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Posts posted by Azradun

  1. I think Obsidian did the right thing by getting in touch with Firedorn, he is the limerick's author so the twitter mob wasn't just after Obsidian, they were after him too. The tombstones epitaphs are not Obsidian's work, they can't treat it the same way as they do with the core game content. They can't ignore them like they'd ignore critics targetting their work. I think it would have been highly irresponsible of Obsidian to ignore the whole thing and let Firedorn deal with these people on his own, turning a blind eye on the critics would have been like denying him any right to answer them.



    The epitaphs were made by backers who practically financed the game. Obsidian accepted their content. Yes, I can see no way of defending that content or the backer who wrote the limerick at all. Saying "he's one of the people who made this game possible" was simply out of the question.


    At least they let Firedorn mock the offended, I give them that.


    Even if those tweets influenced the outcome, even if the backer and Obsidian reacted to the controversy, I think it's outright insulting to reduce their choices to being slaves and victims to some tweets.



    But it's not outright insulting that some loud and angry person on Twitter who yells "kill all men!" and her followers caused enough ruckus to remove content from the game and now are lauded in press? An interesting concept of "protecting free speech". Yes, it is I who reduce the choices of Obsidian and the backer to "being slaves and victims to some tweets", not the "perpetually offended" Internet party.


    We should just all keep quiet and let the progressive extremists censor anything they want. Because it's offensive when we criticize the artists for caving in, but not problematic at all when they criticize their art and want it to change - right now! - immediately! Those extremists used their tactics for years, converting every culture and community by force of organized shaming campaigns. Comics, science-fiction, now video games. Because everyone just caved to them, taking the path of least resistance. Because companies fear controversy, thus giving one side all the ammo.


    This is the truth. One person claiming offense can force a company like Obsidian into changing their content. You don't like it that it's "outright insulting to reduce their choices to being slaves and victims to some tweets"? Did they keep the original limerick or chose a PR-frendlier alternative?

  3. I personally am not a fan of mob howling. I vastly prefer dialogue and constructive criticism over it. But it also seems to me that in this case the Twitter comments are painted with way too much power and used to nullify decisions made by the backer who wrote the limericks by folks that are unhappy with his decision.



    He said it himself that he chose to rewrite the limerick to "spare Obsidian a PR nightmare". So it was the Twitter comments which practically forced his decision. Also, the Twitter comments caused Obsidian to ask the backer to do something with the limerick in the first place. Yet they're "painted with way too much power"? Ask Mary Sue and PC Gamer then, they both ran articles about those comments and how they influenced "the offensive content" to be gone.

  4. Oh man we would need a separate thread for the philosophy of this issue. Or maybe not, since there seems to be very little understanding to be gained (which is a pity - the underlying issues are both important and interesting). It baffles me that people very firmly believing in free speech also seem to consider the agency of people to be so fragile that, say, a single voice or even a mob howling in Twitter (not doxxing or swatting, just howling) nulls their views, choices and actions.



    Well, only one of the best scientists of our time was reduced to tears at the moment of his greatest tryumph and gave a forced apology, forced by a mob howling on Twitter (not doxxing or swatting, just howling) not so long time ago for wearing a shirt made by his female friend. Still, they didn't burn him on the stake or put him in jail, so maybe we should let it slide... allowing any loud voices to psychologically destroy people who make scientific discoveries or works of art?


    After all, what a landing on a comet or a great game is worth compared to somebody's feelings, right?

  5. So rather than "cave" to some organized people on Twitter who felt the limerick offensive...they should "cave" to some organized people on Twitter that feels any change is censorship?


    I mean really Obsidian was screwed the minute someone found something offensive - it guaranteed that one side of the outrage brigade would be butthurt by any path they took.



    Or it could mean, with a similar force tugging either way, the developers will come to disregard any outside influence on social media and just make the games they want, wthout listening to either side. Relying only on fans who buy the game.


    That would be the ideal course of action.

  6. It wasn't a threat, coy or otherwise. I approached the issue from a dispassionate PR standpoint. To elaborate:


    Which story would be more interesting for gaming websites and especially for other media: changing it and the resulting fallout or not changing it and the resulting fallout? It's my personal opinion that no change would have resulted in a bigger problem for the PR department, simply because the complaint gained a lot of traction (relatively speaking) in a fairly short time. It could spill over to grassroots organisations that lobby/work/defend for the position of groups of people and it could be made an example for 'everything that's wrong in the industry'. Justified? Irrelevant. It's a business decision, remember? In the end, Obsidian could be painted as a company that does not care.


