I was also suggesting the name on the back of the badge be in small print--i.e. print you would need to have the badge in hand to see.
It's also one of those situations where it's absurd to claim that people without children should not offer opinions. My brain works just as well when I think about issues involving children as a parent's brain does. "I don't understand". BS. I understand the emotions that parents have regarding their children, and I understand rather well how emotional states affect cognition. Those parental emotions (even if I do not have them, which is debatable as I have nieces and nephews and god-children and friends) do not make particular arguments about the safety of children right or wrong. Are your arguments about what would actually make children safer better arguments because you feel certain emotions? Or are you saying there's information, data, that isn't accessible to me because I don't have children?
I like you, have for years, and more importantly I respect the heck out of you. But that 'you're not a parent you should be quiet' line is baloney.
I always obscured the full names of my kids on their badges (at various cons) when they were small. The sticky part of a post-it note works very well for this purpose, as it can easily be peeled back if an official needs to see the badge.
I also obscure my own name on badges at cons where I cosplay. I have found my cosplay pictures online, which is fine with me (I gave permission for people to take photos) but I DON'T want these people reading my name off of my badge, or some weirdo online finding my cosplay photo and reading my name off of my badge and then 'tracking me down'. Is that likely? No. But possible? Yes. Better safe than sorry. if a woman goes out to a bar or a nightclub, she is free to keep herself anonymous, giving out only the portion of her name that she wishes to strangers. That's not possible when your name is emblazoned on the badge.
Should they take the names off of the badges? It would be more convenient for me personally, but I don't think it's necessary. But I should be allowed to cover up that name if I wish (which is plenty easy to do).
As an analogy, I understand the physics of sky-diving, but I wouldn't offer an opinion as to how it feels to jump out of a plane, or why it's important to pack your own chute. I'm just saying that in matters of child safety, a parent's perspective is far more meaningful. Perhaps we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
In my opinion, this falls into the very large category of 'people worry too much'. Can one imagine a scenario where this could be an issue? Yes, it is conceivable. Do we have any evidence that this is actually happening at Gen Con? No, we don't.
I brought my teens (18, 16) to the convention this year. The wife (who doesn't come to the convention), says "you're not going to let them go off by themselves, are you?". Yes. Yes, I am.
As others have pointed out, it is not hard to put a sticker or something over the last name, if that is something you really feel strongly about. But, I hate the continual pressure to change practices over flights of fantasy.
When you become a parent, your perspective changes drastically.
You are no longer the most important person in your life -- your children are.
Your children need your knowledge and experience to help keep them safe, healthy, and happy.
And so you put their needs first, and you make the choices and sacrifices you need to to raise them well.
And you gladly do it, because your children love you, wholeheartedly, unconditionally, and without reservation.
There were, and are, a lot of people in the US who's viewpoint as a parent led them to not vaccinate their children--a large part of that was due to emotions, fear for their children. At least, that's what the ones I've heard interviewed said. A claim with no merit preyed on their emotions. I haven't heard of a single non-parent anti-vaxxer. Clearly their viewpoints changed. But in the anti-vaxxer case, for those people, it changed (due to their emotions) into a terrible, harmful to their children, viewpoint.
So yeah. Viewpoints about names on badges may change with parenthood too, I will easily accept that. But that is no proof that the viewpoint it changes to is a better viewpoint. As with the anti-vaxxers, the effect of emotions and oxytosin on someone's thinking might actually lead to a plan of action that is worse for the children involved. The opinions of the emotionally-involved parents were not more 'meaningful'. They were 'more strongly felt'. But they were less-than-clear-headed, really terrible opinions.
In a legal setting, there's precedent for people with emotional attachments actually not being the ones who make the decisions. Same in an educational setting (me grading my own child could be a problem). That's because it's understood that these emotional attachments aren't really good for clear-headed thinking much of the time.
So the question is whether we want policies that are good for kids, or policies that parents feel are good for their kids (regardless of their actual effect).
Because simply feeling an emotion does not make someone's rational thinking and critical analysis any better. And I will argue that policies coming from rational thinking and critical analysis are what will actually keep kids safer, not policies coming from feeling certain emotions.
I have to agree with brotherbrock. Just because you have an emotional investment in something does not ,in any way, make you better able to come up with a rational solution. In most cases quite the opposite.. and yes I have 2 children and would never think to tell someone "you don't have kids you shouldn't offer an opinion".
The badge name needs to match your ticket. If it just says “Greg” on the badge, how does the GM know you are the Greg on the ticket. You likely are. But not 100% sure unless it can be checked.
I have never had a GM check that the name on the badge matched my ticket. There is no requirement for it to do so. People are free to exchange paper tickets as they wish, so I could easily be using one of my friends' tickets, or that of a complete stranger.
I think similar feelings are at work with kids and bracelets/name badges. If you feel a sense of threat and danger when you let your kid out of the house, you'll look at certain facts/claims/arguments to arrive at your decision. But if you are the sort of parent who opens the door and lets their kids go without a second thought, the facts that seem important to you will be very different.
