The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on October 24th, 2010 at 11:41 am.


Sundays are for food. Towers of roasted meat, galaxies of vegetable, seas of cranberry sauce and gravy, biblical visions of multiplying booze and bread. Clearly, I am going to feast. But I might also rest my tired laptop on my bulging gut (heavy with the flesh of beasts) to prepare something worth reading. Something worth digesting. For starters, try these morsels:

  • Story of the week, for me, was the extraordinary revelation that the DDOS attack on the Minecraft server was perpetrated by players demanding more updates. It’s astonishing, if true. A comment, purportedly from the attackers, read: “It’s purpose is to send Notch a clear message of how the future of minecraft will turn out unless he gets to work, namely by influencing the amount of sales taking place, due to the attacks.” A couple of people forwarded this commentary on the situation, which I think pretty much sums up the general reaction.
  • Also Minecraft.
  • I mean, come on.

  • Next up: “Parasitic Mind Control.” Braid creator Jonathan Blow talks good game design and ethics in a session at Rice University. This is one of those sessions that is going to be quoted and discussed routinely in the coming years, so it’s probably worth just getting familiar with it now. Blow talks about some familiar themes – the idea that “good” game design is now equivalent to whatever is most compulsive to the player – but it’s the most mature form of his argument we’ve seen so far.
  • A different kind of maturity of argument is discussed by Adam Bishop in his “Time To Grow Up” editorial over on Gamasutra. “Earlier this year and last year I worked at a large game developer where I witnessed sexual harassment on a scale I’ve never seen before in any other industry that I’ve worked in. One distinguishing factor of a lot of this behaviour was one of the justifications for it that was given by some of the people engaged in it – that this kind of behaviour should be expected because this was the video game industry and this is how gamers behave.” Needless to say, Bishop goes on to discuss the implications of this, and challenge them.
  • All of which leaves us with a bunch of rather negative feelings, even if there are positive answers on the cards. So what about this paper (PDF link) entitled “A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-based simulation games“. The conclusion of this is that videogames are the best way to train workers. People trained using videogames systems had 11% better grasp of facts, 14% better hold on job skills, and information retention improved 9% over those taught using traditional methods. What does this mean? Well, it’s another tick in the box for games being superior teaching tools. That’s a fact that’s fast becoming mainstream. I think Nintendo are actually using a piece about using the DS in schools as a commercial in the UK right now.
  • Bit-tech have a huge profile of Frictional Games up. It’s an interesting read, I think, because it shows just what small studios have to deal with to get their games out and stay alive. Incidentally, I assume you’ve bought Amnesia? Right?
  • If you’ll permit me to point you at some some games journalism journalism, then Pat’s piece on VG247 is a provocative defence of the “tabloid” nature of the modern games press. Not sure I agree with everything he says in there, but it’s an interesting analysis of his own position, and the behaviour of the quoted industry heads.
  • Finally: All Market Research Is Wrong. See, I can tell you bought that argument without you even having read it. No research required.

And something exotic-yet-familiar for the ears! Here’s a brainfood tune I think some of you will have seen and heard before, but I keep coming back to it. There’s some kind of metaphor going on with this. It’s a tune that is gibberish, designed to sound as if it’s sung in English. This is what our pop tunes sound like to non-English speakers, apparently. And… I kind of like it.

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228 Comments »

  1. Armyofnone says:

    No link to the Jonathan Blow article?

  2. brog says:

    items #2 and #3 are missing links!

  3. alisdair says:

    Time To Grow Up on Gamasutra.

    • Oozo says:

      Cross-reading between this piece by Adam Bishop, the attack on Notch and the somewhat over-sensitive reactions on Quinn’s “New Vegas”-Wot I Think, this Sunday seems to be one of those days that make me put on my thinking head, deeply contemplating the state of the industry, the community and my place in it…

    • Oozo says:

      But then again, there’s Adriana Celentano, making me do my crazy dance moves, and my thinking head goes flying off!!!

    • Urael says:

      Judas priest…! i just sat and went through the 600+ comment thread on the :FO: New Vegas article. I won’t be doing that again – my blood pressure won’t stand for it. If the decline of RPS is anywhere it’s in the bloody comments section!

      Adam Bishop’s article also got me riled up. I detest sexism. Reading about a company handling it so badly, as in ‘not at all’, made me quite angry. It certainly wouldn’t last long in the company I work for.

    • randomnine says:

      @Urael: Blimey, yes. I work at a ~200 person games studio, and the only single instance of possible sexual harassment I can recall in five years resulted in an extremely stern company wide email.

      I’m reading “Time To Grow Up” and this place needs to be named and shamed. The culture sounds horrific.

    • randomnine says:

      On reflection, most of this stuff would be massively illegal in England anyway!

  4. Wilson says:

    The Minecraft DDOS thing is interesting, but do we have any confirmation at all that the people claiming responsibility have anything to do with it? It seems odd to me that the kind of people able to do a DDOS attack would care about an indie game. I don’t know much about what you need for such an attack though, so please feel free to point out why I’m being silly.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      You seem to be implying that DDOS requires any kind of effort or skill these days.

      All you need is a bunch of bored 4channers and away you go.

    • Starky says:

      Indeed, it is as easy as downloading a little app and asking people to run it – quite sad really.

      Still, the level of retardation in DDOSing a 1 man indie dev to demand that he work harder on his game is mind blowing.

      Personally if I was Notch/Markus I’d just have a holiday – post publicly that the next update is getting delayed a week because of this DDOS (and the holiday needed to relieve stress).

      As a owner of Minecraft I’d happily wait an extra week, just to send a massive screw you to these utter idiots.

    • Wilson says:

      Ah, fair enough. I thought we would hear about more DDOS attacks if it was so easy to do. It might be amusing if Notch delayed the update in response (though it would be awful to wait longer, it would be a good message).

    • Mil says:

      I’m also an owner of Minecraft, but when I paid the 10€ I did it on the basis of what was already implemented, rather than on Notch’s promises of continuing free updates for game owners. To be honest I don’t see how he’s going to keep that promise for very long when sales start to dry up. Not that that makes breaking the promise ok, of course.

      Anyway, I disagree that he should “punish” the DDoS-ers by withholding updates for a while. That also unjustifiably hurts the rest of his customers, which will inevitably create a backslash among them, and so to some extent it’s cutting his nose to spite his face.

      Justice is better served by not punishing the innocent than by punishing the guilty.

    • Dominic White says:

      The brain-smashing idiocy of it all is highlighted by these facts:

      Notch had already announced he was working on a major update – possibly the biggest Minecraft had ever seen.

      The attack comes mid-development on this update, causing him to waste a day or two DDoS-proofing his servers.

      Development of the update has slowed, and now will probably have less content/features than he had originally intended.

      Knowing these idiots, they’ll likely try to launch another attack because he slowed down because of their first attack.

    • Mistabashi says:

      I’m surprised so many people seem to be taking these claims so seriously – it’s all based around someone’s claims on 4chan….

      While it’s very easy to download and run the kind of script that’s used in DDoS attacks, that’s only one part of the process – a few people hitting the server would have no noticeable impact and it would be easy to just block their IP’s anyway. For a DDoS to work you have to get it running on at least a few thousand computers, which means distributing it via some kind of trojan. And that’s something you can’t just download – not one that will get past enough anti-virus software to actually work.

      Doesn’t sound like the work of deranged Minecraft fans to me.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      If we’re taking anonymous people’s word for it, I find this guy’s claims a lot more plausible than 4chan’s.

    • hitnrun says:

      The debate over “why” or “whether” in this case seems besides the point. People – particularly people who frequent 4chan – do stuff like this for exactly one reason: because they can. It’s sort of similar to the debate over software piracy. Pirates erect the rhetorical towers about bad games and hating certain companies, but (with the possible exception of truly insane DRM schemes that punish legit buyers) people do illegal things anonymously because they can. And the sort of person who does things because he can doesn’t need an excuse.

      Rest assured Minecraft, which penetrated the Internet’s consciousness about 15 minutes ago, has not been out so long as to create a grassroots rebellion of angry customers outraged over wasting their 10 $/£ investment.

    • Urthman says:

      when I paid the 10€ I did it on the basis of what was already implemented, rather than on Notch’s promises of continuing free updates for game owners.

      It astonishes me that even rational-sounding people like yourself have such a broad misunderstanding of the whole Minecraft deal.

      You’re not buying the game as implemented. You’re pre-ordering a game that has not been released yet–just like pre-ordering a book on Amazon–except that as a bonus, you get to fool around with some alpha code that is guaranteed to be unfinished, buggy, not-optimized, and broken in places until the actual game gets released.

      The fact that this unfinished alpha is already better and more fun than most finished games is probably behind most of the confusion.

    • Mil says:

      @Urthman:

      Same difference, surely? I fail to see the point of the distinction you’re making.

    • Simon says:

      @Urthman

      I believe his point was that yes, the payment is a preorder of an unfinished game, but he himself chose to pay because it is fun now.

    • Urthman says:

      The point is that Notch hasn’t promised continuing updates, or any updates whatsoever, other than the finished game whenever it is done.

      He hasn’t promised that the current alpha will keep working without interruption between now and then. He hasn’t promised updates every week. He’s made announcements–like the fact that he’s going to share his current work-in-progress on October 30–but when you pre-ordered the game he didn’t promise to release a new work-in-progress every month or anything like that.

      If the Minecraft server goes down and you can’t play multiplayer, or if his latest update breaks the alpha, you might be understandably annoyed, but Notch hasn’t broken any promises and you have no real right to complain.

    • Simon says:

      No, Notch didn’t do any of those things. But what you say doesn’t change the (admittedly subjective) fact that Minecraft is fun right now and that is why some people choose to pay, myself included. I’ve already had £8 worth of fun out of Minecraft and I don’t regret my preorder in the slightest. Am I looking forward to the completed game? Yes, I am, but I’m also enjoying it in it’s current state.

