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[PA Comic] Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Southron Swords, Part Two

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Posts

  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    I've said this repeatedly other places, so I'll say it again here.

    I'm old. Everyone keeps holding up Postal and GTA as good examples of this sort of game, and how they are different.

    They didn't start off that way. The original GTA was all about the slaughter of innocents. There was a side mission where you picked people up at a bus stop, and then dropped them off at a sausage factory, for them to be turned into sausage. Reviews highlighted how awesome it was to ram a police barricade in a school bus and flame thrower all the cops.

    The original Postal was 100% pure innocents killing simulator. You were a postal employee who goes crazy. When this was made, "going Postal" was the "going Columbine" of the era. It was as offensive as it comes. If I recall correctly, Postal 2 was given 0 out of 5 stars by Computer Gaming World, largely because of how offensive it was.

    So I'm almost 100% certain that when Murder Simulator 2020 comes out on the Oculus Rift and Hatred has been out for 5 years already, people will hold it up as an example of how border pushing should be done correctly, and this new Oculus Rift horror show is just vile.

    It's the great cycle of moral panic. Your moral panic is no more valid than your parents.

    KenninatorTryCatcherDjiemTalonSEfortyDistecMrMiscreantEdith UpwardsCommander ZoomCaulk Bite 6CybitrchouDonnictonSmrtnik
  • GDT1985GDT1985 Registered User regular
    Well said, but what else are people going to do? Live and let live? Ignore something they don't like? :P Not likely.

    KenninatorfortyMrMiscreantCommander Zoom
  • EnlongEnlong Registered User regular
    pushing its physics (or rather PhysX)

    Is it weird that this was the bit that annoyed me the most?

    DaedalusMuddyParasolPAX_Skeletor
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Enlong wrote: »
    pushing its physics (or rather PhysX)

    Is it weird that this was the bit that annoyed me the most?

    No, that level of abuse to the English language is criminal.

    Also as an update it's back on Greenlight:
    "Hi, Jaroslaw.

    "Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. It turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers.

    "Good luck with your game.

    Gabe"

    Was the E-mail the dev recieved.

    Honestly I'd be perfectly happy with Valve not letting the game on Greenlight or it's service. There's plenty of other, more interesting games that rely on being good rather than just screaming 'look guys I'm so fucking edgy!' and I'll be sad if Hatred winds up being given that valuable platform (honestly for indie devs it's probably the biggest platform outside of Summer of Arcade spots) over them.

    CambiataRear Admiral Choco
  • Peter EbelPeter Ebel CopenhagenRegistered User regular
    I lived through Carmageddon. That game was a drab piece of shit. The only life it made me want to take was my own for spending my meagre allowance on such utter bullshit. Talk about Hatred or don't. It doesn't matter.

    Also, that Polish developer fellow sounds silly. He sounds rather a lot like the early black metal crowd. And like them, he's doing it for attention.

    Fuck off and die.
    Cambiata
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    Game Idea:

    "Moral Pandemic"

    Much like that Pandemic game where you create a virus and infect the world, in this case you create a Moral Panic, and try and get the entire (Western?) world caught up in it.

    Moral Panic Classes:
    1) Religious (Subclasses: Witchcraft, Satanism, Goth culture)
    2) Media causes Violence (Subclasses: Music, Movies, Video Games)
    3) Sexual (Subclasses: Gay Agenda, Human Trafficking, Rape Culture)

    Enablers (opposite of Resistances):

    1) Religion - Your moral panic is more likely to be picked up and spread via Religious people
    2) Partisan Politics - Your moral panic is seen as an affront to either the "Left" or the "Right" and thus is picked up and spread by proponents of one end of the political spectrum
    3) Women's Issues - Your moral panic is seen as more likely to affect women, and is more likely to be picked up and spread via College/Universities and Feminist groups
    4) Children's Issues - Your moral panic is seen as more likely to affect children, and is more likely to be picked up and spread via Parents and parenting organizations

    Few minor changes between "Moral Pandemic" and "Pandemic":

    1) Where Madagascar is the country to "SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING." in Pandemic, Japan is the equivalent in Moral Pandemic because they just don't give a crap about most of the above.
    2) Your starting point is always in North America because that's where these things ALWAYS start.
    3) Sweden and other Scandinavian countries are amongst the easiest to initially "infect", but the toughest to permanently infect, as they are quick to take action to prevent whatever is being morally panicked about.

