Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Month: October 2014 (page 1 of 3)

A Promising Light for GamerGate

When #GamerGate kicked in, I strongly advocated for the people who actually cared about ethics in games journalism to use the energy to create a consumer organization (Initial proposal here, answers to criticisms here).  The central, and perhaps most important part of the idea, was the website, something I called “GamesOmbudsman.com”, which would focus on basically reporting on games industry press – basically watching the watchmen. What I envisioned was something similar to Politifact, but centered on the games industry.

So it’s not a surprise that I am intrigued and cautiously optimistic about the website GamerGateFacts.  GGF’s mission statement is in their sidebar.

GGF does not have an agenda against journalists, feminism, leftist politics or even the gaming press as a whole.

The only agenda GGF espouses is one that stands against lies, corruption, censorship and cronyism and any who choose to defend or further them.

And, well, these guys are trying, and are not that far off the mark.  I do have some criticisms for them (see below), but what I see here is a very promising skeleton of an idea that could serve the game community well for years in the future.  Here’s what I like (i.e. this is good, don’t change it).

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No, Virginia, Gamergate isn’t Going To Destroy Christmas

I like Oliver Campbell.  As far as #GamerGaters go, he’s a moderate, reasonable guy, and he comes at the topic of ethics in games journalism with relative experience and logic for a consumer movement that frequently has no idea what ethical journalism looks like.  That being said, every now and then, he says something extremely silly.

Killing Christmas is kind of a favorite fever dream  for the far end of GamerGate, with some treating it as some sort of End Boss like event (GamerGaters like game analogies, unsurprisingly).  A similar sentiment was echoed by the short-lived Operation Krampus, a cause they abandoned  around the time that they realized they’d declared so many media outlets boycotted that Krampus would effectively mean that Game Publishers could only give review copies to Return of Kings.

Anyway, this is just me talking here, but I find Oliver’s future pretty far-fetched.  Why?

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The Things We Lost In The Catastrofuck

Sometime last week, someone asked me in a comment here why I’ve been devoting so much time and energy to #Gamergate here on a blog that should be talking about game design.  Shortly before that, Felicia Day provided me with an answer, in a clear, eloquent story describing how the scandal is affecting her.  I’m clearly biased personally, because I have had a huge crush on Felicia forever to the degree that I would probably spontaneously turn into a 13-year-old fangirl if I ever met her, but its a beautiful, nuanced piece that describes her attempts to get past the paranoia that recent events have brought into her life.

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This Week Was All About Ethics in Games Journalism

Actually, none of it really was, because it never really actually is.  But it does highlight that ActuallyEthics is my new favorite Tumblr.


This developer tells GamerGate that “You are Not My Shield.” Continue reading

The Gamer Press Woke Up, Decried Gamergate, Then Went Back To Sleep

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article shaming the press for basically ignoring GamerGate.  I was not alone, with Frank Cifaldi being one notable example who made literally dozens of tweets like the one below.

Erik Kain, a Forbes journalist who has written more sympathetically to the #gamergate cause, has also made that note from the other side. Continue reading

In Which I Acknowledge and Apologize

About a month ago, I wrote a post about Milo that, by happenstance, discussed a lawsuit in Brad Wardell’s past.  At the time, it didn’t catch fire.  Simply put, no one cared.  I think it had 11 comments as of last Thursday, and I’d forgotten about it entirely.

On Friday, Brad spoke up and condemned the article.  I happened to be on top of a Mayan temple at the time (no shit), but when I got back to my laptop and saw the twitterstorm, I immediately edited the article to include links to his side of the story, as well as my quick takes on the issue.  I then reached out to him on Twitter, and we talked a couple of times that night – at length.  The talks were actually surprisingly pleasant and open. Continue reading

Three quick GG reads

Chris Kluwe, who continues to be one of my favorite people in the universe, has a very vitriol-laced take on the situation:

Thus, when I see an article titled “Gamers are dead,” referring to the death of the popular trope of a pasty young man in a dimly lit room, it fills me with joy, because it means WE FUCKING WON. So many people are playing games now that they are popular culture. They are not going away. All sorts of cool things, that I like, are now things that a whole bunch of other people like! There’s enough space now for people to make games that are strange and disturbing and maybe highlight a different perspective of the world, because gaming is no longer a niche activity, it’s something that everybody does. There is room for art in video games. That’s awesome!

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The Midweek #Gatesplaining of the Perpetual Outrage Machine

Someone used the term #Gatesplaining in twitter today.  This is a term that really needs to catch on.  But now, onto other links!

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On Being Doxxed and Third Party Shitheads

Yes, I was doxxed -kinda sorta (we’ll get to that). I’m safe.  Wife is rattled but fine.  It was clearly the act of a third party shithead.  Other targets by the same guy in theory included Adam Baldwin (literally, the father of the #gamergate tag) and Patton Oswalt.  Which is pretty weird company to have insomnia and wake to find yourself in, all told.

One of the other supposed targets (Mark Montag, whose portrait suggests he is pro-gamergate, illustrating the ‘third party shitheads’ emphasis I want to make here) had this to say. Continue reading

Polygon’s Bayonetta 2 Review is Fine

So, in between the Brianna Wu media tour and the emergence of #StopGamerGate2014, #GamerGate for the first time in weeks actually attempted to bring up something that was almost something something kinda like Journalistic Ethics.  As you may know, #Gamergate declares that journalistic ethics and integrity is what this is all really about (although that’s built on a total sham, is ignorant of actual problems and allergic to actual journalistic ethics).  But hey, maybe they got it better this time!


Oh dear.

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