ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

A name designer speaks out

Game designer American McGee dismisses SJWs and Literally Who 2:
I’m prepared for the SJW flamethrower…

Seriously, isn’t Anita saying this character is acceptable because she’s such a blank slate? I can’t help but think the “woman” in this game might as well be wearing a burka for all the identity she has. If this is “positive” and we (as game writer/designers) are meant to emulate this model… then I imagine the characters in our future games getting some really odd looks as they walk down the streets of virtual Los Angeles, sneak through the corridors of Space Station 009, or try to blend into any world that isn’t a magical fantasy world of pixel make-believe.

To me, real characters, positive characters, have flaws. They’re broken. They have an identity constructed of past events – good and bad. Like real people, they might make poor “life choices” which result in them being shallow minded, skin revealing, homicidal maniacs, who wear women’s lingerie under their space armor. Or, like the rest of us, they might be who they are, and wear what they wear, because society (the real world) hasn’t left them many other options. If we’re going to tell real stories, it’s best we do that with characters who closely resemble real people.
We are now advancing on two fronts, the game industry and the science fiction publishing industry. And we're able to do so because more and more people are entering the ranks. If you know someone who plays games or reads SF/F, talk to them about #GamerGate and Sad Puppies. Let them know about it. Chances are, if they're not an SJW, they'll turn out to be as enthusiastic about it as you are.

A lot of science fiction readers abandoned all hope sometime between the late 90s and the middle 00s and lost interest in the genre. They didn't know exactly why, all they knew is that they weren't interested in reading the books about kickass werewolf lovers with crossbows or in being lectured about how evil the bigoted Biblethumpers who didn't accept the quadsexual aliens with open arms and orifices were. So they stopped reading and started playing games instead.

But now games are under attack and there is nowhere else to run, so we have no choice but to fight back. And, lo and behold, it turns out that they are paper tigers, and their victory is no more inevitable or lasting than Hitler's defeat of Russia.

I was acquainted with American from the time he was a level designer at id and it's significant that he is speaking out because he is an old school, name-on-the-box game designer. I've said repeatedly that the designers and developers are with us, but only now are they beginning to realize that their livelihoods and their freedom to create is under attack. And more of them will be speaking out against the SJWs soon.

Speaking of SJWs and their inability to write characters, consider my original review of John Scalzi's Old Man's War, specifically, this part:
Characters: This is probably the weakest link of the book. While Scalzi makes some effort to provide motivations for his characters, only the protagonist and, ironically, a character who knows next to nothing of herself, come across in full-color. The crude bigot who gets his, the delightful gay man, the crusty drill sergeant, the overenthusiastic fool and the sexually uninhibited beautiful women are all oft-seen staples of SF fiction and they're simply plugged in as required here.
Of course, I got this part dreadfully wrong: "OLD MAN'S WAR is both stylistically and thematically informed by Heinlein, especially STARSHIP TROOPERS, but manages to be so without being a thinly disguised ripoff."

It's a bit embarrassing, but how was I to know Scalzi had written what he openly admits was a straight-up color-by-numbers attempt to imitate Heinlein, then follow it up with even less-disguised ripoffs of Dick, Piper, and Star Trek? Anyhow, what I gave the benefit of the doubt and rounded up from a 6.5 to a 7 rating would, in retrospect, lose one star for Style and two stars for Creativity, and therefore wind up rated 5/10.

Of course, Scalzi is far from the only SJW in science fiction who has trouble with characters as a direct result of his ideological perspective:
I certainly don't deny that I am making a value judgment about modern fantasy, what Bakker simply can't seem to grasp is that I am expressing a literary judgment and not a moral one. The fact that one of the causes of the genre's literary decline can quite logically be attributed to observable moral color-blindness on the part of many modern fantasy authors does not make the observation a moral judgment, anymore than attributing the decline to historical ignorance would make it a historical judgment.

