Rock, Paper, Shotgun Apology For Using Female Writers

By John Walker on March 27th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

We made a mistake. It’s important as a website that readers can trust that we are up front when this happens, and willing to admit to our failings, and promise to address them. And as recently as last week, Rock, Paper, Shotgun let a woman write an article. We would like to apologise to our readers for any offence caused.

Perhaps what makes what’s becoming known as #PeaSoupGate so serious an error on our part was the apparent subterfuge used in the run up to this article. The author and – we now confess – woman, Cara Ellison, had been writing articles for us for a few months in advance of this particular piece. And with no appropriate warning, the article finished with an image revealing that Cara was in fact female. Clearly many readers were upset, and we now hope to redress the balance over this unfortunate incident.

The piece, an interview with someone else we have since discovered to also be a woman, Rhianna Pratchett, finished with a picture of Ellison in the foreground, with a pot of pea soup in the background. What is so particularly problematic with this picture is that rather than containing the face of a man, as readers trust to expect, it seems we published what is identifiably a picture of a woman.

Naturally commenters expressed their shock and rage. Most were in fact so upset by the situation that they forgot to even mention that their horror was born of Ellison’s apparent lack of a Y chromosome, and instead in their confusion simply argued against the use of an image of the writer at all. With RPS’s male writers having frequently posted their own faces on the site over the years – and of course to no complaint – it just shows quite how wrong it was of us to allow this situation to occur, so upsetting and confusing as it was that people would become so muddled.

Some have observed that it is deeply peculiar that none of RPS’s male writers have ever been so vitriolically criticised for featuring picture of themselves, if it’s even happened at all. Others have claimed that rarely do readers feel the need to comment on whether they find the male writers of RPS attractive or not when images of them appear. Also that complaining about Cara’s writing about herself seems peculiar on a site that is proudly self-indulgent before it’s informative. Lines like “it’s almost like women in games journalism have something to prove” applied to a style of writing used by all of RPS’s male writers since we launched nearly six years ago, they say, appear incongruous. But this is a very insensitive argument that does not take into account the severity of the trauma our interview has caused.

RPS would also like to apologise for featuring other female writers, both born and identifying as female, on a regular basis. Clearly by being women they are imposing their agenda on an undeserving audience, in a way that is inexcusable.

From this point going forward, we will ensure that if a woman is somehow writing on the site, that during the process they will be required to wear a top hat, false moustache, and steely, manly glare as they type, in order to eradicate the unpleasantness so many have had to experience. No longer will they be allowed to “play the gender card” by openly having their gender be so not-male.

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752 Comments »

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  1. Vaedresa says:

    Don’t worry. The overall quality of the site has been ruined by man and woman alike. I miss 2008.

    Everything about RPS has got worse in the last couple of years. I used to like the way it was a site dedicated to news about games, and how it didn’t get caught up in bullshit politics, and didn’t try to pander to its readers. Plus, it would actually criticise popular games (Quinns reviewing Fallout: New Vegas was a great example), and generally had a backbone on things. The four writer system just worked.

    Now though, all that’s gone. It’s a clusterfuck of writers, none of them any good, and even the articles by the ones who used to be good are worse, as they’re constantly getting bogged down in trying to act like videogames are a force against whatever thing is unpopular with the commenters at the time. It’s like a shitty form of white-knighting for attention and self-gratification.

    The commenters here will slate me for this, probably. As will the writers. But fuck it, it’s true, and something needs to be done about the massive decline in quality. And no, I’m not blaming it on a woman. I’m blaming it on everyone involved.

    • Brigand says:

      What can man do against such constant negativity?

      Edit: Since there were three paragraphs added I’m guessing the answer is not questioning constant negativity.

      • darkath says:

        And sadly, it has to be the first comment, overshadowing the 5 pages or so of positive reactions and support. Exactly like in the aforementionned interview.

        I’m surprised to even see they write an article about it, while 90% of the comments i scanned through were mostly the same kind of comments, puns, and spambots we always have on RPS.

        • 00000 says:

          Actually ‘Jaffa Cake’ was a clever euphemism used by this grossly-misogynous community to discuss Cara’s vagina. Go read all the comments a second time. The objectification of female writers on this site is horrifying!

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            Cinek says:

            Jaffa cake? But…. why?
            Anyway – I think what’s most annoying for these guys is a fact that a nice-looking, cute girl can actually write better and more intelligent posts about gaming than they can.
            Their ego just couldn’t stand that so the discussion went down to some rather horrific level.

      • Drake Sigar says:

        Shrug it off? I’ve seen great reviewers let the negative comments wear them down plenty of times to the point where it permanently affects the quality of their work, and I fear that’s the road John is heading down.

        I like the politics and the human interest stories as much as the reviews, so I don’t agree at all with the messages popping up lately that say ‘What happened to you RPS? You used to be cool’, but THIS article is freakin’ horrible.

        • GoliathBro says:

          This article is not horrible. It is the reason I choose to read RPS over any other site that might as well be written by robots without the slightest bit of personality.

          Am I getting a bit tired of Walker’s preaching? Well yes, especially considering how he never seems to realize that we are the choir… But I still like reading him a great deal.

          I enjoy Cara a lot, she should definitely write more. Her and Nathan are the best things that have happened to RPS in a long while, even though Nathan does kinda piss me off sometimes.

          I come here for Walker’s self-righteous commentaries which are endearing and really cute. I come here for Alec’s wonderful diaries. I come here for Adam’s reviews, because it is creepy how much he thinks like I do. Nathan never fails to put a smile on my face. I’m not entirely sure what Rossignol does?

          None of the above would exist if RPS wasn’t a self indulgent, highly personal site. More of that, please, not less.

          To anyone else, go and read IGN or something.

          • Tacroy says:

            I’m not entirely sure what Rossignol does?

            He is Rossignorial.

          • Ragnar says:

            Agreed, articles like this is why I read RPS. I love the cheeky humor, and the calling out of hypocrisy. While John may be preaching to the choir, the comments under that article clearly show that some readers aren’t reading from the same sheet music as everyone else. Even if 99% off the readers are fine, it’s still important to call out the 1% and say ” Hey, guys, you may not mean it, but you’re being insulting. Please think about it so that you can recognize why it’s insulting, and stop.”

          • notenome says:

            I was actually gonna write this on the original post but opted not to. Personally I think Cara is a very good writer, I just believe she has to trust herself more. Often I find that her constant asides serve as a distraction from her (good) writing, like someone who is constantly telling jokes whilst giving honest opinions. In other words, you distract the reader/audience from what you’re trying to say as a form of protection. Or maybe I need to stop reading pop psychology (see, that’s an example right there).

            As for Walker’s post, I’d say it goes overboard on passive aggression, but then again he is English. It’s telling that my first reaction after seeing Cara’s picture at the end of her article was to scroll down to the comments section and expect the worst. As such I was actually surprised by the mildness of it, but I didn’t read too far down.

            The relation between women and the games industry is an extremely complicated one. Games are a male dominated medium in all aspects (production, development, consumption and opinion/reporting). It’s especially unfortunate because unlike other economic activities, the birth of the games industry post-dates the sexual revolution of the 60s and the 70s. Which isn’t to say that the 80s were some kind of gender utopia, but it was a far different workplace than the early 20th century where the automobile or movie industry were born.

            Obviously this is just one dude’s opinion on the internet, but part of this may be due to games kind of providing a safe haven for reactionary male values that, whilst still influential in most societies, are increasingly (and thankfully) seen as non politically correct. This isn’t to say that games are by nature reactionary or masculine, but the culture and industry that has formed around them panders and stimulates these concepts. To put it another way, it is hard to come up with a list of ten AAA games released in any given year which are not extremely violent by objective standards and/or deliberately target a male audience.

            This has appeared to form a feedback loop: publishers seeking large returns pump out games catering to these values, which attract gamers looking for male self affirmation (I’m an elite/pro gamer, hear me roar!), which leads to publishers making ever more games like this and- Warface.

            Market forces should eventually dictate that the games industry will increasingly reach out to female gamers (in order to increase their customer base) but as has happened with most every other industry, this does not mean that the industry will not be male dominated. Much as has happened with professional sports, female journalists are finding niches in certain specific areas, like presenting shows and videos on gaming sites and doing the gaming equivalent of sideline reporting (video segments from expos like PAX). There are very few women in a position of power/creative control in either area.

            Here’s a simple experiment: look at the reviewers on gaming sites. Reviews are competitive by nature, which is to say only one writer can review a game per site. Rarely does a female journalist review a game and I can’t ever recall a ‘hotly anticipated’ AAA game being reviewed by a woman. And that’s not taking into account that it often simply sucks to be a woman in the gaming industry. I recall a panel discussion with several female IGN employees. IIRC when asked what misconception annoyed her the most about working in the industry Jessica Chobot answered “That I’m a slut”. She then explained how she could never forward any of her work to her parents because there was always a commenter expressing his desire ‘to stick it up her ass’. Sadly most of the comments on the video related to a hypothetical kitchen.

            As games become an increasingly more accepted and influential part of society, so will the political debate surrounding them. This isn’t just because games (like any cultural expression) are reflective of society but because they also help to shape it. RPS is a willing participant in this political debate, but really every gaming site and comenter is too. The guy typing ‘I just want to enjoy RPS and read wot-I-thinks leave the politics out of it’ is himself making a political statement because not taking part (or reacting against someone taking part) is itself a political act that reinforces the status quo.

            So… yeah, Walker is right to be pissed. Gender relations in video games are a major problem and RPS has a role to play, as do we all.

            TL;DR: It’s complicated.

          • Bhazor says:

            @ notenome

            Nothing you said has anything to do with this follow up or the original. As for the “no women in reviewing” you might want to look up Keza Macdonald. Lead Editor of IGN UK who most recently wrote the ign review of Tomb Raider.

            http://uk.ign.com/wikis/ign/Keza_MacDonald

          • notenome says:

            @Bhazor

            I’m not saying there are no women in reviewing in absolute terms, but in proportional terms.

            As for not being specific to the comments above, I beg to differ. Most of the comments refer to if Walker’s article is warranted, to which I’d answer, yes, because there is a real problem, not to mention the first comment. Also it started as a comment specifically on Cara’s writing style, but since I had read the first two pages of comments before posting, it spread from there. Don’t know why this is relevant but there you go.

          • Drake Sigar says:

            @Ragnar Calling out 1% of the fanbase on this website is a waste of time. Nobody would write a full hostile article on this subject without believing a significant portion of the RPS commenters are sexist.

            I take exception to this middle finger right to his own audience because RPS is one of the better communities I’ve been a part of.

          • Hyoscine says:

            To be fair, I’m not sure we can complain about the choir getting preached to when there’s when there’s clearly some proper tools in the community. A post like this would lose a little of it’s impact beginning “This one goes out to the dickheads”.

      • Wookie says:

        Look I’m sorry RPS I love your site and all that dealy, but christ, I read the comment thread on the original article, there was no issue, none at all. In fact the only marginal criticism was of people being too touchy and stating that maybe you shouldnt have a picture posted unless it drew some fictional groups ire.

        Look this issue itself is tiny (in fact to be honest I think you manufactured it , but it does signal one thing and that is that RPS has seemingly seriously lost its way in recent times. Do you know why? because it stopped talking about what its writers were good at, games and instead began to jump on whatever political bandwagon it finds trendy, look I dont care you have female writers, big deal.

        I think the best example of RPS letting politicking (which by the way I dont quite know why we are supposed to care) get in the way of actual journalism was around the whole Castle Doctrine thing, I dont care that some of your writers are pro-gun control, I dont care that you didnt like the player charcter always being male. Thats not why you are here, you are here to talk about games.

        • Acorino says:

          Agreed. Read the comment thread too. Unless the hivemind removed all the insulting comments before I got the chance to read them, I fear I have no clue what John is reacting to here. Maybe it’s a twitter thing, but then he could have been clearer about that, couldn’t he?
          Making an elephant out of a… – well, not even a fly, there was nothing wrong with the original comments. Yes, some criticized Cara’s writing, but unless criticism towards a woman’s work is just viewed as veiled sexism, then I don’t know what issue might have been percepted. John’s writing is criticized often enough too, and you won’t here someone call “Misandry!” in those cases. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, making an elephant out of nothing doesn’t help the feminist cause.

          So, in summary: more Cara, less John?

          • notenome says:

            It’s impossible to know what John is reacting to without being John. Maybe it was some comment in particular, maybe emails, maybe twitter. Maybe it was a phone call from a fellow journalist or facebook or whatever. Since it’s not really my place to judge what counts as sufficient grief (and even if it was, I could never know unless I stalked the Hivemind) I guess its better to address either the issue at hand (gender politics in gaming) or if the reaction was an appropriate way to deal with the issue at hand (a defaced picture and a blog post with, shall we say, a hint of bitter sarcasm?)

          • Jikid says:

            It feels like you consider sexism only sexism if it kicks you in the behind and beats your teeth out. Subtle sexism is a thing and taking that into account there is the fact that the first comment dealing with her picture lasted for the whole first page.

            But whatever, it’s not like I’m going to convince anybody here; in reality, I’m replying to you guys only to balance out the negativity by saying I enjoyed the ironic style of this article and understand and am wholeheartedly behind Walker’s wish to reply (and all other “politicking” articles they do).

          • Chalky says:

            It feels like you consider sexism only sexism if it kicks you in the behind and beats your teeth out. Subtle sexism is a thing and taking that into account there is the fact that the first comment dealing with her picture lasted for the whole first page.

            I have a question – is it permissible for me to be irritated by a games journalist that spends a good chunk of their articles playing up how hilariously quirky they are rather than talking about the anything relevant or interesting?

            The journalist in question happens to be female and that means that some people may have been sexist about her at some point, but is it possible for me to think that her posting that picture would have been just as tiresome if she was male?

            If any of the male journalists on this site decide to start devoting chunks of their articles to random pictures of themselves and “quirky” rambling I hope they get a bloody page of comments discussing how dumb it is too!

            I’m sure some people enjoy reading it, but it’d be nice if people who found it rather grating could avoid some ridiculous “sexism” witch hunt. Thousands of female journalists write excellent articles every day – I don’t think the fact that these articles have a problem is down to the sex of the author.

