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oblivion437 oblivion437's Blog
I Don't Want to, but I Have To...
Posted on Monday, October 20 2014 @ 11:43:07 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
Well, Gamergate has spilled over into the mainstream media and the coverage appears to be nearly uniformly dreadful.

Take "What is Gamergate, and What Does It Say About Gender In Video Games?" by David Konnow as an example.  It appears that the writer has done little to no research at all on the relevant topics.  He says practically nothing and leaves a hypothetical tyro just as uninformed as they were before reading the piece.  It is completely worthless as journalism.  The basic slant is obvious and the lack of citation, link or substantive information is a uniform indicator to a lack of integrity.  The present post is a fisking.

"Gaming has come a long way since Atari and Nintendo."

Nintendo is still in the business.

"Yet there are still segments of gaming culture that are not as evolved as the rest of humanity, as can be seen in the current "Gamergate" controversy."

The phrase 'as evolved as' is as meaningless in the context of evolution as natural selection is in creationism.  I have little doubt the author understands neither.

"A lot of people haven't heard of Gamergate yet, but what had been a small dust-up deep inside gamer culture is slowly becoming a national uproar."

Weasel words - 'a lot'.  Also, you really have not done anything to clarify what it is, how it operates or anything else.

"It all began when the ex-boyfriend of a female game developer started posting sexual allegations about her on his blog."

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted on October 15, has not been edited. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan
That's rather like saying World War I began when Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand.  Factually correct but utterly misleading.  Furthermore, 'his blog' consisted of nothing but said allegations.  To dignify it by contextually suggesting it served any other purpose than dragging her private life into public view is ridiculous.

"This wasn't just a one-time thing: it was the opening of an awful floodgate of animosity, including an allegation that this developer (whom we're not going to name because she's had her name dragged through the mud more than enough already) had traded sexual favors for favorable reviews of her games."

The allegation was included in the posts previously mentioned.  The above portion suggests otherwise.  The unnamed developer has made one game, not games plural.  It was not favorable reviews of the game she is alleged to have traded sexual favors for, or even that she traded sexual favors for anything, but positive coverage.  More accurately, the allegation is that her relationships, not merely sexual but also and much more significantly financial, with various individuals in the gaming press skewed coverage of that among other unsavory activities such as sabotaging a charitable organization for not towing her ideological line.

"Other women in the gaming community, including the initial game developer who was targeted, have had their personal information broadcast across the internet; more than one has had to flee her home because of rape and death threats. Just last night, feminist social critic Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel a speech at Utah State University after receiving multiple online death threats, including threats of an Aurora-style mass shooting, prior to the event."

It is a good thing for your publication that at no point have you actually attempted to connect the dots and say that someone involved with Gamergate had anything to do with these activities.  I'm guessing we have a prudent editor to thank for that.

"Although many who align themselves with the Gamergate mission claim that their intent is to expose the incestuous relations between game designers and gaming journalists, an increasing number of opponents have pointed to it as a clear sign of misogyny within the gaming community."

No indication of whether or not the former claim is true (spoiler alert: it is) or whether or not the opposition argument might be an attempt to deflect such criticism (spoiler alert: it is).

"One gaming developer posted an open plea for people to fight against attacks from Gamergate proponents, and publications like The Washington Post and the website Jezebel (who called Gamergaters "a hate group") have publicly denounced the men driving the effort."

First, what is a 'gaming developer'?  Who actually develops 'gaming'?  Haven't heard language that mushy since the closure of Tiger Telematics.  Second, citing Jezebel for denouncing someone for doing something unethical is so idiotic it brooks no immediate comparison to other idiotic things.  It's an outlet which posted photographs of a sexual assault to bait clicks.  Third, link please.  Fourth, are developers unanimous in believing that?  Have you reached out to anyone yourself to get even a single substantive comment?

"Video games themselves have also reached new levels of depth and intelligence in their storytelling."

That's, uh, nice.  I guess?  It's not exactly true, but it is nice of you to say it.

"So an incident like Gamergate really shows how far some people haven't come in the gaming community."

You're right.  There are people out there who call themselves journalists but don't understand that it is unethical to have financial or other similar ties to a subject whilst covering it as a journalist.  That's a serious problem and a possible violation of FTC regulations.  Those same people could not possibly be using gender issues as a shield to deflect relevant inquiries, no sir.

"There is a fear -- and it's a rational one -- that as this incident penetrates the mainstream popular culture that's indifferent towards gaming that it could give videogame culture a black eye after years of progress."

