Experienced Points: What Happened at GAME_JAM?

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Apr 15, 2014

Filed under: Column 64 comments

So it turns out the gaming community dodged a bullet a couple of weeks ago. You’ll really need to read the column and the links it contains to make sense of what follows. Sorry to give you such a giant reading assignment, but it’s a big topic with a lot of tributaries.

Here is a quote from Adriel Wallick, who also had some things to say about the event:

The product placement and forcing of the brand onto us was over the top. I understand who was sponsoring it and where the money to produce this event was coming from, but when I am no longer allowed to have easy access to water in order to hydrate myself after sweating under bright lights for hours because it wasn’t Mountain Dew, then we have a problem. I don’t want to speak ill of Mountain Dew. They are a brand and they sponsored an event – it is 100% acceptable to slap their branding all over the place. It was the enforcement of shilling out our image to constantly and overtly push this beverage that made me uncomfortable.

This is not the first time Pepsi has tried to hang out with the cool kids in gaming and wound up looking like tone-deaf jerks. I understand that brand awareness and exposure are important, but there ARE bad places to put your logo: THIS WEEKEND A TWITCH TV EXCLUSIVE: KITTYCIDE. WE PUT THESE ADORABLE KITTENS IN A PLASTIC BOX AND WATCH THEM SLOWLY DIE OF NEGLECT. SPONSORED BY PEPSI.

My question is similar to the one Adriel asks near the end of her article. Who hired this guy? Why? And do they understand their mistake? I’m a big believer that blame should travel uphill (I acknowledge that it naturally flows the other direction) because that’s where the decisions come from. My concern is that this reality-TV producer guy was made a scapegoat. It’s very rare for a single person to do this much damage all by themselves. Either he was doing what his employers wanted and they hung him out to dry when the crowd turned on them, or they hired this guy without having any concept of what the show would look like. It’s either callous or incompetent.

(I’m using generic terms like “they” because breaking down the leadership structure of this event is really complicated. This wasn’t the effort of a single company, but of many.)

I don’t need the guilty parties to prostrate themselves and submit to a beating on Twitch. These folks already lost four hundred thousand dollars of their own money, and that’s gotta sting worse than a beating. But I would like to see some kind of nod that this happened and that they understand the problem goes deeper than “We hired the wrong guy.”

And what I’d really love is for them to attempt another event. (Again, I realize they just lost a fortune and that it’s possible they don’t have anything left that they can afford to risk.) I think it would help if there was another game jam. One with a less combative and more creative tone. Perhaps one that just let the audience hang out with some devs and see what it takes to make some games.

Anyway. It’s a sad story, but I suppose it could have been a lot worse.


From The Archives:

64 thoughts on “Experienced Points: What Happened at GAME_JAM?

  1. Hitch says:

    Maker Studios who were behind this GAME_JAM are the owners of the Polaris YouTube network John “TotalBiscuit” Bain, Jesse Cox and Dodger host the Co-Optional Podcast on Polaris and were somewhat connected to this project. They talked about their involvement in this a couple weeks ago. Interesting viewing if you want to hear a bit more.

  2. Decius says:

    Easy solution to the branding problem: Give everybody a green bottle with Mountain Dew’s branding all over it and let them put water in it.

    1. silver Harloe says:

      …or coffee, or juice, or Dr Pepper, or vodka

    2. Erik says:

      That exactly what they did at some point. But they where opposed to having non-branded water bottles on the desk.

    3. Tom says:

      It’s got electrolytes!

      1. Ravens Cry says:

        It’s what plants crave!

  3. guy says:

    Apparently the reality TV producer guy was the head of the outside production team the main companies involved hired, so I’m willing to give them more of a pass than normal. Usually I’d blame them for letting this guy wind up in such an important position in the first place, but I can believe a reasonable effort at vetting an outside consultant might have passed him.

  4. Naota says:

    One of the questions they asked Robin Arnott was, “Do you think you’re at an advantage because you have a pretty lady on your team?” This is classic “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” type question. If I say “no” then it might sound like I don’t value her as a member of the team. If I say yes then I’m reducing her to a pretty face and ignoring her technical and artistic abilities.

