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Ruin Jam 2014
September 2, 2014 2:29 PM   Subscribe

"Ruin Jam is a game jam celebrating the nonexistent demise of video games, inspired by a lot of current events and a certain blog post. It's open to anyone and everyone who has been, is being, or plans to be accused of ruining the games industry. All Ruiners are welcome to contribute to the death of video games, provided that they adhere to the spirit of the jam."

So far, I particularly like Quing's Quest VII: The Death of Videogames!
posted by brundlefly (111 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes
posted by brundlefly at 2:33 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Animal Intern looks like it's going to be pretty cute.
posted by larrybob at 3:05 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


Open letter to the gaming community
posted by brundlefly at 3:14 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I figure the ultimate value of all of this is that video game stories get slightly more interesting; which is no small thing.

And it's happening already; the recent remake of Wolfenstein has actual characters and decent writing and a non-stomach churning sex scene. WOLFENSTEIN.

(plus the main dude has a head the shape of a shoebox, so they got the little things right too)
posted by Sebmojo at 3:15 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Gaming and Feminism "syllabus"/link roundup from The New Inquiry
posted by RogerB at 3:39 PM on September 2


11 days left to submit if you think you can ruin videogames in 11 days.
posted by RobotHero at 3:41 PM on September 2


One of the most laughable, delusional things making the rounds is this infographic making a case for a vast anti-gamer payola conspiracy among indie devs and game journalists. Someone actually spent time making that thing.
posted by naju at 3:43 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes

Is there anywhere I can donate to get the author of that post a book on argumentative fallacies?

'Cause he committed a lot of them.
posted by jingzuo at 3:43 PM on September 2


In addition to being totes delusional that "infographic" also has completely terrible network layout.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:50 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


This infographic

And I thought I had seen all there was to be seen about this latest ridiculous wave of gamer hysteria, misogyny, and paranoia. These are some deeply disturbed people. I'm almost thinking someone is going to end up dead from this whole pointless brouhaha.
posted by honestcoyote at 3:53 PM on September 2


Is that so, jingzuo? Would you care to list any of these fallacies you mention?
posted by motty at 3:55 PM on September 2


Interestingly this backlash comes down to an overblown and excessive reaction against cultural appropriation; girls and their cooties coming into the clubhouse and tidying up the sweatsocks.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:04 PM on September 2


Is there anywhere I can donate to get the author of that post a book on argumentative fallacies?

'Cause he committed a lot of them.


As long as it has this one in it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_fallacy
posted by JauntyFedora at 4:04 PM on September 2


naju: "One of the most laughable, delusional things making the rounds is this infographic making a case for a vast anti-gamer payola conspiracy among indie devs and game journalists. Someone actually spent time making that thing."

I challenged somebody gently on some of this "Zoe Quinn controversy" by saying: "This is strange to me. You mentioned that this is about integrity in Games Journalism as a profession, and ZQ is only tangential to the issue. However, the article you linked to spends most of its time questioning Zoe Quinn's integrity specifically, and not the industry as a whole (or apart from her). I'm not sure how you're making this larger point when your examples and theses all relate back to her personal life, or the blog post that her (apparent? not clear here) ex-boyfriend made. "

I don't know what the Southern Strategy of Being A Woman Involved in Video Games is, but it's pretty clearly unfolding right before our fucking eyes.
posted by boo_radley at 4:09 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


jingzuo: "Is there anywhere I can donate to get the author of that post a book on argumentative fallacies?

'Cause he committed a lot of them.
"

"the details of which are too small to fit within these margins"
posted by boo_radley at 4:11 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


I have two incompleted/partially completed games, that are kinda sorta dead, maybe? so does that count LOL...
posted by symbioid at 4:11 PM on September 2


I could actually buy payola (or at least "soft" bribes like free consoles) if these were triple AAA games we were talking about here, where the marketing budgets are in the millions, but unless there's a breakout hit like Minecraft, sales of these indies are probably so small that most developers are lucky to make back the cost of production. I don't see how they could possibly afford anything outside of sending out free review copies of their games to journalists. (The "good reviews for sex" crap is obviously "extended revenge porn" (to quote Gamasutra's Tadgh Kelly) and is only worth discussing as proof of how sexist some "core gamers" are.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 4:24 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


I am behind this so many percent.
posted by postcommunism at 4:25 PM on September 2


Is that so, jingzuo?

Yes.

Would you care to list any of these fallacies you mention?

Sure. The mind projection fallacy. Lots of post hocs.

JauntyFedora: I see what you tried to do there.

boo_radley: Is that a reference to FLT? Nice.
posted by jingzuo at 4:34 PM on September 2


One of the most laughable, delusional things making the rounds is this infographic making a case for a vast anti-gamer payola conspiracy

These two articles are the best I've seen at explaining how completely ignorant all this fuss about "corruption" in the games industry is of what actually goes on among games journalists and developers.

Someone I can't remember pointed out that Gamasutra (one of the major news sites about the games industry) and the Games Developers Conference are both owned by the same company, but these conspiracy theorists show no interest in actually following the money to examine possible conflicts of interest (for them, following "the money" means making a fuss over the insignificant sum Anita Sarkeesian collected from her Kickstarter campaign). They're furious at the (false) idea that an indie developer might have received a too-generous review of a free game while EA is flying journalists to Germany to drive the Porche test track.
posted by straight at 4:46 PM on September 2 [13 favorites]


jingzuo - if there are as many fallacies in the article as you suggest, it is surely not beyond your wit to provide a specific example of a single one, something that you have yet to actually do.