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    NamrokTryCatchermare_imbriumfortyCrippl3KenninatorCybitDonnicton
  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    That's sad about Carmageddon. For months we played the shit out of the second one at our weekly LAN parties in High School. Multiplayer was the best. It was like a hyper violent Mario Kart.

    Caulk Bite 6
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    @Albino Bunny

    You work on the assumption that Greenlight or Steam itself is a limited resource. Which is just silly, there's enough for everybody.

    "But now Hatred is the #1 Game on Steam Greenlight".

    Well, all that free publicity had to be useful for something. You know, besides getting clicks.

    TryCatcher on
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    @ "Albino Bunny"‌

    You work on the assumption that Greenlight or Steam itself is a limited resource. Which is just silly, there's enough for everybody.

    "But now Hatred is the #1 Game on Steam Greenlight".

    Well, all that free publicity had to be useful for something. You know, besides getting clicks.

    Uh... yes, it is a limited resource?

    Only so many games get on Steam. Getting on Steam is a huge boost to sales even if you're a terrible game due to the hype around sales and the number of eyeballs on the front page.

    Unless we're in a fairy land where Steam lets literally everyone on it's a limited resource and only so many games go on it.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2014
    I still wonder, if Tycho is so certain that every platform should be used for every piece of art, why he doesn't open up his own platform for games rejected by Steam. His platform is not quite as big as Gabe Newell's, but he's still pretty damn influential.

    Cambiata on
  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    I'm 99% certain that every game, does in fact, get on steam.

    The front page is it's only limited resource.

  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    @ "Albino Bunny"‌

    You work on the assumption that Greenlight or Steam itself is a limited resource. Which is just silly, there's enough for everybody.

    "But now Hatred is the #1 Game on Steam Greenlight".

    Well, all that free publicity had to be useful for something. You know, besides getting clicks.

    Uh... yes, it is a limited resource?

    Only so many games get on Steam. Getting on Steam is a huge boost to sales even if you're a terrible game due to the hype around sales and the number of eyeballs on the front page.

    Unless we're in a fairy land where Steam lets literally everyone on it's a limited resource and only so many games go on it.

    Limit according to what? Valve's constantly expanding hardware capacity? Tell me a limit that is actually relevant. If you mean Valve's capacity to decide if a game is on Steam or it isn't, that's not a limit, is a restriction.

  • -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    every pc game most certainly does not get on steam

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    Albino BunnyCrippl3TofystedethCaulk Bite 6Rear Admiral Choco
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    @ "Albino Bunny"‌

    You work on the assumption that Greenlight or Steam itself is a limited resource. Which is just silly, there's enough for everybody.

    "But now Hatred is the #1 Game on Steam Greenlight".

    Well, all that free publicity had to be useful for something. You know, besides getting clicks.

    Uh... yes, it is a limited resource?

    Only so many games get on Steam. Getting on Steam is a huge boost to sales even if you're a terrible game due to the hype around sales and the number of eyeballs on the front page.

    Unless we're in a fairy land where Steam lets literally everyone on it's a limited resource and only so many games go on it.

    Limit according to what? Valve's constantly expanding hardware capacity? Tell me a limit that is actually relevant. If you mean Valve's capacity to decide if a game is on Steam or it isn't, that's not a limit, is a restriction.

    At the point you're playing word pedantry to make some petty point because you disagree with me I'm gonna tell you to not be a goose and stop responding.
    Namrok wrote: »
    I'm 99% certain that every game, does in fact, get on steam.

    The front page is it's only limited resource.

    Nope.

    Whole lot of games on Greenlight (or in Steam's older situation sitting waiting for an e-mail that'll never come) which will never be sold on Steam.

  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    I mean, I know straight up pornographic games don't get on steam. And I know that not every alpha or beta ends up on steam under early access. And I know there are some older legacy games that aren't on Steam. Like Mechwarrior. God I wish Mechwarrior would show up on GoG or Steam.

    But I'm almost certain every 1.0 AAA (That isn't EA origin exclusive) and Indie game (even a lot of steaming piles) are on Steam?

    The point I'm trying to make, is the games that aren't on Steam aren't not on there because Steam ran out of space.

