The Sunday Papers

By John Walker on January 13th, 2013 at 12:49 pm.

Jim remains in his internetless purgatory for crimes too terrible to mention, so today I’m putting together a quick selection of gaming articles from elsewhere. Starting with…

  • Just before Christmas, PC Gamer’s Phil Savage took a look at the studies cited by those condemning videogames for the horror that took place at the Sandy Hook school. And found them to be slightly wanting. He also spoke to the author of one of the often cited studies, and heard a very different story. It’s a really great piece of work, exposing those who have been misleading with inaccurate reports of their own data, and speaking to those in authority to hear the truth. Frankly, I’m just delighted that someone else in the industry is writing stuff like this, and hope to see Savage doing similarly smart and careful work in response to other controversies.
  • The New York Times turned its attention toward matters of women and gaming, on Christmas Day. Helen Lewis summarises 2012′s struggles and progress with the subject, with excellent calm honesty. “Clearly, some players enjoy having a part of their lives where they can rant about bitches and kitchens and sandwiches. But they’re outnumbered, and they are going to have to learn to play nice.”
  • On a similar subject, Victoria Hiley wrote a poem that rather brutally cuts to the heart of the way female protagonists are so often portrayed. And not as the boobs-out, sexbots you more often see criticised, but the geek-safe market-friendly non-threatening every-girl. “I am skilled in the use of all weapons, real and fictional …but I’m also gentle and love animals. I’m bisexual! I’m mixed race! …but don’t worry, I’m a sort of safe mocha latte.”
  • Here’s a neat little essay from qntm on the nature of Deus Ex’s password security, and why realism is independent from entertainment. It’s a subject I’d certainly given no thought to whatsoever, so it’s great to see the ideas so succinctly put. As he says, “As is true in every aspect of videogames, making a game which is realistic is a goal totally opposed with making a game which is enjoyable to play.”
  • Emily Gera has created a mini choose-your-own-adventure called, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE NOW A KOTAKU COMMENTER. I imagine it’s not particularly comfortable reading for Kotaku, but they also know that factions of their community have a certain reputation. Gera’s piece includes a series of genuine Kotaku comments that make her point about the peculiar trend of dismissing female gamers as frauds. “Somebody’s let all these women in and they’re wearing SEGA merchandise they probably bought for £8 down Camden Market. What a bunch of phonies, probably! Yuji Naka would be puking blood over this shit.”
  • Finally this week, LA Weekly have an excellent (and extremely long) exposé of the contracts YouTube creators are asked to sign when joining networks like Machinima. Young video creators who have found popularity on the site are encouraged to join to make money, but some are now realising they really should have read what they’d signed, with contracts claiming ownership over every video they create for the rest of their lives. And as you’d imagine, there’s a backlash taking place.

Some music? I believe that’s appropriate. How about Dan Deacon’s layering Call Me Maybe 147 times?

.

289 Comments »

  1. Hoaxfish says:

    Have some more positive “#1ReasonToBe” stuff, this time from Kim Swift (of Portal): http://www.inthebasecase.com/?p=17

    And it’s the last day of 4Chan’s /v/GAs voting: http://vidyagaemawards.com/voting

    • povu says:

      Tropes VS Women in Video Games, really? They’re still stuck up about that?

      • RandomEsa says:

        If only Anita would stop talking about harassment against her and actually talk about her project on programs like TEDx and such. Maybe a release a video or two before another deadline is met.

        That would shut them right up, right?

        • Acorino says:

          Nothing will shut them up. But that’s okay, that’s why you have to take a stand.

        • distrocto says:

          Why would she? She’s got all the money already and can travel around the world with it pretending to do things.
          And that’s what she used to swindle all the people out of their money in the first place, so it obviously seems to work.

          • Acorino says:

            Sure. Alternative explanation: The scope of the project grew, thanks to lots more money than anticipated. As a result, things naturally take more time. It’s the same for Double Fine Adventure (which was originally estimated for October, but may came out at the earliest in April) and with lots of other Kickstarter fundraisers that went through the roof. But stick to the badmouthing and conspiracy shouting, if you prefer to!

          • distrocto says:

            YouTube videos aren’t game development or particularly hard to make. She managed to spew them out on an almost weekly basis before having any money. After she got the 150k she didn’t do a single one in almost an entire year, which seems awfully convenient.

            An opininated, amateur YouTube video is nothing like the Double Fine Adventure in any way or form. I know it’s hard to admit that you have been had. Just like all the “game journalists” that ran with her story verbatim with what she posted on her own Blog without bothering to fact-check once and helped her get the money in the first place. Not surprising when most News are comprised of copying and rewording Press Releases.

          • The Random One says:

            Let’s keep pushing distrocto, the random capitalization in his last post shows his mask is cracking and he’s starting to turn into Timecube Guy.

            I give it five posts before he goes “The CHICANEROUS FEMALE CRIMINAL GANGSTER SOCIETY OF ANITA SARKEESIAN has been deliberately supressing the speaking efforts of DISTROCTO, ONLY REAL MAN and DOCTOR OF MANY SCIENCES”

          • The Random One says:

            Gasp! Is that… an image macro! Oh no! An animal surrounded by capital letters… made by a different person probably referring to no particular situation at all… Help me! That is such a witty, clever response to criticism that I have no other option than to admit the wrong of my ways!

            I capitulate, gentleman! I can outwit a man… I cannot outwit a badger, that is madness.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            No one can beat the Badge vadge

          • Orija says:

            @TheRandomOne It’s not as if you are making any worthwhile posts here either.

          • Jenks says:

            @The Random One

            Let’s wait until you actually outwit someone before making that claim.

          • Muzman says:

            distructo, I don’t think you get how swindles work. She was given far in excess of what she asked for by folks who wanted to piss people like you off. And, frankly, it’s worth the show.

          • sweetjer says:

            I love when mad bros like distrocto get all why u mad bro when they are clearly the mad bro in the situation. One of my favorite ironies of the Internets. Anyway the random one makes me chuckle and muzman won the thread.

          • The Random One says:

            @Jenks

            I edited my post for lenght, the original text was “I can outwit a man, theoretically, given enough time and a supply of men with sufficiently low intellectual capacities.” I stand by my earlier point.

          • Phantoon says:

            I’m pretty ambivalent on this. But I dislike bad arguments. Muzman, you just said “she took all our money to show chumps like you how she could take all our money! Shows you!”

            Which is a terrible idea to put forth.

          • sweetjer says:

            Wow phantoon reading comprehension fail.. Muzman is saying the people donating did so in response to the trolls. Anita took the money cause it’s money. Internet you so silly/stupid/bad at reading.

          • quijote3000 says:

            While I haven’t really followed all the Tropes VS Women in Video Games nonsense, I’ve heard a lot of actual good points against Sarkeesian (asking for a kickstarter $6,000 to buy videogames, really?, presenting herself as an “expert” of videogames, when she hasn’t ever made one, the fact that after getting the $158,917 she hasn’t actually delivered any videos, and even she has more or less forgotten about her own blog), and the typical answer to them are “you are a misogynist”, which doesn’t seem to be any answer at all

            The funny thing is, while the irony is that the haters really increased the amount she got from the kickstarter, the irony of the irony is that her backers gave her so much money that she seems to have forgotten about the videos, which was the point of the haters in the first place.

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          RaveTurned says:

          Yes, it would make perfect sense for Sarkeesian to attend a conference where she’s been invited to talk about her online harassment experiences and then spend the whole lecture talking about vidya games.

          • Phantoon says:

            Raul Julia’s hamtastic performance doesn’t just make that movie watchable, it makes it downright hilarious. He plays up every scene to the point even Shatner is impressed.

          • ScorpionWasp says:

            People who mention lack of universal suffrage as “proof”of female oppression back then need to start looking at the big picture here. Back in the days, the price you had to pay for your oh so important right to vote, was to be available to go die in bloody wars with death tolls in the millions, at the command of your politicians. Women didn’t have to go die, so they didn’t get to vote either. Which is a fucking sweet deal if you ask me AND THE WOMEN THEMSELVES AT THE TIME, which as group largely opposed suffrage being extended to them precisely because of the implications. Heck, I’d take that deal myself. You can shove my right to vote where the sun shines not, comrade, and you can go fight your wars yourself, aye? Oh, of course. That option would not be fucking available to my super privileged self at the time. It would be either the frontlines or the gallows for freaking “desertion”. There’s a term for what Feminists have been able to do with nary a person calling them on it. That term is “historical revisionism”.

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            maninahat says:

            @ Scorpion

            I’m going to assume your a troll, but you’re still pushing my buttons. Is this really what you do with your time?

        • PopeJamal says:

          Maybe it’s the outsider in me, and of course I don’t speak for us all, but “This white woman was treated poorly by this white man! Harumph! Harumph!” is a little, well…boring and obvious. Of course, we could just be used to being mistreated by white men after several hundred years.

          Sincerely,
          -Brown People

          • Kandon Arc says:

            Because every misogynist is a white man. How enlightened.

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            Cross says:

            The problem with your argument there, is that while you’re pointing out racism was and is an issue, you’re also saying sexism and misogony is a non-issue. That is not true.

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            Women have been subjugated for much longer than you seem to be suggesting. Also, it doesn’t seem helpful to brush away women’s issues just because “you” have suffered too. You should be more understanding of their position, should you not?

          • MrCrun says:

            To turn that around, it wouldn’t be right to say in the 1920′s to say what with all this Universal Suffrage shouting, we should deem segregation boring. Both issues need attention. As well as homophobia.

            And to say it’s all white people ignores prevalence of the word Bitch in rap songs. That “I got 99 problems but the bitch ain’t one” isn’t meant to be insulting is a massive problem itself. In a just world he’d have 100 problems now.

            White people have caused enough problem on our own but we’re not the only ones.
            Now go read John Walker’s blog about women in the church. http://botherer.org/ It made me much happier about the New Testament. (I’m a Chrispy).

            BTW. I read about Tuskagee today again so I’m not trying to reduce the size of anyone’s problems.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            I don’t know if white men abusing minorities and women is common or not, because all I know is that I and everyone I associate with don’t do it.

            But what I do know is common, from personal experience, is the lumping together of everyone with light skin, that lacks an obvious foreign accent, as “white,” and the assumption that they all have this negative view of minorities at best, and outright hatred at worst.

            I’m not going to pretend that white people have it as bad as everyone, which is a stupid thing to try and quantify anyway, but it get’s real tiring to those of use that have stood up against racism, even if it doesn’t affect us as harshly, to have some sense of judgment placed on us by people that, frankly, should be kind of fucking thankful that people like me exist.

        • Muzman says:

          Getting that level of harassment is a notable thing. She would have been invited to do a lot of this talking.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        It’s a yearly award, and if she’s important enough to appear in ever other “end of year” deal, it seems amiss to ignore her in one of the bigger trolliest communities. To be fair, she only appears once by herself in a category which includes the 2011 /v/GAs, and then is bundled with others as “misguided advocacy” in a second.

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        The Sarkeesian stuff actually kinda moved me towards idea that we neeed to start turning an actual critical eye to some of the social advocacy stuff apart from that of a political litmus test.

        It’s great that it’s there but we’ve started giving everything a special hug just for showing up when it’d be embarassingly banal if we saw it in any other medium.

        • Donjo says:

          Embarrassingly banal if it showed up in any other medium… seems like an indictment of this medium. Banal in another medium because these things have been discussed ad infinitum but not for this medium because?

          • I Got Pineapples says:

            Mostly that, yes.

            We’re all so pleased to have these varying voices around in our previously monochromatic medium that we haven’t really noticed that some of said voices are saying boring, stupid things that wouldn’t slip past your terrible college writers workshop.

            We’re so impressed or angered that something is being said from a queer perspective, for example and not to pick on any queer game people or anything, that no one is willing to go ‘Well, that’s nice but it’s not actually very good.’

          • Muzman says:

            I seem to recall the homosexual characters in various recent games getting a lot of criticism along those lines.

          • Supahewok says:

            As I seem to recall, there were two forms of criticism: The first was as Muzman said. Frankly, I only saw a handful of people taking that stance publicly, and I can’t remember any journalists doing so. And anybody who commented along those lines would get shouted down for being hateful little homophobes. The second form of criticism was the masses of idiots who always show up whenever any sort of issues are discussed. The ones who always rant on in illiteracy. That was the vast majority of this sort of “criticism” that I have encountered.

          • Phantoon says:

            I dunno. Jade Empire had better writing than Mass Effect 2, and it was the same company. The homosexuality thing should be a non-thing. It should only be when the characters are written shallow or poorly, especially if they’re a caricature, that a fuss should be raised. Really, romance options should be removed from most games anyways. They’re hamfisted stat-tracking. Fits better in the Sims.

          • Baines says:

            I Got Pineapples, people (both men and women) noticed and called out some of the Sarkeesian stuff. These people generally received comments calling them misogynists, privileged white men, part of the problem, haters, or similar for daring to point out issues with Sarkeesian’s side. Or were just ignored while other people complained about the misogynists, privileged white men, haters, racism versus sexism, and the like.

    • Orija says:

      Hamburger Helper and Nature of a Man awards for worst and best writing respectively. I love these people!

      • Tagiri says:

        I don’t know, “Hamburger Helper” sounds an awful lot like someone’s still buttmad over Jennifer Hepler’s comments about skipping combat last year to me.

      • Phantoon says:

        You’re not on 4chan. I understand your complete lack of ability to converse with normal human beings without falling to memes, but really, go back to /b/2.0.

        I mean /v/. Or Reddit- they’re the same thing, really.

        Yes she’s a bad writer. In fact, she’s terrible. Does anyone take you seriously when you call her that? No. They think you’re an idiot. Which, since you’re spouting memes, could very well be true.

