The Escapist, Vox Day, & Some Other Things

Damn big shakeup at Escapist over the last few weeks, culminating in Liz F becoming a contributor and Oliver Campbell being invited to submit a pitch.

These are gold:

Oliver Cam
I’ve added to my adblock white list and will maybe peek in once in awhile.

Anyway, I said months ago that this all could’ve been over quickly if more media outlets had taken a more reasonable approach to the situation as the Escapist did.

In Hugo news (kind of), I realized that I had a book by Vox Day sitting around waiting to be read and didn’t even know it. Several months back, someone on some blog (I forget which one, or I’d link it) was writing about elves in D&D, the question of if they had souls & OSR resurrection mechanics (which exclude elves). One of the commenters was all “I wrote a book about that once”. It sounded cool, so I added it to my Amazon wish-list and got Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy for Christmas. Flash forward to a few weeks ago: I brag to my B/X group about how Jeffro, one of the guys who beta-read City at the Top of the World, was in the running for a Hugo Nomination, and Castalia House & Vox Day came up. One of my players proceeded to go on a rant about how Vox Day was the Devil. A few days later, I see the book on my shelf, all “Theodore Beale… Hey, wait a minute! This is a book by that guy!” Summa Elvetica shot straight to the top of my reading list. I’ll probably have something to say here about it once I finish Foucault’s Pendulum. I might also pick up a copy of the novelization of Rebel Moon too, just for the heck of it, since the Dollar Trees in my town have had literally hundreds of copies for months, though they’ve dwindled down to the half-dozens recently.

Anyway, for whatever reason, I haven’t been able to get anything productive done at home, and that includes the stuff I said I’d work on for MYFAROG, which I should’ve done a month ago. I might just have to bring the book to work with me and write up those cards during my lunch breaks. Between being stuck in a depressive fugue and playing Daggerfall and Phantasy Star IV, I’ve done nothing productive except for in my ditherings at work.

On a parting note, here is some insightful thoughtfulness from KiteTales on identity:

Shadow Over Alfheim update will be up later this week.

#GameOnSVU: #Gamergate & Gaming, Exploited by the Dick Wolf

When I heard that Law & Order: SVU was dedicating an episode to gamergate, the approach that it was going to take was very predictable. The Law & Order series have always propped up reactionary liberal and progressive strawmen to ham-fistedly attack, ranging from talk radio to anime (remember the episode where issues of “Rapeman” were entered into evidence? I do.), and SVU in many ways is the worst of them; it is a pandering, almost pornographic exploitation of sexual violence against women (and very occasionally men) sold as entertainment while being made “okay” because it is empowering and because watching it is somehow doing your part in taking a stand against sex crimes. When ripping its subjects from the headlines, it is a burlesque that fancies itself high art.

Law & Order tends to paint social issues not with a fine brush, or even a roller, but more in the manner of Jackson Pollock, and now gaming media is upset that they’ve been splashed on. Several major games media outlets have spent six months (a million years in internet time) saying that games are sexist and misogynist and have turned gamers into violent gangs of roving techno-rapists, so when Law & Order picks it up, games and all of their trappings, INCLUDING KOTAKU!, are the problem.

The ludicrous portrayal of gamers and gaming culture has backfired against those who wanted people to think gamers are terrorists; by having people act out on a screen what the media narrative has been, viewers can see just how ridiculous that portrayal is. Even the people who crafted the narrative are forced to admit how ridiculous it is. Dick Wolf didn’t have a dog in the fight, but he’ll take any stupid straw man he can turn into an episode all the way to the bank no matter who gets smeared.

I’m a big fan of Oliver Campbell, largely because of his calm, rational and well-spoken manner, but boy did this set him off.


He’s right. The narrative has blown up in the faces of those who were trying to control it, in no small part because of how terrible Law & Order actually is.

What if everything the gaming press says is true?  What if Dick Wolf just threw gasoline on the fire and now the users at decide to retaliate?  HOW IRRESPONSIBLE!

None of this ever had to happen. But much like how network journalists rallied around Dan Rather in the wake of his fabricated stories by giving him an award banquet, game journalists circled the wagons to protect one of their own rather their integrity.  Maybe Brian Williams will be the turning point?  Probably not.  Eventually even the most corrupt media will be forced to cut their losses.  Or not.

I just… I don’t know anymore.  For the last decade, we’ve been so far through the looking glass I don’t think we’ll ever find our way back.