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#GamerGate–the free ride is over

By on September 14, 2014 1:48:14 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

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I’ll hand the SJW anti-#Gamergate people one thing: They have chutzpah.  Seeing individuals who have a history of abusing, ridiculing, lying and misrepresenting people complaining about gamers is…just breathtaking.

The best thing that will come out of this #gamergate thing, and this is the one thing that I think its supporters should really take some pride in is this: The free ride is over. 

So many lurkers and neutral observers have been able to see how these guys operate: If you disagree with them you are either racist or sexist. There is no such thing as a principled argument as far as they’re concerned.

Remember: You’re always racist, sexist, evil no matter how absurd they have to stretch reality to make it so

Now, quick background on myself: I’m actually not very political. But I have been blogging for 15 years so there’s plenty of fodder available. I believe people should be able to do and say what they want as long as they’re not hurting anyone (and I don’t count “feelings” as hurting).

What most casual observers don’t realize is just how close knit the various aspects of the game industry really are. We really are a close knit group with one key distinction: We aren’t physically located near each other. As a result, forums, mailing lists and social networks are how we converse. This has created a lot of cliques.

For the past half decade, those cliques focused on “social justice” have been insulting, smearing and misrepresenting individuals or groups they decided represent “the other”. Because they received little or no push-back, they wrongly believed they represented the majority opinion on a given issue.

As someone who’s maintained a blog for 15 years, I’ve written a lot of words. Some of those words have made these guys angry and thus, at some point, they decided I was some sort of crazy right-winger.  I’m only a “crazy right-winger” if objecting to one group coercing another group is “right wing”. I don’t like telling people what to do and I don’t like being told what to do.

Long story short: Once these guys decided I was “the enemy” it’s been a never-ending stream of misrepresentation.  For people who think Zoe Quinn has had it bad for these past few months, come talk to me in 5 years. That’s about how long I’ve had SJWs stalk me around, misrepresenting what I’ve said, written and then distributing it far and wide to their like-minded friends.  Sounds a lot like the stuff they’re saying about #gamergate with regards to the people they’ve decide they don’t like.

The threshold required to become “the enemy” is very low. Feel free to look through my tweet history or my blogs. You won’t find me telling people to “fuck off” or “die in a fire” or calling people “pieces of shit”. or anything of that nature. I post my musings on any number of topics – from beekeeping to taxation.  That’s isn’t to say I’m not sometimes mean.  I can be a real jerk sometimes. 

On the other hand, if you rely on what others have claimed I have said or done, you would think I’m a monster. That’s how comfortable with distorting words they are. I suspect some of you who have watched #gamergate are now quite familiar with how comfortable the so-called SJWs are with making things up, sometimes from whole cloth, in order to make someone look horrible.

Then again, what do I know? I’m a “self proclaimed sexist, vulgar and embarrassing person” who has also publicly admitted to “eating babies”.

Case in point: fun little fantasy book reported as being “racist”

Lest you think I’m exaggerating on how petty yet dedicated they can be…

In 2010 I wrote a book.

I always wanted to write a book and I did. It’s a fantasy novel. I.e. Humans, Orcs, Elves, etc. type stuff. Random House even published it. Pretty cool eh? WRONG: My book was nothing but a thinly disguised racist screed on the need for building a border fence to keep the darkies out.  At least, that’s what I’m told.

What? How the hell did a light fantasy book become a political book?

Enter the SJW clique: self-described SJWs on a particular forum I participated in decided that my non-progressive views (I’m socially liberal, fiscally conservative, generally believe that people should be free to do what they want as long as they’re not hurting other people)  were unacceptable and harassed me to the point that the moderators banned them.  

And to be as fair as I can be: I wasn’t posting in some political thread. I was posting on a game forum in a thread about a game I was working on.  They had followed me to this thread and were being abusive and off-topic and they got banned for it.

So the wife of one of the people who got banned (who was, btw, the original editor-in-chief of Kotaku – I must have missed the article with the headline “Former Kotaku editor banned for stalking, harassing game developer”), wrote a fake review of my book which claimed that it was a racist book in which the heroes were building a fence to keep dark-skinned people out.

Only one problem: My book has no fence and there are no dark-skinned people in the book. They made it up. Completely.

Having labeled my little fantasy book a racist screed, they immediately created forum posts and Reddits (like this one) http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/d6mvk/so_stardock_ceo_brad_wardell_wrote_a_book_about_a/.  

