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Zoe Quinn debacle (The "Quinnspiracy")


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#31 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 04:26 PM

I apologize. I unfairly vented at you for how a lot of people I've heard speaking on the issue were behaving themselves, and that wasn't right.

 

Regardless, in my opinion it IS a big deal. It's a big deal to those effected, and thousands of people are effected. I feel like comparing it to a televised car crash is really disrespectful.



#32 Selena

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 04:40 PM

I would really like to say that gender is irrelevant, but this isn't the first vitriolic smear campaign against a female activist in the industry, nor the first accusation of nepotism from a female in the industry. I hope gender has nothing to do with it. I really do. But I doubt that it's a non-factor. Nepotism happens all throughout the gaming industry, and plenty of favors are granted, but there's relatively little uproar about it. If it were purely about the integrity of the gaming industry, then similar fits should be raised about anyone else who takes liberties.

 

But that doesn't happen.

 

Instead, you have 4chan folk dogpile on people like Anita Sarkeesian, the lady designer who dared to suggest a female protagonist for Mighty No. 9, and this girl. That's probably why you see places try to throw up screens against the dogpiling, because this is hardly the first time someone's been harassed -- and at this point, no matter what she's guilty of, she is definitely being harassed. 

 

The crux of that issue is:

 

Does someone deserve to be the subject of a very public (and often unrelenting) smear campaign if they have: profited from nepotism / cheated on a lover / emotionally abused a lover?

 

 

To which I would say -- there's a difference between going after someone's character and business reputation, and directly harassing someone. For example, I have no love for director Roman Polanski because he's a convicted rapist who is hiding out in another country (while still making plenty of profit). Same with Woody Allen, who was never convicted but seems to have gotten away with sexual abuse of his daughter. I will tell everyone exactly what I think about them, and I will discourage others from supporting these directors. 

 

But I'm not going to dish out personal threats, bombard them with harassment via social media, form digital mobs to go after them personally, etc. 

 

Because that starts to move into douchebag-vigilante territory. There are proper ways to go about something like this. Forming the digital equivalent of a pitchfork mob is not one of those ways. There's a difference between a movement and a mob.

 

 

And even then, I'd be more focused on the nepotism (assuming it's a charge with evidence) vs. just cheating. Because cheating is, while unfortunate, something that many people have experience with. There are people on LA who have cheated on an old lover, or people who have been "the other woman/man." They're not bad people or worthy of being dragged through the dirt -- they just did dumb things. Dumb things don't require a huge hate-mobilization. Nepotism, crimes, and breeches of business integrity are far more serious, however.

 

Of course, the biggest problem with the mob mentality of this: Most of the people involved are just picking sides. There's "proof" in the form of the big essay thing, but that's still a (technically) biased source coming from one of the people involved. Only a fraction of the mob knows these people on a personal level to lend these claims any weight. 

 

What's more dangerous? Potentially invalidating an issue as being "not a big deal," or endorsing a mob to harass someone when most people don't have solid, concrete facts?

 

 

 

 

I agree a lot of people are handling this poorly and making this into some dumb Zoe Quinn Slut Shaming 4chan bullshit. Doesnt' invalidate the original discussion Eron wanted to bring up though, and it's pretty disingenuous of you to imply that.

 

 

If he wanted to have a serious discussion about emotional manipulation, then shouldn't his affiliates be just as irritated by the smear campaign? Because 4chan doing its thing has completely overshadowed and cheapened any real discussion that could have happened. The topic isn't invalidated, but it's been completely buried by a ton of immature nonsense. It seems like anyone trying to focus on the "serious issues" involved has been letting the harassment slide. Which does no one any favors -- although I suppose it gives a morbid sense of satisfaction to anyone who doesn't like her.



#33 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 05:05 PM

For the record, if one takes Eron's online statements as honest and in good faith, He IS pretty goddamn unapproving of the smear campaign stuff. Though, he admits it's pretty inevitable considering the internet.



#34 Fin

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:33 PM

I honestly don't think this a gender issue. Atleast, it's not for me personally.


Well no shit, you're a dude, how often is gender an issue for you?

Also, I'd just like to say in regards to Pogo's question about the quality of Zoe Quinn's games that Depression Quest has helped me and several others to figure ourselves out, so yeah, whether or not the game is "fun" in a traditional sense, I think it holds a lot of value.

#35 Green Goblin

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:00 PM

Honestly, I get tired of women getting defended REGARDLESS of their stance on anything.  People DO have genuine complaints about Sarkeesian, but critiques of her work or her dubious methods is met with basically being called a misogynist and touted around like a bad husband in a Tyler Perry film.  It comes out that Zoe Quinn's a shitty person and slept with people in gaming journalism and since her actions cannot realistically be defended, they're just being minimalized and silenced. 