This isn't double-talk or moral cowardice. I am about as genuinely disinterested as it is possible to be and still be cognizant of the matter. I have read everything from Nietzsche and Stalin to Keynes and Onfray without it ruffling my feathers so I'm not inclined to be perturbed by mere fictitious monsters. If I was concerned that Joe or anyone else was "leading innocent souls to potential damnation" through nihilistic genre literature, my track record of publishing highly controversial opinions strongly suggests that I would not hesitate to say so. The fact is that I simply don't believe the writers of modern fantasy matter all that much, in part due to the literary decline of the genre. As I stated before, they are a symptom of the greater societal decline, they are not a cause.
Meanwhile, an SJW named Bruce Baugh perfectly summarizes the core attitude of every SJW: "It occurs to me that the problems some of us feel about Hugo nominating tie into something I've remarked on in other contexts: the sense that we have to act like pundits, arbiters, or decision-making authorities (judges, chief executives, etc.) when commenting on things."

Everyone else's opinion is merely an opinion. But their expressed opinion is that of a "decision-making authority".

Labels: ,

37 Comments:

Anonymous Steve April 02, 2015 6:32 AM  

Cue frantic googling of GamerGhazites as they strain their Dorito-dusted fingers trying to find out who American McGee is.

He didn't produce Angry Birds, Candy Crush, or Kim Kardashians Massive Arse Simulator, so he might as well be the Pope of Mars as far as they're aware.

Anonymous Steve April 02, 2015 6:42 AM  

"It occurs to me that the problems some of us feel about Hugo nominating tie into something I've remarked on in other contexts: the sense that we have to act like pundits, arbiters, or decision-making authorities (judges, chief executives, etc.) when commenting on things."

Is he a professional quote maker? Because that is the most neckbeardy thing I've read in ages.

Let me guess... Bruce Baugh is a fat virgin who owns cats, a fedora, and lives in Portland, OR or somewhere socially justicey like that.

What do I win?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 02, 2015 6:50 AM  

They're silly. Some of them protest or squeal about women being sex objects, and another writes about the "sexually uninhibited woman" character, okay. Why these clowns have any authority is beyond me, I would rather see them fight it out.

Anonymous Sun Xhu April 02, 2015 7:04 AM  

"A name designer speaks out"?

Blogger Joshua Dyal April 02, 2015 7:48 AM  

Is he a professional quote maker? Because that is the most neckbeardy thing I've read in ages.

Let me guess... Bruce Baugh is a fat virgin who owns cats, a fedora, and lives in Portland, OR or somewhere socially justicey like that.

What do I win?


He's a pen and paper RPG designer, or at least was--i.e., indie Dungeons & Dragons stuff. I've known of him and interacted online off and on with him for years. He got a lot of flack a number of years ago for butchering a reboot of a fan favorite game with the title of... I kid you not... Gamma World. And then when people didn't like his vision, which had only a few superficial cues from the original, he flipped out and ran around insulting people who gave him bad reviews.

Then he went quietish, didn't get work from any of the major publishers to speak of, and started publishing indie, is more or less what I recall.

I don't know where he lives, but given that the epicenter of the industry he worked for is near Seattle, that would be my guess.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 April 02, 2015 8:14 AM  

Vox, something this campaign has helped me with is "identifying the enemy". Those self righteous censorious pricks, ever clothed in sewn figs leaves of noble thoughts. Not just in SF or gaming but every public forum. Brown shirted perpetual adolescence youths; the new 'banality of evil'. With all the sophistication of the MTv glazed eyes pajama bound, and exactly that widely read. With attention spans down to seconds and loyalties that match. Fickle, ignorant, shallow, sociopaths, emotionally stilted, venal, callow. Successes at the most superficial levels brought the West unstuck - they're choking of paper thin success. With that gone they're an unrestrained riot.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 April 02, 2015 8:55 AM  

You can't argue with someone who's morality is a fashion statement and to whom truth is a consensus vote. These are a generation of idiots. Martin Amis' 'stupefied by relativism' is, maybe, the most exact description ever penned. Anchor-less but with every current and drift being adopted as acceptable dogma.

Most newspapers deserve exactly the failure they are experiencing.

Blogger Joshua Dyal April 02, 2015 9:09 AM  

You can't argue with someone who's morality is a fashion statement and to whom truth is a consensus vote. These are a generation of idiots. Martin Amis' 'stupefied by relativism' is, maybe, the most exact description ever penned. Anchor-less but with every current and drift being adopted as acceptable dogma.

KJV James 1:6: "[...] For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." Well said.

Anonymous bw April 02, 2015 9:32 AM  

we have to act like pundits, arbiters, or decision-making authorities (judges, chief executives, etc.)

