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Sheriff Belor Hemolock

Scott Betts's page

Goblin Squad Member. 6,958 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Occasionally fudging die rolls, and reserving the right to roll behind a screen while requiring players to roll openly

I don't ever do this. First, from personal experience, it can lead to players questioning the legitimacy of the DM, which can cheapen the experience (in either direction, depending on the level of "PC-friendliness" of your DM). It also heightens the tension - the players know that I don't know the outcome either. All die rolls are made out in the open, unless what's happening is actually secret (Stealth checks for unseen creatures, for instance).

This is a trick. It makes the players believe that the game's outcome is truly in the hands of their decisions and the outcome of die rolls. That's an illusion. I still retain control of the game, and have a chest of tools I can use to alter the game's outcome without needing the dice to turn out in my favor (or against my favor).

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Employing prominent NPCs/GMPCs

GMPCs? No, not unless I have no other option. I'm not there to get my jollies off in my own world. I'm there to see how players react to it and to make their experience a good one.

The players and their characters are the most important thing in the game world.

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Disallowing (or even placing restrictions of any kind on) full casters

Never. This is the sort of thing I can only see being conscionable if the DM is truly a novice, and doesn't feel comfortable dealing with the mild curveballs that full casters sometimes throw.

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Enforcing alignment in clear and definitive fashion

Alignment is descriptive. Not prescriptive. Always. There is nothing to "enforce".

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Imposing an objective morality on paladins, such as disallowing prevarication for selfish gain, torture, baby- (including baby monster) killing and casual sex as inherently evil and/or chaotic

Objective morality is uninteresting, and leads to intra-party conflict. Intra-party conflict is the game-killer.

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Not providing the "required"/desired magical paraphernalia on schedule

If the game's mechanics are predicated on a loose adherence to a set of progression guidelines, I will follow those guidelines. Your DM freedom is not being constrained by this. If you feel it is, you need to find a different way to flex your creativity. Hint: It probably shouldn't involve you making your players feel like they're being deprived, or being punished.

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Believing the DM's role is benevolent autocrat rather than either gleeful tyrant or impotent fantasy tour guide

This I absolutely agree with, though my experience is that this is more a "new school" trait than just about anything on this list.

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Refusal to permit evil (or even chaotic neutral) PCs

I discourage evil PCs, and any players who do run evil PCs need to agree (out of game) to make a special effort to find a way to align their goals with the party's goals.

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Disallowing classes that violate the campaign's established and specific tone

There is no such thing. You can figure out a way to find a place for that class or race in your campaign. I have faith in you.

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Laying the smack down, hard, on abusive meta-gaming

I'm not sure what "hard" means here, but in my experience the idea of "abusive" metagaming is much overplayed.

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Requiring immersive role-play rather than simple recitation of mechanics

It isn't my job as DM to dictate to my players how they enjoy their character and their place in the game. If they don't want to participate heavily in character-based social interaction, that's fine.

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Taking control of PCs who refuse to role-play honestly when charmed, dominated, etc.

This doesn't seem like something anyone would object to, or that anyone would term particularly "old school". I mean, what's the alternative? Let the player act like their character is unaffected? Does anyone allow that? Ever?

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Retaining control over magical weapons, cohorts, mounts, animal companions, eidolons, etc.

Yeah, because that's what DMs need. More control over the game world. Unrestrained power to shape the world and story, but you'll be damned if you let one of your players control his own pony's action! Heck, I take it a step further - I retain control of all PCs' right arms; you know, just in case.


Kthulhu wrote:
Why are you arbitrarily limiting your picks to American software companies. There's plenty of software companies in other countries that could make great Golarion's games (a more accurate description, given that they can't really make games using the Pathfinder system).

I was naming companies that I felt could do a proper Pathfinder traditional-ish CRPG treatment. If we're discussing a different sort of game entirely, the picture changes.

Here's another way of looking at this: Paizo has a licensing arrangement with Obsidian. The question to ask is "Why Obsidian?" If you (general "you", not you specifically, Kthulhu) think the answer is, "Because they wanted to make a tablet CCG with existing art assets and mechanics that have already been built and balanced," you probably need to reexamine things.


Aranna wrote:
First off Scott, Rynjin, and Kthulhu they are probably going to be busy doing their MMO, this card game, and that kickstarter game for a few years and then it will take time after that to make a CRPG... a lot can change in that amount of time.

Their MMO is quite far along, and Pillars of Eternity ("that kicktarter game") is slated for release in a few months. Their team is more than capable of handling more than one project at a time.

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Secondly Scott I hope you are right and that they have left behind the business model where they failed to give support for games (whoever is at fault); but they haven't yet been able to demonstrate that.

Woah, hold on. You can level plenty of criticism at Obsidian, but failing to give support? NWN2 and FO:NV both received huge amounts of post-release support, and those are probably their most significant titles to date.