    • Urthman says:

      Simon, that’s fine as long as it doesn’t lead you to misunderstandings like this one that I was responding to:

      when I paid the 10€ I did it on the basis of what was already implemented, rather than on Notch’s promises of continuing free updates for game owners. To be honest I don’t see how he’s going to keep that promise for very long when sales start to dry up. Not that that makes breaking the promise ok, of course.

      There is no such promise. Notch hasn’t broken any promises except for the ones that people have made up in their own heads.

    • Mil says:

      @Urthman:

      Um, I see. My mistake, although I’m pretty sure I didn’t come up with that idea all by myself. Can’t remember where I got it from though.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      “Start providing your customers with the updates that you promise them.”

      comes from link

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    I still love that track. English sounds awesome!

    KG

  6. Gassalasca says:

    The down side of having a person of Jim’s tastes run Sunday Papers is that, although I enjoy the final link each week far more, the chances are I’ve already seen it.
    Kieron mayt have linked to rubbish, but it was exciting, new, titillating rubbish. -_-

  7. the wiseass says:

    Great music video, once you’ve overcome your first “WTF” reaction. The new music-video reign pleases me. Anyway, onwards to my arguments:

    1. I don’t think all market research is wrong. If that were true then we could not explain why mediocre soulless products designed for the mass market are selling so well. COD:MW2, Joe McElderry from XFactor and Cameron’s Avatar com to mind, just to name a few diversified examples. Market research works for mass audiences as well as certain gullible target groups, like the Twilight-Crowd. Market research allows you to effectively sell a crappy product with a high benefice margin and the sad thing is, it works. Sure, it doesn’t work on everybody especially not if they are blessed with the rare gift of critical thinking (I doubt most of the RPS crowd would make a good target audience) but it work well enough for many other people. To deny this would only be wishful thinking, sadly.

    2. I doubt the sexism thing is something that is inherent to the games industry. Something like this
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/08/activision-ceo-kotick-loses-battle-with-top-hollywood-litigator.html
    Could happen in every other industry too. Some people are just natural assholes, it’s simply the way it is.

    • the wiseass says:

      – “…like Penny Arcade’s recently released t-shirt suggesting that rapists are a sports team that people should cheer for…”

      By the way, FUCK YOU Adam Bishop. Penny Arcade has done more charity work with their Child’s Play initiative than you ever will and I respect them for that (and their impeccable webcomic of course). By rhe way, here is the strip this shirt relates to, simply to put things into perspective:

      http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/8/11/

      Dear Mr. Bishop if you can’t tell the difference between satire and reality then you should stop writing! I’m sick of people telling me what I should find funny and what I shouldn’t. I’m a grown up person, I play violent video games, I adore George Carlin, I sometimes watch porn AND I occasionally enjoy a random dickwolve joke. Does that make me a violent rapist? FUCK NO! (My GF would not approve anyway.)

      What are you? FOX news?

    • Xercies says:

      Ok he got one thing wrong or he didn’t detect the satire. But I agree with what he was getting at. Hes not taking on or two things out of context and saying thats rubbish. hes seeing a wholel oad of things from various sources, yes it may be satire but if loads of other people are meaning it then that satire is still part of the problem. I really felt that the people because they were doing it all he time were really bad, some of the things they said individually sometimes were alright(in maybe a jokey risque sense) but because it was part of a whole load of things they get lost in the noise and it just comes out as misogynistic.

    • Jack says:

      1. Penny Arcade’s charity work is entirely unrelated to their jokes about rape.

      2. No-one is suggesting that reading a comic that makes jokes about rape will turn you into a rapist.

      3. Whenever a victim of sexual abuse experiences something that reminds them of that abuse, they have what’s called a “Trigger” – a vivid moment of panic similar to the flashbacks war survivors somtimes have. A trigger can leave them anxious, give them a panic attack, make them feel like throwing up, generally ruin their day etc. Needless to say, it’s not something anyone wants to experience while reading a funny comic about video games on the internet. Penny Arcade made a comic which could provoke those terrible feelings in victims of sexual abuse. When they complained, instead of listening, Penny Arcade made another comic and a T-shirt design making fun of them.

      4. Fuck you, penny arcade.

      You can read more about why people objected etc here, if you’re interested- I somehow doubt you are.

      http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=2968

    • the wiseass says:

      If we would forbid every speech, image, text or joke that could theoretically offend somebody then we would essentially forbid ALL forms of human expression. Making jokes about rape, religion, political views, minorities, blondes DOES NOT make you a bad person. And it DOES NOT imply that you endorse these kind of things.

      If you can’t make that difference, then you should stop playing violent video games, because it’s essentially the same line of argument. It does strike my with astonishment that gamers are willing to defend their right to play violent video games, but completely neglect the same problem on other levels, such as this one (eg. Penny Arcade).

      P.S.: The Child’s Play charity work is related in the sense that it gives me a good perspective on what values Penny Arcade stands for. They are heavily engaged in charity, they organize a wildly popular Expo each year and they happen to have a good sense of humor. Despite these facts people present that single strip as if the creators would endorse rape, which is completely fucking INSANE!

      Penny Arcade also features strips where people are getting brutally hurt, shot or killed. Does that mean they are murderers? OF COURSE NOT! And here suddenly nobody does think about the real people that might get offended by these strips because they have been hurt or shot in real life.

      Would somebody please think of the poor police-man that got shot once on duty and now suffers from nasty flashbacks because he happen to stumble upon a strip of penny arcade or an image of counter-strike?

      Come on, get real. Bunch of hypocrites.

    • the wiseass says:

      Also that borderhouse article is the very definition of that hypocrisy an insanity mentioned in above comment. “Profiting off of rape culture”, really? This is just ridiculous.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Jack: “A trigger can leave them anxious, give them a panic attack, make them feel like throwing up, generally ruin their day etc.”

      I suffer from a severe case of hypochondria. Does that mean I’ve got the right to forbid every single medicinal website on the web? No. Does that mean I’ve got the right to forbid every panic inducing story published anywhere? Of course not! Does it mean I can tell old people on the train talking about their illnesses to shut up? Fuck, no! Even if that means another useless medicinal check at the hospital for me to put my mind at ease? Still a big fucking NO!

      Instead I try to work on my self, to overcome my problem or to steer clear form content that would be inappropriate for me. It’s called taking responsibility for yourself and to be proud about it. I don’t need an idiot on a moral high horse to defend me. I’m a grown up, I can do that by myself.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Jack

      Yes, rape is terrible (beit real rape or being raped by mythical creatures like Dickwolves), but gosh, it should be clear that Penny Arcade does not condone rape in any way. If you can’t make jokes ented on rape, does that also mean you should stop making jokes about murder, violent assault, theft, bankrupcy, loss of a loved one, and so much more? All those things have (potential for) traumatic connotations. I know it’s easy for someone who has not gone through a rape (ie me) to say that it should be possible to make jokes on the subject, but still.

      It’s comedy. A lot of comedy is built on human tragedy. That is the human condition. Depending on the general tone of the backlash PA received (sincerely worrying e-mails or, more likely, raging ‘you can’t make of topic X you criminals!!’ e-mails) I can understand them taking it a step further in the ridicule. As tough as it may be for the people they target, extremely crude and insenstive comedy like say South Park has probably done more for exposing the sensibilities in today’s world than any other observers.

    • the wiseass says:

      Yes, south park is a great example. It’s also an example of what would be forbidden, otherwise.

    • Jack says:

      Ok, I wrote a huge thing down there that got lost in the reply system, but I just wanted to respond with one thing.

      Can we please get away from the idea that I’m saying anyone who makes a joke about rape is condoning it? I’m saying that making a joke about rape makes rape victims feel really shitty, and maybe it’s nice to try and consider their feelings once in a while.And when someone deliberately decides to tell them “Fuck off, your complaints are stupid and irrelevant” in a comic…

      It’s a dick move.

    • Rinox says:

      Perhaps. Like I said, it depends a lot on the tone of the reactions they got. Without being able to know what the PA think and feel, I do assume that they wouldn’t have made that comic if it had been people with sincere concerns writing in to ask them to take consideration on the plight on rap victims. More likely, the majority will have been knee-jerk reactions from people like Mr. Bishop who seems to have lost the ability to distinguish parody and reality.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Jack: Then why did you link to that borderhouse article that clearly states Penny Arcade is supporting a “culture of rape”? It’s exactly these over-dramatic and tabloid articles that provoke such a reaction, because in their endless rage they show absolutely no reasoned thinking at all. That is what I call a “dick move”.

    • Jack says:

      Here’s the reactions and Penny Arcade’s stance straight from the horse’s mouth, if you want it.

      http://danbruno.net/blog/2010/08/apologies-apologia/

      Excerpt:

      cwgabriel @rudniculous Some people seem to work really hard so that they can be mad. Life is too short.

      rudniculous @cwgabriel Rape survivors aren’t necessarily mad, it’s just that coming across triggering depictions can cause them significant trauma.

      cwgabriel @rudniculous the idea that our cartoon could cause “significant trauma” is bat shit fucking insane. I’m done talking about this.

      rudniculous @cwgabriel (1/2) I’m sorry you feel that way. But I’m sure you you’ve had something awful happen to you or someone close to you, and I’m

      rudniculous @cwgabriel (2/2) sure you’d rather others not joke about or make light of it; especially those you look up to.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Jack: That does not invalidate in ANY WAY what I’ve stated above. Gabe is right, we can’t cater to everybody’s psychological and mental state, because that would imply to not express yourself at all anymore (eg. my example).

      Besides, there are plenty other movies depicting rape in a more graphical way. Clockwork Orange comes to mind. Does that mean we should ban that utterly brilliant movie? Seriously?

    • Jack says:

      Getting a bit sick of this discussion, because it seems like it’s turning into a mindless “Yes it is/No it isn’t!” roundabout. Well.

