Gamergate and the RPS response

By on September 8, 2014 7:34:57 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

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Today Rock Paper Shotgun put up this article with regards to the recent turmoil in the gaming community: Videogames are for everybody.

Disclaimer:

RPS is one of my favorite game sites. RPS is not just “another game site”, they are very important to both game developers/publishers as well as gamers. I say this because they have assembled an exceptionally high quality team of writers and reviewers. Anyone who thinks getting people with good writing skills and good judgment is easy has clearly never run a business before.

Now..that said…

There are a lot of good parts to that article. But there are some parts that I’d like to address:

Claim: I don’t believe the harassment is real. People are faking it to get attention.

RPS Response: You are wrong. Sorry. We’re getting some of the abuse. John particularly has been told to kill himself multiple times, with specific, ugly descriptions of how, and been sent repeated wishes that he die of cancer. And those have been the extremes. There has also been a non-stop flow of lies spread about him and RPS, abuse sent to us, including alarming videos designed to discredit both John and RPS. Nothing fake about any of that.

This is the first element I took issue with. No one is claiming that nobody is getting harassed. This is a case where semantics actually matter.  What gamers are getting tired of are certain female Internet celebrities trying to claim any harassment / trolling / flaming = sexual harassment and turning those claims into easy coverage for their (surprise surprise) upcoming new project. The media, predictably then responds lecturing gamers on their so-called misogyny.

As a reminder:

misogynist: Noun. A person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women.

 

Gamer Claim: Your site is corrupt. We know this because of the evidence presented in various videos and diagrams and put together by concerned individuals.

RPS Response: We’ve seen all this material, too. If any of it genuinely exposed corrupt practice, or if any of it could be verified with concrete evidence, we’d surely act on it…

I don’t have any issue with this response.  You don’t think there is any widespread journalism corruption.  I tend to agree with this as well. I don’t think there’s systematic corruption with gaming journalism. This would have been a great response from the media two weeks ago.

..Instead, gamers were treated to THIS (courtesy of jw)

The #Gamergate thing could be described in two parts:

  1. First, the original allegations about Zoe Quinn which were a tempest in a teapot
    and
  2. Second, the absurd, embarrassing response by some in the gaming media.

It wasn’t until the second part that the media lost a lot of gamers and game developers and #gamergate really took off.

If someone makes allegations that there is corruption, the best way to deal with that is to answer it (like today’s RPS article tries to do).  But that’s not what happened.  Instead, the media smeared gamers. 

So to recap, a bunch of gamers got upset at what appeared to them to be a pattern of corruption in the gaming media.  And instead of addressing these concerns they got called (again, from jw).

Terrorists (http://gamesnosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/devin.jpg)

Pathetic (http://gamesnosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/freelance-dev.jpg)

Racist (http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/image/96832821253)

Nerds (http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/image/96824882816)

Parasites (http://i.imgur.com/YYx4VM3.png)

Worthless (http://38.media.tumblr.com/3f7e5d258c3590d92e21a91c941cfc48/tumblr_nbel0pMV3y1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Deserving death (http://31.media.tumblr.com/05ce05fa39964870e51b029b76eb4453/tumblr_nbdot0XTYQ1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Misogynists (http://33.media.tumblr.com/cc4523e7baa0c17108abeb7ee15f5537/tumblr_nbfbwtzOO01tkhroeo1_1280.png) (Note: I’ve been informed that this post may be a troll account. I’ll replace this example shortly, but I’m taking a break from the #GamerGate issue for a bit.)

Subhuman (http://i.gyazo.com/af9f579b915579b16382885ee071a8a6.png)

Sociopaths (http://31.media.tumblr.com/6b838763c2a04c7356eb12aac086d2d4/tumblr_nbdfr6ZW3f1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Scum (http://i.imgur.com/rLT5hMG.png)

Morons (http://33.media.tumblr.com/839ef95775ce258ea9b69e3092b74c13/tumblr_nbaq6t5l8a1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Fat (http://38.media.tumblr.com/c006886fc38d780246bb0541e2158026/tumblr_nbaprdoOzq1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Nonexistent (http://38.media.tumblr.com/4f6b44d2d02dcf5637449c43f59081f0/tumblr_nbaraiM5CK1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Hateful (http://38.media.tumblr.com/04d047edde4912a0ae1d08d5d34eb073/tumblr_nbavqcjInC1tkhroeo1_1280.jpg)

Autistic (http://38.media.tumblr.com/070bec77b1eb20d7127eeb53e24cd739/tumblr_nb9o4uaZLh1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Deserving violence (http://media.tumblr.com/5fcf2906cbd6a4f0a2d0d118938a6647/tumblr_inline_nb9hwmg56l1t04v2j.png)

Bullies (http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/821/909/564.png)

Racial slurs (https://forum.encyclopediadramatica.es/attachments/1409516437457-png.47336/) (Note, the veracity of this instance is in question as a possible troll. The blog where I got it from, as with the rest of these,http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/#, is unsure of the source. I’m leaving it up so as to not just pretend I didn’t post it, but I’m going to add that this link is questionable in intent.)

Enablers of child pornography/Pedophiles: (http://38.media.tumblr.com/60d8774d77925c6c2b33da61a320fcc9/tumblr_nbgx6jSebG1tkhroeo2_1280.png) (This added in replacement of the Racial Slurs one as an example of some of the vitriol.)

Manbabies (http://31.media.tumblr.com/7300d99c72d76c2a2b3b90d4c3f9d222/tumblr_nb4nduL6ik1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

Terrible people (http://38.media.tumblr.com/6f9fb624582e4d5a09ceb2174da96c18/tumblr_nb4rxxXlrK1tkhroeo1_1280.png)

And best of all — Trash: http://i.imgur.com/E4kRwKN.png

Needless to say, this upset some people.

You hate gamers. When we criticised you, you “spat on us”.

