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  1. #2161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    . Or unless it's another example of modern liberalism, where you simply try and force everyone into (your definition of) happiness whether they want it or not.
    Yawn

    The Tea Party called, they want their narrow minded bogey-man conception of Liberalism back.

    Also, John Stuart Mill is here. He looks quite angry, to be honest.
    Edit- Also?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    As for sexism, I guess I just don't understand why is this such a huge deal for you guys, with the impact on guys, as in: men.
    Do not ask for whom the bell tolls.

    Oh, go look it up
    Last edited by Wednesday; 17-08-2013 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    As for sexism, I guess I just don't understand why is this such a huge deal for you guys, with the impact on guys, as in: men.
    Have you ever watched the re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica?

  3. #2163
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    of course there are exceptions, like the subject of this thread, but a single video by one self-proclaimed feminist is hardly what I'd consider a nation-wide(much less worldwide) campaign.
    How do you come around to deciding that's an exception though? Or that exceptions in this sort of context are meaningless? Forget feminism for a moment. Plenty of women are unhappy with unequal treatment and with the arbitrary male-leanings of society in a variety of contexts. That not all women care about video games and not all women care about unequal treatment in games (sexist or otherwise), doesn't mean that it's not important. Setting the idea of equality aside for a moment becasue it so often gets twisted into this splitting-the-baby-in-half extremist nonsense, I'm tired of a lot of problematic gender perspectives and their extensions into our media. Plenty of them are about men, and some of them are about women. I care about both because I ... well I do. I don't just care about man things.

    So speak of the concept of feminism as though it's inherently double-talk, as though it erases women when perpetuate by men and erases the Silent Majority when perpetuated by women. This seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. There are many reasons you don't hear most women who play games crying out from the roof-tops about all this, and everything being fine is but the simplistic. I recognize that a lot of arguments from this general half of the table can be easy to exaggerate in a self-fulfilling manner as well, but bear in mind that as long as both sides have room to delude themselves in similar ways, psychology is sort of against you here. Unless you want to deny patriarchal sexism and general, long term oppression of women and unless you want to deny the pressure of silence that is always placed on low-status and minority groups (women who play games being both in many circumstances).

    Racism ended in 1865, right?
    Also this.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  4. #2164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Well feminism is worthless, because it's rather pointless to fight for the rights of women when said rights are constitutionally given to them in any half-civilized country. Unless someone here posts from an orthodox islamic state of course, which I doubt.

    As for sexism, I guess I just don't understand why is this such a huge deal for you guys, with the impact on guys, as in: men. Surely, if the fact that mario saves the princess is such a huge problem for women that they cannot ever enjoy Super Mario Bros, it's up to them to voice that opinion and force change. They could do that with suffrage and voting rights a hundred years ago, so they can certainly do it with videogames today. And considering the utter lack of campaigning on their part*, I can only surmise that they simply do not give a damn. Which wouldn't come as a surprise to me, because women don't really give a damn about a lot of things that feminists think they do.

    And if they don't give a damn, why would you? Unless, of course, you consider them incapable of doing this on their own, in which case your feminist tendences are in themselves just thinly-veiled sexism. Or unless it's another example of modern liberalism, where you simply try and force everyone into (your definition of) happiness whether they want it or not.

    * - of course there are exceptions, like the subject of this thread, but a single video by one self-proclaimed feminist is hardly what I'd consider a nation-wide(much less worldwide) campaign.
    I'm pretty sure that some of the people arguing in this thread are women. In which case, here they are voicing that opinion.

    Basically: someone criticized John for polarizing these discussions. I fealt that you were leaving comments on this thread less to genuinly engage with the discussion and move it forward and more to convince us others to stop thinking obout that worthless feminism. I feel you're doing a fair job polarizing it.

  5. #2165
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that some of the people arguing in this thread are women
    But they're feminists and exceptions. They don't count.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

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    I am confused enough to admit defeat. I don't know what's going on anymore, in these twisty, constant repositionings.

  7. #2167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post

    As for sexism, I guess I just don't understand why is this such a huge deal for you guys, with the impact on guys, as in: men.
    Sorry for the sort-off double post, but...

