Re: Anita Sarkeesian

1

At least it's a clear felony on the part of the guy who sent the letter, if they catch him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
2

The thing I can't understand is why the university can't search for and ban guns as a matter of policy for the event. Is it because it's a state university? Surely they don't legally have to admit anyone to the event.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:29 AM
horizontal rule
3

Am I being hopelessly utopian in sort of thinking that this kind of insane threat is an indication that misogynists of that level of intensity are really losing the war on a societal level and know it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:30 AM
horizontal rule
4

I think 3 might be right. I have similar thought about bike lanes and the absurd levels of hatred they have inspired locally.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
5

"Utah law prohibits colleges from taking away concealed weapons from valid permit holders. Utah is the only state in the country with such a law. [...] Utah is one of seven states that allow concealed carry on college campuses, along with Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Idaho and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But it is the only state that has a separate law prohibiting universities from not allowing concealed weapons at events."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:33 AM
horizontal rule
6

That's one dumbassed law.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:35 AM
horizontal rule
7

Surely they could ban guns if they wanted to, but they didn't want to. I mean they don't let people open carry to events with someone important enough, right?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:35 AM
horizontal rule
8

3, 4: But it's not like reactionary backlashes can't have horrible effects over a long (loooooong) period. (Meanwhile, I was thinking unhappy thoughts about the level of attention and respect the #gamergate people are getting as opposed to the Ferguson protestors.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:36 AM
horizontal rule
9

Somebody needs to point out to these people that there is a reason why the First Amendment comes above the Second*.

*Probably that the drafters thought of it first, but it makes a good slogan.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:36 AM
horizontal rule
10

5 to 7.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:37 AM
horizontal rule
11

So presidential candidates just can't go to Utah colleges?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:38 AM
horizontal rule
12

8: Right. Or even successfully win over anti-reaction. While generating a backlash can't be taken as a sign you'll will win in the end, I think not getting a backlash can be taken as a sign you won't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:39 AM
horizontal rule
13

11: A quick googling didn't find anything, which isn't that much of a surprise since it isn't exactly a battleground state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:43 AM
horizontal rule
14

So presidential candidates just can't go to Utah colleges?

Only ones who are willing to give their real pseuds.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:45 AM
horizontal rule
15

People need to boycott Utah for awhile, is my feeling.

Stop holding academic conferences there, for one. If the state is not interested in guaranteeing the safety of academic speakers, then academics should stay out of the state.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:45 AM
horizontal rule
16

So presidential candidates just can't go to Utah colleges?

I don't know what the legal basis for it is, but the courts are extremely deferential to White House security concerns, to the point where the Secret Service is for all intents and purposes a law unto itself. (There was a brouhaha a while back where the U.S. Secret Service insisted on disarming the presidential guard of whatever Latin American leader Obama was meeting with. The Secret Service reaction could be characterized as "How dare they question our authoriteh?") I can't help but think that the sloppy performance of the agency that was recently spotlighted is causally related to the utter lack of external accountability with which they are accustomed to operating.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
17

Right. I found a recent (post-campaign) Romney event at University of Utah, but maybe they did allow guns for that. Maybe no one important enough wanted to go to Utah colleges in the first place?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
18

academics should stay out of the state

This is going to mightily inconvenience one of our regular commenters.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:48 AM
horizontal rule
19

There was a brouhaha a while back where the U.S. Secret Service insisted on disarming the presidential guard of whatever Latin American leader Obama was meeting with

Why would there be an (American) law against that?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:49 AM
horizontal rule
20

The Monroe Doctrine, which is part of the Constitution, means that U.S. law supersedes domestic laws in Latin America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:50 AM
horizontal rule
21

Utah law would, presumably, allow you to search people at the door for weapons, segregate all the audience members carrying guns into a separate part of the auditorium, fenced off from the unarmed rest of the crowd, and then cover them with some sort of crew-served weapon to ensure they didn't start something.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:51 AM
horizontal rule
22

So maybe the secret service is just allowed to break the law, but what about foreign dignitaries? The Dalai Lama spoke on the university campus in 2001. Would that just not happen now?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:53 AM
horizontal rule
23

I can't help but think that the sloppy performance of the agency that was recently spotlighted is causally related to the utter lack of external accountability with which they are accustomed to operating.

I just looked for any GAO work on the Secret Service, and it looks like that's very true.

The U.S. Secret Service (Secret Service)... exceeded its budgeted amount for fiscal year 2009 presidential candidate nominee protection funding, but did not notify Congress of this shortfall (fiscal year 2009 shortfall) until June 2009--5 months after the Inauguration.
.... At the time of the shortfall, DHS had written guidance on how to communicate a violation of the Antideficiency Act--which prohibits federal officials from obligating or expending funds in excess of appropriations--and notify Congress of a reprogramming, or shifting funds within an appropriation. However, because they mistakenly determined the guidance did not apply, Secret Service informed DHS of the shortfall and requested assistance in covering it.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:53 AM
horizontal rule
24

"Carrying a weapon, sir? Your seat is in the trap-door bleachers suspended over the 100ft pit."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
25

For presidential security, as well as military bases (which generally ban firearms everywhere except shooting ranges and storage facilities, because sissies), and national parks and such, federal law restricting firearms overrides state law.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
26

Hey, convenient mistake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
27

16,19: To the shores of Tripoli but not to Mississippoli.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:55 AM
horizontal rule
28

26 to 23.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:56 AM
horizontal rule
29

To OP.1 and the entire #g-m-rg-t- filth: Fucking nerds should be beaten senseless with their special edition white Xboxes and buried in their Call of Duty-themed fedoras.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:59 AM
horizontal rule
30

The Dalai Lama spoke on the university campus in 2001. Would that just not happen now?