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Remember this isn't a huge software house and they are now working on at least three games, will they be willing to support titles after release even with limited manpower?

Obsidian is big enough to have multiple teams, I believe. Yes, they are working on three games. That's very manageable. Games require different levels of attention from different groups at different stages of the development process.

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As for a CRPG:

So far Obsidian is known best for doing installments of other peoples games; it remains to be seen if they can handle one as complicated as a CRPG all on their own from scratch. I will give them credit for having some solid experience in the field but I still worry about support.

I'm not sure what you mean by "other peoples games". Obsidian is responsible for KotOR 2, NWN 2, FO:NV, South Park: Stick of Truth, and Alpha Protocol. This is a spectrum of RPGs with different levels of creative input (NWN 2 was an existing franchise with a new engine, FO:NV was an existing franchise with an existing engine, South Park was the first translation of the franchise into RPG form, and Alpha Protocol was an entirely original game).

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Bioware would have been the best choice for a Pathfinder CRPG, they are proven leaders in CRPGs.

InXile I am unfamiliar with their work. And they seem rather busy with Kickstarter stuff themselves.

CD Projekt basically did Witcher... You are right they could probably handle a Pathfinder CRPG well.

You don't sound very sure of Larian yourself. They did Divinity which I haven't played.

I haven't played Divinity either, but I've heard very positive things about it from people who are picky about their CRPGs.

Bioware is obviously the strongest choice, but it simply isn't a good deal from Bioware's end - they own multiple juggernaut RPG franchises, and have no real reason to shackle themselves to someone else's world (Pathfinder) when they could simply be trading on the wild popularity of their own settings (the exception, of course, being when the other guys' world is even more wildly popular, like Star Wars).

I also should have noted originally that CD Projekt doesn't really qualify as one of my five, since they're not based in the States.


Aranna wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Obsidian? That's too bad.

I haven't been very impressed with their support for their games.

There are perhaps five houses in the country capable of doing a Pathfinder CRPG justice.

Obsidian is one of them.

Oh? What five are those?

And you seem confused, this is a tablet card game not a CRPG.

I'm not confused. A tablet CCG is their first Pathfinder project, but not their only Pathfinder project. Given Obsidian's history, it would be silly to think they're not giving serious treatment to a Pathfinder CRPG title. In fact, I'm kind of counting on it.

Other houses that I wager could produce a respectable Pathfinder CRPG: Bioware, inXile, CD Projekt, maaaaaybe Larian. I may be forgetting one or two.


JoelF847 wrote:
Also, if a game is put out for a publisher, rather than directly by the developers, then the support for the game is often determined by the publisher - if they won't pay for it, they don't get it. Often the developer wants to support a game and their publisher won't let them.

This is why Obsidian has recently been going the Kickstarter route - they've been burned (rather infamously) by publisher demands and support in the past few years. I don't blame them for wanting to kick that model to the curb.


Aranna wrote:

Obsidian? That's too bad.

I haven't been very impressed with their support for their games.

There are perhaps five houses in the country capable of doing a Pathfinder CRPG justice.

Obsidian is one of them.


Hama wrote:
Being good at another game helping you be good at this one should be criticised?

Only in the sense that if you enjoy the process of learning a new mechanical system (like the game's combat system) that learning process won't really be there. There's a sort of satisfaction that comes with taking on that kind of challenge and coming out on top, but a small portion of the game's player base is coming into the game with that mastery already in place.


I think the only real criticism of this game that I can come up with is that the skill set you need to develop to master the game's combat is very similar to the Arkham series, which means that if you put in a lot of hours in the Arkham games you will spend most of the game straight up wiping the floor with uruk-hai.

Also, for those who are mid-way through the game's progression trees, Brutalize is a fantastic way to start off a combat encounter with a charged combo counter.


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Aranna wrote:

Hold on there this is hypocrisy.

You are demanding an impossible standard for real feminists while giving men who would never help women get an equal share the pass. You can only argue so many issues before your viewpoint becomes diluted and irrelevant. I would LOVE to see the reaction you would get if you said "shut up and also help all those other people who are suffering too like Latinos, disadvantaged white children, or women" to all those mobs fighting for equal rights for blacks. I have never met a real feminist who didn't care that some boys were being mistreated and if presented with an opportunity to make things better wouldn't have hesitated to do so. BUT those little steps forward that Dr Sommers likes to point to as proof we should all shut up would NEVER have happened without real feminists bringing those issues forward. Sexism is the single largest -ism facing the world today not just for the appalling treatment of women in third world countries but also the way we are still treated here at home in the first world. The time for us to shut up will be when inclusivity and equality is the NORM not the outlier. It gets real annoying being a real feminist when on one side you have fake feminists like Dr. Sommers saying every thing is roses and the other tiny few but VERY vocal extreme feminist man haters out there making bad press...