      I was actually replying to Rinox, sorry- he was talking about Penny Arcade’s reaction, so I linked him to it. I didn’t see your comment until I posted that.

      Clockwork orange isn’t an apt analogy. It’s a serious film that’s making a point, and has a ratings label on the front clearly saying ” RATED XYZ for Implied Rape”. It’s not something anyone would accidentally stumble across while looking for a quick laugh.

      I don’t have a problem with the original comic. I have a problem with their reaction to the complaints. The first comic is making a joke about MMO quests. The second comic, and the T-Shirt, is making a joke about offended rape victims.

      Wearing that kind of T-shirt around a convention effectively says “If you’re offended by rape jokes, get out.” The T-Shirt design, as an abstract concept, is fine- but nothing exists in a vacuum. It’s a reference to the scandal, and belittles and makes fun of those offended.

      I’ll go to your Hypochondria example. It’s like you accidentally stumbled across a hypochondriac joke in your favorite comic. When you emailed the comic saying you were a bit offended, they made another comic making fun of you. And then a T-shirt.

    • the wiseass says:

      The world doesn’t revolve around me, so why would I be offended if I stumbled upon content that triggered a negative response in me? Thousands upon thousands of other people however are enjoying that particular content, so why would I want to ban them from that pleasure?

      Being hypochondriac is an unfortunate personal problem that has got nothing to do with other people. Being sensitive to sexual references because one was raped, is to blame on the criminal alone and not on some random comic creators that have nothing to do with it. BLAME THE FUCKING RAPIST! It’s not Penny Arcade’s fault if somebody got raped just like it’s nobody’s fault that I’m sensitive to medical conditions.

      Penny Arcade did not make fun of rape victims. They made fun of the overly excessive and abusive tone some angry zealots were applying because they felt negatively touched by a harmless comic strip. If you really think that “dickwolve jokes” should oblige that comic to get an “over 18″ rating like a porn site, than you need to get your sanity checked. I’m sorry that I have to be that harsh, but I’m getting tired of talking against a brick wall.

      Besides, how is Clockwork Orange different in how it affects people or might cause unpleasant memory flashbacks in rape victims? It’s not different at all. Only because the movie has a dark undertone and the comic has a humorous one does not make this any different. Especially if the creators of the webcomic clearly did not condone rape in any possible way.

    • stahlwerk says:

      I was offended on the internet and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

    • Jack says:

      @ the_wiseass – It really does make a difference. Clockwork orange clearly warns people that it will deal with rape, and anyone that will be offended or have a panic attack can leave. Putting rape in a silly video-game comic is just like an ambush. It leaps out at someone when they’re unprepared.

      I know it’s fine for someone to make a joke that will offend you. The important part of the analogy is that they ignored the fact that you were offended, and decided to make a joke at your expense.

      Look, here’s my analogy. You’re with a bunch of friends, and you tell a yo momma joke about someone in the circle. Everyone laughs, and the conversation continues. All is fine.

      Later, that person comes up to you in private and tells you that their mom actually died last year. They ask you to consider them, and avoid making that kind of joke around them.

      In the next conversation you have with that group of friends, you make another Yo Momma joke that’s worse than the last.

      I think that really sums it up. Making offensive jokes is fine. Ignoring someone’s feelings is not. You seem to be under the impression that the complaints came from crazy moral guardian zealots who just hate youngsters having fun. They were just made by people, dude. Ignoring them and making fun of them is a dick move.

    • the wiseass says:

      @stahlwerk: Please, think of the rape victims. Apologize, NAO! :P

    • Joe says:

      @ the wiseass

      “forbid”? No one one was talking about censorship until you brought it up.

      Those of us on the humane side of the argument are simply saying that we expect better from PA.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Jack: If you haven’t seen Clockwork Orange you can’t know there is a rape scene involved just like the thousands of other movies where such scenes are depicted. The first time I watched this movie, I did not know there was a rape scene. And I’ve seen plenty other movies since that did the same in different contexts.

      If you publish a freely available comic on the Internet, you cannot choose which people may read your comic unlike your friends circle.

      @Joe: What do you suggest then? An apology for something that the creators of the comic clearly did not intend? That they stop ever using the word “rape” in their future comics? Tell me, what do you expect?

      What Penny Arcade did was answer in personal mails to sincere replies (something that us internet men do not see form the outside) and make fun of the rest of the angry internet men doing their thing yet again.

      Now gentlemen, if you’d excuse me. I think I’ve said it all there is to say and I’ve got other things to attend to. Thanks for the discussion.

    • Joe says:

      @ the wiseass

      Ask a question, then immediately decline to discuss the matter further. Nice play.

      Nonetheless, to clarify: I really don’t expect anything from them at this stage. Too damn late to apologise. Frankly, they are in a pit and should stop digging.

      What I’m saying is, it’s disappointing to see them act like defensive, entitled adolescents. I know that Tycho likes to fan the flames but this goes beyond the usual tinytown gamer issues. As someone who gives a shit, it’s disheartening to find out that the PA guys, who I otherwise respect, clearly don’t. That’s what I mean by “we expect better”.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Joe: I’ve been discussing this all day long now. I’m sure it’s understandable that I’d like to call it quits at some point. But as it seems, I keep crawling back. It doesn’t change the fact tough, that you didn’t even try to answer my question. Did you really expect an apology for something that the creators did not intend? Don’t be ridiculous.

      And yes, I’ve definitely had enough of this now. You may keep raging on without me, sorry.

    • the wiseass says:

      Concerning your snide remark about my questions: do you know the concept of rhetorical questions?
      /rhetorical

    • Jack says:

      An apology would have been lovely, but I wouldn’t have expected it. At the very least, though, they could have not hit out at the people who asked for one.

    • hitnrun says:

      I can see how the rape joke is offensive, but I don’t see how anyone can reasonably complain, or what suggestions complaints might entail. Penny Arcade should be less offensive? Penny Arcade is nothing but offensive. Gabe and Tycho are just a couple assholes who play videogames. They never pretended to be anything different. We – gamers – have propped them into this quasi-reputable status with our insecure need to promote ourselves, to venerate people with similar interests who seem cool.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @ Jack

      I can certainly agree with that sentiment. I don’t think an apology was necessary, but actively making fun of those looking for one seemed to be going too far. It also didn’t make for a particularly entertaining/funny comic.

      I did think the original was hilarious, though. Perhaps for me it’s as simple as the Roger Rabbit rule.

    • Mil says:

      Making fun of those looking for an apology reminds me of this.

    • Lilliput King says:

      That was majestic. Cheers, Mil.

    • Urthman says:

      Gabe and Tycho are just a couple assholes who play videogames. They never pretended to be anything different.

      The whole point of the article Jim linked to is that it’s really time to condemn the whole “You can’t expect gamers not to be assholes” attitude.

    • Erica says:

      I have to say from the sentence in the Adam Bishop article I actually thought he was referring to something else (link below).

      It wasn’t until I clicked the t-shirt link that I remembered the comic strip. I didn’t find the original strip funny (so what), but did find the second one pretty tasteless, and the t-shirt downright gross, mostly because of this:

      http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-rights/blog/cheerleader-kicked-off-squad-for-refusing-to-cheer-for-rapist/

      The t-shirt probably isn’t going to cause widespread harm, as it’s a fairly obscure reference. The thing is, its not a reference to something you’d really want to applaud, is it? I don’t understand the shirt.

      Rape isn’t beyond the realms of social commentary and humour. I might wince any time a comedian makes a rape joke, but since I found cat bin lady pretty hilarious, I acknowledge that there is an element of hypocrisy in my boundaries. But normalising rape is worrying. Letting it become an in-joke is wrong. Because it’s not funny. Even if dickwolves might be. Just a little.

  8. meh says:

    Oh, joy. More navel-gazing “women in gaming / men are evil pigs” discussion. There certainly isn’t enough of that on the endless sea of pretentious gaming sites out there already.

    By the way. Women make up 54% of the population. That’s a 20% advantage over the number of men. If you don’t like something – do something about it. Those big evil terrible men are a minority. Organize and make some changes.

    • Robert Florence says:

      Wow.

    • Mil says:

      I stopped reading that article at “Penny Arcade’s recently released t-shirt suggesting that rapists are a sports team that people should cheer for”. If you don’t take your readers seriously enough to even affect a modicum of objectivity, chances that you have something worth listening to are pretty damn scarce.

    • Lambchops says:

      Golly. His maths is bloody terrible isn’t it!

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Sadly the total mass of men is 30% more than the total mass of women. It’s size that counts, see.

    • Mil says:

      @Lambchops: 54/46 = 1.1739…, or a 17.4% “advantage”. Doesn’t seem so “bloody terrible” to me.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Glad you wrote that so I didn’t have to. The question that should be asked is “when women behave badly or do things that negatively impact males is there ever any tortured handwringing about it in feminist or mainstream circles (and by said womenfolk in particular) ?”

      There is a two letter answer for that.

      Now that company, provided the article is true, is run by morons who deserve the lawsuits that it will inevitably get. Extrapolating it to gaming itself has little merit as most things when painted with a broad brush are.

      Do women never mock men for playing games? We know they do. How about some balance? If you’re going to keep talking about the “gender gap” in gaming turn a critical eye to the distaff side as well. The unspoken commentary is “why do men suck” when we know that everyone sucks. I would rather see more commentary about attempts at unionization in the industry and treatment of workers in general. Seems like since EA_spouse most of the spotlight is off those topics which is a real shame.

      Frankly I would think the ridiculous amount of crunch time would be a far bigger turn off to women entering the field than anything else. Any woman having attended college, high school or even walking down the street has had to deal with “unwanted” attention. Guys are told to grow a thicker skin since birth – why shouldn’t women have to do the same?