The Dalai Lama is a special case because if you shoot him he just respawns back in his home domain.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:01 AM
horizontal rule
31

I think 3 is right with regard to gaming culture. In general it hasn't been great to women, but this is particularly bad. On the other hand, there have been a lot more prominent women recently in gaming, especially in the indie gaming space, which itself has grown a lot in the past five years (due to digital distribution). To a degree I think this backlash is also about the loosening of the corporate monoculture; smaller games can sell and challenge the status quo.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:02 AM
horizontal rule
32

...lately this doesn't feel like the most nurturing place to be a woman

I'm curious about the boundaries of "this place." Examples suggest bigger than Texas, but is it smaller than the universe, or the human condition?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
33

They changed the law wrt national parks in 2010, so just this year we had an idiot from Texas shoot a griz in Glacier. You can't find anyone with serious backcountry experience who believes the guy's story, and they've finally charged him.

And an idiot from Alabama fired a shot in the air to summon help, because his son had fallen down a slope.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:04 AM
horizontal rule
34

Stop holding academic conferences there, for one. If the state is not interested in guaranteeing the safety of academic speakers, then academics should stay out of the state.

Do you think there is enough anger out there for that? I mean, I think I can get behind it, but not many people are like me.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:09 AM
horizontal rule
35

The Dalai Lama is a special case because if you shoot him he just respawns back in his home domain.

Ha.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:09 AM
horizontal rule
36

In general it hasn't been great to women
This seems like such a staggering understatement, I figured I'd pull it out. Speaking as someone totally uninterested in either gaming or broader nerd culture, I think hostile, unwelcoming, and threatening have been accurate descriptors for decades at least. Wrapping this kind of behavior in benign explanations ("socially awkward") does nothing to discourage it. Luckily, it seems like a phase that most guys outgrow, and I'm sure the ones who don't would have found some other place to nurture their belief that women are worthless.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
37

33.2: At least he was smart enough not to fall down the slope.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:19 AM
horizontal rule
38

The law also applies to public elementary and high schools. Though you have to be 21 to get a concealed carry permit. So I think students are limited to the right to open carry unloaded guns in school.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:23 AM
horizontal rule
39

Can they still be expelled for carrying a pen knife?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:24 AM
horizontal rule
40

The present, 14th, Dalai Lama has publicly mused that he may be the last of the line. I suspect this is code for "If Beijing tries to foist some yes-man onto you once I'm gone, feel free to ignore him."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:25 AM
horizontal rule
41

I don't think it's even code. I thought that was pretty explicitly him saying that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:27 AM
horizontal rule
42

The Dalai Lama is a special case because if you shoot him he just respawns back in his home domain.

Unfortunately the Chinese are spawn campers.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:29 AM
horizontal rule
43

36: Yes, it was definitely an understatement and I should have said something stronger. (What's that figure of speech where you describe something awful in very mild terms? This is me, failing at it.) It's horrible and an embarrassment, and it can't be explained away benignly--to the extent that young gamers are ostracized nerds, there's definitely no end to kicking down (as the various adult men who justify their bullying by saying that they were nerds so they can't be bullies attest). I'm trying to be optimistic that there are various cultural shifts that are making women both more likely to be both gamers and game creators and more visible in those roles, and that that will lead to gaming being more equitable. But these jagoffs aren't helping.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:30 AM
horizontal rule
44

40 is ironic because, as you no doubt remember, the Mongolian Communist Party pulled exactly the same trick on the Jebtsundampa of Mongolia back in 1925.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
45

42. Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
46

What's that figure of speech where you describe something awful in very mild terms?

Litotes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
47

Yeah, that one. I don't not overuse it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:35 AM
horizontal rule
48

I think Princess Peach needs her own game where she saves Mario for once.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
49

34: We might can get academics behind it.

I am vague on the details, because it was when my kid was tiny, but back in the 90s, when SC was refusing to take the Confederate Flag off their Courthouses and such (as I said, I might have the details wrong here) many academics refused to schedule or go to conferences in that state.

I remember the boycott, because the university I was at rescheduled their conference from Charleston to Atlanta over the issue.

Although as I think might have been noted on Unfogged before, feminism plays less well than racism with most people.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
50

Litotes can be used for that purpose, but it's specifically understatement performed by negating the opposite, like "not unkindly" (meaning very kindly) or "you won't be sorry" (meaning you'll be actively pleased) or "this isn't the best time I've ever had" (meaning it was absolutely awful).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
51

I mean, 31 was in fact litotes! But defining litotes as "describ[ing] something awful in very mild terms" isn't right. La la.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
52

Yeah, maybe I meant meiosis? (Which confused me when I came across it in a Sayers novel because the only sort of meiosis I had heard of was the process of cell division.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
53

48: They made that one, but it apparently wasn't very good. Oh, the developer was TOSE, that explains it. When Nintendo tries to outreach to women/girls, it can be kind of pandering.

Peach/Princess Toadstool is my go-to in both Super Mario Brothers 2 (awesome floating ability, essentially the game's easy mode) and Mario Kart 64 (lightweight and not as annoying as Toad).

