Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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Here's a meta-irony for you, then:

Often, those fighting for equality fail to realize that they've really already achieved it: they have become equally as convinced of their opponents' lack of humanity & worth as vice versa.

Ah, yeah! They aren't aware of how they already believe it, but in the pursuit of it, they already believe it for as long as they do so. :)

Socrates!

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Here's a meta-irony for you, then:

Often, those fighting for equality fail to realize that they've really already achieved it: they have become equally as convinced of their opponents' lack of humanity & worth as vice versa.

Better watch that logical thinking Pretzel, you may be banned from all those fancy events where everyone kisses up to the indies, or, you might be banned from ever talking to gaming web pages!! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!! :wink:

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Here's a meta-irony for you, then:

Often, those fighting for equality fail to realize that they've really already achieved it: they have become equally as convinced of their opponents' lack of humanity & worth as vice versa.

That does seem highly ironic. I must wonder, was there never a time when those fighting for fair treatment saw their opponents as simply misguided, incorrect about that particular issue, or just paying too little attention? Or does the passion that propels the most fervent reformers also inevitably dehumanize their opponents? Maybe it's naivete speaking, but I can't outright exclude the possibility of sympathetic social justice revolutionaries. Ghandi and Dr. King come to mind, though I'll admit I have no idea how they privately viewed the people who fought their efforts.

Do you think that many equality fights have been totally won? Sure, African Americans are equal in legal rights, but there still exists subtle job discrimination and the economic discrimination of centuries without any substantial wealth. And women still have to fight for the choice to bear their own baby or not. (See: Texas and abortion ballot measures this last election.)

Perhaps you didn't mean to imply that they'd already achieved full equality. After all, there still have been significant gains, such as suffrage, discrimination laws, greater workforce acceptance & reform. I'd agree that those are at least most of the way to equality. And maybe that's all you meant.

Equipped with the knowledge that many people tie #GamerGate issues to their identity, we can certainly try to approach the topic with a more disarming, more sympathetic tact. Perhaps it's our duty as good human beings to acknowledge that others' concerns are valid (because they exist even if they aren't necessarily rational), and attempt to build bridges upon what values we share.

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That does seem highly ironic. I must wonder, was there never a time when those fighting for fair treatment saw their opponents as simply misguided, incorrect about that particular issue, or just paying too little attention? Or does the passion that propels the most fervent reformers also inevitably dehumanize their opponents? Maybe it's naivete speaking, but I can't outright exclude the possibility of sympathetic social justice revolutionaries. Ghandi and Dr. King come to mind, though I'll admit I have no idea how they privately viewed the people who fought their efforts.

Do you think that many equality fights have been totally won? Sure, African Americans are equal in legal rights, but there still exists subtle job discrimination and the economic discrimination of centuries without any substantial wealth. And women still have to fight for the choice to bear their own baby or not. (See: Texas and abortion ballot measures this last election.)

Perhaps you didn't mean to imply that they'd already achieved full equality. After all, there still have been significant gains, such as suffrage, discrimination laws, greater workforce acceptance & reform. I'd agree that those are at least most of the way to equality. And maybe that's all you meant.

Equipped with the knowledge that many people tie #GamerGate issues to their identity, we can certainly try to approach the topic with a more disarming, more sympathetic tact. Perhaps it's our duty as good human beings to acknowledge that others' concerns are valid (because they exist even if they aren't necessarily rational), and attempt to build bridges upon what values we share.

Actually, I think he meant that they achieved it in the sense that for as long as they fight for it, they are already submitting themselves to the goal of equality being correct, but BECAUSE they continue to fight for it, they aren't truly aware of this cyclic relationship, and because they aren't aware, they continue to fight for it. For as long as they aren't aware, they're stuck in an endless cycle.

In other words, by fighting for equality, they've proved to themselves that equality is important to fight for, without realizing that that's what they've proved to themselves. If they did realize it, they would stop. And they're not aware maybe because of ego, or perseverance, or blind rage, or whatever guesses you may have about it. An important thing to realize is that this "equality" goal GG participants have, on either side, is perceived relative to the person. So "equality" on its own is really just something each side claims is their goal/resolve... even though their means to get to that end are polar opposites. Maybe that's where they get their idea of their being superior to the other side. :whatevaa:

Edited by timaeus222

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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.

