Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    5. Big Teams - One contest: one Black Badge. That is a rule i'd surely support. Teams choose on their own who gets the Black Badge (and with enough advance notice as in point 4) and the rest of the folk get free Human access the next year.
    I agree with everything you said, except for maybe one caveat to this last part: CTF. As somebody who plays CTFs but has never qualified for DCCTF, I'd say that a team of 8 people who manage to win that contest is definitely deserving of 8 badges. If you agree with me, I'm not sure if that means you'd be ok with that being a special case of if you'd have to reevaluate your belief in your point #5.

    And I still believe that some hacking relevance is an important trait for black badge contests. While beards and beer cooling and short stories are cool, I think if you award them with black badges, it kinda cheapens the prestige.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

      Some history on Black Badges...

      There have been times that people running contests were informed their contest would be a black badge event. Eventually, this information was leaked to the public, sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally, and as a result, black badge contests were sometimes flooded with many people looking to play, *because* of the contest being a black badge contest. This caused people considering participating in other contests to skip those other contests, and dedicate their time on the black badge contests.

      This can lead to feast/famine scenarios, where less well-known contest get few sign-ups and black badge contests get "too many" leading to issues with floorplans and too many people in some spaces, possibly creating problems with blocking exits, etc.

      I am *guessing* two reasons for not informing contest leaders which contest was to be a black-badge event was multi-part:
      1) Decreases risk for feast/famine for black-badge contests vs non-black-badge contests.
      2) People running the contest area can have time to evaluate all contests, and see how each is being run, looking for problems, and then discuss the merits of each contest as black-badge events with other goons running the contest floor.

      The above are only guesses.

      For those of you that propose wanting to know which contests are black badge contests and which are not, how would you address the two issues above?

      [Also, other forked topic moved to another thread: https://forum.defcon.org/showthread.php?t=13658 ]
      Last edited by TheCotMan; September 11, 2013, 21:49.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

        I've only had experience running Coffee Wars. Some years it was a black badge; some not. We were surprised, I think, when it got a black badge, but either way was okay with us. I really think that CTF is different than most of the contests, and that (as someone else just said), everyone on a winning team deserves a black badge. Period.

        Other than that one, however, I'd just as soon see the decision on whether a contest is worthy of a black badge (or multiple badges) being made by staff, maybe not until Sunday, and I wouldn't tell anyone whether or not their contest is a black badge contest.

        Honestly, either you play the contest because you want to, or you don't. It shouldn't be about whether or not you can win a black badge, it should be because you're having a great time playing, and you won, and it was cool to win. I've watched people playing the scavenger hunt, and it looked fun, but I don't have that kind of attention span. If you've known me for any length of time, you know that's truth.

        I used to like the TCP/IP drinking game, but I don't think it was black badge worthy. It was certainly fun, and funny, though. There are things that go on in the lock picking and wireless villages, and the hardware hacking groups, that are cool, and interesting, and I'd try to think of a way to give someone in one of those groups a black badge.

        Contests are supposed to be fun. I like fun. I recommend it.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

          This is the answer:

          Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
          Honestly, either you play the contest because you want to, or you don't.

          It shouldn't be about whether or not you can win a black badge, it should be because you're having a great time playing, and you won, and it was cool to win. I've watched people playing the scavenger hunt, and it looked fun, but I don't have that kind of attention span. If you've known me for any length of time, you know that's truth.
          Keep the black badges as they are; PLEASE keep it a surprise until closing ceremonies as to who gets them. If contest organizers don't like it, they have the option to stop doing their contest or sack up. If they do stop their contests, I have no doubt that other contests will replace them. The only change I would make : Give away less black badges. Keep them as a "for life" thing, but "award" less of them.

          Contest organizers should have other prizes ready for their contestants, they shouldn't count on the fact of getting a black badge, it should be an added special bonus and surprise. If they advertise that it will be a black badge contest, they should instantly be put in the "no black badge" category.

          Some year's contests suck more than others or pale in comparison to what they used to be. So the "automatic" Black Badge for "longer" contests definitely isn't the right way to go.
          Last edited by HighWiz; September 12, 2013, 06:39.
          And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

            Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
            Keep the black badges as they are; PLEASE keep it a surprise until closing ceremonies as to who gets them.
            i love you, man, but couldn't disagree more. The effort people put into things at DEFCON is related specifically to what they think the are getting in return. There are loads of contests and events and activities. People cannot do everything. Part of the metric that attendees use when determining how to spend their very precious time at DEFCON includes what effort might net a Black Badge.

