PlugMonkey Comments

Page 1 of 75

  • EA announces new Need for Speed game

  • PlugMonkey 21/11/2014

    @Shinra-Electric

    They didn't build the brand on you, they built it for you, back when you represented the mainstream of gaming. Just because you liked it doesn't create some sort of burden of loyalty. When EA's games got ropey in the mid 2000s, nobody was loyal to them.

    EA has always been a mainstream company. They were the biggest company in gaming for years! When tuner culture became popular, NFS went from being about supercars to being about undercar lighting and nitrous. Now mobile is popular, it goes from console to mobile.

    (Also EA can't have failed to notice that CSR made a bajillion dollars by basically ripping off the drag racing minigame from NFS: Underground...)

    They're not out to destroy gaming, just to serve up the fattest part of the market with what they want, same as always. It's all still market driven, only you're not in the fattest part of it any more. The real mainstream is here.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    @SeanBeansGravyBoat

    Fair play my friend. That's just what you're likely to get pegged with while you're being all mysterious. ;)

    The are many very legitimate reasons to dislike EA, and if you're been on the receiving end of one of them, you have my sympathy.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    @SeanBeansGravyBoat

    Are these reasons anything to do with them serving a market that isn't you?

    That seems to be the most common reason.
    Reply 0
  • Apple removes the "free" label from F2P games

  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    @Uncompetative

    Would Forza be Pay to Enhance in your system? Or were you skipping the grind? (P2A?)

    That ends up being another big grey area, because it all depends on the entirely subjective assessment of how much fun you're having with the free bit. One person's wonderful free game with entirely optional enhancements is another person's shameless grind with all the good content hidden behind paywalls.

    Nobody can actually agree whether League of Legends or World of Tanks or Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans actually offer a legitimate free experience, or where the line in that list should be drawn, so how can anyone come up with a entirely foolproof naming system? I think the only thing we can really agree is that the word 'free' should probably stop being paired with 'play', as play is so totally ambiguous. 'Free to try' would be more universally true.

    I'm glad you like P2O games. I think that's the best thing, the old shareware way, get to know the game and then decide whether you want to pay a known, one off amount for the rest of it.

    Unfortunately I know someone who released a P2O iOS game and then got 1* reviews when players hit the 'pay-wall' and described it as "the worst kind of F2P". It's like everyone's got so het up about freemium they've actually forgotten what the 'good' and 'bad' kinds are supposed to be. P2O was the good kind, you numnutzs. :rolleyes:

    Edit: I was just thinking that P2P should actually work better than F2P. The big difficulty in F2P is supposed to be getting the user over the hump of getting their wallet out the first time. If you've planted the idea of them paying from the get go, it should, theoretically, be easier. Then I realised that's exactly what the huge hits like LoL do. You know right from the first download that you're getting a primer, but if you like it you're going to want to invest. And boy do people invest. P2P is already here, we're just not distinguishing. I think it would be in the best interests of those companies to start distinguishing.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    @bladdard

    the price range of those transactions and they should be in a freemium tab. Something like "candy crush saga - free (£0.69 - £.69.99)"
    That doesn't help for me. It's how fast the game chews through it that's significant, rather than how much I can buy in one go.

    A game that offer's me a £70 purchase that lasts a year is much better than a game that offers me a £20 purchase that lasts 10 minutes.

    Edit: I completely agree about having a separate tab though. You can't have 'Free' and 'Freemium/Free-2-Play' though as no-one knowing the difference is the whole problem.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    @FireMonkey

    WoW is subscription based. That's like getting your phone on a contract with a monthly payment. PAYG is paying for stuff as you use it, like Candy Crush Saga.

    You do highlight a major problem though. F2P is a massive spectrum ranging from genuinely free games that offer cosmetic items at one end, to cynically constructed money traps at the other, and everything else in between. (I know people like to pretend that there's only the 2nd sort, but it's nonsense.)

    I think if you're offering cosmetic items, your game is free. If you're offering gameplay enhancements, your expectation is for players to eventually pay, and you're PAYG.

