Gaming Political Discussion

Templar27A

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Pursuant to @AWP's request for a politics in gaming thread, I've made this one.

@Templar27A Go back and check out the video's I posted and/or look up the gamergate fiasco. If you wanna get technical... games are entertainment, an escape, and a teaching tool that reflect upon cultural norms and values. Look up something like Hnefatafl if you want an example of this.

If that doesn't make sense think of it like this, "Go woke, Get Broke". Cultural norms exist for a reason and if your gonna market a product to those people you best know your audience. Especially when your product takes years and tens (if not hundreds) of millions to produce, develop, and market.

I mean according to AAA publishers trannies are the future. Wonder what that means for the rest of us.

I am quite aware of Gamergate. In fact, I wrote about it for my university's student newspaper, and also Ms. Saarkeesian's critiques that were also released contemporaneously were well overblown and taken out of context. I am also aware that what began as a perfectly understandable movement to uncover the very close and in some cases unethical relationships between games journalism and the publishers they purport to cover devolved into a wild mob determined to expose any and all they could get their hands on.

In my opinion, games certainly can be an entertainment, an escape, and a teaching tool to reflect upon cultural norms and values. However, I do not believe that it is wise to simply insist that games must not dare to question or challenge said cultural norms and values if is the intent of the developer to do so. I am in accord with you insofar as when a developer's vision is compromised in order to shoehorn in gratuitous or unnecessary elements for the purposes of appealing to a certain subsection of people. In the above case, though, nothing that I have heard suggests that the elements of the game that riled up most of the current critics were forced in on Sony's part.

I personally view video games as an art form, especially considering the tremendous power that they have to tell stories that may not necessarily be our own. The jury will always be out on whether such efforts are successful, but I don't necessarily begrudge corporations for trying to take creative risks in order to tell the story that they want to tell, or reach an audience that they feel will appreciate the game or identify with the story at large. Justice Scalia recognized in the majority opinion to Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association “that it is difficult to distinguish politics from entertainment, and dangerous to try. 'Everyone is familiar with instances of propaganda through fiction. What is one man's amusement, teaches another's doctrine.' [Citation omitted] Like the protected books, plays, and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas--and even social messages--through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot, and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player's interaction with the virtual world).” Brown v. Entm’t Merchs. Ass’n., 564 U.S. 786, 790 (2011).

Furthermore, "Go woke? Get broke." is a facile argument here. Sure, it is risky to produce games or other mass media entertainment which costs hundreds of millions of dollars. However, I fail to necessarily see this as anything more than a little platitude given how much money has been spent in giving to liberal causes by quite successful companies who have more than enough cash to burn. It’s Sony’s decision on what they want to do with their own money.

Live and let live. Just don't force me to play along with someone else's delusions. (Especially when I'm just trying to veg out. )


Appreciate that you recognize that. However, no one is forcing you to “play along” at the end of the day. You’re more than welcome to not buy the game and I’m sure that there are plenty other options for you to veg out on if you’re well aware that it’s not your cup of tea.
 

Florida173

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Furthermore, "Go woke? Get broke." is a facile argument here. Sure, it is risky to produce games or other mass media entertainment which costs hundreds of millions of dollars. However, I fail to necessarily see this as anything more than a little platitude given how much money has been spent in giving to liberal causes by quite successful companies who have more than enough cash to burn. It’s Sony’s decision on what they want to do with their own money.

It's just social commentary, not a declaration. Through observation, people like Jeremy at the Quartering have recognized this to be true in a lot of mediums that they follow. Gaming and comics have some of the easiest examples with failed attempts to placate to a group that aren't relevant enough in purchasing power to maintain these social/art experiments.

Of course they have a right to try when it's their own money, but it's usually not their own money because they are beholden to shareholders in a lot of cases. This reminds me of one of the best TED talks regarding spaghetti sauce. Highly recommend it for everyone.

Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce
 

Templar27A

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It's just social commentary, not a declaration. Through observation, people like Jeremy at the Quartering have recognized this to be true in a lot of mediums that they follow. Gaming and comics have some of the easiest examples with failed attempts to placate to a group that aren't relevant enough in purchasing power to maintain these social/art experiments.

