Diecast #25: Games Journalism, Carmack Joins Rift, Tropes vs. Women

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

Filed under: Diecast 243 comments

We spend a lot of time talking about what we’re playing. Conceptually the Diecast has three segments: The personal warm-up talk about what we’re playing, the supposedly informed discussion of current gaming news, and the mailbag. Often a third of the show is spent on the warmup, and the mailbag often gets pushed out. How do you guys feel about that? Would you rather more news discussion? Or more mailbag?

Not that we’re promising to change anything. I’m just askin’.

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Hosts: Josh, Mumbles, Chris, and Shamus.

Show notes:

00:30 What’s everyone playing?

Josh is playing Metro: Last Light and Civilization V.

Mumbles went to NATURE and bought Magic Cards. She also played The Secret World. Here is the Banjo-Kazooie promo we talked about.

Chris is playing Return to Nai Pali, the expansion for the original Unreal. Also Spelunky and Guacamelee but not Dragon’s Crown.

Shamus is playing Doom3 BFG edition and doing a lot of programming.

20:20 Games Journalism is tough gig with low pay and poor job security.

We begin with this story.

36:30 John Carmack joins Oculus Rift as chief technology officer.

51:00 We talk about the Tropes vs. Women series and how it’s improving.

We don’t say anything terribly controversial here, so I hope people can keep calm. And if anyone does feel the need to object, I hope you can do it calmly.


From The Archives:

243 thoughts on “Diecast #25: Games Journalism, Carmack Joins Rift, Tropes vs. Women

  1. Paul Spooner says:

    I calmly object to the implication that we would be anything other than calm and objectionable.

    1. Shamus says:

      Well played, Spooner. You win this round.

    2. BeamSplashX says:

      Spooner! Have your desk on my desk by desk o’clock you’re firedesked!

  2. Kagato says:

    I look forward to listening to this on the train ride home this evening.

    On the general question of the show format and segment timing: I’m totally fine with the informal approach you guys have taken so far, and letting the flow of the discussion dictating the segment length has worked well for you to date.

    I think for your podcast it’s the conversation we tune in to hear, rather than any specific items, so if you’ve got plenty to talk about without getting to the mailbag that’s okay. If there aren’t enough current events of interest, but a mailbag question proves to be a great conversation-starter, all the better.

    The only thing you could probably cut down on is the amount of time you spend complaining about not sticking to the schedule! :)

    1. ACman says:

      I’m completely okay for them to run over time. I cannot understand why Shamus is obsessed with forcing the show into a single hour when it clearly doesn’t fit.

      Two weeks ago he cut Josh off.

      If the show runs to an 1hr30m that’s fine. Most other podcast that I listen to run that long.

      Let the conversation flow.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        I’d guess it has something to do with him having other tasks besides record rambling video-game themed conversations for our amusement. I enjoy going to the bar, or hanging at a lan party, but at a certain point I go home to my wife and kids. The guy has a life, and priorities, and knows where they are and how to keep them there.

        But, yeah, I’d enjoy if these were twice their current length. I usually listen to them twice anyhow, so it wouldn’t take any more of my time… but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? It’s easy to say “Hey, why don’t you work twice as hard so I can get twice the enjoyment?”

        Personally, I’m surprised the podcast has lasted this long. These things are not easy to do, and they are basically doing it for the fun of it. I don’t know about you, but I feel burnt out just thinking about it!

      2. Hitchmeister says:

        I’m going to add to the “just go with the flow” comments. I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to listen to just about anything you want to talk about other than stressing out about the format.

      3. Zak McKracken says:

        Just listened to another podcast on how tv series will change once they’re produced for online streaming and no longer need to fit in certain timeslots and leave time for ads and such … Let the podcast take as much time as it wants, that’ll only make it better.
        I wouldn’t even cut off-topic talk short, only if the discussion gets stuck, in a non-entertaining way.
        =>As long as you are enjoying it, so is your audience, at least me.

      4. Volfram says:

        I would actually prefer if it runs over. Half an hour to an hour and a half, but don’t cut anybody off. There are always a lot of good opinions and the crew is just generally fun to listen to.

        I welcome any event which causes the podcast to run longer.

    2. Humanoid says:

      I’m fine with an hour. An hour for each segment.

      Flexible on whether it’s one three-hour block or three one-hour blocks per week.

    3. Syal says:

      I would say move the mailbag questions to the beginning of the episode, so they actually get out there. Then move on to what everyone’s doing and news.

      Leave the mailbag answers for the end, to get cut for time as usual.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        On a somewhat similar note, maybe make the mailbag less… spontaneous? I do realise this would increase the workload related to creating the podcast but maybe you could browse through the mails in advance and see if there’s something that you collectively feel like covering? Or have Josh forward you the emails he thinks are interesting a day ahead or something?

        Personally I will admit that of the games, news, mailbag trio mailbag is probably my least favourite part of the podcast and I really like the initial “what have you been up to” segment. I think what I don’t like about it is that you’re pretty focused on answering a specific question and I just find the somewhat rambling, free-form and sometimes veering offtopic conversation style of the other segments more entertaining.

        1. ACman says:

          I would like Josh to actually prune the questions down to the actual question subject.

          Many of the questions he reads sound like forum posts that badly need a tldr:

    4. Hydralysk says:

      I’ll also agree that the format you’re using at the moment works perfectly fine.

      The reason I listen to the diecast is mainly just to hear a fun and/or informative discussion, so not following a specific format isn’t really an issue for me. In fact one of my favorite diecast moments was a couple episodes back when Rutskarn showed up halfway through and derailed the podcast into a LARPing discussion.

      Really as long as a conversation is interesting or funny I don’t really care which segment it falls into or how long it ends up being.

    5. Rick says:

      My suggestion would be to ask if anyone has anything they’d like to talk about for a bit, rather than ask everyone what they’ve been up to. When you do that, people try to search for something interesting to say, and it usually isn’t. Sometimes something thought provoking does come up from it, but as time seems to be a limited resource, I think it could be better spent elsewhere. Or you could just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s great either way.

    6. Thomas says:

      I’m here to hear you guys talk, the bits where you talk about what you’ve played is the best segment overall and is normally the right sort of length.

      And then the points where you talk about various game themed topics are also interesting. But from my perspective whether that came from a mailbag or a news article makes no difference at all (except the news articles are more current and it’s interesting to see your guys takes on whats going on). I guess for people who ask questions they might be sad that you don’t get round to them, but they should tell you that. Since I’m not one, I prefer news articles slightly more than mailbag

    7. arron says:

      I’d be happy with a podcast that was 2-3 hrs long if the content was there. I can sit through a entire season of Spoiler Warning as a podcast if I’m working on something else. So 1h30m doesn’t even register as getting boring in my book.

      I really enjoyed this weeks (and last weeks) Diecast a lot. Adding Mumbles back into the mix has balanced it out such that it has gone from being an interesting show to being a highlight of my week :)

    8. Neko says:

      Personally, I really like listening to this and other podcasts while enjoying a long walk. So, Shamus, when it goes over time and you’re all just rambling about whatever comes to mind you are also directly improving my fitness.

      Release a two-hour long episode of your most boring, random, conversations every day and I will still listen to it. And it will do me good!

    9. Cuthalion says:

      Since I listen at work all night, I’m going to add to the pile that’s fine with however long it naturally goes. Some casts have the tendency to get rambly and could up their quality by shortening the time they have, but others (especially ones with several hosts) tend to be able to keep up an interesting conversation for longer. So, an hour seems like a good length, and you generally are able to discuss some stuff satisfactorily, but I’m always wishing there were a little more. :P I wouldn’t object to a longer podcast.

    10. karln says:

      My job is to type things that appear on my screen for 7.75 hours per day. If you could make the show about 7.75 hours long and release three times a week, that would be just dandy.

      I’m willing to settle for ‘whenever everybody’s finished talking about what they were talking about at the 60 minute mark’.

  3. JPH says:



    1. anaphysik says:

      Fucking spoilers, dude.

    2. Retsam says:

      For the benefit of any linux users here, JPH is making a joke and deliberately expressing an opinion contrary to his own opinion, as a way of mocking those who might honestly (if not very tactfully) express a similar opinion.

      Just thought I’d make that clear.

      1. Adam says:

        I would enjoy it immensely if “linux user” became standard twentysided slang for someone who is very slow on the uptake.

        “Bob went up the down escalator! Can you believe him?”

        “Damn, what a linux user!”

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          This idea seems rather linux user.

          (head explodes)

        2. ehlijen says:

          While funny, I don’t think it’d gel well with Shamus’ goal of keeping this a place for decent conversation.

          Casually belittling an entire group based on one instance of bad behaviour by some members of that group rarely ends well.

  4. Kagato says:

    Also, I know it’s a technical problem with the chat software you’re using, and perhaps there isn’t a practical solution without a whole new setup… but it would be really nice if you could find a way to resolve the voice clipping problem.

    It was fair enough putting up with it early on, because you were all getting into the swing of things; but now that you’re up to episode 25 (wow!) it might be time to revisit this.

    Maybe, rather than try and get the call’s audio stream up to podcast quality, you could instead each record your own mic separately (with a ‘3 2 1 mark’ for synching), and send the files to Josh for him to merge into one audio stream? Or would that add way too much overhead to the whole process?

    1. Cuthalion says:

      I’m not actually sure how they’d sync that, since there’s going to be variable latency to each person — but then it sounds like it’s not synced perfectly now anyway. *shrug* If they were up to doing that, it might fix the problem.

      Here’s what the problem sounds like to me:

      It sounds like an overzealous noise gate. When the volume gets below a certain point, it cuts it off, the intention being to remove background noise when people aren’t speaking. But it’s cutting in early. Now, you guys’ve mentioned that you’re using Mumble, and that it works fine until it exports to the format you use to edit or distribute. You’ve probably already checked all the settings in there, but if you’ve happened to pass by any gating or noise removal, that might fix it.

      Another possibility, if Mumble is doing some kind of gating without giving you control, is if you’re able to increase the input volume. It could be that there’s a gate that’s hard-coded to happen at a certain volume, so increasing the input/mic volume could help that.

      But I don’t actually know if that’s it, and while that’s certainly what it sounds like, I kinda figure that’s not what Mumble is actually doing…

  5. Cuthalion says:

    !_! I’m glad I checked right before I head off to work. New Diecast! And they answer my question about Carmack + VR! (Actually, I’m guessing they knew about that and recorded the podcast before I ever asked, but hey, I’ll take my victories where I can get them.) *snags*

  6. thehokeypokey says:

    Wait just one minute…

    You payed money for X-Blades!?

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      Unless I misremember, his daughters were excited to see a game with a young lady in an action-heavy leading role, making it a worthy investment.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        Yeah, they talk about it around 55:00, as well as the crushing sexist disillusionment which followed.

        I wonder if there’s a “well clothed” modding community. Kind of the inverse of of the nude-mod crowd. I could get behind something like that.

        1. chiefnewo says:

          Someone made a mod for Dragon Age 2 that gave the pirate lady (whose name escapes me) pants. It wasn’t particularly well received by the usual crowd of modders who prefer to mod characters’ clothes *off*. :P

          1. Asimech says:

            Or by the crowd that thinks making the male character’s more gritty (worn, tired, dirty), but that the women should definitely be “prettier”. Because, and I quote, “I think we can all agree that’s better.”

          2. Raygereio says:

            That same crowd of modders also produced a mod that changed said pirate lady’s skincolour from brown to white. This in order to make her “sexier”.

            Also, there are several mods far Skyrim that remove the silly boobplate that most of the female armours have going on.
            The comment thread on the nexus for the first mod that did this got nasty fast (most of the worst comments have actually been removed).
            The comment sections for later mods that do the same thing remain fairly civil, but only because the nexus’ moderators have adopted a zero-tolerance policy and wack the first person to start a flame war with the ban hammer.

            1. Phantom Hoover says:

              I’m not sure I agree with the definition of ‘sexual’ that mod uses: Skyrim’s female armour did perhaps accentuate differences in body shape ‘unrealistically’, but not in a particularly titillating way. I can kind of see why the steel plate and ebony armour might be a bit excessive in the chest area, but the other heavy armours only go so far as to give your character a discernible gender.

            2. silver Harloe says:

              I’m reminded of a video I saw in the last year or so where some lady wanted a modern blacksmith (i.e. a guy who makes show swords and armor for like Ren Faires and movies and junk) to make her some boob-plate armor for a costume, and he didn’t want to do it because if she fell forward, there was a good chance that it would crack her sternum.

              1. Paul Spooner says:

                While I appreciate craftsmen looking out for their customers, this seems a bit silly. When was the last time that you fell flat on your face? I mean, is she a double amputee? Because, otherwise, she’s going to catch herself with her arms. And anyway, if there’s enough force to break her sternum, she’s going to be hurting anyway. That energy has to go somewhere.

                And actually, from a military standpoint, “boob plate” is a pretty good design. The practical objective of armor is to distribute focused impacts (blades, arrows, etc) over a wide area, ideally into soft tissue so that the energy can be dissipated in depth instead of directly at the surface. Armor braced against hard surfaces (the skull for instance) requires significant padding. Armor against soft surfaces (the belly, or thighs) needs less, as the body itself conforms to impacts. In such cases, the better the armor can conform to the surface of the flesh, the more completely it can distribute the impact energy, thus reducing the chance of injury. So, if a woman was going into hand-to-hand medieval style combat, and had the budget for it, commissioning custom breast-conforming plate mail would likely be a sound tactical choice.

                Of course, it wouldn’t be very interchangeable, but most armor isn’t anyway. It would make sense for all armor to require fitting at a blacksmith before your character gets the full bonus, regardless of gender.

                1. Fleaman says:


                  Not sure if this is the reference in question since silver Harloe mentioned “video”, but if not then a strikingly similar anecdote occurs about half way down. The for-real boobplate is shown behind a link, and it does indeed look positively lethal.

                  The main problem is plated cleavage. Not only does the concave create a smooth surface to guide blows right into the sternum, but it also provides a handy steel wedge to help smash it. Beer-belly cuirasses like in the aforlinked Skyrim mod are fine as long as there’s quilted padding underneath (please leave somewhere for the breasts to go), but armor that loosely follows the contours of the torso EXCEPT for the cleavage can be both practical and fabulous.

                  1. Paul Spooner says:

                    I’ll grant you that it’s not the absolute best plan. The absolute best plan is to not fight, and if you have to fight, send the men. But if we’re going to indulge in fantasy, and give some leeway to imagination, I think a case can be made for armor that conforms to soft tissue rest state, whatever that state may be.

                2. shiroax says:

                  I read an article where a blacksmith explained why that is wrong. Let me try to find it.

                  Success. The cracked sternum bit is around the start of the last third.

                  I think if she caught herself on her arms, her steel bobbs would break them.

                  Edit: Shoot. Beaten by superior googling skills.

                  1. Phantom Hoover says:

                    The basic mistake here is that you’re criticising fantasy armour for being impractical in real-world terms. Having stylised clothing is pretty unobjectionable; it’s when the stylisation is very clearly aimed to exploit a single demographic that it gets out of hand.

                    1. Cuthalion says:

                      But the assumption of fantasy works is not so clearly that armor works differently than in the real-world. Rather, it’s that things like magic and extinct or non-existent creatures and peoples are added. So it still breaks immersion, because it’s inconsistent with the premise of “Like the real world, but with X.” Since “X” does not obviously include “armor that works differently”. Although your mileage may vary, since lots of fantasy work uses “rule of cool” armor.

                    2. Phantom Hoover says:

                      But that’s just part of suspension of disbelief. Very little fiction actually aims to be “like the real world, but with X”; there’s always an element of stylisation and simplification to make for a better story and a more entertaining experience. I also suspect that the male armour is pretty stylised too (certainly I could reel out a list of nitpicks about it), it’s just not as remarked upon because most people’s primary experience with armour is from the same line of stylised fantasy depictions.

                3. Raygereio says:

                  [blockquote]When was the last time that you fell flat on your face? I mean, is she a double amputee? Because, otherwise, she's going to catch herself with her arms. And anyway, if there's enough force to break her sternum, she's going to be hurting anyway.[/blockquote]
                  Not every fall is anticipated by the person who’s falling and not everyone has the presence of mind and fast enough reactions to minimze damage when falling. If you’re sprinting while focussed on something like music and I trip you out of nowhere, then – unless your a magic ninja – you’re pretty likely to fall flat on your face.
                  Also there’s a bit of difference between simply getting hurt and breaking bones.

                  [blockquote]And actually, from a military standpoint, “boob plate” is a pretty good design.[/blockquote]
                  No, it isn’t. Boobplate is utterly nonsensical design.

                  Let’s start with padding. This is what you wear underneath your plate armour and has two main functions. Armour is heavy and uncomfortable, so you’re going to be wearing something thick like a gambeson underneath to absorb sweat and prevent the armour from pinching and chafing everywhere.
                  Secondly, shock absorbtion. You were quite correct about how armour needs to distribute the force of an impact over a wide area. However, your assertion that areas such as the belly need less padding because the body itself can absord the force is just plain silly. Seriously, if your body comforms to an impact, that means your body has become hurt and damaged. You do not want this to happen. As an experiment, slam the flat of your as hard you can into your stomach (Bonus point if you ask someone who doesn’t like you to do and you’re wearing a blindfold so you can’t brace yourself). That wasn’t pleasant, wasn’t it? You have various organs in your stomach that you do not want to get damaged. The same is true for your chest.
                  Plate armour is more rigid then for example chainmaille, so less padding is required when wearing plate. But armour is not skintight.