    Apple could ask this at the same point they ask about sex, drug and violence references to set your rating, and place your game accordingly.

    It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be better.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    "Pay as you go"

    I've been saying this for years. The globally recognised payment model that most closely mirrors 'F2P' is a free sim on a PAYG package. It's something everyone would recognise and know exactly what to expect.

    If they'd just called it that in the first place, this whole ludicrous hullabaloo would have been avoided.
    Reply +3
  • Never Alone review

  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    @BabyBabyBabyOh

    Surely all games could get 10 out of 10 if reviewers are prepared to gloss over frustrations (and also, by implication, brevity) with vague cod-philosphy.
    Only if the game resonated with the reviewer on an emotional and artistic level like this one clearly did.

    But, yeah, screw that noise! Dwell on minor niggles! Tell me about the game length! Longer is more is better!

    :( The Consumers are out in force again.
    Reply +13
  • Frontier outlines Elite: Dangerous refund policy following offline mode backlash

  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2014

    Good for them.

    @Hughtendo

    Well said.
    Reply -13
  • Elite: Dangerous ditches planned offline mode

  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @grassyknoll

    Well, a whole extra, separate game nobody in the studio has any interest in developing would be a lot more than 35%, what with having to outsource it. And then it would mean spending the 35% on something pointless.

    I see no reason to think they can't manage their budget, only that they wisely chose to spend it on the core things, not the peripheral things.

    The core thing being online.

    The peripheral thing being offline.

    Would you like them to make the core thing worse, or release a bad peripheral thing? (That's a trick question, by the way. It's like asking if you're an idiot or a moron.)
    Reply -6
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @grassyknoll

    But it's not fundamental. It was, and always has been, entirely peripheral to the main pitch.

    They couldn't budget for it because it would mean making an entire, other, separate game. They've pulled back from releasing something empty to the point of broken, despite the pressure to.

    Talk about no win.
    Reply -4
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @grassyknoll

    I know developers are invariably over ambitious, and a month before release sounds about right to finally admit defeat on a side feature that people were holding out hopes on, but no-one ever felt enthusiastic enough about to drive.

    That's what this is too: as side feature. The knew their game was online, and they designed everything around those elements (it would be insane to suggest otherwise), but they hoped and intended to also make it work offline. It doesn't work offline. It's a pale shadow, so they've cut it.

    But no, you know what you're talking about. Games are just like houses. In the one case you have detailed plans drawn up and signed off of exactly what you're going to build before you lay the first foundation, and in the other you iterate and experiment and go where the inspiration takes you. Just the same.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @grassyknoll

    You're clearly an experienced game developer, so I will defer to your judgment and your half empty glass.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @vert1go

    I still think it could be improved by having a living, curated universe. That, to me, sounds awesome. If the cost of having that is not being able to opt out of it, I'll take that.

    The cool thing is more important to me than the ability to opt out of the cool thing. I'm just weird like that.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @The_shlaaaag_returns

    I've wanted an online Elite since, well, since I can remember,
    God bless you sir. Me too. 30 years, man and boy. Since before the internet even existed, and all this were nowt but fields.

    And people would try to have you believe that the really important thing going on here is that your computer, which is always connected to the internet, needs to be connected to the internet.

    Glass half full!
    Reply +3
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @grassyknoll

    They promised an online experience first and foremost. And a solo experience that they appear to be still delivering. And because of it's great potential, the online world has bled into the solo experience, because it makes it better. That's game development. It's iterative. This decision wouldn't be made very early at all.

    But, y'know, glass half full.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    They are saying that this is not the case, but I personally don't believe them.
    I know you don't. Glass half empty. :(

    You want to worry about the future of the industry, worry about an audience nobody wants to play to any more. All they ever do is boo and throw things.
    Reply -1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @The_shlaaaag_returns

    but some of the comments here are saying they don't want to play a game where risk is involved and they might get attacked. Why bother playing the game?
    Now, that one I can answer. Part of the fun of Elite is getting to be Han Solo. It's really hard to be Han Solo in a universe full of people with faster, better ships than you, so a lot of people would rather be the Han Solo of their own universe.

