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  1. #1

    Female game dev verbally harassed by indiestatik reporter

    I searched the forums and apparently this hasn't been posed yet. I apologize if this is a double post, since I still can't believe this hasn't been discussed yet.

    Game designer Laralyn McWilliams posted a blurred Facebook conversation in which the CEO and founder of Indiestatik asked a female game developer about an unannounced game. The conversation quickly turned into sexual harassment, as the reporter sent messages like "I will kiss you on the vagina if you do".

    Here is a link to the full conversation: http://eluminarts.com//journalism!.png

    And here Josh Mattingly's apology: http://joshmattingly.tumblr.com/post...34/regretfully

    Due to these recent events Mattingly resigned from his position at Indiestatik, followed by its co-founder Chris Priestman.

    Now I don't want to spark another shitstorm, but stuff like this really rubs me the wrong way. People are arguing that it is partially her fault for not explicitly telling him to stop. Honestly, I think it should be common sense to know that you simply do not talk to people like this. It is stuff like this that show in what sad mental state the gaming community is in, when discussions about incidents like these are reduced to a simple argument about whether the "victim was asking for it or not".

    Now the drama around the latest COD advertisement left me cold, but stuff like this proves that John Walker has a point and that the discussion needs to continue. I just want people to know that not all men behave like this, no matter if they are drunk or not.

  2. #2
    This story dovetails with another story I read at the same time, which is probably the best thing Patricia Hernandez has every written:

    http://ash-panic.tumblr.com/post/703...sary-of-when-i

  3. #3
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    Ugh, that was ugly.

    Kudos to 'McWilliams' for speaking out; as for Mattingly, here's hoping he can get his shit together and come back less, umm, drunk.

    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    People are arguing that it is partially her fault for not explicitly telling him to stop. Honestly, I think it should be common sense to know that you simply do not talk to people like this. It is stuff like this that show in what sad mental state the gaming community is in, when discussions about incidents like these are reduced to a simple argument about whether the "victim was asking for it or not".
    I think it's a failure of empathy. People don't want to consider the full context of another's actions and why they might differ from how they imagine they themselves might react in that situation. In that respect it's partly a defence mechanism too.

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    And that is why John Walker, flawed and angry though he sometimes is, is right to occasionally write about this shit.

    If has to put up with even quarter of the crap Hernandez has - and from what he says the treatment he receives is not dissimilar at all - he has all rights to be well fucking angry.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Reading that was like watching a train wreck, it's not only offensive but it's ridiculously awkward as well. It actually makes me cringe.

    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    And that is why John Walker, flawed and angry though he sometimes is, is right to occasionally write about this shit.
    Sure, and I can empathise with his crusade against the kinds of things that Hernandez has to put up with. What I (and many others) take issue with is John's tone in those articles where we're scum if we don't unquestionably support that crusade. It's the "with us or against us" polarising tone that turns me off those articles.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
    Soldant's Law - A person will happily suspend their moral values if they can express moral outrage by doing so.

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    Ugh. I actually kind of liked Mattingly, but I think this is basically the death knell for him.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    People are arguing that it is partially her fault for not explicitly telling him to stop.
    She certainly did her best to ignore Mattingly's offensiveness - not even calling him out on it even once and keeping her composure till the end? Kudos. If only he had taken the hint...


    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Sure, and I can empathise with his crusade against the kinds of things that Hernandez has to put up with. What I (and many others) take issue with is John's tone in those articles where we're scum if we don't unquestionably support that crusade. It's the "with us or against us" polarising tone that turns me off those articles.
    Thanks - I was trying to find the right words, and this paragraph perfectly sums up how I feel about them.
    Last edited by c-Row; 29-01-2014 at 07:44 AM.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    The woman who Josh said all this to spoke with someone at Kotaku, under a false name yesterday about it. What's most interesting is that because it's not public knowledge who she actually is, she's been able to listen to the reactions of people almost as a third party.

    Absolutely cringe inducing what was said to her and it's a real shame that people are going down the "well, it's still her fault. she should have said something" line of thinking. That's up there with the school of "if she didn't wanna be raped maybe she shouldn't have worn that skirt".

    Also, 100% agree with Soldant on why I don't like Walkers crusade posts.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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    Do you folks who complain about JW's coverage live in some alternate universe where there's a legion of solid writing about feminism and gaming? I realize that he's far from perfect (although I happen to love angry ranting, so it doesn't faze me), but it seems to me that we ought to roll with what we have and encourage others to join in/do better rather than complain about one of maybe 5 people I can think of offhand who covers this kind of stuff at all.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Well I'm not sure if Mr Walker has thought through his goal and means to get there. He writes on a site which I imagine has one of the best behaving readership in the scene, after all, we can have conversations here. Yet he writes in a manner that looks down on everyone. I find his articles and tweets mostly alienating. You know, when you kind'a want to agree but can't because the tone is too hostile or something. And if his goal is to convert some of those who actually are behaving badly on the internet, for whatever reason, is being hostile towards them really the way? I think he just provokes aggression rather than making anyone smarter.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    She certainly did her best to ignore Mattingly's offensiveness - not even calling him out on it even once and keeping her composure till the end? Kudos. If only he had taken the hint...
    Indeed. She could probably have put a stop to it earlier had she said anything, but that's probably not as easy as it sounds, especially if they already knew each other. He really should have picked up on her lack of response. Sure, him being drunk may well have clouded his perception, but it doesn't excuse his actions.

