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Almost No One Sided with #GamerGate: A Research Paper on the Internet’s Reaction to Last Year’s Mob | Superheroes in Racecars


Almost No One Sided with #GamerGate: A Research Paper on the Internet’s Reaction to Last Year’s Mob | Superheroes in Racecars.

Fully sourced information for a data review of one of the most misogynistic groups online?  Check.  A return on exactly what the rest of the Internet world thought of GamerGate? Check. Show that only Breitbart and the Escapist along with three writers had pro GamerGate stances?  Check.

End result: the rest of the world is aware of the fact GamerGate is a hate group.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Life, randomness

 

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The monstrous hipocrasy of GamerGate


GamerGate has become a monstrous thing.  It says it is a attempting to clean up corruption in journalism.  If that was the case, one of their biggest targets should be Fox News.  On the face of it, cleaning up journalism and forcing it to be fair and balanced is a good thing.  But in all honesty, GamerGate really doesn’t have a firm or solid philosophy.

At it’s birth, it began as one guy whining about his ex-girlfriend, who just happened to be making a video game.  He whined so much, he wrote a 10,000 word rant (which is a really big waste of time).  With that kind of energy, he could have used that to make a really awesome first draft of a novella, but no, he used it to complain that his ex-girlfriend cheated on him.

From there, it went into something else, as members of this “movement” attempted to give it solid ground.  GamerGate is against corrupt journalism.  But what they view as being corrupt is opinionated reviews of video games.  Which is impossible to make a review of a video game without being opinionated.  The reviewer plays the game, the reviewer has an opinion on everything in that game from story, to graphics, to game play, and even box art if he or she so chooses.  That’s how a review goes.  If you disagree with the review, that’s fine.  No one’s saying you’re stupid (or they shouldn’t) because you find a review that doesn’t match with your feelings on a game (or movie).  Hell, there’s games and movies I loved playing that reviewers tanked on.

GamerGate has recently said they are anti-harassment.  Again, this is fine on the surface.  But many of the more outspoken members of this movement also happen to be serial harassers.  Several have targeted known feminist and pop culture reviewer Anita Sarkeesian.  They have done so with death threats and rape threats.  And she’s not alone.  Some of the more outspoken members of this “movement” have gone on to make parody video games where Anita is beaten bloody.  I use parody with tongue in cheek.  And it’s constant harassment.  If GamerGate is so against harassment, why isn’t it, as a “movement”, attempting to filter out these negative elements and moving away from them.

But GamerGate has allied themselves (or has received alliance from) some major Men’s Right Activists.  Some of whom are outspoken haters of reviewers like Sarkeesian.

If GamerGate does anything, it’ll be to make mainstream media take several awkward steps away from the video game industry.  Throwing it back into the stone age of media and ignoring it completely.  GamerGate has accomplished to make themselves look like right wing extreme radicals who want education stripped away from women (the Taliban), who want the rights of women’s health scrutinized by legislative law (several right wing legislatures in the United States), and close off equal opportunity to everyone (many States which have but a ban on gay marriage or made it impossible for trans*gender people to get jobs or living accomodations).

There’s going to be those who will say comparing GamerGate to the Taliban is extreme.  Normally, I would agree, but one GamerGate individual has already proven that comparison is dead on.  Of course, it could also be compared to the Montreal massacre at Ecole Polytechnique in the late 80s.  A message was sent to USU which stated “Feminists have ruined my life, and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all others they’ve wronged”.  It was signed Marc Lepine, who is ironically, the name of the individual who killed a number of women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989.  One individual, basically a murdering psychopath.  But GamerGate has a whole host who have proven they are ready, willing, and able to issue death threats, rape threats, to dox, to form hate filled diatribes of women, and blame it all on some fantasy called misandry (which DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST!).  So I think the comparison of GamerGate champions to the Taliban is pretty dead on.

I do apologize if the comparison has triggered anyone who has actually been affected by the Taliban, as they as a group have committed atrocious acts of violence, have committed acts of rape and murder, and have used their version of ideals to commit crimes in the name of God.  Those who have felt the effects of the Taliban, and other organizations like them, I do apologize because your suffering is very real, and we should take care when mentioning it.