    The thing is, from everything I've read, you still can be Han Solo of your own universe, it's just it'll also be a live universe with all the same things happening in it as in everyone else's.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    "a living musical experience that constantly evolves over time"

    Like, you know, a physical disc?
    WHAT?! Your perception may change, how on earth is IT evolving? You've turned it into something else. Why do you have to do that?

    Why can't they just record it again and again releasing multiple albums of the same songs?
    Here's an even better question: why would they? They say it's too much data to parcel up, send out and un-parcel all the time when the effect is undesirable anyway. Seems reasonable. Plus, how often are you anticipating doing that? Infrequent massive updates is hardly 'living'. You've killed it. Small, regular updates is...well that's what they're doing...

    And on another note, is much a better experience to know an album back and forth and listen to it with ever changing perception than to have an ever changing album that doesn't allow you the listener to create your own perception of it.
    Really the only response I can give to that is "Sez you". That's your preferred way. The old way. The way you've always known. What if someone wants to do something different?

    The best live band I have ever heard have never recorded a single album in nearly 10 years simply because they disagree with your statement entirely. Their music is a living, evolving thing, never to be pinned down or picked apart. It's all in the moment, and you can never hear them without other people there. I'm guessing you'd hate them. :/

    I'm excited about playing in a living world. I don't need a version of it nailing to a board for me to study. That's totally contrary to the point.

    It's not what I've always known, and I don't care. It's new and it's exciting.
    Reply -2
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    Even here we can compare this with a band that's making a physical album that must be connected online with the label every time you listen to it.
    Gah! No, it isn't! That's the whole point! It's like a band creating a non-physical album, a living musical experience that constantly evolves over time. That's what it's like! That's what it IS!

    But instead of you wondering at the potential of a constantly evolving musical experience shaped by the people listening to it, you have a bit of a moan at the fact that means you can't have it on a CD.

    Never mind that it's outgrown a CD, and what you would have on CD wouldn't remotely be the experience the band are trying to create, because you don't care what the band are trying to create, do you? You just want your bloody CD because you've paid your £12.99 and so you should get a bloody CD! What? No CD!? At all? But I want a CD! I always have a CD! What if the music stops! WHAT WILL WE DO IF THE MUSIC STOPS!? :P

    Me? I'm a fan of the band, so I just want to hear the music. A persistent, curated shared universe you say? Far out, man. Far out.

    Like I say. Glass half full.
    Reply +2
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    If they are an art form and not a service, why are they presented like a consumer service?
    I give money to bands I like in exchange for the music they make, but I am a fan of their artistic output, I am NOT their client. I want to hear what they do next, but I NEVER want them to do what they think I want to hear!

    You sound like a bit of a lost cause, tbh. I wonder if you were ever a fan? Of anything?

    I worry about the future of the industry, but not for the same reason you do. It's turned into something ghastly, full of grasping miserable people with zero enthusiasm for anything.

    An amazing experience might cost me a handful of quid and then only last a half decade or so? Oh, dear god NO!!!
    Reply -1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    Yes, I did, I'm boycotting online only games.
    Then no, you won't. Instead of working to preserve, you'd complain no-one else is.

    But why force me to play with others?
    It doesn't. From everything I've read on the developer site, it forces you to share a common universe, not to play with each other.
    Reply -3
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    If there's one thousand really committed, enthusiastic people, then yes. They will find a way. Do you care enough to join them?

    The rest is all a matter of perspective. When I was 6 years old I loaded the original Elite onto my BBC microcomputer by playing it a noise from a tape. I dreamed, in a wild flight of fancy, what it would be like if every ship in the game was being flown by a real person, like mine was.

    I see a thirty year old dream about to be realised, you see last minute DRM being shoe-horned in. Like I say, glass half full.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @YenRug

    Yep, and the developers have played that and played the new cool stuff they're doing and decided it's not worth supporting the boring stuff. They want everyone to play the cool stuff instead.

    This is a fairly normal decision. It's very difficult for creative people to make something they think is amazing and then give you something boring just because it's what you think you want. It's even harder if giving you something boring represents extra work that detracts from the amazing thing.