As it was already pointed out, Kotaku ran a story on a male game developer who was accused of rape by some random woman.  He lets out a statement saying that he didn't and that she is mistaken.  That's all that we knew.  By your logic, this should be a private matter and we all shouldn't comment on it.  NOPE.  Full articles asking "why are we not talking about this more?" and holding a court of public opinion right there on the front page.  If a claim with no evidence can be reported on, than a claim with LOTS of evidence should at LEAST be given the same degree of investigation.  But no.  "She's a social justice warrior with a multitude of followers on twitter, listening to her every word and defending her rabidly, despite the facts presented.  And she compromised the integrity of our own website.  Best to just hush it up and hope that nothing comes of it." 

Sorry, but that's bullshit.  I don't like that if you align yourself with the modern social movements, it basically makes you bulletproof and none of your glaring flaws matter anymore. It's the same reason I'm for gender equality, but not a feminist.  I know you've been attacked before as a group relentlessly, but you should take your blinders off when this shit starts to decay your movement from the inside. 



#36 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:09 PM

Just saying that Zoe Quinn shouldn't be dragged so relentlessly and publicly isn't exactly "defending" her and I'm not doing it because I'm a feminazi SJW. When I am seeing posts and pictures from some the Facebook page of some person who I never knew or cared about before, that makes me extremely uncomfortable and is how I KNOW it has spun completely out of control. Pointing out how many of the people dragging her likely would not do the same for a male is just pointing out problematic sexism, not defending Zoe in particular just because she's female. And since you brought up Snarkeesian, she happens to be an example of a person who I don't like and VERY strongly disagree with and find her ethics questionable, but I do not agree that she deserves all the infamy, hatred, death threats, claims that she hates men and hates video games, etc. that she has received and think it needs to stop.

It's possible to partially defend someone you don't fully agree with just because it's clear that the attacking side has gone WAY TOO FAR. There ARE people who will blindly follow and defend women in the name of feminism, but definitely not anyone here.

Also being a rapist is COMPLETELY different from being a cheater.

Edited by Hana-Nezumi, 29 August 2014 - 09:14 PM.


#37 Selena

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:10 PM

You're arguing against points I never made -- I don't subscribe to any of those stances.

 

 

 

 

Honestly, I get tired of women getting defended REGARDLESS of their stance on anything.

 

 

 

I will never defend a woman based solely on her gender.

 

If you think I feel this way based on my comments on how I feel gender may have something to do with the personal backlash these people get, then no. If someone commits a crime, then I feel it should be called out. What I find troubling is that when other people in the industry do something wrong, the backlash doesn't often result in unrelenting personal harassment -- it usually stays on gaming forums/sites.

 

But when the self-proclaimed activists do something, either legitimately wrong or at least something highly offensive to sensibilities, then they are met with relentless personal attacks and harassment via social media. Quinn may have fabricated it all at first. But I think it's moved into legitimate harassment by now. And the reaction to Sarkeesian was immensely over the top from the start of her controversies. 

 

As I said, I hope gender is not a factor in all this. But stuff like that makes me wonder. Not in the sense that smear campaigns and harassment never happen to men in the industry, but in the sense that fuses may be shorter with women who speak out against the industry's attitudes. 

 

 

 

People DO have genuine complaints about Sarkeesian, but critiques of her work or her dubious methods is met with basically being called a misogynist and touted around like a bad husband in a Tyler Perry film. 

 

It's okay if people disagree with Sarkeesian's stances on things. I don't agree with her on everything. Not agreeing with someone does not necessarily make one a misogynist. I don't care if anyone disagrees with Sarkeesian.

 

But I think the barrage of vitriolic personal attacks, death threats, and general nonsense that got thrown her way (and still gets thrown her way) was completely uncalled for. It was harassment. Nothing she does warrants the direct personal backlash she got.

 

 

It comes out that Zoe Quinn's a shitty person and slept with people in gaming journalism and since her actions cannot realistically be defended, they're just being minimalized and silenced. 

 

 

 

If she did all that to deliberately get an unfair leg up in the industry, then I freely state that it was bad and her career prospects should take an appropriate hit. 

 

Whether she is guilty of nepotism is up for debate -- the main source of evidence against her is an ex-boyfriend who spilled their secrets all over the internet. Which makes it a biased source.

 

 

As it was already pointed out, Kotaku ran a story on a male game developer who was accused of rape by some random woman.  He lets out a statement saying that he didn't and that she is mistaken.  That's all that we knew.  By your logic, this should be a private matter and we all shouldn't comment on it.  NOPE. 

 

 

 

Um... no? 

 

I said someone cheating on their partner was petty drama (which it is) and that people should stay out of it. Consensual love affairs between two healthy adults -- at least when it's just that -- are no one's business.  

 

If you read the post I made before this, then you would have seen that I am all about exposing actual crimes. Especially rape. Once someone moves into criminal territory, then investigation and outcry are important. If there's no evidence for the crime, then I'd merely say to reserve judgment until more facts come out.

 

I repeat for clarity: I would never ever ever ever EVER say people should ignore rape because it's a "personal" matter. It's not a personal matter if someone potentially assaults another person. 

