Op Ed

  • Ars Technica - What the CEO of Epic Games gets wrong about video games and politics.
    "Sweeney is trying to walk a thin tightrope here, allowing for wide-ranging individual expression as a platform holder while trying to maintain political silence as a corporate entity. But those dueling principles can come into inherent conflict because producing and selling games, like producing and selling any other work of art, involves any number of inherently political choices and expressions."
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13.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 15, 2020, 17:13
Kxmode
 
13.
Re: Op Ed Feb 15, 2020, 17:13
Feb 15, 2020, 17:13
 Kxmode
 
Most psychopaths have dueling principles.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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12.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 15, 2020, 12:45
Prez
 
12.
Re: Op Ed Feb 15, 2020, 12:45
Feb 15, 2020, 12:45
 Prez
 
I'm a rational, empathetic person by nature. I abhor human suffering, detest mean people, and I believe in fair treatment of everyone and everything (animals included). So one has to wonder how the reaction to the "Me too" movement by guy like me can go from "It's about damn time" to "Oh just fucking shut up already" as time went on. That's not a natural progression. It's not my natural predisposition to roll my eyes in disgust at people ostensibly demanding justice for abused women. When it was about that fucking pig Weinstein I was 110% on board. That prick needs to burn for what he did. Now, I throw up a little in my mouth every time #metoo is even referenced. Something happened in the interim. I'm not just imagining it. The fact is that there are bad actors on the side of the justice crusaders too. A whole helluva lot of them. They are unscrupulous opportunists who co-opt the movements and causes to advance their own interests and use the unwitting mass of supporters to do it. They take level-headed people like me, people who see through their bullshit, people who would normally support any and all crusades for justice in any and all things, and make them jaded, un-trusting fuckers who question the motives of everyone involved. The message gets lost as the bad actors muddy the waters.

Then, when someone who doesn't (or just won't) recognize that their side isn't all purity and innocence hears us questioning the motives of people because of those bad actors, they lash out and call us part of the probblem, further alienating us and increasing our disdain for them and their 'cause'. It's a vicious cycle that can't be broken.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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11.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 15, 2020, 11:51
Beamer
 
11.
Re: Op Ed Feb 15, 2020, 11:51
Feb 15, 2020, 11:51
 Beamer
 
Prez wrote on Feb 15, 2020, 10:38:
Beamer wrote on Feb 15, 2020, 10:02:
The funny thing about "virtue signaling" is that nothing signals the lack of virtue like believing there's validity to the phrase.


The term actually had at one point a very valid and legitimate meaning. There is in fact A TON of virtue signalling going on whereby people pathetically try to score social acceptance points by very publicly endeavoring to appear progressive and tolerant, usually to the point of ridiculousness. Problem is, as with most of the terminology that crops up in a culture war, the term and others like it ('woke', 'white-knighting', 'snowflake', 'SJW' etc) have simply been misused to such a ludicrous degree that they are virtually meaningless beyond causing the user to look like a self-parody. On the other side of the aisle, in my view terms like 'misogynist', 'racist', 'nazi', 'fascist', etc basically fall under the same category. These words have real meaning and often very much apply, but they get used so often when they simply do not apply that at this point they practically lack any real meaning, at least to me. People will all too often call you these things not because you meet the definition, but simply to discredit you and render your viewpoint or argument null and void. I mean, who listens to a racist or a fascist? It happens here from time to time unfortunately.

Personally I prefer to explain my position in detail rather than falling back on words or terms that basically signal the reader to not take me seriously.

Nazi is used as an extreme, no one thinks that many people are true Nazis, but it's a short-form. Plus, when people like Richard Spencer and Milo Whatshisname do the Nazi salute, you have to call a spade a spade.

But when people whine about 3 sentences in a Polygon review, who do they think they're signaling to?

I think, in reality, some people are just rotten individuals that can't imagine empathizing with someone not like them, or wanting to make the world better for people not like them, even if it makes things slightly less great for themselves. Hence "virtue signaling," because they think that people are doing something to make themselves look good (to whom? no fucking clue) rather than because they feel it's right.