But GamerGate, you’re on the cusp of becoming that.  You are driving people from their homes with real fears that you will enact violence on them.  You are very close to becoming a terrorist organization, leaderless or not.  You, GamerGate, are a new brand of evil.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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This is Halloween


It’s drawing near to Halloween, and even in the fictional world of computer games are ghosts and goblins popping up.  Unless of course you play horror games, then that’s pretty standard fair all year round.  I decided to write a poem based on the events in Guild Wars 2 that have been brought back this Halloween season.

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Tis that time, oh Halloween
The time of year for the Pumpkin King
So grab your pistols if you dare
And brave the world that would scare

Brave the evils that would fright
The creatures giving an awful sight
Show courage on this scare filled night
Avoid the minions that would bite

In this time of Halloween
When cats would cry and ghosts would scream
When the mist is thick, just like steam
Don’t you worry, don’t make a scene

The Mad King rises once again
With toys and games for all to claim
He’ll take you through a scarey game
Make sure you do just the same

But watch out for Edric, son of the Mad King
His voice is shrill, as he will sing
To bring about fear is his thing
And revenge is the ultimate scares in his ring

Tis that time of Halloween
When ghosts and ghouls share the scene
So grab your pistols if you dare
And brave the world that would scare

poem written by Tim Holtorf on the gaming world of Tyria in Guild Wars 2, based on the events from the Halloween event, screen shots from Guild Wars 2 using the character of Shani Wennemein in game.  Guild Wars 2 and all characters are copyright ArenaNet.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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The Problems With MMOs


MMOs, or Massive Multiplayer Online games (once also called MMORPG, where RP stood for Role Play), can be a fun time to get together with some friends and hack and slash or send a photon torpedo spread into an armada of ships, or pull a jedi mind trick on someone.  Let’s just put it this way, if there’s a genre out there, it’s a good bet that there’s an MMO about it.

There's even a porn MMO out there.

There’s even a porn MMO out there.

But MMOs have a slight problem.  It’s the immersive entertainment factor of the game that sometimes just seems to drag.  For a lot of people, the point of an MMO is to level up a character and get as much of the best stuff as you can get to make your character pretty awesome (I’m not sure if that’s how it works in a porn MMO, to be honest).  For others, it’s a chance to meet with friends and take part in a past time that explores a world in a genre one really likes, or even a setting from a movie or TV franchise.

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Have to ask yourself, how many people tried to name their character Darth Maul and get their hands on a dual lightsabre.

Some MMOs have an issue, however, that makes playing the game a complete and total drag.  The first part is what’s called the fetch quest.

We’ve seen it before, those who have played MMOs that is.  You go to a contact, the contact asks you to fetch them five or ten or fifteen of something.  In some games at higher levels the number can be a lot higher.

Really?  You want me to kill 200 of those?  Do I look suicidal?

Really? You want me to kill 200 of those? Do I look suicidal?

It’s part of the story progression in some MMOs.  Others have done away with the fetch quest.  Some have implemented it in another way where it’s not necessary to do the quest if you don’t want to.  For others, this is the bread and butter of the game (especially for smaller MMOs by lesser known companies).  Others have made more of a story like aspect that has a complete narrative.

In Star Trek Online, there is a progressive story arc, and there’s even added seasons, just like the actual television series.  The attention to detail is incredible, as a player will run into historical information that points to an episode of The Original Series, Next Gen, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise or one of the movies.  I can only imagine that as much, if not more detail was done to Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Even obscure references in Star Trek are found, as Captain McKenzie Callhoun, from Peter David's novel series Star Trek: New Frontier, can be found at Deep Space Station K-7.

Even obscure references in Star Trek are found, as Captain McKenzie Callhoun, from Peter David’s novel series Star Trek: New Frontier, can be found at Deep Space Station K-7.

Guild Wars has taken up the story aspect, giving the players a full and detailed story which helps the player level up their character.  There are higher level and more difficult dungeons that a player can go into, but they aren’t necessary in order to have fun.

One dungeon is connected to the story, but it's a dungeon players will want to take part in.

One dungeon is connected to the story, but it’s a dungeon players will want to take part in.

A lot of games also have a problem once the players hit the level cap.  Some games are at level 50, some at level 60, others at level 80 (and some are higher).  What do you do once a player hits the level cap in order to encourage them to keep playing their character?  Some games sort of have that solved in a way.