        Attacking someone’s weight when they’re a bad writer is idiotic.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      The Kim Swift article is really good. Her message is positive, constructive, inclusive and gives direction and purpose to the debate beyond creating polarity. Many people could learn from her injunction to “be kind”, which I am going to assume INCLUDES those who may not fully agree.

      • Phantoon says:

        Yeah. Can we take the money from Anita and give it to her to have her make videos instead? Because Kim is really good at providing a sane narrative that’s a base for discussion.

    • Taidan says:

      Good call on the /v/GAs, not spotted that.

      +1 for “Misguided Advocacy” being the most detrimental force in gaming at the moment. It’s true that there is introspection and conversation to had about various assorted nastiness with respect to media and society, but baying for blood every time we see a bit of exposed leg in a videogame trailer?

      It’s getting old fast, guys.

      • Kid_A says:

        There are plenty of problems that can be brought up with Sarkeesian and her work without even going near the fact she’s female, like the fact she’s a horrible, anti-sex-positivism, slut-shaming excuse for a feminist; or the fact that all of her claims to be an expert on gaming seem to derive from the fact that a bunch of assholes got mad at her; or the fact that she basically took the troll’s anger and used it to sell her product to the internet (“support me and show /v/ & /b/ they’re horrible people! Because they don’t already know that!”) and make considerably more money than she realistically needs for her video series. So let’s discuss that instead of making memegenerator images/laughing at people who make them.

        • I Got Pineapples says:

          Seriously, I do wonder at the trolls there. I mean, if people felt that strongly about it they could’ve just looked at her existing stuff, realised it was pretty awful as these things go and watched her quietly fade into oblivion.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          It’s probably a good idea to understand that the Misguided Advocacy choice is not just about Anita/blindly defending her.

          The vote image also contains a frankly bizarre kickstarter, The Arkh Project for “Queer People of Color” (Kotaku has an article that backs it, but with an update summing up a variety of reasons from the comments on not to back it, scamming, anti-white racism, lack of detail, etc).

          Then there’s stuff like EA claiming people were attacking them for their pro-LGBT stance, going on to using bots to upvote a petition supporting EA on LGBT. EA getting “most equal place of work” for LGBT, while generally being known as an all-round horrible company to work at irrelevant of those issues.

        • McCool says:

          This, utterly this. The whole debate is what drove me off of /v/, with that place being my home for the best part of the last decade. It’s impossible to decide who I hate more, the misogynists or Sarkeesian- they are both completely insufferable.

          • Phantoon says:

            I don’t think she, herself, said that men are the reason everything is terrible.

            But enough of her fans did. Some people even think the best way to attain equal rights is to “get even”. I’m not saying all or even most of her fans think that men are to blame for everything, and that all men are rapists.

            But some DO think that, and those people are nuts.

        • Taidan says:

          Oh yes, I agree completely. The response to Sarkeesian was not only completely and shamefully out of order, but it’s also a great example of an almost reverse-streisand from the point of view of those who were trying to shut her down.

          It’s kind of a shame, as it’s really detracted from the serious criticism of the less-savoury elements of her work we could have all had if only those people had waited patiently for it to actually appear, rather than engaging in a pre-emptive en-masse ad hominem. (Ad feminem?)

          (Don’t get me wrong now, as somebody who lives with a serious lady-gamer who always has a very strongly worded opinion on the way women act and dress in the games she plays, I’d just as soon see things change for the better too. I just don’t think that Anita Sarkeesian’s inevitable hatchet job is the vehicle for that change.)

          My own comment was mostly aimed at the bandwagon-jumping, passive-aggressive hysteria that followed on certain websites and their comments sections.

          • gwathdring says:

            I hope you don’t mean here, because I feel like there was some really cool and nuanced discussion that went on in the RPS comment section with respect to that issue. There was crap from both angles you’ve identified, too, but that comes with the territory. The most common frustration I have when those sorts discussions pop up on RPS is the number of people who moan about serious discussions popping up in the first place–especially the ones who feel the need to throw in their opinion into the mix too as though their’s is special because it comes with a statement about not liking all of this statement making ( “Gosh guys, it’s not sexist let’s just leave it be and get back to talking about GAMES” or “Of COURSE it’s a bit sexist, everything is, let’s just get back to talking about GAMES”). On the whole, though, I feel like these discussions go really well here.

          • Phantoon says:

            Well, of course. People have been mentally trained to bandwagon everything. Why else would bad pop music be so popular? Because your friends like it. Skyrim owes plenty of its sales to people that played it long enough for LOL XD AROW IN DA NEE jokes, and no further. Humans want to act like the people around them, so they don’t get picked on.

            And yeah, her videos weren’t that great, but making her into a pariah made her into a martyr. See also Jennifer Hepler, who is an astonishingly mediocre writer, for more information.

            Amping up the dialogue until it’s just two stereotyped sides completely defeats the purpose of even interacting. Laughably, feminism should have sane discussion as one of their goals at this point, because by interacting on this level, it becomes the dialogue of “men are all rapists” or “this person deserves to get raped”, which is idiotic, obviously, and is about as likely as the goal of “making nobody sexist, ever” when a vocal minority of your base thinks based ENTIRELY on stereotypes, as male is a gender too.

            To summarize what I just said, because I’m not sure it made any sense; crazy people are crazy, and have made themselves the mouthpieces of both sides of an argument that was never needed because it’s so nuts.

            Not to say sexism isn’t still a problem. But I lack the ability to explain how “modern feminisim” has become a mockery of civil rights, so I won’t try, because I lack the ability to do so in a way that makes sense. And I mean modern feminism as in the last ten years.

          • distrocto says:

            God forbid people would like to talk about games on a gaming site.

            As for the “cool and nuanced discussion”, really? Go back and look at the Tropes Vs. Women Blog post and reasses the situation.

            As for the modern feminism explanation, I believe it has popped up in Sweden first (which would explain why Lars Westergren for instance has such a vocal opinion he loves stating at leisure), so I think it is worth looking at that as for what is being argued about in a larger sense.

            These were worth reading http://davidkramer.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/how-radical-state-feminism-triggered-communication-breakdown-in-sweden/

            A Swedish Feminist’s Perspective On Swedish State “Feminism” http://ferrada-noli.blogspot.de/2012/06/julian-assange-is-already-condemned-by.html

          • distrocto says:

            This is also a great documentary about feminism, the government and the ability for critical thinking in Sweden http://www.daddys-sverige.com/3/post/2011/03/the-truth-about-swedish-feminism-do-not-watch-this-film.html

          • Universal Quitter says:

            @distrocto – It sure appears witty to write “god forbid we talk about games on a gaming site,” but your position seems to be more “we should ONLY talk about games on a gaming site,” and that all feminist thought must be lumped in with some radical crap out of Sweden. I’m sure there are virulent, aggressive form of feminism, but it’s not going to be representational of that ideology.

            Just because something annoys you, it doesn’t mean it’s bad, just because you can’t understand someone’s thought processes, that doesn’t make them stupid, and just because you’ve found awful examples of a group of people, that doesn’t necessarily mean it reflects upon the group.

            Tattoo that second paragraph to your forehead, backwards of course, so you can read it in the mirror at the start and end of every day.

  2. Cinnamon says:

    That kotaku thing wasn’t so much a choose your own adventure as a long segmented rant.

    OMG #1reasonwhyfakechooseyourownadventuregirls trending right now. Maybe a post about Carl Sagan on reddit can save us.

    • tobecooper says:

      I presume you haven’t chosen the option to make a lovely goulash.

      • Cinnamon says:

        I don’t eat meat.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        I chose to see the error in my ways and immediately regretted it. What does a flatleaf parsley even look like‽

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        Man Raised by Puffins says:

        Soupy twist!

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        Bluerps says:

        I kept clicking on the ‘comment’ option in morbid fascination, until the game shouted at me. :(

        • Grygus says:

          Ha ha this is what I did, too… I actually kind of assumed that the horrid comments were the entire point? Guess not.

          • Phantoon says:

            As someone who has actually been yelled at for holding a door open, I’d just like to say:

            Who the fuck yells at a person for holding the door open!? Seriously, lady, you’re nuts. I don’t get mad when a woman holds the door open for me. I get annoyed when I’m asked if I need help out at the grocery store, but that’s because I’m insecure about my limp and it makes me feel like I’m being judged. But I don’t take it out on anyone! I don’t even say anything, because it’d be nuts to suddenly begin ranting at someone I don’t know because they offered to help me, and they probably HAVE to.

            Those people really are out there. They’re rare, but so are mental asylum escapees.

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        Goulash is the food of beet eating peasants and anyone advocating it’s consumption is hardly worth listening to.

        I would sooner listen to some sort of talking dog than I would a Goulash eater.

        • The Random One says:

          Well said!

        • tobecooper says:

          Said a person with pineapples in his user name. Look at yourself and your Ananas comosus, and weep. Weep like a silly bear you most probably are. As a goulash eater, I find your comment deeply hurtful. If I had a battlestar, I would purge you off this galactica. If I was a peasant, I would be a lead farmer.

          /angry and adversarial, because of too much Beta vulgaris

          • greenbananas says:

            What was it you were saying about tropical fruit? Mind that you’re outnumbered around here, farm boy.

          • Phantoon says:

            I can’t bring myself to care about this. In fact, I’m not picky about food. I’m gonna go eat a bag of bland chips now.

          • I Got Pineapples says:

            Talking.

            Dog.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Yes it seemed to have a bit too much vitriol to make its point well.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Even deserved its own article in RPS here. (With the added benefit of no comments allowed).

      And yet, what is it? It’s asking for the men of old, the supposed good men. These imaginary male creatures that inhabited earth many years ago and where less misogynist. Possibly Atlantean mean?

      But today, no. Men today are all crap. She often asks herself “what ever happened to all the men?” (sic), while gamer women are mass victims of mass behavior.

      It’s sadly amazing really that all these articles aren’t going through any filter of even the most basic common-sense and argumentative worthiness. That all this debate has become is passing on links from this site here to that site there without any fact checking, no attempt at separating pure vitriol from thought-provoking line of reasoning and no attempt at building some manner of principled scientific consensus on the actual dimension of the problem.

      These articles are so lacking of any quality in their ability to actually address the problem they are written for, that I have no doubt we reached a point in which anyone can just pose as an activist and write one just for fun with no worries of being exposed, regardless of any poor choice of words. Put it on one of the the main gaming news outlets out there and see it spread like the meme this whole debate has become.

      • gwathdring says:

        But that’s not especially new or unique to gaming or unique to social activism. Are you familiar with the Birther movement in the United States? It’s about President Obamma’s birth certificate. Look it up, it’s fascinating.

        I’d like to have every website and community vet these articles better, but at the same time … I’m much more frustrated by how little a lot of the communities tolerate discussion that doesn’t involve shouting. RPS is one of the best places on the web I’ve found, and I still have to deal with people who feel like I’m intruding on their space and ruining their day every time I want to investigate an idea more deeply with like-minded folks here. At the very least these articles cause said like-minded people to come out of the woodwork and interesting discussions happen without being shat on quite as much. It’s nice.

        • Valvarexart says:

          You may laugh at this suggestion, but do try some of the 4chan boards. You’d be surprised at how well anonymous posting produces worthwhile content. If you want to avoid the hivemind effect and a variety of sub-intellectual grotesqueries (kind-of like everywhere else but remove moderation), stay away from the larger boards (which, unsurprisingly, are the source of the bad reputation which 4chan has).

          • Phantoon says:

            As someone who frequents it, no. Do not listen to him. There is nothing there, for you.

            If you’re not into saving your sanity, take heed. If you want to be stupefied by hatespeech, go to /pol/. If you want just vanilla hatespeech, go to /v/. If you want Reddit, go to /b/. Never go to /r9k/, ever. EVER. Otherwise, don’t visit during the day (all the boards suck during the day), and pick a board related to your interests. Lurk (don’t post) until you understand the general societal rules (such as things like never use smileys, don’t post anything with a 9gag watermark, etc) and the actual Rules. Then I guess you’ll be fine.

            But really, never go there. No reason to, and the popular boards are completely terrible.

          • Valvarexart says:

            I did say stay away from the larger boards, and gave a fair warning for those. I’m also unsure as to what would convince an intelligent person to visit a board titled “politically incorrect”. Any adult visiting the large boards is bound to have a rather terrible experience. The not-so-large boards, however, are well worth it in my opinion. I have great discussions with intelligent, understanding anonymous posters every day on boards like /lit/ and /tg/ (traditional games). If you want to talk about video games – head over to /tg/, not /v/. Or maybe /vg/ if you are feeling adventurous.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          That birther movement is a riot. I’m fully expecting it to evolve into “Obama was grown in a lab”

  3. kwyjibo says:

    Sherlock has the worst password security, it’s fucking atrocious. And they play it up every time it appears as if its Sherlock being clever, and not the writers being lazy.

  4. D3xter says:

    Can we get Mr. Rossignol to do these more often again? I find Mr. Walker’s choice of articles rather one-dimensional and lacking.

    What I’ve found rather enthralling this week were especially all the reactions to the Oculus Rift from the recent CES. Especially The Verge seemed to be rather fond of it.

    For instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCB19lzAXS8&hd=1#t=19m06s
    http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/11/3865786/verge-awards-ces-2013

    • Chris D says:

      I assume you missed the bit where it was explained Jim couldn’t do it because he has no internet right now. The reason there’s anything at all today is because John volunteered about two hours before posting this according ot twitter. Maybe cut him a little slack.