            You assume that the surprise element during closing is ultimately going to produce a positive reaction... that people will be elated when they are magically finding themselves receiving a Black Badge. The thing is, there is an opposite effect, and i have witnessed it time and time and time again. What the surprise result actually creates is massive disappointment and hurt feelings on the part of those who compete and play.

            It all feels so utterly random now. What contests are deemed Black Badge worthy changes from year to year and no one knows what to expect anymore. A contestant can witness an event that was Black Badge worthy multiple times in the past, only to have it suddenly (and WITHOUT EXPLANATION, which is the real pain) be demoted the year that they are playing. Was their effort more or less meaningful simply because of the year in which they decided to compete?

            Speaking as an organizer (as folk know, I've developed and built and run more contests and events than your average person) I have to say the randomness affects me, too. Being told "hey, we really love how this contest is looking. It's developed and kept the momentum year after year, and now we're awarding the winner a Black Badge" is a really terrific honor and feels wonderful. How do you think it feels when, the next year (again, with absolutely zero explanation why) some contests are suddenly, well, demoted. There really is no other word that comes to mind.

            It's hard to not take that as some kind of criticism or as an indication that the con doesn't think an organizing team's efforts are not as valued that time around


            Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
            The only change I would make : Give away less black badges. Keep them as a "for life" thing, but "award" less of them.
            Dear god, why? We give away a pitifully small number and it keeps reducing every year, it seems. I have never in my life met someone who has said "yeah, I won this Black Badge for my efforts at [real event] but it sure doesn't mean that much to me because the winner of [something i think of as a lesser event] also won one."

            Who are the asshats who would complain at receiving DEFCON's highest honor because they like to look down on other people and consider these "lesser" winners somehow as tarnishing their glory? If a contest takes real skill, hard work, and takes up someone's time at DEFCON then the winner is, in my view, worthy of a Black Badge. Have there ever been contest that took 5 minutes to complete (with no practice beforehand and no preparation) which could net the winner a Black Badge? (I tossed in that clarification, because some of my games -- for instance, Gringo Warrior -- would take place in timed rounds of 5 minutes... but if you think the winners were ever people who didn't spend months and months practicing beforehand, you're nuts.)



            Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
            If they advertise that it will be a black badge contest, they should instantly be put in the "no black badge" category.
            The only time I have stated that a contest of mine was a Black Badge contest were times when I had been specifically told it was. I was never instructed to keep that information a secret, and it's news to me even now that this is a thing.

            Both I and my contestants and participants have been most disappointed over the years when, despite being told something was Black Badge worthy, we get told later on (in one instance, even AFTER the Closing Ceremonies) that "Ooopsie, you were misinformed. That winner is actually not getting a Black Badge." Talk about a let down. I hated putting one of my players in that position... and it's happened more than once.


            My ultimate view: I see far more upsides and positives to telling people beforehand that their event is Black Badge worthy. it encourages everyone to bring their A game and keeps contest organizers keen on running things fairly and professionally. Everyone goes in with eyes open and no surprises. Not telling anyone until closing is a recipe for people feeling that Black Badges aren't really awarded for effort so much as they are just the luck of the draw.
            Last edited by Deviant Ollam; September 15, 2013, 12:58. Reason: typo
            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
            - Trent Reznor

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

              I love you too man.

              Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
              i love you, man, but couldn't disagree more. The effort people put into things at DEFCON is related specifically to what they think the are getting in return. There are loads of contests and events and activities. People cannot do everything. Part of the metric that attendees use when determining how to spend their very precious time at DEFCON includes what effort might net a Black Badge.

              You assume that the surprise element during closing is ultimately going to produce a positive reaction... that people will be elated when they are magically finding themselves receiving a Black Badge. The thing is, there is an opposite effect, and i have witnessed it time and time and time again. What the surprise result actually creates is massive disappointment and hurt feelings on the part of those who compete and play.
              I wouldn't say "during closing". One of the best things they did this year was have a "contest & events" award ceremony separate from the main DEFCON closing. It was still longer than it had to be, but it's definitely starting to get back into the realm of tolerable. I may not agree with you, but I see your point.

              It all feels so utterly random now. What contests are deemed Black Badge worthy changes from year to year and no one knows what to expect anymore. A contestant can witness an event that was Black Badge worthy multiple times in the past, only to have it suddenly (and WITHOUT EXPLANATION, which is the real pain) be demoted the year that they are playing. Was their effort more or less meaningful simply because of the year in which they decided to compete?
              I didn't want to call any specific contests out, but it's necessary to use an example.