Both Star Trek Online and Guild Wars 2 have added more story content.  In the case of STO, it’s new seasons and new places to go.  Sadly, you have to pay for the new content, treating it like an expansion to the original game.  They did that with the Legacy of Romulous and it’s being done again with Delta Rising, as characters can now go into the Delta Quadrant.  In Guild Wars 2, the content is free, and it’s completely separate from the original game content.  New characters and new stories.  There are other games that do this as well, but these two I’m familiar with.

STO has gone a step further, adding in reputation marks in different tracks allowing a player to “level up” beyond the level 50 cap (soon to be level 60).  There’s Borg, Romulous, The Voth and Dyson Spheres, and Species 8472, and soon to be a Delta Quadrant rep system.  This rep system allows a player to get extra active and passive abilities, plus craft specialty space and ground gear which includes armour, weapons, shields, warp core, and so on.  A complete set will give an added bonus.  Which sounds great, but there’s a big draw back.

All of the content for these rep tracks have the same task forces for each track.  Some, it’s the usual four or six different task forces that take a five man team.  Some are ground, some are space.  The first rep track, with the Borg, had five space and five ground task forces (with normal and elite settings).  That’s fine for the first level of the rep system, but once you get to level two it becomes repetitive.  This is even more so with the Species 8472 track, as there is just one ground and two space task forces.

Didn't we just protect this temple yesterday?  And the day before?

Didn’t we just protect this temple yesterday? And the day before?

The Romulous rep track was better, as it had a story to go with, but it was by no means perfect.  It too got very repetitive.  Even Guild Wars 2 gets a touch boring after a while, especially when waiting for the new content.

Some games have a shelf life, some have a long lasting life.  Some games get yanked and shut down that were good way before their time (City of Heroes).  But all MMOs have an issue with their content.  Some enjoy, others don’t.  It’s more a case of buyer beware, and take the time to explore all of the aspects of a game.  Do you see yourself playing it three, six, or twelve months down the road?  If so, then great.  If not, are you willing to sink all of that money into it?

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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GamerGate and why it could ruin the industry

GamerGate and why it could ruin the industry

I love games.  I’ve been playing them for years.  Whether it’s board games like the Game of Life, Monopoly, or even something simple as Mouse Trap, or even card games.  Yes, from Cribbage all the way up to Magic: The Gathering.  And this includes video games.

I have an angel deck from M:TG, which includes Akroma Angel.

I have an angel deck from M:TG, which includes Akroma Angel.

When Marvel Comics got into the collectible trade card game, I even scooped that up.  Then DC, and Image got involved.  I had an Avengers Deck, I had a Spider-deck, I had a Hawk deck which had Huntress to fill it out with Hawkman, Shadowhawk and Falcon.  I played these games for hours and hours with friends.

There was table top D&D.  From creating the characters to playing the campaigns.  This sprang into video games.

But the first video games I played were some of the old Sierra adventure games.  Hero’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest.  I played the original Wolfenstein 3D.  I played Duke Nukem 3D.  Doom.  And Quake.  I played the Tomb Raider series, even getting excited for the movie series (which I went out and bought and still watch).

gw565The games have changed today.  I don’t play a wide range of them as I’d like.  There’s no M:TG group I’ve found in Humboldt.  No table top gamers I’ve found.  But that doesn’t stop me from appreciating a game.  Guild Wars, Guild Wars II, Skyrim, Star Trek Online, City of Heroes, Champions Online.  And each has taken a step toward becoming a true artform.  Becoming the ultimate in interactive storytelling.

For years, video games have struggled to be accepted in the mainstream.  Same with comic books.  That’s starting to change.  When you’ve got the Marvel Studios juggernaut churning out hit after hit (not all, but most) and drawing new audiences not only to the movies but to the comic books as well, that’s a good thing.  It’s wide spread, main stream acceptance.  Video games are piggy backing onto that trend.

But things like GamerGate, the continued harassment of female game journalists, the open harassment at conventions.  That’s undermining everything that gamers have done to propel games, comics, and the geek genres into the mainstream.  When you have magazines like Forbes or Time taking a look at GamerGate and critiquing it for what it is, you’re sending a message that you’re not ready for the main stream.

Oh, and what it is is pretty simple.  GamerGate includes those who believe that game journalists are taking payola, corrupt and in the pockets of the developers and can’t produce true critiques of games.  Which is bullshit.  Being a friend of a developer doesn’t mean automatically you’re in their pocket.  It means that as a journalist, you’ve got the opportunity to say to said developer that they may have done something really shitty without getting pissy in public.  As a friend, you can warn your developer friends that you might actually have to write an article detailing some crappy things about the game.

