Adrian Chmielarz Interview—#GamerGate, Vitriol, and Saying Enough is Enough

Adrian Chmielarz 12-11-14-2

This is yet another developer interview that is focused on the consumer revolt that is known as #GamerGate. A previous interview I conducted with another well-known developer, Christian Allen, got the attention of Adrian Chmielarz, another video game developer.

Upon probing him for an interview, he obliged and gave me some of his time, even though I’m sure he’s busy at work porting The Vanishing of Ethan Carter to Playstation 4. Without further ado, please enjoy our interview below:


Niche Gamer: For our fans that are not familiar with your background or your work, could you give us a brief rundown of where you come from? What got you into games?

Adrian Chmielarz: Games being awesome got me into games. As for me, I am a Polish game developer who was the creative director and co-owner of People Can Fly (Painkiller, Bulletstorm, Gears of War: Judgment) and I am the same at The Astronauts (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter).

NG: Let’s cut to the chase. I came into contact with you under the discussion of Gamergate. What are your thoughts on the entire thing?

AC: Gamergate was something awful for me in the beginning.

In the past, I have been attacked directly and indirectly by some gamers for my work or opinions, and that slightly affected me. It always affects you, even if you tell yourself you’re dealing with vocal idiots or a trolling minority.

But whatever I went through was absolutely nothing compared to, say, a massive flood of pure hatred against Adam Orth or the creators of Mass Effect 3. Orth said something silly, but the internet made it sound like the police discovered a half eaten human head in his fridge. The Mass Effect 3 ending was controversial (but it kind of worked for me) and the internet made it sound like the creators stole and spit on the public’s only childhood photo with grandma.

So when I heard about Gamergate, I bought it. Gamers behaving like shit? Yeah, sure. Making a storm in a tea cup? Of course. Territorial to the point of madness? Yup.

What slowly opened my eyes were two things.

First, Gamergate’s persistence. When you’re on Twitter, it’s impossible not to hear about Gamergate. And then every now and then you read something pro-Gamergate that makes sense and that forces you to dig deeper. I have a very analytical mind, so I did dig deeper. And what I saw was not matching what some call “the official narrative”. Like every human being, I am biased, but I am trying my best to fight it. So after learning more on Gamergate, I admitted to myself that I was wrong about it.

Second, the more I heard about Gamergate from the hardcore anti- side, the more I became suspicious of their views. It’s not just stuff like their reflectionless support of dishonest, manipulative game critics like Jonathan McIntosh or Anita Sarkeesian. Or their “if the facts don’t fit the theory, too bad for the facts” philosophy. It was also their total contempt for anyone who disagrees with their views. Contempt supported with some of the most vile tweets I have ever seen on Twitter. I try to learn as many facts as I can from anyone, pro- and anti-. Check who I follow on Twitter to see that it’s true. But I had to stop following a couple of journalists and fellow game developers simply because I could not take the poison anymore.

To sum it up: I was against, but something was fishy, I started to dig deeper, discovered that Gamergate was not what I was told it was.

NG: Are those who identify as pro-Gamergate individuals a bunch of misogynists? What does the demographic ratio look like, to you?

AC: To see anyone still holding on to the “bunch of misogynists” narrative is deeply unsettling to me. Anyone who ever voted or cares about politics knows that certain feeling when your party loses and you see someone you really dislike win the election. It’s the feeling of dread, of hope lost. I feel the same way whenever I read someone talking about Gamergate as a “bunch of misogynists”.

That narrative has been disproven in so many ways … You click on the hashtag and read tweets from women gamers who are with Gamergate, or you read Gamergate tweets supporting women in gaming. We had journalists investigating and coming back with, “Hmmm, well this is unexpected but they’re not misogynists.” Hell, we had people using science to investigate Gamergate and coming up with the same conclusion.

Obviously misogynists exist. Misandrists exist. Idiots exist. Trolls exist. The things is, they joined both sides, or did not really join but just like to watch the world burn. But they are not dominant voices on Gamergate’s side no matter how long you stare at it. And this is where the bias problem comes into play. Because an anti- declares they want to give Gamergate a fair chance, they click on the hashtag, see some idiot harassing another anti- and boom, misogyny and harassment confirmed! They don’t want to admit that with a lens like that you could accuse literally any movement or hashtag ever of being evil, simply because trolls and idiots are everywhere.

NG: Do you think the allegations they’ve found (GameJournoPros, cyber-bullying, collusion, etc) are legitimate?

AC: Yes and no.

Let’s start with no. I do think that a lot of it is highly exaggerated. Take GameJournoPros. Everything I read so far was extremely weak. So weak that it’s actually showing the journalists in a good light to me. Because think for a second how you talk about others and things in general when you’re among friends and no one else can hear you. American Dad had an amazing episode about it, “I Can’t Stan You”. Now look at the leaks from GameJournoPros. There’s just nothing there. One guy has a problem with another and Gamergaters scream of “bullying”? Are you kidding me?

Some people go as far as claiming that a list like that had no right to exist. Sorry, but that’s just not a view I can accept. Private lists or groups on whatever topic exist as long as the internet and they’re often a good, useful thing.

Or let’s look at how outraged Gamergate is that some journalists and developers and marketers are friends with each other. Newsflash: it’s been like this since the dawn of time, and it’s not an inherently bad thing. Sam Barlow showed a few examples recently, from the music or movie industry. Just read up on how Pet Shop Boys came to be.

I’ll give you a personal example. There are these two game journalists in Poland whom I consider friends and who did a couple of long podcasts with me. The idea for the podcast is we talk games and we drink beer. So the ending is always a bit funnier than the beginning. And then once we’re done we drink more beer, and probably vodka, and then wake up in Singapore with a full beard.

And we never “colluded” or “conspired”. Just as we can separate games from reality, we can separate work from pleasure. And I only have one life, so I refuse to not be friends with great people just because someone may suspect we do favors for each other.

Having said that, I know that a lot of Gamergaters don’t mind people being friends. They just want disclosures. And here’s when we finally get to the “yes” part and another personal example.

I am not a journalist. But I wrote a rave review of a friend’s book once in a fantasy magazine he ran. Trust me, I know how this sounds, but it was nothing like that. He had no idea whether the review would be good or not, as I often both praised and strongly criticized him both publicly and privately for his work. So he took a risk there, that was actually my condition that he doesn’t know what I write. But never mind that, what’s more important is that not having any idea about any journalist code of ethics, I figured it would be a good thing to reveal it in that review that we’re friends. I stated that very clearly, literally using the words “I want everyone reading this to be aware that we are friends”.

So if the necessity for the reveal was clear to me, an amateur writer, how is that it’s not obvious to people who are professional journalists?

And then you wonder that Gamergate has a problem with this?

NG: How do you feel about the argument that “gamers are dead?” How about the multitude of articles saying this, all being published within the same timeframe?

AC: Honestly, to this day I haven’t read any of those articles.

I don’t expect the websites or magazines I read to be 100% in sync with me. Actually, I hope they won’t be, as I like my views to be challenged. But when I saw some “gamers are dead” headlines I just shrugged, thought “lol” and moved on. They sounded so out of touch with reality that I did not believe I’d find anything of interest to me in them. I think I maybe took a glance at one, but I cannot recall that for certain.

And the fact that they were all published on the same day or something? I don’t care. So maybe the editors in chief talked about it together and wanted to thunderclap the message. I see nothing wrong with that, it’s their right to do so. Although it’d be nice if they just openly admitted to it instead of staying silent or pretending it was all a chance.

NG: Are certain game developers/publishers/PR companies way too close to the games press (i.e. negotiating for good review scores or exclusive stories)? Have you ever seen examples of this?