              Let's talk about contest XYZ, last year it was black badge, this year it wasn't. I think that was 100% justified. Not only was the contest a shadow of it's former self, but the entire last 15 items (you should now know what contest I'm referring to) or so we're all related to their sponsors. They were all "high value" items and some of them simply said "Get on TV and talk about company [Sponsors] XYZ". I mean, Holy Crap, talk about selling any integrity your contest had down the river.

              Speaking as an organizer (as folk know, I've developed and built and run more contests and events than your average person) I have to say the randomness affects me, too. Being told "hey, we really love how this contest is looking. It's developed and kept the momentum year after year, and now we're awarding the winner a Black Badge" is a really terrific honor and feels wonderful. How do you think it feels when, the next year (again, with absolutely zero explanation why) some contests are suddenly, well, demoted. There really is no other word that comes to mind.

              It's hard to not take that as some kind of criticism or as an indication that the con doesn't think an organizing team's efforts are not as valued that time around
              Deviant, I gotta be honest, if it was my decision (it's not). I wouldn't tell you. I might tell other contests, but not you. You like to complain publicly anytime you feel slighted in the least. As I said, I love you to death, too, but I could totally see someone being honest with you about why you didn't get a Black badge for your contest. Then you taking it to twitter or these forums and complaining about it. I'm not speaking for anyone but myself here, however, I think that has a big part to do with it. I'm not talking about this one (black badges), but on some issues, you are definitely a muckraker.

              You're in a good enough position that you probably could have gone to certain people (privately) after DC21 and discussed the issue. If you talked to the right people (which you do have access to) they probably would have changed the policy for next year. You chose another route, and here we are.

              Dear god, why? We give away a pitifully small number and it keeps reducing every year, it seems. I have never in my life met someone who has said "yeah, I won this Black Badge for my efforts at [real event] but it sure doesn't mean that much to me because the winner of [something i think of as a lesser event] also won one."
              Why don't we just give them to everybody then? Every contests, no exceptions.

              Who are the asshats who would complain at receiving DEFCON's highest honor because they like to look down on other people and consider these "lesser" winners somehow as tarnishing their glory? If a contest takes real skill, hard work, and takes up someone's time at DEFCON then the winner is, in my view, worthy of a Black Badge. Have there ever been contest that took 5 minutes to complete (with no practice beforehand and no preparation) which could net the winner a Black Badge? (I tossed in that clarification, because some of my games -- for instance, Gringo Warrior -- would take place in timed rounds of 5 minutes... but if you think the winners were ever people who didn't spend months and months practicing beforehand, you're nuts.)
              I don't think anyone considers it tarnishing their glory. Seriously though, there are lots more contests now then there were 10 years ago. You say it's a shrinking pool, less and less black badges every year. I think one of the problems is you're thinking about DC20 as a "regular year". Look back to DC19 and see how many were given away, I could be entirely incorrect, but I think it's on par with what was awarded this year. It was a well know fact that DC20 was going to different and "special" so to compare this year to last year is being disingenuous.

              Both I and my contestants and participants have been most disappointed over the years when, despite being told something was Black Badge worthy, we get told later on (in one instance, even AFTER the Closing Ceremonies) that "Ooopsie, you were misinformed. That winner is actually not getting a Black Badge." Talk about a let down. I hated putting one of my players in that position... and it's happened more than once.
              I'm not going to lie, that sucks.

              My ultimate view: I see far more upsides and positives to telling people beforehand that their event is Black Badge worthy. it encourages everyone to bring their A game and keeps contest organizers keen on running things fairly and professionally. Everyone goes in with eyes open and no surprises. Not telling anyone until closing is a recipe for people feeling that Black Badges aren't really awarded for effort so much as they are just the luck of the draw.
              So that's all you want? Just to be informed before hand whether a contest is black badge or not? If that's the case, my guess would be it's something that they can do... If it's all the other stuff (more contests getting black badges, being explained why you didn't get a black badge for your contests, etc..) then your "ultimate view" will get lost in all that and you may not end up getting anything.

              But let's be really honest man, even if they give you that, you'll probably still be right back here complaining about the other stuff next year. 'Cuz if you give a mouse a cookie, he's gonna want a glass of milk.
              And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                That was a pretty harsh personal attack. Personally I prefer discussions out in public rather than trusting secret back-room deals.