    Namrok on
    GethTryCatcherKenninator
  • -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    lots of indie games are not on steam and available on alternative distribution platforms like itch.io or not on any platform at all and just on the creator's website

    but you are right that space is not the issue, I don't think anybody claimed that though?

    -Tal on
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    Albino BunnyCaulk Bite 6
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    People being graceful on defeat, I see.

    That said, blame the free publicity. It created a demand for the game. Also Valve is nearing the anti-trust-lawsuit waters so they rather just sell the game like all the other violent games that get sold and almost nobody cares.

    TryCatcher on
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    People being graceful on defeat, I see.

    That said, blame the free publicity. It created a demand for the game. Also Valve is nearing the anti-trust-lawsuit waters so they rather just sell the game like all the other violent games that get sold and almost nobody cares.

    Anti trust? What? Did GOG and Origin stop existing recently?

  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Near complete market dominance makes a juicy target. It doesn't mean that it will succeed of course, but policing the games on Steam beyond the bare minimum opens a lot of questions about the entire Greenlight process and Valve just doesn't want to deal with it. Too much of a bother for a bunch of clickbait articles.

    Kenninator
  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    One thing this whole fiasco has brought to light for me is how absolutely, ridiculously vague and useless some of the Greenlight guidelines are:
    Are there any restrictions on what can be posted?
    Your game must not contain offensive material or violate copyright or intellectual property rights.
    "Offensive material"? Well, shit, your game better not have any violence whatsoever, because that's offensive to some people.

    The best card in Hearthstone is your credit card.
    Albino BunnyMrMiscreant
  • beeftruckbeeftruck Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Honestly I'd be perfectly happy with Valve not letting the game on Greenlight or it's service. There's plenty of other, more interesting games that rely on being good rather than just screaming 'look guys I'm so fucking edgy!' and I'll be sad if Hatred winds up being given that valuable platform (honestly for indie devs it's probably the biggest platform outside of Summer of Arcade spots) over them.

    In an ideal world the game would have simply come and gone without any particular fanfare and sold according to whatever level of genuine interest it could generate. But personally I'd much rather see it rocket up to #1 (as it has) than see it pulled. If only to teach a lesson to the Morality Police, and give them a taste of the future, because the current wave of moral panic will be no more successful than all the others.

    beeftruck on
    KenninatorMrMiscreant
  • EnlongEnlong Registered User regular
    beeftruck wrote: »
    Honestly I'd be perfectly happy with Valve not letting the game on Greenlight or it's service. There's plenty of other, more interesting games that rely on being good rather than just screaming 'look guys I'm so fucking edgy!' and I'll be sad if Hatred winds up being given that valuable platform (honestly for indie devs it's probably the biggest platform outside of Summer of Arcade spots) over them.

    In an ideal world the game would have simply come and gone without any particular fanfare and sold according to whatever level of genuine interest it could generate. But personally I'd much rather see it rocket up to #1 (as it has) than see it pulled. If only to teach a lesson to the Morality Police, and give them a taste of the future, because the current wave of moral panic will be no more successful than all the others.

    The future tastes like pennies.

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    One thing this whole fiasco has brought to light for me is how absolutely, ridiculously vague and useless some of the Greenlight guidelines are:
    Are there any restrictions on what can be posted?
    Your game must not contain offensive material or violate copyright or intellectual property rights.
    "Offensive material"? Well, shit, your game better not have any violence whatsoever, because that's offensive to some people.

    Greenlight's really bad and is basically a vague popularity contest that's still ultimately decided by Valve looking over the popular ones and cherry picking.

    Gaslight
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I still wonder, if Tycho is so certain that every platform should be used for every piece of art, why he doesn't open up his own platform for games rejected by Steam. His platform is not quite as big as Gabe Newell's, but he's still pretty damn influential.
    I've purchased Penny Arcade games before... they gave me a Steam code for digital download.
    Maybe they've got a non-Steam alternative to get you their games, but that's not what happened to me.

    Tycho is completely correct in that, if it's banned on Steam, it's effectively banned everywhere.
    And thus Steam should do as little banning as possible, and certainly not ban based on outsider opinion.

