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Posts posted by zircon

  1. That might be true for the parent company but I highly doubt Gamasutra itself generates anywhere near that much, and it's definitely a separate property from GDC etc (i.e. I'd wager Intel's withdrawal from Gamasutra did not carry over to their presence at GDC for example). It's a pretty niche site (being dev-focused as opposed to consumer-facing) and as far as I know the compensation for the guest writers is low to zero.

  2. So just to be clear do you also have a problem with the people screaming racial slurs at women and minority gamergate supporters, calling them klansmen, worse than ISIS, and the like or is this a double standard?

    Of course I do. I've condemned it in this very thread.

    Also, what Darkesword said.

    Just pointing out something interesting, to me at least - you CAN find this sort of insane reaction in the more enthusiast gaming communities, and you're kinda dismissing it as being par for the course, but on the other hand, (some of) the same people making (some of) the same threats against Zoe, Anita, etc. are taken deathly seriously & given the full weight of their potential implications.

    If the same sorry lot that send death threats over CoD patches also send them to Anita, is it the different audience/context that dictates the legitimacy & publicity?

    I'm not dismissing it... I think it's abhorrent that people would send death threats over balance changes in a video game. Or more recently, there was a developer at Bungie who was "swatted" - a SWAT team and helicopter were sent to his house after a fake hostage threat was sent. These actions represent the absolute worst of the gamer community and should be condemned at every opportunity.

    I brought it up to illustrate that developers have to deal with some truly awful stuff from their audience, and that in comparison, controversies surrounding their games on Twitter or Tumblr (etc) are inconsequential.

    I just think that you might see similar campaigns against advertisers coming from the other "side" at some point, objecting to sexism, racism, etc., and the justification will be similar, so damning the method now is probably setting yourself up for disappointment when it is employed by those you otherwise might agree with.

    Wellll OK you make a good point there. In the past I've been supportive (or at least not un-supportive) when people have contacted advertisers of folks like Rush Limbaugh after they've said outrageously racist/sexist stuff. Fair enough! That's not to say there isn't some nuance, though. Cumulus Media, which AFAIK syndicates Rush's show, pulls in a billion dollars per year... an advertiser boycott is simply not going to affect them to the degree that it would affect Gamasutra, which is (again AFAIK) largely volunteer run and probably pulls in <$50k a year, if that. The context matters a whole lot.

  3. Well, you're keeping this fiscal, whereas I was pointing out that some developers may simply avoid certain design decisions entirely due to not wanting to have to engage or deal with mob mentality... you kinda dodged my question, or I suppose your answer is that, in terms of the potential chilling effects on speech, things only matter if they can be clearly traced to $$$?

    When dozens to hundreds of people are simultaneously shouting at you, yes, it's still free speech... but it's more about a contest of wills than the conveying of information & discourse.

    Yeah, the jist of my opinion is that some people tweeting at you is basically not a big deal at all. The thing is that game developers routinely get so much shit - the vast majority of which has nothing to do with 'social justice' issues - that I just find it absolutely not credible that any developer would feel censored by some people on Twitter.

    To put it in perspective, one of the designers behind Call of Duty reported that he received "death threats and promises of violence against his family" because of a patch that tweaked some weapons in-game. You can find this sort of insane reaction in any playerbase. Blizzard games have it especially bad. Their forums are notorious for being full of players who complain relentlessly about anything Blizzard does.

    A good developer reads this kind of feedback, considers it carefully, and decides whether or not the game would benefit from changes based on that feedback. A lot of it is simply ignored (after all, you can't please everyone). I don't see why or how social issues raised by audiences should be any different at all. If anything developers should feel LESS pressured to respond to feedback from those who haven't even purchased the game and are simply criticizing it based on videos or descriptions from other people.

    That being said... I agree that to some extent it's not that meaningful to compare the two and maybe I'm just getting sidetracked. I don't think writing to advertisers should be illegal even if I do think it skews things.

  4. Sorry for the double-post:

    The target is larger and the goal more explicitly fiscal, but in terms of curtailing speech, between scaring a company into not running ads and scaring an individual developer into not making the game he or she wants to make, which frightens you more?

    Going after advertisers is an order of magnitude scarier. Let's say Developer X makes a game with a gay stereotype that some people don't like. First of all, Twitter shaming that developer is only going to be seen by people on Twitter at specific times, connected to specific people, so that narrows the audience greatly. It cannot possibly reach the total market for any given game.