They are bitter, hateful totalitarians at their core, simply seeking a legitimacy (the State) who will enable their wildest, destructive revenge fantasies.
They seek to own you and yours if you differ from them.
Simple as that. Having been trained to tilt at windmills, most decent people do not recognize the threat as true warfare and its seriousness or the further implications.

Blogger Student in Blue April 02, 2015 9:34 AM  

@Sun Xhu
Considering the way he plasters his name over his games, it seems apropos.

Blogger Jeff Burton April 02, 2015 9:52 AM  

I used to think Vox was a bit over-the-top in his depiction of the state of SF/Fantasy, but now I think he understates his case. I have not been following this blog for a super long time, and so this may have been covered here long ago, but I just got done reading "Ready Player One". If ever there was a prime exhibit of what Vox is talking about, that thing is it. At times I thought I was reading a parody of contemporary SF, and there were a number of LOL moments. What I don't understand is how the writer's can not be embarrassed by the transparent representation of their own solipsism, inadequacy, and just general all-around pathetic lives. Sadly, it's a 4.5 star on Amazon with over 5000 reviews, so I guess not all fans are as fed up as we are.

Anonymous Hong Hu Shi April 02, 2015 9:53 AM  

"A name designer speaks out"?

Yes, as in a game designer whose name is well-known enough to appear on a game box as an advertising feature.

Anonymous Ecthelion April 02, 2015 9:59 AM  

If differences are to be celebrated, why are so many of the characters in video games and SF/F books so bland and similar? If an author/designer wants to bring a different perspective, make it different and compelling; show me who the character is and make me care. Without that there is no reason to pay attention to them, without that I will not begin to listen to the character's rants (which is too often the purpose, anyway) and will close the book or game and pick up something else.

Blogger Dominic Saltarelli April 02, 2015 10:00 AM  

All this talk of fighting back and whatnot actually inspired me to write a story of my own. At 27k words, it's basically an extended short story, but I think it turned out nicely. Even submitted it to Castalia to see what our men in the trenches think. Turns out writing is surprisingly easy when it is action based fantasy. Fun too, I suggest everyone here try it out. Viva la revolucion!

Blogger Dominic Saltarelli April 02, 2015 10:03 AM  

...or is it "vive"? Anyone here speak spanish?

Blogger Joshua Dyal April 02, 2015 10:05 AM  

I do. Viva is correct, because it's in the imperative form. You're telling the revolucion to live, not just saying that it lives. If you want to do the latter, use vive.

Blogger Dominic Saltarelli April 02, 2015 10:17 AM  

Gracias amigo. I'm still a one semester guy.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 02, 2015 10:57 AM  

Everyone else's opinion is merely an opinion. But their expressed opinion is that of a "decision-making authority".

Well sure, rabbits don't get to just up and make their own decisions for themselves. Making decisions is serious business and should be left to the proper authorities. Anyone trying to make their own decisions without appropriate credentials is a troublemaker.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 02, 2015 11:25 AM  

Bruce Baugh ...a pen and paper RPG designer...got a lot of flack a number of years ago for butchering a reboot of a fan favorite game with the title of... I kid you not... Gamma World.

Ah, so he was the guy responsible for that mess? Three multi-hundred page books that couldn't do what the original did in what I'd guess to be a single 150 page book. It was so bad, the rights got yanked and the books put out of print a couple years after it was released. Five years later, WoTC released a new edition that pretended Baugh's version never existed. They even used an earlier edition number.

Blogger Joshua Dyal April 02, 2015 11:36 AM  

That's the one. I should point out the Gamma in Gamma World is like the gamma radiation of the Hulk. But the irony given the use of gamma around here is kind of funny.

OpenID lostsailor32 April 02, 2015 11:39 AM  

A lot of science fiction readers abandoned all hope sometime between the late 90s and the middle 00s and lost interest in the genre.

This is my experience exactly. Which is why I haven't paid any attention to the Hugo is some 15 years. I have never been much of a gamer. But what brought me back to reading SFF regularly again was John Wright's Awake in the Night Land which was so good, I reread it immediately after finishing it (then read the original, then Awake again). That lead me to his Golden Age trilogy and indie publishing. And for someone who's always love SFF, that feels like hope. Like being Awake in the SF Land.