Ahh, so a real feminist is whatever you agree with, and a fake feminist is whatever you don't agree with.

Got it. No True Scotsman in spades.

It's mind-blowing that you're accusing anyone of hypocrisy is the middle of a post where you try to marginalize a subset of people ostensibly in the name of fighting against the marginalization of a subset of people.


Hama wrote:
Have you played the original and 2?

We don't judge video games solely on how they measure up against earlier titles in the franchise.


MMCJawa wrote:

I do think it's interesting that earlier in the thread, people were arguing that you can't paint all the people who complain about Sarkeesian, GamerGate, what have you as misogynists, because the people behind the death/rape threats are an extreme viewpoint that doesn't reflect gamers

But some of those same people think you can paint all feminists as bad, because of a few perhaps extreme individuals

No one is saying that. Literally no one. Why the strawman?

What is being said is that people don't want to self-identify as feminists (or "modern feminists", or whatever) because to do so is to associate with what they see as a movement that is steered primarily by hostility and toxic behavior. No one is saying that all self-identifying feminists are hostile and toxic. But enough of them are to turn people off from wanting to identify with that group. I could give you examples of other communities that face the same challenge, but hopefully that's unnecessary.


mechaPoet wrote:
I was honestly curious what your advice was, but I just don't agree with it. There are plenty of feminists who are capable of calm discussion, and do so. I just don't buy into the dichotomy that says that anger and rationality can't co-exist in a person or argument.

No one is saying they can't co-exist. That doesn't mean that that's the best way to present yourself.

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I also think that phrasing this as a "debate" is not helpful, since (to me at least) it implies that it's more important who is the "winner" of the debate rather than the subject being debated.

That's the wrong way to see a debate. Both are important. A debate is simply a discussion where the parties involved do not agree with one another. There is a debate happening, on a societal level. And the winner does matter.

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The other problem I often see is that I and others are told they're being "hostile" just for identifying or pointing out problems of inequality. Have you ever tried to explain the word "privilege" to people who have it? I have. It ain't easy; people get defensive even with copious explanations and links to illustrate exactly what I'm talking about.

Yes, they do. Patience is the order of the day. It's not fun, it's not fair that you have to have the patience of a mountain, but you do need to have the patience of a mountain.

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That said, it's not my job to be an ambassador to all of feminism. There are plenty of people who aren't hostile within the movement (but are sometimes perceived as such, as I outlined above), so why focus on saying that "we" need to curtail the more extreme elements?

If you don't feel like you are personally responsible for the movement, that's fine. You can disregard what I'm saying. But I think you probably should consider that you should be personally responsible for the movement. Cause ownership is an important part of movement politics.


Loving it so far, but encountering some characteristics that make the game less enjoyable. Many that Werthead mentioned above are sticking points for me as well - the massive disparity in utility between combat-oriented skills (Assault Rifle and Field Medic) versus non-combat skills (Alarm Disabling and Toaster Repair) without a similar disparity in cost is a big one, as is the unforgivable design choice to make safecracking and lockpicking two different skills (to say nothing of the massive overlap between Brute Force and Lockpicking that makes you feel like a chump for investing points in both, especially since the very first companion you pick up has a number of ranks in Brute Force). I like the supply scarcity, though I'm only playing on Seasoned so it might become unbearable at higher difficulty levels.

I feel like this is the sort of game that really needs a new player guide to avoid getting stuck in some of the game's pitfalls.


Blazej wrote:
I just find it odd given that this is largely what I would say to those on the side of GamerGate. For every comment that actively condemns a lot of the bile I saw, there is another that supports, justifies, or casually dismisses comments made for the general cause.

But you are seeing comments that condemn that bile, by people trying to dissociate themselves from the misogynistic, abusive segment of that community.


Albatoonoe wrote:
What makes you think we don't do this? We certainly do, but it doesn't account for much. We live in the information age where anyone can talk to anyone. We can ostracize extremists but they can still be heard. Then the opposition takes that as our gospel. We freaking try, but the internet makes that mighty difficult. It's a Sisyphean task you're asking us to undertake just to get some credibility.

Welcome to movement politics. No one said it would be easy. What you have encountered here is a hard problem. It is not an insurmountable one. Merely hard. Start coming up with solutions.


Sissyl wrote:
When a sensible person of a larger group finds that an extremist, hateful part of the same group is making too much noise, to the point where the actions of the extremists taints the perception of the entire group, that person's job (if they still want to save the group) is to make sure people understand that they personally are taking exception to what the extremists are doing, work to marginalize the extremists within the group by strengthening the more sensible sub-groups, and support movements to exclude the extremists. This goes for ALL groups. If they do not do this, it is going to end up at the point where the sensible person must either break with the entire group or accept sharing the tainted perceptions the extremists gave rise to.

