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Hey guys, just wondering if anyone here on DA has had any success or luck with different webcomic hosting websites like these:

tapastic.com/
www.patreon.com/

Or if you can recommend something else?
  • Mood: Speechless
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Where Have I Been?
Working, mostly. I have a day job so my free time working on things like SYAC, NSYAC, Alex Ze Pirate, and etc have been severely cut short. It’s hard to justify working on your free hobbies when you need to pay rent, you know?

That said I actually HAVE been working quite a bit on artwork... it’s just not stuff I’m allowed to post on DA yet. Keyword being “yet.” I’m sure sometime down the road I’ll get permission to do so and y’all will see a torrent of new artwork from me. But for the moment it will have to wait. Sorry.

Are You Leaving Again?
No I am not. Apparently there’s been a rumor going around (started by an artist for the Bravest Warriors comic of all people) that I’ve “quit” making art due to some depressing tweets I made a few days back. Rest assured I am not going anywhere, I was merely expressing my emotions and my feelings to my fans on twitter. While I have been feeling pretty dead inside when it comes to making artwork, I am not giving it up, nor am I leaving anything.

Is This Why You’ve Been Making Lots of Journals and Tweets?
Yes. I may not be posting artwork on DA much lately, but I can still write. I’m actually a very fast writer and I formulate my thoughts long before I begin so writing lengthy journals actually is a breeze for me. It allows me to keep posting something rather than nothing at all. I know some people don’t like seeing so many journals or torrents of tweets from me, but too bad. I’m gonna keep doing it cuz I like doing it and I don’t want this account to be viewed as “dead.”

Anything Else Going On We Should Know About?
I’m working on moving my 3 main websites (SYAC, Alex Ze Pirate, and Andy’sArtwork) to new servers soon, which is another reason why I haven’t updated them in a long while. There’s a lot of stuff to move and I don’t get much time to work on it, so it’s been a very slow process. But yeah, that’s something else I’m doing and it contributes to why no new content has been produced for any of those sites lately along with, you know, having a day job.
  • Mood: Speechless
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I’m genuinely curious. What exactly is it you fear would happen to gaming/comics/geek culture if feminism DID actually have it’s way and take everything over? I’m serious, I am curious as to what exactly about feminism or hell, even humanism, is so “scary” and what people seem to think will happen if they accept it.

I genuinely want to know, so please tell me in the comments below. I won’t block or ban anyone for speaking their mind, and I’d like to urge my fans to NOT argue with, criticize, or demonize any opinions expressed below please. I want honest answers here.
  • Mood: Approval
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: AVGN: The Movie
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
So the news this morning was that Notch, creator of the wildly successful Minecraft, not only sold Mojang to Microsoft, but he’s also stepping down from Mojang. Microsoft acquired the company for 2.5 BILLION dollars. You can read his post and what it’ll mean to the future of Mojang here: mojang.com/2014/09/yes-were-be…

However, that’s only one part of the story. Notch stepping down from Mojang is a little more complicated. He mentioned that he’s realized that he’s becoming a symbol for people, not a person, and as a result he gets drawn into a lot of debate or blamed for things he never said or did. He cited this video as a good example of what his life has become recently:



I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

Source - notch.net/2014/09/im-leaving-m…
Alt Source - pastebin.com/n1qTeikM


With all the recent turmoil in the games industry, and professionals leaving for various reasons (usually harassment), it’s quite a blow that Notch is stepping down. Granted it’s true he hasn’t actually been responsible for Minecraft for quite some time (Jens is currently leading it), but his desire to get out of the limelight and seek a more normal life is one that I think many of us can sympathize with. I know I can.

I’m sure a lot of people don’t want to think about this as being about harassment, but since Notch explicitly cites the incident with Phil Fish and the corresponding video about “being a symbol not a person” it’s kinda hard NOT to. And you can see him venting his frustration of the situation too prior to all this happening:

Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for trying to do the right thing is not my gig.
Source - twitter.com/notch/status/47876…


So yeah... I think what stressed Notch out is the same thing that’s stressing ALL of the video game professionals recently. The ongoing torrent of harassments online, the inability to sympathize and see big name devs/artists/people AS other human beings, and the need to use people as symbols for a greater injustice. In the past couple months we’ve lost SO MANY independent developers and professionals in the industry due to this sort of thing. And while I know some people will say “good riddance to them!” I can’t help but feel like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot for letting this happen.

And now with Microsoft buying Minecraft, they’ve effectively become THE GATEKEEPERS for how EVERYONE ON THE PLANET will get to experience Minecraft from now on. If Microsoft wanted to, they could easily just say “sorry you can’t play this on any other device besides our own” and shut off millions of fans and limit the scope of players. MAYBE Microsoft will do better with the license, but given Microsoft’s track record I am not hopeful. And just think of how much good that 2.5 Billion dollars could’ve done if put towards pretty much ANYTHING ELSE in the games industry.

So... yeah... we lost another one. *slow claps.* How many more will it take before we stop and realize what we’re doing to our favorite hobby and all of the people who work in it?
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: AVGN: The Movie
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
If nothing else, this film should be heralded as a milestone in what independent filmmakers can do thanks to social media and YouTube. The fact that this movie EXISTS at all is an amazing achievement, and it’s pretty clear that James Rolfe put a LOT of time and effort into making it. Some things work, others don’t, but overall it’s definitely an achievement for him.

The “story” centers around a company producing ET2 (a sequel to the atari 2600 game ET which caused the video game crash), playing on the trends that gamers like to play bad games ironically by cynically pandering to them with an even WORSE game to make a profit. That’s already kinda meta in and of itself, but per usual AVGN standards, it gets even weirder.

Wanting to prove that the ET burial legend is just a myth, the AVGN teams up with a new nerd protege and a geek girl financing the trip for the company that is marketing ET2. They accidentally get roped into a secret plot involving Area 52’s Roswell coverup which coincidentally ties in with the production of the atari 2600 game ET.

What I liked
I liked the production values and the clear attention to catering to his fans. There are barf gags, F-bombs, winking nods to B-movie plots/tropes/FX, and in the end he DOES review the game (finally!). The acting is delightfully cheesy, and it’s pretty clear everyone is onboard with the silly storyline. I never felt any of the actors were “bad” actors.

James Rolfe has always been a HUGE supporter of incredibly cheesy effects and sci-fi costumes and the like. He purposefully includes shots of what are obviously toys or people dressed in cardboard robot suits. If you’re ok with B-movie appreciation stuff like that, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here. In some ways it almost mirrors “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” in that it’s purposefully TRYING to make things look fake. But even still, there are genuine FX moments and James seems to know precisely when to use good effects and when to use bad effects.

What I didn’t like
This is mostly nitpicky stuff, so please don’t take this section too seriously. One of the things that rubbed me the wrong way was the upholding of outdated stereotypes of girl-phobic gamers. One of the things the Nerd mentions is part of his “geek creed” is “no girls.” It feels weird here because in NONE of his other AVGN videos is this sort of “rule” present. I can accept taking on a new nerd protege, thus giving the Nerd someone to talk to, but this weird “geek creed” mentality came out of left field.

Also, while it’s understandable that this world is “strange” given the many things the Nerd has encountered over the years, the movie plays everything straight for so long that when the weirdness starts creeping in it feels a little... off at times. I think it might’ve helped to have more weird game related stuff at the beginning of the movie to balance out the absolute bonkers stuff that happens at the end of the movie.

There’s also this strange explanation for how the universe works that is played up as a conspiracy theory originally, but then is revealed as 100% true by the end. I wouldn’t have minded so much but the movie literally STOPS to reveal this exposition.