    Finally, Tycho's influence is really just PAX. The number of people who care about PAX far outstrip the numbers who care about the comic or his articles.

    hsu on
    iTNdmYl.png
    Kenninator
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I still wonder, if Tycho is so certain that every platform should be used for every piece of art, why he doesn't open up his own platform for games rejected by Steam. His platform is not quite as big as Gabe Newell's, but he's still pretty damn influential.
    I've purchased Penny Arcade games before... they gave me a Steam code for digital download.
    Maybe they've got a non-Steam alternative to get you their games, but that's not what happened to me.

    I'm saying that if Hatred needs to be hosted by someone, because it's art, he could be the one to host it. I'm not referring to Penny Arcade specific games.
    Tycho is completely correct in that, if it's banned on Steam, it's effectively banned everywhere.
    And thus Steam should do as little banning as possible, and certainly not ban based on outsider opinion.

    And he can effectively un-ban any such game by hosting it himself, and promoting it himself.
    Finally, Tycho's influence is really just PAX. The number of people who care about PAX far outstrip the numbers who care about the comic or his articles.

    "It's just PAX" strikes me as similar to saying "It's just Steam."

    PAX is vastly influential. And Tycho and Gabe, outside the comic, are influential in the gaming community. When they post impressions of a game those impressions are read and listened to far outside the people who actually read the comic.

    PonyCaulk Bite 6Rear Admiral Choco
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    PAX is literally the largest gaming convention on Earth right now, with multiple iterations on multiple continents per year. It's huge and if Jerry ever was really gasping about moral panics and feeling the clammy hand of censorship (as he sees it) on his shoulder he could very easily turn the media empire at his fingertips to work to fight against that.

    Which, to an extent, he does. He writes op-eds that color the whole issue and cause people in this very thread to use the phrase moral panic to describe what's happening now in gaming. Ironically, for those of you using the phrase "moral panic" (which doesn't mean what you think it means, look up what actual moral panics are sometime in your history books, kids) to describe these things you seem awfully panicked about the morality of things not going the way you want, even though those things don't meaningfully matter. Almost as if... you're... having some kind of... moral panic?

    No, no that's crazy! You couldn't possibly be over-reacting to Australian box stores opting not to sell a game due to petitioning, comparing them to literal Nazis, or Steam opting not to Greenlight a game that even the most hand-wringing among you can't really bring yourself to defend on its own merits as possibly a good game. No, no, it has to be these "moral guardians"! They're the ones who are over-reacting, not you! You couldn't possibly be lashing out in fear like a bunch of NRA gun-clutchers holding your M4s to your chests screaming "THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE OUR GUNS"

    No, of course the moral panic is on the part of people who want to see video games grow the fuck up as an art form and a medium and be inclusive towards everyone. Of course the moral panic is on the part of people who would rather not share shelf-space, digital or physical, with people who by their own admission are making a game as a political-fuck-you to progress and as a message of hate. It can't possibly be on the part of people making overblown comparisons to Nazis, people crying out about anti-trust without the foggiest idea how anti-trust work, people engaging in slippery slope arguments and chicken-little fearmongering about how if they don't stand up for this piece of shit game, we're all at risk, something something William Wallace FREEEEEDOOOOOOOOM

    If you disagree with people, fine. If you think that people who want to see video games progress as a medium and be more inclusive to all people are wrong, fine. If you think that people should just... be cool with a group directly using a video game as a hatemongering agitation piece, fine. I think all those viewpoints are asinine, personally, but they're your views. I'll argue with you about them, but so long as they're your views, they're your views.

    But once you start characterizing people you disagree with as "moral guardians" or these events as a "moral panic", you're chuckin' a big fuckin' rock from your glass fuckin' house, bro.

    Pony on
    CambiataAegeriRatherDashing89Crippl3cB557-TalGoatmonAlbino BunnyiTunesIsEvilCommander ZoomKid PresentableTofystedethCaulk Bite 6CaedwyrRear Admiral Choco
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    Moral Panics aren't Highlanders. There doesn't have to only be one at a time.

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    Kenninator
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    or maybe just abandon useless verbiage that's an impedance to discourse and instead focus on the actual disagreement, yeah?

    if it's a title you can uselessly apply to both sides of an argument then does it need saying?

    CambiataAegeriKid PresentableCaulk Bite 6
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    or maybe just abandon useless verbiage that's an impedance to discourse and instead focus on the actual disagreement, yeah?

    if it's a title you can uselessly apply to both sides of an argument then does it need saying?

