Chain Mauler

Necromancer's page

1,574 posts (1,612 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 8 aliases.


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Here's an update. The Steam page is up as well (link in the blog post) and it's 20 USD as a preorder.


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For one group, I could never plan out a boss encounter simply because they would change course at the drop of a hat. I don't mean "let's use diplomacy instead of war", but rather "let's leave and do something else". My fault because I enabled them, but I'm glad to not have that responsibility anymore. Fortunately, their habits taught me to plan for the worst. For a normal group, I keep a backup build or a completely hidden villain tucked away for emergencies.

(Example)
Let's say that the group decides to eliminate a thieves' guild and succeed in completely scouting out the membership. They think they know what to expect. They outfit themselves perfectly. The combat gets under way and the group manages to quickly work through their opponents. The "boss" fight is over in a few rounds and they're feeling godlike. Then that fat little messenger boy runs in scolding the group and otherwise acting very unlike a street urchin. It turns out that the messenger boy houses a tsochar warpriest/magus/other-kind-of-caster-fighter-hybrid and things really heat up. Make sure that the "red herrings" can double as "omg we should have seen this coming" if needed.

You may end up not using the contingency plan, but that means you can refit it for a future campaign.


I wouldn't have let things get that far (dishonesty means I take out the friendship scissors and cut ties), but I assume that this scenario means that I've only discovered these things recently about my friend. Even so there's only one answer: sever contact with her and explain why. Make sure that she can't reach me and possibly take out a restraining order. I don't want to be involved in her theft and I sure as hell don't need her "help" with partners.


The fifth Horseman, Socialism, actually comes first and doesn't present itself with a horse. It hides the horse immediately after spawning and carries two coconut halves. It bangs these together and truthfully says that it is a Horseman. Then it proceedes to tell everyone else that they have horses of their own. Many believe this and collect improvised percussion that mimics the sound of hooves. Following this nonsense, Socialism tells the Patsies that they are now mounted cavalry units. Once this insane mob has been blooded sufficiently, Socialism mounts its horse and insists that nothing has changed. Afterwards begins the great "false equine cleansing" where the mob murders any surviving horse for commiting the heresy of existence, thus paving the way for the other Horsemen.


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I prefer Carolina Eade's catfolk to the more anthropomorphic examples, because it makes for a nice elf-replacement without also taking on the inventors-of-magic-and-all-around-superior tag. If I had to use a more feline look, I'd go with D&D miniatures book artwork for a more "Khajiit" feel.

As for why I'd choose catfolk regardless of aesthetics? The whole bestial-but-not-furry nomadic hunter aspect. On the other hand, if it's an urban campaign, I go for the curious, absent-minded athlete-turned-thief.


Please cancel my subscription. Thank you.


thejeff wrote:

I love how you directly from social backlash for reporting rape to a cultural attitude that tells victims they're special.

How about we stop the victim blaming, which in the case of rape at least, is far, far more of a problem than any victimhood culture?

It's two cultural attitudes. One born out of fear and the other born out of ignorance.


Irontruth wrote:
Don't just link them though, I want someone to explain to me how this is a BIGGER problem than say... the 60% of rapes that go unreported.

Source? RAINN lists an aggregate of Bureau of Justice statistics from 2008-12 as their source, so I'm thinking it's mostly secure funding each year. In 2013, they no longer list unreported stats probably because it's impossible to know how many crimes go unreported. And once again, this is solved by encouraging the victim to report what happened and go to a hospital as soon as possible.


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Irontruth wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Left unsaid here is that this only applies to administrative college actions, not to actual rape trials. No criminal penalties are at stake. That makes me a lot less concerned about shifting the burden of proof. It's not a criminal trial. That's where the whole "beyond a reasonable doubt" thing comes in.

An accusation of sexual assault (let alone an accusation of rape) can ruin someone's career before it even begins. If someone's expelled from a college after a biased hearing, there's a good chance they won't get into other colleges if that knowledge follows them. This is in addition to wasting the accused student's time and money.

Above all, it's simply not right to do this to innocent students. False accusations should be punished just as severely whether they go to criminal courts or college disciplinary hearings.

Are you aware that often times women face social backlash that ruins THEIR careers just for reporting a rape? Even rapes that are real.

You know why, right? If they can blame the victim, then it's not something that can happen to them.

We also need to stop telling victims they're special for being victims. This cultural attitude needs to stop. They need to be encouraged (and supported) to properly report the crime and get the medical evidence needed to secure a conviction. We need to stop praising victims for their mere existence (and unknowingly telling liars that being a victim is a desired state) and instead listen when they want to talk and support them when they're low. None of this involves removing burdens of proof.

Victims are best served by truth.


thejeff wrote:

1) So can rape, even if the attacker is punished. Even the

2) Especially if the victim wants to remain in school and they have to remain in close contact (classes, dorm) with the attacker.

3) There is a long distance between not "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" and "false accusation". What are your standards for punishing false accusations?

4) Of course it's not right to do it to innocent students. You'll notice they didn't change the standard to "Kick out anyone accused of rape."

There are so many things you can get thrown out of college for, with far less than a formal that requiring far more due process for rape than for many less serious things makes little sense.

1 & 2 - No one's dismissing these concerns.

3 - I'll answer this below.

4 - No, but that won't stop liars from using the system to "punish" or silence someone.

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Aye, it should be. I hate those two faced b!!**es who fake it. It makes things so much harder for rape victims. The problem is, how do you go after them without putting rape victims who don't get a conviction in jeopardy of criminal charges? If you aren't incredibly careful, you'll make almost every rape victim too scared to speak up and report the assault, because doing so could result in jail time if there just isn't enough proof (and rape is incredibly difficult to prove).