    I find this really admirable. I know that in my 20s (which was during the Clinton administration, if you’re curious) I would not have been this media-savvy. I’m sure I would have blown the “pretty lady” question when the time came. There are just so many wrong ways to answer that.

    I’m a developer myself, and about the age you’re describing. While I’m not sure I’d have the time to word it as such under pressure, the answer I’d have instantly been compelled to give here is “I think we’re at an advantage because we’ve got a talented and inspired programmer with us who also happens to be a pretty lady.” Could this be skewed by editing? Maybe.

    But making a joint effort of refusing to answer? Banding together in the face of an exploitative system engineered to reduce contestants into petty tribalism? That takes savvy and integrity. I probably wouldn’t have thought to do this alone, and it’s such a wonderful refutation of every ugly thing the reality TV system represents that I can only applaud these devs.

    1. Indy says:

      “I think we’re at an advantage-” That’s the cut right there. It’s not as bad as a straight yes/no but it can still come across as “yes.”

      I’m pretty sure I would’ve failed this too. I’m not a fan of reality shows (and somewhat oblivious) and it might not have occurred to me that they would make a hatchet job out of this.

      “She erupted, and Matti once more pulled back his camera, making sure to privately half-apologize that he “marched with the women in the '70s” with “flowers in his hair.””

      There’s so much wrong with this man.

      1. silver Harloe says:

        Matti’s attempt at explanation reminds me of the phrase, “I’m not a racist, but…”

        Every sentence that has begun with those words has been vile racism of the worst order.

      2. syal says:

        That’s why “okay” is such an awesome word. It’s damn hard to edit around a non-committal one-word response. (“Sure” also works, if you put enough disgust in the delivery.)

      3. ET says:

        Rosen’s piece says, the original contract had “Another clause allowed for willful misrepresentation for the sake of drama”, which I assume would be the relevant clause of the contract, allowing the company to take the game devs’ words out of context. I’d love to read the revised contract, which everyone finally signed to. I mean, taking someone’s words out of context like that*, seems like utterly reprehensible behaviour. I think it would be grounds to sue for…defamation? Although I suppose that by definifion, implies that the damage has already been done, since the show would have to air first. :S

        * As you describe, “I think we're at an advantage-“ That's the cut right there.

    2. silver Harloe says:

      Memorize the phrase, “that question is offensive.” If that is all the response anyone ever hears from everyone when they ask questions about gender, they might eventually get the hint and stop asking.

      1. Killa Kaiju says:

        I wish one of the game devs had been a really rude, intimidating person with a background in MMA or something, and been real hostile towards this guy instead of them all being nice, quiet and professional.

        Also, I want to play that Popeye game that the first journalist talks about, near the very end of his story. It sounds really fun.

        1. syal says:

          That description actually describes, like, half the wrestling games ever made.

        2. Alex says:

          “I wish one of the game devs had been a really rude, intimidating person with a background in MMA or something, and been real hostile towards this guy instead of them all being nice, quiet and professional.”

          That could work out rather well.

    3. Tom says:

      Perhaps the most tactful response to that sort of question would be “Do you think we should be?”

      Then again, people asking that kind of question don’t deserve any tact. “Dude, what the hell?” is all they should get.

    4. guy says:

      On a certain level, you can’t actually win in these cases. See, editing in this stuff isn’t limited to chopping out part of a sentence. Nothing stops the producers from putting in anything else you’ve said on camera at any time, and I highly doubt you’re going to go four days without saying something that sounds bad if reassigned to a different context.

      Personally, my response to that question would be mute, baffled rage.

  5. ehlijen says:

    I’m glad to see Divide and Conquer didn’t work here.

    I’m just worried that the lesson ‘learned’ is that next time whoever was in charge of destroying this also gets to handpick all the candidates for maximum friction potential.

  6. Steve C says:

    Due to an offhand comment on the forums I ended up playing Depression Quest earlier today before learning of this hub-bub. Apparently was authored by one of female devs who were marginalized at GAME_JAM. She was harassed and attacked in the most misogynic way for submitting her game to Greenlight. If there was ever a game that you should not attack an author over it’s that one.