This.


thejeff wrote:
It's a perception problem. A PR problem. The fix is a perception fix and a PR fix, not a sanitize the movement so it doesn't scare anyone fix.

I think most PR people would acknowledge that your campaign probably ought to avoid scaring away the people it needs supporting it. The question is whether the movement can keep its goals intact while still avoiding coming across as indiscriminate or out of control.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Here's the thing. I've never seen this problem. I've seen people talk about it, but I've never seen the problem. And when they talk about it, I never see any actual proof that it's a common thing. So, I'm not denying a problem. I'm not convinced there is one. By all means, if you have evidence to point to an ongoing and common problem (more so than a perceived problem), then I'll be right on board.

Perception is the problem. It doesn't matter whether it's real (and it is, to some degree - I've seen dozens of angry, hostile, dismissive rants on my own Facebook feed, every one of which I have given a 10-foot pole's berth to) or merely perceived. Your movement is perceived to be toxic and hostile, even to those who aren't opposed to it.

So what do you plan to do about it?


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Albatoonoe wrote:
I don't buy it. That whole "bunch of man haters" thing is the same exact rhetoric that has been thrown at feminism since it began. Man Haters are an extremist minority. A very loud one, but they are still a minority.

Stop denying that this is a problem. You have a veritable crowd of people telling you that they like your ideals but can't associate with your movement because that vocal minority makes association toxic.

Your job is now to clean house (if you'll pardon the unfortunate chauvinism inherent in that metaphor). You need these people on your side, and bad apples (whether they are few or many isn't the point) are preventing that from happening. Reclaim your movement, stop letting extremists run away with it, and start making popular progress. I'm seeing a lot of parallels in the feminist community right now to what happened with the recent Tea Party movement - it's fun to have the injection of enthusiasm that the Tumblr teenager and radical crowds bring, but those groups cannot be expected to moderate their beliefs or tactics; you have to do it for them, or they will hijack your movement.


thejeff wrote:
Of course every wave of feminism has faced the same criticism. Often from those who supported the previous one.

Which obviously means any such criticism is automatically invalid, right?


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Albatoonoe wrote:
The idea of "modern feminist" is dishonest at best.

No, it isn't. Third-wave feminism is an actual thing (though, arguably, not a particularly cohesive thing).

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It's a diversionary tactic.

No, it's not. Why do you want it to be a diversionary tactic?

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By calling the other side "crazy" you don't have to acknowledge them. You don't acknowledge crazy talk.

Or maybe they legitimately see that position as silly. Besides, how is what you're doing here any different? You're effectively dismissing the entire notion that subsets of feminism can be criticized by painting anyone who does so as simply wanting to avoid acknowledging those subsets!

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So, drop it. Drop this arbitrary division between "feminists" and "modern feminists" because it's starting to sound like the crazy ones are the ones you don't agree with.

I know a great number of men and women (probably the majority of those I know, in fact) who consider themselves feminists (in the equity-feminist sense, and possibly in the gender-feminist sense) but who are terrified of using the word feminist to describe themselves because of the tactics, goals, and beliefs held by the most vocal people who call themselves feminists. It seems, to me, to be very similar to how segments of Christianity have been drowned out by the extreme and the vocal, to the point where some Christians are reluctant to be vocal about their faith for fear of appearing to associate with the extremist fringe.

You don't consider this an identity issue, for feminists?


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mechaPoet wrote:

Regarding Gamer Gate: Zoe Quinn's final thoughts, with lots of helpful links

Here's what GamerGate is actually about: punishing a woman for, I dunno, being a woman? Having a relationship with someone other than her spiteful ex-boyfriend? Trumped up rumors, outright lies, and horrible sexist threats?

Do you feel like you have the authority to decide, unilaterally, what a movement you are not a part of is "about"? Putting the shoe on the other foot, would you feel justified in being angry if someone opposed to your own movement tried to define, for you, what your movement is about based on the actions of a fraction of people who identify with it?


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thejeff wrote:
That's okay. "male-bashing, propaganda-driven, female chauvinism" seems like the same kind of absurd, tribalistic strawman created to make opposing it easier to stomach to me.

I wouldn't call that accurate, either. Why is it okay to portray either side that way?


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Werthead wrote:
A key complaint of GamerGate proponents is that "Gameplay is king," and people should be talking about the gameplay as the most important thing and anything social or cultural should be ignored. "It doesn't matter if a game is sexist as long as the game is fun," is a fundamental touchstone of the movement, and the suggestion that sexism makes the game less fun for many players (including male gamers as well as women) seems to genuinely baffle them.

Do you feel that this is an accurate portrayal of people concerned about the GamerGate events? Where was it enshrined that "Gameplay is king" is a "key complaint" of the movement? Who and where are these people who believe that everything cultural or social about video games should be ignored? Who and where are these people who are "genuinely baffled" by the idea that sexism can make a game less enjoyable?

