FengShuiGod's forum posts

#2 Posted by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -
@novadth said:

There probably is corruption in game's journalism, it would be ridiculous to assume no one EVER accepted any kind of payment, offer, gift, or backrub for a positive review. I just don't give a shit.

What I do give a shit about is people being abusive to each other under the guise of anonymity. It's ridiculous, on both sides. I can't help but wonder how much of the vitriol is done by teenagers that will look back one day and say "Man, I was a real prick."

I sorta wish everyone would just sit down, not argue for a minute and unanimously agree that being a dick on the internet has never been cool. And when we see someone being a dick not to attack them but just say "Hey, you're kinda coming off as a douche." And if they continue, quit engaging. The more attention we give to people lashing out on the internet, the more they're going to do it. They're like stupid little yorkshire terriers, just running around barking nonstop. I think those dogs are dumb, I think a lot of internet based discussion is dumb. Ergo, the internet is puppies?

SHHHH DONT LET RORIE FIND OUT DEAR GOD

#3 Edited by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

@dreffen said:

@fengshuigod said:

@patrickklepek said:

@bigstrat2003 said:

I think that part of what murderbunny might be getting at is that, if someone is getting basically universal praise from your peers, then writing a piece which is positive towards them seems "safe" and kind of like the writer is just joining the choir. I totally get what you're saying though - that you get a lot of flak for some of the pieces you write from readers (I heard you ruined GB singlehandedly! ;)), so they're not at all "safe" in the sense that you're writing something which will get you nothing but props from people who read it.

The other thing I think murderbunny is saying is - if you look at someone like Anita Sarkeesian, one would generally think that at least someone who writes for a game website would disagree with her arguments (and write about that), just by sheer probability. But that hasn't really happened (not on any sites I follow, at least), which makes it easy to start writing off the people who praise her work as being a chorus of yes-men simply because you haven't seen any dissenting opinions. I think that your point is totally fair that as a writer, you're going to write from a perspective that is colored by your own opinions on things. It's unavoidable, and I don't think it's any writer's fault that they do so. But I also can understand the frustration that can result from feeling (albeit unfairly) that "man, all these writers are tripping over themselves to agree with Anita, and nobody actually critically examines her arguments and points out the flaws in them" (or any other controversial figure, of course, not trying to single out one person in particular here).

I think you see mostly unanimous praise for Anita's work because it's largely unprecedented. It's A New Idea. That takes time to sink in. I hadn't uttered the word feminism in a serious context until a few years ago. My views on many things will probably change a few years from now, once I've learned more and had a chance to process more. I mean, there's already plenty of challenges to Anita's viewpoints about Bayonetta. Lots of women view Bayonetta as a strong, sexually-empowered character, but Anita doesn't. That seems pretty divergent!

Uh, I'm sorry, but Anita's work isn't a new idea, much less a New Idea. I don't care if you agree with her or not, saying so just shows a profound ignorance of the past and ignores the accomplishments of many women writers who have come before her. I mean, Simone de Beaviour, Julia Kristeva, Teresa De Lauretis, Sontag, Virginia Woolf, Camille Paglia, scores of people from the earlier waves of feminism in the 60s, and so many more have laid and established the framework. So, it hasn't been applied to games, but Anita largely takes a preexisting framework and looks at games through that lens. I'm not saying she wrong, or that she is right, but calling her work unprecedented is just wrong. It may be new to you, but her work is firmly situated on the shoulders of giants.

You're right. Women were uploading videos talking about gender tropes in video games since the 60s.

She may be effective at harnessing social media, but using new dissemination methods does not a new idea w/r/t feminism make.

#4 Edited by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

@mister_snig said:

@fengshuigod: I think what Patrick meant to say is that this is unprecedented in the realm of video games. Of course feminist critique has been going on for a while now, but never in any serious capacity with respect to gaming.

But she mostly focuses on established issues. She isn't saying something new about games that is new with games. If a book is never read, but someone reads on it and then comments on it, is their work unprecedented? Technically I guess, but that doesn't make it remarkable. I guess if you've never read feminist criticism before her work would seem new, so perhaps her value is really bringing something to a greater audience, but calling it unprecedented or a New Idea just seems too strong, especially when you could actually find similar critiques against games laid out before she came on the scene.