So our “fair minded” SJWs proceeded to assume I was a monster and of course ripped my book apart and then jumped onto Amazon.com (note that not one of the 1-star reviews is by a verified purchaser – and if you look at the reviews, M.J. Gallant was the person banned from the forum for harassment and, again, was once the EIC of Kotaku and his wife was the one who wrote the fake review claiming my book was racist – that’s the level of dedication.  Note the dates of the 1-star reviews too, clumped together).

Now mind you, I’m not going to argue that my book was some sort of literary masterpiece. I’m a game developer. I had the chance to write a book and I did and you know what? It’s not a bad book. It was a fun, interesting learning experience that didn’t hurt anyone.

Look, I’m a game developer. Having my creative endeavors criticized goes with the territory. After 20 years, my skin is so thick that I barely notice death threats anymore. 

But this isn’t about having a thick skin. Imagine you had always wanted to write a book. You spend a year writing it and it even gets published – to book stores and everything -- only to have a bunch of assholes misrepresent the book and send their friends to trash and ridicule it? Imagine going to a family get together and having relatives say “Is your book really racist?”

Remember, the abuse I received had nothing to do with the quality of the book. If books based on a video game were regularly pilloried we’d have a never ending stream of Reddits. 

No, the reason I was targeted is because SJWs, the people who now represent the bulk of the “anti-#GamerGate” crowd, are perfectly comfortable with harassment and abuse as long as it’s the right people doing the harassment and abuse: Themselves.

Not an isolated incident

This isn’t just some isolated incident.  Having been in the game industry for 20 years, I’ve watched, with some sorrow, as their movement has organized and coalesced.  They’re too polite to call what they do “raiding” but, in effect, this is what they’ve been doing. This is what they continue to do and have been doing for years.

So here we are in 2014 and they’re finally getting a little push back and they’re outraged and upset. They’ve spent years being able to ridicule, abuse and harass people and things they don’t like with impunity.  I don’t blame them for being upset now. The free ride is over.

My recommendation is this: Don’t get your gang to attack, abuse or ridicule any individual. Attack the message not the person. Argue about ideas and philosophies don’t resort to character assassination. Because if you do, you are in no position to take some moral high ground.

 

Update 1: What inspired me to write this article was reading posts by people attacking #gamergate and clicking on their profile to see what else they had posted on only to find, surprise surprise they had participated in smearing me.  I used the book example specifically because it showed that the SJWs were happy to stalk my activities well outside my day job as a game developer and into my private works. It wasn't enough for them to just go around onto various game sites and attack me, they went out to slime me in an area that obviously has nothing to do with game development.

 

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September 14, 2014 1:46:46 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Bravo 

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September 14, 2014 2:06:18 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Brad, I'm ashamed to say I was one of the people at the time that believed all this shit about you. In hindsight I should have looked for more info rather than the out of context sceenshots and the like that were being posted on sites and forums.

This whole #gamergate incident has reinforced my belief in questioning everything and never accepting anything on the face of it. If we believed the lies of the mainstream media over this we would think it was all just some misguided misogynistic harrassment campaign against Zoe Quinn, rather than the drive for ethics that it really is. 

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September 14, 2014 2:31:40 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Hi there while i never even knew that you wrote a book or how you are (since i stopped reading any gamemagazin after the first feministique blog that rubbed me the wrong way).

I will just bought your book an will be sure to give it a fair review, though my reviews usualy suck.

as to your games i know i liked most if not all of the games you guys make and i bought, though i think i was angry with you guys lately for a DRM  not sure anymore, this case is something more important where we have to band together there is enough time to discuss other stuff later.

 

 

 

 

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September 14, 2014 2:44:54 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Tacgnol9001,

Brad, I'm ashamed to say I was one of the people at the time that believed all this shit about you. In hindsight I should have looked for more info rather than the out of context sceenshots and the like that were being posted on sites and forums.

This whole #gamergate incident has reinforced my belief in questioning everything and never accepting anything on the face of it. If we believed the lies of the mainstream media over this we would think it was all just some misguided misogynistic harrassment campaign against Zoe Quinn, rather than the drive for ethics that it really is. 

Don't feel ashamed.  Good people assume other people are telling the truth.  

Until they started targeting me, I had never run into a group that simply made things up in order to demonize someone else.  I always assumed that there was a misunderstanding or miscommunication.

It took me a long time to realize that they were purposely making things up because their objective was to marginalize/punish me for being (in their view) a "bad person". The ends justified the means.