                  With that out of the way, let’s talk about the shape of the actual armour. A woman is not going to be wearing a push up bra that accentuates the shape of her breasts. Today we have a sports bra to alleviate the discomfort of breasts moving around, if that’s not available the woman could bind her breast in order to secure them in place.
                  So the breasts aren’t going to be in your face in the first place. Add the that padding: As another experiment, grab a woman and have her wear a thick coat. Behold! No distinct breasts. Depending on the buste of your test subject, the overal size of the chest region can be larger then that of man, but the general shape is going to be the same.
                  The actual armour – the plate – will be fitted to the shape of your body when you’re wearing all of your padding. And as I established, there won’t be any breasts visible for the plate to be conformed to.

                  Now you may object and say that even if there aren’t any breasts for the plate to be shaped to, you could still make a boob-shaped plate and wear that.
                  You could, however that would be a very dumb idea. The main purpose of the plate is not to absorb the shock of impact, but to deflect blows. The convex shape of chest armour is designed so that blades will glance of your body, away from your chest. If your armour has two big breast shapes strikes can easily slide inwards, towards the centre of your chest.
                  There’s also the matter of distribution of force. When proper armour is struck, the convex shape of the armour piece allows force to be distributed over a greater area and even away from the chest. When boob-shaped armour is struck, it cannot distribute the force of the blow in the same way.
                  So if you’re struck directly in the chest, not only will the shape of your boobplate direct the blow towards your sternum, but it will also allow the majority of the force of the blow to be concentrated in a single point. This is bad.

                  TLDR version: A woman armoured in functional armour will have the same general bodyshape as an armoured man.

                  [blockquote]Of course, it wouldn't be very interchangeable, but most armor isn't anyway. It would make sense for all armor to require fitting at a blacksmith before your character gets the full bonus, regardless of gender.[/blockquote]
                  Correct. Armour has to be fitted. Though that’s not get the “full bonus” of whatever, but so that the armour will fit properly (hence the term) and you can move around in it comfortably.

                  Edit: You know? I shouldn’t leave my computer on over night and then reply to somone without refreshing the page. Oh well, hopefully I managed to educate you on the subject.

                  1. Shamus says:

                    When I first heard it suggested that “boob plate is stupid and women should wear the same thing as men” I had this image in my head that a big-breasted woman would be wearing armor that made no allowances for her chest. (Nevermind that this isn’t what the person was talking about. I’m old, but not old enough to have any kind of working knowledge of what armor was like in the middle ages.) In this scenario, the armor would be snug around her chest and loose everywhere else, which would obviously be disastrous since ANY frontal impact would end up absorbed just by the breasts.

                    Analog: Picture a couple of face masks. One provides space for your nose. The other is flat and rests against the tip of your nose.

                    I don’t know if this is what Spooner was thinking, but since his reaction was the same as mine it’s entirely possible.

                    So a lot of this depends on what we think of when we hear the term “Boob plate”:

                    1) Metal sculpted to be shaped like individual breasts? (Dangerous and impractical.)

                    2) Metal that provides modest space for wrapped or otherwise secured breasts to exist? (Probably the best you can hope for at this tech level.)

                    And of course, the “breast area” probably ought to exist in a single volume protruding outward, so as to deflect blows to the side instead of guiding them to the center.

                    1. Psy says:

                      We can look at female astronauts where when you look at female astronauts in space suits they don’t look any different then their male counterparts as padding evens their form out and since the outside of their suit is beyond their chin their chest size is mostly irrelevant.

                    2. Melfina the Blue says:

                      Not to mention that breast tissue can be rather sensitive. I started binding mine down for archery after the first bowstring incident (FRACKING Gorram OW!). I asked a very ample-chested friend who does SCA fights what she wears and apparently the answer is a chestplate with a bit more room in the chest and lots of ace bandages with a sports bra.

                      Also, while we’re discussing boob armor, shouldn’t we also be discussing impractical codpieces? You know, for equality and also because impractical codpieces are funny.

                    3. ehlijen says:

                      Didn’t cavalry armour make do without codpieces? I can’t imagine riding with one would be comfortable and while on the horse that area should be fairly secure anyway.

            3. Mormegil says:

              I can sort of understand making Isabella white – in the first game she was a white girl with red hair so changing her back to that just fits with the established world from the first game. Of course it doesn’t help that all of a sudden the elves look like the aliens from avatar when in the first game they were small humans with pointed ears. Changing the appearance of established races and characters really was just the beginning of the brokenness that was Dragon Age 2.

              1. burningdragoon says:

                I would say making the elves and the qunari more distinct beyond “skinny, shorter human” and “taller human, with greyish brown skin” were one of the better things about DA2.

                1. Mormegil says:

                  I’d almost agree except for the fact that the similarities between humans and elves were necessary for at least one of the plot missions in the first game. You dress up like a guard and they let you roam around freely – something that they would never let an elf do. It’s plausible if you’re wearing a helmet that covers your ears but totally unbelievable if you’re a DA2 elf.

                  I suppose a big part of this is that I loved the first game and hated the second (mostly due to the repeating dungeons and the “enemies drop from the sky for no reason” gameplay) so points that are inconsistent with details from the first game bug me inordinately even if they aren’t connected with the main reasons why I think DA2 is a bad game.

          3. False Prophet says:

            Was it just Isabella? Unlike DA:O where the armour is fairly realistic (except the midriff-baring hauberks and skirts of the female light armours, for Maker-knows-what reason), almost no one in DA2 except Avelline and Warrior Hawke has practical armour. Did the same modders give Varric a shirt?

            1. Raygereio says:

              Yeah, a lot of armours in DA2 were silly. But only Isabella had an outfit that was designed to constantly show her underwear.

              For reference, this is how Isabella looks DA2:
              And this is mod that gives her pants:

          4. Zukhramm says:

            I’ve seen a mod like that for Arcanum, of all games.

      2. thehokeypokey says:

        The way I heard it, he already had the game and they got excited watching him play.

  7. Hieronymus says:

    I still have my Diddy Kong Racing VHS tape. And a VHS player.

    Also, I have an 8-track player tucked away.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that I don’t throw stuff away, unlike some wasteful people. ;)

    1. Humanoid says:

      Ah, but do you have a VHS tape rewinder?

      I think the only tape I have in the house is the Behind the Scenes one that came with Wing Commander 3 Premiere Edition.

      1. Hieronymus says:

        No. :(

        I’ve seen them in action though. Pretty handy when comparing the speed difference between the rewinder and the VHS player’s rewind function.

        I still have WC3: Heart of The Tiger. When you try to install the game with a modern CD-ROM drive, it warns you that the disc is spinning faster than is possible.

  8. When I heard the mention of “Star Trekkin'” on the podcast, was I the only one that at once remembered this classic?


  9. Klay F. says:

    Since there was a lot of Carmack talk, I thought I might link this piece: http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/08/john-carmacks-8m-pipe-dream-meets-reality-armadillo-aerospace-on-life-support/

    Seems that Armadillo Aerospace is on its last legs as well.

  10. Grampy_Bone says:

    Atlus games always seem to have really limited runs, so Gamestop only gets enough to cover preorders + 1 or 2 extras. It’s definitely the publisher’s fault. I think they like their games to become rarities.

    Dragon’s Crown is pretty fun. It’s Golden Axe meets Diablo with plenty of D&D influence, and some Monty Python.

    1. Thomas says:

      Games publishers typically refund retailers for any unsold copies of the game and pay the shipping/disposal costs whatever. Some sources claim this is actually the most expensive part of physical distribution.

      So if Atlus doesn’t provide many copies, it’s probably because they don’t want to stack the extra fees

      1. somniorum says:

        This is exactly the reason, Thomas, from what I gather.

        I used to be a huge Atlas fan, and saw Atlus USA’s curious evolution some ten or whatever years ago (I forget precisely how long ago, but it was the difference between making almost all the Asians in the original Persona white, to becoming a company that was responsive to its players who went and regularly released fairly risky little niche games, amongst others).

        The reason they’re able to release lots of curious games that niche groups of fans are thrilled about is through releasing only a bit more than they get pre-orders for. It’s not to be dicks, or out of some desire to make their games rare (or, if it is, that’s a side-issue I don’t know of)… it’s to ensure economic survival, and to keep their fan-base happy with them for taking these risks.

        So, anyway… they have legitimate reasons. If there’s an Atlus game coming out that you’re interested in, pre-order it. They used to specifically ask people to do this on their forums, back in the day (perhaps they still do).

      2. Deadpool says:

        I blame the stores.

        I went to purchase Persona 4 on release date. I went to three Gamestops and several other stores. None of them knew what I was talking about, they all found out they were getting only a few copies “tomorrow”, day after the release date.

        Went to a small store in the Bronx and guy goes “Persona 4? Yeah. Got it right here. Also got Devil Summoner, wanna try it?”

        1. Daimbert says:

          That’s surprising, since at least in Canada after the success of Persona 3 and FES the store I went to, at least, knew all about it. But then, I pre-ordered it.

    2. Zukhramm says:

      At least you get the game. Europe is usually stuck with a “sometime, later, I don’t know when” release date, if we get them at all. With my new “no release within reasonable time = no buy” poicy, I guess I won’t be playing it at all. Too bad for them.

  11. ChoppazAndDakka says:

    Even with the new title card, Josh is still unknown. His remains a mystery. It’s as though he DOESN’T want to be seen. Even his picture with Shamus way back when showed the back of his head. I think I figured it out.

    Josh is clearly a medusa.

    1. Dave B. says:

      But if that was the case, I would expect Josh to troll his audience by turning them all to stone. Maybe he’s still building up to that.

    2. Aldowyn says:

      The word you’re looking for is actually ‘gorgon’. Medusa was a SPECIFIC gorgon.

      1. BeamSplashX says:

        Just like Castlevania was the name of a specific Dracula. Good thing Johnny Frankenstein took him out with his trusty blessed wok.

      2. Humanoid says:

        Well Josh is a SPECIFIC troll.

  12. Warrax says:

    So Josh’s name links to the wikipedia article on trolls, nice. I had to go flipping back through all the old diecasts to see if I had missed any other easter eggs, but the only other ones were to the Teddy Roosevelt article (and I already knew about that).

    Been playing a lot of civ 5 myself. The diplo victory is way too easy and definitely needs looking at. They could bring back the U.N. wonder requirement so you’d at least still need to work your way up the tech tree, or raise the number of votes required so you don’t just stumble in to it accidentally. City states are already so OP that they work well with any strategy, so accidentally becoming king of the world is a thing that happens.

    Curious what difficulty you’re playing on. I worked my way up to emperor back in vanilla, and while GnK was fun, it wasn’t fun enough for me to try and go beyond that. BnW though has rekindled my interest enough to start pushing up to immortal and deity.

    1. Josh says:

      I typically play on Emperor, but this particular game was on King so I could get a feel for the new expansion mechanics. This turned out to be a mistake as I won every war I was involved in without even trying, had nearly unlimited money, owned the World Congress from start to finish and had complete control over which proposals were passed the entire game, allied with every city state, and only missed one wonder I was trying to build (and even then only by one turn).

      So Venice is pretty powerful you guys.

      1. Warrax says:

        I did the same thing, played my first few games on king to get a handle on the new stuff and then bumped back up to emperor. It didn’t take long at all to realize that I could win 100% of the time on emperor, but immortal is whooping my butt. My only victory so far is with Poland. Venice is pretty OP, but they take a distant second place to Poland.

      2. Zombie says:

        I saw quill18 do a lets play as Venice, and I’m pretty sure Venice is just a little bit broken. And from what I could tell, its mostly from the fact that you really only have to build in one city, as the rest are either puppets or just get razed. That and having, like, a bajillion trade caravans just makes you money hand over fist, and Venice gets an extra one for every one it gets.

        1. Warrax says:

          It’s not that you only need to build one city, it’s that you can’t actually build anymore; Venice can’t build settlers or annex cities. Conquest and buying city-states is the only way they can expand. The downside is that you can’t settle on any available nice land or resources, you are stuck with what other people already have.

          It’s a bit limiting, and it definitely changes your playstyle, but being able to puppet fully-developed CSs, take their military for yourself, buy items in your puppets, and spam trade routes (especially OP food routes) like nobody’s business definitely makes up for the limitations. The devs may have gone a bit overboard in making sure that the no-settler civ was still playable.

          1. Zombie says:

            I know you can only have one city as Venice. I was saying that as Venice you only need to micro-manage 1 city, while every other civ has to micro-manage way more. And I’m pretty sure the devs took a dive overboard when they were trying to make Venice playable and fun.

      3. Galad says:

        Sorry for the abrupt, and sort-of off-topic question, but..

        Josh, are we ever going to see more of Reginald-san’s conquest of Japan?

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          And if not,how about some “Josh plays civilization V while he is deciding if he is going to stop trolling everyone and finish his total war lets play”?

      4. LunaticFringe says:

        I’ve had the same results on Emperor too. Venice, especially on the islands map with freedom ideology, is massively, massively overpowered.

  13. silver Harloe says:

    OMG a mountain of bees!

  14. Paul Spooner says:

    On sexism: The oblivious stereotypical (presumed) audience-pandering puts me off too, and I’m ostensibly right in the cross-hairs for this stuff. I don’t want to control a playboy James Bond/Harrison Ford wish fulfillment dude-stud! It’s been done to death! Give us some variety! Try some new things games industry. Try it all! Go wild! It would be better than the complete lack of self-awareness we’ve got now. Worthless un-examined lives and all that.

    It makes me wonder if this is some sort of industry-wide adolescent insecurity thing. I sure hope so, because then there’s hope that we’ll corporately grow out of it eventually. On the other hand, I suspect there will always be an audience for the particular brand of tripe we have now, so it’s probably never really going away.

    I guess we should enjoy it while we can though, lest something worse come along to take its place in the parade of human shame.

    1. Daimbert says:

      Well, the issue is that they have … and no one mentioned it, and no one remembers it. So why bother doing it?

      This is what, in general, really annoys me about these sorts of examinations, and I find myself not surprised but still disappointed that in her Tropes vs Women series Sarkeesian pretty much falls into the same trap. Her latest video is supposed to be about games that feature female protagonists, but her list is really small and leaves off a number of obvious candidates. There are the ones that I always mention when these things come up: Fatal Frame, Suikoden III, Silent Hill 3 and Persona 3: PSP. Sure, Fatal Frame might be a bit obscure, but a game that is mentioned in the same sentence as Resident Evil and Silent Hill and that had been reviewed as possibly the best survival horror game ever doesn’t seem to be that obscure. The Suikoden series is mentioned in the same sentence as Final Fantasy when talking about JRPGs, and in S3 one of the three main characters is female … and can be the main character. And isn’t in class, skills or attitude “The Chick”. For P3PSP, they added a female protagonist which meant a lot of work to re-work S-links so that they made sense … and no one even mentions it, ever. No wonder in Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden they didn’t bother doing that, despite fans saying that it was nice and even appreciated.

      And going through the rest of my collection I can toss out Haunting Ground and Rule of Rose, just off the top of my head. And when she talks about the party idea, she ignored all of the D&D games that did it — Icewind Dale 1 and 2, Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 — and also the Knights of the Old Republic games … where you are able to choose the gender of the main protagonist and, more importantly, that in one of them the main protagonist is canonically female (Sith Lords). Not mentioned. And KotOR is NOT too obscure for her to have heard about it.

      The real issue with this is that she thinks this is something that is a problem in games, and something that should be addressed. It isn’t really clear whether she thinks that most games should be more equal or if she just wants more games with female protagonists and less sexist themes, but I do think it reasonable to assume that she’d like female protagonists to be as acceptable a trope as male protagonists, and to do that means demonstrating that games with female protagonists will be as accepted as ones with male protagonists and that you can make good plots work with that, or even that the same plots can work in at least a large number of games. Her big solution is to talk about another sort of game that she seems to want done but that, in my opinion, can’t be made into a trope — damsel rescues herself — doesn’t do anything to help that, and can inadvertently end up simply fostering the idea that you simply can’t use a female protagonist in those cases, or that you won’t make money if you use a female protagonist.

      Which is all the more frustrating because if you wanted to demonstrate that, Fatal Frame seems to be the paradigmatic case for it. It was successful, making enough money to spawn 3 sequels. It was exceptionally well-received critically. And most importantly, artistically it demonstrated that you could have a plot that centers around two female characters — Miku (the protagonist) and Kirei (arguably the antagonist) — where the main male character — Mafuyu — is essentially simply the plot device that brings the two of them together, and thus you have a female focused game without it being a chick game. You could easily swap out the roles and it would work, but they went with female characters and it works really, really well.

      So, games that are above the “tripe” exist, and I do believe these causes would benefit more from focusing on those and saying “This is how you do it” instead of continually talking about the flawed games.

      1. Tomas says:

        There is a sentence in your post that has 98(!) words in it. :-)

        Interesting thoughts though.

        1. Daimbert says:

          Oh, great … now I have to know which one [grin].

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            text = “insert text here”

            But when I do:
            print(len(sorted(text.split(“.”),key=len)[-1].split(‘ ‘)))
            …it gives me 97. My code must be off!

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              97 separators means 98 items. just like three walls can separate three items. BUT sentences often have, if they are not first in paragraph, a space BEFORE them and after the full stop. But if your case the sentence begins the paragraph than 98 words will have 97 spaces. Also it’s possible the writer didn’t space the comma from the next word in one case.

              1. Paul Spooner says:

                Ahh fencpost errors. My firm and constant friend.
                But no, I was being facetious when I implicated my code. It splits on spaces and then counts the words, so no fencepost errors there. Although, it may be counting a comma as you say, or some other typographical fluke. Or maybe Tomas mis-counted. In any case, +- one word is negligible. Computers care about that kind of thing, but the point stands that it was a pretty long sentence.

                1. Tomas says:

                  It’s 98 if you count “she’d” and “isn’t” as two words each.

          2. Daimbert says:

            I found it myself … and in reading it thought “You know, that was a little ambiguous; I should have added a little more to that final clause” [grin].