I don't want to be associated with people like that, but at the same time I'm having a hard time believing that they even exist in numbers large enough that they can be said to define the movement. It sounds like an absurd, tribalistic strawman created to make opposing it easier to stomach.


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mechaPoet wrote:

I don't trust anyone who asserts that they're relying on "facts" as a form of asserting their authority. Especially when it's pretty obviously presented in opposition to anyone who disagrees. Sort of a "You can't argue against my argument because it is based on FACTS" thing.

Sommers may have "facts," but she's also interpreting a lot of them in a dishonest manner. Also, how is "I talked to a bunch of gamers and they said they don't care who you are as long as you love games!" any sort of valid point?

Anyway I give this video 1/10. Try harder, leave the gender essentialism in the garbage.

Could you elaborate on the facts that she is interpreting in a dishonest manner?

Also:

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I don't trust anyone who asserts that they're relying on "facts" as a form of asserting their authority.

This seems like a silly thing to say. You're essentially saying that evidence (generally taken to be the most valid basis for one's authority on a subject) is in fact one of the least valid grounds to base one's authority on. What would be your preferred basis? Popularity? Wealth? Physical strength?


thejeff wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
An interesting dialogue between Dr. Sommers and Adam Weinstein (Gawker employee) held two weeks ago.
What's interesting about it, other than characterizing disagreement as "male-bashing, propaganda-driven, female chauvinism"?

Come on. That can't have been your entire takeaway.


GreyWolfLord wrote:

Is there anyway to play it offline and single player if you wanted?

We have Internet, but the fastest that comes to the area I'm at is around 150 Kps...which is really slow comparatively to what's around these days in more populated areas.

The game is online only, though the main campaign can be completed solo. Your bandwidth may or may not be sufficient; I don't know what sort of data demands Destiny puts on your connection.


thejeff wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

Further information:

A detailed look at Dr. Sommers, her claims, and the data referenced.

This is really, really good stuff. Thank you.

"Really really Good stuff", except where it doesn't connect the points.

I agree with argument that there's a gender gap between hardcore and casual gamers and with the existence of a difference between the two classifications.

I'll even agree at least that there is no evidence that video games cause sexism or sexist attitudes and provisionally that millennials are less prejudiced.

None of this says that the games more frequently played by the hardcore gamers aren't sexist and that the sexism in those games, while they may not make those gamers more sexist, might still be part of the reason there is a gender gap.
Games not causing sexism certainly doesn't justify sexism in games. Nor does it justify the appalling abuse of some feminist commentators.

What really is the point of this again? Not quite shooting down a strawman, but not really on target either.

I wasn't commenting on the video itself as "good stuff". Rather, it was the fact-checking that I appreciated for its thoroughness. I'm not going to wade into the larger debate here, mostly because I don't feel there's really a "good side" worth supporting.


Necromancer wrote:

Further information:

A detailed look at Dr. Sommers, her claims, and the data referenced.

This is really, really good stuff. Thank you.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
In contrast, I don't see the WotC/Hasbro of today providing useful artistic input (TSR or the WotC of D&D 3.0/early 3.5 days could have been another matter, but alas, that is all gone),

Considering that the first two Dungeons & Dragons films were released in 2000 and 2005, respectively (in other words, the first developed when TSR owned D&D, the second developed during the 3.0/early 3.5 days) and were both widely panned, I think you might have a case of rose-colored-glasses-itis.


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Alceste008 wrote:
Slaunyeh wrote:

Uh. That's not the disgusting trend that is being exposed here. The disgusting trend being exposed is how a vocal minority (hopefully) will latch onto anything to spread disgusting lies and lash out at women, while hiding behind weak claims of "journalistic integrity".

I mean, they are literally discussing the pros and cons of harassing Zoe Quinn until she kills herself. (warning: not for the faint of heart.)

Are you sure that's the side you want to be on?

What these people are doing to her is utterly despicable. Their presence on one side of the debate utterly and totally taints that side's message especially in regards to this issue.

When people like this are agreeing with you, you should rethink, reevaluate, and respecify your message by leaving the entire incident involving her out. Because otherwise, your message will get lost with the likes of these truly disgusting individuals and normal people will just ignore anything you say.

...That's what we're trying to do, but then we keep getting told that we can't separate them.


thejeff wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
shadram wrote:

This is the most rational thing I've read about the accusations of corruption in games media:

Link

There's no conspiracy, and the lack of evidence that there is no conspiracy is because no conspiracy exists for there to be a lack of evidence of. I think. I'm confused...

EDIT: Linkified

I think the fact that seven different gaming news organizations put out articles using recycled language on the topic of the "death" of the gamer identity in the span of 24 hours in the middle of this debacle puts to rest the notion that there was no organized attempt to manipulate the discussion by a rather ridiculous number of games journalists.
From the Forbes article you pointed me to
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This many articles at once all saying the same thing seemed fishy to many, though I would argue it had nothing to do with coordination and everything to do with like minds feeding off of one another.

