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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant'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?
    No, and oddly enough I don't necessarily mind that John gets angry about it. What I don't like is when John's articles appear to direct that hatred at me because I'm not standing with him beating people into the ground on the slightest charge of sexism. What I don't like is John telling me that I'm the problem when I question an assertion, or statistics, or an alleged event. What I don't like is John telling me I'm a horrible person because I dared to question Anita Sarkeesian. What I don't like is John saying that if I'm not with him, I'm against him. For John, there are only two sides - his and the enemy. Since I prefer to have the facts and analyse the issue, rather than jump the gun and hang the accused, I'm the enemy.

    For those reasons, I just don't read John's articles. I applaud John taking his stance and standing up for what he believes in, and I'll gladly stand with him to stamp out the endemic sexist or abhorrent behaviour (like the one we're discussing), since I experienced gender issues in healthcare. But I don't need John to do my thinking for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    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.
    You know on that point, there's a post on Kotaku Australia, from some guy who I can't recall, which touched on this. Basically the gist of the post was "Yes, what he said was abhorrent and disgusting, but having him hanged for it ultimately doesn't help anybody." The point being that while the guy did something horrible, and he deserved to be called out on it, he's also got big issues and needs professional help. Crucifying him and treating him as if he's beyond redemption (as some people like to do with these events) ultimately doesn't achieve anything. It's like killing everybody who committed any crime ever as a 'solution' to the problem. The Internet's justice is often just as bad as the initial attack, except it lingers and goes beyond chastisement and into retribution and vengeance.

    I think that's important - by all means shame the individual, but when you decide to let that drag on and on to the point of ruining their life, you're removing any hope of redemption and breeding resentment.
    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.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    What I don't like is when John's articles appear to direct that hatred at me because I'm not standing with him beating people into the ground on the slightest charge of sexism. What I don't like is John telling me that I'm the problem when I question an assertion, or statistics, or an alleged event. What I don't like is John telling me I'm a horrible person because I dared to question Anita Sarkeesian. What I don't like is John saying that if I'm not with him, I'm against him.
    Do you happen to remember some particular examples? I am not being sarcastic here, I just want to discuss a specific articles, if possible. This topic is so loaded that I simply fear we might deviate too much towards our own mental images of JW and lose link with what was written.

    Googled this article http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...-the-internet/

    And I just don't see that negative charge you are saying is there.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    Do you happen to remember some particular examples?
    The clearest example was the article about pay differences in the video games industry, in which some commenters point out that Mr Walker cannot draw the conclusions he is making from the data he has, and Mr Walker proceeds to berate them about pointing this out.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    See also the recent article on CoD where in the comments Walker calls people who pointed out that he was wrong in that Borderlands 2 article "cunts". That article was deleted afterwards, Walker explains himself in the comments of the CoD article but it still amounts to "I was upset, but they where being dickheads"
    "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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  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tei View Post
    I see this like drinkink at work, or flirting with a coworker.
    Well, there is flirting and then there's flirting. I think "How are you, pretty lady?" can still count as light-hearted greeting, especially towards somebody you already know, but boy does it go downhill from there.
    - If the sound of Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" makes you think of Kharak burning instead of the Vietnamese jungle, most of your youth happened during the 90s. -

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    Do you happen to remember some particular examples?
    This one. That one neatly sums up the whole thing. It starts off fairly - this is a big issue and John wants to make noise. But then we get to this towards the end:
    Quote Originally Posted by John Walker
    This, and many variants on it, are all about pretending to want to bring “balance” to the argument, in order to prevent its taking place at all. [...] People called out the issues in a recent post I put on RPS about gender wage gaps, which one could describe as exaggeration. That’s a good thing to do. It, however, has no bearing on the facts that there are problems that need to be dealt with, and the line is usually employed when trying to ensure nothing is allowed to change.

    Emphasis mine. Basically that sums up the attitude I hate. John dismisses any argument about 'balance' as being a trick to stop the crusade. It isn't - in many cases they're genuine questions, and someone who questions the 'facts' (such as the wage-gap statistics) isn't trying to stop the argument. They're trying to understand it. But as John says - that doesn't matter because facts matter! But what are the facts? In that wage-gap article, the 'facts' presented aren't facts.

