People are clueless about business litigation

Published on Thursday, September 18, 2014 By Frogboy In Politics

Typical conversation regarding a certain lawsuit goes something like this:

  1. What about <Allegation 1>? They made it up.
  2. What about <Allegation 2>? They made it up.
  3. What about <Allegation 3>? They made it up.
  4. What about <Allegation 4>? They made it up.
  5. Oh come on, you’re saying they made it all up? Yes.
  6. Can you prove they made it up? Yes.
  7. How? Because their own witnesses claimed she did or she directly admitted to doing so during her deposition.
  8. That’s impossible. She’d get in so much trouble.  Yes, that’s why she had to publicly apologize.
    Talk to a lawyer who’s tried cases and ask them what it means if someone got nothing other than
    having to apologize to the accused.
  9. I don’t believe you, she wouldn’t have filed the suit unless it had merit…

And so on. 

Decent, quick summary of #gamergate

Published on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 By Frogboy In PC Gaming

Ironically, from the Cracked.com comments sections:

    1. A woman is suspected of sabotaging a charity event with feminism as her justification, even though the event supposedly aimed to support female developers.
    2. A more or less reasonable group of people get upset about this, and make the issue somewhat known.
    3. An ex decides to share information about this woman's sex life, which picks up popularity because of the aforementioned scandal.
    4. A crazy guy builds a conspiracy from this sex life, which may have started with a kernel of truth, but quickly gets out of hand.
    5. Misogynists pick up on this conspiracy and go nuts with it, attacking the woman in typical internet fashion.
    6. News sites, always eager to paint things in black and white, ignore the concerns raised by the reasonable people and make the issue about feminism versus misogyny, grouping all people who don't praise the woman in the latter category.
    7. The aforementioned reasonable people, having been lumped together with misogynists, become resentful of news websites who use the "feminism" debate to cover their refusal to address real issues.
    8. Misogynists start backing up the reasonable people. The reasonable people don't notice, being too focused on their new enemies.
    9. An unusually high number of comments, videos, and forums posts are deleted en masse for siding with "gamersgate", regardless of whether they fell into the reasonable or misogynist categories.
    10. A portion of the reasonable people begin thinking there's maybe something to this whole "conspiracy" angle, and start becoming indistinguishable from the crazies.
    11. Repeat steps 6, 7, 8, and 10 until the whole world's gone crazy and everybody is convinced that everybody else is a mis[ogyn/andr]ist and that there are absolutely no mis[andr/ogyn]ists on their "side".


Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-i-learned-as-internets-most-hated-person/#ixzz3DU3PU3aN

#GamerGate–the free ride is over

Published on Sunday, September 14, 2014 By Frogboy In PC Gaming

I’ll hand the SJW anti-#Gamergate people one thing: They have chutzpah.  Seeing individuals who have a history of abusing, ridiculing, lying and misrepresenting people complaining about gamers is…just breathtaking.

The best thing that will come out of this #gamergate thing, and this is the one thing that I think its supporters should really take some pride in is this: The free ride is over. 

So many lurkers and neutral observers have been able to see how these guys operate: If you disagree with them you are either racist or sexist. There is no such thing as a principled argument as far as they’re concerned.

Remember: You’re always racist, sexist, evil no matter how absurd they have to stretch reality to make it so

Now, quick background on myself: I’m actually not very political. But I have been blogging for 15 years so there’s plenty of fodder available. I believe people should be able to do and say what they want as long as they’re not hurting anyone (and I don’t count “feelings” as hurting).

What most casual observers don’t realize is just how close knit the various aspects of the game industry really are. We really are a close knit group with one key distinction: We aren’t physically located near each other. As a result, forums, mailing lists and social networks are how we converse. This has created a lot of cliques.

For the past half decade, those cliques focused on “social justice” have been insulting, smearing and misrepresenting individuals or groups they decided represent “the other”. Because they received little or no push-back, they wrongly believed they represented the majority opinion on a given issue.

As someone who’s maintained a blog for 15 years, I’ve written a lot of words. Some of those words have made these guys angry and thus, at some point, they decided I was some sort of crazy right-winger.  I’m only a “crazy right-winger” if objecting to one group coercing another group is “right wing”. I don’t like telling people what to do and I don’t like being told what to do.