AC: Let me tell you a story. EA organized a Bulletstorm review event in London. It was my first AAA review event. It was quite professional, nothing fishy to me, just a bunch of rooms with TVs and consoles and snacks and water. Anyway, so after the journalists played the game they could interview me and Cliffy. And there was this guy from Edge, a serious lad, who asked a couple of interesting questions. Right after he left the room, a top level marketing guy stormed inside and asked me if I got any vibe off the Edge guy, if I could say what he thought of the game.

I couldn’t, the man was an enigma, and until the day of the magazine’s premiere we had no idea what was the score (it was 9/10). But see what I am trying to say here? A top level guy at EA had no idea what Edge thinks of Bulletstorm. Does that sound like the gaming journalists are nothing but corrupt to you? Does that sound like AAA companies can easily manipulate the scores through bribes or other shady deals?

So, no. Obviously PR people have the journalists figured out. “This guy likes to be left alone”, “We need 3D headphones for this guy, he’s a tech freak”, “This guy will provoke you a lot, be ready”, etc. etc. But from what I saw, even if journalists and devs and PR folks drank together all night long, it never resulted in any suspicious chatter. On the contrary, I saw a lot of examples of professionalism in this area.

I’m not saying we don’t have a problem at all. For example, here in Poland there is Playboy-like magazine which publishes reviews of video games, and somehow always awards five stars to the games from the local company that everyone else laughs at. But I am saying that what I have seen personally was not Sodom and Gomorrah like some people seem to believe.

NG: Is there a reason for concern with gaming publications? Is the lack of ethics a real problem?

AC: Yes, it’s a real problem. It’s not like it’s all bad; on the contrary, I think that gaming websites mostly do a fantastic job. Yes, even the ones that Gamergate dislikes, like Polygon or Kotaku. I’ve read tons of amazing material on both.

However, and I can’t believe I am quoting Spider-Man here, with great power comes great responsibility. And I don’t feel that all powerful gaming publications behave in a responsible way. We saw examples of some of them literally destroying human lives with their articles. We saw examples of pushing the agenda so hard it’s actually suicidal. We saw examples of promoting friends without disclosure, what ultimately was completely unnecessary and only resulted in a severe backfire and shitstorm.

So, one more time, yes, it’s a real problem.

NG: Should there be an ombudsman for the gaming press?

AC: I guess you’re referring to what Damion Schubert wrote on his Zen of Design website? I didn’t dig deep enough to have a firm opinion, but at first glance what he talked about made sense to me, yes.

NG: As a European developer, do you see any differences between the dev scene across the pond versus the one here in the Americas? Are there “dev cliques” in the old country as well?

AC: There are still a few big differences between US and Euro studios, but not necessarily from the point of view we’re talking about here. The dev world is slowly becoming homogeneous, and I think you’ll find any type of behavior or problems on both sides of the ocean.

NG: Is the game industry really as “small” or “tightly knit” as many outspoken devs make it out to be?

AC: No, it’s not. Just because you can reach anyone on Twitter doesn’t mean we know each other or that we know everyone there is to know. I am over five years on Twitter and I keep discovering new industry people worth following.

Look, marketing and PR companies have a problem with keeping up with all the changes in the magazine/website scene, old heroes are falling, new are rising. The power is constantly shifting. It’s a big, lively industry. Let’s not think otherwise just because a well-known name or two keeps popping up here and there.

NG: Are women at a disadvantage at getting into the games industry, in any way? Do studios and publishers actively discourage women developers?

AC: On the contrary. Every studio I know would love to have more women on board. I guarantee you that in most cases if a studio owner had to choose between a woman and a man of identical skills, they would either go for a woman, flip a coin, or they would dig really deep until they found that one thing that gives one person even the slightest but still meaningful advantage over another.

But I have never seen or even heard of any dev or a pub discouraging women developers. We had some examples of men behaving like jerks towards women and women behaving like jerks towards men but nothing that was an example of any sort of a trend.

Majority of hardcore gamers are men. Majority of gaming journalists are men. Majority of game developers are men. Any of the above has nothing to do with sexism or misogyny. Just like there being more female teachers than men has nothing to do with misandry. What it is exactly is a much longer discussion, but for now I want to make it absolutely clear that I have never seen anything resembling any real anti-women problem in game development or publishing.

NG: On the subject of censorship, as a native from Poland, I was curious of your experiences with institutionalized censorship. Forgive me if this is too forward (as I’m unsure of your age) but do you have any memories of Soviet Poland’s censorship?

AC: I’m 43, so yes, I remember the censorship quite well. Censorship and propaganda.

The propaganda was that, for example, you turned on the TV only to learn that Solidarity is the “enemy of the people” and they “stole some money”. But you were able to understand—combining the credibility of the communist propagandists, the verifiable info you got from the underground Solidarity press, and the experiences of every day life—that it’s all a lie. However, you could not be open about it, or you would face consequences or, at best, you’d be censored, silenced, ignored.

Hmmm…

However, I want to make it clear that I am not comparing Gamergate to Solidarity. Let’s not compare the fight for a nation’s freedom, a fight full of the fallen, the hardest sacrifices, the impossible choices, with a feud over video games, shall we? But still, some elements are uncannily similar, and were actually the reason why I decided not to be silent on the subject.

NG: Should any game be censored? Does censoring a game directly go against the argument that games are considered “art”?

AC: We have two options here.

One is that art cannot be censored, and that means we should allow VR pedophilia video games where the protagonist tortures and rapes children, and that we should fight for these games’ right to exist and for their creators not to be punished by law for them.

Second is that art can be censored, that censorship is not inherently bad, and that maybe we should not allow people to make and distribute certain types of games.

Choose one.

NG: Do you feel like some game critics are trying to be “gatekeepers” to the populace? E.g. they lampoon a game that doesn’t correlate with their politics, but they put a game with an approved message on a pedestal?

AC: Sure, but that’s not inherently bad. It’s in the consumers’ best interest that websites and mags differ in opinion. That one praises a game while the other dislikes it. What is the alternative here, that all publications speak in the same voice? So let’s just have one website to rule them all? If they’re no different, why would we need more than one? No, obviously we need games analyzed and critiqued and reviewed from multiple angles. The end result is that a game can get 10/10 from one publication, and 5/10 from another. But that’s fine.

The only problem is that Metacritic often counts for dev royalties and bonuses, and that atrocity needs to die.

Note this is not about being a bad or good critic, that one is different. A good critic will fight their own bias, try to empathize with different takes, look for unusual, interesting angles, and only then express and explain an opinion. A bad critic pushes their agenda even despite facts or reason.

In short, I am all for variety in opinion, and that’s why whenever I read reviews of something, I sample every kind of opinion, from “I loved it” to “I hated it”. We should not fight against that variety, and we certainly should not get emotional just because someone else does not like the same things we do.

We should only fight for the higher quality of the gaming critique. That is a noble goal.

NG: What are your thoughts on Youtubers? Let’s Players?

AC: They don’t bother me. I feel that if someone decides to watch my game instead of play it then it’s a customer I wouldn’t get anyway.

Yeah, sure, casters make money partially off developer’s hard work, but whatever. I am yet to see a good game fail in sales because it was streamed. On the contrary, we have a lot of examples when a game became a commercial success exactly because it was streamed.

NG: You mentioned that for as much good you see in Gamergate, you also see the silliness and even bad things. What is GamerGate doing right?

AC: GamerGate is at its best when it’s fearless, but civil. I think it’s the most effective when that happens.

I also think … Now look, these are going to be big melodramatic words, but I genuinely think so: I think that Gamergate is one of the last few voices of reason in a world being haunted by the extreme left and their ghastly and dangerous caricature of political correctness.