    This one is the wage-gap article. It has some 'facts' with some charts and statistics, with zero actual analysis, decrying a wage-gap which may not necessarily be entirely due to sexism. Many pointed this out in the comments below. Notably with this one the statistics are so vague and so limited that there's no way to draw a valid conclusion from anything. Most of those pointing it out did not suggest that the industry wasn't sexist, nor did they necessarily suggest that the gap is entirely explained by factors other than sexism. They simply noted that the conclusions drawn aren't particularly valid and it deserves better analysis. These attempts to 'bring balance' (as John puts it) are shouted down as wrong because it 'doesn't change the facts' (whatever they are).

    I resent being told that I'm trying to maintain the status quo because I questioned the validity of conclusions.
    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.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The point being that while the guy did something horrible, and he deserved to be called out on it, he's also got big issues and needs professional help. Crucifying him and treating him as if he's beyond redemption (as some people like to do with these events) ultimately doesn't achieve anything. It's like killing everybody who committed any crime ever as a 'solution' to the problem. The Internet's justice is often just as bad as the initial attack, except it lingers and goes beyond chastisement and into retribution and vengeance.

    I think that's important - by all means shame the individual, but when you decide to let that drag on and on to the point of ruining their life, you're removing any hope of redemption and breeding resentment.
    I agree with that point. I'm wondering when enough is enough. He did something despicable, he got rightfully called out on his behavior, he realized the error in what he did, apologized and resigned from his job and lifetime project. I'm genuinely curious, how should this have gone differently to satisfy people (aside from obviously not doing the bullshit in the first place, of course)?

    Also I'm a bit disappointed in him. I had thought him a different person, from the comments I've read from him on gender issues. Maybe I missed the culprits, as many are happy to claim he had been doing this forever. But I remember him standing up for Porpentine, when people questioned her gender after one of the interviews indiestatik did, for example. It's baffling to see him at the root of a sexism and harassment issue.

  8. #28
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Im keeping an eye on this discussion, keep it up! This is the kind of content I think is worth discussing. (In case anyone wondered from me posting on the Moderation thread)
    - Tom De Roeck.

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Basically that sums up the attitude I hate. John dismisses any argument about 'balance' as being a trick to stop the crusade.
    Well, "address to balance" (or whatever it is called) is a common fallacy on the internets and is often used exactly as John described, though. Just because you view a stance as extreme ("crusade") doesn't automatically mean it is not justified, wholly or in part. Many today's "balanced" ideas used to be "radical crusades" long ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    It isn't - in many cases they're genuine questions, and someone who questions the 'facts' (such as the wage-gap statistics) isn't trying to stop the argument. They're trying to understand it.
    Again, for that we would have to discuss specific examples. I have seen many genuine assholes in comments under John's articles and I have seen him respond reasonably to reasonable arguments more often than not. Though no one is crazy enough to sift through those comments sections now, heh

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    But as John says - that doesn't matter because facts matter! But what are the facts? In that wage-gap article, the 'facts' presented aren't facts.
    The wage article might have been ill-conceived and faulty, for all I know. But the sentence about "facts" is from a general article about gender issues in gaming. And the existence of those is a fact, even if the actual issue of wages is misrepresented or unsupported.

    And again, from his articles, I just don't see the amount of hostility he is accused of. He does make strong impersonal statements, perhaps this is what creates such an impression?

  10. #30
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    And again, from his articles, I just don't see the amount of hostility he is accused of. He does make strong impersonal statements, perhaps this is what creates such an impression?
    well on twitter, he tells people to fuck off and die if they try and bring arguments. no matter how intelligently you put it.

    So it doesnt really help the general feeling.
    - Tom De Roeck.

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  11. #31
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theForged View Post
    I'm genuinely curious, how should this have gone differently to satisfy people (aside from obviously not doing the bullshit in the first place, of course)?
    In an ideal world, he'd be exposed, disapproval expressed, and he'd go and get help. People would recognise that what he did was unacceptable but that the man also may need help - they express that disapproval and encourage him to go seek help (psych help preferably... from a psychiatrist, not the Internet). And then that's it - issue dropped unless he makes a habit of it. It'd be labelled as a one-off event from a man who could be suffering from a true mental illness, not an endemic sexist attitude.

    Instead, every man and his dog will crucify him and it'll never be lived down. He'll be subjected to his own personal hell of harassment and hatred. It'll never be forgotten, he'll be hanged with the other misogynists, and his reputation is effectively in tatters. Doesn't matter what he says or does, he's the new target. There are people calling for him to be kicked out of the industry entirely with no hope of returning.