    • dmastri says:

      I’ve been following the Rift since I came across it on Kickstarter. Looks promising but how does it accommodate those of us with glasses?

      That was one of the things that really made me run from this new wave of 3d. Glasses on glasses sucks and when I finally bit the bullet to try it out (Prometheus I’d like my $13.50 back you sham of an Aliens reboot you) I was left incredibly underwhelmed by the experience. Sure I picked a bad movie, but it wasn’t just the lack of visual punch; there was a distinct level of discomfort.

    • coffeetable says:

      One dimensional? Violence in videogames, youtube contracts, sexism and password security can all be described using a single variable?

      • D3xter says:

        Yep, he’s been stuck on the same topics for the past year or two, starting to sound like a broken record.

        • Kandon Arc says:

          Yeah I’m getting pretty bored of the constant articles about Youtube contracts. Seriously D3xter can’t you just ignore articles written by John?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’ve really been enjoying the Verge’s CES coverage (and their normal Vergecasts/On the Verge stuff).

      I’m really interested to see if the Occulus Rift is going to be a real impact (because it does look awesome) or whether it’ll disappear like screen-based 3D seems to be doing again (which was never that good in the first place).

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE NOW A RPS COMMENTER?

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Do you wish to:
        A) Start a pun thread
        B) Make an overly long and excessively verbose comment
        C) Tell the author of the article how disappointed you are with their opinion (and/or that they are corrupt) and that you will never return to RPS again

        • Premium User Badge

          Lambchops says:

          A) I feel a pun thread would Sunday paper over the cracks in our relationship.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          D) Write something that bears no relation to the article, or otherwise display a lack of having even read it
          E) Tell Melissa/Evelyn/Derek how much money per hour you earn

          • Premium User Badge

            Lambchops says:

            F) Copy paste a post from further down and add a cheeky link to buy shoes or something.

          • Zakski says:

            F is the worst, burn them all at stake

          • Muzman says:

            GG: Comment using of the above options as evidence the site is going the way of Kotaku (including articles about Kotaku)

          • Sheng-ji says:

            She communicated to me “F is the worst, burn them all at stake” before giving me the dossier on how to earn $8473.43 per day extra to her career.

    • The Random One says:

      “I find Mr. Walker’s choice of articles rather one-dimensional and lacking”

      …like a video game female character.

    • John Walker says:

      Haha, you really are a bore. The vast majority of the articles I’ve included when I’ve written them, including today, were selected by Jim.

      • Mad Hamish says:

        You really are building up quite the following of haters.

        • sinister agent says:

          (ALLCAPS) This Walker article stirs up new and confusing feelings in my brain-like organ. I shall shout now, for I am afeared of the lion.

      • D3xter says:

        I guess I won’t have to guess long which you’ve included yourself then. :P

        • Jenks says:

          Only 3 out of 7 are about “sexism.” That’s less than half!

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            But, but, if it were 4 out of 7 it would be more than half!!!

          • Jenks says:

            We’re makin’ progress here! (ironically by having less “progressive” articles).

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I HEART JOHN WALKER
        Walker-face. Mah walker-face, muh-muh-walker-face
        <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

      • Low Life says:

        But he’s been under the influence of your pheromones!

      • Orija says:

        I wish all of them had been selected by him.

    • NathanH says:

      One day we will receive D3xter comment without a bunch of links in, and it will be an even happier day than the one where John Walker agrees never to write about video games ever again!

      • D3xter says:

        NEVER going to happen!

        For that matter, I was looking around the Internet the other day and stumbled upon this Russian fellow, who apparently got an Unreleased Beta Version of Blizzards “Warcraft Adventures” and uploaded a Playthrough of it on YouTube revealing large parts of the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ6tg1Id6-c
        http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL780265A4FFFD41E8

        Never knew about that before.

        • Brigand says:

          WoW, that dress up as the chaplain and catapult yourself over the wall was quite an elaborate escape. I’m sure most orcs would’ve taken the bash the guard over the head with the rock rather than reducing the surface friction of the steps with a mop and luring him to a literal slipping into unconsciousness.

    • Urthman says:

      John Walker is a much better man than I if he can read RPS threads and not feel incredibly conceited about how dumb the so many of the people are who dislike and disagree with him.

      I’d feel like a genius if the people who criticized and attacked me were all as ridiculous as D3xter and his ilk. It must be almost as big of a hilarious ego boost as I imagine Tom Chick gets reading the idiots raging at him for not liking Halo enough.

      • John Walker says:

        Actually, a surprising number of them aren’t dumb. They’re smart, but they’re very unpleasant people. It’s not a great combination.

  5. Alphabet says:

    Wow, that LA Weekly story is great. Makers Studios asking for 40% revenue share and 50% of the IP in perpetuity? Aren’t the Yogscast with them? And / or Totalbiscuit? (Or maybe they were with them?) I can’t see either of those YouTube stars giving away that much of themselves. What do Makers Studios do other than add a bit of admin and consulting and introduction services?

    • sinister agent says:

      Established industry powers using their privileged position to exploit naive new creators. Second verse, same as the first.

      • Lanfranc says:

        The contract terms mentioned in that article sound so egregious, esp. exclusivity without termination, that I have my doubts as to whether they’d even be enforceable in a court.

        But yeah, you see crap like that in the book publishing and music industries as well. Agents who try to get royalties from everything an author produces regardless of whether they’re involved in it is a classic. Or an artist or band who find themselves bound to a single record label and only get pittances in royalties. (Protip: Always get a lawyer. Your own lawyer.)

        But I guess that means the YouTube industry is all grown up now. So, congratulations?

        • sinister agent says:

          Ì particularly like the “throughout all the universe” bit. It really is just begging for the Valtillians of Mylon IV to show up and sue the piss out of them.

        • noclip says:

          The only surprising part of this story is that people actually sign these things. It makes me wonder if a bit of basic contract negotiation shouldn’t be taught in schools. These companies are scum, but why on earth would anyone who wants to make videos for a living sign a contract that assigns all rights to everything they will ever make? What if they want to make a film years later and have to explain to the financiers that someone else already owns all the rights?

          • The Random One says:

            If you’re thirteen and you post videos on the net for fun, and someone tells you they’ll let you make money off them, you don’t ask a lot of questions.

    • Xocrates says:

      yogscast and TotalBiscuit are part of The Game Station and as far as I know they’ve always been.

      The article does say that The Game Station is affiliated with Maker Studios though.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      On a similar note: Lionsgate basically forced a non-profit video remix off Youtube using the DMCA system, then basically told them they’d only allowed it back on if they could profit from forcing adverts onto it, knocked it out a second time when the person refused (putting an infringement-strike against the Youtube account). The guy who has the Youtube account is a lecturer in Fair Use of copyright:

      http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/buffy-vs-edward-remix-unfairly-removed-by-lionsgate/

      Proper legal action got the video back on youtube, but without Lionsgate suffering any penalties.

      • Shuck says:

        Extra irony: Youtube told him he’d have to take an online course to “educate” him on copyright issues before being allowed back on the service after all the bogus complaints by Lionsgate.

        • Phantoon says:

          Not nearly as bad as the guy that had his personal movie stolen, wholesale for some ad, then had the company that made the ad send a DMCA to takedown his original movie. Which, by the way, he did not give them permission to use.

    • Low Life says:

      It sounds really bad, but I remember TotalBiscuit explaining that stuff in one of his videos and the problem is that it’s impossible for anyone to make money out of game videos if they’re not part of one of these networks. The networks handle all the contracts etc. necessary to do that, without them you can’t sell ads on videos based exclusively on video game footage.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I think far more worrying is the trend that sees YouTube pissing all over “fair use” rights by enforcing every copyright “claim” made by any supposed rights holder, requiring the uploader to (1) understand fair use and (2) go through a laborious counterclaims procedure each time; or accept that some third-party will earn revenue on their video (by default).

  6. P.Funk says:

    “As is true in every aspect of videogames, making a game which is realistic is a goal totally opposed with making a game which is enjoyable to play.”

    I think thats a pretty harsh over indulgence. Pretty much writes off the entire sim community!

    • Bobka says:

      There are a surprising amount of people who do exactly that, write off simulation-style and sandbox-style games as not being [true/proper/successful/enjoyable] games, with the rather well-known Tadgh Kelley, among others, claiming that game design by people with “simulationist” aspirations often ends in disaster, and is divorced from what games “truly” are – though admittedly he’s less hard on simulationists than on “narrativists”, who seem to be the favored whipping boys/girls of most gamey-purists throughout the Internet.

      • Alphabet says:

        And yet narrative is what I go to a game for – and so do many people, I think. It can be the designer’s narrative or one I make up in a sandbox world, or something in between. Nothing against gamey games, but they’re not why I love this medium, and I never play them.

    • Shuck says:

      Even with pure sim games there are choices about which realistic elements to include, with those that detract from the experience being left out. The choices made depend on the scope and the nature of the appeal of the sim, obviously. (A flight sim does not require you to get a pilot license before you play, or simulate the commute to the airfield, or force you to sit on the tarmac for three hours before you can take off, etc.) For games that aren’t pure sims, it’s always “fun” or accessibility over realism.

    • Beemann says:

      I think the argument is made in too general a sense. For sims, realism is key (because the overall goal is imitation) but I think the argument was made to call out the general request for realism that happens in games where it DOES run counter to the game’s goals. For instance, I’ve seen a bizarre number of people argue for poorly implemented mechanics in Firefall and Hawken because it’s “realistic” to have things work that way. Ignoring how selective their sense of what “realistim” is (because we’d be starting with core game mechanics and not outlying balancing factors were that the case), I feel as though if your game is already going to handwave things, it should be focused on gameplay over adherence to aping reality.
      That said, consistency is still important. Edgecases, bandaids and a lack of reliability really kill the experience

      Edit: Granted it could just be someone who hates sims

  7. Tei says:

    On the internet nobody cares if you are a women or a dog.
    I despise people that use nicknames like Latinogirrl. I don’t care about your race or genre.

    • RandomEsa says:

      I would totally call you out if you were a dog playing video games. Especially if you made our team lose.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, go chase a stick or something and leave the gaming to people with opposable thumbs and a penis.

      • sinister agent says:

        There are already many dogs who play video games. They call themselves the Terran Republic.

        I believe their infiltrators are mostly chihuahuas. Can’t even see the screen most of the time, the poor dears.

        • Premium User Badge

          Cross says:

          High five!

        • Phantoon says:

          Hah! Cultists and fascists want to talk poorly about the Republic.
          Vanu: “Hey let’s worship this thing that doesn’t even like us so we can be less human!” They’re not just betraying the Republic, they’re betraying their own species.
          NC: “Freedom freedom money freedom money!” Being ruled by CORPORATE overlords is somehow better than the elected officials of the Republic?

          One will make everyone into subhumans, the other will make them all into slaves. Only the Republic offers a chance at a brighter future.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Also they keep asking you to paws the game.

        OK sorry I really shouldn’t turn this into a pun thread.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Wait, you said you don’t care about people being female, then you said you hate female handles? Don’t understand. If you genuinely didn’t care, why do you hate those handles?

      • Tei says:

        Your race, genre, job, sexual options, … are not you, are part of your identity, but are not you. Handles like Gayjew, homojournalist, latinogirl, heterocop, are stupid because turn one of these identities, and put it in front.

        Theres other problems that make these nicknames stupid: Its troll bait. A nickname like Gayjew will atract trolls from very far bridges in km around.

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          The problem with that is the trolls, not the gay jew. It sounds like you are shifting the responsibility over to the victim. Why should they have to hide a part of their identity to placate hateful people online?

          • Tei says:

            If you are trollbaiting because you are stupid, or because you are a troll, is not important, because in the end, you are still trollbaiting. The end result is a lot of noise generated that could have ben avoided.

          • Premium User Badge

            Lars Westergren says:

            You are “trollbaiting” if you are deliberately trying to draw trolls out. If you are just being yourself and are attacked by trolls, the fault lies with the trolls, and the trolls are the problem that needs to be addressed. You are demanding that the attacked modify their behaviour to placate the attackers.

            Is it stupid to just to want to be yourself?

          • Sarkhan Lol says:

            Ugh there goes Lars “Boy’s Name” Westergren showing off his gender with his username again.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            It’s not trollbait to post your sexual identity and religious views online. If trolls view it as such, it’s their bigotry that’s the problem.

          • El_Emmental says:

            Victims.

            Everyone’s a victim. I’m not american, so approximately half of the (western) Internet despise me. If I was american, it would be the other half despising me for being a ‘murican. And I already know that on the other side of the Earth, japanese, korean and chinese users are being mean to each others, often creating massive flamewars between each others.

            When I was a kid, I was taller than others. I was rather shy. Got my share. The smaller-than-me kids were also subject to mockery, same with the attention-seeking extrovert kids. Everyone’s a victim.

            Does it entitle me to call myself a victim, to make conference talks about the traumatism I experienced, and ask for “changes” ? I really don’t know. Personally, I would think “no”, but that’s not a definite answer.

            When I pick a nickname online, unless I want to generate drama/flamewars, I don’t use any religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation. Because it is not the place, not the moment, not the purpose of that place.

            I don’t go into churches wearing a t-shirt saying “God is dead” (or Marduk’s famous album cover “F* Me Jesus”, featuring a nun using a crucifix… differently) on every weekend, and expect them to welcome me with open arms.

            I take my hat/cap off, turn my mobile phone off and stay quiet when entering these old buildings. And I’m far from believing in any religion, I just understand there is a place and a time for everything: like you don’t picket funerals, you don’t exploit the vulnerability of an environment to make your point more visible.

            Internet is the only place allowing us to break free from our real-life existence, to momentarily live something else – bringing back your nationality/religion/gender/any form of real-life identity, is completely destroying that opportunity.