    I care about human beings. What is so wrong about me caring about an issue that affects a part of our population, whilst it's resolution does not affect any other parts of the population, and in fact, may even have a positive effect on even those parts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Cap View Post
    I am confused enough to admit defeat. I don't know what's going on anymore, in these twisty, constant repositionings.
    Just take a sip of tea and degauss your sarcasm meter :).

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    Activated Node InnerPartisan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    As for sexism, I guess I just don't understand why is this such a huge deal for you guys, with the impact on guys, as in: men.
    You know, besides the obvious reason of equality (radical concept, I know), I also have a purely selfish reason for being invested in this discussion that's going on at the time (not just here).
    I - a straight, white, cis-gendered man - want strong, interesting women characters in my video games, both playable and in the supporting cast. Just as I want more gay, non-white or non-conventionally-attractive characters in my video games. Because I like interesting characters.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with testosterone-soaked Space Marines, grimdark antiheroes, dashing rogues or damsels in distress. All these tropes can make for very interesting narratives.
    But when they represent almost the entirety of AAA-game characters? Yeah, no. I want some fucking diversity.

    You know, the perhaps most engaging narrative game I ever played is Cart Life. The two playable protagonists in that game are a lonely, Russian immigrant, and a single mother battling for custody of her child. And I want more shit like that. It's that simple.
    There is no place in this enterprise for a rogue physicist!

  9. #2169
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    I just had a look at a list comparing wonders in the different Civilization games. Remember when Women's Suffrage was a wonder? It was renamed Universal Suffrage in Civ 3 and then dropped altogether. Not relevant to anything, I just thought it was mildly interesting.
    Old hat! A Steam curator page focusing on Immersive Sims WIP
    Antique! The Fall of Infinite Games 2014 - A handy release schedule for the dark season.
    Recently updated! Thrust Issues: A Marvelous Guide to Fencing in Dark Souls 2

    to wound the autumnal city.

  10. #2170
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnerPartisan View Post
    You know, besides the obvious reason of equality (radical concept, I know), I also have a purely selfish reason for being invested in this discussion that's going on at the time (not just here).
    I - a straight, white, cis-gendered man - want strong, interesting women characters in my video games, both playable and in the supporting cast. Just as I want more gay, non-white or non-conventionally-attractive characters in my video games. Because I like interesting characters.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with testosterone-soaked Space Marines, grimdark antiheroes, dashing rogues or damsels in distress. All these tropes can make for very interesting narratives.
    But when they represent almost the entirety of AAA-game characters? Yeah, no. I want some fucking diversity.

    You know, the perhaps most engaging narrative game I ever played is Cart Life. The two playable protagonists in that game are a lonely, Russian immigrant, and a single mother battling for custody of her child. And I want more shit like that. It's that simple.
    Well put.

    I'm not entirely in agreement, but I appreciate the mindset. One of the most narratively interesting games I've played is Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. It was playful, clever, gamified, and well told. It surprised me a few times and it kept me very well engaged. I'm tired of the tired straight-white-male protagonist, too, but those descriptors aren't why I'm tired of it. I'm not tired of characters for whom those elements of identity are not foremost, is the thing. And a character for whom gender is not important ... well, it doesn't much matter if they're male or female from a creative standpoint. There's the matter of selection pressure applied by sexism in broader media culture, of course, but that aside those descriptors themselves usually don't matter. I'd love to see more games where it does matter, but those games can have straight white male protagonists, too.

    For me, the point of disinterest is not so much in that so many characters are straight white men, but in that so many of the characters exist in an identity vacuum. They have names and attributes but they so rarely matter. This kind of storytelling has a place and games that aren't storytelling in any useful sense also have a place. As you, though, I find that place oversaturated.

    Why I'm bothering to disagree vocally, is that I wonder if maybe we don't disagree and you are piling two concepts together: frustration with the ways in which "real world" sexism pervades gaming as it pervades most things and a frustration with bland, flavorless characterization. Because I don't think they come from much the same place at all. What made the new Tomb Raider work for me wasn't that it had a Strong Female Character but that it had a character, the facets of which felt important to me while I was playing and at times we felt at odds because the character had a sovereignty no amount of holding the controller could erase. It wasn't without gaminess and discomfort and silliness and cliched badness, but the presentation was nonetheless so much more flavorful than most games that it made me immensely happy.

