exfate's forum posts

#1 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

@oldirtybearon said:

@conmulligan said:

@oldirtybearon said:

This is kind of Leigh's bag, isn't it? She invades a cultural space and then belittles and mocks the participants all the while pining for said culture to bend itself around her wants and desires.

I mean, she's been doing this for as long as I've known about her, which is over five years at least.

It is beyond ridiculous to accuse Leigh Alexander of invading a cultural space. As you said yourself, she's been writing about games for over five years — that's not an invasion, it's an occupation, and games writing is better for it.

I disagree. She presents herself as an outsider, like a scientist who observes the subjects of their study. And really, all of the articles she's written lambasting "gamers" would lead anyone to think that she doesn't particularly enjoy this hobby or even writing about it. Fair enough I say; everyone has to get paid, but let's not pretend that she's one of the gang considering she despises the people who participate in this hobby.

That's not true. She's very clearly legitimately in to games. Besides, what is this "gang" you speak of? This 'us and them, with us or against us' mentality isn't healthy.

#2 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -
@milkman said:

Unrelated but it looks like @jeff, @brad and @alex finally made the SJW list. Congrats, you guys.

Congrats. Everyone else at GB is slacking and needs to step it up on the SJW front.

Seriously though, it's the most vague, inconsistently applied derogatory term ever. If people like Jeff and Jim Sterling are suddenly "SJWs" then I have lost all notion of what they even mean by the term.

#3 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -
@milkman said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@giantlizardking said:

@theodacourt said:

@giantlizardking: @oldirtybearon: Whilst I do agree generally with you both that it contains a lot of generalisation so you can kind ignore it as it might not apply to you, people are behaving is despicable ways for a reason and they're doing it in the name of their perceived 'gamer' culture. So I think she's absolutely right on a general level. The kind of behaviour that we're seeing is worthy of getting mad about so I personally won't accept it and won't ignore it.

And whilst this may not being the sort of discussion that's happening nationally it does reflect back on this community which we engage in.

I'm not advocating accepting or ignoring shitty behavior. Assholes should be dealt with promptly. I'm just saying that I refuse to paint the entire culture with so broad a brush because it has some bad people in it. Stupid people do and say bad things regardless of what hobby they have. It's not an indictment on video games or video game culture, it's an indictment on being a stupid little shit with no empathy.

That's always where this argument falls apart though, isn't it? Someone makes the reasonable observation that "dude, gamers are not a monolithic hive mind with one thought and one opinion" and then someone else says "yeah but this behaviour is gross and reflects poorly on us!" and then the other person says "no it doesn't, it reflects poorly on the person who is being an asshole" and then there's some bullshit about culture or whatever.

The fact of the matter is that nobody here, in this thread, right now, is responsible for the actions of anyone else. If I decide to say that @brodehouse's mother is a hamster and that @marokai's father smells of elderberries, that reflects on nobody but me. Why? Because as a grown ass man I am making a conscious decision to insult these people.

It's not the culture's fault, it's not @milkman's fault. It's not anyone's fault but mine. Should people who harass and flame other people be held accountable for the shit they say? Absolutely. You can champion that cause and I'll help you promote it. Where this crazy train goes off the rails is when people like Leigh Alexander don't see individuals, they see culture. I suppose I know why, since a culture can't fight back with reasoned arguments, but individuals most certainly can.

I wish it was just a few bad eggs. But it's really not. If you're not willing to take the word of people from within the indusrty, this is how people in the mainstream press are talking about "gamer culture" these past couple weeks:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/it-s-dangerous-to-go-alone-why-are-gamers-so-angry.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/08/zoe_quinn_harassment_a_letter_to_a_young_male_gamer.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/22/gaming-misogyny-gets-infinite-lives-zoe-quinn-virtual-rape-and-sexism.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/digital-culture/dont-believe-the-conspiracy-gaming-has-bigger-problems-than-corruption/article20230850/

http://www.newstatesman.com/future-proof/2014/08/tropes-vs-anita-sarkeesian-passing-lame-anti-feminist-nonsense-critique

http://www.vice.com/read/meet-the-female-gamer-mascot-created-by-anti-feminists-828?utm_source=vicetwitterus