    So, I'm sorry you won't get to be bored in the familiar way you like, but in my naive little glass-half-full way, I still like to think of video games as an art form rather than as a service industry. That means I'm much more interested in what the creative wants to create than what the consumer wants to consume. The consumer invariably just wants more of what they had before.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    You're still missing the point, but never mind. It was a pretty crappy one.

    I nearly replied to your post earlier about games shutting down, which is a much more interesting point. In my experience, nature finds a way. If people want this game forever, people will find a way to keep it alive forever. It's generally not worth worrying about these things.
    Reply -2
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Phattso

    Groovio. Your hets are my main concern.

    (Trust me to pick the one naysayer with genuine developing world internet concerns... ;))
    Reply -1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @YenRug

    but now FD are saying that my 16GB RAM PC with 1TB HDD can't model the game's universe in any shape or form?
    No, they're saying it can't model the universe in a way that will be anywhere near as good.

    That being actually what they said.

    It would be a dry, lifeless algorithm like the original Frontier. With all your whizzy RAMs and things, I'd have aspirations for there to be a little more than five minutes of empty space with a couple of pirates between space stations this time round, but then I think we're established I'm the glass-half-full guy in this conversation.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Turrican_Freak

    You've kind of missed the point there.

    You can tell me with 100% certainty that Frontier hasn't been infiltrated by religious extremism?

    No you cannot, and the ridiculousness of the example is there to illustrate precisely that point. You can't tell me that hasn't happened.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @YenRug

    Yeah, I just looked that up (because apparently journalists don't look things up so you don't have to any more).

    You have to check in every time you go to a space station. I don't think that will be every 5 minutes, although I guess it depends on what you do in the game. Again, the game dumping you to the menu screen is your personal worst case take on this.

    Phattso does maybe want to be a prospector instead of a courier, mind you.

    Sick of being negged for not getting on the neg train though. I'll leave you all to wallow in your largely self inflicted misery.
    Reply -1
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Phattso

    Fair enough. It doesn't say here you need to connect to play though, it just says you need to connect to update.

    I don't really buy into this 'slippery slope' stuff, to be honest. You can put the phrase "who is to say they won't" in front of pretty much anything, and nobody will be able to say they won't.

    WHO IS TO SAY NEXT WEEK THEY WON'T DEMAND THE SACRIFICE OF YOUR FIRST BORN CHILD?!

    See? If you're going to get het up about anything and everything you can't be told definitely won't happen, your hets are never going to be down.
    Reply -2
  • PlugMonkey 17/11/2014

    @Phattso

    Your internet is so bad you can't "connect to a server from time to time"?

    That looks like all there is here. Instead of trying to create a system that attempts to simulate your own vibrant universe locally on your machine, they instead get you to check in with the central one from time to time to update your vibrancy.

    Q'est-ce que le diff?
    Reply -5
  • Unearthed ET copies now going for up to $500 on eBay

  • PlugMonkey 07/11/2014

    @TarickStonefire

    I'm not ignoring that at all. It definitely lends them a mystique that makes them desirable. It's just kind of ironic that they're actually in far greater supply than the 'regular' ones.

    That's the 'rare unsigned copy' part, which is a common gag amongst musicians or authors of limited appeal. Everyone knows signed copies are intrinsically more valuable, but if you only ever sell copies at the signing table, then they're not actually the rarity.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 05/11/2014

    @TarickStonefire

    Perceived value. Limited quantity.
    But that's the thing. The ones that weren't buried are the proverbial 'rare, unsigned copy'. They're actually in much shorter supply.

    Surely more went into the landfill than got sold? Wasn't that the whole point of the landfill?
    Reply +9
  • Hearthstone bot maker forced out of business

  • PlugMonkey 03/11/2014

    @Dantonir

    If the game you are playing can be mistaken for work, play a different game.
    Reply +4
  • Crusader: No Remorse is free right now on Origin

  • PlugMonkey 28/10/2014

    @bad09

    It certainly looks worth the effort of remembering my Origin password.