          • Jikid says:

            The short answer to your manipulative (maybe she’s not trying to be quirky, but actually enjoys being quirky? and there was only one picture and that was meant as a loosely-connected joke, remember, the thing RPS loves to do?) reply is that yes, of course you’re allowed to comment. The problem, however, is when you choose to single out one person and attack them for using the style the site is known for (not to mention overplaying their supposed negative traits). I wouldn’t even say that Ellison takes this style far enough to warrant such an acidic reaction (personally, I found the article well-presented with her personal comments adding humour and colour to what was already kind of an intriguing interview which explained some stuff that had annoyed me within the game’s story).

            Maybe, maybe indeed this isn’t sexism and this is just the reaction of a part of the RPS crowd to her own specific take on this style and maybe Walker is overreacting, I really can’t deny either one of these claims because I haven’t read even a quarter of the original comments, but (and it was inevitably leading up to a ‘but’) the point remains that her interview and style was singled out amongst all the weirdness that RPS loves. That, my dear fellow, is a problem.

          • zeroskill says:

            “So, in summary: more Cara, less John?”

            This here basically. I’ve been reading RPS pretty much since the beginning and Cara reminds me much more of the old RPS then anybody else writing on this site at the moment.

            Cara, please don’t start writing about pseudo politics, sexism or always-on DRM.

          • Chalky says:

            The problem, however, is when you choose to single out one person and attack them for using the style the site is known for

            Sorry, but that’s not true. This site is not known for filling chunks of their articles with rambling nonsense. It’s known for interesting articles and great puns. There are some joke articles, but it isn’t done on every one and it certainly isn’t done in such a gratuitous way that it detracts from the content itself.

            And you know what, I don’t want to single anyone out. Until recently, I never looked at who the author of an article was when I read it. The whole site could have been written by one person, it was consistent, witty and interesting.

            But recently some of the articles have been trying far too hard to be “wacky”. I didn’t know they were written by the same person – I just assumed RPS was becoming a bit hit and miss.

            To be fair, she’s a new writer and her most recent article is far better so maybe she’s just hitting her stride. Not every article can be SPACE HULK SPACE HULK and I’ll be happy if the site stays 80% interesting and witty and 20% joking around.

      • zeekthegeek says:

        Use opportunities like any thread like this to supplement your block list. Make RPS a better place.

    • Gassalasca says:

      I wouldn’t mind having all the articles written by Kieron and Quinns, with a few contributions from John and Cara thrown in for good measure.

      • Belsameth says:

        I’d like to see more Cara actually (hur hur), her articles as of late are my favourites on the site as of late.

        • McDan says:

          Bloody Internet, here I was with quite a large reply and it’s all gone. I agree though, Cara is thoroughly excellent and more articles definitely. Yes this article is itself a bit of fun itself but it is strange that people complain, it’s not as if the writers have a duty to write stuff that entertains you, just enjoy or don’t but you don’t have to say. RPS will probably keep going the way it is with same style articles for a while. And that’s great.

        • Lowbrow says:

          Agreed. If I want to read reformatted press releases (what passes for “hard news” for most readers) there are plenty of places for that. Cara is the only author here that I’m willing to read on a topic I’m not interested in.

          I think the tophat, etc should apply to all RPS articles though. Class up this joint.

          • Bhazor says:

            OK this I really don’t get.

            It seems anyone who criticises Cara gets labelled as wanting “reformatted press releases”. That has never been the case on RPS just look at the recent Battlefield 4 article. The difference being that other writers talk about the topic, they don’t talk about themselves. Again read the original interview. She spends more time talking about herself than she does about Rhianna. In an interview.

            Thats not bad writing, thats an insult to the interviewee.

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            drewski says:

            What utter garbage.

            There are a lot of things that are insulting to interviewees, but gonzo journalism isn’t one of them. Cara’s article isn’t really any different from Alec’s Ken Levine interview, which was also fine and interesting.

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            Cinek says:

            Bhazor – if there’s anyone having a problem it’s not Cara with writing good reviews, but rather you with reading carefully.

      • zeekthegeek says:

        Yeah, lets get the guys who have intentionally retired from games journalism write all the articles! Not like they have other jobs now!

      • apocraphyn says:

        Gosh, look at all the drama. Silly John.

        The ultimate RPS dream team in my eyes would be KG, Quinns, an active Rossignol and my fellow Mancunian, Mr Smith. Minimum focus on drama and politics, maximum focus on games and decent bloody writing.

    • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

      Let’s see here:

      * John Walker is always bashing some company or genre, he can be booted freely. If he got a nickel every time he dislikes a shooter or an adventure game… oh wait, he does. That’s why he’s the richest of the lot.

      * Alec writes essays about how he was captivated by the atmosphere of the game, sometimes forgetting to mention the name of the game or any gameplay. Dismiss him with extreme prejudice.

      * Adam Smith is Alec’s alias. Have you ever seen them in the same room? Me neither. Remove Alec’s second paycheck today, I implore you!

      * Jim is being hunted most of the time, returning to the site only for his monthly paycheck. I’m not sure if you can get rid of him, but if you can, do so.

      * Nathan Grayson is the current incarnation of Robin. Batman can lend him a good amount of money if he loses his day job. He won’t miss us and we won’t miss him.

      The rest of the team is doing a great job.

      • Brun says:

        * Adam Smith is Alec’s alias. Have you ever seen them in the same room? Me neither. Remove Alec’s second paycheck today, I implore you!

        I have strong suspicions that this one may actually be true.

        • Duke of Chutney says:

          whilst i haven’t seen the two of them I have seen Adam, up north, but since i havent seen Alec i cannot confirm that they are indeed not the same person. What i can say is that if indeed they are, Alec is truly a master actor that has perfected the lowest of Mancunian accents.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            Easy now, I found his Manchunian lilt quite refined. Lowest indeed, you’ve clearly not heard Bez speak in a while. (A good thing, frankly)

        • Ultra Superior says:

          Nope. Adam writes 10x better articles than Alec. Alec is a weird mixture of gentleness and cruelty, like a sadistic sociopath hiding behind the mask of a mild, shy, almost sheepish vegetarian.

          Adam on the other hand, is Byron of our days, he’s truthful, real and has a great style, if perhaps sometimes a little bit too much torn by his inner demons. That only serves to provide his articles with that unmistakable – inbetween-the-lines – silent scream of tormented soul.

          Cara tends to use inexpensive sexual innuendos too much. Perhaps others like her kind of unfocused, subjective subject-detached writing, but I only detect certain lack of taste in that and hinting at a lack of writer’s self-esteem, manifested mainly through the undeclared disregard for the subject (usually a a game) and the audience (which is interested primarily in the subject).

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            If Adam had the back of a book cover to fill (Does he?! This fantasy just made me realise that I want this so much) he could do no better than to pull all his review quotes from this comment

            “A Byron of our days” – Ultra Superior

            “Torn by his inner demons” – Ultra Superior

            “Unmistakable – inbetween-the-lines – silent scream of [a] tormented soul” – Ultra Superior

            If Adam ever needs a publicist I’ll write you a, completely unjustified, glowing reference letter based on this comment alone.

            (Seriously, does Adam have any published books? I have an uncontrollable urge to pay for his words)

        • The Random One says:

          As if someone would actually name their child “Adam Smith”. Obviously a pseudonym, meant to imply that with his evilly acquired paycheck he’ll have the wealth of nations. And no one has ever called him out on it, so he’ll walk. Speaking of each, verify if John Walker is a real person as well.

      • Supahewok says:

        Um. Adam and Alec were together in that RPS contest event thing at the Eurogamer con or whatever it was a year or so ago. Sorry.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          A cunning misdirection like this is exactly the kind of thing Adam Meer would pull.

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          Cinek says:

          Adam was just a disguised Alec’s bother to spread confusion amongst readers.

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        drewski says:

        It does amuse me how many commenters on RPS seem to hate RPS.

        Is it *that* hard for Vaedresa and friends to just, y’know, stop coming here.

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          Llewyn says:

          What amuses me more is that they seem to think that RPS’ owners and writers are the problem. Y’know, the site would be fine if those pesky writers would just clear off and leave the place to the important and meaningful contributors…

        • zeroskill says:

          Are you sure you really understand the true meaning of the word hate ?

      • Jarenth says:

        I agree with your implicit statement that Craig Pearson is, in fact, the beating heart and emotional core of RPS.

    • Nick says:

      Quinns reviewing fallout new vegas was the worst thing RPS has ever done.

      • Vaedresa says:

        Except it fucking wasn’t, and this is my exact point.

        Back then, people had fucking backbone. He did that review not liking the game, and knowing that people would disagree with him. Which is how a review SHOULD WORK.

        Instead, what we have is a complete going-with-the-hype response to games. “Simcity has no hype and people aren’t happy with it? Fuck it, ok, we’ll go along with that, the same with Aliens: Colonial Marines, Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 though? They have a lot of hype behind them, so we’ll review them positively and then re-review them later after controversy. Spec Ops: The Line? What’s that? Ah, who cares, the commenters certainly don’t, so we’ll just ignore it”.

        Games journalism is dead.

        • Brun says:

          Dragon Age 2

          DA2 never got a positive review from RPS. The viewpoints were negative pretty much from the start (I think there was an Initial Impressions and a WIT, both were generally negative in tone).

        • Dowr says:

          “Spec Ops: The Line? What’s that? Ah, who cares, the commenters certainly don’t, so we’ll just ignore it”. Except RPS did review the game.

          You sound pretty upset. I think you need a cup of tea and some muffins.

          • Vaedresa says:

            Spec Ops was the most interesting game of the year in terms of writing. And yet, it got one vague review saying “the writing was alright and stuff”, and was ignored from the games of note for the year in favour of Mass Effect 3 and some meaningless indie games (Mark of the fucking Ninja? Really?).

          • Sassenach says:

            It’s funny because game of the year was given to another rehash of Heart of Darkness, one written by Dan Brown apparently.

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            Keirley says:

            I think Spec Ops: The Line is one of the most important games in years, but that doesn’t mean I think everyone has to agree. If it just didn’t click with any of the RPS guys then they’re hardly going to write loads of gushing articles about it.

            Also, go away. Mark of the Ninja was great.

          • battles_atlas says:

            Spec Ops got a write up that nearly convinced me to buy it, despite having no interest in it previously. So it can’t have been that shitty.

          • OfficerMeatbeef says:

            “Spec Ops was the most interesting game of the year in terms of writing. And yet, it got one vague review saying “the writing was alright and stuff”, and was ignored from the games of note for the year in favour of Mass Effect 3 and some meaningless indie games (Mark of the fucking Ninja? Really?)”

            Well yes “Mark of the fucking Ninja” (which does sound perhaps even more exciting really) was an excellent game that played very well and was widely acclaimed, so yeah it seems like that it fit comfortably for “games” of the year, and perhaps decrying it as a “meaningless indie game” because it’s not… shit I honestly don’t even know what you’re trying to say here, because it’s not a “AAA” big pub thing or because it is a game with great mechanics and doesn’t try to be more than that?

            Anyway said statement is not just unnecessarily hostile but is in itself meaningless except to make you look like an absolutely tremendous ass whose opinion on other things (such as, say, site/editorial quality) should be immediately and aggressively discounted.

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            Petethegoat says:

            @Vaedresa
            “some meaningless indie games (Mark of the fucking Ninja? Really?)”
            aaaaand that’s all credibility gone. RPS have no obligation to like the same games as you, and have never claimed to be objective. Please go away.

          • Tams80 says:

            Spec Ops: The Line was an uninspired game based on a prejudice book about a part of the world it had nothing to do with. The gameplay was mediocre as well.

            See, look at me! I can do this too!

          • Ragnar says:

            Seeing as Dragon Age 2 got slammed here, while the review of Spec Ops got me to buy the game, I’m wondering if we’re reading the same site, or interpreting it the same way.

        • Slurpy says:

          Huh. RPS’s negative review of “The Cave” just a few weeks ago is what kept me from buying it.

        • Raitanator says:

          I agree with this wholeheartily. RPS – seemed to have it’s moments, but it’s dead and hops to bandwagon like everyone else. Worst of the lot is PCGamer. Dota2 gets 80-ish points, reviewer nags about how his team rages about his stupid choices and doesn’t criticize GAMEPLAY. DA2 gets 94 points and Editor choice -badge.

          Same thing is happening here. Immediately reviewers hop into Bioshit bandwagon. We don’t see any mention about immortality of our character or that Elizabeth is giving infinite ammo. In addition, when did corridor-shooters became one characterist of AAA-fps?

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Did you even read the bioshock review? It addressed many criticisms of the game, it was probably the most critical review I actually read of it and stopped me buying the game at full price. Have you even played it?

        • Nick says:

          Except, it was full of FACTUAL innacuracies and started with a personal attack on the developers. As I said, worst thing they have ever done.

        • Stupoider says:

          Was panning New Vegas a valid review or one you enjoyed because it stuck it to other popular games?

          New Vegas was the Fallout reboot the series needed, not Oblivion with Guns. The factions, the story, the capacity for roleplaying and the return of many concepts from the original games were barely touched on in Quinns’s review. It was a whinge about how New Vegas wasn’t like 3 and embarrassed most learned RPG fans.

          There have been countless games that deserve ripping apart, New Vegas had a buggy release but omitting its redeeming features was an injustice. I agree with you, there has been a drop in quality (or perhaps tone, these AAA game reviews get a lot more fanfare than they used to) but you can’t seriously be using the New Vegas review as a positive example.

        • Kpatrpa says:

          This is actually a common problem, and I definitely agree with you there, but there are maybe 3-4 websites left that have integrity at all so I guess I’ll take a little bit here rather than none at all at the bigger sites.

          really what bothered me about the article referenced by this article is the fact that 90% of it was relating herself to the interviewee, when I really don’t care for relations at all, who would? It’s game journalism, not a blog.

        • Premium User Badge

          PoulWrist says:

          Vaedresa – So you mean those games that were … uh, not reviewed positively and then also investigated and focused on for being shit? Uhm… right, I guess your criticism can be safely ignored, because really you must be reading some very different articles than I am. Maybe you are somehow viewing IGN or something in an iframe on top of RPS and just posting on RPS comments? I dunno…

      • Brun says:

        Why, because it stuck a spear in the sacred cow that is Obsidian? The studio that always comes close but ultimately fails to deliver? No, they deserve to be judged objectively like everyone else. They don’t get a free pass just because you like what they’re trying to do.