I think that's fair, but the key question is whether or not the experiments are too overdone or are seen as in character with others, because you're always going to have the hardcore folks who will vehemently disagree with any sort of change or movement, and then you'll have others who are willing to go along. How any pivots or changes are handled is likely key in doing this, because you do want to retain enough people who don't want the entertainment product to change too much but in turn don't want to alienate newcomers. That's always been a problem when balancing familiarity and innovation in the gameplay sector with long running franchises.

On the point of "it's not their money because they are beholden to shareholders," well ultimately in a publicly traded corporation the executives and managers are liable to the Board of Directors whom the shareholders elect. If the Board is okay with them taking those sorts of steps, as we have seen with the large amount of donations to political groups in the last couple of months from very large companies, then I don't necessarily see a conflict between them. Ultimately the Board and the Company will own that decision, and if the shareholders aren't happy, then they can vote the slate of directors out at the next annual shareholders meeting.

Definitely appreciate your point of view and I'll concede that "Get woke, go broke" is more commentary than it is an axiom.
 

R.Caerbannog

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Pursuant to @AWP's request for a politics in gaming thread, I've made this one.



I am quite aware of Gamergate. In fact, I wrote about it for my university's student newspaper, and also Ms. Saarkeesian's critiques that were also released contemporaneously were well overblown and taken out of context. I am also aware that what began as a perfectly understandable movement to uncover the very close and in some cases unethical relationships between games journalism and the publishers they purport to cover devolved into a wild mob determined to expose any and all they could get their hands on.

In my opinion, games certainly can be an entertainment, an escape, and a teaching tool to reflect upon cultural norms and values. However, I do not believe that it is wise to simply insist that games must not dare to question or challenge said cultural norms and values if is the intent of the developer to do so. I am in accord with you insofar as when a developer's vision is compromised in order to shoehorn in gratuitous or unnecessary elements for the purposes of appealing to a certain subsection of people. In the above case, though, nothing that I have heard suggests that the elements of the game that riled up most of the current critics were forced in on Sony's part.

I personally view video games as an art form, especially considering the tremendous power that they have to tell stories that may not necessarily be our own. The jury will always be out on whether such efforts are successful, but I don't necessarily begrudge corporations for trying to take creative risks in order to tell the story that they want to tell, or reach an audience that they feel will appreciate the game or identify with the story at large. Justice Scalia recognized in the majority opinion to Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association “that it is difficult to distinguish politics from entertainment, and dangerous to try. 'Everyone is familiar with instances of propaganda through fiction. What is one man's amusement, teaches another's doctrine.' [Citation omitted] Like the protected books, plays, and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas--and even social messages--through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot, and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player's interaction with the virtual world).” Brown v. Entm’t Merchs. Ass’n., 564 U.S. 786, 790 (2011).

Furthermore, "Go woke? Get broke." is a facile argument here. Sure, it is risky to produce games or other mass media entertainment which costs hundreds of millions of dollars. However, I fail to necessarily see this as anything more than a little platitude given how much money has been spent in giving to liberal causes by quite successful companies who have more than enough cash to burn. It’s Sony’s decision on what they want to do with their own money.




Appreciate that you recognize that. However, no one is forcing you to “play along” at the end of the day. You’re more than welcome to not buy the game and I’m sure that there are plenty other options for you to veg out on if you’re well aware that it’s not your cup of tea.
Pretty sure Gamergate was about nerds exposing SJW corruption/bias in gaming. You know... kinda like how the Last of Us 2 is being propped up by shill critics when the fans hate it.

Not insisting on anything, again look up the origins of Hnefatafl. Successful games are shaped and modeled by dominant cultural norms and themes, albeit reskinned. Also, I never mentioned Sony. It was developer Naughty Dog that went full retard with the SJW nonsense.

Neat Scalia quote.

As for, "Go Woke, Get Broke"... check out Disney's profits and the Star Wars fiasco. It was Naughty Dog, not Sony, that went full SJW. Can't wait to see those earning reports though :ROFLMAO:.

You chopped off the bit regarding the, "fetishization of unnatural man made modalities". Also... compelled speech laws are a thing, look at what happened to the UK and CAN. Incrementalization is a thing dude.
 

Templar27A

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You know... kinda like how the Last of Us 2 is being propped up by shill critics when the fans hate it.

