Zen Of Design

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

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Just a Couple More Tidbits on Blocklists

Welp, I was hoping that the last post would be my last word on blocklists.  However, there’ve been a couple relevant and interesting bits to share.  First off, notorious libertarian legal snarkmeister Popehat has given his opinion about Why Mean Blockbots Probably Aren’t Defamatory. He does close with a couple of caveats.

I speak here of the rule of law, not the rule of feels. I understand many people feel as though BlockBot designations are defamatory. So they have that going for them, which is nice.

Meanwhile, the team that did The Block Bot (this is the Athiesm+ blockbot, not Randi’s GG blockbot) announced that Blockbot will undergo a significant rewrite, to help it deal with it’s unexpected popularity.

In this developmental stage, the following features for this new platform are being discussed:

  • Facilitating the formation of more than one blocking team.
  • Allowing users to opt-in or opt-out of individual blocker’s blocks.
  • Creating clear policies for adding and removing blockers and admins.
  • Handling appeals more consistently.
  • Expanding users’ block-list choices.
  • Soliciting feedback from users more effectively.
  • Providing a more robust system for users to suggest blocks.

Meanwhile, Richard Dawkins (who is on the Atheism+ blocklist because, well, he’s been Richard Dawkins on twitter lately) is not impressed.

Intel Steps It Up On Diversity

Yesterday, Intel made a major announcement, effectively setting a dare up for other tech companies by declaring a $300 Million dollar investment in Diversity, including the goal of a fully representative workplace by 2020. This is a pretty staggeringly ambitious goal for a large, major international company, and by at least this account, we largely have GamerGate to thank.

In October, though, Intel unwittingly became a villain in a controversy over the treatment of women in gaming, which has come to be known as GamerGate. A loose-knit brigade of Internet users lobbied the company to pull an advertising campaign on the game website Gamasutra because it had run an essay attacking the male dominance of games culture.

Intel, which was caught off guard by the ensuing controversy over its actions, eventually resumed advertising on the site. Mr. Krzanich said he used the incident as an opportunity to think more deeply about the broader issue of diversity in the tech industry. The issue resonated with him personally.

“I have two daughters of my own coming up on college age,” he said. “I want them to have a world that’s got equal opportunity for them.”

Note that this hilariously seems to not quite match Breitbart’s super secret report of Intel’s super secret GamerGate fanboyism.  The remaining dregs of Gamergate were not pleased, largely because both Anita Sarkeesian and the IGDA were listed as key partners of the initiative.

GamerGate adherents are already are planning a counter-email campaign, making sure, as always, to hide their GamerGate affiliation specifically to avoid getting filtered.  They continue to unload on Anita as a  ‘member of a hate group‘ and a ‘demagogue’ among other old, debunked crap,  (as frequently noted, she’s not always right but she’s definitely enlightening, and her voice should be welcomed).  As for the IGDA, GamerGate adherents have that organization on the shit list for at one point having a link to Randi’s GG Autoblocker on their website to help out game developers felt under siege (unlike ).  As an amusing artifact of history, this all happened while there was a bug in the blocker, which resulted in KFC’s official twitter account being included, which is why you’ll occasionally hear a Gator cry out ‘KFC!’ in Twitter the same way Braveheart shouted ‘Freedom!’

If you pay attention to the zombie-like shuffling husk that is the GamerGate saga nowadays, this last paragraph is what you’re going to get –petty, unworthy bullshit  peppered by anonymous harassment targeting individuals on both sides of the fence.  Many, particularly the moderates on both sides, have backed out — there was a particularly large egress on the topic in the week when people were discussing the relative defensibility of various child-porn like substances that ultimately cost 8chan their Patreon.  Reddit banned KiA from posting the email addresses of boycott targets to prevent witchhunts  which caused some on KiA to declare reddit a left-wing enemy of free speech (really), and some suggesting starting their own reddit, only with blackjack and hookers.

Doxing and swatting remain hot topics, though usually sourced to theoretically unrelated 8chan boards famous for stirring shit up for the lulz.   The Mens Rights Activists continue to eagerly throw their cancerous opinions into the fray.  Some asshole told TotalBiscuit that he hopes he dies of the cancer he’s currently battling (anti-GG forces are being blamed, though no one knows who the fuck the tweeter is).  Randi Harper pointed out that many Facebook GamerGate user groups were set improperly to be public, which caused a freakout that she ‘doxed 9000 people’.

The actual time spent discussing anything that looks like what reasonable people consider ‘ethics in journalism’ continues to approach zero.  For their part, the games press continues to mostly ignore the whole nine yards, other than occasionally doing things like having fun with disclaimers.

So yeah, the whole shitstorm is still a complete and total cesspool of suck that most journalists and developers do and should avoid.  For those who were smarter than me and stayed away, congratulations, and I envy you!  For those who were not, perhaps this one man’s tale of dealing with Post-GamerGate Depression may aid you.


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