        • Stupoider says:

          Judged objectively? Did we read the same review?

        • lcy says:

          The fact is that someone has to be honest about Obsidian. They’ve made some very interesting games, but in terms of the end result, it’s often bug city. I jumped on their Kickstarter almost as soon as I heard about it – but if they did one tommorrow, promising to spend all the money on QA, and offering no rewards, I’d jump on that twice as quickly…

      • Premium User Badge

        X_kot says:

        Agreed – I’m all for contrarian perspectives (hello, Tom Chick!), but Quinns’ New Vegas review was spiteful and disrespectful. Calling a game out for its shortcomings is welcome, but lines like: “It is the sound of Obsidian phoning this game in. I’m talking long distance, reversed charges, not-giving-a-fuck” are not professional.

        • Vaedresa says:

          The idea that critics should not offend the people they are criticising boggles my mind. Maybe he was “Spiteful and disrespectful” because he didn’t like the game, and hated how lazy Obsidian had been in regards to it (which they had, and no amount of fanboy defence will change that).

          I know everyone likes life to be a hugbox, but if someone doesn’t like something, they should have an absolute ability to say that they don’t like it, without worrying about the internet defence force coming to tell them how they are oh-so-wrong for having a non-compliant opinion.

          • trinka00 says:

            i guess you just oh-so-shoot from the hip,
            and you oh-so-call it like it oh-so-is.

            one can only oh-so-quiver in the face of such honesty.

          • jlawton says:

            All right then, first you defend a review of New Vegas saying its right that some one should criticizer a game that they don’t like as that is being a journalist who is true to what they believe. Valid point but then attack other reviews that praise games that other people have praised, saying its “band wagoning” and “pandering” even though positive thoughts are just as valid as negative ones and could be the journalist speaking there mind.
            This just seems to me to be deliberately contrary and playing devils advocate to the norm. It gives the impression that you think the best game ever would be one that has been universally slammed because that way your showing your diffrance in opinion and thus that opinion must be right???

        • Brun says:

          “It is the sound of Obsidian phoning this game in. I’m talking long distance, reversed charges, not-giving-a-fuck”

          I don’t see anything spiteful about that. It’s just an extremely negative opinion. I could easily see it being written into any other negative WIT for any other game. Clearly the fact that it contained the word “Obsidian” made it taboo though – if it had been written in an article about an EA game, no one would have batted an eye, they probably would have cheered him on!

          Just because Obsidian have written a couple of great stories and made a few almost-great games out of them doesn’t mean they’re immune to scathing criticism where it’s due.

        • shagohad says:

          why do you even read reviews?

          All the major gaming sites act “professional” and rarely have an interesting criticism

          I dont come here for a final word. I know what I like. I come here to read an interesting and critical OPINION of a game. If I really expected it to be great and it gets panned, I might look for a second OPINION.

          Honestly with gaming sites just find one where the writers seem to be on your wavelength. To ask writers not to be critical is to dumb down the entire idea of games critique. A subjective medium can ONLY grow through critique, its healthy.

          And that’s just reviews. RPS also usually has lots of other interesting shit to read or not read at your discretion. No one said you have to agree. In fact formulate your own fucking opinions, that’s something people seem less and less capable of.

        • Kpatrpa says:

          Considering the game we’re talking about here, I fail to see the issue with this. Why should everything be sunshine and rainbows when a game is bad? Give people the benefit of the doubt when the game costs $60 at launch for most of these games and millions of dollars in production, if it’s shit someone should be posting that it’s shit, instead of everyone giving each other sympathy hugs to try and make sales go up so it’s not as bad of a hit.

        • Premium User Badge

          drewski says:

          I disagree almost entirely with the New Vegas review, but I don’t have any problem with what he wrote.

    • GrittyGamer says:

      That’s your opinion, and it’s wrong. No-one is forcing you to come to the site and read the articles. Where you see their writing as ‘white-knighting’ others see it as its intended purpose: “lets have a discussion about this serious and controversial topic, like females in game journalism’. Ignoring it is not going to solve the problem or make it go away, and there clearly is a problem. As for your problem with the quality of writing, you name me another site that:

      – Constantly plugs their gaming community to get more people involved.
      – Writes an actual review rather than a blurb of a game with a score posted underneath.
      – Writers insert some of their own personality into the articles they are writing.
      – Have some of the most excellent interviews with people in the gaming industry.
      – Etc. etc. and the list goes on…

      Keep up the good work RPS!

      • Phendron says:

        How can his opinion be ‘wrong’? They are inherently subjective.

        I don’t personally care for gentlemen of vitriolic humors such as he, but I’ll just ignore them rather than call them down for being ‘incorrect’.

        • GrittyGamer says:

          I’m pretty sure that I can have the opinion, that someone else’s opinion, is wrong.

          • Ernesto25 says:

            Same here i feel ive missed something i read this and there were no comments and now “the fuck”. Most of the time i quite like reading rps comment section as opposed to most other internet comment sections but this is suprising to me. Maybe its a forum thing.

            Edit: Will people also please drop spec ops the line. Seems alot of people want rps to hate everything may as well go watch spoony. the only time i disagreed with rps was over mass effect 3 ending which john still pretty much defends to this day.

          • eclipse mattaru says:

            Well, glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what the hell this post is about. I for one thought it would be some twitter drama that bled into the website, because I did read the comments on that interview (some of them anyway) and I don’t remember seeing anything particularly negative, let alone something that would justify a dedicated post.

            I’m taking a stab in the dark here and say that Mr. Walker has ran out of stuff to complain about the whole SimCity-Gate and now he spends way too much time in the comments section looking for topics to make a drama out of.

            Edit: Disclaimer: I do enjoy reading you all worked up, Mr. Walker, don’t take this the wrong way. It can’t be good for your blood pressure and such, though.

            Edit II, The Revenge: What’s up with the reply system down here today?

          • Ernesto25 says:

            @eclipse mattaru Oh thank god. Were in this together

          • Drake Sigar says:

            Same here too. I confess I’ve only skim-read the comments section of that Tomb Raider interview, but I didn’t spot enough to warrant this hostile article.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            @Drake “Same here too. I confess I’ve only skim-read the comments section of that Tomb Raider interview, but I didn’t spot enough to warrant this hostile article.”

            The only one that stood out to me is people complaining that she was writing to much about herself (unlike say, the recent interview with Levine or basically any article by a male writer…). That said, RPS is usually pretty quick to delete the really offensive comments. We get a curated selection of bigotry with a thin veneer of politeness.

          • GSGregory says:

            I didn’t seen the comments but I don’t need to because ive seen years of sexism online in forums, voip, chat ect towards female gamers for being female. Alot of times very extreme and violent or sexual.

          • lijenstina says:

            @GSGregory That is true, there is a lot of shit on the internet, but don’t use that argument in future of “I haven’t read the comments” because it is a logical fallacy of division – what is true for the whole internet in general, doesn’t need to be for all of it’s parts. :)

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Probably because the nearest many gamers have been to a woman is with an old sock that would shatter if you hit it watching offensive hardcore american ‘spit’ porn!

            Edit: WordPress has had a senior moment, this was in reply to; 28/03/2013 at 04:40 GSGregory

          • maddog79 says:

            hear, hear

          • XisLoose says:

            It seemed they cleaned up the comments.
            I missed it as well…

          • Sander Bos says:

            Same here. “The fuck” indeed. See my comment from 6:23. Next stop, a preview article about Plants vs Zombies 2 with 2000 comments because Alec Meer mentions ‘racism’ in his post.

            Edit: Hmm, now that I have read the last 50 or so comments, could it be that it is us ‘wonderers who don’t know what is happening here’ are causing the avalanche of comments :-))

      • Phendron says:

        How can his opinion be ‘wrong’? They are inherently subjective.

        I don’t personally care for gentlemen of vitriolic humors such as he, but I’ll just ignore them rather than call them down for expressing themselves. One bone I’ll throw your way is the part where most opinions these days are phrased as gospel.

      • Terry Wogan says:

        I don’t agree with Vaedresa’s opinion, but two things:

        1) An opinion cannot be wrong.
        2) “X website/YouTube Channel/Magazine/TV program/whatever owes you nothing, if you don’t like it, don’t consume it” is the most frustratingly stupid response to criticism anyone can possibly make.

        If a person is criticising something, it is often borne out of love. In this case, out of a perceived decline in RPS’ quality and a desire to see a return to the “glory days” as it were. Because of what RPS (apparently) used to be, Vaedresa is invested in it, and wishes to see it return. Therefore it’s perfectly acceptable for him or her to complain about it. “If you don’t like, don’t read it” is complete bollocks, basically.

        • sinister agent says:

          1) An opinion cannot be wrong.

          Yes it can. If opinions can’t be wrong than everything is as valid as everything else, and all human communication becomes meaningless and pointless.

          • Terry Wogan says:

            If something isn’t “factual”, then it is by definition, “wrong”. Opinions aren’t necessarily based on fact.

          • Terry Wogan says:

            Er, in my opinion.

          • Brun says:

            It can be misinformed or underinformed. Whether that constitutes “wrong” is a matter of personal belief and context.

          • The Random One says:

            Of course opinions can be wrong. If you’re of the opinion that the Sun revolves around the Earth then your opinion is provably wrong.

            However, we usually say ‘opinion’ to talk about matters that are not subjective. “RPS is bad/used to be better” is an opinion that cannot be wrong, because different people will have different metrics for what ‘bad’ means. A more honest way to phrase it would be “I don’t like RPS [as much as I did]” but as long as you are providing the reason for your opinions that shouldn’t be a big deal.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            I agree, but just to be pedantic the Sun does revolve around the earth, just not as much as the earth revolves around it.

          • mickygor says:

            Actually, The Random One, I’d say that it would be a belief that the sun revolves around the earth, as opposed to an opinion. To me, opinion implies an emotional judgement rather than an assertion of fact.

        • sonson says:

          No, that’s a terrible argument in these circumstances. They’re entitled to their desire to want to see things “change” but their motivation doesn’t affect the foundation of their argument which is self interest. Self interest of a random individual is no logical concern for a site which has no public duty, obligation or service duty to perform. The poster is owed nothing and so is entitled to nothing.

          • Terry Wogan says:

            You’re right. RPS doesn’t have a public duty or service to perform. However, it is undeniably in its best interests to listen to its readers and their opinions. “If you don’t like it, fuck off” taken to its extreme would result in one dead website.

            I don’t like the idea that people are encouraged to just go away if something is changing and they don’t like it. You may call it self-interest and you may be right. However, if something I once enjoyed isn’t delivering any more, I’ll damn sure have my say on the matter before buggering off.

            How would anything ever adapt and survive without criticism? The problem here is that the OP’s argument is perceived as “wrong”. If he were arguing a point that more people agreed with, he would be doing a “good thing”, I’m certain.

          • Blackseraph says:

            It’s not criticism to say that I don’t like you having public opinion about anything important, it’s really not. Or saying that he don’t like them pandering to readers, yet he expect rps to pander to his tastes.

            It’s certain kind of arrogant hypocrisy.

          • sonson says:

            No, it would result in people who didnt like it not visiting it. In regards to certain issues, such as mysogony, RPS has pretty much all but stated that, in a less sweary manner. It would only result in a dead website if no one liked what was being posted.

          • Terry Wogan says:

            @Blackseraph

            As I say, I’m not defending the guy’s argument, I’m more generally commenting on the “if you don’t like it…” response. Not just in this case, but seemingly whenever anybody offers an opinion on something on the internet. There’s a commonly held belief that bleating about the quality of something you receive for free on the internet makes you entitled. I personally think that’s nonsense. I might not be “paying” to read RPS, watch YouTube videos, whatever, but my opinion still matters.

          • Blackseraph says:

            @Terry Wogan

            Sure but see you are polite, and aren’t “demanding” that they change instantly to whatever you want rps to be. Or wishing for the good old days.

            Telling people how much their writing and site sucks is not a very effective argument for your viewpoint.

          • dE says:

            I tried a calm and non hostile criticism of a John Walker Article, along the lines of how the passive aggressive tone on some of his articles is doing a disservice to gender equality by antagonisation and incitement of conflict. It got a full broadside about how my opinion is without worth and how they (the staff) wouldn’t be silenced on the issue. I also got lobbed in with the mysoginists. None of which actually reflected what I wrote.

            Calm and polite isn’t wanted. And thus it doesn’t work in the current hyperbolic scenario. Perhaps that’s the reason every other comment now is snark and cynism and the generel consensus shifted from “I’ll assume the other person is intelligent and maybe I just misunderstood them” towards “OMG how can you think that, die in a fucking fire you bloody stupid idiot, you’re so stupid you should suicide, don’t you think?”.

            In short:
            It’s a circle based on a lack of mutual respect. Writers don’t respect their readers, readers don’t respect other readers, readers don’t respect the writers.

          • Blackseraph says:

            @de

            Rps don’t actually have to act based on your criticism. They acknowledged it based on your post, but thought it is important enough to continue writing about it, and in my opinion it is. What more do you really want from them? This is their site after all.

            I can’t really take any more side in this since I haven’t actually seen that conversation. However do you really think it is more effective to take similar attitude towards writers than you claim they took in your post. It will not help any.

            Those who can actually change the site are much more likely to just ignore comments and all criticism completely if they are unnecessarily flamed all the time.

          • dE says:

            You missed the keypart a bit, it never was about the content of said comment. The reply made it pretty clear the actual content wasn’t read past the general idea of “there’s something it disagrees with – must be mysoginist – shout it down”.
            It’d have been fine if it was just “Yeah, but no” or something along those lines. And no, I don’t treat writers with disrespect. I think most of them are great at what they do. But I take issue at passive aggression that warps back gender equality each time it is applied – and I will note it everytime I see it. Until it trickles in. Because gender equality isn’t something to walk away from.

            My above comment was a general observation about why the comments are as vitriolic as they currently are. Doesn’t mean I agree with everything that was written.