No, we don’t, and no, we didn’t. This statement is in quotation marks because that’s actually what someone said to us. That we spat on them. We understand that this person was speaking figuratively, but even so it does not reflect the truth. We banned people for being unexcellent on the forums and in comments, we blocked people attacking us on Twitter, and some of our writers expressed their frustration by lampooning what was said on social media. We make jokes when we’re unhappy, and we do tend to get sarcastic when faced with honest insults. It’s difficult.

All I can say to this is: See above.

We do not hate gamers. We object to, and will fight, harassment and abuse. But that has little to do with gamers, and little or nothing to do with the ethics of the games industry. Not everyone who objects to how the games press works are harassing and attacking, but the ones who are are causing enough disruption for this entire thing, whatever it actually is, to be a mess of resentment and recrimination. For any progress to be made, in any direction, it has to stop.

I would hate to get into a “but they started it” type of argument but, if game sites start publishing a mass string of articles claiming that anyone who is concerned that coverage is less about merit and more about who’s sleeping with who is really just a horrible misogynist and needs to grow up and get out of their parents basements, I think that the recipient of this abuse is going to not take that well.

The problem is this: If you insult enough people, eventually you will have a lot of opponents. I’m not referring to RPS but to the self-described “Social Justice Warrior” dominated press (I don’t really have any serious criticism of RPS specifically, I am just hoping they can see the 10,000 foot high picture of this).  Five years ago I would have been a lot more sympathetic to the Social Justice Warriors.  I wonder how many on the fence gamers the SJWs lost during the whole “Dick Wolves” insanity.  Eventually, non-snowflakes get fatigued at the deluge of first-world victim/outrage stories – and don’t forget, if you complain, you are blaming the victim. Each time they smear someone, they lose another small group. Drip. Drip. Drip.

And it is. We love games. We hate harassment, prejudice, and abuse.

Most gamers hate harassment, prejudice and abuse too. So why are so many in the gaming media subjecting them to harassment, prejudice and abuse?

I know of many others who would be natural allies of “social justice warriors” but have suffered at the hands of sustained harassment and death threats courtesy of SJWs.  So when they see the media march lockstep with these people, they think that either you guys aren’t aware of their true nature or worse, you think that death threats and harassment are fine as long as it’s against people who “deserve it”.

If anything good comes of this #gamergate debacle it’s this: It is likely that the SJW movement into the games industry has reached its furthest extent. They’ve managed to alienate a critical mass of people with their shenanigans.

I, like many others, wasn’t just neutral but didn’t really care until the August 28 deluge of insult articles appeared. That’s where you lost a lot of game developers. And make no mistake, like the gaming media, we have our own mailing lists as well and most, if not nearly all, were appalled by that series of articles. 

RPS posts that contain controversy about sexism are just clickbait. You do not actually believe this stuff, and you are just doing it for hits.

Nope, we actually believe it. If you believe that we actually don’t, well, it’s going to be hard to change your mind. But there would be easier ways to generate traffic, with less abuse directed at us, if what was really on our minds was traffic. Why wouldn’t we just do that?

Good for them for saying this. And I agree. News items are much easier to get page views from than original content. It's one of those urban legends that game sites live/die on click bait.

You are doing it for sexual favours.

Wow. No.

Well I am. Winking smile 

Nevertheless, I believe changing games will ruin them. They’re supposed to be about escapism.

Escapism is great! We love it. We all need to escape. Even the people analysing and criticising want to escape for a while. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do. It’s not all that games can do, though, is it? Games can be about real world situations. The same systems that run games are used to train pilots and soldiers. Game developers are using them to talk about social situations, personal issues, and to explore the real world from an interactive perspective, just as books explore it from a literary perspective. There are games about politics and social lives, economies and history. Games are a big old toolbox, and using them as escapism is just one application. Let’s not limit them.

Women tend to like different types of games than men and vice versa.  It has nothing to do with how “inclusive” the community is.  5 of the most popular games for women include Candy Crush, Bejweweled 2, Crosswords and Soduku, Cake Shop 2 and World of Warcraft (this is before Sims 4 was released).  In short, generally speaking (WoW aside) women tend to like different games than men. And that’s fine. 

Gaming really is for everyone. But gaming is a relationship between the people who make the games and the people who play them.  The level of “inclusiveness” in the communities nor the sensitivity of the journalist has little to do with attracting women to a given game. It’s mostly the game itself. Is the game fun and interesting to a woman? 

My disinterest in playing Cake Shop 2 is not because the women playing it are filled is misandry. It’s really not their fault.

This is horrible, why can’t we keep the politics out of games? Why can’t we just talk about the games?

This is one of those deeply tricky philosophy type things: not talking about politics is actually taking a political stance on them. It doesn’t keep the politics out. Tricky, right? It seems like a trick. But it’s really not: just talking about the games, without questioning anything, is you taking a political stance on games because it amounts saying that you completely accept the games at face value. Your stance on their politics is: this is fine. You can’t just talk about the games, because they can’t be pulled apart from the ideas and circumstances that brought them into being. You can ignore problems, or just not see them, and that’s okay. But if you talk about games, you talk about politics.

When we discuss how a woman is presented in a game we are talking about the game. She’s part of that game. If she’s a prostitute who gets killed by a pirate, then that happens in the game. That imaginary murder is part of the game content. Furthermore, games are not a disconnected dimension, even while they are being amazing escapist outlets for fantasy. They have a context. They reflect the world, and they are expressions of what the people made the game were trying to achieve. Some people want to examine that. They want to look at why a prostitute being murdered by a pirate is what happens in that game. They want to examine what it means. You don’t have to – it’s totally fine for you to enjoy whatever you like, and completely ignore any possible criticism, or even any possible meaning – but please don’t attack others for wanting to do so.

