Female Video Game Writer Targeted: News Coverage 6 Years Later

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The argument is all there in the video. A grown woman got insulted a lot by strangers on the internet, responded with insults generally weaker than what they were coming up with, and upon the realization that she was doomed, deleted her Twitter account. But there’s more to it: the video game industry is a sick place, where DRM is stiff-armed into purchases to prevent piracy, and free copies of games are sent to critics as long as they… continue to maintain a degree of fair and balanced professionalism?

See how one writer is the tip of an iceberg that manages to be less ‘dangerous,’ and more ‘insidious.’

You bet I made the video. It’s an essay, right?  

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14 Responses to Female Video Game Writer Targeted: News Coverage 6 Years Later

  1. qubitman says:

    I’m not sure this is the right kind of content for this place… Your analysis seems more along the vien of those complaints you said other people have already aired elsewhere. From where I’m standing I see a videogame company that used a manufactured controversy to increase exposure to a new release. They seem to have succeeded.

    • DataShade says:

      I’m not sure BioWare used it. I think the gaming media used it.

      I think what you had were a bunch of otaku-ish gamers who have been trained to 4chan social conventions dragging themselves out of their morlock holes to assault the otaku-ish professionals who thought they were making games for “their people.” The gamers didn’t have anything like social graces and any valid complaints they had were lost in a hail of profanity-laden rants, offensive photoshops, and rage-comics, and the programmers, rather than even consider looking for useful information, reacted the way otaku-ish middle- and high-schoolers do: rage and ego-reinforcement, insults and circled wagons.

      So, great, everyone’s an asshole. I pretty much knew that before I watched the video.

  2. inarticulateinthecity says:

    Uh? Really, the Partial Objects content has been really, really weird lately. Who the hell gives these texts a pass?

  3. Jerboa says:

    Could you just write out your essay in the future instead of making an eight-minute video? You’re not gaining anything from showing those clips, since most of the references are lost on anyone who doesn’t play a lot games. It would be less work for you. And it would consume less of my time, since I can read way faster than you can talk.

    • DataShade says:

      I play a lot of video games. I don’t think any of the references were lost – I’m just not sure they’re as relevant as Dodge wanted them to be.

      • Jerboa says:

        I do too. I doubt anyone who doesn’t caught the Planescape references though. If you didn’t, don’t worry, it’s just videogame stuff.

        • DataShade says:

          the only thing I wasn’t sure about was the part where he mentioned better FPS games – because that looked like Armored Core, which isn’t technically a FPS.

    • Iris says:

      I play a lot of video games (a lot), and I can tell those who don’t that this makes absolutely no sense.

      Really, if I were to make a video response, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

  4. Dodge says:

    Video because nobody reads anymore, and convenient way of dumping a shitload of screencaps/proof.

  5. HP says:

    Nobody reads anymore…on Partial Objects?

    I’m skipping it because I’d much rather read [at my own pace] than have to sit through the video.

    • Dodge says:

      Absolutely. Everyone looks at the headline to guess what the essay was, and then responds. Videos keep going even when your attention doesn’t. They also have pictures, which are super cool.

  6. Guy Fox says:

    I tuned the video out after I realized I lacked the context to make any sense of the content – c. 90 seconds. It seemed well done, and there’s no reason why interesting content can’t be presented in any postable medium, pace McCluhan, I reckon. If you don’t like it, just move on to something you prefer. There’s no need to discipline Dodge or site administrators for not serving your favourite dish at every meal, is there? The video and the site are/were probably a lot of work as it is without having to cook to order.

    • DataShade says:

      My company blocks YouTube and some other “nonproductive” sites; until they figure out how to unblock that crap during lunchbreaks, I can’t watch it. It’d be awesome if videos were accompanied by transcripts or used as supplements.

  7. Lopt says:

    Qui bono?[1]

    I have briefly played Mass Effect, found it uninteresting, and then proceeded to miss out on the entire cultural phenomenon. Whatever else you might say about the latest installment of Mass Effect, you can safely say it’s not for everyone, which seems like a very diplomatic and neutral position to take. From a business standpoint however, Mass Effect is a product, and when a product this expensive (and potentially profitable) is “not for everyone”, it threatens the business.

    Maybe it’s a calculated move to scapegoat one apparently incompetent or otherwise repellent[2] employee but I don’t make my game purchases based on the recommendations of people who made that game. Nor will I buy a game because some professional reviewer gives it a high score. So how could this be helping EA? Surely they cannot believe that people buy seventy dollar pieces of software because they believe that, thanks to the controvery, they’re striking a blow for feminism, and it’s unlikely that they’ll put down the dissonant chorus as being “just Internet nerds”.

    My own belief is that this is the effort of a number of people to protect the brand that is BioWare and of Mass Effect, whether because they’ve associated their own identities with it or because it makes business sense. Say that it’s the influence of EA, or a few people took the story in the wrong direction, say anything at all, really, to avoid thinking that whatever enabled BioWare to make good games before is gone and not coming back. From a business perspective, it means it’s a less valuable property, which is lousy, but that’s what DLC is for. But for the people who put in their best effort and came up lacking…


    1. I think he’s a singer, or something.

    2. Incompetent insofar as whatever she has tried to do, like create a compelling argument in favor of her storytelling preferences, repellent insofar as it’s a little bit jarring to see someone who looks like she is in the process of melting (in a very shiny fashion) act as an authority regarding romantic relationships in fiction[3].

    3. Based on my two-minute impression of Jennifer Hepler, I assume that for most of her life she’s been somewhat unattractive and consequently has a paucity of romantic experience upon which to draw when writing. This means that her writing has a good chance of containing implausible scenarios and offensive cliches. Thus, it’s jarring because I cannot trust her input, and further am confused as to why she believes that she’s in a position to comment on storytelling, given the evidence.

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