            /edit due to your edit:
            And do note, you seem to be overlooking a bit of causality there.
            The hostility, is a result of passive aggressive fishing for said hostility. If that hostility is unwanted, the passive aggressive articles everyonce in a while wouldn’t happen. Which is my point. I do not flame the Authors, I do not write it sucks. But I can draw the line from an article fishing for hostility and hostility happening in the comment section of that very article.

          • Blackseraph says:

            Correlation does not equal causation.

            Comments are crappy and hostile everywhere in internet and they are always going to be on an issues that people disagree on. Which is almost everything.

            Walker writes about sexism often which gives him insane amount of hostility in comments, that does not actually mean that he is fishing for hostility with those articles. This is important issue, I am sure you agree. And since sexism is still pervasive in game industry (almost whole media really) it is important that someone talks about it.

            What would be your answer to this then? And don’t say. Just talk about games without any social commentary, please.

          • trinka00 says:

            @de
            what do you think the better way of talking about gender equality is?
            certainly, active agression, rather than what you perceive as ‘passive’ agression would do far worse to ‘warp back’ gender equality, yes?

            how is the proper way that you’ve found to bring these issues up?

        • GrittyGamer says:

          1) An opinion can be wrong. In this case I’ve judged it as wrong compared to my own opinion. It’s all relative.

          2) Of course its a valid argument. Who voluntarily takes part in something they dislike?

        • Premium User Badge

          MarkN says:

          1) An opinion cannot be wrong.

          Yes – yes it can. In fact it’s part of the definition that a good chance of wrongness is involved.

          An opinion is not entirely based on facts or knowledge. Otherwise it’s just a fact.

          Prof. Brian Cox tweeted recently along the lines that having an opinion on the age of the universe was like having an opinion on the distance between London and Manchester. We know fairly precisely what the distance/age is. You don’t need to have an opinion. And if you do it had better be the actual bloody figure, or you’re wrong.

          An opinion isn’t a fact, it’s a point of view. As such it may well not be wrong to the person who holds it, but it bloody well can be to anyone who believes otherwise (who are likely wrong too).

        • Premium User Badge

          drewski says:

          The moaners in the comments aren’t really saying “I love the site but maybe do X instead of Y” though, are they?

          They’re basically unloading a pile of hate on literally everything RPS exists for. Saying “RPS would be great without John’s moralising” is like saying “Eurogamer would be great if it was about sheep trials”.

          You’re fundamentally missing the point of the site.

    • sonson says:

      Fuck off then : ) you’re owed nothing by RPS, and it’s owners are open in their willingness to use their site as they please and to write what they want. You don’t have to come here and you have no right to expect or demand content which you find acceptable. So why stay?

      • Hoaxfish says:

        But can you fuck off? I mean, is there a mechanism by which an account is deletable by its owner? or is it ever there, infecting your leg as you limp away?

    • Snids says:

      I see you have used the term “white knight”. I can now safely dismiss your opinion.

      • CloakRaider says:

        I see you have used the term “I can now safely dismiss your opinion”. I can now safely dismiss your opinion.

    • Canisa says:

      I for one would appreciate it very much if you left. I’m sure IGN will be all too happy to have you.

    • SelfEsteemFund says:

      Rare to see the first comment be pretty much spot on. For me, RPS’s turning into kotaku or similar pandering, hit-whore sites at a ridiculous rate.

      Just write about games.

      • Blackseraph says:

        There are more important things than games. And when you found those more important things from game industry game-journalist should talk about them.

        So bugger off.

        • Baines says:

          John Walker is arguably approaching Anita Sarkeesian territory, someone who does more harm than good to their causes.

          When the person trumpeting equality has an argument and approach full of holes, it is a liability for the discussion in general, because anyone who points out those issues then gets shouted down by the defenders for being anti-equality. That route leads to people only lobbing insults back and forth, with any serious attempts at discussion buried and ignored, or twisted and attacked.

          In John’s case, as others have described, his articles do sometimes tend towards passive aggressive baiting, to a degree that it undermines his own contributions. And the people who point this out tend to get attacked for doing so.

      • sonson says:

        As above-don’t like it, go away. There is literally no argument you can make as to why the authors can’t write what they want. It’s not a democracy, it’s their blog.

      • John Walker says:

        Games! Yes, if only we would EVER write about those things.

        • Brun says:

          I hear one of RPS’ writers is in the process of making such a thing. Perhaps you could interview him and get an idea of what these “games” are all about?

        • Hoaxfish says:

          That reads as if you actually believe you do only that.

          • Blackseraph says:

            That reads as if you think that he should only do that.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            I think if he’s reluctant to post about Rab Florence and Doritogate because:

            We had previously considered the story to be one of internal wrangling amongst games journalism, and RPS is primarily about games

            then running an accusatory position to an assumed response to Cara would fall into similar territory.

            i.e. considering options, it’s to be avoided.

            If nothing else, I think even Batman has to sleep sometimes.

          • Blackseraph says:

            I am sure they can write about whatever they think is important.

            Cara is their writer so this hits closer to home.

          • OfficerMeatbeef says:

            If by “an accusatory position to assumed response” you mean “he read the very first comment on the goddamn article and saw exactly that response and decided to take an accusatory position because it was completely accurate” then, well I guess that doesn’t make any damn sense at all?

            And you can’t see the difference between not immediately commenting on “Doritogate” (ugh) here (though on his personal blog) but responding quickly when it involves an article ACTUALLY POSTED ON RPS BY ONE OF HIS WRITERS? Really?!?

        • corbie says:

          MR WALKER! You have opened the special box and let all of the smelly troll-things out! Find a larger box forthwith and get them to crawl back in!

          They aren’t ready yet!

          I dunno. Throw some old cheese in there. Or some bad words on a bit of paper.

          Intellectual debate in comments threads is dead.*

          *was never alive.

        • eaprivacypolicy says:

          I think your trolling is quite good, but you are a bit heavy on sarcasm.

        • Premium User Badge

          GiantPotato says:

          Unfortunately, RPS has reached a threshold of popularity where this sort of thing is just going to happen from time to time. And by drawing further attention to it, you just provide an open forum for every jackass on the internet to sound off on their personal grievances.

          Rest assured that the actual readership that follows RPS is every bit as confused by this strange development as you are. One would assume that people who want to read about ‘just games’ would CARE about ‘just games’. But hey, whatever. The only way out is through. Make the website you want to make, and let the writers write. The readership will apply the necessary band-aids to its collective butt and move on.

          I’ve been following VG news for 10 years, and I thought Cara’s Crysis 3 interview was essential reading. Don’t stop making RPS.

      • mouton says:

        Am I horribly wrong if I filter people by keywords? For example, when I see someone abuse the word “whore” on the internet, I think of him or her much lower and tend to disregard such an opinion. Do I lose much content this way?

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          Is it strange to say yes? It’s something to go in the con section for sure. But so much of the important stuff in life is in the details and in my experience applying simple blanket rules like that to people always ends up in someone getting unfairly treated.

          If you give up on people after the first clue to their character you end up missing all the silly intricacies of people, both good and bad. As temptingly easy as it is quickly to reduce people to villainous caricatures, you’ll end up learning so much about people if you don’t do it all the time.

          • mouton says:

            I was exaggerating, of course. Primitive vocabulary is just an alarm bell for me, redeemable by the rest of the message. Not that it happened in this case.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            Fair enough. Though if it was a rhetorical question and you just wanted to express your concern with their vocabulary I tend to think it’s more effective to address these things directly.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      “something needs to be done about the massive decline in quality.”

      We obviously have very different ideas about quality, I’ve been reading RPS since it started and barring the loss of two excellent writers the quality has consistently improved, not least through adding Cara as a locum, a journalist whose writing I have admired for some time.

      You see this is the thing, it doesn’t matter what you or I think, this is a forum for the expression of the writers who own the site and those others invited to write for it. To listen to the differing whims of the readership would erode journalistic integrity. You can’t ever complain that a writer on a free website has written about issues that you don’t feel are important because what you are implying is that they should sacrifice the key principle that journalism is founded on and change their opinion to mollify someone else’s. if the RPS writers changed their angle and opinions to suit their readership then they might just as likely tailor their articles to suit ME, and believe me if you don’t like talking about politics and discourse in gaming then you would fucking hate that even more!

      • Paul B says:

        I agree Eddy9000 – the fact that 3 of the 4 original founders are still writing for the site augmented by some very good new writers (like Adam, Nathan, Craig and Cara), suggest this backlash isn’t rooted in fact.

        On the other hand, the quality of comments has seemed to have gone down in the last few years as the site’s popularity has grown. I think maybe it’s time for RPS to implement a voting system for comments so the minority of people that John’s referring to in this article (and it was only a minority on the Cara piece) can be voted down and buried.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          You can call me Eddy, because I like you. Also I agree, the voting system on arstechnica has improved the comments no end.

        • Ravenholme says:

          I agree with both you and Eddy, you guys actually just saved me typing out something similar..

          Consider this a +1 upvote for the improvements we’d like to see to these comment threads.

          And RPS – Don’t take the opinions of a small minority so hard as to write a lengthy response to them, it only validates their bullshit opinions.

          (I saw people arguing earlier in this thread that “Opinions can’t be wrong”, and I just want to point out that this is an utter crock of shit. People’s opinions can be wrong, especially when they’re based on factually incorrect foundations [e.g. “evolution is a lie” is demonstrably wrong] and/or a denial of reality)

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          We don’t need a voting system, i.e. a popularity ranker, here. Those types of systems get abused to no end, especially at sites like Ars where emotionally entrenched opinions form the basis for the majority of the criticism aimed towards dissenters.

          A voting system would ruin RPS.

          • lijenstina says:

            I agree. For instance, on a message board I’m member there was a fallout when some members did abuse the karma/ reputation system for making it as high as possible. That did hurt the community a lot.

            In this case, it could lead to having many comments trying to pander to the opinions of the majority just to rake up the votes, trying to be funny at all costs, and visitors just checking out the highest rated comments as somehow most relevant to the matter.

        • lcy says:

          I agree about the writing – it’s consistently better than any of the other games sites, and Cara is an excellent addition.

          Not with the comment voting though. You’d lose some of the idiots, but at the expense of prominence being given to regulars ‘working the system’.

          • Premium User Badge

            LegendaryTeeth says:

            What about some sort of auto-collapsed threads? So the first post doesn’t just derail the whole comments section. If you don’t like it, don’t expand it, and scroll down to find some comments that are more interesting.

        • Glycerine says:

          I quite like the idea of a voting system for comments – it has it’s disadvantages, but they’re no worse than the current system. Comments voted to the top tend to be quick jokes; easy to read, process, laugh and upvote, but comments in date order tend to have all of the discussion dominated by whatever opinion got thrown out in the first comment and the rest are ignored (also there’s rarely loads of time to think if you want to get the first comment in before everyone else).

          I quite like the way slashdot used to do it, but i think it’d be worthwhile giving people a choice. Allow voting on comments, then let people choose their preferences to view in date order or rank order, and allow them to set a threshold so only comments with +/-X are shown in full, and comments below +/-Y are hidden altogether, or something similar. It’s certainly not a magic bullet, but it’d make the comments sections nicer to read at least (assuming that the majority of readers still aren’t arseholes).

          FWIW, i still enjoy the writing on the site, and have done since it began. I skip a lot of the articles that i don’t have any interest in (including the interview that’s caused all the fuss here), but i’m very rarely disappointed by what i do read here, whoever the author is. I’m quite enjoying the personal takes on various controversies too – even if i don’t necessarily agree with their opinion on everything, it’s nice to see people having opinions and discussing them in public rather than sweeping them under the carpet as if they haven’t happened.

          Basically; Hurray for RPS! Booooo for fun-spoilers, trolls and generally horrible people.

      • Premium User Badge

        Jubaal says:

        Well said Eddy9000. I certainly haven’t seen a drop in the quality of the writing in all my years coming here. Yes it was sad to see Kieron and Quinns go, but Nathan, Adam and Cara have all impressed me with their writing.

        I love the fact that RPS takes a holistic view of games journalism and covers social and political factors too.

        Sadly as RPS has grown in popularity the negativity on the comments has increased in line with this. Ironically one of the reasons why RPS became so popular i.e. covering other areas affecting gaming, seems to be what people mostly complain about. Clearly a victim of their own success.

        Anyway, just wanted to add my voice to those celebrating the RPS writers.

        Big love RPS writer types, don’t ever changes (Unless it is for the better and stuff).

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      “Plus, it would actually criticise popular games (Quinns reviewing Fallout: New Vegas was a great example), and generally had a backbone on things”

      Oh, sorry, I guess RPS isn’t the site that stood against much of game journalism over SimCity to the extent that John Walker was referred to online as the most hated man in journalism.

      P.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      Hungry, fella? I’d dress you down, but I think a bunch of negative attention would just justify your BS in your own mind.

      Whatever, the community sucks now, so says you. Go, then. Or at least don’t comment.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think there’s a strong irony in the fact I cannot fathom why this article was written.

      I re-read the comments on the interview article, and they’re clearly aware of how other sites such as Youtube would respond… and subverted that to talk about soup and jaffa cakes. Bar a few people slipping by.

      So here we have an article pointing out what everyone obviously knew could happen and was simple not engaging with… Who is being chastised by this lovely piece of passive-aggression? Who is being told “deal with it”? Everyone had “dealt with it”.

      At least the articles about perceived misogyny or violence in the industry as a whole can be traced back to something… even if I’d say I couldn’t care less for a lot of those articles.

      But to re-iterate, if possible, I would be perfectly happy if the writers managed to pull of a trick a few games have managed… making their name the only clue to their gender. Then we can all pretend they’re making critical analysis, and maintaining a purified journalistic integrity, even if a little opinion sneaks in occasionally.

      Remember, this is a PC Gaming site… a smaller audience amongst gaming in general. Why choose such a relatively small subject matter, if you then smother it with something bigger than the whole industry combined.

      Or we end up in the land of strange “social drama” blogs… for which 1000s of tumblrs exist, whole subreddits, etc.

      • Jimbo says:

        Fear not, it’s just an excuse to show how ‘enlightened’ they are. No games journo in 2013 is going to pass that up! Being seen to be unsexist is the new black.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          What colour is ‘talking like an ignorant tool’?

