I’ve been part of million dollar fuckups before. I can’t imagine adding three zeroes to that.
“And, I am trembling sat in front of Steve [Ballmer], who I love to death, but he can be an intimidating human being. Steve said, ‘okay, talk me through this.’ I said, ‘if we don’t do this, this brand is dead.’ … He said, ‘what’s it going to cost?’ I remember taking a deep breath, looking at Robbie [Bach], and saying, ‘we think it’s $1.15bn, Steve.’ He said, ‘do it.’ There was no hesitation.”
A solid read.
Australia is still a repressive gauntlet of government game censorship. However, recently they switched to a new ratings scheme which makes things marginally better. It used to be that the equivalent of R-Rated games were ‘denied classification’ which effectively banned them. Since 2011, though, they’ve instituted a new rating that was the equivalent of Mature games. Games that were previously banned before 2011 were welcomed to reapply. It’s still censorship and should be opposed by game lovers and creators…. but it’s better than it was. I wrote about this previously here.
Bizarro-world former developer Mark Kern, notable terrible boss and purveyor of multimillion dollar non-functional vanity buses, and supposedly recent convert to a religion he’s been preaching for months, recently found that he had some time to kill after hiccups on his last job. So he did an AMA where he had this to say about why some OTHER developers might oppose GamerGate.
Some devs are anti-GG, either through lack of understanding, or wanting things to cool down. More interestingly, there has been pressure from spouses who may not be gamers, and who only know tumblr…and devs want a happy household.
That’s right. You developers who generally oppose GamerGate may think that you’re doing it because you oppose the blatant and vicious harassment that some in the movement choose to use that targets people who oppose gamergate (including the very origins of the hashtag and leading into harassment of myself and fellow game developers, cultural critics, charities and press– and if you don’t believe them, then how about a former Gamergater who fell out of the fold). Or because they insist on brigading our conference hashtags, oftentimes with porn and other filth. You may think that you’re doing it because they engage in a culture of intimidation which leaves many of our female coworkers depressed and terrified. You may think you’re doing it because the current state of things makes it much harder for developers to engage with their fans.
You may think that you’re doing it because it’s no accident that the only media that will give them the time of day are right-wing tinfoil hat rags that make Fox News seem rational and well reasoned, Men’s Rights buffoons, and occasional attention from literal neonazi messageboards (largely because their eCelebs sometimes go there). You may oppose them because they frequently wade into blatant transphobia.
You might oppose them because you believe that an ethos of free speech doesn’t necessarily mean that the drunkest, most obnoxious asshole at the bar should win every discussion.
Last week, when Reddit clamped down on Redditors rights to harass fat girls to the point of suicide, many of the disenfranchised redditors took up a mantle that they were going to flee to Voat, a creepy alternative to reddit where you can still live in the free speech utopia of upskirt shots, ‘jailbait’ pics of young girls, discussions of white supremacy and revenge porn. Because free speech!
Anyway, after the exile, KotakuInAction was one of the most vocal communities that was discussing emigrating to Voat. Because while they are totes not about harassment, there sure seem to be a lot of people who don’t understand the harmlessness and benevolence of their tactics. All of last week, this amusing post was pinned to the top of the sub.
IN THE EVENT OF KIA’S EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN
IF KIA GETS BANNED FOR WHATEVER REASON, REMEMBER THAT WE HAVE A VOAT SUB . THERE IS ANOTHER SUBVERSE FOR GAMERGATE ACTIVITY THAT YOU’D BE WELCOME AT, AS WELL. THERE’S ALSO 8CHAN , OF COURSE, BUT YOU WON’T BE AS WELCOME THERE SINCE CULTURAL CLASHES AND ALL.
KNOW YOUR EXITS, KNOW THE CONTINGENCY PLANS.
Voat initially creaked under the load – it’s servers couldn’t handle the massive influx of free speeching edgelords. They may or may not have been DDOSed in there (which if true, should be condemned). But the worst was yet to come – when voat’s hosting company discovered what voat was all about, they terminated their contract with Voat. Many observers note that Voat’s hosting is currently in Germany which is not currently exactly a bastion of free speech – they are still very cautious in particular about Nazi-related white supremacy, for example, and german hosting companies carry greater liability for illegal content than hosting in other countries.
This is shortly after 8chan proudly clinging to existence by refusing to cooperate with investigations about revenge porn occurring on their site – a nice little addition to the site to go with their tolerance of child porn (link contains blurred images but is still seriously skeevy). Meanwhile, according to KiA, the mods running 8chan are barely keeping the thing standing up because no donation site wants their business.