First, I'll cover my ideas to help discourage false claims in academic settings. If a student (or staff) charges someone with sexual assault or rape, police should be notified and the alleged victim should immediately go to a hospital to get evidence needed. The window of opportunity for these charges should be small (no more of "I was assaulted last Spring garbage") since it's a college setting.

Second, I'll cover a few things that I think would help law enforcement and real victims. We've got to stop putting victims on pedestals. When police ask about the victim's sex life, clothing worn during the event, level of drugs (including alcohol), etc. they are not trying to help the defense build a case nor are they victim-blaming. They're looking for patterns and elements that might help convict the perpetrator. It's become a very popular trend to say "just believe the victim", but this is encourages liars to step in and capitalize on someone else's misery. Victims should be strongly encouraged to properly report the crime and head to a hospital to get physical evidence. This discourages liars and helps the victims to know that they're doing the right thing even if it would be easier to just go home and hide.

To make matters worse, Second Degree Rape is basically a crime of liability. This statute really needs a makeover. The idea that someone can regret a drunken sexual encounter and then excuse themselves by crying "rape" is disgusting. It damns the accused to a pointless legal battle and diminishes real rape in the public eye.


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thejeff wrote:
Left unsaid here is that this only applies to administrative college actions, not to actual rape trials. No criminal penalties are at stake. That makes me a lot less concerned about shifting the burden of proof. It's not a criminal trial. That's where the whole "beyond a reasonable doubt" thing comes in.

An accusation of sexual assault (let alone an accusation of rape) can ruin someone's career before it even begins. If someone's expelled from a college after a biased hearing, there's a good chance they won't get into other colleges if that knowledge follows them. This is in addition to wasting the accused student's time and money.

Above all, it's simply not right to do this to innocent students. False accusations should be punished just as severely whether they go to criminal courts or college disciplinary hearings.


San Gabriel Valley Tribune July article

SGVT wrote:


A pair of friends at Cal State Long Beach said the bill seemed well-intentioned, but questioned how practical it is when it comes to ensuring consent throughout sex with their partners.

“I feel like their hearts are in the right place, but the implementation is a little too excessive,” said Henry Mu, a 24-year-old biology major. “Are there guidelines? Are we supposed to check every five minutes?”

The remark drew laughter from his friend and fellow 49er, Sue Tang.

“If you were to do that, it would definitely kill the vibe,” said Tang, 27.

SGVT wrote:
When asked how an innocent person is to prove he or she indeed received consent, (the bill's co-author Bonnie) Lowenthal said, “Your guess is as good as mine. I think it’s a legal issue. Like any legal issue, that goes to court.”

Lowenthal's basically saying "LOL NOT MY PROBLEM NAO! U FIXIT" Some more information on Lowenthal.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education article

FIRE wrote:


Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 967, a bill that will require California’s university and college students to obtain verifiable “affirmative consent” for sexual activity. As FIRE has pointed out here on The Torch, under this bill students must receive not just explicit consent to sexual activity but ongoing consent—although it is impossible to tell how often students must pause to receive explicit consent in order for their sexual activity to qualify as consensual.
FIRE wrote:


In practice, the bill will shift the burden of proof to the accused student—and supporters of the bill have openly praised it for doing so. Students, though, should be very worried about lawmakers and college administrators adopting the idea that accused students are essentially guilty until proven innocent.

TIME article

TIME wrote:


The gender ideology dominating academe denies that sex differences are rooted in biology and sees them instead as malleable fictions that can be revised at will. The assumption is that complaints and protests, enforced by sympathetic campus bureaucrats and government regulators, can and will fundamentally alter all men.

Vaguely worded legislation that slowly strips away due process is an excellent example of how "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

Stay safe, CA students. Be careful where you place your trust...or just film everything.


Zeugma wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
2. Please don't stop with just reading Kafka! You do yourself a disservice if you fail to read the Kafka criticism of the last 50 years! A lot of what has been written is contradictory, but each critic has added to my understanding, and what with Kafka's last papers finally being prepared for the public after protracted custody disputes, now is a good time to revisit it.
It's interesting to watch how criticism changes over the years. My prefered method is to find the earliest analysis available and then read them (the interesting ones) chronologically.
The only difficulty with that approach is that if you start with Brod and (in English) Edwin Muir, you are getting in the former a very specific agenda, and in the latter a very incomplete view since, at that point, most of Kafka's oeuvre hadn't been posthumously published yet. Not that you can't do it, just that some of the conclusions that are drawn are off the mark if Kafka's works are taken as a whole.

raises an eyebrow

I only read an analysis if I've also read what it's analyzing. If the analysis references things I haven't read, I stop and come back to it when I have.


Zeugma wrote:
2. Please don't stop with just reading Kafka! You do yourself a disservice if you fail to read the Kafka criticism of the last 50 years! A lot of what has been written is contradictory, but each critic has added to my understanding, and what with Kafka's last papers finally being prepared for the public after protracted custody disputes, now is a good time to revisit it.

It's interesting to watch how criticism changes over the years. My prefered method is to find the earliest analysis available and then read them (the interesting ones) chronologically.

Zeugma wrote:
3. Kafkatrapper is not actually more accurate (see my previous post above). BUT if you want to argue it is, and do a different reading of "The Trial" than I have, be my guest. But once you read the truly brilliant criticism, such as by Albert Camus, people who throw around such a facile term as "Kafkaesque" will make you resentful when you read its overbroad and generalized misapplication. At least, it makes me resentful.

