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Friday, August 29, 2014


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I just wanted to add another great article to the mix. This one seems to be a watershed article in its own right: http://dangolding.tumblr.com/post/95985875943/the-end-of-gamers


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"A gritty, stylized world built on the corpses of women" Oh boy, this is hilarious! I enjoy reading these articles this morning, they are so full of inner hate and misinterpreted information! Getting laugh for a days!


"A gritty, stylized world built on the corpses of women..." add "The poor, the heretical, the non-confirming, and the indigenous" and you pretty much DO have the RL game Swaggering White Christian Males of The West.

Could not resist that. How about some games that level you up for solving violent problems without using a lethal weapon?

"A great victory
is a funeral ceremony" --Lao-Tzu

Sam Peters

"Two groups are at opposite ends of this moment"

No they're not there is actually alot of nuance and diversity of opinion but like most bad media you like to convey a ridiculous black and white argument.

The issue of her gamer status is only raised because it is not that she is "cherry picking" tiny portions of games and overexagerating the problem (though she does), it is that most of those so called cherries are based on complete fabrications that not only makes her arguments extremely disengenious it just proves she never properly played the vast majority of them. The fact she is on camera saying she hasn't played video games since she was a child and actually finds them pointlessly violent, just adds to the huge level distrust that she has no respect for the community or of a realistic depiction of gaming, so when she's on main stream media saying how much she loves games makes people feel like some abstract intellectual has come along to arbitrarily stamp her pre-conceived views on the whole games industry.

This article is a glorified copy+paste of other articles that don't deal with any sensible criticism and just fly off the handle. Sarchesian has some fairly out there views that just encourage the above exaggeration of:

"You know what's not escapism? Having to wonder if any given game (or movie, or book) you pick up is going to include women primarily as prostitutes, murdered girlfriends, vulnerable daughters, and rape victims."

On the back of Sarkesian's "cherry picking" (too generous a definition) comes a whole litany of Trojan horse extremes that paints the average male that plays games as, rapey, hateful of women, and possibly prone to RL reenactments of the violence they take part in in video games.

These tropes are as old as the hills, nursery rhymes, songs, stories, mythology, most of recorded history where EVERYONE deals with objectification and limitation, male, female, young, old etc etc. It's not that some of these tropes aren't offensive to women, it's that it's grossly exaggerated both in the suggested frequency, and the implications of it in the sense that the average gamer must be extremely sexist and takes great pleasure in doing violence to women, or that the games industry is any more sexist than TV, Music, or Film. The truth is that violence is a dark and generally undiscerning phenomenon, hijacking the issue and using it for a rather extreme feminist's tool not only makes it sound as though violence done to women in those games is the only thing to be shocked at, but she rather irresponsibly makes the whole gaming community sound extremely mysoginistic which is offensive to that community if it comes from an insincere place where she makes up half of her arguments. Some of what she says has some point but anyone who watches her videos and can't see that she is careless with her reporting probably has the same narrow pre-dertimented agenda that she did when starting the videos.

It is just as offensive to call someone a mysoginist who is not as it is to actually be a mysognist, a double standard easily forgotten. NWN much like the rest of the media that reports this story throws the word around with as much care as the gratuitous violence they want to be show to critique.


Can we please stop focusing on garbage like this and focus on the games. I'm no not interested in your political views.


If she is as wrong about misogyny in the gaming industry, then why are people getting so upset? Call her a troll and move on, but I think she called the culture on it's"stuff" therefore forcing a deep seated norm to reassess itself in regard to larger inclusion, which is something we tend to hate in this country of elite enclaves.


Violations of Human Rights and Human Dignity outrank and overturn feeble tool considerations... ask any state prosecutor.


I brought this up on Plurk and got no answer, and I'd really like one.

So where was this social justice when you guys were quoting a player who wants "nappy" hair in SL and pretends to be a voice for black players in this game? What happened with that? You think we forgot?

Take the plank out of your own eye before you start calling for equality, because it's sounding a lot like armchair feminism over here.