      Now I will go smack the woman I have tied up in the corner except when she is cooking me food or giving me blowjobs, you know my personal chattel. Clearly women are always victims.and never ever victimizers. Oh wait, both Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina are running in my state.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Not sure what else to expect from someone calling themselves ‘meh’, but you can take your apathy and go to sleep on it WHILE THE REST OF US REALISE THAT CALLING PEOPLE OUT IS THE FIRST STAGE OF ‘ORGANISING AND MAKING SOME CHANGES’. Jesus.

    • Lewis Denby says:

      “Women make up 54% of the population. That’s a 20% advantage over the number of men.”

      I haven’t been awake for very long, but, um, come again?

    • Starky says:

      As Mil said above 54/46 = 1.1739, or 17.4%
      There are 17.4% more women on the planet then there are men.

    • Mil says:

      Checking the “20% advantage” claim again, while his maths are fine, his facts appear to be wrong. According to CIA world factbook the difference is more like 3%.

    • Lewis Denby says:

      It’s a convolution of figures to come up with a more impressive statistic, though. We’re talking percentages. If there are 100 people, and 54 are women, there are eight more women than men. That’s the only number that matters.

    • Starky says:

      Seems indeed that the percentage is almost exactly 50% so yes, that 17.4% is just not true.

    • Starky says:

      Erm, Denby although the 54% has proven not to be true, that is NOT a manipulation of figures it is basic maths (GCSE level at that).

      46 * 17.4% = 56

      It is simple as that. It’s not manipulation to sound more impressive, it is simple numerical fact.

    • Starky says:

      equals 54 even… typo :)

    • Starky says:

      Oh and the link… if anyone is interested…
      https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html

      Under people > sex ratio > total population.

    • Lambchops says:

      @ Mil

      I know it wasn’t that far out – I was only looking for a cheap gag at my own expense at pretending to miss the point at the reaction to Meh’s initial post and 2.6% seemed like a good enough excuse for me!

      I hereby apologise for initiating some fairly needless debate – but at least we found the facts were wrong in the first place.

    • Lewis Denby says:

      But it’s not that there used to be 46 of something and now there are 54! You’re not measuring a percentage increase! You’re measuring a difference in number between two things, in which case you don’t need to do that sum. Surely! I’m not at all good at mathematics, so there’s a chance I’m talking utter nonsense, but I don’t think I am!

    • Lambchops says:

      @ Denby

      To be honest his problem is more with English than maths. Strictly he should have said there’s “20% more women than men” rather than saying there’s a “20% advantage” which I think most people tend to associate with politics and having a 20 point advantage in the polls (which of course would be a 60/40 split).

      However that is all just needless pedantry. So to all intents and purposes it’s easy enough to tell what he meant, which is the basic maths people have described above.

      Again I’m sorry for kicking this off!

    • Mil says:

      @Denby: I’m not sure if this is unclear, but the (fake) 17.4% number is the gender difference compared to the number of males. You could also compare it to the number of females or to the general population (mixed females and males); all three are interesting of their own merits. I see nothing sinister there.

    • Starky says:

      That 17.4% would be the difference though – not an increase.
      If A is 46 and B is 54
      There are 17.4% more B than A.

      Or to put it another way the ratio of A:B is 1:1.174

      It is an important sum to know how to do, because way to many people look at say 46% vs 54% and go “Oh that is a 8% difference” it’s not – it’s a 17% difference.
      46% is 8% less than 54% yes, but you can’t reduce 54 by 8% and get 46 (54 minus 8% is 50 – well 49.68 to be exact).

      A confusion caused by the fact people forget a percentage is a ratio, not a number.

      A moot point as the 54% in the first post is false, but anyway…

    • Starky says:

      Simply put, you don’t add and subtract percentages, you multiply and divide them.

    • Xercies says:

      Wow i don’t think I have ever seen a sexism argument turn into an argument on maths and percentages.

      I love RPS!

    • NukeLord says:

      Before even needing to get into the maths of it your point is wrong, as Wikipedia points out:

      “A sociological minority is not necessarily a numerical minority — it may include any group that is subnormal with respect to a dominant group in terms of social status, education, employment, wealth and political power.”

    • Starky says:

      Oh Nukelord, you failed buddy… we were ignoring his clearly silly opinion by focusing on the maths :)

    • CMaster says:

      Denby, perhaps this will help you understand:
      Imagine you got the entire human race together on the great plains or somewhere similar.
      You then split them into men and women (the original post seems to imply this would be followed by a massive battle)
      The group of women would be 17.4% larger than the group of men. (well, except it wouldn’t because the 54/46 split is wrong, but there you go).

    • sfury says:

      Wow, where is this “women 54% to men 46%” ratio you’re talking about, certainly not on Earth – https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html?countryName=World&countryCode=xx&regionCode=oc&#xx – 1.001 males for 1 female

      The only place I know that has a 54% to 46% ratio is Ukraine but that’s mostly because their 65 years and over citizens are 0.49 male(s) for 1 female so that ain’t no paradise either… ;)

    • sfury says:

      Actually I just found out the same statistic is true for Russia, man did WW2 hit em hard!

      Oh the bliss to be a man in a country so short on the likes of you for the first years after the war and be part of the developing communis… oh wait.

    • sfury says:

      On the other side – Qatar – total population: 1.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.). What’s with the sausage-fest? :}

    • Lilliput King says:

      Okay, Kieron. I know you’re reading this, and I want you to know that you’ve won.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      How about we stop generalizing and meet each person based on their merits rather than any personal criteria?

      In other words, stop being humans.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Forgive me if this is out of place – following the threads on this page is nigh impossible. Is any kind of threading being looked at? Perhaps slashdot style?

      Last words ever on the Adam Bishop article – How old is the guy? Does he not realize that it is his own actions that caused what appears to be 90% of the problems at the company that he cites? Does he have a sense of humor? Just a lazy, lame article by a guy that refuses to see his own part in things and has probably never worked in a predominantly female – or even a balanced workplace superimposing his own bullshit on the proceedings.

  9. Moo says:

    Jonathan Blow: human beings like oral stimulation.

    That’s what she said.

  10. pupsikaso says:

    Notch has more than enough money now to pay whatever fees required to have the FBI crack down on the attacker and throw them in jail. If I was him I’d do just that.
    But I’m actually not even surprised that this attack happened. If you had read the comments on his blog whenever he talks about an update, you’d see just how retarted some people are over there.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      How much does the FBI cost? I might need it to fight my cyber-enemies!

    • Starky says:

      Just mention 1 words “cyberterrorism” and the FBI will pay YOU (with money from American tax payers)…

      Not even joking, I know a business here in the North-East of England that sold mainly to US interests (drug manufacture) that suffered a DDOS, and the FBI sent over 3 experts to install new equipment and end the threat. Totally free.

      The downside of course is that business is under strict FDA approval and monitoring.

    • Deston says:

      There are several flexible donation plans available Jim, depending on the man power and level of service you would like to support.

      A small selection of Boots sunglasses, cheap black cotton ties and some toy earpieces will cloth an agent for a week. A wholesale crate of Crispy Creme donuts will keep 3 agents fed for a month. A knuckle duster and some electrode clamps will allow an entire team of federal po-po to extract information from potential suspects for years.

      Please, just give whatever you can afford and adopt an FBI field agent, and you can make a real difference in US cyber law enforcement today.

    • Starky says:

      1 word even…

    • Unaco says:

      @Jim…

      If you have to ask, then you can’t afford them. The ATF on the other hand… As long as they get to shoot at people, they’ll probably do it for free.

    • Nick says:

      They are all about drinking smoking and shooting people after all.

    • randomnine says:

      @Jim: The FBI costs $200 to activate, but first you need to draw the appropriate event card.

  11. Lambchops says:

    Jim, I kind of like that song too. think it’s the trumpet.

    As for the articles; with that meta analysis thing I’d like to hear what somebody with a statistical background thinks of the methodology they’ve applied. After all if we (quite rightly) scrutinise all the ‘video games are evil’ pieces of research then it’s only fair that a critical eye should be passed over the positive research as well. I’m certianly not the one to do it as i only know extremely basic statistics. That aside, i do think that games as teaching aids definitely have a place. My typing would not be anywhere near as good without Mavis Beacon and I can’t see what ill playing the likes of Zoombinis did to me!

    The Minecraft thing is, as summed up nicely in the linked article, completely fucking ridiculous. I also like the Neil Blog post on entitlement that someone linked to int he comments there. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html

    As for the time to Grow up Article I feel that like any workplace, it’s all about context and familiarity. When you know people better and know where the boundaries lie then a bit of risque humour or teasing banter among friends is all well and to the good. However when it’s a work aquiantance you vaguely know then crossing the line is just innappropriate (and rather odd). The “get me a sandwich” stuff is just bullying and not acceptable under any circumstances and is the kind of thing that bosses should give their employees a proper dressing down for. It’s all fun when a joke in inclusive and everyone is part of it – but many of the instances mentioned in that article just didn’t fit that description. However a workplace with no banter at all is a dull workplace indeed.

    I’m glad things have worked out for Frictictional. I really enjoyed (read was rather frightened by!) Amnesia and am really looking forward to seeing what they come up with in the future. Good to hear someone sounding so optimistic and clearly enjoying making games.

    • Lambchops says:

      I seem to have invented a fictional person called Neil Blog. As opposed to author Neil Gaiman and his blog. Which is what i meant.

    • cliffski says:

      I’m changing my name to Neil Blog.

    • Guildenstern says:

      George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.

      This is awesome.

    • DiamondDog says:

      That whole situation with George R. R. Martin was the reason this Minecraft story in no way surprised me. It induced rage, certainly, but it wasn’t surprising. There we had a bunch of people willing to fly off the handle just because an author sat down and enjoyed watching a sports game instead of chaining himself to his computer.

      I mean, we don’t know if that statement is authentic. Problem is it sounds like something an Angry Internet Person would do.

      Notch is not your bitch.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Notch is not your bitch.

      Ha.