    I love it when it turns out there's a great game I never played. Especially when it appears to have been designed specifically for me, aged 14.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 28/10/2014

    Never heard of it. It looks great! Is it great? Origin doesn't seem to have a rating system. Either that, or there's no one on it to use the rating system. Could be either. Reply +2
  • MSI GT72 2QE Dominator Pro with GTX 980M review

  • PlugMonkey 26/10/2014

    @VideoGameAddict25

    My sentimonies exactly! :eek:
    Reply -2
  • We cannot let this become gaming culture

  • PlugMonkey 23/10/2014

    @_tangent

    Holy mahoolah! I'm going short(ish) again. I think we're boiling down to only a couple of real issues of contention. Flag anything I've not addressed that you think was key.

    Like we’ve already discussed, you’d then take this up with an editor
    And, if you're Jenn Frank, you would burn. That's why I keep asking you to define the line, because what you say should be done doesn't stop Jenn Frank from burning, and that's a big issue for me. She did everything you said.

    The Grayson situation, in light of the credits, does sound a bit ropey - not that that was known when the burning started, and not that he was the target of the burning.

    This is important, and I bring the origin of GG up again because:

    ultimately it comes down to the fact that we can either take what they say about themselves at face value, or we can start looking at the behaviour of what is effectively a small minority and use them to poison the well.
    There's no either/or about it any more. I am now taking what they say about themselves at face value, and what they say is that they see themselves as stigmatized and that they don't like the feminist criticism of gaming, whatever the source. This ties in exactly with them targeting the political commentators, and not the allegedly corrupt journalists. Not even when they're literally in bed with each other.

    Journalist ethics I'm willing to have a (very long) debate on, and I think that SPJ list you posted is a great starting point to move forward from.

    Silencing critics I'm not. That's not on the table.

    Gaming doesn't need defending from political comment. Sarkeesian and her ilk aren't out to stop anyone playing the games they like, and even if she did, there's absolutely no way she could.

    After reading that gamergate history, the ethics debate just seems a bit pointless. It's a side show. It's a side show in their own literature.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 23/10/2014

    @Discalceaterabbit

    Women have the option of absolving themselves of parental responsibility.

    Men don't.
    Well, you've switched from 'right' to 'option', so that's progress.

    Same rights. Different options.

    Glad you see it.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 23/10/2014

    @Discalceaterabbit

    in the western world, women have MORE rights than men.
    Abortion is a decision only the woman makes because it is an option only the woman has. It is, as you have so rightly pointed out, an exclusively female area.

    Men and women have the SAME rights here: the right to self determination over their own bodies.

    That right takes precedence over your right to absolve yourself of parental responsibilities, because that isn't a right.

    If you can't get your head around that, then this discussion is going to be a long, uphill road.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 22/10/2014

    @_tangent

    Well, long-uns is where we’re at. ;)

    Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
    Well, there-in lies the rub. How do you avoid perceived conflicts if the readership is actively looking for conflicts, even where none remotely exist? It’s an impossible task. I can’t help feeling that SPJ list has a lot of implicit ‘reasonables’ in there. That you should take all reasonable care to avoid those things. In all of the cases that I’ve seen brought forward so far, reasonable care HAS been taken, but either no-one cares or no-one bothered to check.

    We're talking about a hypothetical
    You say that, but it feels like we really keep coming back specifically to the Quinn/Grayson case, just without actually mentioning it.

    Hypothetically speaking, yes, I think writing about a lover’s game – even if you think it’s great – is a conflict of interest. That’s too close. Even if you could guarantee no bias, it could certainly be reasonably perceived to be a conflict of interest, so you shouldn’t do it. I don’t think anybody disagrees with that though and, specifically speaking, I also don’t think anyone has been found to have done that.

    It certainly doesn’t seem to be what actually happened in the Quinn/Grayson case, even by Gamergate’s own version of events. Grayson wrote about Quinn’s game months before they had a relationship. He currently stands accused of having, at worst, painted a somewhat flattering portrait of her in an article totally unrelated to her games, and still a week or so before they are alleged to have hooked up. (Should he have announced this to his editor? That he might have begun to harbour a bit of a crush?)

