thatpinguino's comments

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Posted by thatpinguino

This game looks really cool! It seems to actually be trying to capture something that resembles reality and the uncertainty of high school. For all of the people that want to see more female protagonists and more diverse games, this seems like something worth checking out.

Posted by thatpinguino

@wolfgame: I didn't mean to imply that you identify with gamergate, just that I often read people claiming that the hashtag is not representative of what the "movement" really believes. So I figured I would mention that it is hard to claim a hashtag as a unifying voice and then say that the hashtag isn't representative.

I wouldn't liken joining a cause with signing up for a website. One is a deliberately political move and nothing more while the other could be a matter of enjoying a site's content or the community or any space in between.

Posted by thatpinguino

@sergio: There is a difference between boycotting a product and starting an email spam campaign. One is simply not buying a product you take offense to. The other is trying to subvert a legitimate feedback system by copy pasting an email template (that contains an email that is not representative of the actual GG complaints) and hoping that the target company is completely unaware of your movement. I would say that not shopping at Chik-Fil-A anymore is a valid course of action. Heck even emailing Chik-Fil-A to express your displeasure is a valid course of action. I would say copy pasting hundreds of emails to spam all of Chik-Fil-A's business partners to put Chik-Fil-A out of business is not the right way to respond. I have no problem with boycotting a product to express your displeasure or even with emailing to complain. It is when you email a "news" (I don't like gawker any more than the next person but this is a play that GG has pulled with multiple sites) site's advertisers just to silence that site that you cross the line between criticizing a business practice with the hopes it will change and attempting to shut down a voice you don't want to hear. Lets keep in mind that this campaign was launched by a sarcastic tweet.

@wolfgame: I'm going to say that redditt threads and truly anonymous forums are not any easier to read and follow. And after looking at Kotaku in Action I would say it is exactly what I thought it would be. It is a bunch of threads of people rooting through writers pasts to try to paint them as hypocritical, a jump off point for targeted email campaigns, and it has a bunch of threads complaining about shit that has nothing to do with ethics and everything to do with feminism. It also has a bunch of threads that claim censorship where censorship is not the accurate word for what is happening. I'm not going to go to 8chan, sorry. I still think that having KiA be full of hundreds of links to other sites is a piss poor way of actually explaining a perspective. There shouldn't be 30 pages of required reading strewn across the internet to understand your basic position.

Also if you base your movement around a twitter hashtag then I don't think you can complain when people base their evaluations on the hashtag you claim as your source of identity.

Edited by thatpinguino

@wolfgame: I would say there is a happy middleground between "bulling jokes are OK" and "let's get that gawker writer fired and try to cost them as much money as possible." I would say maybe making a joke back or saying the joke wasn't funny. Those might be some more reasonable responses.

As for me bringing up ubisoft and YouTube stuff, I am merely mentioning a few ethical breaches that are big problems in the industry right now that don't seem to come up on the gamergate hashtag like ever. There are a bunch or ethical breaches that seem to get no GG response. But things like anita videos and gawker tweets seem to mobilize the whole swarm. I just think that the priorities are pretty skewed if GG wants to fix actual ethical issues.

Posted by thatpinguino

@wolfgame: Oh OK, so if an employee tweets some sarcastic comments about bullying then its open season? I'm glad it was a huge ethical breach like sarcastic tweets that brought the furry of gamergate. Any movement on UbiSoft's winter of broken games or on companies paying youtubers under the table? No? Oh OK, well at least gamergate hurt some sites funding by gaming public complaint systems. That will teach people that ethics are what's really important.

The part of gamergate that bothers me the most is that there exists a world where a group of organized and well intentioned people took on the cause of cleaning up the industry's crappy-er policies. A world where informed consumers fought for better business practices in the industry without devolving into what gamergate is. Gamergate has made gaming ethics into a punchline and I think it has done real damage to people's ability to care about this stuff at all.

Posted by thatpinguino

@wolfgame said:

@mister_snig said:

@juno500 said:

@r3dt1d3 said:

I really enjoyed the Gamasutra article on Half-Life.

It also concerns me how the only coordinated (that I've seen) action of GamerGate has gotten no coverage. Gawker has lost sponsors left and right due to emails and boycotting that has nothing to do with misogyny or twitter hashtags. That's a real story I think a journalist should be interested in (regardless of their vew).

How many sponsors have they actually lost? I've heard lots of claims but nothing concrete.

A few brands like Intel and Dyson have dropped sponsorship, but have since gone back on those decisions.

So...they haven't really accomplished anything important.

a certain amount of credit for motivating the FTC to implement much needed disclosure guidelines concerning affiliate links in news posts. Gawker media also reported a financial loss of close to 1 million as a result of their feud with the GamerGate hashtag.