            Suddenly, we are the same miserable meaningless person, suddenly we can’t say F*ck you/Love you to a random stranger, because the chains of the socially-acceptable are back on our wrists and ankles.

            If you look at the nicknames of users/gamers from the early 90s to the mid-2000s, do you see a lot of real-life identity-relevant elements ? Do you see a lot of “socially-acceptable/common” nicknames ? No, and there’s a reason for that.

            All the people who think their game of TF2 or CoD should be like going to the mall/public place or going on Facebook are killing what’s left of the Internet social innovation – that’s also why it is wrong to call yourself “GayJew”, “GamerGirl” and act all surprised when people try to ridicule these identity-relevant elements.

            Real-life identity should be left at the door, bringing it online is asking the other users to deconstruct it (allowing you to break free from it, in case you didn’t noticed).

            Whenever my nickname is culturally-charged, I expect people to react to it, positively and negatively. For a few years, I used to pick a nickname related to my nationality for MP games (partially to “troll” them a little): all the mud (including indirect not-really-serious death threats) I received helped me understand how nationalism works, and how I could go beyond it.

            Nowadays, I can easily become friend with people insulting my nationality, because I know what’s behind these insults and how to make them realize they’re not being really serious about it.

            I know a few persons (several IRL), who happen to be female, and none of them had any problem (and very minor ones when using a microphone) when playing online, because none of them ever brought up the fact they weren’t males, and didn’t made a fuss when the few lame guys made the “go back to kitchen and make me a sandwich” once (to see their reactions). They learned how to neutralize and deal with such situations too. They’re not traumatized by their online experience.

            However, when you identify yourself as a “gamer girl” (with all the required behaviour: bringing up the fact you’re a female on a regular basis, using overused sexist stereotypes regarding girls to build your online identity, mentioning how you are subject to so many seduction attempts all the time, etc), you’re sending a strong signal to all sexist males: I am a female according to sexist standards, be a male according to sexist standards, so act like an alpha-douchebag.

            It is a case of extreme hypocrisy to banish any form of sexism/gender-based judgment regarding male individuals, while not even discussing the issue of sexism/gender-based judgment for female individuals.

            If you want to get rid of sexism, you need to make sure everyone’s involved and everyone’s making an effort: banish the GamerGurls and the MakeMeASandwich altogether, stop blaming everyone* for not being White Knights Of Social Justice 24/7, lynching anyone saying a word that *could* be interpreted as offensive in a real-life situation.

            * I’m talking about the “we’re all responsible” mantra… Seriously, we can say the same for world poverty-hunger-wars-torture-dictatorships-pollution and go home feeling the job’s done, donating $10 for digging wells in Africa while driving in our gasoline/lithium-powered car with a diamond-incrusted ring on our finger.
            I fail to see how it’s helping us solve these problems.
            I do see how it’s helping us cope with these problems and sleep well at night without having to make much efforts.

            TL;DR : forcing your identity back on the Internet is not only destroying what’s unique about it, it’s also exposing yourself to morons and unconsciously-deconstructing helpful users. So don’t do it, leave your identity at the door.

          • shitflap says:

            El_Emmental, that was perfect.
            *applause*

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            Excelent post, El_Emmental. Fantastic even! Read it with great delight. It’s a shame it exists only in the comment box of a passing article on some game news website. It should deserve it’s own entry on some blog.

            I’d like a more conscious debate about these matters. For one a better analysis of “victimology” (allow me) and where it is really granted. Is this such a case? Is it really a big problem? Or what are we witnessing is simple overblown anecdotical evidence? Are women a little everywhere really suffering from this, or is this a false problem being prepretated by immature individuals who would abuse you for being anything else for that matter? More generally, does this really deserve a population conscious raising, or should instead these facts be dealt with on their own domain (banning individuals with improper behavior, etc)?

            I deal with 4 women every single day of my life. Wife and daughters. Wife and eldest experience the internet on a daily basis. They have very little to say about internet misogyny or sexism in games. Certainly they get the occasional blurt, but they just ignore it on the very same basis I ignore any racial comment about my Portuguese nationality, skin color, or my strong distaste for the rap and hip hop culture.

            This also happens with all the other women I know. Friends, acquaintances, work mates. Certainly the problem exists. But does it exist in a dimension that warrants this article assault on gaming news websites? Why is it just accepted it does? Why doesn’t anyone want to know for sure? I hate, really hate, to be pushed into false issues. It insults my intelligence.

            All I hear from my large circle of friends is that they aren’t any more likely to be the victim of — or any more damaged by it — internet misogyny than they are of experiencing it in real life. In fact, some of them found on the internet a place of a certain refuge since it’s much easier to stream out the group of individuals you want to relate with. Going to a public game server is reason enough to be abused. Whether you are female, white, male, black, bad or good player. Meanwhile, a woman fighting for her right to earn an equal or higher wage to a male doing a similar job is a much harsher reality that they are willing to fight for.

          • gwathdring says:

            @El_Elemmental

            That’s a really interesting post, thanks for posting it. I completely disagree though.

            I don’t think it’s reasonable to suggest that our identities don’t belong on the Internet. My identity belongs wherever I want it to; sometimes the consequences that arise from me presenting it in certain places are in turn reasonable and sometimes they are not. Sometimes presenting my identity (shouting that God is Dead during Christmas Mass) is a form of social disobedience that deserves consequence. Sometimes the existence of such consequence is out of place (getting forcibly removed for picketing within one-mile of a public political rally held by George Bush during his election for a second term).

            That’s a bit of nothing though isn’t it? I’m lurking behind the vagueness of sometimes. Let’s take the Internet. Saying the Internet isn’t part of the real world and that we need to keep it that way in order to prevent sexism and similar from entering the equation is, I believe, misunderstanding how people think about anonymity. When my identity is unknown and your identity is unknown … we have nothing to discuss. Every word you say creates an identity, real or false, that I can use to judge your company. Perhaps you say that you prefer dogs to cats. Perhaps you say that you don’t like Adventure games. Perhaps you say that you love learning or love talking to strangers. These are all elements of who you, or the character you’ve invented for the purpose, are. Pretending that they are no less “real” than your gender–in some ways they are more so because they are more grounded and cross cultural barriers more easily.

            If I find nothing distasteful in your identity, I can casually assume we are equals or that we are similar. I can invent a space for us to be the same. This is not an absence of discrimination or a defeat of culture barriers. It is an illusion of homogeneity. Once that homogeneity is challenged and gaming handles start representing identities of any sort, there is the potential for discomfort and disagreement and the clashing of identities. It doesn’t matter if this is the revelation of a player’s gender or the discovery that a player likes using a weapon everyone else avoids for one reason or another. You and your noob shotgun! Fuck that, right? You and your turtling strategy … no one turtles in this game, it’s lame. Fuck that right?

            Of course, gender and ethnicity tend to be special becasue they’re seen as special elements of identity in the real world. But the real world will always be and has always been part of the Internet. Trying to avoid that by putting masks on everyone’s face can be suffocating and miserable–it can create an environment of conformity in which showing difference is spat on. I don’t want to be afraid of looking like I have a personality and identity. I don’t want to stop having long forum discussions simply because a lot of people don’t seem to like them. I don’t want to avoid talking about politics and gender and the finer details of game design–they’re part of who I am. And if someone wants to be known first as female and second as a person? Fine. That’s their affair. I want to be known first was Gwathdring because “Hammer of Shadow” makes a nice gamer handle, but Gwathdring tones it down to be less ham-fisted with the added bonus that maybe some people will recognize it as Elvish. I grew up with this handle so now it’s stuck in my head as part of me.

            The Internet is just as much about identity as the real world. In a lot of ways, it’s more about identity. That’s why people hide–identity is all you have here, sometimes, so people craft their identities very carefully. That some people aren’t as careful, aren’t as cautious about who they want to be in this place isn’t a bad thing. And we shouldn’t blame them for the nastiness of the communities they take part in.

          • wu wei says:

            Real-life identity should be left at the door, bringing it online is asking the other users to deconstruct it

            Like how wearing a short skirt at night is an invitation to rape?

            Just because you don’t want to express yourself in such a way gives you no right to imply motives behind people who do. And just because someone chooses to express themselves in that way, does NOT entitle anyone to respond to it in such negative terms.

            If it’s supposedly “all about the games”, like the gosh-what-misogyny crowd like to say, then what does it matter what they call themselves? Just play the games with everyone no matter what their handle and stop pushing your personal bias through ‘deconstruction’ and blame-passing.

          • El_Emmental says:

            @ wu wei
            “Like how wearing a short skirt at night is an invitation to rape?”
            What is this fascination with rape ?! And with the assholes saying mini-skirts justify rape ? I really think you have issues if you can’t discuss anything related to harassment and crimes related to identity without thinking of rape and misogynists’ arguments.

            My point about the identity is about a more global approach to identity and not just sexism or racism.

            It is also about defending a system where harassment about someone’s identity is NOT possible because of a lack of information regarding that identity AND the lack of importance given to such identity.

            I am telling you how it WAS the case before newcomers invaded the Internet and tried to rule it just like real-life, and how it is STILL possible to reduce and get under control all these forms of harassment by globally deciding where, when and how we should share our real-life identity elements (such as our sexual orientation, gender, religion or race).

            I am ALSO telling you how not ALL the people picking on someone’s else identity element are doing it to harass or hurt that person, but rather show him or her how that element of his/her identity is NOT relevant and NOT important and should NOT be taken into account in his/her online experience. It happened, it’s happening, and will happen in the future – but I don’t think you’ll ever experience that.

            But again, you seem to interpret “freedom of expression” as the “right of saying anything, anywhere, at anytime”, and any form of discussion, arguments about it are automatically wrong if they’re not toward validating your interpretation.

            Like the WBC picketing gay soldiers’ funerals, like the NRA organizing a giant meeting right in the town where a school shooting happened, you don’t seem to care nor pay attention to the context nor the situation – the only thing that matters to you is the “ideal” principle of freedom, while you don’t feel bad when you’re exploiting the victims of rape for your arguments (all the rape victims who were raped by their father, uncle, or family’s friend, without wearing a skirt, thank you for associating rape with skirts and predators).

            You’re the reason why the sexism in video games and in the video games industry will only change over time, as old people will die and more girls will play and make video games. You’re the reason why change will take 20 years and not just 2.

          • gwathdring says:

            Hey, let’s step off the blame-train and cut the personal insult crap. It’s especially uncool in a discussion about how to make the Internet less unsafe, El_Elemmental.

            I’d also like to respond to your argument, while I’m at it: I’m a bit confused really. Why do you think the Internet is less discriminating when it doesn’t have room for identity? When it doesn’t have room for people being people? What I think you’re missing, is that some of these individuals who you see as inappropriately asserting their identity in your safe ID-free zone are responding to an identity that you didn’t realize that community was broadcasting.

            I have yet to see a community other than Anonymous that eliminates identity in the way you describe–and they do it for reasons that are at times rather opposed to the ones you propose. I believe you that they exist, but it’s exceedingly uncommon. A lot of spaces you probably perceived as real-world-identity-free felt that way because you identity didn’t directly conflict with the identity of the community. Perhaps you or your Internet personality fit in. Perhaps you didn’t see the Identity-fueled screen names as identity fueled becasue they didn’t represent identities that were out of place or that are culturally charged.

            As such, I don’t think it’s fair to attack only the screen-names of people who’s identities cause a fuss. Whether you mean it to or not, this creates a space in which homogeneity is celebrated and difference is reviled. And maybe if some people act along, they’ll feel free. But by asking people to check their very identities at the door, you’re asking something that is in a lot of ways worse than just putting a sign up that says “No admittance to people of these sorts:”

            Do you really think that this particular type of anonymity you preach promotes tolerance? Promotes community? Creates freedom? I respect what you say about limited freedom and appropriate behavior, but where does it put the people who are told their behaviors are always inappropriate and that they don’t have a place? Where does it put the people who really love games and also really love being -insert problematic identity here-?

            Where does it put us as a community if we can’t accept fully-fleshed out people into our community? Of course there are instigators on both sides, people hammer at the doors to make a point as much as to join in the true spirit of a given community. But I don’t think I really understand how your vision of the Internet creates better safer communities … it’s only safer in the way that a rigid, politically correct conversation is safer than a more natural one. It’s only safer until someone slips up and accidentally let’s out that they care about things and are part of things that other community members find unfamiliar or dangerous or worthy of ridicule.

            One last suggestion: perhaps you’ve simply been part of mature communities of reasonable individuals who legitimately didn’t mind interacting will all sorts of folks as long as they had at least one thing in common to talk about. But I think that’s a function of the people who were in your communities of yore, not the anonymity. There are too many instances in which anonymity can create equally destructive environments for us to say the lessening of identity is what made your communities better.

          • wu wei says:

            What is this fascination with rape ?! And with the assholes saying mini-skirts justify rape ? I really think you have issues if you can’t discuss anything related to harassment and crimes related to identity without thinking of rape and misogynists’ arguments.

            It’s a way of pointing out that you’re promoting victim-blaming mentality. But thanks for playing armchair psychologist and making it about my “issues”.

            I am ALSO telling you how not ALL the people picking on someone’s else identity element are doing it to harass or hurt that person, but rather show him or her how that element of his/her identity is NOT relevant and NOT important and should NOT be taken into account in his/her online experience.

            Right, it’s so not relevant and so not important, that you’re taking all this time & text to point out how not relevant and how not important it is. Right. Keep telling yourself you believe that.