And I disagree - had these articles been spread out over the course of months, it wouldn't be a concern. But they came out in alarming proximity to one another and with a shared set of language that no one outside the games journalism community was using.

I hate conspiracy theories, and this does qualify as one (however minor), but come on. When seven different sites decide to report on the "death" of a specific identity on the exact same day, it's stretches credulity to believe that this wasn't planned.


Muad'Dib wrote:

Not to dodge your questions Scott, but why fight this battle here?

The debate that journalists should be held to a higher standard as noble as it sounds is being discussed entirely due to dubious claims made by an ex boyfriend. Horrible things were done to a fellow human and gamer in public venue. The chat logs are about as disgusting a thing as I've read on the internet. Zoe is ground zero of this particular debate.

It's not that the idea of journalists being held to a higher standard does not have merits. It's just in the context of what was said and done to a fellow human it just feels...wrong.

For the same reason that it "feels wrong" to advance a cause like firearms control in the wake of a school shooting - it's a worthy cause, but one that people aren't particularly motivated to do something about until it rears its head in dramatic fashion. The unfortunate reality is that change can only happen during periods of unrest, and periods of unrest tend to be infrequent.


shadram wrote:

This is the most rational thing I've read about the accusations of corruption in games media:

Link

There's no conspiracy, and the lack of evidence that there is no conspiracy is because no conspiracy exists for there to be a lack of evidence of. I think. I'm confused...

EDIT: Linkified

I think the fact that seven different gaming news organizations put out articles using recycled language on the topic of the "death" of the gamer identity in the span of 24 hours in the middle of this debacle puts to rest the notion that there was no organized attempt to manipulate the discussion by a rather ridiculous number of games journalists.


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Muad'Dib wrote:

Scott has been reasonable and as always presents a spirited debate. However I'm a bit surprised he is picking up the OP's banner and running with it. The entire case made to support his argument has been tainted.

If this was a court case I think it would be a mistrial.

-MD

I'm not arguing on behalf of 4chan, reddit, or any other particular community. The people harassing Quinn suck. The people using Quinn's harassment as a cudgel against anyone trying to get a word in edgewise aren't much better. There are unpleasant people on both "sides" of this (I don't actually think this discussion is limited to two factions, but there are certainly two factions dominating its narratives).

But you mention "his argument" here. I'm curious as to what you think my argument is.


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ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
Line-by-line antagonistic debate (note, debate. Not discussion),

Debate is a form of discussion, usually between two people who disagree with one another.

Debate isn't a bad thing.

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dismissal of factual evidence,

I haven't dismissed any factual evidence.

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and the placement of words in others' mouths

Like what?

Are you saying that you didn't paint everyone who disagrees with your position as either duped or malicious? An apology here would go a long way.

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is identical to every other conversation I've tried to hold with people involved in GamerGate.

It may be time to consider that the only real consistent thread throughout your interactions with other people on this topic has been you and your tactics and attitude. If the conversations sound sort of similar, that's one thing. If they sound identical, though, there's a good chance that's because you are consistently steering those conversations to a specific place time after time.

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The copy-and-pasted "conversation" is old and tired by this point, and I have no interest in playing your games. Sorry.

I'm not playing a game. I am, however, beginning to believe that you really, really want to make it seem like I am.


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ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
I don't know exactly what your agenda is, Scott. I hope it's not malicious, I like to assume the best in everyone I talk to.

You began by accusing literally everyone who disagreed with your position of being either a) duped and stupid, or b) malicious.

What did you expect?

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But you obviously have no desire to actual discuss anything, only to pick apart posts looking for a fight. Sorry, I've had this dance with others online and like I said before, it sadly doesn't lead to anything meaningful. I wish it did, but your confrontational approach implies otherwise.

Asking you to answer a handful of questions is now "confrontational"?

And this, from someone who painted the entire "opposition" as malicious or stupid?

If you want an actual conversation, it's here. I have not been hostile, called you names, or dishonestly misrepresented you. It would be nice if you had held yourself to those standards, too.

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Anyway, for those that are wanting to learn more about the grossness that festers under the guise of GamerGate, I hope this and this provide some proper insight. Of course, they'll just be labeled as "biased" sources because it's not what they want to hear.

It would probably help if, like I said earlier, you were able to locate sources of information that aren't on websites literally dedicated to getting into fights with misogynists on the internet.

Do no such sources exist?

Why don't they?

Does no non-activist source of coverage consider this important enough to provide a fact-based breakdown of what happened in a way that validates your beliefs?

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Like Muad'Dib said, the fact that GamerGate insists on ignoring the harassment of Zoe and Anita to push their own agenda is the only thing morally bankrupt going on. If they really cared about things so passionately like they claim, it's sad to not see that compassion directed towards a victim instead of such a broad and nebulous thing like "gaming journalism."