Every time you see someone say something like "Brad admitted he's a sexist, vulgar, embarrassing person" remember that they're referring to a cherry picked sentence from a cherry picked email that was obviously trying to be sarcastic.  

There's even a story on the net about me supporting Glenn Beck or being a big Fox News person, neither of which are true. Made up, whole cloth because I wrote, ON FACEBOOK, that I'd use a different shipper if UPS was going to start boycotting TV networks for political reasons.

And it's not like the facts aren't out there to corroborate this. That's why I always assumed it was an honest mistake. But they weren't being honest and they knew it.

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September 14, 2014 2:46:32 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting centrum5555,

Hi there while i never even knew that you wrote a book or how you are (since i stopped reading any gamemagazin after the first feministique blog that rubbed me the wrong way).

I will just bought your book an will be sure to give it a fair review, though my reviews usualy suck.

as to your games i know i liked most if not all of the games you guys make and i bought, though i think i was angry with you guys lately for a DRM  not sure anymore, this case is something more important where we have to band together there is enough time to discuss other stuff later.

 

A fair review (positive or negative) would certainly be a welcome change.

DRM is a tough thing.  Stardock is pretty anti-copy protection.  But we insist that our games have some way to connect the individual to a Stardock account because we've seen too many digital distributors go out of business over the years (heck, even Impulse!) and we want our customers to be able to redownload our games from us regardless of where they originally purchased them.

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September 14, 2014 3:34:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I guess being the Stardock CEO means you don't have to abide by silly rules like the ban on political/inflammatory threads.

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September 14, 2014 3:41:04 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

As someone who is actually right-wing (and a Glenn Beck supporter BTW), it kills me a little inside when someone sees me as racist/sexist instead of principled. My skin is thick enough to handle it; what kills me is how our western society has convinced so many people that disagreement = evil. Just because I don't want to allow people to be able to choose to kill unborn human babies doesn't mean I hate women, for example. It's so divisive that people shut their minds off to alternate viewpoints and there is no upside to that mentality.

I will happily and graciously debate someone with whom I disagree, without slinging hyperbole. And sometimes I can be convinced my original viewpoint was wrong

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September 14, 2014 3:42:56 PM from Offworld Trading Company Forums Offworld Trading Company Forums

Not going to lie Brad...I have certainly read a lot of shit about you in the past on various sites. However I have always based my own view of you (or at least your online presence) on what I have seen you actually post and your interaction with the community which has always been stellar.

 

The reason I originally set up this account was because I had an issue with an impulse download back in '08, you sorted out my issue near enough instantly and kept me informed. Sounds stupid but that is the sort of thing I think of when I think of Stardock and yourself, not what 'others' have to say. Your political leanings have zero influence on myself. 

 

Sorry to hear about all the stuff you have had to deal with (that reddit thread in particular is all sorts of ridiculous).

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September 14, 2014 3:47:11 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

This is about as political as a thread on Micheal Savage being a complete asshole would be.  He's got a political orientation, but you'd be hard pressed to find even hard liners like myself that didn't think he was an asshole.  The nutbar SJW's aren't nutbars because they vote democrat, they're nutbars because they run around being hypersensitive about everything and trashing people without reason.

 

Think of it as a thread on farming, instead of politics.  We're just talking about fertilization techniques.

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September 14, 2014 3:58:56 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

What did Brad get out of posting this? Sure I guess he thinks he's refuting his critics but to me it seems he's hurting his company's image for no good reason. I did not know about his views before, but now that I have read about them, I think rather less of him.

This isn't going to help his lawsuit either.

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September 14, 2014 4:08:30 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Maybe to him truth is more important than image? Sometimes folks just have to vent.

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September 14, 2014 4:31:26 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Landgrab,

What did Brad get out of posting this? Sure I guess he thinks he's refuting his critics but to me it seems he's hurting his company's image for no good reason. I did not know about his views before, but now that I have read about them, I think rather less of him.

This isn't going to help his lawsuit either.

If nothing else, it allows him to vent his frustration in a forum where 99% of the people will agree with him. Knowing that others agree and support you is a great feeling, and effectively therapeutic.

Having been subjected to these types of people and their methods myself, I agree with him 100%.

However, it is naive for anyone on this forum to believe that this is solely an issue in the gaming industry.

Sadly, the kind of of people that smear Brad are a cancer on the internet, and they occupy every type of forum imaginable.

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September 14, 2014 4:42:26 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Landgrab,

I guess being the Stardock CEO means you don't have to abide by silly rules like the ban on political/inflammatory threads.