          • Jimbo says:

            It’s a nice shade of ‘you need a better response’.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            I’ve recently decorated my house and I’m not even sure if these aren’t real paint names anymore…

        • OfficerMeatbeef says:

          Oh, I thought it was just because John was pissed off about all the bullshit, but now you’ve clearly opened my eyes that it’s just a cynical attempt to up his JournoCred™ points (presumably so he gets that much closer to having enough for the free dual-slot toaster) through talking about this silly, totally non-debilitating issue (it’s probably at least a 3X “Enlightenment” multiplier on the JournoCred Accumulator!)

          Sure it’s not quite as lucrative as the coveted “racism” option but you take what you can HOLY HELL DO YOU EVEN REALIZE HOW TERRIBLE YOU SOUND

          • Ravenholme says:

            Sadly, I don’t think they do.

          • Jimbo says:

            I just nodded to everything you wrote. You fairly accurately described how ‘games’ journalism has operated for the past 18 months or so. This shit is now way more popular than writing about games ever was. No actual drama to report? Invent some!

            Big round of applause to RPS for very, very occasionally having an article written by a female though. And then going to the trouble of writing an article about having an article written by a female. You know, just in case anybody missed that the author with a female name was, in fact, female. Not that we’re making a big deal out of it or anything.

          • Supahewok says:

            “No actual drama to report? Invent some!”

            You know that’s how journalism in general has operated for hundreds of years, right? It was only a matter of time before games journalism gained enough recognition that it followed suit.

          • OfficerMeatbeef says:

            “No actual drama to report? Invent some!”

            Here, let me walk you through the actual drama that occurred here.

            -Mr. Walker has a hand in running a website written for a smart, sophisticated (well, by certain degrees anyway), reasonable audience. People who think about what they read, and what they say.

            -Mr. Walker, and/or other members of site staff, has a fellow professional games journalist write an article for this site.

            -the VERY FIRST COMMENT says little but “Nice article, don’t post your picture on the internet”.

            -Mr. Walker reads this comment. Possibly he reads some other, much less good-natured ones as well and destroys them because they are awful. He leaves that first one because it’s not mean-spirited, although it is an extremely condescending response to a professional writer about games on the internet who is presumably fairly aware of what the internet is, and almost certainly would never have been said if the picture in question had been someone like a not-lady.

            -Mr. Walker, irate that his fellow professional on his own site still has this shit show up despite his belief/hope in the aforementioned audience’s intelligence (and justifiably so to anyone with a lick of sense), posts this irony-laden article to both vent and hopefully make his audience, who he still has faith in, consider why something as seemingly harmless as the comment above is not a good thing.

            -His faith proves to be misplaced as a bunch of fools are either incapable or unwilling to even attempt to grasp his point, and the comment section lights on fire.

            To rephrase so maybe you’ll grasp this sometime: this event was contained on RPS, which is a part of John. As he expects better from his audience, seeing shit like this pop up is indeed actual drama for the site because it is important to him; he only “invented” it in the sense that IT IS REAL AND IT IS PARTIALLY HIS. Thus, he posted this humourously-styled article to make people realize the problem, and I bet he’ll continue to post things like this until you people either leave or finally start to fucking get it.

      • OfficerMeatbeef says:

        Every single RPS writer has always written with a personal style they make no attempt to hide, nor have they ever made any attempt to claim or pretend that they provide critical analysis without personal opinion. That has never, ever been this site, and if that’s what you want you should realize you won’t find it here.

        You HONESTLY can’t see why this article was written? THE VERY FIRST COMMENT ON THE ARTICLE WAS THIS:
        “Nice reading.

        btw, don’t ever put a pic of you on a gaming site, just saying.”

        That person meant well and did say it out of “concern”, and I don’t mean to criticize the commenter at all. But the fact remains that that concern existed at all and that they felt they needed to say it IMMEDIATELY upon finishing the article (not to mention their “tip” is 7X lengthier than their actual thoughts on the article) indicates BIG FUCKING PROBLEMS.

        Will you honestly claim this statement would have EVER been made (much less as the VERY FIRST COMMENT) if the picture had been of one of RPS’s male writers? Do you get the point yet? Will you ever? If not, the fact that you “couldn’t care less for a lot of these articles” just indicates you are exactly the sort of person who needs to be reading them ALL and thinking long and hard about every single one.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          I’m male (duh) and I know to minimise the amount of my personal details on the public Internet. If you want to avoid having your head photoshopped onto something. Frankly, I view it as one of those unwritten Internet rules, along with not handing out your email without good reason, or responding to emails offering you money in exchange for money

          It also helps people judge only your words if they have less information about other things they could criticise you about.

          If you asked most people “should I put my face on the internet” then I think most people would say no. I’m not sure how far of a push it is for someone to simply say “don’t do that” without you asking.

          Obviously if you’re an Internet writer it’s probably inevitable your face shows up eventually, so I guess it becomes a choice of if it’s “slipped” in, or posted at the bottom of a mostly unrelated article about Tomb Raider.

          • OfficerMeatbeef says:

            You can click on “about:” and see all of RPS’s staff writers’ faces clear as day. Well, John has a hat on, the shifty bugger, but his twitter profile shows his face pretty clearly so I guess that evens out. I highly doubt anyone has ever posted a comment telling them not to do that, well-intentioned or not. I say with absolutely no doubt whatsoever that nobody has ever felt the need to say it as the very first comment on an article they wrote.

            Regardless, I mean obviously as males, you or I know that posting our face on the internet could bring about trouble, but I guess you’re right that other grown adults (emphasis on “other”, of course) who make their living writing on the internet (about games no less) do need to be made aware of that fact. Or maaaaaybe that’s just a teensy bit incredibly condescending.

          • Tams80 says:

            You’ve missed the point entirely.

            The point isn’t that Cara’s photo can now be photoshopped to the moon and back; it’s about the first comment being about it. The attitude such a comment purveys is not one that John at least (and quite a few of us commentators) wants in the comments. Considering it is in part his site, then I think it’s fine that he makes a point of it.

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            wengart says:

            It was one relatively harmless post. It may or may not have deserved a reply, but this post is replying to a voice in the comments section that does not exist. I was expecting to find vitriol and possibly feces in that comments section. I did not find any of those things.

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            Alabaster Crippens says:

            You see that bit where you say ‘duh’? That’s sexism, right there. You criticise people for not naturally assuming that an ungendered name with an ungendered avatar is male, simply because of the forum they’re writing on.

            In a more general response, I don’t think the piece up top is just about the comment about the picture. I think the core of anger is over several people being highly critical of Cara’s putting her identity and self into the article. It’s happening again in this thread. It’s annoying because it’s basically the RPS house style to talk about what you’re eating, wearing and being whilst you do whatever you do. This is a constant, yet Cara is being singled out for criticism for doing it. That’s sexism folks.

            It’s especially galling when I think she is doing it better than everyone else here.

            Edit:
            Spent the morning worrying that sounds more negative about the rest of RPS than I intended, especially following the OP. To clarify, I think Cara is best specifically at this sort of self-injected gonzo deconstruction of gaming and identity. It’s awesome, and it consistently makes me thrill to see her writing about even things I have no interest in.

            The rest of RPS does great things consistently, I like that they have their niches and cliches, but don’t always stick to them. The writing is always superb, so again, even when reading about games I have no interest in, I am entertained. I don’t think we could ask for more. That they are also politically engaged enough to recognise and challenge issues in their comments is to be congratulated.

            I genuinely love this site, and am immensely grateful for the impact all of its writers have upon my life.

            Bless you hivemind, you’re my hero-entity.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lambchops says:

        I dunno, maybe it all went wrong later. I generally feel for any comment thread that stretches over 3 pages something has probably gone a bit tits up. Personally I’m with you in that from what I remember of that thread it was mostly puns and soup and jaffa cakes with only small doses of idiocy that were quickly mocked within the thread (unfortunately one of them was the first comment, which doesn’t help matters). There may well have been some more nonsense later but I’m not trawling through to find it.

        Indeed the only reason I’m trawling through this is because I’m intrigued to see if anyone has replied to my oh so serious question about which RPS writer is hottest! Bumped to at least page 2 so it is, what an outrage! Clearly long comments threads hide the important matters of off topic discussion and rampant punnage!

      • Premium User Badge

        MarkN says:

        Do you think the blokes writing for RPS sit down and try to write androgynous-sounding copy? Is that what it sounds like when you read it? To me it often sounds like blokes have written the work. I suspect they write it in their own voices.

        It’s not targeted at you. You just happen to like it/have gotten used to it/have been given little else.

        In which case you’d seem to be asking for female writers to jump through hoops to pander to your expectation levels rather than express themselves freely.

        I’d rather read what they want to write, rather than what you’d like them to write quite frankly.

    • Stepout says:

      You’re citing the Fallout: New Vegas review as something GOOD about the site? Lol wut?

    • Underwhelmed says:

      Well, I guess the only thing left for you to do is leave the site and not come back. Damn, I am sure you will be missed.

    • LazyAssMF says:

      Sir, you are a douche.

      The end!

    • LazyAssMF says:

      Sir, you are a douche.

      The end!

    • Jack-Dandy says:

      I completely agree with you man.

      Walker’s articles are mostly rubbish “social justice” bullshit.

      I did appreciate his Simcity debacle coverage though

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Ignoring the fact that you urn ironically referred to social justice as bullshit (you’d prefer injustice?), articles where John addresses politics in gaming are far in the minority of his other articles.

        • Fred S. says:

          Social justice is an oxymoron. It consists of doing an injustice to some in the name of righting wrongs done to others by still others. I have nothing at all against equal rights. Equal rights cannot be achieved by taking away the rights of some and doing favors for others.

          • The Random One says:

            If some people have rights that it is impossible and unsustainable for all members of society to have, how else are you going to have equal rights?

          • Fred S. says:

            You mean like “the right to free health care” or maybe “the right to a 100Mbps internet connection?”

          • Eddy9000 says:

            “Social justice is an oxymoron. It consists of doing an injustice to some in the name of righting wrongs done to others by still others”

            You mean like the injustice done to white slave owners by removing their right to own black slaves?
            Have a think about what you’re proposing there.

            Social justice involves campaigning against the exploitation and marginalization of others, it is never a ‘right’ to harm others to further your own interests, this can be as concrete and physical as my slaves example or refer to more discursive practices such as denigrating women to further your privilege as a man. it’s called ‘the harm principle’ and is the basis of the modern notion of justice. It was written about by John Stuart Mill if you’re interested.

          • Tagiri says:

            Right? It’s such a burden to not say and do things that hurt other people.

          • Fred S. says:

            I understand the harm principle, but it is properly applied to individuals, not to groups. It’s not a collective notion, which is where the social justice movement gets it wrong. If I harm you personally, you have the right to seek redress from me for that harm. But you do not have the right to seek redress from anybody other than me for harms which I did. You don’t have the right to denigrate “men” because some men treated some women badly. Neither do you have the right to treat 21st century white people as if they are, or were, slave owners. There is no such a thing as “white privilege” or “male privilege” for which blacks or women are entitled to compensation. White men are not all one person. Neither are all women one woman. They are not a collective organism to be exploited for political gains by cynical politicians who care more for their own power than they do for redress for these alleged “victims”.

          • Alecthar says:

            The issue with your notion of social justice is that it does nothing to address the absolute and incontrovertible fact that, while white Americans in the 21st century may not be slaveholders, they have benefited, and continue to benefit, from an historical inequity that has never been redressed.

            By your logic, I presume that it would be “wrong” for representatives of inner city communities in American urban centers to request that white suburbanites begin actually paying their property taxes toward the city that they depend on for their livelihood (and only left to begin with in order to avoid and marginalize African-Americans who began moving into traditionally white neighborhoods). After all, those tax funds were originally used to maintain white flight – I mean suburbs, and requesting even a portion of that go to elsewhere would be of harm to those poor white folks, struggling to get by.

            Your insistence on the notion that only individual redress is tolerable is a refusal to acknowledge the larger picture. I assume it’s because acknowledging that picture might make you feel somewhat responsible for addressing your own participation in a culture of privilege, but I could be wrong. Whatever the reason, your particular viewpoint does nothing to actually redress historical inequities, or provide equality of opportunity, so it hardly matters anyway.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      As I recall KG was one of the most vocal in the “bullshit politics” realm. I’m not at all sure we wouldn’t be getting articles like this regardless (and I quoted because some of the time I thought it was and other times not).

      I like Cara’s writing and find it refreshing more often than off-putting. If anything I wish she and Quinns had a co-reviewing thing going on but I digress.

    • rrxwmwxm says:

      I’ll tell you what else has been ruined by man and woman alike: YOUR MUM.

    • mouton says:

      You are obviously in pain. Perhaps you should find a site that is more soothing to you?

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      I’d just say that I completely disagree with you OP, “truth” in your opinion, but then, your opinion is pretty crappy, is what my opinion is. And my opinion is the truth.

    • A-Scale says:

      Sadly agreed. The recent Sim City debacle was really the icing on the tombstone of RPS. Instead of, as old RPS would have, creating one or two articles that went over the situation in great and dispassionate detail, the modern site saw fit to post a dozen articles with attention grabbing headlines and almost no content, trying hard to cash in on the scandal. I don’t even bother reading most of the articles at this point. The quality just isn’t there.

      • OfficerMeatbeef says:

        The Simcity debacle was (is?) a continuing stream of tragedy and disaster that revealed new problems and missteps every few days. Are you suggesting they should have either posted one big article at the very beginning of the server woes and then said “oh and we bet there’ll be a bunch of other big issues later, so watch out for that”, or perhaps set an arbitrary point at which newly-arising/revealed problems were “enough” and written the article then? One of the key benefits of this being a blog is that editors can post about these things in a timely fashion on a case-by-case basis as the situation warrants, which this situation most certainly did because that game is a such a disaster in so many ways.

      • John Walker says:

        I’d be fascinated to see this “old RPS” that exists in your memory. Although I’d hate to read it, because it sounds awful.

        • JohnnyMaverik says:

          It was a cold a cruel place, games and game makers alike were routinely dragged out year upon year to the jeers of a crowd baying for ridicule and beaten mercilessly, with out a hint of humanity and out of sight of compassion, to then be tossed out into the cold and icy gutters of irrelevance, blood stained and broken while another of their kind where set in sights to take their place.