Simply naming the fallacies that you claim to have found there is somewhat unsatisfying. It rather leaves the impression that you wish to express the opinion that the piece is in some way misguided without actually providing a concrete argument. Yet concrete argument and its concomitant lack of fallacy is at the centre of your heavy implication that this is an article that should be disregarded.

Given this dichotomy, a casual reader might be forgiven for wondering whether you are in fact one of the people whose obnoxious behaviour is being called out by the article under discussion. Naturally that would be an unfortunate conclusion to come to and one entirely without a well-founded basis, but we are discussing polemic, and not just any polemic, but a polemic on the subject of some very real, extremely unpleasant and overtly misogynist harassment of women that has been taking place in the last weeks.

There are people out there right now who are taking part in that harassment and others who are on the receiving end. In an extremely minor way, I have seen this myself; some of those engaged in the mob attack on Quinn and Sarkeesian have attacked me personally on Twitter for daring to express the opinion that DQ is actually a really good game. Others who are reading this may have had similar experiences.

So please, tell us more about the logical flaws that you have found in the Todd article.
posted by motty at 5:03 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Even worse: they seem to regard the big advertisers as their allies. Google "Operation Disrespectful Nod": it's an attempt to put pressure on gaming websites to change their ways by emailing their chief advertisers with grievances. Because nothing says "journalistic integrity" like editors caving to advertisers.
posted by baf at 5:15 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


One of the most laughable, delusional things making the rounds is this infographic making a case for a vast anti-gamer payola conspiracy among indie devs and game journalists. Someone actually spent time making that thing.


Good Lord! That looks like a diagram of HIV attacking a T-cell.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:35 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


I don't agree that the small money involved in indie games and crowd-funding campaigns means these issues are insignificant. In a way, I'm more concerned about the bad behavior of indie media because (as I see it) people expected more from it than from the AAA studio marketing machine.

I'm still getting over learning how much press about Kickstarters is bought, though.
posted by michaelh at 5:38 PM on September 2


Hey, speaking of ruining and jams and Zoe Quinn, look up Zoe Quinn, the Fine Young Capitalists, and Game Jam. Super-interesting.

I mean, if you're interested in hearing more than one side of the story. If not, carry on.
posted by adipocere at 5:41 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


Also, I am no game designer, but if someone were to create a RuPaul's Drag Race: Lipsync For Your Life game as an 8-bit pixelated side-scrolling battler (but with highly customizable hair, make-up, and outfits), I would play the hell out of that.


...then we'll fight them in the shaaaaade.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:47 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Sure. The mind projection fallacy.

I had to look this one up, and as a rhetorical maneuver the invocation of this fallacy is almost hilariously self-parodic in this kind of context: "[The mind projection fallacy] occurs when someone thinks that the way they see the world reflects the way the world really is".

(It normally has a relatively technical use in philosophy / statistics where this is a bit less comical.)
posted by advil at 5:48 PM on September 2


it is surely not beyond your wit to provide a specific example of a single one

You are correct that it is not.

a casual reader might be forgiven for wondering whether you are in fact one of the people whose obnoxious behaviour is being called out by the article under discussion. Naturally that would be an unfortunate conclusion to come to and one entirely without a well-founded basis

Yes, I forgive you.

I agree that that would be an unfortunate and totally unfounded conclusion to come to.

I am going to post a sentence, and I would like you to tell me whether it contains any fallacies.

A lot of women who advocate for better (e.g. more accurate, less sexualized) representation of women in games and gaming take to games as a way to escape from the lives in which they see themselves as downtrodden or rejected by men in favor of more stereotypically pretty, outgoing women - escaping and moaning at other escapees rather than confronting the root cause of the rejection.
posted by jingzuo at 5:54 PM on September 2


Um, adipocere, on one side of the story we have a bunch of open misogynists explicitly organising to attempt to bully women like Quinn and Zarkeesian offline. This bullying campaign is well documented and widespread. It has included actual death threats that have been taken seriously enough by law enforcement that two women have had to temporarily leave their homes?

What one earth could the other side of the story possibly be?

Why would any reasonable person be remotely interested?

Jog on.
posted by motty at 5:54 PM on September 2 [9 favorites]


I mean, if you're interested in hearing more than one side of the story. If not, carry on.

Zoe Quinn could be an awful person and her wicked terribleness still wouldn't have any bearing on (1) the morality of the harassment she received (2) the outrage over said harassment that has lead to the Ruin Jam/destroy gamer culture discourse in current videogame criticism.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:59 PM on September 2 [5 favorites]


I agree that that would be an unfortunate and totally unfounded conclusion to come to.

If you don't want people to think you're a conspiracy theorist, maybe you should stop using standard conspiracy theorist debating tactics.
posted by effbot at 6:03 PM on September 2 [8 favorites]


A lot of women who advocate for better (e.g. more accurate, less sexualized) representation of women in games and gaming take to games as a way to escape from the lives in which they see themselves as downtrodden or rejected by men in favor of more stereotypically pretty, outgoing women - escaping and moaning at other escapees rather than confronting the root cause of the rejection.