Edited by zircon

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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.

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.

Furthermore, the alternatives to censorship in support of Anita's arguments that were proposed in this very thread included gamers "voting with their wallets" and simply not buying (i.e. boycotting) any games that featured sexual objectification, misogyny, etc. Isn't the GG campaign surrounding ads more similar in nature to that - a boycott of sorts... just from the other side? If you're going to condemn the method itself, that means it's off the table for your own "side" or perspective, otherwise we're wandering into double-standard land, where hypocrisy reigns supreme.... I'm a pro-regulation, pro-welfare guy who sees plenty of problems with unchecked capitalism, but even I think that ultimately the market ends up deciding many issues of this nature. Censorship is stopping someone from saying something - like the university death threat. On the other hand, refusing to give someone your time or your money - resources which you rightly control - because of what they're saying, well... that's freedom itself, no?

I'm personally surprised Intel caved like that; I have to think it was more of a question of not wanting to get involved than of any explicit/implicit endorsement.

Do we want to discus Leigh Alexander's article? Because I think it was extremely stupid, insulting, poorly-timed, and irresponsibly fomented things beyond where they needed to go...

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.

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".

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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.

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Here's a meta-irony for you, then:

Often, those fighting for equality fail to realize that they've really already achieved it: they have become equally as convinced of their opponents' lack of humanity & worth as vice versa.

You're a more charitable person than I am if you believe these people are honestly fighting for equality instead of merely using the appearance of such as a political weapon.

Then again when you've got something like 30 people (primarily women or minorities) losing jobs, having their bank accounts hacked, income held up by fraudulent reports, and even getting syringes, knives, and dead animals in the mail it would take the zeal of a true believer to stand by the mostly rich white men cheering that on and call it "feminism".

I'll call it right now: I don't think the GJP side of this is going to be happy until they've stoked the fires enough for one of their more unhinged followers to murder someone. They've already escalated their rhetoric to the point a 16 year old kid thought being a "good feminist" meant doxing someone and threatening his 7 year old cousin with rape and murder, and when she regretted it later her friends tried beat the hell out of her in her own home.

Bell Hooks this shit aint.

Edited by Shadowe

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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.)

Okay, and you're right to point out the difference between a traditional boycott and what they're doing, but... with regard to a vocal minority having undue influence... isn't this then similar to the twitter shaming & mob mentality being employed against certain devs whose games aren't 110% politically correct?

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?

Just to clarify, I don't think either act is censorship... but you made the claim that the GG ad campaign stuff is CLOSER to censorship, and to me that just seemed like a weird, partisan observation to make. When fire is being fought with fire, it just seems silly to criticize one side's flames for being 3 degrees hotter... Both actions can make speech riskier, and silence those unwilling to pay the potential price, but are still more indirect than actual censorship.

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.

I prefer to think of TB as someone caught in the middle, who sees a balance of power problem in that the GG movement has no prominent voice of reason to interact with game journos. It just seems to me that he's diligently trying to squeeze SOME truth/progress out of a polarized situation.

You're a more charitable person than I am if you believe these people are honestly fighting for equality instead of merely using the appearance of such as a political weapon.

Isn't being charitable a good thing, though? Anyways, that's not quite what I believe... I believe in the supreme power of self-delusion. It's a human thing, and not quarantined to any one side or demographic. It's not a question of whether people are "honestly fighting for equality" as long as they've convinced themselves that they are, as I think so many have. Once you've convinced yourself that your side is just, and righteous, and you've anchored your own identity to the cause, anything that looks, smells, or tastes like a compromise, however reasonable, smacks of ideological treason.

I find this explanation far more plausible than a loosely affiliated group of people on the Internet making a concerted effort to present a facade of arguing for equality as a political weapon. There might be some puppeteers like that out there, or folks who consider themselves as such, but self-deception is a lot easier and arguably more effective than intentional manipulation.

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Aaaaand now Jack-freaking-Thompson of all people is trending all over Twitter because he showed up on the Sarkeesian Effect or something.

So uh...yay Gamergate? Bringing an old, literal (DISBARRED) censor out of retirement and supporting him?

