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  • eacaraxe 11:53 pm on September 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullshit, , , ,   

    Quiet but not Silent; MGSV and game journalist bullshit 

    I don’t think I actually need to link any articles to demonstrate the rather extreme criticism of Hideo Kojima, Kojima Productions, and Konami for the appearance of the character Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V. Instead, I’ll lead with what Kojima himself had to say on the matter:

    We all know Hideo Kojima is meta and modernist as fuck. The reason for Quiet’s exposure is hardly secret; the player is outright told in the game. The “secret” was out before the game’s retail release, due to leaks and street date-breaking. So, what is the “secret reason” for Quiet’s exposure? Well, unlike most game “critics” I did Kojima the favor of actually paying attention to the game, what goes on in it, and the social commentary being made.

    Let’s start with this:

    And, in this video, Joosten discusses the level of mocapping she did for the game (long story short, everything but the stunt work). So, the big question is “why?”. Well, “why?” beyond the realm of the technical. This video answers that quite succinctly, at least in my opinion:

    The central theme of the game is communication. More superficially, communication as expressed through spoken language, but lest we forget communication is also carried out (for the most part, even) nonverbally through expression and body language. So where does that leave a character who is effectively mute?

    One that communicates through nonverbally, that’s where (well, aside from her humming to indicate she has a target and is ready to open fire as a game mechanic conceit, that is). If the player actually watches Quiet rather than gawks at her lack of clothing, it becomes pretty damn clear pretty damn quick she’s easily the most communicative character in the game, especially contrasted against an entire cast of characters that talk at length but say little if anything (Ocelot, anyone?). The converse of that, of course, is that if the player gawks at Quiet’s lack of clothing rather than watches her, they’ve effectively silenced her as a character.

    I’d bet the farm that’s the “secret reason for her exposure”, as Kojima put it. To accept Quiet as a character means the player must first see beyond her (lack of) clothing, and to see nothing but her exposure is to negate her character entirely. Hell, Kojima dares the player to do it, for all the (superficially) gratuitous T&A Quiet brings to the screen. Without mentioning spoilers, it’s even something the character herself calls out in a subtly fourth wall-breaking scene later in the game.

    We know where critics of Kojima have placed themselves vis-a-vis Quiet. It’s bitter irony — and a rather blatant, but on Kojima’s part incredibly devious, display of hypocrisy — that in fixating on Quiet’s appearance, they’ve erased a very strong female character who is anything but silent.

     
  • eacaraxe 10:49 pm on September 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullshit, , , , transgender   

    Brianna Wu and Ellen McGrody are completely full of shit. 

    I was going to write a thing about Quiet in MGSV today and how the SocJus narrative ultimately annihilates itself in their condemnation of the character, then this came to my attention.

    Now, here’s the thing that struck me as funny about this article. Brianna Wu and Ellen McGrody seem to be awfully fixated on Samus Aran’s genitals, rather than gender expression and identity. As we see here, here, and here, that’s a pretty big social faux pas when it comes to trans people; but don’t take it from me, take it from Laverne Cox (again):

    In fact, to drive the point home, I’ll even quote Cox from the Kouric interview:

    “The preoccupation with transition and with surgery objectifies trans people. And then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans peoples’ lives is that so often we are targets of violence.”

    Moral of the story is, don’t objectify trans people, don’t fixate on their bodies (let alone their genitalia, and don’t misgender them. Which are the very three things Wu and McGrody in that very article.

    What matters is their identity and expression. That is the goalpost, isn’t it?

    Or, are we just making shit up as we go along to fit our ideology?

    This article debunks the linguistic foibles quite nicely, and brings up a very interesting point and unintentional conclusion to be drawn as I see it. Namely, the colloquial definition of “newhalf”, which seems to intone Samus is, if anything, male-identified and male-expressive even as she is female-bodied (that is, admittedly, up until Other M but we shall not discuss that game). So yes, there is an argument to be made Samus is trans — a trans man.

    But we can’t have that now, can we.

     
  • eacaraxe 11:47 pm on July 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullshit, , sex, sex positivity, SJW logic   

    That “S” Word 

    No, “sex”. Get your minds out of the gutter, pervs.

    That said…hi, I’m a Gamergate supporter. Since the sex thing came up again with a handful of aGGros repeating the big lie Gamergate is sex-negative, I felt obliged to say something as a Gamergate supporter.

    I freely and enthusiastically support the right, and choice, of women to engage in whatever sexual acts with, or in the presence of, however many informed, enthusiastically, and expressly consenting adults they wish.