I've found that Kafka- (as a prefix) lends itself more often toward aesthetic qualities rather than story elements (i.e. "Kafkaesque" being used to describe anything that looks like Prague's low income areas during the early 1900s). I've actually heard someone describe Dishonored as Kafkaesque. Like those applications, Kafkatrapping may not be one hundred percent accurate, but it's closer than existing terms. In all honesty, I dislike lumping people I disagree with into piles as that usually just adds fuel to the fire and nothing gets solved.

That said, the important part of the linked post wasn't Der Prozess or even Kafka (except to expand my growing backlog of to-dos), but the methods used by that society to silence and eliminate perceived threats. I see that same approach being used daily to control conversations rather than to arrive at an actual solution.


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Zeugma wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

To help get us back on track:

Kafkatrapping

This is why I'm concerned for game culture, because this is common in other media industries and growing in society at large. Please read.

2 points:

1. Claims of "concern for [fill in the blank] culture" make me think of the claims made against heavy metal in the '80s, and all the moral panics preceding it, including D&D. It just reads as ironic.

And including claims of nonexistent sexism in video games, film, etc. The biggest criticisms of video games that I've seen in the last few years is that they are subject to the free market. This is not a bad thing (as much as I like to complain about limited options in AAA titles), because it's a form of honesty at the end of the day.

Zeugma wrote:
2. The invocation of Kafka left me very disappointed in the article as written. I was hoping for Kafka criticism. This is not it. I've read The Trial and I've read a lot of Kafka criticism. This was a shallow use of a story with many more dimensions to it that those he pointed out. An alternate reading (arrived at by several authors in the Ronald Gray anthology Franz Kafa: A Collection of Critical Essays): Kafka's K was guilty. There is no escape from guilt. The fact it can be invoked to make us do/think/feel things is not some flaw but the sum of its function, which Kafka was brilliant at describing. Does it make you feel bad? Then it is doing its job. Some external referent isn't necessary. The author seems to think this is bad for society. He is wrong. Kafka would tell him it is society, and, more than that, it is K.

Having guilt (which can be natural or manufactured) is not the same as being guilty of a crime. The point of the Der Prozess was that there was no escape from guilt in that society, whether deserving or not.


JurgenV wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

To help get us back on track:

Kafkatrapping

This is why I'm concerned for game culture, because this is common in other media industries and growing in society at large. Please read.

Yep that is exactly it.

Makes me think of the youtube guy called the amazing athiest that starts one vid whipping himself chanting"why am i white, why am i male, why can't i stop oppressing others?"

After reading it, I've decided to do two things:

1 - Reread The Trial (Der Prozess) and any other Kafka work I can get my hands on.

2 - Stop using the SJW pejorative and start calling people Kafkatrappers. More accuracy and less anger.


To help get us back on track:

Kafkatrapping

This is why I'm concerned for game culture, because this is common in other media industries and growing in society at large. Please read.


JurgenV wrote:
thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Male Privlidge implies that its a 1 way street: that everything is better if you're male. This is simply not the case.

I'd say it means you're better off overall. Not in every single way. There are always exceptions.

And just to point at one thing, tied into the point about feminism fighting against gender roles in general: It's feminists who've been pushing to let women into the military and into combat roles in particular. Not trying to keep themselves safe and get men blown to smithereens.

Very arguable. More "likely" statisticly to be a ceo? sure. More likely in reality to go homeless? a damn fact.

Let me know when tens of thousands of women are forced into a war and all men can stay safely at home.

[sarcasm]

Haven't you heard? Women are the real victims in war and death is just painless when it happens to men.
[/sarcasm]


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|dvh| wrote:
Also, non-credible sources are non-credible. The American Enterprise Institute is about as biased as one can get on economic matters. They (and Sohmers) don't seem that keen on gender issues, either.

Data is data and deliberately obscure statistics (the 77% garbage) are always agenda-driven.

As for gender issues, I think you should watch this. No connection to AEI whatsoever.


thejeff wrote:
And it's not illegal on the federal level or in many states to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Not only can you pay less, you can just fire LGBTQ people and give that as the reason.

Good point, I forgot about the absence of federal laws. My state's "employment at will" (meaning any dismissal is fine as long as it's not technically illegal), so everyone else's grass always looks greener.


Ashiel wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
|dvh| wrote:
But we're not talking about differences, we're talking about privileges. Things like women making less because employers assume they'll leave the workforce to have children, etc.

The gender wage gap uses bogus statistics

EDIT: more detailed information

Beat me to it. I've been practically swimming through miss Sommer's videos since I saw the first one, and I immediately thought of this when the "but the money!" thing came up.

The people that push this misinformation are usually either genuinely misled about the selective nature of the statistics or so dependent on a bogeyman for their ideology to survive. Many tend to forget that it's illegal to pay someone a different salary based on gender, orientation, ethnicity, etc. and few companies would take that risk in order to save cash. Discount employment suddenly gets expensive when lawyers are involved.


|dvh| wrote:
But we're not talking about differences, we're talking about privileges. Things like women making less because employers assume they'll leave the workforce to have children, etc.

The gender wage gap uses bogus statistics

EDIT: more detailed information


Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Another thing I perceive might be a source of the sometimes irrational attitude of some journalists might be the way social sites work these days: You are more likely to be exposed to positive input regarding your ideas than negative input, since social sites works more on the basis of likes/retweet/share than anything else. Thus, agreement is magnified and dissent tends to fall on the backburner.

This is something that really needs to be considered in future social media projects. It would be helpful to have the ability to simply click an icon indicating "needs more data" or "references plz" or anything else that could count towards useful criticism without the potential for system-wide abuse. This way, even if something is flagged out of spite it can still be defended with empirical data, triple-sourced references, etc. And, alternatively, poorly researched and plainly biased articles would receive the scrutiny they deserve.


