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  1. #181
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Hell, I'd suggest when whole threads of the discussion refuse to mingle I'd suggest we all lose.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  2. #182
    Network Hub dudebro's Avatar
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    I thought about it as I cruised around this rainy evening, and I believe I've reached a point where I don't have anything else interesting to say about this matter. I don't think much will come of this; the supposed bullying, the alleged corruption, the insinuated elbow-rubbing to protect one's image, etc., all of it will likely disappear into the chasm of the internet, with those of us who calmly talked about it (instead of losing our fucking minds) shrugging our shoulders and moving on.

    In my corner of the universe, it wasn't all that fucking important. Actually, it wasn't important, at all. It was just an interesting thing to talk about. Again, thanks for letting us, mods.

  3. #183
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if this belongs here, but I think it's interesting and it's been raised because of this whole thing.

    Stephen Totilo from Kotaku has acknowledged that while there are many steps in place to keep a barrier up between "potential undue influence of corporate gaming on games reporting" that the same was not done for "the pitfalls of cliquishness in the indie dev scene and among the reporters who cover it". He goes on to say that they've learned a lesson from this and that from now on if there's ever a questionable link between the reporter and the subject that it'll be put out in the open and that Patreon funding by his staff to devs they cover is not allowed.

    Finally he points out that while they have learned from the criticism they've received, it doesn't excuse the abuse that people like Zoe and his staff are getting.

    I completely agree with everything he's said here. I'm glad that he's accepting the criticism and hope that they do indeed learn from it. And I do agree that the shitehawks who are doing things like abusing his staff and the developers in question are shitehawks and they've no excuses for their actions. While many people are quick to lump me into the same category as them because of their actions, I'd just like to say again that I do not agree with their actions at all, even though I do agree with some of their views on current games journalism. They are the rioters to my peaceful protest who are giving the protester a bad name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Totilo of Kotaku
    A brief note about the continued discussion about Kotaku's approach to reporting. We've long been wary of the potential undue influence of corporate gaming on games reporting, and we've taken many actions to guard against it. The last week has been, if nothing else, a good warning to all of us about the pitfalls of cliquishness in the indie dev scene and among the reporters who cover it. We've absorbed those lessons and assure you that, moving ahead, we'll err on the side of consistent transparency on that front, too.


    We appreciate healthy skepticism from critics and have looked into—and discussed internally—concerns. We agree on the need to ensure that, on the occasion where there is a personal connection between a writer and a developer, it's mentioned. We've also agreed that funding any developers through services such as Patreon introduce needless potential conflicts of interest and are therefore nixing any such contributions by our writers. Some may disagree that Patreons are a conflict. That's a debate for journalism critics.


    Ultimately, I believe you readers want the same thing my team, without exception, wants: a site that feels bullshit-free and independent, that tells you about what's cool and interesting about gaming in a fair way that you can trust. I look forward to focusing ever more sharply on that mission.


    Update: I initially wanted to keep this statement focused on questions about Kotaku's reporting. In doing so I didn't mention the fact that that criticism has been part of a larger week-long saga that has involved inexcusable harassment of developers and writers, including some Kotaku staff. This statement should not be read as a tacit endorsement of hounding anyone online, of making personal attacks or otherwise being rude, destructive or awful. Genuine, reasonable criticism is always welcome. Harassment is not welcome and is in no way ok with me or anyone else on the team.
    Source
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  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudebro View Post
    Sure thing, but I hope it doesn't derail the thread.

    As with most things law enforcement, it falls to the discretion of the officer to make that call.
    Thanks. I think that kind of helps. You're expected to use professional judgement on deciding what is and isn't a conflict. So for anyone saying writers shouldn't ever cover developers they are friends with... they're asking for a greater level of control and ethics for people who write about video games than for people who deal with actual life and death situations. That's not to say, from a morally absolute position, that they're wrong. But it does show how out of touch with reality it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by dudebro View Post
    I believe what may be confusing the issue for me is that RPS didn't NOT respond. A certain person associated with RPS responded quite publicly, including references to RPS readership (ipso facto declaring RPS's view on the matter in my eyes), seemingly based upon the one facet of this incident that has obfuscated the accusations of corruption and underhanded bullshit. In my mind, you can't just dismiss the corruption allegations based on the fact that vocal idiots and trolls are dancing with glee over the revelation that a social activist turned out to be full of shit.