    • Baines says:

      There is a difference between Notch and Martin.

      I think Martin has given fans reasons to be upset. He has made promises that he didn’t meet and statements that do make it sound like he can’t be bothered to write books that he simultaneously says that he is writing. I remember Robert Asprin wrote an apology to fans when it took him years to release the next Myth book after unwisely promising to write two per year.

      If you want a Minecraft version of Martin’s Song of Fire & Ice, then you’d need something more like:

      2010 Notch promises Minecraft full release will be complete by Dec 2010.
      2011 Minecraft is still in Alpha. Notch says the final results are much too big, and full release will have to be delayed. He might even have to split it into two games.
      2012 Minecraft is still in Alpha. Notch says he forgot what kind of game he was making and had to start over.
      2013 Minecraft is still in Alpha. Notch posts that Minecraft has become such big business that he spends his non-sports season time promoting it through interviews and tours and such. Notch later posts that he doesn’t code during sports season and doesn’t code during his Minecraft promotion season. When a fan asks Notch when he does code, Notch removes the reply option.
      2014-16 Minecraft is still in Alpha.
      2017 Minecraft Part I is released, and Part II is promised to be released in 2018. Part I looks like it needed some testers, and some of the new content is a bit shallow. With better project guidance, Part I would have only have been half a game anyway.
      2018-2035 Minecraft Part II has yet to see release. Every few years, Notch promises that he is still working on it and it will see release “soon.”

  12. CMaster says:

    Gotta love Kotaku’s excellent source checking “according to a post on 4Chan” – because noone on 4Chan has ever claimed responsibility for something nothing to do with them. No, not ever.

    • subedii says:

      Yeah I have to say that’s just out there. Notch himself was saying he doesn’t know who initiated it or for what reason.

      Kotaku are quoting a post from 4chan QUOTING someone saying that they were behind the attack. Which aside from the attack for those reasons making zero sense in the first freaking place, is the last place anyone ought to be addressing this. If Notch was targeted for this reason he would’ve received the freaking e-mail himself, sending the message via a 3rd party forum that the may not even see makes even less sense still.

      Unless we’re about to start suggesting that he actually did get a message and CONSPIRACY!, hit it from everyone for some reason that is even more inscrutable. Like maybe he feared SPACE GHOSTS were going to kidnap him in his sleep.

      Grief, this is like how every games news sight takes those “tell all insider blogs” of alleged and anonymous disgruntled employees seriously.

    • Mil says:

      Um, indeed, if a post in 4chan is all that Kotaku (and Rossignol here) are going on, this is pretty shoddy journalism.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I pointed out that it may not be true. Finding out who is at the source of cyber-attacks is also somewhat beyond my journalistic ken.

    • Lambchops says:

      Oh, for the return of Gillen’s journalistic Ryu.

    • CMaster says:

      I’m not arguing that the attacks might not be for the stated reason.
      However, 4Chan has a history of people claiming responsibility for all sorts of things that aren’t actually their doing. The post made offered no real evidence. It’s a pretty meaningless and silly thing to post really (which explains why it was on Kotaku I guess)

    • Mil says:

      @Rossignol: I’m not saying it’s your responsibility to find out who’s at the source of these attacks. But if the veracity of the news is pretty much unconfirmed, that should reflect more on how it’s reported than just throwing in an “if true”.

      Not saying it’s at the same level, but: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-september-13-2006/the-question-mark (hope that video can be seen in the UK).

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Still, reporting that someone has claimed responsibility for something, whether or not they really did it, is pretty much standard procedure for news, especially when there is no other evidence available.

    • Tom O'Bedlam says:

      @lambchops I lol’d :D

    • subedii says:

      Very well, I hereby declare, right here and exclusively on RPS, that I* was actually behind the DDOS attack. Although it was not for the reasons stated by Kotaku. I had no choice in the matter, Kieron Gillen blackmailed me into doing it or else he was going to strangle a kitten with his bare hands (mind you, I doubt he could have achieved that himself without some assistance, which implies that he had at least an 8-year old girl as his accomplice).

      He said something about it being revenge against Notch for generating so much publicity and detracting from the parade that was meant to take place on his departure.

      If anyone would like an interview, I’d be more than happy to share all the sordid details.

      *(Not really)

    • subedii says:

      For the sake of avoiding being completely flippant, I’ll just add that I don’t think it’s impossible that the DDOS attack was done by the stated anonymous individual for the stated reason. However, it’s pretty flimsy to start making it a big circus and start writing massive hand-wringing articles about.

      Heck, RPS did a post deriding precisely that kind of behaviour, going on about “Fart Cops”, Valve’s unjustly cancelled project. Perhaps I was mistaken, but wasn’t at least part of the point of that derision to do with how everyone was taking completely anonymous rants at face value and turning them into big news items?

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Kotaku think lurking on 4chan qualifies as research. Awesome.

    • MD says:

      Time to bust out some journalistic Chun-Li and get to the bottom of this.

  13. Jack says:

    The fact is, SOMEONE has to be doing it, and this is about the only possible motive I can imagine. Stupid as it is.

    • Jack says:

      uuurgh. @Wilson, of course.

    • Wilson says:

      @Jack – Mmm, it does boggle the mind that people can be so dumb (whether they did it or not, the reasoning is bizarre).

    • stahlwerk says:

      A different motive might have been that the perpetrator(s) wanted to force Notch to switch off activation again, as he did on the free weekend in September when the server had collapsed. That’d be not as evil, but just extremely stupid and free-loaderish.

    • cliffski says:

      or it could be money.
      Notch has basically put up a sign saying “this single server earns me $x an hour”. Everyone knows the level of money rolling in. That’s a big ‘extort me’ bullseye, to some people.

    • stahlwerk says:

      But does extortion really work on servers? I mean he could always move his site to another server, or to a cloud service* like amazon. How would paying a ransom be cheaper (in the long run) than moving to a more resilient server architecture?

      *) Disclaimer, I have only a slight grasp of Internet service architecture and most of my knowledge consists only of buzzwords.

    • Lacero says:

      @cliffski

      So, in these extortions I guess they threaten more money / more disruption if you call the police? That would mean an explantion is useful to keep them away, such as anonymous postings claiming “credit”.

      hmm

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Lacero: that kind of stuff happens all the time. You can rent time on a botnet if you so desire.

  14. Unaco says:

    Damn that song… I’m sure if I heard it when drunk it would make perfect sense to me.

    As for the whole Minecraft thing, I wasn’t aware of any DDoS attacks. I saw some of the rage, and general angry-internet-man tomfoolery/’asshattery’, after Notch announced the Halloween update… but I didn’t realise it had gotten that bad. If all true and what-not, that is pretty ridiculous. What would these people do if their mothers stopped bringing them Chicken-pot-pies down to their basements I wonder? Going to be an interesting read this afternoon I reckon.

  15. stahlwerk says:

    Adriano Celentano is the best kind of Celentano.

  16. Starky says:

    I love cubeland, such a blatant rip off it is spectacular – got to love the games industry, whenever something makes even a bit of success/money almost immediately afterwards 2-3 exact clones worm their way to the surface.

  17. Mil says:

    Oh and the link… if anyone is interested…
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html

    Under people > sex ratio > total population.

    @Starky: if only someone had already posted a link to the relevant CIA world factbook page a few comments earlier… :-P

  18. Lewie Procter says:

    Tim Ingham weighed in on the stuff that Pat was talking about too.

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=271091

    Good stuff.

    • Lambchops says:

      Side note to this. I await the day when American politiccians realisse that there’s actually a middle ground between having products freely available to all and essentiallly unfairly throttling their means of distribution.

      Certification (as practised in the UK) has its flaws but it does a decent enough job and helps put more responsibility on the parent to decide whether content is suitable for their kids; which is really where it should be.

      As for the “tabloid” behaviour of gaming press – I can’t help put notice it’s getting a bit more prevelant. For example the slew of articles on Eurogamer about the Kotick/Shafer slanging match seemed somewhat unneccessary and tiresome. Though I can certainly see why the gaming press laps up such stories when starved by generic responses from industry figures.

    • the wiseass says:

      Good stuff indeed. Unfortunately it’s a problem not only related to games, but to all sorts of journalism, especially politics.

  19. Unaco says:

    After reading the Minecraft articles… If it’s true, it’s ridiculous. Can these people really be so petulant, so self-absorbed, so narcissistic? We are talking about jack-o-lanterns in a game using 16×16 textures… and these people are trying to sound like Weather Underground or something.

    Notch should just cut & run… that’d teach them! Either cease all development (or slow it to a crawl) and sit back on his phat pile of loot… or sell up (making the pile of loot slightly phatter), preferably to Activision, or Bobby Kotick himself… or Mark Pincus… or Derek Smart. It would be just as childish and petulant as the people doing the DDoS’ing… but dayyum, ‘twould be the sort of thing Myths and Legends are made of.

    • Starky says:

      That would be bloody funny.

      It would be worth it to me, despite that I own and like the game – just for the rage it would cause.
      It would be epic.

      It would indeed become a legend in PC gaming.

    • Tom O'Bedlam says:

      That would be very funny (sad). “HI THERE, I’m Bobby Kotick and I’m here to take away your fun, monetise it and sell it back to you, Minecraft fans”

    • Matzerath says:

      He should definitely sell it to Derek Smart. I fully endorse that.

  20. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    Wow the VG247 article takes a whole lot of words to point out a very simple and obvious truth. Those in power be they in business or politics want the press to be a spineless cheerleader to their goals and opinions and if it ever dares to ask questions they admonish it severely.

    No one with power or influence wants a free press of any kind.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Disagree. The devs are being personally misrepresented by tabloid journos, who are admittedly only after shocking quotes. Being aware of how irresponsible the sensationalist media can be is not the same as manufacturing your own press. Manufacturing your own press would be something like getting a reviewer fired for writing a bad review.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by “manufacture their own press”. The only reason industry figures or powerful people in general communicate with the press is to push their own agenda. They don’t care about objectivity or anything else as long as exactly what they want to be said is said.

