Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kids Murder Someone - Instant Messengers To Blame

Its pretty fucking hilarious if you imagine this entire article takes out anything to do with World of Warcraft. All you would need to do is replace it like this: 

After Proctor's murder, the boys told a friend on AOL Instant Messenger what they had done. One of the teens admitted that the murder didn't feel like he thought it would. Those messages were collected by police and used by prosecutors.


Bonnie Leadbeater, a psychology professor at the University of Victoria, says some kids have trouble knowing that what's acceptable in an internet chatroom may not be in real life. 

"You don't know which aggressive kid is going to take the fantasies of instant messengers and try them out in reality. You just can't predict those very rare occurrences," she said.

And it's instant comedy gold.

Everyone knows at this point that violent games don't even have anything to do with murders other than namedropping or a videogame being in the room. But in this instance a bunch of twats at CTV News saw a videogame somewhat related to it and decided to make the connection. The connection, in this instance, is online communication.

That's it. There is no talk of what they trained to do, any measure of practice, or some kind of educational murdersimulator horseshit you usually hear, maybe like about Manhunt or GTA or something. It is just a fucking chatroom. 

I guarantee you if Kotaku didn't exist we wouldn't have heard a fucking word about this horseshit schlock journalism. I'm not sure if that's a good thing in this instance or not. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Basically you should read Glenn Grenwald regardless, but...

This is worth reading for a point I want to talk about today.

This kind of character smear ("he's not in his right mind," pronounced a 25-year-old who sort of knows him) is reserved for people who don't matter in the world of establishment journalists -- i.e., people without power or standing in Washington and, especially, those whom American Government authorities scorn. In official Washington, Assange is a contemptible loser -- the Pentagon hates him and wants him destroyed, and therefore the "reporters" who rely on, admire and identify with Pentagon officials immediately adopt that perspective -- and that's why he was the target of this type of attack. After I wrote my criticism of this article on Monday, I was contacted by Burns' co-writer, Ravi Somaiya, who defended this article from my criticisms. I agreed to keep the exchange off-the-record at his insistence -- and I will do so -- but that was the question I kept asking: point to any instance where the NYT ever subjected Someone Who Matters in Washington to this kind of personality and mental health trashing based on the gossip and condemnation of associates. It does not exist.

If you had read the long-ass bullshit piece, it detailed all of his ways that Julian Assange - an enemy and target of the US Government's butthurt defensive stance via all those leaks Assange Wiki'd - is crazy and dangerously paranoid. Of the government. Who hates him. For leaking government documents. And he's crazy for thinking this way. Aaaaaaaaaaaaahyup. 

This seriously isn't the New York Times' only stint of pulling this kind of ridiculous bullshit. I recall - admidst tears of laughter and holding my sides - the time when New York Times (though strangely not Burns) had a wonderful, tear-jerking ten page narrative about what a nice guy Glenn Beck is

In person, Beck is sheepish and approachable, betraying none of the grandiosity or bluster you might expect from a man who predicted “the next Great Awakening” to a few hundred thousand people in late August at the Lincoln Memorial or who declared last year that the president has a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” He wore a blue dress shirt tucked into jeans and brown loafers, which he kicked off as soon as he sat down. He showed little interest in the results from primary elections held the day before — upsets in Delaware and New York for Tea Party candidates whose followers often invoke Beck and Palin as spiritual leaders and even promote them as a prospective presidential ticket in 2012.

You can tell the writer in this instance is trying as hard as he can to be nice to Glenn Beck, but it comes off as needlessly neutral. Glenn Beck is the same guy who has no concept of how fair use works and insinuates outright that Disney just doesn't care about it. This is the same guy who blames everything he can on immigrants, be it blacks or latinos. This is the same guy who had his rally to restore racism on the same day as MLK's speech, and even though it was sheer apathy, he called it 'divine providence' and touted that God wished it to be so

Being nice to Glenn Beck is not the same as trying to make Julian Assange look like a nut, but this is the kind of thing the New York Times has had prior experience with. Painting people who are outright full of shit like they're nice, approachable, decent people despite all that awful stuff you hear in their own radio show that they own that comes out of their mouth is right up the same alley as painting a ballsy, honest rebel like a nut. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

"I got bullied too, but I pulled myself up by my bootstraps"

Trigger warning - rape, homophobia, hate crimes, and violence.