50/51: I thought the double-negation isn't required, but that's the most litotesian of litotes?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
54

This thread is reinforcing my determination to buy and play "Alien: Isolation".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
55

My son sort of likes Mario Kart, but I'm not encouraging it the way I do with Minecraft. I think I have reasons beyond pure pique.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
56

Meiosis is a figure of speech? And not a dirty one? Confusing!

55: Mario Kart is a great learning tool if you ever want to talk to him about Marxism and redistribution.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:50 AM
horizontal rule
57

Mostly I just want him to stop shouting at the TV and to never, ever watch the old Mario Brothers show that Netflix keeps around.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
58

57: That show is godawful. It isn't even watchable while drunk. (Caveats: I like the art style if not the animation, and the Lou Albano bits are absurdist.) Apparently that and the related awful shows in that Saturday morning block (including the other big video game related one, Captain N: The Game Master) were all written by the same guy, and he was writing one or even two episode scripts per day, five days a week.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
59

I was too old for all of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
60

ONE GUY came up with all those Italian food-related insults! Sometimes King Koopa calls them a dozen variations on "macaroni morons" and "pathetic pizza-eaters" in a single episode.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
61

! s/b ?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
62

The link in 53 is pretty remarkable.


On the upper left hand side of the screen, there are two bars: heart gauge (maximum of five hearts) and emotion meter. Whenever Peach falls down a hole or gets hit by an enemy, she loses half a heart. When all hearts are gone, she must start over at the beginning of the level. Peach has infinite lives, so the player can continue as much as he/she pleases. The emotion meter corresponds to the four vibe powers she has.

Because chicks are always so emotional all the time. Am I right?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
63

3 seems right, sort of. This is one way it looks when people who care desperately about an issue don't have enough power to directly use the state to accomplish their aims.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
64

Using Peach in Mario 2 instead of Luigi is exactly the gamer/non-gamer line, right? (I mean I used Peach, but I'm not a "gamer.")

(No offense intended to the really hardcore gamers who used toad.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:02 AM
horizontal rule
65

Nicole Eggert was on the first episode of Mario. It sort of went downhill from there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:02 AM
horizontal rule
66

My kid has graduated from vanilla Minecraft to Minecraft Pokemon. Pixelmon its called. And then he bitches that no one joins him on his Pixelmon server. Well, little dude, sorry, but thats because supporting mods is a pain in the ass, and you can't expect other kids parents to have the same patience with it that I have somehow maintained.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
67

I hate anything Pokemon, especially Ash.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
68

Yeah, really I can't stand Pokemon. But I am not an 8 year old boy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
69

43: Thanks. Understatements like that are a peeve of mind because they can seem dismissive of the folks speaking up about a problem. (I get that this is not you. You seem like quite a nice person.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
70

You all are litotes adorbs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
71

62: Yeah. It's pretty awful, and that they farmed it out to TOSE (they make cheap games quickly for other developers, and traditionally don't take credit for their work) should tell you what they felt about the project.

64: I'm comfortable with my gamerality.

68: I grew out of Pokemon after the first one, but I know enough 20-35 year old people of both genders who get really into it. It's a numbercruncher's dream if you want it to be.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
72

This thread is reinforcing my determination to buy and play "Alien: Isolation".

I'm about two hours in and so far it has the best world building of any game I've played apart from maybe Bioshock. It captures the feel of the film's sets and set-furniture perfectly. From what I understand, though, it gets pretty tedious by the end and the alien is the worst thing about it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
73

It's a numbercruncher's dream if you want it to be.

I hope so. I'd like to think my kid is getting something out of it beyond memorizing the evolutionary stages of 150 or more Pokemon.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
74

I find all of the Anita Sarkeesian backlash, over the last two years, depressing, and somewhat baffling. Having just watched two or three of her videos, I don't understand why anybody would watch them and feel like she's attacking video games as a culture. They are so self-conscious and consistent in avoiding hyperbole or vitriol, they're somewhat boring, but they aren't attacks.

Two tangents: first, I mostly liked the Dixie Chicks documentary, "Shut Up And Sing" which does a good job of showing what it's like to suddenly start getting death threats, and the weirdness of finding oneself in the middle of the culture war.

Second, "Two Teenage Girls Have Invented the Most Powerful Video Game of the Year."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
75

I bought Legend of Grimrock II last night. So far my conclusion is "needs more lighting."

Seriously, my eyes are too old to be squinting at the screen, trying to make out the various low contrast items that can be picked up.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
76

69: That's a good point and I should keep that in mind. Whatever rhetorical technique I doesn't come across as well in text as it does in person, and I don't want to actually minimize what are really big problems for people who aren't like me. (And aww, thanks!)

One interesting thing I've seen coming out of this mess is a lot more criticism of gaming and nerd culture from a anti-consumerism/capitalist viewpoint. That is, despite the fact that gaming in theory allows for more creative participation on the part of the experiencer, in practice the experience is often spoonfed and dictated by whatever sells. And that's part of the general problem of creating an identity around a consumptive activity. These critics are often geeky (so, having cred) women (but not in-group). I doubt this is going to pick up too much steam--"everything you hold dear is false consciousness" is a hard sell--but if it leads to more blurring of the creator/consumer boundary that'd be nice.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
77

I doesn't -> I used doesn't

74.first: Because people are shit, and gamers haven't been exposed to criticism of their media as an artform. Or: they really wanted people (Ebert) to take their hobby seriously as art but didn't realize that this is what happens when people take art seriously (...because they are undereducated and only exposed to mass-market entertainment).