Some people are just selfish and rotten. The type of people who, on a long car ride, insist on playing music they like and don't care that you don't, or setting the temperature to one they can tolerate but you find annoying, rather than a middle ground. Because "this game would be better with more brown people in it" is, to them, somehow "white genocide." I don't mean you, Prez, I know you come down in the middle, in a space not "enlightened centrism" but "one side is worse, but both sides have ridiculous actors." I mean some of the people on this board that truly believe that a video game not made for them is somehow white genocide.
10.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 15, 2020, 10:38
Prez
 
10.
Re: Op Ed Feb 15, 2020, 10:38
Feb 15, 2020, 10:38
 Prez
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 15, 2020, 10:02:
The funny thing about "virtue signaling" is that nothing signals the lack of virtue like believing there's validity to the phrase.


The term actually had at one point a very valid and legitimate meaning. There is in fact A TON of virtue signalling going on whereby people pathetically try to score social acceptance points by very publicly endeavoring to appear progressive and tolerant, usually to the point of ridiculousness. Problem is, as with most of the terminology that crops up in a culture war, the term and others like it ('woke', 'white-knighting', 'snowflake', 'SJW' etc) have simply been misused to such a ludicrous degree that they are virtually meaningless beyond causing the user to look like a self-parody. On the other side of the aisle, in my view terms like 'misogynist', 'racist', 'nazi', 'fascist', etc basically fall under the same category. These words have real meaning and often very much apply, but they get used so often when they simply do not apply that at this point they practically lack any real meaning, at least to me. People will all too often call you these things not because you meet the definition, but simply to discredit you and render your viewpoint or argument null and void. I mean, who listens to a racist or a fascist? It happens here from time to time unfortunately.

Personally I prefer to explain my position in detail rather than falling back on words or terms that basically signal the reader to not take me seriously.

This comment was edited on Feb 15, 2020, 11:12.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
9.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 15, 2020, 10:02
Beamer
 
9.
Re: Op Ed Feb 15, 2020, 10:02
Feb 15, 2020, 10:02
 Beamer
 
The funny thing about "virtue signaling" is that nothing signals the lack of virtue like believing there's validity to the phrase.

I often wonder how some people get so offended by something without realizing that their being offended probably means they're crappy people. "OMG, there's a gay character!? How dare they!"
8.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 15, 2020, 00:22
8.
Re: Op Ed Feb 15, 2020, 00:22
Feb 15, 2020, 00:22
 
Prez wrote on Feb 14, 2020, 12:37:
The real problem activist journalists in gaming media have is that games aren't political in the specific way they want them to be. Hence goofy, pointless articles like this are written every few months as the subject arises in one way or another.

This is spot on.

One of the things that tends to happen in this conversation is that "political" tends to get confused with "propaganda". It is correct that politics does bleed into everything and every act has a political dimension. Good art will acknowledge this and engage with it in a way that is interesting and thought provoking. Propaganda is an attempted cultural and psychological hijack to convince the audience of some political position, and I think it is this that annoys people - particularly when it is done badly.

By confusing the two you get to claim that everything is political, thus propaganda and should therefore be the "correct" sort of propaganda.

Yes there is a blurry line between them and there are also other things going on here as well, such as preaching to the converted "virtue signalling". I'm also not sure how well it applies to the article in question because I didn't read it particularly closely (but this usually doesn't stop a good internet rant, and it isn't going to stop me!).
7.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 15, 2020, 00:21
7.
Re: Op Ed Feb 15, 2020, 00:21
Feb 15, 2020, 00:21
 
Eirikrautha wrote on Feb 14, 2020, 14:27:
Prez wrote on Feb 14, 2020, 11:00:
Again, a company maintaining political neutrality doesn't mean the employees who work there can't express their political views. But when you are in the business of selling an entertainment product to as many people in your diverse market as possible, keeping said entertainment products appealing to all portions of your market is wise. Alienating a significant portion of your potential market just to forward your own personal politics seems stupid to me.

That said, lots of people still maintain a game is "being political" simply by virtue of including homosexual or minority characters, which seems weird to me.

On a personal level I WILL NOT play a game that pushes an agenda, regardless if it's one I agree with or not. That's not why I play games. I game to get away from all that pointless, incessant, back-and-forth shit. Fortunately for me the vast majority of games are made to be entertainment, not recruitment tools, so I rarely run into this.

"Republicans buy shoes, too." -- Michael Jordan.
The provenance of the quote is mushy at best.
A mask is not a political statement. It's an IQ test.
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6.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 14, 2020, 23:58
6.
Re: Op Ed Feb 14, 2020, 23:58
Feb 14, 2020, 23:58
 
It's almost all fiction so even a political stance in a game is just fantasy, sort of funny to get offended. Like a lot of stories about the horrors of baddies taking over the world, killing all couldn't be looked at as offensive? And we just play those without batting an eye.