Conclusion
I think it’s still definitely worth your time. If you love the AVGN or any of the work he’s produced over the years, you’ll know what to expect and get from this too. It’s campy. It’s cheesy. It pokes fun at obvious movie tropes and cliches. It’s low-budget but in all the right places. The story is a bit of a mess at times, but it’s also just so much fun you can ignore and forgive a few minor faults. And the music is kick-ass.

I’ve heard some people complain that it’s not “as funny” as his older work, and while that might be true, I think it’s still pretty consistent with where the Nerd has been going lately. He started off as absolute rage filled anger, but gradually over time he has mellowed out a bit and been a lot more even-handed with his reviews. The same goes here, and if you’re OK with that I think you’ll still enjoy it. Definitely check it out.

Personally, I enjoyed the hell out of it. It made me laugh and I was smiling the whole way through. And it just made me happy that James Rolfe was able to finally realize his dream of making a movie too.

One side note. It’s pretty clear a lot of the game footage and references to ET have been changed due to the fact they couldn’t get the licensing rights to characters in Stephen Spielberg’s ET. As a result, a lot of the movie deals with a “green” alien and the game is called Ee-Tee. While he can get away with showing footage of games for a webshow, you just can’t claim “free speech” with a big budget movie like this. It’s a weird and disappointing change, but unfortunately understandable.

You can rent it now on Viemo for $4.99 or buy it as a digital download for $9.99 here: vimeo.com/ondemand/avgn
Currently he is looking into other outlets for distribution (possibly itunes) and a Blu-Ray and DVD version (with bonus features and extras) is also in the works.
  • Mood: Pride
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: AVGN: The Movie
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
This is a reposting of a tangent I went off on over on Twitter the other day (with some extra clarification added to make it a little more cohesive). I felt that in the wake of all this GamerGate/Feminism/Women in games/comics/geek culture stuff going on that I should at least talk about men’s relationship to it all. So here ya go!

Gendered Insults
It's not that harassment of men doesn't happen, it's that women are far more likely to get harassed and have it be gendered and much worse (source: time.com/3305466/male-female-h… ). I've never been harassed because I'm a man. But nearly every one of my female colleagues have been harassed because they're women. Men don't get harassed the same way as women. Their insults are usually directed at opinions, not their gender. Women, on the other hand, usually get BOTH.

It also seems like there's more harassment now than before, but that's because there are more women IN those geek stratus and we have more social media outlets to point it out when it crops up.

SIDENOTE: Comic and sci-fi cons use to smell a lot different before women started showing up in droves.

It's a shame that so many people view standing up for women's rights as "you're a man who believes women are weak and need protecting." Seems like anytime I make a feminist statement of any sort I get this criticism. However, I actually think that women are generally remarkably strong, given how much shit they have to deal with just in every day life. Women don’t need “saving,” but it doesn’t hurt to stand up in support every now and then.

Men’s roles are changing
I think discussing "where men belong" in current our society is a worthwhile discussion. Especially since so many men feel "emasculated." I think re-thinking what it means to be "a man" and what it means to be "masculine" are really interesting ideas worth discussing. Here is actually a very good video that goes into that a little bit: "A Guy Named Joe" www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP-bIY…

That is also why I initially loved the Brony movement. Because it was challenging societal norms about masculinity. Men were realizing it was OK to watch "girly" things and that it didn't affect their "masculinity" one iota. It was a very progressive thing.... which sadly devolved into the same "me vs them" defensive mentality that is currently infecting and hurting the rest of geek culture. I love what Bronies started out as and what they represented socially... but I am not very happy with how they are presenting themselves socially now.

History Repeats Itself
One last thing to remember: Men feeling emasculated in society is nothing new. We've already done this dance back in the 1950-70's. When men returned home from WWII and found women very unwilling to give up their new roles as the dominant family bread-winners, they had a hard time adjusting. History repeats itself and what's going on in the geek strata right now is very much a delayed version of something that happened in normal society nearly 60 years ago.

SIDENOTE: I've mentioned it before but the movie "Duel" is about raw masculine strength actively challenging and threatening a modern everyday man. It’s a great suspense movie in it’s own right, but underneath it all there is a lot of symbolism and themes about grappling with masculinity in a modern-feminist world. The man’s wife berates him on the phone, the radio plays a talk show featuring a guy upset about not fitting in because his wife works, any help he tries to get to get away from the trucker is thwarted, and in the end he has to “man up” and “deal” with his problems head-on. It’s a great film and one that I think is VERY relevant to geek culture right now.

I think that geek culture (and esp gaming culture) is in the midst of a huge cultural shift that has many questioning their identity within. This has sadly resulted in many lashing out at people attempting to make progressive change, and wanting to maintain the way things were when it made sense to them. But in the end, they’re gonna have to deal with the change and how they deal with that is going to determine who gets to move forward.
  • Mood: Sympathy
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I’m not in favor of it.

I have desperately been trying to keep an open mind about the movement, but the more I’ve seen of how that movement acts I just can’t in good conscience root for it. I thank all the people who were willing to give me a second chance and send me links to positive things the movement is trying to do... but ultimately the whole genesis of the movement seems to be to harass women OUT of the gaming industry, and the mountain of proof piling up is pretty damn damning.

Like I said in my last journal, I do honestly believe there ARE people in the GG community who DO believe 100% in the goals of the group and who are absolutely LOVELY and WONDERFUL people. But the more I see of how the GG movement was started, how they speak to each other, how they plan to attack and target specific individuals... I kinda feel like those wonderful people are being used, or at the very least duped. And that bothers me a lot.

It’s particularly telling when you bring up issues about ACTUAL corruption in the games industry, as the GG movement seems to be very good at dismissing those issues and saying they’re “saving it for later.” That just baffles the hell out of me because it implies you’re not able to do more than 1 thing at a time. Likewise it bothers me because journalists are generally the lower tier and least paid of the industry professionals. Shit trickles downhill, so it would make MORE sense to ME to attack stuff at the top and work your way down, than trying to slowly climb UP a slippery slope. Not to mention I’ve yet to hear a good explanation for why “fixing journalism” will somehow fix all the problems in the games industry itself, you know like how EA holds sequels to a franchise for ransom if people don’t buy their intentionally shitty new release. Seriously, the amount of consumer unfriendly bullshit companies try to pull over our eyes is astounding and we should be doing something about THAT because THAT actually affects our WALLETS.

And also, despite so many people in the GG movement claiming to not condone harassment or trolling, or even saying that Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian don’t matter to them anymore... the trolling of Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian has not stopped or slowed down. It’s STILL going on, in some cases stronger than ever. If you truly believe that your movement is for good and you don’t condone harassment, then it is incumbent upon you to denounce people trolling Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian EVEN IF YOU HATE THEM.

There’s also the issue that most game journalism press is actually enthusiastic press, not something akin to The New York Times which have much higher standards. Enthusiastic press are stories and opinions written BY enthusiasts FOR enthusiasts. When you read a game journalist’s column or blog post, you are acknowledging that you BOTH have something in common here: your love of video games. And a lot of the news and leaks that we get come from journalists being friends with devs and people working in the industry. Restricting that, or even restricting freelance writers, from writing about the things you want to read is... backwards to me. Even more astounding is when people are demanding individuals like MovieBob be removed from his position on The Escapist, which makes no sense to me since HE'S NOT A JOURNALIST.

And then of course there’s the dog-piling mentality of the movement. See, the thing is, sometimes you need to be critical of things you like. That’s a perfectly OK thing to have. But ANY time I even remotely poked fun at GG or suggested feminism isn’t ALL THAT BAD, I got dog-piled on with a torrent of hateful messages and responses. Until I clarified things better and then suddenly most of them turned to apologies. Attacking people like that is NOT a good way to get people on your side. I’m a cartoonist. My goal is to make fun of stuff and laugh about things, but I can’t do that when a hundred people, most sending me insults, slurs, and content to fill a dozen TomPrestonBingo cards, keep shouting the moment I twitch a finger.

