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Posted by BisonHero (7085 posts) 1 year, 5 months ago

Poll: Will anyone actually notice the missing PAX panels/indie games run by LGBT allies? (180 votes)

Yes 27%
No 73%

So going back a couple weeks, there was some controversy over a panel at PAX Aus, and then Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik (Gabe) made some comments that were considered insensitive to transgendered people.

The Fullbright Company canceled their attendance, and some gaming news sites reported on it. Apparently their game, Gone Home, deals with LGBT issues to a certain extent, so fair enough:

http://thefullbrightcompany.com/2013/06/21/why-we-are-not-showing-gone-home-at-pax/

One of my gay friends posted this link on Facebook recently. Never heard of these guys, but apparently they are cancelling their panel for similar reasons:

http://popupplayground.com.au/2013/07/pax-panel-cancelled/

Is it all worth it? For a group that is already marginalized, why limit yourself from the exposure of one of the bigger fan gatherings of gamers? Wouldn't it make more sense to make an appearance at PAX, and maybe get your LGBT-friendly game/panel covered by games journalists? And while you're there, put that other PAX panel (and Mike Krahulik) on blast?

Because I guarantee gaming sites are unlikely to write anything at all about you if you turn your PAX panel into a blog post on your site or something, because journos are never going to read it, whereas they might have attended it when it was going to be a panel.

And I also guarantee that this tiny boycott isn't suddenly going to turn public opinion on Penny Arcade in any kind of major way. It just isn't. Feminists have hated Penny Arcade for a few years since the Dickwolves thing, and really, nobody cares outside of some feminist blogs. Frankly, we still live in a world where not many people care about LGBT issues, especially trans issues, which don't have nearly the same public acceptance and understanding compared to gays and lesbians. So I really question if walking away from PAX Aus is doing them any good, because it's just not going to create any kind of lasting controversy, aside from Robert Khoo maybe paying for Mike Krahulik to take some sensitivity training classes or something (which realistically would probably just teach Mike to hide his real opinions behind more politically correct ones, because Mike seems like a stubborn dude who sticks with what he believes).

#1 Edited by MEATBALL (3516 posts) -

Can't blame them if they're not comfortable with attending and that's their decision to make. I don't know that the motivation is necessarily about drawing attention to their cause.

#2 Edited by markini6 (452 posts) -

As stated by the letter/post that the Fullbright Company wrote, their decision wasn't motivated by a desire to chastise or cause controversy, instead it was taken for purely moral reasons. They said that they just didn't feel comfortable being associated with Penny Arcade at that time, and said outright that they knew their lack of presence would be no great loss to the organizers and still praised the indie initiative at PAX. I think it was totally the right decision by them (which they said was tough, but unanimous), as they weren't willing to sacrifice a part of their conscience and/or morals in order for greater exposure.

#4 Posted by Hunter5024 (5982 posts) -

No, no one will notice, but according to their post they seem to know this, and they seem well aware of what a bad business decision this is. What's sad about this is that it feels like such a knee jerk reaction, I believe they made the decision on the very same day, and he made what sounded like a pretty genuine apology the day after.

#5 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12138 posts) -

Penny Arcade wasn't really hurt from the Dickwolves thing and it won't implode from yet another instance of Mike Krahulik saying insensitive things on twitter, which he seems to do on a regular basis. I don't think it's any great loss for either party if some presenters decide to not show. PAX is big, but this is a more symbolic gesture than anything.

#6 Edited by SomeJerk (3403 posts) -

I will not notice the PAX panels and indie games run by LGBT allies missing, because I see them as human beings.

#7 Edited by BooDoug187 (369 posts) -

These companies arent trying to destroy PAX, its just that there is stuff that happened that they dont agree with, maybe next year they come back or what ever.

Think about it like this. How would you feel if one of the Giant Bomb crew was something of a racist and on twitter spouted some nasty stuff. Even if that person came out and was like "I'm sorry" would you still support the site? Some people may shrug and be like "whatever" while others may say "My time and money are not going to support this kind of thing."

#8 Posted by rentfn (1288 posts) -

Mike apologized and made a donation to the the trevor project. I was wondering if that would remove some of the heat he caused.

