Branthog's forum posts

#1 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@rorie said:

@leejunfan83 said:
@plan6 said:

@branthog said:

@abendlaender said:

@branthog: You really enjoy your hyperboles, don't you? There is one (1) article about this on GB while you are already talking about "daily articles".

Also, maybe I didn't see all the other articles in GB though, can you quote the part where Patrick falls you a sexist pig?

Thanks

I know you're being intentionally obtuse, but I'm not talking about "one article'. I'm talking about this across the industry. In case you aren't aware, GB has been routinely named-and-shamed (including, apparently, by Brianna on MSNBCA this weekend) after which this piece was written. If you read elsewhere online, this is seen as GB finally putting their hat in the ring and engaging in the same click-bait-activist garbage every other site has been doing the last five years, that accomplishes nothing and only managed to fuel more toxicity under the guise that it's actually more valuable *signal*.

My gripe is obviously not that I somehow disagree with Patrick's viewpoint that it's shitty to send death threats to people or even the article itself, but with the discussion I've seen online today implying that this is a portent of GiantBomb "finally" jumping in and "taking a stance" and joining their side. That GiantBomb is finally jumping into the fray. I desperately hope this is not true, because that is exhausting, unnecessary, and accomplishes little than just generating more bitter noise. I hope I jumped the gun in assuming that this was signaling an active direction GiantBomb is likely to head off into (and if so, then it was the result of me coming directly here from a link in a discussion where this was being celebrated as GiantBomb doing exactly that).

I support inclusiveness and I hate death threats. Bold stance to take, I know. I'm also just very tired after five years of this junior college level political activism from angry trolls threatening people and angry idealists fantasizing about winning a Pulitzer on the back of their "Gamers Are Dead" articles. The content is almost always the same and the outcome almost always as useless and toxic (but it does generate tasty clicks).

I support these things, but I can't help but feel like being a gaming enthusiast for the last five years has felt less like a bunch of adults having and encouraging meaningful discussions and more like being stuck in a room full of kids who just recently graduated Philosophy 101 who won't shut up about their deep insight into the universe.

Anyway, I'm veering into elements that aren't relevant to this particular item. I believe I've made it clear enough at this point what "side" I'm on and that I'm just concerned with the assertion I've seen today that GB is going to jump into this mix of unending crap. GB has made their view point known. I don't need it to be repeated in a different flavor of the same article very couple days going forward and I hope that won't be the case. I probably jumped the gun, due to the context in which I found myself linked to this article. I hope I did, at least.

(By the way, I really do dig Patrick and I have always thought it was more meaningful that he and Alex make their comments about these issues here and there as a natural part of conversations rather than actively structured editorials. Their views come across with more impact and sincerity, I feel, than how it comes across on most other outlets.)

Patrick said they did not write this in response to her going on CNN or MSNBC. He has said so several times. They were not shamed into writing this piece.

But the timing lol

I personally read his email indicating his intent to cover this story yesterday. If you have concerns about the timing of this article, fine, but if you want to imply that it was a reaction to whatever events happened today then you're simply mistaken.

Just to clarify my statement (which I think is already clear), I stated that "it is seen as" in response to this; not that it was in response to it. (Because the discussion that linked me to this GB article from another site was about how GB was posting this article in response to the MSNBC appearance - so it is being seen that way).

#2 Edited by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@amyggen said:

@gregorygold said:

“No person should be excluded from our site. The fact that some people have been resistant to people based on their gender, religion, race, creed, or anything else like that is not acceptable. Even less acceptable are people who make their exclusionary beliefs known (repeatedly and often aggressively) and then attempt to say that those viewpoints are valid and, thus, must be allowed for us to remain inclusionary. That is bad logic.”

-

Jeff Gerstmann

Yup.

We must have an amazing moderation team, then, because I've never seen anyone around here telling someone they can't be on GB because of their gender or race. GB has every race, nationality, religion, and even transgendered people that are not only here participating, but are engaged in rather interesting conversations. I have to assume this is true, though, because one certainly wouldn't want to cast aspersions on their own audience and site unless they were true. :/

Plus, I was oblivious to the level of vitriol Patrick was subjected to after the passing of his father and felt like I'd been punched in the gut when someone shared some of the pre-deleted statements with me at a later time. Granted, I don't think any of those people were really GB people so much as they were people that came and made an account at GB at an opportunistic time during which to extract the most pain from another human being, but...

#3 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@sergio said:

@wrighteous86 said:

@gamerpigeon said:

Want this to stop Patrick? Then don't talk about it. These articles just gives those causing this crap to happen satisfaction. It's pointless.