Boy, jingzuo, did you really say that? Did you really assert that many women only play games because they aren't attractive enough to men? And that they only then complain about the sexism they find in games for the same reason?

Because if you did assert those things, a casual reader would be forgiven for thinking at this point that you are just a twenty-four carat douchebag and stop talking to you.

Nevertheless, let me spell it out very clearly for you: women play games for the same reasons that men do. Because games are fun. That's it. That's all. Women like playing games.

There's an interesting consequence of that: many women are going to be way way better than you are at some games. Chew on that one, logic boy.
posted by motty at 6:04 PM on September 2 [8 favorites]


A lot of women who advocate for better (e.g. more accurate, less sexualized) representation of women in games and gaming take to games as a way to escape from the lives in which they see themselves as downtrodden or rejected by men in favor of more stereotypically pretty, outgoing women - escaping and moaning at other escapees rather than confronting the root cause of the rejection.

I'm not going to discuss it in terms of fallacies, but:

1. Why do you assume they are "downtrodden or rejected by men"? This is a thing I read online sometimes, where any uppity women must be unloved and that's why they're uppity, and it's pretty weird and blatantly misogynistic.

2. Even if they are "downtrodden or rejected by men", so what? Does that negate the cause of better representation of women?

3. We're not just talking about less sexualized representations of women, we're talking about women who dare to be game developers at all. Forget depictions, do they have a right to even create games that speak to their views and experiences?

4. Where do people of color, LGBT people, and other minority viewpoints looking to be included within the game industry fit into this theory of yours? Or people, including straight cis men, who just want to see more games that aren't about shooting things?
posted by naju at 6:06 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


adipocere: "Zoe Quinn, look up Zoe Quinn, the Fine Young Capitalists, and Game Jam. Super-interesting.

I mean, if you're interested in hearing more than one side of the story. If not, carry on.
"

This seems like the common freelancer's "fuck you, pay me" when it comes to doing spec work/ contest work. This is based on what I'm seeing here at some reddit screenshot. If you'd like to add anything to that, you know, go nuts.
posted by boo_radley at 6:10 PM on September 2


*goes nuts*

There's quite a lot if you care to dig, but I doubt that'll happen.
posted by adipocere at 6:13 PM on September 2


adipocere: " There's quite a lot if you care to dig, but I doubt that'll happen."

Participate or don't, but don't be sullen.
posted by boo_radley at 6:15 PM on September 2 [5 favorites]


adipocere: "Hey, speaking of ruining and jams and Zoe Quinn, look up Zoe Quinn, the Fine Young Capitalists, and Game Jam. Super-interesting.

I mean, if you're interested in hearing more than one side of the story. If not, carry on.
"

Sounds like the Fine Young Capitalists people disagree with Quinn about stuff, but don't blame her for ruining anything. Am I missing something super interesting here?

On preview: Holy crap, you didn't just link approvingly to that really disgusting Breitbart article, did you? I've read it before. You'll notice that there's a word in the URL slug that's missing in the current headline? Christ. Also, that writer's next post blames Jennifer Lawrence for her leaked photos. Real charmer that guy.
posted by brundlefly at 6:19 PM on September 2 [5 favorites]


*goes nuts*

And if just the fact it's on Breitbart alone is not nuts enough for you, check out the guy's other columns! Misogyny makes for predictable bedfellows!
posted by RogerB at 6:22 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Boy, jingzuo, did you really say that? Did you really assert that many women only play games because they aren't attractive enough to men? And that they only then complain about the sexism they find in games for the same reason?

Um, I'm going to guess he's going to say he's not asserting anything but drawing an analogy to the assertions that article makes about the psychology of the people it describes? I don't think it's even worth discussing how these things are or are not different though because "why" is not the most important thing going here.
posted by atoxyl at 6:24 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


A lot of women who advocate for better (e.g. more accurate, less sexualized) representation of women in games and gaming take to games as a way to escape from the lives in which they see themselves as downtrodden or rejected by men in favor of more stereotypically pretty, outgoing women - escaping and moaning at other escapees rather than confronting the root cause of the rejection.


Hey, do you want to unpack that a bit more? Because on the surface...holy shit, does that sound fucked up! I mean holy shit!- that sounds like it might possibly the least good faith interpretation of the actual arguments or beliefs of the women who actually advocate for better representation of women characters in games.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:29 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


It's been a bad couple of weeks if you care about video games, as Polygon talks about here. It's been a bad couple of weeks if you're into gaming and a woman or gay or trans or non-young-white-straight-male in general. It's been a bad and embarrassing and depressing couple of weeks if you're into games and just plain not an asshole, basically.

All we can hope is that the storms that are raging through the gaming and gaming journalism communities will result in things getting better. I think they will. In the meantime, really great people like Kris Ligman, who runs the superb Critical Distance, (and many many others) are taking harassment shrapnel and contemplating just giving in. It's horrifying.

It makes me prouder of and more dedicated than ever to the foundation propositions of MefightClub, seven years on -- that all are welcome, but checking any sexism or racism or LGBT-phobia at the door is a condition of entry, because gaming culture is still brutally toxic, and we're not down with that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:30 PM on September 2 [21 favorites]


Um, I'm going to guess he's going to say he's not asserting anything but drawing an analogy to the assertions that article makes about the psychology of the people it describes?