74.last: There needs to be more projects like that! (And I dig the Great Wave at Kanagawa-inspired pixelart.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
78

74: I saw a real live person explain why yesterday, on IRC.

His explanation (I'm assuming it was a man) was that he needed to explain to "dumb people" what was really going on because "the media" was giving some women credit they didn't deserve.

It was basically a demonstration of this.

My question is, what happened to gamers in the past decade and a half? I just started playing video games again and boy are people a lot more childish than the used to be. It doesn't really make sense -- gamers are simultaneously older than they ever used to be and more childish?

There's a brand of infantile trash talk I remember from a small subset of high-level competitive gamers and wannabes that that seems to have spread to basically everywhere.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:44 AM
horizontal rule
79

a real live person ... on IRC.

The new taxi driver.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
80

78: The "GG is really about corruption in the media" defense is infuriating. The "corruption" is that people in a hobbyist media write about things they've patreoned/kickstarted and write subjectively about it. What the fuck do you think is going to happen? There's a fetishization "objectivity" and depoliticization that shows a hilarious lack of understanding of how humans and culture work. Throw the sexism on top of that and it's intolerable.

There are real issues with regard to how games are reviewed, but they have nothing to do with the women-produced (or Phil Fish-produced) indie games that GG is getting so up in arms about. Reviews of big games are done on pre-release copies so the reviews can go up the day the game is released, and if you piss off a publisher too much you aren't going to get any more early copies from them. The new hotness, Shadow of Mordor, was pre-released to a bunch of high-profile Youtubers (itself a new phenomenon), but they had to sign a contract saying that their reviews had to be vetted by the publisher first. That's genuinely insidious, and the GG response was "not journalists, don't care."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
81

74.first: Because people are shit, and gamers haven't been exposed to criticism of their media as an artform.

Yeah, this basically. Part of it is just rampant misogyny and anti-feminism, and a hopefully larger part is that a whole bunch of people don't seem to understand what cultural criticism entails, and for some reason take offence when anyone looks at a video game and does anything other than give it points out of ten for graphics or talk about how good the shooting mechanics feel. The number of comments I've seen, even from regulars on a site dedicated to criticism of games as a medium of expression, questioning the very idea of Sarkeesian's videos or reviews which talk about the social/political context of games has been distressing.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:04 AM
horizontal rule
82

79: As in Tom Friedman informant? Or as in Travis Bickle?


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
83

78: voice channels in online games ruined everything, that's my theory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
84

But I haven't really played video games since, I dunno, 9/11, so I suppose I wouldn't know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
85

Sweet Jesus that link in 78 is really something.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
86

It really is. I've never felt so happy to have spent my recreational time in the calmer parts of the internet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
87

It would hardly be recreational time otherwise. Assuming you aren't a huge asshole, that is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
88

I'm definitely glad my serious time playing any sort of video games predated the (popular) Internet and multiplayer gaming. I sort of wonder if that's when "gamer" as an identity started to pick up steam.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
89

67, 68: Fuck you, Pikachu rules! [Secret "devil" sign.] Snoooooorlaaaaaaaaaxxxxxx!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
90

78
My question is, what happened to gamers in the past decade and a half?

1. The roaches don't start running until you shine a light on them.

2. A few non-gamers here and there began to take games more seriously as art or whatever. It went to some gamers' heads like heroin to a Mormon.

3. The "gaming community" or "gaming movement" is a mile wide and an inch deep. These days gamers have nothing in common other than that they've paid money for a game invented after 1970 and don't mind self-identifying as a gamer. So there's little to no actual community to it.

4. To the extent that "gamers" is a community, it's already on the decline - see above. Gaming actually was sorta kinda a community when the term was reserved for people willing to spend all their disposable income on multiple consoles and games for them or a desktop computer with a top-of-the-line video card, but these days anyone with an iPad or smartphone can play Minecraft. The point is, the problematic gamers are partially a backlash by dead-enders. (Which, of course, does not imply that they're going to fade away on their own any time soon.)

5. GIFT. Sorry to link to Penny Arcade, they don't have a great record on these issues themselves, but they summarized that problem pretty aptly. Apparently the more technical term for it is the online disinhibition effect.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
91

Still reading the link at 78, but yeah. It really is something. And accurate. How she describes weev targeting her with a "mind virus guaranteed to push emotional buttons for your real, NOT-troll audience" is exactly what "corruption in games journalism" is for GG. See also #not/your/shi/eld.

88: Definitely. When people discovered that oh hey, other people do this--and we can do it together!--that allowed communities to form. And if you do something for N hours a day (where N can be quite large) with other people who do it, it's not hard to consider it an integral part of your identity.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
92

I had a terrifying dinner a week or two ago -- Buck was away, so the kids were dominating the conversation -- and suddenly they went off on an extended Pokemon flashback. I don't think either of them has played a Pokemon game for years and years, but I listened to an excited forty minutes of the two of them reminiscing about strategic techniques, play styles, particularly interesting or peculiar Pokemon and so on. Really unsettling, realizing how much time and thought they'd devoted to it over the years.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
93

When I worked at a game company this kind of lunacy was definitely not on the radar. I mean, games and game ads were incredibly sexist, by and large, but trolls in that world tended to just kind of troll people in-game by camping in counterstrike or stealing gold in everquest or whatever. I obviously blame Twitter, Adam Baldwin, or both. Wait, no, I blame, hm, Penny Arcade and Steam. Or wait, no, I blame, uh, The Sims and Canabalt. Wait, wait, I blame nerdcore. No, hang on...