    Second, it inherently is simply spreading an opinion. If someone reads that opinion and agrees with it - the gay stereotype is offensive - that doesn't necessarily preclude that person from buying the game. Not by a long shot. I might agree that a game has a stupid plot point, an offensive character, flawed multiplayer, or any number of other things, and still buy the game because I think it's otherwise worthwhile. And don't forget that some % of people seeing the shaming Tweets will disagree completely.

    Third, let's say that some small fraction of people see a controversy on Twitter, agree with the points made, and decide not to buy the game. Isn't that like.. free speech at work? I can't find anything unethical or immoral about this whatsoever. If some people really DO find something offensive, it's their prerogative to tell other people and/or not buy the game.

    If the concern is that developers will have hurt feelings from this... I don't know. As you and I well know, artists and creators of all kinds receive criticism every day, ranging from constructive and helpful to vitriolic. It comes with the territory of being a creator and putting your work in public.

    Going after advertisers is simply an entirely different beast. It's bypassing the public sphere entirely. It has a much more chilling effect on free speech because it's disproportional to the number of people that actually care about the topic at hand. If 5000 people total theoretically would not buy a game because of an offensive character, then at most, Twitter shaming can only expedite the process of informing those people.

    But there isn't really a limit to the damage that can be done by email carpet bombing advertisers & sponsors. 10 million people can read a site and all but 500 might have no problem with the content. 500 out of 10 million don't approve of a viewpoint, that means 9,999,500 DO approve (or don't care) - and normally we would expect that those 500 people would simply not visit the site, which would have a negligible effect. On the other hand, if those 500 people carpet bomb advertisers they can cause damage FAR far exceeding the normal impact that 500 visitors/readers would have.

  5. All of which has been encouraged and condoned by leading figures in gaming journalism.


    And you want to try to play the "I'm afraid" card? People have lost their jobs to racist harassment campaigns and even been beaten and driven into homelessness because of the smear campaign spearheaded by a blatant racist that just so happens to have publicly called for exactly this kind of violence against black men before.

    You're going to need a pretty big citation on that one.

    While McIntosh may well believe his own nonsense, at least until he finds his next fad, I'm pretty sure Sarkeesian is mostly in it for the money.

    Why do people - like you - insist on ad hominem? Besides the fact that such a theory is baseless (lest we forget, Anita was writing about these topics as a college student), people like Dave and many others have done a great job of deconstructing and arguing against her videos without comparing her to anti-semites or accusing her of being "in it for the money". Her motivations are wholly irrelevant to the content of her videos and her arguments.

    Really, when you post things like that it just enforces the (perhaps well-deserved) stereotype that many pro-gamergate folks care more about attacking women like Anita than actual issues of ethics in game journalism. Anita isn't a journalist. She's a person that shares opinions on feminist issues in gaming. Jack Thompson is a guy that actually, literally tried to get the government to censor games... this is the actual definition of censorship.

  6. Well that's a bit of a strawman, though, right? No one was claiming that either the act of making videos OR putting them on YouTube constituted censorship in any way... some, myself included, were simply pointing out that what Anita was SAYING - more specifically, the WAY she was saying it and the causations she was claiming - were similar to pro-censorship arguments made surrounding, for example, violence in games. Obviously simply making something and then putting it somewhere isn't censorship; this seems like an empty sentence/argument, to me. I'm not sure why you wrote it.

    Nobody argued that here, but there are a great many posts with the #gamergate hashtag, as well as posts/comments in the KIA subreddit (reddit.com/r/kotakuinaction) literally saying that Anita and other "SJWs" are trying to censor the medium by sharing their opinions. They think that by putting YouTube videos out there, and "shaming" developers on Twitter, they are advocating for censorship.

    Isn't the GG campaign surrounding ads more similar in nature to that - a boycott of sorts... just from the other side?

    I'm not sure there's an equivalence. If you don't like the content in a game, don't buy it - that's voting with your wallet. If you don't like an opinion piece on Gamasutra, don't visit that site (thereby not giving them views/ad money). However, organizing email carpet bombs, where people queue up thousands of emails all to be sent simultaneously to advertisers... I don't think that's exactly the same thing. I don't think it's illegal, nor do I think it SHOULD be illegal, but it's definitely a different beast than simply not going to a website.