No one is ignoring that! Who is ignoring that? Who here is claiming that this harassment isn't happening or that it isn't morally reprehensible?

I've asked you a lot of questions. You haven't answered any of them. I would love it if you'd take the time to answer the ones that you have been asked, instead of painting those who disagree with you as stupid or sexist.


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xn0o0cl3 wrote:
But video games aren't free from social baggage. Of course they are political. They're a form of media that can convey ideas, just like films or books. The people consuming them, creating them, and writing about them aren't magically exempt from having to address the political issues within and surrounding video games simply because they're video games.

I agree with all of this!

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Also, I'm still not sure what journalistic integrity is supposed to mean in the context of video game reviews.

The same thing that it is supposed to mean in the context of any media reviews.


ThreeEyedSloth wrote:

Scott, you don't *think* you're fighting for harassers or misogynists, but the sad reality is that you are. They are the ones that started GamerGate, and continue to use it as a deflection tactic for their awful and shameful agenda.

There is a lot of information out there that proves this. I hope you do some research on this and other potential organizations or causes that you decide to champion; not all of them are as noble as they seem.

There have been nearly a dozen sources of information posted in this thread that support the notion that there are some genuinely reprehensible things going on in gaming journalism surrounding this. There have been precious few sources of information to the contrary (and all of them from sites literally dedicated to getting into fights with misogynists on the internet). If you have more neutral information to share, by all means share it.

More importantly, ThreeEyedSloth, please describe the type of support I am providing to these misogynists. How am I helping them, exactly? I'd love to know what it is I'm doing that is inadvertently hurting women!


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ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
The push behind GamerGate is that these people believe that video games and video game journalism should be completely devoid of opinions or emotion.

Source?

This isn't what I believe, and I haven't spoken to anyone who believes this.

So where did you come up with this idea?

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They claim that giving a game coverage because it promotes a feminist or typically-liberal "agenda" is biased and unfair, for example.

No, I think that one of the concerns was that a game was getting an inordinate amount of positive coverage because of its politics, regardless of the game's actual quality.

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Or get mad when journalists call out blatant sexism or racism in video games, because again, they feel it's "pushing their liberal agenda."

You don't get to call anything "blanket" after a post like this.

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But the thing is, every bit of journalism has an agenda. They don't comprehend that.

Well, SOME do -- the ones that created the whole GamerGate idea in the first place.

So which one am I, ThreeEyedSloth? Am I one of the people who don't comprehend that journalism cannot be separated from agenda? Or am I one of the people who dishonestly created GamerGate as a way to deflect criticism of sexist harassment?


ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
I believe there are some genuinely good people that have mistakenly bought into the idea of GamerGate. It makes me sad to see it, because they are fighting for something that sincerely does not care about them or even journalism ethics.

Those of us concerned with the journalistic integrity side of this aren't "fighting" for harassers or misogynists. Why do you insist on pushing that narrative?

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Since my previous efforts to actually have a conversation with many GamerGate folks have been met with name-calling and closed ears, I've decided to just ignore them completely. It's too bad, because there are certainly legitimate concerns about journalism that could be talked about, but they only care about their agenda. Nothing else.

I don't see any of that happening in this thread, and there are a number of people here concerned with the journalistic side of things. Is this literally the only discussion you've come across on the topic where you haven't been called names?


Muad'Dib wrote:
Scott you are obviously not in on it the joke that is the news media.

It would be impossible not to be in on that "joke" - the ones laughing at it take every available opportunity to remind you how little trust they have for the "lamestream media".

I simply don't hold to that narrative, that's all. It doesn't line up with my understanding of how many news media organizations operate.

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Seriously, crappy journalism is pervasive in every single industry.

There are plenty examples of crappy journalism out there. There are also examples of quality journalism.

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I know you don't think Zoe's part in this story is newsworthy but I would argue that it's the bigger story. A story with a lesson towards those who think it's ok to bully, harass, and slut shame.

I'm okay with you making that a story, but it doesn't have anything to do with video games. As long as you aren't purposefully attempting to crush discussion of the actual games-related story going on here, you'll have no objections from me.


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xn0o0cl3 wrote:
Can anyone explain what a piece of "honest" game journalism would look like? I honestly can't really conceive of it. What can a game review actually be except for an extension of game advertising? Are honest game reviews supposed to be objective or something? How would that even be possible if the review is literally just the opinion of the journalist? What else could it possibly be?

"Can anyone explain what a piece of "honest" film journalism would look like? I honestly can't really conceive of it. What can a film review actually be except for an extension of film advertising? Are honest film reviews supposed to be objective or something? How would that even be possible if the review is literally just the opinion of the journalist? What else could it possibly be?"