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
94

93: Is MC Frontalot still alive? Otherwise, I'd blame C/or/y D/oc/to/row. Where is your anarcho-Canadian-Trotskyist paradise of the online commenters now, nerd?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
95

90.3 is a good point about it being overly broad. It's better to think of it as a collective term for a bunch of smaller communities with lots of overlap. I think it's more coherent than considering e.g. "the reader community", but that's probably due to the age of the medium.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
96

94: yah you bet. My friend who does sound for him just toured with him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
97

I've been trying to dangle other games in front of my kid to pull him away from Pokemon. We played Brothers: A Tail of Two Sons together last weekend, and he thought it was awesome. But it was quite short, and had one unfortunately gory section that he probably didn't need to see. And now he's back on Pokemon.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
98

What's always weird about all this to me is that things that happened within very small, very marginal subcultures I was part of twenty, twenty-five years ago are now part of a much more mainstream culture. Regular people are getting doxed? What? That's not a thing that just happens to nerdy dickwads farting around instead of doing their homework? Reality took a weird turn somewhere.

Arguably this is the whole problem, of course, but anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
99

Kathy Sierra's experience is horrible. Comical sidenote: she co-wrote the most popular intro to java book, and her co-author turns out to be a believer in creeping sharia.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
100

To the extent that "gamers" is a community, it's already on the decline - see above. Gaming actually was sorta kinda a community when the term was reserved for people willing to spend all their disposable income on multiple consoles and games for them or a desktop computer with a top-of-the-line video card, but these days anyone with an iPad or smartphone can play Minecraft. The point is, the problematic gamers are partially a backlash by dead-enders. (Which, of course, does not imply that they're going to fade away on their own any time soon.)

The baffling thing to me about this whole situation is that I'm one of those dead-enders. I just spent £600 on a gaming monitor, for Christ's sake. And yet I don't recognise any of the sentiments from the GamerGate crowd or their apologists on gaming forums. It's the sort of behaviour I'd previously have associated with Call of Duty dudebros and, well, 4chan. And yet here are plenty of people on a site whose primary content is cultural criticism, victim blaming and saying that critique is somehow preventing them from enjoying their games in peace. It's like the very idea that games could be more than mindless, meaningless timekillers is a threat to their worldview. Who are these people?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
101

93: Trolling in games is an art form. (Yes, I'm a bad person.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
102

100: I had wondered that a bit, too. Like resentful dead-enders from some other world needed a new hobby. Like, wait, Adam Baldwin? What?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
103

100: they're simultaneously threatened by "games for casuals[sic]" and "games are art". Call of Duty dudebros is right. (Not to other the problematic elements--I still believe that gamers are a collection of communities and we should police the shittiness we find.)

102: Adam Baldwin's a mystery to me. I always want to believe that people who play stupid characters are actually smart. (He did go to what I think is ogged high, so perhaps that explains something.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
104

Oh, shit, he did.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
105

Who are these people?

I feel like I've been having this reaction to the culture wars a lot recently. I was reading about a high school newspaper that refused to print the name of the school mascot, because it was the same offensive one as the DC NFL football team. The father of one of the kids at the school, who was also on the school board, tried to sue the high school newspaper to get them to print the name.

Who are these people? Dude, you are spending tens of thousands of dollars over high school football.

At some point, you have to go from saying "Well, different people get really absorbed by different things," to "Where the hell our your priorities? Let's get a little perspective here."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
106

See also, the game designer who got endless death threats because he tweaked some of the setting for weapons in Call of Duty.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
107

Creeping sharia sounds like an invasive plant that you can't get out of your lawn.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
108

107: It's an alternative name for CRAZY ANTS!!!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:28 AM
horizontal rule
109

I'd never heard them referred to as dead-enders, but that's a good way to look at it.

When I tried some games for the first time in well over a decade, some of the same people I knew from competitive gaming were still playing the same games. Most of the money has moved into other types of games, so it really is a dead end. It didn't surprise me that the people who were most likely to throw down casual racism and misogyny are the most likely to still be around, spending their time fighting over the #1 spot in a league for a 20 year old game, but I was surprised to find that random racism and misogyny was pervasive in every online game I tried.

So, yeah, who are these people?


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
110

79: As in Tom Friedman informant? Or as in Travis Bickle?

Thomas Friedman </StandPipe>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
111

91a - I've been enjoying the person finding the stock photography used for a bunch of sockpuppet #nys accounts.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
112

God, the whole idea that being a "gamer" is some poignant, deep, and special way of life that is "under attack" makes me want to burn everything. I hate everyone.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
113

Sadly, if you just google "not your shield" you get a bunch of stupid stupid crap talking about how powerful and genuine it is, full of minority gamers "standing with" gamergate.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
114

A way of life (or even an affiliation) doesn't have to be poignant, deep or special for people to lash out "in defense" of it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
115

What's "not your shield"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
116

A way of life (or even an affiliation) doesn't have to be poignant, deep or special for people to lash out "in defense" of it.