This isn't REALLY a thread. It's a reply section of his own personal blog that seems to somehow get cross-posted to the forums. I guess that's how Stardock's blog system works though.

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September 14, 2014 4:58:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

This blog post is spreading like wildfire in #GamerGate and they are all proud that a developer has the courage to stand up to the hordes, and hoping more will do the same.

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September 14, 2014 5:09:46 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Thank God for anonymity, I mean egoistically, it protects me from them since I have no character to assassinate.

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September 14, 2014 5:10:40 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Maybe not 99% of everybody agrees with Brad, but definitely produces a debate that is not so inflammatory.  The community on this forum in general is good and these comments by Brad show that he is a person and not some robot making fun games to play. In fact, the only reason that I participated so intently with FE is because of Brads promise to fix what he did wrong. I know I sank 100's of hours trying to make that game the gem that Brad wanted. I never did get WOM, but I did purchase both FE and FE:LH, just so I can continue to help out that game to become great.

I feel bad for people that have to deal with this in general. I hope to see an end to this nonsense soon, it really detracts from the real point of gaming, which is entertainment. Oh, I should mention that Brad's honey is the best and thank you.

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September 14, 2014 6:26:23 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Speech Fascist meets Firefly

                       ... what could go wrong 

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September 14, 2014 6:40:49 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting myfist0,

Speech Fascist meets Firefly

 

Holy crap! The hyper-sensitive PC police strike again...and in this case it was the actual police.

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September 14, 2014 8:00:41 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Landgrab,

What did Brad get out of posting this? Sure I guess he thinks he's refuting his critics but to me it seems he's hurting his company's image for no good reason. I did not know about his views before, but now that I have read about them, I think rather less of him.

This isn't going to help his lawsuit either.

We won that lawsuit.  The plaintiff had to write a public apology. 

The lawsuit itself is a great example of the SJW mentality.  It's all fun in games to make up a bunch of disgusting allegations about someone but the legal system doesn't look kindly on it.

What views do you think I have btw?

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September 14, 2014 8:48:11 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


What views do you think I have btw?

 Pandora's box should not be opened....

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September 14, 2014 8:56:57 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

I'm genuinely curious. 

I spend a lot of time on our forums talking to other gamers because that's what motivates me to make games.  I like the gaming community. When some small group starts deriding them it irritates me to no end.

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September 14, 2014 9:15:16 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

The real difference between "Liberals" and "Conservatives" is that Liberals think that Conservatives are evil...while Conservatives think Liberals are merely ignorant, or misguided.  So, when you hear Liberals or SJW's attacking those they see as Conservatives, you have to keep in mind that they truely believe that anything they say or do iis permissible as they are fighting "evil"...

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September 14, 2014 9:22:30 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting redwing6,

The real difference between "Liberals" and "Conservatives" is that Liberals think that Conservatives are evil...while Conservatives think Liberals are merely ignorant, or misguided.  So, when you hear Liberals or SJW's attacking those they see as Conservatives, you have to keep in mind that they truely believe that anything they say or do iis permissible as they are fighting "evil"...

Source?

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September 14, 2014 9:29:16 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting redwing6,

The real difference between "Liberals" and "Conservatives" is that Liberals think that Conservatives are evil...while Conservatives think Liberals are merely ignorant, or misguided.  So, when you hear Liberals or SJW's attacking those they see as Conservatives, you have to keep in mind that they truely believe that anything they say or do iis permissible as they are fighting "evil"...

I agree but I'd like to add an addendum.

The problem is not just that liberals think conservatives are evil and thus deserving of any abuse imaginable. It's that some of these liberals think that anyone who doesn't share all their views is a radical right winger.

One of our regular debates around here has to do with the environment. Am a liberal or a conservative? I am a beekeeper. My house is powered 100% by renewable energy (in fact, my solar array is actually a net power generator). I drive an electric car powered by said solar array. One of my hobbies involves restoring wetlands, gardening, raising chickens, etc.  BUT I'm a global warming skeptic (which isn't the same as being a denier, I think we should reduce our carbon foot print on principle but I balk at having people forced to do so). So am I a liberal or a conservative when it comes to the environment?

In other words, I support a lot of things that liberals support UNTIL they start wanting those beliefs enforced by the government. 

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September 14, 2014 10:07:12 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

I very much admire your courage and just bought your book. Not a gamer, just someone has espoused classical liberalism from a very early age and is thoroughly disgusted by the rise of these liberal fascists.

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