            But hey, I have an excuse: I have a philosophy degree.

            1. Bubble181 says:

              I’m not the only philosophy major on here? Huzzah!

      2. Paul Spooner says:

        That’s a really good point. There is always going to be garbage, and you can’t fix all the garbage. If everything is terrible because there are bad games out there, then things are always going to be terrible. Much better to enjoy what is done right and encourage more of it. And despite the garbage, there area lot of things done right these days too. Thanks for reminding me of that.

        1. Daimbert says:

          I’d say that highlighting the good is more effective, since if the argument is that making it better will mean that you lose or at least won’t gain financially, giving the better games all that free advertising can only help the bottom line … and refute that argument.

      3. Daemian Lucifer says:

        “So, games that are above the “tripe” exist, and I do believe these causes would benefit more from focusing on those and saying “This is how you do it” instead of continually talking about the flawed games.”

        This is why I love watching/reading Yahtzee.Sure,he does point out every tiny flaw in the game,but then he goes on to point out what the game did right,and how many of the problems could be fixed.Pointing out problems is easy and meaningless,hence why the focus should be on exploring the solutions.

        1. Daimbert says:

          I don’t watch/read him, but I really notice it on SFDebris, where he often points out how they could keep the same plot elements and do so much more with them. This helps your case in two ways:

          1) If you come up with a good answer, it shows that you understand what they were trying to do and so makes your criticisms seem more valid.

          2) You pre-emptively obliterate any reply of “Well, we couldn’t really do it better any other way”, by pointing out that they could have, easily.

          This is why when I write criticisms of works, I also try to find ways to do it better rather than just criticize.

      4. guy says:

        Yeah, having played Suikoden III, no conversation on positive female portrayals in video games is complete without Chris getting mentioned.

        1. Daimbert says:

          And somehow, she never does get mentioned.

      5. Astor says:

        I think the point she mostly tries to make (and which she only actually got to in the third Damsels video in my opinion) is one about proportions. She could have added the handful of games you mention but the issue would still remain the same. Most games deal with sexist plots and character designs, and half of those only do it because it’s easier. In many cases the plot or trope is not necessarily sexist, it’s the sheer number of occurrences that makes the industry and its products sexist.

        The point about her hypothetical game came not so much about making the protagonist a female, but about having a “positive” damsel, which was the theme of the video! She presents what she thinks is a positive way to portray female characters AND subvert the Damsel trope. This after showing many of instances of Damsel subversions that are played for jokes instead of trying to do something a little more meaningful.

        1. Daimbert says:

          She could have added the handful of games you mention but the issue would still remain the same. Most games deal with sexist plots and character designs, and half of those only do it because it's easier. In many cases the plot or trope is not necessarily sexist, it's the sheer number of occurrences that makes the industry and its products sexist.

          But in a chapter where she’s supposed to be looking for examples of female protagonists in general — not just subversions of the damsel in distress plot — it doesn’t help her case to leave out obvious examples, hiding behind “Well, they were few and far between”. Not only would it make her look more critical to bring them up, as I said it would help in overcoming that proportion by pointing out the games that did it and were successful. When the examples she uses are either bad ones or generally indie games, and when we can look at mainstream games and find better examples, it smacks of her not doing the research, as opposed to her making a point that we’ve missed.

          And since she’s talked so much about inverting the damsel in distress arc to have a female character rescue a male, not mentioning Fatal Frame is a problem since it is a popular, mainstream game that did that right. Heck, she could have spent a lot of time in this one pointing out what it and games like S3 and others did RIGHT and demonstrating that you can make a really good game with a female protagonist … even one that has to save the male “damsel”.

          The point about her hypothetical game came not so much about making the protagonist a female, but about having a “positive” damsel, which was the theme of the video!

          No, the theme was about positive female protagonists, which is why she started with the rather badly done game that made Princess Peach the heroine (and mentioned other games and ROM modifications as well). The subversions were one sort of game that subverts the role, but as she pointed out a lot of them didn’t do it well.

          She presents what she thinks is a positive way to portray female characters AND subvert the Damsel trope.

          It was buried in my text, unfortunately, but I addressed that: her example could not become a trope for video games, in my opinion. However, other ways of presenting female characters did, and the whole theme of the series is to find ways to make positive portrayals of female characters the go-to tropes for video games. As such, it might be better to focus on games that, in fact, have those portrayals. That handful of games I mentioned? They’re only the games where you can have a female protagonist. For female supporting roles, I have a longer list of games in my own collection that do that: Persona 3, Persona 4, Shadow Hearts, Shadow Hearts: Covenant, all of the D&D games (as they let you create parties of all female characters which you play out, which she likes), Wizardry 8, most MMOs (she concedes that), Fatal Frame, Final Fantasy, the Elder Scrolls series, and so on and so forth.

          I once, when I was loosely writing articles for a gaming site, wrote a list of my top 10 female characters. I commented on my blog at the time that while coming up with the top 10 female characters was easy, it would be difficult for me to come up with the same list for MALE characters … mostly because the most interesting male characters are you, which doesn’t work well. Sure, most of my examples came from KotOR, the Personas, Fatal Frame, Suikoden, and Shadow Hearts, but that’s just my limited exposure to games speaking, not anything about the industry. While there is a problem, the problem won’t be solved by simply grumbling about the games that don’t do it right, but instead by promoting the games that do it right, hopefully increasing their sales and demonstrating that writing female characters better works financially and artistically … but, as I said, that’s not a problem limited to her. Then again, now that she’s being paid to do it, we might expect better from her than someone who is doing nothing more than expressing their own opinion.

          1. Astor says:

            I’m not sure I agree. This is a video about the Damsel in Distress trope, when talking about female protagonists it’s because those characters discussed are traditional damsels. I do agree with you completely in that the “dude in distress” (which I guess would include several of your examples like Fatal Frame and S3, though I have never played those), is pretty much glossed over in favor of inversions to established characters. And ones that are crappy at that.

            When introducing the hypothetical game, she specifically talks about subverting the Damsel trope, and how the best way to do that should star the damsel as the player character. So the point in that section as far as I can see is how to “positively” subvert the Damsel trope, not about the best way to present female protagonists.

            Towards the end of the series one episode will focus on “Positive Female Characters!”, so maybe she’s reserving the good examples like those you mention for then? Maybe?

            1. Daimbert says:

              I’ll admit that on re-reading it, she focused more on the inversion than I originally thought she had, although she still does talk about positive female protagonists in general. I’d really like to see that episode on positive female characters in general, although I don’t hold out much hope from what I’ve seen so far that she will do that comprehensive an examination. Perhaps I’ll be surprised …

        2. Fleaman says:

          I think Daimbert’s point isn’t that the male/female ratio is off – that’s inarguable. Rather, it was that the imbalance often seems to be because of a paradigm that says “games with female leads fail”, and that there’s a counter-paradigm that says “female-led games fail because you expect them to and won’t bet on them”, when in fact there ARE games that have female player characters and that have been crticially-aclaimed or that have made money or both.

          And I strongly agree with this. It seems like whenever we have that conversation, the games we go to are Mirror’s Edge, a flawed game, and Beyond Good and Evil, a game that didn’t sell well.

          1. Daimbert says:

            Pretty much.

            I get annoyed with Fatal Frame not being mentioned because it seems to be exactly the sort of game that people — and Sarkeesian herself — seem to want: successful, strong female characters, and an inversion of the damsel in distress role from the normal “Female in distress saved by a man”. And it never gets mentioned, even when they are naming the games that do it well.

            Persona 3 PSP actually annoys me more, because while its portrayal of the female protagonist is not perfect, it is an example of a company that took a successful property and in a port decided to ADD the option for a female protagonist. Which, if you know the Persona games, was a LOT of work. And no one mentions it, or gives them props for it. So what reason does that give companies to do it, if no one cares when you do? If people want things to get better, giving the games that do it well free advertising seems like the way to go.

            1. Trix2000 says:

              I really think it’s an issue of how prevalent/visible the games are. Much as Suikoden/Fatal Frame/Persona/whatever have their own large audiences, I don’t think they’re at the forefront of many people’s minds when they think of video games (with exceptions of course). They’re not the big-name forerunners we see in the news all the time, probably because they are in a way niche (albeit large niches).

              I could be wrong, obviously – I don’t know the numbers for how many people know of/play such games. But I could understand not including them if a person doesn’t really know of/think about them much… especially when you’d have to actually play the games to truly understand the concepts.

              1. Daimbert says:

                I agree with this, in a sense, and noted that they are a bit obscure. And if someone is just writing an opinion post, then it’s okay that they focus only on what they play. But this series strikes me as being more than that, of being more academic and more of an in-depth investigation/analysis (in intent), and in that case you do have to do more research and thus deal with more games than just the ones you play.

                And if you even wander into the groups that talk about those genres, those games aren’t that obscure. Ask, say, what are the best survival horror games, and Fatal Frame’s in the same sentence as Resident Evil, and Silent Hill is in the same breath. Suikoden is in the same sentence as Final Fantasy. Again, if someone’s going to do in-depth research, you probably would hear about them … and you could easily get summaries of the plot from people to help out so that you wouldn’t have to play them.

                Although I admit that a large part of my frustration is how in all of these cases the focus is on the negative examples and not the positive ones, which I think ineffective.

        3. abs1nth says:

          In my opinion there is no such thing as sexism, racism, true glorification of violence in fictional entertainment/art.

          Video games have a lot of growing up to do not because they portray women in ridiculous ways or are all about violence but because they need to embrace the medium as the artform that it is.

          A Dragon’s Crown controversy would not happen in films or books.

          What we need is more variety and that will happen as the female demographic grows. Shaming will not make video games better.

          1. Heaven Smile says:

            “A Dragon's Crown controversy would not happen in films or books.”

            What about Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey? both sexist, written by women, and waaaaaaaay more damaging that the side of the boobs of a character that has exhibited traits of vanity. Which might suggest that she used her powers to “enhance” herself.

      6. Chamomile says:

        Anita Sarkeesian has a strong tendency to ignore vast swathes of the medium when “analyzing” things last I checked. It’s probably the biggest reason why I stopped bothered listening to her about two episodes into Feminist Frequency. Her high production values give the appearance of professional thoroughness, but her analysis seems to be limited to things that she happened to watch, play, or listen to for her own reasons, with no actual research done.

        It’s also possible that she’s chasing an agenda. Either way, I honestly kind of just want to not talk about her anymore. I’m still hoping that everyone will just forget her someday soon, and then someone else will tackle the same subject matter with the proper analysis it needs.

        1. Daimbert says:

          That’s my impression as well. Then again, that’s what we all do; even when I give my list, the things on it are the games I’ve played. And that’s fine in most cases because people are just giving their opinions. But once you try to be really professional or academic, it’s not good enough anymore.

          1. Chamomile says:

            It’s really not Anita herself who bugs me (although, to be clear, she has made some really bad arguments and condemned things for no reason in the past, and I hold her to that) so much as it is her fanbase, for two reasons. First off, they are hateful vitriolic censors who have nothing but bile for all dissenting opinions, and yes they get the same thing from 4chan and Reddit and junk but that doesn’t justify their hostility or their unwillingness to hold a discussion. And second, they’re throwing their support behind Anita’s high production values when there have been much more thorough and insightful analyses of the same issues which aren’t receiving a tenth of the attention, and while probably everyone here knows that’s how the world works, that doesn’t stop it from being super depressing.

    2. arron says:

      I’m not that bothered with Anita Sarkeesian. She’s entitled to her opinion on things, and she may have a point in certain areas of gaming.

      But because she doesn’t actually write games herself, her influence in changing things is going to be very limited. I don’t think she takes a proper academic approach to the topic and the lack of possible avenues of critique (which would be essential for an academic approach) basically makes anything she does largely ineffective.

      This is why I am not interested in her work. It’s not that I dislike her, but it’s like a lot of the critical series run by ‘propagandists’ out there – post a dissenting opinion and get ignored/deleted/hated by their followers. I’ve taken on some of the loonies out there with actual facts with references, and if they control the channel they will ensure that they are not contradicted one way or another. They don’t actually deal with what you say, they merely ignore/ridicule or make it go away.

      I do science, and it’s basically down to facts and evidence. If what you say is provable and supported by the evidence, then it is better than anything that is claimed can be easily dismissed through evidence.

      I was quite upset with the last one because she claimed one game (Wind up Knight) fitted into her “Damsels in Distress” trope when if you’ve played the game beyond a certain point you will have realised that the so-called Damsel is the female protagonist who arranges her own kidnapping as a means to seize power in the kingdom. The story line was actually designed by the daughter of Chris Pruett (the developer) and included in the game.

      Now the funny thing is that this game was mentioned in the video as supporting the “Damsels” trope, and although someone mentioned that this is still the impression you get from the beginning when you play the game. It should not have been included in that list, or at least shown that it subverts the trope.

      It really does suggest that Anita didn’t actually play the game to understand the story. A bit unforgivable in my book as it either says that the researcher is either (1) lazy (2) unable to present facts that are easily verified or (3) unwilling to give the game its merits preferring to lump it in with the multitude of others that you’ve decided support your argument (at 10:00 into the video).

      Chris Pruett is a good guy and I’ve known him for several years for his work on Android and promoting mobile gaming on Android. When he pointed this out to femfreq on twitter, he didn’t a response from her, but did draw some attention from other people over it and they took the discussion to email to avoid any possible public unpleasantness. Comments are disabled on the video and the developer hasn’t received a reply to his reasonable objections through contacting her directly as far as I know.

      The problem I have is that if you’ve written something that get slapped in an unfair way especially without right of redress or reply, that’s effectively censorship. And if what they say impacts on sales and in turn your living despite having done nothing wrong, then that’s wrong as well.

      Someone’s wrong argument doesn’t bother me as the science I do is based on provable facts. However, if I produce a product and someone’s badly researched argument stops my product from selling, then that for me is a serious issue and one that needs countering.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        Yeah, it’s kind of a difficult thing to address properly. On the one hand, it really comes down to a subjective “I like this and don’t like that” statement, which of course is impossible to prove. On the other hand, one could (theoretically) produce a statistical analysis which would indicate certain things. And, in fact, this is what denegrators (informally) claim when they say “games with girls don’t sell”. It’s a claim that “the industry has performed the experiment, and the results are that male protagonist entertainment outsells female protagonist entertainment by a statistically significant margin.” But then one can say that the statistical analysis was improperly weighted, or sample biased, or just “damn lies” or numerous other objections to an inherently numerical analysis.

        At the end of the day, after we’re all worn out from discussing it, we’re going to come back to “I guess people will pay for what they want, and people will produce what people pay for.” which is where we are with journalism as well. At that point, the most important thing is simple truthfulness about what it is you are selling, which is all Anita really seems to be asking for.

        1. WarMachineDD7 says:

          And this is my problem with Anita’s videos. She makes good points in between but all of a sudden I get “examples” where I cannot disagree more. And I could forgive some of those “examples” if she’d at least acknowledge the parts of the games that don’t conform with the tropes, but she doesn’t. Those games get painted with a broad brush that essentially says “demeaning to women” and since it was one of the examples she chose to use, it implies as well that it’s one of the worst transgressors.

          The other problem I have with her videos is that she doesn’t allow comments. I know she was constantly attacked and threatened by idiots, but to me that’s all the more reason not to block comments. For one, it exposes the bile spewed by idiots and puts it out in the public eye where it can be contested or derided by everyone, but more importantly it gives a chance for those voices who are actually on topic discussing what she wanted them to discuss to be heard. Go on any political video on youtube and while it might be filled with idiots spewing all sorts of hate, the top comments are still on topic and there is discourse happening in between the hate comments.

          Any critic gets hate from the people that disagree, and that might include threats, but the point is that they’re talking about the topic you wanted them to address, right? Isn’t the main goal of any critic to elicit discourse?

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I will admit I’ve seen very few of Sarkeesian’s videos, meaning that maybe I just didn’t catch the ones that would be of real interest to me, but those that I’ve watched haven’t really encouraged me to wait for more precisely because of that “broad brush” approach. I imagine it’s because I had quite a lot of exposition to feminist discourse in my education and when working on my thesis but what I’ve seen was too generic and too shallow in the analysis. I would much prefer if, rather than briefly present a simplified gist of the trope and then list some examples she analysed a given character, game or series in depth relating to various undercurrents of feminist ideology (which is anything but uniform).

            Now, I do realise that what she is trying to do is probably more of a ground work for future discourse, an attempt to establish certain terminology and also do so in a way easy to grasp for someone who does not have a background in gender studies. Just saying that from my point of view she actually brought very little new to the table.

      2. Heaven Smile says:

        “But because she doesn't actually write games herself, her influence in changing things is going to be very limited.”

        Well, lets ask someone who does. Here is a female developer:

        And here is an author that is working with a woman on a book which will NOT have a female lead, because its not what the woman writer wants:

  15. Bryan says:


    I *still* listen to that soundtrack. Especially the track to the second run through Nagomi Passage. Just remembering the name to that level gets that track running in my head…

  16. Blake says:

    I think the introductions could be slightly shorter, and the whole thing could easily run up to an hour and a half without a problem.
    I think the news section is the most important when news exists, followed by introductiony stuff, followed by mail bag if there’s not a lot to talk about (although 1 question a week would be nice).

    Generally though it’s all good.

  17. eaglewingz says:

    “Would you rather more news discussion? Or more mailbag?”

    More stream-of-consciousness monkey bras!

  18. Ranneko says:

    I am pretty happy with the show in its current format. I like the conversations that the Diecast has so I am less worried about the specific topics that you guys cover or the format you use.

    I agree that you don’t need to constrain the show’s length in either direction for our sakes, go for however long works for the conversations you guys have and fits with your schedules. =)

  19. The Rocketeer says:

    I smile every time I hear, “*sigh* I’ll put it in the shoooow nooootes.”