So basically this policy of “just talking about the games” isn’t really anything of the sort, and it can lead to saying that people who do analyse them politically, and point out how they might be problematic for themselves or others (if not for you) should shut up. It is silencing criticism, which is the thing that everyone wants to avoid. Let’s not do that, no matter what.

I think that’s all fine. But it seems like the gaming media can talk about things other than games without attacking their readers.  The objection isn’t about whether there’s a discussion on whether murdering prostitutes should give you HP is a good for society or not.  The objection is saying that people who play that game are bad people.

If we game a game that is offensive, then tell us. We can take it. To emphasize: Game developers have a tremendous level of respect for gaming sites like RPS. We trust you.  Your candid article is great thing. I wish it had come out 3 weeks ago before the well was poisoned by a dozen+ “gamers are losers” articles.

Well, you still won’t engage the other side of the debate. Why isn’t that represented on RPS?

Because we are this side. Our own side. The chaotic nature of this debate, and the way it has been pursued, make things very difficult for us, but we’re doing our best to address some of it in this article. We already believe that we behave ethically, and don’t yet see anything that requires changing. If the current line up of issues could be separated from the abuse – as it clearly can and should be – then perhaps there would be something more concrete and useful to go on. Until that time, we can only present our editorial policy, and our philosophy towards writing about games, in response to the questions we have been asked.

We’re against sexism, we support feminist arguments of various kinds. We encourage you to disagree with these arguments, but we are not obliged to disagree with them ourselves, or to publish arguments attacking them at any level of vehemence. We do not have to present anyone else’s argument. RPS is a curated space, privately owned by individuals. It is our own website, which we use to say the things we want to say. That is bias, and we are completely happy to accept that. We are not objective robots, or a corporation trying to be “neutral”, and wouldn’t want to be. Yes, we invite some discussion, but we also get to police that, and decide when enough is enough. We have a huge platform with millions of people reading it. There are many things we just don’t want posted on our site, because this site is not for them to promote themselves. In 2014 people of all kinds have all manner of platforms to work from, they don’t need this one, and we’re certainly not obliged to allow free reign in using it.

This was my favorite part of the article because, to me, it represents the most earnest, honest part of the discussion.  This would have been a great statement for the gaming sites to make – 2 weeks ago.

If an RPS or Kotaku or Gamasutra wants to publicly acknowledge that they have an agenda to promote games and personalities based on their politics then how can anyone object to that? It’s their site. 

At the same time, however, the gaming media will continue to decline, and make no mistake, it is declining, if the readership continues to lose trust in the objectivity of the site.  If a gamer is just interested in finding fun games, they’re going to be disinclined to visit sites that determine their coverage based on their politics rather than any sense of objective merit. That isn't the same as saying they should/need to be "neutral".  Write interesting things and people will come.

I read RPS every day. I expect I’ll continue to read RPS every day as long as the stories and content are things I’m interested in. They’re under no obligation to cover things I’m interested in.  If they switched their coverage to focusing on handheld games, I’d probably stop reading it just as if they started bombarding me with articles telling me I’m a misogynist because I like Grand Theft Auto.  That’s how the free market works and I say good for them.

Make sure you read the whole thing: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/09/08/videogames-are-for-everybody/

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September 8, 2014 8:08:04 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

I pretty much agree with this.  The SJW types have annoyed me for a good while- not because I dislike their cause, but because I feel like they demand 100% agreement, even when I agree 90%, it isn't sufficient to keep them from declaring me an enemy of their cause.  That's not a good way to persuade someone to your cause.   Just today I unfollowed someone on Twitter just because he was getting on my nerves with this stuff, and I usually agree with him.  The #gameovergate tag that was being used was just as vile as the MRA's on the other side.  (and I find those folks also despicable)  I really don't like unfollowing folks, because I fear living in an echo chamber, there is so much in American information society these days that shunts us towards echo chambers- I'm growing more wary of that these days.

 

That said, I do think there are times a stringent, militant approach is warranted.  A stringent approach against the specific actions taken against ZQ and Phil Fish is good (even if I don't like either of them- no one deserves that unless they are truly evil- and that's a lot more than just being a troll)   Sometimes you do have to take action.   If you use extreme measures every time they lose their meaning and just become noise, and I think that's what has happened.

 

I don't want to tell someone that they're going in too hard on something, because others might say that about my causes (you almost certainly would because of our political differences).   The line in things like this is such a judgement call, and I don't know what the other side is thinking.

 

This whole incident over the past week has really made me had to think hard about some things, which is probably for the best.   I know I don't know what the best answers are.

 

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September 8, 2014 8:34:33 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

even when I agree 90%, it isn't sufficient to keep them from declaring me an enemy of their cause.

This is one of the most insightful things I've read recently.

It is so true too.

I was talking to another game developer the other day about the crazy QT3 political forum. I told them how I got labeled some sort of right-wing crazy even though on 90% of the issues I have the same opinion as they do.  

The same is true on this SJW stuff.  I support women in gaming.  Anyone who visits Stardock will see real diversity with people who are the best and brightest in the industry.  You'd think these guys would be holding us up at the example of the system working. But no because my view is that people should be free to do whatever they want unless it physically harms someone else.  My beliefs mean that I don't think someone else should "pay" for theirs.  The answer to speech you don't like is more speech.

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September 8, 2014 10:30:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Alstein,
 because I feel like they demand 100% agreement, even when I agree 90%, it isn't sufficient to keep them from declaring me an enemy of their cause.

At least for some of them.

The real tragedy with all this has been that you don't see the silent individuals who agree with you.  You don't comment on everything you see.  You comment primarily on what you disagree with or strongly agree with.  I'm sure that comments that have inspired rage-filled vitriol from some have been quietly read by countless others that agreed with you.  Sure, they might have slightly different priorities or values, but they see that you're close enough to them that they don't mind you and move on about their lives.