And yet many of those lashing out are characterizing it that way.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
117

And that's what (well, one thing that) makes me want to burn burn burn it all.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
118

113: Grandma's Boy will someday be seen as a precious, profoundly sad record of all that we have lost.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
119

100
And yet I don't recognise any of the sentiments from the GamerGate crowd or their apologists on gaming forums... Who are these people?

I'm not sure what this means. If you're saying you can't find anyone who actually holds those sentiments, I stumbled on this while looking for the links in my previous comment. Plenty of examples there. On the other hand, if you're saying that you don't personally understand why they hold those beliefs, I'd say there's two different things going on.

I haven't looked all that closely at GamerGate, but it seems to me like just garden-variety right-wing misogyny. In these peoples' lexicon, the phrase "social justice warrior" is a serious insult. It looks weird, but that's just because it's happening in a pseudo-community (see above) that enjoys too much free time (by definition) and shaky law enforcement (stuff like doxxing is hard to prosecute).

As for the stuff like in 106, that seems like old-fashioned monomania. I'm sure 50 years ago a few really crazy letters were sent to the editor of stamp-collecting or model train magazines. Well, sending e-mails is much easier than letters.

Both are amplified by the online disinhibition effect, and both should be taken seriously - the former as part of the general culture war, the latter as bullying and potentially genuine threats. But both have little to do with people who play games qua people who play games.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
120

115: the idea is that it's a hashtag for gamers who aren't white/straight/cis/male to declaie their support for gg-ers and to say that cowardly feminists and bad people shouldn't use them as a "shield" for their insidious game-destroying agenda. In practice, often appearing in sockpuppet accounts.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
121

51 But defining litotes as "describ[ing] something awful in very mild terms" isn't right.

To be fair, it isn't not right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:12 AM
horizontal rule
122

100: AFAICT the 'gators are aggressively seeking out and mass trolling any online debate they can find about "GamerGate," usually using hordes of sockpuppet accounts to make them seem more numerous than they are.

It really was largely a 4chan culture thing. But then 4chan finally got sick of them and banned "GamerGate" threads and they seemed to just completely lose their fucking minds. At this point they seem determined to just keep escalating until either someone crosses the line from making a threat to carrying it out, or people start getting arrested.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
123

119: The way SJW became a slur opened my eyes to the link between childish internet fuckwittery and right-wing thought; it's like a more general application of "white knight" bashing. Breitbart and Baldwin getting involved also helped.

(The Social Justice $OTHER_D&D_CLASS response is adorable.)

120: To be fair, there are some genuine non-sockpuppets serving as useful idiots, which is heartbreaking.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
124

122.1 brings up a good point: this thread might deserve more googleproofing. On Twitter, a woman saying anything about GG would cause her mentions to go to shit.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
125

Hm. Now that you mention it... yeah.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
126

I'm not sure what this means

I mean, "I have read about these people online, and believe they exist, but they are so far removed from my actual experience I can't imagine where they come from."

Other hobbies have been "threatened" by encroaching women. When Kathrine Switzer tried to run the Boston marathon, some dude grabbed her and tried to remove her race number.

He didn't, however, spend months sending her incredibly graphic threats to rape and murder her.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
127

Adam Baldwin is depressing. I try to disassociate actors (writers, whatever) from their political views, but I can't think of anyone who makes it harder than he does. So many good characters in so many fun works from such a horrible person...

(The Social Justice $OTHER_D&D_CLASS response is adorable.)

I like that, I'll try to remember it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
128

I mean, "I have read about these people online, and believe they exist, but they are so far removed from my actual experience I can't imagine where they come from."

That and I really did not expect to find so many people on these particular forums, which are generally progressive leaning and have a more sophisticated/eclectic/whatever appreciation of games, endorsing so much of the GG worldview, if not the actual threats/doxxing etc. I mean, they were uncritically citing blatantly lying and misogynist Breitbart.com (!) articles as "evidence" of some piece of supposed corruption. Plenty of them are still going on about how slutty Z/oe Q/ui/nn supposedly is, as if that would have any wider import anyway. WTF?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
129

128: The "movement" is also a toxic mixture of deep delusion, paranoia, hypocrisy, total lack of self-awareness and deliberate trolling that operates on the principle of "throw a bunch of stuff at the wall over and over and see what sticks." Very few people from the "movement" who claim not to care about Z/oe Q/ui/nn anymore, or to oppose harassment, are telling the truth. It's just that some of them are smart enough to occasionally try to pretend at sanity, whereas other can't quite pull it off or just don't care.

We Hunted the Mammoth has been on top of the task of pulling back the curtain on the trolls in all their festering glory. Gotta love the guy.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
130

In a way the whole thing is a big own goal. I would never, ever have heard of Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn if it wasn't for the attacks.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
131

129.2: That is great/sad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
132

130: I had watched some of Sarkeesian's videos and had heard of Quinn but didn't known much about her. But now I follow them both on Twitter, as well as a bunch of other prominent women game devs/journalists. (Not sure if I'm going to check out Quinn's game; it sounds important but maybe not helpful for me.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
133

I'm well aware of that. That's why I said I expected it from 4channers, but not regulars on these sites. And to be fair, we're still talking about a small minority, abut the point is I can't wrap my head around the idea of people who would spend years on such a site, only to come out with this sort of crap, which is utterly antithetical to everything the site is about. For some reason the misogyny in the genesis of GG eencouraged them to let their freak flag fly. A couple have a history of being dicks, and somewhat trolly, but not all. A lot of them are affecting to be outside the movement and playing a bizarrely transparent game of "both sides suck" where the sides aren't remotely even.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
134

