A Follow Up, and a Note About Anonymity
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 November 2015, 6:43 pm
About a month ago, I wrote an article about harassment where I noted as almost a throwaway comment, that harassment has been aimed at people on both sides of the Hashtag That Shall Not Be Named. It included a link to a GamerGate girl who claimed that she had been framed by someone for sending […]

Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 October 2015, 2:12 pm
SXSW isn’t supposed to be a tech conference, dammit.  From its inception, it was always meant to be a music festival, dammit, and it’s a good one.  But in recent years, it’s expanded its coverage to include movies and technology.  Being the biggest con in town, SXSW frequently gets a ton of local coverage, but […]

Mad Max: It’s All About the Thunderpoon
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 October 2015, 12:14 am
It is the near future.  The world has been ravaged by drought and disease, leaving the human race a broken, fragile thing.  Bands of survivors are forced to abandon their lives of luxury and ease, and fight to subsist in a land of famine, violence and constant feudal warfare.  And yet, their worst fear is […]

The Ongoing Star Citizen Silliness
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 October 2015, 1:44 am
Derek Smart vs. Chris Roberts.  Who will win?  I’m guessing popcorn salesmen. I recently wrote about Derek Smart’s ongoing crusade against Star Citizen, You may remember, for example, this piece, where Derek Smart asks politely for Chris Roberts and his wife to resign the company. Give backers the opportunity to hire an independent forensics accountant, […]

Games Are Not Movies, And Shouldn’t Try To Be
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 September 2015, 2:33 pm
Yesterday, Polygon printed a book exerpt by Phil Owen that made what I consider to be the ultimate rookie mistake in the ‘are games art?’ discussion.  They suggested that game designers and developers are failing at art because games do not do some things as well, such as storytelling, as the movies.  While this is, in […]

Speaking Up About Harassment
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 September 2015, 12:09 pm
I started writing on this blog again largely because of the issue of online harassment in games.  My experience working in MMOs has long convinced me that online harassment in games is off the rails, and is a serious issue that is preventing the market from growing.  This is not a theory for me.  When […]

Reviewing the Review of the Reviews of Mad Max
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 September 2015, 5:32 pm
Today, Total Biscuit released a video titled ‘I will now talk about negative Mad Max reviews for just over 40 minutes‘, and whatever the hell else you can say about it, it is an accurate assessment of what he has to say.  It is also quite silly (although to be fair, I agree with much […]

The Sarkeesian Effect is Out!
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 September 2015, 2:12 am
You remember Skullboy and the Bathtub Philosopher, right?  If you don’t, then this video might offer a useful refresher.  “If Ayn Rand Shrugs any harder, he’ll fall off his dad’s fucking couch.” Yes, the white supremacist MRA douchebags who hate Anita so much that they decided to invite Jack Thompson to talk about how Anita […]

The Terrifying, Pathetic Case of Joshua Goldberg
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2015, 4:21 pm
On Friday, a hardcore GamerGate supporter named Joshua Goldberg finally crossed over the line between shitposting and real action, getting arrested by the FBI.  Critics of GamerGate may be quick to point out that this seemed inevitable, and not a real surprise.  However, very little about Goldberg’s case does not result in the raising of […]

Dungeon Boss
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 September 2015, 3:06 pm
Last Tuesday, I launched a game.  It’s doing quite well. Boss Fight Entertainment released Dungeon Boss in a worldwide release on Tuesday in partnership with our publisher, Big Fish Games.  This marks my first foray into mobile gaming, and indeed my first serious work on a published title that was not an MMO of some […]

Tournament of Douchebaggery
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2015, 2:27 pm
This weekend, gaming sleuths who care about such things discovered that DriveThruRPG, one of the largest sites for downloadable PDFs for RPGs, was selling a game called Tournament of Rapists. The Tournament of Rapists details the sadistic Rape Pure Flight circuit, expanding on what you’ve seen already and introducing dangerous new sexual predators. This sadistic bloodsport […]

Ice-T is Pro-Gamer. GamerGate Is Not.
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 August 2015, 4:56 pm
In what can only be described as one of the more hilarious events of GamerGate, Ice-T was Sea Lioned by GamerGaters last week. The summary of the whole event is quite hilarious, but without a doubt, this would be my favorite part. Eat A Dick…. What did that do to YOUR gamer cred.. Lol https://t.co/T7WwWdjCoD […]