 

 

 

 I don't like that if you align yourself with the modern social movements, it basically makes you bulletproof and none of your glaring flaws matter anymore. It's the same reason I'm for gender equality, but not a feminist.  I know you've been attacked before as a group relentlessly, but you should take your blinders off when this shit starts to decay your movement from the inside. 

 

I am about the last person who would ever cave to the peer pressure of a social group. I am a fully independent adult. I do not closely associate myself with The Sisterhood of Feminism. I don't follow any feminists blogs. I don't frequent any dedicated feminist sites. I don't even know many dedicated social justice advocates. I swore no oaths, I took no vows. I never ally with other women if I feel they've done something wrong -- and I've never allied myself with Zoe Quinn or Sarkeesian or anyone else that's been mentioned thusfar.

 

If you are insinuating that my views have their origins in other people, or that I'm a blind follower of a movement, then I have some choice words for you. 



#38 Green Goblin

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 10:51 PM

I.....wasn't speaking specifically about you, Selena.  Just trends I've seen being followed. 



#39 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 03:43 PM

 

I honestly don't think this a gender issue. Atleast, it's not for me personally.


Well no shit, you're a dude, how often is gender an issue for you?

Also, I'd just like to say in regards to Pogo's question about the quality of Zoe Quinn's games that Depression Quest has helped me and several others to figure ourselves out, so yeah, whether or not the game is "fun" in a traditional sense, I think it holds a lot of value.

 

 

Uh, quite often? Just because I identify as a dude doesn't mean I'm recognized as such in real life, you ass.

 

It's not a gender thing. Zoe Quinn's actions would be just as deplorable if a man did it. If anything, any 'gender thing' is that people are willing to defend her and give her the benefit of the doubt because she's a woman. The same publications and media outlets that defend Zoe Quinn right now will shame an alleged mere rapist on rumors and hearsay. This is documented.

 

Also being a rapist is COMPLETELY different from being a cheater.

 

Not according to Zoe Quinn herself. She exposed her boyfriend to STDs without his knowledge and consent, and claims to genuinely believe that if you sleep with someone without being honest with them, you're voiding their consent and agency because they have incomplete information.

 

If Zoe Quinn can equate her actions with rape even after she's gone through with them (cheating on Eron did not change her belief on this matter, she claims), then she is for all intents and purposes a rapist because she's able to live with "I'm a rapist" in her own mind. Eron has the same personal views and they were in agreement on the matter when they entered the relationship.

 

As far as the two involved are concerned, it is a rape. We can disagree but since the whole matter is basically an emotional trust violation issue I think their views on what Zoe did to him should be considered valid.

 


It's okay if people disagree with Sarkeesian's stances on things. I don't agree with her on everything. Not agreeing with someone does not necessarily make one a misogynist. I don't care if anyone disagrees with Sarkeesian.

 

But I think the barrage of vitriolic personal attacks, death threats, and general nonsense that got thrown her way (and still gets thrown her way) was completely uncalled for. It was harassment. Nothing she does warrants the direct personal backlash she got.

 

I'm not going to defend a lot of the personal attacks and threats and shit Sarkeesian got, but a lot of people's distaste for her goes beyond her views; she's stolen artwork and video footage, she erases the contributions of female game developers in the industry, and it's come out recently that one of the more recent harassment tweets she brought up a few nights ago was entirely falsified.

 

If she can fake one attack (like Zoe Quinn) to get attention/defend her victimhood/promote her career/whatever fucking motive, it casts doubt on the legitimacy on all the other claims of harassment that we can't personally see and verify, and makes all the valid ones much harder to dismiss.

 

If someone is willing to use falsified harassment to their own gain and advancement, why should they care about receiving the real deal? Wouldn't that be a boon for them?

 


If she did all that to deliberately get an unfair leg up in the industry, then I freely state that it was bad and her career prospects should take an appropriate hit. 

 

Whether she is guilty of nepotism is up for debate -- the main source of evidence against her is an ex-boyfriend who spilled their secrets all over the internet. Which makes it a biased source.

 

And the SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE (some of them women) who collaborate Eron's claims and have stories of their own to share? And how one of these developers that she's slept with has flat-out admitted she did it and asked for favorable reviews and promotions and whatnot?

 

Even if she DIDN'T use these relationships to her own benefit directly, like, HOLY SHIT YOU DO NOT SLEEP WITH OR TAKE MONEY FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE BUSINESS PARTNERS. You don't sleep with or financially support or live with people you're supposed to review or interview without bias, holy fuck, it's called journalistic ethics. You don't even want to RISK that sort of overlap because it undermines your credibility as a reliable journalist.



#40 Fin

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 05:34 PM

Uh, quite often? Just because I identify as a dude doesn't mean I'm recognized as such in real life, you ass.


I'm sorry.