It's a story, not all stories are happy happy joy joy to everyone. It's like games have to always be to this higher standard than motion pictures.
Avatar 17232
5.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 14, 2020, 14:27
5.
Re: Op Ed Feb 14, 2020, 14:27
Feb 14, 2020, 14:27
 
Prez wrote on Feb 14, 2020, 11:00:
Again, a company maintaining political neutrality doesn't mean the employees who work there can't express their political views. But when you are in the business of selling an entertainment product to as many people in your diverse market as possible, keeping said entertainment products appealing to all portions of your market is wise. Alienating a significant portion of your potential market just to forward your own personal politics seems stupid to me.

That said, lots of people still maintain a game is "being political" simply by virtue of including homosexual or minority characters, which seems weird to me.

On a personal level I WILL NOT play a game that pushes an agenda, regardless if it's one I agree with or not. That's not why I play games. I game to get away from all that pointless, incessant, back-and-forth shit. Fortunately for me the vast majority of games are made to be entertainment, not recruitment tools, so I rarely run into this.

"Republicans buy shoes, too." -- Michael Jordan.
4.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 14, 2020, 12:37
Prez
 
4.
Re: Op Ed Feb 14, 2020, 12:37
Feb 14, 2020, 12:37
 Prez
 
The real problem activist journalists in gaming media have is that games aren't political in the specific way they want them to be. Hence goofy, pointless articles like this are written every few months as the subject arises in one way or another.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
3.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 14, 2020, 11:55
Cutter
 
3.
Re: Op Ed Feb 14, 2020, 11:55
Feb 14, 2020, 11:55
 Cutter
 
Ars and the snowflake patrol has missed the point entirely. Art isn't dollar driven, entertainment is. And Sweeny was just trafficking in the obvious with what every other mainstream corporation has been doing for decades - trying to remain politically and religiously agnostic. You can believe whatever you wish but the moment you start trying to push that on people is the moment you start losing customers. What political choices was I facing in DOOM for example? I guess if you had a pro-demon agenda you probably didn't like it. However, all the normal people enjoyed the hell out of it - no pun intended. Good grief!

"I didn't know you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words." - David
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2.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 14, 2020, 11:25
2.
Re: Op Ed Feb 14, 2020, 11:25
Feb 14, 2020, 11:25
 
I'm not sure why there is so much press over this. Tim Sweeney, Corporate-Human, wants to sell a lot of games. He is also a multi-millionaire, or billionaire? Of course he has no fucking concept of how most of humanity lives, and thinks everyone should just shut up and take their abuse from these generous corporations. *Protest Rant - Over*

If we're going to call video games art, then sometimes they will be 'political' if the game has any connection at all to reality. Sometimes, those 'politics' might disagree with your own, shocking! If only there was some way to, I don't know, not buy a game if you're not interested in it!? Or maybe, must maybe, somebody buys a game with a slightly different view point, and has their mind opened up a little?

The original quote by Tim Sweeney didn't even seem that inflammatory in my opinion. Of course multi-billion dollar corporations should avoid pissing large groups of people off if they want to sell games, how is this news? That's been going on for decades, in this industry and most others. At least in the US that corporate toe the line speak has been the de facto public facade of pretty much every corporation. Sweeney just said out loud what I would think every adult understands by now. Corporate games will continue to be deliberately bland, to avoid pissing off the screeching incels/racists, don't worry. Indie games will be a little more out there.

Avatar 54863
1.
 
Re: Op Ed
Feb 14, 2020, 11:00
Prez
 
1.
Re: Op Ed Feb 14, 2020, 11:00
Feb 14, 2020, 11:00
 Prez
 
Again, a company maintaining political neutrality doesn't mean the employees who work there can't express their political views. But when you are in the business of selling an entertainment product to as many people in your diverse market as possible, keeping said entertainment products appealing to all portions of your market is wise. Alienating a significant portion of your potential market just to forward your own personal politics seems stupid to me.

That said, lots of people still maintain a game is "being political" simply by virtue of including homosexual or minority characters, which seems weird to me.

On a personal level I WILL NOT play a game that pushes an agenda, regardless if it's one I agree with or not. That's not why I play games. I game to get away from all that pointless, incessant, back-and-forth shit. Fortunately for me the vast majority of games are made to be entertainment, not recruitment tools, so I rarely run into this.

This comment was edited on Feb 14, 2020, 11:11.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
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