            I am telling you how it WAS the case before newcomers invaded the Internet and tried to rule it just like real-life

            Your terminology is slipping here. “Invaded”? It’s a commons, for christ sake. It doesn’t matter if you were here first or if you’re the last, no one “owns” any “territory” here. There’s a term for what you’re expressing in that statement, it’s called “privilege”, and it’s at the heart of all of the complaining about the attempts to reduce misogyny in video game culture.

            But again, you seem to interpret …

            I see no such implication in anything I’ve said, but clearly you know what I really meant and directed the attack in that manner.

            Here’s a tip: LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY SAYING. That’s part of why this crap continues to be an issue, you’re pushing an internal agenda that isn’t fitting with the discussion the rest of us are trying to have.

            (all the rape victims who were raped by their father, uncle, or family’s friend, without wearing a skirt, thank you for associating rape with skirts and predators)

            That was not my point, so please stop deflecting with this. Regardless of the actuality of rape, people still try to blame the victims, holding their behaviour responsible. There’s a case in India at the moment where the lawyers defence of his alleged gang-rapers is that _they_ are the victims, because he’s never heard of a “respected lady” in India being raped. So don’t cite the reality at me and claim that the mentality of the world understands it, because clearly they don’t. It’s that _attitude_ of blaming the victim that I’m criticising, and your post is full of it.

            You’re the reason why the sexism in video games and in the video games industry will only change over time, as old people will die and more girls will play and make video games. You’re the reason why change will take 20 years and not just 2.

            Really? I want people to be free to express their identity without “gosh look how open minded and clever I am” control freaks like yourself laying down rules for how they should do that, and I’m the reason why we’ll see no change? Nice.

          • Premium User Badge

            JohnS says:

            @El_Emmental

            Your posts really confuse me. Are you saying that the only way to stop discrimination is to force everyone to be anonymous? You do realise how horrible that sounds?

            The rest of the world is moving away from “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, but you want to preserve it? So strongly that you’re comparing people with a girly nicks to Westboro Baptist Church?

            Referring to yourself as a woman is not the same as the “right of saying anything, anywhere, at anytime”, for the record.

            “I am ALSO telling you how not ALL the people picking on someone’s else identity element are doing it to harass or hurt that person, but rather show him or her how that element of his/her identity is NOT relevant and NOT important and should NOT be taken into account in his/her online experience. ”

            Here you are literaly defending harassment of people who have chosen to reveal parts of their identity. Even though the person may not have made a big deal of their identity (I certainly don’t think a nickname is a big deal), you feel that any trace of identity must be destroyed so strongly that you actually think its fair to “pick on” people for it.

            “You’re the reason why the sexism in video games and in the video games industry will only change over time, as old people will die and more girls will play and make video games. You’re the reason why change will take 20 years and not just 2.”

            This is a very strong statement, considering what your critics have been saying. Is it really fair to say that sexism has disappeared from a community, if all you’ve done is removed any trace of sexes?

          • gwathdring says:

            “control freaks like yourself ”

            The arguments not the person please. I don’t care that El started it, I said the same to El earlier.

          • durruti says:

            emmental, what you’ve identified as causes for your cultural discontent (and all this is just about your discontent, make no mistake) is a) no direct cause and b) “riddance” from some of these so called “chains” doesn’t solve a thing. then again denial/avoidance never does and you don’t seem to long for solutions…

            …let’s just name shit as we see it, i’ve seen this sort of argument countless times before, where the unwashed masses invade some kind of perceived equilibrium of the ruling classes. “everyone is allowed to speak openly in public? we didn’t have these so called problems before.”

          • Phantoon says:

            This is a sidenote, but I don’t care for the pissing contest anyways.

            I like that League of Legends is becoming an actual sport, and the pro players have ridiculous and stupid names. Lilballz is one of the best players in the world, and his name is Lilballz. People have to say that name seriously, because it’s his summoner name. Which is amazing. So, I want more of that, because it’s hilarious. I laughed right now just from thinking about it again.

          • gwathdring says:

            There will always be a place for stupid handles. By which I mean: Fuck the google+ real names policy. Gwathdring is a name if I say it is.

            Fight the power. Make a google+ account with a stupid name like Lilballz and appeal incessantly when they refuse to accept the name.

            P.S. No need to be sour. Arguments don’t have to be pissing contests. Just because you don’t enjoy them …

          • wu wei says:

            The arguments not the person please.

            You’re right, I didn’t notice I’d let that one slip through, and I apologise to El for it, it was uncalled for.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          OK, so:
          a) You do care, because you’ve said you hate it and have responded multiple times to say so. Which is fine, in of itself, and is a semantics thing, which is always dull to debate, so I won’t go there again.
          b) Thing is, gender is a part of our identities for the most part, perhaps unfortunately so. It’s very rare that men wear dresses and make-up in public, for example. In fact, women have probably assumed a more gender-neutral identity than men in this regard, as they’ve spent over a hundred years trying to claw their way into society’s power structure. Latino culture can be a part of a person – not just skin colour, but social outlook, musical traditions, linguistic roots, etc. And you don’t have to be racially a part of a group to enjoy the culture – I know plenty of French people, for example, who love Irish music and culture. So identifying with a cultural group and a gender isn’t a crime. It’d be a sad world if everything was one big cultural mush, with no diversity.

          • iridescence says:

            This post by El_Emmental really aggravates me. With the disclaimer that the seriousness is obviously on a totally different level, I can;t help be reminded of people who blame rape victims for the way they dress. (“If you had just acted in (what I deem) a socially acceptable way in this situation this wouldn’t have happened to you so you really brought it on yourself)…”,.

            I realize that’s not really what this person is saying but it’s a dangerous slippery logical slope to go down. Why does one person or group of people get to decide what the internet is and what behavior is acceptable on here? Maybe there is someone who likes to express their pride at being a gay JEW online. Maybe they live in a small homophobic or anti-Semetic community so online is the only place they feel free to express that identity openly.

            If that makes you uncomfortable, well sorry but you should be mature enough to realize that the whole world doesn’t revolve around you and your friends and you don’t get to set the standards of behavior for the millions of people online.

            Personally, I come online to talk with interesting people. Acting like an anonymous douche bag has never appealed to me (and I’ve been online in one form another since the early 90s). The nice thing about being online is the freedom to express yourself but that freedom should stop when it comes to abusing and harassing others in a serious way.

            We should never blame the victims for the actions of trolls and bullies or expect our personal set of rules to apply to everyone online. If everyone on the internet was exactly the same it would be much more boring anyway.

          • El_Emmental says:

            @ iridescence

            I’m sorry to learn my post made you think about people blaming the victims of rape for their dress/behavior.

            If there was something to say about the victims or rape:

            First, most of them are raped by relatives/friends (people they know) and weren’t in a seduction situation at all (and it is extremely insulting to them to ignore their situations and only “award” the title of “rape victim” to the backalley’s rape victims – so many victims raped by people they know have difficulties to identify it as rape and report it to the authorities because of that, rape is also and often without extreme physical violence, there’s an awful lot of psychological violence involved most of the time).

            Second, the way you dress should be a social recommendation, so dressing “slutty” (I hate that term, that’s just stupid – sexual seduction is much more than a skirt and a cleavage) should be being borderline with a social rule but never ever change a thing regarding rape, it doesn’t change the fact that every single individual is responsible for his/her acts and that rape is legally, socially and morally wrong.

            You don’t justify a very serious crime with a very minor social-rules breaking, that’s like shooting kids with an assault rifle because they’re throwing toilet papers on your house (or just giving you the finger) during halloween after your refused to give out candies, or running down kids riding skateboard on the sidewalk (in an unauthorized area). It happened and will happen in the future, and it is still 100% unacceptable, wrong and illegal.

            “Why does one person or group of people get to decide what the internet is and what behavior is acceptable on here?”
            That’s exactly what I’m saying, why the latest newcomers to the Internet wants to make anonymity illegal (all the politics and FB/Twitter beginners), wants to make using real-life identity mandatory (or heavily recommended, otherwise you’re socially rejected) – in short, force the Internet to become just like the western real-life society ? Why are they allowed to do that, and most people just let it happen ?

            “Maybe there is someone who likes to express their pride at being a gay JEW online. Maybe they live in a small homophobic or anti-Semetic community so online is the only place they feel free to express that identity openly.”
            And this is where I’m saying there is always the place, the moment and the purpose for that, somewhere online.

            There are religion-related forums, websites, communities. There are sexual orientation-related forums, websites, communities. It is just rude (and destructive, both for you and the Internet) to assume everywhere, at any time, on the Internet, is there for your personal needs.

            Example: I’m not talking about my noisy alcoholic neighbor in the RPS comments. When I’m shopping for groceries, I don’t wear a cap saying “Proud Atheist” and tell everyone how I think social democracy is so much better than democratic socialism. I don’t yell “PC GAMING FOREVER” when going in a video game store. I don’t tell people who just got married “Enjoy your blood diamonds and divorce !”. I’m not that asocial, really.

            Same with a gay jewish person: you don’t join a MP game and use as your main (and often only) identification element “Gay Jewish”, that’s quite out of place and inadequate to introduce yourself like that.

            It is also quite limiting how you see yourself, and that’s pretending a person is mostly (if not only) made of his/her sexual orientation and religion: it’s also hurting other people, who maybe wish they weren’t just “that gay jewish guy”. A person is much more than that, and probably has something more personal and subtle to represent his/her identity.

            When I’m taking the mic for questions in a conference, I don’t state that I’m a “straight filthy-non-believer white male who enjoy PC Gaming, first and foremost”, I just tell my first name (when necessary) and anything related to the conference’s subject (if I have any credentials or specific interest regarding that topic) then directly proceed to ask my question(s).

            Bringing your sexual orientation or religion in a MP game is asking people there to debate and argue about it (it is not neutral to indicate such intimate things), and that’s just an e-social faux pas.

            My point is: your personal real-life identity should only be brought in appropriate places and moments. Simply because you *can*, technically and according to a simplistic interpretation of the freedom of expression, bring it anywhere online, doesn’t mean it should be like this.

            Also, everyone seem to forget some of the people making fun of others (based on their nicknames) are there to make fun of ANY FORM OF IDENTITY, in order to experience, live, and defend an Internet where everyone can be anyone, where we are not bound by our identity, where we are free from things we can’t control or shouldn’t be forced to change or hide: our race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

          • wu wei says:

            Second, the way you dress should be a social recommendation, so dressing “slutty” (I hate that term, that’s just stupid – sexual seduction is much more than a skirt and a cleavage) should be being borderline with a social rule

            Okay, so rape is still bad, but hey, they should think about how they dress before they go out in public.

            That is what you’re saying, right?

            Then I stand behind my original post: no matter how you try to justify this to yourself, you’re engaging in victim-blaming.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I think handles that use an ascribed identity are lame because you define yourself through society’s descriptions of you. LatinaGrrl, xXWhiteMaleXx, and FatBoy would be examples of a bad username because all you see yourself as is a Latino girl, White male, or fat male.

        That said, blaming people who use their external identities because bad people abuse them for it is morally reprehensible. The “bad things will inevitably happen, but it’s okay as long as it doesn’t happen near me excuse” is actively part of the problem. This is especially true since more exposure means the problem is getting better.

        I do get tired of talking about misogyny, racism, and homophobia in games when it becomes the only thing people talk about. If you let such people dictate the course of your discussions; they’ve won regardless of the outcome.

        • Phantoon says:

          Tough talk coming from someone that identifies as “Internet Batman”.

          Actually, I guess that makes sense. Batman isn’t the negotiating type.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      I disagree. It would seem a lot of people on the internet cares if you are woman. You are NOT blind to gender or race.

      • Tei says:

        You can post in a gamer forum with the nickname STORMSTRONG555 for 20 years and nobody will “care” about your genre, or know, if you don’t tell people about it. Is not important people need or ask normally. Not on a gaming forum, maybe people ask it and need it in other forums.

        In a tanks game, you don’t need that information or ask about it… who cares what genre is the tank driver?

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          >You can post in a gamer forum with the nickname STORMSTRONG555 for 20 years and nobody will “care” about your genre

          No, but if you choose HELEN555 people suddenly WILL care, that is the goddamn point. If Helen wants to pick the nickname HELEN555 why shouldn’t she get to choose it without having you “despising her” for it as you said you did in the first post? There are several prolific posters here on RPS who are female but have choosen gender neutral aliases because they know they will get relentlessly bullied otherwise.

          Female gamers often choose to not play with a headset in online games because if they use a headset and other players realise they are female, they start to get harassed sexually, and bullied. Playing without a headset is a pretty minor sacrifice, but at the same time, why should they have to hide who they are, why should they get a subpar gaming experience?

          It’s like a fundamentalist Islamic state. Problem: Male sex drive. Solution: Let’s force all women to wear a stifling burqa and essentially give them lifetime house arrest.

        • Premium User Badge

          AndrewC says:

          That’s ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ ,Tei.

        • Lanfranc says:

          In other words, no one cares about you as long as they can safely assume that you’re a straight white male, and you don’t challenge their world view by actually being something else. That’s nice.

          • Shuck says:

            Yes, this is it in a nutshell. Don’t disturb the assumption of being a heterosexual white male or face the wrath of the internet!

          • El_Emmental says:

            That’s where you miss the whole point of anonymity online.

            It’s easy to say “straight white male” when a big shunk of the Internet initial population was like that, and pretend it’s taken into account when communicating online.

            I’ve been interacting on forums (and later, on all kind of platforms) on the Internet since the late 90s, and no one ever based their exchanges on that basis: we don’t care about your gender, nationality, religion, or even your specy (thus the “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” joke from 1993).

            I learned many years later that some of my “e-friends” were not european/american, were into religion, far right-wing politics or were female Internet users. And I still don’t care. Because it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t make their posts/contributions better or worse. It doesn’t change a thing.

