I'm sure you've been asked already, but how do you feel about all the drama going on right now about Zoe Quinn?
You want me to walk into a minefield? OK. Let’s try to keep this short.
There are numerous angles to what’s unfolded over the last few days, and I’m not going to address all of them. Please keep that in mind here.
This has turned into TMZ. For just about all of this, it’s not our business.
There’s no excuse for the extreme harassment and abuse in the last few days. No one deserves to have nude pictures of themselves distributed all over the Internet without their consent. No one deserves to have their address blasted on social networks as a veiled threat. No one.
There is no excuse. None, nada.
Some people see a conspiracy. Others see common human decency.
What we have is an ugly corner of the gaming community exploiting an opportunity to tear into a situation with the flimsiest of justifications. The idea that such abuse is warranted because of concerns over the “ethics of games journalism” cannot be taken seriously by people who utter “whore,” “cunt,” “faggot,” and other words in the same sentence. A quick perusal of “zoe quinn” on Twitter will find you plenty of these people.
A response to that line of criticism might be “yeah, but…”
There is a universe where a blog was written specifically to raise ethical concerns about personal relationships between the games press, and not a character assassination meant to tear a person’s life apart.
We do not live in that world. Do not try to pretend that’s what this about.
Disclosure is important. Kotaku editor Stephen Totilo addressed this specifically on Twitter, given his reporter and publication are in question:
I’m on vacation overseas this week, but a matter has come up I need to address. This will take a few Tweets… (1)
Nathan Grayson never wrote a review of Depression Quest for Kotaku. He did write about the indie game jam that went to pieces, which happened to involve Zoe Quinn. Numerous publications also wrote about the same incident, and nothing in Grayson’s write up is particularly different from what you would find elsewhere. On Rock Paper Shotgun, Grayson mentioned Depression Quest in a writeup about 49 other video games that were recently greenlit on Steam. Another mention of Depression Quest was published on RPS written by Adam Smith. You can verify this through the Depression Quest tag.
Yes, disclosure is important. Yes, we should be aware if the press has engaged in a personal relationship with a developer. But nothing justifies what’s transpired since. People have hijacked this for madness.
Cliche but true: some just want to watch the world burn.
Given I’ve spent the last few days trying to ignore folks accusing me of cheating on my wife, you’ll excuse me if I’m over talking about this now.
This is the last I’ll say on this topic. No other questions will be answered.
What is 50 shades of grey about? And what's so bad about it?
50 Shades of Grey was originally fanfiction based on the Twilight series, which was then published as a novel (along with 2 subsequent books). It sold over 100 million copies around the world and topped best-seller lists everywhere. It’s about to be adapted into a film, set to come out early next year.
It follows a college student named Ana Steele, who enters a relationship with a man named Christian Grey and is then introduced to a bastardised and abusive parody of BDSM culture.
While the book is paraded as erotica, the relationship between Ana and Christian is far from healthy. The core mantra of the BDSM community is “safe, sane and consensual”, and 50 Shades is anything but. None of the rules of BDSM practices (which are put in place to protect those involved) are actually upheld. Christian is controlling, manipulative, abusive, takes complete advantage of Ana, ignores safe-words, ignores consent, keeps her uneducated about the sexual practices they’re taking part in, and a multitude of other terrible things. Their relationship is completely sickening and unhealthy.
Basically, “the book is a glaring glamorisation of violence against women,” as Amy Bonomi so perfectly put it.
It’s terrible enough that a book like this has been absorbed by people worldwide. Now, we have a film that is expected to be a huge box-office success, and will likely convince countless more young women that it’s okay not to have any autonomy in a relationship, that a man is allowed to control them entirely. It will also show many young men that women are theirs to play with and dominate, thus contributing to antiquated patriarchal values and rape culture.
"I turn the crank, engaging the set of gears. The gears push against a lever, which leads to the shoe kicking the bucket. The metal ball in the bucket falls down a set of stairs and into the rain gutter, winding its sway down and eventually hitting the rod with a severed hand attached to it. This knocks loose the large marble, which falls through the bathtub, and lands on the diving board. This, in turn, flips the inexplicable diver sailing into a large round tub. The impact knocks the cage loose, and it falls, trapping the mouse.
This is my design.”
(Seriously, totally needs to be a sequence on Season 3 of Hannibal)
Norilana Books has not paid any of its writers any of the royalties owed to them. It hasn’t paid them in over 3 years.
Nazarian has recently started a crowdfunding campaign in which she asks contributors to donate $21,000 in back fees for her authors.
Behind the cut is the backstory on why you should NOT contribute to this fund, regardless of your desire to help Norilana’s writers, and why you should warn other people from contributing to it as well.