#41 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 07:26 PM

Thank you, I accept your apology. However, it shouldn't of been relevant anyway. What I meant by that remark is I don't think gender is a relevant factor for the entire debacle beyond what people choose to make it such with slut-shaming trolling or social justice activist protecting their princess of the week. Strip away the internet bullshit and gender is not a relevant factor in how Zoe's shortcomings and criminal acts, Eron's hurt, the corruption in the gaming industry caused by her and people like her and the people she's been cavorting with, etcetera.

 

Gender dynamics is just noise pollution on this particular topic beyond how Zoe's supporters are using her femininity to protect her from criticism by throwing misogynist labels at her detractors. That's what I meant. And when you tried to dismiss what I had to say on the basis of my being a man, you were unwittingly engaging in a lesser form of the same thing. Don't do it.


Edited by MikePetersSucks, 30 August 2014 - 07:26 PM.


#42 Mark

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 07:54 AM

I honestly don't think this a gender issue. Atleast, it's not for me personally.


Well no shit, you're a dude, how often is gender an issue for you?

 

I am going to side with MikePeter's - that isnt a fun indictment.

I belive that most people have their gender as a significant part of their personal identity.

and in anycase gender issues happen and affect 'dudes' too - and I suspect probably more than many are likely to articulate.

Though I think MikePeter's may like to be more friendly about it.

 

Honestly, I get tired of women getting defended REGARDLESS of their stance on anything. .........  Sorry, but that's bullshit.  I don't like that if you align yourself with the modern social movements, it basically makes you bulletproof and none of your glaring flaws matter anymore. It's the same reason I'm for gender equality, but not a feminist.  I know you've been attacked before as a group relentlessly, but you should take your blinders off when this shit starts to decay your movement from the inside. 

I would really like to say that gender is irrelevant, but this isn't the first vitriolic smear campaign against a female activist in the industry, nor the first accusation of nepotism from a female in the industry. I hope gender has nothing to do with it. I really do. But I doubt that it's a non-factor. Nepotism happens all throughout the gaming industry, and plenty of favors are granted, but there's relatively little uproar about it. If it were purely about the integrity of the gaming industry, then similar fits should be raised about anyone else who takes liberties.

 

But that doesn't happen.

 

........

 

The crux of that issue is:

 

Does someone deserve to be the subject of a very public (and often unrelenting) smear campaign if they have: profited from nepotism / cheated on a lover / emotionally abused a lover?

 

I think gender has a LOT to do with the heat in the current discussion atleast! (though I am not precisely sure how) - perhaps that is indicative of a reason for the attention on Zoe Quinn - deserved or not.

My impression is that Zoe Quinn's actions seem to have been beyond the "just did dumb things" margin.
Zoe Quinn may be a case-point of a manipulative-bad-woman and/or corruption in the industry.

  - I do belive that the smear-campaign and the death-threats are out of proportion to what it seems that she may have done. however I am not going to say that nobody should ever be built-to-be or made an example-of for such behavior.

 

which brings me to my next point:....
 

Um... no? 

 

I said someone cheating on their partner was petty drama (which it is) and that people should stay out of it. Consensual love affairs between two healthy adults -- at least when it's just that -- are no one's business.  

 

If you read the post I made before this, then you would have seen that I am all about exposing actual crimes. Especially rape. Once someone moves into criminal territory, then investigation and outcry are important. If there's no evidence for the crime, then I'd merely say to reserve judgment until more facts come out.

 

I repeat for clarity: I would never ever ever ever EVER say people should ignore rape because it's a "personal" matter. It's not a personal matter if someone potentially assaults another person.

I remember there was an aquaintance of a friend who - apon comming home one evening after work and finding his wife of 15 years in the marriage bed with another guy - was so enraged that he took to fixing the matter with a shotgun - and by his inability to choose reasonable-action under thoes circumstances has spent the last 10+ years in jail as a result.
My uncle had his wife of 20 years cheat-and-leave, and saw the resulting 5-8 years of pain, depression and anger.

is this 'petty drama' - and nobodies buisiness? - if so then why?
 

cheating can be a VERY serious thing (though obviously not always).

 

I am not so convinced that Rape and Cheating (emotional and/or physical) are "COMPLETELY" different things. (as hana seems to say)
as I see both are straitforward violations to a person's self - as a violation of a persons attachment to their own sexual-body and as violation of an attachment to a partner.
And I suspect that the damage in both cases being loosely proportional to the strength of the attachment, and mediated by a persons learned-ability to handle traumas.

 

It seems to me that a primary reason why cheating should be kept private as 'nobodies buisiness' is because nobody knows the relationship context from which the cheating happened.



#43 Green Goblin

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:13 PM

I was contemplating making a new topic for this, but I'd say it's definitely connected to this more than anything else. 