    The issue here is that advertisers cannot be expected to really appreciate the context and depth of the topics being discussed. So receiving a flood of emails from a small minority group is perhaps representing that voice disproportionately, as the advertisers are not inclined to evaluate both sides of the issue, and instead are reacting to the apparent volume of complaints (even if the overwhelming majority of visitors to these sites are not involved in the discussion.)

    It is, but my point was that it was a two-way street, with BOTH sides entrenched and incapable of acknowledging even an iota of validity in the perspective of the "other".

    I agree. Calling all gamergaters misogynists is ridiculous, equating them to ISIS is disgusting, etc. TotalBiscuit, despite being something of a figurehead for the movement, has spoken very plainly that he thinks each side should treat the other side as people first. He strongly dislikes the "SJW" label and how it's being used, and it's unfortunate that the GG crowd isn't listening to him on that one.

  7. I agree Dave that this has become about identity. I don't really believe it's much about ethics in game journalism. Most of the anger I'm seeing in places like KIA (which is basically GG headquarters on reddit) is centered around the notion, however (in)accurate, that Gamers are under attack for being gamers and enjoying certain kinds of games. Then as people have aligned themselves with Gamergate, which itself is widely-maligned, they feel even more under-attack, and band together even more...

    The other aspect is that a great many people in the movement are pushing back very hard against who they term "SJWs", which encompasses apparently anyone who cares about social issues in games, namely diversity. There is a sizable contingent of people there who feel that social critique is putting undue pressure on developers, and that these "SJWs" are trying to censor the medium.

    The irony of THAT belief is that currently one of KIAs most active campaigns is email carpet bombing advertisers to pull their ads from sites that GG doesn't like. For example, they successfully got Intel to pull ads from Gamasutra because of Leigh Alexander's article about gaming. THAT to me is far closer to censorship than someone like Anita making videos and putting them on YouTube.

    Ultimately it is really a shame how entrenched the GG camp has become. At this point they're just as guilty of dehumanizing as anyone else. I've seen people link to tweets from "anti-GG" people or "SJWs", saying in response that Gamergaters are simply superior, and that they "think differently". The SJWs "will never think like we do", etc etc. It's disturbing.

  8. Yep, it's true that parents have by far the most influence on their children. However, that's not really an approach to solving problems in society. That's like saying we could solve our obesity problem if everyone just ate less and exercised more. Yes, that statement IS true, but clearly that's not happening, so the question becomes... how do we convince people to engage in the behavior we want? (Or not engage in the behavior we don't want?) That's usually accomplished with incentives, but certainly, writers, journalists, pundits, and critics have some measure of influence as well.

    In other words, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with art critics attempting to persuade their audiences and change tastes/preferences. It's not mutually exclusive with what you're saying.

  9. Well, that's like arguing you can't review films without being a film director. Anita is entitled to share her views and you're entitled to disagree and share your own opposing views. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is saying you "can't" play or make certain games. That's not what critique is. Anita even prefaces all her videos by saying that you can play and enjoy a game while still being critical of certain aspects.

    As to "exploiting the masses", if people want to pay to support you, that's capitalism, free speech, and democracy at work. Nothing immoral or unethical about it. She produces videos that contain her opinion on feminist issues in games, and raised money to do that. I don't see any harm or wrongdoing there at all.

  10. Anyhow, this controversy was not what prompted the appearance of gamergate, the concerted censorship of discussion and speculation about these minor infractions followed by outright flaunting of journalists having ties with each other to coordinate manipulation of public opinion with deceptive articles that attack their own audience is what did it. It's not like GGers sit around obsessing over this red herring that I shouldn't have acknowledged in the first place. I don't know who the person DusK ran into is, but it doesn't look at all like anything I've seen from 8c or KiA. It's described as if it was spoken by a stereotypical radical SJW, really.

    Regardless of what GG is *now*, the Zoe "controversy" IS actually what prompted gamergate. The person who actually created the #gamergate hashtag, Adam Baldwin, coined it while linking to the InternetAristocrat videos. Let's not revise history here.

    Again: Nobody is arguing against ethics in game journalism. But the GG movement comes across as petty, obsessive, and, dare I say a bit misogynist, when it obsesses over people like Anita (not a game journalist), Leigh (who writes opinion pieces), Brianna (not a game journalist), or Zoe (not a game journalist) while seemingly ignoring the far larger ethical issues at hand.