Untrue. Not talking about it allows it to continue. Nothing has ever changed from people ignoring injustice.

The truth is talking about it and not talking about it often has the same results for those currently doing the harassment and threats: nothing.

What talking about it might do is possibly discourage others from harassing and making threats by humanizing the victims of these attacks. While I don't agree with blindly denouncing every person in GG as some in this thread have done, I do think it's something that should be talked about, as long as it has the consent of the victim and the authorities looking into the matter.

If talking about this shit had any positive impact, this would have been resolved seven thousand times over again in the last five years.

#4 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@hellbound

Patrick's job has ways been to report on news and what not along with making videos. But he is the news guy and he has been covering it.

No offense to Patrick, but until GG is covered on the Bomb Cast, it hasn't really been covered. I think he would probably agree with me.

What is there to cover?

Hey, guys, did you know that some people on the internet are assholes? Did you know some people got death threats? We think that shit is bad. You probably don't do any of this shit, but just in case don't do it, okay? Also, don't abuse children or torture animals. I mean, we know you probably know we don't think those are okay to do, but just in case, we wanted to be on the record!

Take a lesson from WOPR. Sometimes, the only winning move is not to play the game.

#5 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@dts said:

@starvinggamer said:

@branthog said:

Gaming journalists have almost uniformly stated that they subscribe to the Bush doctrine of "you're either with us or against us". There is no room for "well, but I disagree with you on one aspect" and there is no room for "I'm just going to continue enjoying video games while you twenty-something ideologues and angry internet trolls suffocate on your own fumes". We have been told *repeatedly* that we are culpable for everything if we simply "ignore the stuff you don't care about".

Except Patrick has said basically the exact opposite of this. And Alex too I believe.

EDIT: To be clear, this has more to do with your "fuck Giantbomb forever I guess" post from earlier that maybe you deleted? I'm not saying there aren't assholes out there arguing exactly what you're saying, but it's definitely not GB.

They have said the opposite, but how about this for a specific example? Journalists talk to a game developer about criticisms of a game he worked on, and his response to that criticism. Everyone states how good it is to have criticisms.

Which would be shocking, if someone was unfamiliar with the way adults talk to each other. Especially in professional capacities.

For those that don't want to listen, It's Rami from Vlambeer talking with Patrick and Alex about criticism of the seemingly Nazi aesthetic in Luftrausers. The criticism he received was genuine, complex, emotional, and well intentioned.

Actually I'm pretty sure one of them has straight up said something along the lines of, "I get it if games are just a fun escape for you and you don't want to deal with this stuff. That's totally OK," when speaking specifically about GG.

I only catch a few of the AM's, but I am certain Patrick and Alex have both deliberately stated this. Maybe they've made statements contradicting it, too, elsewhere. I don't know. I know that GiantBomb (especially Alex and Patrick) have been fair and level headed on pretty much all of this social stuff. I don't need to read and hear more of it and am pretty god damn tired of it, but as far as it goes, they tend to show a patience and thoughtfulness in their views and statements that is lacking by most people at most other outlets.

In fact, considering the situations that Patrick has personally dealt with in the last few years, I am somewhat impressed by his even keel. I agree with the obviously agreeable sentiment that harassment and death threats are bad. I kind of disagree with some of the implications I see made at talks that sometimes seem to define harassment as "anything mean that makes me feel bad" and with the extent to some of these things apply ... but for a guy who has had the internet shit down his throat at the most vulnerable moments a person can have in their life, he shows a degree of openness and fairness in his viewpoints that is worth remarking on.

#6 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@dts said:

@starvinggamer said:

@branthog said:

Gaming journalists have almost uniformly stated that they subscribe to the Bush doctrine of "you're either with us or against us". There is no room for "well, but I disagree with you on one aspect" and there is no room for "I'm just going to continue enjoying video games while you twenty-something ideologues and angry internet trolls suffocate on your own fumes". We have been told *repeatedly* that we are culpable for everything if we simply "ignore the stuff you don't care about".

Except Patrick has said basically the exact opposite of this. And Alex too I believe.

EDIT: To be clear, this has more to do with your "fuck Giantbomb forever I guess" post from earlier that maybe you deleted? I'm not saying there aren't assholes out there arguing exactly what you're saying, but it's definitely not GB.

They have said the opposite, but how about this for a specific example? Journalists talk to a game developer about criticisms of a game he worked on, and his response to that criticism. Everyone states how good it is to have criticisms.

Which would be shocking, if someone was unfamiliar with the way adults talk to each other. Especially in professional capacities.

For those that don't want to listen, It's Rami from Vlambeer talking with Patrick and Alex about criticism of the seemingly Nazi aesthetic in Luftrausers. The criticism he received was genuine, complex, emotional, and well intentioned.

