Wednesday, October 29, 2014

hateful gamers

Gaming used to be fun. I could go and get a good RPG (role playing game) and spend hours enjoying it. I could discuss with others about the ins and outs of the games and generally have a good time with it. Those days are behind me now. Now when I look at a game I have to wonder about the community behind it and worry about those who are being punished by members of a group called Gamersgate.

Gamersgate, if you don't know, supposedly started over the issue of ethics in gaming journalism. Okay, ethics in anything is a good topic and should be addressed. Unfortunately, the original argument is flawed and irrelevant to anything. It began with an ex-boyfriend of a game designer claiming she had sex with a game reporter for more favorable reviews.

Right, an ex-boyfriend. We all know that exes are the best sources of information (that is sarcasm if you did not get it). Both the designer and the reporter denied this and there is no proof that what the ex said is even true. But because a dudebro said it, it must be true, no matter that there is no proof.

A lot of guys did not care. They started the movement in order to claim that journalists need to have ethics. This quickly denigrated into a name calling match and accusations that women have no place in games. The odd thing is that only women were targeted. Women were threatened with rape and death. Where are the ethics of the ones making these threats? It is okay to demand ethics and appropriate behavior in others but not in themselves?

One of the major people involved in this is Anita Sarkeesian. She has done reports on how women are portrayed in video games (the tropes) and has, along with many other women, been threatened over this. Many claim that she has no right to say this. How is she not allowed to say this when others use free speech excuses to rationalize what they say (the threats)?

They can claim free speech all they want but they fail to understand that free speech has limitations and they are crossing the line. Free speech does not protect against slander, libel, and creating dangerous situations (yelling fire in a crowded room, etc). Free speech does not allow for death threats. One day there will be a female president. Do you think people will turn a blind eye when she gets death threats because she is a woman? No, that will not be ignored and neither should this.

Some members of this organization claim that it is not them but only some members of this group are doing it. That is like a Democrat or Republican (or whatever political party someone belongs to) stating that they do not agree with everything the party does or says but they stay a member of the party.

For a long time, I have said the expression "haters gonna hate" is nothing but an excuse for bad behavior and this is proof of it. What should be done about this? Obviously, these people are not going to stop harassing women, the death threats, and posting personal info about the women online. Arresting them is only going to create solidarity among the other members of the group and could make things worse. There is no way to really block access to the internet for all these people. One would hope this group would cease on its own but this seems unlikely as the threats mount and even Felicia Day, who stated that this has colored his perceptions of gamers in a negative way, has been attacked.

Women have as much right to play games and express opinions about the games as anyone else. I know that there are many women who are better at games than I am and that is fine. I am okay that the market share is increasing and more women are getting involved in games. I am okay that women write and create games. Guess what? I may not agree with everything they say or do but that does not give me the right to create a hostile environment. It does not give me the right to call her names. It does not give me the right to threaten her. It does not give me the right to post personal info about her online. Women have the right to play games. Women have the right to write and critique games just in the same way men do.

The situation has gotten to the point of unbearable. Women are having to flee their homes due to the threats. This has gone on long enough. The members of gamersgate who claim not to be a part of this need to stand up and help end it. It has created a destructive culture that is going to have a greater impact on games more than the things they are "protesting." Game companies are going to realize the dangerous element that is buying their games and this may alter the games they produce. These members of Gamergate who want change may get it but not in the way they expect.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Arrow and Flash and Gotham

I am going to discuss several aspects of the show which will have spoilers in it so if you have not watched the first episode of season 3 of Arrow or any of Flash or Gotham, you might not want to read further.

Still  here. Great.

First, Arrow. Now the last thing in the third season premiere caught me off guard. Especially after meeting Caity Lotz at Dragon Con this year. I know she could not say anything but still....
Yeah. Apparently she knows her killer. The question is why she came back to Starling City. We may never know.

I suppose it makes sense since she was not portraying Dinah Lance who is supposed to be Black Canary (at least in the comics). Ted Grant (Wildcat) will be appearing later this season which means that Dinah (played by Katie Cassidy) will be getting some training in fighting later (maybe). This goes along with the comics since Wildcat did train Dinah in sparring (but when she was very young). Now Dinah can become BC not out of wanting to help but out of anger and rage.

If the series follows the comics, Arrow and BC will eventually become a couple again (He has cheated on her which is based on the comics again).

I wonder if they are ever going to call him Green Arrow instead of just Arrow. It seems as though they are moving toward changing the name of the city to Star City (like that is going to change the nature of the town and its habit of drawing terrorist attacks).


This is not your traditional Gotham (the one from the comics).
Penguin is a sympathetic character (to a degree).
Bruce Wayne is around 12-14 when he loses his parents.
Selina saw who killed Bruce's parents.
Eddie Nigma works for the police.
Bullock is a corrupt cop.
Gordon may be the only good cop on the force.
I think they have made things too hard for Gordon as he has to battle the criminals and the police without an ally (as of yet) in the police force. Montoya may become an ally later. Now she is an antagonist (especially since she wants Gordon's fiancee as well as proving Gordon is corrupt too).

All of these things separate the series from the comic. The biggest issue for me is Bruce. Having him that old when he loses his parents is a choice but it is one that can have long term consequences. Bruce losing his parents at 5 means he had about 20 years to travel and learn the skills needed to become Batman. Starting him off at 12 means he has about 10 years to travel and learn all the skills.

To me this creates the possibility he may not become Batman. Selina may not become Catwoman. Eddie may not become Riddler. Plus, this is the least supportive Alfred I have ever seen.

If it does take 10 years for Bruce to learn the needed skills to become Batman, it ties right into the last event in the first episode of the Flash. It would be the perfect time for Bruce to become Batman, especially if the skies have turned red.


The episode had a lot of little bits that Flash fans can enjoy. The cage with Grodd's name on the outside. Vibe and Killer Frost. Reverse Flash. So on and so on. The one thing that excited me (more than anything else I have seen on any of these three shows) was the newspaper headline. Flash disappears and red skies. This comes from the DC comics series "Crisis on Infinite Earths." This series came out in the late 1980's and featured some big events. (comic book spoilers ahead).

Also, having the potential Barry/Iris relationship kind of creeps me out now. In the comics it was fine. But here, having these two get together, when they grew up together like brother and sister (and yes, I know they are not biological siblings) is creepy. Have him get with Linda Park instead (since she is out there as a reporter now).

About the red skies and "Crisis." DC had a multiverse back in the 1980's (and earlier) and decided to eliminate it by combining all the worlds into one. They did this by destroying the multiple Earths and all the surviving heroes had to work together. The skies did indeed turn red and the Flash vanished (because he died). He was not the only hero to perish. Supergirl died as well. I loved reading this series and the chance to see it on TV gets my nerd flag flying. If they can actually make this happen on the Flash (with all the heroes and events of the comic book series) and do it well, it will be the greatest event on any superhero show.

Now the paper was dated 2025 and I do not think Arrow, Gotham, and Flash are all going to last that long. With Flash, whenever they wrap up the series, they can go forward to that event and show Arrow and Batman and Flash and however other many heroes there are fighting to save the Earth. If the other series end first they could even bring back those characters for 1 final event.

Also, the line "the lightning chose you" is completely true based on the comic books (before the whole new 52 thing). After dying during "Crisis", Barry Allen eventually became the lightning bolt that turned him into the Flash. The lightning bolt did indeed choose him.