    I posit that the movement is NOT actually about harassment or misogyny, but it's not about really about game journalism either. Posting on KotakuInAction under an alt account I've had conversations with quite a few pro-GG folks. The main sentiment is one of camaraderie, and a feeling that their identity as gamers is under attack - that the games they love will not exist, that "diversity" and other "SJW causes" are being forced upon developers, that the media is ignoring them. Sure, some people DO care about ethics in game journalism. But that really doesn't appear to be the focus.

    This explains why there is such concerted effort to attack and punish Gawker. Surely otherwise intelligent people realize that doing this isn't really going to effect positive change; Gawker has responded to their tactics with hostility. But GG doesn't care about that - they care about "winning the war" and punishing an organization they don't like. If they DID really care about ethics in journalism, the focus would be very different... say, for example, by creating and/or promoting sites that have stronger policies, or by appealing to journalists reasonably, as opposed to attacking Kotaku by carpetbombing its advertisers.

    Objections to that analysis?

  11. I'll give you that the wording was flimsy with that scandal (even the gg wiki describes them as allegations,) however the point is that the relationships was not disclosed, despite that it wasn't a dedicated review, this article pretty much put Depression Quest in the spotlight, given the image spot, with glowing alt-text and first mention, when given 49 alternative choices: https://archive.today/iS4Ru

    Then there's this that's come to light:


    Oh no, she thanked someone in a list of dozens of other people. What corruption. I'm not going to argue that the relationship should NOT have been disclosed in that article with 49 other games listed, but in the grand scheme of "corruption" and ethics, it's an incredibly small and insignificant infraction. Compare that to the blatant conflict-of-interest of, say, Game Informer being owned by Gamestop, which no one in GamerGate seems to give a shit about, or YouTubers accepting money to promote games, and then recommending/reviewing those games on Steam as curators for example. There are so many other worse violations that HAVE happened, and that ARE happening.

    The overblown reaction to this relationship, scraping the bottom of the barrel to prove any link or collusion, is extremely petty and is one of the reasons why people view GamerGate so negatively. The thing is that nobody is "against" ethics in game journalism. Everyone was united in outrage when the Kane & Lynch / Jeff Gerstmann firing happened, because that was an example of extremely gross ethics violations. But nobody got doxxed or harassed over that despite involving far bigger players, whereas there seems to be significantly more obsession over Zoe because... well, you tell me.

    http://www.depressionquest.com/ itself shows an indiecade award, referring to Night Games 2013, where it was pit against Papers, Please and lesser known indie titles, some of which that make interesting innovations. Do you believe Depression Quest is that groundbreaking of a game, where a curator and judge of the event is one of those in the scandal?

    DQ didn't win an indiecade award. It was simply a game featured there. It wasn't a nominee...


    Or a digital select...


    Nor did it win any awards.


  12. No, I was more implying if that was the extent of what is backing your reason for vocalizing peer-pressuring discredit of gamergate, you should have at least saved a screenshot or web archive or something.

    I'm sorry someone decided to sink down to tumblr level on you. I say that genuinely as someone who has been the recipient of harassment and malicious, libelous character assassination that sites where it propagated to such as tumblr and wikia refused to deal with because they "value free speech" and won't budge without a court order that's out of my budget.

    But that part you're saying that's debunked? No.

    The allegations were that she slept with multiple journalists to get positive reviews for her game. I don't think this article qualifies as a "review" of Depression Quest at all, whatsoever.


    An entirely different writer posted basically the same story.


    So yeah, the allegations are still not true at all.

  13. I'm a little bummed that once this thread went GG, it seems like discussing Anita's arguments became uninteresting to everyone. I feel like we did at ONE point have some pretty staunch supporters of EVERYTHING she was saying, including arguments about sexual objectification & sexualization in general. That would have been the time to really dig into Paglia & the failures of second-wave feminism in arguing against pron, but it never happened, because all those folks either left or were eventually persuaded that Anita is full of crap a significant % of the time...

    Does anyone want to mount a serious "Sexual Objectification is WRONG!!" argument? Does anyone have that in them? Is anyone besides me even interested in that topic? :roll:

    I feel like until there are more videos there isn't much more to be said about Anita's stuff, whereas Gamergate and the ongoing issues surrounding it are all over print, digital, and social media.

    One thing that *sort of* relates to both is the notion that opinion pieces != censorship. Here's an article about it.


