Mugwum Comments

Page 1 of 41

  • "It's not historically accurate!"

  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @MDL199 Yeah, I have an agenda. I want people to treat other people equally and pay attention to when they're not doing that. That's it in its entirety. Reply -26
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @dirtysteve I don't find you repellent, Steve - you're just tiring and repetitive, whether it's your gravely worded declarations about whatever I'm just said or your attempts to incite other people to gang up on me.

    Also, I haven't dismissed the things you've written - I've calmly responded to them, pointing out the flaws in your logic. And I'm not sure it's an insult to say you're distasteful given some of your antics.

    I know you're never going to agree with me because you have too much invested in your position now, so I'll let you have the last word. Go for it and I'll leave you to it.
    Reply -14
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @spamdangled Absolutely. We will do our best to cover more than just this one area. Thanks for your comment. Reply -1
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @dirtysteve Yes, I obviously find it distasteful to talk to the community. Hence the dozens of comments I've written here. Hence the fact I engage with readers outside of comment threads as well, something you find so repelling. I find *you* distasteful, if it helps? Reply -14
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @spamdangled I totally agree we should celebrate the positive as well as the negative. I hope we can do more of that going forward. We should also look at other social issues that intersect with gaming, and we will.

    I don't agree that it's a zero-sum game though, and complaining that writing about gender issues is somehow irresponsible on that basis comes dangerously close to the old "there are more important issues" cliche, although I appreciate the intent behind your comment is not the same as that of the other folks who frequently make that comment.
    Reply -1
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @imagonnawin I've already filled in my "make a joke about the author rather than engage with the subject" bingo squares. Haven't you got anything else? Reply -12
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @dirtysteve Did your forum thread not get me fired already? Try harder. Reply -16
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Dantonir I certainly don't think the lack of representation is the only reason fewer women work in games - I'm sure there are a considerable number of factors. I like the idea of doing something - even in a manner some of the people on this thread want me to believe is futile - to try to push against that, whether it's writing stuff like this, commissioning or hiring more women or what have you. I will always refuse to accept that just because a problem is big or multi-faceted that it is impossible to contribute to solving it. There are lots of small but important ways people can make a difference. Anyway, thanks for your comments - they've been really interesting and reasonable. Reply -8
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @DaveDavis As I've said to jabberwoky, it's a good idea not to assume "the public" and "the comments" are wholly and exclusively the same, although even if you do then once you cut out the impotent rage and tired attempts to change the subject, there is plenty of support for both sides of the argument. Reply -14
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @jabberwoky Which part of your point? I told you that we have a large readership and I listen to all of it rather than just the comments. In terms of your other accusation that I hold our readers in contempt, this is complete nonsense. I don't care if you don't believe me.

    As for the suggestion the thread is "brimming" with eloquent counter-arguments - I have answered many and left alone ones I think speak for themselves. There is certainly merit in what some people have said, much of which I've acknowledged, but the suggestion they are the overwhelming majority is another one of your exaggerations.
    Reply -10
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @DaveDavis Ah yes, a variation on the "I don't want social issues on my gaming website" comment in which you attempt to stop the articles you don't like appearing by telling the author they are futile. I know different, so they will continue. Reply -17
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Dantonir "That imbalance in gender representation and the forces which maintain it are not inherently sexist. You can argue that the imbalance is a legacy of sexism and that developers should be forced to hire more female staff, even at the expense of experience and skill, but that would be applying sexism to redress the balance."

    As it goes, I am in favour of positive discrimination for a couple of reasons. 1) I think having a more diverse workforce in any organisation leads to products (of whatever kind) that stand a better chance of empathising with the majority of the addressable audience rather than a section of it. 2) Not having it doesn't work, a bit like how not having a minimum wage sees companies pay their employees less.

    "The argument against including a female protagonist on grounds of historical accuracy was never a strong one."

    And yet it's such a common response.

    "I think, as others have already commented, that the problem is not one of setting but of content. Big budget AAA games largely gravitate toward the action genre which, across all media, is dominated by male protagonists. If we look at the wider industry and other genres then female representation (and indeed gender neutral or abstract protagonists) are more likely to be seen."