#9 Edited by Rick_Fingers (523 posts) -

That really sucks because I am super into Gone Home, but good for them for making a decision based on their own conscience without making a big deal out of it.

I'm looking forward to PAXAUS for what it is, but I must admit I'm a bit reluctant to support Penny Arcade. This whole issue is just another one in a long line that make me think that site is a bit of a cesspool.

#10 Edited by eskimo (482 posts) -

This is silly, when you're fighting against divisive attitudes you don't have a big sad and go home, you ignore the haters and get in there to spread your message and maybe change a few minds.

#11 Posted by MAGZine (438 posts) -
@markini6 said:

As stated by the letter/post that the Fullbright Company wrote, their decision wasn't motivated by a desire to chastise or cause controversy, instead it was taken for purely moral reasons. They said that they just didn't feel comfortable being associated with Penny Arcade at that time, and said outright that they knew their lack of presence would be no great loss to the organizers and still praised the indie initiative at PAX. I think it was totally the right decision by them (which they said was tough, but unanimous), as they weren't willing to sacrifice a part of their conscience and/or morals in order for greater exposure.

I'm not sure I agree on their assessment, but alrighty then.

#12 Posted by ch3burashka (5263 posts) -

The whole thing is stupid, both the initial reaction, and PA's immature reaction to the reaction. I found some tumblr that documented the entire ordeal - it's been three effing years since the original comic, and there has been a consistent flow of articles / other reactions that stem from that event.

#13 Posted by jakob187 (21779 posts) -

I was buying Gone Home without any question anyways. It sucks that they won't get that media attention, but at the same time, I'm not fans of Mike or Jerry anyways.

Online
#14 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

Hey, maybe a few less hyper-sensitive people running around PAX is a good thing.

#15 Posted by Animasta (14731 posts) -

@rentfn said:

Mike apologized and made a donation to the the trevor project. I was wondering if that would remove some of the heat he caused.

fuck that shit. Him donating does not solve the biggest problem; which wasn't him being phobic in any way, but not knowing his stupid twitter bullshit has real world consequences.

This was never about him being transphobic. This was about him being an asshole, which is well known to anyone who remembers dickwolves, ocean marketing...

#16 Posted by Freshbandito (689 posts) -

@animasta said:

@rentfn said:

Mike apologized and made a donation to the the trevor project. I was wondering if that would remove some of the heat he caused.

fuck that shit. Him donating does not solve the biggest problem; which wasn't him being phobic in any way, but not knowing his stupid twitter bullshit has real world consequences.

This was never about him being transphobic. This was about him being an asshole, which is well known to anyone who remembers dickwolves, ocean marketing...

He seems to be able to cancel out any and all goodwill he musters through their charity work and his inspiring younger generations to gain an appreciation of art by consistently displaying an incredibly insensitive, bigoted core at every opportunity.

It's only made worse by the fact that he often doesn't understand why people are upset about his statements and misconstrues their complaints as personal attacks and then writes a news post about it knowing full well that his army of PA attack dogs will ruin lives in the name of his sense of pride.

#17 Posted by benpicko (2006 posts) -

Will somebody explain how some people were so sensitive as to be offended by Dickwolves and still manage to function in society at all?

#18 Posted by TruthTellah (9489 posts) -

@bisonhero Who cares if anyone will notice that they're gone?

These people certainly don't seem to care if anyone notices. They've said as much themselves. They know for a fact that people will continue to like PAX and Penny Arcade despite their exit. So, this question is mostly meaningless. If they were just trying to make some statement or lead a boycott of PAX, the question would be valid. But when these people simply decide that they don't want to support PAX with their effort, then more power to them. They can do whatever they want to do.

I may not share their assessment of the situation, but I can completely understand their personal decision not to attend.

#19 Posted by Animasta (14731 posts) -

@benpicko said:

Will somebody explain how some people were so sensitive as to be offended by Dickwolves and still manage to function in society at all?

They weren't, at least at first.

It was a dumb comic. Some people were mildly offended, and said it was pretty bad, and asked them to take it down or to apologize (because some people who were raped took issue with it, sorry that they're sensitive), but gabe (I think it was just gabe) escalated everything by being the most annoying fucking asshole in the world, and the shit that spewed from his twitter account in response was 10 times worse than dickwolves ever was.