SPJ Airplay
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2015, 2:58 am
I’ve been trying to cool down on GamerGate writings.  I actually made a pact to myself to not use the word in a blog article through July, a promise made more manageable by work turning into super happy fun fun imminent shipping insanity at work.  My first recent mention of it was in the Sad Puppies article, largely because […]

Hugo Voters Reject Sad, Rabid Puppies
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 August 2015, 5:34 pm
It’s not every day that you wake up to find that the asshole brigade on the internet has been utterly humiliated beyond all expectations, but that appears to be what we have today.  Last night, the voters of the Hugo Awards utterly rejected the attempts by a conservative reactionary mob led by one of the […]

A Retrospective on the SWG New Game Experience
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 August 2015, 4:00 pm
Raph Koster pointed me to an article of one of the most infamous moments history in MMOdom – the moment where Sony Online Entertainment decided to entirely redo the entire game, cutting entire character classes, and replacing the core combat mechanic with ‘clicky combat’.  This event was known as the New Game Experience, commonly referred […]

Capitalism and Diversity
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 July 2015, 12:58 am
Daniel Vavra’s got some commentary on diversity from a different slant, in which he continued Adrian Chmielarz‘ bizarre critique of the social critics who dared to even start a dialog about race in the game.  Note; questioning the artistic vision is just fine when you ask why the art direction seems like a massive step backwards, […]

Derek Smart Joins Circus d’AirPlay
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 July 2015, 3:28 pm
I began this month with a promise that I was not going to post the name of a certain hashtag on my frontpage for the duration of July.  The Airplay catastrofuck has made that promise very difficult.  Fortunately, Scott managed to say what I wanted to say, only funnier, anyway.

Derek Smart vs Star Citizen: Round Two
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 July 2015, 4:01 pm
Derek Smart is still continuing his ongoing crusade against Star Citizen, most notably “the bullshit that is the ‘vaporware’ […] that RSI/CIG have foisted on […] legacy backers”. “These bastards, most of whom were probably running around in diapers, rubbing poo-dipped hands on their faces, when I was earning my chops as a hardcore Internet Warlord, […]

Drama in Troll Country
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 July 2015, 4:24 pm
It turns out that there’s been some problems in getting a handful of industrial grade neoconservative rape denialists and kool aid drinkers together to pretend to discuss ethics while slamming feminists and diversity initiatives in gaming and geek culture to a group of actual professional journalists. Enjoy the schadenfreude sundae. Here I have some exclusive footage, brought […]

Rescuing Princesses in Arkham Knight
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 July 2015, 1:34 am
I generally like Anita’s work.  However, one place where I’ve felt it to be weak is in regards to Damseling.  It’s not that I don’t agree that it’s an overused trope.  The issue is that a number of issues converge to make damseling difficult to fix. These same issues make the Bechdel Test worthless for […]

Trusting and Not Trusting Research
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 July 2015, 1:11 am
A few days ago, in my Magic Mike thought exercise, I concluded with a link to a study suggesting that young boys and girls want more female heroes and fewer as sex objects.  While this link didn’t fundamentally affect my article or my opinions on this topic, the authors of this particular study have since […]

Smedley vs. Lizard Squad
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 July 2015, 2:26 am
Speaking of unspeakable and horrific harassment, this week the member of Lizard Squad that authorities managed to get their hands on got sentenced for his part of their activities, which included that Christmas where none of us could play on XBox Live. For whatever reason, this group has decided in particular to target John Smedley, […]

Ellen Pao and Misogyny
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 July 2015, 2:09 am
I don’t really know if Ellen Pao was an effective leader or not within the walls of Reddit.  What I do know is that not much seemed to actually change during her tenure until the last month or so, and by that time, the angry outrage brigade had already made it clear they were determined to […]

In A World Dominated By Channing Tatum….
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 July 2015, 10:11 pm
Men. Imagine a world where every movie is Magic Mike.  Or a clone thereof.  Imagine that if you went to the movies, you were likely to experience the Magic Mike experience.  How long until you’re turned off from going to the movies? Hey, you’re open minded.  You’re comfortable with your sexuality.  Keep in mind that Magic […]

Why Mobile Is Where The Money Is
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 July 2015, 1:56 am
For the next generation, handheld screens are so much better that TV is punishment. According to a research report from Miner & Co. Studio, televisions are no longer the screen of choice for kids who have ready access to tablets and smartphones. More than half (57%) of parents surveyed said their children now prefer to […]

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