    And yet the AAA industry is where so many jobs are located. I think it's absolutely where the focus of these debates should be.
    Reply -15
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @jabberwoky "The comments section is the most reliable measure of the readership outside of a survey."

    Thank you for this, I am going to print it out and hang it somewhere.

    I have plenty of respect for EG readers, many of whom I talk to on a daily basis, whether here or elsewhere in the fabled lands beyond the comments thread where you would have us believe it's impossible to be a reader.
    Reply -13
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @jabberwoky As I've said elsewhere, fewer than 1% of Eurogamer readers comment. I still pay attention to them. (And I could clearly engage more on comments threads.) But I also pay attention to other people who read the site and don't comment usually, they tell me, because they are too shy or find the atmosphere toxic. I will continue to pay attention to them. Enjoy your sad day. Reply -20
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Bickle2 As I said, the animation director of AC3 specifically said it would take no time at all to put functional female avatars in ACU's co-operative mode. And you know what? Even if it did cost a bit of money, it would still be worth it for the reasons I outlined in the first thing I wrote about this subject.

    Incidentally, all the ACU team had to do to defuse the situation was to say something like, "We have listened to your feedback and accept we should think about this issue a bit more. We may not be able to fix it for ACU but will attempt to do better in future." That wouldn't be perfect, but it would have done the trick. The problem was that they repeatedly tried to justify the unjustifiable.

    Incidentally, if our currency is going to be "PR hits" - and I know a little about this given that I know tons of actual PR people, including the ones directly involved in ACU - I promise everyone prefers to see sensitive issues dealt with proactively and compassionately rather than defended for technical or budgetary reasons, especially on games with hundreds of engineers and, as you like to point out, hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on themselves.
    Reply -4
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @jabberwoky You're really keen to portray this as thousands of negative responses and nothing in favour, but you're being as selective as you claim I am. And now you're trying to invent some qualifying system for what constitutes a real reader, as though having a comment account and using it is the only way to enjoy a website.

    So, there are fewer than 2000 comments on the three editorials I've written on this subject. Many are by the same people. Many are just abuse and impotent rage, which I discount. There is a huge amount of positivity being expressed away from the comments. The positivity tends to be less incoherent and more constructive than the abusive comments, so I tend to value and listen to it more. [Edit: I should have noted that there is also plenty of positivity on the comments threads, albeit downvoted by the impotent ragers.]

    If all of that adds up to a sad day for Eurogamer, get ready for many more sad days to come. Or, you know, don't.
    Reply -14
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @frazzl Agreeing to disagree is fine - I ought to do something else today besides sit on this thread :-)

    In answer to your last two points though, as I said to you, I am not calling and have not called anyone a misogynist and one of the reasons I focused on myself in the Editor's blog was to make it as clear as possible that I believe that we're all a little bit sexist and just need to be mindful of it. And you know what? That's OK. It's OK to be a bit sexist [edit: as long as you're aware of it] - much of it is environmental and unavoidable even for the most civil and well-intentioned individual - and it's also OK to talk about it.

    On review embargoes - I can talk a bit about them now if you like. I don't have an exact data set to work with but I would say I have had good visibility of 90% of embargoes associated with boxed games for probably 10 years now.

    The vast majority of games that follow the traditional model (out in US on Tuesday, UK on Friday) are targeted at Tuesday 5pm UK time, because that is roughly when they go on sale in the US. The exceptions are games with global dates, which are usually embargoed until the day before or somewhere in that region. Like you, I would prefer they were earlier and I applaud publishers (like Nintendo and Sony) with whom they generally are, but if you're in the UK you usually have a good chance to cancel your pre-order, I'd say.

    There are exceptions - Activision are notoriously rubbish with review code for anything that isn't Call of Duty. We had to buy the latest Transformers game on US Steam through a faked IP to get code in time for the UK release date and then the game was too long to have reviewed in time. So we push back on that stuff frequently. (This is one of the many things I do when I'm not reading comment threads.)