                Kallahar
                --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                  Originally posted by kallahar View Post
                  That was a pretty harsh personal attack. Personally I prefer discussions out in public rather than trusting secret back-room deals.

                  Kallahar
                  Don't bring up issues, if you're not ready to actually discuss those issues and the topics surrounding those issues. And really, Kallahar, Deviant may complain a lot when he feels slighted, but (I believe) his heart is always in the right place.

                  I can't say the same for you. You're very much in the same category, but it's worse when you do it, since you're a goon.

                  If you want to take that as a person attack, then so be it. That (much like Deviants) wasn't meant as a personal attack, but I stand by what I said. You're complaining is much worse.

                  ~HighWiz
                  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                    Deviant, HighWiz - I agree and disagree with you both on certain things.

                    Speaking for contest XYZ: it was closer to 8 items, not 15 and the point values weren't all that high. That said, I completely and totally agree with your view on it. I was pretty unhappy with the corporate whoring that happened.

                    HighWiz, you said not to compare DC21 against DC20 when it comes to awards. Last year contest XYZ was a black badge, but it hadn't been since DC14. Prior to DC14, 5 black badges were given out to that contest, DC20 only one was awarded.

                    Again, I definitely agree that not getting a black badge this year was justified, but less so because the contest is a "shadow of it's former self" and more so because of the change in leadership. But, my opinion is biased.

                    Not advertising if something is black badge could be beneficial so as to not swamp one contest while leaving another contest with no players. The flip side to that is that a black badge contest might not get the best players because they didn't know about it. But again, if people really want to compete they will compete.

                    A question that I have, as I have no view into it, is if all black badge contests are decided before con? If not all of the black badge winning events aren't decided before con, it would allow the people who make that decision a chance to see if the contest or event is worthy of it that year. Are there enough players, is the competition relevant, does it require skill, is the winner of that contest really 'uber' or 'leet'? That would alleviate the risks of a 'once a black badge, always a black badge' situation turning out poorly, while also giving the powers that be the ability to reward a contest that they find out during con is worth that prize.

                    I've gotta admit that my views have changed after reading a lot of these comments. Should the contest organizers be informed before con? I don't think there can be a blanket "Yes" or "No" for every contest. Some contests will always get badges, some may change yearly. I think it has to be handled on a situational basis. Should there be a full explanation as to why a contest wasn't given one? Maybe yes, maybe no. If a former badge event loses it's badge as a prize, it's likely the someone will feel slighted regardless of what the explanation given is. Should they be a surprise until closing, and is it beneficial to the contest or the con itself? The black badges should be an award for someone who did something really awesome. Compete in something because you want to compete, and if you do something awesome enough you get an awesome prize. But yes, this does make everyone else who also busted their asses feel like crap because they just weren't awesome enough. Life sucks, feelings get hurt, you move on.

                    I agree that if a contest organizer is unhappy with the decision, they have the ability to speak to the right people and get it worked out. Worked out could be defined as a different decision or it could just mean a better explanation. But I also think that having this kind of discussion out in the open, instead of privately, is going to be beneficial as people can get a better view into how these things work.
                    Of course its fully cooked... we had it set on "linen".

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                      thank you to those who spoke up in support, but HighWiz can rest assured that I took no personal offense. being called a muckraker is alright with me, given that being one means you seek to shed light on what you feel are problems and you agitate for what hopefully would be positive change.

                      I don't like being thought of so much as a "complainer" but I'm ok with it as long as people's opinions don't tread into the realm of "whiner" ... complaining is offering criticism when things aggravate you, but whining is bitching and moaning without any real aim of improving things.

                      I would hope that any cases of me "complaining" were always found to appear in conjunction with offering of new suggestions and encouragement of others to give feedback and work together toward a solution. what can I say, I am one for direct talk.

                      in reply to your "why don't we just give black badges to everyone" quip... yeah, that's a fine idea. every Official Contest, anyway. without some other top prize option, how do we distinguish what is a legit contest versus one that isn't?

                      as far as effort above and beyond, I'll end with a story that some folk heard me tell at this year's CnE closing...



                      Rance (a.k.a. Porn-O-Claus) was on a team that signed up for the Black Bag contest. The other two folk on his team failed to show (one was drunk, the other on a hot streak at poker, I think)

                      instead of being dejected, Rance showed iron fucking balls and decided to run the whole game course BY HIMSELF. laden with tons of gear (teams carry a whole lot shit) he shouldered all the tools and the starting gun sounded.