He was told there was a party at a brick house on Osborne Place, a quiet block set on a steep hill in the Bronx. He showed up last Sunday night as instructed, with plenty of cans of malt liquor. What he walked into on the other side of the door was not a party at all, but a night of torture — he was sodomized, burned and whipped.

All punishment, the police said Friday, for being gay. 

There were nine attackers, ranging from 16 to 23 years old and calling themselves the Latin King Goonies, the police said. Before setting upon their 30-year-old victim, they had snatched up two teenage boys whom they beat, the police said, until the boys — one of whom was sodomized with a plunger — admitted to having had sex with the man.

The attackers forced the man to strip to his underwear and tied him to a chair, the police said. One of the teenage victims was still there, and the “Goonies” ordered him to attack the man. The teenager hit him in the face and burned him with a cigarette on his nipple and penis as the others jeered and shouted gay slurs, the police said. Then the attackers whipped the man with a chain and sodomized him with a small baseball bat.

The beatings and robberies went on for hours. They were followed by a remarkably thorough attempt to sanitize the house — including pouring bleach down drains, the police said, as little by little word of the attacks trickled to the police. A crucial clue to the attackers was provided by someone who slipped a note to a police officer outside the crime scene, at 1910 Osborne Place.

What I'm wondering is if this is some kind of 'sweeping hatecrime madness' that's taking over all across the states, or (more likely) this is the same old homophobic hatecrimes that are already happening but ever since those kids killed themselves now they're suddenly getting more PR because the news figures it'll generate more hits. 

Company Owner Asks Managers to 'Remain Neutral'

FakeCo, a USA-based company, had four of its female employees filing class-action lawsuits against their employers today. All of them are based on sexual misconduct and harassment. 

"I'm honestly confused," Idiot McJerk, FakeCo company owner said today. "I mean, yes we find them attractive, but what's wrong with that? That's what women are there for, right?"

The concept that FakeCo has problems with its female employees becomes more clear through interviews and employment history. Over the last year they've gone through massive turnover of female employees, which several ex-employees have attributed to numerous cases of sexual harassment. Male employee termination is almost at a standstill, however. 

"I'd go to the water cooler and be catcalled," Lady McGirlson said in an interview. "One time a guy even groped me, and when I shoved him the manager told us to go back to work. It's like they don't care."

Many of these reported incidents go by unnoticed, despite the alarming frequency at which they happened. A trend worth noting is that all of the managers are male. 

"It's very difficult. We have a community that has widely varying opinions, and so to respect all families, as the policy says, we ask managers to remain neutral," said Human Resources Head Fuckup McDumbass. 

And that's why 'remaining neutral' is a bullshit excuse to not do your fucking job to protect people from being bullied. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A slightly more coherent post on PA's rape comic

(Trigger warning: rape)

First of all, a huge shoutout to Questioning Transphobia, who linked to Devil May Rant's last barely-coherent ragepost. Much appreciated, and I'm honored.

But now I'm going to try and be a little more explanatory about all the problems with this, and why Gabe and Tycho's incessant insensitivity is downright incredible. A recap first.

As you all know, Gabe and Tycho did the rape-joke comic, where someone says "every night we are raped to sleep by the dickwolves." People took offense to this, because rape is not something you should toss about lightly. It creates PTSD and stumbling across 'being raped' could very well cause a reminder of the horrible experience I'm sure the person would just like to forget. Plus, it's just more of the same Bro-gamer bullshit, padding on more and more insensitivity to a topic that (almost entirely) affects just women and pushes to alienate them.

Penny Arcade's response was as subtle as a nuclear bomb. In their next comic they talked of being sorry that "fictional creatures made out of dicks raped fictional people" and that "anyone who became a rapist because of our comic should stop." Okay, you do not fucking make fun of people who take offense to your work, especially not in this instance. They flat out ignored the issue or completely didn't understand.