It's fine that it's not your fault. It's not my fault. It's probably no one posting in this thread's fault. But eventually, this group of shitty individuals becomes too large and too loud to just say "well, that's just a minority, it's fine!" A terrifying thought I've been having this last week or so that maybe this isn't the loud, vocal minority that we're constantly told it is. Maybe this is the majority. But no matter how much the "gaming community" they make up, there has to be a reason that as soon as Joss Whedon mentions games on Twitter, he gets messages like this:

You can try to hold every individual who has harassed Anita or Zoe or anyone who has expressed support for them but it would never work. You would never be able to do it. This is bigger than "feeding the trolls." It's a group of self-identified "gamers" who are bullies and cowards and show no signs of getting any smaller.

There are people in life, and especially on the internet, who will attach themselves to controversial debates in order to troll. They want to watch the world burn. The correct response is to ignore them and have a real debate and to never ignore real critics on all sides of an issue.

On the topic of avatars. I have a Swiss claymation avatar, and thus claim neutrality in everything and anything.

#4 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

I feel like i just sat through a lecture hall. I need someone to dumb this down for me.

Basically, he feels he's being unfairly stereotyped as a CoD playing gamer-bro for being a "young, white male."

#5 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

Hey, hand up here. Used to be an arts editor for my university's newspaper, and while that's not the most prestigious of jobs it was still paid and entailed ethics and free copies of movies/CDs and the like.

In my limited experience, no, I don't think there's any ethical violation in contributing to a creator's Kickstarter or Patreon, provided one isn't getting special treatment from the creator, or monetary returns. By contributing to Zoe Quinn's Patreon, Ben Kuchera wasn't getting a better deal than any single other person who did. He isn't entitled to, say, 5% of her profits. He is simply given access to the same work as everyone else who contributes to that Patreon. As Jeff said, disclosure is nice, especially when partners and financial dependency are involved, but that doesn't apply to Kuchera at all.

I actually think this is even less of an issue in arts/enthusiast press, where a great deal of writers are writers and critics and are paid to have an opinion. This makes the whole getting-mad-at-Kuchera thing weirdly funny, because he's the opinions editor. Dude is paid to weigh in on things, to have his own two cents, to try to persuade people to a certain point of view. If his personal tastes and interests come into play, he's doing exactly what his job description entails.

And to address the whole "are free copies ethical?" issue, what I took away from my experience is that distributors or labels didn't care if you were trashing their product, provided that said product was getting coverage in some way. Otherwise you have a critic getting free stuff for their own benefit without any accountability. As an editor, there were a few occasions where I ordered a review copy out of personal interest and a desire to see and hopefully enjoy a movie or album, but I followed up by having someone write a review or do it myself.

Conflict of interest doesn't require that you're somehow benefiting, although it can. Let me break down what conflict of interest actually means in respect to the Patreon issue:

Interest A: The writer likes or is otherwise interested in the video game. That is to say, they want to write about the game for any reason, positively, negatively, or with indifference.

Interest B: The writer is a patron of the creator of the video game, donating money to them to support their work. (Note that this is to support the creator and their greater body of work beyond the video game in question.)

Having multiple interests is what creates a conflict of interest. If the writer produces an article focusing on the game, the reader may not know that the writer has a secondary interest. The knowledge of multiple interests can affect the readers viewpoint. As a reader, what am I actually reading? Is it an article about the game or an article about the creator? What is the primary interest of the writer in producing the article and is it being presented as such? It would be wrong, for instance, for a writer to focus on a game they are indifferent about purely because they want to highlight the creator. They should just write an article about the creator if that is their intention.

Disclosure of multiple interests is important. It allows the reader to make up their own mind about why the article was written.