            Unless you refused to learn the Internet culture.

            The only people who started bringing up the nationality, the gender or the religion were people who never tried to learn the culture of other communities, and instead tried to use Internet just like an IRL space. People who tried to force down the throat of other Internet users their views on what should be socially acceptable and what shouldn’t.

            People who applied real-life rules, real-life interpretation, on the Internet. People who tried to regulate the online environment, to meet their own conception of a “sane” social environment. People who tried to transform the Internet into their real-life everyday life. Proper and clean. Like, everyone has a right to publicly express its own identity, and everyone has to shut up and fake a silent form of tolerance.

            Bonus point: that tolerance and socially-acceptable has to based on the western (Europe/USA) culture only, which mean freedom of expression only matters when it is about politics and “art”.

            And you know what’s next, once we achieve that “sexism isn’t okay in public” goal ?
            Indirect discrimination, with sexist males using more subtle “tricks” to keep women out of their gaming environment, while keeping a “clean” public profile. Meanwhile, women will (in fact, it’s already happening) form women-only communities, with (at best) a handful of males are allowed (but they have to either be effiminate or married with kids). Racism will also be back with a ghettoisation of communities, white people will play with white people, black people will play with black people, etc. But it will be nice and clean on the outside, just like the real-life society.

            Yup, what a victory, everyone will be entitled (and soon, forced to provide that information) to say they’re a proud black jewish disabled women. No one will invite her in a gaming group, and everyone will act all “sorry” for her and protective, but at least she will have her own identity.

            Personally, I prefer the system where her nickname was “Nuclear_Bungalow” and nobody ever mention or give importance to her gender/race/religion/body functions.

          • wu wei says:

            Yes, god forbid that anyone be proud of being anything other than a white, heterosexual, male gamer.

          • Lanfranc says:

            El_Emmental: Yeah, but this isn’t just about what happens on anonymous Internet fora. It’s also about game developers, writers, journalists, or any number of other people who happen to be female and want to write and work under their own names, without getting a crapload of crap for doing so.

            These people are going to keep having problems until it becomes painfully obvious to even the most thick-headed /b/tard that women are an integral art of the gaming community, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And the way to get there is to keep challenging the default assumptions, make the diversity visible, and most of all, keep talking about until we’re all blue in the faces. And that’s the way it is.

          • gwathdring says:

            The only people who started bringing up the nationality, the gender or the religion were people who never tried to learn the culture of other communities, and instead tried to use Internet just like an IRL space. People who tried to force down the throat of other Internet users their views on what should be socially acceptable and what shouldn’t.

            People who applied real-life rules, real-life interpretation, on the Internet. People who tried to regulate the online environment, to meet their own conception of a “sane” social environment. People who tried to transform the Internet into their real-life everyday life. Proper and clean. Like, everyone has a right to publicly express its own identity, and everyone has to shut up and fake a silent form of tolerance.

            And what exactly are you doing other than forcing your interpretation of the Internet and the ethos of your Internet communities down the throats of everyone else? I don’t see why the anonymous and the public, the real and the fake, can’t coexist here. As far as I can tell, they always have and communities that require one extreme or the other are the oddities.

            The Internet is not, in all ways, a place. It is also simply a communications network entirely separate from the communities that use it. In this way the existence of Internet communications that are straight out of “real life” such as Facebook and e-mail and whatnot neither conflict with nor shove anything down the throats of the extreme communities you describe in which anonymity is an unspoken requirement of entry. The fact that many communities blend various kinds of Internet users from both real and imagined communities speaks to the connective, liberating power of the Internet in a much more profound way to me than does your supposedly egalitarian society of masked individuals who never reveal their true selves.

            As I said in reply to your other post:

            The Internet is just as much about identity as the real world. In a lot of ways, it’s more about identity. That’s why people hide–identity is all you have here, sometimes, so people craft their identities very carefully. That some people aren’t as careful, aren’t as cautious about who they want to be in this place isn’t a bad thing. And we shouldn’t blame them for the nastiness of the communities they take part in.

          • durruti says:

            “internet” culture didn’t drastically change, much less since the late nineties. you are either lying, heavily in denial or misleading on purpose. i mean sure, it must seem ridiculous, nearly as if people were already conditioned from real-life…

            … there were all kinds of communities, discussions, -isms at work, all the shit, everywhere. i mean i can bring up some perceptions of change like there seems to be more conspiracy shit and (self)referential stuff now but that’s about it.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      So what if a woman want’s to talk in teamspeak or in game voice chat? They supposed to use one of those voice distorters?

      • caddyB says:

        The only thing you can do to prevent getting harassed in the internet one way or another is playing almost exclusively with your friends or people you meet in the internet and be friends with or something. It won’t matter if you’re a male, female or a dog .. or even a newbie.

        I’ve got harassed in World of Warcraft battlegrounds for being a “fucking retard noob who doesn’t know how to pvp” while riding my rated battleground horse with my grand marshal title in full high rated arena gear. Internet men won’t care what you actually are, they will hate you regardless.

        It’s worse for the women because humanity had a long time to master how to oppress women.

        • Premium User Badge

          AndrewC says:

          This feels a little defeatist, like locking yourself in your house for fear of mugging. A lot of the people that act nastily do so because they think it is normal, or basically OK due everyone doing it.

          The best way to combat that is to speak loudly, en masse, and keep doing so. Being silent, or hiding will only let it continue. It’s a pain, but when videogames involve other people they become political, social and cultural, just like anything else.

          I am sorry you were harrassed, though. It sucks in all its forms.

          • caddyB says:

            At the cost of being called effeminate, I’ll admit that it gets to me a bit. Then I remember I have better things to be unhappy about than a random guy calling me a gayfaggot and a noob.

            It would take a shift in the humanity’s vision of each other to fix this stuff, you won’t be able to fix it by posting articles about it every Sunday, simply because people who agree with you already know these things and people who don’t .. well they won’t suddenly change their mind and correct their actions.

            Flaming is a much easier way out.

          • distrocto says:

            Is that from the “Handy Guide to become an annoying person nobody wants to talk to”?

          • durruti says:

            no it’s from the “try to get people who can only deny to deal with stuff” guide.

          • Premium User Badge

            Arren says:

            You tell me, Distrocto — it’s evident you possess a well-thumbed copy…..

        • Phantoon says:

          Look. I’m fine with men, women, boys, girls, men that tell people they’re girls, men that are becoming women, the reverse, people that don’t know what gender they are, people born without genitals, etc.

          BUT NO GODDAMN CANINES ARE GONNA BE IN MY VIDEO GAMES. I DRAW THE LINE HERE. NO NON-HUMANS.

    • NathanH says:

      If you don’t care about their race or “genre” (I’m assuming you mean gender, or you hate people called TurnBasedStrategy) then it shouldn’t bother you too much if someone wants to be called Latinogirrl, because it’s what they want and you don’t care.

      • gwathdring says:

        Be fair. Tei can think it’s annoying that people want to be known by an easily stereotyped aspect of their identity and not have sympathy for them when it gets them into trouble without caring whether they’re male or female.

        It’s also possible that Tei is uncomfortable with it in part because of unconscious, implicit discrimination … but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and go with their conscious assertions about themselves when possible becasue implicit assumptions don’t have to control your behavior and are difficult to sort out.

        • Tei says:

          No. My point is not a judgement, but is practical, and a description how the Internet worlds. Nobody will judge your ethnics, genre, politics, etc… If you don’t use them on your nick, because will not know it before know you. Internet give us this posibility to know each another, withouth these labels. And after it, maybe know about the label.
          The other practical point is that wen I am on a game server, I want to play a game, I don’t want my fun interrupted by a fight between a women that want to fight for his rights and a asshole that hate womens. If you login in a server with one of these trollbait nicknames, the following discussion will interrupt the game.
          You may have a right to fight for your rights, but I also have a right to have fun. Don’t overwrite my rights with your rights.

          • gwathdring says:

            We’re at an impasse. Because they can say the same thing to you. And if it comes down to right vs. right I think the right to be safe and respected as a human being trumps the right to have fun, all else being equal. That’s a separate issue, in a way.

            Point being: it’s pithy to say you have a right to have fun. But so does everyone else, right? And getting harassed isn’t fun. If you’re saying that it’s partially my fault for choosing a name that attracts trolls, whether I WANT to attract them or not you are making judgements. You don’t get to just SAY you aren’t being judgemental and have it be true.

            Just because you don’t, for example, hate women doesn’t mean you get a free pass to say obviously feminine nick-names aren’t ok and then act like there’s no judgement or discrimination involved simply because were the roles reversed you’d say the same thing about male nicknames. A huge part of the problem here is that the roles aren’t reversed. Sure, assholes will be assholes to anyone irrespective of their gender. That doesn’t mean all asshole behaviors are the same. There’s a difference between being generically dick-ish and happening to use gendered words becasue they apply in the circumstance and being sexist–and it’s not a difference you can necessarily spot simply by watching the insults fly in chat boxes. It is, however, an important difference. The why attached to that is a long one and I’ll leave it hanging unless you respond and are interested in what I have to say on the matter–I don’t know how many people are still reading this.

            More simply, having an obivously male nickname like Bob234 or JasonTheEdge isn’t going to CAUSE you to be flamed. You might still be flamed by assholes and they might still used gendered language, but you won’t be targeted for simply including a gender in the name “TheManFromKentucky342.” If the name is Anita or JannetTheEdge or TheWomanFromKentcuky342? That can make you a target. That attracts more assholes for more reasons. And it’s not ok that it does. It’s not acceptable. There’s nothing flagrant or rude or invasive about calling yourself TheEggWoman in a slight remix of a reference to the Beattles or BatGirl3431 because you like the character or CindyLouWho because your name is Cindy but you don’t want to use your full-name. This isn’t asking for trouble. This isn’t flame-baiting. This isn’t invading the little, insular, privately owned world of the Internet with your big boisterous gender-equity soap-box.

            And for that matter, LatinaGirl235 isn’t necessarily doing that either.

  8. The Random One says:

    I am sad that RPS would post that Kotaku commenter piece, as it was clearly made by a fake cooking girl. I mean, who the hell thinks ghoulash is a proper reward for anything? It should have been at least a lasagna – even if it was one of the lame lasagnas with greens on it, it’d be better than a ghoulash.

    • Berzee says:

      Granted, the “good ending” scene was a little underwhelming if you don’t like ghoulash, but I thought the branching paths and reputation system (where your previous choices can have an impact on future events) were pretty sophisticated. I felt it would have benefited from some old-school RPG elements though (specifically character creation, as opposed to fixed protagonist, but different strokes and all that. /shurg).

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      I am sad because it really was a lot of words to say ‘It’s a Gawker Network Site and Therefore Its Comments Are An Endless Pit of Stupid’

      • InternetBatman says:

        The comments on Gawkers Network sites are sometimes okay, it’s the writing staff that’s rotten. They do things like talk about misogyny to gather hits, star people that sound reasonable, then destar them when they call out Lisa Foiles for writing a rate how hot the booth babes are column or question the images on the front page. This creates an atmosphere that rewards conversation but punishes introspection.

        I think the technology behind their comment system is brilliant, especially the replies notifier (which gets addictive).

        • Phantoon says:

          Yes. Gawker is basically mostly assholes. They have a handful of good writers, but most of it is just hits-whoring. So really, it’s like 24 hour news, but for nerd stuff.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I’m going to call out Victoria Hilley’s poem as a bit unfair. There’s elements of truth in it, sure, but an everywoman character isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Remove the lines about disability and bisexuality from that poem and you’ve more or less got a description of Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Now I know people disagree with this (I’ve seen it in the past) but I reckon she’s a pretty good character. Sure there’s elements of being a bit generic but it’s exactly the same for male everyman characters in games and it doesn’t stop them being good characters in this type of game. It’s a stylistic choice that fits the game well, not every game suits having more layered and strongly defined characters (for example pick any character in The Longest Journey). If you’re just off to save your friends, unveil conspiracies and save the world you don’t always need to be getting distracted by journeys of self discovery or coming of age or whatever. It just doesn’t sit well with a nice simple bit of escapism.

    I agree there should be more challenging female characters, and indeed male characters, in games. I’d fully expect some people to be rather upset by them but that would be a good thing as, well, that’s what challenging characters are meant to be about – they are supposed to provoke discussion. Wouldn’t want every game to be like that though.

    tldr: Don’t be so quick to criticise everywoman/man characters. They have their place.

    • distrocto says:

      What you don’t understand is that they’re not gonna be satisfied till every videogame character looks like this: http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/218852-ultimate.jpg

      • Sarkhan Lol says:

        Oh man, I hate “them!”

        Honestly despite being a confirmed brainwashed RPS feminist mouthpiece, I wasn’t amazingly thrilled with that poem either, Rab Florence’s one about Lara was cleverer and more uncomfortably close to the mark.

        I’d see The Problem as being more rooted in what Christopher Hitchens would call the lowly stamp of our videogame origins, when we were all teenagers, subteenagers and Rob Hubbard. Also there wasn’t enough RAM for story or character traits so everyone had to be a dumb stereotype or a frog. The entertainment industry being an artless shitpile meant that the treadmill just kept grinding out improvements on the same basic skeleton, giving us dumb stereotypes in higher and higher definition. But now the definition is SO high that games are contending on a larger stage and occasionally being taken seriously for their artistic merit by people with nothing better to do. And sometimes we notice that everything’s really shallow and homogenized.

        Yes, there are people who will fly into a rage that they can’t choose M2F Transgender Bipolar Pansexual Also A Tiger as their gender when playing Fallout. Hooray for them. It just bugs me when all opposition is painted as an irrational extreme. Like Mass Effect 3, the ending of which is still shit, by the way.