    What is the gaming press to do in the face of a demand to stop doing something they aren’t?

    You can tell your editor you have a personal relationship with the creator but you think the game in question is worthy of coverage.
    And I have to keep asking: at what point do I have a ‘personal relationship’?

    You can differentiate between colleagues and personal friends.
    Because I don’t think I can. I have around 40 colleagues at my current place of employ. After two years, I couldn’t honestly tell you exactly who has crossed into the ‘personal friend’ zone. A few are definitely friends, many are definitely colleagues, but a whole bunch are in a grey area in between. The added problem is that you’re not actually asking me to make that judgment, and I couldn’t begin to guess who would be perceived as being my personal friends. Right now…maybe…all of them?

    In the current climate of what is a perceived conflict of interest, I could do everything you ask of me in your posts, and everything asked of me by the SPJ, and I would still burn. Just like Jenn Frank and Nathan Grayson. That SPJ list is simply not the line Gamergate is policing, and certainly not what it adheres to itself!

    ----------------------------------

    I want to draw a line here between the above debate about ethics in journalism, which I still think is a fine discussion to have, and the points below, which increasingly relate only to Gamergate and it’s real goals and motives. This bit sums up why I said at the beginning that the two need to be divided, and any further ethics campaign adopt a new moniker. I wouldn’t bring it up again, but I’ve been doing some reading…

    Even if it were true that people are addressing smaller acts of corruption before bigger ones, the fact that there are bigger ones out there is not a reason to excuse the smaller ones.
    That’s not what I’m saying, and I think we’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole of relative morality. I only bring up the relative severity of ‘crimes’ in reference to the motives of the movement, not as any justification for the ‘crimes’. If the motive is journalist corruption, then why launch an incredibly vicious and destructive attack on the non-journalist half of a relatively minor incident that turns out not to have even happened? I think that’s a pertinent question to ask in the context of a movement with already questionable motives. It rouses my suspicions. Something doesn’t ring true.

    After a lot of further reading over the last day or so, I’m increasingly confident in suggesting why that inconsistency exists: the motive behind Gamergate is not corrupt journalists, it’s anger at “the hyper-politicization of gaming, regardless of the source”. It says so, right here on the first page of their own ‘official history’ . That, in my opinion, is why the common thread between victims of attacks isn’t that they’re corrupt games journalists, but that they’re all political commentators. Journalists only get involved when they cross paths with the main enemy – usually by defending them, but it’s easy to see why sleeping with one presents an irresistible opportunity.

    If Gamergate isn’t about feminism, what other “hyper-politicized” commentary has there been that I missed? I’ve read a lot of stuff about this issue in the last few days, unsure what I can really believe. It’s only their own document that has completely convinced me in the end. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to comment on this. I think they’ve got their war analogy badly wrong. Zoe Quinn isn’t Duke Ferdinand. She’s the oil, journalist corruption is the ‘War on Terror’, and there are no weapons of mass destruction – just a lot of ‘sexed up’ documents like the ‘Quinnspiracy’. In short – it’s a con.

    I want more disclosure in the gaming press, I like the fact that Kotaku are doing this in their reviews already, but I don’t believe that will stop Gamergate because I find it impossible to believe that’s what their core group is after. They want to silence the people they see as destroying their pastime, and they have done from the start.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 22/10/2014

    @Blablubblab

    Gamergate is now incapable of delivering a reasoned position. Maybe it was a month ago, but it has escalated completely out of control. Anyone trying to deliver a reasoned position is drowned out in the torrent of threats and abuse.

    To be honest though, the more I read, the more I think it started out as a hate campaign and anyone on the 'moderate' side of it has been had. It seems it was always the intention amongst the initiators to get people on board, and then drown them out with threats and abuse. It gives them something to duck behind.
    Reply +2
  • PlugMonkey 21/10/2014

    @_tangent

    If I steal a TV from someone that can afford to replace it, is that less of a crime than if they can't?
    In a word, yes. Stealing is bad, targeting the most vulnerable is worse. Just like stealing a loaf of bread out of hunger is less of a crime than stealing a TV out of greed. Giving a struggling friend a plug because I think they deserve recognition is different from giving a corporation a plug for an envelope stuffed with cash.