And then there's the conspiracy theory level nonsense. Seriously, within seconds of just joking about GG the other day I had a guy analyze my twitter account, discovered that I reblog a lot of MovieBob stuff (because I have like 10 people I actually follow so naturally those 10 get a good chunk of my reblogs) and determined that I was a SJW hack who's entire goal was trying to "derail the conversation." The truth of the matter was that I used a hashtag I didn't realize was part of the "enemy attack" and thus got (once again) dog-piled on for trying to "stall" the movement with my tweet. Seriously.

So I am sorry, GamerGate people. I tried my best to see the positive side to things in your cause, but the negative keeps outweighing them. I am not denying that there is likely SOME corruption in the industry. Of course there probably is. I just don’t think it’s a “problem” in the same way some people seem to think it will, and “fixing” it will not magically make EA and other developers better companies.
  • Mood: Sympathy
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Last night I said something incredibly stupid on twitter about GamerGate. You see, someone had decided to send child pornography pictures to Anita Sarkeesian through twitter, and I made a comment equating the act to GamerGate sympathizers. That was incredibly wrong of me to do and it was quickly pointed out to me how wrong it really was. I rightly apologized and then something happened that I’ve never had happen to me in my 10 years of being on the internet... people didn’t dwell on my mistake and actually started to provide me with lots of helpful information about GamerGate! That really took me by surprise since I am so use to having every slip-up and mistake held against me forever. It was enough to make me realize that perhaps I have been wrong about the GamerGate movement being created to silence women in gaming.

And that’s why I’m going to apologize for the last couple of journals here on DA too. All last month it has been absolutely terrible to be a woman in the games industry. There have been so many attacks and accusations and harassment, it’s hard to look at things with an unbiased eye. And, if I may be so bold, I think my emotions of the situation got the better of me and that my last journal WAS a tad condescending. I still stand by the belief that saying “Not all ___” is a ridiculous thing to do, but after speaking with many people about the intents of GamerGate it was pretty clear to me that a lot of people are doing it because of trolls trying to derail the group by firing at both sides.

I do personally think that GamerGate has the best intentions in mind. The goal of wanting better ethics and journalistic integrity in gaming media IS a noble cause, to be sure. I am, sadly, still on the fence about how people are trying to effect change, however. This write up about the recent issues is actually a very good read and I suggest everyone at least read it once: medium.com/@upstreamism/to-fai… but there is one part of this I wanted to copy/paste here to make a point.

More than once, I was pointed to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics or the “10 Absolutes of Reuters Journalism” as a baseline for reform. Those codes were written primarily to uphold the reliability of news reportage, but not everything published in the gaming press is news reportage. That’s because, historically, games journalism grew out of what’s called the enthusiast press — meaning that it was (and still is) written primarily by gaming enthusiasts, for other gaming enthusiasts. When you write for an enthusiast press, though, you’ve already thrown out some measure of objectivity, since it’s assumed that you and your reader already agree that games are worth your time, money and interest.

I think that’s part of the reason a lot of the GamerGate controversy is a little unfocused. A lot of people are crying “corruption” and “ethics” without seemingly understanding why those broad things don’t necessarily apply to current games journalism as neatly as they would if this were, say, The New York Times. Coupled with the ongoing harassment of Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, and you can understand why it’s sometimes hard to pin down what exactly people in support of GamerGate actually want.

Here’s where I propose something. Instead of attacking current game journalistic sites and outlets for their supposed lack of transparency and corruption, maybe instead you should band together and make your own gaming journalistic site that upholds those beliefs you think they don’t. Prove to the industry that what you’re doing truly is noble and that you can report on gaming culture without all the corruption and ethical lapses. In my opinion that would be something I could definitely get behind and support as a noble cause, and it would be fairly easy to do too if the right people got together and set it up.

And it’s important that GamerGate people who genuinely believe there is something noble in their quest DO something positive right now, because things are starting to look a little worse for their cause. Zoe Quinn, the person whom all of this started as a result of, has been lurking in the 4chan IRC chats and recording what’s been going on there... and the news is rather discouraging to anyone who believed in GamerGate as a positive movement.

The logs in question seem to indicate that a lot of GamerGate was created by 4chan users as a way of kicking out women and SJW’s from the gaming industry, with planned attacks, multiple fake accounts to make the cause seem bigger, and plans to specifically target key individuals. Remember how I said the sudden support from 4chan for The Fine Young Capitals looked like a planned attempt to spurn Zoe Quinn and make it seem like the movement was on the side of progress? Yeah... that kinda looks like I was right from the way these documents talk. You can read some of the key bits from Zoe’s own storify page here: storify.com/strictmachine/game…

Of course her being the person dropping the bomb has generated some backlash, and a lot of GamerGate supporters are quick to point out that she was cherry picking key bits (though that’s still not very encouraging since they’re also not denying those things were said). So in the interest of full disclosure, if you want to read more you can read these key parts that show where she got her info from: imgur.com/a/Mfh61 or (if you’re bold enough) you can actually read the chat logs themselves here: archive.today/Ler4O

Before I close this off I would like to reiterate that I do genuinely believe there ARE good members of the GamerGate movement that DO have noble intentions and are being downright upstanding in the wake of all this. Many of the GamerGate supporters that I’ve spoken to have been very strongly in support of anti-harassment and will call out those they feel are attacking unjustly. So I know that there are good people in the group.

Last night I made a huge mistake. I apologized for it and vowed to look at the GamerGate movement with a more open mind. I was even starting to get behind the movement a lot more than I originally had... but then this morning Zoe Quinn dropped a bomb that almost completely shattered all that newfound good will I was amassing. So here is hoping that the people who DO want change can actually rise above this and prove that this IS a movement worth saving. To those individuals I say “Keep your chin up. Stay strong! And peace out.”
  • Mood: Sympathy
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburgers
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
So I guess my last journal kinda annoyed a few people who were upset at being generally labeled “gamers” when talking about the extremists who are using the term for their own causes: ie: #GamerGate. I’m not going to apologize for writing the journal that way, though. If you don’t want to be associated with those bigots and your first reaction is to personally vindicate yourself from the herd instead of, you know, fighting the main source of the problem... them I’m sorry but that negative version of “gamer” that you’re trying so hard to avoid being associated with IS how you are being perceived by the greater non-gamer entrenched world.

THEY don’t care that you “only want to play games that are fun,” because what they’re SEEING (and reporting on) is a hoard mentality of angry people rallying against women in gaming and harassing them to unreal levels. No matter how much you try to distance yourself or think that this is all just a vocal minority... that vocal minority is speaking so loudly that THEY are the only ones being HEARD right now. By distancing yourself from it and pretending like it doesn’t affect you, you’re basically giving them a free wide open space to spew their hateful bile everywhere where everyone else can see it.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
~Desmond Tutu

So yeah... I’m sorry guys but that negative label of the angry gamer rallying against social justice? That IS how you are being perceived no matter how much you may try to deny or dismiss it. Maybe, instead of trying to save your own skin you should be, I dunno, confronting the problem at it’s source? How many times am I going to have to come out and write a new journal explaining how the concept of “not all ____” is just a dismissal of any actual involvement with what really matters? I am so sick and tired of people trying to distance themselves rather than admit “ya know what? These people are giving my preferred hobby a bad name. Maybe I should do something so people who matter know that they are not the vocal majority?”

And if you’re looking for answers on HOW to combat it? Write articles. Write journals. Respond to tweets explaining why things like #GamerGate is stupid and degrading. Make videos. Spread the word. Basically CONFRONT the problem instead of sitting here in a journal saying “I’m not part of their movement therefor I’m not part of the problem!”