        I was told of one friend suggesting, during the making of Popular Videogame, that maybe the plated femella facesmashers ought to have some actual muscle and being firmly informed something of the lines of “nobody wants to see your ugly dykes.” I don’t know if that’s true but I don’t see any reason to doubt it. I think they’re actually cheating themselves of some good fetish material myself.

        So really while I do have a lingering problem with the rudimentary design of a lot of female characters due to the rudimentary understanding of half the human race by most of the people who make them, I do define the issue less as NOT ENOUGH ETHNIC DIVERSITY and more as shit designers with no imagination or sense of verisimilitude. Or their shit overlords forbidding them to have one if they work for EA or some other popularly loathed Mega-City futurecorporation.

        Yeah okay that’s enough words. Before I go here’s a poem:

        Skeletor, Lord of Destruction
        A metaphoric decontruction
        Of Death and all its hybrid woes
        A rose is a rose is a motherfucking rose

    • The Random One says:

      I do not think you have understood that critique in the way the author intended. The complaint, as I see it, is not that strong female characters are ‘everywomen’, (in fact it clearly states they are not ‘everywomen’ because they don’t have any flaws that could be construed as weakness) but rather that there only seem to be one female strong character (i.e. all female strong characters are similar enough that they might as well be the same person) and this is unlikely to change because this is the only kind of character that neither patronizes women nor alienates men. I believe the author’s intention is that more characters that alienate men are created, because current creators are trying to have their female character cake and eat it too.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lambchops says:

        Yeah I kind of realised I was stretching things a bit as I was writing, which is why I added on the paragraph about how their should be more “challenging” female characters. I agree with that. I’ll admit that reading into it as “these types of characters should be replaced” rather than “let’s make sure these aren’t the only types of characters” was perhaps an error.

      • Ciergan says:

        The idea of an everyman is also problematic in the same way the nice guy fallacy persists for many men. It assumes that adopting a vanilla demeanor automatically makes the character likable when all it does is create entitlement and anger when it doesn’t work in real life.

        Layered characters can be both healthy and interesting but most of the time, we’re more interested in the emotional journey that makes that character interesting and layered.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Bring back Chuckie Egg

    • pepper says:

      Ooooh, so it was a poem, I was quite confused what it was about.

      Maybe its me, but what characters is she talking about?

    • Davie says:

      Agreed. Call me crazy, but the problem is not just the portrayal of women in games. The problem is that very few games utilize anything other than the most simplistic characterization techniques. Nearly all protagonists, male, female or whateverthefuck, are either relatable everypeople that the player can sympathize with, or completely blank slates that the player can project their fantasies onto. It’s very, very rare to play as someone who the majority of the audience wouldn’t sympathize with in some way or another.

  10. Premium User Badge

    CelticPixel says:

    If she can shoot a zombie, she can have my med-pack. End of discussion.

    • The Random One says:

      Such prejudice against doctors!

      • Phantoon says:

        But the doctor is supposed to give me medpacks so he doesn’t have to shoot zombies!

  11. Kodo says:

    Thank you for the link to that ‘Call Me Maybe’-layered insanity. Everything on that site is a wonderful dissection of pop culture’s terribleness.

  12. Hoaxfish says:

    oo, a bit more:

    Gabe, of Valve, doing a podcast about stuff: http://www.nerdist.com/2013/01/nerdist-podcast-gabe-newell-valve-the-company/

  13. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I cannot agree with the take on realism. It’s rarely a good idea to make sweeping statements like saying that all aspects of a game benefit more from less realism. It’s particularly wrong when we remember Realism isn’t the opposite o Fun. But its just wrong on general principle when we consider that one successful example of how less realism offers more fun does not suddenly mean this is true on all cases. Doesn’t even mean it is true on this specific case. Until we see a realistic alternative to Deus Ex hacking minigame, we can’t pass judgment.

    We demand realism from many aspects of a game design. It’s certainly a game genre specific worry. But it’s there. We usually demand realistic physics from our shooters. We usually demand realistic character portrayals from many of our games. We demand realistic tactical and strategic combat routines from many of our historical strategy games. Meanwhile a whole genre has advocate realism like no other; Sims (flight sims, and others) exist on the sole principle of bringing an as much close experience to reality as it is possible on a resource limited modern computer. None of this removes fun from the equation.

    It’s up to game designers to make decisions concerning these issues. Deus Ex uses the always popular concept of minigames to handle one of its in-game features. It could as well have tried a more realistic approach without that meaning necessarily it wouldn’t be fun. What it means is that the current solution is fun. And even this is debatable to some extent: Deus Ex hacking minigame can in fact just be considered one huge bore after you hacked 30 or so terminals and you haven’t even reached the mid game yet.

    And that’s actually one of the advantages of Realism. It doesn’t need to explain or justify itself. Realism is just accepted with all the perks and annoyances it may bring because, well, it’s realistic.

    I’m not advocating Realism as the only solution to gaming, mind you. Doing that would be ridiculous. I’m just not comfortable with the premise of the article that Realism and Fun are two opposing forces on all aspects of a game design. That’s ridiculous too.

    The article tries to make some point. But fails in its entirety. Analyzing the “success” story of the hacking minigame in Deus Ex is a poor and insipid justification for a Realism vs. Fun debate.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nogo says:

      Your points are all well and good, but it seems you misunderstood the part where he said realism as a goal is detrimental to the goal of making an enjoyable game. To use his example, if the Deus Ex were realistic about security then it be rife with absurd passwords like “j%Jwu+H,” that could only be acquired by wrenching them directly from some poor sods brain matter.

      One of the writers even popped in to say it was a struggle thinking up reasons why passwords were just lying around, which further proves his point that realism always takes a backseat to enjoyability as a goal. Elements of realism are quite grand, because of their familiarity, but as noted earlier, flight simulators don’t make you go through customs and security to get in the cockpit, so even sims don’t strive for total realism.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Indeed Nogo. But the point here is that this is only one aspect of realism that is best left alone. And only within a certain game feature context. We cannot from that stance construe a general principle that Realism is adverse to Fun. And especially on all aspects of a game design.

        For instance, the game could be handling hacking slightly differently. It could, for instance introduce bots that could automate the hacking process and save the player from the trouble of always having to play a minigame if they had these bots in their inventory. This would allow for complex, realistic passwords in the game and leave dumb passwords to only a few cases that the designers could then explore as a social critic (admins still exist that use an “admin” password) or as a comic relief.

        The point here is that the decision to handle password hacking in the game was made as it was. It however doesn’t say anything about whether a more or less realistic approach is good or bad. The feature speaks only for itself. And it certainly cannot speak for other areas of game design.

        • Premium User Badge

          Nogo says:

          Neither I, nor the author, are making value judgements on the degree of realism. The point here is that the goal is always enjoyment, and realism will always take a back seat to that. When developers test their games they feel satisfied, not when they say ‘yes, this is most real,’ but when they say ‘yes, this is most enjoyable.’ Even sims do this (I’ve never had my game taken away because I deviated from the decided flight path, nor had the controls only work with a 1:1 mockup of the cockpit.)

          Yes, there may be approaches that are more realistic and still enjoyable, but the bottom line is that they’re still enjoyable. Even your proposed scenario reflects this in that the tools you described aren’t realistic. Just seems unfair to claim the author ‘failed entirely’ and had ‘poor and insipid’ examples when you seem to agree with his conclusion.

  14. Mario Figueiredo says:

    As for women portrayal… Been always a problem and no one noticed until “now”. Suddenly it becomes the biggest problem of modern computer gaming. Not DRM, mind you. Not game prices, or excessive DLCs, or, I don’t know, insert here your possible annoyances.

    I just want to know what’s RPS opinion on games like The Witcher (both of them) and why they have been lauded in the past by RPS writers. I also would like to know when, during game reviews, will RPS finally address any issues of women depiction in the game and use that also as a basis for their appraisal of the game.

    We were called to arms by a few of the RPS staff for the past year. Very well. We are armed. Bring out the enemies.

    … or shut up with the hypocrite preaching already.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      So you are not allowed to criticize something if it isn’t completely black and white? Plenty of writers I like are apparently kind of dicks in real life. Leni Riefenstahl was a fantastic cinematographer. Pity about all the highly effective Nazi propaganda she did for the Third Reich.

      You can choose to criticize parts of an artistic work, or some behaviour of a person, without rejecting everything they do outright. Saying that this is hypocricy is absurd.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Tell me exactly where I said, or even implied, that pointing out and vehemently criticizing a poor choice of woman depiction in a game should qualify it as a bad game.

        That’s not even in my mind. What I want to see is action when the words are. And that’s been sorely lacking from RPS game analysis. During a review, suddenly and conveniently all sexism issues are ignored unless they are so obvious they can’t be ignored. And when they can’t be ignored they are usually adorned with all manner of humorous remarks that end up portraying the whole issue of sexism as laughing matter.

        We are told that one of the biggest problems in computer games is sexism in a varied number of ways. So, let’s see it being battled by those that for the past year have been oh-so-concerned about it.

        Should a game like The Witcher have been seriously and vehemently criticized for its depiction of women as sexual collectible objects and have that weight in the final appraisal of the game? Or considering the tremendous quality of the remaining aspects of the game, should that suddenly become only a secondary concern.

        In other words — and in plain English — when will all this sexism talk be for fucking real?

        • Premium User Badge

          Lambchops says:

          Yeah funnily enough I was thinking along these sort of lines the other day. I noted a lot of comments about the Cyperpunk trailer where certain people seemed up in arms about it but then added “I’m just a little worried but the games are good so I’ll still buy it” or words to that effect.

          Yeah, you can still play something and condone parts of it but it’s naturally a weaker condemnation than that of people who take a stand and state their intent not to buy the game (of which there was only a small minority of posters).

          • gwathdring says:

            I think that’s completely unfair. Nuanced opinions don’t map easily onto binary decisions like “To buy or not to buy,” especially because it’s harder tot fully judge a game without playing it.

            I might want to support everything a game does right more than I want to condemn all the things it does wrong. This isn’t hypocrisy. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It means I’m a multi-dimensional person and my priorities don’t necessarily align with yours or with a particular group of social activists.

            I think that makes my convictions stronger. I engage with material that makes me uncomfortable and try to understand it. Sometimes I’ll judge things before engaging with them, too, but I don’t see how my convictions are better in the cases where I have made fewer moves to understand and empathize my opponents or the targets of my critique.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            I agree gwathdring. The decision to buy or not to buy by weighting how a game handles issues we may be sensitive about is entirely personal. And shouldn’t normally be considered hypocritical.

            I didn’t buy The Witcher. I considered it then — and still consider it today — an absolutely sick game. But I got The Witcher 2 despite my strong reservations of how it still depicts women. And like it, many other games that clearly depict women as sexual objects. I definitely am the better qualified judge of what crosses the limits of my own tolerance.

            DRM, DLC explosion, Always-Online, all manner of industry abuses are also the subject of my scrutiny. Not just sexism. But despite my undying love for some of these games that clearly step on my toes, I won’t for a moment stop criticizing them. And this is what is usually lacking in the gamer community. It seems the game I love is a game that I won’t even think of criticizing and would defend anyone criticizing it, if necessary by distorting my own values and momentarily pushing the boundaries of my tolerance.

          • Premium User Badge

            Lambchops says:

            Gah, I excised the word “hypocritical” from my post as it wasn’t quite what I was trying to say, This is usually why I stay out of this sort of thing! Just pointing out that to the casual observer some people’s levels of condemnation might not seem to match their actions and trying to get people to think about whether this is important to them or not.

            I thought the Witcher sex cards thing was absolutely daft (the thing with lots of women sleeping with Geralt made sense, the “gotta shag them all” aspect of the cards was creepy), but I still played the game. I’ll say it’s daft but I think it’s right that people might ask me why I didn’t do as Mario did and not buy it. It’s worth thinking about these things.

          • gwathdring says:

            I didn’t mean to jump down your throat over a miscommunication. I apologize if that’s what if felt like. :)

            For future reference, I attack arguments. Sometimes (I both like and dread to think for different reasons) ruthlessly. But that’s the beginning and the end of it. I don’t attach the argument to you or even to your theoretical ultimate, final say on the subject. I know people screw up, but I deal with the words on the page or in the air … gets me into trouble sometimes. :P

            Back to the discussion: I agree. It’s totally worth questioning. I just feel like the people with the most interesting insights are the people we can ask those questions. The people who had to make complicated decisions about a product because it made them ambivalent either in presentation or in play. That includes the people who didn’t but to an extent–the people who talk about the relative merits of a product they enjoy versus wanting to carefully advocate for the medium by putting their hard earned cash in the right places.

            I think the discussion gets “real” as Mario called for in the post to which you replied (it’s funny he ended up agreeing with my post, because I was really disagreeing with my interpretation of his up top more than your post that I ultimately replied to) when people make these decisions and try to understand both sides of the decision. Not when people start boycotting games. I think it’s a fine stance, to assert that further the artistry and commercial equity of the medium is more important that further gender equality in a medium with a limited scope in ways that might not even be possible without first making bigger changes beyond the scope of the medium.

            But I won’t be satisfied until more and more gamers THINK about those issues and actually take a stance like that whether or not it ultimately aligns with my optimum ratio of consumer activism to social activism. And on that, I hope the three of us are aligned.

    • RandomEsa says:

      I actually would like to see what rps thinks about witcher 2 and especially [spoilers] when henselt rapes ves [spoilers] now that misogyny seems to be the instant clicks for every gaming journalist.