    We also see different approaches nowadays with digital releases. My experience with those is that indies are very good at getting review code out early and want their reviews to go up around the time of release because they believe their work is good and that positive reviews timed to coincide with their game launch will generate sales. Larger publishers struggle to make digital code (especially DLC) available to review in a useful timeframe before launch, but they seem to be making gradual improvements.

    If you want to know anything else, just ask - although maybe DM me or set up a forum thread about it so we can discuss it without dragging this comment thread wildly off-topic :-)
    Reply +5
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Dantonir Yes, this is essentially my point - everything is set up to favour men and keep favouring men. Surely these are reasons we *should* talk about it and about why it might be better overall to push to change that imbalance?

    I am not saying doing so will change things overnight, but as I said in my original blog, I feel as though things change gradually, often by degrees as small as a few people here and there shifting their view and that then spreading beyond them over time.

    Hence the piece we're commenting on, in which I said that I think games which seek to be more diverse - even if it seems to go against perceived notions of historical accuracy - will ultimately be richer and more appealing to a broader audience.

    "You can make sweeping statements about barriers being put up at every level but until you actually do some research into why women aren't entering the games industry at the same rate as men then it is just speculation."

    Good idea! I'll write or commission something about hiring practices.
    Reply -5
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @squarewindow Aha! Another stock response to add to the list: making a joke at the author's expense to divert attention from the subject. Nice try. Reply -11
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @nibblo I didn't and have never said "all men are evil and we need to feel guilty about it". I said we are all a little bit sexist as a product of our environment and need to consciously rebel against that programming. I don't think the two things are the same at all. Reply -13
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Bickle2 You should go back and read the quotes again. Reply -15
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @frazzl The point isn't that women need a female protagonist to enjoy a great game. (They clearly don't or there wouldn't be so many women playing games, because goodness knows they haven't much to choose between.) The point is simply that games which only offer male avatars in multiplayer are less inviting to people who are not men.

    The other thing I've been saying is simply that it would be nice to see more games that went for something other than a white dude in a vest as their main character because it's become terribly boring, narrows the scope of the story considerably, and leaves us in a situation where games in general appear to half the population as a self-interested boys' club that only knows how to do one thing.

    Also, I've not called you a misogynist at any stage, so there's no need to be defensive about that. The original editorial I wrote was about how everyone is a little bit sexist and it's a good thing to be aware of and guard against.
    Reply -12
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Bickle2 The example people were responding to was Assassin's Creed Unity co-op avatars, which would not require different voice recordings. As for the animations, the animation lead on AC3 specifically rebutted this point. Honestly, it doesn't take much. I don't know why you're so obsessed with it not happening. Reply -11
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @frazzl What evidence do I have that allowing women to play as women in games is more inclusive? Isn't it sort of self-evident?

    As for the "successful" point - Dragon Age and Mass Effect seem like good examples. I have not conducted a comprehensive study, but judging by the anticipation for new instalments of those games in particular, notably from people of all genders and backgrounds, the inclusive approach tends to be something people respond to well.

    "All these editorials" - I've written three things. (We publish over a hundred features a month, incidentally.) I think you've probably written as much on this topic as I have.
    Reply -9
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @dirtysteve My tweet was about how the people being angry and abusive are a minority. They are. I don't have to pay attention to abuse at all, so I don't.

    As for people presenting counter-arguments - actually, they are outnumbered by the people emailing, using the contact form, writing about us on other websites or using, yes, your hated social media to express their support. Which usually goes along the lines of, "I don't normally comment, but..."
    Reply -30
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Vaarna And here's today's "This isn't as important as something else" comment. Stop trying to change the subject. Reply -22
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Bickle2 The suggestion that it costs "hundred of man hiurs [sic] and millions of dollars" to include female avatars has been widely discredited by developers.

    Separately, it needn't cost any more to make a game that stars male and female characters, assuming you plan for that. And hey, it will be more successful because people will find it more believable (whether they're conscious of it or not) and inclusive.

    Or, you know, just make the odd game that doesn't automatically star a man.