    I've seen a lot of GG posts to the effect of, "They're trying to FORCE diversity into our games", and backlash against Polygon's own 7.5/10 review of Bayonetta (due to the depiction of Bayonetta herself as over-the-top sexualized). But the thing is, nobody is talking about 'forcing' developers to do anything. People like Anita are at least entitled to share their opinions. People are then entitled to disagree with them - strongly, even. As for reviews, they're inherently subjective. In the film world, critics often disagree, even on movies considered to be very good or very bad by the majority.

    My impression is that a lot of people in GG don't fully grasp this. And again, it seems like the majority of GG posts and tweets are not about "ethics in gaming journalism", but about feminist issues, or simply defending itself from (fair or unfair) statements and accusations. There is a distinct lack of meaningful progress being made toward their goal of improving ethics in game journalism.

  14. Those three are very important for building strength. Deadlifts and some kind of back-focused exercise like barbell rows, dumbbell rows, or seated rows, are also worthwhile.

    My recipes are not worth posting since they're all gross :-) Low calorie, ultra-high protein, not a lot of flavor.

    Unrelated, and I told OA this already, but I finally got an MRI for my back injury which started in July. It found I have a 3mm herniated disc causing compression (and hence pain). The next disc down is also bulging, causing stiffness, and an annular tear. Finally, one MORE disc down, I have a broad based 'protrusion' extending to both sides.

    In short: I fucked up my back. Oops.

  15. This whole thing could have been avoided if they just didn't call themselves journalists :< They should stick with bloggers to be safe

    Actually I agree with this, same with newt. It's hard to take the idea of "game journalism" seriously when these sites tend to make their money from the very people they're reporting on/about.

  16. Right, but the allegations against her were proven false almost immediately (i.e. the one writer she did have a relationship with never reviewed her game; only mentioned it once prior to their relationship starting.) Yet the movement has persisted for months now talking about corruption in game journalism, and MANY people using the hashtag are STILL focused on Zoe, on Anita (who isn't even a game journalist) etc. So that to me says people are less concerned with literal corruption and more concerned with viewpoints expressed on gaming blogs that differ from their own.

    And BTW, I'm not condemning disagreements. If I visited a music-making website every day, and that website started posting articles about why... video game music was dumb, I guess, I would probably stop reading that website. I might even post a response to their essay (or whatever) elsewhere. But I wouldn't accuse them of "corruption" because it's just a difference in opinion. If you don't think diversity is important in games and you don't want to hear about it, you're welcome to that opinion, and you can go ahead and not read Polygon and similar sites. Just don't conflate that with 'corruption' and 'ethics' because that's another subject entirely.

  17. this is what they mean by corruption because its basically a corruption of gaming journalism from news about our favourite hobby to political views, sponsors causing impartial reviews on games.

    What I take away from it is this: when people talk about "ethics in game journalism" what they really mean is that they don't like certain progressive / liberal viewpoints posted on gaming websites. They don't want to hear about diversity, they don't want to hear about tropes vs. women, they don't want to think about that stuff. THAT'S what this is about. Hence why, as you pointed out, the sort of people supporting GamerGate TEND to be Republicans, libertarians, conservatives, anyone on the right-wing side of the spectrum. Why else would Breitbart and Infowars give a shit?

    But that REALLY isn't "corruption". If Kotaku posts an opinion piece, that's their right - and of all people, libertarians (etc) shouldn't have a problem with that. Opinion pieces, reviews, and editorials are all subjective by nature. That's not "corruption", or a problem with "ethics", that's what opinion pieces, reviews and editorials are by definition. Not to say that gaming websites don't have *actual* corruption issues, but they have much more to do with big corporations/publishers essentially bribing reviewers, and very little to do with people like Anita, Zoe, or indie game devs.

    Not to be contentious, but didn't you previously disagree with djP when he'd suggested that it was the responsibility of those who wanted change to enact it in the context of video game developers and feminism (i.e if you want video games to treat women better, consider becoming a game developer)? I may be remembering wrong, here.

    You are wrong, as I never said that. What I HAVE said that it's fair to try to effect change by persuading existing creators through reasoned arguments, essays, opinions, etc. GamerGate, as I said on the previous page, COULD have had this option available, but their hashtag is so toxic that journalists - the people they're trying to change, presumably - want nothing to do with them.

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