You can't summarily dismiss critics when they don't agree with your perception of what "the fans" agree with. What the public at large believes isn't always in tune with the critics and that's fine. But don't automatically dismiss their views because the fans and critics aren't in accord with one another since the critical perspective is oftentimes the product of a different lens or viewpoint at the same time.

Again, I disagree that successful games are shaped and modeled by "dominant" cultural norms and themes because we have situations where games are successful because they challenge such cultural norms. I point to the example of Persona 5, which was wildly successful in both Japan and the West, in spite of the game being quite obvious about the main characters going against authority figures who are untouchable in Japanese culture. To us, a message of "There is a duty for people to rise against authority when it has become corrupt," is actually a quite radical proposition when it its home market of Japan - going against the "dominant cultural norm and theme." The same can be said of a game like Spec Ops: The Line, which was successful for challenging the premise of the linear Western First Person Shooter campaign, or the wildly deconstructive Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty which was purposefully designed to mock the players who had loved the first game and became a killer app for the PS2 in spite of this.

I mention Sony because ultimately Naughty Dog is answerable to Sony, considering that Naughty Dog is owned by Sony and Sony paid for the development, marketing, and distribution for the game. A game that high profile means that Sony's executives were pitched the game and signed off on it. They paid for the game, and so that is why Sony is there.

There's also a difference between compelled speech laws and forcing you to buy a mass media entertainment product. I think we can safely draw the line that the government has no interest in you being forced to play The Last of Us Part II. If you think that's where the slippery slope leads, then sure, I could see a reality where it could happen.
 

AWP

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I mention Sony because ultimately Naughty Dog is answerable to Sony, considering that Naughty Dog is owned by Sony and Sony paid for the development, marketing, and distribution for the game. A game that high profile means that Sony's executives were pitched the game and signed off on it. They paid for the game, and so that is why Sony is there.

This is 100% true and why Bungie split from Activision. The devs write the story the producers tell them to write.
 

R.Caerbannog

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You can't summarily dismiss critics when they don't agree with your perception of what "the fans" agree with. What the public at large believes isn't always in tune with the critics and that's fine. But don't automatically dismiss their views because the fans and critics aren't in accord with one another since the critical perspective is oftentimes the product of a different lens or viewpoint at the same time.

Again, I disagree that successful games are shaped and modeled by "dominant" cultural norms and themes because we have situations where games are successful because they challenge such cultural norms. I point to the example of Persona 5, which was wildly successful in both Japan and the West, in spite of the game being quite obvious about the main characters going against authority figures who are untouchable in Japanese culture. To us, a message of "There is a duty for people to rise against authority when it has become corrupt," is actually a quite radical proposition when it its home market of Japan - going against the "dominant cultural norm and theme." The same can be said of a game like Spec Ops: The Line, which was successful for challenging the premise of the linear Western First Person Shooter campaign, or the wildly deconstructive Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty which was purposefully designed to mock the players who had loved the first game and became a killer app for the PS2 in spite of this.

I mention Sony because ultimately Naughty Dog is answerable to Sony, considering that Naughty Dog is owned by Sony and Sony paid for the development, marketing, and distribution for the game. A game that high profile means that Sony's executives were pitched the game and signed off on it. They paid for the game, and so that is why Sony is there.

There's also a difference between compelled speech laws and forcing you to buy a mass media entertainment product. I think we can safely draw the line that the government has no interest in you being forced to play The Last of Us Part II. If you think that's where the slippery slope leads, then sure, I could see a reality where it could happen.
What? Dude... pretty sure the backlash is from a main titular character being beat to death by a tranny. Then having you play through the game as said tranny, while you hunt and savagely beat down the other smallish female character titular character. O_o:rolleyes:

Talking about culture from a historical and anthropological standpoint. Think of culture in terms of narrative and stories being told. Video games are more akin to interactive novellas, unlike their unscripted game counterparts (chess). See where I'm going with this?

Yeah... just cause Sony is Naughty Dog's parent company doesn't mean they had overarching creative control. Look up "God of War's" making of documentary for a guideline of development hell and fly by night changes. If anything, I'm pretty sure the SJW's at ND just killed the franchise. (Lawsuits and purges may be in store for ND :ROFLMAO:.)