          The beatings displayed no emotion, no passion or reason. They were for the entertainment of the crowd, every blow cool and calculated. It was neither justice nor vengeance, merely spot.

          Every victim was left with one identifiable mark, a brand of KG upon their forehead.

          P.s. I’d like to make it clear this is how I imagine his RPS, not some kind of elaborate metaphor for how I remember it being. All I remember is that it was some what the same with a few different writers and themes floating around… also the graphics weren’t as good. :P

          • thegooseking says:

            Oh, the graphics were every bit as good. There just weren’t as many of them.

            Truth be told, though, looking at the back-posts from early on, you’ll see a lot more silliness than there is today. And yet people are complaining that there’s too much silliness now and this is somehow a departure from what RPS used to be. It makes no sense.

        • zeroskill says:

          Everybody that is in some form a creative in an industry has to learn to deal with criticism at some point. We all know it isn’t easy. But you have to learn to not be personally offended when somebody that obviously cares for the quality of the site raises criticism at you. Realizing that legit criticism is much more valuable then being tabbed on the back all the time is part of that learning process.

          We all love Rock Paper Shotgun here. But i’d like to see you reacting to criticism in a more mature way.

          • OfficerMeatbeef says:

            There is no need to react to “legit criticism” clearly based in aggressive hostility, outright falsehoods and statements about “the better times” that never were in any fashion, beyond possibly pointing out its failure to be legit in any way and perhaps soundly mocking it.

            Here, want an easy example from that very first post? The guy pines for 2008, “the good years”, back when stuff like his beloved Fallout: NV review came out (which was in 2010) and the primary writing staff was the same as it is now except for Kieron. And Quinns didn’t become part of the primary staff until Kieron left. Which also happened in 2010.

          • Premium User Badge

            Cinek says:

            I think you read something else than I did, cause your replay seems to be completely off from what John wrote. As if you’d imagine his frustrated response and you’d write an imaginary response to imaginary post.
            So weird.

          • zeroskill says:

            I really don’t understand your response. What is unclear about the point I was making? Every creative professional has to deal with criticism, and taking away the best from it is a skill. It is a skill every creative professional has to learn at some point. John clearly seems to have problems handling criticism, judging from his two responses. He reacts with irony and cynicism at the notion that he didn’t do well enough in the eyes of one of his readers.

            What exactly is unclear to you?

          • mouton says:

            @Zeroskill

            But a question remains what constitutes “legit criticism”? The criticism in this particular thread was mostly “RPS was better in 2008 because I was 17 and I was high on hormones”. The criticism by that V fellow was quite misguided as well, mostly focusing on him having a different opinion on some games.

        • plugmonkey says:

          Oh, it wasn’t so bad, John.

          Imagine RPS as it is today, but without each article being preceded by two paragraphs of plodding, ‘humourous’ waffle.

          Don’t believe me? Take a look:

          http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/page/1000/

          Notice how every single article starts straight away with the beginning of the actual article? Some boring old fuddy-duddies amongst us would call that better writing.

          RPS used to be a games blog with personality. Now it’s a personality cult loosely themed around gaming. WARFACE!

          Obviously this is proving popular and successful for you, but it is also losing you your old readership. You don’t have to lash out at us if we dare to point out the change.

          • Prime says:

            As one of RPS’ long-time readership, I strongly disagree that there’s been any reduction of quality in the writing. The only thing that’s gotten worse around here is the standard of the comments/commenters, too many of whom now feel entitled to tell RPS how they should be doing their business or to attack certain writers.

            To everyone who finds RPS objectionable the solution is simple. Go and find something you prefer. Leave the rest of us in peace.

          • plugmonkey says:

            I’m not really commenting on a change in quality, which would be purely subjective, but a change in style, which is plain to see.

            Some people preferred the more direct, informative style employed by the site in times gone by.

            I don’t really see the value of denying a change has occurred, or in the editorial staff attacking people who point out that it has.

            I also don’t see why everything on the internet has to be so entirely black and white. I preferred the old editorial style and so that means that I find the new editorial style “objectionable”? Please!

            No, I don’t find it “objectionable”, but I do find myself not reading most of the articles anymore. I’m pretty sure that’s allowed.

            If the new style is bringing in more paying subscribers than it’s losing them (and I suspect it almost certainly is), then all the very best of good luck to them. I came to terms with the world not revolving around me some time ago.

            Either way, I would think that being told of the cause of customers leaving would always be positive and useful feedback to receive. If not, just ignore it. Why deride it?

          • mouton says:

            @plugmonkey

            The problem is, most people who criticized RPS under this article had much more binary view of reality and certainly did believe the world revolves around them, their tastes and their perception of “good old times”. Were they closer to your way, we would have been having an entirely different discussion now.

      • lcy says:

        The fact remains that RPS was right about Simcity. If every game site and consumer took John Walker’s attitude to these crazy DRM schemes, no publisher would ever include them. Writin as someone who just got their ancient copy of Alpha Centauri out for a whirl, I’m less than thrilled by the direction in which the big publishers are travelling.

    • Focksbot says:

      Vaedresa has rather stitched himself up here. His main problem, as he expresses it, seems to be that RPS panders to the views and expectations of its readers, and he expects them to fix this by err … pandering to his own views and expectations.

    • Beanchilla says:

      You will never be pleased. Go read another publication! The articles here are insightful. Reading the “what got me gaming” features are incredible. Just because some of the content agrees with the masses doesn’t mean it’s pandering, it means that most people feel that way! It makes sense!

      They did review Sim City, they did review it but brought even more attention to the online only thing. WHICH IS A GOOD THING! I won’t buy it because of that and that’s the opinion of many others.

      Spec Ops did get a review! It did mention the writing being great! LOOK IT UP!

      You can’t hate this site for not agreeing with you. Go read some blog that agrees with your opinions and quit being a martyr on this site.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

      Videogame nerds need to stop getting so defensive and upset like their identities are being attacked anytime writers express opinions more bold than “this game is shit/great.” It just proves how pervasively awful and mentally stunted gaming culture as whole is.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Indeed! Hear Hear!

        And, likewise, writers must stop getting so defensive and upset like their identities are attacked anytime commenters express opinions more bold than “this game is shit/great”. It just proves how pervasively awful and mentally stunted gaming culture as a whole is.

        Unless of course you think writers are a special different kind of people.

    • Sc0r says:

      Ok, listen up, RPS! Vaedresa is giving you ONE last chance here! Don’t mess this up guys.You know what happens if you fail to please his tastes in the feature! No, he won’t just sit there, mumbling to himself in distaste. He will post such an angry comment about how much the quality dropped on RPS, people will say “oh dear, please, do not leave us, Vaedresa, don’t go off to Gameinformer!”.

    • frightlever says:

      RPS is massively “bigger” than it was. Not just in content but in exposure. The remaining original writers have, naturally, also changed profoundly over the past five years. Life goes on.

      Women writers write differently to men writers. Women writers also write differently to other women writers. It’s like everyone has a style of their own, or something. I think it’s entirely possible that an individual may be, overall, more inclined to dislike a woman’s writing style than a man’s writing style. That’s a statistical thing. Disliking someone’s writing because they are a woman is retarded in every sense of the word.

      I don’t much like Craig’s writing but Cara is fine. Adam is great, Nathan can grate. Horses for courses.

    • Jenks says:

      Can you get an RSS feed for each RPS writer individually? I feel like subscribing only to Jim, Kieron, Alec, Adam, Nathan, Robert, Cara, Lewie, Brendan, Craig, and Richard might solve all your problems.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Smashbox says:

    Can’t you just color the text women write pink or something?

    Much less shocking that way.

    I just read the comments on that story :(

  3. mechabuddha says:

    Apology accepted!

    All joking aside, I simply love all of the RPS writers’ style. All of you!

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I was sincerely hoping that this was going to be a preamble to announcing Cara as an official node of the hivemind. I am disappointed that it’s just a (well deserved) piss take of a minority of eejits.

    Disappointed I say!

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      I thought the same, also disappointed.

      • Premium User Badge

        skalpadda says:

        Likewise, I hope we’ll be able to find more of Cara’s writeythinks, here or elsewhere (here would be nice!).

        Also, I seem to remember the RPS stance on morons used to be either aggressively editing their posts in comical ways or deleting them, with a liberal serving of bans on the side. I can understand if the writers don’t want to police comment threads all day, but wouldn’t it be far easier to ban to those who can’t behave (they are after all in a minority) than writing angry posts that yell at the whole community and make us all look like maniacs?

    • Meusli says:

      Just a few bad apples spoil the barrel, very disappointing to see. I never read the article when it was posted and just checked the comments out now and it just seems to be the same old anti woman claptrap that’s doing the rounds. Makes me wonder if these guys even had a mother never mind the girlfriend.

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    I’m more concerned about forcing her to engage in sex talk with a stranger from the crysis dev team

    “Are you into BDSM?” I ask.

    Terrible, almost dropped my biscuit in the tea.

    • CMaster says:

      Judging from several of her articles on here, I don’t think anyone has to make Cara do weird sex talk with game developer types.

      The problem may be in fact in stopping her.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Pish Posh, no woman could conjure such thoughts unaided in this glorious Victorian age of ours!

      • Archangel says:

        You nailed it. I guess some call it “gonzo journalism”, but the pervasive narcissism and almost unbelievable vulgarity pegs a Cara Ellison story within a few paragraphs. I tend to read RPS without looking too closely — if at all — at the the byline. The “RPS Style” of witty and insightful writing seems generally well-distributed among the authors here. But every so often I will be whipsawed out of the usual RPS-reading-mindset with a holy-christ-what-the-fu– and then see oh, it’s a Cara story, that figures. When she debuted with the Dota article, I thought the amount of self-absorption and tastelessness therein was simply reflective of the equally-unbelievably-toxic Dota community. But it keeps going and going. Yuck.

        We love love LOVE having girl-gamer perspectives — and hopefully to the point that gender doesn’t matter in any of this — but please tell me that girl gamers aren’t like this. Her articles seem like a combination S&M peepshow/biker brawl in the middle of a tea room, dripping with shock-macho overcompensation. Just write naturally; we promise to love it.

        • Supahewok says:

          Y’know, there are people who actually talk like that in real life. (my college roommate’s one of them, although I do thnk he would draw the line at asking a stranger about BDSM) Some people really are more… spastic… than others. It’s okay if you don’t like it; I don’t particularly like reading it, although in actually talking I like to play along for a while.

          Eh, I guess my point is that Ms. Ellison is a person, and persons are individuals. I don’t think she’s trying to play up some girl gamer shtick. (personally, I dislike “girl gamer” perspective, like how I dislike “white person perspective”, “guy perspective”, “gay perspective,” “Eskimo perspective.” What the hell is wrong with INDIVIDUAL perspective, anyways- but I digress) I think she just write how she thinks.

        • Waltorious says:

          Perhaps “writing naturally” is exactly what she is doing? Did you consider that possibility?

          Also, I find it concerning that you have, for some reason, assumed that all female gamers must be like Cara. Maybe it’s just, you know, what Cara is like? As an individual? Regardless of her gender?

          EDIT: Supahewok beat me to it.

        • Archangel says:

          Well put, both of you, and I agree that ideally we should discuss this topic as being about individuals, not categories. The only complication here is that (a) she’s the site’s only girl writer, and (b) her prose is so manifestly repellent and discordant with the rest of the site that it stands out like… well, pick your metaphor. It’s (still) a delicate subject to be sure; if you call this particular spade a spade, you risk being labeled a misogynist or a patriarch.

          Interestingly, readers seem adoring or disgusted by her writing in equal measure. Never in all my time on RPS have I seen anything this polarizing. It’s a shame, because I really want to (and do) read articles written by gamers-who-just-happen-to-be-girls (as opposed to Girl Gamers(tm), as you say). I’ll just hope for a more readable author next go-around.

  6. President Weasel says:

    It would be rather amusing if you made ladywoman writers wear top hats and false moustaches. You could wear a lacy bonnet to ensure balance was maintained.

    • Shuck says:

      Come now, we all know the proper order of things is for games articles to be written by manly chaps. Ideally with facial hair, so we know the chap isn’t a young lad or one of those foreign Johnnies who can’t grow a proper mustache. RPS has badly let down the team on the facial hair front as of late, so it’s only right that they buck up their standards a bit.

    • Premium User Badge

      DeVadder says:

      I was actually under the impression that ALL writers on RPS were required to wear a top-hat and moustache, sporting a grim and manly glare while writing their articles! Why would anyone read an article written by some un-top-hatted brute?

      • The Random One says:

        That was my thought as well. I thought I enjoyed RPS, but if the writers are not all wearing top hats and Victorian beards regardless of gender then I guess their writing is not that good.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Also quick straw poll here, which one of the RPS writers is “the hot one?”

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I have a mancrush on Nathan Grayson, even though I have never seen his face.
      Brendan “Brendy” Caldwell also figures highly in my “would hug” estimations. Kieron’s Boiling Point diary made me have a man squee to the point where I am still talking about it several years after the event.

    • The_B says:

      Horace. Phwoar.

    • meelawsh says:

      Kieron was the hot one of course. He was fired because others were jealous.

    • Shark says:

      Oh it’s Alec, so much hair

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I’ll always remember the day when my father, Lord Arbuthnot “Buffy” Smingleigh, took me to one side and laid out the most important rule in life.

      “Cuthbert”, he said, “There is only one fact you need to know. There is never any games journalist sexier than the one in front of you right now. You can’t fake it, you can’t lie. Just believe there are no other games journalists – put them out of your mind, they don’t exist. Even if there are other games journalists, they can’t hold a candle to the one you’re with, because the second he or she gets a sniff that they’re not number one, you’ll find yourself alone in that bed, reviewing games on your own.”

      That was shortly before the unfortunate hunting incident in which he shot himself in the foot when one of his boots showed Bolshevik tendencies. My father was a wise man. He was as mad as a box of weasels, of course, but he was wise in his own way.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lambchops says:

        Don’t ever change Lord Custard, don’t ever change.

        • The Random One says:

          See, I bet that Lord Custard was wearing a top hat when he wrote that comment. That is the difference it makes.