#20 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

I can't imagine that too many people will notice, nor will it have a detrimental effect on developers or panelists who choose not to attend, nor will it make a difference to the success of the event itself. So, in summation, "shrug."

As far as I can tell there isn't a d&d/Acquisitions Inc panel anyway so this is already a PAX which doesn't matter.

#21 Posted by BisonHero (7085 posts) -

@animasta said:

@benpicko said:

Will somebody explain how some people were so sensitive as to be offended by Dickwolves and still manage to function in society at all?

They weren't, at least at first.

It was a dumb comic. Some people were mildly offended, and said it was pretty bad, and asked them to take it down or to apologize (because some people who were raped took issue with it, sorry that they're sensitive), but gabe (I think it was just gabe) escalated everything by being the most annoying fucking asshole in the world, and the shit that spewed from his twitter account in response was 10 times worse than dickwolves ever was.

Yeah, benpicko, animasta pretty much has it. Gabe (Mike Krahulik) basically just exacerbates a lot of situations where people are criticising him, and he gets offended that people are calling his beliefs into question, and then he acts like a pretty huge dick about it publicly. I've seen people lump Tycho (Jerry Holkins) in with him, but Jerry seems like he has been mostly detached from these kind of public shouting matches, aside from the time when he was part of the Dickwolves reaction comic.

But yeah, the original Dickwolves comic really isn't that bad. I've never agreed with the branch of feminism that thinks you just can't joke about rape in the slightest because it's a trigger for some people. Too fucking bad for them, that's life. Lots of bad things happen to people, and rape isn't a magical unique snowflake. I'm sure "getting hit by a bus" is a trigger for somebody whose dad tragically got hit by a bus or something, but that doesn't mean that the ending of Mean Girls where what's-her-face gets hit by a school bus is insensitive. It's sudden and hilarious.

But instead of making a Dickwolves reaction comic (and a whole bunch of other public bickering) where they lashed out at that silly branch of feminism, it probably would've been better to barely acknowledge it and move on, and the whole thing would've got no publicity because everybody already ignores the overreactionary camp of feminists anyways.

#22 Edited by BisonHero (7085 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

@bisonhero Who cares if anyone will notice that they're gone?

I care, is I guess the best way I can put it. Like, Gone Home is already a niche experience and I hope it does well for them because it seems like a cool thing. I understand that it was more that they just all had the gut feeling that they weren't comfortable going, and it wasn't supposed to be some big gesture.

So my point was, it's not intentionally doing them much good by giving them less exposure, and I doubt it's even going to accidentally help enact some huge changes with making PAX panels/Gabe more trans friendly. I guess they'll feel a little comfortable with themselves by just avoiding the whole thing, but is that worth it? In short:

@eskimo said:

This is silly, when you're fighting against divisive attitudes you don't have a big sad and go home, you ignore the haters and get in there to spread your message and maybe change a few minds.

#23 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

I will. So, mission accomplished at least at a small scale.

#24 Posted by TruthTellah (9489 posts) -

I guess they'll feel a little comfortable with themselves by just avoiding the whole thing, but is that worth it? In short:

@eskimo said:

This is silly, when you're fighting against divisive attitudes you don't have a big sad and go home, you ignore the haters and get in there to spread your message and maybe change a few minds.

In other words, you just disagree with them. That would be a fine course of action if they wanted to have an impact on it, but we are presumptuous if we suggest that they must do what has the greatest impact. If they don't feel comfortable going, then they are under no obligation to make themselves feel uncomfortable just because it has the potential to better serve a cause. They're free to care about themselves and put that first. You may wish that they'd serve a greater purpose, but that's their decision, not ours.

I'm in agreement with you and eskimo that I believe the most -effective- response would probably be to attend and face it head on, but as for the -best- response for them personally, I am in no position to decide that for them. And I'd hope that others might take that into consideration as well. It's their decision, and I can understand why they might go that direction instead.

#25 Posted by joshwent (2353 posts) -

I lost any respect I had for The Fulbright Company over this. Bummer too, because Gone Home seems (from the little they've shown) at least a bit interesting.

This whole situation is utter nonsense. A stupid super third wave feminist Kotaku article chastised an instructional female masturbation game by claiming "Not all women have vaginas" so the game is exclusionary. Mike tweeted a link to the article with a comment implying that sentiment was kind of dumb. He was then pounced upon by people calling him transphobic, and resulting in a completely pointless back and forth about what a woman "is" and what genitals "mean".