#5 Edited by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

@bigstrat2003 said:

I think that part of what murderbunny might be getting at is that, if someone is getting basically universal praise from your peers, then writing a piece which is positive towards them seems "safe" and kind of like the writer is just joining the choir. I totally get what you're saying though - that you get a lot of flak for some of the pieces you write from readers (I heard you ruined GB singlehandedly! ;)), so they're not at all "safe" in the sense that you're writing something which will get you nothing but props from people who read it.

The other thing I think murderbunny is saying is - if you look at someone like Anita Sarkeesian, one would generally think that at least someone who writes for a game website would disagree with her arguments (and write about that), just by sheer probability. But that hasn't really happened (not on any sites I follow, at least), which makes it easy to start writing off the people who praise her work as being a chorus of yes-men simply because you haven't seen any dissenting opinions. I think that your point is totally fair that as a writer, you're going to write from a perspective that is colored by your own opinions on things. It's unavoidable, and I don't think it's any writer's fault that they do so. But I also can understand the frustration that can result from feeling (albeit unfairly) that "man, all these writers are tripping over themselves to agree with Anita, and nobody actually critically examines her arguments and points out the flaws in them" (or any other controversial figure, of course, not trying to single out one person in particular here).

I think you see mostly unanimous praise for Anita's work because it's largely unprecedented. It's A New Idea. That takes time to sink in. I hadn't uttered the word feminism in a serious context until a few years ago. My views on many things will probably change a few years from now, once I've learned more and had a chance to process more. I mean, there's already plenty of challenges to Anita's viewpoints about Bayonetta. Lots of women view Bayonetta as a strong, sexually-empowered character, but Anita doesn't. That seems pretty divergent!

Uh, I'm sorry, but Anita's work isn't a new idea, much less a New Idea. I don't care if you agree with her or not, saying so just shows a profound ignorance of the past and ignores the accomplishments of many women writers who have come before her. I mean, Simone de Beaviour, Julia Kristeva, Teresa De Lauretis, Sontag, Virginia Woolf, Camille Paglia, scores of people from the earlier waves of feminism in the 60s, and so many more have laid and established the framework. So, it hasn't been applied to games, but Anita largely takes what are at this point almost academic tropes and looks at games through that lens. I'm not saying she is wrong or that she is right, but calling her work unprecedented is just wrong. It may be new to you, but her work is firmly situated on the shoulders of giants.

#6 Posted by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

@vinny said:

@mom_i_cant_pause_it said:

@vinny: Theres been a few huffington post live with the two groups going at it. While it ends up turning into #shotsfired from both sides at least they are trying.

When will it be intelligent? Depends who you get to talk

There are anti-gg and gg people who want to talk, you guys doing this shows you want to too. Try TB, sommers, milo, boogie just to name a few. They want to talk. They might seem really right-winged to you but that's what gaming culture has evolved into. It's now mainstream enough to have a ton of opinions from everyone.

Yeah, I've watched some of those. I find Milo tough to listen to. Seems like he's got some other motives in there. I just have not seen anything actionable come out of the gamergate requests. Not being dismissive, but saying "we want ethics" is like me saying I "I want the internet to be fair". The thing I have heard the most from both sides is "It's not us! Stop making up or associating actions with us!" and if everybody is a victim how can you have an aggressor?

Saying GG is little beyond "we want ethics" is partly a failure of the GG movement, and partly a reduction of it. What does any political movement want? It can be hard to tell if you listen to the stream of comments from individual users. Look at what The Escapist did though, and look at how GG has reacted. I think they generally want to raise awareness and heighten the level of professionalism in the gaming press. All this is incredibly messy though, as some people technically aren't journalists, but they still influence consumer sentiment and opinion. How should they behave? I think that is one of the questions that GG asks in its more legitimate moments. I hope the dialectic between everyone hammers some of this out, but instead of viewing all this as symptomatic of some neckbeard crazies, I think it is better to view it as some of the growing pains of new media writ large. Old newspapers are having some similar issues with stuff like native advertising as they have to change, and no one knows how to treat anything anymore as old barriers are torn down.