Long story short: Once these guys decided I was “the enemy” it’s been a never-ending stream of misrepresentation.  For people who think Zoe Quinn has had it bad for these past few months, come talk to me in 5 years. That’s about how long I’ve had SJWs stalk me around, misrepresenting what I’ve said, written and then distributing it far and wide to their like-minded friends.  Sounds a lot like the stuff they’re saying about #gamergate with regards to the people they’ve decide they don’t like.

The threshold required to become “the enemy” is very low. Feel free to look through my tweet history or my blogs. You won’t find me telling people to “fuck off” or “die in a fire” or calling people “pieces of shit”. or anything of that nature. I post my musings on any number of topics – from beekeeping to taxation.  That’s isn’t to say I’m not sometimes mean.  I can be a real jerk sometimes. 

On the other hand, if you rely on what others have claimed I have said or done, you would think I’m a monster. That’s how comfortable with distorting words they are. I suspect some of you who have watched #gamergate are now quite familiar with how comfortable the so-called SJWs are with making things up, sometimes from whole cloth, in order to make someone look horrible.

Then again, what do I know? I’m a “self proclaimed sexist, vulgar and embarrassing person” who has also publicly admitted to “eating babies”.

Case in point: fun little fantasy book reported as being “racist”

Lest you think I’m exaggerating on how petty yet dedicated they can be…

In 2010 I wrote a book.

I always wanted to write a book and I did. It’s a fantasy novel. I.e. Humans, Orcs, Elves, etc. type stuff. Random House even published it. Pretty cool eh? WRONG: My book was nothing but a thinly disguised racist screed on the need for building a border fence to keep the darkies out.  At least, that’s what I’m told.

What? How the hell did a light fantasy book become a political book?

Enter the SJW clique: self-described SJWs on a particular forum I participated in decided that my non-progressive views (I’m socially liberal, fiscally conservative, generally believe that people should be free to do what they want as long as they’re not hurting other people)  were unacceptable and harassed me to the point that the moderators banned them.  

And to be as fair as I can be: I wasn’t posting in some political thread. I was posting on a game forum in a thread about a game I was working on.  They had followed me to this thread and were being abusive and off-topic and they got banned for it.

So the wife of one of the people who got banned (who was, btw, the original editor-in-chief of Kotaku – I must have missed the article with the headline “Former Kotaku editor banned for stalking, harassing game developer”), wrote a fake review of my book which claimed that it was a racist book in which the heroes were building a fence to keep dark-skinned people out.

Only one problem: My book has no fence and there are no dark-skinned people in the book. They made it up. Completely.

Having labeled my little fantasy book a racist screed, they immediately created forum posts and Reddits (like this one) http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/d6mvk/so_stardock_ceo_brad_wardell_wrote_a_book_about_a/.  

So our “fair minded” SJWs proceeded to assume I was a monster and of course ripped my book apart and then jumped onto Amazon.com (note that not one of the 1-star reviews is by a verified purchaser – and if you look at the reviews, M.J. Gallant was the person banned from the forum for harassment and, again, was once the EIC of Kotaku and his wife was the one who wrote the fake review claiming my book was racist – that’s the level of dedication.  Note the dates of the 1-star reviews too, clumped together).

Now mind you, I’m not going to argue that my book was some sort of literary masterpiece. I’m a game developer. I had the chance to write a book and I did and you know what? It’s not a bad book. It was a fun, interesting learning experience that didn’t hurt anyone.

Look, I’m a game developer. Having my creative endeavors criticized goes with the territory. After 20 years, my skin is so thick that I barely notice death threats anymore. 

But this isn’t about having a thick skin. Imagine you had always wanted to write a book. You spend a year writing it and it even gets published – to book stores and everything -- only to have a bunch of assholes misrepresent the book and send their friends to trash and ridicule it? Imagine going to a family get together and having relatives say “Is your book really racist?”

Remember, the abuse I received had nothing to do with the quality of the book. If books based on a video game were regularly pilloried we’d have a never ending stream of Reddits. 