      The same is true of sensationalism, say Gears of War 3 is the best game ever in your headline and CliffyB isn’t going to be demanding you behave more responsibly.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      “Those in power be they in business or politics want the press to be a spineless cheerleader to their goals and opinions and if it ever dares to ask questions they admonish it severely” is what I meant by “manufacturing their own press.”

      With that in mind, I believe that when publishers and devs want to “manufacture their own press”, they put out a press release. Cliff and Ted were involved in a semi-casual dialogue, where off-the-cuff remarks should not be taken as the literal God’s-honest, let alone misrepresented as hostile attitudes towards others in the industry. The devs are trying to grant public access to information, and the journos decided to misrepresent that in order to create, in Garratt’s own words, conflict. This is yellow journalism, and defense of it is an insult to the field.

  21. Xercies says:

    I always new Market Research was wrong, I hated when companies would base there next product on market research. It always comes out half asssed and really not that great. Like market researched films are really really bad, and probably don’t have a script(though saying that Mike lee films don’t have scripts, how barmy is that?)

    I really feel the video games industry is probably one of the most sexists industries to work in ever, not saying other industries are not sexist or don’t have their problems. But yeah video games have got many stories of women being mistreated, and of course you got really rubbish video game women characters. And the obsession with boobies everywhere. Needs to be cleaned up definitely. And its an issue that won’t go away soon.

  22. Jack says:

    The issue is not that they made a joke about rape. I didn’t have a problem with the first comic they made – all it does is mention rape as a side-bit. They didn’t realize it would offend some people, hey, that’s fine. Edgy humour can’t go around trying not to offend every group out there. Yes, making a joke that offends someone does not make you a bad person.

    The problem is what they did when people told them that they personally had a bad experience with this comic. Instead of listening, or apologizing, or just letting the damn thing go, they made fun of them. They made a follow-up comic that smugly misrepresented their position, and then made a T-shirt that they will sell, that guys will wear, making fun of those who don’t enjoy jokes about rape.

    When you make a funny comic, I generally assume you want to make people feel happy, right? Warm, fuzzy, laughing off the day’s woes, whatever. I cannot understand why anyone would deliberately put something into such a comic that will make a portion of your viewers shaky, anxious, or remind them of a terrible experience. And then, once you realize your comic has done this, deciding to further the joke and have a laugh at the expense of those viewers? That’s a dick move, gents, no matter how you swing it.

    I agree, wiseass – making a joke about rape does not neccessarily make you a bad person. Making a joke about rape victims having a problem with your joke about rape – and then actually trying to make a PROFIT from that? That actually DOES make you a bad person, in my book. Or at least just ignorant.

    • Jack says:

      Fuck. @the wiseass and the big penny-arcade discussion up there.

    • the wiseass says:

      Same as above. What Penny Arcade basically did was make a joke about the over dramatic tone these raging zealots were applying, which is, in my opinion, perfectly understandable. In the same way, many American comedians make fun of FOX news because of that.

      Honestly, what are Penny Arcade to do? Stop ever mentioning the word “rape” in their comics? Take the strip offline? Apologizing? There is no need to apologize for something that was C.L.E.A.R.L.Y not your intention. Instead the zealots could have chosen to simply let it go, but no, they had to escalate the situation like so many times before.

      A couple of months ago South Park took an episode offline for making fun of Mohammed. Did that stop the death threads flying in? Surely not. For fucks sake, let people enjoy their dickwolve joke. People that do not like these kind of jokes simply should stay clear form that website. Problem solved. And no, Penny Arcade often makes pretty harsh jokes, so this should not come by surprise for anybody reading that webcomic.

      Lastly I’m pretty sure the creators have gotten tired of the same mindless accusations over and over again for variations of the same theme. What else is there left to do than take it as one big fucking joke?

    • Jack says:

      There is a difference between not catering to everybody’s psychological and mental state, and deliberately making fun of someone for their psychological or mental state.

    • Jack says:

      Sorry, sent accidentally half-way through – to continue:

      “Raging Zealots”? Really?

      You keep comparing this to people who make fun of fox news or religious groups. Can’t you see how different this is? Religions and Newsgroups have a lot of people supporting them and strong belief in their views. Making fun them is just calling them out on their hypocrisies. This is just kicking someone when they’re in the gutter.

    • the wiseass says:

      You’re not listening. They made fun of the “angry internet men” and the tone and unproven accusations they applied (cf. your borderhouse article), not the victims.

    • the wiseass says:

      – “Religions and Newsgroups have a lot of people supporting them and strong belief in their views. Making fun them is just calling them out on their hypocrisies.”

      Ah, so it’s only not okay if they are a small minority. Gotcha.

    • Mil says:

      @Jack:

      You keep on repeating that Penny Arcade were making fun of rape victims and ignoring the obvious response that they were making fun of the overreaction by others “on behalf of the victims”. You’ve even posted an exchange on Twitter that happens to between PA’s Gabe and a non-victim and where Gabe says this:

      cwgabriel @rudniculous [Concerned people] are certainly welcome to mail me directly. I have tried to answer everyone that mailed me and said they were upset.

      Are you at all interested in the facts or only your own rage?

    • Jack says:

      Seems like I’ve become an angry internet man, so I should probably stop. You’re saying that getting offended about the rape jokes in the comic is something only a crazy moral zealot would do, and Penny Arcade was right to mock those stupid extremists.

      I haven’t seen the forum posts and emails that contained the first backlash. It’s quite possible that you’re right, and that they were full of nothing but faux moral guardians who have no actual problems with rape simply deciding to complain and troll PA about a minor issue because they felt like giving the authors a hard time.

      I think it’s more likely, though, that those people were actually were a little put off by the strips content. Instead of listening to those people, Penny Arcade made fun of them. You’re right, and I haven’t seen what was in the emails gabe sent to those offended. It’s quite possible he apologized. All I have to go on is the strip, in which he did not.My stance is: That’s a dick move.

      Ok. I should probably go work, instead of complaining on the internet.

    • Joe says:

      @ Mil @ wiseass

      It doesn’t matter if the complaints came from victims or non-victims, surely. What matters is whether or not they had a point. I think they did, and I think that the PA guys have been unduly sarcastic and defensive in response.

      Most of the “rage” I’ve seen around this argument has come from the defenders, i.e. the usual AIM closet misogynist types. Conversely, the complaints have mostly been civil and impeccably PC.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Joe: Yeah, the above linked borderhouse article certainly is a good example of these impeccable civil complaints… /sarcasm

      I’m seriously getting tired of these intolerant fucks on the Internet, turning every small thingamabob into a giant drama. Now if some major arse would come out of his hole and state that rape is OK, I’d be the first to make him crawl back where he came from. But in this case it’s clearly not the case. But I guess people don’t really care about that, they rather prefer to give in to their rage and exploit it for another tabloid online-article of questionable value.

      Because clearly, as has been demonstrated here, this generates traffic.
      /giving up

    • Mil says:

      @Joe:

      So your side is “the humane side” and the other one is “the usual AIM closet misogynists”, eh? Somehow I don’t get the impression that engaging in serious discussion with you is worth my time.

    • Jack says:

      It’s 3:35 AM, programming is going nowhere, and the argument is continuing.

      I’m coming back because the implication that people only fight against rape jokes because they want to troll and generate hits, and that only people who have been raped in the past are allowed to object, is disgusting. You can say you find jokes about rape perfectly fine, but don’t belittle the people who don’t agree with you. The fact that they don’t agree with your viewpoint doesn’t make them disingenuous, or liars. They’re angry for a reason.

    • Lambchops says:

      @ The Wiseass

      Reluctant as I am to wade into this you quoted Jack as saying

      “Religions and Newsgroups have a lot of people supporting them and strong belief in their views. Making fun them is just calling them out on their hypocrisies.”

      then said.

      Ah, so it’s only not okay if they are a small minority. Gotcha.

      I’d agree with you on this point, but Jack’s full comment was:

      “Religions and Newsgroups have a lot of people supporting them and strong belief in their views. Making fun them is just calling them out on their hypocrisies. This is just kicking someone when they’re in the gutter.

      I think it’s fairly clear that his point isn’t about the size of the group who is offended by the joke but their position of vulnerability. Which is a different kettle of fish entirely.

      Anyway, misinterpetations aside I reckon you should read this Jimmy Carr interview where he extensively comments about the offence his jokes may or may not cause. It will probably cheer you up, as you’re sounding increasingly frustrated! http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/nov/05/jimmy-carr-paralympics-joke

    • the wiseass says:

      @Jack: Go fight rape where it truly matters, not on some webcomic website that clearly did not intend to support sex-crimes. Spergin’ about a harmless comic strip does not help anyone. People are just drama queens these days, it’s sad.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Lampbchops: Thanks for the correction, but I doubt a comic strip would have these devastative effects on a social minority. They certainly are not “in the gutter” because of a dickwolve joke.

      Oh and thanks again for the article. May I recommend this excellent article by Neil Gaiman, “the freedom of icky speech”. It’s good stuff:

      http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html

      Anyway, you’re right, this is really starting to get to me. That’s why I better stop now. Usually I know better than to engage in these kinds of conversations over the net, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

    • Nick says:

      Well, if you will insist on reading a shit web comic..

    • Jack says:

      The dickwolf joke was the kick in that metaphor, not the gutter.

      Neil Gaiman’s piece is about the Law – a big, official, blunt instrument. This is about not being a dick on the internet. I’m certainly not suggesting rape jokes should be punishable in a court of law! That would be a bit extremist. I’m just saying they acted like dicks. (And again, because you don’t seem to hear: no, not when they made the joke, when they made the joke about the people who were offended at the joke.)