Like, I grew up reading Electronic Gaming Monthly and I HATED this guy. And now he's BACK? And people are like "yes, we agree with this disbarred lawyer". What.

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?

I take the impression that you're pro-GG. Let me tell you this:

Gamergate has made me afraid of making games. I'm literally scared of writing in any kind of professional context about gaming, or literally making a game, even under this pseudonym, for fear of some mouthbreather deciding that "disagreement == dox" and ruining my life.

Edited by SystemsReady

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Aaaaand now Jack-freaking-Thompson of all people is trending all over Twitter because he showed up on the Sarkeesian Effect or something.

So uh...yay Gamergate? Bringing an old, literal (DISBARRED) censor out of retirement and supporting him?

Like, I grew up reading Electronic Gaming Monthly and I HATED this guy. And now he's BACK? And people are like "yes, we agree with this disbarred lawyer". What.

You spent the whole time talking about how shitty Jack Thompson is and how stupid GG is for supporting anything he says, without actually mentioning... what he said. Ad hominem is not a substitute for substance; what did he say? However much I oppose his actions in the past, I'm not going to disagree with him on principle without actually knowing what I'm disagreeing with...

I take the impression that you're pro-GG. Let me tell you this:

Gamergate has made me afraid of making games. I'm literally scared of writing in any kind of professional context about gaming, or literally making a game, even under this pseudonym, for fear of some mouthbreather deciding that "disagreement == dox" and ruining my life.

I take the impression you're too lazy/busy to read this thread, and have seen fit to lump me in with one side of an argument that I've criticized for being unnecessarily polarizing & too much about identity as opposed to ideas, thus proving my point. You've also implied that your personal anecdote trumps anyone else's while managing to insult the hypothetical "mouthbreathers" who you foresee objecting to your not-yet-achieved accomplishments. Sorry to be blunt, but there it is.

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I take the impression you're too lazy/busy to read this thread

To be fair, this topic is now almost 1800 posts in weight, and more than half if it is just plain wank. It'd take someone 4-5 days to read and absorb this topic, and that's an unreasonable amount of brain damage to incur just to have the right to voice something. *shrug*

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To be fair, this topic is now almost 1800 posts in weight, and more than half if it is just plain wank. It'd take someone 4-5 days to read and absorb this topic, and that's an unreasonable amount of brain damage to incur just to have the right to voice something. *shrug*

This is actually a valid point. The size of this thread makes it next to impossible to simply jump in with full comprehension of what's going on. Even I'm not sure what's going on all the time

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You don't need to read the entire thread to get a sense of what one person's stance is. The guy took one line from one post and decided that DJP was pro-GG. If he had read back a few posts, much less a few pages, it would have seen that this is incorrect.

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You don't need to read the entire thread to get a sense of what one person's stance is. The guy took one line from one post and decided that DJP was pro-GG. If he had read back a few posts, much less a few pages, it would have seen that this is incorrect.

Right.

And yes, it's a long thread.

At any rate, I looked for the Jack Thompson stuff, and apparently this is the most relevant video (??):

And, you know... okay, whatever. I don't think it proves much of a point; he still comes closer to advocating what I'd call censorship, in the form of age restrictions, than anything I've heard Anita *directly* advocate. Indirectly, the implications of her statements might suggest otherwise, but that level of indirectness is relatively important.

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I have to say that if a few idiots make you too afraid to do something you'd love to do, then maybe it's not something you'd truly want to pursue in life. Many people, regular and famous, have faced opposition to dreams or goals from people, and just life in general, and yet it didn't stop them. Sarkeesian gets vitrol by lots of people, yet she still keeps doing videos, interviews, and speeches.

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Sarkeesian gets vitrol by lots of people, yet she still keeps doing videos, interviews, and speeches.

Which... wasn't really that good a thing. She does genuinely earn the criticism she gets (the kind that's legal and acceptable, I mean, not the other kind) and she inspires just as much hatred as she does support for the right thing, instead of just doubling up on support for the right thing like a pundit of her unearned level has gotten to.

At this point, I'm thinking I should compile a list of better gaming feminists for people to champion instead of Sarkeesian. She's the Jerry Falwell of feminism and I know there's better out there.