Iris Ophelia

@Cake It is absolutely *NOT* my place as a white person to tell a black person what is and is not an acceptable way to describe their own hair.


Can you read? Pussy Catnip is NOT black. Yet you guys quote her over and over on black issues. Do you even understand how offensive that is?


Literally this was brought up in your own plurk, and the only thing you did was say "Hey guys playing Harvest Moon, bye!" and then leave again. It really seems like you're not addressing the issue. Because of your willful ignorance on this, I'm going to assume you really don't give a shit and just disregard this blog altogether. I've freaking had it.

Austin Walker

Weren't there black folk in that very plurk talking about how they used "nappy" too? As a black dude, I've absolutely used the term playfully with black friends, have heard it used offensively/as an insult by white and black folk, and seen it used to different effect across generations. All of this isn't to say "using 'nappy' is fine!" It's to say "Hey, maybe this is actually more complicated than any one person's lived experience--not that it invalidates that experience, either.

My suspicion about that Plurk thread is that Iris didn't feel like it was her place to adjudicate the positions of different PoC about this issue? As a black guy, I appreciate that. It wasn't her fight to get into once it was clear that even PoC disagreed on this.

Iris Ophelia


1) It was brought up in a Plurk that had over 200 replies that all happened while I was busy. I responded to the most recent issue in the thread and moved on. I did not respond to your issue because several black SLers had told you in that thread that they describe their own hair using that term, and their words on the subject carry much more weight than mine should.

2) I do not make it a policy to ask people to prove their race, gender, orientation etc to me. As a white, straight, cis woman that would be really fucking gross. The only things I know for sure about Pussycat personally are that sometimes she says things I agree with, and sometimes she says things I disagree with.

3)Please remember that the things that I post and the things that Hamlet posts are separate. I have little say over what he posts and vice versa. I can only speak for myself and my own posts, and I'm 90% sure I've only quoted Pussycat once regarding a point she made about gender in games.


"As a white, straight, cis woman that would be really fucking gross."
"Cake It is absolutely *NOT* my place as a white person to tell a black person what is and is not an acceptable way to describe their own hair."

Over-compensate much Iris?

Nice to see Austin Walker bring in some perceptive voice of reason so this comment thread doesn't sound like a stereotypically angry black person vs. an apologetic white, why don't you add something to the discussion Cake instead of throwing a pissy little tantrum.

Arm chair feminism? Right, a 160k set of videos and 'death threats' aren't newsworthy but a few comments on NWN about obscure virtual hair is? This commentator most people will never read, or care about, what exactly is at stake for such great social justice?


Pissy tantrum? Nice. I've asked more than once about this. Even an African player asked Catnip to stop because what she was doing was uncomfortable. No changes were made.

Yes it does strike me as hypocritical when a call for better treatment in games is made here and you guys won't even think about who you're quoting and if what they're saying is a slur.

You DO need to get reference of what a player is saying and who they are if you're featuring them. "It's not my place to ask" and "I don't want to ask if this person actually is of that race" become very important when slurs are uttered.

Then again, you guys have been making excuses about this for a while.


"several black SLers had told you in that thread that they describe their own hair using that term,"

You are lying. Three black SL'ers spoke up: myself, Lourdes, and Kodeine. We all said nappy was derogatory. Stop lying.

Iris Ophelia

@Cake Can you please link me to the post I made that quoted Pussycat Catnap using a slur? I will absolutely address it, but I can't find it and don't remember it.


OMG Iris grow a back bone

Iris Ophelia

@TruthTalks I'm not the one hiding behind a pseudonym whining about maintaining the status quo.


Why was my comment deleted? IS being straight and white now a crime? Sheez you thin skinned folks I tell ya.


You did address it. And it was your article.

"@Cake Why apologize? It's a perfectly valid opinion.

Posted by: Iris Ophelia | Sunday, December 02, 2012 at 08:12 PM "



The status quo of comments about SL hair in 2012, fight the power!