#7 Edited by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

@brad said:

@whiteycar said:

@brad said:

@heyguys said:

@brad said:

@neon25 said:

@neon25 said:

While it's nicely written, I'm very disappointed how you still label GamerGate as a hate movement. It's just like saying all Muslims are jihadists. Just because they are a few shitty people in a group doesn't mean all people are shitty. I think you should definitely take a note of that, especially as a lot of people in this "hate movement" are your primary demographic, whether you like it or not.

Still, it was nice to finally get an official statement.

To add to that, it's really sad that Giant Bomb did nothing, while sites like the Escapist actually reevaluated their ethics standards and now if there's any chance that some personal connection might have influenced something in the review, it's simply mentioned in bold font in the header. It's that easy.

We've been proactively calling out any potential conflicts of interest since the day this site launched, as evidenced at the bottom of this review from more than six years ago:

http://www.giantbomb.com/reviews/rock-band-2-review/1900-56/

I promise you it's something we've always attempted to be extremely aware of. The idea that we "did nothing" seems kind of silly in this respect.

What about providing a platform or coverage, not just reviews? The media are the king makers of the smallest out there and the worry about "indies" I think comes from the fact that all games journalists are aware when they're at a press diner, when they get nice hotel rooms, when they get early access they know that's supposed to affect them and they are intentionally distancing those relationships from their jobs when it comes to AAA. However, people do not have their guard up when they are dealing with friends, even when those friends might not be actively pushing a self-interested dilemma those relationships can no-the-less influence how they are covered. Publicity is the equivalent of money as much as reviews are but publications do not have that same kind of vigilance regarding it. This makes having close relationships to the press an possible career booster while others without that privilege work without getting similar exposure.

You make a good point, and there's an even bigger conversation to have that includes discoverability on lucrative storefronts like Steam. I'll just say we try to be mindful of our friendships with people who make games, and for better or worse, our solution has been to try to make the audience aware of those relationships and let them make up their own mind. Hopefully that's working.

For my own part, I do my best to separate my acquaintance with a person from my feelings on the game they may have worked on. I can't in good conscience promote a game I don't sincerely think is cool, which is why I never, ever want to work in video game PR. All I can ask is that you trust me on that.

Once again the point has been made that critics of other media have the exact same issues, Roger Ebert, which is pretty much everyones golden standard of criticism had friends in the movie industry. Reviewed his friends movies, and there were no issues.

Games are not unique in this case.

Ebert didn't just have a lot of friends in the business, he wrote a screenplay that was produced and released as a finished film. Think about how it would go over if one of us at GB made and indie game and released it while continuing to review all the other games that were on sale right next to it.

Right, but Ebert had decades of writing criticism and he could call his friends out if their shit smelled. Ebert was someone we could trust. I think it is reasonable if the bar of trust isn't as high for someone relatively new who only has positively covered friends and then argues that they don't have to disclose anything because they totally know what they are doing.

#8 Edited by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

@slag said:

@milkman said:

@fengshuigod said:

@tourgen said:
@spaceinsomniac said:

@kidavenger said:

If shit like this http://www.giantbomb.com/stardock-corporation/3010-1064/forums/stardock-embroiled-in-clashing-lawsuits-story-only-559660/#291, especially the conversation around it is fine, then everything that happened last week should have also been a fine topic of discussion, but it wasn't even allowed to happen and that's fucking bullshit.

That link right there is petty much a smoking gun regarding the hypocrisy of game journalism today.

Yeah, sadly true. That's some "who's fucking who and who's getting fat" journalism right there.

Wow, just wow.

I'm not sure if this has been covered already but no, that's not really the same thing. In the case of Stardock story, there were actual lawsuits filed. All this recent garbage has been pure gossip, which has been proved false, by the way.

yup, both suits were ultimately dismissed I believe.

That incident was a matter of public record, certainly fair game for news.

I think you guys are thinking about the wrong thing here. I don't think many care about or want coverage and investigation w/r/t details of hearsay and rumor. There are, however, things that are public record that the gaming press refuses (refused?) to cover because they tangentially relate to a crusade unjustly perpetuated by a group of internet trolls against a colleague and friend. They won't talk about it because "professionalism," but they are happy to drag in lower forms of sensationalist tripe when it suits them.