No one was hurt. He never actually said any bad things about any individual or group. It was simply a tsunami of ignorant people trying to lynch what they saw as a leader of the "patriarchy". Just gross, and pointless.

And any developer who couldn't sift through that bullshit because they're so blindly holier-than-thou just seems pathetic to me. PAX is the MOST inclusive and progressive of all the big shows. If they're not "comfortable" there, they better just stay in a dark room with the door closed.

#26 Posted by Animasta (14731 posts) -

@joshwent: wrong. Gabe is an asshole, not because of any terrible opinions he has, but that he's even worse than Phil Fish is at using twitter; using it as a means of escalating this bullshit from kinda stupid to mach 5 screaming match (on both sides).

no one gives a shit about the article anymore. This is all the fault of Gabe not knowing how to stop spouting stupid fucking bullshit and this thing has been done before, TWICE. ocean marketing and dickwolves.

#27 Posted by golguin (4068 posts) -

As someone who likes to keep it real I feel that the whole LGBT thing with Penny Arcade doesn't help anyone. Both sides came out wrong and in the end all you end up doing is alienating people who just watch the whole thing unfold and don't want to be bothered by the drama.

I'm not too fond of names and labels and whenever someone goes out of their way to inform everyone that they want to be known by a specific term it just annoys me. I remember the various labels at school for Mexican people (I'm Mexican) that kept changing every year because some suits couldn't decide if we were Hispanic, or Latin, or Mexican, or Mestizo, Chicano, Spanish, and the list just goes on. It was stupid and people always made fun of it whenever we had to fill out that information.

#28 Posted by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

@animasta: This is the second time in this thread you've mentioned the Ocean Marketing/ Penny Arcade hubbub like it was a bad thing. A reader came to Mike with evidence of a bad situation that they felt they could do nothing about, he shone a light on a shitty individual and made an example of them. He used his 'Internet Famous' weight to rally the troops and cause a fervour around the situation, it was great. This guy got exposed, chewed up and spat back out. It was a feel good story, internet justice at its finest.

#29 Posted by BisonHero (7085 posts) -

@razielcuts: Internet justice is pretty indistinguishable from mob justice, both of which have a habit of going a little too far at times.

#30 Posted by Tajasaurus (994 posts) -

This is kind of an asshole question, though.

#31 Posted by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

@bisonhero: Well that's the main crux of this thread isn't it? A thing happens, someone takes offence to it, sides are formed, it spills out to the general communities involved (in this case the LGBT communities) and mobs are formed to 'combat' against each other and the 'guilty' party. Then it all becomes one great big grey area where confusion and misinformation happens but people have got so angry and want to stand up for their communities it doesn't matter anymore.

Looking at the initial panel topic I don't see anything inherently wrong with it, maybe the wording was a bit brash but I do think in the last year or so the games industry has become increasingly prone to 'Crusaders for the Common Good.' Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it shows the industry is growing up, it's when it swings to reactionist at the slight hint of wrong doing (like certain Kotaku articles) that's the problem.

I think the main fault here (with Penny Arcade, or just Mike generally) is the reaction to the backlash. Trying to be 'funny' or sarcastic in these situations don't help when people are upset. That guy needs some PR training or just needs to stop tweeting so much.

(Also, hey, notifications work again.)

#32 Edited by dionysis (51 posts) -

The thing that irritates me about this is that Penny-Arcade is basically doing the right thing by allowing people with differing opinions to present panels, but these social activists want to only allow opinions to be expressed that are in line with the "well understood right of their beliefs".

I don't even care what your belief is or whether or not you are right, when your basic goal is to squelch any other opinion from being expressed or considered, you are going about making your case all wrong. You can't have the right to say what you believe without allowing other people the same right, regardless of what their belief is.

The LGBT community attempted to strong-arm PA into squelching a competing viewpoint and I'm honestly glad PA didn't allow it even if I don't disagree with the broader LGBT community goals insofar as they are seeking legal equality.