    Are those accusations of corruption true? Are they false? Fuck if I know. Nobody's investigated them, really. They've mentioned them, thrown them into articles if they deign to even comment on this entire debacle.
    RPS really can't investigate it though can they? Given that they're right in the middle of some of the accusations? John Walker's blog sums up what they did - quickly looked into it, from what they knew they determined there was no merit to it, and so were done. If RPS posted that, would everyone turn around and go 'fair enough'? Or would they go "you would say that, you're part of the corruption." If you're not sure, check the comments on Kotaku's statement. People don't want RPS to say 'something', they want them to say what they want to hear. Anyone that doesn't say that is in on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by (int) magicMissile View Post
    You can't claim that death threats are being made and not provide evidence, and then wave out of hand the fact that the people you claim to get death threats are as guilty of the kind of ridiculous bullshit you're claiming 4chan or whatever is.

    I will tell you something. I am on 4chan right now, and there's no death threats being made. Fuck, Anita Sarkeesian isn't even being mentioned.
    They weren't on Twitter. They were e-mailed and posted to her house. If she shared them, then what? Would you say 'fair enough'? Or would you just accuse her of faking them herself?

    Of course she's not going to give you any evidence for anything, what's the point? Her personal information was shared around, and you all went "she's doing it herself to sympathy". Then realised the numbers weren't even real and backtracked. People's sites are hacked and they're accused of 'hacking themselves'. There is no evidence that will satisfy you, so there's no point in trying.

  5. #185
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    I honestly wonder how I come across, but both of us should be grateful we have an identity at all, twitter and reddit wouldn't allow for it for the most part, it's not the sites faults, it's the scale of the places. The forums here are not a complete echo chamber, people can dissent. Sadly it can be withering for some, I mourn the exodus of the likes of Wulf and Wizardry who had unique perspectives and voices within the grouping, and those such as Squirrel or TixyLixx.
    Wulf. Now there was a guy who made you think. Not to mention read until your eyes shrivelled from the lack of moisture and fell out.

  6. #186
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    I still miss Nalano :(.

  7. #187
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Wulf. Now there was a guy who made you think. Not to mention read until your eyes shrivelled from the lack of moisture and fell out.
    I like to imagine he's still out there in the wild untamed Internet. Still typing up an ultimate wall-o-text which when submitted will bring about the rapture.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Stephen Totilo from Kotaku has acknowledged that while there are many steps in place to keep a barrier up between "potential undue influence of corporate gaming on games reporting" that the same was not done for "the pitfalls of cliquishness in the indie dev scene and among the reporters who cover it". He goes on to say that they've learned a lesson from this and that from now on if there's ever a questionable link between the reporter and the subject that it'll be put out in the open and that Patreon funding by his staff to devs they cover is not allowed.
    Is that all crowd-funding or just Patreon for some reason?

    It's interesting as the whole 'journalists get free games so get corrupted' thing has been going around for decades. Seems it's an even bigger problem if they pay for them.

  9. #189
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Is that all crowd-funding or just Patreon for some reason?

    It's interesting as the whole 'journalists get free games so get corrupted' thing has been going around for decades. Seems it's an even bigger problem if they pay for them.
    He only mentions Patreon and not Kickstarter or any other source of crowdfunding, so I can't say if he intends all of it or just Patreon. Patreon is a bit different from regular crowdfunding. It's a bit more personal than crowdfunding but that's a debate for another day perhaps.

    As for the second part, I think it's just that now we're in a new place in the industry. Years ago publishers were paying for or strong arming review sites into giving good reviews of their games (see Jeff Gerstman's exit from Gamespot). The practice of being mates with a developer, living with them, being buddies with them and interacting with them on social media wasn't something that existed many years ago. So it's slipped into the industry and it only seems to be now that people are bringing it up that "hey wait, you and that dev are really good friends, but you're selling these stories like you've no connection to them". And I think that's a problem. I've zero problem with RPS talking about say Sir, You Are Being Hunted so long as it opens and/or closes with "Sir, You Are Being Hunted is made by my friend and co-worker on this site Jim Rossignol". I've no problem with Patricia Hernandez talking about a game that someone she lived with made so long as that information is included. "My room mate from a while back made this cool game that I want to tell you about".