    Now, Obsidian may be the company that cares too much, or that 'caved' for a vocal minority that may or may not have a valid point. That position is a lot more comfortable for the PR department that has to answer questions, and a lot less interesting for other media.



    Fair enough. Then the only way to stop this trend (of content removal and art censorship due to "I'm offended!" backlash) is to make as much big PR nightmare for Obsidian to self-censor content as not. Just as you said, I'm approaching this from a purely dispassionate point of view.


    Which is exactly why it is happening. This is the point in grabbing the torches and pitchforks.

  7. ...because neither side wants anything short of WWI style trench warfare with each other, fighting tooth and claw for every inch of ground.

    I feel bad for the backer and Obsidian to be stuck in the middle of two groups who care more about winning their mutual pissing contest than do about anything else.



    Yes, it is a problem. I agree. But as in a war, sometimes lowering your weapons and surrendering without a fight will lead to a massacre. If a company like Obsidian, who got its financing from backers, is not exempt from a "PR nightmare" due some organized people on Twitter, is this a healthy situation? When everyone caves in out of fear of a backlash? When gaming journalists harass developers?


    What Obsidian won? A temporary peace until the next person is offended.

    • Like 1
  8. Obsidian made the call, the PR drama was averted, this little storm will die out a lot faster than the one after a refusal to change would have. This decision is the politically correct one, and as such the most easily defended. Least harm done to the reputation of the company. In short: it's a business decision.


    They didn't cave. Pros and cons were weighted and a decision was made. No point in grabbing the torches and pitchforks.


    So you say those who bully the most and cry the loudest will get their way? That's the whole problem. We don't want a climate in gaming industry when a loud call from non-backers will influence the makers of the game.


    You say it's a business decision while slipping a coy threat like "the PR drama was averted, this little storm will die out a lot faster than the one after a refusal to change would have". Nope. This "little storm" will not be either forgotten or die out.

    • Like 1
  9. So you want a world full of believable conflict and yet nothing to do with "SJW"?


    And you don't see the contradiction with this? You just said you want a world with conflict but no issues.



    There is no contradiction here. The "SJW" want only one-dimensional stories. The ones that propagate their ideology. All others are unacceptable.


    And ideological books make for very boring stories. I know, I grew up in communist Poland and read some of them.

    • Like 2
  10. Either learn about oppression or be ignorant and quiet.


    Absolutely. Silencing others is the best course of action for the LGBT community to be liked and accepted. All dissent must be eliminated, no opposing points of view can be made. Discussion is a tool of the evil.


    This is exactly the thing that forced me to redefine my worldview two years ago - the surprising amount of intolerance exhibited by those supposedly fighting for tolerance. Because ends don't justify the means. Never.

  11. No, it suggests that accidentally sleeping with someone contrary to one's sexual preference is awkward. Which is neither bigoted nor "anti inclusive", it's pretty common sense.

    Straight cis people should respect LGBT people's identity and sexual preferences, but that does not mean that they should be expected to deny their own sexual preference. Refusing to hire a gay person or voting against gay marriage is intolerant and bigoted; feeling grossed out by the thought of f***ing another man yourself, isn't.


    This. I have worked with gay people in the past, and liked them, but the thought about engaging in a sexual intercourse with them was still revolting to me. I don't have to find everyone sexually attractive! If I talk to an old lady amicably but I'm grossed out at a mere thought of a sexual intercourse with her, I am not a bigot. Same goes with LGBT people. Heck, there are some sexual fetishes acceptable to some, but extremely gross to others. And it's normal, until nobody is forced to do anything they don't like.


    I'm sure some women would find me sexually revolting - lesbians for example. So? Must they also be forced to like me in *that* way? Why?

  12. Are men met with laughter or are they afraid they'll be met with laughter?  Either way, I used sexual harassment of women as an example because it's pervasive, and so possibly easier to identify with.  But people are absolutely harassed for all sorts of reasons, men and women alike.  I definitely didn't mean to imply that that wasn't the case.


    That said, as a victim of harassment yourself I'm sure you can identify with how someone might feel when encountering a joke like this.  One that implies that sex with someone like them is so horrible, so shameful, that the only recourse for someone that discovers they've done this is suicide.  But it's a joke so no harm done, just get over it right?  And maybe it is just a joke, but it's also one more joke amid a sea of similar crap from a thousand different sources and damnit but this is a game it should be something you can enjoy and not be reminded of your daily struggle for acceptance.  This is a complex issue, but ultimately, if someone finds out they've been a jerk to me, even unintentionally, one would hope I'd get an apology.  It's core to the nature of living with people.