Which leads me to think of Making Light as The Country of Wailing overseen by The Thing That Nods or the Headland From Which Strange Things Peer. Would that it become The House of Silence...

Blogger Joshua Dyal April 02, 2015 11:50 AM  

Bruce Baugh, perhaps not coincidentally, ruined Gamma World which was largely seen as a high wahoo, tongue-in-cheek, post-apocalyptic Thundarr the Barbarian sword & sorcery meets Mad Max setting by making it pretentious and preachy, and mostly by completely missing the point of the original game that it was supposedly revising, in favor of a "brave new vision" or something.

Also, Baugh (and his co-authors) apparently had no understanding of the game mechanics that they were utilizing, so the game itself was roundly criticized as playing poorly.

Again, all salient points given the focus of this blog in general terms.

Anonymous clk April 02, 2015 12:18 PM  

"I should point out the Gamma in Gamma World is like the gamma radiation of the Hulk. But the irony given the use of gamma around here is kind of funny"

Gamma rays being the most penetrating radiations while alpha rays are the least...(out of the alpha , beta gamma radiation types)..

Anonymous Jack Amok April 02, 2015 12:51 PM  

Bruce Baugh, perhaps not coincidentally, ruined Gamma World which was largely seen as a high wahoo, tongue-in-cheek, ...setting by making it pretentious and preachy... all salient points given the focus of this blog in general terms.

Agreed. The original GW was a damn fun RPG. What is particularly obnoxious about these people is they insist on changing someone else's vision, they won't just put out their own. It'd be like someone doing a "reboot" of the X-Files except making it a family sit-com where the dad's an FBI agent and the mom's a member of some witches coven.

Even Scalzi had the decency not to name his book Starship Troopers of the Old Man's War.

Blogger Joshua Dyal April 02, 2015 2:21 PM  

Gracias amigo. I'm still a one semester guy.

De nada. By the way, the French translation would be Vive la revolution, which is maybe why it's confusing.

Blogger SirHamster April 02, 2015 3:34 PM  

After #GamerGate and all the SJW dissection on this blog, I now see why I never finished the game American is criticizing.

It looked neat from the Humble Bundle promo art, and there were all these great reviews, so I thought it must be good. It is pretty and nostalgic - but it wasn't all that fun.

Contrast that to Gems of War (match-3 RPG), whose designer was discussed on this blog. I've easily put in 10x the hours into that game.

Blogger RobertT April 02, 2015 4:01 PM  

I wish you guys good fortune, because when this is done, then you can start on the reat of the country.

Blogger Kyussopeth April 02, 2015 4:39 PM  

Bruce Baugh is a incompetent humorless scold. Just needs to be said from time to time.

Blogger Kyussopeth April 02, 2015 4:44 PM  

PS this guy is wrong politically, but pretty solid at sniffing out SJW bullshit if you're interested in learning more about MR. Baugh:

http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=2427

Anonymous Scintan April 02, 2015 11:47 PM  

If differences are to be celebrated, why are so many of the characters in video games and SF/F books so bland and similar?

It only matters when the differences are specific differences (which, ironically enough, are all pretty much the same), and approved by the SJWs.

Blogger Cee April 03, 2015 12:04 AM  

Whenever I read anything tangentially related to R. Scott Bakker, my first response will from now on always be "but your idea of exploring moral grey areas includes writing rape orcs because they're the only thing that could possibly be worse than your heroes".

Which is disappointing. I enjoy the God-Emperor of Mankind trope and was really hoping for that out of the Aspect-Emperor series, but no, rape orcs. I'll just reread Dune I guess. Even the Horus Heresy books, as hilariously bad as the writing sometimes is, is more interesting and less cringe-inducing.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit April 03, 2015 6:50 AM  

Chances are, if they're not an SJW, they'll turn out to be as enthusiastic about it as you are.

Chances are they'll start out as a moderate/neutral looking to heal the rift, get spat on by the anti-s for not not being explicitly anti- enough THEN become enthusiastic about being pro-

Anonymous Ecthelion April 03, 2015 12:04 PM  

It only matters when the differences are specific differences (which, ironically enough, are all pretty much the same), and approved by the SJWs.