As the original post said, things that happened in the last week should be fair discussion. If a figure in an industry is accused of something and those accusations are totally baseless, yet those accusations result in a series of events, actions, and disclosures that generate a lot of discussion then those repercussions and responses deserve to be talked about and accounted for, and they can be addressed in a way that does not acknowledge the splenetic accusations that started the whole mess. After all, more has been written about less, like the article linked to above with commentary ect.

#9 Edited by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

The more this sophomoric nonsense goes on the less I get into and from gaming. I visit gaming websites less and less, and I am beggining to play games only occasionally with friends because this internet bullshit is so poorly thought out. Yeah, I'd like to be able to visit genericgamingnews.com to find out about some interesting game I haven't heard of, but when I'm apt to run into so much superfluous baggage along the way I just avoid it completely and stick to known quantities or whatever I can find within a couple clicks on Steam. These guys/gals think they are the John Ruskin of games or something, but visiting a lot of websites feels more and more like grading a stack of remedial freshman social anthro papers.

#10 Edited by FengShuiGod (1492 posts) -

@jarmahead said:

@fengshuigod said:

Game journalism (or whatever you want to call it) is generally broken and worthless. I don't know exactly why, but there is a quality rift with other mediums when it comes to game criticism. Film, literature, photography, painting, whatever, have their inanities too, but they have smart voices that game culture really doesn't have. Maybe it is just because games are relatively new, I don't know, but people in the game crit/journo industry seem to have narrower backgrounds, experiences, and intellects. When does gaming get its Ebert, when do we get an essayist like Sontag, or Robert Hughes, or whatever? Or is video game culture always going to be relegated to the cultural status of guns magazines and car shows, wherein the "journalism" is little more than advertisements, top ten lists, and moribund social commentary that reads like freshman work? I mean, compare even relatively minor critical figures from the art world like Libby Lumpkin or Sinead Murphy to the drivel passed around as commentary on games. It's a joke.

Not everything needs that sort of stuff. Most games are about shooting the enemy first (which I'm a fan of). Even Porn has more potential for depth in it's mainstream elements, because sexuality is a bottomless pit of potential for what you're talking about.

Also, you're mostly talking about a certain kind of site that is basically run by robots and exists for a very particular purpose, and "games journalism" isn't it.

Still, I think it's unrealistic and pointless to expect those things from games. There is rarely anything worth getting into in a way you could as a really serious film critic, outside of the hyperbole of hipsterism that "indie" (meaning specifically the annoyingly indie types, not independent developers). And that stuff is so trashy most of the time even it doesn't have a place in critique.

Also remember that games aren't all "art." Sure, there are a lot of elements that would be considered art, but there's also a lot of math and logic and stuff like that in games. It's not art. It may contain art but it's more than art and I don't think it fits in with the other mediums just because it's so different. It's interactive, it's evolving at a rapid rate, and it's nothing like film or literature or even porn.

Well sometimes it's like porn.

I'm not saying that games are like film or literature, or that they need a criticism like film crit or lit crit. I do think they need critical voices who can have smart discussions and civil disagreements about the industry and the content it produces, similarly to how Dave Hickey talks about social identity and the art world or how Paul di Vivie wrote about bicycling. I mean, it's possible, like when Zizek touched upon games in an interesting way. So I wouldn't say it is irresponsible or pointless. Biking is not surfing is not painting is not buddhism is not bullfighting is not gaming but almost all of these have great works of criticism written by intelligent people. Not so with gaming. If nothing else, a figure like these would legitimize a fledgling industry and set something of an example. Plus, their writing saves us time shooting down sophistry and second rate fluff.

Does gaming need this to function as entertainment? No, gaming can function on many different levels, but this kind of cultural criticism is something that the current gaming press aspires to and fails miserably at, so I'm just saying I wouldn't mind seeing a more legitimate version of it.

Of course, this is something other than journalism ("game journalists" seem to have their foot in both camps which can muddle the distinction) and I wouldn't mind some good games journalism qua journalism either, though there is occasionally some passable stuff out there.