#6 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

@exfate said:

@truthtellah said:

@exfate said:

@truthtellah said:

@exfate said:

@truthtellah: I think Jeff and a lot of other people might be missing the whole point. Patreon isn't about buying a game or any other product. It is basically a donation to a person, with no real liability on their part to produce anything in return. What I'm saying is that supporting a game/product is different to supporting a person. If a journalist is prepared to give a developer money directly in this way, how can we trust them to cover that same developer without bias? They obviously have a desire to see that developer succeed. Disclosure is needed, but the best solution is to just disallow it entirely as company policy, just as Kotaku have now done and as Joystiq have been doing for some time.

Don't most people who write and comment about games have a desire to see developers succeed?

It's not like in Politics where you're picking some kind of side. In general, we're all gamers reporting and commenting on what's going on in gaming; so, we're automatically on the side of hoping developers will make more cool games. I agree with outlets discouraging investment in Patreon while someone is reporting on them, but I do think we shouldn't mistake gaming as something it's not.

People writing about art generally want to see more of it and desire most artists to succeed. That's different from writing about governments or stories of murder. Obviously, someone writing about games probably wants everyone in gaming to succeed, because one succeeding isn't to the detriment of others. I want every developer out there to make great games, and I naturally have an enthusiasm for games simply by the fact that I am here talking about them.

Disclosure of support with something like Patreon or even Kickstarter can help, because it's additional information for people to better understand a story. But I think we should be careful to not try to prevent or discourage gaming news writers and entertainers from being gamers like we all are. In the end, we're all interested in having fun with games, and being an active part of the gaming community goes hand in hand with that.

I think the problem is about what the media are choosing to cover and why. It's a question of if they're serving the interests of their audience or their own interests and that of their friends. The reason this is an issue at the moment is because there is a perception that the developer around which this whole crapfest started receives disproportionate coverage in the media when compared to her actual output as a game developer. There is a large segment of the of the audience that feels that certain developers and games are being pushed on them by the media, and that other developers and their games are just ignored, regardless of quality.

I agree, it's not really about taking sides, but that doesn't mean their can not be hidden agendas.

Games that gaming news writers and commenters like or find interesting naturally receive more coverage, and games that can afford a lot of promotion tend to get more coverage, as well, simply by the sheer amount of content they put out about a game.

Popular games, either by size or interest have always gotten more exposure. Unfortunately, there is a perception amongst some gamers that games they don't like or games that are made by people they don't like shouldn't get as much coverage as games they do like. That difference in preference causes some to feel like the club they were once a part of isn't quite as aligned with them as they might prefer. As those who write and comment about games reveal more and more about themselves and their own preferences, many are finding that they are more different from them than they thought.

I've enjoyed it as gaming news writers and commenters have been more open in recent times, in part because I share many concerns and perspectives a lot of them have, but it makes sense to me that it might distress some who see how they are not as represented by them in some areas of games coverage and commentary.

Most of us share similar feelings on loving games in general, but when social and personal perspectives come in, it makes sense that our differences might be even more divergent than our console and genre preferences. How we strike a good balance between greater personal openness and traditional reporting will continue to be a big part of managing coverage and commentary going forward.

It's absolutely fine for people in the games media to focus on on what interests them. However, they should be disclosing their bias.. If someone likes a game so much that they want to cover it multiple times, then that's fine given the assumption that they're clearly showing a bias that they're in to the game. If they like the developer so much that they decide to pay that developer a monthly sum, not for their game, but just to support them, then the audience has a right to know because it provides important context.

"Popular games" is an interesting notion. The media has the ability to build hype and interest around a game and make it popular. This happens all the time. TotalBiscuit just put up a great video about this, and I thoroughly recommend it. Popularity, of course, is not always an indicator of quality.

As I said, I can totally understand giving people more info on things like Patreon backing or even Kickstarter funding. More understanding is always good. Though, I don't think any of them have to justify them giving some games more coverage because they like them. If the only stake they have in a game is that they think it looks cool, it's natural for them to cover it as they will.

