Archive for February, 2011


Resources = Permissions

February 9, 2011

Duh! moment of reframing:

Resources and Currency in games are means of tracking and shaping permissions of who can say what in play. They set up boundaries.

Rewards are means of encouraging directions within those boundaries (and sometimes reshaping them, as well).


Penny Arcade: No resets, no cheat codes

February 2, 2011

Every so often, I link Penny Arcade comics here. Not because they’re the epitome of gaming comics, but because sometimes, they have damn accurate assessments of gamer culture. Just as often, they’re problematic and fucked up. Sorta like Kanye West on point sometimes, oh hell no other times.

I’ve been following the simmering since they did a rape comic and then decided being defensive was the good course to take, also, and also.

Let’s put aside the question of whether the comic itself “went too far” – here’s something people seem to keep ignoring.

When is making T-shirts to get lulz and profit from trolling rape survivors a sign of rational “in good fun” discourse?

And of course, statements like this:

PAX is a different matter though. We want PAX to be a place were everyone feels welcome and we’ve worked really hard to make that happen. From not allowing booth babes to making sure we have panels that represent all our attendees. When I heard from a few people that the shirt would make them uncomfortable at PAX, that gave me pause. Now whether I think that’s a fair or warranted reaction doesn’t really matter. These were not rants on blogs but personal mails to me from people being very reasonable.

I’m pretty sure there were people being “very reasonable” when the shit first went down, in talking about the problems with the comic. And people being “very reasonable” when talking about why selling, and wearing shirts that say, “Rape victims – oversensitive LOL!”.

I’m sure somewhere in those 4 months, reasonable people emailed them just as much.

So what’s different now?

Oh, people are talking about whether they’ll be going, or not. People are talking about not going, and not going means PAX doesn’t get as much money.

Now their voices matter?

It’s also interesting that the onus is on other folks to “be reasonable” when your own response to complaints is to go for further lolz the whole way through.

Not to mention not even bothering to wikipedia what rape culture means – I know, I know, the internet is really new fangled and hard to understand, and when you go to places like Wikipedia, you might run into pron by accident…

No, you guys run a fucking goddamn webcomic. You can use the internet. You run a charity for children- you get that some people get jacked over in life, and not everything is happy for everyone.

Is it so fucking hard to say, “I fucked up”? “My bad”? Even if you want to take the stance you’re all good, then why change policy for PAX? The shirts don’t have to be there- the attitude that rape = Funny is the problem. The shirts are just an indicator.

No, it doesn’t just “blow over” – there’s a lot of people who’ve been raped, and no, they don’t need to be triggered by a shirt- they simply have to know there’s a lot of gamers who think that’s funny – and you know what?

That’s a crowd I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to hang out with. Much less pay money to hang out with.