It actually takes WORK to fix these things, you know?
  • Mood: Angsty
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Over the past several weeks gamers have been whining incessantly about” journalistic integrity” over the supposed “scandalous” incident involving Zoe Quinn which may or may not have actually happened at all.

Zoe Quinn was accused of sleeping with journalists to get positive reviews for her game... which wasn’t true. While it’s entirely possible that she did sleep with games reviewers while cheating on her current boyfriend, there’s no real evidence that that translated into positive attention for her game. And frankly, that’s not really any of our business is it? A person’s personal sex life isn’t anything WE, gamers, should be concerned with.

But weather or not you believe the rumors, the thing that gamers seem to want NOW is to “rid games journalism of corruption,” which begs the question... what corruption? I understand that there’s this idea that if a game journalist donates money to a game on, say, Patreon, that it MIGHT be seen as a “conflict of interests.” But honestly that sounds pretty far of a stretch in my opinion.

Game journalists work in the industry of video games. They meet other creators and people working in the industry of video games. They make friends and colleagues within the industry. If you know someone in the industry, you’ll likely have a better chance getting the job you want than some random person off the street. This is called “networking.” This is, in pretty much EVERY OTHER FIELD, a perfectly NORMAL and expected thing to do. Hell, in the comics industry it use to be the NORM for companies to ONLY hire people who were friends with other people in the industry.

So it kinda makes me raise an eyebrow when gamers start gnashing their teeth over this concept and claiming that it’s somehow “tainted” the “integrity” of games journalism. That journalists now should fully disclose their support of ANY game project that might pique their fancy. And ESPECIALLY for those in the independent scene, where networking and having friends to relay your story to the masses is actually done out of KINDNESS.

Gamers are saying they want to “remove corruption” but from where I sit it looks more or less like they want “control.” Game journalism wasn’t and isn’t corrupt. The only thing things like #GamerGate will do is impose incredibly restrictive regulations and rules, which will in turn severely restrict the types of games YOU will hear about, while also pushing out a LOT of potential new voices and commentators. GamerGate will not “save” the industry, if anything it’s gonna send it faster towards it’s doom by being MORE exclusionary and less inclusive.

Gamers want to keep YOU out of their territory by making things harder and more difficult for you to get in. THAT is what all of this nonsense amounts to.
  • Mood: Angsty
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
PewDiePie is closing comments on his YouTube videos. In his opinion the disconnect between YouTube personality and fans is too great, and most YouTube comments are worthless spamming, hating, or just plain garbage. While he has turned off comments before in protest of certain things, this time around he says comments are gone for good on all future videos uploaded to YouTube. You can watch his video describing this new change here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_hHKl…

What interests me about this, however, is the way in which people are reacting to it. A lot of people are saying “good!” or “YouTube comments are terrible, so I totally understand why he’d do that!” Which is a little surprising to me... because of Anita Sarkeesian.

Now we’ve talked about Anita Sarkeesian before. She makes feminist videos dissecting tropes about women in gaming. As a result of her doing this, she’s gotten ungodly amounts of backlash and hatred. Since her videos are meant to be educational, not an open discussion, she disabled comments to get rid of the often bile, filthy, disgusting rape and sexist remarks YouTube users send her. In my opinion that’s always been a GOOD thing. It made sense to me, and you could still critique her video or write up your opinion on the internet anyway...

Yet a LOT of people disagree with me on that, saying that she’s “unable to handle criticism” and that she’s OBLIGATED to keep comments on because of the nature of her videos.

So that’s why this recent change with PewDiePie makes me cock my head and look at this with a furrowed brow. It’s OK for PewDiePie, some even considering it to be a noble cause, to disable comments... but NOT for Anita Sarkeesian? I had one person say “It’s his own YouTube channel he can do whatever he wants,” yet that’s a phrase I’ve NEVER heard anyone say about Anita’s videos.

Now please, I am not trying to start a fight. I’m merely pointing out this kinda weird disconnect. Anita is “unpopular” whereas PewDiePie is one of THE most popular “let’s play” channels on YouTube. From where I sit it seems more likely the reason people are mad at Anita for disabling comments is because they WANT an open channel directly to her videos to spew their vile sexist, rape filled, disgusting bile.

Again, this is not a journal in support of Anita Sarkeesian. Merely an unbiased observation about the strange way people JUSTIFY their reactions to people on the internet. You don’t have to like Anita to realize that this is kinda... wrong?

Anyway, that’s just something that cropped up in my mind today. Hope you found it interesting. Please don’t spam this journal with “the truth about Anita Sarkeesian!” links or discussions. That’s not what this journal is about so please don’t waste my (or my fans) times being butthurt that I mentioned her name. Ok? Ok!
  • Mood: Angsty
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
What’s been going on this week?

Phil Fish was DOXXED (for standing up for Zoe Quinn) and all his personal information was leaked onto the internet, including SSI info, home address, bank records, etc. As a result, Phil decided to leave gaming forever and is now selling off the IP rights to FEZ and Polytron. Link: www.gamespot.com/articles/phil…

Meanwhile 4chan/Reddit have decided that Phil Fish WASN’T hacked and that he faked the whole thing because... ? 4chan also called the FBI on Phil because they believe fake hacking your own account is a “federal offense.” Gotta love how 4channers are more willing to make up and believe a conspiracy theory than admit they made a mistake... Link (warning: conspiracy theory level nonsense): i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/o…

Zoe Quinn, a female independent game developer who made a game called Depression Quest, got harassed by an ex-boyfriend who decided to post nasty things about her and accuse her of using her influences in the “sacred” world of games journalism to get positive reviews through sexual favors with reviewers. An accusation that was later proved false (shocks of shocks!) since the reviewer for Kotaku in question never actually reviewed her game. Link: kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-…

She was also accused of actively trying to take down “The Fine Young Capitalists” despite the fact that she’s using proceeds from her games to be donated to struggling women indi and queer devs and is trying to patch up her mistake with TFYC (though they haven’t responded to her e-mails yet). twitter.com/TheQuinnspiracy/st…

Both Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian were forced to flee their homes because their home addresses are publicly known now and assholes on the internet were threatening to break into their homes to rape/murder them. So... yeah. If you honestly think “it’s just the internet, ignore the haters, they can’t possibly do anything to you in real life” is still true, you’re just deluding yourself. Anita Story Link: www.polygon.com/2014/8/27/6075… Zoe Quinn Story Link: twitter.com/TheQuinnspiracy/st…

And finally actor Adam Baldwin (currently starring in the new TNT tv-series “The Last Ship”) has fallen on the “I-hate-Zoe-Quinn” bandwagon and is actively spreading the leaked nude photos of her around online and is harassing her on twitter. Link: twitter.com/TheQuinnspiracy/st…

Meanwhile Joss Whedon (director of The Avengers) and Tim Schafer both took the side of Anita Sarkeesian on twitter. Link: www.themarysue.com/joss-whedon…
  • Mood: Frustrated
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
In the wake of some truly disgusting activity in the gaming industry right now, I’ve been grappling with a moral dilemma concerning what I would recommend young artists do with their chosen career paths.

Phil Fish Hacked
Phil Fish, the creator of FEZ, is pretty much universally hated by people online. Recently he spoke out in favor of Zoe Quinn, creator of Depression Quest, who was herself under fire from internet thought police for “corrupting” games journalism’s integrity by sleeping with journalists to get favorable reviews of her game (allegations which later proved to be untrue). Because he spoke out in favor of Zoe Quinn, Phil found himself under a massive internet attack, wherein hackers compromised his SSI, passwords, Polytron's PayPal account, and other sensitive data.