Who holds this fear?  Did someone say this?  Quote them, please.

"One would think women would be welcome in what's been a male-dominated world for decades, so why the misogyny?"

So you haven't bothered to find out if games journalism is rotten?  You're just going to take sides without doing any actual research?  You're going to advocate instead of report?

"We've seen cases of inherent racism and misogyny in gaming before, but rarely of this severity and length."

[Citation Needed] - I'm not saying he's wrong but some examples would really improve his vanishing credibility at this point.

"While we know where the first initial threats came from, it's hard to tell why this has mushroomed to this extent."

Do you have definitive evidence who they are?  Can you name them?  Why have you not done so?  Why have you not pointed out their connections to Gamergate?

"One strong theory is that the men involved in Gamergate are sexually and socially frustrated in other areas of their lives, and resent the idea of women entering the one arena in which they feel they have some expertise."

That's your 'strong' theory?  Armchair speculation about the social and sex lives of people you do not know?  You complain about stereotyping and yet indulge in it here?  What evidence supports your theory?  What sort of metrical tests have you applied to it?  What predictive power does it have?  How well does it explain the behavior as against other possible theories (trolling, false flagging, etc.) which may also fit the evidence?  Do you know that 'theory' is neither a synonym for 'unfounded guesswork' nor 'psychologically comforting thing I wish to be true' right?

"We' re certainly hoping these cowards will be tracked down and brought to justice."

Who are 'these cowards'?  Did they pack up and vanish into the night after sending their threats?  If you have even the faintest hint of a clue who they actually are it's because they already are on their way to getting tracked down.  The police do take substantial death threats seriously.

"No, we don't wish death on them like they wish on others; some jail time will suffice."

All right.  That's the end of the article.  At no point does our author ever bother to connect the illegal activity of various creeps with Gamergate.  We have no idea what Gamergate even is by the end of the piece or who coined the term.  One could be forgiven for disbelief, even shock, at learning that a large number of women are supporters if this article was the only introduction a reader had.  There is not a single phrase or sentence so much as implying it.  No evidence is given whatsoever.  Konnow simply places the two objects (harassment and Gamergate) next to each other on a table and leave them there in the hope that the reader will continuously associate them after that point.  There is Konnow's word and that is all.

This subject was already dreary.  Now it's getting ridiculous.  I need a drink.

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A Brief Response to a Recent Upset
Posted on Tuesday, October 7 2014 @ 11:56:23 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
The recent dustup between pissed off gamers of various stripes and pissed off journalists of various stripes has left me cold.  Commentary is solidly locked into two camps - one dismissing the complaints about corruption and collusion as either trivial or invalid, the other consists of the complaints themselves.  For that reason I present a short essay on the topic.  I will avoid personalities and discuss the issue in a general way.  I had initially planned a lengthier piece detailing the growth and transformation of the movement; its goals, subject matter and its increasing vindication on the face of the facts.  But this is not really about any of that.  Lastly, a note of disclosure before I get into this whole thing - I have been compensated by this site for past posts in the form of Steam wallet injections.  It's not exactly a salary or piles of goodies but it's something (for which I am grateful, by the way) and I'd rather be an example of the transparency I want to see.
I'm not here to discuss the spark of the dust up or even the content of the particular grievance.  While a particularly vivid example of the pattern of problems of which it is only a small part it is only one example and it involves digging into the bedroom lives of various individuals who are neither family nor friends nor lovers nor even acquaintances of mine; which activity is nothing more than glorified snooping and I absolutely refuse to do it.  A few points on the overall problem: Gamers have a valid bone to pick with a press which has served them very poorly. The bone would be far more valid still if gamers were paying for this press' activity. It has fallen to the subjects of this press to pay for this press.  It has treated them like a hireling and is justified in so doing for that is what they are.  The press is the industry's client and has been for over a decade. If gamers want a better press they, we, all need to learn that we get what we pay for in all things in life and this is no different. We were asking for this situation to happen.  We provided no incentives to do better and when doing worse became profitable did nothing to stem that tide.  This really is our fault in the end. To make an already overlong point short - the only way consumers as consumers can get what they want from the media is if they start paying for it.  Their failure to do this over the past decade and some change is what caused this situation and until they pick it up again it will not get better.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted on October 1, has not been edited. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan

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On the Possibility of a Ninth Generation of Consoles
Posted on Monday, September 29 2014 @ 15:38:04 Eastern

As Mr. Osborn is wont to do, he posted a link to one of Michael Pachter's intellectual...movements and there was some discussion of the merits of his thesis.  For our purposes it's fair to note that Pachter's predictive rate is lower than a sports writer, which as Cracked helpfully informs us is already so low that by consistently betting against a sports writer's predictions one is virtually guaranteed to make money.  While this would not be a problem in and of itself Pachter is occasionally right no matter how off the beaten path his statements are.  This is not one of those occasions.