We see the extremes.  We talk to those that disagree with us because those that quietly assent move right on by without us noticing their existence.  It's just another case of "don't judge a group by its worst members."  I agree with the majority of feminists/SJWs on the vast majority of things.  This whole mess has just been a case of everyone over-generalizing the other side.  Are there mysoginists and mysandrists out there?  Absolutely, but they're the minority and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that.

I'm sick and tired of seeing the press and commenters write about how gamers are abominable.  I'm sick and tired of the press getting insulted as corrupt (I'm sure there's some, but the paranoia has been rampant).  As a human being with even a touch of empathy, I'm sick and tired of the treatment some women have had to endure because of their interests.  I'm totally cool with games expanding as a medium to encompass more things just as literature and film have.

And I'm pretty sure most people feel the same way I do.  But they're too busy clawing at each others' throats because of the views and actions of the most extreme members of the opposing camps to see it...

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September 8, 2014 11:27:16 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

In a bit of pleasant irony, just after saying that, I ran into a self-described "social justice druid" who was pleasant and accepted that we both look at how to achieve a better place for more in gaming/culture in different ways- even if we're looking at the same goal.

 

 

 

 

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September 8, 2014 11:44:59 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Unfortunately the press has been pimping the extreme view, so it's somewhat natural that they've gotten such an extreme reaction in response.  That many of them are a bunch of lazy shits that post reviews on games they've barely played leaves many of us with a general skepticism regarding their ethics to begin with.

 

I find it quite easy to believe some tramp is banging people for good reviews(this in particular doesn't appear to have actually happened, one of the things RPS is complaining about in that article) in large part because I've seen vacuous review after vacuous review on less than mainstream games that were, if played at all, still grossly inaccurate to the subject they were covering.  I've seen strategy games without main characters classified as RPG's, FFS.

 

Major releases on the other hand tend to receive glowing reviews even for such tripe as Diablo 3, a game you literally have to beat, twice, just to get something resembling a challenge.  Who thought it was a good idea to make the entire game some sort of retard game where you literally have to be a drooling vegetable to lose the first time around?  Do they give us a difficulty option so we can skip this?  Nope...

 

Polygon actually gave it a 100, not after they'd fixed the server issues that plagued launch and left pretty much everyone unable to play entirely, but during them.

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September 9, 2014 1:20:28 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Laziness is its own issue though and doesn't really have to do with this IMO.

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September 9, 2014 2:51:55 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

psychoak, you obviously have played Diablo 3 more than I have (couldn't have played it less, I've never even considered playing it) but your post - probably unintentionally - has bought up an interesting question in this whole shitfight (which, frankly, sounds like an ugly domestic where one of the two combatants has access to social media and the interweb and he's so pissed off it's Type And Send First Reconsider Later and it's been made worse by cynical thoughts about the possible outcomes between an - alleged - relationship between a developer and a journalist who could in theory end up reviewing the games developed by that developer).

Everybody buys a game and likes to have their choice validated whether via this site, metacritic, gamespy etc etc. And for too many people, when that choice isn't validated, rather than reading reviews fairly and reading the reasons why the reviewer thinks the game isn't actually that good, that's an excuse to throw a complete shitfit, respond to the reviews with vitriol, hatred and generally being an a-hole rather than trying to counter the reviewer's complaints or maybe concede that, yep, their fancy new game does have a weakness in this particular area...

I accept the argument I'm putting forward is dependant on any reviewer being good enough to point out where they think a game's weaknesses are rather than a "1 paragraph and let's go right to the rate out of 5 stars bit" review style that gamers/potential gamers do see far too often.

I don't think there's systemic corruption. At worst, reviewers are lazy shits. Going by the last iteration of that particular game series and how well/badly that was regarded and giving the new iteration that same rating rather than reviewing it in it's own right etc. Or, as I suspect with music reviewers/film reviewers, that game/film/music you just bought has had the misfortune of being reviewed by someone who has an inbuilt bias against that thing's genre anyway so of course he/she will rate that thing lower than had it been dupstep/New French Cinema/MMORPG which they just looove...

And, of course, age old argument: How ugly would this have become if everyone had met in a pub/bar to discuss things? Easy to be a big, evil MF when no one can see you're a fat 40something with bad breath banging on your keyboard listening to James Blunt/15 year old with bad acne quickly typing something because Mum's called you for dinner.

 

 

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September 9, 2014 4:40:46 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Thanks Brad, I was wondering when you were going to weigh in on this. 

 

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,

Laziness is its own issue though and doesn't really have to do with this IMO.

Sure it does. It shows to me that these sites care more about social engineering then they do about reviewing games. The character of these people is at the heart of it. 

 

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/12223-The-Escapist-Publisher-Issues-Public-Statement-on-Gamergate

Pretty good article, finally, I just take some issue with his cars analogy. No matter how many articles I see, every one of them articles has to inject it, somewhere, somehow.

Now, imagine that you are a single parent with three children in this same alternative universe. You don't want a sports car. You want a safe, affordable car for driving to work and school. You are worried about pollution and want to save money on gas. Ford, suddenly waking up to a market opportunity, decides to build a new factory that will create a new line of four-door sedans with hybrid gas-electric engines. As a result, the release of the new Mustang is delayed six months. An outraged Mustang-driving sociopath goes on Twitter and threatens to crash his car into the first parent he sees driving a Ford sedan. The automotive press warns that car enthusiasts hate parents and proclaim that gearhead culture must die so that everyone can drive without fear.

This type of absurdity does not happen in the automotive industry because car companies understand that creating consumer goods is not a zero sum game. By segmenting their market and selling products that are different for each segment, they can service the mainstream and the enthusiast.

This is where they white wash what they are doing. Most gamers could not give a damn if a company wants to make a 12 wheeled car that runs on a sewing machine, they are pissed off at constantly being berated for liking their Ferrari painted red because it offends some peoples delicate sensibilities. Sure you will get some trolling by the childish when you create something that they don't like, everyone deals with this, including me, and I am only a modder.