This is why when I hear that GamerGate is dying, or the more absurd pill no one was willing to swallow (gamers are dying) it feels like I see people walking around with a paper bag over their head. Todays Worth Reading even leads off saying "To pretend [Gamergate] no longer exists just means you are ignoring it." That's the most accurate summation I can find of this feature each week. It takes a significant amount of filtering/ignoring of opposing data to reach such a intellectually dishonest conclusion. Worth Reading is the totality of building a conclusion first then using sources that already support that point of view.

I realize I am coming down hard on this, but it's not intended as any insult, I do enjoy this site and Patrick's features/commentary on this subject, but that does not mean that I am not willing to read what he has said and compare that to the available data. Is it honestly more important to burn the industry down by ignoring positive developments such as FTC disclosure guidelines then conceding that Gamergate may actually be proactively working for ethical improvements we can all benefit from?

We have a self defeating incomplete narrative of doom and gloom, manufactured to ensure maximum panic and animosity to the Gamergate hashtag and gaming as a whole in 2014. Ask me again next week why things aren't improving. I think we will find the answer here.

Ok maybe you can explain how the correct response to criticism and unfavorable articles is to try to shut a site down and put everyone who works there out of work? Adults don't spam advertisers to pull funding because a columnist wrote something they didn't like. They don't try to burn down a publication because they have an opinion that doesn't jive. Trying to silence sites by damaging funding through astroturfed campaigns does not help the industry grow or mature. If anything it damages the already fragile sites that do the work of covering the games industry. But hey I'm sure all of the people who have left this industry for greener pastures would be happy to know that the FTC was pressured into releasing a new FAQ. What a huge win for society!

Posted by thatpinguino

@phuturist: I would say that the Furgison twitter response has been as anarchic and messy as GG, but Twitter isn't the only place that protest or movements are occurring. The coverage of Furgison related protests is almost entirely centered on the physical protests, not the digital ones. In GG's case the WHOLE of GG is occurring in a digital space of one form or another. So when I say everyone is using the same podium I mean that most of the discussion surrounding GG is taking place on twitter and anonymous forums. With an organization like that, it is very hard to pin down leadership because not everyone agrees on who the heck these leaders are. Also if you jump in to GG cold you have to parse through mountains of tweets and posts to get to who a potential leader might be and how this all started. In a physical protest it is pretty easy to find a person to talk to because they organized the dang protest. That person will have 90% of the answers you seek. If you track down 3 different GG "leaders" you will get 3 different interpretations of what GG is and what it is trying to achieve. Not only that, but the 2 you don't talk to will claim that the one you did talk to is not representative of the majority of GG followers. That kind of chaos in leadership and goal does not a movement make. In the absence of a discernible manifesto people need to base their coverage on what is being done in the name of the movement and that seems to be a whole lot of harassment, letter writing campaigns, and angry statements.

If you can't remove or police the bad actors in your movement at all then, I'm sorry to say your movement isn't going to be taken seriously. I can go on any of the main GG targets' twitter feeds right now and find a GG supporter tearing into them and it has been that way for 4 months. 4 months! That is insane! Also seeing GGers claim that harassment either isn't happening or isn''t related to GG in any way just makes me less inclined to believe anything they say.

As for charity, I didn't know that Awesome Games Done Quick existed until this year because that event doesn't get much if any main stream media coverage. However, that charity event raised over $400,000 for cancer charities last year. That is a group that has raised tons of money for charity. That is their only purpose. And they still don't get much coverage for their work. There isn't even a question of impropriety there. It is simply a matter of charitable work not getting coverage under ordinary circumstances. I'll say this again, if you are doing charity work for a good reason then you shouldn't be upset when people don't write fluff pieces about your generous work. The charity is its own reward, not the stories generated by the charity.

Of course no one deserves death threats! It goes without saying. However, people like Zoe and Anita are getting this shit for DOING THEIR JOBS (they have been getting crap online before GG and will keep getting it after it would seem). They didn't thrust themselves into the spotlight on this hot button issue, they were living their lives and then they got singled out. The majority of the main GG targets are developers, journalists, and critics who inspired someone's ire for doing their job in a way that upset people. I don't consider denouncing a movement that is actively attacking your friends to be a signal that you are open season either. Their very work and openness about their experiences prompted attack. Many of the GG "leaders" are hangers on that decided to ride the lightning when they saw a storm brewing. One group is fighting to lead relatively normal lives and one is fighting for ... well it seems to depend on who you ask.

If you are going to argue that Anita only gets shit from one person then I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree. Also how can you separate the people who just use GG for attention from those that have a real bone to pick?