In the wake of the attack, Phil Fish is now selling off the rights to FEZ and to Polytron. He left with this rather depressing twitter message: “I am done. I want out. RUN AWAY. Just don't do it. Give up your dreams. They are actually nightmares. Nothing is worth this. To every aspiring game developer out there: Don't. give up. It's not worth it. This is your audience. This is videogames."

The Moral Dilemma
Which brings us to the moral dilemma I mentioned earlier... Why bother? Why would ANYONE want to work in an industry where THIS is the result? Phil Fish is just one of hundreds of industry professionals “bullied” out of the industry by gamers. Many more, mostly women interestingly enough, are sent death threats, rape threats, bomb threats, had their personal information stolen, posted, hacked, etc. simply for speaking their mind. Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist blogger who made YouTube videos criticizing gaming for the depictions of women. She wasn’t writing up laws to take games away. She’s not “censoring” video games. She’s not trying to lock video games up or take them away... and yet she’s THE figurehead right now for how vitriolic, vindictive, and violent gamers can be to criticism.

It's weird... gamers WANT to be taken seriously... until someone tries to take them seriously and point out potential flaws in the industry. Then they just wanna get rid of that person. And it’s not just gaming either, you see this sort of thing in many other mediums as well, including comics. I’ve been the subject of many hateful campaigns, including doxxing attacks (which are illegal by the way). All because I, a comics artist, made some cartoons and posted them FOR FREE on the internet about feminism or gaming culture.

So if this is the average result of “doing what you love” on the internet... why bother? Why should ANYONE want to put themselves in a position where they could risk having THIS level of shit and hate lobbied against them? How can I, in good conscience, recommend a new artist to put themselves willingly through this sort of nonsense?

That’s what I’m grappling with right now... I honestly don’t know if I could possibly recommend becoming a comic artist or a game designer in good faith anymore... because this is the norm now. Enduring shirt storms, flare ups, hacking attacks, and possible real life dangers of being attacked or harmed... just because you draw a comic or make a video game? That’s almost masochistic when you think about it.

What Can Be Done
Unfortunately the only solution to fixing this problem and making the environment safer for everyone is to have people endure the shitstorms and MAKE it safer for everyone eventually. By speaking out, and taking the risk of becoming a target, you can help effect change and make a difference. That’s the other side to this dilemma. If we don’t have people standing up and bearing the brunt of the storm, no one else will eventually come to their aid or take up the call. But to take up the call you have to be prepared to endure some really MASSIVE shit which can potentially ruin your life so again... is it worth it?

I think in the end it is... but I don’t know if I’m one of those people who can endure. I don’t want to discourage young artists from trying to make a living doing what they love... but at the same time I can’t honestly recommend putting them in a position that might possibly leave them mentally scarred for life due to ongoing harassment.

I honestly would like some opinions about this topic because I am very confused and worried about the future of... well... comics and gaming and all the things I hold so dear. I want them to improve and get better and be welcomed and inviting for everyone... but I don’t know anymore about how awful and nasty the internet is to some of these people.
  • Mood: Pity
  • Watching: Atop The 4th Wall
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Personally I think this is the best one of the series so far. Be warned though, not safe for work. I like the points she brings up, and she even offers how it should be done right with examples.

I agree with her closing points too. It’s funny how we’re perfectly willing to suspend disbelief when it comes to health regeneration, invisible walls, quest markers, super powers, crazy game mechanics etc... but when it comes to treating women as... well... women... why do we have to keep coming up with excuses to give it a pass? In all honesty.. why do so many games even NEED these depictions in them? Take them out and I guarantee you that the games would play and feel pretty much exactly the same.

And that’s my last bit of criticism too. Most of the games listed are rated M... but they’re not mature by any stretch of the imagination. Watchdogs, GTA, Red Dead Redemption, Hitman etc are immature games. But because they’re dressed up with “swearing” and “violence” and “blood” and “sex” we’re led to believe that they’re mature. It’s like a kid puffing out his chest to appear more masculine. No matter how tough he might act, he’s still just a kid. That’s what these games are.

And I think the way to address it is to look at things much more abstractly. Like the game she shows at the end of the video “Papo and Yo” which abstracts the domestic violence caused by alcoholism into symbols, caricatures, and escapist imagery. You don’t have to depict things exactly as they would look to get across the same meaning. And it’s here where I think a lot of indi-developers really shine through with their games. Games that the giant gaming industry would NEVER make, sadly.

OBLIGATORY “BE NICE” STATEMENT
Anyway... I’m done discussing Anita Sarkeesian herself. I don’t give a shit if you think she “scammed” anyone, or if you hate her opinions, or think she’s the most evil person on the planet or any of that tired, worn out, pointless, stupid rhetoric. I’m interested in what she has to say, not about her herself. And this is why I’ll listen to her videos and offer my own take (like I just did) rather than trying to debunk her or prove her “wrong” about something. I would appreciate it if anyone reading this journal would do the same. If you’re gonna start a long rant about how you hate her and how you can’t listen to her, or feel the need to pepper the comments section with “counter” youtube videos... please don’t. Please leave. Come back some other time. I honestly and genuinely don’t want to hear it. Also, please don’t harass my readers either. Don’t respond to 20 different people all with the same info just because you can’t stand Anita and feel like ANY positive feedback about her is awful and bla bla bla bla bla. Just... stop being jerks ok?
  • Mood: Annoyed
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Honestly? I’m not sure I liked it. I mean, there were parts I did like, and other parts I didn’t. Parts I did like were the sense of fear and dread that crept up towards the end of the episode... the parts I didn’t... well...

Ok, let’s get this out of the way. I like Peter Capaldi as The Doctor. I think he did a fine job, though the beginning was a little off-kilter. And while I know that’s suppose to be from him being disoriented, it kinda came across as a little forced. The later scene with him analyzing himself in the alley with the bum was a good break out moment though, showing pretty much how this new Doctor is going to be like.

Clara, oddly enough, felt the most out of place for me. Her reluctance to accepting the Doctor’s regeneration (which echoes Rose’s reluctance) felt more off putting and in the end she was only finally reassured by having Matt Smith phone call her from moments before he regenerated. I felt like that was a great disservice to Clara who, in the last season, was actually a really fun smart and energetic character. They clearly stressed the whole “I’m not your boyfriend” angle quite a bit too, and given how awkwardly the episode was structured I’m wondering if there were MAJOR rewrites behind the scenes.

And that brings me to another aspect I wasn’t fond of... the really badly structured editing and disjointed story and writing. Like I said, I think there was a lot of major rewriting behind the scenes and I might not be wrong about that as apparently Peter Capaldi was NOT a fan of what Steven Moffat was doing with the series and “took control” over things after being cast: www.themarysue.com/get-on-the-…

The whole episode feels... cheap. And granted, yes, this IS the BBC after all... but even still... there was a serious lack of awareness of what the hell was going on. How do we know the giant effects driven T-Rex is actually wandering the Thames? Don’t show it of course, let other people comment on it. Never show the feet of the T-Rex because that would just end up costing more money for eater effects, right? That’s the only excuse I can see for NOT showing the water or where the T-Rex was in relation to things. Same goes for after the T-Rex spontaneously combusts (never shown how that happens by the way). We see it go up in flames in the background, but when all the characters run up to see it... we never get an establishing shot. You’d think something as important as this would be... well... SEEN in some capacity. An overhead long shot of the bridge they’re all standing on or something with the fire in front? Nope.

And that’s how the editing feels too. Characters speak words, but they don’t ever seem to feel in place with the characters or have any relevance on the plot or setting until things start to pick up towards the end.