No, the reason I was targeted is because SJWs, the people who now represent the bulk of the “anti-#GamerGate” crowd, are perfectly comfortable with harassment and abuse as long as it’s the right people doing the harassment and abuse: Themselves.

Not an isolated incident

This isn’t just some isolated incident.  Having been in the game industry for 20 years, I’ve watched, with some sorrow, as their movement has organized and coalesced.  They’re too polite to call what they do “raiding” but, in effect, this is what they’ve been doing. This is what they continue to do and have been doing for years.

So here we are in 2014 and they’re finally getting a little push back and they’re outraged and upset. They’ve spent years being able to ridicule, abuse and harass people and things they don’t like with impunity.  I don’t blame them for being upset now. The free ride is over.

My recommendation is this: Don’t get your gang to attack, abuse or ridicule any individual. Attack the message not the person. Argue about ideas and philosophies don’t resort to character assassination. Because if you do, you are in no position to take some moral high ground.

 

Update 1: What inspired me to write this article was reading posts by people attacking #gamergate and clicking on their profile to see what else they had posted on only to find, surprise surprise they had participated in smearing me.  I used the book example specifically because it showed that the SJWs were happy to stalk my activities well outside my day job as a game developer and into my private works. It wasn't enough for them to just go around onto various game sites and attack me, they went out to slime me in an area that obviously has nothing to do with game development.

 

3 questions from Stardock to you

Published on Sunday, September 14, 2014 By Frogboy In Journals - GalCiv III

Greetings!

Today I would like to ask you guys some questions about strategy games.

1. What specific features of diplomacy do you traditionally like the most? I want you to be as specific as you can be. Which parts of diplomacy from any game do you like the most? What parts do you remember long after playing the most?

2. Looking back, how many turns do your favorite games last? This is important to know the specific number of turns the game in Question lasted. 

3. Consider all The 4X strategy games that you have ever played. How do you define what is a good strategy game or a bad one? To you what makes one strategy game good fand another one bad? Consider different memories you have of those games can you remember the parts that made you enjoy that game the most?

 

Thanks!

A history of the Frog CPUs!

Published on Friday, September 12, 2014 By Frogboy In Personal Computing

Forever now, I’ve been naming my PC’s “Frog-<Year purchased>”, Toad for my home machine and Turtle for my laptop and then benchmarking them.  My

Here’s a brief history of their Passmark scores:

Frog-2003 (Dell Pentium IV): 132
Turtle-2006 (ThinkPad T60) 150
Turtle-2007 (ThinkPad T61) 286
Frog-2007 (Dell XPS, Intel Core 2 Extreme) “Total monster” 798
Frog-2008 (Intel Core2 Duo E8200 Alienware Area 51) 2280
Frog-2009 (Intel Core2 Quad Q8300) 3040
Frog-2011 (Core I7-980) 8820
Frog-2014 (Core I7-4960X) 14027
Toad-2014 (Core I7-5960X) 17125

The world’s best strategy game developers are teaming up

Published on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 By Frogboy In PC Gaming

image

This week the team up of Stardock and Dallas based BonusXP was announced! We’re all very excited to work together on a new game that we think gamers are going to really like.

Little by little the pieces of our long-term strategy get announced.  Here’s a recap of what’s been going on:

2011

  • Stardock sells its Impulse digital distribution platform to Gamestop

2012

  • Stardock spins off its enterprise software unit into EdgeRunner
  • Stardock builds a second game studio in Plymouth Michigan

2013

  • Stardock and the development leads from Civilization V team up to form Oxide Games is founded to build a next-generation strategy game centric 3D engine
  • Stardock and Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson along with the Civilization IV/V art leads team up to form Mohawk Games to develop an economic RTS called Offworld Trading Company
  • Stardock acquires the trademark and publishing rights for the Star Control franchise (www.starcontrol.com)

2014

  • Stardock hires Battle.net engineer, Adrian Luff to run Stardock Austin and build a next-generation Metagame platform.
  • Stardock and the development team and designer of the Age of Empires series (BonusXP) team up on an unannounced strategy game
  • [October: New Stardock PC 4X game announcement]
  • [October: New Game Studio announcement soon]
  • [Soon:  New Game Studio announcement soon]