Iris Ophelia

@Cake Ah okay, I remember this exchange super clearly. First of all, this was a comment, not a post I made highlighting her at all. She commented and I responded. Pussycat Catnap pointed out that Truth has basically zero natural-looking black hairstyles, and that terms that could be used to describe the hairstyles she was looking for returned no search results. I replied, agreeing that it was unfortunate that a lot of SL designers shied away from those kinds of styles. Then you said this:

"On behalf of other black players in SL, I apologize for Pussycat's comments. We're not all like this.

Posted by: Cake | Sunday, December 02, 2012 at 05:23 PM"

I remember being a bit mad at that comment, because I interpreted it to mean that you though Pussycat was unreasonable for being disappointed that one of the most popular hair brands in SL has essentially no natural hairstyles for black avatars. Which is a very reasonable thing to be disappointed about IMO. So I replied "@Cake Why apologize? It's a perfectly valid opinion." Truth is not the most diverse brand, and it's not unfair to point that out.


What she said was highlighted, I didn't find out about it until it was advertised somewhere else. Probably on Plurk. But it was featured somewhere. I didn't just come to the blog and read that because I don't read NWN regularly at all.

If you're angry, then get angry at both myself and Ohna. Ohna is from Africa. She wasn't cool with what Catnip said either.

And weird, why didn't you say something when my own skin color was being made fun of in that section? Was that appropriate, yet everything else wasn't?

This whole thing flying over your head, still, makes me give up and proves my point. Also reminds me of this article:


We can talk about feminism, we can talk about problems in games, but we can't see when there is a problem with women of color who say, in numbers, that something is wrong. This is white feminism. It's also called "armchair feminism".

Iris Ophelia

@Cake ((Sorry, I was typing this up as an addendum to my last comment before you posted yours, so I'll expand on it a bit))

I'll add that in revisiting these comments it's clear that Pussycat isn't black and shouldn't be using the word she used. It's also not okay of her to call you "Uncle Tomish" or appraise anyone else's skin tones, and I regret that I didn't follow the comments long enough to catch that. The fact is that I don't get email notifications or follow comments sections too closely on my posts here due to harassment I've gotten about my games writing, so Hamlet handles the majority of the moderation and response on all NWN posts. During busy periods things can and do slip through the cracks and I can only assume that was the case here.

While I don't recall personally "featuring" Pussycat's comments beyond a good point she made about women in games (and politely replying to her a couple times over the past few years, I guess?) it's possible that Hamlet has -- and after he reads this thread he will probably be much less inclined to in the future. If you have any other action items to suggest for us, I'm all ears.


Thank you.

Hamlet Au

Aemeth/Cake: We've exchanged nearly 10 e-mails over the last few years. If you had an objection with any post we made, how come you didn't just e-mail me?


here we go again, the evil male dominated gaming industry treating women as objects or worse.. blah blah..

This is like a rorsach test, people see what you want to see. Some people see White male supressing lesbian feminists everywhere, and others get along happily and thinking those other ones are nuts.

My view on this? Well I don't blame this blog for posting this, beacuse it triggers a lot of responses and a lot of traffic. On the other hand the comments are usually not in favour so there is a risk of alienating the readers. And quite frankly there has been a series of posts like this lately (I'm just here for the virtual Worlds updates man, leave the politics at the door).

And so the World turns, meanwhile someone else is posting a video about transgender people portraied badly in popular culture, or how all characters in games should be de-gendered completely so noone get any prejudice of the limitations of the character, preferable without any specific skin color either.

I've seen it all, now how about them virtual worlds?

ps. what is CIS and is that as bad as ISIS, sounds similar?

Pussycat Catnap

That's the first time I've read anyone object to me using 'nappy' in that context.

There was some Plurk thread about this? The link above looks like its just me posting a list of things I searched for to see if ANY of them would give a hit in response.

Here's a clue for some of you: try some expressly derogatory terms in SL search - they WILL get returns.