There’s a lot of talk about how this is an assault on the free speech of gamergators, which was basically leaning on using these sites to keep their edgier operations going. But this misses the point: free speech means that the government doesn’t interfere with your speech. Free speech doesn’t mean that reddit has to let you post, paypal has to take your donations, or a hosting company to want your speech to be associated with their proud company name. That being said, there apparently is a business opportunity for hosting services and billing services to edgelord websites. I recommend if you go in that business, charging a premium.
Predictably, KiA is melting down about this (+4581). Still, it would be nice if they would care about free speech for game devs, game critics and game journalists as much as they do about free speech for edgelords, MRAs, white supremacists, child pornographers, revenge porn distributors, twitter dogpilers and the sort of repugnant assholes who try to shame fat girls into suicide.
Last night, GamerGate was following around Jonathan McIntosh and mocking him for having an expensive backpack – that it turned out wasn’t even his. As if that wasn’t stupid, creepy and stalkerish enough, this morning E3ers woke up to find the area around the convention center papered with anti-Anita posters.
It’s difficult to tell, but the white background ones repeat the words ‘GamerGate’ over and over again. Which is all ironic, given that Gators love to say over and over again that #GamerGate is about Ethics in Games Journalism, which has fuck all to do with either Anita or John.
Perhaps realizing that this little escapade was even more awful and creepy than what normally passes for acceptable discourse (stalking McIntosh, for example), and definitely falls in the category of being harassing little dickbags, KotakuInAction has been desperately trying to spin this as a ‘false flag’ – i.e. done either by Anita and John themselves, or by Third Party Trolls. The truth of the matter is that, once again, some sick, demented lone wolf took an action that they thought was in bounds in an attempt to discredit and silence critics that they disagree with. The lone wolf was probably this guy – a crazy street artist with a decidedly right-wing bent. If it’s him, he’s clearly someone who believes in the various right-wing bullshit he’s trying to peddle, which means he’s probably thinking he’s doing God’s work carrying GamerGate’s message. But that’s just a theory: this Twitter account is the only person who has claimed credit.
But this is all speculation. Whoever it is plastered #GamerGate’s name all over it, and because #GamerGate has earned the mantle of being obnoxious little jerks with a history of engaging or high-fiving in support over similar actions, they get saddled with the blame. And they should. Whether they took the action or not, they created the toxic environment that made someone think they’d be treated like a hero for this.
The FemFreak episode shows the problem with an anonymous ‘chan’ style of protest. People think that no one can speak for an anonymous group. The truth is anyone can. And once enough bad ones do, there is no reason in the world why anyone should give that protest the benefit of the doubt anymore.
You may remember Mark Kern from his little temper tantrum from earlier this year – a temper tantrum that may or may not have resulted in him being shown the door from the company he founded. Whether this was due to his spending all of his time shitposting rather than getting work done, or whether there were more egregious problems, who knows. All I know is that this time around, they didn’t involve a $3 Million dollar bus for what was probably the most awesome planned Speed update of all time.
Welp, he’s back and he’s declared that he’s…. no longer neutral!
Yes, previously, he was being neutral as he slammed the press, coddled idiotic conspiracy theories and then cheered on the trolls of GamerGate as they brigaded the #GDC hashtag with insults, ad hominem attacks on game developers and anime porn, among other filth. But now he’s committed to #GamerGate because some people saw that the new Deus Ex is using the term ‘mechanical apartheid’ to describe their story, and some tiny number of that thought that merited a conversation.
For what it’s worth, I think that ‘mechanical apartheid’ is an awesome starting point that’s completely appropriate for the Deus Ex I know and love, and ties directly into the time-honored tradition of using alleghory in sci-fi and geek culture to discuss tricky and controversial subjects in modern society. Where Deus Ex’ narrative was going in their previous release was reminiscent to me of how Marvel Comics used the X-Men as an alleghory for the struggle of the Gay Rights movement. In a note to KiA, the game devs discussed how that was actually their plans. But hey, it’s just the start of a conversation, and if some are offended, we could actually listen to them and see if they have something worthwhile to say, right?
Ha ha, just kidding. Instead people like Mark are just going to freak the fuck out. Once again, the outrage from the Perpetual Outrage Machine that is KiA and GG vastly outstrips the supposed outrage from the other side. Seriously, I have a fair number of supposed SJWs in my twitter feed, and saw nary a kerfuffle in casual observation. Certainly nothing that compared to KiA’s utter shitstorm, or Mark Kern’s continued meltdown into nonsensical blather.