2015

  • New IP RTS game announcement
  • New Stardock 4X 4X game released
  • New IP game announcement
  • Galactic Civilizations III release
  • New IP game announcement

The nature of the team ups

From a game development point of view, the development, art, sound, music and design teams that were involved in Civilization, Civilization III, Civilization IV, Civilization V, Age of Empires series, Galactic Civilizations series, Sins of a Solar Empire series and more are all able to collaborate, support each other on everything from code review, design suggestions, gameplay feedback, art direction, etc.  

The next few years are going to be an amazing time to be a gamer!

Windows 8 gets its shadows!

Published on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 By Frogboy In Personal Computing

My desktop has 3 monitors with lots and lots of windows.  On Windows 8, it gets really fatiguing picking out the active window.  That’s because Windows 8, unlike Windows 7, doesn’t have shadows.  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves with Windows 8 visually.

This wasn’t a problem with Windows 7 because each window had its own drop shadow which changed based on what was the active window. As a result, at a glance, you could pick out the active window.

To address this, Stardock, the makers of Start8, Fences, ObjectDock, Launch8, ModernMix, etc. has released ShadowsFX, a simple little program that simply adds shadows back. 

Users can pick from a series of shadows.  I find that a medium shadow works the best but your mileage may vary.

image

Stardock ShadowFX in action

To Download:

http://www.stardock.com/products/shadowfx

Gamergate and the RPS response

Published on Monday, September 08, 2014 By Frogboy In PC Gaming

Today Rock Paper Shotgun put up this article with regards to the recent turmoil in the gaming community: Videogames are for everybody.

Disclaimer:

RPS is one of my favorite game sites. RPS is not just “another game site”, they are very important to both game developers/publishers as well as gamers. I say this because they have assembled an exceptionally high quality team of writers and reviewers. Anyone who thinks getting people with good writing skills and good judgment is easy has clearly never run a business before.

Now..that said…

There are a lot of good parts to that article. But there are some parts that I’d like to address:

Claim: I don’t believe the harassment is real. People are faking it to get attention.

RPS Response: You are wrong. Sorry. We’re getting some of the abuse. John particularly has been told to kill himself multiple times, with specific, ugly descriptions of how, and been sent repeated wishes that he die of cancer. And those have been the extremes. There has also been a non-stop flow of lies spread about him and RPS, abuse sent to us, including alarming videos designed to discredit both John and RPS. Nothing fake about any of that.

This is the first element I took issue with. No one is claiming that nobody is getting harassed. This is a case where semantics actually matter.  What gamers are getting tired of are certain female Internet celebrities trying to claim any harassment / trolling / flaming = sexual harassment and turning those claims into easy coverage for their (surprise surprise) upcoming new project. The media, predictably then responds lecturing gamers on their so-called misogyny.

As a reminder:

misogynist: Noun. A person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women.

 

Gamer Claim: Your site is corrupt. We know this because of the evidence presented in various videos and diagrams and put together by concerned individuals.

RPS Response: We’ve seen all this material, too. If any of it genuinely exposed corrupt practice, or if any of it could be verified with concrete evidence, we’d surely act on it…

I don’t have any issue with this response.  You don’t think there is any widespread journalism corruption.  I tend to agree with this as well. I don’t think there’s systematic corruption with gaming journalism. This would have been a great response from the media two weeks ago.

..Instead, gamers were treated to THIS (courtesy of jw)

The #Gamergate thing could be described in two parts:

  1. First, the original allegations about Zoe Quinn which were a tempest in a teapot
    and
  2. Second, the absurd, embarrassing response by some in the gaming media.

It wasn’t until the second part that the media lost a lot of gamers and game developers and #gamergate really took off.

If someone makes allegations that there is corruption, the best way to deal with that is to answer it (like today’s RPS article tries to do).  But that’s not what happened.  Instead, the media smeared gamers. 

So to recap, a bunch of gamers got upset at what appeared to them to be a pattern of corruption in the gaming media.  And instead of addressing these concerns they got called (again, from jw).