Someone forgets I pay attention, sweetheart. As I've said a few times before, you're going to have to wait until July for anything further. If NZ does extradite Dotcom, they can do the same to me when and if the Feds ask. Too bad they've had to wait two and a half years, kike bitch.
I apologize for the language above, but it is left whole to show a rather ugly point.
So: My ask box is closed now.
And I’m doing something very, very, very rarely do, and my friends have been begging me to do about this whole thing since day one: meet it head on.
The above ask was sent in by my stalker. This is why my ask box remains closed.
Maybe it is time to show what stalking really is and does.
Imagine getting messages, the type of which make the above seem mild and sweet (add in sexual threats, death threats, and vows to be up to this forever), any time you have any ability for anyone to contact you.
Every day. At times multiple times a day, sometimes in a stream of messages that clog your inbox.
And when you never once address that, they start contacting your friends, your sister, your parents. Your brother in law. Your infant nephew/godson.
Threatens them consistently. Sends them packages. Sends them postcards. Looks up their private info and parades it in front of them.
For 5.5 years.
Things that thus far haven’t helped: An arrest. An international warrant. International attention. Stays in mental health facilities. Nothing deters this behavior.
Stalking is one of the crimes that takes the victim out of the equation, because of how likely it is that being in it exacerbates the situation. And if we do nothing and let the world exist like this, we are enabling a kind of malice that could threaten the very positive and at times powerful ways we exchange ideas and connect to each other.
The Internet is the wild west, and at some point the cavalry’s gotta come in, here.
The FBI has been amazing but are limited by a foreign nation’s wish to completely ignore a situation that has been proven many times over to exist.
I can only be so defiant in private while balancing the need for my and my family’s safety.
You may think, “I’ve seen her at LeakyCons, she’s not affected by this at all!” Never make an assumption by the strength someone is able to project that they are unaffected. And never assume that someone who doesn’t give her life over to something negative completely - disappear from the internet, etc - doesn’t deserve just as much peace and justice as those whose lives lose major functions because of this activity. There is sometimes a paternalistic rise in compassion that rises to meet the level to which a person has been affected. If we start judging that way, we forget that no matter the victim and no matter the effect, the crime is the same and it must be stopped.
So there you go. A glimpse into my life.
If you wish to stand against stalking, please reblog; and as a bonus, please add your own thoughts about the necessity that a country’s law enforcement agency (in this case New Zealand’s) starts to take this seriously.
Hi, Wil! I'm not trying to be antagonizing. You seem to be rather progressive, and really vocal on a lot of social issues. I'm bringing this up because I feel like you'd take it seriously. Using 'spirit animal' is kinda uncool. Different forms of it belong to specific cultures that are already having a hard time with erasure/delegitimization, partially through appropriation. I've heard suggestions of using 'patronus', or 'daemon' (from His Dark Materials trilogy) as alternatives. Cheers!
I got a lot of messages like yours that were bordering on antagonizing, but I’ll respond to you: this was entirely news to me, and I never meant to be offensive.
I’ll be honest: I think it’s a little much to get upset about this, but I am fully aware that I’m living life on Scalzi’s Lowest Difficulty Setting, with the Celebrity Cheat enabled, so I’ll own that reality up front. My ancestors murdered untold numbers of Native Americans, and I hate that my country was built on their blood, and I hate that the worst poverty in America exists on Tribal lands. What I hate the most is how many Americans don’t know or care. Those issues are, in my opinion, more important than words. Having said that, I see the point you make, that so much has already been taken from native people, and when a White Guy takes something more, it’s uncool.
I never meant to take anything from anyone. I think Spirit Animals are really cool, and I love everything I’ve ever learned about native or aboriginal culture. I’m not trying to appropriate or lessen anything by expressing how much Kelly Sue inspires me, and how I try to be more like her.
I’ve written this post three times now over the past couple days. The first version was scrubbed, the second lost to a technical error, whatever this is in the end will hopefully be a good thing. But I wanted to respond directly, and in length,…
Everything here is true. One addition: There’s no such thing as “work/life balance.” Life comes first, and any good manager or employer will tell you that. So when an ad pretends such a thing exists, and then says that they’re coming down on the side of “work” anyway, they’re fucking asshole employers.
We haven’t met, so let me introduce myself. I’m Mike Selinker, a game designer from Seattle. I’ve worked on lots of games, mostly board and card games. It’s my job to entertain people, and it’s a far less important one than you have. But every…
When you issue a public apology, ideally, it’s because you’ve found yourself waist-deep in moral quicksand and wisely decided that stubbornly thrashing about in the name of abstract concepts like machismo - read, the worst reason for doing anything, ever - is less productive than admitting fault. More than that, though, an apology should be intended as a reassurance to others that you’re not going to keep bungling things in the same spectacular fashion. Without that critical element of self-analysis, you’re not apologizing; you’re just groveling for its own sake. You’re not really acknowledging or addressing the causative elements of the situation at hand. And that helps no one.