I have nothing against political correctness as such. Changing the language or behavior to respect the feelings of others? Sure, of course. But the problem is that it went too far. You save a princess and that is sexist. A fictional game character being racist equals the creators being racist. A game cannot be a male fantasy because then it is a misogynistic piece of crap. The only explanation why a woman supports Gamergate is that she has internalized patriarchy. If your PC has Intel inside, you hate women. If your game does not feature closed captions, you are an ableist. If your studio is not at least 50% women, then sit down and think long and hard at how you failed as a human.

And it all bothers me for two reasons. One, that there are real issues—sexism, misogyny, misandry, racism, bullying, etc.—that the world needs to deal with, but all the extreme left achieves is for the neutrals to stay away and the extreme right to grow. Second, pushing the agenda no matter the cost creates an atmosphere of fear, resulting in impotent, chewing-gum art that offends no one and means nothing.

This is why I think Gamergate is important from my personal perspective as a creator. It’s one big loud “enough”. And I love the amount of critical work that Gamergate has produced, and this, in my opinion, is what Gamergate does right.

NG: Now for the silly/bad things—where should pro-GamerGate folks get to improving?

AC: That is going to be quite a list. Ready?

First, stop making storms in a tea cup. Stop seeing collusion and corruption everywhere, it’s just not true.

Second, control your anger. Yes, I know you’ve been shit on and you still being shit on. But antagonizing is the easiest thing in the world. Changing the opinion and beliefs of someone is the hardest. You won’t change anyone’s opinion when they look at what you have to say and all they see is anger. I remember watching the video debunking the “25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male” and I was this close to promoting it but then the caster went with “fucking morons” and similar. No, that’s not a video able to convince anyone who isn’t already convinced.

As a bonus, nothing pisses off the extremists more than a calm language or just ignoring them. Remember, the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

Third, focus on the real work, not on distractions like “drinking SJW tears after TotalBiscuit won”. Yes, I get it, a little mischievous humor cements the tribe and you need to let off steam every now and then. Fine, I enjoy good pro-GG jokes as much as I enjoyed antis’ “It’s about ethics” cartoons. But damn, it’s such a waste of energy. It does bother me when I see some fantastic critical work—like Cain’s incredible analysis of FemFreq’s work—being tweeted about ten times less than another #FullMcIntosh screencap.

Fourth, stop with the sea lioning. For example, sometimes I have a discussion with an anti- and boom, ten people cut in with nothing to add, really, confusing the discourse. So unless you have something really valuable to add, preferably supported with a link, I kindly propose you stay away.

Another example. I just saw an indie dev showing off his email to a Gamergater, in which email he tells them to, basically, fuck off. Of course this is infuriating, but explain to me how dogpiling on that guy is going to change anything? Is it going to make him reconsider? No. Is it going to change the curious neutrals’ view on Gamergate? No. What’s to win here with this behavior? Nothing. So, instead, screencap, distribute, expose. Kindly reply to the guy with links proving he’s wrong about Gamergate. These links are not for him, but for any curious soul that reads the replies.

Fifth, just learn from Christina Sommers how to Twitter. She’s killing it with kindness, facts and logic, and that is extremely effective. She’s not my hero, I see problems with parts of her work and I did tweet about it in the past, but still, she’s just great at being effective.

NG: Do you think Gamergate is having a real impact on the industry?

AC: Yes, and in multiple ways.

NG: What advice do you have for Gamergate? Where should the supports focus their efforts?

AC: Personally, I would love to see more critical work produced, but one that is “distributable” to anyone who is not a hardcore Anti-. Way too often I am seeing an otherwise great piece of work tainted in places with storms in a tea cup, speculation, wishful thinking, anger, etc. That works well for an echo chamber, but it achieves nearly nothing in the end, merely another pat on the back.

So I’d love to see these Gamergate-fueled mainstream alternatives grow. One of the things that Gamergate managed to achieve is that I am pretty sure it has increased the readership of the websites it dislikes. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that, as I don’t have emotional relationship with websites and I can find interesting, inspiring things anywhere, including highly anti-GG places. But I guess that’s not what Gamergate wanted to achieve, right? So instead of Gamergate being vocally outraged by whatever it dislikes, and thus in reality promoting these places, I’d love for it to focus on creating alternatives, supporting ones that are being created, or supporting ones that are already there and do a good job of being sane and in the service of honesty, logic and reason.


I wanted to thank Adrian Chmielarz for the opportunity to make this wonderful interview happen. I hope this can encourage other developers to speak out on the gaming industry, GamerGate, and the quality of both games and the reporting on games.

Brandon Orselli

About

Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • BigDrulez95

    This was a much better interview than Jaffe’s. Not because Adrian is pro GG, but the criticisms he gives to GG are respectable, calm, and overall constructive. Jaffe’s ,while some I agree with, were abrasive, contradictory,and overall ignorant.

  • Speed Racer

    These interviews with the devs are pretty good to read even without the gamergate stuff just getting the devs opinions on the industry in general is interesting

  • God ov Hover Hand

    Adrian has a remarkable amount of knowledge concerning GamerGate… Plus a very good balance of criticisms concerning both sides. That is very impressive considering how participants in GG are usually painted. Thank you for your interview, Adrian. GamerGate alternative sites are something I’d like to see sometime too and I’d hope to be a part of it some day.

  • DoombotBL

    Adrian hits the mark on just about everything. BIG HUGE thanks to him for this!!!

  • DC_78

    This is very good. Thank you Mr. Chmielarz for you time and for your well thought out ideas. One positive thing about Gamergate is I believe that gamers are much more conscious of the folks behind the credits screen in their favorite titles now.

    Niche Gamer has quickly taken one of the top spots in my gaming news feeds. Keep these types of Dev interviews coming.

  • ArsenicSundae

    “So instead of Gamergate being vocally outraged by whatever it dislikes, and thus in reality promoting these places, I’d love for it to focus on creating alternatives, supporting ones that are being created, or supporting ones that are already there and do a good job of being sane and in the service of honesty, logic and reason.”

    This is the reason I’ve begun following Niche Gamer and why it’s one of the very few gaming-related media sites that gets my traffic. I used to follow pretty much all of the big ones prior to #gamergate. Now, only the Escapist has managed to retain my readership.

    Insightful interview. My hope is that it won’t require growing up under soviet-style totalitarianism for people to recognize the truth about anti-GamerGate.

  • amsdchocobo

    Fantastic.

  • Heat

    Solid interview and while I didn’t agree with everything he said, he gave good points and was overall respectful. on the subject of censorship which is the biggest issue to me at least, I can see where he is coming from, censorship or complete freedom, neither is perfect but even if the games he discusses were to be made as a result of no censorship, I can’t support censorship in any form even if it means some repulsive games were to be made in the process, censorship hurts more then it helps IMO

  • Nonscpo

    I find his answer to the question of gaming art/censorship to be the deepest thing to take out of this interview. At the end of the day if you want zero censorship in gaming you must be prepared for all the consequences that come with it and be prepared to have the most offensive of content out and available. It easy to say that your anti-censorship its another thing to follow thru, at the end of the day I dont think youll ever get the entire gaming community and industry to ever come to term with that difficult question.

  • a qt fedora

    “One is that art cannot be censored, and
    that means we should allow VR pedophilia video games where the
    protagonist tortures and rapes children, and that we should fight for
    these games’ right to exist and for their creators not to be punished by
    law for them.”
    “their creators not to be punished by
    law for them.”

    That last line is dishonest. His point could have been valid without it (even trough I not agree), but worded like this make no sense, since if there’s a law against it then sure as hell it’s not censorship but, you know, law enforcement.

  • Linda M

    If he hasn’t read “gamers are dead”, then he’s probably unaware of just how ugly some of their language really is. And if he think the ME3 ending was an unreasonable outcry, he doesn’t realize that too was an exaggerated narrative over entirely justified concerns of false advertising.