Terrorists (http://gamesnosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/devin.jpg)

Pathetic (http://gamesnosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/freelance-dev.jpg)

Racist (http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/image/96832821253)

Nerds (http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/image/96824882816)

Parasites (http://i.imgur.com/YYx4VM3.png)

Worthless (http://38.media.tumblr.com/3f7e5d258c3590d92e21a91c941cfc48/tumblr_nbel0pMV3y1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Deserving death (http://31.media.tumblr.com/05ce05fa39964870e51b029b76eb4453/tumblr_nbdot0XTYQ1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Misogynists (http://33.media.tumblr.com/cc4523e7baa0c17108abeb7ee15f5537/tumblr_nbfbwtzOO01tkhroeo1_1280.png) (Note: I’ve been informed that this post may be a troll account. I’ll replace this example shortly, but I’m taking a break from the #GamerGate issue for a bit.)

Subhuman (http://i.gyazo.com/af9f579b915579b16382885ee071a8a6.png)

Sociopaths (http://31.media.tumblr.com/6b838763c2a04c7356eb12aac086d2d4/tumblr_nbdfr6ZW3f1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Scum (http://i.imgur.com/rLT5hMG.png)

Morons (http://33.media.tumblr.com/839ef95775ce258ea9b69e3092b74c13/tumblr_nbaq6t5l8a1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Fat (http://38.media.tumblr.com/c006886fc38d780246bb0541e2158026/tumblr_nbaprdoOzq1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Nonexistent (http://38.media.tumblr.com/4f6b44d2d02dcf5637449c43f59081f0/tumblr_nbaraiM5CK1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Hateful (http://38.media.tumblr.com/04d047edde4912a0ae1d08d5d34eb073/tumblr_nbavqcjInC1tkhroeo1_1280.jpg)

Autistic (http://38.media.tumblr.com/070bec77b1eb20d7127eeb53e24cd739/tumblr_nb9o4uaZLh1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Deserving violence (http://media.tumblr.com/5fcf2906cbd6a4f0a2d0d118938a6647/tumblr_inline_nb9hwmg56l1t04v2j.png)

Bullies (http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/821/909/564.png)

Racial slurs (https://forum.encyclopediadramatica.es/attachments/1409516437457-png.47336/) (Note, the veracity of this instance is in question as a possible troll. The blog where I got it from, as with the rest of these,http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/#, is unsure of the source. I’m leaving it up so as to not just pretend I didn’t post it, but I’m going to add that this link is questionable in intent.)

Enablers of child pornography/Pedophiles: (http://38.media.tumblr.com/60d8774d77925c6c2b33da61a320fcc9/tumblr_nbgx6jSebG1tkhroeo2_1280.png) (This added in replacement of the Racial Slurs one as an example of some of the vitriol.)

Manbabies (http://31.media.tumblr.com/7300d99c72d76c2a2b3b90d4c3f9d222/tumblr_nb4nduL6ik1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Terrible people (http://38.media.tumblr.com/6f9fb624582e4d5a09ceb2174da96c18/tumblr_nb4rxxXlrK1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

And best of all — Trash: http://i.imgur.com/E4kRwKN.png

Needless to say, this upset some people.

You hate gamers. When we criticised you, you “spat on us”.

No, we don’t, and no, we didn’t. This statement is in quotation marks because that’s actually what someone said to us. That we spat on them. We understand that this person was speaking figuratively, but even so it does not reflect the truth. We banned people for being unexcellent on the forums and in comments, we blocked people attacking us on Twitter, and some of our writers expressed their frustration by lampooning what was said on social media. We make jokes when we’re unhappy, and we do tend to get sarcastic when faced with honest insults. It’s difficult.

All I can say to this is: See above.

We do not hate gamers. We object to, and will fight, harassment and abuse. But that has little to do with gamers, and little or nothing to do with the ethics of the games industry. Not everyone who objects to how the games press works are harassing and attacking, but the ones who are are causing enough disruption for this entire thing, whatever it actually is, to be a mess of resentment and recrimination. For any progress to be made, in any direction, it has to stop.