    Tangential paragraph:
    This reminds me of a pretty big discussion here in Sweden right now, about whether to enforce mandatory sexual consent by law. Note that not explicitly demanding consent does not mean that rape is allowed. It's more about dealing with the arguments that "her eyes said yes" or "she was asking for it, the way she was dressed". Of course, there's no way that this would hold up in court, as the only way to prove consent would be to provide a signed (by both parties?) document, permitting sexual acts to be committed. (Then again, could it be proven that it wasn't signed under duress?) The reasoning is that it would have a normative effect, much like when hitting children was outlawed. The problem I have with that is that spanking misbehaving kids was quite common and accepted, so changing the norm by law worked well. Meanwhile, people don't really think (or at least I really hope not) that wearing a short skirt is the equivalent of wearing a sign that reads "Hey, come fuck me against my will". Since I don't believe that there is a norm there to change, a normative law wouldn't have much effect. OTOH, I don't see it doing any harm either (although the incessant need to make laws about everything grates on me sometimes). So, basically, I'm of two minds. I don't think it'll help, but it probably won't hurt either.

    Back to the subject matter, has the woman in question talked about it or was it picked up by others? Seeing as she's anonymous, I guess it wasn't her. There is a slight possibility that, since they apparently know each other from before, they could have a sexual jargon in the way they talk to each other. However, her lack of response to it, as well as his actions afterward ("making a poodle", as we call it in Sweden), indicate that this is not the case. EDIT: Okay, Jesus answered this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerothorn View Post
    This story dovetails with another story I read at the same time, which is probably the best thing Patricia Hernandez has every written:

    http://ash-panic.tumblr.com/post/703...sary-of-when-i
    That was horrible. Good horrible. Deserves a read.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tormos View Post
    Do you folks who complain about JW's coverage live in some alternate universe where there's a legion of solid writing about feminism and gaming?
    Nope.

    We just don't like the manner in which JW formats it. As Soldant said, he writes in such a way that there is only black and white, positive and negative, right or wrong. And if you're not on his side you're a lesser person, a cunt or a dickhead. And there's no debating the matter. He's on his soap box and he won't listen from up there. Even a sliver of "I don't fully agree" gets you the label of misogynistic woman hater.
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    Wow, hard to believe it's the future space year 2014, judging by this som guys are still stuck in the fucking dark ages... She should have kneed him in the nuts.

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    Hmm, I never felt JW's writing to be that polarized. Oh well, I atleast enjoy it and even though I might not always agree it atleast gives you new insights into your own thinking and that of others.

    I figured it would stay with the first mention of penis but that guy has some serious issues if he thinks that is a normal conversation...

    Kudos to her for staying polite, I suppose many lesser people would have told him to piss off a lot sooner. Although that might have been better to preserve dignity for the offending party.
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    I see this like drinkink at work, or flirting with a coworker. Its profesionally bad form. Its also crimgewhorty. And I think people will react to the cringewhortyness more than anything.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pepper View Post
    Hmm, I never felt JW's writing to be that polarized. Oh well, I atleast enjoy it and even though I might not always agree it atleast gives you new insights into your own thinking and that of others.

    I figured it would stay with the first mention of penis but that guy has some serious issues if he thinks that is a normal conversation...

    Kudos to her for staying polite, I suppose many lesser people would have told him to piss off a lot sooner. Although that might have been better to preserve dignity for the offending party.
    This is not a defence for him, just a confirmation of what you said about having serious issues. He does have serious issues. He's got a drinking problem that started when his brother killed himself sometime last year.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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    Activated Node Boosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Reading that was like watching a train wreck, it's not only offensive but it's ridiculously awkward as well. It actually makes me cringe.


    Sure, and I can empathise with his crusade against the kinds of things that Hernandez has to put up with. What I (and many others) take issue with is John's tone in those articles where we're scum if we don't unquestionably support that crusade. It's the "with us or against us" polarising tone that turns me off those articles.
    Yes I agree with this view also. It's particularly frustrating as not only is it a cause worthy of exposure and the fight, but doing it in such a polarizing and often aggressive way often undermines the serious message in the post and ultimately RPS's/JW's position. Hence the pretty ugly comments that sit underneath each of those articles (when JW allows them that is).
    Detractors need bringing on board with debate, discussion and persuasion. Rather than be ostracized. I get the impression though that the philosophy adopted by RPS is 'this is our very grand soapbox, so we will say what we like without apology.' And that's fair enough.
    Last edited by Boosh; 29-01-2014 at 10:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    People are arguing that it is partially her fault for not explicitly telling him to stop.
    It is hard to accept this argument as being made in good faith. Although many of the commenters won't have been involved in an exchange of this specific type, I believe almost everyone will have experience of dealing with somebody who's being weird at them. Standard practice in such cases is to respond approximately like the woman in question did. Even more so if the person being weird is someone you may need to work with or speak to again. It's not normal to challenge people being weird, at least at the time, and I don't think it's a particularly sensible idea to do so.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Most people donít want conflict, and itís as simple as that. When faced with an awkward unwanted situation they often laugh nervously. Itís up to the person instigating this to be able to tell a personís uncomfortable and back off. Or they could just wonder why everyone is avoiding their worthless little hide. Thankfully when a story like this is on the Internet, we donít have to worry about lots of people telling Mattingly exactly what they think of his actions. What strikes me about the conversation in particular is the lack of escalation, because there was nowhere to go from ĎI will kiss your vaginaí on the creep-o-meter (but goddamn it he tries his hardest), which this imbecile blurts out on the 4th post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Sure, and I can empathise with his crusade against the kinds of things that Hernandez has to put up with. What I (and many others) take issue with is John's tone in those articles where we're scum if we don't unquestionably support that crusade. It's the "with us or against us" polarising tone that turns me off those articles.
    I agree that he goes overboard at times and can occasionally hurt his cause by simplifying things too much, but I never had the impression he was, as a whole, overly hostile towards other people. Especially considering the tone of shit he is usually treated with.

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