To quote my self... :ROFLMAO:.
There is a difference between accepting the wide spectrum of naturally occurring human modalities and accepting the fetishization of unnatural man made modalities. In the latters case, we must tread carefully as that's something that could be detrimental to the species; we are apes playing with fire.

Live and let live. Just don't force me to play along with someone else's delusions. (Especially when I'm just trying to veg out. ;-))
Point I'm making is about incrementalism and the mainstream fetishization of mental illness.
 

AWP

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Yeah... just cause Sony is Naughty Dog's parent company doesn't mean they had overarching creative control.

That's exactly what they have albeit indirectly. ND can create the lore and story and whatever they want, but Sony's lawyers will have a say. There is no way Sony would allow ND to release somethng they (Sony) did not first approve. ND created the game, Sony sanctioned the game and all of its content.
 

R.Caerbannog

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Considering that we're not talking about a TCI Street Fighter or a beefed up powerglide, I personally think that chilling out with the slurs might look a little more positive in your respect. Or, you can keep being a vapid troll. What's your take on the Japanese or Vietnamese?
In this case, were talking about a mass of pixels and a made up character. Also, a widely used colloquialism isn't a slur. Neither is calling out the fetishization of mental illness. Like I said before, we are apes playing with fire in this regard.

Forget politics and look at these themes under the scope of physical anthropology and biological selection.
That's exactly what they have albeit indirectly. ND can create the lore and story and whatever they want, but Sony's lawyers will have a say. There is no way Sony would allow ND to release something they (Sony) did not first approve. ND created the game, Sony sanctioned the game and all of its content.
I dunno. If Sony can prove Naughty Dog pulled a fast one on them or obfuscated game elements... things are liable to get dicey. Malfeasance is a thing.

You mentioned producers in an earlier post. Who hires them? Is it the parent company or the developer company? With companies and projects that big there is a lot of room for obfuscation.
 

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In this case, were talking about a mass of pixels and a made up character. Also, a widely used colloquialism isn't a slur.

A made up character who isn't transgender, but you really seem to get off on repeatedly calling her a "tranny".

Also, defending it by saying "a colloquialism isn't a slur" is dogshit and you should know it, especially given how many times you've been called out on the board for using slurs/racist language previously.
 

AWP

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I dunno. If Sony can prove Naughty Dog pulled a fast one on them or obfuscated game elements... things are liable to get dicey. Malfeasance is a thing.

You mentioned producers in an earlier post. Who hires them? Is it the parent company or the developer company? With companies and projects that big there is a lot of room for obfuscation.

First, I wrote "producer" when I meant "publisher." Just the wrong term and for that I apologize.

Video game publisher - Wikipedia

You have a developer and a publisher. The developer "builds" the game. The publisher in a nutshell finances the development of the game and owns the intellectual property. The publisher also distributes the game, so think of this like a rock band and a music label. The band makes music, the label finances the band and releases their albums.

There is absolutely NO WAY that Sony, the IP owner, didn't know about the game's content. Like any project you have meetings, checkpoints, goals or gates...there is no way that ND dropped those characters and story line without Sony, and its lawyers, signing off on the game. if you are the "money man" and own the IP, you'll know every facet of the story.
 

Templar27A

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You have a developer and a publisher. The developer "builds" the game. The publisher in a nutshell finances the development of the game and owns the intellectual property. The publisher also distributes the game, so think of this like a rock band and a music label. The band makes music, the label finances the band and releases their albums.

There is absolutely NO WAY that Sony, the IP owner, didn't know about the game's content. Like any project you have meetings, checkpoints, goals or gates...there is no way that ND dropped those characters and story line without Sony, and its lawyers, signing off on the game. if you are the "money man" and own the IP, you'll know every facet of the story.

Exactly. If you look back on the development of games such as Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima told then Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House EVERYTHING about the game. Kojima went to Sony knowing they'd give him creative license to do whatever he wanted because of the relationship between him and Sony that has been there for over twenty years going back to Metal Gear Solid in 1997.

This is no different than the sort of "executive meddling" that fans routinely decry developers and publishers for doing, such as microtransactions that were shoehorned in at the last minute for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, or Visceral Games' Star Wars project getting canned because it was costing EA too much money and it looked too much like Uncharted. It goes both ways. Publishers oftentimes are the ones who do have to ensure the financial success of the game in the AAA marketplace because they are the ones footing the bill. So of course the executives, in-house counsel, and the marketing team need to have an idea of what the game actually is, if not know the entire game from soup to nuts.