    But can you truly have a Moral Panic against a Moral Panic, if the original Moral Panic is indeed a Moral Panic?

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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    :rotate:

    Crippl3Goatmon
  • EnlongEnlong Registered User regular
    saint2e wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    or maybe just abandon useless verbiage that's an impedance to discourse and instead focus on the actual disagreement, yeah?

    if it's a title you can uselessly apply to both sides of an argument then does it need saying?

    But can you truly have a Moral Panic against a Moral Panic, if the original Moral Panic is indeed a Moral Panic?

    Um... True. I'm gonna go with "true".

    Ilpala
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Read what you wrote. You have admited that you want some videogames banned because they are against The Cause (tm), and what gives you the right to demand that? BTW, I didn't want to bring it up since dragging discussions around makes things unpleasant, but what happened with all the "let the free market decide..." opinions from the Target thread? Apparently, they were missing "...unless the free market disagrees with me, in which case RIP AND TEAR!".

    KenninatorDistecNamrok
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Read what you wrote. You have admited that you want some videogames banned because they are against The Cause (tm), and what gives you the right to demand that? BTW, I didn't want to bring it up since dragging discussions around makes things unpleasant, but what happened with all the "let the free market decide..." opinions from the Target thread? Apparently, they were missing "...unless the free market disagrees with me, in which case RIP AND TEAR!".
    This is a different, separate issue from the Target thread. Tycho says this specifically, too. The people in the thread who are conflating the two are the ones using the terms "moral" left and right.

    Also..
    saint2e wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    or maybe just abandon useless verbiage that's an impedance to discourse and instead focus on the actual disagreement, yeah?

    if it's a title you can uselessly apply to both sides of an argument then does it need saying?

    But can you truly have a Moral Panic against a Moral Panic, if the original Moral Panic is indeed a Moral Panic?
    Yo dawg...
    xzibit_yo_dawg_render_by_kernelpanicx-d5aa710.png

    Alternatively...
    woodchuck_diagram.jpg

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MH Rise: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
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  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Read what you wrote. You have admited that you want some videogames banned because they are against The Cause (tm), and what gives you the right to demand that? BTW, I didn't want to bring it up since dragging discussions around makes things unpleasant, but what happened with all the "let the free market decide..." opinions from the Target thread? Apparently, they were missing "...unless the free market disagrees with me, in which case RIP AND TEAR!".
    Totally agree.
    As far as I can tell, the pro-ban side is basically: if I don't like it, it should be banned.
    I noticed how they defended Target's right to pull a game, but ripped on Steam's right to relist a game, even though any argument used for one applies to the other.

    hsu on
    iTNdmYl.png
    KenninatorDistecNamrok
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2014
    hsu wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Read what you wrote. You have admited that you want some videogames banned because they are against The Cause (tm), and what gives you the right to demand that? BTW, I didn't want to bring it up since dragging discussions around makes things unpleasant, but what happened with all the "let the free market decide..." opinions from the Target thread? Apparently, they were missing "...unless the free market disagrees with me, in which case RIP AND TEAR!".
    Totally agree.
    As far as I can tell, the pro-ban side is basically: if I don't like it, it should be banned.
    I noticed how they defended Target's right to pull a game, but ripped on Steam's right to relist a game, even though any argument used for one applies to the other.

    Or you could, you know, read what people actually wrote.

    "Banning" games to me involves actually making it impossible for them to be made or sold. What some folks here, apparently, want is for games to be sold everywhere, regardles of whether the store front actually wants anything to do with the game.

    For example, you haven't really said anything pertient to my example of Tycho using his platform in the way he says that Steam should be using theirs.

    If Tycho truly believes what he's saying, then he needs to do his civic duty in regards to games and give them his platform. I suspect that if asked about it directly, he would talk about how trusted Penny Arcade is to the point where they will never promote a game that they don't actually like personally. In short, he would not be willing to do what he insists Steam should be forced to do.

    Which is actually totally legit. The thing he's asking Steam to do is dumb. He's blathering about it because he's on a moral crusade right now. God forbid he have to actually do anything difficult himself for the sake of that moral crusade. He also only makes this argument because he seems to be somewhat unaware of himself as the captain of a media empire.