  • Doc Hammer

    I’d like to be bold enough as to suggest Adrian’s advice be put into practice immediately. Youtube team and Twitter team should collaborate with Oliver Campbell and a site like Nichegamer or Techraptor to generate some content that can be used as a calm rebuttal to some of the more vocal anti-GG. Things Adrian will feel comfortable sharing. Oliver’s #NotYourShield video is good example of how to do it right.

  • Good interview, although I disagree with his stance on censorship, I don’t feel it’s an ‘either or’ situation and games should be examined case by case as to whether they are really pushing past what’s acceptable in different regions.

  • JackDandy

    Niche keep pumping out the good stuff!

  • ZURATAMA1324

    “I don’t care. So maybe the editors in chief talked about it together and wanted to thunderclap the message. I see nothing wrong with that, it’s their right to do so”

    This is the only thing I disagree with.

    They have no right to do so.

    Underhandedly cooperating with ‘theordical’ competiters to push a certain narrative is outright COLLUSION.

    Imagine if such things were allowed in other industries.

    What? Every telephone companies raised their prices at the same time? Customers are getting fucked by the raised prices and complaining about alleged collusion? Nope, nothing wrong here.

    It is not Ok, it is corrupt as hell.

  • The Leader of GamerGate

    “Or let’s look at how outraged Gamergate is that some journalists and developers and marketers are friends with each other. Newsflash: it’s been like this since the dawn of time, and it’s not an inherently bad thing.”

    The relationships themselves are not an issue. It’s that these journalists and developers and marketers ARE NOT DISCLOSING THAT SUCH RELATIONSHIPS EXIST. They withhold the fact that they are writing a review for a game developed by a friend, and thus withhold the fact that the review will be biased.

    That’s the real issue there. I admire that you did some research, but it seems like you’re going to need to do some more on WHY GamerGate feels the way it does about things. You’re very dismissal of one of the MAJOR aspects of GamerGate, and it seems like it’s born out of lack of information.

  • Misogynerd

    He did mention he found it problematic that he as an amateur writer mentioned that when he reviewed his friends games and mentioned it because it was important, but the pro writers at Kotaku forget to.

  • Misogynerd

    “So I’d love to see these Gamergate-fueled mainstream alternatives grow. One of the things that Gamergate managed to achieve is that I am pretty sure it has increased the readership of the websites it dislikes.”

    Not sure where they get that data, didn’t GG already cost Gawker seven figures? and made RPS install an optional subscription fee?

  • Landale

    Law can censor. Indeed your statement comes off as the complete opposite of what some are saying on the GTA thing, for example, that “it’s not censorship because it’s not the law forcing it”.
    Both legal and societal pressures to not create, or remove creations, in whole or part are censorship.

  • Landale

    The amount of people visiting some of the sites did, in fact, spike. I can’t say for how well they have necessarily maintained readership however.
    That aside, an increase in readers does not directly contribute to an increase in money however. The loss of several advertisers, paired with potentially higher maintenance costs, is where the losses come from.

  • amsdchocobo

    You’ve nailed it. Jaffe was great, but you can immediately tell he isn’t really that clued into the situation going on now.

  • This guy is 100% right, no more jokes and promotion of Anti-Gamergate sites, from now on, I will support Pro GG sites, and ignore people that hate me.

  • dsadsada

    With the exception of his first point, I can fully agree with his criticisms. Being the civil voice is what allowed GG to either gain support or to change the minds of people that had initially been against it as Adrian was and we should retain that. But still, I keep looking back on that time a journalist wanted to release information regarding a money scam and that keeps me from disagreeing with his first point. I keep forgetting the name of the guy though.

    He also said that he disagrees with the idea that journalists and developers can’t be friends but that a disclosure needs to be made. I can agree with this too for the same reason he gave. I’m harshest to my friends when they ask my opinion on things but I tend to give leeway for complete strangers since I usually feel like I don’t want to cost them their jobs or anything. There are people who feel the opposite though which is why the disclosure is all I care for in that regard.

    Also, I feel that his argument regarding censorship is flawed. As long as no actual children is involved, I see no reason to defend the rights of fictional beings anymore than I feel the need to sue Koei for genocide in their Warriors series.

  • Gray Dreams

    Interesting. I was under the impression that Kotaku had tanked?

  • Landale

    While I agree that there is no rational reason to defend fictional children, there are various laws around the world that do not agree at all or in part, so there is reason to censor such things.
    US law is perhaps the worst of it, because it’s not even clearly lined out. Real children, and fictional ones that are almost completely indistinguishable from real at a glance, are well and clearly covered by the law, but when it moves into merely “child-like” it gets murky.
    Childishly designed anime characters, for example, that are depicted in sexual or sexually suggestive manners, think much the cut content of Mugen Souls or Monster Monpiece, are legal up until someone chooses to complain. Then it becomes a matter of cultural standards on what is or isn’t obscene. Consider then the various websites that already ridicule and judge such content. These self appointed judges of art and culture can very easily sway things enough to render completely harmless materials illegal, or simply make the legal battle one that could ruin smaller companies in the first place. It’s no small wonder that seemingly needless censorship occurs when such sites hold such power.

  • Landale

    Gamasutra, I believe, is the one that has stayed down. I do recall seeing that Polygon and Kotaku do spike up when drama flares up. Essentially some people going “Haha, look how badly you’re killing us. Visitors are up!” with a very small timeframe charted out shown.
    No surprise really since they have other sites within their network more or less redirecting people who may not have bothered visiting in the first place. Random Gawker site: “Holy fuck look at this sexist bullshit over here.” cited: Kotaku.
    Visitors are not the key concern, it’s the advertisers, and to be honest there was some talk early on, when advertisers were openly and rapidly dropping, trying to figure out at what point it would be wise to stop using archives in order to surge their traffic to a point where the cost of operating vastly exceeded what little they earned from whatever remained.

  • Gray Dreams

    Well, this helps wash away the Jaffe aftertaste. I don’t agree with everything, but the guy was honest, not hostile, and had some useful things to say.

    “So I’d love to see these Gamergate-fueled mainstream alternatives grow.”

    Yes, I agree. One of the most important things for #GamerGate is to develop its own parallel gaming and social institutions at every level. Niche Gamer is a good example of things like this, but, of course, I’d like to see more. We should by all means continue sending emails and trying to deconstruct the existing establishment, but we should also build our own.

    “One of the things that #Gamergate managed to achieve is that I am pretty sure it has increased the readership of the websites it dislikes.”

    Hmm. Is this actually true? It may be for all I know. I’d like to see some data. I thought I saw a line chart circulated in our hashtag on Twitter showing how badly Kotaku had tanked after #GamerGate came into being.

    “First, stop making storms in a tea cup. Stop seeing collusion and corruption everywhere, it’s just not true.”

    Actually, yeah, it is. Sorry dude. I respect you, but you’re wrong. It is everywhere, and until it’s gone, we’re going to keep calling it out.

    “Fourth, stop with the sea lioning. For example, sometimes I have a discussion with an anti- and boom, ten people cut in with nothing to add, really, confusing the discourse.”

    e_e

    Eh, I’m going to chalk this up to Chmielarz not really understanding Twitter culture. Twitter is a public forum.

    “Another example. I just saw an indie dev showing off his email to a Gamergater, in which email he tells them to, basically, fuck off. Of course this is infuriating, but explain to me how dogpiling on that guy is going to change anything? Is it going to make him reconsider? No.”

    He doesn’t need to reconsider. The point is to expose him. Gamers deserve to know *and see* how the industry they support regards them. This is a matter of principle.

    I’ll end with this, because it’s actually perfect:

    “I think that Gamergate is one of the last few voices of reason in a world being haunted by the extreme left and their ghastly and dangerous caricature of political correctness.

