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Video Game» Forums » Video Game Related » General Video Gaming

Subject: Dark side of "Gamer entitlement" rss

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Bill Gates
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A writer for Bioware has been enduring vicious verbal attacks due to an interview -- from 2006!!!! -- during which she suggested games should have an option to "skip past" action sequences for gamers who are more interested in the story than combat.

Yeah, people are always going to act like dicks on the Internet, but, c'mon -- just for suggesting the inclusion of an option to skip past combat? What's particularly disturbing is the sexist nature of the attacks -- way to reinforce the gamer stereotype, guys.


http://www.gamespot.com/features/the-dangers-of-gamer-entitl...
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Jan Van Zon
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Punish the ones making these attacks by removing all options to skip through dialogues.
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This whole story disgusts me. It's similar (but more ridiculous and extreme) to the people who didn't like aspects of Dragon Age II and attacked BioWare all over the internet. I wonder if the emotional content of the stories in BioWare games attract the sort of people who get overly emotionally attached to the content and feel as if they have ownership of the content.

I'm glad that the article mentioned L.A. Noire, which is a game that had a story I found interesting but combat mechanics that I would never have played without the option to skip sequences that I found frustrating. The skippable combat sequences made me decide to play it, so aside from the stupidity of attacking people online, her idea is actually an idea that sells.
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I may as well put on my feminist hat here.

This is nothing new in regards to female writers on the internet. Women who write about science, sports, games, you name it, are routinely attacked online for their views. The attacks degenerate into threats of sexual violence faster than one would believe.
Threatening anyone you don't know with an act of sexual violence over their viewpoints is awful, but what really gets me is how these women will get these threats over opinions that hardly matter in the long term.
Now, I'm not saying that games and sports are unimportant. But I don't see any reason to threaten rape over opinions.
For the internet to continue to be a free exchange of opinions, people need to control their own vitriol. I've gotten into plenty of arguments in person without people threatening me, I don't see why the cloak of anonymity should be used as an excuse.

I also wonder how many men would make these threats if they could sit in the same room as the woman speaking. How many would willingly say to her face "Shut up or I will rape you?"

I have become very angry at this whole thing. How many women will be silenced because they no longer want to be threatened because of their words?
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It's not "gamer entitlement", it's "being a raging asshole". These people are just scumbags, and being entitled (if they are) or being gamers (if they are) doesn't have anything to do with it.

Plus I totally agree with the point. If I could skip combat in most games, I would. I mean, not in Virtua Fighter or STALKER, but I doubt I'm the only one that wants to skip the crap combat in Skyrim, or wants to focus on the dynasty building and ignore the warfare in Crusader Kings 2.
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This subject was covered in-depth today by Rock-Paper-Shotgun as well.
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/23/escape-escape-emb...

The movie at the bottom of the article is hilarious!
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zorazen wrote:
I may as well put on my feminist hat here.

This is nothing new in regards to female writers on the internet. Women who write about science, sports, games, you name it, are routinely attacked online for their views. The attacks degenerate into threats of sexual violence faster than one would believe.
Threatening anyone you don't know with an act of sexual violence over their viewpoints is awful, but what really gets me is how these women will get these threats over opinions that hardly matter in the long term.
Now, I'm not saying that games and sports are unimportant. But I don't see any reason to threaten rape over opinions.
For the internet to continue to be a free exchange of opinions, people need to control their own vitriol. I've gotten into plenty of arguments in person without people threatening me, I don't see why the cloak of anonymity should be used as an excuse.

I also wonder how many men would make these threats if they could sit in the same room as the woman speaking. How many would willingly say to her face "Shut up or I will rape you?"

I have become very angry at this whole thing. How many women will be silenced because they no longer want to be threatened because of their words?

All great points.

You wonder if the people who spew this garbage have a girlfriend or wife (and they surely don't deserve one) and how they would react if their girlfriends/wives were aware of what they write -- or, more importantly, it would be nice if there were a way to show their wives/girlfriends how they treat women writers online.
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While I think the anti-Heplper folks on Reddit overreacted (and, also, they're about 2 months behind; the cRPG world picked up on that quote in December of last year), I can see where they're coming from. When people within the videogame industry want to remove the game from the game, something is *very* wrong.

If Brian Mitsoda or Chris Avellone had said something similar, there'd probably be a similar backlash (albeit without the term c*** being used), so this isn't a sexist issue.

Also, the fact that before going into the videogame industry, she wrote homosexual pornographic comic books probably isn't helping her here any.
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Cynical wrote:
While I think the anti-Heplper folks on Reddit overreacted (and, also, they're about 2 months behind; the cRPG world picked up on that quote in December of last year), I can see where they're coming from. When people within the videogame industry want to remove the game from the game, something is *very* wrong.


This is something that I disagree with. If a game's story has compelling enough decisions through the actual plot of the game, that can be a game in itself. As an example, Dragon Age: Origins has enough plot branches, that I could skip all of the combat sequences, make choices through dialogue and plot interactions and feel like I had played a game. It's true that not all games are like that. A good game offers a player choices. A good game should not necessarily require x many combat interactions. Taking the combat out doesn't make sense in all games, but it could work for some games. There is nothing wrong with thinking about different ways to make games that could get more people interested in the act of gaming.
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Cynical wrote:
Also, the fact that before going into the videogame industry, she wrote homosexual pornographic comic books probably isn't helping her here any.

This is some truly epic trolling, yo.
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msnobody wrote:
This is something that I disagree with. If a game's story has compelling enough decisions through the actual plot of the game, that can be a game in itself. As an example, Dragon Age: Origins has enough plot branches, that I could skip all of the combat sequences, make choices through dialogue and plot interactions and feel like I had played a game. It's true that not all games are like that. A good game offers a player choices. A good game should not necessarily require x many combat interactions. Taking the combat out doesn't make sense in all games, but it could work for some games. There is nothing wrong with thinking about different ways to make games that could get more people interested in the act of gaming.

