#Gamergate SPJ

Articles on the SPJ Gamergate Airplay Bomb-threat justify SPJ Gamergate Airplay.

“Bomb threats closed down a debate on the controversial topic of women’s representation in video games at a Society of Professional Journalists event in Miami on Saturday.” – Rise Miami News

(Also, Gamergate is one word, guys.)

So, Gamergate had its day, Koretzky Koretzkyed, and the thing ended with the bomb threat which we feared but all knew might happen. Fortunately, the event was NOT totally shut down, and some of our voices were heard. I say some, of course, because not only did several people that we would have loved to hear speak dropped out, either for personal reasons or because they were so offput and alienated by Koretzky that they refused to go, but even if everyone had gone, there’s no way that everyone would hear their concerns voiced.

I’m sure that anyone who cares about this story has already seen Milo & Christina’s remarks, but here are the links anyway.



What struck me was Ren, one of the journalists on the panel who were all “Derp why are you concerned about ethics & Gawker? We all know Gawker’s unethical, lolz! It’s readers fault for not knowing Gawker is Gawker.” Seriously? Journalistic victim blaming. Dude who stood up and said Gawker destroys lives? Kudos to him! Totally sent Ren all “Well, I’m not saying blah blah, i’ll shut up now…”

If more Journalists were like Lynn Walsh, there would not have been a Gamergate. To paraphrase, she said ‘If someone was involved in some way with a story, I would not even let them touch the story: writing, notes, meetings, anything. And to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, because there might be ‘shop talk’ going on, I would note in the story that an employee who did not work on the story had ties to the story.’

GG side of the morning panel was super-pro; I just wish they’d been able to talk about more examples than vague generalities that the Journalist panel steered things toward. I didn’t know anything about Mark, but he handled himself really well and I was impressed. I wish Ashe spoke as well as she wrote, but I was happy to have her there because she does know her stuff. One thing that she touched on was journalists in politics being in relationships with politicians, staffers and consultants, but, unlike what Ashe says, it DOES happen in real journalism. To me, the biggest disappointment about gamergate is that it remained so focused on gaming journalism that gamers did not take the next logical steps to say “Not only are the people covering Ubisoft sleeping with the PR heads of Ubisoft, the people covering Washington are sleeping with staffers and political consultants!”

I haven’t had a chance to catch up on all of it, but I hear that Ollie DID end up filling in on the panel after Milo and Christina left following the bomb threat. He looks like Blade.


It’ll take me ages to catch up on all of the post SPJ news, but I’m starting with my two favorite sources combined into one: Veemonro & Sargon did a stream of the whole thing. Check it here.

The next big clusterfuck this month will be Worldcon. No matter what happens, nothing will be fixed, there will still be wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the ordeal will go on. Unlike Airplay, I don’t know that there will be as much to celebrate about because of the event’s nature. Sasquan isn’t going to vindicate either side, and follow-up stories will be either “Sexist, racist homophobes sweep Hugos, destroy science fiction!” or “Sexist, racist homophobes defeated in bid to destroy science fiction!”

Update: Kudos to Rise: Miami News for issuing a (rather poor) correct, but especially for offering the opportunity for people who were there to weigh in.  Even if they did manage to give us a really bad example of “Cowboy Bebop at His Computer“.

The following is an opinion piece penned after multiple bomb threats shut down a Miami based discussion on ethics in video game journalism, also known by the shorthand- GamerGate.”

Update 2: God, the second half of SPJ is like a retread of the Fox debate; supposed moderator doing all of the talking. Even Derek Smart called Koretzky out on trying to derail.  Also, the whole “Well, gee, what if we’d talked to one of those e-celebs like Sargon of Akkad for his opinion?” “That would’ve been a great start.”

Update 3: Lynn Walsh is probably going to be Gamergate’s new waifu, at least for the next couple of weeks.

Ace Doubles: John Brunner & Gardner F. Fox and Dean Cain & Milo Yiannopoulos

There was no 120' long giant cobra in Brunner's book, but there was a colossal doom monolith on a dead world orbiting a red giant in Fox's.

There was no 120′ long giant cobra in Brunner’s book, but there was a colossal doom monolith on a dead world orbiting a red giant in Fox’s.

John Brunner’s Endless Shadow is something of a modernist clusterfuck (the excerpted quote from Joyce should be a heads-up) and rather hard to get into, but damn if it wasn’t a fascinating slice of galactic soap opera. The concept is that humans had colonized dozens of worlds, were separated through a dark age, and have since been re-unified through a dimensional bridge system. While various human worlds contribute their culture to the mass of humanity’s empire, Earth’s main responsibility is maintaining the bridge.

The shift in focus from one group of characters to another (three groups) made it somewhat challenging to sort out who was who, especially considering that it’s not even 100 pages. It read like a pilot episode for something like a much more bizarre Deep Space 9 or Babylon 5. Despite being disjointed, a lot of interesting individuals either did interesting things or had interesting things happen to them.  If this were a weekly 90s space soap, I would’ve watched it.

My biggest issue with Endless Shadow was not the lack of a protagonist, disjointed storytelling, or strange philosophical puzzles, but the heaps of praise, almost to the point of deification, for programmers. In Endless Shadow, computer programmers are viewed as superhuman, beautiful women want to throw themselves at them, but alas, the program is more important, and they flawlessly write millions words of code! Really? I work in software, and you’re lucky if programmers can be arsed to do their own unit testing half the time, much less write a million words (not lines, mind you!) of code without a single mistake. But if Brunner wants programmers to be newtype supermen, so be it; he makes up for them with snake-handlers and pain cultists.

Now, I’m a huge Ursula K. LeGuin fan; she was one of my first fantasy loves and I really liked her sci-fi when I finally went back and read it. But the more of her contemporaries I read, the more I find myself thinking that her Hainish stories pale in comparison to the other anthropological sci-fi (anthro-punk?) I’ve been reading.

Gardner F. Fox’s The Arsenal of Miracles was much more of a straight-forward space opera. Where it was an interplanetary space adventure, Arsenal was awesome; a former Earth Empire Admiral wanders the galaxy, known as “the Lucky”, though he makes his own luck, is reunited with the beautiful alien queen whose people he threw his career away trying to find a new homeworld: together, they search the ruined worlds of a lost alien master race to recover the technology that will help her people earn their place in the Empire while on the run from a rogue admiral and treacherous prince. Where it delved into actual science of Radiation, it got pretty silly… But it’s so easy to forgive silly bad science when you have a space-man fighting a giant space panther armed with nothing but a table leg followed by a sword-fight as the alien queen’s champion against her evil brother.

If Leigh Brackett had written Arsenal, Bran the Lucky would’ve smoked cigarettes and called the alien queen Baby, but I can’t really think of any other ways to improve on this one. Fox has been added to my watch list.

Lastly: hey, it’s Dean Cain and Milo!

I’d been meaning to write something about Lois & Clark for some time, since I recently rewatched it, but it basically boiled down to three points:
1. Lois & Clark is best Superman.
2. Special effects aside, Lois & Clark aged really well.
3. Out of half a dozen Superman movies, why were none as good as the pilot of Lois & Clark?

Update: While the Superman of my childhood has spoken up on behalf of gamers and ethics in journalism, Superman in the comics is apparently busy punching cops.

“New 52 am best Superman!”