    • alantwelve says:

      Is it really too much to ask that someone, upon actually causing offence, has the fucking human empathy to apologise for it? I mean, we’re not talking here about taking the piss out of religious affiliation, or political beliefs, or lifestyle choices, we’re talking about people who have been raped – victims of a dreadful, violent crime. For fuck’s sake. Is a little bit of sensitivity really too much to ask?

      the wiseass:

      Did you really suggest upthread that rape victims need to take responsibility for themselves and work a bit harder on not having been raped? And that your hypochondria is somehow equivalent to having been raped?

      And Clockwork Orange is total gash. But at least Kubrick didn’t get t-shirts made that mocked rape victims.

    • the wiseass says:

      — “Did you really suggest upthread that rape victims need to take responsibility for themselves and work a bit harder on not having been raped? And that your hypochondria is somehow equivalent to having been raped?”

      Ugh I’m really getting sick of this. That’s absolutely NOT what I said at all. Read again, please. But since you seem to have trouble comprehending at all, here is the short version:

      1. Penny Arcade did NOT endorse rape in any form. Hence there is nothing to be sorry about or to apologize for.

      2. If you really need to blame somebody, blame the rapists since they are responsible for causing long time harm to the victims, not the webcomic. And no, being hypochondriac is not the same as being raped, but it can cause similar negative emotional responses (ie. panic attacks) when exposed to certain contents.

      3. Why do I even give a shit about somebody who can’t read properly AND thinks Clockwork Orange is a terrible movie?

    • JackShandy says:

      What I take offence to here is the same thing from both Penny Arcade and your posts. It’s not the joke about rape. It’s the implication that no reasonable person could possibly take offence at a joke about rape in a gaming comic, and that anyone who was offended is clearly just a “Raging Zealot”, to use your words. The second Penny Arcade comic is the one I’m taking offence to, because it misrepresents the position of those offended and then dismisses their concerns. I just wanted to say that the concerns are real. I’m not asking that Penny Arcade, or anyone else, censor themselves – just that they understand that this is a real issue, and that people can actually be hurt by these things, whether that was the intended effect or not.

      That’s the last word I’ll say on the matter – literally, this time. This debate clearly isn’t helping anyone, and just getting everyone worked up. I hope you can at least consider my viewpoint, anyway. Good night.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Jack: I never said that *everybody* who is offended by this is a raging zealot, just that *many reactions* are (like the article you linked to and the article from Bishop) completely over the top. I was talking about them, not those who expressed sincere concerns in a polite manner an therefore certainly received a private respectful response from the creators. Stop arguing against your own strawmen!

    • the wiseass says:

      Finally I must add that Penny Arcade did not make a joke *about* rape but *where* rape was mentioned. And last but not least, you can ALWAYS choose to stay away from that webcomic in the future if you don’t like it. I don’t like many things on the internet, I take offense in many of them, so what? The Internet doesn’t revolve around me, I can see why other people can enjoy content that is not for me. As long as it’s within in the bounds of law, let them.

  23. Jahkaivah says:

    @Starky

    Yeah we can probably expect some more Infiniminer Clones after Notch showed how much they sell for.

    • Starky says:

      Didn’t know that existed, but fair enough.

      Hell I’d argue coming up with an idea is the easy part, idea’s are 10 a penny, I bet every poster here at RPS has at least 1 game idea in them. Making a game that people find enjoyable, making it polished and fun, and most of all selling it – that is the real skill.

      As the saying goes talent borrows, genius steals.

  24. Sabres says:

    First off…by the time I get up, it takes along time to get through the Sunday Paper’s comments, so I hope I didn’t miss if someone already mentioned this, but…

    “People trained using videogames systems had 11% better grasp of facts, 14% better hold on job skills, and information retention improved 9% over those taught using traditional methods. ”

    This is something I strongly believe is the future of gaming. I think gaming can, and will if I can do anything about it, enhance much of what we work at. I beginning to think that replacing work with games is something I want to work towards.

  25. Om says:

    Mr Blow (he he) has been quoted out of context on this occasion. Clearly you are part of this ravenous tabloid game press that Pat Garratt has, inexplicitly, seen fit to defend. For shame

  26. Jannakar says:

    That piece on markey research is just dumb. Regardless of his sprurious and slightly ‘wow did you know that?’ objections

    The point is that market research is extremely successful because there are a large number of products being sold and companies making profit because they take the effort to investigate what people will buy. It’s just mindnumbing obvious. Now, what people probably do not like is being concious of being marketed to; of someone heuristically taking apart the way they think.

    Just because there are products that failed because the market research was based on incorrect assumptions does mean the whole field is uselesss.

  27. Ken McKenzie says:

    There’s market research and market research, just as there is online commentary and online commentary.

    That market research that is essentially validation for ongoing work is pointless. But the meticulously constructive qualitative research that is used by serious organisations for a whole range of reasons (largely to better understand customers) is as different from both that and the straw man constructed by the OP as the pieces on this site are from the comments on the Daily Mail.

    There is a regrettable tendency in gamer culture to misunderstand or mischaracterise qualitative endeavour in favour of quantitative. Don’t fall for it – the best research of any kind blends the two*, whether is be commercial or academic. Whenever I see someone saying ‘all market research is pointless’, I can be assured that it is a person speaking about a topic on which they’ve fooled themselves into assuming non-existent competence.

    *obviously if you’re an analytical chemist, it’s a bit tough to interrogate peptides as to their motivation for adopting particular folding configurations, but you know what I mean.

  28. stahlwerk says:

    So Cubelands is essentially Minecraft with shaders. Not quite sure what I think of the vaseline fog, but I kind of like the faux-Ambient Occlusion they have on the blocks (it seems like when a block is placed on edge with another the face darkens).

    Here’s another Not-Minecraft, presumably open source. The comments on the blog are a sight to behold, 99% of them are spam, the remainder is people rudely calling the developers out for ripping off minecraft. Which I find a bit unfair, as they acknowledge the “influence” and propose their program as a free and extensible alternative.

    Besides, maybe Minecraft has become the Tetris of this day and age… Every programmer writes his own version of it, clones are sprouting everywhere, shady distributors smell the dough to be made…

    • the wiseass says:

      Minecraft itself was not a new concept. And as far as I know, you can’t patent gameplay or cubes. Langdell tried to patent edges and that didn’t go so well ;)

      Besides a little concurrence and diversified buyer’s choice can’t be bad, can it?

    • stahlwerk says:

      Hm, I think you misunderstood my intent. I don’t think Minecraft is the only real one true original cube stacking simulator, and everyone else is just ripping it off, nor that programmers interested in the concept are now forbidden to implement their own take on a CSS.

      In my post I merely pointed out what I found to be the most distinguishing features of the two games. I’d actually like a little more graphical neatness in Minecraft, and the Cubelands video hints at a few possibilities what could be added to minecraft without destroying “the look”. Good: ambient occlusion, atmospheric desaturisation effects instead of hard fog. Bad: filtered hi-res textures, Depth of field.

      I actually played a lot more cheap/shareware/pd tetris clones than the “original” game itself. Nyet, Nintendo Tetris on the gameboy, and some more exotic spins of the concept like Hextris, Dr. Mario et al.

    • Dinger says:

      I had a peek around the Minecraft forums for news about Cubelands. It’s been around for many months, evidently.
      Minecraft got the whole voxel-mining-building mechanic from Infiniminer, and nobody’s knocking taking inspiration from another game. For that matter, I was having breakfast in Scandiwegia this morning, as I often do, and, in the discussion, it emerged that the Swedes (or the Danes) have some obscure toy system called Centicubes, along the lines of legos, but consisting entirely of interlocking 1 cm^3 cubes.
      Of course, Cubelands has pretty much copied the Minecraft web-page layout.

      And expect the Voxel invasion, folks. By my calculation, Notch has pulled in over 3 million euros, after his expenses are calculated, and most of those are per-sale expenses. If a quick-n-dirty ripoff can generate 10% of the sales, it’ll fund a small dev team. If someone builds a better minecraft, well..

    • JohnArr says:

      I really like this post from the Cubelands Suggestions forum:

      Can you add the FPS Minigame along with actual WORKING animations? also can the FPS Weapons be M9,USP,Crossbow,M16 and Stick?

      I hear Notch is working on this next update.

  29. Anthony says:

    Anyone who thought the Dickwolves strip was in some manner offensive needs remove themselves from the computer and take a long walk outside. It was one line in a comic strip, seriously.

    • panther says:

      I know. Same with the ones who got up in arms about that 30 Rocks ‘rape’ scene. The people who make these arguments are probably the same ones that make me disable youtube comments.

  30. Robin says:

    Of course, the first long article of note by Pat Garrett would be one defending disposable, sensationalist tabloid journalism.

    I don’t think “oh well, this is just how things are now, get used to it” is a valid defence for anything as shit as the ‘Modern Games Press’, if such a pompous and self-congratulatory term is being applied to drama- and freebie-chasing tabloid sites like Kotaku, Joystiq, vg247 and (spit) Destructoid. The Daily Mail doesn’t have to exist as part of the shape of the universe.

  31. TooNu says:

    Would be easier to subject everyone on earth to horrible things like being stabbed, being trapped and then burned in a house fire, being molested, being abused by loved ones, being fingered in bus by a complete stranger, being in a car accident, suffering from *insert horrible disease here*, being forced to see your loved ones die or suffer in front of you, drowning, being electrocuted, being sent to prison for crimes you didn’t commit, being sent to prison, being raped, being bullied, being constantly put down, being cheated on, being dumped, suffering from incontinence, suffering from a leaky bottom. Oh and having an outey belly button.

    If everyone suffered from such things, we would all realise how terrible these things are and we would all get along and help each other, making no jokes or being insensitive. Oh wait…this is Earth and the internet with all of it’s rape jokes, not the ending to Bill and Teds Bogus Journey where harmony and peace rule.

  32. The Dude says:

    Also Infiniminer.