    Men are met with laughter, and then they become afraid when they sense a pattern. All my lifetime experience confirms that. Another anecgdotal example - when I took time off to visit hospital for a magnetic resonance imaging (to exclude a brain tumor, had persistent vertigo later confirmed to be caused by stress), a female office manager joked loudly in the open space about "men being so weak that they go to hospital on a mere whim". How do you think I felt? This kind of shaming is perfectly acceptable in today's society and is rarely, if ever, called upon (she wasn't called upon by any of the 20 people in the room). And I can give many more examples. This is the "empathy gap".


    This is keenly illustrated by the fact that the LGBT-worrying lady who started the controversy on Twitter in the first place, advocates killing all men. She tweeted she's not joking, she's all serious. So tell me please - why is this socially unacceptable to make an LGBT person feel offended, yet absolutely acceptable to seriously wish death, rounding in the concentration camps (her words, check her tweets) to me and literally billions of people? Am I to think if Erika and other "LGBT advocates" like her come to power, I'll be dead?


    As long as she is excused for daily tweeting of "kill all men" telling at the same time she's serious, I find a hard time to empathise with her plea. I don't support people who threaten me with death. She does the LGBT community the biggest disservice, not some stupid limerick inside a game.


    Edit: threat -> threaten, do excuse my English, I'm not a native speaker...

    • Like 1
  13. You are convoluting the issue by introducing drugs. No one said anything about drugs. Please stop deflecting and examine what is happening.



    You are simplifying the issue to conform to your view of the situation, to your singular interpretation.


    What drugs? Most sexual activity now and then was done under influence of alcohol. I say this was under influence of alcohol, now you examine what is happening (sic) and prove to me it didn't happen exactly the way I described. Not only you get to project things or make baseless assumptions.


    "The last woman he bedded, turned out a man" - where does it says they weren't drinking alcohol in a tavern?


    Edit: my feelings tell me it happened exactly as I described, your turn.

    • Like 1
  14. *sigh*

    So what you are saying is that if a guy sleeps with a woman, and later that guy finds out she is trans and he is upset by this, that woman is a rapist?


    ^This is why Obsidian changed the poem. They do not want to re-enforce that type of bigoted thinking. 



    If that trans woman took advantage of a straight man who was too drunk to consent, then yes. She was a rapist. Just as I wrote earlier.


    How do you know what exactly happened just from 4 verses? Was the straight man too intoxicated to give consent or not? Was the trans woman the active party? Did she stop when he said no or not? Did he said no or not? Please answer those questions exactly. Until then, we shall leave the matter of who is the bigot here unresolved, shall we?

    • Like 1
  15. -"A guy sleeps with a woman and later when he found out she was trans, he threw up."


    And what if the joke described a date rape? A straight guy drinks a lot, a trans person (who can also be a *bad* person, even a rapist, being trans doesn't make you automatically good) takes advantage of him, the straight guy wakes up, throws up and throws himself from a bridge?


    Do we know what exactly happened? Or are we making a lot of baseless assumptions?

    • Like 1

    but here, asking women about stories of workplace harassment would provide a basically endless supply of anecdotes that would leave you despairing for humanity.  Most of the time, only the most severe cases are ever reported, but there are countless more that people just bear because they don't want to deal with the trouble of complaining about.



    Because women *never* do any kind of harassment at work. My mother was bullied for years in her workplace, where there are only women. I guess she was mobbed by dwarves, fairies or invisible male ghosts? And do you think men report bullying done to them? Nope, they don't - mostly because they're met with laughter - like my female collegue did to me once. Literally laughed in my face (I guess depression is a laughing matter!). No wonder men die by suicide almost 5 times as often as women.


    But I guess the powerful lawyer lobby wouldn't get so much $$$ without such a political climate. Offense generates income, common sense doesn't.



    Edit: I've even seen some people lately whining about "white males" on some Polish forums. When 99.999% Polish are white and 50% are male. Yes, this *did* left me despairing for humanity... senseless copying of the PC stuff without even thinking.

    • Like 1

    As an American I can say you really only see this stuff on twitter and their ilk. And lots of those involved are not Americans. But it seems the mere presence of twitter makes us a Communist Dictatorship.





    Hey, it wasn't me who wrote about "mandatory sensitivity training at best for a joke" (which does sound absolutely totalitarian). I was only in America once, in 2007, for a week, so I have to rely on what you people write.


    By the way, did you know that America has the most incarcerated per 1000 people in the whole world, more than Russia, Iran and North Korea? Lunacy, yeah.

    • Like 1
  18. I also think it's worth pointing out that if this had happened in an office setting, the author of the limerick would be on his way to mandatory sensitivity training at best, given his reaction to the incident.  In short, it doesn't matter what you think about this and it has nothing to do with free speech.