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Which... wasn't really that good a thing. She does genuinely earn the criticism she gets (the kind that's legal and acceptable, I mean, not the other kind) and she inspires just as much hatred as she does support for the right thing, instead of just doubling up on support for the right thing like a pundit of her unearned level has gotten to.

At this point, I'm thinking I should compile a list of better gaming feminists for people to champion instead of Sarkeesian. She's the Jerry Falwell of feminism and I know there's better out there.

Oh I'm not saying that stuff is right, just that, despite the unacceptable criticisms it hasn't stopped her, heck, she uses that as better advertisement, way to go Internet trolls, you succeeded!! :roll:

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I take the impression that you're pro-GG. Let me tell you this:

Gamergate has made me afraid of making games. I'm literally scared of writing in any kind of professional context about gaming, or literally making a game, even under this pseudonym, for fear of some mouthbreather deciding that "disagreement == dox" and ruining my life.

Since the last time I posted in this thread a black man was beaten by a violent mob and forced to flee his own home, someone was threatened by a literal domestic terrorist on a watchlist for downloading pipebomb schematics, and two people were almost murdered by SWATting. That is in addition to the now thirty plus people who have not only been doxed but also had their bank accounts hacked, income held up by fraud, utilities turned off, multiple people have lost their jobs, and gotten knives, syringes full of god knows what, and dead animals sent to them in the mail. 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.

No, I'm not buying it. It's cheap emotional manipulation.

Which... wasn't really that good a thing. She does genuinely earn the criticism she gets (the kind that's legal and acceptable, I mean, not the other kind) and she inspires just as much hatred as she does support for the right thing, instead of just doubling up on support for the right thing like a pundit of her unearned level has gotten to.

At this point, I'm thinking I should compile a list of better gaming feminists for people to champion instead of Sarkeesian. She's the Jerry Falwell of feminism and I know there's better out there.

Sarkeesian's a former "handwriting for success" saleswoman, she's just a classic seminar scammer that was picked up to be a vaguely ethnic pretty face. Jonathan McIntosh is the actual writer feeding her all of her material and as far as anyone can tell he's a trust fund kid that's spent his life after highschool traveling from one "revolution" to the next.

I read a great quote online about Sarkeesian/McIntosh versus Jack Thompson: ""The relationship between Thompson and Saarkesian is that of David Icke and Bilderberg Anti-Semites. David Icke accuses various royal families, financial leaders, state heads, etc, of being lizard people. So do Bilderberg Anti-Semites. The latter are using the lizard accusations as a screen, code or metaphor for the old "Jews running the world" narrative. The former genuinely believes his targets are lizards. I would want neither in my living room."

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. I'd recommend feminists like Aayan Hirsi Ali but her entire opinion about things like videogames and scientist's shirts can be summed up in her recent statement that it's "trivial bullshit" being obsessed over by "idiotic women".

Then again maybe that kind of swift kick to the head is what people need to realise that this is all just a cheap FUD used to control people via fear and moral panic.

Edited by Shadowe

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 $$$?

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.

Sure, sure. There's a difference between individual free speech and coordinated, incited free speech though, and so-called "social justice" mob attacks are a thing, and do happen. 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. I agree that thick skins are necessary for artists.... but hell, if everyone had thick skins.... this entire thread would be unnecessary :)

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.

I'm confused as to why the mob attacks on individual devs aren't also disproportionate, then?

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.

I'm again confused... 100 people can attack a dev for boobies in his/her game, and 100,000 can be completely okay with it, but say nothing. Your entire point here seems to be that it's worse because it's harder to detect, i.e. not public, and that it's more explicitly fiscal? It's fiscally worse, I agree; as far as its potential effect on speech, I'm not sure you've made that case. I'm pretty sure you haven't, actually.

At any rate, words matter. Scaring advertisers semi-publicly vs. scaring devs publicly... not sure I know how to properly compare the two other than to say that I don't like either. With regards to $$$, the former might be more effective, but I'm not really buying your argument that it's far worse ("an entirely different beast") ethically... to me it just seems like if the roles/actions were reversed, you'd argue the opposite. It almost just seems like you're criticizing the approach due to its comparative efficacy...

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