    "Otherwise those at choose female to watch her ass wiggle" - hang on, why did I bother responding to the rest of your comment?
    Reply -16
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @althing7 Exactly this. Thank you. Reply -15
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @nibblo "You will get the same percentage of female protagonists in a game as there are female gamers on that platform."

    You won't actually. You'll get substantially fewer. You just don't notice this because it doesn't affect you.

    "If there are more female gamers out there you will see more female protagonists."

    Not true either. The majority of positions of power held within games (and many industries) belong to men. Men hire other men. They make things about men. It rarely matters whether their customers are men or not. This sort of thing was the basis for the blog the other day, which I know you read because you commented on it.
    Reply -22
  • Mugwum 06/07/2014

    @Nibbles There's today's "You're just trying to impress women" comment and it's barely morning! Well done, new high score. Reply -20
  • Mugwum 05/07/2014

    To those complaining that this article is deceptively labelled: I felt that "It's not historically accurate!" was so synonymous with this area of discussion that it wouldn't come as much of a surprise, but it was not my intention to mislead so I have updated the strapline on the front page so it's a bit clearer. Reply -13
  • Mugwum 05/07/2014

    @Zyklonbzombie Thanks. That blog's really interesting by the way - thanks for the link. Reply -12
  • Mugwum 05/07/2014

    @UKPlay I tend to post on Twitter because I can access it on my phone. I have less time to look at comment threads because I spend most of my days working on stuff or in meetings. I could do better to balance that out - it's a fair criticism. Reply -8
  • Mugwum 05/07/2014

    @Morte-360 Nowhere have I said that disagreeing with things I write automatically makes you sexist or misogynistic. The Editor's blog was about how I feel we're all a bit sexist (and racist and homphobic and so on) because we're products of our environment and I want to consciously rebel against that. I deliberately focused on myself so as to make it clear I do not believe other people are more culpable than I am. This article is about how notions of history needn't be as much of a narrative straitjacket as they often are. You disagree, which is fine. Reply -28
  • Mugwum 05/07/2014

    @dirtysteve You don't have to agree with me, Steve. Say whatever you like as long as you don't break the comment policy. Reply -25
  • Mugwum 05/07/2014

    @DrStrangelove Thanks for highlighting the ad. Some of our ad inventory is filled through automated exchanges and people like to try to sneak things like that through the filters. I've passed it on to our trafficking team for removal. If you spot anything similar, let me know. Reply +6
  • Editor's blog: I am sexist

  • Mugwum 20/06/2014


    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read the article and post something on this thread, whether you agree with me or not.

    I wasn't sure what kind of reaction to expect (although I was braced for some angry stuff, obviously!) but it's been nice to hear from dozens of people, not just here but on Twitter and by email, who feel they can relate to what I'm saying.

    It's been equally interesting and welcome to hear all sorts of different perspectives from people who don't agree. The conversations about Dastardly are really cool to see. As I said in the article, I want this to be a place where we can contemplate complex aspects of games that invite self-reflection. It's nice to see that happening.

    A couple of people asked what comes next (or threatened to leave if something does come next). Well, Eurogamer has been growing up alongside its staff for years now, I think, and as subjects like discrimination have become more important to us you have seen more of them reflected in our writing anyway, whether you noticed the shift or not. So the site will probably seem much the same tomorrow to how it did yesterday.

    But as I said in the blog, I also feel like we have not engaged more with certain topics because of a hesitance that stems from fear of what it might reveal about our prejudices, whether current or historical, so I do want to more actively rebel against that hesitance. I don't know exactly what form that will take yet, but this response has been motivating.

    Specifically to the people who complained that they might leave / don't want social issues in their gaming cereal: I'm sorry you feel that way, but you are already reading a site that believes there is no line between social issues and the games industry, and in fact believes it's important that there isn't, so I hope you can make your peace with it.

    Reply -1
  • Eurogamer readership survey 2014

  • Mugwum 19/05/2014

    Hey guys. Ouch! As I said in the blog, it's partly for us and partly for the ad guys and is pretty similar to the one we did in 2012/2013. I'm sorry if you hate it! Please don't fill it out if you find it monstrous - I asked for a few minutes if your time but you obviously don't have to give them.