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In an effort to get this thread back on track, here's some comments from Chris Mancil (of EA, of all companies) from a very neutral perspective on recent events:

Chris Mancil (partial quote) wrote:


I think the real problem here is alienation. Not of values. That’s misguided. Its not liberal/conservative values, politics, or world-view. Its fear of being meaningless. Its about our loss of connection between ordinary gamers and the games industry. We are losing our connection with people. I think our industry has been drifting further and further away from our fans, as our business get larger, and our global reach gets broader.

This lack of a relationship, of mutual feedback, of a personal connection between ourselves and the audience (I believe) is really the true culprit of most deep seated anger here. There is no connection with us, no trust, not even understanding. Yet gamers depend more and more on us for their primary entertainment (important!) and we absolutely depend on them as customers. Yet, our relationship – is increasingly one-sided. They being the unit sale, the % converted on the acquisition funnel, or the revenue target – not the person, the player, the gamer who is (or was) exactly like all of us. We NEED them, and they KNOW we need them. They NEED us too – but have we forgotten that? Do we sometimes feel, we don’t really need them?

This alienation and dependency brings about epic rage – think banks, cellular providers, airlines, cable companies and the hate those relationships generate with customers who NEED that service but get treated like beasts… that’s our future (some would say our present). And in this environment, a back-handed slap to a mass group of gamers who are mass-labeled “misogynists” “rapists” “gamers are dead” “Games ashamed” are just *fighting words* yelled by a distant, contemptuous, un-connected gaming entity that is part of the establishment elite – and this same recipe (the exact same spark) of every single race/political/protest riot the world over from the beginning of time.

Link to the article and to Mancil's comment

I seriously hope he doesn't suffer any disciplinary action for disagreeing with the accepted narrative.


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mechaPoet wrote:
But the degree to which women are constantly forced to "prove" their nerd-cred to these defensive men to be allowed to participate is far greater than what these men require of other men. Hence the annoying concept of the "fake geek girl," where a woman's interest in nerd-things is questioned and mocked instead of welcomed or assumed.

Let me provide something that might help you understand other peoples' perspectives.

I have a problem with the phrase "nerd-cred". I know of very few people that are willing to call themselves "nerds" who are enthusiasts about varying things people are often called nerds for obsessing over. When someone perceives a simple question about their favorite flavor of a prefered hobby or an obscure element used to gauge the depth of their involvement as "being forced to prove their nerd-cred", I question their reasons for so boldly embracing a label rather than the hobby.

When I claim to "love WoW lore and the older games, but hate the MMO" many people are generally curious what the hell I'm talking about and can't imagine that anyone would've played anything older than Frozen Throne. The questions I get are not me being forced to prove WoW-Nerd-Badge credentials as much as being forced to defend my position in relation to their's.


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mechaPoet wrote:

Which women can't relate to because women don't suffer from high rates of violence in comparison to men.

Oh wait.

US DoJ, Criminal Victimization 2013 wrote:

Persons ages 12 to 17 had the highest prevalence of violence (2.2%) of all age groups in 2013

In 2013, 1.2% of all males age 12 or older (1.6 million males) and 1.1% of all females (1.5 million females) experienced one or more violent victimizations (table 5). While the prevalence rate declined for both males and females from 2012 to 2013, a slightly higher percentage of males (1.2%) than females (1.1%) were victims of one or more violent crimes in 2013.

Linked (page 6)

US DoJ, Criminal Victimization 2013 wrote:

Male - 1,925,560 (2004) 1,917,390 (2012) 1,567,070 (2013)

Female - 1,553,060 (2004) 1,658,520 (2012) 1,474,090 (2013)


Ashiel wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Because it's horrible that men like to look at nekkid women?
Some of my girl friends and I talk about sex and swap porn. Which of us is more of a monster?

[sarcasm]Everyone involved, obviously. The actors, the crew, the producers, the hosters, the buyers, the random people finding free clips, and anyone enjoying it.[/sarcasm]

On a related note, it's always funny to me how masculine sexuality just causes some people to lose their minds and degenerate into a fear-induced supor. One person's excitement is another person's discomfort, I suppose. shrugs


Ryan Smith's “A Weird Insider Culture”


Kthulhu wrote:
Does anyone have any substantial proof that gamergate existed prior to the Zoe Quinn thing? Because while some deny it, everything I have seen seems to point to gamergate 100% being spawned from her harassment.

"Harassment" is not criticism of a person's professional behavior and their associate's behavior. Adam Baldwin invented the tag after viewing some criticism directed at Quinn and connected journalists.

Soundcloud interview link; Baldwin's segment starts at the five minute mark.

No sane, mature person involved with gamergate condones harassment. And again, criticism is not harassment.

Related articles by the interviewer that I'm aware of.


Oliver Campbell on "When A Black Game Journalist Spoke Up On #Gamergate"

posted here for convenience

Oliver Campbell wrote:

My week in interacting with the angriest

of consumer revolts

Gamergate. The dirty laundry of the game industry, the open secret that no one wants to speak of and yet everyone seems to be aware of.

At this point everyone pretty much knows what really sparked the consumer revolt that is known as Gamergate. I had been watching the story of it unfold over the past month on a rather casual basis, with no indication or expectation that I would end up in the middle of it. At no point did I believe that I would become someone that people would be paying attention to.

