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I'm a QA Tech at a software development studio. I play a lot of video games. I love reading about game design, gaming industry news, topics in computing science and the occasional lolcat. You should expect me to blog about all of the above.
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Developer Pet Peeves: Grandma's Boy 


I’m going to go a little further afield today for a different topic. Every now and then, some common myth or other thing will annoy me. I’m usually a pretty mild person, but some things just make me want to roll my eyes and shake my head. Suggestions to watch the movie…

Game Development Myths: It’s the Publisher’s Fault!


One of the most prevailing myths about game development that I’ve heard time and time again is the misattribution of who is actually the driving force behind certain decisions for a game. I hear it most often about Electronic Arts as a publisher, but I also hear it about other publishers like Activision, Ubisoft, Square-Enix, Microsoft, Sony, Capcom, Konami, and have heard it about practically every other publisher at some point. The myth, of course, is some version of this:

  • I hate X. <Publisher> must have forced <Developer> to do it!
  • I love Y. I’m so glad that <Developer> managed to slip Y past <Publisher>!


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LOL man.

(Source: romancingalbion) 


This is the story of a music journalist. He was a pretty successful music journalist. He had an ostensibly full-time gig at a pretty mainstream outlet. The pay wasn’t great but it was enough to live on, and he was pretty thrilled he got to write about music for a living. He worked from home,…

I partly blame Kotaku for implementing this policy. But I blame the readers who pressured them to adopt it even more.

Anonymous said: I remember the days when games were about worlds you could explore and about being good, and not about who's got representation and gender this and sexuality that. I miss those days.


Those days miss you, too. I recently found a yellowed letter under one of the floorboards, and it was addressed to you and signed by those days with a tear-stained kiss of lipstick.

Meanwhile, in the present, those of us who work in the industry and who are—amazingly—able to consider more than one idea at the same time, will continue to create good games about worlds you can explore AND occasionally talk about inclusivity.

If you are feeling compassion fatigue, I think it might be okay to sit out those discussions, at least until you get your strength back. While it will be tough not having you available for close consultation, somehow we will soldier on.

Straight White Guys:
It's not racist. The reason why most characters are straight white guys is it's a business. They just want to do what makes the most money. No one's being racist or sexist. It's just smart business.
Straight White Guys:
Having a Black Captain America or Pakistani Ms. Marvel or female Thor is PANDERING. All they're trying to do is get MONEY from you. It's just a marketing ploy! This is horrible!

mrkjad said: Dear Mr Gaider, I'm very curious what do you think about Anita Sarkeesian's video series "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" especially since she often speaks about BioWare games.





I think they’re quite thought-provoking. While I don’t always agree with her conclusions, I tend to agree more often than not… and, even if I didn’t, I fully support her right to ask these questions even about games on which I’ve worked or which I love.

The guys who defend their vile rhetoric (or outright abuse) regarding Anita with “because I think she’s wrong” clearly never grew out of the kindergarten-level mentality which says the only way to disagree with someone is to punch them in the face.

In fact, now that I consider it, I’ve seen children in kindergarten with better conflict resolution skills, so it’s more likely these guys are just assholes. They feel impotent in every other aspect of their life and are thus desperate to feel manly by lashing out at someone they’ve built up as a villain in their heads… and nobody took them aside in the schoolyard to educate them that hitting a girl is, without question, the least manly thing you can do, no matter what you think she’s done.

Either way, the videos are worth a watch. Those who don’t know about them can catch them on the Feminist Frequency channel here.

Mr. Gaider, to think that you would insult a group of people baselessly and with such vitriol is… greatly disappointing; especially since you’ve been one of my favourite video game writers since I bought Dragon Age Origins. You paint all disagreement with Sarkeesian as bullying, demeaning, disrespectful and baseless.

Sad to say, there were quite a few reactionaries in the early days of her infamy that were bullying and threatening and this is a stain on video game discourse in general. Worse yet it allows people to paint any criticism of Sarkeesian’s information as sexist bullies — much as you hear for just about any criticism leveled against any claim made by any feminist. This constant act of Strawmanning that you just took part in, is a great disservice to honest and reasonable discourse everywhere.

Is some of criticism against her disrespectful? Yes, absolutely; know why? Well, Mr. Gaider you’ve been working on a game where the is a focus on taking action to grow your organization’s influence in the world, so surely you must understand that respect needs to be earned not simply given.