    I'm mostly interested in your preferences about consoles and websites. I also added a few questions at the end where you can write whatever you like anonymously on a few subjects.

    BTW, don't read too much into the questions. We aren't going to do DVD reviews...

    Oh, and I fixed the problem with question 18 and added a couple more options to 21. Dumb little mistakes - thank you for pointing them out.
    Reply +9
  • Does Watch Dogs deliver on its early promise?

  • Mugwum 23/04/2014

    Hey guys,

    I know Tom Phillips (skowhegan) has already responded to questions about the Nexus 7 tablet debacle, but I just wanted to add a few things for clarity.

    As Tom says, our blanket policy is that anything we receive that is not related to our work is sent on to GamesAID. We put those policies in place after Doritosgate because - as much as we already tried to hold ourselves to a high standard - that bruising episode made it clear to us that we could and should go further.

    I think it's perfectly reasonable to say, as some on the thread have suggested, that we should just reject things outright. To be fair to Tom, he was in France without anyone to consult about this (it's normally the sort of thing I'd rule on after a discussion) and I understand the conversation with the PR went something like this:

    PR: "Here's the asset bag. This is awkward, it has a tablet in it, I know you guys have policies."
    Tom: "Yes, we'll have to give it to charity."
    PR: "OK."

    We can analyse that in hindsight and say it was a mistake to accept it, but you can probably imagine how it would have felt like the polite thing at the time just to accept it on GamesAID's behalf. I suspect this episode will have a clarifying effect on our behaviour though and in future we will reject anything like this on the spot or suggest the publisher sends it to charity directly. We will be discussing this here for sure.

    I think precisely because we send every promotional item we receive to charity, we are kind of numbed to this stuff now and just ignore it. A lot of stuff just arrives in the post, we roll our eyes and it goes in the charity box. I think in a lot of cases it's just an ignorant approach on the part of the sender rather than an attempt to curry favour, so I usually try a soft response of just reaching out, explaining we'll be passing anything we receive onto charity and discouraging any future repetition.

    In extreme cases I would still consider letting you guys know about something, but when I first heard about this Nexus 7 episode I thought it was just monumentally dumb PR. Perhaps that was a mistake on my part and if it's shaken your confidence in us then I apologise and hope we can earn back your trust in time.

    Beyond that, to avoid any further confusion about this for other readers, I will update the note on the end of this preview with a link to this comment.

    Finally, if anyone ever wants to ask me a question about how we run Eurogamer, I strongly believe in transparency so please do just reach out to me. We can discuss things in public (the forum is a good place to start threads - maybe give me a nudge about them as I'm not always on there in the day) or my email is firstname at eurogamer, you can DM me using Eurogamer messaging and I'm on Twitter (@tombramwell).

    Reply +42
  • Hearthstone soft-launches on iPad - out in the UK soon

  • Mugwum 03/04/2014

    New Zealand/Canada/Australia: I'm ready.

    Rest of world: I'm not ready.
    Reply +11
  • Editor's blog: New mobile site, guide content and more

  • Mugwum 14/02/2014

    Hey all. Yep, sorry about the loss of the conceal option for Popular Now and the edit comments bug. We forgot about the former (genuinely sorry!) and the latter has been hanging around for too long. We'll sort out both things.

    @BigDannyH I'd love to do it! I've been saying for ages I should... I just never seem to have the time. I'll try to correct that. You won't be that impressed if I do though - I only average 3 or 4 wins. :-)

    @dfunked Thanks :-)

    @Mun Looking at this is also on my 2014 to-do. I'm sorry if you're not having a good experience any more. I hope we can improve things over time without upsetting regulars. I don't see it as our job to stir things up - we can have a successful site without that.
    Reply +1
  • Blizzard nerfs Pyroblast and tweaks nine other Hearthstone cards

  • Mugwum 17/01/2014

    @Shikasama I think you're being pretty harsh about the story I've written, but obviously you're entitled to your view. Take care. Reply 0
  • Mugwum 17/01/2014

    @Shikasama No, not advertorial. In fact, I think we’re one of the only commercial gaming sites in the UK that doesn’t do advertorial at this point. I believe it's important to be transparent about how we work, so if we ever did consider advertorial then I would make sure it was well signposted and people could decide whether they wanted to read it or not. Since it's not in our plans for Eurogamer at all, though, I wouldn't worry.