The upshot to Pachter's outlandish foolishness is that he says things which might otherwise be inexpressible - whether anyone wanted it expressed or not.  These eighth generation machines don't have the shelf lives of their ancestors and are already showing their age.  They cannot push the software available to meet the resolution of consumer TVs and talk of 4K support for actual games is just absurd.  A relatively cheap gaming PC is already more powerful than they are.  By the time the PS4 and X-B1 have substantial libraries (circa holiday 2015, at the earliest) which are more than tech demos like Ryse or microwaved leftovers from the last generation like most of the consoles' libraries to date it may be possible to build systems substantially more powerful than either console for less money.  The further problem of long run savings via lower software prices further aggravates the issue.  The 360 and PS3 were not simply weak PCs which had lower entry costs.  They had cutting edge technology to give them a substantial edge over previous gen systems and a temporary lead over off-the-shelf PC parts.

The new systems are, by and large, off-the-shelf PCs built with mid-range components circa 2012.  Their components are already entering obsolescence.  The GDDR5 in the PS4 made tradeoffs against conventional DDR3 system memory (lower latency connection to the BUS is paid for in slower BUS speed - GDDR5 is commonly used in video cards which are oriented around relatively many tasks done relatively slowly as compared to normal system tasks which are relatively few and done relatively quickly so low latency is more important to its design than high clock speed) and consumer DDR4 is on the shelves right now.  Will there be a ninth generation circa 2020, maybe earlier?  Probably.  But between now and then proper PC ports of console games and PC exclusives designed to push the hardware somewhere it has yet to go will quickly show the new machines to have been born old.  It's sad.

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Booth Babes as Prismatic Side Show
Posted on Thursday, March 20 2014 @ 12:18:06 Eastern

This post began life as a simple rebuttal to Daniel Bischoff's essay, "Join Game Revolution in the Fight to Ban Booth Babes from E3" and has since grown into something a bit bigger.

Concerns about the industry's image...  

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Hurdles to a Possible Final Fantasy VII Remake
Posted on Saturday, March 1 2014 @ 15:53:54 Eastern

In a recent post discussing Yoshinori Kitase's thoughts on possibly remaking Final Fantasy VII an interesting discussion broke out about why they would not and what might get in their way. 

First, let me be up ...  

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Prolegomenon to Reviews for the New Thief
Posted on Saturday, February 15 2014 @ 15:07:04 Eastern

Eidos Montreal have released a seventeen-minute video of the upcoming Thief.  GR has it posted here.

Mr. Osborn, in his remarks on the post notes that while it appears to promise a competent stealth title in the near future, he is...   read more...

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Preparing for the Upcoming Thief
Posted on Friday, January 24 2014 @ 19:39:34 Eastern

When a new entry in a franchise comes along, it behooves us to acquaint ourselves with that franchise's past entries. Imagine, if one were alive in 1870, starting to read the serial edition of War & Peace at around chapter 240. About ...   read more...

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Adam Orth Resurfaces or, Gamespot Still Sucks
Posted on Monday, January 13 2014 @ 01:08:25 Eastern

Adam Orth needs and deserves no introduction beyond 'he's a jerk who said a stupid thing and it cost him his job.'  He produced a public apology which followed the Jon Corzine school of not understanding what he did wrong or why h...   read more...

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Empirical Evidence that Games Review is a Joke
Posted on Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 20:14:06 Eastern

This is irresistable empirical evidence that competent research and analysis is the exception, not the norm.  It further helps to understand why - simple laziness explains it.

From the wonderful Slower than Slow, Thicker t...  

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Ethics for Sale!
Posted on Monday, September 16 2013 @ 17:19:38 Eastern

So, the GTA V review embargo is up.  First I wish to discuss a badly written review, then I wish to discuss morally bankrupt reviews.

Universally positive reviews thus far (7:37 PM EST, 16/9/13) with but one exception and that rev...   read more...

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