@starvinggamer: It is difficult to discuss these things when there is a mix of highly local (ie, GiantBomb only) and global (the whole industry) involved. I don't think that Alex or Patrick have the viewpoint that if I don't want to read yet more about this stuff and see more fruitless discussions about it that I'm "part of the problem". But if they're going to begin to actively engage in the discussion and these articles on behalf of the site, then that makes it part of the larger industry discussion and suddenly that "if you're not with us, you're against us" mindset becomes relevant again.

When I say that I felt GiantBomb's best contribution to all of this was not to contribute to it, what I mean is that I felt while others are actively writing articles about how people should make gaming fun and inclusive, GiantBomb was focusing on doing that. They made content that was open to a large audience of anyone who likes games. Whatever makeup the staff and cast, the audience is incredibly diverse around here and they also have a lineup of great diverse guests. And instead of focusing on social issues and gamergate and other crap, they just focus on talking to these people about their views on games and movies and things. Instead of scolding the audience of gamers about how they should all be big boys and treat other humans like humans, they just treated people like humans.

I have come across some of the most interesting people from different backgrounds, because of GB and been exposed to different views and it never came from a moment of "social activism" or anything else. It came from having Samantha Kalman being a guest to promote Sentris (which I immediately bought). It came from having people like Zoe Quinn on (who I almost immediately backed on Patreon). It came from these people being on here to act like people; not victims or social justice anythings. And I supported them, because they were people and I liked them and wanted to contribute to their voice being heard in the world of gaming; not because I felt I needed to make some grand political or social statement.

I feel GiantBomb has succeeded at something so many other outlets have failed at. Actually, that so many others haven't even attempted. I hope that remains the focus. That is really kind of powerful. I feel if GB follows in the lead of the other sites and their nearly daily "today's victim and why gamers are bad", it will undermine the success of this other unique avenue. (And again, I don't know that this is the case - it was the probably unfounded assumption I made based on a discussion I was reading prior to coming and reading this article, in which everyone on GAF was basically saying this was GB "finally actively joining the good fight").

There is probably some Bhuddist quote or something out there about how you can accomplish more by demonstrating that which you wish to be or that which you wish to see more of than writing angry pieces telling people what they should be more like.

@dts: Yep, that was an interesting interview and certainly far more compelling than the countless pieces I read elsewhere at that time, which basically just shouted "developer is a nazi capitalizing on nazi-lovers in their game and it could theoretically offend some theoretical people, theoretically - condemn them!".

This is also much of why I feel exhausted by all of this. It has been building over the last five years. It started with an occasional article and incident and has become a daily thing in gaming. I think much of why it feels so exhausting is that it is the same people writing the same shit, the same trolls saying the same shit, the same people in the middle being silenced and ignored and exhausted, no real discussion being encouraged (or, often, even allowed), and nothing resulting from any of it. Everyone entering 2015 is in the same place they were in 2010, only angrier and with bigger plugs in their ears. They will remain this way until the gaming journalist move on to writing ad copy for supermarkets or doing movie reviews and gamers have given up on the joy they used to have in their hobby and moved on to mortgages, yard work, and keeping up on their 401k.

I wish the interest in having discussions was legitimate and not just something people say when they write articles on this topic everywhere. If they were as interested in facilitating a conversation as they claim they are, perhaps something could happen (though internet asshole sending death threats and harassing people is never going to end, because it's not "a gamer thing" - it's the internet as evidenced by anyone who has been around for the last quarter century on it). If people were interested in being swayed in their views, in addition to having the conversations, even more could be accomplished. I mean, hell, I don't know everything. Some of the stuff I do know probably isn't even right. I'm open to meaningful discussions with people and reaching some sort of understanding.

Too many, however, are just carrying bazookas around and firing at whoever answers "are you a true believer?" incorrectly.

#7 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@branthog: You really enjoy your hyperboles, don't you? There is one (1) article about this on GB while you are already talking about "daily articles".

Also, maybe I didn't see all the other articles in GB though, can you quote the part where Patrick falls you a sexist pig?

Thanks

I know you're being intentionally obtuse, but I'm not talking about "one article'. I'm talking about this across the industry. In case you aren't aware, GB has been routinely named-and-shamed (including, apparently, by Brianna on MSNBCA this weekend) after which this piece was written. If you read elsewhere online, this is seen as GB finally putting their hat in the ring and engaging in the same click-bait-activist garbage every other site has been doing the last five years, that accomplishes nothing and only managed to fuel more toxicity under the guise that it's actually more valuable *signal*.