    As for why we sometimes go deeper on certain games (this post about Hearthstone and the story I did at the beginning of the week about FIFA TOTY in-forms are good examples), it's because they’re things we play a lot and want to tell people about. However, we don’t post about every little thing that happens. I’ve not felt there was any point reporting other recent Hearthstone patches or maintenance periods, for instance, but as Mola_Ram notes elsewhere on this thread, this is a significant patch that should alter the meta substantially. It also brings us another hint as to how soon we can expect the open beta, which felt relevant.

    I appreciate that covering some games more deeply than others may still look unbalanced, though, which is why I encourage our writers to try to tell stories about their favourite games that will make sense and be interesting to laypeople as well as hardcore fans. That’s an ongoing goal, though, so I appreciate people’s patience and feedback as we try things out.

    Final thing - I’m almost out of Hearthstone keys now but I’ve sent around a dozen to readers who have contacted me through the site since I first published this.
    Reply +3
  • Live: VGX 2013

  • Mugwum 08/12/2013

    @WeeDosh Check DM. Reply 0
  • Mugwum 08/12/2013

    @WeeDosh Did you get one to work? Reply 0
  • Mugwum 07/12/2013

    @MrTomFTW The video width was annoying me too so I fixed it. Sorry about that! Reply +1
  • Video: Five Launch Titles You've Probably Forgotten

  • Mugwum 21/11/2013

    Hey guys,

    Couple of quick things!

    First of all, I'm sorry that a few of you haven't enjoyed this series of videos. The goal was to do light-hearted retro content about console launches to tie in with the next generation of systems. They're not definitive lists (obviously) and I think the tone makes it obvious that they are fairly tongue-in-cheek. If you own any of the games or consoles featured and have taken their inclusion as a personal affront, please try to calm down.

    Second, this trend of personal abuse directed at Ellie on comments threads is going to stop now. Constructive criticism is fine - we welcome that - but "shut the fuck up Ellie" is not. This doesn't just go for Ellie, either - you don't get to say that to anyone, whether they're staff or another reader. Our comment policy is pretty basic but clear - behave yourselves or you'll get a warning and next time you'll be banned. This will be the only warning on this thread.

    On that note, the EG team has a lot of people on it these days and we all work together to decide on the kind of content we do. Ellie and Ian produced these videos, but I commissioned them and other people on the team suggested games and fed back, so directing complaints towards Ellie is also a bit misguided.

    This also feels like a good time to mention that we've recently made the labelling on video posts clearer - hence the "Video" prefix - because we don't want people to click through and find something they weren't expecting. If you don't like video content, hopefully this will help you avoid it. We still produce hundreds of reviews and features every year and it's not a zero sum game - we're doing videos as well as that, not instead of it.

    Oh, and thanks to those of you who did enjoy this video and took it in the spirit intended. We appreciate your feedback also.

    Reply +19
  • The Podcast: Batman, Assassin's Creed, and a happy Dontember!

  • Mugwum 07/11/2013

    I am very disappointed that nobody has offered any other additions to the Bramwellian calendar, although I accept that may be because nobody got that far into the podcast before ripping off their headphones in disgust.

    Anyway, I promised a Hearthstone key for the best suggestion, so in the absence of *any* suggestions I am just going to leave it here for somebody to redeem:

    Reply 0
  • Mugwum 07/11/2013

    @bobiroka This is quite possible! I had no special insight there. Reply 0
  • Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag review

  • Mugwum 29/10/2013

    @feistycheese There will be a DF current-gen face-off this week and we'll do a next-gen one as well, although that will take longer as we don't have next-gen code yet. Reply +6