Starting around the middle of 2009 I began my attempt to claw my way up from the bottom of the lobster bucket as a game journalist. Writing game reviews and editorial pieces, building connections with other writers, public relations with game developers, and just trying to squeeze my way into the cracks to build an identity and career for myself. In some ways I was successful, others I was not. I would spend hours on end carefully writing and crafting the pieces that I would publish, with usually a few dozen views and not much more than that as compensation. The fact of the matter is that “game bloggers” at this point in time were starting to become a dime for a dozen, and it takes fairly substantial efforts to stand out from the crowd.

While some of my experiences as a game journalist have definitely been aspiration fulfilling, most of them were not and many outright negative. Being black while writing about games comes with certain unspoken disadvantages; such as having what I call a ‘credibility deficit’, being deemed eccentric, and receiving generally puzzling looks whenever you speak on the topic of games as an art medium worthy of discussion. Frankly, If you’re a black gamer and want to talk about anything that isn’t Call of Duty, Madden, or fighting games you’re deemed irrelevant, mostly ignored, and definitely expected to be quiet. From my experience and conversations with others, the unspoken rule of being a black game journalist was like that archaic thought of how children should be in society: “Seen and not heard.” If you’re going to be in that space the general expectation is that you keep your head down, shut up, and go with the flow; I was never good at doing any of those things. Of interesting note, none of these behaviors were ever present when I would speak with a developer; In fact they were pleasantly surprised and almost always welcoming to my point of view or insight. I would almost universally receive this negative treatment when dealing with other game journalists, or the general game enthusiast.

After attending E3 in 2010, I had decided to take a break from the struggle of getting ahead in writing about games and to shift my attention towards creating fiction novels with my wife. Just as there are only a small handful of notable black male game journalists, there are also few notable black male authors at present. At the time, I did not realize that most of the work I had done towards building my game journalism career would diminish significantly, as I became gravely ill in the late summer of 2011 while in the middle of creating our first novella. Although I did recover somewhat from the medical crisis, I have been left in a crippling state that I will never recover from. From that point on, any attempts to get my feet back on the ground and in the game again have been miserable at best. Some due to the fact that my ailing health has found my spirit weak, some due to my injuries not allowing me to put in the time necessary to keep to the grindstone with the required tenacity, and some due to having lost hard-earned connections due to the passage of time.

Last week, I had been sitting up later than usual on a particular evening, looking around the internet for something interesting to catch my eye in game news. I tend to keep my evenings low key and is when I make it a point to consume news for the day. General internet traffic is slow and front pages aren’t moving as quickly, so I find it to be a comfortable time to consume and disseminate information. For the life of me, I can’t remember how I ended up getting there, but I eventually settled on watching a video of someone agonizing about how they had been treated as a transgender person in the industry overall.

I have comically been a very poor utilizer of social media. Of course I have the usual accounts that other people do, but I came from the old school of the internet where lurking around in the background was considered fashionable and voicing an opinion was opening yourself up to a certain amount of likely unwanted scrutiny. Naturally, I would use my social networks in order to promote the books that I’ve written, but even then I have never had much voice in those spaces. A longstanding general vibe has been that black men have poor credibility in academic pursuits and should not be taken seriously. That being said, I don’t know what made me hop on my twitter account and speak to the person in the video, who had been airing so many of the grievances that I was more than familiar with. It was a very simple exchange. I said, “Hey, I just watched your video and I definitely empathize with you. I’ve seen a lot of that myself.” The person in question responded with, “If you’re going to talk about this, you should definitely use the Gamergate hashtag.” So, it all started with me going, “You know, I was a black game journalist and a lot of what you guys said is true, I have witnessed it myself.” I did not know that so many people had noticed and suspected what I had already known as the status quo.

My twitter account immediately blew up with followers and people asking me tons of questions. I was begged to get on a streaming service to talk more about what my career had been like. I’ve had a twitch.tv account more or less since it showed up, but have never had any substantial number of viewers. For the most part, only the occasional friend would show up when I was streaming and typically for only thirty minutes at a time. The day that I began streaming and sharing those experiences I had with people, my channel was a madhouse with folks coming in and asking about everything that they could think of. Many questions were brought up about the relationship that game developers and journalists had together, with me being able to corroborate quite a few of those things with my own experiences. I quickly learned that even being a guy so low on the totem pole, I still knew a great many things that the general public viewed as complete and utter mystery. The first day I ended up doing a nine hour straight stream simply talking about what I had experienced in my first year, and the next day I did a twelve hour stream covering the rest. People were amazed at my ability to maintain conversation over such a long period of time, and frankly I was damn surprised myself. I wasn’t aware of my own resilience in being able to do such a thing, usually because I become very tired anymore after trying to keep myself together from fighting residual and near constant chronic pain from my injuries.

As the days began to pass, more and more people began to show up and follow me in order to listen to the things that I had to say regarding the industry. We had frequent discussions about classic journalism ethics, and I helped explain and define for them exactly what their grievances were in comparison to the Society of Professional Journalists ethics code. We would have many discussions about certain behaviors shown by members of the Gamergate movement and the reactions of game journalists to those behaviors. I would talk about how changing the narrative of the situation was crucial to gamers getting what they wanted, expectations going forward and what they wanted to see changed for the better in game journalism. I’ve talked to them about changing their appearance from being an unruly angry mob and how to focus their attention to things that will cause the direct impact that they are looking for. I have asked them on repeated occasions to cease attacking individual people with threats and harassment, as it does no actual good and doesn’t help them. I have spoken extensively on the subject that many game developers actually DO agree with the Gamergate movement, but these particular developers will not speak out in open support of the movement. The fact of the matter is that it is dangerous for a business to take upfront positions on matters like these, and that doing so could be the end of them as a counter-smear campaign is likely to occur against them. Many of my streams have been highlighted with readings from Sun Tzu, showing Gamergaters that while they are not necessarily fighting a physical war, they are definitely fighting a war of ideas. More than once has the morale of the movement been visibly shaken and I’ve been asked to speak to calm people down and raise their spirits. They have come up with many different endearing terms for me, and more than once I’ve been told that people listen to my stream because they find me to be helpful and soothing to listen to. They love that they can speak in a space and interact with someone that will not stifle them. Often times my streams are punctuated with me saying, “Please speak up and ask me questions. I want to hear what you have to say, your view is important even if you disagree with me. You’re very smart and intelligent, and your words have value!”