          • Premium User Badge

            Bluerps says:

            I’m pretty sure Lord Custard is always wearing a top hat.

        • Fenix says:

          These “don’t change Lord w/e” comments have turned into “most groan-inducing thing on RPS after the 25th time.

      • Premium User Badge

        MajorManiac says:

        I count you as one of the reasons I come here. Brilliant.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I always thought Quinns was kind of cute, but John always had the sexiest voice on the electronic wireless podcasts. What happened to them anyway?

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      Mighty Jim has a handsome cut. It could never be though, he has terrible taste in games. :P

    • Premium User Badge

      MajorManiac says:

      Gotta be John. He is one large-manly-hunk-o’loving. Much like myself.

  8. Brun says:

    rarely do readers feel the need to comment on whether they find the male writers of RPS attractive or not when images of them appear

    That’s what you think.

  9. Yosharian says:

    I think you demean yourself and the site by lowering yourself to such comments, RPS. Better to just delete their comments and move on.

    • meloncrab says:

      I may be missing the irony here, but this topic is actually quite serious. Every time a girl posts a picture of something where she herself is included, too, internet troglodytes come out of their caves and unleash all of their unholy mysogonist rage. As if women were always using their magic powers of the material plane to mezmerize the poor males to get all the attention they wanted and needed. It’s a very special kind of sexism, which isn’t trying to force gender roles on people, but reeks more of experienced rejection, not by femals but by society at large, and looking for an outlet.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        which isn’t trying to force gender roles on people

        Oh it’s that too. There’s a strong undercurrent of women aren’t allowed to talk about manly things like videogames, as evidenced by the widespread disdain for alleged “fake geek girls” in smelly corners of the internet. Even when that’s not the direct accusation, it’s still very much part of the cultural sexism.

  10. aemskelley says:

    I’m all for equal rights on women writing articles for gaming sites. And if there are enough electrical outlets in the kitchen for laptops as well as kettles and irons, then who are we to deny them this opportunity?

    • jedoran says:

      Oh, fuck off.

    • Canisa says:

      Oh look, you’re telling a lazy variation on a several decade old joke that was never funny in the first place and itself originally derives from the largest scale and most persistent oppression in human history. You are so funny and also witty. Bonus joke points for using it to dismiss and make light of an extremely serious situation.

      • Merlkir says:

        Breaking news! Women still being the biggest victims in history ever! Nobody surprised. A commenting feminist predictably offended by a kitchen joke variation.

        • Baf says:

          Wait… joke?

        • mouton says:

          Yeah, I always tell my friends of african descent to chill and stop being offended when I tell dumb negro jokes. That’s just jokes and they have no underlying meaning besides innocent entertainment, right? Right?

          • Supahewok says:

            Serious answer to a sarcastic question: it’s all about the audience. Back at my (public) high school, Asians overtook Caucasians in % of student body. (something like 42% Asian (not Pacific Islander FYI) and 41.2% White) Nearly all of the Asians liked to play around with Asian stereotypes and jokes. So did the white kids. We didn’t care. We were all friends.

            However, I would NEVER try to tell a joke like that on the internet. Because your audience is EVERYBODY. Therefore, jokes that would be fine with your friends could end up actually hurting someone. (especially since most of us who aren’t authors don’t have a great way to transmit emotion through little bits of text without those godawful smile emoticons.)

            So remember kids: be responsible about what you say on the internet so that you don’t cause a shitstorm of hurt, rage, and rebuke.

      • Merlkir says:

        PS: A woman writing an article in an online gaming magazine is apparently “an extremely serious situation”. Clutch those pearls tighter, dear reader!

      • riverman says:

        surely you recognize the futility in speaking of the greater picture to those with their blinders on?

      • Consumatopia says:

        re:kitchen jokes, ordinarily you’d be right, but this whole thread, including the OP, seems to be dedicated to ironic sexism.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Similarly, black people look like monkeys, do they not. Let us all paint our faces with boot polish in recognition of this.

    • Acorino says:

      A fine specimen of a sexist joke, not one as such can be found in the comment thread this very John Walker rant is about. So…what was he exactly ranting about again?

  11. Rauten says:

    I hereby now demand, DEMAND, a picture of Cara Ellison with a top hat and a fake moustache, sending a steely manly glare to the camera.

    YOU KNOW IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, RPS!

    • Barnox says:

      I, too, DEMAND, such a thing.

      Infact, I DEMAND further. All the RPS writers! A “Who we are” page/article, featuring the be-tophatted-and-monocle’d staff of RPS!

      If the sarcasm, puns, currency and weather hasn’t tipped people off about the Britishness of this site, that most certainly will.

    • Sakkura says:

      I demand a “Madam, you are being hunted.”

    • tormos says:

      I wholeheartedly third this demand

    • The Random One says:

      The soup is to have its own top hat and mustache.

  12. TsunamiWombat says:

    What is this even a response to?

    • RobinOttens says:

      Ah, good. Looks like I’m not the only one slightly confused.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Tomb raider writer interview.

        • Brun says:

          …in which there was little to no shitstorming over this issue? I appreciate the sarcastic tone of the article as much as the next guy, but I’m still utterly bewildered at why it’s here in the first place.

        • Premium User Badge

          DrollRemark says:

          I read about three pages in to the comments, and it was a discussion on Jaffa Cakes, soup, some talk on the game, and like one guy making an awkward attempt at a flirt. Did it suddenly get worse further in?

        • Felixader says:

          Yeah, let me second, third or whatever, that confusion.
          I have read the article and the comments when both were fresh and i didn’t really see anything overly problematic in it.

          I kinda glossde over the one or other troll and the Disscussions about Tea and Jaffa Cakes were kinda charming even. What the Hell?

      • brulleks says:

        Yes, me too. Were there really complaints about Cara writing an article, or appearing in a photo?

        And I thought the attitudes in Bioshock Infinite were horrifically anachronistic… maybe I’m still playing the game, and this is all some incredibly impressive yet deeply disturbing fourth-wall breaking exercise.

      • Reapy says:

        Yes I popped a huge wtf, but not at who the author was. Walker troll strikes again.

        • 11temporal says:

          Haha, looks like John is trying to score points with certain someone.

          Hey, you owe me for the “gender card,” I just knew you wanted to write this piece xD

      • Zarf says:

        Allow me to add to the number of confused individuals here. People are really disappointed in Cara’s work? I honestly feel that if there are disappointed people, they are disappointed in her writing because it’s such a different sense of humor from the other writers here. Not because of her gender. Maybe that’s just me and my naivete, but I honestly think the average RPSfacer is unconcerned by the gender of the author. Examples to the contrary would be the exception, not the rule.

        Whatever the case, I think it would be hilarious to get a picture of all of the staff members dressed in suits, tophats, monocles, and fake moustaches. People dressing like Victorian-era men and acting like Monty Python characters is the soul of wit. Not brevity. Whoever said that was a hornswoggler.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Bear in mind that we do not have access to the posts that digest within the bowels of Delete-O-Tron.

      • Brun says:

        Given how long spam posts tend to sit around in threads, I can’t imagine there were that many such posts, as I and others would have seen them prior to deletion. The moderation isn’t THAT fast.

        • Zarf says:

          As Lord Custard said, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my bank statement for $peanuts. Working from home, I was just able to buy the Lamborghini DLC for some game I have, but that was because somebody dropped some money on the ground and I was able to whisk it away before they realized they’d been swindled. I’m pulling in over $2000 worth of fees a month just for visiting this website!

          Am I starting to fit in with the other posters yet?

          • dE says:

            Almost, needs more typos. Maybe we just misunderstand the spambots. They want to share, they want to bring peace to our rage and hate filled lands – for only a smidgen of your money (all of it) and your soul (no return).

          • Supahewok says:

            Also, you need some little bullshit link that would MAYBE fool someone’s grandmother.

      • dE says:

        Probably. Yeah. Yet, there are some rather idiotic “kitchen” comments left in plain view though. Although I’m not appreciating the typical John Walker fare, I dub all of thee my mortal enemy and I will shout you down on sight, but there’s no way around that, as long as he is hellbent on those silly pissing contests (because that ever solved anything in a thousand years of human history).

        Still, I’d like to know if this is about posts still visible or far worse ones hidden from view. Would help putting things in perspective.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        i assume so. otherwise this is just another troll attempt.

  13. Lone Gunman says:

    *grabs popcorn*

  14. SuffixTreeMonkey says:

    You took your sweet time with the apology. But at last, I, the average reader, got what was coming to me.

    As a conciliatory gesture, I would like the photos of all male RPS staff delivered to my email. Or here on this page. Sexy poses and soup mandatory. Then and only then I will start reading the articles here and not just yell at you every time you mention EA.

    Thank you.

    • 2helix4u says:

      This is a good idea

    • empyrion says:

      Oh yes. If all of the writers could pose with a bowl of their favorite soup in their hands, that would be fantastic.

      • The Random One says:

        If you look at the picture, you’ll notice that a games journalist being able to afford a ‘bowl’ is just wishful thinking. They are forced to keep the soup in jars of marmite, like animals.

  15. Spinoza says:

    Yes , there is moment in life of everyone when the things had to be said straight .
    Using the opportunity , as a ”Eastern European” immigrant living in London , I’d like therefore to apologise for causing the economic crisis and strain on housing , education and health services and especially for the weather.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Common misconception old boy, it’s not your fault. It’s the wrath of all the dishonoured scottish ancestors of mine at still being a part of the union.

  16. jellydonut says:

    I have no idea why this article is a thing but I suppose the comments section in the linked article has something to do with it..

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      Because these kinds of articles attract traffic. We’re officially Kotaku now.

      • OfficerMeatbeef says:

        What is with this “RPS gotta get some of that hot Kotaku clickbait action” idiocy? Why is the simple idea that maybe the human beings who run this site get irate when they see dumb, troublesome behaviour in the comments of their site and feel the need to speak up about it immediately lest it fester so impossible for you people to grasp?

  17. Premium User Badge

    neofit says:

    So, asl?

    • jalf says:

      So, die in a fire?

      Well, no, that’s a kind of mean thing to wish for.

      Just… grow up. And stop being an ass.

      • excel_excel says:

        I thought it meant….Age Sex Location…..oh maaaan. I wondered why a lot of my online chats went badly after that…..

  18. fallingmagpie says:

    Sounds like I missed all of the ‘fun’. I did comment on that article with a complaint, but it was that Cara is clearly eating Tesco Finest soup after attempting to garner sympathy for her poor, impoverished writerly existence.

    HYPOCRISY I SAY.

  19. Getter Scum says:

    I say, hire more female writers!

    And fire John Walker!

  20. RobinOttens says:

    Wait, did the comment thread for that interview devolve into a shitstorm or something? When I read it, it all seemed to still be fairly civil. Didn’t expect an article like this one to follow. Or am I overlooking some inverted sarcasm and missing a sense of humor? Edit: Ok, just read those comments, they did devolve a bit. But enough to warrant this article?

    As far as I’m concerned, Cara is the best thing to happen to RPS since Nathan Grayson! !

    • ArthurBarnhouse says:

      The first thread was where this was all happening. It wasn’t the marking of the comments, but it was the first thing you’d see in the comments section if you came to the site cold, so I think this is John basically telling everyone to grow up a bit.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        “everyone”?
        i just had a read and its like 2 or 3 comments in 4 pages.

        • OfficerMeatbeef says:

          First comment. First comment. FIRST COMMENT.

          It’s not really that “bad” but it’s still not a good thing. Plus of course the cleaners have already been through to scrub out the real rot.

          • ArthurBarnhouse says:

            Ha! Yes exactly. I need not have bothered, you were on the ball.

      • ArthurBarnhouse says:

        I think we also need to consider the very real possibility that that’s what’s left of the comments after RPS editors gave the really offensive ones a whack. Also, again, it was the very first comment thread. That doesn’t look good for new people who might come in for an exclusive interview.

  21. Iskhiaro says:

    Thank you for this concise and complete apology, it may not turn back time and undo the wrong that has been done, but at least now I can have some closure.

  22. 2helix4u says:

    Other RPS writers have posted pictures of themselves?
    I remember being surprised at Rezzed at what everyone looked at because I had never seen them before. (Seeing Mr Walker was like an “Ooooooh” moment of understanding.)

    I figured that was what the discussion was about, although of course it is the internet so ladies are terrifying and must be stopped.

    Definitely get Cara to wear a mustache-disguise next time. As long as she keeps writing good stuff I guess she can post what she wants.

    I guess people figure it damages your credibility if you are attractive to them, since you didn’t achieve your post with talent but obviously slept to the top or whatever.
    I think a sexy, sexy man writer would probably still have this problem but he’d be called a “douche”, luckily there are no sexy male games journalists.

    • Premium User Badge

      amateurviking says:

      Relevant photography: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/about/

      Also I there’s a battlefield 4 article somewhere in the archives with Alec’ big ol’ hairy face front and centre.

    • The_B says:

      I have often wondered if the hitcount for RPS’ “About Me” page that has been there since the site’s inception, is in fact, in the negative numbers somehow, as if it’s actually been unseen by so many at this point based on the number of times the statement “I’ve never seen what the hivemind looks like” (or similar) gets posted.

    • Low Life says:

      I remember being surprised at Rezzed at what everyone looked at because I had never seen them before. (Seeing Mr Walker was like an “Ooooooh” moment of understanding.)

      “Ooooh, so that’s why he’s always so angry!”?

  23. Premium User Badge

    darkChozo says:

    I am deeply offended by the suggestion that Cara’s style of writing is anything like the rest of the RPS staff. Cultural standards would suggest that insulting women in such a way is “not cool”.

  24. moocow says:

    I look forward to reading more articles by Carlton Ellison.

    I would also add that Alec is dangerously close to gender-ambiguous, could you please confirm that he is in fact a Man (preferably in nothing but a top hat), otherwise I may have to cancel my subscription.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      If nothing else comes from this article I want to see comically lewd photos of the old guard of the RPS staff. Because giggles.

  25. zachdidit says:

    I just scanned all 9 pages of comments from that article and all I found was talk of some sissypants English jaffra stuffs, references to John being a bad healer, and puns…so many puns. I feel trolled :(

    • abandonhope says:

      The objectionable comments I remember seeing have been removed.