                      Rance tore through the course, attacking every obstacle he could. He wound up with one of the best times, accomplished nearly every goal, and was in the lead when we tallied up scores!

                      however, people in my contests get points for supporting other events and charities at DEFCON. I give a 10% score bump for each team member who has an EFF/HFC mohawk.

                      the next best team, Hackers With Harriers, had rogueclown... and she had her bright stripe running down her crown. 10% point bump: they eke out a lead.

                      Rance runs over in response and gets his hair done. (none on top, but he paid the girls to give him a colored stripe and then had them do up his epic beard in a hawk) 10% bump to Rance... he's back in the lead again.

                      the Hackers With Harriers start to talk among each other... they have two more people, can they push their score up? both remaining players say no... one answers to corporate masters, the other is a cop.

                      ultimately, the Boy in Blue says "fuck it, I'll just tell my sergeant it was for charity!" and goes to the mohawk chair. (mind you, all of this is very public and the audience is going ape at this point with the drama)

                      Officer Friendly comes back, hawked and purple. 20% bonus now to that team, who is back in the lead.

                      But what can Rance do? he has no one else. he ran the course solo. He then asks... "if I find two new teammates NOW can I still get hawk points?" I say ok, with the proviso that they must be fresh cuts, not random people who already have mohawks.

                      Would you believe it, he fucking DOES! Rance found two total strangers among the attendees, convinced them to get chopped, paid for their haircuts, and thus secured a 30% point bump.

                      with no way of catching his score now, the Hackers With Harriers didn't cut their last guy's hair. But they we ok. they didn't mind.

                      everyone had a great time, the audience cheered for all the players, and in the end everyone felt Rance deserved the win.


                      The CnE staff knew this story. They knew the whole result on Saturday. But, it was apparently not a cool enough effort for a Black Badge (which everyone assumed it would be, given the contest's history)

                      I guess most folk, including myself, were of the mindset "if that isn't epic, I don't know what is."
                      Last edited by Deviant Ollam; September 17, 2013, 09:50.
                      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                      - Trent Reznor

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                        (sorry for the typos... working on a mobile device in an airport lounge. edit doesn't seen to be supported on mobile)
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                          (sorry for the typos... working on a mobile device in an airport lounge. edit doesn't seen to be supported on mobile)
                          Scroll al-the-way to the bottom of a thread view, and locate the link from the "Mobile Style" called "Full Site" and that should include a styleID in the URL, and switch to offer the normal desktop experience. See if Edit works from there. After you finish with your edit, scroll to the bottom of this full-desktop site, and in the lower left corner you should see a pull-down menu for other styles, which should allow you to switch back to "Default Mobile Style" or "Mobile Test" whichever one is available, to get you the faster, lower through-put forum content.

                          Please let us know if this works or does not. If it does not, try a different web browser.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                            Originally posted by Salem View Post
                            I have a lot of feelings regarding black badges, and I'm certain I don't have a perfect solution. I'm going to use the Scavenger Hunt as an example because it's the contest that I've got the most experience with.

                            As an attendee: I don't personally hold a black badge, but I think I deserve one. I've competed and won the Scavenger Hunt several times, and it has been back and forth in the past as to whether or not it is a black badge event (for good reason, don't get me wrong). It has been an "official" event for years, but the years I won it wasn't a black badge event. Such is life. It was said that if the contest takes 3 days to complete, and if it requires a lot of skill to do then it should be a black badge event. Ask any scav winner in the past and they will tell you that to win the game, it's all you do at defcon. Skill? The list has had everything from actual computer hacking to lockpicking, social engineering, acquiring completely random items, and then just some wacky stuff. But it really does require a team full of people with varied skillsets to compete and win. My team and I worked day and night figuring out how to do everything we could, and I think we definitely earned a black badge. Then again, I've had team members who didn't really know what they were getting in to and never really showed up after the first day. They didn't pull their weight and didn't deserve a black badge. Should they be given one because the rest of their team earned one?