I’ve only been involved in the Gamergate movement for a week, but there have been many things that I have found to be untrue. The narrative against Gamergate has been that they are nothing but a bunch of angry white men on the internet that hate women and minorities; I have found that to be outright false, in my experience. In fact, I have spoken to and interacted with an even split of men AND women gamers, other minorities, transgender individuals, those of varied sexual preferences , and more. One thing that I have found to be true about all Gamergaters is this: They are universally PISSED. They are quite tired of the treatment that they have received over an incredibly long period of time. I don’t think that Gamergate in and of itself is about an isolated incident; it has been a long time coming and this particular incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Many of the sites that have been in the eye of the storm of this cultural movement have been pushing a narrative on their customers that they are “dead”, they are irrelevant, that they don’t matter and that they are not welcome in any way, shape, or form. But I don’t think these sites expected them to push back.

I can’t speak of everyone’s experience in dealing with members of Gamergate, but the majority of what I have personally seen and experienced is that they are passionate people, they’re incredibly smart and savvy consumers, they are ridiculous levels of inviting and inclusive, and almost anyone that shows up is welcomed with open arms. My experience has been pretty much the direct OPPOSITE of the narrative that has been pushed about these people. Of course, there are always going to be extremists and those who engage in sketchy and questionable behavior on any side of a conflict, and I don’t think anyone is going to debate that.

Have I committed career suicide by directly putting my face forward and speaking openly about the issues I have encountered in the industry? I have zero doubts about that. But I will tell you this; the Gamergate community has ultimately been far more welcoming to me as a black man than anyone else has EVER been in my life. For the first time in my life, I’ve had a voice that genuinely matters to someone out there in the world. Isn’t that what a lot of people want, really? For their voice to matter to someone? I think it is.

During all this time, I’ve been very careful to not talk about things going on with me that aren’t relevant to Gamergate; would anyone else likely use this as an opportunity to self-promote, and perhaps to make money off of it by portraying themselves as a victim? They absolutely would. But this is about something WAY bigger than I, and there is a time and a place to promote my own works and what I have done with fiction and storytelling. Right now, in this space about changing a whole industry from the ground up, is not that time. Right now, I’ve become a voice of some sort on the side of Gamergate, one that people are paying a decent amount of attention to. If I can do some good with it, then that is what I’m going to do. If I can calm the masses with my words and have them work towards achieving their ends in a non-destructive and far less hostile fashion, then that is what I’m going to do.

I can’t directly speak for anyone else’s experiences but my own in this situation, but I can say this much. Gamergate has been very welcoming to me as a human being and what I have to say as a critic and editorialist, while the other side has not. The narrative that I have been told is not matching up with the experience that I’ve had. When a clearly identified and not anonymous minority is able to easily corroborate many parts of the overarching Gamergate fiasco from the bottom with his own experience, I would suggest many of the sites in question and anti-GamerGate people take a seriously hard look at their position and consider the possibility that they may be in the wrong in this scenario.

My story isn’t the only one out there. I’m just one of them that decided to speak up.


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thejeff wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
This also speaks to the line thrown out earlier about "We can't have female avatars or the feminists will complain about violence against women." Which of course doesn't actually happen in any of the games with female avatars.
Those of us that play games and can make the connections understand this; some publishers might not so that reason is a possibility.
Of course it was you calling such accusations "inevitable" with a female avatar a couple of pages back. And yet, inevitable or not, they don't happen. Because the crazy radical feminists actually understand what "violence against women" means.
Necromancer wrote:


They do have "excuses" (or rather, reasons) why they've avoided the extra step: significant success without taking the extra step, few women play the games, decision to focus on additional mechanics (new weapons, vehicles, misc tech, etc.) in lieu of female models, and likely a publisher resistance to risk the inclusion of one element at the cost of other elements (e.g. mechanics or graphic improvements) that will be included by competitors. With the way some "critics" react, it's little wonder that publishers are wary of including female avatars out of a desire to avoid the inevitable "violence against women" accusations (despite the thousands of male character deaths piling up on scoreboards).

I was speaking from the publisher's (albeit perceived) perspective. Paragraph provided for reference.

thejeff wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Except in cases where things happen to them that don't happen to their male counterparts. Like having rape as their origin/motivation.
There's a reason why we rarely see male victims of rape in video games: many people believe men cannot be victims of heterosexual rape. Insane, right? Absolutely, but that is a big reason.
I should have expected it. Mention rape in a discussion about sexism and the "Men get raped too" thing pops up right away.

The immediate topic I was responding to was "rape as a motivation/background element" within a discussion of "alleged sexism in gaming". Please don't be dismissive about a very real and largely ignored problem.

thejeff wrote:

I suspect the main reason is that it would drive male players away in droves. At least if it's not played up as hot.

We also don't see male victims of homosexual rape very often. Certainly not as protagonists.

Correction: we don't see either gender as victims of rape very often. It's a mature matter and will discourage younger buyers as well as gamers that just want a title without an unpleasant story to work around.


mechaPoet wrote:
Is there a specific act of corruption that the forces of Gamer Gate are addressing? Anyone?