    In the same way that reporters/reviewers/journalists will say "we reviewed this copy at a press event held by Sony/we reviewed this copy on the Xbox One and it was provided by Ubisoft", I think a simple sentence explaining any personal, non-professional connection between the author and the subject should be disclosed. They don't have to go into great detail about what they do/did, just a simple enough "I know this person outside of my professional career".
    "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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  10. #190
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    RPS really can't investigate it though can they? Given that they're right in the middle of some of the accusations? John Walker's blog sums up what they did - quickly looked into it, from what they knew they determined there was no merit to it, and so were done. If RPS posted that, would everyone turn around and go 'fair enough'? Or would they go "you would say that, you're part of the corruption." If you're not sure, check the comments on Kotaku's statement. People don't want RPS to say 'something', they want them to say what they want to hear. Anyone that doesn't say that is in on it.
    Quite. That's about the long and the short of the journalistic integrity thing. The hate mob following this around aren't going to be satisfied by anything except a head on a platter and there's no point pandering to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post

    Im glad nalano isnt here anymore though.
    I miss Nalano. He was abrasive but he didn't put up with any of this insidious crap. In a similar way to how I actively like John Walker's approach to all of these things, they're not afraid to actually just tell people they're wrong. Because they fucking well are. Apparently the only reasonable approach is to fall for the false moderation fallacy, which is exactly why terms like "white knight" and "social justice warrior" (which has even been turned into a fucking acronym it's so short hand for some people) are sneaking in. It's snide and underhand and I wish the people who used the terms while claiming a want for moderation were just called quisling pricks. What abuse of the English language could make social justice warrior a negative? We live in society, we're all agreed justice is good, we're mostly all agreed society isn't particularly just. So why is wanting to do something about it a bad thing suddenly?

    The whole debate has become corrupted by sickening compromises of language. Nalano knew that.

    EDIT NOTE: I feel the same about modern politics and UKIP. Modern politicians are so concerned with seeming reasonable they have no passion or principles. If you think someone is a racist prick just stand up and say so.
    Last edited by Zephro; 27-08-2014 at 10:51 AM.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isu View Post
    I'm sorry, for what, other than being Phil Fish, was he 'held accountable' by hackers? It sounds like the writer just condoned hacking people he doesn't like. Nothing so explicit he can't weasel out of it, of course. Likewise, was it really necessary to post the entirety of the /v/ mini-manifesto, complete with sexual innuendo and boasting, in the body of the text?
    The whole "hacking" thing is very ambiguous, from what I can tell 4chan had nothing to do with it as they were actively discouraging said and steering very clear of any kind of discussion in regards to that by banning people. Every single case of hack that happened was also signed with UPPERCASE-/V/, which from what I can tell is an in joke to recognize "outsiders", because every board is lowercase e.g. /v/.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Is that all crowd-funding or just Patreon for some reason?

    It's interesting as the whole 'journalists get free games so get corrupted' thing has been going around for decades. Seems it's an even bigger problem if they pay for them.
    Patreon is giving money directly to a person every month that goes directly to their day-to-day expenses, buying a product is a one time thing and entirely divorced from supporting the person.

    Buying a product is actually good, since it does decrease the acceptance limit of a reviewer for what they will talk about and makes them focus on a price/payoff ratio important to many consumers that have a sense of value.

    Supporting a person directly on the other hand points to a potential conflict of interest in trying to "up" that person due to personal ties/friendship etc. At the very least they should reveal that there might be a potential conflict.