Jingzuo is just cheaply gender-flipping a sentence from the article in order to avoid laying any cards on the table before the eventual, or perhaps never-to-come, big reveal of whatever he or she actually wants to say (which, I'm guessing, is something along the lines of "how dare they make the leap to infer that these shithead manbabies hate women because they secretly feel lonely — they might equally well hate women for many other reasons"). It's pretty clearly not worth engaging, or certainly not, at the very least, until it becomes an actual argument.
posted by RogerB at 6:33 PM on September 2 [10 favorites]


This is pretty cool from The New Inquiry: TNI Syllabus: Gaming and Feminism
posted by naju at 6:37 PM on September 2


Jingzuo is just cheaply gender-flipping a sentence from the article

Oh! Well I certainly got played! Or would have, if context didn't matter at all.
posted by naju at 6:40 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


So, from that Breitbart article:
You might think it cruel to delve too deeply into the private lives of damaged people. But when, say, a video game developer and activist with a history of outrageous dishonesty, whose games aren't up to much but nonetheless always seem to get glowing reviews, gets accused of exchanging sex for positive coverage and other benefits, the public interest is overwhelmingly clear.
I don't think the interest is clear. I think this is a dogwhistle where people say that the interest is clear and expect me to nod my head. I think this article was badly researched in terms of fact checking.


What's especially odd to me is trying to find a consistent position for Milo Yiannopoulos. He wrote an article earlier titled "12-Year-Old Console Gamers are Being 'Raped' by Dorky Weirdos on Grand Theft Auto . This contains a passage ,"It's that brazen, sociopathic, adolescent attitude from Rockstar – founded in Scotland – that most people will find grating, together with a reckless lack of care about games that depict violent, public rape in quite granular detail. Hijacked by nerd rapists, GTA Online is now not only somewhere you wouldn't allow your children but it's somewhere no normal adult would want to go either."

How do we go from somebody who is concerned about games that perpetuate a "brazen, sociopathic, adolescent attitude" to this :
Let's be honest. We're all used to feeling a niggling suspicion that "death threats" sent to female agitators aren't all they're cracked up to be. And indeed there is no evidence that any violent threat against a prominent female figure in the media or technology industry has ever been credible – that is to say, that any feminist campaigner on the receiving end of internet trolling has ever been in any real danger. Even in the most famous American case, that of Kathy Sierra, there is no evidence the target was ever at risk.
(... )
They're ungallant, obviously, but death threats are sent by bored, lonely people – or simply out of casual malice. What's even more pathetic than taking to the internet to work off your anger, though, is using death threats to get sympathy, or to vindictively pursue your ideological opponents and see their lives destroyed with jail sentences.
(...)
While the entire gaming journalism establishment is speaking in one voice, mocking dissenters and tweeting that all men should be killed, readers and those outside the world of video games are scratching their heads, wondering how so many bright people found themselves selling their souls for sex, a few quid in their PayPal accounts, and a warm feeling of standing up to "misogyny."
Breitbart seems to saying that death threats to women are not credible threats, and some sort of sympathy currency for their victims. Also that death threats made to men are laughable; slung by cheap, self-righteous whores. I don't think there's a real thesis here. I don't think this article is persuasive. I wound up reading some other things that indicate that Zoe cheated on her boyfriend. I still don't understand how Zoe Quinn is being used as a springboard for larger "ethics in journalism" posts. It seems like a lot of this is about punishing a woman for cheating on her boyfriend by people who aren't directly involved in that relationships. I would have difficulty, based on this article, believing otherwise.
posted by boo_radley at 7:03 PM on September 2 [10 favorites]


It's "Punish the Slut, Because She Wants to Take Our Toys Away."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:07 PM on September 2


Thanks for the cool fun game brundlefly I liked it a lot and romanced Nero several times.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:15 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


Hmm.. this Ruin Jam looks really interesting. I enjoy these abstract experimental gameplay efforts.

The entire gaming... 'thing' though, I mean.. everything aside from the games or talk that is directly about the games is getting kind of horrible and tiresome though.
The gossip, the drama, the fanboyism, the hate campaigns, the endless pick apart.

The whole Zoe Quinn thing is tawdry as shit. Her ex-boyfriend is clearly a lunatic for publishing those chat logs, anyone referencing them to prove any kind of point is up to some kind of dishonest clickbait shit-stirring, and everyone saying she "used sex to get publicity" is insane. In what world is that a likely motive?

Also it's not fun. I don't understand how someone can have time to both play games and act hatefully towards strangers people for no reason. As it is, I find it hard to get any quality gaming into my schedule with all the work and hating I have on my plate--I'm going to make time to play the games that come out of this jam though (if they support Linux, I hate anyone who doesn't release for Linux, rrr).

I always thought 'gaming' as a fandom and 'gamers' as a community was a joke though. It's an amusing diversion, a hobby, and an industry but it's not a family. There's this massive 'new media'/'social media' infrastructure of crap that popped up over the last decade that as far as I can tell isn't really about the games at all. It uses the games, but it's not about the games.
posted by yonega at 7:15 PM on September 2


It's "Punish the Slut, Because She Wants to Take Our Toys Away."