Anita Sarkeesian has given no one any reason to respect her; her cherry-picking of facts and manipulation of information to always make her and her causes look victimized is simply disdainful. I refer you to the video below — in which her work is deconstructed thoroughly and without vitriol.

No one doesn’t support her right to ask her questions, what people take issue with is her spreading of misinformation and her portrayal of everything as victimizing women, and while there most certainly is still some victimization and marginalization of women in media, the idea that it is some all-encompassing, monolithic structure in media anymore is utterly false.

I would also ask you about this statement “and nobody took them aside in the schoolyard to educate them that hitting a girl is, without question, the least many thing you can do, no matter what you think she’s done.” Why is it only ‘hitting a girl’? Should it not be ‘hitting anyone’ — though I disagree that there is never a reason to hit someone, I will agree that out of a philosophical difference is never acceptable — why should that statement only apply to women? Men, women and any non-binary person should all be equally protected from violence. We ought to live in a society where all people are treated equitably; putting such a strong focus on any one group within is, in truth, detrimental to that cause.

In short Mr. Gaider, while you personally do have my respect and admiration, the way you portray any disagreement with Ms. Sarkeesian is entirely assinine and I hope to see some evolution from you on this matter. Thank you for your time.

Oh, please.

I did not portray “any disagreement” with Anita as anything. I said those who use vile rhetoric or outright abuse. Why you’d choose to lump yourself in with those you yourself call a stain on video game discourse, I can’t really imagine. You’re not one of those people? Awesome. You disagree with Anita, and can do so in a respectful manner? Even better.

Because you’re wrong about one thing. Respect does not need to be earned. You shouldn’t have to go out of your way to prove that you deserve to be treated in a respectful manner. Unless you’re confusing respect with admiration, that should be pretty clear.

As for “why is it only hitting a girl?” — come on, man. Seriously? Yes, you are absolutely correct that it’s not okay to hit anyone… but if there are men out there who didn’t figure out at some point that it is indeed worse when their target is a woman then they simply don’t know what it actually means to be a man. Worse, they aren’t listening when a woman says it is not the same as when the situation is reversed. Because it isn’t. I learned that in the schoolyard—why didn’t you?

*slow clap* Point, Gaider.



The accuracy is painful 



acedrgn said: I'm sure you've been asked already, but how do you feel about all the drama going on right now about Zoe Quinn?


You want me to walk into a minefield? OK. Let’s try to keep this short.

There are numerous angles to what’s unfolded over the last few days, and I’m not going to address all of them. Please keep that in mind here.

This has turned into TMZ. For just about all of this, it’s not our business.

There’s no excuse for the extreme harassment and abuse in the last few days. No one deserves to have nude pictures of themselves distributed all over the Internet without their consent. No one deserves to have their address blasted on social networks as a veiled threat. No one.

There is no excuse. None, nada.

Some people see a conspiracy. Others see common human decency.

What we have is an ugly corner of the gaming community exploiting an opportunity to tear into a situation with the flimsiest of justifications. The idea that such abuse is warranted because of concerns over the “ethics of games journalism” cannot be taken seriously by people who utter “whore,” “cunt,” “faggot,” and other words in the same sentence. A quick perusal of “zoe quinn” on Twitter will find you plenty of these people.

A response to that line of criticism might be “yeah, but…

There is a universe where a blog was written specifically to raise ethical concerns about personal relationships between the games press, and not a character assassination meant to tear a person’s life apart.

We do not live in that world. Do not try to pretend that’s what this about.


Disclosure is important. Kotaku editor Stephen Totilo addressed this specifically on Twitter, given his reporter and publication are in question:

Nathan Grayson never wrote a review of Depression Quest for Kotaku. He did write about the indie game jam that went to pieces, which happened to involve Zoe Quinn. Numerous publications also wrote about the same incident, and nothing in Grayson’s write up is particularly different from what you would find elsewhere. On Rock Paper Shotgun, Grayson mentioned Depression Quest in a writeup about 49 other video games that were recently greenlit on Steam. Another mention of Depression Quest was published on RPS written by Adam Smith. You can verify this through the Depression Quest tag.

Yes, disclosure is important. Yes, we should be aware if the press has engaged in a personal relationship with a developer. But nothing justifies what’s transpired since. People have hijacked this for madness.

Cliche but true: some just want to watch the world burn.

Given I’ve spent the last few days trying to ignore folks accusing me of cheating on my wife, you’ll excuse me if I’m over talking about this now.

This is the last I’ll say on this topic. No other questions will be answered.


Metric vs. Imperial

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