Thursday Freebies

Well, folks. There have been a lot of interesting things happening on my internet, so I thought I’d take a moment to share them with you all.

Things related to #GamerGate or similar douchebaggery

This piece by Mattie Brice about feeling like a sacrifice made in the name of diversity is heartbreaking and important and you need to go read it.

Remember that #GamerGate-funded anti-Anita Sarkeesian documentary that was funding through Patreon? Well it turns out that it’s imploding over a feud between the two creators, and it. Is. Glorious. (Sing it with me! SCHHHAAAAAADENFREEEUUDE!!)

Over on Twitter, the ever-flawless Chris Chinn talked about the psychology behind derailing bullshit like “if you don’t take the time to educate me, how will I learn” and why people who use that logic are abusers, plain and simple. Check out this wonderful storify of it, it’s amazing.

Things that are awesome and worthy of praise

This looks like a really interesting game – a puzzler that is a critical examination of the surveillance state? Too bad it looks like it’s only for iOs.

Okay, this is about comics, not games. But this short comic by Ronald Wimberly is the best explanation of colorism I’ve seen for those not familiar with the term – and is super interesting to boot!

This applies to game-writing too.

So does this.

I almost never promote KickStarters here (mostly because it’s impossible for me to promote everything that I think needs promoting), but Julie Dillon is one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy artists of all time; her work is amazingly diverse and inclusive in addition to being fucking gorgeous. So considering that I spend so much time talking about what awful game art looks like – THIS is what I mean when I talk about what game arout COULD be. This is her second KickStarter, and she’s already well past her initial funding goal, but there are some nifty rewards so it’s worth checking out if you’re hunting for some more art in your life.

Lastly: because it’s worth repeating

Over on Google+, a friend kindly gave me the opportunity to pontificate about the proper use of semicolons (she did ask). Then I thought I would share my answer more widely, because I do love the semicolon. Consider this a PSA:

Semicolons are for joining two complete sentences that are related. If separated, each sentence COULD stand on its own if it had to. But the semicolon is to designate a clear connection.

Frex:

Alice carefully removed the rest of the monitors and unhooked herself from the machine. It was a clumsy operation; her hands shook, and the pods had not been designed for self-removal.

The semi-colon acknowledges that “it was a clumsy operation” and “her hands … self-removal” are complete thoughts that are still dependent on one another. Plus, a period between sentences two and three would make this section feel clunky.

That’s a pretty simplistic explanation, but if you’re interested in more I’d recommend tracking down a copy of Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss; it’s an amazingly accessible book on the use of punctuation that also manages to be entertaining and a quick read.

(See what I did there?)

Now go forth and sin against the semicolon no more!

5 thoughts on “Thursday Freebies

  1. Thanks for these. The storify about the psychology of abusers got me thinking about the claim that abusers /know/ that they are derailing/moving goalposts/being abusive. I mean, I don’t want to say “abusers are insane” because that would be some ablelist bullshit, but I honestly think that a lot of abusers (of all types) are genuinely not intentional in their actions.

    Take gaslighting for example. If it’s possible for an abuser to make their victim question their own memory of events, isn’t it also possible for the abuser’s own mental gymnastics to cloud their own memory? When an abuser claims they love their victim, maybe they aren’t always saying it to the victim, maybe they are trying to convince themselves, or trying to justify their actions within their conflicting beliefs.

    This is sounding like some “have pity on the abusers” kind of argument, which isn’t what I’m trying to say (I hope?). I’m just trying to say that the claim that abusers fully understand their behavior and its consequences is probably not true.

    Disclaimer: I have no expertise in this field whatsoever, but I notice that the most damaging behavior of mine* is always the result of NOT understanding what I’m doing and why. It’s not an absolution of responsibility, since that would just be reviving the “but I didn’t MEAN to” argument…but I think it’s still different?

    *Usually some badly worded arguments that make me sound like a fascist, or criticism of a thing that hurts someone’s feelings.

    • Make no mistake, this behavior is being used by people who are desperately looking for ways to excuse their own, as Chris Chinn puts it, lack of basic human decency. If their argument boils down to “jump through these hoops and THEN I MIGHT honor your basic human dignity”, they are a shitstain. Any time someone makes fundamental human decency contingent on the behavior of a marginalized person, that person is engaging in abusive behavior. Whether they successfully delude themselves into believing that’s not the case is immaterial – their bad behavior is on THEM and no one else.

    • [Context note: I grew up in a dysfunctional family. There was some behaviour which was on the abusive spectrum. I’m still getting over it. This colours things for me.]

      Okay, first up the most charitable possible interpretation of any abusive behaviour is probably that the abuser is defending their own world-view in an overly-aggressive fashion. A large number of people who behave in an abusive fashion are former victims of abusive behaviour themselves, and they’re reacting in the way they’ve learned. This does not make what they’ve learned any more likely to be appropriate behaviour for adults in a civil society.

      Secondly, abusive behaviour is not and cannot be defined by the intent of the abuser. It is defined by the impact on the victim. I don’t care how nicely someone means it when they’re stepping on my foot – they still need to get off my foot. I don’t care how necessary they think stepping on my foot might be – they still need to get off my foot. I’m not interested in the depths of their ignorance which allows them to believe stepping on my foot is the right thing to do – particularly when they’re still stepping on my foot, and they need to get off my foot. I don’t care how appropriate they’ve been raised to think stepping on my foot is – they still need to get off my foot.

      Thirdly, the nicest thing I have to say to the kind of nincompoop who expects me to give them their information piece by piece is “do your own bloody homework”.

      (Incidentally: from my reading of people who HAVE worked in the field, the average abuser couldn’t give a good god-damn about the feelings of their victim. The victim, to them, is not a real human being, but rather an object. The only feelings which have relevance, in an abuser’s mind, are their own, and possibly the feelings of people they respect and/or fear.)

      • I 100% agree with what you and wundergeek above said. I think my own wonderings are about the specific claim that “abusers understand what they are doing”, not arguing about harm or blame. An abuser can be acting entirely on instinct or feeling and still cause the same damage and be just as blameworthy as one who works on calculated logic.

        To decontextualize: I could make the same arguments about a claim that “pro skateboarders understand the physics of skateboarding” – maybe some do, and maybe some just work on muscle memory & energy drinks, but the external effect is the same.

        To paraphrase wondergeek: any answer to my wonderings is immaterial to the fact of the abuse happening and as to who is responsible.

        It *might* affect how people (e.g. support groups, law enforcement, government) approach preventing or stopping abuse. It should not be a factor in how a victim reacts to abuse.

  2. Great post as always. It is especially amusing to watch the pair of goons behind the “Sarkisian Effect” have their lamentable falling out. I just wanted to point out a typo in the article: in the paragraph about Julia Dillon’s Kickstarter, you wrote “when I talk about what game AROUT”.

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