    But, then, there are games with straight-white-male protagonists that do the same thing for me. Like Gunslinger. I think there's room in high-octane action games about attractive straight white people for the kind of thing you're looking for. Which doesn't diminish the validity of your issues with how gender is portrayed and how straight white men are the default. That's still a problem. But I don't think that problematic facet default is what's really boring you.

    Or we're just different. Quite likely, really. :)
    Last edited by gwathdring; 18-08-2013 at 01:13 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  11. #2171
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesday View Post
    Yawn

    The Tea Party called, they want their narrow minded bogey-man conception of Liberalism back.

    Also, John Stuart Mill is here. He looks quite angry, to be honest.
    John Stuart Mill! Yay!

  12. #2172
    The argument that we shouldn't care since we are men is just ridiculous. I care about sexism that effects women because I believe life is better for everyone when we treat each other how we would like to be treated. There are plenty of selfish reasons to have that socialist attitude as well, I scratch your back you scratch mine. Of course that mentality can often go out the window when you are of a position in society that benefits from inequality and the discriminatory treatment of others.

  13. #2173
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    I'm going to make a ridiculous analogy. Spoilers for The Matrix coming up, so don't read this post if you haven't somehow seen it yet.

    You all remember the training sequence between Morpheus and Neo, right? There's two stages to it, the dojo and the jump sequence. One of the key things that Morpheus said is "Free your mind." The problem Neo had in the fight, and then again in the jump, was that his thoughts were trapped in his belief of what he could do. These beliefs were shaped by the matrix, the real world physics that exist. When Neo lands a hit on Morpheus, he starts realising that challenging his notions of 'his reality' is necessary. It appears wrong. It's just flat out wrong, but he's spent his entire life believing these things that it's become so ingrained, so seemingly impossible, to turn it around.

    But eventually, he does. He realises that he was wrong, that by challenging what he took as normal and seeing things beyond that, just for a moment declining to believe in what he thought was simply accurate, that these other possibilities were open to him. He got more powerful as he challenged his held beliefs further.

    Now, maybe you're trying to work out at this point why on earth I've referenced The Matrix? Maybe you've seen the oh-so-unsubtle point I was highlighting. This isn't an issue you can simply fix over-night. You don't just go "Oh...shit! Gender representations and equality is kinda awful." (Or maybe you do, please send answers on a postcard if that person is you.) The problem a lot of people have is that in the gaming industry it has become accepted de-facto that what is, is. Why are people coming along challenging these ideas? Are they idiots? Urgh, shut up guys, lemme have my fun. Except it's not fun for everyone and in fact, no-one wants to stop having fun, at all. Actually the opposite. More people want to have fun. Generally speaking, the more people who have fun, the better time is had by all.

    All it takes is that flicker of disagreement in your brain to open you up to the possibility that maybe these things we take for granted are wrong. It's not just this topic, but anything else we hold for granted. Anything that's been drummed into us by a media repeatedly hammering away at the same story. The simple, truest fact out of all of this is that Anita has already accomplished one of the biggest things she could have desired be an out-come of this series. She's got people to think, to discuss (/argue), to comment and criticise.

    It's not easy. Everyone has prejudices that in the eyes of someone else may be wrong, maybe even abhorrent, but they hold them for a reason. Try to see them for that reason. This discussion is not going away any time soon, in fact it's snowballing. And that's only a good thing.
    Last edited by The JG Man; 18-08-2013 at 01:17 AM.
    Powered by Steam. And biscuits. I'm also a twit and dabble in creative writing.

  14. #2174
    Still nothing wrong with the damsel trope itself! :p

    But ye... what guy above said.

  15. #2175
    Activated Node DHP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    This discussion is not going away any time soon, in fact it's snowballing. And that's only a good thing.
    No, snowballing discussions are not a good thing. Snowballs are inertial and the results just happen to be based on which side of the mountain said snowball happened to be on when critical mass was reached. Sometimes it can lead to good results but the French and Russian revolutions also resulted from snowballed conversations...(So did the American revolution/independance for counter-point).

