I used to live with one of the people who wrote bits for Shadowrun and who was well known in the community. Shadowrun is a rather cool universe and to see a game being made on it’s IP is always good.
Cultural commentary has often not “got” games. Okay the word on a lot of game sites has been Anita Sarkeesian’s video.
And there is something I realised. Thunderfoot is pretty strong among the gaming community. Nearly every person I normally play games with sent me this link either to cover, to rage about or in the hope that it would get me to stop writing things under the Hags of Lag moniker (to be fair there are just 2 of us in it so it’s less of a guild and more of a silly name that we came up with).
It’s an amusing video primarily because he simply didn’t get what the point is. And let us not say that this guy is a minority. A lot of of players think this way.
[warning]This post contains links to TV Tropes. If you have work and do not wish to watch an hour of your life spiral down the rabbit hole of TV Tropes do not click on the links[/warning]
If you ever wondered why no one takes gamers seriously?
It’s people like this.
He is basically taunting a single player who he targets for “lolz”. His entire goal is to make play for that one person absolutely miserable. This isn’t “a one off plan”. This is a concerted effort by a player and his guild to totally destroy an experience for a single player.
And people wonder why we never get taken seriously.
If you haven’t heard it elsewhere then you should know that Anita Sarkeesian’s series on Tropes vs. Women in Video Games is up…
If you haven’t heard about it then here are some simple facts. Anita is a feminist. Anita wanted to analyse a hobby notorious for it’s racism and sexism. Which is “Videogames”.
When she pointed out she was going to do this the response was not positive. She was subject to a campaign of harassment and bullying (because nothing says “No Sexism” like screaming “Shut Up Bitch”) which ironically lead to more people hearing about her project and kickstarting her project so hard that it expanded to “ridiculous levels”. Some of the arguments were vile. Some of them were the old “There are Starving Children in Africa and You Want to Donate to Frivolity” Arguments. Charity One-Upmanship and Overt Sexism proved the need for such a project.
So come the new year the ugly head of the naysayers began rattling again. There were plans from people to report her for breaking the terms of her Kickstarter because she had posted a image of her next to a pile of games. The muckraking began again.
Guess what? The first episode of her series is out.
The Hollywood Reporter’s taken an “interesting” stance on Adam Lanza (the American School Shooter at Sandy Hook)
Note how they blame Videogames (I will point out? There is a reason why we want our gamer population to behave a bit more “sensibly”. Because calling people fags and various racist things makes us an easy fucking target for stupid arguments like this. Because when they want to go find a “gamer” all they see is you sprouting lines about niggers and kikes, pakis and dykes… Do you really think that makes you a good representative for the Hobby?).
See the problem here is The Holywood Reporter is engaging in bullshit journalism. And you cannot let it go unanswered because journalism spreads information. If the information is bad then “fuck!”.
Adam Lanza played video games because he lived in a western nation where video game play is common. If he was “influenced” by Anders Breivik killed people because he was a neo-nazi with a fucking delusion. He was straight up mentally ill. He believed in some sort of plot and specifically targetted people to “destroy” the plot. His entire world view was one of hate and malice and fear. In his mind he was justified in killing so many innocent people because that’s the problem with a delusion. He wasn’t fighting for a high score, but to achieve something that he thought would be achieved through this behaviour.
Adam Lanza is a symptom of a very very american disease of “running amok”. I do love the fact the article thinks you can fire a gun just because you play a game. Really? I have raced cars around Silverstone on Gran Turismo but no one’s going to give me a F1 during the next Grand Prix.
That’s right. Let’s look at DRIVING in games. Does your car have a WASD key? Does it go forward when you press up on the arrow keys? Do you slide around when you press the spacebar as a handbrake? No? Funny how a game can teach you to shoot a gun at people but not how to drive.
The Staff at Hollywood Reporter
If you haven’t read it already, Kotaku has a phenomenal article on the treatment of female e-sport players and streamers.
The overt sexism and racism within our hobby is strangling the quality of games we play. In a world of increasing social value of gaming and a move from a single player to a multi player experience this is poisoning the experience.
The USA loves scapegoating. The lack of technological acumen within the US government makes them prone to scapegoat things that aren’t really the issue.
You shouldn’t blame sexting on mobile phones, you should blame it on a culture that encourages the sexualisation of children and teenagers. And US Senator Lamar Alexander should know better than to blame video games for being a bigger problem than guns.
In fact if we look through US History the total number of shootings has gone down year after year yet fear of getting shot has risen to a fever pitch. The USA still buys and sells massive amounts of guns to it’s civilians who think that guns keep them safe when it really is more down to legal policy.