It's not even that, it's more like "Punish the Slut, Because She Wants to Gently Suggest Some Ways in Which Our Toys Could Less Sexist and More Welcoming to Women Increasing the Market for the Industry and Making Things Better for Everyone".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:38 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


I'm also interested in how game jam themes are being used as touchpoints for hot topics in gaming now. The Candy Jam because of the Candy Crush trademark thing. Because of Ubisoft's thing about cutting female assassins there was the Women are too hard to animate jam.

Now this.
posted by RobotHero at 7:39 PM on September 2


I always thought 'gaming' as a fandom and 'gamers' as a community was a joke though. It's an amusing diversion, a hobby, and an industry but it's not a family.

Seriously, check out Mefightclub. It's a community of shared interests and its amazing just how many interests we share besides a love of games (and not just video games at that). There's even a thread entitled "I'm watching you, watching me, watching you play your games: MefightPets". You know you have achieved Peak Community where there's a thread dedicated to pet photos.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:48 PM on September 2


Punish the Slut, Because She Wants to Gently Suggest Some Ways in Which...


Well yes, except that in the paranoid worldview of people who use terms like "SJW" unironically, any potential change to "the way things are (and why do you have a problem with that, it's been working fine for us)" is immediately translated to "take our toys away."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:51 PM on September 2


motty and naju: I hope you will both go back and reread the blog post we're discussing with the more critical eye you brought to bear on the sentence I modified from the blog post.
posted by jingzuo at 8:09 PM on September 2


jingzuo: "motty and naju: I hope you will both go back and reread the blog post we're discussing with the more critical eye you brought to bear on the sentence I modified from the blog post."

I hope you will do this first and drop the rhetorical games. What do you really make of Arden's post? What intent do you find? What assumptions does Arden make? Where is the post inconsistent?
posted by boo_radley at 8:23 PM on September 2 [9 favorites]


The context between the sorts of gamers the article is referring to, with hundreds of examples of incredibly awful and horrifying behavior over the past week, and the developers and journalists looking to expand and diversify the world of gaming is so incredibly 100% different that I have no idea what flipping those roles (but not flipping the contexts of those roles) is supposed to prove at all.
posted by naju at 8:30 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I am going to post a sentence, and I would like you to tell me whether it contains any fallacies.

A lot of women who advocate for better (e.g. more accurate, less sexualized) representation of women in games and gaming take to games as a way to escape from the lives in which they see themselves as downtrodden or rejected by men in favor of more stereotypically pretty, outgoing women - escaping and moaning at other escapees rather than confronting the root cause of the rejection.


I am going to post a quote, and I would like you to tell me whether it contains any strawmen.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:48 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I'll go ahead and say the thing that folks other than jingzuo will dislike:

Yeah, that sentence is making a lot of assumptions, without any data to back it up. There's probably a logic fallacy or two in it. And I know that context is important, etc., but even taking context into consideration, it still probably has some logical fallacies in it. There are probably other things in that article that are also logical fallacies.

Now I'll go ahead and say the thing that jingzuo will dislike:

So what? That article was not a linear thesis where each statement relies on the previous one, and a logical fallacy brings it all down like a house of cards. It was a 3,500+ word blog post. If you can find some logical fallacies that actually undermine the arguments presented, then, yeah, that's worth something. So go ahead and bring those up. But if the logical fallacies are just surface blemishes and don't really affect the main content, saying "well, it has some logical fallacies mixed in" is like saying "it has some typos".
posted by Bugbread at 10:07 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


boo_radley: I'm not talking about Arden's post. I haven't made any comments about it. I'm talking about one of the other posts the OP posted.

His thoughts were red thoughts: I will read your quote and I will make an honest effort to find any strawmen in it.
posted by jingzuo at 10:35 PM on September 2


To clear up any confusion: jingzuo did a gender swap on this sentence from the Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes article:
A lot of these people take to games as a way to escape from the lives in which they see themselves as downtrodden or rejected by women - escaping and moaning at other escapees rather than confronting the root cause of the rejection.
posted by Bugbread at 10:40 PM on September 2


Bugbread: I don't expect a blog post to be written in the style or with the precision of a philosophical treatise.

I do expect the people on a website known for the high caliber of its discussion to be able to critically assess a clickbait diatribe full of scummy generalizations even if they agree with its conclusions in general.
posted by jingzuo at 10:43 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


jingzuo: "I do expect the people on a website known for the high caliber of its discussion to be able to critically assess a clickbait diatribe full of scummy generalizations"

I expect that, too, but I don't agree that this diatribe is clickbait, and while it has a few generalizations, I think they're generally but not entirely on-the-mark. (It's a little hard for me to say whether the "scummy" part applies, because if you generalize that someone who is actually doing something scummy is doing it for a hypothetical scummy reason, is that "scummy" or not?)
posted by Bugbread at 10:55 PM on September 2


I was once accused of ruining videogames, but he wasn't that serious. I had just told him that I was mostly playing browser-based games.
posted by RobotHero at 11:01 PM on September 2


I do expect the people on a website known for the high caliber of its discussion to be able to critically assess a clickbait diatribe full of scummy generalizations even if they agree with its conclusions in general.

Perhaps if you could actually identify what in the article you consider constitutes a 'scummy generalisation', you would receive critical assessments of those points.