    You really shouldn’t talk too much about Mumbles Mountain, Chris; I contracted on the construction and you really, really didn’t want to break that NDA back then. I doubt things are any more lenient now that it’s fully-operational.

    Consult your Critical Information Listing (CIL) to familiarize yourself with sensitive topics. If you don’t have a CIL, you aren’t authorized for one.

  20. Sector47 says:

    Only $300 on Magic The Gathering, I can’t keep money in my wallet because of those things.

  21. Mr Mister says:

    I always thought it was a bit weird that every video game news story has to have an opinion stuck on the end. As a Brit, I assumed it was an American news thing(like fox news.

    1. False Prophet says:

      Sometimes I think it’s a fair use claim to avoid copyright entanglements. A lot of “news” sites out there simply regurgitate other original content, but if all your site does is copy-paste links and articles from other sources, those sources might have an infringement case. But if you add a few lines of opinionated commentary, now it’s “analysis” or “criticism” and thus fair use.

      Since advertising is really the only way content-driven sites can make money from the internet, the only thing that matters is getting eyeballs to your site. Any method that nets you traffic without getting sued is acceptable. This is also why best-of/worst-of lists are popular on these sorts of sites: they’re just glorified fanboy trolling.

  22. Thomas says:

    I don’t think we need much original research in games news journalism (fact checking of course still needs to improve). We’re an entertainment medium, there’s not that much news out there, even with newspapers that can report on anything they have slow days. And actual newspapers rarely ever find a piece of gaming news worth talking about. We want to know what games are going to come out, where the trailers are and what the previews are like. Games aren’t life and death.

    But games criticism needs to improve. I still think part of the problem is the medium is a lot smaller than other media. The worst summer from 1997 to 2011 still sold 540 million cinema tickets. The top 20 all time games have only sold 540 million copies total. The less people who play games, the less people who will read niche criticism and the less people can afford to pay for it

    1. BeamSplashX says:

      Right, but I can’t lend someone a torn ticket to the newest movie, and I also don’t have to buy another copy of the game to experience it in its best possible format again.

      1. Thomas says:

        But even then, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that films have a much wider audience than games, right? We all know it is because our anecdotal evidence works out something like, percentage of people we know who watch films: 90%. Percentage of people who play games? Maybe 50% if you don’t know many people and from the perspective of someone with a very biased social circle

        I imagine the number of films a person watches twice in the cinema on average a year is 1 or less, and the number of games the average person lends to a friend a year is one or less. It’s not coming close to impacting the order of magnitudes difference in popularity

  23. Nawyria says:

    As latecomer to the party I suppose I’ll add my two cents.

    I don’t really care how you divvy up the time between banter, what games you are playing, a tangent, more banter, gaming news, another tangent, more banter, mailbox, banter, a tangent and banter. I listen to the Diecast in kind of the same way I watch the Daily Show; that is to say, I ‘consume’ it primarily to be amused and if I end up picking up a few pieces of actual news or advice, so much for the better.

    I’d say take a page out of the way Totalbiscuit hosts the TGS podcast (recently renamed Polaris podcast) and approach it like you would DM’ing D&D session. Have topics (events) prepared for when there is a lull in the conversation (action) or when a discussion goes stale (players get bored); but if your co-hosts (players) are doing something interesting of their own volition, just let it happen.

    The most interesting moments can be those that come about organically by a conversation topic bouncing off people in the call (players interacting with each other), which often happens unplanned (I don’t need to tell you this happens in D&D).

    Emergent gameplay and all that jazz, amirite?

    1. arron says:

      An episode of the Diecast where the team are playing the discussion like they’re role-playing D&D complete with dicerolls and combat. That might be quite novel :)

      1. Nidokoenig says:

        Rutskarn: “I attempt to make a pun *dice roll* It’s terrible!”

        Yeah, that could be fun.

        1. Humanoid says:

          By this stage I’d assume his d20 is marked with ‘1’ on every face.

          1. Nidokoenig says:

            It’s a d2 roll, either “It’s terrible” or “It’s horrible”.

            1. X2-Eliah says:

              Random question, do all d&d-ers call a coin a “d2”?

              1. Cuthalion says:

                Yes, and they’re a pain to roll.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Not really.Once a bunch of coins fell out of my wallet,and they rolled quite far.

  24. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Funny how you mentioned Anita Sarkeesian just after that topic about journalism,because while listening to that I immediately thought “Man,this sounds just like the dumb focus on the trolls about Sarkeesian’s thing”.Yahtzee was talking for years about how games are broken on plenty of levels,one of which is the stereotypical white dude in his 20-30s,and did anyone bother interviewing him on tv?Nope.But then some chick talks about sexism in games and gets trolled,and BAM! prime tv.

    As for criticisms directed at her,those idiots are just a minority.They are vocal,but they still are minority.There are plenty of legit criticisms on her beginning shows(poor research,confusing and sometimes contradicting points,dry list of the problems without any solutions being offered),and yet wherever I go all I hear is “Yeah,all of them are just angry because she is bashing on their hobby”.But if she has improved maybe Ill give it another shot.

    As for “getting game footage is hard”,thats no excuse when it is your job(and by doing that kickstarter she made it her job).This guy is getting footage from old games himself for his reviews,and so does this guy,and neither one of them got a shitton of money in advance to do it.But if you really cant get your own footage and use someone elses,decent thing to do is to mention that in the credits.In fact,isnt that exactly the thing Shamoose asked a while back when that one guy didnt credit his roller coaster video?Theres nothing wrong in wanting credit for your work.But again,just because a few idiots were being very loud and obnoxious about it,somehow people saying that giving credit where credit is due are in the wrong.

    1. BeamSplashX says:

      AVGN and Spoony are commentating over their own playthroughs- of course they got their own footage. But if you just want cutscenes or anything else that isn’t made more clear by personal experience, why play? No one is expecting to hear how this one jump is total bullshit or the ranking system is broken because that has nothing to do with her videos.

      1. Deadpool says:

        Well, for one it might help with context so you don’t make factually wrong mistakes.

        Two, it kinda helps explain why the hell you asked for fifteen grand to just do what you’ve been doing for free for the past two years.

        It’d be like if Shamus did a kickstarter for a series of videos deconstructing Dragon Age, then just had Josh play it while he, Rutskarn and Chris commented on it.

        I know the economy is rough, but when people hand you $150,000 and you proceed to do nothing with it, it is no wonder they get upset.

    2. Chris says:

      So I meant to go on sort of a long rant about this and only managed to get the short version into the podcast. But the thing is, it’s way less cut and dried than “Credit everyone you take footage from.”

      First off: It’s not their footage to lay claim to to begin with. I mean, this is why we can’t easily monetize Spoiler Warning on YouTube and make some scratch for our efforts; the footage we’re capturing quite literally doesn’t belong to us. It’s the property of whoever made the game to begin with. Let’s Players like to pretend that footage they captured is their ‘property’ but really they’re just making (questionable?) use of fair use laws and hoping it’s either transformative enough to pass (it usually isn’t) or is given to a small enough that none of the rights holders want to issue DMCA notices (it usually is). So right off the bat, people upset that “their” footage wasn’t cited need to recognize that they can’t hit “record” on a VHS player and then claim that the resulting copy of Star Wars is “their” footage. It simply isn’t theirs to get or demand credit for.

      Second: I did manage to cover this in the podcast, but I want to emphasize this: getting footage of games is hard. Like, harder than you’d imagine. I’ve done it for shows, it takes an enormous amount of time, especially if you’re looking for specific scenes. You need different equipment based on whether it’s a PC game or a modern console or a classic console or a handheld or a board game or arcade machine or whatever. And unlike film there are no fast forward buttons, there are no chapter skips, and you need to play through the whole thing until you get to the scene you’re interested in. But finally after countless hours and lots of money you’ve got your footage. Great! You’ve captured that scene! Now on to the 15 other games you need specific footage of that require you to play through MORE games and have MORE specialized equipement if they’re on another console.

      Seriously, try scripting a really powerful essay and then realize that you reference an end-boss scene from an SNES game, and it fits your point *perfectly*. You’ve recorded your voice and now it’s time to edit the footage on top of it. What do you do? Do you find an SNES, a copy of the game, a CRT to play it on if you don’t have one, capture equipment for composite inputs, and then wait for a spare weekend to try and beat the game for 35 seconds of footage? Are you going to load up a copy of FRAPs and an emulator, pirate the game, and then try to beat it that way? Or are you going to get footage from a Let’s Play in 20 minutes and at virtually no cost? Now multiply this decision twenty times over because that’s how many games and scenes you want to talk about, and you’re starting to see the scope of the work involved. It is soul crushing to have an essay done but hundreds of hours of drudgery ahead just to get 35 seconds of footage.

      Third: This argument makes Let’s Players into giant hypocrites. The argument for Let’s Plays fighting against Nintendo’s claims that they should be getting ad revenue from their videos is that they’re claimed to be transformative enough to be fair use. We’ve yet to really see this be proven in court, but that’s the argument: They’re taking a small sample of the game by taking only video of a single playthrough and then turning it into criticism or entertainment. But then if someone else turns around and takes, say, 30 seconds out of a 6 hour Let’s Play to make their own criticism or entertainment video that’s “stealing?” I mean, if a Let’s Play is transformative content from videogame footage (and… ehhh…) I fail to see how what Sarkeesian does isn’t transformative to Let’s Play content. And again, this part completely ignores the fact that it isn’t their footage to give to begin with.

      Mumbles copped to do thing. I do this. Sarkeesian does this. But it’s not out of malice or neglect or laziness; it’s out born of the realities of making a video that references several specific moments in games.

      1. Deadpool says:

        To be fair, none of the people are claiming she is LEGALLY bound to cite her sources. But it would have been nice. And as someone claiming to be doing an academic level video, it would have been appreciated.

        And yeah, it’s hard but… Wasn’t buying and playing these games the reason she raised 150K? I mean, yeah it is tough, but you are being paid WELL for it. And you, literally, asked to do it. No one handed her money and said “Do this video series.” She went on kickstarter of her own free will, asked for 15K to do “massive amount of research” into the games. Then releases videos whose budget wouldn’t be a twentieth of what she asked. And she got ten times what she asked.

        I know it isn’t the most valid complaint (personally, I find it odd that the same people who jump down the “games makes kids violent” argument are backing her “games make people misogynistic” argument) but surely you can understand their frustration?

        You do your show for free and for entertainment, and you still tend to play the games and check your sources. She does her videos for ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS and wants it played in classrooms. And she makes claims that are factually not true. The stakes are a bit different.

        1. Chris says:

          Actually my show is for profit, and Anita Sarkeesian’s isn’t. Her videos are presented 100% ad-free. Meanwhile I make some (paltry) revenue from mine by running ads. Plus, I have a donation button on my site, so I’m also coming to people asking for money to do these things. We can quibble about at what level of donated money these things become ‘an issue’, but it’s hard to say I’m not more ‘in the wrong’ than she would be on this if we’re using financial benefit as a measure of obligation to cite sources.

          Then releases videos whose budget wouldn't be a twentieth of what she asked. And she got ten times what she asked.

          Source? I mean, she asked for just $6,000, not $15,000, and it expressly wasn’t a “pay me to do a thing” request (Kickstarter frowns upon fund-my-life campaigns. She was asking for that money for equipment upgrades and various other expenses in continuing the series she’d already been running. What she got was ~$160,000. And by all accounts the Kickstarter money has gone into production values: hiring an editor, getting new camera equipement, extending the run of the show (each topic was originally one video, Damsels alone has been three), and, yes, getting copies of the games to play.

          A lot of that money is easily visible on the screen. For example, the animated segment in the latest episode. Or the graphic designers they paid to come up with the new logo and transitions, which anyone can see are a VAST improvement over what they had before by comparing the intro to this video to the intro to this video. Graphic designers doing full motion HD video complete with transitions and a new logo will run several thousand dollars.

          So in light of that there’s no reason to think she’s pocketing an unreasonable share of the Kickstarter cash. In fact, we have no idea how much she’s personally earning from this project at all. Does she have a day job? Are her speaking engagements paid? Does she allot herself a monthly salary from the Kickstarted funds, or did she collect it as personal income in one lump sum? And if that’s the case, how do we determine the line between spending her money and that of the Kickstarter campaign? The reality is that without receipts and accounting info you’d have no idea how much of that money she’s laying claim to as personal income, and it’s insanely dangerous/disingenuous to argue otherwise.

          And all of that doesn’t matter, because that’s not how Kickstarter works. She asked for $6,000 and got $160,000. By all rights she could take $154,000 as personal income and then produce the series she promised. I mean, it’s not like the people at Double Fine or Harebrained or Pyrodactyl aren’t getting compensated for their efforts. Any argument that ends in “She got a lot of money on Kickstarter, therefore she needs to be under higher scrutiny!” is absurd on its face. Like, Pyrodactyl’s project was massively overfunded too. Should Rutskarn’s spending habits be under tighter scrutiny? Can we blame problems with Unrest on how much money he spends at Del Taco? Of course not! Because how Rutskarn gets compensated for his work has nothing to do with backing the project. Kickstarter is a place people go to back projects they believe in. And as long as the Kickstartee does everything they can to fulfill that project, they’re more or less in the clear. And if you end up massively overfunded and just pocket the money left over after finishing the thing you said you’d make? That’s totally cool; you can do that – even though it’s pretty clear Sarkeesian didn’t.

          And she makes claims that are factually not true.

          Again, source? You’ve made claims that she’s a liar and personally pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars without any evidence.

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            Yes. Yes! Quite so. Indeed. Undoubtedly!
            And yet, so poignant.
            My wife is on vacation without me. What’s your excuse?

          2. Deadpool says:

            You’re right, I have ZERO idea of the production costs of an youtube series. I DO know they were low enough she managed to do it for free for a while, but sure, new animation and camera and whatnot costs money.

            Here’s the thing: the primary use of the revenue was supposed to be research.

            “Creating these videos take a lot of time and money to produce. I will be researching and playing hundreds of titles from across the gaming industry (including some truly awful games that I wouldn't wish upon anyone!). Your support will go towards production costs, equipment, games and downloadable content.”

            Notice production costs and equipment is mentioned in passing and researchign AND playing hundreds of games gets its own setence wit joky parenthesis and everything.

            “As you might imagine, this project will involve an ENOURMOUS amount of research, because I am not just looking at a handful of games, OR just the worst offenders, but hundreds of games and hundreds of characters accross all genres. This is an incredibly ambitious project because of the scope and scale fo the research and production involved. So please donate…”

            Emphasis not my own.

            She acknowledges the production costs and the equipment, but she is pleading for money primarily for research.

            So when the videos come out late, and the extended of the research are short, out of context clips of games that were taken from other people (and a list of games gathered in large part by unpaid fans), people start to wonder where the money went.

            Of course, looking at her video, what kind of research DOES she need? In her second video she handwaves away the need for context, predicating her argument on the basis of sheer number. It doesn’t matter WHAT excuse the game uses to put women in these situations, only THAT games put women in these situations.

            Which means the extend of her researching is finding a game that has a woman in this situation, and then finding a clip on youtube that exemplifies this situation. The end. And she had a blog post asking fans to the first part for her. What’s the cost of this research?

            As for factual mistakes, someone already mentioned Wind Up Knight,and there is several tiny ones like describing the Tenchu scene as the princess “meekly asking to be killed” when she is really ordering her vassal to do his job and save the world at any cost, or Pandora’s Tower where she says “one ending has you kill the girl” when it’s actually a fail state (like saying one ending in Walking Dead has Clem being eaten by an eight year old boy. TECHNICALLY right, but not really) but I think the big offender here is Super Princess Peach.

            Seriously, I understand where she’s coming from. See, despite disagreeing with her, I too can’t stand the sexism in video games. So when I hear about a Peach game where she uses her girly emotions as powers I go “Holy crap, this sounds worse than My World My Way!”

            Here’s the thing, my roomate is kinda nuts. She loves My World My Way, she likes platformers and she needed a new handheld game, so she got herself Princess Peach. And when she finshed I asked her about it.

            Turns out the actual plot of the game involves Bowser casting a spell that makes everyone’s emotions go batshit insane which renders everyone useless except Peach. Unlike the rest of the cast, Peach can control her emotions perfectly. While everyone becomes overwhelemd by all their uncontrollable emotions, Peach can keep all her emotions perfectly in check, and even use them at will.

            Now you can argue the sexism or lack thereof of the plot even as is, but the fact is this narrative ISN’T the narrative she presented in her video. It’s the exact opposite.

            Now I get how she’d get that impression: I had the same. If you just do some quick googling on the game and you read “Super Princess Peach” and “Vibe Powers” the rest of the assumptions write themselves. But anyone who played the game would have corrected her on it.

            Personally, I’m more worried about her argument on its face value: I don’t think the media affects the minds of people as much as everyone likes to believe. But I can understand why people would be upset about the money squandering.

            1. Heaven Smile says:

              “Seriously, I understand where she's coming from. See, despite disagreeing with her, I too can't stand the sexism in video games. So when I hear about a Peach game where she uses her girly emotions as powers I go “Holy crap, this sounds worse than My World My Way!””

              As you explained in the rest of your comment, its not what Anita claims to be.

              What she describes as making fun of women’s Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is just the “Four Temperaments”, something that both sexes have (and as you stated, ALL the people on the game can’t control their emotions except for her)

              And here is the commercial of the game, clearly establishing WHO was the audience for this:

              Little kids. More specifically girls in princess costumes. And kids are know for being….what is the word i am looking for?…MORE EMOTIONAL THAN BRIAN BLESSED SPEAKING AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS AT THE PEAK OF MOUNT EVEREST!!!

              Also, i doubt kids even know about PMS.