The uproar over Mike Krahulik’s onstage comments at PAX Prime this week is not unexpected for anyone familiar with Mike’s storied history of controversial outbursts. But as the years have gone by, I’ve learned to appreciate, with a mix of resigned sorrow and consternation, the ballooning delta by which Penny Arcade misses the point in their otherwise whole-hearted apologies. Mike, like most people tempering their personal narratives, believes himself be a good person. But at the point where uninformed behavior persists in the face of corrective critique and becomes stubborn, offensive naiveté, your best option is to cut ties.
In this sense, one of the best pieces of life advice I ever received was from my high school driving instructor. Of people who aggressively and erratically endanger others on the road, he advised: “Pull back, don’t be stupid with them. Let them have their accident somewhere else.”
I used to be a huge Penny Arcade fan, and always enjoyed Mike’s art and Jerry’s prose. I still do, when I see it. My brother owns all their books, and I proudly wore their apparel in high school (Jesus, it’s been that long?). But at some point - likely Dickwolf Kerfuffle Prime - I began developing the sinking feeling that things would continue trending steadily downhill; each year, injecting another complicating factor into Penny Arcade’s gendered House of Usher. And each year has borne me out, gifting me with a new, massive bone to pick with gamer culture and Penny Arcade in particular about the state of sex and gender discourse in the culture they have in many ways come to represent.
I’m a straight, white, cisgendered male in the Pacific Northwest. I am never the target of discrimination (minus the occasional anti-semitic slur). I do not suffer any social background radiation that pecks and claws at me as I make my way through life and industry. I’d love to have a celebration of an inclusive games community, including sexual assault survivors, trans people, and others. I also value honesty, open-mindedness, self-analysis, and empathy on a fundamental level. For all those reasons, I have not attended PAX since 2011. And after reading Mike’s misguided apology, I do not plan on returning anytime soon.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by my booth at PAX. I was really glad to hear you liked my game. Believe it or not, you were actually kind of a hero of mine when I was a kid, and your writing style was a huge inspiration to me; so hearing that from you meant a whole lot.
In the endless madness of consumerism and the Internet, the crowdfunding service Kickstarter allowed a book project titled “Above the Game” to use and receive money through their service, to the total of $16,000 dollars. An unofficial sequel/competitor to “The Game” by Neil Strauss of Pickup…
I love Kickstarter. I think that’s clear to people who know me by now? I love it. There’s a dude named Brad Muir and he works at Double Fine and I love the games they make, so much. But before Kickstarter, every time a Double Fine game came out I was a little worried it would be their last,…
Have just reported my second-ever Kickstarter violation (the other was for much less offensive reasons).
How is this even a thing? I’m a dude. I get it. Girls can be scary. They look just like humans, but they make Weird Things happen in your pants-area. It must be magic. They are the Gargamels to your dick’s whatever-Smurf-your-dick-is.
(Sidenote: the makers of The Smurfs meant for each Smurf to…
Where is it that your piece is set that there just aren’t any POC there? I mean, I’m sure there are places like that. Wherever it is that white people fly to when they take white flight comes to mind. Maybe you’re writing a story set in a gated community in the suburbs of Portland…
me:(out shopping, looking all fly with my Marvel comics tote bag featuring several characters)
me:thanks. (keeps on shopping)
dude:do you even know who all those characters are?
dude:ok then, who's that guy? (points at a character on the bag)
me:wait, are you asking me to prove that I'm enough of a fan enough to carry this bag?
dude:(smirks) that's what I thought. He's called the Silver Surfer. I bet you don't even know his real name.
me:does it matter? (starts to edge away before I start punching throats)
dude:psh, you're not a real fan.
me:(slowly unsheathing my Wolverine claws)
me:how many pairs of chromosomes do humans contain in their cells?
me:explain the function of cellular mitosis?
me:what is the purpose of myelin sheath with regards to the formation of new neural pathways?
dude:what are you even talking about?
me:oh, well it seemed that you were implying that if I don't know as much about the Marvel universe as you do, then I can't possibly be considered a real fan. This is me implying that because you don't know as much about the human body as I do, you can't possibly be considered a real human being.
dude:Um, I... wow. You're right. Have a nice day. (starts to shuffle away)
Here’s the problem with video game sequels, as opposed to linear/film ones.
In a game, the users are used to the cadence of the experience. However airtight each game mechanic is. They are, quite literally, learning a new “language” with each new game that they’ve never laid their hands on…