I know this from another standpoint, far and away from game journalism.  I worked in broadcast journalism for ten years.  I worked with police agencies to report on serious criminal investigations, being given names and having to give my word on fear of prosecution that I wouldn’t reveal them until an embargo was lifted.  I’ve had to work my way through the ins and outs of politicians, both conservative and liberal (both little c and big C, for Conservative Party and Liberal Party), in order to get a comment for a story.  You get to learn when a politician can talk (when they’re in Opposition) and when they can’t (when they’re the Government).

While game journalists don`t have such things to deal with as police investigations (all the time), they do have a consumer aspect to report on.  They`re basically the ones who are reporting facts to the consumers.

But let`s face facts.  GamerGate isn`t about game journalism.  It`s about getting back at a woman.

Comics and games have seen a huge influx of female readers and gamers over the past few years.  They`re making their mark.  This was the stuff that as a younger gamer I really wanted to see.  Not only women involved, but more people.  But the truth is, I don`t need main stream nods to validate why I play games.  I do it for my enjoyment.

But things like GamerGate are getting attention.  The wrong kind of attention.  The kind of attention that says `see, I told you they were a bunch of whiney losers`.  Because those who are behind this “operation” are the ones ruining it completely.  Instead of striving forward and making something great out of games, they’re burying their toys in the sand, demanding the “wrong people” stop playing with them.

If this keeps up, the familiar lament of “why aren’t there any girls who game” will soon sound out again.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Seeming Female: Gender In Digital Spaces


The myth of the Fake Geek Girl and her perfidious sister, the Fake Gamer Girl, is like a pervasive popcultural weed. No sooner has the concept been debunked, uprooted and flung on the fire in one quarter than it springs up again in another, its scrappy rootlets osmosing sustenance from the plentiful strata of sexism, misogyny and wilful misunderstanding that underlie most internet forums. Such women, we’re told time and again, are whores and dilettantes: users who care about comics, games, cosplay or whatever other subset of geekdom you’d care to name only insofar as it allows them to manipulate the emotions (and, consequently, wallets) of shy nerdy boys so overwhelmed by the prospect of Actual Live Women that they promptly forget their dignity and roll over like dogs, unaware that the heartless objects of their unrequited affections are collectively giggling behind their perfectly manicured hands and mispronouncing Boba Fett on purpose. It’s like some bizarre high school revenge fantasy where the hot, popular girl who humiliated the geeky boy later tries to ingratiate herself with him for her own nefarious purposes by pretending to like Star Trek, but finds herself thwarted when, instead of falling for her sirenlike charms, he calls her a bitch in front of the whole school and somehow ends up a hero, pronouncing loudly all the while that she wasn’t REALLY hot, anyway.

Excellent read about gamers of all genders and how each is perceived in games. I admittedly gender swap in video games, but mine goes back to playing Tribes 2, Unreal Tournament and other FPS games. Female characters seemed faster, they didn’t lumber like the male characters, and overall they just looked sleeker.

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

The myth of the Fake Geek Girl and her perfidious sister, the Fake Gamer Girl, is like a pervasive popcultural weed. No sooner has the concept been debunked, uprooted and flung on the fire in one quarter than it springs up again in another, its scrappy rootlets osmosing sustenance from the plentiful strata of sexism, misogyny and wilful misunderstanding that underlie most internet forums. Such women, we’re told time and again, are whores and dilettantes: users who care about comics, games, cosplay or whatever other subset of geekdom you’d care to name only insofar as it allows them to manipulate the emotions (and, consequently, wallets) of shy nerdy boys so overwhelmed by the prospect of Actual Live Women that they promptly forget their dignity and roll over like dogs, unaware that the heartless objects of their unrequited affections are collectively giggling behind their perfectly manicured hands and mispronouncing Boba Fett

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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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31 Days of Ghosts


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31 Days of Ghosts is going to be a little late today, as I’ve been dealing with some personal issues.

I promise to have something later this evening, and will work to make sure that I’ve got the next few days caught up.  Hopefully, I can get the next week ahead and maybe even to the end of the month by this weekend.

Until then, please enjoy this musical montage, which is the soundtrack used in the MMO, Guild Wars 2, for their Halloween event.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Fun, randomness

 

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