    The end, PERIOD. Well, no, perhaps I shouldn’t say that.

    I freely and enthusiastically support women’s right and choice to all of the above, for the sake of their own pleasure, in a safe environment, and free from guilt and shame or societal repercussion.

    Like, for example, distorted-but-transparent attempts to guilt women into not doing the above, through claims of internalized misogyny, or accusations of pandering to the male gaze or to seek male attention, gender treason, or being complicit in The Patriarchy™. Or, attempts to shame women publicly as a result of aforementioned claims or accusations, or attempts to out-group women or otherwise exorcise them from communities.

    And, ALL of those things are what I see from aGGro, without failure, each and every time this discussion once again rears its ugly head. They think they’re doing it “for [Gamergate women’s] own good”? Good for them. So do the patriarchal boogeymen they’ve constructed, if their own words are to be read, heard, or understood on the basis of their own explicit context. And, from where I sit as someone who actually is sex-positive opposed to simply having appropriated sex-positive language to further a radical, sex-negative agenda, there’s not a lick of difference between the very real SJW’s and their boogeymen.

    At the end of the day, attempting to control women’s sexuality is still attempting to control women’s sexuality. No, the rationale or methods are irrelevant. Sex-shaming women is still sex-shaming women, and rationale or methods remain irrelevant.

     
  • eacaraxe 5:41 pm on July 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullshit, mainstream media, racism, , social media   

    Why I hate SJW’s 

    So…those in social justice circles are celebrating, apropos of nothing, the removal of Confederate (battle) flags from Southern state houses and public grounds (that aren’t historical landmarks, anyhow)…after a three-week-long crusade that began with the Charleston church massacre (which was TOTALLY NOT TERRORISM because White America and the mainstream media says so).

    Good luck getting them to remember that part of it.

    Or the shooting of Michael Brown, the protests and riots that followed…

    Or the Walter Scott shooting, which hey! happened in the same state (hell, the same fucking incorporated metro area) as the Charleston shooting…

    Or Trayvon Martin…

    Or any of the other thousands of beatings, taserings, shootings, and other assorted acts of police overreach and brutality, or random violence by citizens, against black men and women that have occurred in this country in the last year alone…

    Or, hell, even the recent spate of black church burnings (two of which were confirmed to be arson, and three still under investigation with announcement forthcoming) in any context save to push their own topical agenda.

    Changing gears a bit, I thought of this today thanks to a cousin who made a Facebook post, talking about how the removal of Confederate flags would hopefully “lead to” a wider conversation about race and privilege in America. That “conversation” was already being had, and that conversation was completely derailed over this flag nonsense. And, yes, nonsense is exactly what it is.

    The Confederate (battle) flag is a symbol; it has precisely as much meaning as is attached to it by others. That symbol is unequivocally racism, indeed, but in the end it is a symbol. Removing symbols is, at best, addressing symptoms rather than causes, and in the short term likely to agitate and exacerbate those causes opposed to ease them; worst-case, those symbols take on entirely new meanings as speech expressed through the use of symbols is still speech, which means attempts to suppress those symbols are attempts to suppress speech (something to which Americans tend to not take kindly).

    By “causes” here I mean economic inequality, de facto segregation, resource accessibility (see, food deserts and utility access in urban areas), inequality in education, lack of equitable job access…the list really does go on. Unless we forget, those issues impact whites as well as (though, certainly not as badly as) blacks; the key factor in the implementation of Jim Crow and the Southern Strategy was deluding poor, uneducated whites in the South into blaming their own misfortunes (at the hands of white Southern bourgeoisie) on blacks, and encouraging them to take out their frustrations on blacks rather than those who actually deserved it.

    Which, out of all that I really do have to point out one of those key causes: economic inequality. You know, that tiny little matter that got Martin Luther King, Jr. finally shot after nearly a decade and a half of being the de facto leader of the civil rights movement of the ’60s? Not that anyone remembers that, either, funny enough.

    So…back to the point. Now we have a bunch of over-educated, overwhelmingly white, middle- to upper-middle-class morons bleating and yowling on social media about flags opposed to any underlying, meaningful cause of the ongoing problems with race in America, as prompted by liberal political and economic elite and the mainstream media. In the meantime, this:

    is quickly becoming a symbol for this:

    …and the worst part is, thanks to much of what has been said of the topic in the past few weeks combined with actions taken, it is not wrong. If I were someone paying the least bit of attention to what’s going on in this country, the very first thing I’d be asking is, “why is that?”.

