“They’re Not Human”

A Black, uh … orc? soldier? with a bloody knife and a baleful stare fights off German troops in a black-and-white New York Herald illustration of his acts of gallantry and/or savagery in World War I. Looking at this photo, I would not surmise that i…
Believe it or not, this was commemorating war heroes.

An essential look at the racist underpinnings of nonhumans in roleplaying games.

In the last game I worked on, I actually had some room to run with on the nonhuman species, and I very specifically tried to make them challenge these kind of tropes. The elves were (with some exceptions) irrational to the point of insanity, angular and ugly; the kobolds were far more technologically and sociologically advanced then their human adversaries and viewed them with a sort of pity. (One kobold will lecture the player on how human sexuality is related to human overconsumption and ends with a simple command: “Stop breeding, human.”)

Players seemed to enjoy the kobolds, and they hated, HATED the elves. They wanted the pretty faerie master-race archetype.

And we had no orcs.

It’s Not Corruption If Everyone Does It

Top Streamers Said to Earn $50,000 Per Hour Playing New Games – Kotaku

When I wrote my gaming blog in the far mists of prehistory (1998-2001) and it became popular, I started flying out to game companies to do developer interviews. I paid my own way out of pocket, because I just assumed that was the correct thing to do.

Yeah. About that. (In case it’s not clear, that $50k/hr is direct payola from companies with games being shown.)

Corruption With Chinese Characteristics

China’s New Video Game Rules Officially Ban Blood, Corpses, Mahjong, and Poker – Gizmodo

Welcome to the latest iterations of “reasons the Ministry of Culture rejected your publishing application”.

They’re all a joke. These are literally reasons to come up with after the fact to ban almost every video game extant (and if you somehow make one without breaking these rules, have no fear, your game will still be held up in review in perpetuity.)

China pretends to be “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. Unless a “Chinese characteristic” is lying your ass off, this is actually completely false. China is the most dystopian example possible of state capitalism run rampant; where the only way to run a successful company is to have enough “guanxi” (clout) to run the gauntlet of regulation (read: ignore it completely) and smugly run your business in a captive market that you literally paid for.

And no worries if anyone complains. China is leading the globe in dissent suppression systems. Facial recognition is spilling over to the West now – it’s been a keystone of Chinese monitoring for the past decade. The Chinese version of a credit score includes things like taking up two seats on a train or spitting on a sidewalk.

And woebetide you if you are religious. China has a Muslim minority in the far Western part of the country. Most of them are in work camps now (this is not a joke or an exaggeration, it is simple fact) being taught “patriotic Islam” (don’t grow a beard, don’t pray too often, be ready to recite Xi Jinping quotes on command)

Dystopia already exists. We just haven’t caught up yet.

RIP, Sensei

Monk Quests - Project 1999 Wiki

My first gaming guild, I joined because I was reading guides for Everquest. The class I was playing, there were a few really boring guides and there was one really kickass one that made me actually want to play.

And I did.

I sent the author an email as a thank you and he said I seemed like a cool guy unlike most of the people around, maybe log in on his server and see how people are.

I did. I rolled up a monk, the class guide he was known for. Called the monk Whiff (because I missed every time I tried to hit anything) Dirtnap (because I always ended up dead).

That monk never went anywhere because I had terminal alt-itis. Whiff is still on the Erollisi Marr server sitting at level 37 or whatever other insulting level it was. The toon was unimportant. The friendships I made most definitely were not.

A few years later I went to Las Vegas for a guild meetup. It was exactly as legendary as such things would expect – I have an epic story I retell to this day of a Russian gangster and my total inability to throw a roll of craps – but my patron was not there. He sat it out – he was busy. I never met him.

I never will.

We make contacts through these pipes that carry an absolutely insignificant amount of emotion. Do not ever let anyone tell you they have no meaning. Do not ever let anyone tell you the friendships you make are not real. My only contact with Richard Stark was through his online postings and his tales of online gaming and stock trades. We never met in person. And we are all diminished with his passing.

(I still absolutely am horrible at playing MMOs. That I started making them doesn’t change this.)

Archived for your protection, enjoy the best gaming info 2000 had to offer.

The Irony Is, As Always, Not Lost On Me

Guild Wars Studio Fires Two Employees After Clash With Streamer – The Verge


This incident may have been the first time that particular streamer felt the need to jump in with his opinion, but for Price, it was just the latest in a long-running stream of interactions with the fan community that she felt consistently demeaned her expertise. “By the time that guy came along, I was so tired of having random people explain my job to me… where I had to just smile and nod that it was like, ‘No. Not here. Not in my space,’” she says.

Price adds that she believes her firing was an emotional reaction on the part of ArenaNet co-founder Mike O’Brien. “He fired me personally, and the meeting was mostly him venting his feelings at me,” she says. “I understand being afraid when you see the Reddit mob coming for you, but if people with less power can weather it — and we do, regularly — so can he.”

Price says that prior to being fired, the company had never discussed her social media presence with her or issued a warning for anything she had posted. “If it was covered in orientation, I wouldn’t know. I got pulled out of orientation to jump into rebreaking the story arc for this season of Living World.”

Furthermore, ArenaNet was not only aware of her outspoken approach to discussing similar issues on social media but encouraging of it. During a job interview with the company, she had told them she was “loud about these issues on social media and had no intention of shutting up. They reassured me that they ‘admired [my] willingness to speak truth to power.’”

Your boss will never have your back.

Your social media will kill you.

I am unemployed and interviewing and terrified.

This is not the future we wanted.