    This is why I think Gamergate is important from my personal perspective as a creator. It’s one big loud ‘enough.'”

  • Landale

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/kotaku.com
    It dropped, but it also came back up. Very dramatically even. Other Gawker sites are a notable source of traffic for it. Consider though, that most people are not on for very long, nor are they looking at much. 2 pages. That is very clearly tied to being redirected, there’s little interest in the site as a whole.

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/polygon.com
    Similarly Polygon dropped before coming back up. Time spent on Polygon went up, but not significantly and still less than Kotaku. Less page visits as well, rarely ever more than 1.

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/gamasutra.com
    Gamasutra was the one who took a hit and stayed down. Similarly to Polygon the time spent is incredibly insignificant, and has actually dropped, and the page views are quite low.

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/nichegamer.net
    Consider this site now, for example. It has come up from not even ranking, 4, nearly 5, pages visited, which is about a third or so of the articles that come up daily, and the time spent is nearly double that of those sites.

  • Erthwjim

    True, but I think that abrasiveness is kind of Jaffe’s personality. While he hasn’t done all his research, he’s at least done enough to realize that gamergate is not how the mainstream gaming media has painted itself. I wish he would do some more, and perhaps over time he will, but the way he stands right now, I think his time is taken up by other interests.

  • Jake Martinez

    You need to learn to read a bit better. He straight out said that disclosure was an issue and even mentioned how he as an amateur writer did a disclosure himself because he just “felt” that it was appropriate.

    Also, you have to understand that not EVERYONE (myself included) is going to have the same threshold for what might look like shifty or dodgy behavior. Some things are very clear, and most people will reasonably agree on them (like Patricia Hernadez’s constant publicizing of her girlfriend/roomates work without disclosure is obviously bad), but other things are not quite so clear, so you’ll have to be prepared to make a logical case as to why they are, and expect that even then that someone might not see it as such a big deal.

  • Поросёнок Пётр

    So, what if he make a bad game, would those two journalists bash it? Or they will say something like “it has flaws but it’s ok”?

  • Teutates

    thank you for your time :) and good to be critical so thank you

  • Mohammed

    well Jaffe interview was great too. Unless the reader is sensitive, Jaffe is always aggressive and I love his honesty.

  • Zanard Bell

    I appreciate Adrian’s views. By the way, my brother and I loved Painkiller as a Saturday morning shooter, full disclosure.

    However, let me take a bit of umbrage onto this:

    “I don’t expect the websites or magazines I
    read to be 100% in sync with me. Actually, I hope they won’t be, as I
    like my views to be challenged. But when I saw some “gamers are dead”
    headlines I just shrugged, thought “lol” and moved on. They sounded so
    out of touch with reality that I did not believe I’d find anything of
    interest to me in them. I think I maybe took a glance at one, but I
    cannot recall that for certain.”

    Good thing Adrian didn’t read it in full. We were called obtuse shitslingers, misogynists and everything else in the SJW playbook. We were told that the ‘gaming market’ was moving on and leaving us behind, why? Because text adventures are becoming all the rage again? Or is it because they think that just because I enjoy a little bit of fantasy violence that I am a horrible being? Or is it the armor bikini, I’m not so sure anymore. And the way that it is coordinated is what is even more bothering. It only shows you the CONTEMPT that these gaming sites have harbored over the years against their own audience. Never seen a car magazine do that to their own demographic.

    Again, let me reiterate that I never cared for the ZQ stuff, but when you go and diss my identity because of what happened to this purple-haired person, we go to war. Just as Democrats don’t want to be called ‘hippies’ or Republicans ‘warmongerers’, I fucking don’t appreciate being called a misogynist. An apology, that’s all I ask.

  • Phasmatis75

    Kind of absurd to say the evidence for collusion is weak, but then turn around saying, yeah but it doesn’t matter anyway because they have the right to. Journalistic ethics aside, the issue has never been they are friends, but that favors are being curried in exchange for biased coverage and that is a problem.

  • Kasey Cunningham

    “AC: We have two options here.

    One is that art cannot be censored, and that means we should allow VR pedophilia video games where the protagonist tortures and rapes children, and that we should fight for these games’ right to exist and for their creators not to be punished by law for them.

    Second is that art can be censored, that censorship is not inherently bad, and that maybe we should not allow people to make and distribute certain types of games.”

    Censorship is inherently bad, unless of course you take issue with getting paedos off the street who are attacking and harming actual children.

  • Fenrir007

    Interesting interview. He makes some good points, though I disagree on others. One example is the GJP – he talks about the initial reveal, but forgets about Pinsof’s case, which is a lot more worrisome.

    I also disagree with his stance on censorship. I am 100% against any kind of censorship, and that includes irksome content like the one he described. If there is a reason to censor something, it is because said thing is demonstrably harmful to individuals or to society, and personal sensibilities have no place here as they change from person to person. Example of harmful art that should be censored in my opinion – the dog that was left to die on display as part of an exhibition:

    http://archive.news.softpedia.com/news/Artist-Leaves-Dog-To-Die-on-Exhibition-Display-82091.shtml

    I echo Neil Gaiman’s words on freedom of speech:

    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html

    “You ask, What makes it worth defending? and the only answer I can give is this: Freedom to write, freedom to read, freedom to own material that you believe is worth defending means you’re going to have to stand up for stuff you don’t believe is worth defending, even stuff you find actively distasteful, because laws are big blunt instruments that do not differentiate between what you like and what you don’t, because prosecutors are humans and bear grudges and fight for re-election, because one person’s obscenity is another person’s art.

    Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”

    Moral panic does a disservice to determining if something is truly harmful or not, and bowing to it can lead us to a situation similar to what happened in comic books that led to the crearion of the Comics Code that ravaged the industry. To those unfamiliar with it:

    http://imgur.com/a/G2pHA

    Or even worse – it can lead into panic legislation, which almost always ends up being harmful to society in some way.

  • Mr0303

    What Adam Orth said was not silly. It was inflammatory and showed an utter disrespect to his customers. He deserved all he got.

    He also has a very optimistic view on the discussion with the anti side. Not using crude language will help us convince them? From what I’ve seen no amount of reason and facts will be able to break their narrative, because truth is not in their business interest. His critique of Sargon’s video is strange. What I think Adrian doesn’t see is that this is a culture war. Some incredibly asinine insults were used against us like misogynerds and worse than ISIS and some mockery like “f*cking morons” is enough to invalidate all arguments Sargon used to disprove that idiotic circle jerk? If I eat soap on YouTube I shouldn’t be surprized if somebody calls me a moron for doing so.

  • dasCameo

    really great interview again, i personally like diplomacy, and I hope that more people from GG will go into a discussion with people opposing it, trying to represent GG while being civil and diplomatic.

  • Goth Skunk

    Marvelous interview.

    Thank you, Adrian, for your input.
    Thank you NicheGamer for reporting on GamerGate

  • 33

    “And the fact that they were all published on the same day or something? I don’t care.”
    Stopped reading there.

    How can you not care about journalists organising what stories they’re going to write, which they’re going to ignore, so they can push their agenda? Who cares about getting the truth and the whole story out? That’s not what journalism is for.

    Somebody should have mentioned to him that it was based off another group with American journalists only published certain stories and ignoring others about political parties to make some look better/worse in the public eye. Nah, nobody should care about that either. It’s just corrupt journalism.

  • MasterV

    An interesting interview. Some of his views are very good. Grounded and sensible. But then some things I read really made me facepalm.

    I get it, it’s his opinion, but compared to other, logical, things he says, a few of his arguments are just silly.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Really digged this interview. Look forward to your next one @NicheGamer.

  • Eliah Ryan

    can we get a link added to “Cain’s piece” please.