However, you seem to want everyone here to read your mind and set out your contentions for you. It doesn't work that way. Either back up your argument with evidence - preferably quotes from the article - or move on.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:02 PM on September 2


His thoughts were red thoughts: "Perhaps if you could actually identify what in the article you consider constitutes a 'scummy generalisation'"

I think it's fairly clear from the quote he picked, that he thinks that it's a scummy generalization to say that misogynist gamers are doing so because they see themselves as downtrodden or rejected by women.
posted by Bugbread at 11:24 PM on September 2


Perhaps. But it would be easier for them to get their own point across. And even if so, are the angry, speculative motivations of misogynistic gamers more important than the very fact of their misogyny and its recent application and amplification?
posted by Earthtopus at 12:20 AM on September 3


Bugbread: I think that titling a blog post that adds nothing substantial (unless vitriol and saying "literally" and "fucking" a lot in that very Internetty way counts as substance) to an ongoing discourse "Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes" (emphasis mine) counts as clickbait, yes.

Terrorism! Holy fuck! We've got the shooting at the Munich Olympics, 9/11, and some would-be comedian friend of the author's engaging in unspecific assholery on Xbox Live.

Eh, literally stick a fork in me. It's literally a garbage blog post that fucking nobody will remember in a week, and its most ardent defenders haven't even bothered to actually read it in any meaningful way. But it fucking literally gets a pass because it has the right politics and makes the right noises.

How soon until someone makes a blog post with a catchy title that's half rehashed Twitter outrage and half lorem ipsum that we can swoon about? I look forward to pretending to have read it with the hivemind.
posted by jingzuo at 1:21 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


No-one is coming to take away your shitty toys
posted by NoraReed at 1:35 AM on September 3


I'm not real fond of the word "terrorism" the way it gets bandied about nowadays. I'm especially not fond of the way the word "terrorism" gets used to refer to anything that just ends out causing people to be terrified. Terrorism is not defined by the end result, but by its intent. It's the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims, not just the use of violence and intimidation.

And, in this case, there are people literally saying they are going to go to a person's literal house, specifying its fucking address, to kill them. They are doing this literal intimidation in order to achieve their fucking aim. So, depending on whether you consider gender politics to be "politics" or not, it could be terrorism. In my book, yeah, this is terrorism.

jingzuo: "I look forward to pretending to have read it with the hivemind."

Hahaha, whoops! I thought maybe you were discussing in good faith! Joke's on me!
posted by Bugbread at 1:37 AM on September 3 [10 favorites]


also I am somewhat tempted to make a twine walking simulator in which all you can do is look at things and people

possibly with really over the top, purple prose descriptions and/or the ability to look too deeply into the lives of the people you meet
posted by NoraReed at 1:43 AM on September 3 [4 favorites]


So some of the lunatics on reddit have helpfully assembled some good articles about this last week or so.

The weird thing about this movement is just how demented it is. There are demonstrably liars and flamers amoungst them, and the focus on Zoe Quinn's sex life is misogynistic and gross. Each of them talks about dealing with corruption, but every single example they point to seems to involve Zoe Quinn. Its not like there aren't issues in games journalism, because there totally is, and any consumer media is going to walk a tight rope when their advertisers are the things they are reviewing, but its the scatter shot nature of the arguments. And people seem to believe this sooo strongly.

The hilarious part of this is even if it exists, it just doesn't matter as much as people seem to think. If the games media is corrupt, don't use them anymore! That's it. People buying the "wrong" video games thanks to corruption simply isn't that big a deal. I mean.. it matters, sure, but the anger involved!

Everything appears to be evidence of corruption. Someone on twitter pointed out that Jenn Frank (another great video game journalist. You couldn't go very wrong by just reading the list of writers the gamersgate lot hate) who wrote an article in the Guardian about this, had written an article in 2012 defending the supposedly corrupt IGF. I replied saying "So Jenn Frank wrote two articles you disagreed with. Scandal!" Apparently my response was cowardly.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 6:26 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


TheWhiteSkull: "Punish the Slut, Because She Wants to Gently Suggest Some Ways in Which...

Well yes, except that in the paranoid worldview of people who use terms like "SJW" unironically, any potential change to "the way things are (and why do you have a problem with that, it's been working fine for us)" is immediately translated to "take our toys away."
"

---------------

So I had a hell of a time even wanting to go to /r/gaming (or whichever subreddit it was) this past week. I just didn't have the fight in me, and I didn't have enough fortitude to deal with the rage it would induce with all the whiny man-children in there.

That said, I'm not sure where I saw it, but it popped up when talking about these issues, about how last year Abou Karam became a Community Manager and she had drawn her own spin on the character of Mighty No. 9 as a female character. Oh did they whiny boys howl - how DARE she take our character! She's going to RUIN Mighty No. 9.

Seriously - a *COMMUNITY MANAGER* suddenly has total control over the game so far as totally changing the design of the lead character a long time after it's already been built.

Don't tell me there's not a persecution complex and a sense of entitlement far beyond anything approaching rational. Seriously?

1) Who the fuck cares? There's plenty of other male characters. They released a Mega-Man 9 and 10 already, plus plenty of other Mega Man games.

2) She's a community manager, not a part of the creative team, do you so called "gamers" even know how the industry even works?