I’m sorry if I sound like I’m nitpicking. I’m not trying to. Like I said.. I WANT to like this new Doctor. All of the cast are good actors. But the more I thought about the episode, the more little things like the lack of focus and the lack of structure and the inconsistent cutting away from action so they don’t have to show it happening kept creeping back into my mind. I mean, there’s even a moment where a horribly gruesome scene occurs with a hot-air balloon made out of human flesh appears... but it’s not treated as the ghastly and morbid sight it should be. It’s just... there... and nobody even bats an eye at it.

There are moments that I do genuinely like. The scene with the Doctor in the alley talking to himself about his new appearance and trying to understand why he’s suddenly so old is delightfully quirky and fun. The scene with Clara in the robot den trying to remain hidden from being detected by having to hold her breath is wonderfully suspenseful. The philosophical discussion between The Doctor and the robot that believes in “paradise” is well written and acted. But there was just so many... little things... gnawing on my mind.

It doesn’t help that the episode twists and turns and never focuses on one coherent story either. Did the Doctor summon Clara or not? Where did the robot guy go? Who is that woman who seems to have a romantic relationship with him who ISN’T River Song? Why even bother having a T-Rex at all if the theme of the episode was robots using human body parts to rebuild their space-ship? The T-Rex literally serves NO PURPOSE other than “oh hey look! It’s a T-Rex wandering London!” I sorta just miss when Doctor Who would just have a single plot with a main overarching plot that goes with the season. This felt like there were too many things going on all at once, and when it focused on ONE aspect (such as the scenes in the robot den) it really showed it’s strength and we got to see a great Doctor again.

I just hope going forward, the episodes are a little more... coherent than this.
  • Mood: Annoyed
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Loved it. All the way through the whole damn season. Even with the episode leaks, the shift to web only, and whatever else Nick was throwing at them, they finally got the series back on track story-wise. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy Korra after the first season pissed me off so much, but this 3rd season makes up for all the shortcomings and really ends on a solid note.

I’m gonna try not to spoil too much since I really do recommend watching the 3rd season in it’s entirety if you can. It really is that good. Any complaints I’ve had about the first season are pretty much null and void at this point because of how good this season was. The animation was top-notch, the characters were a lot of fun and well written, the villains were complex and unique and sufficiently malicious, and the stakes were raised quite high during these last few episodes.

Honestly, that last scene of Korra in the wheelchair, recovering from her fight with Zaheer and shedding a single tear was extremely powerful. I’m actually a little worried about where she’s gonna go emotionally in season 4. She’s gonna finally have to deal with all the crap that’s been happening to her over the past 3 seasons, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she starts off the season in a bit of a depression or even PTSD state (which, given what she’s been through would make total sense).

And of course there’s the subtle hints of Asami and Korra too. The forced love triangle between Korra, Mako, and Asami from the first season was shit, and they wisely got rid of it in season 2. But season 3 Asami has been Korra’s emotional ROCK throughout the entire season. She’s been there helping Korra go on, even up to the point of helping her recuperate in the wheel chair and being by her side through thick and thin. I know that Nickelodeon will likely never allow a gay (or hey, maybe even bi) character exist in a kids TV show, but I still think it’s pretty clear where the writers WANT her to go now. Even the voice actress for Korra ships Korrasami. Maybe this will have to be a subplot that gets resolved in the comics (where there are less censorship restrictions)? I dunno. But honestly, I just really enjoyed how faithful and supportive Asami was throughout the entire season. Korra really needs that sort of friendship.

And Korra herself is no slouch. She fought off 3 main villains at the same time, rescuing herself, and taking on Zaheer one on one in a truly EPIC battle. That whole sequence was amazingly animated and I gotta hand it to the animation team. It’s sometimes hard to look back on the original Avatar and see how far they’ve come. Every single fight in this season has been amazingly animated, and each one utilizes their powers in unique and fun ways. Sometimes there is a little bit TOO much fighting in my opinion, but god damn... with animation THIS good I can let that nitpick pass!

And how nice to see Jinora get her tattoo and shaved head too!

The villains this time around were also just, much more interesting to see. They all had their unique talents, personality, and bending abilities, but it was Zaheer who really stole the show. He was, without a doubt, THE most threatening villain Korra has ever faced. His villainy explains so much about the Airbending culture too. Airbenders are so fucking powerful they HAVE to be pacifists. They can literally suck the air out of your body! Damn.

Overall, I’m really happy I listened to everyone saying Season 3 was good and got myself caught up to it. I absolutely HATED season 1 and refused to watch any more. But the talk about season 3 piqued my interest and I have to admit... they were right. While season 2 was necessary but overall kinda pointless... Season 3 is downright MANDATORY if you love Avatar.

Props where props are due. You guys did a FANTASTIC job!
  • Mood: Triumph
  • Watching: Avatar: The Legend of Korra
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Justin Bailey Samus Costume in SSBB
So Nintendo released this today: www.facebook.com/permalink.php…

In case you didn’t go check it out, it’s a screenshot of a costume option for Zero Suit Samus which has her dressed in basically a sports-bra outfit. An obvious nod to the “Justin Bailey” code from the original Metroid (or Zero Suit Mission but honestly who cares?).

I honestly wish I could get mad over this, but I’m frankly just sick and tired of this kinda crap. I already apparently “offended” people with my rants about her ugly ass high-heel-boots several months ago, and I don’t wish to go through with that again. Not to mention there does come a point where complaining about “fanservice” in a game ALL ABOUT FANSERVICE becomes kinda... gauche.

Just for the record though, I am not against this outfit per say. There is nothing wrong with wearing sports gear, and it shouldn't be demonized as such, but I also kinda wish more of the male characters were getting the same treatment. If anything it's actually an improvement over the hyper-sexualized Zero Suit costume by having clothing that actually makes sense for a change. But at the same time, his skin-tight outfit DOES kinda exemplify how AWFUL her anatomy is being treated for this game as nearly ALL of her poses look like she's got broken limbs now. So no, please don't take this journal as a "this outfit is awful and you should feel awful for like it" sort of message.

However... I will point out that the WAY in which Nintendo is unveiling this seems a little... strange. I find it kinda odd they had to stress that the person who finished these outfits on time was a “determined female designer.” As if that some how makes it ok? Because if a woman does it, it doesn’t mean it’s sexist or something, right? I dunno, maybe I’m reading too much into it but it did come across as kinda trying to defuse a bomb before it went off.

Zoe Quinn
I hesitate to even talk about this subject because I fear how quickly people are going to ignore my points and instead just regurgitate the bile and baggage that goes with talking about this person... kinda like how you can’t mention Anita Sarkeesian without getting into insane discussions and unpacking large amounts of baggage and biases.

Zoe Quinn is a female game designer. She made the game “Depression Quest,” a game designed to help show people who don’t understand depression how hard living with depression can actually be. And, because she’s a woman working on video games, she’s been the target of massive amounts of hate and harassment simply because her game got green-lit for Steam.

Recently a “games journalist” (i use the term loosely) posted a massive rant about how he use to date her and she cheated on him. If you manage to find the rant (I’m not linking because I refuse to give the scumbag any more attention than he deserves) it’s pretty nuts. It’s almost kinda sad how pathetic he comes across.

And this is the part I wanted to talk about... I don’t care how angry or hurt you are over being cheated on. No matter how high your emotions might run or how vindictive you might feel, posting personal information and slandering their name across the internet by using your journalistic connections and position is a SHITTY thing to do.

It is my opinion that all that stuff should be kept private, and that by posting it publicly you are one of the worse human beings on the planet. And while Zoe isn’t completely innocent in all this, I find it odd that everyone’s focusing on her and not the other guys she apparently cheated on the journalist with. Kinda like how when Kristen Stewart was caught cheating with director Rupert Sanders, no one seemed to give a crap about Rupert Sanders’ involvement in the cheating and instead just used it as an excuse to hate on Kristen Stewart. It takes two to tango, guys.