When I glanced at Gabe's twitter someone posted the response to him where they talked about all the reasons that the horrible word being used was enough, not necessarily the context it was used in. He replied with, "I read it," and left it at that. I'm beginning to think that he knows of this, but either outright disagrees with it (which is, um, wrong, I mean I wouldn't tell a rape victim what they should or should not feel or take offense to) or just doesn't care and is planning on milking the PR for all its worth.

Now, if that were it, it'd be okay. They're being assholes but maybe they just believe in comedy being the higher authority, and that nothing is sacred. That's a disagreeable stance, I mean you wouldn't toss around 'faggot' or 'nigger' in a standup comedy routine and expect to be taken as anything other than a homophobe or a racist, but at least I could shrug and remind myself that PA is just the pinnacle persona of the gamer society.

I can't expect them to change their minds since they're ultra-successful thus far and probably think what they're doing is working. I can take offense, but they are more than likely not to listen as evidenced by their response. I'd rather just forget about it and so would everyone else. 

So if that were it, it'd be alright. BUT!

Next week's comic had a person talking on the phone and, on his shirt, was an outright second serving of cockslap to anyone who took offense, where he was wearing a shirt that said, "PENNY ARCADE  - DICKWOLVES"

The internet blew up a second time. Were they really going to make a shirt? Were they honestly just making any attempt to wring out some money from anything, including rape victims? 

Surprisingly, no, and the shirt concept vanished. To me, at the time, it seemed like they were heading forward into trolling the internet some more and ran into Blade Barrier cast by a maximum-level cleric and decided to back out. Maybe this was a bit much for them, and they decided not to after all.

If that were it, it'd be okay. BUT!

Just yesterday, in the blog post I mentioned, they announced their new shirt, Dickwolves. It was made out to be a sports jersey-style, IE, "Timberwolves." The internet once again exploded into a frenzy. This is about the time I took a step back.

Let's just analyze it for a moment, shall we? From the very getgo it's all been about "the dickwolves." Whenever they talked about the PR storm coming from it, this was the phrase they used. Was this one concept really so offensive? Rape was, yes, but who's making the connection now, anyway?

Maybe Gabe and Tycho just really liked the concept of wolves made out of cocks, with a bulbous wolf-head? And to be fair, that's pretty funny, aside from how these days is connected to a comic where they were raping people. So let me be fair to them and say that maybe they just don't understand what was so wrong about it, and instead want this joke to be the focus and try and move people away from connecting it to rape. 


Remember the trigger warning I gave at the beginning of this post, where I essentially said I will talk in great detail about rape to avoid anyone stumbling across this and accidentally suffering from a trigger? Gabe's post right before Tycho's dickwolves shirt announcement talked of a trigger warning for "attempts to coerce laughter through foul language, Dungeons, Dice rolling, contempt for Hydra’s bodily autonomy,Dragons,"

This is the patriot missile right into the left wing of my attempt to be fair to them. This blows any and all attempts to be nice or generous to them utterly away. They are insensitive, greedy, conceited assholes, and can't possibly be bothered to consider that they might be wrong. 

From the outset, anything and everything related to "dickwolves" is to remind people of the rape comic. Clean cut and dry, this is what they are doing. There's not even a joke anymore. The joke has become "people are hurt by rape and we don't care.* Let's make some money off it." Mocking PTSD is their new 'thing'. 

As I said before, PTSD is not something to make fun of. Army vets are now their beating sticks. Child abuse victims are now funny as hell. If they can find a way to wring cash out of either of these things, they'll do it. Psychological afflictions do not penetrate their cold exterior of generating humor. People who wish to be gamers who have suffered rape now will go to PAX where hundreds of gamers will wear "dickwolves" to remind them of their rape and how PA, by extension, doesn't care about their feelings.

The connection is intentional. I'd expect this kind of shit out of fucking ICP or Juggalos, not a gaming webcomic! Can Gabe or Tycho just imagine what would happen if one of their wives had to suffer through this? They would be extensions of the culture and, unsurprisingly, they would be repressed and humiliated by something their husbands are making a mockery of and desensitizing.

I can imagine that, if this happened, they would probably retract their shirts and try to forget about it. We ask this of them, and they mock us. This is insensitive, you assholes. "A tragedy is what happens to me, a no big deal is what happens to you." 