And then, of course, all the rage "THE RABID FEMINAZI SJWs are trying to censor us! HOW DARE THEY TELL US TO STOP TELLING THEM TO STOP DRAWING FEMALE CHARACTERS AND THAT THEY SHOULD LOSE THEIR JOBS FOR DEIGNING TO IMAGINE SOMETHING THAT ISN'T WHAT WE WANT (A DUDE) AND PRESENT IT TO THE WORLD CREATIVELY (which is more than these mouthbreathing assholes can probably say for themselves)."

Ugh. It hurts. I wish I had the energy to fight the good fight, but I just get so tired, and I'm sure that's probably how the women who have to put up with this shit every fucking day feel multiplied a thousand fold. I can escape into my own little world. They can't. They have to live it day in and day out.

It's sad, because for a while there, there seemed to be some great momentum in the gaming journalist community - polygon, giant bomb, rock paper shotgun - that took a strong stand for the oppressed (and AFAIK, they still do?) and there was some minor pushback, but this shit is just out of control.

I feel like the way I do when Republicans act up in Congress that some magical sky deity can come down and say "Look - stop being dickheads... Nobody is saying you can't make your games. Just let us have a voice. And stop threatening us. And I can sleep with WHOEVER THE FUCK I WANT it is none of your business, thanks. Oh, and class act, ex-boyfriend. And we have rights to speak our mind just as you do. Your right to speak doesn't preclude us from criticizing your stances and behavior. We try to do it from a standpoint that is consistent, rational and ethical. We do not slander based upon your actions that harm no-one. But we will bring up threats as beyond the line."

And now I'll probably say something offensive to my feminist allies, but:

"For people who sure hate 'bitches' (the whiny gamerboys), you sure do act like bitches."

(again - that's problematic and I acknowledge it, but it's the best way I can point out the utter hypocrisy, as if they care to even take a look a themselves in the mirror).
posted by symbioid at 10:16 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


Are there people seriously saying gamersgate? Because trying to name something "something-gate" has become a textbook way to convince me you are manufacturing a scandal where there is none.
posted by RobotHero at 11:02 AM on September 3


As an aside: gamergate.
posted by brundlefly at 1:09 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


you just connected the dots to reveal the matriarchal plot!
posted by Corinth at 1:34 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


saying "well, it has some logical fallacies mixed in" is like saying "it has some typos".

Actually, as far as I can tell, these "debtors" seem to work under a weird "logical argument" rational. As in, all essays are logical arguments, and therefore if you can find a flaw in ONE logical argument or piece of evidence, the whole argument must necessarily fall apart. It's like a mix of not quite paying attention in philosophy class, combined with old Star Trek episodes.

I think this is an important aspect to how these people think, and it's also something I've seen in other social issues debates going back years. In fact, thinking back on it, it probably dates back to the old Usenet style of debate which was "If there's a flaw in the opponent's post, the whole thing is untrue."

Of course Usenet eventually became unusable; I wonder if this will be the fate of the general internet.
posted by happyroach at 3:40 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Okay, so one element I gleaned from the conspiracy graph was that 15 different people wrote an article on the subject of The Death of The Gamer. Which I guess is popular subject at the moment. It captured something in the zeitgeist but if you find that explanation unsatisfactory, maybe you'll search for other explanations.

It is very likely the reports of gamers' death are greatly exaggerated, and after some time has passed, this particular mini-fad will be forgotten.

But I can sort of see how it seems like a silly thing to lump together. You don't typically see "movie fans" as a single community, you see a collection of sometimes overlapping but often very distinct genres. How much can we really treat a Twine about transgenderism as the same thing as a FPS about space marines just because both are interactive experiences mediated by a computer?
posted by RobotHero at 11:18 PM on September 3


The abuse and unfounded accusations have been particularly bad tonight, it seems. Jenn Frank, Lana Polansky and Mattie Brice are all saying they're professionally done with the games industry and are moving on. We're losing good people and that seriously sucks.
posted by naju at 12:02 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you lose
posted by Bugbread at 12:57 AM on September 4


This has been such a depressing week. I tried to engage a bit with the frothing hordes on twitter, but what I am realizing is that they will just keep changing the target until they get tired out. It was one thing, now it is another, and it won't end. I am so sad to see jenn frank and mattie brice getting pushed out of this space that wasn't even treating them that well to begin with.
posted by jonbro at 2:24 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


The shitnozzles are "winning", we all lose. I'm so goddamned angry right now. Jenn Frank was so accommodating to people that didn't even deserve it, and now they're dancing over their "victory". Fuck.
posted by kmz at 6:22 AM on September 4


So according to the diagram, Jenn Frank's crime was supporting game developers and game journalists that she liked on Patreon, and also giving the games she likes publicity.

So ... she was supposed to only write about games she doesn't like? So she can be objective?

This article by Jenn Frank now has a disclaimer at the bottom:
Jenn Frank has purchased and is a supporter of Zoë Quinn’s work, although this is the first article she has written on the developer. Frank has also briefly met Anita Sarkeesian.
Goodness. I am shocked, shocked, that a games journalist would buy a game, or meet a game developer.