    Jason Schreier actually took to NeoGAF to explain it:


    Edit: So pointing out that /v/ was actually supporting an IndieGogo and "women in games" is "stuff we cant have" and worth deleting half my post? Very interesting...
    Last edited by harbinger; 27-08-2014 at 11:09 AM. Reason: stuff we cant have

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    The practice of being mates with a developer, living with them, being buddies with them and interacting with them on social media wasn't something that existed many years ago.
    I'd disagree there, the difference is that being mates with one of the 500 developers that worked on Assassin's Creed 12 is less of a big deal because of scope. That said, I've heard podcasts with journalists talking about playing RPGs with Ken Levine so, y'know...

    In the same way that reporters/reviewers/journalists will say "we reviewed this copy at a press event held by Sony/we reviewed this copy on the Xbox One and it was provided by Ubisoft", I think a simple sentence explaining any personal, non-professional connection between the author and the subject should be disclosed. They don't have to go into great detail about what they do/did, just a simple enough "I know this person outside of my professional career".
    For a review or recommendation sure. That's pretty much essential. And if I had my choice I'd rather have another writer do the review (while getting that writer to do an interview as they're ideally placed). But some people want it for everything. There's an article that kicked all this off, that I'm not sure I can link to, that was Nathan's piece on GAME_JAM, written before there was any relationship issues, but probably while he and Zoe were friends. It just quotes her and a few other people on the topic, and lists the people he reached out for for comment that didn't provide one. There's no opinion, he's not in the story. But one wouldn't get anything different from the article regardless of disclaimer. Not that there would be any harm in having one, but it's also not necessary.

    But people won't buy that there are variations, subtleties, different sorts of reporting, etc.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by harbinger View Post
    Patreon is giving money directly to a person every month that goes directly to their day-to-day expenses, buying a product is a one time thing and entirely divorced from supporting the person.

    Buying a product is actually good, since it does decrease the acceptance limit of a reviewer for what they will talk about and makes them focus on a price/payoff ratio important to many consumers that have a sense of value.
    Hmm, my understanding was that although that's one way (perhaps the primary way) Patreon is used, it can also be used Kickstarter-style for one-off projects.

  14. #194
    They are the rioters to my peaceful protest who are giving the protester a bad name.
    Exactly this. Dismissing valid criticism because some people are clearly stepping over the line is just wrong. I don't identify with these people, I don't agree with the way they argue and I strongly oppose their behavior. Sending death threats, humiliating and insulting other people over the internet is not alright. It's sad enough that this has to be said, but it's not the point of the discussion.

    Now Polygon is reacting to the whole controversy, which is a start I guess:

    Patreon contributions are publicly cataloged on the site. Indeed, Ben's contribution could have been made private and it stands to reason that it would have been were this a conflict of interest that we wanted to hide, but we determined that Patreon support didn't violate any journalistic principles more than, say, a preorder would. But regardless of what we thought, our public ethics policy was silent on Patreon, and critics interpreted the directive that Polygon staffers would not cover companies "in which they have a financial investment" to extend to this platform.
    Unfortunately some staff members are taking occasion to ridicule the discussion:

    Ethics Disclosure:
    One time I went to a media event and I drank a glass of water that I did not pay for.
    Also on twitter professionals are again, reacting strongly by throwing around insults and verbal abuse against the community. It seems to me that nothing has been learned from this. If you start to ridicule people, things will only get worse.

  15. #195
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Hmm, my understanding was that although that's one way (perhaps the primary way) Patreon is used, it can also be used Kickstarter-style for one-off projects.
    Nah, it's entirely meant to be used for funding people's lives. You give them X dollars a month so they can continue to make things like their songs or youtube videos or their little project ideas without needing to have a "regular" job. Anyone you support on it is like having a subscription to netflix. You'll credit them money every month until you cancel it. You pledge "per month" or "per video".
    "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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  16. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    Also on twitter professionals are again, reacting strongly by throwing around insults and verbal abuse against the community. It seems to me that nothing has been learned from this. If you start to ridicule people, things will only get worse.
    Because the community is insulting and verbally abusing them. Sorry, but I fucking hate this. This, "We can say whatever we want but you can't be rude back because you're professionals". Or "You're journalists so need to follow this code of ethics, but if we write something, make a YouTube video or make a gif and scrawl red lines over it, we're just civilians and can do whatever we want."