Some people seem to hate the idea of games they don't like getting more coverage than they think they deserve, but that's mistaken. Obviously people writing about games will talk more about the games they are interested in and less about things they aren't. We're on Giant Bomb, and we should be more aware of that reality than most. We may not always or even often feel the same way about what games are and aren't worth the time of day, but that does not invalidate people's coverage or commentary on such games.

Plenty of people in gaming like different games than I do and even get different things out of gaming, and that's okay. Not everyone has to feel the same way as I do about every part of games, and as time goes on, I know I'm going to see even more instances of people with different perspectives from my own covering and commenting on gaming.

I agree. As I said, I have no problem with anyone covering games they like as much as they like. I just want to be confident that they are doing so because they feel the actual game is worthwhile of the coverage. And if they are covering it more because they want to support the developer because they find him/her/them to be interesting for some reason then that is fine too, so long as it's made absolutely clear what they are actually endorsing and why.

#7 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

@exfate said:

@truthtellah said:

@exfate said:

@truthtellah: I think Jeff and a lot of other people might be missing the whole point. Patreon isn't about buying a game or any other product. It is basically a donation to a person, with no real liability on their part to produce anything in return. What I'm saying is that supporting a game/product is different to supporting a person. If a journalist is prepared to give a developer money directly in this way, how can we trust them to cover that same developer without bias? They obviously have a desire to see that developer succeed. Disclosure is needed, but the best solution is to just disallow it entirely as company policy, just as Kotaku have now done and as Joystiq have been doing for some time.

Don't most people who write and comment about games have a desire to see developers succeed?

It's not like in Politics where you're picking some kind of side. In general, we're all gamers reporting and commenting on what's going on in gaming; so, we're automatically on the side of hoping developers will make more cool games. I agree with outlets discouraging investment in Patreon while someone is reporting on them, but I do think we shouldn't mistake gaming as something it's not.

People writing about art generally want to see more of it and desire most artists to succeed. That's different from writing about governments or stories of murder. Obviously, someone writing about games probably wants everyone in gaming to succeed, because one succeeding isn't to the detriment of others. I want every developer out there to make great games, and I naturally have an enthusiasm for games simply by the fact that I am here talking about them.

Disclosure of support with something like Patreon or even Kickstarter can help, because it's additional information for people to better understand a story. But I think we should be careful to not try to prevent or discourage gaming news writers and entertainers from being gamers like we all are. In the end, we're all interested in having fun with games, and being an active part of the gaming community goes hand in hand with that.

I think the problem is about what the media are choosing to cover and why. It's a question of if they're serving the interests of their audience or their own interests and that of their friends. The reason this is an issue at the moment is because there is a perception that the developer around which this whole crapfest started receives disproportionate coverage in the media when compared to her actual output as a game developer. There is a large segment of the of the audience that feels that certain developers and games are being pushed on them by the media, and that other developers and their games are just ignored, regardless of quality.

I agree, it's not really about taking sides, but that doesn't mean their can not be hidden agendas.

Games that gaming news writers and commenters like or find interesting naturally receive more coverage, and games that can afford a lot of promotion tend to get more coverage, as well, simply by the sheer amount of content they put out about a game.

Popular games, either by size or interest have always gotten more exposure. Unfortunately, there is a perception amongst some gamers that games they don't like or games that are made by people they don't like shouldn't get as much coverage as games they do like. That difference in preference causes some to feel like the club they were once a part of isn't quite as aligned with them as they might prefer. As those who write and comment about games reveal more and more about themselves and their own preferences, many are finding that they are more different from them than they thought.

I've enjoyed it as gaming news writers and commenters have been more open in recent times, in part because I share many concerns and perspectives a lot of them have, but it makes sense to me that it might distress some who see how they are not as represented by them in some areas of games coverage and commentary.