          3. Exetera says:

            Like, Pyrodactyl's project was massively overfunded too. Should Rutskarn's spending habits be under tighter scrutiny? Can we blame problems with Unrest on how much money he spends at Del Taco?

            Good idea, but I don’t think Unrest is having any problems right now. Remind me to check again in a few months.

          4. Heaven Smile says:

            “Again, source?”
            Lets see, where to begin? the following 2 men and 2 women focus more on the facts, than the “where is the money?” issue:

            (Warning: this video contains MovieBob)

            The Gaming Goose: (done in the style of Tropes Vs Women)

            InuitInua: (she talks about the 3 videos released so far)

            Commander KiteTales “More Than a Damsel”:

            Now on the personal side, i kinda wish to know why is something like: “they paid to come up with the new logo and transitions, which anyone can see are a VAST improvement” supposed to make a better research? better yet, why videos exactly and not a blog with the occasional link to video footage of someone and a time frame? if she was going to borrow footage all the time, then why did she mention the need to buy the games in the first place?

            Contrast and compare to this extensive deconstructive analizis of “Metroid Other M” Liveblog.

            Which includes critiques of the story, gameplay (much later, because its going to focus on story first), and of course, the sexism issue that the game is know for. The one issue that strangely no one on the journalistic side cares to talk about even when they had a perfect chance to do so 2 years ago(*COUGH*MOVIEBOB*COUGH*)

            Can’t we just make a Kickstarter so we pay someone who knows what he/she/it is talking about, like the person that made that Liveblog? i rather have a nuclear physicist on a dangerous nuclear reactor rather than a clown touching levers and getting pay.

      2. Daimbert says:

        Well, reducing the argument down to “Credit all the footage that you don’t grab yourself”, here are the answers:

        1) The original game footage is and should always be credited; you should say that you got it from Game X by Developer Y. All Let’s Plays do that by definition, and most commentaries do that by definition as well (since they talk about the game they’re showing the footage of). So the people complaining about not being credited do, in fact, credit the work they derive from. If she doesn’t, then it isn’t hypocritical to say that she should.

        2) Your second point refutes your first point: sure, the footage does not belong to the people who grabbed the footage, but they put a lot of effort into doing that grab. Effort that she doesn’t want to do, for valid reasons. But you should definitely credit the person who took the time and effort to actually take the grabs if you use those to save yourself some time and effort. And crediting is not, itself, a large effort.

        So I’d agree that taking grabs from other sources instead of doing it yourself is valid, but argue that in that case you really should credit them.

        1. Steve C says:

          But then if someone else turns around and takes, say, 30 seconds out of a 6 hour Let's Play to make their own criticism or entertainment video that's “stealing?”

          It’s not only not stealing, it’s 100% legal regardless of who it belongs to. It’s a critique. In the US that’s 17 U.S.C. § 107. Giving credit is not necessary as the source can’t object whatever the source may be.

          Giving credit in many cases just muddles things. To give proper credit you’d have to use something akin to footnotes. It can get silly. We aren’t talking about a doctoral thesis here. If the criticizer/creator thinks it important to give credit, they should. If they don’t, they shouldn’t. Other people are welcome to disagree and say, “that needed credit” but it’s as much of an opinion as “your review sucked/was awesome.” I reject the notion that there is some sort of higher “the right thing to do” on this subject.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            “Giving credit is not necessary as the source can't object whatever the source may be.”


          2. Daimbert says:

            It's not only not stealing, it's 100% legal regardless of who it belongs to. It's a critique. In the US that's 17 U.S.C. § 107. Giving credit is not necessary as the source can't object whatever the source may be.

            Taking a clip from a Let’s Play to talk about the source is not, in any way, a critique of the Let’s Play that you took the footage from, so that doesn’t apply. And if you critique something, you give the source credit by, well, pointing out what you’re critiquing. It would be ridiculous, for example, to say that someone using clips from Smallville to talk about the series isn’t giving credit to Smallville when they flat-out say “And in this episode of Smallville …”, or else they aren’t critiquing anything.

            The only reason what she’s being criticized for is legal is because she’s talking about the original source, and all they did was grab the source for their critique/Let’s Play in the first place. At which point I agree with Daemian: Not legally mandated, but certainly the decent thing to do, especially since Chris’ comment is that this is done to avoid doing a lot of work that someone else has done already that you don’t want to do. If you take advantage of someone else’s hard work, you should at least give them credit for doing that work.

            Giving credit in many cases just muddles things. To give proper credit you'd have to use something akin to footnotes. It can get silly. We aren't talking about a doctoral thesis here.

            Or a credits page at the end. Or what Chris looked for in the video, a list either on the website or in the description saying where she got the footage from. It’s not that hard, and not that silly.

            Other people are welcome to disagree and say, “that needed credit” but it's as much of an opinion as “your review sucked/was awesome.” I reject the notion that there is some sort of higher “the right thing to do” on this subject.

            But so far your counters are: a) it’s legal not to and b) it might be hard to do in some cases. Neither of those are particularly strong arguments for your case. Considering that we have all sorts of legal and academic rules about not crediting sources which DO say that there is a “right thing to do” when dealing with sources, the only question is what is the right thing to do IN THIS CASE. You argue that it’s whatever the person using the footage thinks is appropriate. Others disagree. You can’t appeal to legality because we’re talking about what someone ought to do, legal or not, and the effort involved may be an argument, but is still trumped by Chris’ point 2: you’re doing this to avoid doing a lot of work, and crediting them is still less work than the work you’re trying to avoid. So while I’m prepared to be proven wrong about this, so far the arguments just don’t seem to add up.

            1. Deadpool says:

              Fun fact: She has a blog where she posts a list of “Links and Resources.” So she HAS space aside for her sources, but chooses not to mention the source of her videos instead focusing on other articles that support her argument…

            2. Steve C says:

              > a critique of the Let's Play that you took the footage from, so that doesn't apply.

              It doesn’t matter if you are critiquing the Let’s Play source or not. You are critiquing and that’s enough. It’s the act of critiquing that allows fair use. (With reasonability tests.) Same is if you are parodying one thing using another. For example you could use comic images of Superman from other sources in a critique of Smallville.

              > so far the arguments just don't seem to add up.

              Fair enough. Let’s try a different route- International culture. Think about commercials for pharmaceuticals where there is a 5sec of ad followed by 25 seconds of legal disclaimer. That is a uniquely American phenomenon. To outside observers that is absurd. Having to cite secondary sources is just as absurd to some of us. For example, East Asian students learn that copying directly from sources, without citation, is the proper way. In France, memorization and recitation from a source is not attributed. Academic rules are not consistent world wide and there is a spectrum. America as at one end of “cite everything” Asia at the other.

              I’m arguing that a LP is ancillary and the real source is Bro-shooter 3 rather than someone’s playthrough of it regardless of who owns the copyright. If that specific LP was necessary as opposed to any other LP, then yes definitely cite it. Example. If any LP is just as good then then bringing attention to a specific one is a distraction. If it’s Superman outfit as he rescues a cat, it’s red & blue vs red #40 & blue #1. Are you using a picture of any old cat or are you specifically using Keyboard Cat?

              However Deadpool makes a good point. If Sarkeesian is intending these to be academic level video shown in an American classroom then she should be following the conventions there. But those conventions are not “the right thing to do” they are just “a thing to do.” I haven’t been able to get through a single one of her videos (bland, boring with no real insight) so I can’t for sure but the footage appeared very generic. I wouldn’t have cited it beyond the game’s name.

              1. Daimbert says:

                It doesn't matter if you are critiquing the Let's Play source or not. You are critiquing and that's enough. It's the act of critiquing that allows fair use. (With reasonability tests.) Same is if you are parodying one thing using another. For example you could use comic images of Superman from other sources in a critique of Smallville.

                No, it does matter. Let’s take this example, which will be a lead in to my argument about why not crediting is just plain wrong. Imagine that someone is critiquing Smallville, and they notice one of the blog posts on my site that talks about Smallville and critiques it. They yank large sections from it to put into their critique and don’t credit me. If I protest, they won’t be able to cite fair use and say that since they are critiquing Smallville that my critique is therefore fair game for them to use uncredited. Of course, this confuses fair use and parody anyway, which is what allows you to use copyrighted images and text at all, as long as you don’t use too much of it and do cite it. All cases where fair use applies you would be citing the original source, because it’s what you’d be talking about anyway.

                Let's try a different route- International culture. Think about commercials for pharmaceuticals where there is a 5sec of ad followed by 25 seconds of legal disclaimer. That is a uniquely American phenomenon. To outside observers that is absurd. Having to cite secondary sources is just as absurd to some of us. For example, East Asian students learn that copying directly from sources, without citation, is the proper way.

                Well, further up I mentioned that I have a philosophy degree, and so you’re unfortunately going to get a bit of that here. This argument boils down to, essentially, that because some people don’t think that there is a right answer or that because people can’t agree that there is a right answer, therefore there IS no right answer. But that’s a really bad argument. After all, people still disagree over whether the world is round, and yet not only do we not doubt that there is a right answer, we also don’t doubt what that answer is. So without arguments to back up WHY those other views are right, the argument is pretty much meaningless. So, again, more argument is required.

                But let me give you my argument for why, in general, citing and giving credit is right. Take the Smallville example above. If they did that, they would be claiming my ideas and my work as their own, and in essence would be taking credit for my ideas, thoughts, and effort. Without getting into massive amounts of philosophical discussion, surely we can all agree that taking credit for someone else’s ideas and/or work is a jerk move, something that people shouldn’t do. Thus, if you take someone else’s ideas and use them, even just to build on, you should indeed give them credit for their ideas and work and cite them appropriately. Otherwise, you end up doing something that really does look like stealing, as you appropriate their ideas and insights and — deliberately or no — claim them as your ideas and insights, when they are no such thing.

                Note that there is some leeway for things that become basic ideas that everyone knows (I asked that once).

                Now, in this case, does that apply? Well, the work part seems to, and so it would be a very good idea for her to give credit to those who, as I said, did the work that she didn’t want to do. Should it be getting the attention it is getting? Probably not … but then defending her by saying that she shouldn’t credit is not likely to calm it down [grin].

                1. Steve C says:

                  They yank large sections from it to put into their critique and don't credit me. […] Of course, this confuses fair use and parody anyway, which is what allows you to use copyrighted images and text at all, as long as you don't use too much of it and do cite it.

                  That statement is incorrect. A)”Large” has to become “reasonable” or else it’s a strawman. B)Parody is a form of critique, which is a form of fair use. There’s nothing to confuse. One is a subset of the other. C)Citation is not part of copyright law. At all. D)Plagiarism is not covered or addressed by copyright but falsely attributing work to someone who didn’t make it is.

                  I completely agree that citation is “right”. Where we disagree is what is important enough to qualify for citation. Everything you’ve used as an example I would describe as a primary source, and those should be cited. Where we disagree is ancillary or incidental sources. I don’t agree that there is a moral component to that. It’s the difference between killing a puppy and killing an ant. One is morally objectionable and the other isn’t worth thinking about.

      3. Daemian Lucifer says:

        “So right off the bat, people upset that “their” footage wasn't cited need to recognize that they can't hit “record” on a VHS player and then claim that the resulting copy of Star Wars is “their” footage.”

        Video games are not movies.You cant just hit record and let the game play itself.You said so in your second point:Going through the whole game is lots of work.

        As for your third point:No,they arent hypocrites,because they do credit the developers in their work.Credit doesnt have to be a monetary thing.And no one is saying that Sarkeesian needs to pay them.But if they can credit the developers of the game for the game,so can she credit them for their work.If they saved you hours of work(as you said in your second point),is it really so hard for you to use and extra 15 seconds to copy their user name into your credits after the developers?

        Again,the few times Spoony and AVGN did use someone else footage,they credited the lets players as well as the developers.Heck,Spoony even went so far to publicly ask someone for their name to credit them simply because they sent him a walkthrough for a game he did.

        1. Shamus says:

          Here is the position I would hate to be in:

          Man, I really need this footage from the last two minutes of Final Fantasy X. I’m not about to play through it myself for ten seconds of footage. But I am hated by the gamer community and always have an angry crowd following me around looking for things to bitch about. If I give this footage credit, then they can just accuse me of “stealing” from them. My link will be a giant arrow back to my video. What if they demand that I not use their footage? What if they hit me with bullshit hypocritical infringement claims? I think it would be easier and safer to just use the footage and not give credit. Since these people will hate on me no matter what I do, better to not deliberately provoke them. They probably won’t even notice.

          Yes, she should give credit. It’s the right thing to do. But I also understand why not giving credit might seem like a tempting idea.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            She had no problem leaving the comments unmoderated when it suited her(which she doesnt usually do),so I dont think hate and bile were her motive against that.

          2. Daimbert says:

            Well, the issue here is that this starts to sound a bit paranoid, because the gamer community in general doesn’t hate her, but a subset of it does. For example, I’m sure that you’re considered part of that community, and with only a small amount of research she’d be able to conclude that you are unlikely to use her using, say, footage from Spoiler Warning as an attack on her. And if she can’t find footage from someone else who isn’t likely to use it against her, then she should alter the point or use other footage.

            While it may be tempting, the people who will hate on her will do it anyway but if she doesn’t credit it then the people that she took the footage from will, rightly, be annoyed as well … and then give legitimate complaints to those who hate her to use against her. So, not a good idea.

            1. Shamus says:

              Like I said, she really should give credit.

              I suppose it does sound paranoid, but at one point I sort of followed the link trail to see what people were saying about her. It was ghastly. It made ME paranoid, and I’ve seen my share of internet hate and insanity.

              1. BeamSplashX says:

                Tropes vs. Linux: Shamus in Distress

            2. Retsam says:

              Since the subset of the community that hates her is stupidly large, largely stupid, and fairly frightening, I don’t think a little paranoia is entirely unreasonable.

              (Clarification, I’m not saying everyone who disagrees with her is an idiot; I certainly don’t think I’d go so far as to say I agree with the woman, the key word being “hate”)

              1. Daimbert says:

                Unfortunately, like all paranoia, it’s counter-productive: she ends up ticking off people who aren’t in that group that hate her when a little bit of research and at times maybe even a quick E-mail would settle the issue.

          3. Steve C says:

            Giving credit to a Let’s Play for a critique of the game being played makes as much sense to me as giving credit to all the various art used in Advice Animal memes. It’s overkill.

            1. Deadpool says:

              This isn’t meant as a meme. This is meant as academic level video. She wants these shown in the classrooms. To students who are required to cite all their sources in every damned paper.

              It isn’t LEGALLY required, but it would be nice. It would be decent. It would help her case.

              1. Steve C says:

                Sarkeesian is getting a ton of crap for not citing ancillary sources. Extra Credits is also a quasi-academic video series that does not cite. They also use a ton of screen grabs, copyrighted images, etc. Extra Credits (James) is also paid to speak at schools, something I don’t think Sarkeesian can claim.

                Why is Sarkeesian getting all this hate and indignation while Extra Credits gets a free pass? I cannot answer that as I don’t think either should get flak. Is it because Sarkeesian uses more video footage and EC uses still pictures? A source is a source when talking about formal citation so that’s not it. The only things I can think of (like she really is being persecuted) I don’t believe.

                So serious question to this community: What is different between Sarkeesian and Extra Credits in regards to this issue?

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Sarkeesian is using sleazy tactics to play the victim card,simple as that.But this thing should not be connected with her arguments though.You can be an asshole and still present a good case(Yahtzee),and you can be respectful and still present a bad case(Ebert).However,many people cant separate the two,and see her bad demeanor as a case against her arguments(which it isnt).I may not like her sleazy tactics,but she did make a few good points in her latest video.

            2. Daimbert says:

              Assuming that you grabbed the clip yourself and the original source is clear, it probably isn’t a problem. Note that if I was producing those sorts of memes, I would give credit to the original source material and to where I got the original pic from. Aggregate sites would have a harder time of that, but if I produced the complete meme image I’d expect them to credit me for it, which then allows for a viewer, if they wish, to find out the full chain, if done properly.

        2. Steve C says:

          There is no equivalence of hard work : credit. They have the same relationship as math and apples. Aka none. A lot more work was put into the house I’m living in. Do I need a a plaque that says their names? If I’m using part of a hand crafted desk that was modified and loses it’s maker’s mark along the way… should I care?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The difference is that you payed for those things,hence you already gave credit for the work in monetary form.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Well the mailbag is you discussing topic as well,only these are the topics raised by the fans instead of you.So I like them both,no matter how you are distributing them.

  26. Zerotime says:

    It’s kind of eerie how close Chris’ Jon Lovitz voice is to Rutskarn’s Atlantic Rutskarn voice.

  27. Dai Panda says:

    My personal opinion on Sarkeesian’s show is basically “Yeah it’s alright” mixed with “Dear fluffypantlord her voice is dull but eh”.
    Think she has some good points and, disagree with her on some other things but, it’s not like my GoG-copy of Duke Nukem 3D or my Super Mario Bros-cartridge will magically disappear because someone brings up that gaming might have some growing up to do.

    Not to mention that a lot of the detractors(both to her and others) are so childish that, well… I have a hard time not completely ignoring what they have to say.

    To go over to another field of gaming for a moment, because I wear many hats so to speak, you kind of see this “NO WE CAN’T BE INCLUSIVE!” in tabletop RPGs and wargaming as well. Though that was more in the late-90’s and early 2000’s but, you deffinetly saw the same tendencies amongst “teh hardcorz” there. It’s just that because in terms of gaming those are so relatively niche, and takes less to get out the door in terms of costs(especially now) it’s also easier for niche-games within the niche-gaming to come out…
    There really is something for everyone.
    Even if you do still see the same kind of crap pop up from time to time. Especially whenever a new edition of a game comes out…

    Personally, I think inclusivity is something we should always strive for. I just do not see a side where “everyone is welcome to spend their money” would be a BAD thing for any hobby.

