flashback to meeting for AAA shooter franchise

marketing revealed their new ad idea, which implied that the one recurring female character in the game was being violated with a chainsaw

when we protested, they said they needed to make sure audiences knew it wasn't a "girl game"
Like, just sit with that for a moment. This super testosterone-y game about shooting things, well into its franchise life, and marketing is worried that if they don't show the only female presence in the game being violently sexually violated, people might think it's too girly.
And now imagine--big room, big meeting, all these dudes--being a woman in that room, one of 2 or maybe 3 among like 15 or 16 guys.

And you're like hey maybe let's not do this?

And a marketing guy says it to you, in the tone one would use with a particularly dense child.
And that's when you realize that it's not just that you're working on a game that's not really *for* you.
You're used to that, hey, it's a paycheck in a tough industry and despite having no maternal instinct whatsoever, you've been able to find joy and creative fulfillment working on some kids' games.

Not every game you work on is going to be for you.
But that's when it hits you.

It's not that this game isn't *for* you.

This game *hates* you.
It's not content to just be probably-uninteresting to you.

It's not even content to be a male-dominated space, like some hardware stores used to be, where everyone kind of side-eyes you if you walk in.
No, they're actively trying to create a space where any hint of anything female has to eliminated, and eliminated with sexual violence and degradation.
And when you protest, and people react like you've just said some sort of bizarrely stupid thing, then you start to realize how much this fucking industry is gaslighting you.
Because "hey, this is gratuitously cruel and contemptuous and degrading to some of the people who play our game, and more importantly, to roughly half the population" is not the strange, illogical, or irrational position.

Wanting to *do that* is the strange, illogical position.
So, I was young and still relatively new, so I didn't push it, and I was only temporarily on that game until we hired someone else to cover it.

But the whole experience started to feel an itchy seam in my clothing.
(Eventually, btw, they scrapped that ad concept, so sense did prevail. I suspect some woman higher up was able to put a foot down.)
So eventually I was sitting and talking with a user researcher. And having, at this point, heard the unquestioned "fact" that women will consume media with male protagonists but men will not touch media with female protagonists a billion times, I asked about it.
And he was like, yeah, that's just something everyone knows, but I don't know where it comes from. I'll look into it.
Months later, when I'd forgotten I'd asked, he came back to me, very excited. Digging up where this accepted creative wisdom (which, btw, I understand is also canon in toys, the movie industry, etc.) came from had been a pretty epic mystery hunt.
Turns out that this accepted "fact", steering the marketing in all these multi-billion dollar entertainment industries is based on *one study* from, IIRC, the 1940s, with like 8 children.
They put some boys and girls in a room with toys and dolls and books, some with girls on the cover and some with boys.

And the male kids picked up the male dolls and books first, while the girls didn't discriminate.
Like, that's it. The boys weren't, like, repulsed by the girl dolls or books with girls on the covers. They didn't refuse to touch them. They just picked up the stuff with boys on it first.
But a while back, marketers came up with "market segmentation" -- the idea that you can sell more shit if you gender it.
And like, okay, fine, with deodorant or whatever, I guess I can see it.

It starts to get really silly with pens.

But with games, it gets *violent.*
And, like, there's nothing wrong with making a game that tends to appeal to one particular audience segment more than another one.

But when you need to violently keep that other segment out, then we've got a problem.
I should add that the worst part about this is that video game marketers leaned so hard into a weakly supported assumption from an 80-year-old study done with, at minimum, 1/100 the sample size it should have had that they created a self-fulfilling prophecy.
They didn’t just market based on a giant leap of logic from a study with eight kids, they managed to *actively instill the ideology they derived from it into their audience.*

Fast forward a decade and: GamerGate, an organized attempt to expunge the industry of women.

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More from @Delafina777

27 May
Oh great, an app that encourages people to treat every event around them that *could* be a crime as a crime, form a mob, and hunt down whoever they’ve decided is a perpetrator.

Definitely a very good idea to make a literal lynch mob app.
Racism but make it a subscription

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What if Nextdoor but you paid it to call the police AND assemble a mob every time your Black neighbor took out their trash

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I'm also really sick of the impossible demands for ideological purity put on Jews from white gentiles sitting pretty in places like the US and England.

Like, any time the subject of Israel comes up, suddenly everyone's staring at the Jew or Jews in the room.
And again, American Jews are *more likely* to be critical of Israel than American Christians.

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I watched an Israeli expatriate get berated for mentioning a restaurant he missed in Tel Aviv.

It was at a fucking 4th of July barbecue.
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seeing a lot of absolutist statements about oppressed and oppressors lately

and, like, most people are both?

men in marginalized communities oppress women in those communities, marginalized cishet people oppress trans and other queer people, abled people oppress disabled ppl
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and very few people's identities can simply be reduced to Oppressor

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Time is a flat circle.

Started my game writing/design career in alternate reality games (ARGs) & then was subjected to a harassment campaign

& I'm featured in @krveale's book about how such campaigns function like ARGs

(so far it's a very good book)

(I was trying to find a quote about ARGs last night and discovered this)
And honestly my first reaction was a weird sort of grief:
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There was at least one, and IIRC multiple, freelancers we stopped using at Paizo because they didn't understand this and went on public rants about how the developer changed their Precious Words.
That's how work-for-hire works. You write a thing, you get paid, and then the company that paid you gets to (more or less) do what they want with it.
Tangential to this is that you're not actually directly supporting the author when you buy a book that's been written as work-for-hire (as most freelance writing in TTRPGs is). They've been paid already, and aren't getting royalties.
Read 15 tweets
23 May
Welp, I’m going to be moving into a new place soon and it... needs some work, so expect some very boring home improvement tweets.
First up, the horrifying stair carpet. This is after a “courtesy clean” in which they at least nominally ran a carpet cleaner over it and vacuumed. Image
There also appears to be a bloodstain in the living room but that carpeting is coming out so whatevs. Image
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