    If he continually displayed a sexist attitude, that's fitting punishment. But to destroy a man who is quite possibly ill and had a one-off incident? Christ guys... I'm remarkably unforgiving but even I find that extreme.


    Quote Originally Posted by theForged View Post
    It's baffling to see him at the root of a sexism and harassment issue.
    That may be a symptom of his present circumstances - he may not have been acting normally, a depressed person's behaviour can deviate markedly from how they normally act. Not an excuse, but may help in understanding what happened.


    Damn it mouton, now I have to add more stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    Well, "address to balance" (or whatever it is called) is a common fallacy on the internets
    But to automatically dismiss every single one of them on that basis? That's fair? And this is actually similar to John's polarising "With us or against us" thinking that I dislike.

    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    Though no one is crazy enough to sift through those comments sections now, heh
    Well in some cases the comments don't exist anymore, so that might be difficult. But again the wage-gap article is the best example.

    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    But the sentence about "facts" is from a general article about gender issues in gaming. And the existence of those is a fact, even if the actual issue of wages is misrepresented or unsupported.
    Questioning the wage-gap article doesn't invalidate those issues, and it's exactly that kind of thinking that I have a problem with. It is not a contradiction, or even a paradox, to question a particular issue or point and yet still agree that sexism is entrenched in the video game sector and that something needs to be done. I read the article as a linked concept (referring to 'facts' from the wage gap article) so perhaps that also colours my view. Regardless of which way I read it though the attitude still leaks through - if you don't accept everything you must accept nothing. That kind of black and white thinking is ridiculous, don't you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    He does make strong impersonal statements, perhaps this is what creates such an impression?
    Well if John told me personally to "Fuck off" as he has to others, it probably wouldn't improve my opinion of him. Not that he'd care. Granted some people who posted vile comments probably deserved that, but I don't know if it's the best way to engage with people.
    Last edited by soldant; 29-01-2014 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Blame mouton. No, really.
    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.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    Well, there is flirting and then there's flirting. I think "How are you, pretty lady?" can still count as light-hearted greeting, especially towards somebody you already know, but boy does it go downhill from there.
    Rereading the article I wanted to add to this. Not only could you "get away" with "How are you pretty lady" (as violently cheesy a line as it is), but that seems like a fairly harmless greeting if a bit tasteless.

    But it's the relentlessness of his BS that makes it so bad. I will kiss your vagina, clearly an attempt to illicit a response, and when she doesn't bite he goes "Išll seriously kiss your vagina" At which point it becomes an obvious chauvinist trolling attempt, and when it doesn't work he ups the ante and keeps pushing. Looks like he just wants a reaction. Makes him seem really small pathetic and insecure. The fact that people like this call themselves "journalists" is an insult to the profession.

    Major kudos to her for not simply ending the conversation with this idiot.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Damn it mouton, now I have to add more stuff.
    Sorry :D Those topics are spammy eh. I will keep it brief.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Regardless of which way I read it though the attitude still leaks through - if you don't accept everything you must accept nothing. That kind of black and white thinking is ridiculous, don't you think?
    I agree, but I really don't think he does that, nor does he blanket-dismiss all criticism. I suspect that after all this time, all those articles, all those flamewars we are having across the years folks might be slightly strawmaning him - that over time he becomes something worse than he actually is in many people's minds.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Well if John told me personally to "Fuck off" as he has to others, it probably wouldn't improve my opinion of him.
    This is the comment under the wages article that he answered "Fuck off" to http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013...omment-1240164 :
    Quote Originally Posted by The Laughing Owl
    People are paid according to their productivity, stop white knighting and let the free market regulate itself.
    #1reasonwhyoureconomywontprogress
    That's not a question or invitation to a discussion, that's an insult and the poster can fuck off.

  14. #34
    Lesser Hivemind Node Winged Nazgul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    The woman who Josh said all this to spoke with someone at Kotaku, under a false name yesterday about it.
    Here's a link to the article which provides some interesting background info on the whole sordid affair:

    http://kotaku.com/she-was-harassed-b...kin-1510714971

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    I agree, but I really don't think he does that, nor does he blanket-dismiss all criticism.
    Except he explicitly outlines that stance in the section I've quoted - anything that he sees as an attempt to 'bring balance' is dismissed as deliberately being obstructive. Questioning if something is a fact or not isn't being obstructive, unless the definition of 'obstructive' is 'not blindly accepting what I say as fact'.

