GamerGate Interviews
"Oakheart" GamerGate Interview

The Escapist Staff | 10 Oct 2014 12:30
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Some developers have expressed concern over being blacklisted or stonewalled by if they side with gamers on #GamerGate. Are you concerned by this? Do you feel this is a legitimate concern?

SJWs have an agenda, and they have a memory, they have focus, they have a sense of moral certainty and entitlement, and they have neither a broad perspective nor a shred of acceptance for any point of view other than their own. I have already received a deluge of hate for daring to take any public stance other than full obeisance at the Altar of the Aggrieved.

Without question. SJWs have an agenda, and they have a memory, they have focus, they have a sense of moral certainty and entitlement, and they have neither a broad perspective nor a shred of acceptance for any point of view other than their own. I have already received a deluge of hate for daring to take any public stance other than full obeisance at the Altar of the Aggrieved.

Some developers have expressed concern over being attacked by gamers if they side with game journalists or do not support #GamerGate. Are you concerned by this? Do you feel this is a legitimate concern?

Game Developers are attacked by gamers constantly for everything that they do. They hate for buffs (to other players). They hate for nerfs (to anybody). A top in class action fantasy RPG has a forest of forum threads dedicated to hating them for giving the players *too much gold* and *too many legendary items*. This is after they changed the game because they received a tsunami of hate for not giving players enough of those things.

We have a thick skin and take that hate in stride. Given the disorganization and short attention spans discussed above, "hate from gamers" over this topic is an irrelevancy. Not, mind you, because we don't care, but because so many other gamers hate us for so many other things that are actually within our control. Caveat: Threats are never 'an irrelevancy'.

Have you or developers you know received any abuse or harassment from gamers? If so, what form did it take?
Yes. Unending streams of hate interspersed with the occasional but beautiful well thought out critique that actually brought something fresh and useful to the conversation.

Have you or developers you know received any abuse or harassment from game journalists? If so, what form did it take?

Who? No. I'm just a developer, not a marketing person that can get them access or swag. They don't care about me, or what I think.

Do you know of any studios or developers that have been silenced by concerns of how gamers or journalists will react to their opinion of GamerGate?

It's not been formally discussed at my studio, or informally discussed among my immediate coworkers. Honestly, I wouldn't dare, because if I and a coworker found ourselves on opposite sides of what is, to some, a religious war, that would very likely lead to a poor working environment.

Have you ever been subjected to criticism of bias, radicalism, agenda-pushing, misogyny, racism, or similar because of your public comments, your actual game development, or other work in the industry?

Yes, but only indirectly in the general "tar them all with the same broad, indiscriminate brush of calmly spoken strawman filled and question begging hate" sort of way that one might see in, for examples, 'desconstructivist' videos .

Are there particular articles, journalists, or game communities sites that are considered particularly egregious in their criticism on such matters by you, or developers you know?

Yes.

Imagine a development team composed of middle-aged white men creates a game explicitly aimed at young men called "AMERICAN VENGEANCE" that features a lantern-jawed white American soldier attempting to save his exotic-dancer girlfriend (complete with jiggle physics) from torture at the hands of Jihadists. Violence is the only way to advance in the game and the girlfriend's torture is as graphic as anything in the movie SAW. But as far as violent shooter games go, it is exceptionally innovative, gorgeous, and fun. Is it fair to give the game a low review score for lacking inclusiveness? Is it fair to give the game a lower review score for having violent or misogynist themes?

What was claimed on the game packaging, and included in the game's advertisements? If they claimed that it was a bad ass shooter where you save the girl and kill the terrorists, then you give it a good review. If they claimed that it was a thoughtful game that will open your eyes on the nuances of the human condition and offer you a chance to experience wide vistas and develop meaningful relationships, then you give it a bad review. Based on your description, I would be concerned that the depictions of torture might interfere with the game's pacing, which would be a reason to notch the review down.

Why can't it be that simple? If the box and ads promise inclusiveness, then judge it for inclusiveness. If they don't, don't. Done. Anything else is just intellectual pretention, projection, and editorializing. It is vulgar, self-serving, and has neither use nor purpose.

Do you believe videogames can affect the personality of their players, making them more violent or sexist, for instance? If so, how do you as a creator respond to this? How should the industry respond? How should society respond?

Children, let's say "tweens" on down, are very impressionable, and their media consumption should be monitored closely by their parents.

I do not believe that games can teach categorical judgments. If anyone older than that is turned into a misogynist by playing a game, they were already so psychologically unstable and ill formed that they'd be at danger of becoming a threat to themselves and society from exposure to an old time television test pattern. Game developers bear no responsibility for such things.

I do believe that games can inspire visions; not in the mystic sense, but in the sense of "this is how I would like the world to be", in the way that Marxism or Randianism or third wave Feminism is a 'vision'. I believe that game developers can bear responsibility for such things, and acknowledge that visions can inform and lead to judgments. In this, we have a responsibility to take care in what we present, as the consequences for the unchecked adherence to a vision can be catastrophic.

Ultimately, which is more important: The individual artist's right to create artistic works, regardless of how distasteful we may find them; or our society's right to create an environment free from bigotry and hatred?

There is no such thing as a societal or socialized right.

The individual right is de facto more important, as there is no such thing as a societal or socialized right. Members of a society can gather, and set policies or laws to restrict or incentivize patterns of behavior that conform to the wishes of the individuals, but that's just individual rights to expression operating in concert through cooperation.

Ultimately, anyone who tries talking about 'society's rights' is, knowingly or not, talking about a privileged (policy setting) few stomping on the rights of everyone else who might disagree with them. We have nice, concrete examples in history of things like the French Revolution where attempts to impose from the top down moral and just societies have basically just mass produced dead bodies.

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