Neither set of emotions is 'invalid'. The really difficult task is looking at all the facts, and determining how important they all are, which ones are actually facts and which are not, and which policies lead to actual benefit vs only perceived benefit. We want kids to be safe--that's more important than just feeling good or only believing they are safe. But we don't want terrified parents, even if their kids really are safe :)
(Fascinating to look at something like the semi-myths of poisoned Halloween candy/razor blades in apples phenomenon. Very few cases of poisoned candy have ever been actually reported, and I don't think a single razor blade was ever found in an apple. But hospitals around the country offer up x-raying of candy because these 3 or 4 cases across decades (one a guy trying to kill his own son, one some people trying to blackmail a candy company, another a woman handing out rat poison to older kids as a joke) lead some people to become incredibly worried. Others, like my parents, let us go trick or treating at night, by ourselves, and eat whatever we were given, because the belief that the odds are so greatly against anything happening that it wasn't worth the time or the worry. Neither set of emotions is 'wrong'...emotions aren't the sort of thing that can be 'wrong'. But sorting out facts isn't easy.)
To anyone's knowledge has anything adverse ever happened to anyone because their last name was listed on their Gen Con badge?
If not, you're worrying about ants with machineguns. Why worry about ants with machineguns? Because there's millions of them, they're highly organized, and if they had machineguns we're all screwed.
However ants do not have machineguns and I suspect nothing adverse has ever happened because someone's last name was listed on their Gen Con badge.
For the record I have twin sons who attended with me for a day this past convention.
I think it is both true that given enough time there WILL be an incident related to learning someone's name from the badge (honestly I have seen this like a half-dozen times already, a homeless person using someone's clearly visible name to get their attention, but you know, that particular use is not exactly scary) and that the chances of any particular person being impacted are incredibly small.
So really, what we are arguing is whether it is necessary for full names to be listed on Gen-Con badges for Gen-Con's purposes. The example of "needing to be able to say who did something bad" is basically just as unlikely as the example of someone exploiting a child; even in the situation where people have been banned from the convention for bad behavior, it is not like their badge is what gave their identities away.
As someone who does tend to go by his online name in real life whenever possible, certainly I would never list my full name if it were not required, and obviously many other people would do the same. But I am not sure this particular convention will ever allow that again. Even if I DO have at least two Gen-Con badges that just say "Quarex," haha (I think 2004 and 2005?).
Anyone here without kids ever try to get into a Chucky Cheese?
They only let adults in when accompanied by a child due to pedaphile predation.
I’ve been attending GenCon for 30+ years. I’ve only been bringing my daughter for 4 years now. My number and name are written on her in permanent marker. She wears her “bracelet” on a lanyard, and no, you can’t read it. We are never separated. That’s the cost of bringing a child to an event like this. As far as names go, professionally I’m able to run a skip trace/credit check/background check with just your name. It’s why internet handles are so ubiquitous.
I'm not sure why people are arguing so vociferously in favor of displaying children's full names on convention badges. Any convention staffer or even an event organizer with the eTicketing app can pull up a name by scanning the badge with a cell phone. And the argument that the police need that info is specious at best. If a child gets lost at a convention, it's not the police that will find him or her, it's convention staff. If a child has wandered so far afield that they are found by the police, then the police would immediately contact Gen Con staff to identify them if the badge was all they had.
The bottom line is that there is no GOOD reason to have a child's name on a badge. Names are on badges so Gen Con can prevent badge sharing. And since children rarely carry any form of identification it's completely useless. I have to ask, if you don't have a child, why are you so strongly invested in making sure kids names are on display for all to see? What would it hurt for a child's badge to display a nickname? I can understand if in your opinion it's not a big deal. In which case feel free to enter your child's full name in the Nickname field when ordering your badge. I just feel strongly that Gen Con should allow the individual parent to make this choice.
Actually, I suppose there's nothing stopping a parent from entering a nick name in the name field when purchasing their badge, now is there? I mean how can you prove my kid's name isn't Sam Gamgee or Havelock Vetinari?
Yeah once my child is old enough to need a badge I think we will find that his name changes annually
I get the feeling you misunderstand what people are saying. I looked back and nobody is arguing for displaying names, merely stating that there is no real reason to change the system. Mermaid :anyone can run those checks but how do you know those are the correct names or even which Tom Jones it is without more info. You don't is the answer so those checks do you no good.
I don't want policies that come from pure emotional reactions. Not ones that apply to me, or to anyone.
With all due respect, you are arguing that your reasoning is more valid than mine because you don't have children. Honestly, I'm speechless. Just gonna let that one go.
I'm suggesting that Gen Con make this a decision that individual parents can make. This isn't a public health issue like vaccination.
Give a parent the option of displaying a nickname rather than a full name on a child's badge. The responsibility lies with the parent. Where it should lie.
I suppose this bit of fluff discussion is a nice change from the usual "Housing Lottery sucks" and "What city should Gencon move to".
The badge has your name on it, get over it.
If you are worried about your child, because their badge has there name on it, then do what parents have always had to do, pay attention to your child.