If there is such a big market for these games, make the god damned things, you know, do the frakin work, and stop looking over ever developers shoulder. This is where I really wish developers would take a stand. You created the company, had a vision and hired people to fulfill that vision, please please please, for the love of Greythor, tell these people to seek therapy when they contact you because the breasts are to big, or to much skin, or whatever other crap these marxist sociopaths want to spray at you.

EDIT

 

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September 9, 2014 5:28:53 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting mrblondini,

...
I don't think there's systemic corruption.

 ...
 

We have some interesting facts to disseminate for the public interest. In 2009 Philippe Poisson received investment money for Polytron Corporation in the form of a loan from several influential people.

Ron Carmel of 2D Boy
Nathan Vella of Capybara Studios
Aaron Isaksen of AppAbove
Kellee Santiago of OUYA, formerly of thatgamecompany, and IndieCade
Jonathan Blow of EGW
Kyle Gabler of 2D Boy
Matthew Wegner of Flashbang Studios

These 7 people later went on to form Indie Fund, the “funding source for independent developers” who were “looking to encourage the next wave of game developers.” You can consider FEZ to have received the “Beta” Indie Fund.

Each of these individuals contributed a different amount of money to the FEZ creator and, in return, received a guarantee of a percentage of Gross Profits from Polytron.

While this isn't necessarily the de-facto standard method of investing in a company, it is a valid method of fund raising and isn't suspicious in its own right.

What is suspicious are the events that followed the initial investment of Polytron.

In 2011, the Independent Games Festival (or IGF) had 5 members of Indie Fund on the finalists panel, and 3 members of Polytron's staff. That's 8 out of 10 judges. Mere days before IGF was to accept submissions, FEZ creator Philippe Poisson had to announce the delay of FEZ. Had Polytron finished FEZ on time, the game would have been a shoe-in to win the grand prize at IGF that year as they had a controlling interest.

In 2012, FEZ gets through nominations and wins big. Of note here is the IGF anonymous nomination panel: all of the finalist judges are invited back to nominate games the following year. So the Indie Fund judges from 2011 would anonymously judge entrants for 2012.

 

If the above is true (source got blocked since yesterday, sorry), and i have seen other presumptive evidence that backs this up, i disagree. Also the credits of FEZ suggest strong ties between Leigh Alexander and Phil Fish. Which wouldnt be a problem, if Leigh Alexander would not be also doing the PR for the IGF.

There is at least a conflict of interest that was ignored repeatedly, which IS systemic IMO.

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September 9, 2014 5:53:49 AM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting ,
I think that’s all fine. But it seems like the gaming media can talk about things other than games without attacking their readers.  The objection isn’t about whether there’s a discussion on whether murdering prostitutes should give you HP is a good for society or not.  The objection is saying that people who play that game are bad people.

If we game a game that is offensive, then tell us. We can take it. To emphasize: Game developers have a tremendous level of respect for gaming sites like RPS. We trust you.  Your candid article is great thing. I wish it had come out 3 weeks ago before the well was poisoned by a dozen+ “gamers are losers” articles.

I think this is the biggest problem of them pulling the wool over people's eyes. What they are doing isn't really "criticism" anymore by any measure. Many Indie developers that don't have the renown or power of a Brad Wardell or Daniel Vavra owning their own studios are afraid of having an opinion or speaking out because they'll get blacklisted from said sites or character assassinated.

 

They are going after some of the bigger developers.

 

For instance Kotaku has called game designer George Kamitani of VanillaWare a 14-year old boy because of his art style, his game is apparently not allowed to exist anymore: https://archive.today/LoRMt

http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/08/dragons-crown-is-out-and-no-women-were-harmed

 

They went after Goichi Suda, saying his career "is over", his game can "Fuck Off into Space" and he is "no longer a respected videogame producer" who is like the guys that make Hentai games:

This includes reviews like for Larry Reloaded: https://archive.today/TaGlh

Dragon's Crown: https://archive.today/7qZx7

Killer is Dead: https://archive.today/faPuX

 

Kotaku tried going after David Jaffe, calling him a misogynist for making an off-color joke and misapplying words they don't seem to actually understand: https://soundcloud.com/ben-kuchera/jaffe-confrontation

 

They bullied Larian studios into changing their art, the artist being extremely pissed about that wrote this Blog post afterwards: http://orogion.deviantart.com/journal/Save-the-Boob-plate-380891149

A bare belly was for some enough a trigger to send our company enough hate and threatening mails to persuade my boss to ask me to change the cover. I did, but did so reluctantly. Disagreeing wholeheartedly with the claim of the artwork being sexistic, the better half of me decided to meet "offended-by-design" people somewhere in the middle.

 

There was also the incident with a woman working as a "Production Coordinator" at XSEED going by the name of Hatsuu. In a translation from a Japanese game they used the word "trap". This was apparently such a grave offense that the SJW went after them, one even threatened to self-harm if they don't change it immediately, she was so distraught over this that she went radio silent and nobody has seen or heard from her since, here's from her Twitter timeline:

 

And of course there was an incident regarding Nathan Grayson where he basically extorted Blizzard into an apology after an interview with an extremely manipulative article: https://archive.today/KCo7H

But to believe that’s where all – or even most – people fed up with gaming’s boy’s club mentality are coming from is to view large swathes of humanity in such a bitter, cynical light that it’s just… just…

Infuriating

Gross

Discouraging

Misguided

Sad. Tears-welling-in-my-eyes-as-I-type-this sad. One of my greatest fears on this Earth is that I might someday sink to that level of cynical jadedness. I worry about it every day.