  • Irishdragon5

    To be frank, I’m quite glad Gamasutra is burning to the ground. I mean, they do have Ms. Leigh “I have an acting degree” Alexander.

  • Visinth

    Well, I’m going to choose the first one. I know that pedophilia is a very touchy subject most people can agree on, but it is pretty similar to the violence argument actually. Most people can agree that real life violence is bad, so is harming or forcing children. Does virtual violence translate to real life tho? Not really. But pedophilia magically does, I guess?

    Feel free to pile on me, but I do think that if pedophiles, and I don’t think it’s always pedophiles that are the people who harm children necessarily, got the chance to enact their fantasies in virtual reality there would be less of them doing it in real world. It’s art, fantasy, it’s just pixels and the brain of most people can recognize and accept that it’s not real but still be satisfied with the result.

  • RandomDev

    I think for those who simply have a sexual interest and no actual desire to hurt children this might be a tolerable option but the real nuts who are more interested in harming children wouldn’t be satisfied with just pixels.

  • froyton

    I respect this guy and now I kinda want to buy his game.

  • British_Otaku

    This and we have regulations which would prevent those “VR pedophilia video games where the protagonist tortures and rapes children” from getting into mainstream access. First of all is the rating system and second is the providers from consoles to Steam to retailers (most of them don’t even allow unclothed sex scenes in games).

  • Niwjere

    Finally, someone who talks sense about what the Alexa rankings and statistics actually mean.

  • Obbliglol

    Brilliant interview, sounded like the calm but firm voice we needed. Giving into anger is what they want of course, but it’s very difficult to be civil when you’re being called the equivalent of a house n****r and being told you have internalised misogyny, and your friends are being called shitslinger misogynists. We gotta stay calm though, we have to be the better people.

  • Поросёнок Пётр

    There is no proper sexed and modern parents hide part of life from their children, as if they totally forgot what they were interested and knew at that age. And because of that children can’t make educated decision and some shady guy can easily lure kids with promises of tobacco and boose.

    Children think that momentary gain of boose and tobacco outweigh consequences. Also kids who willingly participate in some illegal intimate acts with adult got shamed by every homebrew saint around. So it’s not only paedophiles who breaking child’s psych, but everyone who says that kid now should be ashamed and stigmatised for life.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    I believe he is talking about the work from this individual:

    https://medium.com/@cainejw

    Specifically, these links:

    https://medium.com/@cainejw/dishonesty-feminist-frequency-part-1-fe937f6a791e
    https://medium.com/@cainejw/dishonesty-feminist-frequency-part-2-damsels-in-distress-pt-1-2309ce61c2a5
    https://medium.com/@cainejw/dishonesty-feminist-frequency-part-2-damsels-in-distress-pt-2-fde349026b7d
    https://medium.com/@cainejw/dishonesty-feminist-frequency-part-4-b26293b4755b

    It really is a superb breakdown of Sarkeesian’s work, and basically display the many numerous problems in a very logical way. It is highly academic, which does unfortunately mean that it does require serious time to read and understand what is being said. I do wish sites like Niche Gamer, TechRaptor, and the rest would run these as serious rebuttals. They need *way* more public exposure than they have gotten.

  • Andrew Ulrich

    I don’t disagree, we’re never going to convince the anti-gg people of anything. Their heads are so far up their own asses that they’ve turned into a black hole.

    We shouldn’t focus on them at all. We should focus on the reasonable people who can think for themselves. If they are shown how vile the SJW’s are, normal people will stop listening to them and we’ll have won.

  • araushi

    I just saw that he’s actually against censorship. https://twitter.com/adrianchm/status/543268763424919552

  • TheSharpeful

    If you haven’t already, you should give TechRaptor and GamesNosh a try.

  • TheSharpeful

    “One is that art cannot be censored, and that means we should allow VR pedophilia video games where the protagonist tortures and rapes children”

    “Second is that art can be censored”

    This actually gave me pause to think, but ultimately I’d still chose the 2nd.
    I firmly believe that people MUST be free to make their own choices.
    As long as “art” harms no real person, then it cannot be bad, even if it is pedophilia. It will make the person that plays that sort of crap a mentally disturbed individual in my book, but as long as it harms no real human being, then go for it.
    Art is merely an extension of thought, and we cannot censor thoughts. Nor should we try.

    Let’s face it, pedophilia is a heinous crime, one that I think the death penalty is too good, but we allow and enjoy the killing of thousands upon thousands of human beings in movies, games and books… if you think about that in terms of real people being harmed as well, then that is just as horrible.

  • Fenrir007

    I agree completely. The problem is that censorship doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and giving this sort of power to any person or group in society can have terrible repercussions in freedom of speech as a whole. Also, the moral panic prevents actual discussion and proper investigations made about it.

  • Fenrir007

    But question is: would this make one of those real nuts more likely to commit the act in real life, less likely OR would it have no effect at all? And if it encourages this behavior, doesn’t this also apply to potential homicidal psychopaths and violent games? And to problematize this even further, if the result is that it is, indeed, possible to have games triggering real life behavior in particularly susceptible individuals, should this be outright banned or should it be treated like alcohol, which is also a very big source of violent behavior in real life yet is easily acquired by anyone of legal age?

    This sort of questioning needs an open mind approach. If you start some sort of investigation trying to prove your point instead of trying to find the truth, it is possible you won’t take all the necessary steps to cover all angles. In other words, you will let your bias guide your actions, tainting the result.

  • RandomDev

    Those are all valid questions and honestly I don’t have the answers to them but they’re still valid questions.

  • Fenrir007

    Neither do I. Admitting we don’t have the answers and that our personal feelings and sensibilities might get in the way of reaching the truth is the first step to solving this puzzle.

  • Fenrir007

    Adrian just posted a bunch of tweets showing he is actually against censorship, as linked below.

    The article he linked is this one, by Jim Sterling of all people:

    https://archive.today/rkTUr

    Who is, ironically, defending Rapelay from an article made in CinemaBlend by… William Usher?? Holy shit, am I in bizarro world…?

    http://www.cinemablend.com/games/N4G-And-Destructoid-Users-Don-t-Mind-Raping-Women-In-Games-19045.html

    Would Jim say the same thing today? Would William Usher stand by his censorship opinions as well? We may never know. (I will tweet Usher about this comment for the sake of fairness and let him answer if he wants. He doesn’t have to, though).

  • Paul Johnson

    It sounds like Adrian Chmielarz has a problem with harsh tone and doesn’t understand the concept of FTSU before rational dialog (or there will be no rational dialog).

  • Carl B.

    The bit about his “two options” to handle censorship is
    bullshit. You can’t compare pedophilia with Boobs in gaming. One is
    illegal, the other isn’t. I choose option 1 with common sense…..that
    common sense being that such universally decried crimes as pedophilia
    cannot be shown.

    Use some common sense AC. Don’t just say “you can have baby
    rape or not have baby rape”. That’s so strawman he can build a 50ft
    tall scarecrow, christ.

    and I know someone will say “Slippery slope…where will you stop when it comes to your ‘common sense’….?”

    Here’s where you stop: When the things you want to censor can be found on the evening news or the late night movie on HBO. You leave those things be.

  • Gosh that’s going back a ways.

    I don’t remember what I said in that article, but where I stand on the issue today… I imagine that a game like Rapelay probably shouldn’t be made available in stores where (young) consumers can easily have access to it. Tucked away on niche stores and whatnot? Sure.

    For anyone thinking that this is the same as GTA V… it’s really not. The difference is that GTA V is a game largely about choice, and you have a choice to commit some crimes. So it’s not like you’re always forced to partake in every activity offered in the game.

    Rapelay, however, is a game entirely about raping women. That’s kind of the point of the game.

    I hope that kind of clarifies things.