    And then for all this misogyny to fly at her AGAIN from this ill-conceived gameshow? She’s made of some strong stuff. She’s got to be for going through that crucible multiple times.

    1. Sagretti says:

      I follow her on twitter (@ZoeQuinnzel), and it’s amazing the amount of weird harassment she still has to suffer. She even re-posts some of it, like a recent conspiracy theory about her someone concocted that took up pages and pages of paranoid hate. I think I’d be living without computers in a cabin in the woods if I ever had to deal with that level of constant abuse.

      1. Mechaninja says:

        I would be in jail. I would absolutely Jay and Silent Bob these people. It would be a terrible mistake. And I would do it anyway.

        People who retweet that kind of abuse (as opposed to doing something foolish about it) are people I look up to.

  7. John says:

    Hi Shamus,

    I think you are blowing this all out of proportion. All this is, is a failed TV pilot. These kind of things happen all the time, it is not even news. “Disasters” are mudslides, floods, typhoons, tsunamis and bushfires that leave people dead, injured and homeless. To suggest that “the gaming community dodged a bullet”, I think, overstates the influence of this event. My mind boggles at the number of gamers around the world, in Asia, Europe, South America, and every where else who will never even hear about this and wouldn’t care if they did. Dodging a bullet usually means that the target would have died if they had been hit. To think that the multi-billion dollar games industry would have died from one failed TV experiment is a bit of a stretch. And to be clear, it is the TV industry that failed here, not the gaming industry. They are the ones who mucked up and will have to bear the results. The developers are going to be fine. In the big picture, what happened here is a good thing, someone was willing to invest money to raise the profile of these indy developers. So there were a couple of issues with the format and choice of host, they are just minor negatives compared to the positive aspect of it.



    1. Arstan says:

      No, I disagree. Dodging a bullet here meant that if that crappy show was aired on youtube, it would create controversy, made people participating look like idiots, and generally be disgusting. Not too many people will hear about it, sure, but that’s the point of dodging a bullet – no damage was taken. And taking a bullet actually doesn’t mean death, sometimes people shoot themselves in a leg)) :P

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Oops, reply fail. Hello Arstan, how are you? Er, I’ll get me coat…

    2. silver Harloe says:

      If someone shoots at you and ‘merely’ wounds you, I don’t think you would say you “dodged a bullet.” Therefore, I think the phrase can be used to talk about avoiding damage, not just death.

    3. ehlijen says:

      I dare say you don’t quite appreciate the gravity of this incident.

      No, this isn’t a natural disaster (no one said it was), but neither is it ‘just a failed TV pilot’.

      What we have is an attempt to fan rage at gender issues to use as nothing more than an attention hook, regardless of how offensive and potentially hurtful that was to not just the participants, but the developer scene in general.

      We have recklessness with the mental well being of others and utter abandonment of social integrity. The fact that this pilot failed is the GOOD NEWS. That is the noteworthy thing here.

      1. ? says:

        It also wasn’t a pilot. It was a full reality show to be aired on youtube for all to see. Calling it a failed pilot implies that it could be either redone after feedback from execs and focus groups or never made public. But it was always supposed to be published as standalone thing.

    4. MichaelGC says:

      From the various first-hand accounts, the point at which the money got involved seems also to be the point at which things began to go south.

      Advertisers were willing to invest money for all the normal advertising reasons, not because they wanted to support game developers. There is a positive there, in that a game jam was thought to be something which would garner enough interest to justify the ad spend.

      That positive was immediately negated by the attempt to create antagonism and controversy, which demonstrates what ‘they’ thought would ‘sell’ – i.e. not the subject itself, but the usual “reality” TV fol-de-rol.

      Those are just my opinions, of course, so we can fling those aside – *fling!* – and for argument’s sake grant that folks investing money to raise indie dev profiles is a good thing. Did what happened make it more likely that similar investments will be made in future?