 

They also attacked the Hotline Miami devs with some extremely emotional pieces, trying to get them to change their game: https://archive.today/Fx5QE https://archive.today/IfdyB

 

Or see Leigh "I'm making an example out of you" Alexander:

 

And since you mentioned PAX, they've lived through their very own personal hell for years till they resigned themselves to not stating their opinion and gave up:

http://debacle.tumblr.com/post/3041940865/the-pratfall-of-penny-arcade-a-timeline
http://debacle.tumblr.com/post/60283610877/the-pratfall-of-penny-arcade-a-timeline-part-2

 

That was probably the straw that broke the camel's back with RPS for me, when a gaming site decides to boycott a gaming event over slight differences in ideology, an event that has "Diversity Programming" and a "Diversity Lounge" you know there is something awry: https://archive.today/Hhvpl

 

Any point of inquiry on "GamerGate" usually ended similarly with RPS: http://i.imgur.com/XSDiWE9.png

 

A lot of Indie developers have spoken out over this since, a lot of them Anonymously: http://techraptor.net/2014/09/08/indie-developers-toughts-on-state-gaming-industry/

http://gabrielaknight.wordpress.com/

http://imgur.com/a/m1FDm

 

A few of them in the open:

 

This has gone far beyond criticism a long time ago and is a concerted effort to either ignore smaller developers and their games if they don't "fit" or attack game designers making certain kinds of games via targetted character assassination and shaming tactics. Brad should probably know a thing or two about what that feels like, because he was in the target sight of them too. They are taking a holier-than-thou moralistic approach saying that if game designers are making certain type of games they are bad people and if you are playing them you are too and the saddest thing is they are saying they are talking for minorities, who to a large part despise them for it, with most of their arguments not based on facts.

 

http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=31555980#31555980

For context, did you know Miss Fortune is the most popular character among female League players? Sona is #2 – something that is appealing to the eye is more aspirational and has a higher “cool quotient” than things that are not – even without hormones in the equation

http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JaneJensen/20140414/215473/WRITING_HOT_MEN_FOR_GAMES_Yes_please.php

 

The greatest sleight of hand that they have accomplished to pull off is making bystanders believe that what they do is just "providing criticism".

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September 9, 2014 6:21:18 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

To the folks saying reviewers are lazy shits- here's a sample of how difficult it is for them:

 

1) They've got to know a game well in order to review it properly for an enthusiast.  This is a big reason why for genres such as 4X and fighting games, reviewers often get panned.

One ancedote from Heidi Kemps, who is a really good writer.  She one day talked to the folks at Lab Zero when they were previewing Skullgirls.  She said they told her she was the only person who knew how to do a hadoken.  This meant that nearly all the game journos couldn't access the special moves, let alone any of the competitive depth (she admits she's out of her element here unless it's a 3d fighter)

This is why Tom Chick is important for 4X games- he actually knows something about them.  Most game journos don't understand the genre, they understand more mainstream stuff, because that's where the majority of games/money are at, and they don't get paid much.

 

2) You have to get far into a game to see as much as possible, and you have to do in a very limited time, and you have to write a good article about it, with poor quality editors to help you out.

That Leigh Alexander piece, was trollish clickbait.  However, she did another piece for TIME magazine, and while I still heavily disagreed with it and thought it was intellectually dishonest (but that's Leigh Alexander), TIME had much better editors- so the article read and looked a lot better.

Developers do usually adjust review copies so you can access parts of the games they want to see more easily (which is smart if you get a games writer who can't progress through a game quickly)- but even that leads to problems, as folks sometimes don't see the bad parts of games, or the tedious parts.  Often games with heavy grinding the writers don't get to see the grinding.

 

I'm sure there are more challenges that I'm not mentioning or knowing about, but those things do place a limit on the value of reviews.

 

I'm not saying there aren't problems with the whole game journalism industry- some of the cozy practices where they become glorified PR- that hurts their credibility, though it is necessary for them to stay afloat.  Maybe this right here is the reason this industry is in big trouble- people just aren't seeing the value in their product, because for many folks the product isn't worth it, especially if you are an "enthusiast genre" gamer (like many of us- 4X is an enthusiast genre not a mainstream one outside of Civ games)

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September 9, 2014 6:43:55 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If reviewing games is your job, you should be able to justify spending several hours on a product in preparation to review it.  I'm pretty sure no one serious is complaining about reviewers not being an expert on each game they review.  It's just the ones that completely flub major aspects, like what genre a game is even in, that make people go ballistic over the complete lack of accountability.  Those reviewers are not just lazy, but negligent.

 

It's not as if research is foreign to journalists outside of gaming.  Articles that aren't properly vetted before being written are shoddy crap in any subject.

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September 9, 2014 6:59:42 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

PAX Prime 2014 - The F Word panel - comment

No, it is not 'ignorant'. Artists are socially responsible, whether they take that into consideration during their creative processes or not. They are free to create whatever they wish, but they are not free from criticism as a consequence of their work.

This idea that seems to equate criticism with censorship is especially toxic. Feminism does not hold some dark power to censor your video games. It might persuade some artists to create in a way that aligns with its ideologies - and it would not be bad - but it won't be able to prohibit others from exercising their 'right' to creatively express themselves. It can't. 

Politics don't pervade video games because 'people like us' insist upon it. Video games are political, whether you like that or not. They simply are. The intention of the creator matters little. To claim the opposite, is misunderstanding the meaning of politics.
Politics is the study of influencing people, and media influences people considerably, whether they like to admit it or not. Politics is a study of power and the systems and hierarchies that exist to uphold it. Media contains these systems, and video games specifically hold influence over people's life. To claim that they do not, is to ignore their influence and remain blind to their effects. It means not taking them seriously in any way, shape or form. It is fine to just want to play, if you'd like, but it is not fine to try and erase criticism from the planet, because you feel threatened and have no concept of what censorship entails. Please don't. Nobody is intruding on your fun. The industry will change, but your place in it is not threatened. At all. Philip S

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M4ay9d9758


Again, I just been pissed on and told it's rain, and even good for my skin. 