So, I dunno if you guys have seen, but gaming journalism has been sorta shitting on game players for the past week or so.  Multiple gaming sites (Kotaku, IGN, Rock Paper Shotgun, etc) have basically been going on and on about how toxic and corrupt video gaming communities are as a whole over this #Gamergate situation.  Despite my stance on both Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, I've never harassed them, burned them in effigy form, endangered them or sought out their online destruction.  So it seems weird that I along with other self-identified "gamers" are being lumped  together as this sort of grumpy sexist singularity that's attacking anyone new or different (especially, if they have a vagina).  And it especially seems weird as it's game journalists that are basically biting the hand that feeds them by declaring that their bread and butter (gamers) is living under such a ubiquitous term, that they've basically outlived their usefullness. 

 

Hey, assholes!!  If everyone was a gamer, don't you think you'd get more hits than what you're currently getting? 

The term gamer has not become ubiquitous.  If anything, I feel it's finally evolved to mean what "bookworm" or "film-buff" mean to the industries or literature or cinema.  Or maybe it's always been that way and no one's just declared it.  I dunno.  The point is, that while I'm not about to go around insulting "fake geek girls" or some such nonsense, I feel that there is at least a level of entry to being a gamer that is a bit higher than literally just "playing a video game".  In the same way that I wouldn't call you a bookworm if you just read all the Harry Potter books.  Or a film buff because you like Star Wars.  In the same vain, I'm not calling you a gamer because you are addicted to Farmville or something.  But I wouldn't stop there either.  Owning a console/handheld/gaming PC doesn't make it official either (though it helps).  I wouldn't be likely to include people who exclusively play their annual holiday release game exclusively a gamer.  So Call of Duty, Madden, Assassin's Creed, Batman (at this point).  Yeah, that's just a series fan. 

 

"Gamer", I feel needs to come from a level of well-rounded play of all kinds.  Everyone's got a favorite genre, as well as genres that they don't get along with.  But some degree of adaptability would need to be there.  Perhaps a slight amount of knowledge about gaming history and the things that came before.  As well as a knowledge of what's currently going around in the gaming world. But I don't think those last two would be absolutely necessary.  The main focus needs to be an enthusiastic resolve to actually playing games. 

 

And I feel that that is where the heart of game journalism is nowadays.  It's less with IGN, Kotaku or Gamestop.  It's more with people who've (miraculously) made playing games their means of living.  People like Markiplier, Pewdiepie and the Super Best Friends Ziabatsu.  These are people who aren't getting paid to advertise individual games to you.  If a game is shit, they'll call it shit (and probably make fun of how shit it is).  There's no Doritogate from folks like this.  They aren't hurling gamer-fuel at me or telling me where to buy a particular game ("Power to the players" my ass, Gamestop).  They aren't getting fired over giving a game the shitty score it deserves.  And they aren't in bed (metaphorically) with anyone.  Meanwhile, I go onto IGN and more than 50% percent of the screen is an advertisement for the Sims 4.  I go to the escapist and the entire site is vertically letterboxed in with ads for Diablo 3.  Kotaku doesn't have this, but they have been held up for basically helping to fund a bunch of indie games, without directly informing to this as they write about them (and shirk off claims of impropriety by declaring their journalists "bloggers", so it's okay). 



#44 Selena

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 11:22 PM

I would agree that "gamer" is now roughly the equivalent of "bookworm," yeah. And it's definitely only dedicated gamers who frequent kotaku and the other big gaming sites. The idea of independent youtube reviewers playing a more honest role in game evaluations is an interesting one -- I know that when I'm thinking about buying a game, I often watch some playthroughs on youtube. So I can get some actual gameplay footage (as opposed to all the scripted "gameplay" that gets shown off at e3). It gives me a better sense of the actual game.

 

Whereas the big sites can never be perfectly frank about a game's failings because they're usually on someone's payroll. And all the footage is gussied up like a southern belle at a cotillion. All I do when I look up game reviews on a big site is quickly look at the overall score -- because I can get a general sense of the game's quality if I adjust it into real score (10 being great, 9 being decent, 8 having some stuff lacking, 7 being bad, and anything under than being downright unplayable). 

 

 

 

Is that what the core issue is here? That the big sites like IGN are already so paid off that everyone just knows that they're beyond repair, and kotaku is one of the last major sites to not be totally biased? And they're sinking into it more and more? 

 

 

 

Because so far I've just been utterly failing to understand why people have turned Quinn into some figurehead for "journalistic corruption." That makes no logical sense to me, because she's a two-bit indie developer with minimal influence on the industry. If the crusade is for integrity in journalism, then the core corruption isn't with some indie developer -- it's with the big sites who are getting paid off for their reviews. Which makes all the hot tempers and rage seem.... both nonsensical and over-the-top.

 

I mean, sure, if she's guilty of nepotism, then that's bad. Yeah. But it makes no sense to get so angry about Quinn when she's a small drop in the corruption bucket. Get annoyed, sure. Call her out, sure. But the seething rage? Every thread I read about her (or Sarkeesian, as an aside) quickly erodes to very passionate arguing. That's like a level 10 response that should be aimed at a level 10 problem -- but she, as an individual, doesn't seem to be any kind of actual big deal.