  • Fenrir007

    You said some things that made it seem like the game shouldn’t be made and got dangerously close to conflating people who defend those games with defending actual rape, and called them a misogynists for that. It seems you changed your evaluation of it now.

    To be clear, I wasn’t really drawing a parallel to GTA V. It was mostly inserted in the context of “free speech” and “real harm done by games”, which is what a lot of users are discussing on this comment section.

    Thanks for dropping by! I wasn’t accusing you or anything, mind you. Even if I disagreed on your stance (and I don’t disagree with your current stance), I would have respect it and hoped to hear more about your reasoning to think that way.

  • ArsenicSundae

    TechRaptor is one of the other sites on my short list. I will check out GamesNosh though. Thanks for the tip.

  • ArsenicSundae

    Well said. “Gamers are dead” and the collusive method with which the message was delivered, was precisely why I started following GamerGate. Zoe Quinn wasn’t even a blip on my radar at that time.

  • Falcus

    A dozen coordinated slanderous hit pieces against an entire group spanning millions of people trying to eliminate their whole identity is “nothing wrong”.
    Yeah, try replacing “gamers” with “blacks” and see how much “nothing wrong” happens.

  • rudhvelyn

    Don’t stop reading. Even though I think he wrong on some points hes damn fucking right on others

  • Gray Dreams

    I didn’t even get a full grasp of who the fuck Zoe Quinn was until about two weeks ago. I’ve been in #GamerGate about a month. I kept hearing the tales of unmitigated woe regarding poor, dear, besieged, Zoe Quinn. I always assumed that there was some basis in truth to the antis’ claim of GG’s “original sin” being the doxxing of Zoe Quinn. Then, when I looked into it, I discovered that Quinn was doxxed before #GamerGate even existed.

  • Fenrir007

    The preoblem is that, long after Quinn stopped being remotely relevant, she kept doing her best to reinsert herself into the narrative. You know, kinda like what Anita does. AS was 100% unrelated to this, but as usual, she sucessfully managed to get a spotlight, in part by baiting people (she is truly an intellectual master baiter).

  • Fenrir007

    To be fair, he did say on twitter that he is strongly anti-censorship, so I think he meant to say he would pick 1.

    I will, however, say that pedophilia, as a crime, involves real people in the majority of the world, and the spirit of the law is to protect actual children from being harmed. Should this protection be extended to fictional cartoons or computer generated graphics? Are they harmful to society? Are they indirectly harming children? Are they an incentive to unlawful behavior on lawful abiding citizens? Do they make an individual that is likely to commit pedophilia related crimes more likely to act on it? Or can it keep actual pedophiles from acting on their urges?

    Common sense can be deceiving, which is why I am a proponent of proper investigation based on factual evidence – and for that, we need to step away from our actual bias and allow discourse and research to freely to happen. That is how we evolve as a society.

  • ArsenicSundae

    Yeah, the whole “misogyny” canard that SJWs rely on to face us, is built on the assumption that the original heat she took was as a result of her being a women and had nothing to do with the fact she was mixed up in allegations of journalistic corruption. To sidetrack the conversation, they came up with the idea of making it about feminism and sexism, which they thought would derail the whole train. It’s always worked for them before outside of gaming. However, they underestimated gamers’ sense of outrage. And here we are, four months later.

    ZQ still likes to stick her nose out and make provocative statements from time to time, in order to elicit responses her cronies can use to smear all of #gamergate with, but she’s largely irrelevant outside of that. She a game maker without any talent for making games. All she wants to do now is hold on to the last glimmer of fame she has before fading into complete obscurity.

  • Psichaos

    As a response to AC’s Art statement, I believe Art is something that we as a culture decide. Without the concept of cultural appreciation, The Sistine Chapel is just a building with a lot of paint on it’s ceiling and David is just some rock in the shape of a nude man. It is culture that gives it meaning. Heck, we can probably go to great lengths to describe the artistic merits of Peter North videos if we so wanted to. In the instance of pedophilia, the people as a whole has condemned any form of CP. Since it has practically no cultural appreciation whatsoever, just makes it pictures and videos of child abuse. Yet, in some cases, nude depictions of children, such as cherubs, have been and are still considered art by many cultures.

    And since art is based on culture and cultural acceptance, it goes to mention that different cultures can and ought to be allowed to have different rules regarding what is and isn’t art. A relatable debate regarding this topic is the lolicon fetish found in some Japanese manga and anime. While many in the US condemn it and equate it to actual CP, the culture in Japan instead recognizes a difference between drawn works and video recordings of actual child abuse and thus considers it art. Two different cultures came up with their own reasonings and conclusions, and that is totally okay. However, when US-born people who have an issue with lolicon try and push the Japanese government to ban it, there is a problem. Different cultures have different rules; you cannot force one culture’s rules onto another vastly different one. It’s a form of cultural appropriation.

    Oddly enough, this sort of has a bit of resonance in Gamergate itself. In a sense, the SJWs are a culture that has rather strict rules about what is and isn’t art, and that is fine when it is kept to their own culture. My problem is that they wish to force these strict rules onto everybody via censorship and smear campaigns, and that they get extremely hostile when people happen to reject this aggressive cultural appropriation.

    All in all, I must go with Option 1. Honestly, I think it is a rather extreme notion that VR child sex simulators would even be considered a form of art by a majority of cultures, but if by chance there is a certain culture that feels it is art, and that their government has allowed them it already, then who am I as an outsider to try and censor them and force my own morals and world views onto them? I may personally find it repugnant, but I will defend their right to hold such a belief in the face of those who’d try to censor them.

    (PS: I apologize for the small essay that this turned out to be, but honestly that statement and situation just isn’t as black-and-white as it was made out to seem and I felt it warranted a reply.)

  • Javier Vega

    I have to say he made some good points I am not going to hold that against him.

  • DynastyStar

    I’m still reading the interview(its a long ass read XD), but so far I’m liking this interview. and to Adrian, thanks for “coming to the table”. You have alot of good constructive criticisms. While I haven’t agreed with ALL of it, you come at it from a calm and rational manner.

  • Gray Dreams

    It seems there are two questions. One is whether certain forms of artistic expression can create the risk of force initiation. The other is, in the event that the first question is answered affirmatively, whether censorship is justified. The first is a factual question. The second is a matter of value judgment.

    On the first, I would say: I don’t know for certain, but probably not. It’s counter intuitive to me, and it would force us to account for decreased crime rates coinciding with increased availability of violent art. Now, it could be that the former is the result of other social forces, but, at the very least, I think it provides a persuasive (albeit not conclusive) case that violent art has little or no impact on violent behavior. Given the weak correlation between gamers and violence, however, I would say my position has to enjoy a presumption of truth. (If we interviewed our most violent felons, does anyone actually fancy that we’d find a lot of avid gamers?). In any case, I’m fairly skeptical that a definitive answer could actually be obtained, given the limits of what can be tested in the lab. “Hey, we did, like, an experiment, and we learned that when people play violent video games, the part of the brain associated with violent behavior was activated!” isn’t particularly compelling. Anyway, most predetermined conclusions can always find some data set to justify their existence.

    The second question is easier to answer for me. Value judgements always are. The answer is no. For instance, it would be fairly easy to convince me that, say, conditioning automobile use on demonstrable need would decrease traffic congestion, drive down insurance costs, and save many lives. (How this would be done practically speaking is irrelevant.) In the same vein, it would also be easy to convince me that taking finger prints and DNA samples from all citizens would help deter crime, catch violent criminals, and save lives. Simply put, I don’t care. To paraphrase Jefferson, I’d rather live with the problems attendant to too much liberty than too little.

    So, if pedos want to watch virtual child porn, I have no problem with it.