@razielcuts: Personally, I don't expect or desire PR training from PA. Their whole "product" is honesty. They aren't always right and I don't always agree with them, but they call it like they see it and they tell enough about themselves for a reader to know where they are coming from. It makes their opinion valuable in a sea of shills and advertisers. Even when I strongly disagree with their opinion on something or how they express it, I can adjust my evaluation compass based on what they say and how they say it because they are brutally honest from their viewpoint. If they were PR trained and politically correct, they would be worthless like so much other PR vetted babble on other sites. (This is the same reason the Bombcast is worth listening to.) ... I agree that it made the reaction worse in this instance, but Mike the sarcastic a**hole is something that has more value than Mike the PR trained inoffensive person with nothing interesting to say.

#33 Edited by lebkin (331 posts) -

@dionysis said:

The thing that irritates me about this is that Penny-Arcade is basically doing the right thing by allowing people with differing opinions to present panels, but these social activists want to only allow opinions to be expressed that are in line with the "well understood right of their beliefs".

I don't even care what your belief is or whether or not you are right, when your basic goal is to squelch any other opinion from being expressed or considered, you are going about making your case all wrong. You can't have the right to say what you believe without allowing other people the same right, regardless of what their belief is.

The LGBT community attempted to strong-arm PA into squelching a competing viewpoint and I'm honestly glad PA didn't allow it even if I don't disagree with the broader LGBT community goals insofar as they are seeking legal equality.

The fundamental idea that all ideas deserve equal space in all spaces is a flawed one. Everyone has a right to free speech, but not a right to speak freely in all spaces. Each person has the right to dictate what their own spaces tolerate.

For example, it is easy for a straight, white, male to say that a racist, homophobic, sexism panel is acceptable at PAX, because nothing that panel says can hurt them. Even if it was anti-white, anti-men panel, a white male still carries a great deal of cultural power, isolating you from most social ramifications such a panel might cause. In fact, Gabe gets away with being a complete asshole in large part because he is a rich, talented, white dude with a huge following - he can "buy" his way out of trouble either figuratively (with social capital) or literally (like with his donation). He is the 500-pound gorilla in any internet fight he starts. Those of oppressed populations (women, LGBT, minorities, etc) do not have that luxury.

There is no such thing as a universal place that is accepting for everyone. If you make your space a "free-for-all", it is those with the most cultural power that dominate. This is why most popular media is dominated by white, straight men. They have the most cultural power, so the industry tailors to them. Those will less weight are forced to accept it. Look at E3 - Microsoft did an entire press conference and didn't show a single female protagonist in any of their games.

PAX sells itself as something different, as trying to make the gaming community better. But you can not do that by merely endorsing the "free-for-all" of the status quo. You have to set boundaries, set "these are the things we stand for, these are the things we won't tolerate." Right now, Penny Arcade is in the growing pains, trying to determine what those things are. "Is it better to protect minorities from potential racial bigotry or give a free open mike to our presenters? Is it better to always win arguments online or is better to listen more and talk less?" These kinds of things they need to address and make clear. Then companies and individuals can determine if PA is something worth supporting with time and money.

#34 Posted by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

No matter how marginalized one might be at some point a stand has to be made if one feels it is necessary. If these companies and people feel they are being mistreated at the convention them they shouldn't go as sometimes principal is more important then anything else.

#35 Posted by EpicSteve (6499 posts) -

You can't expect to survive in any manner of public light if you're so easily offended.

#36 Posted by OGinOR (325 posts) -

@lebkin: This post is absolutely perfect! This is the issue here and you summed it up very succinctly - bravo. +1 million internets.

#37 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@lebkin said:

Each person has the right to dictate what their own spaces tolerate.

Unless, of course, that excludes some nonstandard group with more voice than sense - in which case "tolerance" must be forced into a person's space regardless of "rights."

It is odd that one side gets to take offence, define the argument, define the terms, discount and attack the opinions of their opposition, rally their banners to the fight, receive a surrender that they refuse to accept, receive an apology that they refuse to accept, receive token reparations that they refuse to acknowledge, and then chose to sulk and feign aloofness - and somehow they're the mature and tolerant party.