Jason Schreier's book (I don't agree with his politics but I respect his investigative journalism) Blood, Sweat, and Pixels lays out the development process for several games and he has done numerous deep dives on games such as Anthem and is a great read if you are fascinated with the gaming space. Because of Bioware's misdirection and dithering, then EA Vice President Patrick Soderlund basically instructed Bioware to put flying back into the game after several years of hemming and hawing on that particular issue.

The point I'm trying to make is that the parent company, the one that is paying hundreds of millions of dollars, is of course going to be intimately involved in the decisionmaking process, ESPECIALLY when the publisher owns the studio. There is no cause of action for malfeasance when it's your own employees who did it in the scope of employment, rather than contract, mainly because of the fact that it's your responsibility to supervise your own employees, rather than an external contractor. Naughty Dog is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony - there's no contract here.
 

R.Caerbannog

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First, I wrote "producer" when I meant "publisher." Just the wrong term and for that I apologize.

Video game publisher - Wikipedia

You have a developer and a publisher. The developer "builds" the game. The publisher in a nutshell finances the development of the game and owns the intellectual property. The publisher also distributes the game, so think of this like a rock band and a music label. The band makes music, the label finances the band and releases their albums.

There is absolutely NO WAY that Sony, the IP owner, didn't know about the game's content. Like any project you have meetings, checkpoints, goals or gates...there is no way that ND dropped those characters and story line without Sony, and its lawyers, signing off on the game. if you are the "money man" and own the IP, you'll know every facet of the story.
No worries, no need to apologize either.

I dunno man. I'm still thinking Sony might have been bamboozled. There's plenty of ways to misconstrue something via double speak or obfuscation. Jokingly guess Sony thought they were gonna get a cute post apocalyptic trap character and then ended up with what they got.

I think we'll get a better picture of what transpired in the next few months. Short term success aside, I seriously think the Last of Us franchise just took a shotgun blast to the chest. Will be interesting to see what the numbers will be in the long run.

A made up character who isn't transgender, but you really seem to get off on repeatedly calling her a "tranny".

Also, defending it by saying "a colloquialism isn't a slur" is dogshit and you should know it, especially given how many times you've been called out on the board for using slurs/racist language previously.
Take it up with RuPaul and the gay community. I swear they weren't as anal retentive regarding speech as some of y'all. I don't know what happened in the past few years, but things have gotten weird.

Also, for all of you "get woke, go broke" types:

The Last of Us Part 2 becomes the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive

Sold 4 million copies in one week. Don't thing that tired axiom applies here.
I'm guessing what we're seeing is the success of the massive marketing campaign and goodwill from the previous fan base. Same thing happened with Star Wars.
 

Templar27A

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I dunno man. I'm still thinking Sony might have been bamboozled. There's plenty of ways to misconstrue something via double speak or obfuscation. Jokingly guess Sony thought they were gonna get a cute post apocalyptic trap character and then ended up with what they got.

I think you're struggling to reconcile how Sony could release and sign off on both The Last of Us Part II (which you intensely dislike) and Ghost of Tsushima (which you adore). Ultimately the success and failure of those games both lies on Sony's shoulder. No matter how much you want to put it down to obfuscation on Naughty Dog's part, the executives were in there playing the game along with the dev team to get a gauge of how the game is coming along from a developmental point of view. Put it to you this way: if it really was obfuscation, Sony's management was just as culpable in allowing said obfuscation to happen and not doing due diligence on supervising its own employees.
 

R.Caerbannog

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I think you're struggling to reconcile how Sony could release and sign off on both The Last of Us Part II (which you intensely dislike) and Ghost of Tsushima (which you adore). Ultimately the success and failure of those games both lies on Sony's shoulder. No matter how much you want to put it down to obfuscation on Naughty Dog's part, the executives were in there playing the game along with the dev team to get a gauge of how the game is coming along from a developmental point of view. Put it to you this way: if it really was obfuscation, Sony's management was just as culpable in allowing said obfuscation to happen and not doing due diligence on supervising its own employees.
How do you know the executives were, "in there playing the game along with the dev team" ?
 
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