I would hate to get into a “but they started it” type of argument but, if game sites start publishing a mass string of articles claiming that anyone who is concerned that coverage is less about merit and more about who’s sleeping with who is really just a horrible misogynist and needs to grow up and get out of their parents basements, I think that the recipient of this abuse is going to not take that well.

The problem is this: If you insult enough people, eventually you will have a lot of opponents. I’m not referring to RPS but to the self-described “Social Justice Warrior” dominated press (I don’t really have any serious criticism of RPS specifically, I am just hoping they can see the 10,000 foot high picture of this).  Five years ago I would have been a lot more sympathetic to the Social Justice Warriors.  I wonder how many on the fence gamers the SJWs lost during the whole “Dick Wolves” insanity.  Eventually, non-snowflakes get fatigued at the deluge of first-world victim/outrage stories – and don’t forget, if you complain, you are blaming the victim. Each time they smear someone, they lose another small group. Drip. Drip. Drip.

And it is. We love games. We hate harassment, prejudice, and abuse.

Most gamers hate harassment, prejudice and abuse too. So why are so many in the gaming media subjecting them to harassment, prejudice and abuse?

I know of many others who would be natural allies of “social justice warriors” but have suffered at the hands of sustained harassment and death threats courtesy of SJWs.  So when they see the media march lockstep with these people, they think that either you guys aren’t aware of their true nature or worse, you think that death threats and harassment are fine as long as it’s against people who “deserve it”.

If anything good comes of this #gamergate debacle it’s this: It is likely that the SJW movement into the games industry has reached its furthest extent. They’ve managed to alienate a critical mass of people with their shenanigans.

I, like many others, wasn’t just neutral but didn’t really care until the August 28 deluge of insult articles appeared. That’s where you lost a lot of game developers. And make no mistake, like the gaming media, we have our own mailing lists as well and most, if not nearly all, were appalled by that series of articles. 

RPS posts that contain controversy about sexism are just clickbait. You do not actually believe this stuff, and you are just doing it for hits.

Nope, we actually believe it. If you believe that we actually don’t, well, it’s going to be hard to change your mind. But there would be easier ways to generate traffic, with less abuse directed at us, if what was really on our minds was traffic. Why wouldn’t we just do that?

Good for them for saying this. And I agree. News items are much easier to get page views from than original content. It's one of those urban legends that game sites live/die on click bait.

You are doing it for sexual favours.

Wow. No.

Well I am. Winking smile 

Nevertheless, I believe changing games will ruin them. They’re supposed to be about escapism.

Escapism is great! We love it. We all need to escape. Even the people analysing and criticising want to escape for a while. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do. It’s not all that games can do, though, is it? Games can be about real world situations. The same systems that run games are used to train pilots and soldiers. Game developers are using them to talk about social situations, personal issues, and to explore the real world from an interactive perspective, just as books explore it from a literary perspective. There are games about politics and social lives, economies and history. Games are a big old toolbox, and using them as escapism is just one application. Let’s not limit them.

Women tend to like different types of games than men and vice versa.  It has nothing to do with how “inclusive” the community is.  5 of the most popular games for women include Candy Crush, Bejweweled 2, Crosswords and Soduku, Cake Shop 2 and World of Warcraft (this is before Sims 4 was released).  In short, generally speaking (WoW aside) women tend to like different games than men. And that’s fine. 

Gaming really is for everyone. But gaming is a relationship between the people who make the games and the people who play them.  The level of “inclusiveness” in the communities nor the sensitivity of the journalist has little to do with attracting women to a given game. It’s mostly the game itself. Is the game fun and interesting to a woman? 

My disinterest in playing Cake Shop 2 is not because the women playing it are filled is misandry. It’s really not their fault.

This is horrible, why can’t we keep the politics out of games? Why can’t we just talk about the games?

This is one of those deeply tricky philosophy type things: not talking about politics is actually taking a political stance on them. It doesn’t keep the politics out. Tricky, right? It seems like a trick. But it’s really not: just talking about the games, without questioning anything, is you taking a political stance on games because it amounts saying that you completely accept the games at face value. Your stance on their politics is: this is fine. You can’t just talk about the games, because they can’t be pulled apart from the ideas and circumstances that brought them into being. You can ignore problems, or just not see them, and that’s okay. But if you talk about games, you talk about politics.