So yeah... Zoe shouldn’t have cheated, but that doesn’t give this “games journalist” license to post crap like that on the internet because he feels “used.” Part of being a grown up and being mature is NOT doing immature childish things like that. And honestly, all this has really done is just show how unprofessional “games journalists” are compared to ACTUAL journalists. Which is not something the games industry needed.

I also kinda find it a little sick that people are all “aww I’m so sorry depression made Robin Williams kill himself” while simultaneously saying “Zoe Quinn is a monster for cheating on him” without realizing that depression can make people defy their own ethics through self destruction.

Incidentally, in the wake of Robin Williams’s death at the hand of severe depression, Zoe Quinn decided to release Depression Quest for free. You can, if you want, pay a small amount of money as a donation, but you are not obligated to. If you’d like to try the game out, you can do so here: www.depressionquest.com/

Phil Fish Again
One last thing. This isn’t a “women in gaming” thing, but it does sorta relate to the previous story of Zoe Quinn.

Phil Fish (the creator of Fez and who recently quit the games industry after years of being bullied) recently took to twitter again. While he has been talking about video games and still voicing his opinion in his usual blunt unapologetic manner, it’s the way the news media was attracted to him that kinda pisses me off.

Seems to me like the news media cherry pick the tweets he makes to create story out of nothing. While Fish hasn’t really changed in voicing his opinions, it’s curious that all his POSITIVE tweets and opinions are being completely ignored in favor of writing many news articles about the one or two which aren’t.

Case in point, all last week Phil Fish has been EXTREMELY active in raising awareness about Ferguson and in retweeting news, stories, timetables, and whatever along with adding his two cents about government and racism issues in America. So what’s the news story about him this same week? “Phil Fish is at it again hating on gamers! lulz!”

Hmm...

I’m not here trying to defend Phil Fish or anything. I’m just saying that the way in which the news sites treat Phil Fish isn’t really as a person. They only seem to report on news articles which back up their already established vision of “this guy is an asshole.” And the same could be said of what Zoe Quinn is going through. It seems like cherry picking.

We are all human beings and we don’t really know one another. It’s at times like this I’m reminded of that quote from John Green: “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”
  • Mood: Sympathy
  • Watching: Muppets: Most Wanted
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I finally got to watch Amazing Spiderman 2 on DVD. Bad news is that it was so boring and full of tripe that I got bored with it. The good news is that I decided to live-tweet my experience watching it. I’ve compiled the event into this journal below, but you should be warned: there are spoilers. Though to be fair... the spoiler is from a comic written back in the 1970's so it really shouldn't be a "shock" or anything. ENJOY!

****

-Watching Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the first time. It's... Pretty bad so far and I'm only 20 mins in...
-Can we have ONE defining character trait for Peter? He seems to keep flip flopping between snarky badass and whiny angsty teen.
-"Subtle" is not a word I would use to describe this movie. It's like they think you're an idiot and can't comprehend simple storytelling.
-You can tell Jamie Foxx a nerd cuz he's clumsy and awkward and has big glasses and a pocket protector. This 2014 or 1954?
-How did you go from doing a documentary of Ray Charles to this? You're so much better than this film. You too Rhino dude.
-Gwen talks about how "life is fleeting" and uses the word "falling" in her speech. Gee... Could that be foreshadowing something?????????????
-What the hell? Is that a tv showing local news in the elevator? I thought it was a floor prompt? Does it show Dorra when the news isn't on?
-Death bed exposition time.
-Ah ok. So he becomes the green goblin because it's genetic with a disease that looks like no other disease ever recorded in human history.
-Wouldn't you hate to work somewhere that announced in detail exactly what your job was every time you walked through the doors?
-Note to self: being electrocuted fixes your teeth.
-"We had history, though we've never indicated we ever did before." Harry and Peter -a love story.
-"Hey! Remember how you dumped me? I don't think you meant it! Haha!" -Peter
-Have you figured out this is the "amazing" Spider-Man yet? It's not like they haven't dropped the word "amazing" a million times yet...
-Really? Why is stalking someone always portrayed as romantic in teen dramas? I don't get it.. Why isn't she creeped out?
-At least it makes sense no one noticed a bright blue guy walking through time square. Blue Man Group has a show in NYC.
-Who's commandeering all the advertisements in time square? Is that something any news station can just DO?
-Well that's not accurate at all. Why are all the news stories on tv so clean and free of tickers tweets and inane chatter at the bottom?
-Haha. No "bing!" Sponsorship this time!
-"He can do everything else a spider can" .... Except shoot webs. For that he has to make his own web shooters cuz... Logic?
-"I need his blood" plotline again? Wasn't that the first movie? And TMNT?
-At least I'll give the characters this: They tell each other what's wrong. I hate when character withhold vital info to further plot. Kudos!
-Really? I wonder how many scientists really work while the Blue Danube plays in the background. This movie is like a live action TVtropes.
-Peter's dad's research is really... Boring... As a plot device.
-Not sure what happened. The movie was going at a nice clip but then it just died...
-How and when did his father have time to build this secret lab? How is the computer still on the download screen? Was it on this whole time?
-"we discovered you have discovered our secrets. But we're not gonna tell any of our staff you're basically a liability now." Walks right in!
-I like this movie. Makes me feel smart. I knew peter's blood was important from the first movie. Did it really take this long to reveal it?
-Huh. I didn't know when you stop recording a digital file it adds a second of analogue static to show it ended. It's the little details.
-Harry and Electro's deal is actually very believable and good motivation. Props where props are due.
-How does Electro's suit and clothing work? Is it part of him? Is he making it up? Where did it done from?
-Injecting serum into someone's blood stream like that takes a LOT of skill, especially with such shaky hands. He must've been a nurse.
-So the doors open if you crawl towards them? That's neat. What would've happened if he had choses the doc-oc claws instead?
-Ok wait. They set up that the suit "heals" people earlier... So.. Why didn't he make THAT a priority?
-Yeah... Putting the ENTIRE city on a single grid was a STUPID idea.
-Wow is this movie really gonna go this route? Airplane headed towards NYC and they're flying blind and could crash?
-Earlier fights looked better. This fight looks like a cheap PS3 cut scene.
-Itsy bitsy spider? Really? What's with all the musical cues all of a sudden? He's not music based, he's electrical.
-Poor Gwen... If only she listened to her "man" and wasn't so "independent" maybe she wouldn't have died! Nice message to send eh?
-No! Don't kill Dennis Leary again!!!
-So why can't the 2 airplanes see each other? As far as I can tell the skies were clear and the planes still had lights on them...
-Also Spider-man doesn't know anything about those planes. So that's kinda a pointless trick to raise tension. He's under no time constraint.
-Lol. In case you were too stupid to follow the dialogue that said "batteries overload" the villain has a gauge to show he'll overload. Wow.
-Hey look at that! A villain who can put two and two together and figures out Spider-man's identity using logic! Ok props to that too!
-In case you didn't get the "time runs out" metaphor... Random clock tower in the middle of a power grid for no reason!
-Heh. He's got a Swiss Army knife.
-Time runs out. Life hanging by a thread. Cutting life's string. Clocks! Time! Inevitability! You can't stop it! ARE WE CLEVER YET?
-Oh come on. Web shooter fingers? Also they sure are going slow compared to when he could hook buildings thousands of feet away in a flash...
-I should feel sad. But mostly I'm just bored. Oh! Well ok then. Enough of that scene. That was quick.
-Soooooooooo what about the goblin? He in jail? I mean, Spider-Man knew to lock him up right? Right?
-Wait. Why is Spider-Man gone? When did that happen? We didn't see that happen...
-What? 5 months have passed? It's barely been a minute since Gwen died. Who locked up Harry? Why are people listening to him?
-Isn't it great they killed Gwen just so Spider-Man can flirt unattached to kinky cat women criminals? Can't wait to see THAT in Spider-Man 3
-Who was recording that speech? I don't remember there being a cameraman directly in front of her...
-Spider-Man 2 did the "I can't be Spider-Man arc over the course of an entire film. Amazing Spider-Man 2 did it in under 5 minutes. Just to be clear: that's not a compliment...
-New York is weird. Someone's shooting up the place and rather than run away, people line up on the sidelines to watch.
-What the hell Rhino? SHOOT HIM! He's right there! Out in the open just STANDING there! You have guns! SHOOT!
-What? We don't even get to see the fight with Paul Giamatti!? Lame.
-So AS2 is marginally better than AS1. But yeah.. Not a good sign when I'd rather tweet my experience watching than actually watch it vanilla
-It had some good moments. Will grant it that. But mostly I was just trying to figure out why there were so many gaps and plot contrivances.
-Sorry guys. In my opinion the first Spider-Man trilogy is still the best. And yes I'm including 3 on that list too.
-Gwen was WAY better than Mary Jane but... Well... Can't really DO anything with her character now... Cuz she dead.
-And how wonderful that her death affected Spider-Man for all of 5 minutes of screen time. That REALLY built character development alright...
-Should've ended when she died. But nah! Gotta lay groundwork for Sinister 6 and Amazing Spider-Man 3! Franchise building is more important!
  • Mood: Stumped
  • Listening to: Prince Ali
  • Watching: Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
First off, I wanna state that I am not a journalist. This whole ordeal has been extremely messy and filled with a lot of conflicting information, so chances are what I write here might not be 100% accurate or be based on slightly incorrect information. I’ll do my best to explain it simply, but if you really want to know what’s going on it’s probably best to just google it yourself because... really... this is a mess. I'm sure plenty of other people will add info in the comments below or links to appropriate videos/tweets.