    What chance is there for any meaningful dialog when people can not even agree on basic premises? Statistics and biology are both argued over and unwritten assumptions come into play. Confirmation bias kicks in. We use the same words with different meanings.

    To those that maintain the damsel in distress trope is over-represented, what is your proposed solution in practical terms? Awareness campaigns? Funding alternatives yourself? Equal representation laws for game developers? Ect...

    <My personal bias is to let the free market work it out under the assumption if there is demand it will get done, for the record>

  16. #2176
    Activated Node InnerPartisan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Why I'm bothering to disagree vocally, is that I wonder if maybe we don't disagree and you are piling two concepts together: frustration with the ways in which "real world" sexism pervades gaming as it pervades most things and a frustration with bland, flavorless characterization. Because I don't think they come from much the same place at all. What made the new Tomb Raider work for me wasn't that it had a Strong Female Character but that it had a character, the facets of which felt important to me while I was playing and at times we felt at odds because the character had a sovereignty no amount of holding the controller could erase. It wasn't without gaminess and discomfort and silliness and cliched badness, but the presentation was nonetheless so much more flavorful than most games that it made me immensely happy.

    But, then, there are games with straight-white-male protagonists that do the same thing for me. Like Gunslinger. I think there's room in high-octane action games about attractive straight white people for the kind of thing you're looking for. Which doesn't diminish the validity of your issues with how gender is portrayed and how straight white men are the default. That's still a problem. But I don't think that problematic facet default is what's really boring you.

    Or we're just different. Quite likely, really. :)
    Oh, we most definitely are! :D

    Anyhow: You might be right in that I'm piling the two concepts together. But I think that "uninteresting characers" are, at least partly, very much a symptom of the sexism that is befalling most AAA games. After all, sexism isn't just hostile to women, period - it's hostile to everything that's perceived as feminine.
    So, yeah: One can very much write an interesting character within the confines of "masculinity" (so to speak) - but anything outside of that (homosexuality, emotions, "weaknesses" which are not ptsd-induced, etc.) is simply not an option. That limitation is, in my most humble opinion, a major barrier for more interesting characters in video games.

    BTW: I haven't played the new Tomb Raider yet, but statements such as yours are compelling me more and more that I really should. Especially considering how much I fucking loved the first two games back in the day.
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  17. #2177
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    How do you come around to deciding that's an exception though?
    How do you come around to deciding that it's not? Oh wow I can do it too! That will make discussions with you so much easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano
    Racism ended in 1865, right?
    No, but the point is that once racism was effectively outlawed it's the job of law enforcement and judical system to take care of it. If you see someone being racist you can simply report them to the police nowodays - amazing, I know. Racist people will always exist for one reason or another but outlawing racism is the best you can do. Anything more and you're either going over the equality line(see: reverse discrimination) or just playing the thought police.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Cap
    I'm pretty sure that some of the people arguing in this thread are women. In which case, here they are voicing that opinion.
    I thought this board was so horribly sexist that the women avoided it like a plague? Someone seem to have mentioned that earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by innerPartisan
    I - a straight, white, cis-gendered man - want strong, interesting women characters in my video games, both playable and in the supporting cast. Just as I want more gay, non-white or non-conventionally-attractive characters in my video games. Because I like interesting characters.
    This was already done in the CoD thread, but most games put men on the frontlines because most games literally deal with frontlines and most soldiers and military personnel are male. Now think of some games that don't deal with combat, or at least it's not the main focus - like RPGs, adventure games - and you'll find out there's plenty of women there. Hell, even the "frontline" games more and more often use women as supporting characters - Halo has(or had - heh, spoiler) Cortana, HL2 has Alyx, the man-sausage fest that was Bulletstorm had Trishka. And guess what? These characters sucked! Because [interesting character] is not a function of race, gender or sexual orientation.

    And finally, and it feels so nostalgic because it was basically my first argument in this thread, most characters are male because the target audience of games is male. Or, to avoid another two-page discussion about absolutes, "the majority of players of (hard)core games are male". And male players for the most part want to play male characters, for the same reason why you see boys run around pretending to be Superman, not Wonder Woman.