 

I just don't understand why people fight like this whole fiasco is somehow going to tear gaming out from underneath us? 

 

So is the real core issue that Quinn is somehow tainting one of the last strongholds of actual gaming journalism? (Even though we all know kotaku's been sliding for a while)

 

 

 

 

 

So, I dunno if you guys have seen, but gaming journalism has been sorta shitting on game players for the past week or so.  Multiple gaming sites (Kotaku, IGN, Rock Paper Shotgun, etc) have basically been going on and on about how toxic and corrupt video gaming communities are as a whole over this #Gamergate situation.

 

Well, honestly, from a neutral person's view point, there's not a whole lot of redeeming qualities to be seen. I see tons of people make well thought out critiques. I've also seen a lot of disturbing hate-fueled rage posts that don't have a shred of decency in them. I've seen feminist blogs fight back and act like this is some pivotal moment in "women in gaming" history. I've seen a lot of black, and a lot of white -- looking at general twitter hashtags (etc.) makes everything look like people have picked a side. And if you're in the pro-Quinn camp, then everyone against her is somehow an misogynistic asshole. And if you're in the anti-Quinn camp, then everyone who is defending her is a raging Feminazi. 

 

Basically -- well, "community" does feel pretty toxic right now. Especially if you're looking this catastrophe up to see what's going on. This seems like the only thing gamers are talking about right now. And it's pretty offputting from all angles. Because it looks like everyone has dug trenches. And neither side is keeping their angry-hate-fueled fringe groups in check.

 

There are some people out there who are really, really giving gamers a bad name by directly attacking people -- but it just seems like the "community" is letting it slide by saying that Quinn (and Sarkeesian) "deserve it" for various reasons. Which means it continues. Which means it starts to look worse over time. Which means it starts to get toxic and unappealing.



#45 Green Goblin

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:24 AM

I'm gonna try to encapsulate the "they deserve it" nature that you seem to be seeing.  Not as an endorsement of it, mind you.  But as an explanation as to why it occurs. 

 

I had a realization that occurred last week about the makings of 4chan (and yes, this is important, so pay attention).  Whenever 4chan wages war, it's not because some guy convinced them to do it ("not your personal army" is usually uttered, followed by a homophobic or racial slur).  It's typically because Information is being censored or removed from the internet. (This is what triggered the war against Scientology, initially.  That cult tried to get rid of one of Tom Cruise's crazy videos from off the web).  With Anita Sarkeesian, her initial videos had ratings available and comments enabled.  But there was a problem with this:  Her videos weren't very good (and still aren't).  They're full of holes and pieced together from other people's let's play videos, which many see as a disservice to actually PLAYING the game.  It'd be like criticizing and analyzing a film professionally, based off the wikipedia synopsis.  When these points were made, they were met with less than silence.  The comments themselves were removed and treated as to have never existed.  And then gaming-centric websites began showering praise on her.  Giving her awards and treating her like she was the goddamn second coming.  When people attempted to make their points louder online, they were shouted down as misogynists.  It got people upset.  So they lashed out.  That being said, to the degree in which they lash out remains to truly be seen.  As with her videos, Sarkeesian is quite hyperbolic about the hate she receives, which has led some people (myself included) to believe that some of it may be faked.  That last one of her having to leave her home seems entirely too staged.  If 4chan (or anyone, for that matter) was going for blood, there would've been more noise about it somewhere  before the hammer fell. 

 

Though 4chan did not collaborate directly with Sarkeesian (or even Zoe Quinn, from what I can tell), the mentality of why they were attacked still holds true:  Because people thought they were being silenced.  I (like you) am a firm believer in hearing a person out before chastising them.  And I notice how even though you see it as overkill (and I'm inclined to agree), you don't directly say that people are wrong in their notions here. 

 

 

I feel that there might be a way to end this once and for all, but I doubt it would occur.  Anita (or some representative of her side; perhaps Rebecca Watson) should have a direct debate with a representative from the other side (if I had to vote for someone on side B, I'd say Thunderf00t would be the strongest candidate).  No rallying of troops.  No sensationalist headlines.  Just an honest-to-goodness conversation on neutral ground.  Each person being held responsible for what they say.  I'd be interested in seeing if a resolve could at least be discussed.  Because as gamers, I'd say we deserve a little diplomacy here.



#46 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 02:51 AM

The problem with that explanation is that it treats 4chan and Anonymous as a unified hivemind with clear goals and ambitions based on logic which is far from the truth. In actuality they are just groups of very different people, many of whom act on whims and target individual scapegoats for their frustration over larger problem, or personal ones, and derive sadistic pleasure over enacting what they see as "justice". While I certainly wouldn't put it past Sarkeesian to exaggerate received hate, I also don't find it hard to believe that some sick fuck found out where she lives and sent death threats.