Edited by thatpinguino

@tomobedlam: Yeah I figured as much. It was nice to see that I wasn't the only one who found the comments on that article to be a bit disappointing. Unfortunately at this point the comments on that article are par for the course.

@phuturist: But those other movements have actual physical leaders that people can talk to. There are clear delineations between the looters and the protesters because the looters get arrested and the protesters don't (and when non-violent protesters get arrested it is a problem people call out). The bad actors actually get identified, disavowed, and punished in all of the physical movements you mentioned. In GG, the bad actors stand on the same Twitter or forum podium as the rational members. It is incredibly difficult to pin down movements where the bad actors shed personas and names every other week. When a looter gets arrested they don't change their name and face and then go right back to acting shittily. One bad actor in a physical movement also can't signal boost themselves by creating several dummy accounts.

As for reporting on the good GG has done, well it is pretty hard to report on charity work that seems to only exist as a form of good pr. I haven't seen a piece of GG charity work that hasn't ended in, "see we aren't all those terrible things you say we are because we gave to charity!" That is not the same as actually raising money for a cause you believe in out of a sense of good will. If there have been legitimate fundraising campaigns that have come from GG then maybe be happy with doing good without praise?

I also wouldn't count damaging a company's revenue stream in a big win column. Literally taking money out of the pocket of a site you don't like in an attempt to silence that site is the exact sort of stuff that GG claims to be against (I can't count the number of times I read people complaining about GTA5 being pulled from store shelves in Australia due to a letter writing campaign).

As for reporting on harassment on both sides, yeah it is easy to say that both sides should be reported and in the abstract I agree, but the harassment and threats being reported are to prominent developers and critics. You know, to people who put their name out their publicly, have established followings, and who are dealing with visible harassment every day that any user can see. This disproportionate coverage is similar to how ordinary car accidents aren't major news stories, but celebrity car accidents are. People who are popular public figures get more coverage than "random" twitter users. It isn't fair in the objective sense of the word, but known personalities are what drive these stories and GG just doesn't have many that game media at large want to cover. The coverage isn't fair and I think the threats to people like TB should be covered somewhere, but from what I've seen that isn't happening. I can see being frustrated at that, but you have to understand that given how GG started it is really hard to not prioritize the attacks on people like Zoe and Anita considering they started this whole thing.

Edited by thatpinguino

@phuturist: Ok I'll bite. How do you think the media should cover a "group" that is vehemently leaderless, anonymous, decentralized, and has no unifying manifesto, demands, or code of conduct? Should they go on reddit, 8chan, and any other "official GG forums" and report everything that they see? Should they read the hashtag and report on that? Or should they try to interview people who use the hashtag? Because from where I stand it looks like reporters have tried all of those tactics in one way or another and GG doesn't come out of it looking like an organized group with a strong purpose. At best some of the people in GG look like sane people with no clear goal. At worst it looks like reporters have to mine for intelligent discourse in a sea of conflicting claims, vitriol, and unfocused anger. GG members seems to be very willing to disassociate from people who make them look bad in public and also very willing to jump on board with anyone who will cover them favorably (regardless of that person's credibility). It is really freaking hard to cover a movement that disavows everything negative done in its name and demands the reporter "work harder" to find the positives.

@tomobedlam: I tried to warn people not to read the comments!

Posted by thatpinguino

I enjoyed a bunch of the articles highlighted this week. The Brendan Sinclair piece on censorship was pretty enlightening for me personally because I didn't know of some of the instances of censorship that he cited. It is always funny how restricting access to a game people love like GTA5 causes a huge outrage; but, something like the Indian government preventing DA:I's release in India goes by with no fuss. One is a chain of stores electing to not sell a game and the other is one of the most populous countries in the world straight up denying a game's right to be sold. It would seem like the later is more worth fighting over if games are going to become a global art form.

The David Jaffe interview is worth reading too. He is a lot more measured in that interview than I expected based on some of the other quotes of his that I've read. He echos many of the known issues with gamergate as a "movement" without going hyperbolic. I would advise avoiding the comments on the article if you do decide to read it.

The NY Times article highlighted a growing trend that I've been noticing more and more as games coverage has expanded. Just saying that someone plays games no longer connotes much about what that person likes or dislikes anymore. It seems like game genres and audiences are larger and more fragmented than ever, to the point where a shooter fan might not even know or care that DA:I came out this year. What people are looking for in games and what they get out of those games are now so diverse that claims about what a game should be or how a game should be judged are no longer speaking for the whole, or even a majority, of game players. This isn't a bad thing. Other forms of media have fragmented audiences too. But, just like a horror movie buff wouldn't claim that Transformers isn't a real movie because it doesn't have a found footage style, I think game fans need to stop attempting judge games across genres and styles as though they are one gigantic genre with the same audience and the same expectations.

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