                            As a contest organizer: These days I run the scav, and just like has been mentioned before, knowing beforehand if the event is getting black badges would have been very helpful. We didn't get black badges this year, and I wasn't informed officially about it until Sunday morning. That said, this was my first year as being the "lead organizer" for the contest instead of just on staff, and I didn't expect any black badges. Like Chris said, what if we completely failed? What if the new organizers of a game turned a black badge contest into a steaming pile of crap? In that case, the 'once a black badge, always a black badge' idea would be a bad thing. I think having to prove that the new contest organizers can handle things isn't a bad idea. But, once the organizers have proven that they can run a contest worthy of a black badge, then the black badge status should come back. With all that though, scav teams are 5 people and like I said there are sometimes team members who honestly didn't deserve a black badge but were still officially on the team of people who did deserve one. I can definitely understand 5 badges every year being excessive. The C&E goons have been great with the scav and came up with a pretty good solution to allow the winning team free entry the following year. That right there is pretty awesome, but still lacks the prestige that comes with the black badge.

                            So what's the solution? In my opinion, for contests that have large teams, do what was done at DCXX. One black badge for the team and human badges for the following year. Leave it up to the team to figure out who gets to take home the black badge. This mitigates the issue of having too many black badges out in the wild, but still gives the incentive for people to strive for that prize and the ability to bask in all the uber-leet glory that is the black badge. Should it be free admission for life? I think so. With the amount of attendees total, a few extra black badges shouldn't make that much of a dent financially. Registration issues, making them non-transferable, seems like a great idea but would likely be a nightmare to do. I do like the current system of surrendering your black badge to get a human badge. Each person has to decide if they want to save some money, or if they want everyone to know how cool they are. I do understand that it's not an insignificant amount of money to get a badge, but with the costs incurred for travel, food and lodging, it's just another expense. But, perhaps the black badges only getting you in for one year for free would work. It would suck for those who earned theirs a long time ago, but I can see it making sense. All black badges from DC21 only get you in to 22 for free, then perhaps a discounted cost the following years. The discounted cost would, again, be hard to keep track of without having a physical token of some sort to prove that you only get the discount once.

                            Tracking: It's been brought up several times here and in the past that perhaps there should be a better way of tracking. ID's, names, other personally identifiable stuff. These kind of things definitely go against the norm for defcon. Why not come up with something a bit more hacker friendly though? Some sort of crypto keypair. You show up to reg, you provide the right key to prove your identity, you get your badge. Sure it doesn't fix the issue of sharing the badge with someone else, but it has potential to make things a bit less hectic.

                            I want to say I need to add to Salem's post but he pretty much covered it. As a contest organizer it was MADDENINGLY frustrating to be told IF WE WERE a black badge event until AFTER the event, for years. I get that we had to prove ourselves, but when we did, it shouldn't have been, what seemed to be, a last minute decisionj to award black badge. I too agree, 1 black badge per team, if the contest is black badge, and free entry to all ONLY THE NEXT YEAR makes much more sense.

                            I had a black badge once. I didn't win it. Some asshat put it up for sale on EBay and I caught it. To save it and have a beautiful piece of history. It took me forever to get it back to TW one year when I fucked up and forgot to pick it up. I hand carried that sucker with me when I moved to Oregon only to have it mysteriously disappear up there. They are important above and beyond free entry to people that understand. By the way, if anyone ever sees a smiley face logo black badge engraved on the back with "eris" and "23b" kindly inform the staff. Or me. Or any goon.


                            "Official" vs "Unofficial" is definitely getting blurred. Toxic BBQ is unofficial. Yet it has been listed in the schedule and people often give attitude to the organizers that "they already paid defcon admission, why do I need to donate money for this?" indicating a general confusion as well. If some clarification of that could be arranged, for all concerned, it would help-.
                            "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                              Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                              Scroll al-the-way to the bottom of a thread view, and locate the link from the "Mobile Style" called "Full Site"
                              worked, thanks. :-)
                              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                              - Trent Reznor

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Official vs. Unofficial contests, and which get Black Badges?

                                You're in a good enough position that you probably could have gone to certain people (privately) after DC21 and discussed the issue. If you talked to the right people (which you do have access to) they probably would have changed the policy for next year.
                                see, THAT I would consider a much more dick move... trying to use my personal friendships with the staff to gain a little suction and advance my own contest's status and give my winners special treatment.

                                I'm close with pyr0 and most of his team, I'm on good terms with Jeff, etc. But, to me, DEFCON is now way to big and contests have too much riding on the line for anyone to broker backroom deals... it's a recipe for ill feelings (not to mention everyone trying to bend the core team's collective ears) and smacks of a sort of nepotism to me.

                                out here, in the open, where everyone knows and sees where everyone else stands... that's where I like these talks to happen. (I do wish pyr0 had the free time to chat with us on the forums here, though)
                                "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                                - Trent Reznor

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X