I could not agree more. My definition of game is more than large enough to include dialogue-driven gameplay.

Cynical wrote:
Also, the fact that before going into the videogame industry, she wrote homosexual pornographic comic books probably isn't helping her here any.

Why should that be an issue at all? Writing is writing.
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tankexmortis wrote:
Cynical wrote:
Also, the fact that before going into the videogame industry, she wrote homosexual pornographic comic books probably isn't helping her here any.

This is some truly epic trolling, yo.

Not trolling: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2139643.M_I_T_H_#
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How is it relevant to whether some parts of video games should be skippable?
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It's relevant to the backlash. Like it or not, people's perception of you will be colored by works you've done in the past.
 
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Cynical wrote:
It's relevant to the backlash. Like it or not, people's perception of you will be colored by works you've done in the past.

Aside from it being an ad hominem, I don't think it justifies the abuse.

Edit: and it adds a nasty element of bigotry to what should be a reasonable discussion about game design.
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paralipsis wrote:
Cynical wrote:
Also, the fact that before going into the videogame industry, she wrote homosexual pornographic comic books probably isn't helping her here any.

Why should that be an issue at all? Writing is writing.

Yeah, Barbara Cartland and Sean Naylor and Plato - put 'em together right there on the old bookshelf and there's no discernible difference.

Not. Of course there are differences in genres of writing...

This is a much better take on this particular issue:

sbszine wrote:
How is it relevant to whether some parts of video games should be skippable?
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The Maverick wrote:
paralipsis wrote:
Cynical wrote:
Also, the fact that before going into the videogame industry, she wrote homosexual pornographic comic books probably isn't helping her here any.

Why should that be an issue at all? Writing is writing.

Yeah, Barbara Cartland and Sean Naylor and Plato - put 'em together right there on the old bookshelf and there's no discernible difference.

Not. Of course there are differences in genres of writing...

A three word sentence is always going to be a bit glib. I'm fairly adroit at discerning genre thanks very much.
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So, she wrote pornography so she deserves to have rape threats?
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@Topic

In the game Heart of China (or was it the predecessor whose name I forgot) which was a graphical adventure there were some jump and run action scenes. Those where quite hard when you didn't expect them. After some failed tries you were offered to skip the scene. Best thing I encountered there.

People tend to forget that (single player) games are meant to be fun for the one player who bought and plays it. His fun has nothing to do with the preference of other gamers.

EDIT: Rise of the Dragon...
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Harlekin wrote:
@Topic

In the game Heart of China (or was it the predecessor whose name I forgot) which was a graphical adventure there were some jump and run action scenes. Those where quite hard when you didn't expect them. After some failed tries you were offered to skip the scene. Best thing I encountered there.

People tend to forget that (single player) games are meant to be fun for the one player who bought and plays it. His fun has nothing to do with the preference of other gamers.


Well said.
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paralipsis wrote:
A three word sentence is always going to be a bit glib.

And in this instance, glib to the point of meaninglessness...
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zorazen wrote:
I also wonder how many men would make these threats if they could sit in the same room as the woman speaking. How many would willingly say to her face "Shut up or I will rape you?"
None. Cowards.

On a related note:
If I was CEO and I had money to spare to track down pirates and such*), I would definitely invest money in tracking down the culprits harassing her. Even if you don't win the slander lawsuit, the media exposure will sent out a strong message that posters will be held accountable and dragged into the daylight from under their bridges and on the other hand it will probably go a long way in winning your employees's trust and loyalty.

The "Oh those bad people. Let's throw a few bucks at CanadaBullying" seems pretty meager to me.


*) the pirate reference is an attempt to compare 'investing in safeguarding your profits' to 'investing in human capital': both ultimately aim at the same goal: making a successful company
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_Kael_ wrote:
Even if you don't win the slander lawsuit, the media exposure will sent out a strong message that posters will be held accountable and dragged into the daylight from under their bridges and on the other hand it will probably go a long way in winning your employees's trust and loyalty.

It will also go a long way in pissing off huge portions of your fanbase and making sure they never buy another Bioware game again.

Tell me, how well did those piracy lawsuits work out for the RIAA? Surely, they inspiried a lot of goodwill towards the recording industry by dragging those horrible internet pirates into the daylight from under their bridges?
 
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milgate wrote:
A writer for Bioware has been enduring vicious verbal attacks due to an interview -- from 2006!!!! -- during which she suggested games should have an option to "skip past" action sequences for gamers who are more interested in the story than combat.

Yeah, people are always going to act like dicks on the Internet, but, c'mon -- just for suggesting the inclusion of an option to skip past combat? What's particularly disturbing is the sexist nature of the attacks -- way to reinforce the gamer stereotype, guys.


http://www.gamespot.com/features/the-dangers-of-gamer-entitl...


Fascinating story. If anything about posting at BGG/VGG and similar sites has taught me, it is game communities have amazingly diverse populations - I don't mean racially, I mean people play the same games for amazingly different reasons - some like to compete, some like to experience and look at scenery and don't even care about winning, etc.

Unfortunately, I've also learned there are wildly diverse levels of maturity among the populations as well.
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Harlekin wrote:
His fun has nothing to do with the preference of other gamers.

Completely wrong. The industry is driven by the preferences of gamers; thus, if games start catering to people who don't want to play a game, people who actually do want to play a game will have fewer games available to play.

And don't tell me that adding a combat skip button won't cause any difference for those who do want to play- anyone who played Arcanum knows exactly where that'll end up (namely, with a gimped, half-assed combat system with poorly designed encounters because, hey, if you don't like them, you can skip them).
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