  18. #2178
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    the reason feminists exist is not because we need extremists for every concept but because the fair treatment of women hasnt reached the people yet. its a law that is in effect, but hasnt seeped into the brains of people yet.

    I like to take star trek as the utopian ideal here: star trek didnt happen because of technology but because of social reform and a common goal for all mankind. I think the discussion is important to bring certain things to light. I think we can do better than star trek but in order to get rid of a taught discrimination against women we need to get rid of exploitation of certain parts of the world. if we cant even abolish slaves even thoughthe rule has been around hundreds of years, it will take some time for other concepts to seep through.

    in star trek it took a war and meeting aliens. thats being put in place twice. lets not wait that long, I am confident we can do it.
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  19. #2179
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    No, but the point is that once racism was effectively outlawed it's the job of law enforcement and judical system to take care of it. If you see someone being racist you can simply report them to the police nowodays - amazing, I know. Racist people will always exist for one reason or another but outlawing racism is the best you can do. Anything more and you're either going over the equality line(see: reverse discrimination) or just playing the thought police.
    You have no idea what the fuck you're talking about, do you?

    I'm telling you: For your own good, just fucking stop it. Your ignorance is fucking hurtful. Stop it. Stop.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  20. #2180
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    How do you come around to deciding that it's not? Oh wow I can do it too! That will make discussions with you so much easier
    You can do it. But you don't. I was genuinely asking. That wasn't supposed to be a rhetorical question or a trap or whatever. And for my part I'll actually give you an answer. I can't promise you'll like it but it is, you know, part of discussing things with people. You seem to avoid doing that a lot of the time but whatever floats your boat.

    I've decided it's not an exception because ... this will take a bit. I'm not trying to be patronizing or evasive, but while it's quite a bit more involved than "because I just think so" it is difficult to describe in a way other than that without a whole long thing and it's quite possible that to you it's all the same anyway. I don't think you actually want me to answer your question or at least I don't think you're interested in hearing me bang on in depth about the sociological distinctions that lead me to my decision. Feel free to correct me.

    So I'll answer do this. Assume we're equally justified in our assumptions about how things most likely are with respect to what is and is not an exception in this context. If both options are equally likely, should we flip a coin? Would you be satisfied if the coin came up on my side? I doubt it. I wouldn't in the reverse either and I WILL give you a reason for that.

    There isn't harm in trying to make gaming a gender-neutral environment where gender identity isn't relevant to your being part of the community. It don't see any way that can hurt. And don't bullshit me with political correctness gone made nonsense. It doesn't have to be that way for gender not to be an essential consideration in assigning status to gaming community members. But assuming that the upset people are the exception in this context? That can hurt. I'm not talking about bleeding hearts, I'm not talking about Straw Feminists and people who are afraid of sex and breasts. Just people who want gaming to stop taking the male side. That's not the same as bending over backwards for women, that's not the same as ensuring perfect gender quotas, that's not the same as any of the nonsense that tends to get thrown around here. It just means not fighting variety in games when that means including women. It just means not fighting for absurdly decontextualized realism with regards to gender but not with regards to anything else. It means not being so aggressively, angrily one-sided when it comes to approaching gender in games.

    And if you think that's an example of irony, you have grossly misunderstood what I'm getting at.

    No, but the point is that once racism was effectively outlawed it's the job of law enforcement and judical system to take care of it. If you see someone being racist you can simply report them to the police nowodays - amazing, I know. Racist people will always exist for one reason or another but outlawing racism is the best you can do. Anything more and you're either going over the equality line(see: reverse discrimination) or just playing the thought police.
    Unless of course the police are racist and/or convinced that racism is a solved problem and don't give a shit. Or arrest you preferentially because you're black. Passing laws is quite far from the best be can do. That's like saying the best we can do for education is legally mandate standards. At some point, these problems become issues of socialization. We have to go to the parents, the teachers, the students, the officers, the neighborhoods. We can't just sit back and expect laws to magically fix our problems.

    I thought this board was so horribly sexist that the women avoided it like a plague? Someone seem to have mentioned that earlier.
    In the real world, there's a middle ground.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

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