    You seem to be saying that morality is black and white, and we all know it’s not, it’s shades of grey. If that’s ‘moral relativism’, then so be it. That’s the reality. Morals are relative. There is a scale of seriousness, and if you want to clamp down on crime, don’t you start with the most serious crimes first? Isn’t how far the line was crossed at all relevant? So that’s my question: why start with the case of the tiny, free game?

    The fact that this person's crime may be considered slightly worse if there's cash involved doesn't change the fact that they have crossed a line.
    And that’s what I’m trying to get to. Where is the line?

    The line is wherever your readership decide it is.
    No, that can’t work. Which bit of the readership? The majority of it? The loudest part? No, the goal here must surely be to establish some sort of reasonable standard everyone can work to. If parts of the readership then start making unreasonable demands, they need to be told they’re being unreasonable.

    Except we're not talking about just "knowing" someone, are we? To be clear: we're talking about having a close personal relationship with someone.
    Except we’re not, are we? Jenn Frank wasn’t in a ‘close, personal relationship’ with Zoe Quinn, for all the good it did her as the flames licked ever higher. That is NOT the standard being actively pursued here. People have been tied to the stake for far, far less.

    Most organisations don't just sack you on the spot for having concerns about the perception of bias.
    I didn’t say ‘sack’, I said ‘quit’. If I can’t write about anybody I know in an industry where everybody knows everybody, what can I write about? I can either refuse assignments, or I can risk the ire of the mob.

    if you were a struggling indie developer who didn't happen to have any mates working for prominent gaming websites to give you a leg up, would you differentiate particularly between nepotism and bribery?
    Bribery sets a dangerous and escalating precedent, limited only by the amount of money in the world. ‘Nepotism’, if you insist on calling it that, doesn’t. It is, by its very nature, self-limited by the number of contacts you can maintain. It’s altogether less sinister, not least because it rubs shoulder to shoulder with legitimate business practice. It’s the way the world works and is, in itself, a grey area.

    If you’re a struggling indie developer, then yes, I suggest you start networking. Establish some contacts. Events exist exactly and solely for doing that. Some of these contacts may become acquaintances and even friends – an inevitable side effect of human interaction. Networking is not quite the same as nepotism, but you can easily dress it up like it is. The problem then is that you have to burn everybody.

    Are you really suggesting that if I’m a game journalist, and my friend is a game developer, a really interesting, talented, creative chap or chapess, and they say “Can you have a look at my game and tell me what you think?” I have to say “No, sorry, that would be a gross abuse of my position and our relationship. I can only select games randomly from my inbox”?

    If I do look at their game and it’s brilliant, I can’t tell anyone about it?

    Is this really not OK? Help me find the line here. Is it not in my audience’s interest to hear about a brilliant game I’ve discovered through my unique contacts? Isn’t that, as a game journalist, what I’m here for?

    If I talk about the game because they’re a mate, that’s wrong. If I look at the game because they’re a mate and then talk about it because it’s brilliant, that’s OK. That’s where my line is.

    Where is your line?

    (And might I add: by god it’s good to talk to someone sensibly about all this!)
    Reply +2
  • PlugMonkey 21/10/2014

    @_tangent

    What is the point having that argument?
    There isn't any. Words are defined by their widest usage, not by me, not by you, and not by 'moderate' GGs. Arguing about it won't change anything.

    See how 'jihadist' now means what 'jihadist' means? It doesn't matter what moderate people say it's supposed to mean.

    Giving favourable coverage to a friend (just because they're a friend) is wrong for precisely the same reason as giving favourable courage for cash (just because someone is giving you cash).
    You've only addressed half of the equation there though. A free game doesn't doesn't cost the user £50. In one instance I'm essentially trying to defraud the user of cash.

    Also, motive does effect morality, and nepotism is not morally identical to bribery. I can imagine cases of nepotism that are genuinely harmless, but I have a harder time with harmless cases of bribery.

