy’s goals) if a number of games sport the logo then there will be the Branding effect whether you intend it or not. When that happens, my game (I’ll use it as an example) will be associated with all the other games with that Branding, much like people will associate Mongoose Publishing game or Green Ronin products. Thus, before being willing to attach that association to my game I would want to be able to insure that all the games currently wearing the logo and all the games that will wear the logo in the future at least meet my criteria for quality game design and production. I’m sure all the other designers out there want the same kind of insurance about my game also.

    Note that I’m not saying that the logo/label isn’t worth it or that there isn’t some value to it. I think there are some definate possibilities here. I just think that in order for there to be good value that some sort of standard of quality in design and production has to be maintained.

  5. Guy Shalev says:

    I agree that a certain branding will occur anyway.

    Anyway, your reply is basically a non-answer, my question is not about the goals(and by association, what kind of games “Deserve” the logo), but how we decide on it.

    Do you believe in a committee, do you believe each publisher with the logo must okay each future product who wants the logo, what, how?

  6. Andrew Cooper says:

    Ah… okay.

    Each participant having a role would become increasingly more difficult as time went on. The Committee of interested persons would be more manageable. I know that’s not a lot of ideas or anything but it really is your playground here and I’m more than willing to let you decide. Heck, having a single person simply decide is a workable solution if the person in question is a respected authority on game design and publishing.

  7. cara says:

    i think you should make up games about cliques for little kids :]]

  8. Guy Shalev says:

    Why?

    I think little kids know enough about cliques to not require games about them. And such a social life game is inherently competitive. I can only attempt to simulate it.

    Also, what do you think of this entry, seeing as you arrived here from a search for “Clique Games”, or you just posted your reply?

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