And like straight mentioned above, there are AAA games that can throw millions of dollars around but somehow they're only demanding "transparency" from small fry with the wrong opinions on something.
posted by RobotHero at 10:23 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Okay, and Liz R wrote a thoughtful piece on it, one that is way more sympathetic to the gamergaters that I think I would have been if, like her, I had been included in some of these conspiracy graphs.
posted by RobotHero at 10:31 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


As an aside: gamergate.

another aside: who picked the term "Gamergate" without googling it first

you are the worst at SEO
posted by GenericUser at 11:02 AM on September 4


Jenn Frank's Twitter is really hard to read right now. Jesus.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:46 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


And they're continuing to harass her. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
posted by kmz at 9:05 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Jenn Frank is a better writer than games fucking deserved, we were goddamned privileged to have her writing about games. Fuck.
posted by kmz at 9:28 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


"I guess it's a good time to mention that I've been lurking in & recording 4chan's raid IRC channels for a few weeks " - Zoe "Stupendous Badass" Quinn
posted by brundlefly at 11:18 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Now that there's a new Gamergate thread I guess this thread can be all about the jam.

Like I said, my way of ruining games is I've just been playing the ones I can play in a browser without downloading anything.

Of that small selection, Qing's Quest is my favourite. It's the funnest of them, for sure.
posted by RobotHero at 5:57 PM on September 6


If you do like Quing's Quest you might like High End Customizable Sauna Experience. I checked that it wasn't the same developer, which it isn't, but it does seem to be the same school of design.
posted by RobotHero at 3:56 PM on September 7


Both of those games were made with Twine, a free text-based gaming engine. Anna Anthropy (who made dys4ia, Mighty Jill Off, Redder, &c.) has a tutorial here.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:48 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


There's another Twine in the Ruin Jam called All Tomorrow's Parties but you can probably see why stylistically Quing's Quest was the one to remind me of HECSE. Not just the colours, but also some of the techniques it uses to combine choice with narrative rails.
posted by RobotHero at 10:36 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Ah, cool, yeah. Porpentine's style seems so unique to me that I had a hard time seeing through to the game mechanics, so the "railed, but rewarding arbitrary choices" similarity didn't jump out at me until you clarified, but I can see that now.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:16 AM on September 9


I'm about half to one third of the way through a Twine game called Walkies Simulator where you get to walk a dog. I really want to call the dog Anita Barkeesian, but I am still not sure if she would take that as a tribute or an insult, so I am still debating. I am open to more suggestions for the kind of dog name that would upset the sort of douchebros who think that Twine is ruining gaming.
posted by NoraReed at 6:36 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


"Social Justice Terrier"?
posted by en forme de poire at 7:34 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I went with that after all! WALKIES SIMULATOR
posted by NoraReed at 1:18 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


YAYYYYYY in my own small way I helped ruin videogames
posted by en forme de poire at 2:44 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


CONGRATULATIONS you are now a member of the evil feminist gaming illuminati, you will receive your bottle of male tears in the mail in the next 10 working days
posted by NoraReed at 8:37 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I have created Gator's Secrets where you must objectively categorize video games for the Gamer Gator.
posted by RobotHero at 8:40 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


As someone who has played Gator's Secrets, I can objectively say bargle bargle bargle bargle bargle
posted by NoraReed at 8:51 PM on September 14


Walkies Simulator is fun. I also liked Book of Infinite Stories.
posted by RobotHero at 9:12 PM on September 14


This is a Real Thing that Happened is neat in the kind of meta discussion of what makes a game a game.
posted by RobotHero at 8:26 AM on September 15


And for context, itch.io is a likely place for this sort of thing. The default price for a game posted on itch.io is free but you'll accept donations. Depression Quest is up there. It's a small detail that amuses me, but when you post something you can select a different noun to describe it if you don't think "game" is the right word. There are no banner ads on the site, and no medal or achievement system, like you'd find on Gamejolt or Newgrounds.

All this kind of adds up to what feels to me like an environment where the more zine-like (as described by Anthropy) games would thrive.

I also just noticed they updated their terms of service on August 27th.

Two things now explicitly prohibited: And given the timing, I can't help but think someone had tried posting their "Zoe Quinn is a jerk face" game and then moaned about their free speech when it got removed.
posted by RobotHero at 9:02 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


On Gamejolt someone has started a Notyourshield jam. There's only one game in it and unlike how ruinjam was set up by itch.io, this is not an official Gamejolt jam; there are 77 currently running jams on Gamejolt, many of which have no games or only a couple games.

So it's not really comparable, but it made me imagine some world where these things get debated only using jam battles; if you want to argue a point, you have to create a game that makes your point.
posted by RobotHero at 4:14 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk rap battle or jam battle only

no other forms of debate are acceptable
posted by en forme de poire at 4:20 PM on September 19


I wasn't thinking of rap battles, but I was thinking of the Step Up world where if you piss off "The Samurai" they will corner you in a bathroom in order to dance at you.
posted by RobotHero at 10:43 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]


I'm super tempted to make an incremental/clicker game about making fake twitter accounts to harass women
posted by NoraReed at 11:29 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]


every 1000 tweets you get an imgur conspiracy theorist
posted by en forme de poire at 2:31 AM on September 20


Oh man, procedurally generated imgur-conspiracy-theory red lines and circles GIFs would be fantastic (and pretty much indistinguishable from the real thing).
posted by RogerB at 11:24 AM on September 20 [1 favorite]


Here's more of the real thing!
posted by Corinth at 11:38 AM on September 20


Corinth I think you found my new desktop bg
posted by en forme de poire at 12:12 PM on September 20


I also found you a screensaver!
posted by Corinth at 8:54 PM on September 20


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