132: It's actually quite neat, the game. Thought-provoking.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
135

133: Yeah. The way I learned about Gam/er/Ga/te was that a guy who'd been a buddy for more than fifteen years started posting links on Facebook to bizarre rants about it on MRA blogs (along with other weird misogynistic bilge). He kept pulling the stuff down when I confronted him about it, but he kept posting it, too, and I eventually had to unfriend him. So it can certainly reveal a noxious/stupid side in people you never would have suspected of it.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
136

When we are bullied by jocks, radfems, SJWs, or San Fran trust-fund babies, WE STAND TOGETHER, ARM IN ARM.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
137

"What is a SJW?" he asked tepidly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
138

119/123 to 137.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
139

137: "Social justice warrior." A pejorative but reclaimed term for a decent person.

since this thread has me primed for video games, I thought the quote in ogged's new post on lemons was a reference to this.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
140

Huh, I thought sock-puppet campaigns like #notyourshield were doomed to failure because the number of people required to execute them guarantees that someone will leak the details. But in this case, the sock puppeteers appear to own the entire first page of google hits. Here's the expose:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/new-chat-logs-show-how-4chan-users-pushed-gamergate-into-the-national-spotlight/

Incidentally, I know this makes me a bad/voyeuristic person, but I found Quinn's ex's extensive documentation of their terrible relationship (the second link in the link, the tumblr post that started the whole thing) to be entertainingly obsessive. It does achieve its goal of showing conclusively that she's a lousy girlfriend, though as you'd expect, he comes off pretty poorly himself.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
141

103
they're simultaneously threatened by "games for casuals[sic]" and "games are art". Call of Duty dudebros is right.

I'll bet most of them loved the idea that games were starting to be considered art, but unfortunately, they had no idea what that meant. Art gets criticized.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
142

What little I was able to endure of the zoepost mostly left the impression that Gjoni is mentally ill and probably not a reliable narrator.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
143

136: NOW THAT IS FUNNY


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
144

I have been enraged by this case for the past two days. Here's the deal. 2004 or thereabouts, the Utah legislature, which is controlled by the wackjobs in Provo, passes a law that says that concealed carry is permitted on all campuses and can't be banned at all. This isn't a Second Amendment issue, exactly, because Heller would permit a ban on carrying on campus, but a crazy Utahn issue. We also have a crazy easy permit process. All other events have allowed guns as far as I know.

So USU basically couldn't even search to see if anyone was bringing guns, because they couldn't do anything if anyone was packing.

So, yeah, if you want to silence speech, just phone in some threats. My employers will probably pat me on the back and say good luck, and most of the state would be fine with me being shot. I'm personally wondering if there's a Title IX violation in there.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
145

143: "First figured he was some kind of civic leader". Good guess.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
146

This is extra-infuriating. Intel pulled their ads from a gaming site because it ran an anti-GamerGate article.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 12:44 AM
horizontal rule
147

So USU basically couldn't even search to see if anyone was bringing guns, because they couldn't do anything if anyone was packing.

Well, you see, this is where my "you have a gun? that's fine, come in, have a seat. no, over there, in the field of fire of that machine gun" proposal comes in. There's no legal barrier to saying "people with guns over on this side of the theatre, everyone else over on that side". It's separate but equal!

(It is somewhat amusing that the heavily-armed maniacs are intimidating everyone else from a town called Provo.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 1:55 AM
horizontal rule
148

This is extra-infuriating. Intel pulled their ads from a gaming site because it ran an anti-GamerGate article.

Or to be more precise, because GG people ran an advertiser boycott campaign against Gama/sutra because of the article, which entirely coincidentally I'm sure was written by a woman. Other sites like R/ock, P/aper, S/hotgun are the subject of similar campaigns, mainly because Jo/hn Wa/lker talks about socio-political issues a fair bit.

It's funny how the sites that get attacked aren't the ones that are accused of corruption by GG, but the ones that speak up for better representatiion of women in gaming.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 2:51 AM
horizontal rule
149

148.3: Wow. That pretty much shows that the whole thing is 100% bullshit.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 3:05 AM
horizontal rule
150

This is from the anti-GamerGate article at Gamasutra:

"It's young men queuing with plush mushroom hats and backpacks and jutting promo poster rolls. Queuing passionately for hours, at events
around the world, to see the things that marketers want them to see. To find out whether they should buy things or not. They don't know how to
dress or behave."

Not surprising that gamers were pissed nor that Intel caved to a boycott. Not that she was particularly wrong or anything.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
151

If you follow a minority pursuit, people will, rightly or wrongly, write this kind of thing about you. Compared to what gets said about train spotters (not the Irvine Welsh variety) over here, that's pretty weak sauce. It's why the expression "Get over it" was coined. Not a justification to threaten mayhem.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 7:30 AM
horizontal rule
152

I think part of it is that the AAA game development scene is incredibly pandering, in a way that's strangely divorced from reality and cultural context (well, apart from the way the ESRB's censorship taste tracks the MPAA's). The joke of the big trade show last year was how every single game trailer at the major press conferences had graphic depictions of people being stabbed in the neck.