Get ready with heavy doses of booze if you need watch that feminist gaming panel that seems to forget about games or gaming.

EDIT: Just found
http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/2fv3mg/of_corruption_in_the_australian_games_industry/


EDIT2:


There’s a culture war happening right now. It’s happening in games, in film, in journalism, in television, in fiction, in fandom. It’s happening online, everywhere. And everywhere, sexists, recreational misogynists and bigots are losing.

....


They can’t understand why they look ridiculous.

This is a culture war. The right side is winning, at great cost. At great personal costs to people like Anita Sarkeesian, Leigh Alexander, Zoe Quinn and even Jennifer Lawrence, and countless others who are on the frontlines of creating new worlds for women, for girls, for everyone who believes that stories matter and there are too many still untold. We are winning. We are winning because we are more resourceful, more compassionate, more culturally aware. We’re winning because we know what it’s like to fight through adversity, through shame and pain and constant reminders of our own worthlessness, and come up punching. We know we’re winning because the terrified rage of a million mouth breathing man child misogynists is thick as nerve gas in the air right now.
 
Us Social Justice Warriors – this is me, stealing that word in order to use it against my enemies- are winning the culture war by tearing up the rulebook, and there’s nothing the sad, mad little boys who hate women and queers and people of colour can do about it. Nothing, at least, that doesn’t sabotage their strategy, because they can win their game from day to day, but they’re losing the war. They can punish me for writing this, and I’m sure they will, but that will only prove my point. I’m not afraid anymore.

 https://archive.today/TlxzY#selection-403.0-415.517



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September 9, 2014 7:51:18 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Alstein,

The SJW types have annoyed me for a good while- not because I dislike their cause, but because I feel like they demand 100% agreement, even when I agree 90%, it isn't sufficient to keep them from declaring me an enemy of their cause.  That's not a good way to persuade someone to your cause.   Just today I unfollowed someone on Twitter just because he was getting on my nerves with this stuff, and I usually agree with him.

Well said.

Another thing I've noticed about these obsessive SJW types is they have no issues going after women and insulting them if they don't go along with their ideology whether it's political or whatever else.  I follow many of these people and the tweets they post to and about female conservatives for example, is just as bad as the examples they post about women in gaming.

Be consistent at least.

 

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September 9, 2014 8:59:15 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Island Dog,

Another thing I've noticed about these obsessive SJW types is they have no issues going after women and insulting them if they don't go along with their ideology whether it's political or whatever else.  I follow many of these people and the tweets they post to and about female conservatives for example, is just as bad as the examples they post about women in gaming.


Be consistent at least. 

I think this is one of the main reasons there is such virulent SJW backlash today.  An insult, or just a perceived insult, against an SJW true believer is sexism or racism or both regardless of the content or intent of the statement itself. The exact same statement made by a true-believer against a non-SJW type is not only okay, but depending on the situation, will often be lauded by SJW types as courageous or speaking truth to power.  And even when a true-believer says or does something so outrageous as to be indefensible, the movement (meaning those who speak for it, at least) will either ignore the incident all together and say nothing or, and this is probably the most frustrating part, they will defend that person on the basis that they do so much good for the movement they need to be allowed their verbal gaffes or their sexual peccadillos and protected from the (perfectly legitimate) criticism of the non true-believer crowd.  

You're exactly right when you say be consistent.  It's the lack of consistency that puts people off and spoils the movement.  They believe they're special and want to be treated and act as such and anything goes as long as you're, as Alstein said, a 100%er.   

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September 9, 2014 9:08:06 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I also think part of the problem here, and maybe part of the disconnect between Alstein's perfectly pleasant Social Justice Druid (wtf is that?) and people like Leigh Alexander and her ilk are that the movement leaders aren't leaders in the true sense of the word.  They're entertainers.  They make their living off of page views and speaking fees.  They speak to a very specific audience, that core hardcore bordering-on-looney-toons 100% true believer who thinks it's not only okay, but productive, to ostracize the like-minded person who agrees with you 90% of the time.  That is the only group the Leigh Alexanders of the world can and want to speak to and the only people they speak for.  

You'll never get moderation from that group because moderation, and understanding, context, and keeping things in perspective are all bad for business.  Differences of opinion aren't allowed because differences of opinion might lead to discussion, common ground, compromise and resolution. 

Resolution of an issue is bad for page views.  Resolution of a problem is bad for donations, speaking fees and keeping your name up on FB, Twitter and whatever other goofy ass social media platforms we're considering "discussion" these days. 

 

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September 9, 2014 9:23:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Since we are on the subject of how SJWs argue their ideology, this was sent to me by someone with a YouTube channel but does not want to take a stance for fear of the reprisals in which I can totally understand her fears.

Kafkatrapping

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

Well worth the read if you ever expect to have a 'discussion' with a SJW.

 


 

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September 9, 2014 9:55:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I had NO idea about all this. I thought #GamerGate was about the STORE GamersGate

Seems you miss out on things if you don't use Twitter....

 

This oppression by the feminists is much stronger than I thought. I had no idea that they had RPS in a collar (getting them to write shitty articles and boycotting PAX!!). Well I've I turned on Adblock for RPS around 6 months ago for one of their feministarticles and sent them an e-mail so I'm not supporting them anymore.

 

What is "blackballed"?   One of the twitter screnshots of Dexter979s posts had one indie developer say he's been blacballed so his game sold less. Sounds like boycotting.

 

If this SHIT continues, it will nurture a culture of fear (1984 anyone?) that if you don't make your game in accordance to certain guidelines, then....well, maybe you didn't wanted to be a gamedeveloper....

 

Hey Myfist0, got twitter?    I haven't used twitter for a year or but this is enough for me to start posting some. Need to fight the feminists!