    The convention is that when such a situation arises, a journalist would step aside to avoid the perception of impropriety or nepotism.
    I think this is an unrealistic standard. Everyone knows damn near everyone in this industry, and you're demanding that journalists don't just step down when they are genuinely conflicted, but when there could be any perception of them being conflicted.

    So, in the Quinn case, that doesn't just mean not writing about your girlfriend's game, but no-one you know writing about your girlfriend's game.

    But you know everyone.

    You tell your editor that you have a personal relationship with a content producer and you don't think you should be writing about their stuff
    You haven't answered the question. I tell my editor I have to withdraw if it's my friend? If it's a friend of a friend? A casual acquaintance? Someone I met at a convention once? Someone I'm a massive fan of? At what level does a 'personal relationship' disqualify me? You currently have it at "a possible perception of impropriety". Help me out here. Say I've got a deadline to hit. Where the hell is that line?

    What if I tell my editor, and she tells me it's not a conflict and to get on with it?

    Options:
    1) Quit my job.
    2) Get burned to ashes via social media when no-one bothers to wait to check. Quit my job.

    Again, the standard being demanded is unachievable and far in excess of anything required in any other area of the media. It's not being demanded that journalists remain one or two steps removed, but totally removed.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 20/10/2014

    @_tangent

    the image of GG the gaming media are pushing
    It's not the image the games media are pushing, it's the image that exists in the wider world. That particular horse has bolted, and it has precious little to do with the gaming media. The New York Times is not the gaming media. It's not the gaming media that has brought about the association.

    Personally, I'm equally concerned with both, because they are, in principle, precisely the same breach of journalistic ethics (unless said plug is done with full disclosure, obviously).
    In principle, perhaps, but in practice, no. Would you be equally concerned by a plug being given to a £50 game in return for hatfull of cash as you would be a plug being given for a free game as a favour? We're going to differ on that one. Follow the money, as they say.

    Isn't something only a conflict of interest where the interests are conflicting? If I plug my friend's bad game because they're my friend, that's a conflict. If I plug my friend's good game because I think it's a good game, is that? If I plug a game because I'm a huge fan of the creator, is that not the same personal conflict?

    What is "full disclosure"? My friend? My friend's friend? My friend's friend's friend? Where does it end, and how is someone to know what is full enough?

    I haven't presented anything as fact, I've presented my reasoned opinion as my reasoned opinion. That's what you do in a rational, logical discourse.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 20/10/2014

    @_tangent

    It's not a question of people on high dictating what words can and can't be used to describe things. These things have a life of their own, and 'gamergate' (to the detriment to all involved) now has taken on a certain meaning.

    That means if you want a rational, logical discourse on journalist ethics, you can either focus your energy on highlighting where you think the lapses are, or you can focus it on trying to dig the term 'gamergate' out of the mire first.

    That depends who you ask.
    Who should I ask?

    Personally, when it comes to journalist ethics, I'm rather more concerned about the way things like GTA V gain nothing but positive press in spite of a thoroughly mixed reactions from everyone I speak to about it. That seems a far bigger deal to me than an independent game about mental illness allegedly having got a plug from a friend.
    Reply -1
  • UK gov changing law to get tough on internet trolling

  • PlugMonkey 20/10/2014

    @georgetm1

    That's not what a precedent is, or how you set one. This sets no new precedent at all.
    Reply +4
  • PlugMonkey 20/10/2014

    @georgetm1

    Hardly. This is about abusing individuals. How do we get from that to arrest for criticising institutions?

    Not to mention it then having to get past a trial by jury. I think we're safe...for now.
    Reply +4
  • PlugMonkey 20/10/2014

    @chucklepie

    And 6 years is less than two years?

    You may well hold the opinion that manslaughter sentences are too lenient, it doesn't make what you wrote any more correct.
    Reply +3
  • PlugMonkey 20/10/2014

    @chucklepie

    The maximum sentence for manslaughter is less than two years?

    Well, you learn something new every day...
    Reply +2