Most of us share similar feelings on loving games in general, but when social and personal perspectives come in, it makes sense that our differences might be even more divergent than our console and genre preferences. How we strike a good balance between greater personal openness and traditional reporting will continue to be a big part of managing coverage and commentary going forward.

It's absolutely fine for people in the games media to focus on on what interests them. However, they should be disclosing their bias.. If someone likes a game so much that they want to cover it multiple times, then that's fine given the assumption that they're clearly showing a bias that they're in to the game. If they like the developer so much that they decide to pay that developer a monthly sum, not for their game, but just to support them, then the audience has a right to know because it provides important context.

"Popular games" is an interesting notion. The media has the ability to build hype and interest around a game and make it popular. This happens all the time. TotalBiscuit just put up a great video about this, and I thoroughly recommend it. Popularity, of course, is not always an indicator of quality.

#8 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

@shozo @hailinel: I have to disagree with your views on what is and isn't journalism. The kind of criticism that the games media practice is absolutely journalistic considering that they review games when they are released, often prior to release so the review can be published to coincide with release. Those reviews serve to directly provide information to the reader on something that is current. Also, with regards to editorial commentary, it is just punditry which is a well established form of modern journalism. Being a journalist doesn't just have to mean reporting the of news stories without any opinion.

So, we absolutely should be holding the games media to journalistic standards.

#9 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

@exfate said:

@truthtellah: I think Jeff and a lot of other people might be missing the whole point. Patreon isn't about buying a game or any other product. It is basically a donation to a person, with no real liability on their part to produce anything in return. What I'm saying is that supporting a game/product is different to supporting a person. If a journalist is prepared to give a developer money directly in this way, how can we trust them to cover that same developer without bias? They obviously have a desire to see that developer succeed. Disclosure is needed, but the best solution is to just disallow it entirely as company policy, just as Kotaku have now done and as Joystiq have been doing for some time.

Don't most people who write and comment about games have a desire to see developers succeed?

It's not like in Politics where you're picking some kind of side. In general, we're all gamers reporting and commenting on what's going on in gaming; so, we're automatically on the side of hoping developers will make more cool games. I agree with outlets discouraging investment in Patreon while someone is reporting on them, but I do think we shouldn't mistake gaming as something it's not.

People writing about art generally want to see more of it and desire most artists to succeed. That's different from writing about governments or stories of murder. Obviously, someone writing about games probably wants everyone in gaming to succeed, because one succeeding isn't to the detriment of others. I want every developer out there to make great games, and I naturally have an enthusiasm for games simply by the fact that I am here talking about them.

Disclosure of support with something like Patreon or even Kickstarter can help, because it's additional information for people to better understand a story. But I think we should be careful to not try to prevent or discourage gaming news writers and entertainers from being gamers like we all are. In the end, we're all interested in having fun with games, and being an active part of the gaming community goes hand in hand with that.

I think the problem is about what the media are choosing to cover and why. It's a question of if they're serving the interests of their audience or their own interests and that of their friends. The reason this is an issue at the moment is because there is a perception that the developer around which this whole crapfest started receives disproportionate coverage in the media when compared to her actual output as a game developer. There is a large segment of the of the audience that feels that certain developers and games are being pushed on them by the media, and that other developers and their games are just ignored, regardless of quality.

I agree, it's not really about taking sides, but that doesn't mean their can not be hidden agendas.

#10 Posted by exfate (367 posts) -

@truthtellah: I think Jeff and a lot of other people might be missing the whole point. Patreon isn't about buying a game or any other product. It is basically a donation to a person, with no real liability on their part to produce anything in return. What I'm saying is that supporting a game/product is different to supporting a person. If a journalist is prepared to give a developer money directly in this way, how can we trust them to cover that same developer without bias? They obviously have a desire to see that developer succeed. Disclosure is needed, but the best solution is to just disallow it entirely as company policy, just as Kotaku have now done and as Joystiq have been doing for some time.