    Anyway. Pardon the rambling. It had been lodged in there for a while…
    Also still love this podcast. I’m gonna listen to it a second time now just because.

    1. Bubble181 says:

      Like a lot of people, you’re missing a specific point. Not everyone *can* spend their money on their hobby the way they want it, when it’s infested with teh wimen.

      Yes, I’m saying it like that to tear down my own point because I know it sounds horribly misogynistic, but still, there’s a point hidden in there.

      When I started at university, I joined a fraternity for nerds – board games and table top games, mostly, with also some CCG and LARPing. Over the years, more and more “cool” people came in. You know, cute/popular girls who hapen to also like fantasy and such. And I, for one, am absolutely happy with more people, and more “mainstream” people, enjoying a hobby I like too.

      However, a few years down the line, and the whole group is almost exclusively this sort of people. CCGs? Nope, they interfere with drinking. Miniatures? Nah, takes too much place. Even more modern “euro”-board games (and we’re in Europe here!) are getting less and less play in favour of the quick and easy variety – be it Munchkin, or Monopoly, or Apples to Apples. Now, I like all of these games too (though Monopoly is a horribly broken game). You know who isn’t in the Nerd Fraternity anymore? The real nerds. The 250-pound, can’t-talk-to-women, probably-autistic, maybe-has-some-sort-of-physical-defect, kind of people, for whom talking to normal people (especiallt women i many cases, yes) is a challenge. For who their hobby was their safety, their retreat. Heck, D&D gets less and less of a spreadsheet and more and more of an easy pick-up game, becuase that appeals more to the mainstream audience.

      Now, this has happened to comics (see: all movies of the last few years and the last reboots of the comics themselves), D&D and other types of tabletop gaming, computer games, science fiction and fantasy books, and even, to an extent, computers in general.
      Part of this is normal and logical – computers are simply becoming too important.
      However, you’re still oushing people out of “their” hobby. I haven’t seen an equally big drive to make soccer or football “female friendly” or whatever – too many men all over the world see their soccer night/football afternoon/whatever as their sole getaway from the misses. I don’t think *everything* *everywhere* *always* needs to be completely accessible for everyone. It grows the main market and shrinks away the actual niches.

      By which I do NOT mean nerds or socially inept people have a “right” to “their” hobby, of course, nor do I mean to say there’s a “right” to be misogynistic or assholes.

      1. Daimbert says:

        Yeah, there’s an important point to this: no one says that we need to make romance novels more “inclusive” and change them so that they appeal to men. Which I think is perfectly fine, as romance novels are unapologetic at being aimed at women and being for women, and are massively successful at it. But video games don’t make that sort of claim, and so in that case calling them out on not being inclusive isn’t a bad thing. However, changing it to make it inclusive to try to draw a larger audience that might not actually be there is likely to annoy the people who have always supported them and find things that they like being removed because of a desire to appeal to people who not only didn’t really care about the genre in the first place, but whose desires are turning it into something that is well-represented in lots of other genres. In short, that inclusive audience can already get what they want; there’s no need for them to turn the only thing that provides what the original audience wants into just another thing that gives the inclusive audience what they want and doesn’t give the original audience what they want.

        1. shiroax says:

          The difference is that romance novels are a genre, video games are a medium. Imagine if every book was a romance novel. I’d say there would be plenty of calls to make books more inclusive and plenty of “Why would you want to make romance novels more inclusive?”

          1. Daimbert says:

            I don’t think we’re disagreeing that much here, but your example is belied by claims that science fiction and fantasy, for example, need to be more inclusive, which are clearly genres. That’s why I put it more on romance novels being unapologetically and always having been aimed at women, whereas video games want to be more mainstream and broadly based, which causes the problem. And I suspect that things like wrestling support my contention, where they get chastised for being sexist but rarely for not being inclusive; it is assumed that they are aiming at a young male audience — since they pretty much admit that — and they’d just like them to appeal to that group in a “healthier” way.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Wait,since when was monopoly quick and easy?

        “I haven't seen an equally big drive to make soccer or football “female friendly” or whatever ““ too many men all over the world see their soccer night/football afternoon/whatever as their sole getaway from the misses.”

        Female soccer isnt that small,you know.Heck,my girlfriend played it since elementary school with quite a big bunch of girls(some that she played with then werent the ones she played with later).

        Ok,this is the main thing I have to say about your whole argument:No one can kick you out of your hobby.Ever.Yes,d&d has reached its 4th edition now,but that doesnt mean you have to play it.You can still stick with 3rd,or 2nd,or the original.If you have the books,go for it.Just because a bunch of new people are liking the hobby and are adapting it to suit them,doesnt mean you cannot stick to the old versions.Ive seen this argument a bunch of times about a bunch of things(futurama,simpsons,science fiction books,computer games,table top rpgs,music,…….),and its always wrong.You can always stick with the old versions if you prefer them.Heck,shadowrun changed a bunch of times since I implemented my house rules a decade ago,but whenever I play it with friend,I stick with my rules,because thats the ones I like.I may add a cool feature here and there,but I wont change the whole system simply because its new.

        The only ones who get snubbed by “the old version was better” are the new youngsters who get to grow up with the new versions being the default.But then,thats not what I ever hear complaints about.Its always the thing being ruined for the old guard,which is factually wrong.

        The only time when this argument holds water is when part of the work starts to contradict itself/drops in quality after it goes on for a while(like the fahrenheit game,or the story mass effect trilogy).

        Furthermore,groups,clubs and such arent a thing on their own.They are what their members are.And no one says that the “true”(ugh,such an ugly word,but since you used it) nerds cannot still hang with each other.They dont have to conform with the rest just so they could belong to that specific fraternity.I mean,isnt that how the fraternity got created in the first place,a bunch of people didnt fit in with the other clubs,so they formed their own?Nothing says this cannot happen again.

        1. Daimbert says:

          Ok,this is the main thing I have to say about your whole argument:No one can kick you out of your hobby.Ever.Yes,d&d has reached its 4th edition now,but that doesnt mean you have to play it.You can still stick with 3rd,or 2nd,or the original.If you have the books,go for it.Just because a bunch of new people are liking the hobby and are adapting it to suit them,doesnt mean you cannot stick to the old versions.Ive seen this argument a bunch of times about a bunch of things(futurama,simpsons,science fiction books,computer games,table top rpgs,music,…….),and its always wrong.You can always stick with the old versions if you prefer them.

          I think I’d buy this argument more if it didn’t seem to say that even though you liked a genre for certain things that it did, even though the only reason it exists or existed was because of a group of dedicated people who liked those things, and even though those things were removed and so you, who wanted those things, loses those things and so can’t buy anything new in that genre because they decided to be “inclusive” in some way, and so you have no new items for that genre that you can enjoy going forward, that you weren’t kicked out of your hobby. Surely part of having, say, PnP games or war games or video games or anything as a hobby or liking a genre is liking the genre and buying and expecting to be able to buy new things in that genre, and not being stuck with only the old things that you already have. I like re-watching/replaying things more than most people, and while I’m prepared to, say, watch only my DVDs of old shows because cable isn’t worth the price for me, I wouldn’t call that an ideal; I will, at some point, want to get or experience something new. If the things that made the genre unique and thus appealing to you are taken out and made like all of the things that didn’t appeal to you about mainstream genres, I think it a fair assessment that the genre has been lost to you … and that it therefore has jetisoned those who kept it alive to pursue a group that has never cared about it. People feeling a bit bitter about that should be expected, I think.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            So is chess dead,seeing how there are no new things for it in centuries(maybe even millenia)?Sure,there are a bunch of house rules and variations,but these are nothing other than fanfic.

            And while on the topic on fanfic:Theres always that.Plenty of “dead” hobbies get fan updates,some of which are even good.As a person that enjoys the hobby,you can always do your own addition for it.It doesnt have to be in the same medium,officially or widely recognized either.

            So no,the official author producing new material for a hobby is not the only way for that thing to “stay alive”,so to speak.If there are fans of it,then it is alive.It only really dies once it has no one interested in it anymore.

    2. Tizzy says:

      The tabletop analogy simply does not work for me: players have much more say in the imagery that their game conveys.

      I can think of games with mysoginistic covers and interior art, and games that mocked that (Macho Women With Guns, anyone?). But ultimately, players alone are responsible for the imagery and contents of their own games. (Including immature sex jokes flying at the Chainmail Bikini level.)

  28. Phantos says:

    Shamus pointed out the knee-jerk reaction people have in regards to any form of constructive criticism. “You say you like The Simpsons? WHY DO YOU HATE FAMILY GUY?! BURN HIM!!!!”. Nobody’s allowed to not like anything anymore. Apparently that’s the same as stabbing your mother now. It’s pathetic, and it’s holding back intelligent discussion.

    But I think most of that comes from Anita Sarkeesian’s fans. As bad as I think she is for video games and Feminism, she’s nowhere close to being as objectively awful as the following she’s built. And I’ve been to 4chan. I’ve been on Tumblr. I’ve read Homestuck and I’ve heard the testimonies of Justin Bieber fans who cut themselves in honour of him. I’ve been to Rick Perry’s Facebook page.

    But FemFreq fans are the worst. I’ve never met a single one who didn’t respond to constructive criticism like it was a child-molester. In all my time on the internet, these are the people most aggressively striking down any attempt at thoughtful discourse. I’ve held more dignified conversations with the brats on Xbox Live. During election season.

    It’s gotten to the point where I feel bad for Anita. I mean, I also feel bad for video games and feminism, two causes I care very strongly for. I believe women and video games deserve a better role-model, and I’m disappointed every time I hear someone I respect treat what she says as if it means anything. Especially when we have Leigh Alexander doing a much better job at this sort of thing.

    But I think even if she were a serial killer, she’d deserve better than that fandom. Nobody deserves to be followed around by that infestation. The problem is, her supporters think of her as this load-bearing column of our hobby. Like the whole thing will collapse without her, so we need to protect her from the meanies and their informed reasoning.

    I don’t get how people can think video games and women are so fragile and say I’VE got bad opinions.

    1. arron says:

      It’s like the saying goes.. “I love Jesus, but Lord, save me from his followers!”

      I’m so glad I’m not popular. I think it would probably prove to be horrible for everyone else if I was…! :)

    2. Irridium says:

      I don’t know JPH is a pretty cool dude.

      1. JPH says:

        I hate that guy!

    3. Harry says:

      Eh, citation needed. I imagine that if Sarkeesian’s fans are hostile, it’s because she has a very large and aggressive hatedom who constantly threaten her and her supporters with rape and death. I find it difficult to believe that Sarkeesian’s fans are any worse than a group which literally made a flash game about beating her up, with photo-realistic bruises and blood.

      I’m not saying it excuses her fans if they did something terrible, but as far as I can tell, you’re throwing out accusations without even anecdotal evidence. From what I can see, the people who are most vocal in their criticism of Sarkeesian and her videos are mostly horrible, horrible people who do so in horrible, horrible ways. I don’t understand how you can look at Sarkeesian’s fandom, and her hatedom, and conclude that her *fandom* are the ones “aggressively striking down any attempt at thoughtful discourse.”

      1. Deadpool says:

        Call me paranoid, but I think she did it on purpose. Consider:

        She releases a hillariously bad video on Bayonetta (she claims the only good thing about the game is that Bayonetta is a single mother*). It gathers a LOT of hits and a LOT of video responses.

        She makes a Kickstarter. The link ends up on 4chan and Reddit. Her youtube comments page is open FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER with the specific purpose of gathering support (she said so herself).

        Comments stream in. The majority are POSITIVE (2 to 1). Out of the negative ones, about half are OFFENSIVE.

        She closes the comments, takes a dozen or so choice ones and makes her round through every game publication that can hear her telling everyone how awful the community is and how this proves a video about the content of game stories is needed.

        Without their outlet, the lunatics “attack” her in other ways. She gets more fuel and goes on more interviews.

        She raises 10X the money she needed. She uses the money to produce videos of equal quality and research and her old ones, she releases them late and misses reward deadlines for her funders.

        I’ll go so far as say her minor factual errors are done on purpose. Alyssa Bereznak proved how profitable pissing off the geek crowd can be.

        Hey, I understand if you think I’m crazy, but the theory fits… Which isn’t to say that their behavior is understandable. I just wanted some context.

        It IS amusing that out of all the people to receive bile from insane fans (Roger Ebert, Jack Thompson, Treiarch, Fez guy) the only one to go on a series of interviews telling people how horrible and damaging this was is the woman trying to raise money to talk about how Damsels in Distress shouldn’t exist.

        * For the linux users out there, this is funny because a) while being a single mom isn’t something to be ashamed of, it isn’t something to aspire to. It is just a thing. Like being tall, or short, or righty, or lefty. And b) Bayonetta isn’t a mother at all. She IS single though…

        1. Harry says:

          I’m not at all comfortable with a narrative implying that Sarkeesian did all that deliberately. It’s the worst kind of conspiracy theory; no evidence to back it up, just cynicism.

          1. Deadpool says:

            Now, make no mistake, I AM a cynic. I tend to assume the worst in people, and I have a much easier time believing in ulterior motives than in coincidences so you are welcome, and actually justified, in thinking my assumption of her motives is nothing but the rambling of an old, untrusting man.

            But the events ARE true. This is the order in which things happened. She did open the comment section of her Kickstarter with the expressed purpose of using it to gather support (HER words, not mine). Bayonetta video was one of (if not THE) most watched video in her series at the time. She did make her rounds with the juiciest of the comments through every news outlet.

            Doubt my conclusions, but the events did go down that way.

        2. BeamSplashX says:

          “It IS amusing that out of all the people to receive bile from insane fans (Roger Ebert, Jack Thompson, Treiarch, Fez guy) the only one to go on a series of interviews telling people how horrible and damaging this was is the woman trying to raise money to talk about how Damsels in Distress shouldn't exist.”

          Roger Ebert: An insanely well-respected and popular film critic that got shouted down by gamers, mostly on new media he didn’t build his name on, in a debate he had no stake in.

          Jack Thompson: A lawyer that attempted to profit from tragedies in which video games were an outlying element. He pursued every legal endeavor so madly that he got disbarred, so I doubt anything said by a gamer could ever matter to him.

          David Vonderhaar: He issued a balance patch that made an imaginary gun more fair to use in imaginary war, and people threatened to murder his family. The only cultural narrative there involves folks feeling insane levels of entitlement and have no logical defenders (see: women that thought Rihanna was stupid for leaving her abusive boyfriend because he’s just so darn handsome and famous).

          Phil Fish: He loudly and publicly quit the games industry for the exact kind of behavior Sarkessian brought up. And before that, he was having words with them on dozens upon dozens of occasions.

          So, two guys who had no reason to be distressed followed by two guys who made their distress apparent in different degrees. Overlooking facts that clash with your narrative does make you seem paranoid. So does implying that she wants to be attacked to prove a point- her videos based on decades of media already do that.

          1. Deadpool says:

            My point is none of them made a blog cataloguing all the people who were saying awful things about them. None of them went to kotaku, destructoid, mary sue, daily dot, etc and do the same. None of them made themselves look like a victim.

            Well, maybe Phil Fish did? I didn’t follow him too tightly.

            1. BeamSplashX says:

              Phil Fish’s lashing out was NOT a superior response to Sarkeesian’s.

              That, and the awful things being said to her had a fair amount of relevance to what she was discussing. Ebert and Thompson were both outsiders to game culture completely, making them irrelevant examples.

              1. Deadpool says:

                No idea about Phil Fish. But it upset HIM enough for him to quit his job. Isn’t “how upsetting is this harassment?” a subject for the victim, not outside observers?

                And Anita WASN’T a part of the gaming culture before this ordeal. She was critiquing TV shows and books and commercials. Most game news outlets didn’t even pick up the story until AFTER the negative reaction.

                And how IS it relevant? Seriously.

                She self identifies herself as a pop culture media critic. She is supposed to be analysing the MEDIUM. Even if she had proof the fans are crazy misogynistic pigs what the hell does this have to do with how misogynistic Mario is?

                1. BeamSplashX says:

                  Unless she’s lying completely, video games are a notable hobby of hers, which gives her more on an in than Ebert or Thompson. Ebert didn’t play games, and Thompson apparently hated all of them, which fit being an outsider far more than merely not critiquing them.

                  It’s relevant because the people threatening her are also representative of a portion of the target demographic’s attitudes. Not everyone is wackadoo enough to threaten someone’s well-being, but the sliding scale between that and “zero misogyny” is packed to the brim with what publishers consider their core audience. And when publishers are embarrassingly desperate to move more units to these people, the effects are going to be felt. The communication gap between creators and players is smaller than it’s ever been- that matters.

                  1. Deadpool says:

                    I have no idea what the “but she plays video games” thing has to do with her victimizing herself for attention thing.

                    Although, you have to understand that while she may play games in her private life, she is a public figure. Feminist Frequency DIDN’T deal with games at all before this. Her one Bayoneta video was, by her own admission, about the ad campaign and only tangetially relatd to the game (she even recut the video to get rid of her mentions of gameplay mechanics and character to further emphasze this).

                    The gaming community as a whole had no idea who she was until after she made a blog post with a list of insults from people.

                    And I think you’re missing the amusement here. Remember, context doesn’t matter. If this were a game narrative she would have feature this game in one of her videos. And I find irony pretty damned funny.

                    And on the subject of it helping her argument… What do you think her argument IS?

                    She states she isn’t saying developers make these story decision to be evil to women, she says they likely do it sub consciously. She isn’t trying to prove that media affects the minds of people because she takes that as a matter of fact. She isn’t trying to prove that society is misogynistic either because she takes it as a matter of fact (and in fact, a building block of her aargument).

                    All she is actually arguing is that video games have lots of Damsels in Distress (or otherwise women in disempowered positions). Which is completely unrelated to how mean people are to her on the internet.