    Cambiata on
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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    This is why I can't take you guys seriously on this. You use words like "ban" and "censorship" histrionically irrespective of their actual meaning because they're more emotionally resonant and makes your argument look more agreeable to people already as worried as you.

    But it just makes you sound like the NRA to me, over-inflating the threat of reasonable actions out of worry of where it might lead according to agitators.

    CambiataAegeri-TalRhesus PositiveKid PresentableCaulk Bite 6
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    And to head off someone who will try to equivocate, Hatred is not the same thing because nobody is reacting to where Hatred might lead or what it might cause.

    The game itself and the people who made it are the problem. Hatred is a thinly veiled political message masquerading as a video game, and nobody really is making an honest effort at defending its merits as a game.

    It's exactly the kind of game everyone should find offensive, including Jerry. Especially Jerry, because the express reason him and Mike started Child's Play back in the day was to dissuade public opinion from thinking gamers were exactly the sort of people into this shit.

    But I guess that's easy to forget when gamers have replaced Jack Thompson with feminists as their toothless boogeyman of choice here to ruin them.

    -TalGoatmonTofystedethCaulk Bite 6
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    In which I ramble about "art" and video games and expression and censorship for just over a thousand words:

    First of all, I don't like using the word art with video games wantonly. Art is a complex word, it is a loaded word that people get touchy about. Art is a word people consider meritorious, meaning that something that is designated as art must have value and therefore not all things can simply be art by virtue of being created by a person.

    I think that, as people who love to play video games, we can all agree that there are some games that are meritorious art, yeah? We might not all agree what games those are, per se, but we all agree that some exist. We may not all agree that all games are art or that all art is meritorious, but we can at least find a common ground that some art is meritorious, and some games are meritorious, and therefore some games are meritorious art.

    But that's not useful to discourse, so instead I like to use the phrase expressive work. It's a little less snappy than "art", but it's a little more accurate and descriptive and most of all, value neutral. All games are expressive works. They're created by people to express an idea or ideas, and you engage those works and in doing so engage the expression of the developers. Whether or not your engagement causes you to come away with the intended expression of the developers of the work is highly variable (with games more than any other medium, really) but the developer is always trying to express something with their work, even if it's something as banal as "run from the left of the screen to the right of the screen, try not to die".

    Are all expressive works implicitly meritorious? I would say that no, they are not. I do not believe that is a controversial statement. Some are so derivative or banal they add nothing of value to a person's life and engage them on no particular level at all. They're not even fun and might not even be technically functional. Some are so egregious and offensive in the messages they are attempting to express that they're the opposite of meritorious; they're arguably harmful in that they exist purely to express beliefs, ideas, notions, or values that are ultimately not good for an individual or society. White supremacist groups, for example, do in fact make video games designed to promote white supremacy. They're genuinely awful, even from a pure gameplay perspective, because it's difficult to get good gameplay developers to sign up for your fucked up white supremacy game (also because there's a heavy Venn diagram overlap between poor education and violent racism, and poor education can lead to technically crude video games, but that's neither here nor there). I feel it's uncontroversial to state that while a video game made by a white supremacist group is still an expressive work, it's definitely not meritorious (this is why I dodge the whole "art" terminology entirely, because a definition of art that doesn't include merit as a criteria would classify white supremacist video games as art and whoa)

    So, with that said, we're left with the following: If all video games are expressive works, and expressive works are not required to be meritorious (and in fact, can be outright offensive or even arguably harmful), do all expressive works have the right to be unchallenged, unchained, unsuppressed, uncompromised, wherever the creators of that expressive work want it to be?

    No, I don't believe so. Ideas do not intrinsically get a "free pass" just for being ideas. Expressive works do not simply get to just exist, unchallenged, wherever they want, whenever they want. I know that the American cultural notion of Freedom of Expression is incredibly strong and that a lot of people, Americans especially, feel that this concept somehow overlaps into a unilateral protection from all forms of restriction upon expressive works but it really doesn't. Not practically under the law anywhere on Earth (even under the law of the United States), not socially in the culture of any people, it just does not.