    Anything to keep the outrage-industrial complex well-oiled and fed, right?

     
  • eacaraxe 5:47 pm on June 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bullshit, FullMcintosh, ,   

    Jonathan McIntosh is Still an Asshole 

    Adapted from this Twitlong, June 28, 2015:

    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sms2cn

    It all started with this:

    Etymology can be a funny thing sometimes…

    The etymology of “bozo” is largely unknown, but likely has its origins in the word “bozal” which is not just a Spanish creole that originated in the slave trade, but was used as a derogatory term for its speakers (and for African slaves). Just to drive the point home, “bozal” is the Spanish word for “muzzle”; which were very commonly used as torture devices on African slaves by their European-descended captors and owners.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bozo

    Verdict: RACIST AS FUCK.

    —–
    The word “yoyo” is derived from the Ilokano language of the Phillipines, and was exported to the West when Pedro Flores produced and marketed the traditional toy to the United States…from which its use as a derogatory term stemmed.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=yo-yo

    Verdict: CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.

    —–
    The word “rapscallion” is a derivation and merger of two words: the archaic French “rascaille” and the Middle English word “rampallion”. Rascaille was a derogatory term used to refer to the poor, and rampallion was a derogatory term used to refer to “ill-behaved” women.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=rapscallion

    VERDICT: SEXIST AND CLASSIST.

    —–
    The word “hooligan”…wow. Just wow, where do I even begin. I’ll just let it speak for itself:

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hooligan

    VERDICT: RACIST AS CLASSIST AS FUCK.

    —–
    The word “scuzzball” is actually pretty straightforward. It’s appearance-shaming. Of course, it bears importance to look at its etymology, too, especially since its root word, “scuzzy”, had its first recorded use in the film Midnight Cowboy in reference to the character “Ratso” Rizzo, played by Dustin Hoffman.

    I’d look that movie up and find out what it’s about, and what role that character plays in the film. I don’t want to ruin the hilarity.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=scuzzy

    VERDICT: CLASSIST AND ABLEIST AS FUCK, POSSIBLY ALSO HOMOPHOBIC.

    FINAL VERDICT; You guessed it, McIntosh is still an asshole.

    This post brought to you by the five fucking minutes on Google it took me to source this shit.

     
  • eacaraxe 1:21 am on June 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullshit, , ,   

    Gamergate: my (semi) Final Word 

    Folks who read my blog and Twitter may or may not have noticed my absence for the past few months. Well, part of that is due to real life commitments and a very busy schedule, but at the end of the day…

    I honestly just don’t care enough about Gamergate any more to write at length about it.

    No, this isn’t because I suddenly became an SJW, or stopped caring about the sick joke that is the current state of gaming (and pretty much any, from a broader perspective) journalism. Nor have I stopped caring about the numerous cancers plaguing the games industry, of which the underlying causes of Gamergate are but one.

    I just don’t see a use for Gamergate any more. After a year, the reality is nominal concessions have been made, and more importantly the games industry has been put on notice that gamers — at least, their core audiences of gamers — are anything but the mindless, mass-consuming, dregs of society gaming journalists would have them believe to be. Of course, widespread defamation, gamer-baiting and gamer-blaming, and such continue from the games journalist and indie gaming circles.

    What I have been doing from the beginning, what really matters, is what I’m going to continue to do — vote with my wallet. I stopped going to the “usual suspect” sites ten months ago, and I continue to not nor will I ever again. I’ve stopped purchasing products from the “usual suspect” developers — including Gearbox which broke my heart due to their recent remake of one of my favorite games of all time, Homeworld — and I will never again purchase any of their products…at least, new copies thereof, nor DLC, season passes, or any of the other cancerous ilk which floats a game industry on the verge of an economic shock unseen since 1983.

    Sorry Bioware, Mass Effect: Andromeda looks really good, but not enough to make me forget the sour taste in my mouth from the way your company treated gamers during the immediate aftermath of the Mass Effect 3 ending fiasco. I might even have overlooked that, until several of your employees went on social media acting the fool and sealed the deal forever.

    I am, however, enjoying my used copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition which I bought from GameStop of all places if that is any indicator of the depth of my disappointment with your company. Your depiction of women characters in the game is actually pretty deplorable, though, especially when it comes to diversity of personality and background; the only remotely original female companion (who doesn’t fit neatly within the Strong, Independent, Survivor with Emotional Baggage trope so loved by certain people) got squat for screen time, something even worse because she is the only companion who is a person of color.