  8. Raygereio says:

    My concern is that this reality-TV producer guy was made a scapegoat. It's very rare for a single person to do this much damage all by themselves. Either he was doing what his employers wanted and they hung him out to dry when the crowd turned on them, or they hired this guy without having any concept of what the show would look like.

    I can guarantee you that Matti Leshem was doing what his employers wanted. You don’t hire people like that and then tell them to do whatever they want.
    I don’t think problem is people like Matti though. They don’t care about “making a show with integrity” or whatever, they want to make something that sells. And as much as I despise the current trend of “reality tv”, apparently enough people do like that inane drivel to make it profitable. I mean, if no one watched “reality tv”, then producers would have moved on to something else long ago.
    Then again, I don’t work in television. So it could be that “reality tv” is only watched a lot because there’s barely anything else on these days and producers love it because it’s a really cheap way to generate a lot of content.

    This is different from actual reality shows like Mythbusters.

    There is quite a lot in Mythbusters that’s manufactured in the name of making the show more appealing to watch. Anytime they go “WOW!” and pretend to be suprised when they blow something up for example.
    Not interpersonal drama though, not anymore at least. Some producers did try that and in the early season you’d have the occasional pointless scene where the team bickered. But the Ark of the Covenant incident put a stop to that.

    1. Ciennas says:

      Yeah, and that was AWESOME. Not the incident itself- that was one of the worst things on the show, but the aftermath.

      They walked up to Discovery and said they weren’t going to do that ever again, and they’d still turn in a top notch high rated show every week.

      And they did. The rest is history.

  9. Thomas says:

    It makes you glad that the Loading Ready Run crew were put in charge of Stripsearch. There are so many ways that could have gone wrong and ‘heartwarming’ is the last word you’d normally attach to reality TV. I still love that they though they were going to make a normal reality TV program about webcomic artists and in the end the only drama was the person who’d gone in deciding she was going to be à¼ber-competitve becoming overcome with the realisation that she just wanted to make friends =D

    I’d love an indie gaming equivalent of Stripsearch

    1. The Other Matt K says:

      Yeah – I have never been a fan of reality television, and was not expecting much from Strip Search, but I found myself deeply invested in the show and all of the contestants while it went on. It really showed that you absolutely can have an event like this that doesn’t need to manufacture drama in order to find an audience. And that showing genuine emotional connections can be a lot more powerful than building up hate for its own sake.

      1. Scott Schulz says:

        Strip Search definitely refutes the premise that drama is necessary to engage the audience in reality television. I avoided the show for months, and then reluctantly tired an episode one boring night. Now, I dig up anything marginally related to it. I just caught the 2013 PAX panel they did about the show while it was still running, and it is fascinating how any intention by producers’ to create drama (and there was not much to begin with anyway) repeatedly got subverted by the entire cast’s being nice. For example, there was no plan to have Mike and Jerry leap into the vans after the eliminations, they just spontaneously did so when they saw the first contestant’s exit interview across the parking lot and wanted to cheer him up.

        I truly wish that they’d get the DVDs out so that I can have my 80-year-old, computer-phobic parents watch the show.

    2. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I agree completely. the thing about Strip Search is that there was no manufactured drama, they were just filming a contest. The artists were chosen based on skill, not “who would fight allot”. and sure a few times people got teary, but that was because they either either stressed about a possibly life changing competition, or sad that their friends were leaving.

      1. Nick says:

        No-one would fight alot, because the Alot is a peaceful beast that is better at swimming than Micheal Phelps

  10. bickerdyke says:

    Well, I guess that’s just what you get when you try to set up people from a basically team-oriented culture up against each other.

  11. Rick says:

    I guess they realised…

    **puts on glasses**

    “The only winning move is not to play”

  12. Hal says:


    Shamus, this place is supposed to be a refuge from those damn ASPCA/Sarah McLachlan commercials!

