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  • joined Mar 22, 2013
  • last login Apr 24, 2014
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Twitter: @citizenalien

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What’s a ‘legitimate gaming community’?


Let’s make a distinction here between blameworthiness for doing a bad thing and being less susceptible to a bad thing by virtue of some feature you’re not responsible for. For example:

Peter lives in a zip code with ‘high-crime’. Beth lives in a zip-code with low-crime, where most police resources are concentrated. Both like going for jogs. Conny lives in Beth’s zip code but likes to murder joggers in Peter’s zip code.

1. Conny is responsible for her murders.
2. Beth has an advantage when she is jogging by virtue of living in a ‘low-crime’ area.
3. Peter has a disadvantage by virtue of living in a ‘high-crime’ area.
4. Beth might still be a victim of crime, but she is in fact less susceptible because of where she lives.

Someone points out that police resources are inequitably distributed between the two zip codes and that people in Peter’s area have a higher chance of being murdered when jogging.

5. They are not primarily interested in holding Beth responsible for this situation, but it sure would be helpful for everyone to realize how the safety one enjoys while jogging is based on geography, such that they can perhaps think about ways of making the geographical distinction less important.


Giving something an economic rationale doesn’t cancel a critique of it or its effects.


That’s not sexism or “male privilege” — it’s Capitalism.

Or, like, they’re inter-related. Social issues pervade social structures; they don’t just live in people’s heads as bigoted beliefs. Economic systems aren’t immune to all sorts of injustices, nor are the external to them. Moreover, capitalism isn’t some neutral phenomenon that can be appealed to as an alternative explanation. It’s entirely possible that actually-existing capitalism is co-productive of these issues.


Of course, people of various colours, creeds, genders, and orientations experience such things like mental health issues and economic disempowerment. These are certainly worth organizing about, and just because people have support groups in virtue of being part of a minoritized racial or gender community does not in any way crowd out the need to mobilize support for other social concerns, nor your ability to participate in them.


Are we the problem? Or is the acts of a few, often anonymous people who make the rest of us look bad?

This isn’t really about men, persay, as it is about a world that structurally favours males, in certain respects. So the problem isn’t that a person or group is male, but that certain features of society implicitly and invisibly are exclusionary, to some extent, and the stakes aren’t ‘looking bad’ or being vindicated but working together to level the playing field for all.

As I posted in a previous comment, imagine this scenario: Two people are standing in front of a set of stairs; one is in a wheelchair, one is not. At issue is not whether the latter of these people ‘feels bad’ (whatever they feel, they are responsible for those feelings and being self-reflexive, not anyone else). Pointing out the asymmetry in the situation is not about guilt but about rendering visible the less-visible ways in which the world favours some kinds of lives over others. It’s ultimately about finding a way that these two people can both access the building, and a stairs-only option disadvantages one of them, significantly.

Now, to your point about white males being susceptible to discrimination as well, imagine that the person who is not in the chair is also poor and that the stairs lead to a doctor’s office. While they can navigate the stairs, they unfortunately do not have medical coverage and will have to pay out of pocket. In this situation, the two people have differential advantages and disadvantages. However, pointing out that in respect to the stairs they face a particular kind of asymmetry does not in any way take away from the fact that there might also be other forms of structural benefits and disbenefits at play.

All this assumes that we, WHITE MALES, are actively trying to ‘hold everyone back’.

Well, no. A structural form of domination or disadvantage does not necessarily require active intention en masse of the people who escape that form. To say that whites in the United States in the 1820s had a certain kind of political and economic privilege does not necessitate that all whites were slave-owners. Moreover, there would have been white people who persisted in dire economic circumstances, as well as white people with differential political resources (e.g. women). Saying that there was a certain kind of benefit to being white (when, for example, going to a poker room) does not imply that all whites were in a racist conspiracy to exclude non-whites, nor that all whites were accorded the same advantages and disadvantages, but, rather, that the social conditions effectively made certain actions harder (or impossible) for others in virtue of race.

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I’m sort of on board with your concern, as I understand it, that certain forms of activism that internalize liberal norms of the individual and (negative) freedom are more or less impotent as means of challenging systemic forms of domination endogenous to social formations that (re)produce these norms in the first place. (Sorry for the extraordinarily long sentence)

If you’ve got the time to respond, I would be interested to hear why you think a non-ambivalent motivation (or, like, a purity of intent or desire) is necessary for effective action, however. I’m also curious about a sort of implied necessity/determinism that I detect in your link between conduct and change (e.g. in phrases like ‘Only then’ and ‘it won’t be until’). I think you’re presenting an interesting and thoughtful critique, and it would be cool to hear about some of your theoretical commitments, so to speak. But I appreciate this stuff takes energy, so nevermind if you’ve got better things to do.


Oh, the equivalence! I don’t know, but I wonder:

Accepting that we can link a measure of HBO/TWC’s success to piracy, I think an interesting distinction between the case of GoT and F2P games is that the former depends on there being a legal discrepancy traversing its distribution; there is, apparently, a profitable synergy in straddling legal and extra-legal markets. In contrast, F2P models of distribution try to erase the distinction by bringing all distribution under the same juridical umbrella, whereas the GoT model, following the article, depends on maintaining the distinction and allowing a largely ungoverned, extra-juridical space to exist.

Typically, the rationale for articulating a set of economic activities in legal terms – either through regulation or deregulation – is the promotion of a healthy economy (e.g. through competition, incentive structures, etc.). As such, if we accept HBO/TWC’s distribution of GoT as a case of a healthy business model, it would suggest that cases like GoT, as opposed to others, highlight a legal absurdity: clunkily put, illegality sometimes performs legality. In other words, it would seem that excluding something as illegitimate is sometimes constitutive of legitimization, when it comes to the relation between law and economics. Supposing this, a funny contradiction emerges in the production and distribution of this kind of content.

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Hahah. Those are grossly unfair but funny comparisons.


I’ve noticed that a lot of the time reviews get hung up on tech stuff and whats broken or what they would do if building the game rather then actual level of entertainment the game provides.

Surely ‘the level of entertainment’ is affected by factors like technical quality, bugs, and design quality.

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What is this “the market as a whole” that you speak of?

In any case, I wouldn’t agree that the economic interactions between groups and individuals become ethically irrelevant by virtue of taking place through the exchange of goods and services (if that’s what you meant). Also, lots of these interactions are already regulated through government intervention based on ethical considerations – from labour laws to advertising. This happens because not everyone exercises power equally in the marketplace and workplace, and parents certainly have much more limited resources to influence their children in particular respects when compared to other economic actors, who employ a host of psychological research and wealth to exact behaviour that is beneficial to them. I guess that’s why I think large-scale regulation is in certain cases appropriate, and in principle this is an issue that is a candidate for this kind of intervention.


Gahhh. Still three weeks until the PC release. I’m having a hard time resisting the urge to watch gameplay while I wait.

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