What happened here in Missouri
It all started when a cop shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown for “jaywalking” in Ferguson, Missouri. Witnesses say Michael Brown, 18, had raised his hands to surrender when the shots were fired. Police have not confirmed that information.

Shortly afterwards a group of people approached the police department in peaceful protest and demanded answers and information, a lot of which the police were withholding (such as the shooter’s name). The protesters were met with force. Monday night, officers in riot gear lobbed tear gas at the angry crowds.

People began protesting during the day, but at night cops would walk through the city and shoot tear gas at people and fire on them with rubber bullets and used sonar crowd controlling tactics. It’s been rumored that a lot of the looting was actually being done by neighboring cities who would come in and ransack Ferguson, and that THAT is why the police were patrolling with such force... but it’s not been confirmed to my knowledge.

Due to the craziness of the events, Ferguson was shut down and a “no fly zone” was erected over the town. Because no one could get in or out, or even go to school, there were donation drives designed to help the people who couldn’t get access to food.

Thursday a new police chief took charge of the department and immediately went about trying to calm things down by ordering the officers to forgo gas masks and riot gear. Since then things have calmed down a lot, but there’s still a lot of unanswered questions.

Today they’ve released the name of the officer that killed Michael Brown: Darren Wilson. They’ve also released a security tape which implicates Brown in potentially being part of a robbery at a convenience store... although you should note that Darren Wilson was not aware of any robbery when he gunned down Michael Brown for “walking in the middle of the street.” There are also conflicting information, including the time of the robbery and the location of the shooting, which do not match well at all.

This is, unfortunately, not new to America. Nearly every week a minority is gunned down or killed by police, usually unarmed. What happened here was just the latest explosion from a simmering boiling pot. Peaceful protesters were met with riot gear and fired upon unprovoked, and it’s REALLY hard not to see this as anything other than outright racism/hate-crime on the part of the police.

Like I said. Some of my information might be wrong, and I frankly don’t want to play “journalist” and have to try and keep this info up to date or accurate. Please, if you’re interested in helping or just want to know what’s going on, do a google search.

I’ll provide a few links to help get y’all started:
www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/…
www.usatoday.com/story/news/us…
www.usatoday.com/story/news/na…

Petition to sign for “Mike Brown” Law: Requiring all police officers to wear cameras: petitions.whitehouse.gov/petit…

Social Media
It’s pretty clear that the cops are trying to put their best face forward, despite the mounting evidence that they were clearly in the wrong for a LOT of the injustice that happened this past week. Thanks to social media outlets such as twitter, tumblr, and Facebook, a lot of the things they want to cover up are now being spread across the internet. This is one of the few times where I think social media plays a VERY important roll in uncovering the truth.
  • Mood: Anger
  • Listening to: Prince Ali
  • Watching: Dead Poets Society
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I honestly didn’t mean to come back so suddenly, but the news from earlier today just hit home very hard and I felt the need to say something to y’all.

Robin Williams Passes Away
Robin Williams passes away today at the relatively young age of 63. The earliest reports so far seem to confirm that it was a suicide by asphyxiation. He had been battling severe depression for quite some time now, and it seems that it ultimately did him in. Robin Williams was one of the first actors who’s career I began to follow as a kid, owing largely to his involvement in Disney’s Aladdin as the Genie.

I remember a story Stephen Spielberg told about when he was filming Schindler’s List. While over in Germany, Robin Williams would call Stephen up every night to tell him a joke because the story of Schindler’s List was so depressing and difficult to film Stephen needed the pick-me-ups.

It’s incredibly sad that Robin ultimately took his own life like this. Depression is, unfortunately, a chemical imbalance in the brain and requires constant treatment and help. The brain, like any other organ in your body, can get sick too, but because it’s not readily visible people often go without treatment for a long time.

Goodbye Robin Williams. You were a talented actor and an amazing comedian. You will be sorely missed.

My Own Battle with Depression
If you remember about 2 years back I took a 6 month hiatus. I mentioned at the time that my health was declining and that I was losing weight at a rapid and unhealthy rate. At the time I was dealing with some very severe mental health issues, which included depression.

Dealing with depression is so frustrating. Sometimes just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. And the stigma associated with it due to people not understanding it’s effects can be even more frustrating. “Just be happy” “Just get up and stop moping!” “You’ve got nothing to be depressed about!” As if it were just that easy...

I, however, was lucky in that I was able to seek out medial help. I eventually got better through medication and therapy. And while occasionally I will have a relapse every now and then, I know that I am ultimately much healthier and happier than I was during that time. I look back on where I was 2 years ago and it’s amazing how different things are now.

Thank You
And one of the things that helped me out were all of the thank you’s from fans. Anonymous people who sent me really sweet messages over the years saying how they were battling depression and that my comics (be it SYAC or brentalfloss or whatever) helped cheer them up and get them through their day. Like I said, sometimes just making it through the day is an amazing accomplishment, and it warms my heart to know that in some small way I was apart of that for some people.

So to any of my fans who either have depression or know someone who does, thank you so much for making it through one more day. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being the awesome and amazingly strong person you are. Depression and other mental health problems are not easy to fight, and they can often make you feel like you’re going it alone. But you are not. You can fight it. And we appreciate the fact that you do and are here with us now. So thank you once again.

If there’s one good thing to come out of Robin Williams’s death, it’s the spreading of awareness of depression and information on how to get help or treatment. Please, please PLEASE, if you have depression or you know someone who does, do whatever you can to seek help. There are a lot of non-profit groups who can assist you if you need help. Speak up to your parents, or your doctor, or your friends. Depression can make it feel like it’s you against the rest of the world, but it really does not have to be that way.
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: Friend Like Me
  • Watching: Jumanji
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.