I've always hear 'nappy' as referring to very curly hair, and only seen it meant negatively a very scant number of times. But be that as it may - for a test to see what might return in search, it seemed valid to mix in both better and worser terms.

Obviously what one finds offensive varies by region: or we would not have anyone using "oriental" in search - which is a derogatory word where I live.

As to my ethnicity, it is mixed - heritage from 4 continents, only one of which is Africa. You cannot see a trace of that particular part of my heritage in me - though I grew up inner city around the black community, follow an African religion, and have studied African history at length. BUT I cannot speak for people of the African diaspora and don't pretend to.

What I can speak for is people of color living in the western world.

On that score - I can call someone Uncle Tomish if that is how they act. I am in a minority community, I am a minority - but one does not have to be one to recognize that kind of conduct. And commenting on skin tones of avatars - that is perfectly valid ground for anyone to comment on - and in particular someone seeking and failing to find a particular choice.

Pussycat Catnap

"I remember being a bit mad at that comment, because I interpreted it to mean that you though Pussycat was unreasonable for being disappointed that one of the most popular hair brands in SL has essentially no natural hairstyles for black avatars. Which is a very reasonable thing to be disappointed about IMO."

That's how I interpreted Cake's comment as well. But otherwise I don't remember that issue well, as it was some time ago and odd to see it 'dragged up totally out of context' all over again here.

I may have also, at the time, assumed she was one of my former SLU-stalkers. Which led me to just feel dismissive of her when maybe I should not have - but her comment was of a tone that invited me to be dismissive

I don't believe 'nappy' was the first term I tried back in that search, though its hard to remember. It was probably more of a "well, all the things I'd think to use have failed... lets move to the 'off list'. After all, searching 'oriental' does often return results for avatar-customization, which is a term I'd not use in RL here out of respect for the full-blooded Asians in my community. Though its also not the term I'd start with.

I stopped reading that old thread long ago, before the full list of replies where made, so I never saw Cake's photo. She looks closer to a Caucasian that I do... but that's also something open to interpretation / the nature of the photo which looks to have some lighting fading it a bit.

I know I've stated 'Uncle Tom' somewhere recently in regards to something - but I don't recall the comment / context. Interesting that there are people so obsessed with me and my stance on things that they record all of this... and use Plurk to track it or something? I don't know - I don't use Plurk - so I guess it is a good place to go and chat up about me if you want to be sure I won't see it and be able to respond.

But that also prevents me from being able to learn from whatever mistakes I have made.

I'll refrain from using 'nappy' then. Just as I often remind people to reconsider how they use 'oriental'. The term has not been given a negative context where I grew up - but I need to remember this is a global community.

Pussycat Catnap

"Can you read? Pussy Catnip is NOT black. Yet you guys quote her over and over on black issues. Do you even understand how offensive that is?"

I don't see them quoting me on 'black issues'. I do see them responding to me when I comment - often on general minority issues. My Sub-Saharan African Ancestor left Africa in the 1840s, so I don't consider myself African as I have more recent Ancestors from China, the Amazon, Morocco, and Central Asia.

I've never kept that a secret.

I am studied in parts of African history - as it relates to west Africa in the late middle ages, and to Ethiopia. To a lesser degree, also regarding current issues.

Yes, I have an African avatar, and my comments are in that context at times - when it specifically relates to avatar issues or how avatars get responded to based on how they appear...

And at other times in the context of actually being a person of color at other times.

Cake's avatar, before she left SL (if I read her blog right), was, if I recall screenshots right; Caucasian - so her inworld reference gave a different experience.

I have been very direct in noting that avatars get responded to differently based on what RL-race they appear to present as. Through my alts I have been able to verify that this is not about me, and that I can adjust the response I get by changing the skintone of that avatar - in both directions.

THAT is NOT me speaking specifically about "Black issues" - as a person of color, that is an issue all of us who are not Caucasian face.

I don't know that they quote me a lot... they seem to quote other people more than me from my perspective. If one wants to get quoted around here though - you've got to first post up with a perspective that enlightens on something they don't seem to have covered themselves.

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