      • Supahewok says:

        Oh, is that what happened? I looked at the thread after this article was posted and thought it was pretty tame. For the internet, anyway. Figured John was overreacting. Guess… maybe not?

        For academic’s sake, what kind of comments were removed? The “Imma gonna fap on you SO HARD TONIGHT!!!” kind, or the “Get oughtta my man-space woman!” kind? One is a problem of etiquette and idiocy, the other is genuine oppression and ignorance.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          I don’t think even a small handful of comments like the ones you’re describing would have warranted the reaction we’re seeing from Walker in this article. Either something else is going on, or Walker is indeed overreacting.

          • OfficerMeatbeef says:

            No overreaction. Zero tolerance. If even a hint of this shit appears on the site and isn’t taken to task, and quickly, it seeps in and festers.

  26. TheLaughingOwl says:

    Don’t you worry RPS, Destructoid has tons of female writers on their site, Machinima is filled with latinos now, hell, Gamespot
    even has a transgender making videos for them.

  27. Fluffles the Surly says:

    I am so angry about this so called ‘woman’ I had to register to voice my obvious grievances.

    To think that any site of Journalistic Integrity would do such a thing is deplorable. How dare you sir! How dare you. Clearly your lack of top hats and monocles is an affront to savvy readers everywhere and I demand redress!

    From now on all writers of the great and glorious Rock, Paper, Shotgun, when presented publicly must wear the attire of their appropriate class. Cane being entirely optional. A person of integrity having a cane without an ailment is just so passe.

  28. Ricc says:

    Oh dear, this just makes me sad. :( I don’t even want to read the comments for that interview now, lest they make me even more depressed about the state of comments sections in gaming and otherwise.

  29. Ertard says:

    Did people on RPS seriously comment with sexistic shit? Here? That it is really disappointing. I like to see this as the oasis to the generally horrid sexism that is the infected pus spewing sore in all of gaming.

    It is terrifying that there’s actually men so scared of women in the year 2013 that they feel a need to comment with such things. I had hoped that RPS generally progressive nature was also reflected on it’s readers.

    Judging by the Planetside 2 outfit it seemed like it really was different. Perhaps not.

    • Premium User Badge

      X_kot says:

      Yeah, it’s one of those “this is why we can’t have nice things” moments.

  30. Sakkura says:

    It’s not her lack of a Y chromosome I’m worried about, it’s her rampant X chromosome inactivation (Wikipedia it). I can’t trust a person who has so many chromosomes they can just go inactivating them willy-nilly.

  31. Premium User Badge

    Faldrath says:

    I’m going to be happy only when I see “Cara Ellison” written below “Nathan Grayson” at the bottom of the page here in RPS.

  32. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    We never grow up.

  33. Michael Fogg says:

    Personally I like gaming to be ‘man cave’ of sorts, where I can do as I please without worry about being nice, appropriate, politically correct and so on. Women are welcome as long they play by the rules and not request everything be changed to their liking.

    • Skofnung says:

      Yeah! Everything should be catered to my preferences!

      • Vaedresa says:

        But isn’t that exactly what people are asking for when they want games to have less “bald space marines” and more of whoever else is in vogue at the time?

        Minorities are minorities. And the majority of videogamers are white, young adult, and male. Who like FPS games with Space Marines. The whole idea of democracy is that the majority of people get what they want, so why should this be different for videogames?

        And here, I should note, I’m talking about legitimate games, not things like mobile phone games (so nobody pulls the “but x people are the majority!”. They aren’t. At least, not in this circle. I’m willing to bet over 90% of the commenters here are white young adult males too.

        • sinister agent says:

          Well, women outnumber men in the UK, so I guess we’d best cancel videogames entirely. And two thirds of the world’s population live in Asia, so I guess we’d better all shut down everything and replace it with whatever most Asians like. Seeing as minorities are minorities and all.

        • Premium User Badge

          welverin says:

          People in their thirties are young?

        • Skofnung says:

          Yeah, let’s see how “minorities are minorities” flies when the RPS community has its scheduled bitchfest on the next AAA title that’s cool to hate.

        • Lanfranc says:

          “Legitimate games”, huh? Why, that certainly sounds like an objective standard that I’m certain in no way is defined according to the needs of your otherwise fairly ramshackle argument.

          • Supahewok says:

            Dear God, don’t be pedantic. We all know the kind of games he’s talking about. The bull crap little games made in a week that copy whatever’s popular in the hopes of being able to get a couple of bucks.

            There are good mobile phone games, but there is a wide field of crap around them.

            Edit: For the record, I don’t really agree with what Vaedresa says here. But I get so goddamn tired of the pedantics that get thrown around on RPS. Seriously, first or second page of comments has a whole slew of comments arguing about what constitutes an opinion and how valid they are. Just like there is WHENEVER there is a big enough comment thread on RPS. That same conversation has been rehashed almost WEEKLY for MONTHS. Christ. GET OVER IT. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT AN OPINION IS READ FREAKIN’ WEBSTER AND FIND OUT. Sorry. Had to get that off of my chest.

        • Nastorius says:

          You seem to confuse democracy with ochlocracy. A modern day democracy has systems in place to prevent the tyranny of the majority. See also separation of power checks and balances.

    • geerad says:

      Have you considered that perhaps there are women who also want gaming to be a comfortable place, where they can do as they please without being harassed, subjected to lewd comments and kitchen “jokes”, or accused of using their femininity to get attention?

      Perhaps they don’t want it to be a place where they are begrudgingly welcome so long as they “play by the rules” which clearly don’t apply to you (since you don’t have to be nice, appropriate, politically correct, and so on).

      Perhaps they would like their wants to be considered on equal footing with yours. Or is that considered “requesting everything be changed to their liking”?

      • Supahewok says:

        Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is. Give the girl a little room on the couch, put some pants on, and keep the belches down to 25%. Doesn’t seem that drastic to me.

        Now, if the girl wants massages and room service, and expects us to provide, that’s her problem. But if all they want is an equal side of the couch like they say they do, then sure. Hop on. Don’t bother me and I’m not gonna bother you. Is that so difficult to manage these days?

    • Chelicerate says:

      Aww, someone’s upset that girls are getting in their treehouse, aren’t they?

      Gaming isn’t about you. Fuck off.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Lamb Chop says:

    I’m guessing there were a lot deleted because going back and reading now, there are, I am proud to say (using proud in the sense of, well, at least it’s a little less bad here), only one page of comments responding to ‘omg, it’s a picture of a woman’ and at least as many trying to explain to Americans what a Jaffa Cake is. I just hope anyone who was deleted was banned as well.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      That’s what’s confusing me, I spent a good deal of that night procrastinating away from my progress report and adding to the puns in the comments. The comments as they are now are pretty much how I remember them being at the time, I haven’t noticed big chunks missing where moderation has since kicked in.

      So I’m unsure how a handful of stupid responses and another handful of slightly socially inept “Cara you’re gorgeous!” comments elicited this.

      It’s like standing the new kid in front of the whole school and telling them to stop bullying them before it even happens. Given the similarities between the kind of people who make those comments and children, I can only see this making things an order of magnitude worse, not helping at all.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      Not only banned but tied up and tormented with tasty jaffa cakes dangling from a fishing rod just out of reach. Then forced to eat pea soup, because it’s second only to mushroom in it’s horribleness, even if it is Tesco’s finest. Say what you like about Cara but she does have terrible taste in soup!

  35. Curry the Great says:

    I really don’t care about the gender of a writer as long as the writing is good.

  36. InternetBatman says:

    Was this ever a deal?

  37. Premium User Badge

    amateurviking says:

    Well I don’t know about you folks but John gives me a double polaroid.

    *swoons*

    Although Alec’s a bit phwoar as well: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/12/jul/bf4.jpg

  38. Adeste Fideles says:

    I name the soup pictured as Tesco’s Finest Pea and Ham!

    Do I get a prize?

    http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=253751308

    P.S. It’s soup-er tasty! See wot I did there?

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      That was not soup. Did you SEE that green glow? TCRI need to check their inventory, that’s all I’m saying. And watch out for ninja rats.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rise / Run says:

      I enjoy that the soup in your link has a little green box that says “Life +7″…definitely helpful, though I can’t determine if merely heals or adds +7 to max health…

  39. zenjestre says:

    oh cry some more you bleeding hearts. the internet expressed an opinion you disagreed with. welcome to existence; here’s your shovel, there’s your manure pile, and behind that fence is the screaming horde of mongols that will criticize your every move.

    stop making such a big deal out of letting girls into the boy’s club. if enough people do it over a long enough period of time, it will no longer even be a noteworthy issue. in other words, don’t complain, soapbox and moral highground or not, about social injustices when you could be applying your energies to writing articles about games and just generally not giving a shit what the mongols are screaming.

    feed the bears and you’re just asking for more growling.

    • alw says:

      oh cry some more you bleeding hearts. the internet expressed an opinion you disagreed with.

      What, you mean, if people write stuff you don’t agree with, you shouldn’t reply to it?

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Yeah, you do realise that complaining about other people complaining about other people makes you look like a bit of a thicky right?

      • zenjestre says:

        at what point was it not obvious that i am the exception to the rule?

  40. Hikkikomori says:

    RPS, how dare you imply that women exist?

    Stop all this conspiratorial fantasy talk and grow up.

    • Premium User Badge

      Fede says:

      Yes sir, and I’d add that the one in the picture is clearly Quinns.
      Young, with glasses, enthusiastic and writes well. Can only be Quinns’ return!

  41. evenflowjimbo says:

    I don’t get it .. so John Walker is a woman?

  42. Nevarion says:

    Awesome article. Period.

  43. Zaftrum189 says:

    She writes good words, that’s all that matters to me.

  44. Cytrom says:

    Here we go again.. seems like ‘sexism’ is the new buzzword to generate clicks in gaming media theese days.

  45. pakoito says:

    I heard she plays Dota and loves bearded heros.

  46. AngoraFish says:

    What is this article about? I don’t like Cara’s style of ‘gonzo’ journalism, which simply feels lazy. It has nothing to do with her gender.

    From what I can tell, most people who do object to Cara would prefer that she increase the amount of time in her articles talking about games, and reduce the percentage talking about herself. The criticism would be the same for any guy with the same style.

    Do I want her off this site? No, clearly others find her amusing and I don’t have any trouble skipping the text of her articles and going straight to the comments.

    • evenflowjimbo says:

      I wish I could make a joke, but I don’t want the label of “sexist” being put on me … or do I?

    • Alexander says:

      Also, this.

    • wererogue says:

      Well, that might be a good point, except that the entire inception and history of this site revolved around the writers talking about themselves, and nobody ever kicks off about it, even for new writers.

    • Snids says:

      Anyone who did not enjoy Amiga Power can leave this site for the rest of us.
      *nestles into warm, inviting folds*

  47. pilouuuu says:

    How can a woman even talk about games? And a woman that writes? What kind of world is this?
    The other day I was reading an RPS article and I was enjoying it and then suddenly the “writer” mentioned being a woman and I felt cheated by RPS.

    Well, I’m OK with she talking about games, if those games are girly things like The Sims 3, Plant Vs Zombies and Barbie games, but could some of the real writers check whatever nonsense she writes and also spellcheck it?

    On the plus side she looks very pretty. I don’t bother her pictures in the articles. Especially wearing moustaches. OK, RPS, I forgive you if she shows a picture licking a notebook and wearing moustaches in all of her articles. I’ll just check her lovely pictures and skip whatever nonsense she writes,

  48. guitarmy says:

    well, at least she wrote about games. not important stuff, like, say, physics.

  49. Alexander says:

    Now I feel so guilty for how my posts sounded. In no way was I saying I don’t like female writers, on the contrary. It was just the fact that – yes – female writers at least seem to push themselves a bit too more in their articles. Like they need the extra attention or something. And yes, I find Alex Leigh boring sometimes. But in no way do I want these beautiful creatures to disappear from the scene. In fact, the more the merrier. And yeah, I’ll continue to check Cara’s articles, even if I’ll have to stop after the intro or read diagonally. But yes, more power to female writers.

    • qrter says:

      “But in no way do I want these beautiful creatures to disappear from the scene.”

      Good grief.. who are you – Leslie Phillips..?

    • jalf says:

      Err… Keep digging that hole? ;)

      (Hint: you might have more luck just referring to female writers as *people*, you know, the same way you do with male ones. The “beautiful creatures” schtick isn’t as clever as you think it is. If you want to compliment her, try referring to her writing, rather than her “beauty”.)

      • Alexander says:

        Hint: I’m not trying any schtick, it’s just my obsession with women. And I tried saying that it’s her writing that’s disappointing sometimes, not the fact that she’s a female. Guys like you won’t like it either way. You’ll turn it into the “sexist card”. Again, I am talking about her writing. Always. And actually, I refer to males a lot of times as creatures and not people. Exactly how I refer to women sometimes. Because I don’t discriminate, you know?

        • jalf says:

          It’s not the “creature” part that’s the problem, but the “beautiful”.

          Make writers can write without having their looks commented on, or without their “beauty” being at all relevant.
          Why can’t women?

          So yes, you do discriminate. Even if you don’t realize it. Which is why I’m writing this.

          It isn’t about what “guys like me will like”. I’m not saying I did or didn’t like your comment. Just pointing out that if its purpose was to say “I’m sorry that my previous comment may have sounded sexist”, then it backfired, because this one does the exact same thing.

          If you want to give the impression that you’re talking about her writing, then comment on her writing.
          It’s really that simple. Just cut the crap about “beautiful creatures”, and say “I don’t like Cara’s writing”.

          • Alexander says:

            Of course I discriminate, just like every other human, but on topics that could be called objective in this case. Like writing. And no, I won’t stop with that because it’s not crap. If I say women are beautiful, I make them a disservice? No, because I don’t excuse Cara on this basis, instead focusing on her writing. Boring night for you?

    • sonson says:

      I sometimes find Alex Leigh abit boring, as well as Keyrun Giillon and Jim Walker

      • Alexander says:

        Yeah, I agree with that. Sadly, I forgot her name. It’s Leigh Alexander and I’m sorry.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lambchops says:

        How dare you forget Jom Rissignol.