Which show a distinct lack of imagination. The attempt to make Thor female, for example. Develop a new original concept that fits an SJW paradigm; you have already failed if you can only co-opt a well-established character. Though the Thor example does give insight into their thinking.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper April 03, 2015 1:44 PM  

Bruce Baugh? Though I recognized him. Not a fan of his work.


He is/was a writer for the mostly moribund White Wolf and its World of Darkness which back in the day was the #1 roleplaying game competitor to Dungeon and Dragons. For those who might now know, it was kind of paranormal romance with a bit of splatterpunk . I never could get into it.

Its also full of SJW tropes and causes and heck had an entire line (Werewolf the Apocalypse) where you play Eco-Terrorists fighting corrupt corporations and another based around Solipsism meets Eastern Mysticism (Mage the Ascension) , a book on ghost from the Holocaust and worse.

If you check out his G+ page, it screams SJW, no mention of children only a cat, lives in Seattle and has a cutsey image of a rabbit spewing anti human slogans

https://plus.google.com/107122403431806926287/posts

As a side note the WOD line though he had nothing to do with it also has what is regarded as the most racist mainstream game book every published :World of Darkness Gypsies" I've had the misfortune of reading it. Its kind of a orientalism applied to the Roma and not as bad as the lefties say. Its not even really anti-Gyspy just poorly written ethnic badass pastiche.

Ironically though the culture has rotted out the New World of Darkness is measurably better written, has a better system,is more interesting and while its arguably less atmospheric I think is actually pretty good game. Its even coherent and game lines (there are like 8 or 9) work together more or less and that was never the case.

All that I had a soft spot for Hunter the Vigil from the previous line , mystically empowered hunters killing supernaturals for the good of man with Pat Benatar playing Invincible in the back sounded fun . Never go a go at it though.

Blogger James Dixon April 03, 2015 7:41 PM  

> The attempt to make Thor female, for example.

The first try was better. The one where Loki tried to replace Thor with Storm.

Blogger Tracy Coyle April 05, 2015 2:28 PM  

I read to be entertained. For my entire reading history, some couple thousand books, the vast majority science and science fiction (10/90), I pick based first on the cover art, then on the story blurb on the back. I enjoy military space opera. I have no taste for fantasy (though have read Tolkien). I have read all the standard bearers and I have read Scalzi. Vox....I'm sorry, not inclined to yours - but I read here everyday! I liked Old Man's War. It was recommended to me. I have lamented that I have not found as many books as I would like to read at a book store, I have since turned to self-published works and found more to my liking. I didn't give it much thought other than 'we must not have enough readers to support the genre so they are not publishing as many books'. But I did see lots of fantasy and well....not for me.

So, this morning when I read this: "A lot of science fiction readers abandoned all hope sometime between the late 90s and the middle 00s and lost interest in the genre. They didn't know exactly why, all they knew is that they weren't interested in reading the books about kickass werewolf lovers with crossbows or in being lectured about how evil the bigoted Biblethumpers who didn't accept the quadsexual aliens with open arms and orifices were."

I slapped my head and said, "DUH" Ok, so, no matter how observant I am, obviously I have blind spots. I considered much of the controversy industry infighting, but it has been dawning, slowly, that it is not just personalities, but production. The stuff I want to read is being pushed out. So, I will continue to read the selfies, look for recommendations and continue to hope that Castalia House grows. Oh, and while I am agnostic and was in a lesbian relationship for 18+ years, I don't mind the Biblethumping at all. I was once there too.

Blogger xiao daigege June 01, 2015 1:38 AM  

20150601daigege
coach outlet store online
oakley sunglasses outlet
coach outlet
air max 90
coach outlet online
ray ban sunglasses
burberry outlet
chanel online shop
coach outlet
coach factory outlet
pandora outlet
kate spade handbags
kate spade bags
hollister clothing store
cheap oakley sunglasses
ray ban outlet
christian louboutin outlet
jordan shoes
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
kate spade uk
oakley sunglasses sale
nike air max
gucci outlet
rolex watches
burberry outlet online
prada outlet
cheap jordans
kate spade outlet
chanel bags
burberry scarf
oakley sunglasses
pandora jewelry
cheap ray ban sunglasses
michael kors
ralph lauren
cheap oakleys
burberry sale
mont blanc pens
soccer jerseys

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts