President_Barackbar's forum posts

#1 Posted by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -
@joshwent said:

@vincentavatar said:

We might as well be the ones making threats.

I'm glad to see that you're passionate about improving things for everyone, but this kind of sentiment is misplaced masochism that doesn't improve anything and at most make innocent folks aggravated. If a person on the street next to me is being attacked, and I do nothing, I'm to blame. If an anonymous person is digitally doing something terrible somewhere to someone else someplace, I can't stop that. It's simple, I just physically can't intervene. And accusing all of us as being part of the problem because of the reality of that situation only makes things worse. Especially with this kind of context:

Let’s throw our support behind the Cara Ellisons, Leigh Alexanders, and Anita Sarkeesians of the world.

You set up a false dichotomy here where if I don't fully support all women who do game related things, I hate those women and am trying to oppress them. It's precisely this kind of growing sentiment which has made things as heated as they are. I refuse to support Anita when she intentionally manipulates and misrepresents the content of games to try and prove her points. I refuse to support Leigh when her articles condemning hatred are brimming with divisive insults themselves. I will never, ever resort to personal insults at them for doing anything they want to do, but insisting that I might as well be someone calling rape threats to a person's home and saying that I'll murder their family if I disagree with a thing a person makes, is honestly pretty disgusting.

I don't mean to be overly blunt as you clearly mean well, but "speaking up" is an empty gesture. The people harassing others online know that it's wrong. That's why they do it. Internet jerks aren't going to see a bunch of blog posts from people no one knows and think, "Oh no! Maybe that death threat was hurtful. I certainly won't be doing that again.". More realistically, they'll never even see the blog posts in the first place. Patrick has 65,000 followers on twitter. And he is one of many well known public figures who spread the word whenever this kind of shitty thing happens. My condolences and finger-wagging are meaningless. And the victims are clearly not suffering in silence. This abuse is widely reported.

Blaming silence, blaming culture, blaming anything other than those who do it, is only serving to confuse these issues and enflame the situation. I've been thinking today a lot about things I've read in the past few weeks and the past few years, because these problems are not new, and it began to overwhelm me that no actual solutions are ever sought after. Patrick posts a link to the head of Twitter saying that they don't need any new tools to deal with harassment, and people comment on how terrible that is... and move on. We've cultivated an online culture where linking to something and "speaking up" about how it's bad is enough to satisfy people.

What if instead of all of the impotent articles condemning "gamerz" and "game culture" as somehow birthing these monsters, the powers of Kotaku and Polygon and Gamasutra combined to make some change in the real world. State and Federal police are technologically outdated and underfunded (infrastructure wise, not so much with weaponry as we've tragically seen) and are basically incapable of effectively pursuing and prosecuting online harassment. What if those sites petitioned their governments to rectify that situation. What if they showed how they're doing it, to make it easier for you to contact your local police and fight to have them better able to deal with online threats. What if they didn't stop until new laws were passed clearly outlining the steps that one can take to report this kind of violence.

What if they did anything at all to actually create positive change, rather than shaking their prose heads in disapproval, and then moving on to next week's harassment.

The sentiment behind "speaking up" is a good one, but unless you're actively working towards a tangible goal, you "might as well" be doing nothing.

I agree completely, you said it much better than I could have. Its sad that it seems like you aren't allowed to disagree with the application, even if you agree with the sentiment overall.

#2 Posted by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -

@truthtellah: You are definitely right about being able to laugh off the absurd parts of the argument, and I'm sorry if I took the joke too literally. I think the precise problem people like Jeff are having right now is that since he and the staff of GB are so open about disclosing things, I think he has a hard time realizing that they are the exception rather than the rule. Most outlets don't do any kind of disclosure, and as Jeff has said before, disclosure is really the best way to stop these kinds of issues, since it allows people to decide for themselves whether someone is trustworthy or not.

#3 Posted by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -
@milkman said:

@truthtellah: That's what I figured. I could see both sides with the whole Patreon thing. I said this more or less in the other thread about it but the important part is disclosure and then the onus is on the reader to decide whether or not they choose to find that writer trustworthy.

Yeah, I think that part of all the madness is fair enough. I think Giant Bomb is usually pretty good about making their connections clear, but in the interests of transparency, I suppose they could even add little disclosures with some reviews like, "I shared a 40 and sang 'Real American' with the creative director of this game."

But its exactly this kind of reduction of the argument that I'm getting tired of seeing. People are rightly asking questions about how far can a games writer go before it crosses a line of being unacceptable, and a lot of games writers immediately jumped to "WELL I GUESS I SHOULD DISCLOSE ANY TIME I ACCEPT A BOTTLE OF WATER FROM A GAME DEV HAR HAR HAR!" Doing that makes them seem immature and like they don't give a toss about people rightly being concerned about impartiality, especially if they want to continue to label themselves as journalists. Just because the Giant Bomb staff doesn't aspire to the label doesn't mean that others who do should get a free pass to do whatever they want.

#4 Edited by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -

@president_barackbar said:
@finaldasa said:

I think my problem with this extra scrutiny of games journalism is the level in which it's being applied. Few other journalists have their past, current activities, and every twitter statement examined so thoroughly as games journalists seem to. It's not a bad thing to love and want this hobby you care about to succeed and grow but when you're constantly attacking it, constantly wondering if it's all kosher or not, any outsider examining the industry will inevitably think the same.