My gripe is obviously not that I somehow disagree with Patrick's viewpoint that it's shitty to send death threats to people or even the article itself, but with the discussion I've seen online today implying that this is a portent of GiantBomb "finally" jumping in and "taking a stance" and joining their side. That GiantBomb is finally jumping into the fray. I desperately hope this is not true, because that is exhausting, unnecessary, and accomplishes little than just generating more bitter noise. I hope I jumped the gun in assuming that this was signaling an active direction GiantBomb is likely to head off into (and if so, then it was the result of me coming directly here from a link in a discussion where this was being celebrated as GiantBomb doing exactly that).

I support inclusiveness and I hate death threats. Bold stance to take, I know. I'm also just very tired after five years of this junior college level political activism from angry trolls threatening people and angry idealists fantasizing about winning a Pulitzer on the back of their "Gamers Are Dead" articles. The content is almost always the same and the outcome almost always as useless and toxic (but it does generate tasty clicks).

I support these things, but I can't help but feel like being a gaming enthusiast for the last five years has felt less like a bunch of adults having and encouraging meaningful discussions and more like being stuck in a room full of kids who just recently graduated Philosophy 101 who won't shut up about their deep insight into the universe.

Anyway, I'm veering into elements that aren't relevant to this particular item. I believe I've made it clear enough at this point what "side" I'm on and that I'm just concerned with the assertion I've seen today that GB is going to jump into this mix of unending crap. GB has made their view point known. I don't need it to be repeated in a different flavor of the same article very couple days going forward and I hope that won't be the case. I probably jumped the gun, due to the context in which I found myself linked to this article. I hope I did, at least.

(By the way, I really do dig Patrick and I have always thought it was more meaningful that he and Alex make their comments about these issues here and there as a natural part of conversations rather than actively structured editorials. Their views come across with more impact and sincerity, I feel, than how it comes across on most other outlets.)

#8 Edited by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@fobwashed said:

@branthog: "Does the world really need one more gaming site posting daily articles about how gamers are vile pieces of shit and someone had to move to Pluto because the Internet? Wasn't your best move to just be good people doing good gaming stuff?"

Yes. No.

This article is signal boosting that this bullshit is happening to people. It's not accusing all gamers (a classification that means less than ever) of being vile, just the ones making these types of threats.

All the stuff you want still exists on the site and will continue to exist. Feeling that non standard content being generated will diminish or replace the content you already enjoy and being upset about it is understandable but I think just like there being room for all types of games, there's room for all sorts here too. You can skip the things you don't like or care about and continue to enjoy the things you do. Or leave if it's all just too much. I've seen you around and I have to say, I'm super happy that even though you're not happy with things on the site, you're not throwing around a bunch of hate speak and being vile =]

Right. If social and political issues in gaming needed anything, it was a signal boost.

Also, you can not just "ignore the stuff you don't care about". Gaming journalists have almost uniformly stated that they subscribe to the Bush doctrine of "you're either with us or against us". There is no room for "well, but I disagree with you on one aspect" and there is no room for "I'm just going to continue enjoying video games while you twenty-something ideologues and angry internet trolls suffocate on your own fumes". We have been told *repeatedly* that we are culpable for everything if we simply "ignore the stuff you don't care about".

#9 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

Nobody thought GB's silence on these issues meant they were having secret mysoginist meetings in the back room while revelling in the glory of their patriarchineness. Nobody thought you guys supported death threats or harassment. We just thought you were above the fray. We thought you were about games and entertainment and including people by including them.

Does the world really need one more gaming site posting daily articles about how gamers are vile pieces of shit and someone had to move to Pluto because the Internet? Wasn't your best move to just be good people doing good gaming stuff?

I say this as someone tired of gaming being the battleground for social justice and political activists /and/ men's rights groups and angry Internet trolls. As someone who supports feminism and detests tumblr feminists. Someone who despises most of game journalism and their lack of introspection and detests the idiocy of most GG arguments against them. Someone who sees assholes on all sides (and don't give me your bullshit links to wiki articles on false equivalences -- learn to have discussions and not just smarmy retort with a url you picked up in your junior college course). I say this as someone who has financially supported Zoe Quinn on her Patreon long before any of this bullshit, has financially supported GaymerX since it was only an idea, reached out with supportive email to Alexander when she was the center of criticism over her GB appearances, financially support many games with queer or unusual voices that I may not even understand just to help keep gaming full of diverse content, and am always happy to see new guests on GB be they male, female, trans, or anything else (especially because politics is usually left out and you just let them be people who like games and talk about them).

I feel this is a big step backward. I respected what I thought was an intentional decision to focus on games and being creators of content that brings joy to people from all walks of life.