  • DynastyStar

    okay, finally finished reading, and wow, the second half of the interview was even better :) many claps to you :)

  • kasey307

    Great interview!

  • princetrunks

    Great interview. Adrian was on the mark and he’s right in asking us GGers and GG devs like myself to not do sea lioning. I feel I am guilty of that at times. As a dev, I need to stop talking all the time that “I’m a pro GG dev” and just make the games that can maybe be those Gamer-Gate fueled mainstream alternatives. It’s the best way to fight some of those in the current indie scene that act like they are somehow the gatekeepers to the entire industry despite hardly having any experience in the industry and minimal coding skills at best. We want devs to have a level playing field and to continue to show that it’s the games and gamers that are important.

  • Burnwithwater

    Funny how, of all the sites you link to, nichegamer is the only one visited predominantly by women, even beating the internet average.
    Apparently, women are more interested in niche gaming that treats them as actual human beings (that you can call out and criticize and stuff just like anyone else), than in patronizing websites that tell them how weak and fragile they are and how they’re victim of everything all the time.

    I suggest we use a new word to call feminism trying to force the agenda of “you’re a victim and I will protect you against your will” upon women who don’t feel the same way and find the whole thing laughable : let’s call that womansplaining.

  • BlueLight

    According to the laws of stereotypes which is always correct; niche games fit more in line with the average female gamer.

  • Jdawg Laurence

    Super agree with you here. This guy seems ridiculously level headed and awesome, but being awesome doesn’t mean every idea he has is going to be awesome, and judging by his statement early on: “I am always trying to be less biased” I think he would agree.

    I agree agree that GameJournoPros isn’t inherently bad. I think being able to talk to others in the industry IS something that should happen. However, if it doe happen, there needs to be disclosure, and you should NEVER attack the people your website is aimed at. You don’t need to get rid of an audience to get a bigger audience.

  • Jdawg Laurence

    The good thing about him is that he doesn’t expect you to agree with everything, and he wouldn’t call you a misogynist for it. Seems like a genuinely cool guy to me: Everyone can have differing opinions. Only problem is he missed the main problem with GJPs, that disclosure is never given. I would agree that communication in the industry is important, but damn, you better disclose that you were in communication with these people.

  • Dunkelweldt

    AC: We have two options here.

    One is that art cannot be censored, and that means we should allow VR pedophilia video games where the protagonist tortures and rapes children, and that we should fight for these games’ right to exist and for their creators not to be punished by law for them.

    Second is that art can be censored, that censorship is not inherently bad, and that maybe we should not allow people to make and distribute certain types of games.

    Nice decision. Too bad it’s not yours to make.

    The real question, obfuscated by the formatting of the fake decision that he’s forcing down our throats- and it is fake, “we” aren’t allowing anything, it’s not ours to allow, the statement’s not even wrong- is this:

    Should there exist a federal law-enforcement agency tasked with making sure that all participants, human, elf, and otherwise, are of age (21) and not, by California law, coerced, in every piece of interactive media distributed within US borders (ie. globally), including the hentai flash on your old hard drive from ’05 and the rule 34 game that your nephew made for his Tumblr this week, with all of the powers of any LEO, including access to Skynet and H.R. 4681-style “storing your information forever as long as a crime “against” a fictional person might have been committed”?

    The next question is, what kind of legal penalties will need to be enacted to make website owners, waifu nijikons, and imageboarders comply, in the land of a man being shot for stealing a candy bar? Yeah, yeah, “we shoot men that candy bars may not be stolen”. Moreover, why are we asking this question, Chmielarz’s question-disguised-as-a-choice, now? Surely it has nothing to do with the NSA (don’t say FBI or your article goes down the memory hole) needing a new mandate to use their shiny toys and legions of workers on.

    “But are you or are you not defending virtual child molestation”, you LA:SVU at me as you pay your taxes and then read about soldiers raping teen Talibans abroad and storing our sexts here. Of course not, we should totally adopt the UK’s model. They only banned femdom this year!

    Of course art can be censored. History’s full of people who did that! Incidentally, why do people always use the communist example of private censorship, red-baiting and so on, when they could use the CCA or production code?

  • Daniel Rossevelt

    “One is that art cannot be censored, and that means we should allow VR pedophilia video games where the protagonist tortures and rapes children, and that we should fight for these games’ right to exist and for their creators not to be punished by law for them.”

    Art is art I may not enjoy most art, or support it, but it is still art and I am not going to stop other people from enjoying it. I dislike how he just jumps to extremes though, besides there are already games like that *cough* RapeLay *cough* I don’t really think games like that should be considered art, it is more like… interactive porn.

  • R.J.

    “Journalists” made the controversy worse (and I’m personally glad I was on self-imposed media blackout and therefore missed the false advertising), BUT the ending was so… special that it spawned multiple groups/subcultures, e.g. the Retakers (who wanted/demanded a new ending) and the “Indoctrination Theorists” (who claim the ending is not what it seems, and wanted content that would allow Shepard to win “for real”).

    So the behavior of the gaming press (the “gamers are entitled” douche-y elitism) made me largely quit “traditional” online media in favor of YouTube, but to be fair many fans did get a bit… excited.(**)

    (** Passionate, endless debates mostly. Artwork, memes… even some modding. But no genuine fan (no reasonable person, period) sends death treats and engages in harassment of devs. That shit ain’t cool).

  • Thanatos2k

    The first choice is intentionally sculpted to sound horrible, but the second option is indeed far more terrifying, because who gets to decide what “certain types” can be censored? I don’t trust a single other person with that decision.

  • Markku Rantamäki

    Great piece! Agree/disagree, but the advices given to GG are valuable. All GG´r should read this and spread this to neutrals. Spread the link.

  • Alistair

    Hmm let’s put the shoe on the other foot, about mysoginst.

    & the very narrow close mind of SJWs views. Let’s forget about ecchi games for now.

    But it link to it, if ecchi games cause hated of women, Hitman games hated of women.

    What do you get if you saw a naked woman in a film, in a play at the theatre, even a x-rated music video would you be label as a woman hater a mysoginst.

    Because every time they spoke, tweet, report is they put their feet in their mouths

    & Devs that censored their own games bows down to SJWs Pressure.

  • Alistair

    Plus I agree with anti-censorship should follow up with action & never censored a game if ecchi games are problematic why is the senrans not be censored.

    It was censored in EU but it is a odd one because the EU version is the same faithful to the Japan import one.

    But most ecchi games are uncensored like demon gaze, conception-2 so it sounds to me that they cherry picking games to be censored even though the same qustionable content.

    Take MOM-mon audio when you rub the anima girls as monster girls left intact.

    The senran dressing room audio left intact.

    But come to CG the audio is taken out of the mini-game but the worse part is its Japan audio only. So it’s basiclly like senran & they give it the green light.

    Because we do not know what was said the rating boards are happy, we got a good idea the girls arenot happy. Being poke.

    What would of happen CG had english dub & not like senran Japan audio would it still get censored.

  • William Burr

    I had a very good experience playing Vanishing and I’m glad the creator isn’t some idiot.

  • Heat

    That actually makes a lot of sense not being sarcastic either

  • GodHand

    Excellent job.

  • William Burr

    “Collusion” ain’t corruption. It’s just a word that means working together. People in literally every industry are aware of what their competitors are doing. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just people doing their jobs, filling 9-to-5s, sitting at desks.

  • ZURATAMA1324

    I…. don’t think so.
    There is a difference between collusion and cooperation.

    In this context, collusion is underhandedly siding with each other for the collusion’s benefit.
    Cooperation is just working together to achieve a common goal.

    For example, Samsung providing Apple with parts to generate revenue.
    That is cooperation.
    Time Warner and Comcast holding hands behind curtains to jack up the price of internet service.
    That is collusion and a very corrupt one.