    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    This is the comment under the wages article that he answered "Fuck off" to
    You're right that in this instance the post contributed nothing. But if we're going to hold standards for how journalists conduct themselves when interacting with others, might this also be an inappropriate response?

    I'm more concerned by this kind of comment:
    Quote Originally Posted by John Walker
    Just incredible, watching people pretend that these numbers are explained away by some nebulous notion that women are new to the industry. What utter rubbish. Women have been in the games industry since its inception. Trying to discount these figures based on a delusion that they just arrived last week is idiotic in the extreme.
    That's an awful lot of words to effectively say "My interpretation of these nebulous stats are factual and nothing else matters." As others have suggested the gap in pay might be attributable to a number of factors, one of which might be that those who responded are relatively new to the industry. He's also managed to twist the original point around - from "those women who replied to this survey might be new" to "women are new to the industry."

    Again - with him or against him. No middle ground.
    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.

  16. #36
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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?
    No, I live in this universe and believe me, there is a legion of solid writing about feminism and gaming. Just none as high profile as John's stuff on RPS. Mostly on blogs or smaller sites. But it's there.

    I enjoy John's writing, his polemics are always amusing, but I do agree he's not doing much to fix the problem in any way. Yes, there's something to be said for 'bringing attention' to the issue. Five years ago that was probably very important. I actually think we're past that now. The whole issue is pretty pervasive throughout gaming. There's enough writing about it that it'd be difficult to be in the industry and not know that this was a big challenge that it's facing. So now something more is needed, we have to change people's minds, rather than just shout that sexism exists and is wrong. I don't think John does that at all. And I think there are legions of other writers RPS could commission that could do it better.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    If he continually displayed a sexist attitude, that's fitting punishment. But to destroy a man who is quite possibly ill and had a one-off incident? Christ guys... I'm remarkably unforgiving but even I find that extreme.
    On the one hand I agree, but on the other hand - games journalism is a very competitive field. And it's not a meritocracy, the guy likely had a lot of luck on his side that many equally or more talented writers just didn't have. If he is now run out of the industry then that just means there's an extra spot for someone else to get their chance. And maybe they won't blow it by 'drunkenly' writing detailed explanations about things they wanted to do to an industry colleague.

    It's unfair if he loses his job, but it's not like it was through an entirely fair and utterly meritocratic system that he got said job in the first place.

  17. #37
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    I don't have much to add to the discussion but I would like to say that soldant's basically managed to express my exact point of view perfectly. I can commend John for doing what he does, but I think the method he uses (and the extremity of it) often detracts from the original point and might in fact negatively affect the issues he's trying to resolve.

    How many people have been put off from atheism as a whole by Richard Dawkins' over-the-top brand of atheism? I can understand where he's coming from, but I think he ultimately harms more than he helps.

  18. #38
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    That's an awful lot of words to effectively say "My interpretation of these nebulous stats are factual and nothing else matters." As others have suggested the gap in pay might be attributable to a number of factors, one of which might be that those who responded are relatively new to the industry. He's also managed to twist the original point around - from "those women who replied to this survey might be new" to "women are new to the industry."

    Again - with him or against him. No middle ground.
    It is provably true that both men and women alike often undervalue women for no damn reason at all: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/01/opinio...women-science/

    When this gender gap exists across all industries, and people constantly try to pass it off as having something to do with maternity time, or being new to the industry, or whatever, then no - it really is not worth debating and constantly getting into nitpicks about if it applies in this case or not. Guess what? It probablly applies, and I'd argue it's o the shoulders of those who claim there's no problem to prove it doesn't.

    People constantly try to derail these discussions with the same, overused, false counter-arguments, bringing up women being inexperienced due to whatever reasons, ignoring the studies like the one I linked. If the women in the study were new to the industry while the men were not, why is that? The reasons I can think of would be "Because there is an increase in the % of women in the gaming industry in recent years" or "Because the study was flawed", neither of which you supported, and when John rebuts one of them, you claim he's "twisting" things.

    But yeah. God forbid we have a "with us or against us" tone about sexual harassment or equal pay. Those things clearly have a middle ground - maybe some amount of sexual harassment is ok, and undervaluing women just a bit is a reasonable middle ground!