      I felt bad for Roche.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        I find that of no value to the actual problem. It’s a good plot advancing mechanism, part of the narrative and in no way exploitative of women. There’s far more troubling aspects to the Witcher 1 and 2 than that particular innocuous (in a narrative sense) scene.

  15. Michael Fogg says:

    Goddammit, this looks increasingly like the Yearbook of the Institute of Gender Studies :/

    • Tagiri says:

      Right? How dare those girls invade your tree-house?

    • wu wei says:

      And while people like you continue to post kneejerk comments like this, I hope RPS continues to address the subject.

      • Phantoon says:

        To be fair, RPS has been guilty of some very kneejerk reactions in the past.

        Most of them weren’t too off-base, though. The one a few weeks ago by Craig was. “Violence sure is bad!” isn’t a discussion. We can all agree that real violence is bad.

        Now, the kneejerk reaction to Ubisoft declaring the introduction of always-on DRM? It was a good one. The ideas were measured, a conversation was had over the rights of software producers to protect their game VS consumer rights.

        So it’s not always a bad thing.

    • Kid_A says:

      That’s a bit unfair. The Yearbook of Gender Studies would at least critique Anita Sarkeesian as the non-inclusive, anti sex-positivist, slut-shaming asshole who is almost uniquely unqualified to discuss videogames in any fashion that she is.

      • gwathdring says:

        You’ve said that multiple times (or maybe it was you here and someone else earlier in the thread) as though it’s common knowledge. I know next to nothing about this person and those are some rather bitter words. Would you care to explain further or offer examples?

  16. yogibbear says:

    I can’t comment anymore about any of this stuff. It isn’t specific to gaming and the problem isn’t solved by gamers, RPS commentators, or developers or publishers. It is just that the world sucks. I really should learn to get over it rather than be so pissed off when I disagree with people getting all “high and mighty” about causes because it’s a cause and people need to be part of the cause and make themselves feel better than others because they agree with something. Whatever.

    The problem is, there isn’t a problem specific to gaming. There is a problem with the world and the expectations people with “high and mighty” attitudes to causes tend to place on everything they consume yet give back nothing to the world themselves but criticize others, they don’t teach, they don’t educate others, they don’t improve upon others creations, they just criticize and that doesn’t help anyone after awhile as you realise it’s just a bunch of hand waving and red faces over something that wasn’t the result of what they think it was, and that the problem isn’t caused by what they argue it is… meaning the effort is wasted.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      > I can’t comment anymore about any of this stuff.

      It seems you found a way….

      > It isn’t specific to gaming

      Yet this is a gaming site, so it is an appropriate place to discuss this within the context of games.

      > and the problem isn’t solved by gamers, RPS commentators, or developers or publishers.

      What is “the problem” in your opinion? We won’t solve every problem of the human race, no. But if we are talking about the more specific problem of gender issues and treatment of females within the games industry, who else do you suggest will solve it but the gamers, developers and publishers?

      >they don’t improve upon others creations, they just criticize

      Criticizing is just about the only way you can help others to improve. The question is if you offer criticism in a friendly and constructive manner. Did YOU do that?

      • distrocto says:

        This woman has all the answers to your problems Lars: http://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/what-logistical-problem/

        • Phantoon says:

          Can’t tell if facetious or not. Does imply that only women are only victims of rape, and that rape is only done by males, specifically against women. Does not capitalize, generally a sign of uneducation, or little care. Rambles at the end and draws the conclusion that “justice”, given as the idea of locking up every man within a twenty mile radius of a rape occurence. Also puts forth the idea that women generally do not do most of the traditionally male jobs, even though numbers have been rising in most areas (save for incredibly hazardous work, like coal mining), and might not be able to figure it out, which almost comes across as a separate idea entirely. Has the idea of “men culture”, which is stereotyping that everyone is subjected to, which is sexist on a literal level even if not intentional.

          In conclusion, what? No. Let’s not do that, it’s stupid. For anyone, much less half the world’s population.

          Went back and read the comments. I try not to resort to ad hominem, but those people are idiots. The cure for a sexist culture is NOT MORE SEXISM. This is not hard. You don’t “get even”. That doesn’t build a culture. These are the sort of people that don’t even know what rape is, and think it’s “a guy looked at me and he was ugly so I didn’t like that!”, which totally undermines the seriousness of the crime of rape, by the way. A crime that should be taken more seriously, and with new ideas enforced- yes, a guy can rape his girlfriend- dating isn’t a magic “I can’t say no” button, and men reserve the right to say no too! Also, reporting a rape shouldn’t be viewed with suspicion, or glorification. Both do damage to the people that actually have had the crime done to them.

          So, to sum up again, these people are idiots, and have never actually dealt with anything like this. It makes me mad. Stupid pampered fucks.

          • durruti says:

            yeah, maybe if you can’t tell “if facetious or not” you should refrain from paraphrasing and “deducing”. you’re far off, if that helps. by the way all these sentences in note form make it seem like you’re uneducated or don’t care.

            to sum up: you’re male. i mean an idiot. XD

      • yogibbear says:

        Okay… I’ll elaborate (because I thought I was being friendly and constructive… but this is the internet and the way you read my words is different to the way I think they sound coming out of my own brain reading them back to me…which I’m sorry if it sounded in anyway offensive, because I wasn’t trying for it to be that way at all).

        When there is an endless amount of criticism about a specific topic… surely we’d start to get criticism that explains what would be a better way of dealing with the issue, offer up specific titles and proclaim them as a shining example of doing it right… maybe even have a GOTY specific awards category for best 5 games showing a mature way of portraying the diverse and amazing world we live in, and then another category for the 5 worst AAA games (or situations/plot arcs within games) at meeting whatever level of mature and balanced themes is required to tick the boxes of whatever cause. But that hasn’t happened yet. I think it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the critics for not giving fair criticism or provide any feedback on what would be an example of doing it right, or how to improve.

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          Yes, it is notoriously difficult to read intent on the net where you don’t know the person writing and you don’t have non-spoken visual clues to help you understand the mood and tone of the person you are communicating with. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

          Ok, those are very constructive suggestions. I would be all for that. I doubt we will get the majority of the games industry with us though.

  17. RagingLion says:

    The piece on Polygon interviewing Ken Levine is pretty good, even if I’d heard some of it before.

    • Low Life says:

      Now if only their site layout didn’t make it annoying to read the interview :(

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    I think Porpentine broke this week’s Live Free, Play Hard

    • OrangyTang says:

      I can’t figure out if it’s broken, or it’s an elaborate commentary about how there were no good free games this week, so we have to read an essay-disguised-as-a-game and take a long hard think about what we’ve done.

      Or maybe it’s just broken.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rikard Peterson says:

      I very much doubt it’s broken. The comments off and the line of script seem intentional.

      • Premium User Badge

        Durkonkell says:

        Except that the line of script contains “loadFBLike” and the Facebook ‘Like’ button at the top is broken (but only if you view the full article). That seems like far too much effort to go to to make it LOOK like it’s accidentally broken when it’s actually deliberate. I’m inclined to believe that it’s genuinely broken, and I suspect that the comments being off is a side-effect.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The line of script is a bug; if you look at the source, the article cuts off partway through an “img” tag, and that makes the following “script” element bugger up something chronic. (Browsers are free to do whatever at this point.)

        I think “Comments are closed” is just godawful-mangled-Wordpress-system-ese for “I’m broken”. There have been previous articles in that state that later get opened with an “oops”.

      • jhng says:

        It looks like its broken — Porpentine trails several other games in the first few lines but they don’t show. Annoying, because its one if the things I look out for each week.

        Any chance that John or someone could whip off their glasses, enter a phone booth and fix it?

        EDIT: Actually, it’s fixed already.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I always like it when you can’t tell whether something is broken or meant to be broken.

  19. F33bs says:

    It takes a Herculean effort to make me sympathize with Kotaku, much less the droning hordes of idiots that grace the comment section, but Gera’s game/self-important political diatribe is the kind of thing that keeps this running conflict mundane and devoid of any substantial intellectual content. I’m not sexism apologist, but idiots spoiling the public space is not a new thing. What is new is turning this into a “women vs men” pissing contest rather than a discussion, and Gera is just as much guilty of that as any one of those sexist commenters. How she narrowed this industry-wide abuse to just “white men” is beyond me, but that kind of passive racism and political posturing really should be unacceptable in the community. I just wish intelligent figures in games journalism would start holding the other side accountable for once.

    • gritz says:

      Yeah! It’s about time someone stood up to that mean lady for picking on us white men!

      • Phantoon says:

        You’re further illustrating the point of how this is elementary school level discourse. It shouldn’t be, but there it is.

        So, thanks for that. Everyone just needs to calm down, and just stop for a bit. Then we can have a real discussion. And I mean the whole internet. Let’s just turn it off for a day.

        • gritz says:

          It’s true, even elementary students are capable of pointing out an idiot’s false equivalencies.

      • F33bs says:

        At least read my comment before you bang your knuckles on your keyboard, gritz.

  20. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    No Kickstarter Katchup this week? How will I know who to throw money at?

  21. Kevin Costner says:

    Oh look, PCG is actually writing about games (not carrying on about how shamelessly women are portrayed in games then linking to some shitty audio clip with an advertisement depicting a bare-legged woman squatting for the camera…it is sending a rather mixed message…what about her? Is this how a woman should be portrayed? Clowns) I believe I’ll head out for the day…

    …or I suppose I could just come back in a day or two when that info finally makes it over here.

  22. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    Can’t all those ladies just shush? I’m trying to enjoy the products that cater exclusively to my demographic without having to feel guilty because those products only reinforce my hideously narrow worldview! Jeez, don’t these broads understand how terribly hard it is to be occasionally reminded to not be horrible to other human beings!?

    • distrocto says:

      Why would you feel bad for enjoying something? Do you always self-flagellate and cry when watching porn too?

    • Tei says:

      Misrepresenting the other side of a debate is a confusing method, because you never knows if the one doing it really misunderstand the other side, or just don’t want to understand it, or what. Its a vehicle for noise.

  23. DXN says:

    I just want to say thank you, RPS, for thinking and writing about tricky and important subjects related to this medium — subjects that have to be addressed by the industry movers and shakers if it’s ever going to get anywhere. Thank you for sticking to your guns even when it makes people kick and squeal and complain and insult you.

    Same goes for continuing to put out little whimsical snippets and debates and joke posts and essays and reviews and series and comparisons and whatever else you’re inspired to do, even when it’s met with howls about how the site is dying and some person is killing it with their terrible writing and blah blah blah. Everyone at RPS, from founders to occasional guests, is among the best of games journalists, even when I disagree with them. I know most people who like what you do — including me — are silent most of the time, so I hope (and I’m sure) that you know how much it’s appreciated.

    Thanks for having sensible policies about things like ads, comment moderation, disclosure, etc.

    Thanks for providing a space (i.e. the forums) for so many lovely people to find each other, talk about vidyagames and random nonsense, and form communities (such as FOLK ARPS for Arma 2) that have provided many of my favourite multiplayer experiences.

    And thanks too, RPS commenters, for so frequently jumping in with thoughtful and meaningful comments even when idiots abound. It helps keep the community and the spirit of the site alive!

    • gwathdring says:

      This place is pretty awesome. For every handful of folks that complain about this long discussion threads, there are a bunch more with interesting things to say on all sides of the discussion.

      Thanks, RPS, for all the fun articles and for helping to make such a rich and varied community. It’s got some quirks, but this is definitely my home on the web.

  24. NathanH says:

    But which SIDE are you on? Screaming harpies or man-children? Choose!

  25. Premium User Badge

    FriendlyFire says:

    I have absolutely no problem with dealing with issues like depiction of females in videogames. It’s a very real issue that shows our medium hasn’t matured yet.

    What I do have a problem with is how it’s taken a very large amount of importance here on RPS. The writers have limited time and thus there is a finite amount of articles that can be written each day, and of those that are what I would consider more… “investigative” (IE not previews, reviews, interviews and such), a lot are covering that particular subject, sometimes at the cost of other also meaningful issues.

    I’m not asking for the outright removal of sexism posts, merely to always keep in mind that other subjects like violence (I really liked that first post in hopefully a long series!), DRM, online integration, F2P, and many more are also important and interesting subjects that should be discussed with the same depth and seriousness as sexism. I want more articles and more varied articles.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Personally, I view it as a battle between conservatism and liberalism – between people who support the old social structures because they view change as degrading society, and the people who think that we can build something freer, less prejudiced and better. So don’t view it as women trying to fight men, because that’s a bad path to go down. Yes, masculinity will have to be reformed if society is to liberalise, but that’s happening already and will happen more. There will always be people who are looking for their Prince Charming, and there will always be people who want to beat the shit out of someone outside a bar, but the trend in society will be for women to be less passive and for men to be less aggressive, and for gender to become less important. And I think that’s a fantastic thing.

  27. I Got Pineapples says:

    I want everyone to get cancer.

    Eye cancer.

    Then I want laugh.

    What side does that put me on?

  28. DiamondDog says:

    I prefer to give off a sense of aloofness that makes it seem like I’m above either side of the argument. That way I get to sneer at everyone without ever having to commit to any kind of opinion or thought.

    The only downsides being this affectation is paper-thin and makes you look like a complete bellend.

  29. SuperNashwanPower says:

    The side of a WANTED poster, you psycho ;)

  30. NathanH says:

    I think that makes you one of the man-children. Welcome to the team!

  31. I Got Pineapples says:

    It is the best of all sides.

  32. Premium User Badge

    Arren says:

    Golden Mean fence-sitters, ain’t they just grand?

  33. NathanH says:

    Don’t worry about that downside; all the other positions are also paper-thin and make you look like a bellend.