#38 Edited by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

@rebgav:

I can see what you're saying but these companies and individuals get to decide what conventions they go to and what they don't. At some point I'm sure there was some 'cost vs benefit' analysis run and the cost was too high for those not going. I think trying to read a ton into this might get a little weird. The companies and individuals aren't creating an alternate convention or making a big stink about the issue (though there's still time). They simply aren't going to this convention and letting that speak for itself. I guess to me that is the best way to make a statement; don't take part directly or indirectly in what you find distasteful.

#39 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1652 posts) -

Man, some of you people are ice cold down to the soul.

#40 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@jasonr86: I don't have a problem with the fullbright company and the pop up playground people deciding not to attend, that's their choice (and for the former, I'm sure that a trip to PAX Aus would be an expensive boondoggle anyway,) I'm more bemused (and amused) by the internet drama queens (lgbt brigade) and their appalling-yet-entertaining hypocrisy.

Bemused, not surprised - for clarity.

#41 Edited by Sin4profit (3003 posts) -

Doesn't bigotry stem from ignorance? Aren't the purpose of these panels to inform?

#42 Edited by joshwent (2353 posts) -

@animasta said:

@joshwent: wrong. Gabe is an asshole, not because of any terrible opinions he has, but that he's even worse than Phil Fish is at using twitter; using it as a means of escalating this bullshit from kinda stupid to mach 5 screaming match (on both sides).

I'm not sure you meant to say "wrong" because you actually just agreed with me. If a developer has become "uncomfortable" showing at PAX because one of its heads is bad at twitter, they're the assholes. You say, "no one gives a shit about the article any more" which is exactly my point. If people get mad at what they're told about someone by someone else with no interest in the truth, guess what, THEY'RE bigots!

This started as a harmless tweet about an objectively dumb statement, the dickwolves comic was in no way making fun of rape, and the Ocean Marketing thing had really nothing to do with any social issues and mike didn't go off on twitter about it so I don't know why you mentioned it.

Show me one, just one message where Mike is clearly being bigoted against a group, and I might change my tune, but I've looked a lot and I've come up empty. And when "no one gives a shit about the article", this is all just a meaningless witch hunt from people who feel like they're enlightened. Infinitely worse than some dumb tweets.

@lebkin said:

PAX sells itself as something different, as trying to make the gaming community better. But you can not do that by merely endorsing the "free-for-all" of the status quo. You have to set boundaries, set "these are the things we stand for, these are the things we won't tolerate." Right now, Penny Arcade is in the growing pains, trying to determine what those things are. "Is it better to protect minorities from potential racial bigotry or give a free open mike to our presenters? Is it better to always win arguments online or is better to listen more and talk less?" These kinds of things they need to address and make clear. Then companies and individuals can determine if PA is something worth supporting with time and money.

There's a problem with your concept of free-for-all. The Microsoft example is a good one, but it doesn't apply to PAX at all. Microsoft directly pays certain studios to make exclusive games for them. They specifically either didn't want a female main character in any of those games, or didn't want to showcase it if it does exist. The blame there is directly on that company, and yes, they do dictate what gets shown, so the content is quite limited.

At PAX however, the panels are made by people attending, so they can be whatever an outsider might want. This is the main reason why PAX is and has been so wonderfully diverse. In the past we've seen great panel discussions about all sorts of social issues and perspectives from minorities that just don't exist in other places.

These things are only possible because of their "free-for-all" attitude. And even this year, and even if you think that that one panel is shoving patriarchal oppression in everyone's face, there are way more "minority" panels there to offer their own perspective.

Games Can Be Anything - Are We Seeing Enough Innovation or Not, and Why?

Not Fair? Then Grow Some Ovaries and DO Something About it!

That’s What She Said: Why Mainstream Media Portrayals of Gamers Matter

Is There Such a Thing As a Fake Geek?

Again, we get these awesome things because of the freedom offered there. You say, "If you make your space a "free-for-all", it is those with the most cultural power that dominate.", but that's clearly just not true here. There are obviously tons of people in the games industry who have been silenced for a long time and want to let the world know. PAX is an opportunity to do that!

The urge for as you say "...a universal place that is accepting for everyone..." is an understandable one. But we'll only get close to that by enabling people to disagree with each other. People who dissent can go to a panel and tell them face to face and I hope they do. But removing it entirely for the sake of maybe hurting someone's feelings is dangerous, because censorship works both ways.

"Everyone has a right to free speech, but not a right to speak freely in all spaces. Each person has the right to dictate what their own spaces tolerate."