Since you bring up Thunderf00t, he is an excellent example of someone who goes the wrong way of criticizing Sarkeesian. He sounds smart, but he makes bad arguments. He ignores the good points she does make, exaggerates her claims to the point of being ridiculous, and puts words into her mouth with the intent of making a fool out of her, rather than just refuting her claims logically by explaining how the things she says are misogynistic are really not. He paints her as a man-hater who wants to remove all fun and creativity from video games, and makes her out to be an example of a typical feminist. When she's actually just a person who often sees misogyny where there isn't any at all and has way too many blindly throwing money at her because she preaches to the choir.

And people being overly concerned and vicious about the cases of people like Quinn, Sarkeesian, and Mighty No. 9's Dina is not something I think is really justified by claiming to be acting in the name of the state of gaming. As there are much bigger threats in the form of things that ACTUALLY have a negative impact on gaming as a whole such as invasive DRM, the prospect of the secondhand market dying out, GameStop's and EA's unethical business practices, widespread occurrence of bribery among the largest video game review sites, the widening dichotomy between "casual" and "hardcore" gaming, people who make kickstarters who have no skills to manage money or who don't have the ability to actually deliver what's been promised, actual scammers, and so on. There's really no reason to focus so much negativity on a few women, however misguided or wrong or what mistakes they may have mad in their personal lives, who have no real impact on gaming.

#47 Green Goblin

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:52 AM

I find it funny that you list people who mishandle kickstarter campaigns as people who ACTUALLY have a negative impact on gaming as a whole, but want Sarkeesian to be ignored.



#48 Jasi

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:57 AM

I think Hana meant the overall trend of bad Kickstarters, not one specific person (who 4chan folks et al. should e-yell slurs at and personally harass). All of them taken together is wasting a lot of money, and shifting the paradigm for how a game gets made in (what I believe to be) a bad way. And of course it's not even just games, but businesses, products, etc. 



#49 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:16 AM

Actually I was talking about people who want money to make something that they don't actually have the skills to make, and scammers. While I may not believe Sarkeesian deserved all the KS funding she got, she has delivered what she promised to. But Jasi has a good point too.

Edited by Hana-Nezumi, 05 September 2014 - 07:19 AM.


#50 Egann

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 10:30 AM

The free content on places like youtube produces higher quality criticism than "gaming journalism" has ever aspired toward. Here, let me give you a few examples.

 

Matthewmatosis

 

ErrantSignal

 

VaatiVidya

 

 

If I had to say anything about games journalism, it's that it feels LAZY. Even with just the simple reviews, the old Sage Reviews run circles around most articles on IGN. The major website reviews strike me as "I played this game. X, Y, and Z happened. 9/10."

 

 

Since you bring up Thunderf00t, he is an excellent example of someone who goes the wrong way of criticizing Sarkeesian. He sounds smart, but he makes bad arguments. He ignores the good points she does make, exaggerates her claims to the point of being ridiculous, and puts words into her mouth with the intent of making a fool out of her, rather than just refuting her claims logically by explaining how the things she says are misogynistic are really not.

 

I don't think Thunderf00t ever intended people to take what he was saying at face value. Sarkeesian clearly believes most of the things she says, but the impression I got from Thunderf00t is "I'll cancel her argument out by making an equally absurd and extreme counter-position."

 

Could I be wrong? Sure.

 

"Gamer", I feel needs to come from a level of well-rounded play of all kinds.  Everyone's got a favorite genre, as well as genres that they don't get along with.  But some degree of adaptability would need to be there.  Perhaps a slight amount of knowledge about gaming history and the things that came before.  As well as a knowledge of what's currently going around in the gaming world. But I don't think those last two would be absolutely necessary.  The main focus needs to be an enthusiastic resolve to actually playing games.

 

See, I'm not so sure. I can understand this for the casual market and probably FPS's as well, but I have a hard time calling someone who plays any RPGs a non-gamer, even if they've only played one or two titles. Games fall into one of three categories;

  1. Time Sinks: Most casual games like Angry Birds are only there to absorb time.

  2. Community Hubs: Most FPS are about community competitive play.

  3. Experience Generators: RPGs, Horror games, and others use gameplay to create a unique experience.

These aren't mutually exclusive, but if someone occasionally seeks out and plays games for the third reason I think they are a gamer. They are seeking out new experiences via gameplay.



#51 Selena

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:42 AM

 
Though 4chan did not collaborate directly with Sarkeesian (or even Zoe Quinn, from what I can tell), the mentality of why they were attacked still holds true:  Because people thought they were being silenced.  I (like you) am a firm believer in hearing a person out before chastising them.  And I notice how even though you see it as overkill (and I'm inclined to agree), you don't directly say that people are wrong in their notions here. 
 
 

 
I generally disagree with censorship, so yes, I would agree that people are right to be upset that dissenting opinions are not allowed. Making counter-arguments to criticism is an important aspect of persuasive media and theory. And I would also agree that Sarkeesian probably isn't deserving of all the awards and praise she's gotten. I think part of the reason she's gotten so much attention is that -- compared with other analysts, who are usually just ranting on webcam in their rooms or doing a VO on top of gameplay footage -- her videos are pretty organized and at least somewhat professional looking. Good presentation gets taken more seriously, regardless of how good the actual content is.
 