"Can anyone explain what a piece of "honest" literature journalism would look like? I honestly can't really conceive of it. What can a book review actually be except for an extension of publisher advertising? Are honest book reviews supposed to be objective or something? How would that even be possible if the review is literally just the opinion of the journalist? What else could it possibly be?"

"Can anyone explain what a piece of "honest" art journalism would look like? I honestly can't really conceive of it. What can an art review actually be except for an extension of art advertising? Are honest art reviews supposed to be objective or something? How would that even be possible if the review is literally just the opinion of the journalist? What else could it possibly be?"

There are dozens of other media fields out there, and many manage to have well-respected journalistic communities that surround them. Games journalism does not, and it appears to be getting worse, not better.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Welcome to the real world. This (and much worse) happens. A lot. In every industry. The food you believe safe, the drugs you believe will make you well, the brake pads that will protect you and your loved ones, even our precious table top rpg community, they all have flawed and outright bad people working on them. Trust no one.

Should those people be exposed as "outright bad" when the opportunity arises?


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

You want to talk about journalistic ethics in games coverage?

Then you should talk about where the money comes from. A website plastered with advertising for a Triple-A game by a huge publisher like EA, also reviews said game. How "unbiased" do you think that coverage is? How unbiased will their coverage of other games from that publisher be?

Indie developers are not the problem when it comes to the ethics of games journalism.

Games journalism is mostly extended PR, except for the odd editorial, or consumer advocate. You want to talk about the ethics of games journalism, then follow the damn money.

That sounds great. Do you think that we should make an effort to hold games journalism to a baseline level of integrity that nearly every other segment of media journalism is held to? Or should we be content to let it remain a joke, perpetually?


thejeff wrote:
Also frankly, given that this thread was the first I'd heard of it and the opening post included
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what if a group of academics decided to use social pressure and selective censorship to slowly change the culture and aesthetics surrounding a particular hobby (while the majority of enthusiasts didn't care for the interference). It would be wrong on so many levels. It would also be a conspiracy worth keeping an eye on.

I'm really not predisposed to this kind of conspiracy theory.

As I said earlier: Oooh the scary academic cabal

He was using it as a metaphor for what was being done by the games journalism community (overtly - this isn't a secret plan, nor is it even one whose goals I personally disagree with regardless of what I think of its methods). The parallel is that most people have an expectation of integrity and disclosure for both communities, and these are examples of those expectations failing on a massive scale.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Let's look at the Data.

For those of you who don't like reading, less than 0.5% of articles talk about feminist topics.

Not your shield also started on 4Chan as another method of harassment and distraction. I am happy to dismiss a side of an argument that has no basis in reality.

Cisgender heterosexual white dudes already have all the cards, your perceived inequality to white people is fear that people (women, poc, queer and gender fluid) without our privileges having the same power we do.

As a kid, I wondered why girls didn't play video games. Now when women want to play and try to tell us how they can be included, they get threatened, harrassed and ignored.

So yeah, I'm dismissing a side of this "argument" because one side is wrong. The opposition to the feminist "agenda" is that women don't deserve the same rights as men.

I haven't claimed that feminism is taking over games journalism. I haven't claimed that cisgender, heterosexual white dudes don't hold all the cards. I haven't claimed that this is about the feminist agenda at all.

Because it isn't.

I am not a good target for you to accuse of siding with anti-feminists.


thejeff wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Zoe Quinn is not the news here. She is a footnote in this. Her conduct (if even half-true) is morally reprehensible, but is not, itself, newsworthy. The conduct of video game journalists, whose currency is their credibility, is newsworthy, and there are a lot of people who don't want that to receive more exposure out of the misguided belief that it's the best way to defend Quinn from further harm.

What is the actual accusation?

I gave up about a 1/4 of the way through the exe's rant and am not going to sit through accusatory youtube videos.

The only accusation I've actually seen is the bit about her sleeping with a reviewer. Which might be bad, if he'd actually reviewed her work or had some other effect.

Is there a relatively unbiased summary out there somewhere?

I like this article by a Forbes contributor (note: not a particularly legitimate journalist by any stretch, but it nonetheless takes pains to remain neutral). It's focused less on the details of Quinn's behavior (which is, again, not the story) and more on the interplay between the gaming community and the games media world, and those aligning themselves with one side or the other.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Damn. A thread where I find myself near constantly agreeing with Scott. It's kind of surreal.
Even a broken clock is correct twice a day :)

I think we probably have different opinions on how that ought to be read.


Muad'Dib wrote:
And I would say your attitude is incredibly naïve.

That's an unfortunate belief that I honestly don't think would stand up to anything beyond superficial scrutiny. I don't think that it's been particularly well-examined, and, perhaps more importantly, I think that the notion of journalistic integrity remains a goal that we as a society ought to aspire to, and that begins with holding journalists accountable. It's mind-boggling that there seems to be a genuine, dedicated movement to prevent games media from being held accountable for breaches of integrity.

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