They didn't just guffaw and handwave someone taking offense. They told an offensive joke, someone got offended, and they promptly started mocking them to all their friends, and now have made a shirt that says RAEP IS GRAET, are selling it, and while wearing it began dry-humping people, loudly announcing "LOL RAPING LOOOOOOLLLL!" 

*Dox said this, not me, and I'm jealous I didn't think of wording it like that! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welp. Bye PA.

(Trigger Warning for attempts to coerce laughter through foul language, Dungeons, Dice rolling, contempt for Hydra’s bodily autonomy,Dragons,)

Next post from Tycho:

2. [Our new] Dickwolves shirt.

Wwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllpppppppppp! I'm done.

Gabe is now officially just mocking the entire populous' offense with and attempt to forget the issue. LOL TRIGGER WARNING ok now buy our rape shirts. 

Here he goes out of his way to mock people with PTSD. I am sorry, there is no fucking way you can do that straight-faced and not look like a total asshole. 

I could kind of see the Dickwolves as a straight-up joke of wolves made out of dicks mascots as a hockey team, but Gabe and Tycho aren't even pretending to give a shit. They are bold-facedly telling everyone in the world, "Yeah, fuck your problems and concerns and post-traumatic stress disorder. I'd rather make money." People who have been raped are now their new beating stick. They are celebrating the "Dickwolves" connected to the PR from the rape comic. What the jesus fucking shit. 

Next I'm going to make a killing with my next target - mocking war vets. I also hear there's tons of cash to be made in child abuse victims! Busy busy busy!

Congratufuckinglations, PA, I think you just lost a couple thousand fans. Starting with me.

EDIT: Dox - "and now there IS no real joke anymore. the punchline is just "people have been hurt from rape and we don't care.""

Some people put things better than I can.

EDIT EDIT: Cleaned up a few words and tweaked some sentences.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tae Kim is fucking stupid

So there's that Other M review that Abbie did on G4 where she gave it a 2/5 and called it a sexist portrayal of Samus. So Tae Kim asks, does gender affect game reviews? 

It dawned on me that if Abbie hadn’t pointed it out, I would never have thought of Other M that way. I simply didn’t have the necessary perspective to see the larger implications of the narrative decisions Team Ninja and Nintendo had made. I began to wonder how differently GamePro’s review would’ve turned out, had I assigned the game to a woman instead of doing it myself. For that matter, how different would reviews of games like Mirror's Edge, Heavenly Sword, and Guardian of Light have been under the same conditions?

Wow, that was really stupid. 

I absolutely fucking hate this backwards-ass notion that somehow women are able to bring a new light to all sorts of angles of everything by virtue of having vaginas. Being female is not a perspective. It is an identity. It may affect your outlook but Other M's portrayal of Samus has nothing to do with gender. Gender politics, yes, but not gender roles.

I mean, sure you might have a higher chance of meeting women who agree with the sexist portrayal of Samus, but that doesn't mean it's a blanket statement you can tack onto the female populous. I'm sure there are women who are sexist and think rape jokes are funny. 

It's especially ridiculous considering you can look at, ohhh, I dunno, Gamepad Dojo and see me and Noncon both tearing it a new one. Or even Yahtzee looked at it and went, "That's pretty sexist." We are not women - this is just our perspective. You don't have to be gay to see homophobia. Aggie is feminist and looked right at the sexism and called it out. Other reviewers did not see it. 

Even this is probably giving it more attention than it deserves considering a few paragraphs in he basically runs off the rails and talks about how "these things need to be considered equally" and "you don't always need these things in a game review" etc etc etc. It's just outright ridiculous that he asks if gender affects reviews, and he says yes because everything affects reviews. Well yes that's true...but you haven't really answered the question. Reminds me of when you accuse someone of stealing and they talk about how all property is theft. 

It's just a backhanded-ass sexism to treat women gamers as though they have this entirely different set of credentials based on being born with a vagina. We're going to get a lot further on in our collective chosen hobby if we stop treating women differently - not better or worse, but differently - and just keep in mind at all times that they're gamers like us.