    And, you know, not a one of them had the depth, complexity, and compellingness of Wynne. I guess the elderly have no place in your brave new world of diversity and inclusion, huh?

    And, I will certainly continue to buy products from pro-consumer companies and visit pro-consumer sites. Wardell, if you’re reading this, be on notice my wallet will be aimed directly at your head in the upcoming months.

    Anyhow, I digress. When it comes to Gamergate and its root causes, I will again be slipping into the depths of the people for which gaming journalists and developers really need to watch out — the ones who let their money do the talking. I’m tired of leading horses to water, only to have them not drink, but rather turn around and piss in it. I’m not feeding them attention and validation any longer — fuck ’em, let them go under like they invariably will.

    So…what to do with this blog? Well, I’ll continue writing, but not about Gamergate, but calling out general social justice and gaming-related bullshit. I’ll try to keep it up as often as I have anything to say.

     
  • eacaraxe 3:31 pm on February 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullshit, call of duty, , ,   

    An open response to Bob “Moviebob” Chipman…again. 

    …and today we see another Moviebob rant, this time directed towards Call of Duty, conservatism in gaming, jingoism, and an apparent imminent death of artistry and political statements in gaming.

    Have you even played the latest Call of Duty games, or are you basing these statements exclusively upon something someone else said about Modern Warfare 3 in combination with having watched promo footage?

    Yes, Modern Warfare 3 and Ghosts are rightfully panned, having lost the message of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, nationalism, and how soldiers are regarded as disposable, but renewable, resources by governments that informed the Modern Warfare series, and its sequels and offshoots. Those happen to be not the only Call of Duty games released in the last decade.

    World at War directly and bluntly addressed the elephant in the room when it comes to any discussion of the Eastern and Pacific fronts: the utter inhumanity of them, and the atrocities committed by both sides in the course of the war. And, Treyarch did it right in the heyday of the jingoism and topical nature of “modern military” shooters. Granted, they toned it down and didn’t even touch the worst of it (mass rapes by Soviet soldiers, Japanese war crimes against the Chinese, the treatment of POW’s), and I would bet dollars-to-donuts a good chunk of that was to avoid an adults-only rating, but it remained an honest look into two fronts of World War II that are oft-forgotten and grossly misunderstood (even misrepresented) when remembered.

    Black Ops, however implausible its plot, dealt with the dark side of the VIetnam war, the emotional toll on veterans, and the horror and paranoia of the Cold War. You, quite contrary to your stated belief, are not the only gamer who remembers it. In fact, I would say Treyarch was quite clever and subversive in how they translated that atmosphere and revulsion to a younger audience who would not remember it, had they been born prior to the downfall of the Soviet Union at all.

    Advanced Warfare is about the danger posed by the confluence of globalization, corporate personhood, and the military-industrial complex, as reflected through military privatization. Full stop. It’s not as if this is some DaVinci Code-esque secret discernible with the decoder ring only found in the collector’s edition:

    By the way, the second logo there is a real PMC. You’d probably know them by their old logo and name:

    These are games that are far from the “post-9/11 revenge-sim” as you characterize them, and really only can be construed as such by the most topical and out-of-context interpretation thereof, and are vastly more nuanced than for which you give them credit. It strikes me someone of your political leanings should be singing Advanced Warfare’s praises, not condemning it.

     
  • eacaraxe 4:54 pm on February 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baiting, bullshit, , ,   

    Why “don’t touch the poop” is so important 

    Originally posted to the Escapist forums, 17 Feb. 2015

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.860762-GamerGate-Discussion-Debate-and-Resources?page=1475

    The sad thing is, most involved gamers can’t see the forest for the trees on this matter and keep right on taking the bait. If most would just shut up for a minute, the bizarro, horrid, and hyperbolic shit aGGros spew would have to stand on its own merits and be judged for itself. When gamers take the bait and overreact, the story becomes how they react to what was said, rather than what was said itself.

    Look at Brianna Wu. She received months of being propped up by Gamergate, receiving mainstream media attention and raking in the cash, capitalizing on the drama and controversy…in fact, stirring much of it up herself by spewing hyperbolic and incendiary nonsense. What happened when she went on David Pakman’s show? What happened when she put Revolution 60 on Steam? She found herself positioned against people who wouldn’t take the bait and overreact in predictable ways that would allow her to capitalize upon them, and her product(s, counting manufactured victimization and outrage as a product which is clearly marketable), which meant her words had to stand on their own merit. Predictably, she got crushed.