    For example, even if you have a right to create whatever expressive work you want (white supremacist groups, for example, have a right to make white supremacist video games and they absolutely utilize that right), you don't have a right to distribution of that expressive work. You don't have a right to production of physical copies of that expressive work for sale. You don't have a right to advertisement of that expressive work. You have to be granted those things by the agreement of other people, and those people agree to grant those things based on their own values. If they opt not to, because they believe your expressive work is harmful, if they think what your work is expressing is meritless and not something they want to be associated with, if they believe that opting to do business with you will ultimately not be in their best interests, it's their right to turn their back on you. They do not owe you their distribution, production, or advertisement mediums.

    If their decision is compelled by pressure, because of petitioners and activists and agitators or other outside groups, that is nonetheless their decision to make. You might take umbrage with those outside groups, and you might in turn try to mount your own counter-pressure campaign to try to get those people to see different, but ultimately it is what it is.

    Are those outside groups attempting to suppress you? YES.

    Are they attempting to make sure you are unable to produce, distribute, or advertise your expressive work? YES.

    Are they attempting to pressure and compel you to stop creating those expressive works, by way of making the environment hostile to what you are creating and making it so you are unable to sustain it as a professional business or be successful at expressing yourself on a wider scale? YES.

    Is this inherently morally wrong? NO.

    Unless, of course, you think it's wrong when we do it to white supremacists, Christian fundamentalists, Islamic radicals, homophobic organizations, anti-Semitic groups...

    Because we do it to those people all the time. Their voices get silenced. Their expressions get told NO. They create expressive works and they try to put them in mainstream retailers and get told to fuck off.

    So clearly, sometimes it's okay to tell some people their expression is not okay, right? Sometimes, it's okay to just say no to sharing shelf-space, digital or physical, with a product that we as a society determine to be expressing something that is inherently harmful, yeah?

    Good talk.

    Pony on
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  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    man, i wish i could find that comic that addressed @Pony‌'s exact point. had to do with a woman responding indirectly to PA's strip on the GTA V removal.

    also, the "moral panic" label is a strawman. there are actual, real live people who see Hatred and the dumb shit in GTA V and feel personally attacked for who they are. there are literally hundreds of games out there that have violence and sex and adult themes in them but handle those themes in a mature (or at least a non idiotic) way. ways which at the very minimum don't attack people for who they fundamentally are. we should be demanding more of that. better quality games.

    what Jerry misses entirely is that calls to boycott a game are PART of the speech he wants more of. those are other persons exercising their speech in critique of the speech expressed in Hatred and GTA V and other games.

    as for Steam having a monopoly, they do wield a significant influence on the market, but i have not seen any hard numbers there affirming that they have the kind of control people are claiming. everything so far has been anecdotal.

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  • beeftruckbeeftruck Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Pony wrote: »
    No, of course the moral panic is on the part of people who want to see video games grow the fuck up as an art form and a medium and be inclusive towards everyone. Of course the moral panic is on the part of people who would rather not share shelf-space, digital or physical, with people who by their own admission are making a game as a political-fuck-you to progress and as a message of hate. It can't possibly be on the part of people making overblown comparisons to Nazis, people crying out about anti-trust without the foggiest idea how anti-trust work, people engaging in slippery slope arguments and chicken-little fearmongering about how if they don't stand up for this piece of shit game, we're all at risk, something something William Wallace FREEEEEDOOOOOOOOM

    What a load of histrionic bullshit. Next time you want to discourage anyone from painting you as a panicky moral guardian, maybe try not sounding exactly like one. It's absolutely shocking to me how badly people like you handle being disagreed with. Like yeah, anyone upset over products being pulled from shelves is overreacting, but overwrought hysterical drivel like yours is totally justified by a comic and a couple of blog posts criticizing your position.

    The moment your opinion on what constitutes "progress for the medium" involves preventing the sale of games you personally disapprove of, your opinion can go get fucked. If you really don't want to "share shelf-space" with games you disapprove of, you can pull whatever it is YOU'RE selling. Or you can try to have other people's games pulled, but if that's your plan you should probably buck up and get used to being called a would-be censor and moral guardian.

    Seriously, it's amazing to me how shocked some of you are that gaming as a community didn't greet your attempts at censorship with flowers and kisses, how baffled you are that taking the Right Wing Culture Warrior's Handbook and replacing "children" and "Jesus" with "progress" and "inclusivity" didn't magically prevent anyone from opposing you.

    beeftruck on
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