  13. Bubble181 says:

    I don’t know. I mean, yes, of course, standing up to defend gaming and take a stand against misogynism is good. No doubt there.
    However, once it was clear they were making a *reality show about a game jam*, I think the game developers did have to accept some things.
    Matti was fired from the show, new negotiations were started to salvage the show with the remaining days of camera/stage availability, and the game developers just said “nope, not anymore”. You tell me how that’s “good” or even “laudable”. Once the offensive element was removed, and with the stick that if anything like that happened again, you’d gladly stop again, and with some further interference in the editing/work process, the game developers could, in my opinion, have turned this around and made it a showcase about how “good” the gaming industry is (…compared to the TV industry – if you could convince the Powers That Be the whole “Matti” thing could be turned into a story arc). Instead they opted to walk out and stay out. It’s, at the least, a lost opportunity, and perhaps, prima donna stubborn obnoxious.

    Of course, partly because of NDA’s, partly because there’s really very little to be gained by defending yourself in this sort of situation, we’re only getting one side of the story (I don’t mean Matti or his superiors – they’re idiots. I mean the producers, staff, etc).

    Good on them for standing up against discrimination and stereotyping. Bad on them for not being better prepared about what they were getting into (a restrictive NDA?! On a reality show?! NO WAY!) and for, in my opinion, squandering an opportunity to tell a different tale.

    1. Sagretti says:

      The problem is that the concept for the show changed after they agreed to it. Originally, it was just going to be a normal game jam that was filmed. It was only after more sponsorship and the budget increased that it was turned into a traditional reality show circus, and the developers didn’t even get the legal documents until shortly before filming (Rami Ismail of Vlambeer has the rundown on the terrible contract).

      Hindsight gives more perspective on what happened, but in the moment I doubt anyone felt like trusting that the production wouldn’t still turn into a manipulative reality show, even if it happened in editing.

    2. krellen says:

      It wasn’t pitched to them as a reality show, nor as a competition. That came about after they’d already all agreed to do the event. The NDA contracts were a surprise dropped on them the day before the shoot. Nothing about the process warranted any good-faith assumption that things would be “better” just because one guy was forced off the set.

      None of these people are professional performers. As part of independent development studios, these people were the face of their company – sometimes the sole member of their company. They were being asked to trade their own image – the image of their company and livelihood – for a project that had already demonstrated a dearth of good outcomes with contracts that explicitly stated they would be misrepresented for purposes of manufacturing drama.

      That the process was allowed to get to that point in the first place was a huge betrayal of trust, and when one of the developers decided that betrayal had sullied the entire process, the rest of the developers wisely, and virtuously, stood as one on the subject. This Game Jam was irrevocably broken, and no amount of fixing could keep it together.

      It has been stated by the developers that are allowed to speak about (because they had not signed the horrible contracts) that there is no ill-will held towards the production company or their staff (barring Matti’s), and they would be willing to consider another event with different guidelines.

      Not everything can be saved. Sometimes things go cancerous, and all you can do is cut them out before the cancer spreads.

    3. Ciennas says:

      I’m going to lay your sarcasm aside.

      No, they could have salvaged the whole thing, but nobody communicated with each other from the start, and by the end, twelve hours with Matti was enough to demolish the participants will to continue.

      And that’s the problem. Have you ever been just DONE before? Where you don’t care if they offer you a gold plated hover car, that’s it, you’re DONE, and you want to go home.

      That’s what happened to the dev teams. That’s how bad it was to work with this man.

      It’s a tragedy to be sure, but let’s not scorn the people who were being abused by a crazy PR man.

    4. Steve C says:

      In addition to what others have replied with is that this was a creative project. Morale was low so creativity died. Day 0 (legal bullshit) poisoned the creativity. Day 1 (Matti) killed it. The devs doubted their ability to produce anything they would consider worthy of having their name on. If they produce shit they are ashamed of it has the potential to haunt their career into the future.

      Garbage in, garbage out as it were.

  14. Neil W says:

    I wonder if the Game Devs, who have an understanding of story structure, framing and editing, were better equipped to spot where things were going south than Random Other Guys on Random Other Show. They would be aware that although Conflict makes for Drama, that’s not the same as Petty Interpersonal Arguments make Great TV.