    Edit: I think any attempt to portray internet backlash as being worse than what happened is kind of sick. Recently, this new thing is being introduced to sexist, racist jerks who want to abuse others called "consequences", and frankly I am OK with it. People need to learn that if you act like a terrible person, you may have to suffer the consequences - and frankly, the more high profile cases of it happening, the more I expect people acting terrible is going to stop. You can't "learn" some assholes into nice people, but you CAN teach them that if they keep it up they'll suffer.
    Last edited by Karrius; 29-01-2014 at 03:45 PM.

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    First, I'd like to say that I agree fully with soldant on the "vibe" I get from JW articles about sexism. His position is very black and white, and he leaves no room for any questioning whatsoever, even if there are valid questions.

    But the article that got me the most is the one about the wage gap statistics. To gain any meaning from numbers, one really needs to understand what they represent, especially so in statistics where it is very easy to draw the wrong conclusion due to a wrong assumption. And in that particular article he was simply mistaken. However, the discussion that developed in the comment section was one of the most constructive and helpful I've ever seen (barring specialized forums), in that people were pointing out the errors and explaining which additional statistics would help provide a clearer picture.

    And then out of those comments and civil discussions about the wage gap, he picks out the single troll and chooses to engage him/her. For me, that is a clear sign of his attitude, that he's more interested in a fight that in an actual well-argumented discussion, because in a fight everything is simple while in reality nothing is.

    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    This is the comment under the wages article that he answered "Fuck off" to http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013...omment-1240164 :
    "People are paid according to their productivity, stop white knighting and let the free market regulate itself.
    #1reasonwhyoureconomywontprogress"

    That's not a question or invitation to a discussion, that's an insult and the poster can fuck off.
    So I'm not saying that this comment didn't deserve a "fuck off", rather that this comment didn't deserve any response at all but all the other civil people who were offering comments, thoughts and were tryingt o correct him did.

    edit: Ah, I see soldant already brought up JW "delusional" comment.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karrius View Post
    It is provably true that both men and women alike often undervalue women for no damn reason at all: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/01/opinio...women-science/

    When this gender gap exists across all industries, and people constantly try to pass it off as having something to do with maternity time, or being new to the industry, or whatever, then no - it really is not worth debating and constantly getting into nitpicks about if it applies in this case or not. Guess what? It probablly applies, and I'd argue it's o the shoulders of those who claim there's no problem to prove it doesn't.
    That's not the point that was made at all. The point was that the statistics being used were not sufficient to actually substantiate the conclusion being drawn, which undermines the argument. This means there was no actual answer to be found. Nobody ever suggested that the problem did not exist, just that what was shown wasn't proof that it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karrius View Post
    People constantly try to derail these discussions with the same, overused, false counter-arguments, bringing up women being inexperienced due to whatever reasons, ignoring the studies like the one I linked. If the women in the study were new to the industry while the men were not, why is that? The reasons I can think of would be "Because there is an increase in the % of women in the gaming industry in recent years" or "Because the study was flawed", neither of which you supported, and when John rebuts one of them, you claim he's "twisting" things.
    John didn't rebut anything, he just picked out a troll and lashed at him. That's not a rebuttal, that's taking the easy target which brought nothing of value.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karrius View Post
    But yeah. God forbid we have a "with us or against us" tone about sexual harassment or equal pay. Those things clearly have a middle ground - maybe some amount of sexual harassment is ok, and undervaluing women just a bit is a reasonable middle ground!
    Nice strawman there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karrius View Post
    I think any attempt to portray internet backlash as being worse than what happened is kind of sick. Recently, this new thing is being introduced to sexist, racist jerks who want to abuse others called "consequences", and frankly I am OK with it. People need to learn that if you act like a terrible person, you may have to suffer the consequences - and frankly, the more high profile cases of it happening, the more I expect people acting terrible is going to stop. You can't "learn" some assholes into nice people, but you CAN teach them that if they keep it up they'll suffer.
    I'd like to see that mentality applied to each and every single person out there who ever did something wrong. You insulted or bullied someone when you were 10? We're going to remind that to you every single day of your life. You stole candy at 6? You're now officially a shoplifter, forever branded. That'd totally work and wouldn't cause a lot more harm.

    Haven't you seen all of those calls for the right to be forgotten of late? That also includes the mistakes you've made. People can change, people can make mistakes and correct their course. Reminding them of their mistakes and branding them forever because of those is the worst way to go around it.

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