It’s fear that drives gun sales and it is the accessibility of lethal weapons that drive the US murder rate. Not pixels on a screen.
And is anyone surprised that he is a big fan of the NRA?
If you haven’t been following the drama on League of Legends then there is a little ray of hope about gaming.
You see, a company that plays games finally took a stand on it’s players. It named and shamed people responsible for making the game experience worse for others.
Now you may wonder, why this matters as such.
For those who are unaware League of Legends is a Free To Play game. I used to play it a fair bit and was relatively okay at it. Nothing to write home about but sufficiently good enough to not be a “total liability” and to occasionally be in the lofty seat of “win it for the team”.
It occupies a niche game market. Unlike the standard of Call of Duty or Halo this is a game of high skill, high team play and high difficulty. The difficulty ramps up depending on who you are playing of course. While bots may be nice and easy to fight the real threat comes from the human opponents who are less accurate than the high level bots but far far more capable of thinking outside the box making them a lot lot deadlier.
And it is a competitive game a very competitive game. It’s very easy to be bad at it and cause your entire team to lose just due to bad decisions. It’s also a game that sadly rewarded terrible people as long as they played well. It was in your interest to ignore someone who swore badly if they played well. You literally had to take the abuse or lose and no one really likes losing. Not when you are in a ranked queue where the points matter. You would overlook the rants of absolute horror just because you knew that the person who was sprouting them was the one making you win.
So the guys behind the League had a little idea. What If We Had A System to Punish Bad Behaviour and Reward Good Behaviour. It was a little gamefication of stats. After a match you could vote for people you thought were nice and those that you didn’t. And people voted for these individuals in their hundreds.
Now there are a bunch of games in the Genre (Defence of the Ancients is the founding game) and all of them have the same problem. Competitiveness doesn’t reward politeness. But League has a different problem and that’s of game play. See the other games have one issue (and many people like it but I personally don’t) which is if a team gets even slightly ahead on kills it snowballs and wins. In League you can turn games around. You can go from even being 30 kills down to winning (A massive swing around). It happens a lot…
And this causes rage… Imagine being at the cusp of victory only to be defeated by luck, skill or one awesome play. If you already are in a game that doesn’t reward friendly play imagine your response.
It’s infuriating and while on a game like Halo that lucky grenade will make you smirk and go “Fine that was awesome” in this it’s less awesome and more “Unfair” because you were winning all this time and then someone basically “tricked you”. Very few people are genuinely pleased by amazing plays.
The new system encouraged a bit better behaviour but it also brought stellar individuals like these to light. Cleaning up your own house is good for gaming especially if we are to take video games competitively as a sport.
I don’t agree with it entirely, but I agree with the core message. I would add “Anonymity” is powerful and the personas we create are important.
And yes, I have caught myself doing some of the things he mentioned. And it may explain why we aren’t liked even if we produce original content.
I think one of the most important things we can remember about anonymity is to use it to be ourselves rather than something we are not. That anonymity is a powerful tool and to use it to spew things about fags and bitches and niggers is a frightful waste of something that can be used to speak out against oppression and the like.
I think one of the most useful things to remember is what you would and wouldn’t say IRL. Would you run around offering to show your penis to random women you meet on a daily basis? Are your conversations with the cashier punctuated with racist slurs? You wouldn’t and with good reason. You would be ostracised and treated like a social pariah. When the Klan go on about “them negroes” we don’t listen to them.
Why do we listen to idiots who say these things online? Well Athene may hit the nail on the head in some parts, because we reward these idiots. That the bad behaviour is positively reinforced and sometimes we don’t even recognise that we are supporting bad behaviour. So while your incisive post flaying Duane T. Gish’s most recent argument (as an example!) on Reddit may have gotten hits before, it is unlikely to do as well as well today.
In part it may have to do with memes and the ascendancy of the concept. (Oh Dawkins! You fool! You know not what thou has unleashed! It is too late, there is naught but hope in Pandora’s Box!). It may have to do a lot with rewarding one liners and because you reward these one liners that have basically been stamped onto a common image you are actually killing genuine new material.
I hold no aspirations to being a blogger. I got super lucky. I never had this level of feedback or conversations with anyone who read my work. It’s nice when you are read but for that to happen we need to start rewarding original work a bit more than we normally do. There are other bloggers like me out there who have not had the good fortune that I have had.
So think when you up vote and don’t stop making original content. Reward the writers because it takes effort to write. And Anonymity is awesome but it has to be used responsibly and not to hurl racist, sexist or phobic slurs..
Otherwise you are all just artless onion eyed hedge pigs!