It's like if the entire output of Hollywood was made by Michael Bay. It's not that there aren't other games out there, but the marketing might of the industry is thrown entirely behind this narrow, very glossy, very violent, very shallow subset.

If you're used to having your basest impulses catered to ever more indulgently, it might be a bit of a shock to be told it doesn't have to be that way and that, actually, there's something a bit off about, say, the way Bayonetta's protagonist is absurdly sexualised. Epistemic closure and all that.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
153

150 is was I was alluding to when I mentioned the anti-consumerist/anti-capitalist backlash. And 152 is very right: I don't mind violent games per se, but there's a level where it's too much for me and it's pretty gross right now. (The boundary for me in AAA games is somewhere between Dragon Age's hilariously and absurdly blood-soaked heartfelt conversations and Bioshock Infinite's repulsively gory melee attacks. Somebody spent hours modelling the inside of a human head just for that. Ugh.) This is probably part of why I don't play many AAA games anymore, with the exception of Bethesda's RPGs.

I have mixed feelings about Bayonetta. I haven't played it or its just-released sequel, but it's gotten people--especially women--talking about positive sexuality and female empowerment in games in a way no other game has. So I think it's more than just the male gaze you'd get of a DOA Beach Volleyball, or even the pandering of Suda 51's games. Some of the people most squicked by it are dudebros, maybe because it lampshade-hangs fan service. In general I think the conversations it has generated are good for the art/industry.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
154

To be fair, I haven't played Bayonetta beyond the first game's demo. I was referring to the fact that Polygon's review of the sequel is one of the things that the GG crowd is hating on because the reviewer didn't like it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 8:48 AM
horizontal rule
155

I thought that "gamers are over" article had a bit of an obnoxious "fuck all you white boy gamers" vibe to it, and I can see why people who felt they were being maligned responded negatively.

But it was an incredibly thin-skinned response. If you've got a problem with an article, articulate your objections in an article of your own - and maybe something of value will come out of the discussion. Raising an internet lynch mob is not an appropriate reaction, and it basically validated everything the article said.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
156

Bspencer asks the questions that need to be asked:

Is it true that Z/oe Q/uinn travelled back in time in a time machine (THAT A MAN BUILT) and instead of killing Hitler she decided to ruin video games in the future?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
157

I'm an outsider to this world, but this seems like a really thoughtful post from Polygon's editor on Sarkeesian et al.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
158

Timothy Burke just wrote a good post on the topic.

2) As a result of my background, at academic meetings about digital culture and games, I've often identified myself, somewhat jokingly, as a "native informant" rather than a scholar who comes to games as an object of study with no prior affinity for them. (Which of course earned me a pious, self-righteous correction at one meeting from a literary scholar who wasn't aware that I also work on African history about how I might not know that the word 'native' has a complex history...) In that role, I've often found myself suggesting that there were insider or "emic" ways to understand the content and experience of game and gameplaying that many scholars rode roughshod over in their critique of that content. In particular, I've tried to suggest that there are dangers to reductive readings that only take an interest in games as a catalog of racialized or gendered tropes whose meaning is held to be understood simply from the act of cataloging. Equally, I've observed that seeing games as directly conditioning the everyday social practices and ideologies of their audiences (particularly in the case of violence) is both demonstrably wrong as an empirical argument and is also a classic kind of bourgeois moral panic about the social effects of new media forms, something that often leads to empowering the state or other forms of authority in very undesirable ways. I've argued, and still would argue, that at least some kinds of mobilizations through social media against racist or sexist culture are both too simplistic in their interpretations of content and counterproductive in their political strategies. I'm not going to stop arguing that certain kinds of cultural activism are stuck on looking for soft targets, that they avoid the agonizingly difficult and painstaking work of social transformation.

But this is another reason I hate the people associated with "Gamergate". They are working hard to prove me wrong in all sorts of ways. I'd still argue that the kind of tropes that Anita Sarkeesian has intelligently catalogued are subverted, ignored or reworked by the large majority of players, but it seems pretty undeniable at this point that there is a group of male gamers whose devotion to those tropes is deeply ideological in the most awful ways and that it absolutely informs the way they think of themselves across the broad spectrum of their social lives, including their real relationships to women. It seems pretty undeniable at this point that there are men who identify as "gamers" who are willing to threaten and harm simply to protect what they themselves articulate as a privileged relationship to gaming.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
159

That is a good post.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
160

It is somewhat amusing that the heavily-armed maniacs are intimidating everyone else from a town called Provo.

Provo is south of SLC and where BYU is located. USU is north of SLC in Ogden, birthplace of John Moses Browning.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 5:32 PM
horizontal rule
161

158: That is indeed good.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
162

Hey, isn't Weber in Ogden?

(And why is the football program so bad this year? Did you lock a bunch of them up?)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
163

Weber is in Ogden. USU is in Logan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
164

Shit,what Teo said. I'm commenting drunk again.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
165

I've been out east around Vernal the last couple days looking at dino fossils and petroglyphs in Dinosaur National Monument. God, the weather's been perfect. Now I'm home drinking and screwing up my comments.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
166

The final "up my comments" is arguably important to 165.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
167

SHUT IT.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
168

|| http://www.socialmobilityindex.org/ is kind of interesting. Butte, America, for the win! |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
169

Hah. The first place I searched for came dead last. DFH college.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-14 8:06 PM
horizontal rule