A summary of the events.

The initial act of corruption, incompetence, and general poor behavior.

thejeff wrote:
This also speaks to the line thrown out earlier about "We can't have female avatars or the feminists will complain about violence against women." Which of course doesn't actually happen in any of the games with female avatars.

Those of us that play games and can make the connections understand this; some publishers might not so that reason is a possibility.

thejeff wrote:
Except in cases where things happen to them that don't happen to their male counterparts. Like having rape as their origin/motivation.

There's a reason why we rarely see male victims of rape in video games: many people believe men cannot be victims of heterosexual rape. Insane, right? Absolutely, but that is a big reason.


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[tangent]
GamerGate is focused on addressing corruption in video games journalism, fighting back outside influences (non-gamers) attempting to manipulate gamer culture, defying censorship covering up the two previous concerns, exposing propaganda masquerading as fact, encouraging new video games journalists, and preserving the existence of a relative free market in game development. The Wikipedia article has been censored time and time again so as to present only "acceptable" narratives.

Professional victims, cultural Marxism, and non-gamers have no business dictating how hardcore game development should progress and what topics should be included.
[/tangent]

I know some would love to keep baiting and trolling to get this thread locked, but can we please get back to the original topic?

onto the sciencedirect link

Karen E. Dill, Brian P. Brown, Michael A. Collins wrote:


Abstract

The violent video game literature has previously not extended to the domain of violence against women. The current investigation tested the effects of exposure to sex-typed video game characters versus images of professional men and women on judgments and attitudes supporting aggression against women. Results showed experimental effects of short-term exposure to stereotypical media content on sexual harassment judgments but not on rape myth acceptance. A significant interaction indicated that men exposed to stereotypical content made judgments that were more tolerant of a real-life instance of sexual harassment compared to controls. Long-term exposure to video game violence was correlated with greater tolerance of sexual harassment and greater rape myth acceptance. This data contributes to our understanding of mass media’s role in socialization that supports violence against women.

Keywords
Stereotypes; Media; Aggression; Sexism; Power; Sexual harassment; Rape myths; Violence against women

Even without buying the pdf, it's clear that the real sexism is coming from those who criticize video games based on social issues alone. They ignore the countless male characters slaughtered, tortured, incinerated, blown apart, and electrocuted en masse and exist only as XP resources. This researched is biased from the word "go"; are there other unbiased research pieces?

Meanwhile, some recommended reading (slightly related):

Three Dirty Academic Words Ending in -ity

Intellectual Bullying

Claire Lehmann on Bad Feminism

EDIT: Forgot the most important link - Richard Dawkins' Postmodernism Disrobed


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Mattastrophic wrote:
It sounds like what could be going on is that we have hard data to reject the Columbine-era argument of video games and violence, but data on sexism is a lot more difficult to collect.

And to muddy the waters even further, some like classify sexism (in video games) as revealing garb (only when on women), plot-related violence (again, only when it happens to women), the possibility of plot-related violence (yet again, only when it happens to women), exaggerated anatomy (sing it with me! only when it's applied to women), and so on (there's a trend here, I know it).


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Linky

And here's some videos responding to each of the Tropes series.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
I can't fault video games for this as we're generally invisible by default :\
Think of it as highly advanced stealth camouflage.

[tangent]

Just got flashbacks from an Eberron campaign where I tried out a changeling PC.
[/tangent]


Can we get back to video games, please?

Two interesting little things I stumbled across today (old articles):

BGLT Characters in Video Games. Unfortunately there's only two bisexual and trans characters mentioned. It's a start. I've seen other representations of bisexual characters in games, but mostly for "convenience". I can't fault video games for this as we're generally invisible by default :\

"50 Greatest Heroines in Video Game History" Worst thing about this article? They forgot Alice from American Mcgee's Alice. I will now devote fifty head-to-desk impact connections, because there's not a slow motion facepalm long enough to cover that oversight.


On a related note: "‘Bad’ video game behavior increases players’ moral sensitivity"


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Leaving analogy and marketing behind, which sections are you talking about? Specifically, which division of the video game industry is catering to women?
As far as I can tell, relatively little of the design portions of the game industry are catering to women or to men, with the notable exception of children's games (e.g., Mermaid Barbie Adventure).

Big Fish Games has a huge customer base and specializes in casual titles with a significant portion of period mystery-themed games (you can't argue that that is not a dominantly female demographic). This is nothing against casual titles--hell, I've bought several hidden object games based on aesthetics alone--but their target audience is obvious despite efforts to maintain a gender-neutral image.


Werthead wrote:
But that doesn't really address the issue that even these games - especially when recent CoD games go in for asymmetrical warfare in a big way - don't really have an excuse for not featuring more female characters or try to appeal more to female gamers.

They do have "excuses" (or rather, reasons) why they've avoided the extra step: significant success without taking the extra step, few women play the games, decision to focus on additional mechanics (new weapons, vehicles, misc tech, etc.) in lieu of female models, and likely a publisher resistance to risk the inclusion of one element at the cost of other elements (e.g. mechanics or graphic improvements) that will be included by competitors. With the way some "critics" react, it's little wonder that publishers are wary of including female avatars out of a desire to avoid the inevitable "violence against women" accusations (despite the thousands of male character deaths piling up on scoreboards).


Werthead wrote:

The argument that a minority of women play 'core' games (I presume that's a contraction of hardcore) is pretty well-supported, but the reasons for this are not really engaged with. CALL OF DUTY did not permit female avatars until the last game in the series, the series has featured very few female characters of any note at all (even when it would have been appropriate, such as the Russian levels of the WWII games) and its reputation for online play without resorting to moronic language (especially on X-Box) is not great.