                    Also, I’d say receiving death threats probably was more closely related to the “gaming make people violent” argument. By far.

                    1. BeamSplashX says:

                      I think we’re using different definitions and discussing this further will only turn it into semantic salad. I don’t go weight to most conspiracy theories, so perhaps I was wrong to get into this with you in the first place.

                      In any case, I only like the FemFreq videos enough to defend them to a certain point. I’ll leave it at this; the people that made those hateful comments are gamers whose minds aren’t being changed by what companies put out.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Ok,how about Thunderf00t,a guy that not only got a bunch of death threats from muslims,but also had those muslims get a hold of his real life info and spread it around the world.How easy would it have been for him to scream “Holy shit guys!Muslim terrorists want me dead!” and get zounds of media coverage and support money?And what did he do?He made a single video about it(way after the thing was over with),gave the info to the fbi,and moved on(without having the comments and rating disabled in all the videos except for one,I might add).

      2. LunaticFringe says:

        I’m definitely not justifying people aggressively threatening either Sarkeesian or people giving her constructive criticism, but Sarkeesian kind of attracted the 4chan crazies from day one. These aren’t really new fans, just a lunatic fringe (yes I know) she attracted. She didn’t pop often in her pre-kickstarter days, but yeah, that kind of crazy came with the thread topic. Youtube comments were a bit better, there was some crazy stuff but more even-handed stuff too. Back in the ol’ days FemFreq had comments, they were just pretty heavily moderated. Sarkeesian has her own issues with constructive criticism but to a lesser extent. Someone framed it really well as ‘a teacher in a classroom’ mentality. She tended to curb criticism, whether constructive or just entirely negative, and I think a lot of that reflected onto her early fanbase.

        I’d argue it’s equally a product of both the extreme opposite response (the rape threats and all that) and Sarkeesian’s own moderation system. It teaches the more, um, ‘passionate’ people to think that every bit of criticism is inherently part of some kind of oppression. And to be fair, the threats were extreme and completely insane, but the best response is not to try to frame everyone who disagrees with you as a monster.

        I think that’s just more of an argument that there’s radicals on any side. I’m got my issues with Sarkeesian’s research methodology and education method but the more obnoxious members of her following are an entirely separate issue.

  29. Cybron says:

    The mailbag is usually my least favorite part of the show. The questions are usually not very interesting, to be honest. And hearing you try to cut down a ridiculous 12 page email lecture to a manageable question is not super great. I’ve taken to skipping it.

    On the other hand, some of the best stuff comes out of the warmup. You guys tend to come up with some interesting or funny stuff to say about the games you’re playing, which is more than I can say about the mailbag question.

    Maybe I’m just weird, though.

    1. SyrusRayne says:

      I like the mailbag, but I’ll admit it’d be nice if more people submitted questions rather than essays.

  30. Taellosse says:

    I’m okay with you running long to fit the mailbag in, if that’s what you’re worried about. I don’t know if your desire to stick to one hour is motivated by an image of how long a podcast should be, or a need to keep the time commitment down on your end, but if it’s just the former, forget it – I listen to podcasts that range anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours with equal enjoyment. I play ’em in the background while I’m working, and totally don’t mind how long it is, so long as you’re having fun with it.

  31. Regarding Doom3, I thought whatever the game’s gameplay faults, it did an absolutely fantastic job setting up its world, so the CRTs made complete sense to me. Consider this:

    CRTs are cheap, sturdy and reliable in exactly the kind of manner you want for a facility whose nearest RadioShack is on another planet. The game also has a looot of visual/audio cues that show the large majority of the budget for the place is spent on the labs and the functional/mechanical aspects are kept as old school as possible.

    As for why? Again, it makes sense for the world they built. An offworld facility has to be expensive as hell (PtP) to maintain no matter the shortcuts they take, which means tours of the facility showing all the cool shit you’re making up there that you can’t do anywhere else in order to convince investors to pump money into it. The level design reenforces this assumption because most of those CRTs are placed on walkways that overlook the tech that they’re advertising or in other public access areas.

  32. Eruanno says:

    Oh man, Mumbles looks so devious in the banner.

    …Actually, that makes perfect sense. Carry on, friends.

    1. Nimas says:

      I was mildly terrified. She kind of looks like a witch of sorts. Though it is keeping with the very Lovecraftian banner, looking into Shamus’ eyes seems like its going to suck your very soul dry.

      1. Trix2000 says:

        Sounds like mission accomplished to me.

  33. shiroax says:

    I didn’t listen to the podcast yet, just wanted to answer the question in the intro paragraph.

    The warmup is my favorite part of the podcast so I don’t mind when it stretches to half the episode. That episode when you talk about random stuff with no pointers or anything is one of my favorites.

    I think it might be good to mix the mailbags and the news then put them on the list in order of how much you want to talk about them, so if you run out of time the topics that get cut are the ones you care about the least.

  34. shiroax says:

    guysguysguys You have to talk about this next week. EA is selling a ton of games for charity to get people to instal Origin. Tbh, at this point I think they could start a puppy orphanage and people would still think they’re jerks.

    1. Jirin says:

      My first thought was actually “this is just the kind of thing Shamus says they should be doing!”

      Having trouble actually redeeming these games, though. I’d like to be charitable and say they’ve got an unusual number of users right now due to this thing… but it kind of reminds me of other times I’ve used Origin to do anything other than launch a game.

      1. Jirin says:

        And… now it’s working completely fine, so in fairness I figure I should mention that.

    2. wyatt1048 says:

      Yes! I’d love to hear what you guys have to say about this. Wasn’t there a quote from when the whole Origin mess was starting where some manager said they weren’t going to have sales and cheap games, or was that just my imagination? And now they aren’t even getting any money for those games (at least, the impression I got was that it all goes to humble / charity).

      1. Thomas says:

        They said that, and then presumably in the years inbetween they realised they were seriously wrong with that. Or rather, even if they weren’t wrong, they found they were in absolutely no position to be setting market trends. They could not have all the sales they liked and it would do nothing to change the value of game’s in people’s heads, because who gives a toss about Origin? And Valve would carry on steaming ahead.

        They’ve done a not-bad job at learning the lesson too. Someone pointed out that stuff like Battlefield 3 and the Sims 3 got discounted way further on Origin then they ever did during the summer sale. But EA have a lot of ground to catch up and not being able to handle the number of people coming from this sale didn’t help

  35. I’m cool with things going longer. I really listen for the banter, but I think the mailbag and what you’re playing segments help give structure to the banter (and give you something to talk about when you’re all drawing blanks).

  36. ET says:

    I’m not commenting on the show’s content or format per se, but rather on its technical whatsits on the website.
    Basically, I would like volume control on whatever audio gadjet you use to embed the audio into your site.
    Right now it’s only ON/OFF, but no volume slider.
    If this is impractical, then the status quo is OK too.

    Thanks for the awesome podcast, guys!

    1. Dave B. says:

      Someone should correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s just an HTML5 audio embed tag. Different browsers will handle the playback with their own built-in apps. You could try a different browser. I’m using Chrome and it appears to have a volume slider.

      1. ET says:

        Arg, you’re right!
        Well, looks like I have a feature request for Firefox…

        One thing for sure I’d like done on their end:
        Run the podcast through a dynamic range compressor before you upload it.
        It’s really annoying trying to listen at work, when you set the volume for a medium quietness section, then you have to re-set it and rewind when somebody talks quiet, then Rutskarn or Josh tell a joke, and start laughing at roughly 10X volume and your ears start bleeding, or you almost knock your speakers onto the floor madly trying to scramble for the volume knob…

        Good podcast, though! :)

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Agreed. DRC is the way to go. Here’s one for free!

          But, rather than go through all that hassle… maybe invest in a pair of earbuds? I wear them all the time at work, even when I’m not listening to things that could, theoretically, distract me from what I’m being paid to do.

          1. Cuthalion says:

            Compressor would be highly recommended, if they’re not already using one. (And raising the ratio if they are.) There are free ones for lots of different programs. I also have the problem of needing to rewind to hear quiet bits, which is tricky when I’m trying to work.

            As for earbuds, wouldn’t that make the problem worse? Now you’ve got the speakers in your ear, so the loud bits are just as bad without having an easy way to quickly cover your ears. Although that would at least avoid other people hearing it.

            1. Dave B. says:

              Earbuds do actually seem to help me, to the point that I don’t have a whole lot of trouble with the Diecast. However, I’ve also been listening to the Escapist podcast, and finally installed Audacity and started running every episode through compressor.

              1. Cuthalion says:

                Ahaha… for a podcast that starts with a sound check, they really do have terrible jumps in volume.

                I suppose my earbuds help me, too, but that’s because they’re the kind that blocks out some of the background noise, so it’s equivalent to listening to it in a quieter room. Helps with hearing quiet more than avoiding loud though.

        2. Humanoid says:

          The widget actually does have volume control, it just doesn’t have a visual element. With the widget in focus, the up-down cursor keys control volume.

  37. Spammy says:

    I’m really sorry that X-Blades wasn’t the game your daughters wanted. I picked it up in a Steam Keys gifting thread on a forum, and the game is awful but works well enough on a Skinner box/slot machine level that it’s enjoyable.

    Oddly though, neither X-Blades or its spritual sequel Blades of Time actually tripped my uncomfortable flag like some other games have. Yes it’s ridiculous that Ayumi is going around half-dressed in both games but the writing is also ridiculous and doesn’t act like it can be ultra serious with how the main character is dressed. And doesn’t unempower her just so she can be saved by the male supporting character. And in the second game the male support character is following Ayumi’s lead, and their relationship is non-romantic (more of a mentor/mentee thing).

    Also, I have played Blades of Time. And while it does do the “Women are supermodels, men are bodybuilding ogres” thing that is really old by now, the unrealistic body shapes problem goes both ways and hard.

    The more I think about it, the more I want to add a second quote to the discussion Mortal Kombat where Shamus said that “Lowbrow has a right to exist.” I’d add, “Sexy is a valid stylization.” I just wish that the sexy that we got was more than just broadest appeal sexy.

    You know what really bothered me about both games? Ayumi is supposed to be all hot and stuff… and the camera doesn’t care. In game the camera is pulled way too far back and is way too sensitive for you to actually see anything about her. In cutscenes the camera is not handled in such a way as to show off the goods. So they have Ayumi running around in her undies and they don’t do anything with it and act like there’s nothing special about how she’s dressed and that wastefulness really bothered me.

    So I guess to put a cap on this rambling: Neither X-Blades or Blades of Time made me uncomfortable. X-Blades is a terrible game and no one should ever play it. Blades of Time is decent and has an interesting time manipulation mechanic. Also in Blades of Time all the new costumes you unlock during play cover up Ayumi more and more until finally she’s in something that you’d see advertised as winter wear at a fashion show.

  38. Muspel says:

    Personally, I prefer the news segments to the mailbag.

  39. BeamSplashX says:

    If you don’t know who Nick is, he’s Mumbles’ boyfriend, and you put him on your head and he overtakes your senses and…

    Seriously speaking, I think it’s odd when I hear people saying “I want to tell MY story and MY story has damsels in distress!” How much has that been done? You’d be hard-pressed to find an element of your story that was less your own than that.

    P.S. BEST ENDING! God I would love to hang out with you guys. Damnety ding-darn I would.

  40. MichaelGC says:

    I really like the whole show, but if I had to choose I think the initial ‘what have you been up to?’ section is my favourite. I guess each ‘caster thinks about that part beforehand at least a little bit, whilst possibly not being especially invested in News Story A or Mailbag Question B. It occasionally goes on a little longer than you plan, but it never randomly rambles and is always entertaining. (Not to play favourites, but Josh is often amusingly surprising* & tends to be particularly interesting during this segment!)

    *Diecast #1: Pokémon. ‘Nuff said…

  41. sofawall says:

    I save money on M:tG by only playing on Magic Workstation/Cockatrice.

  42. IronCore says:

    What would I like to see in the Diecast? Anything that gets you guys talking. Listening to you talk about something that matters to you is more entertaining than a set schedule and format that you’re sticking to. Let’s not pretend this is a professional show. Talk about what you want to talk about for as long as you want to talk about it.

  43. Chamomile says:

    I like that the show has some structure, I like that it hits its beats, and the episodes where Shamus wasn’t there and the cast just rambled for an hour and a half were not awful but also probably the weakest Diecast episodes yet. Personally I am strongly in support of keeping the structure and keeping it about as it is now, with the exception that if none of you have anywhere in particular to be I am totally fine with it running for 90-120 minutes rather than being hourlong. Nice thing about a podcast is I can do other things while listening.

  44. Melfina the Blue says:

    Oh, one thing I keep forgetting to mention, you might want to stick the email for the mailbag in the notes every week so new listeners (and old ones who can’t remember) can find it.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      It’s in the title image. Makes the spam bots lives easy when its in plaintext.

  45. Sciencegar says:

    ….Am I the only one who likes the mailbag? I might be biased because I’ve sent in questions myself, but I feel that listening to the group ramble about things the users are interested in is…well, less disheartening than hearing all the terrible news stories being moaned about for ages. I know the news topics might be ‘important’, but I come to this site for levity and thoughtful discussion, and maybe fresh-off-the-newsstand news about how the games industry is horrible this week isn’t what I want for a pick-me-up.

    That said, I’m all in favor of the show going on as long as it needs to cover things. There’s nothing wrong with interesting discussion going on as long as it needs to.

  46. Just Passing Through says:

    Just do a whole mailbag episode every once in a while. It might give the show a little more breathing room. To me the show is at it’s best when Shamus is around to keep order but not yanking the chain every 5 minutes and stressing about time.

  47. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So Ive started metro last light,and I understand now why Josh likes it so:One of the npcs keeps calling you rabbit,and telling you to hop along.

  48. lethal_guitar says:

    Shamus, would it be possible (without too much effort) to create a RSS feed for the Diecast episodes only? This would make it easier for me to automatically download new episodes as they come out.

    Regarding the Mailbag vs. News etc., I agree with the comment above: Just have a separate Mailbag episode every once in a while, where you focus on answering questions. But in any case, please keep the Mailbag, I really love it! (Both the questions as well as your responses/discussions).

  49. Heaven Smile says:

    “She got more abuse than Phil Fish”
    You know? i kinda wish to see the trolls, the rape threats and all the things that she and people claim that happened on the Kickstarter video. Unfortunately, certain person decided that having evidence in her favor its too good, and removed all comments from the video. Meaning that all evidence of the harassment is now gone forever.

    All we have is her word that the comments were clearly from “males in their basement”, as her TedTalk video shows:

    UPDATE: I found that this guy has images of the comment section in his description box.

    Oh, and the guy talks about how she spammed 4Chan with her videos with lead to the trolls there to harass her. Wheter or not if these were gamers or just trolls that you can find in, say, Encyclopedia Dramatica and therefore trolls that trolls ANYONE THEY SEE, its unknown.

    (Warning: That video also containts MovieBob)

    1. burningdragoon says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily put a lot of integrity stock in the second guy either. Slinging insults at and ‘tearing down’ internet pseudocelebrities he doesn’t like is pretty high up on his own agenda.

      1. Heaven Smile says:

        So demanding that the journalists do their job like they are SUPPOSED to, is considered “having an agenda” now? I didn’t know that exercising common sense is a point against one own argument.

        Hell, what is this constant dismissive attitude towards people just because they got an “agenda”? i wasn’t aware that the Real Worldâ„¢ selects which people can say or observe the facts, based on their reputation.

        If a mass murderer like Darth Vader comes to me and says that my hair is on fire (and it is), i am supposed to dismiss this fact just on the grounds that he is Darth Vader? Being an asshole doesn’t detract from the true spoken. Case in point:

        Or is because he is a nobody on the Internet then? oh ok, Argument For Authority it seems. Then i take you are willing to listen someone like a professor or an academic, when dealing with a pseudo-celebrity like Bob, yes? your wish is my command:


      2. Heaven Smile says:

        Part 2: Maybe you would prefer the input of a backer of the Kickstarter, who reached the same conclusions as the guy with an agenda? here you go:

        1. burningdragoon says:

          You’re getting mighty defensive. Not to mention, you’ve mostly responded to things I didn’t actually say.

          1. Heaven Smile says:

            You said the second guy had an agenda and its integrity is question because of it. I presented other people who are less “obsessed”, but with the same argument as the second guy. What does that change? other than you MIGHT listen to them just because they are not mean and insulting? Seriously, that is picking up straws just to dismiss the guy argument, which is more or less what people accuse the Anita detractors from doing.

            Oh lovely Double Standards, how i missed thee.

            Then again, i am not surpriced anymore. After all, if what this article says its true, then not even a high amount of facts can change ANYONE’S mind:

            Dont you love how all arguments in general meaningless before they even start?

  50. Heaven Smile says:

    Deus Ex music for the longpost: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP-h2aNrzNA

    00:51:31 Mumbles: “I think she really does play the games”

    You think? here is just one of her many obvious omissions at 2:50:
    “If it wasn’t bad enough, Peach is not even featured in ANY of the narrative cutscenes”

    Here is a Let’s Play showing the intro cutscene….with Peach in it in less than 5 minutes:


    Her videos is a constant barrage of this. NON.STOP.

    As i stated earlier in the comments, she even jumps to the assumption that the game is mocking Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

    (2:43 from her video) “Essentially Nintendo turn a PMS joke into their core gameplay mechanic”

    When all NPC have been shown to be affected by swings of emotion, and it is clear by the 4 Vibes that they are based on the Four Temperaments.

    But you know, why waste money on research and playing (or watching the Let’s Plays of) games, when you can make the transition of her videos look slightly better, amaright?

    00:51:35 Mumbles: “I dont think its an issue, despise what people had been trying that it sort off is, i dont think thats what it is”

    Suuuuuuuuuuure. Not that a simple Google search or a Youtube Let’s Play can be used to verify that, isn’t it?