    That’s how and why this thing has lasted as long as it has, and GG continues to have PR problems. It’s not the implicated journalists, devs, and ancillary industry figures. It’s the GG supporters, and at-larger gamers, who somehow after six months (forgetting the two years prior of “sexism in gaming” and ME3 controversy) haven’t clued into the notion they’re being played like fiddles by the usual suspects for their material gain. For a group of people for which “don’t touch the poop” has become a litany, they can’t help themselves but do it, each and every time.

    I can’t believe I’m about to make this comparison…but well, the topic has already come up by aGGros which means it’s fair game, and it’s an apt comparison. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda didn’t just take down the WTC for lulz. They did it for a specific purpose, which has been lost on most Americans (as it was lost back then) — to provoke the US into wars in the middle east it could not in any genuine sense win, in the process destabilizing the region, putting a country that is perceived as common enemy in the forefront, garnering sympathy and support for al-Qaeda, and draining the US of international goodwill and strategic resources. The US took the bait, and not only did the US take the bait but took it hook, line, and sinker, destroying the one country in the region which was a stabilizinginfluence (no matter how deplorable) and chief enemy of al-Qaeda in the process.

    The US took al-Qaeda’s bait and did its own job in ways al-Qaeda could never hope to achieve on its own…much as gamers are taking aGGros’ bait and doing their own job in ways they could never hope to achieve on their own.

     
  • eacaraxe 8:09 pm on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullshit, , , , law & order   

    Tropes vs. Law & Order 

    Just a quickie, since I’m time-constrained. Let’s put Anita’s analysis to work on the recent Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode about which “feminist” “critics” are crowing.

    Isn’t “rape as plot device to show antagonists as evil” deeply problematic in and of itself for trivializing rape, its impact on victims, and its prevalence in society?

    Then, there’s the Anita Sarkeesian stand-in being actually damseled, having been kidnapped by the “they’re evil because they’re rapists” gamer-terrorists to be rescued by the heroes…who just happen to be predominantly male.

    I say “predominantly” because there’s the character Olivia Benson, who spends — what? — a third of the episode as background decoration, a third of it as token “ignorant of (insert subculture here) exposition feed” (because she’s a woman, and obviously women can’t be gamers, am I right?), and a third of it as fighting fucktoy.

    …and at the end of the episode, the Anita stand-in quits gaming anyway, because she’s apparently disposable or something. Or, alternatively, in terms of her own career she becomes the “euthanized damsel”. In Sarkeesian’s own words,

    So when developers exploit sensationalized images of brutalized, mutilated and victimized women over and over and over again it tends to reinforce the dominant gender paradigm which casts men as aggressive and commanding and frames women as subordinate and dependent.

    Although these stories use female trauma as a catalyst to set the plot elements in motion, these are not stories about women. Nor are they concerned with the struggles of women navigating the mental, emotional and physical ramifications of violence.

    Instead these are strictly male-centered stories in which, more often than not, the tragic damsels are just empty shells, whose deaths are depicted as far more meaningful than their lives. Generally they’re completely defined by their purity, innocence, kindness, beauty or sensuality. In short they’re just symbols meant to invoke the essence of an artificial feminine ideal.

    The episode make zero effort to “explore loss, death and grief in more genuine or authentic ways”, and instead “sensationalize[d] [and] exploit[ed] victimized women”. I wish I could go on, but in the two-and-a-half years and hundreds of thousands of dollars acquired, these are the only tropes actually covered thus far.

     
  • eacaraxe 11:30 am on January 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: africa, boko haram, bullshit, social justice   

    Shut the Fuck Up Jonathan McIntosh, a Quickie 

    I have about five minutes to write this, so I’ll make it brief.

    I’m not one for oppression olympics or one-upmanship because I’m an actual intersectionalist who understands what that means, but in this case I believe it applies.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t know Charlie Hebdo made comics about sub-Saharan Africans. You know, these people? I can’t help but notice you, nor any of your surrogates, nor supporters nor friends, haven’t uttered a word about this. It really seems you (the plural “you”, of course) ought, given all the past rumbling about the very group that pulled this shit.

    Of course, I can see you’re too busy going on at length about the en vogue issue of the day to arse yourself to at least continue raising awareness about this. Then again, I guess this is something that can’t be easily coopted by Westerners for their (your) own political ends, so it gets the pass like the everything else Boko Haram does.

     
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