I mostly agree with the general principles that she presents ("We should have more female characters designed that way from the ground up"), which shouldn't be a controversial point, but then she often loses me on finer details. For example, I don't think it's inherently awful that a disturbing theme exists (violence against female characters in games), but rather that stuff like that is unbalanced. For example, nobody really cares about violence against male characters because stuff like that is counterbalanced by plenty of male heroes -- but the same balance doesn't exist with the ladies yet. So the victimhood of female characters feels unfair.
 
 
 
 
 
As for a debate resolving things, well, it might help. But I don't know how much it would resolve. It might fire things up even more, depending on how it goes.
 
4chan seems to be having great fun organizing and executing "raids" on various people in the feminist-gamer / social justice camp, regardless of what else is going on. And the other side is mostly convinced that 4chan has no redeemable qualities. 4chan only seems to "disarm" when they get bored or when they feel their objectives have been met (like with the inane tumblr vs. 4chan 'war' that happened not long ago). 
 
I get why people find the social justice warrior part of the internet annoying. A lot of them -- whether they're focused on race, sexuality, or gender issues -- are hypersensitive, extremely rude, deliberately go looking for problems to critique while putting on blinders to all the positive stuff, and immediately declare someone to be a racist/misogynist/homophobe when they don't agree with an idea. Hell, I've been accused of having internalized misogyny and internalized homophobia (FOR THE DUMBEST REASONS). 
 
Oh, I get it. they can be super annoying. I could write you a whole essay on why SJW's are sometimes worse than the problem they're crusading against. Or, at least, they only fan flames rather than try to resolve anything.
 
 
 
 
It's just that 4chan's horde mode can be really, really ugly when it gets going. Especially because it so quickly goes to direct personal threats and harassment, and that's definitely harder to justify. There are other ways to go about this. It's disgusting. It brings out the worst in people. Any points 4chan could make have been overshadowed by all the malice and lack of humanity. It also has a bad side effect of discouraging other women from getting involved with the industry, given the exaggerated harassment. Which in itself is a tragedy.

 

SJW's at least just tend to block people who argue with them and then sulk in private while reblogging people who agree with them until the closed loop of agreement makes them feel better. Probably because they don't have the unity 4chan does when it gets upset. 



#52 Delphi

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:04 PM

So I've been trying to follow this thread and the whole thing as I'm curious about it but it's been kind if difficult to figure out.

Then I found this: https://storify.com/...ne/gameovergate

I don't even know what to make of this clusterfuck...

Can someone clarify because I just see a bunch of shit slinging and I don't know what's real, photo shopped, or just plain faked anymore...

#53 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 03:04 PM

TL;DR Everything in Eron's Zoepost is legit, and she has indeed been doing some emotionally manipulative and unethical things that implicates atleast three major game journalists in her wrong doings, possibly much more, because the sites they're affiliated with are giving her an unfair bias, shutting down legitimate discussions sparked by the controversy, and otherwise letting her get away with things they criticized other people for in the past.

 

Add on 4chan jumping in and being like "LOL HERE'S HER NUDES AND SHIT" and there's enough harassment coming her way that it's clouding the issue and making her seem more sympathetic than she deserves. Thanks, Internet Hate Machine.



#54 Twinrova

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 05:47 PM

http://www.examiner....ment-from-4chan

 

 

And nobody was surprised.



#55 Green Goblin

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 10:53 AM

http://www.escapistm...d-Quinn-Respond

Well, I'd say 4chan was surprised. 

 

EDIT:  Seriously, I know everyone wants to shit on 4chan a bit, but keep in mind:  They raised nearly $20,000 specifically FOR a project to get more women into video games.  It may be hard to reign in individual stupidity over there, but overall, they're actually not doing bad here.


Edited by Green Goblin, 07 September 2014 - 10:56 AM.


#56 Oberon Storm

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:37 PM

So if Eron Gjoni himself has said he has no evidence that Zoe Quinn slept with anybody for any favors then what is the point here?



#57 Green Goblin

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 11:12 PM

yeah, I think it's safe to say that Zoe Quinn doesn't matter.  She was the kicking off point.  The catalyst, if you will. 



#58 Egann

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 09:41 AM

So let me get this straight. The ex issues a correction after a whole month has passed. Rather than correcting a misunderstanding immediately, he let it go on for a month. Quite coincidentally, this correction happens to be right when the rest of the internet is starting to forgetting this whole affair.

 

Is it just me or does this whole thing reek of manipulation for exposure now?



#59 Jasi

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 09:44 AM

...and practically no one learns their lesson. 



#60 Oberon Storm

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 12:51 PM

I have heard stories of some sites or magazines accepting money or gifts for good reviews. But just stories. Is there any verifiable evidence at all that any of these stories are true?






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