    Maybe stop yelling at 'professionals' about how they should behave and start role-modelling how you want them to behave. Or just take your money and your custom elsewhere if you're that bothered.

  17. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    EDIT NOTE: I feel the same about modern politics and UKIP. Modern politicians are so concerned with seeming reasonable they have no passion or principles. If you think someone is a racist prick just stand up and say so.
    The internet is responsible for exacerbating a great deal of that: the idea that everyone's a special snowflake, everyone deserves their day in the sun, everyone deserves to be listened to, to have their opinion considered etc. etc. Democratising things, whether it's the creative process or critical discourse or whatever, does an awful lot of good - but it also leads an awful lot of people to think their voice is automatically as important and worthwhile as the next person in line, no matter what either of them are actually saying, and when some of them get (rightly) shot down it's got to be rudeness, aggression, dismissal and so on that led the other person to open fire - it can't be that they were talking shit.

    Oh, and it's also a cardinal sin to back out of the discourse, no matter how heated it's got, because obviously if there's a shred of sense to the other person's opinion then you have to hammer things out until you reach a compromise! Never mind what kind of ghastly, horrible things they've been saying! You always, always, always have to listen to them, otherwise what kind of uncivilised, unprofessional person are you?

    Seriously, it's ridiculous: I have absolutely no problem with John Walker telling people to fuck off, and publicly stating he'd be happy to see the back of any number of visitors on the other side of the debate, such as it is. It's beyond stupidity to talk as if this is some kind of hideous crime against human decency, or that RPS will surely crumble to dust if the staff fail to entertain every single objection brought up by every last commenter. It's not a god damned shareholders' meeting. You are saying things he doesn't like and doesn't see the point in listening to any further. He would rather you did not stick around if you're going to continue to say these things. If you leave, that isn't going to be the end of anyone's world.

    And yes, much as I like Kotaku, for all it's the excitable puppy of games journalism (one minute a clever trick, the next peeing on the couch) I'm also very, very wary of Steven Totilo's desire to carry on trying to appease these people, because I think there's no appeasing the ones causing the problem, full stop. You could turn things up to 11 - no money changing hands between members of either industry in any way, shape or form, no contact between them, even, beyond what the job absolutely demands - and it still wouldn't be enough for these people. While there is a shred of sense - a shred - in what this whole sorry mess has brought up, I think games journalism would be far better served if more people discovered some passion for the job, stopped trying to think they had a duty to tell every single member of their audience exactly what they wanted to hear, and told the troublesome ones to fuck off. Just stand up and say so.
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  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Seriously, it's ridiculous: I have absolutely no problem with John Walker telling people to fuck off, and publicly stating he'd be happy to see the back of any number of visitors on the other side of the debate, such as it is. It's beyond stupidity to talk as if this is some kind of hideous crime against human decency, or that RPS will surely crumble to dust if the staff fail to entertain every single objection brought up by every last commenter.
    There's a simple reason he can do that too. We are not the customer. We are the product, being sold to the advertisers, their actual customer.

    It puts it all in perspective for me really. We're upset because some writers are friends with indie developers? All writers are paid by games publishers! That's where the money comes from. Publishers and developers are the ones paying for journalists to actually write things!

    If a writer goes drinking with an indie developer, and then writes about that game, it's a conflict of interest. If the indie developer pays that writer money, via taking out an advert on the site, which is then run next to a review by that writer, it's fine!

    But of course, when it comes to devs being friends with writers, we can shout at them and yell at them to be better. But when it comes to adverts, the only answer is for us to become actual customers, and start paying our writers to work for us. Which we're not going to do. Because then we'd have to actually contribute. And yelling is so much easier.

  19. #199
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Well it is actually possible to pay for RPS via the subscription thing. So you can be a reader and a customer.

    EDIT: Also I dislike this fucking respect someone because they are a customer or listen to them because they are the customer nonsense.

    If you run a shop and someone says "I don't like the way you let black people in here", you don't respect their opinion and do something about it. You tell them to fuck off out of your shop to never come back.
    Last edited by Zephro; 27-08-2014 at 12:13 PM.

  20. #200
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Don't confuse more accepted with 'fine.'

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