When we discuss how a woman is presented in a game we are talking about the game. She’s part of that game. If she’s a prostitute who gets killed by a pirate, then that happens in the game. That imaginary murder is part of the game content. Furthermore, games are not a disconnected dimension, even while they are being amazing escapist outlets for fantasy. They have a context. They reflect the world, and they are expressions of what the people made the game were trying to achieve. Some people want to examine that. They want to look at why a prostitute being murdered by a pirate is what happens in that game. They want to examine what it means. You don’t have to – it’s totally fine for you to enjoy whatever you like, and completely ignore any possible criticism, or even any possible meaning – but please don’t attack others for wanting to do so.

So basically this policy of “just talking about the games” isn’t really anything of the sort, and it can lead to saying that people who do analyse them politically, and point out how they might be problematic for themselves or others (if not for you) should shut up. It is silencing criticism, which is the thing that everyone wants to avoid. Let’s not do that, no matter what.

I think that’s all fine. But it seems like the gaming media can talk about things other than games without attacking their readers.  The objection isn’t about whether there’s a discussion on whether murdering prostitutes should give you HP is a good for society or not.  The objection is saying that people who play that game are bad people.

If we game a game that is offensive, then tell us. We can take it. To emphasize: Game developers have a tremendous level of respect for gaming sites like RPS. We trust you.  Your candid article is great thing. I wish it had come out 3 weeks ago before the well was poisoned by a dozen+ “gamers are losers” articles.

Well, you still won’t engage the other side of the debate. Why isn’t that represented on RPS?

Because we are this side. Our own side. The chaotic nature of this debate, and the way it has been pursued, make things very difficult for us, but we’re doing our best to address some of it in this article. We already believe that we behave ethically, and don’t yet see anything that requires changing. If the current line up of issues could be separated from the abuse – as it clearly can and should be – then perhaps there would be something more concrete and useful to go on. Until that time, we can only present our editorial policy, and our philosophy towards writing about games, in response to the questions we have been asked.

We’re against sexism, we support feminist arguments of various kinds. We encourage you to disagree with these arguments, but we are not obliged to disagree with them ourselves, or to publish arguments attacking them at any level of vehemence. We do not have to present anyone else’s argument. RPS is a curated space, privately owned by individuals. It is our own website, which we use to say the things we want to say. That is bias, and we are completely happy to accept that. We are not objective robots, or a corporation trying to be “neutral”, and wouldn’t want to be. Yes, we invite some discussion, but we also get to police that, and decide when enough is enough. We have a huge platform with millions of people reading it. There are many things we just don’t want posted on our site, because this site is not for them to promote themselves. In 2014 people of all kinds have all manner of platforms to work from, they don’t need this one, and we’re certainly not obliged to allow free reign in using it.

This was my favorite part of the article because, to me, it represents the most earnest, honest part of the discussion.  This would have been a great statement for the gaming sites to make – 2 weeks ago.

If an RPS or Kotaku or Gamasutra wants to publicly acknowledge that they have an agenda to promote games and personalities based on their politics then how can anyone object to that? It’s their site. 

At the same time, however, the gaming media will continue to decline, and make no mistake, it is declining, if the readership continues to lose trust in the objectivity of the site.  If a gamer is just interested in finding fun games, they’re going to be disinclined to visit sites that determine their coverage based on their politics rather than any sense of objective merit. That isn't the same as saying they should/need to be "neutral".  Write interesting things and people will come.

I read RPS every day. I expect I’ll continue to read RPS every day as long as the stories and content are things I’m interested in. They’re under no obligation to cover things I’m interested in.  If they switched their coverage to focusing on handheld games, I’d probably stop reading it just as if they started bombarding me with articles telling me I’m a misogynist because I like Grand Theft Auto.  That’s how the free market works and I say good for them.

Make sure you read the whole thing: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/09/08/videogames-are-for-everybody/

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