Essentially we need to find the fine line between policing the industry and attacking it needlessly. At some point this constant questioning, this constant arguing, this constant back and forth just hurts us all, drives people away from the industry, and overall makes the video game industry look immature and petty.

But I think its right to question and right to be skeptical. When we stop being skeptical, that's when we are taken advantage of. Furthermore, I think a lot of this "attacking" as you call it would go away if we had more disclosure going on. Giant Bomb seems to be one of the few games media outlets that is fully open to disclosure. If games media persons want to be called journalists, they need to adhere to a code of ethics for all journalists, which includes disclosure of any kind of inappropriate relationship and avoiding any kind of real or perceived conflicts of interest.

I agree, there should be more disclosure about Kickstarter backing and such (and I think GB does it well) but even this question about who donates their money where is a bit of an attack. Patreon isn't like KS, you don't get a reward for 'backing' someone, you only support them. In fact Patreon is doing this publicly and I think (not sure, not very familiar with the site) is discloses who has supported whom. So why are we so concerned about people backing others? This particular line of questioning seems more like weeding out and cornering people within the industry (Kotaku, Polygon, and certain Indie developers) while never questioning others relationship with developers or how some publishers regularly have big, private, events for their AAA titles.

What it comes down to is some people are trying to define and have a discussion about what is journalism in the video game industry and how it should be handled while others are dredging these issues in hopes of 'outing' or chasing away specific members of the industry.

I really wish we could have this discussion. Have it be open, honest, and forthcoming. But instead it always seems high-jacked and injected with conspiracy theories, unfounded accusations, and occasionally attacks. Maybe this is all my opinion but it's what a lot of this all seems to be about to me.

I think the very fact that you presuppose that people are incapable of having such a discussion becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The way to have these discussions is to proceed assuming that those who engage will be civil. The problem of Patreon is you are directly financially supporting someone and their endeavors, which could potentially lead to bias which, if undisclosed, creates a real or perceived conflict of interest. I also think you make the mistake of assuming that people interested in talking about this issue are deliberately ignoring other areas of potential corruption or conflict of interest. I don't see a lot of people out there saying they want more disclosure only from smaller outlets. The desire for disclosure is industry wide.

#5 Posted by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -

I think my problem with this extra scrutiny of games journalism is the level in which it's being applied. Few other journalists have their past, current activities, and every twitter statement examined so thoroughly as games journalists seem to. It's not a bad thing to love and want this hobby you care about to succeed and grow but when you're constantly attacking it, constantly wondering if it's all kosher or not, any outsider examining the industry will inevitably think the same.

Essentially we need to find the fine line between policing the industry and attacking it needlessly. At some point this constant questioning, this constant arguing, this constant back and forth just hurts us all, drives people away from the industry, and overall makes the video game industry look immature and petty.

But I think its right to question and right to be skeptical. When we stop being skeptical, that's when we are taken advantage of. Furthermore, I think a lot of this "attacking" as you call it would go away if we had more disclosure going on. Giant Bomb seems to be one of the few games media outlets that is fully open to disclosure. If games media persons want to be called journalists, they need to adhere to a code of ethics for all journalists, which includes disclosure of any kind of inappropriate relationship and avoiding any kind of real or perceived conflicts of interest.

#6 Edited by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -

As much as I would rather have Amazon own Twitch, I think anyone who thinks the acquisition would mean a reversal or revision of their new streaming and VOD policies is kidding themselves since Twitch did that independently of anyone else.

#7 Edited by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -

Well, if you don't mind taking a trip back to the past, the Wrath of Cronos mod for the old Doom-engine game Hexen (which is also compatible with Heretic and Doom) features a Necromancer class that is heavily inspired by the Diablo II Necromancer with some Warcraft thrown in for good measure. I really enjoy the way the mod adds RPG character progression and a skill tree to an already awesome set of old games.

The Necromancer class is SO metal.

#8 Edited by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -
@koolaid said:

And as for the user having to endlessly pay I say: is that such a bad thing? If you are offering something they want, what’s a few bucks a day? I buy a cup of coffee every day and that adds up. A lot of people get a beer (or three) after work. People spend money on things they want. Why do games have to be a one time purchase instead of a cost that is metered out as you go?

The exact reason these kinds of games cant be "a cost metered out as you go" is because there is no endgame for games like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans and whatnot. For there to be a meter there has to be and endpoint, this isn't like buying an episodic game one episode at a time.

You know, some people genuinely enjoy smoking cigarettes, but that doesn't mean they aren't primarily designed to be addictive and create a physiological need in their victims first and foremost.

Edit: Cut down the post to make it sound less like a personal attack.

#9 Posted by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -

If it is just, "Hey you can pay for stuff faster but the normal unlock rate is perfectly fine and on par with the previous games," then that's fine.

That's the real danger and the thing that Forza 5 ran into. If it feels like they deliberately balanced the unlock rate poorly so people would spend money to speed up a really slow unlock rate, that is really bad news.

#10 Posted by President_Barackbar (3455 posts) -
@hailinel said:

Finally, Phantasmagoria 3! The game we've always wanted!

Grab your grey pocket tees boys and girls, Curtis Craig is back!