    Also, it was a four day event; why was this guy pushing so hard on Day one? Surely some kind of disagreement/competitive streak/general wackiness would have happened before the end. Use Day one for establishing shots, background interviews, all that kind of thing. Maybe he could even have got the Devs to know and trust him (before betraying them in the editing booth).

    1. ehlijen says:

      I think the main difference to other reality TV shows was that those shows pick their candidates for maximum friction potential. That wasn’t done here, which is why the pressure tactics didn’t work.

      “Other guys from other shows” aren’t dumb. They are just handpicked for confrontational and competitive streaks. In the game-jam, it seems this Matti guy was the only person like that, so instead of fracturing his targets, he made them band together.

  15. lucky7 says:

    This whole thing is, as Shamus says, a HUGE shame. As a man who wants to design games one day, a show like this done like Mythbusters would have been informative and incredibly, incredibly, awesome.

  16. SlothfulCobra says:

    This isn’t the first time reality TV has tried to get into gaming though. I still remember Egoraptor and The Tester. Sticking people in a box full of cockroaches isn’t as bad as trying to manufacture sexism though.

    There’s also Rooster Teeth’s attempt at a reality show, The Gauntlet. It actually turned out pretty good. They did try a little to manufacture some drama in the first season, but in the second season, they just acknowledged it as the goofy game show it is, and played it for laughs.

  17. Joe Informatico says:

    My girlfriend is currently obsessed with reality shows about cooking and sewing, and watches both US and UK versions of both. And for the most part, they couldn’t be more different in tone.

    The US reality shows are permeated with all the faux drama-friction Shamus describes above. Whereas most of the UK shows are very collegial and instructive. Even the competitive ones like the Great British Sewing Bee, where I understand all the competitors have tea together, and are genuinely sad to see each other eliminated. Sounds just like how the GAME_JAMmers actually behaved, eh? One of the only US reality shows I remember taking this approach was So You Think You Can Dance? After each season’s initial auditions to weed out the “point and laugh” candidates, the rest of the season was generally pretty good. The judges–all dance/choreography veterans–gave the competitors good and useful feedback, and the competitors usually took it with a decent level of professionalism.

    Nowhere is the distinction more evident than comparing the US version of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares with the UK incarnation. In the former, Ramsay visits places where the proprietors are–or are edited to look like–complete idiots who don’t know the first thing about public service, never mind running a restaurant. Ramsay then chides them like children before completely overhauling the place like some fairy godmother. Whereas in the UK version, Ramsay visits a place that is generally competently run, and is doing two or three ill-advised things that are hurting business. In these, Ramsay just sits the owner down and helpfully says, “Mate–sort yourself out.”

    1. lucky7 says:

      Really? Guess I’ll have to start watching more UK television.

      1. Thomas says:

        The good repute of our reality shows doesn’t extend to reality reality shows. Big Brother, Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, the stuff which is literally just a bunch of people thrown together is schlock.

        Anything with a real objective can be fine though. And in the example of the UK Apprentice there was a person who they made out to be just a horrible human being in the edit who then turned out to be an ever worse human being in real life(*coughkatyhopkinscough*). -_-

      2. ET says:

        Canadian TV is also usually of higher quality, although it too has schlock*. The stuff you really want, is the stuff made by the CBC (or other TV channels), for Canadians. Like…it’s really nice to watch something, which has a plot, and characters. You know, like the people who made the show actually think you have an attention span longer than ten seconds. :P

        * We’ve got garbage TV too, but it’s even worse than American garbage TV, since it’s just as mindless/explosion-filled, but with a smaller budget. ^^;

        1. Naota says:

          As a Canadian who doesn’t actually watch TV in the traditional sense, the only one I’ve seen recently is Orphan Black (which is I think the first of literally hundreds of TV/movie productions besides Scott Pilgrim set in Toronto… that actually ACKNOWLEDGE being set in Toronto).

          It makes me curious what I’m missing, though. What Canadian TV series stand out to you, either for being great or for being particularly garbage?

        2. Well, don’t wait if you want any of that stuff–watch it now, because at the rate things are going the CBC ain’t gonna be around for long.