    Thank goodness I don't live in such a totalitarian country as you do. "Mandatory sensitivity training" for a joke? This reminds me of the wost communist times in Poland... If this is the depth of American PC craziness, you can keep it to yourself.


    Edit: "at best" is genuinely scary. And what is the worst? Being fired immediately? Put in jail? Shot in the back of the head? Do you even realize how totalitarian your words sound? You don't advocate for the LGTB people this way - just the opposite in fact. This sounds crazier and less tolerant than the Catholic Church, and that's something to say in Poland where I come from.

    • Like 1
  19. Sounds to me like you have way bigger problems than a joke being taken out of the game, so really why are you getting so worked up over something so trivial in the larger scale of things? There's no flashing lights in the game reminding you of the joke that was removed.


    I can't do anything about any of those bigger problems as they're mostly facts by now so I'm doing things what I can about the thing I can change (I already planned my costs and savings for months ahead, work overtime etc.). I guess it's a normal psychological reaction called 'translation' or something like that (I know this in Polish not English).


    I don't even care about the joke itself that much. I didn't like it (on aesthetic grounds). What I do care about is the established course of action:


    1. A person finds content offensive, mobilizes people on Twitter.

    2. Obsidian removes content, applies a patch, content goes away.

    3. I no longer have that content. Gone.


    Rinse and repeat?


    This establishes a bad precedent. If I wanted a game where other people influence it in real time I'd play a MMORPG. And I hate these.


    Thank you everyone for the conversation, I'll have to be gone for the remainder of the day. I must say I am pleasantly surprised about the level of the discussion here - it's not as bad as I expected (know some very bad and vulgar forums). The community for the game does look good.

    • Like 6
  20. @Azradun Hm, if you're really on that tight a budget, why are you buying games so soon after release anyway? I'm not, and I buy almost all of them a couple of years later when they can be had for 5-15 euros or so. The only ones I buy on release are the ones I'm genuinely interested in.



    I'm almost 36 and in moderately bad health - struggling with some medical problems for 6 years now, and my daily stress is strong nowadays. Games are my fuel. My health is only going to get worse, not better.  I buy several books and one game per month to keep me busy and distracted. Pillars of Eternity looked so good I didn't want to wait for a promotion year or two after.


     Stop being such entitled whiny little girls with your 1st world problems and grow a pair. The world won't end because of this and idiots will still overreact to things.



    Really? Playing vidya is my principal source of amusement apart from reading. This game is rather pricey for a programmer working in a rather small company in Poland (prices are mostly converted to Euros and the course of Euro to zloty is astounding and rising).  I have to choose one game to buy this month to keep me entertained after my duties. Especially after my beloved grandma has a stroke 3 weeks ago and is paralysed - which means I will support her financially in the future (her pension is ridiculously low, I live and work 500 kilometers away so I have to help hire someone to take care of her). So every eurocent counts. And I need entertainment what with the hard work, economic uncertainty, grandma's and my health problems (I'm on constant medication) and the looming crises near the borders of Poland (they are starting to call back army reservists this and next year, for God's sake, I'm one of them).


    And now tell me I shouldn't care about the fact that the game I planned a lather large portion of my precious salary to invest in can be changed and censored on a whim of some meddlesome careless easily offended person with enough Twitter following. She can invade my game made to entertain me and give me some respite from everyday problems and dangers, to be paid by me, and take stuff away. Just because she *doesn't like it*. She has to inject everyday politics (when I have newspapers in my country yelling every day about possible aggression from Russia, and nuclear bombers from both countries flying all over Europe) into my moment of respite, my escape into the make-believe.


    Tell me I'm entitled.

    • Like 2

    The difference is that the game approaches those themes with an appropriate seriousness and does not take them lightly. Not the same as making a joke at the expense of a group of people that have historically been oppressed and still severely are in large parts of the world.



    You mean texts like "Also death to all men. Let the culling begin!", when men are dying daily in various conflicts around the world? Yes, that would be honoring some still warm bodies...



    • Like 5
  23. Maybe I missed something but if the original content has been replaced by this, then this is not censoship at all you people need to read it again. In fact it is more a joke on those who asked for the "offensive" content to be removed. The way I see it the new poem means: "some hysterical people violently asked for a poem wrote as a simple jest to be removed, now because of them the poet is dead".


    And yet the *effect* of the censorship is done: the "offensive" part is gone.


    Do you know how they did it in communist Poland? They removed content, left blank space corresponding to the amount of text removed, and in the middle it wrote: "Removed in accordance of Law Number 12345678" (and the paragraph in question). So what is different here? That a new joke masks the content that is now *gone* from the piece of art?

    • Like 4
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