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September 9, 2014 10:09:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As always, it's the extreme people in any "camp" that give the rest of the people a bad name.  The majority of people are quite nice and agreeable.  But purveyors of extreme viewpoints are very "loud" and often command the most "emotional energy" of a situation.  This is a situation that has to end, sooner rather than later.  I don't believe that being extreme is the natural output of a normal, everyday, ordinary human being.

But it is also important to not allow extreme people to manipulate your energy.  Sometimes you just need to stand up for what you believe in, make your case and then leave it.  And sometimes you can make your case just by being a good example and not get involved in the argumentation too much.  By and large I think Brad does a decent job of this.

"Be the calm within the storm."

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September 9, 2014 10:13:38 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Campaigner,

Hey Myfist0, got twitter?    I haven't used twitter for a year or but this is enough for me to start posting some. Need to fight the feminists!

https://twitter.com/myfist0

I opened over a year ago and never once used it, but this made me active. Apparently though it was for nothing because the SJW's consider anyone that does not have 1000 or more followers sock puppets. Like telling all the people from #NotYourShield that they don't exist really really helps their movement.

 From Brianna Wu, author of
No Skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry” 

 

 

Now, is it just me, or is this author, who writes about harassment and social justice, then calls minorities and woman fakes, not a complete hypocrite? Maybe someone can mansplain me this.

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September 9, 2014 10:38:23 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting myfist0,

Since we are on the subject of how SJWs argue their ideology, this was sent to me by someone with a YouTube channel but does not want to take a stance for fear of the reprisals in which I can totally understand her fears.

Kafkatrapping


http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

Well worth the read if you ever expect to have a 'discussion' with a SJW.

 


 

I kind of want to send this to my old epistemology professor.  I feel like he'd enjoy it.

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September 9, 2014 11:07:11 AM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Campaigner,
What is "blackballed"?   One of the twitter screnshots of Dexter979s posts had one indie developer say he's been blacballed so his game sold less. Sounds like boycotting.

Blackballed or blacklisted means that certain publications won't mention/review your games, do any interviews or anything like that. It's apparently being employed against "undesirable" developers.

The guy in said picture developed Ultionus: http://store.steampowered.com/app/279160/ and I bought a copy after finding out. I remember voting for it on Greenlight anyway.

 

There have been other developers speaking out, a lot of Anonymous ones were on 4chan, but only two of them really showed any proof like GDC badges and similar, so I can't really verify (anyone can post there) so take them with a grain of salt, for instance:

A few other people that talked about some of this stuff openly were

Paul Hubans: https://twitter.com/phubans/ (he was immediately "shunned" by a few of his friends)

Matt Roszak: https://twitter.com/KupoGames

PixelMetal: https://twitter.com/PixelMetal

Jennifer Dawe: https://twitter.com/GMShivers

Jason Miller: https://twitter.com/j_millerworks (started the #NotYourShield tag)

Rakan Al-Mekhaizeem: https://twitter.com/rasamconcept/

Kyle McConaughey: https://twitter.com/AssemblyProj3ct

Daniel Vavra: https://twitter.com/DanielVavra (He's the owner of WarHorse Studios and is making Kingdom Come: Deliverance), his game previously came under attack by Kotaku for being historically accurate: https://archive.today/89jXI

 

There were a few more Indie devs, but I can't remember right now.

 

Quoting myfist0,
Now, is it just me, or is this author, who writes about harassment and social justice, then calls minorities and woman fakes, not a complete hypocrite? Maybe someone can mansplain me this.

Nothing funnier than being called a "fake minority" by SJWs:

 

Quoting myfist0,
Well worth the read if you ever expect to have a 'discussion' with a SJW.

Personally I enjoyed this British gentleman's explanation of the movement:

 

There have been some strange allies in all of this, one of them feminist Christina H. Sommers: http://www.gamesreviews.com/news/09/christina-hoff-sommers-weighs-gamergate-run-gawker-journalist/

 

Another one Adam Baldwin "The Hero of Gaming" of Full Metal Jacket/Firefly fame: https://twitter.com/AdamBaldwin/status/506560004770787328

 

Quoting Campaigner,
If this SHIT continues, it will nurture a culture of fear (1984 anyone?) that if you don't make your game in accordance to certain guidelines, then....well, maybe you didn't wanted to be a gamedeveloper....

It's all very Comics Code Authority-y: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics_Code_Authority#1954_Code_criteria

  • Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
  • If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
  • Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.
  • Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates a desire for emulation.
  • In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
  • Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gunplay, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
  • No comic magazine shall use the words "horror" or "terror" in its title.
  • All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
  • All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
  • Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
  • Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.
  • Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
  • Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
  • Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
  • Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
  • Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Rape scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.
  • Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
  • Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
  • Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.
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September 9, 2014 11:10:23 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Dexter797,

Nothing funnier than being called a "fake minority" by SJWs:

for a few days straight, nothing but being called fakes and 4chan users. So they all started posting pics, then it was, that's fake, so the posted pics with proof. And YT videos are pouring in. Tell me these people are not super pissed off now.

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/-NotYourShield-Video-Shows-All-Different-Faces-Behind-GamerGate-67173.html

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September 9, 2014 11:23:01 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

The dev behind Ultinous got blackballed?  What the hell caused that shitstorm?

Wasn't a big fan of the game, but I never saw or heard anything that would lead to that.

 

I gotta admit I like seeing the worst of the SJW movement being deservedly given the same treatment they've been giving to others for years.

Hopefully this leads to something better- petty revenge isn't going to make anything better.

 

 

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September 9, 2014 11:37:31 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Am I the only person who has never heard of ANY of this? I've spent the last 30 minutes reading various things and I still have no idea what has happened. What it sounds like is trollers are reaching such a point of boldness that the trollees are taking preventative action. I've seen a slow but steady shift toward more lewdness in game chat over the last five years and I see it as more of a general moral decay of our society that has abandoned a higher reference of morality. These are the folks who will be leading the country soon, and that's a scary thought.

 

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