    2. I do have to take exception that the UK favors “instructive” reality TV shows over ones that mock.

      First up, you guys gave the world Simon Cowell. You’ve also got Big Brother (yes, it was originally Dutch, but you’ve been running it for 14 years now), I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Cheaters, and a whole slew of TV just as awful as that in the United States. And I’m a fan of QI, Have I Got News For You, and just about anything with David Mitchell in it.

      I’m glad you like the cream of the reality show crop (I don’t care for the genre, myself), but I could fill several pages full of Lowest Common Denominator program(me)s from across the pond.

    3. Lalaland says:

      Yeah various rules about UK broadcasting mean that they have to put a warning on the front of the show basically saying ‘Parts of this show are scripted’. It’s always amusing to discuss shows like this with people from the US who don’t realise that whole series are pure fabrication. I’m not having a go at US audiences in particular I think it’s just that most people presume editing tricks but outright scripting would be presumed to be beyond the pale for shows calling themselves ‘reality’.

      For me it’s shows like ‘Repomen’ that are the funniest, I’ve seen stuff on that show that comes up to the level of attempted murder that is brushed off as ‘another day on the job’, it’s just farcical.

      The most insidious are the likes of ‘Storage Wars’ which are basically modern Cinderella fables encouraging folks to go out and gamble what little they have on hitting the jackpot. Little do they realise that on getting the ‘we’re selling off your locker’ letter most people take the good stuff and leave the bad. So many folks have wound up spending hundreds on piles of old clothes because every week on that show someone gets an ‘item’ worth multiples of what they paid for the locker. On a side note I hate this ‘valuation = profit’ nonsense on these shows, things are worth what someone pays you for it until then it just costs you money.

      1. Steve C says:

        It’s amazing how many of those “reality” shows end up approaching strangers and introducing themselves with perfect audio. Audio with quality you could only get if that person who’s supposedly never seen the crew before was wearing a mic pack.

        If the audio is better than someone doing a press conference then this is what I hear.

    4. Amazon_warrior says:

      I despise pretty much all “reality” TV and I think the UK is far from exempt from really shite examples of the species, but I confess that Sewing Bee is my guilty pleasure. Though I sew a bit myself, so at least it’s a topic I have some understanding of…

  18. As someone who doesn’t use AdBlock, I’m amused (apart from flash ads causing Firefox to gobble RAM like Pac-Man until I kill the process) by a series of ads I’ve been seeing that have all these clips of kids doing EXTREEEEEME sports with some pro skateboarder. Really cool, huh, kids?

    Sorry, ad. You are never cool if the word “Lunchables” appears anywhere nearby.

    1. Chris Robertson says:

      At the risk of straying far off topic here, FlashBlock might interest you. Some sites don’t play well with it, but that’s what white-listing is for.

      1. Tektotherriggen says:

        I think it’s even easier than that. Go to Tools > Add-ons > Plugins and set Shockwave Flash to “Ask to Activate”. Maybe FlashBlock gives more options though.

  19. James says:

    Polaris/Maker might have dropped the ball somewhat on this, but genuinly think that the outside elements, especially Matti was the main villan in this piece, or at least thats what i got from ProJareds piece on it and from the Co Optional Podcast that talked about it

    As i recall there is a planned event like this being comically run by some of the devs who were involved in this.

    i believe its being playfully called Rebel_jam at this point.

    here we are

    ZoૠʻButtHackʼ Quinn
    #RebelJam is gonna be so cool you guys things are already snowballing in a great way with positive and caring people

  20. Phantos says:

    Speaking of god-awful gamer reality shows run by horrible people who wanted to manufacture drama, did “The Tester” ever recover from screwing over one half of the Game Grumps?

  21. SteveDJ says:

    Looks like I’m arriving late to this “party”…

    After reading all those accounts, it sounds like Zoe would really like to say more, but can’t due to the signed contract.

    But I have to wonder, if Zoe did talk, and if a lawsuit did result — how much of “The Internet” would now stand up with Zoe, and totally pummel the suing company(ies) into withdrawing such suit?

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