OTOH, far more women play MASS EFFECT, a series where the gameplay also mostly consists of mowing down bad guys with bullets (or lasers) but which has a far more diverse cast, far more prominent female characters, and the ability to play the main character as a woman, with such superior voice acting that a significant number of male players also choose to play with the female avatar.

There is a something of a self-confirming bias here. The issue isn't that women have an inherent aversion to violent games, but an aversion to games that are not inclusive towards them. Fewer women play certain 'core' games (and this appears to be more of a Western issue, with JRPGs and games like MARIO not being quite as gender-split as Western games) because of limitations of the medium, not because women are less interested in 'proper' games at all and so therefore games can continue being "istisms" until the cows come home.

I don't think that comparison is quite balanced.

Call of Duty's a first-person shooter specifically focuses on combat whereas the Mass Effect series is, while combat-heavy, a third person RPG focusing on story progression. Both had different target audiences and I'm pretty sure most Mass Effect buyers didn't pick the game for the same reasons that a CoD fan might buy Black Ops II. Typically, modern games grounded in realism offer fewer character/avatar options, simpler stories, and more mechanic-driven gameplay than space opera/fantasy RPGs. The only exception that comes to mind offhand would be Alpha Protocol (excellent game, by the way).


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Further information:

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


Randarak wrote:
I'm picturing people keeping a constant supply of dry ice, heavy mist makers, or smoke machines just to maintain fog clouds all over the place.

I could see a wide distribution of stone incense burners constantly smoking around campuses. No wonder smoking's slowly being banned from public consumption.


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Artanthos wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Obvious realistic threat, assuming this was available to everyone: Criminals have access too. They can watch a target building to know when everyone, maybe including the neighbors have left and then break in. Without sitting obviously across the street.

Or a stalker, to know when his target is alone.

There are certain levels of information the public should never have access too.

And there are many levels of information that the government should never have access to.


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Just wanted to share this:

A sane feminist investigates the ongoing online moral panic surrounding video games and the gamers who buy them. The video's short (six and a half minutes) and doesn't play into any particular "side" of recent debates.


Despite her interviewer trying to create strife from nothing, she parried the distraction wonderfully. I see this a lot in journalism ("find a buzzword/acceptable topic and set another example in political correctness") and it gets pretty old, but when an interviewee dodges the guided discussion and responds sanely it's a thing of beauty.

this is totally not from last year >_>

Anyone else watch a celebrity you're not really interested in respond in ways that defy the interview's rails?


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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Accusing others of sophistry while using it to try and discredit opposing viewpoints.
A) Accusations of sophistry work a lot better if you actually attempt to demonstrate (as I did) where the error in logic is, why it's in error, and trace where that error may have stemmed from.

Lunch got in the way. Fortunately, the next two hours are all mine...

MrTsFloatinghead wrote:


The push back against this seems to be something akin to the tired sophistry about how political correctness stifles thought and communication - that if we spend so much time trying to sort out what the right words are and how our cultural history might be coloring our perspectives, we end up becoming a bunch of navel-gazing solipsists who are too afraid to peer out of our critical examinations of identity for fear of being labelled "racists".

Political correctness does stifle thought and communication as pluralistic ignorance takes hold. This is when the majority of a group's members privately reject a norm while assuming their peers accept said norm. In order to avoid a negative image, those members maintain norms that they personally reject. What worsens this is when popular personalities suffer from false-consensus bias thanks to pluralistic ignorance. Some examples. Hardly sophistry.

MrTsFloatingHead wrote:


At best, the argument goes, forcing all this self examination and reflection on people is an exhausting, tedious punishment for the crime of "being white".

This is cherry picking specific responses while suffering from pluralistic ignorance.

MrTsFloatingHead wrote:
Ironically, this very argument demonstrates exactly how "being white" is privileged. People get upset at the idea of having to confront their "race" and identity before speaking, because it seems exhausting, and demeaning, and a bit like a punishment, all without realizing that often "non-white" or "non-normal" people are forced to do that exact same kind of thinking every day.

And the fallacies continue with a fallacy of relative privation. Foisting guilt is a hostile tactic and using "privilege" in such a way always comes off as a hostile intent.

MrTsFloatingHead wrote:


"Normal" people don't often have to make calculations based on the lives and experiences of other people - they don't have to think, for example, about how they will be treated when the go into a store, or get stopped by the police. They don't have to ask the question "will my <identity> be a problem here?" because they can just assume it won't - after all, that's what being "normal" means, right? Is it possibly exhausting having to think about race/class/gender all the time? Maybe. Probably. I don't really know, because I don't have to do it, because I'm a white male, and that's what white privilege means.

This supports shoving members of a race into perpetual victimhood. They have every right to expect civil treatment and when someone denies them that that person is in the wrong--not everyone who shares a single characteristic with the denier. Those who discriminate are the issue, not those aren't an immediate target. People that behave this way will attack whoever is "weaker" in their eyes.

MrTsFloatingHead wrote:
It's also important to note that being told you are wrong about how you think about race isn't automatically an attempt to "shame" or "punish" people. Nobody likes being wrong, that's true. It can certainly be embarrassing to realize that you've been mistaken about something for a long time, but it's important to realize that being told that you should "check your privilege" is ultimately not about "shaming" any more than telling a child that six times six doesn't equal sixty six is. It's about trying to educate people to see the world differently, and understand that being "normal" is itself a privilege.

Argumentum ad populum. Bandwagon appeal combined authority appeal-by-proxy. This is the paragraph falls back into pluralistic ignorance in the assumption of a norm.

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