This exact sentiment has been used to oppress minorities for centuries, and I'm glad that PAX fights against it.

#43 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3906 posts) -

@joshwent said:

The urge for as you say "...a universal place that is accepting for everyone..." is an understandable one. But we'll only get close to that by enabling people to disagree with each other. People who dissent can go to a panel and tell them face to face and I hope they do. But removing it entirely for the sake of maybe hurting someone's feelings is dangerous, because censorship works both ways.

A while back, I wrote this in another thread

I'm now convinced that the problem many feminists have with video games is aggression and violence. There is no place for their view of positive female characters in modern action games.

The protagonist = Man with boobs, which means a woman who uses aggression and violence to solve problems.

Supporting role = Only there to help the man, has no real agency of her own.

Plot element = Woman becomes an object that only exists to give the man a goal, or motivation.

Supporting enemy = Encourages violence against women, man with boobs, makes women look bad.

Primary antagonist = Encourages violence against women, man with boobs, makes women look bad.

So yeah, as long as your game is violent, you literally can't help but being accused of sexism in one way or another. I'm convinced this is the sort of thing that led to the PAX panel about all of this going too far. Developers can't put a female or minority character in their game without that character being immediately placed under a microscope by every shitty game blogger on the internet looking for page hits, and that IS a problem.

If that's the true point of the panel--and there's no indication that it is not--then I say more power to them. If harsh criticism of female and minority characters is going to lead to fewer female and minority characters, then that culture of criticism deserves to be challenged.

#44 Edited by BisonHero (7085 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: Do people still adhere to the "character who uses aggression and violence to solve problems is a man with boobs" position? I thought that lately feminism was all about "disregard gender roles, do what you want, be sex positive, blah blah blah".

It just seems presumptuous to assume that all modern action games are basically just writing a male protagonist, but then using a female character model and voice actor. What are the female-specific traits and actions that would more clearly mark that character as "legitimately" (?) female?

#45 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3509 posts) -

Nah, no one will notice. The companies (un)involved know this. I think it's still the right move for them. Sucks they will miss out on some good coverage, but every moment begins with a small stone, right? Maybe things in the world or even at PAX aren't going to change over night, but you better believe Mike got the message, which was something "shut your big stupid mouth before you ruin this thing for the hundreds and thousands of people who actually have a brain, and like what PAX is supposed to stand for".

#46 Posted by Budwyzer (635 posts) -

WHo? At what?

#47 Posted by BaconGames (3582 posts) -

I think the better way to phrase this is whether panels that pull out in protest are doing good by not being an additional counter-programming voice at the show. As for Gone Home, it's a game exhibition and really their decision was more of a cost-reward proposition of exposure versus personal moral reasons.

I don't see what there is more to say on the subject other than just lashing out at people for being offended or lashing out against those people lashing out etc. etc. which honestly is getting to be a cliche.

#48 Posted by AlisterCat (5736 posts) -

If I had to start boycotting or abstaining from things in my life because they offend me, I'd have to get rid of pretty much everything and go nowhere.

Homophobia offends me. So do human rights violations. I still go and buy cheap clothes and live in a country with a government that does questionable things.

#49 Edited by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

It's a shame things have worked out that way, but I get the impression you have to take a specific interest in those issues (far above the general "it's not cool to give these people shit" level) to attend such panels, at which point they're preaching to the choir and I don't think it'd effect the audience for end product either way. So if Fullbright and the like can spend more time working on their game instead that's not necessarily a bad thing.

#50 Edited by joshwent (2353 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: Do people still adhere to the "character who uses aggression and violence to solve problems is a man with boobs" position? I thought that lately feminism was all about "disregard gender roles, do what you want, be sex positive, blah blah blah".

Unfortunately, yes, they do. What you're thinking of is the message of second-wave feminism, a school of thought from the 60's to the 80's that preached women's liberation from specific roles. That a woman must be able to choose her own path and not be restricted by the judgement of others.

Then came third-wave feminism which argues that a woman in any role can still be sexist... somehow, and without judging others harshly they'll never demolish the "patriarchy". This is still the prevailing mantra of many working feminists today. For example, Tropes vs. Women video #10 is literally just called "Man with boobs."

How far we've come. :/