    00:52:54 Mumbles: “You can make whatever game you want and that is fine. But it wouldn’t hurt to have more positive and make women feel more included”

    And she needed that money to say that? and what makes you think that people have not been complaining about the lack of female protagonists or the mishandling of such? You dont think that people expressed their thoughts and arguments in a well delivered manner about the sexism issue regarding female characters before? I assume that you dont know about this analizis of Metroid Other M to its completion, which the sexism adressed as a cherry on top: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=13373815860B43920100&i_id=13384263550I62094100&p=17

    Among other people who did their best to handle it:

    00:53:23 Josh: “But what about the male discrimination? we must make men feel more included”

    Would you kindly repeat that to the survivor of domestic abuse, please? but this time with more confidence and less sardonic wit.

    Your tone reminds me of MovieBob and FILM CRITIC HULK mocking the Mass Effect 3 retakers, and giving their subjective interpretation of the ending without knowing the full context of it. I guess it was bound to happen to this group too.

    But please, name me a male character that truly represents what it means to be a man, a character whose life experiences (on the narrative of the game) were hugely defined by BEING a man, to see if we are properly represented to the point of Ad Nauseum. Because so far, i only see robots passing off as humans (like Shepard and Kratos) while ACTUAL robots are more human and relatable to the majority of the fanbase (Legion says hi). Maybe males are supposed to be like The Champion from Marvel Comics? in that case, let Thanos The Mad Titan sum up my thoughts on them:

    Maybe Davis M.J. Aurini can tell us what makes males so special to be main characters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5L2MBPBl3I

    00:54:38 Mumbles: “I am fucking sick of people telling me i cant have a female protagonist”

    Source? because so far the only idiots saying that are the assholes that didn’t want Remember Me to be published. And then there are the publishers that use the “Focus Group” excuse to not have females even if we dont SEE any official data, or what kind of games these people like.

    For all we know they could be hobos from the street or COD kids that ONLY want to play COD, to the point of complaining about a horror game for not having shooty parts:

    Seriously, where do they get these guys?

    00:54:42 Mumbles: “And i think that is the real reason why we need these videos”

    Sure, talking about it is nice and all, but at what price? the cost of her success is the demonization of all gamers for the beat up “game” they supposedly made, while she gets scot-free when she does endorses a fanfic of her murdering Andy Pitchfork.

    Cant we get someone that its actually competent? or everyone else available is too busy not researching this topic and yet talk about it non stop, despite their ignorance?

    00:53:23 Shamus: “I dont feel empowered if i am playing a stupid naked bimbo”

    Could you say the same of Bayonetta? Here is fraction of what this article says about her being empowering:

    “Because under the fluff and noise, this is a game about murdering the patriarchy with its own tools of oppression.

    Take the high heeled shoes that you're expected to suffer for the visual enjoyment of men and make them implements of murder. Take the long hair associated with gentle passive womanhood and strangle the crap out of them. Do it with your BFF, who you appeared to be forced into competition with by the patriarchy but who was always truly on your side. When your clothing comes off to reveal your naked body, you're the opposite of vulnerable, tearing massive enemies limb from limb.

    This is a game where you play as a witch fighting angels and you kill the father who wants to use and supress you with a lipstick bullet. This is a game where the heroine flat out states “I don't like babies but I enjoy making them.” It's a game that appears to be about nurturing a child but is actually about defending yourself.

    I want to be this witch. I want to run up the sides of walls in the moonlight and shoot angels with my awesome heels and look totally amazing while I'm doing it. I want every pose I strike to be ready for an issue of Vogue. I want to stand back to back with my sister and smash the corpse of god into pieces after I throw it into one of the most potent symbols for masculine gods: THE MOTHERFUCKING SUN.”

    It seems its all about subtle hints and execution, and XBlades doesn’t have that.

    00:58:21 Shamus: “Sarkesiam is the ultimate example of that, were she is just trying to talk about this thing, and everybody is like “you just want to change games. You want to take away my games” and its very frustrating”

    Considering the dubious actions surrounding her Kickstarter campaign, and the fact that she openly says that the harassers were “Male gamers in their basement” (on the TED Talk video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiYRVeGpEG0&feature=g-all-lik), and that her logic is very…questionable to say the least (here is an image of her thesis that was removed from her website: http://puu.sh/2dZ4i), i think that people are BOUND to distrust her opinion without facts, and base all these questionable moves as just having an agenda.

    As they said, once trust is gone, it is very hard to regain.

    1. Shamus says:

      You’re missing the point with Bayonetta. You’re listing why you think the developer’s weren’t sexist, or why YOU enjoy the character. This does nothing to help the fact that a lot of women are repulsed by her. You can argue all you want about the symbolism of the thing, but in an industry where so few protagonists are female and most of the remaining ones are eye candy for male players, she’s just another frustration in the eyes of a woman looking for a character that looks a little more like HER fantasy and less like HIS.

      Your point about “survivors of domestic abuse” is also missing the point. People shouting “What about male discrimination?” in this context are just trying to draw a false equivalence. As in, “Hey, sometimes men are also abuse victims so shut up and stop and just play as a dude or a half-naked woman.” The fact that some men suffer terrible abuse does not mean videogames are off the hook for their portrayal of women.

      Your points about her complete lack of academic rigor are, sadly, all valid as far as I can tell. It’s one of the reasons I can’t really rally behind her banner. I’d LOVE to see some games be more intentional about how they portray men and women, but Anita doesn’t have strong points and doesn’t make them well. Her videos are bland, slow, and often avoid taking about the really interesting problems just so she can make lists of tropes where half the entries don’t even support her position. She’s often trying to frame tropes as oppression, when I suspect they’re simply the product of writers that have no idea what they’re doing and an industry that’s still over-marketing towards the young male demo.

      1. Heaven Smile says:

        Obscenely large (but not first one ever) post. Here is some to alleviate your pain music:
        Hotline Miami – Inner Animal
        Planescape Torment – Fortress of Regrets
        OFF – Pepper Steak
        Turrican 2 The Final Fight – Turrican 2 Theme
        Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – Ozar Midrashim
        Star Control 2 – Kzer Za theme

        “This does nothing to help the fact that a lot of women are repulsed by her.”

        Some people are repulsed by the fragrant display of “Hyper-Sexuality” and others find it empowering. Just like how a character like Yuna from Final Fantasy X who is “Hyper-Feminized” (traditional display of femininity that is attributed to be acceptable for The Patriarchyâ„¢) can be hated, or have the personalities and the substance that qualify as gender progressive or challenging. Just ask William Huber from the USC.

        I know that “The Death Of The Author” Theory exist so anyone can come up with ANY interpretation they like, but i kinda wish to know what are their arguments exactly as WHY she is “just another one of the bunch” or AS damaging as they say.

        But that is not my main concern because, if take what you say at face value, it seems that those women who are revolted by Bayonetta may have been put off by her for the wrong reasons (Think of how Super Princess Peach is seen as a “PMS joke” before being treated with the respect it deserves)

        Hell, it wont be the first time ever that people judge something without even SEEING the bloody thing. Remember the “Nightwatch” controversy? the complainers did just that. With the excuse of “I dont have to. This is filth” 5:51

        “You can argue all you want about the symbolism of the thing, but in an industry where so few protagonists are female and most of the remaining ones are eye candy for male players, she's just another frustration in the eyes of a woman looking for a character that looks a little more like HER fantasy and less like HIS.”

        I tend to view the works as a stand alone, so i am not bothered when people reuse tropes over and over (or gameplay mechanics like Quick Time Events) in close proximity over the years. But the way you say it makes it seem like: “Since games have nothing but sexy women made FOR men before, women don’t like her BECAUSE she is CLEARLY another drop in the ocean of that kind of character. Not because she is a bad character per se”. It kinda sounds like an Appeal to Tradition + to Probability. Contrast and compare to the ME3 ending fiasco: “Since gamers/filmgoers/audiences have been know for being entitled and disrespecting the artistic direction of the author, this debacle with ME3 ending is CLEARLY another case of this, despite the overwhelming evidence of the audience showing more knowledge on the work themes than the author itself”

        Don’t you find anything wrong with this mentality? i mean, suppose that in an Alternate Universe the numbers of females is 90% to males being 10% as protagonists, females in that universe are the same as males here (as in, generic and their gender doesn’t really define them at all. They just HAPPEN to be female), but the game “Bayonetta” and everything that it contains is completely similar to OUR version of “Bayonetta”. What does it change in this case, exactly? Is Bayonetta good, now that there aren’t other females giggling their asses for the camera or for themselves, even if nothing in the game and the character changed? people can NOW judge it its own terms instead of the failures of the past that are beyond the work control?

        How about a similar flammable topic? Race/Culture representation. Take for example the stereotype of the Native American. Most people recognize Tonto from The Lone Ranger, and such thing has been done to death ever since, right?

        But then comes a movie (written and directed by a white guy) who has a Native American character who is not only an homage of old stereotypes but also a re-appropriation of those. That movie is “Dead Man” and the character is “Nobody”:

        Too Long; Didn’t Watch version:
        Much of Nobody’s dialogue in the film gives an air of “Dont think, feel” vibe. Example: “You don’t stop the clouds by building a ship.” His favorite poet is William Blake and Jarmusch felt that many of Blake’s aphorisms sounded similar to Native American spiritualism. Meaning that what we THINK it is stereotypical is just part of OUR culture all along. He is, after all, quoting a white poet whose sayings we confuse as native gibberish.

        If we use the way we measure female characters to this particular stereotype executed in an unique way, then that means that we must just discard it as “just another one” and move on. After all, that is ALL the entertainment industry is capable off after many many many examples before Nobody came along, and he is most likely no exception, right? what a shame.

        Maybe you need a gaming example to be convinced? how about your project to make a Procedurally-Generated game? they are certainly being used on the industry right now, but what happens when it gets TOO popular or TOO overused in the future, BEFORE you complete your Magnus Opus? Instead of being judged on its own merits, its going to be judged on what it came before. And if what came before is crap or not very good, then they will have the same impression of your game regardless. You may take so long in making the damn game that people will call you a “rip off” for “cashing up” on the mechanics of better known games. Its just SO OBVIOUS when it happens, right? “They are making x game into a Procedurally Generated because those sell and not because PG has something the author needs to express his message. Its a creatively bankrupt genre.” Poison The Well Fallacy FTW!.

        After all, what came before is crap (or its so cheap to make that has no “artistic” merit) and this one is no exception, right? Humans ARE creatures that put a lot of trust on first impressions: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/?page=full

        “People shouting “What about male discrimination?” in this context are just trying to draw a false equivalence”

        I think it has more to do on the fact that most people think that Feminism is about “Gender Equality”. Notice i used the word “gender”, as in, BOTH genders because it doesn’t specify any in particular, meaning that its both for male and female. So when people see that she only advocates for ONE gender over and over instead of BOTH, they are bound to make questions while being understandably pissed the more they hear the words “this is an academic presentation”. And will keep asking questions more loudly the more those are not answered. This IS supposed to be an academic presentation without any bias, and she is doing what she said she was going to do in her last video, being fair and objective to the dudes in distress, right? right?

        Then again, i wouldn’t be surprised if they are shouting at the screen at this point. When Anita makes a claim that dudes in distress is not the same as with the damsels, even when the dudes are equally represented as being powerless to escape on their own and have to be rescued by the women, and then says that its only sexist and dissempowering when it happens to women, people are bound to explode on this. He can be humiliated or implied to be raped, but its not the same because no reason or explanation on her part whatsoever! yaaaaaaaaaaay :D

        Having flashbacks of her Double Standards toward male and female singers in her criticism of the song “All I Want For Christmas Is You”: when it’s sung by a girl, it’s about how women only want/need a man to be happy; when it’s sung by a guy like Justin Bieber, it sounds “stalkerish”. Some things never change.

        It reminds me of those parodies of police procedures, where there is a suspect that is SO OBVIOUSLY GUILTY OF BEING THE MURDERER, with the entire body covered in blood, making bubbles in the mouth like having rabies, holding an axe with the head of the victim still stuck on the edge, and chanting “IA IA CTHULHU FHTANG!” at the top of his lungs. And despite ALL that evidence and every single person on the room pointing fingers at him, the detective conclude that: “Nah. He is too obvious to be the real culprit” *spit take*


        “I'd LOVE to see some games be more intentional about how they portray men and women”

        So both genders are not represented properly, huh? You didn’t say “how they portray women”, you said “how the portray men AND women”, and yet people inexplicably think that men ARE represented properly and even have their masculinity BE a defining trait in their character and not just something they HAPPEN to have.

        If that is the case, where ARE the examples of manliest man who manned his destiny? do i really have to make the obvious joke and pull the infamous Castlevania Symphony of the Night clip?

        And if there aren’t, what was missing?

        “but Anita doesn't have strong points and doesn't make them well”

        Then why aren’t you and your cronies doing something about it, if this really is an issue that NEEDS to be addressed? are we taking notes from EA Public Relationships now? we just let time pass on in hopes that the issues with their games resolves itself?

        Audience: Will this game be patched? did you make forcefully made Bioware say that you DIDN’T have any input on their products to avoid winning the Golden Poop Award a second time?

        EA: Well you see *COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*

        Au: I didn’t hear you with all the fake sickness you have.


        Repeat Ad Nauseum for months and you too can evade responsibility like a boss.

        Sounds like a bait for trouble, isn’t it? but then again, when people heard over and over that this is a serious problem and SOMEBODY should do something about it…and then it doesn’t happen, then someone has to make the first move here. And who better than people like you and the others to do so? what is stopping you from playing Metroid Other M, since it is the most egregious example at the expense of a gaming icon? Do you think your group is not qualified just because there is not a Feminist among you? Do you think you will end up in ridiculous like MovieBob when he straw-manned the shit out of Metroid Other M detractors and ignored a big opportunity to talk about sexism 3 years ago? Hell, you have a woman on your group you can ask for perspective, even.

        Then again, saying that men need a woman to understand the female perspective is kinda a punch in the balls of equality. Its an argument that “proves” that they are not equal at all, and cant empathize unless they ARE they respective genders. Fortunately (or not), given the fact that the most popular male character in recent history was written by a woman (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling), and the most vapid piece of wood passing up as a human woman was ALSO written by a woman (Bella Swan by Stephenie Meyer), i would say that one’s gender doesn’t imply mastery over itself and others of the same gender. So any input from ANY source is appreciated.

        I suspect they're simply the product of writers that have no idea what they're doing and an industry that's still over-marketing towards the young male demo.

        You know, i once gave too much shit to writers in general for being hacks and all that stuff, specially considering how frequent is the abuse of “Parody Retcon” everytime they fuck up but pretend it was their “Artistic Choice” all along, and we the entitled mortals are at fault for not “getting it”. Such Integrity.

        But then, after seeing Aurini video and “Renegade Cut” video on “When it is appropriate to kill a dog in a movie” and realized that women and dog get MORE sympathy than men in fiction!:

        Aurini argued that the reason a movie like Aliens is so effective is because we instinctively care more about women than men, and when we see that a woman has to defend herself, we are terrified at her situation because there is no one to save her. The men, who are normally EXPECTED to give their lives for other people (specially women) are dead, and the situation is so shitty that women have to defend themselves. Its the kind of movie that its both Action and Horror for this motive.

        And Renegade Cut more or less shows that when a man gets killed in a brutal or gory way we think: “What a cool special effect. I hope we see it again” but done to a dog we think: “OMG! you sick fuck, how could you have done that to such an innocent animal!”

        With all that in mind, one could argue that, while it is true that marketing wise men are the preferred demographic, i could say that writers and artists prefer men because of the challenge it implies to write one. If you put a woman then its too easy to care and empathize (unless its one of those horror movies where EVERYONE is a shithead). One could easily see that the Mass Effect 3 team thought that a kid will be enough to pull your strings, but it was too restrained. They should have put a little girl with a teddy bear, that will get you a Game of The Year all years.

        How much you wanna bet that the next COD with the dogs in it will have 2 emotional death scenes, one with a squadmate you barely even knew, and the dog, but despite the lack (or addition) of a backstory for the deadmeat, you will STILL care more for the dog for BEING a dog? i can almost predict that the dog dying will be on the Guinness Record, just like how Black Ops ending was “the best plot twist in gaming history”.

        Final thoughts: I really don’t see the extreme need of having Anita going around if this is the best she can do, compared to the efforts of the nameless people on the Internet (see the Tv Tropes LiveBlog of Korval, if you need a lvl headed examination of what made M:OM sexist), or even PRETENDING that she is academic.

        Do we have to depend on someone of questionable background and arguments JUST to get equality? is pretending that her work is “up to academic presentations” (like MovieBob claims) considered “fighting the good fight” in the 21th Century now? Feminism (or should i say Equalists/Humanist?) fought all the way up here to fight oppression, injustice and censorship of one gender opinion….just so they can be as EQUALLY as sleazy as the people they were fighting against? “He who fights monsters” indeed.

        To be honest, all this fictitious necessity to have a spoke person who does nothing for the cause but its the only one doing it sound like abused wife logic to me: “Yes dear Gamey McTimothy, i know daddy abuses me to hell and back, makes irrational arguments, ate your brothers and sisters, and wants to burn me at the stake for existing because he subscribes to the “Eternal Doctrine”, but its the only thing we got to survive and make ourselves look good to the rest of the world. And you dont want to be mocked by your closest friends Arty and Mondo, right Gamey? good boy”

        1. Shamus says:

          Okay, I’m done arguing with you on a week+ old thread. You don’t REALLY want to talk about this. You want to bitch about it. I write a lot of words for people every day, and by posting here you’re asking me to post hundreds of words just for you. You’re unreasonable, you’ve got an agenda, and you’re doing this for the wrong reasons.

          Go away.

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