  33. Frye says:

    Nothing wrong with a little competition for mr Notch. We wouldnt want him to get all comfy now would we?. I agree that filtering textures somehow detracts from its aesthetic appeal.

    I guess a mathematician would call a cube world ‘discrete 3d space’. It’s been used for ages in medical scanners, weather simulation etc. Surely theres plenty of research already done on this. It’s important outside gaming. Stuff like culling (visibility testing) becomes a breeze with this method and i can’t wait to see what else people come up with. (raytracing etc)

    I am well impressed how many triangles (or quads) he manages to draw in Java. There are millions of cubes within visibility range.

    • Frye says:

      wtb a new reply button, was meant for stahl

    • stahlwerk says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty well explored territory. Voxel rendering is mostly done via a raycasting, not by rasterizing (as it is done by the GPU pipeline). But of course the resolution of a MRI data set is a bit higher than your typical Minecraft block size, so you don’t mess around with drawing each cube individually.

      A colleague of mine recently finished a thesis on a gpu based raycaster for massive datasets (1024³ voxels and more, much larger than what would fit in RAM, much less the memory on a graphics card), like the Visible Human. He basically used textures to implement a least-recently-used cache, to determine which blocks had to be loaded to the gpu for the next frame and which could be discarded. Crazy stuff.

      To get that good a framerate I bet Notch did implement an octree where he can then test what sides of the cubes are actually visible to the player (3 at most per cube), and then use an indexed set of VBOs to draw only those sides. And that is fast, because the gpu then doesn’t even have to do any culling of invisible faces.

  34. Vinraith says:

    The sheer, unrelenting stupidity of some Minecraft fans makes my head want to implode, I really don’t understand why such a charming and lovely game seems to attract such unrelentingly vile, moronic, self-entitled stereotypes. I hope they haven’t slowed down or stripped down the Halloween update overmuch, though as others have said above in many ways the appropriate response would be to delay it as a result of said attack. I certainly wouldn’t blame Notch if he did.

    On a related but unrelated note, has there been word on whether multiplayer will be getting monsters in that update? I’m really looking forward to that.

  35. Matzerath says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that 4chan was involved with the Minecraft DDos attack, not for reasons of disgruntlement, but merely for shits and giggles. They are fully organized and capable of such things, while I just can’t give the psychotic fringe of the Minecraft community even nearly as much credit. I mean, how could you mount such an attack from within Minecraft? That would take an awful lot of redstone.

    • Mil says:

      @Matzerah:

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that 4chan was involved with the Minecraft DDos attack, not for reasons of disgruntlement, but merely for shits and giggles.

      You mean “for the lulz”.

      And yeah, I would say that’s a pretty distinct possibility.

    • sfury says:

      “the psychotic fringe of the Minecraft community” ARE the beforementioned 4chan-ners. Many of the Angry Internet Men crazy-self-entitlement comments on Notch’s devblog were full of 4chan-speak, and DDOS-ing their former favourite places once they become viral and full of “newfags” is something that has happened before to similar internet phenomena they feel they’ve kickstarted (e.g. I Can Haz Cheezburger .com).

  36. blind_boy_grunt says:

    reading the arcticle about market research really made me want to reread David Foster Wallace’s short story “Mister Squishy”. That is one strange tale.
    The thing about the sexism in game developer offices (or at least office) makes me look differently at games and female roles in games(at least for a today). Because before i never thought about it, as i imagined it to be some kind of laziness on the side of the game makers. “The market research shows that players are bored by the female part in the game. You have two options: Make her an interesting character or… make her boobs bigger.” But to think that it is not laziness but an actual wish that women are that way… kinda icky.

    • the wiseass says:

      The market research shows that players are bored by the male part in the game. You have two options: Make him an interesting character or… make his muscles bigger.

  37. wooo says:

    “It’s a kick in the balls, really. Frictional is a small and very talented team that now has to spend time attempting to protect the review copies of games they send out free of charge to writers. Time they should be using creating some new experience for us all to enjoy. Frictional has explained via the company blog that in the future review copies may not make it to as many outlets, which wounds them as it means less column inches and potentially fewer sales…”

    You know, I really think that the importance of piracy is not only overestimated, it borders on paranoia which can lead to, in this case, a marketing shot in the foot. I cannot believe that a pirate copy (even pre-release!) could possibly have a bigger impact than the positive one making the game known through as many review sites as possible.

    Those guys are really one of my favorite games studio and it breaks my heart to see that they’re not selling nearly as much copies as they’d deserve to. But fighting the piracy windmills seems to me like a waste of time.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      I don’t think they were concerned as much about the piracy as they were about the lack of integrity that led to the piracy. That was the feeling I got, anyway.

  38. Bizarro Gabe says:

    Goodbye. Me am apologize for the non-rape joke in Penny Arcade comic. Me expected much uproar from Penny Arcade’s rapist readers and me am very sorry me not publish comic with non-rape joke sooner. Me am now selling jersey’s for real sport team called Pussycats and me hope you not buy them.

    Hello.

  39. thebigJ_A says:

    I bought Amnesia. Money well spent. The guys at Frictional should be given an infinite amount of money, right now, and be set loose to create whatever they will. We need more games like they make.

  40. Sagan says:

    Hey RPS, can we get you to start banning people making strawmen arguments and dominating the entire conversation without saying anything valuable?

    These comments would be so much better without certain people on this site.

    One or two years ago, I remember someone being an idiot in a comment, and one of you RPS guys wrote something like “Hey, welcome to RPS. I think you are not going to like it here. There are plenty of other websites that would be more to your taste. Cheers.”
    I can’t find that comment thread any more, but I really liked that you exhibited that attitude.

    With Rock Paper Shotgun becoming huge, unfortunately there have also come a lot of people who have a distinct ability to ruin any conversation.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      It was Sunday. They’re not necessarily at work. It’s hard to slap wrists when you’re not actually here.

      KG

    • adonf says:

      What “strawmen arguments” and “entire conversation(s) without saying anything valuable” are you talking of ? I thought the comments here were of a surprisingly decent level considering the subjects (rape and 4chan)

  41. Noct says:

    I don’t think Mike and Jerry are assholes because they’re gamers. They’re assholes because they deal in the trade of comedy, and the moment a topic is comically taboo it ceases to be a relevant topic of discussion.

    What they do may not always be the most sophisticated or tasteful, but we certainly shouldn’t be trying to dictate what they can and can’t talk about.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Is anyone actually trying to dictate what they can and can’t talk about? People are expressing disagreement and disapproval of what they’ve talked about. That’s all. No one’s trying to pass a law or otherwise force them to talk about anything other than what they want to talk about. There’s a distinct difference between expressing disagreement and trying to force someone to stop talking about something.

  42. Chris says:

    It’s tough that you had to suspend your funny joke on account of someone who had a traumatic, life changing event from which many people never fully recover. My heart goes out to you.

  43. Olivaw says:

    If we didn’t tell jokes because we were afraid of offending someone somewhere who had a negative experience, humor as we know it would not exist. And really, what would be the point?

    But enough of that philosophy 101 bullshit. If people think the “dickwolves” thing is bad, then they must not have read any of the other TEN YEARS of insensitive, violent, curse-filled comics that Penny Arcade has produced. Just last week they wrote a comic featuring a man describing getting the head of his penis clipped off. It’s FAR from the most offensive thing they’ve written.

    • Chris says:

      Honestly, though, this isn’t a question of whether or not you should constantly be so on guard about possibly offending anyone that paralyzing fear prevents you from writing or saying anything; it’s a question specifically about making jokes about rape, as a particular, individual thing, given the way in which rape affects people, how very common it is and the resulting serious emotional scars.

      I might be offended if you implied that, say, Canadians are stupid, certainly, but I can contextualize and deal with that in a healthy way (by assuming you’re an idiot) in a way that someone responding to a traumatic memory can’t necessarily.

      Also: if it doesn’t bother you, it’s easy to assume that either it doesn’t bother someone else, or they’re somehow oversensitive. But we all lead different lives and our individual experience is hardly comprehensive. If something doesn’t seem serious to you, maybe trust people who have lived through such a thing and are horrified by it that they are better informed by their own experience than you are. Show a little humility.

      I’m tired of seeing this framed as if no issue can be separated from any other issue, and either you “just deal with” people constantly shooting their mouths off with homophobia, sexism, racism and rape culture or no one would be able to write a single thing. It’s a false dichotomy. I know no one on the “it’s fine” side actually means badly, but you’re making some classic mistakes.

    • panther says:

      And how is that different to family guy/south park/whatever doing jokes about death, diseases etc? They meet your criteria.

      You know what I’m tired of? White knighting.

  44. datom says:

    Most of all, its the context. For the most part, rape is a crime of violence by men against women. You can understand surely a particular sensitivity to men treating it as an object of humour, and the dangers in us getting de-sensitised to its ugliness and brutality. Would you agree that African-Americans have a right to be offended if white people make jokes about lynching them?

    But of course, women are different, probably because they weren’t very nice to us at high school or something.

  45. Dhatz says:

    the idea of asking people what WOULD they buy if fundamentally wrong and anyone with remains of common selse would never risk money over such hypotethical data.

  46. Axiautomatic says:

    Oh dear, look at this thread.

    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#represent

    By my mark I see “You Just Enjoy Being Offended”, “Being Offended Is Great For You!”, “Don’t You Have More Important Issues To Think About”, and “It’s Only The Internet”.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      worst “…for dummies” guide ever. I mean i had to read it 2 or 3 times, slowly to actually understand what they were getting at.

  47. Josh W says:

    Nah, not getting Amnesia, because it’s a game based on fear, uncertainty and powerlessness, which makes it an incrimental improvement on the kind of emotions we’ve been able to supply in games for ages. I want games that imply open space, give you opportunities to construct, and complex interactions with AI and other reactive systems like that. (So not minecraft either!)

    Love to support indies, but not to the point of buying their games when they’re not making something I like!

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