CPAC results

25.7            Sen. Rand Paul
21.4            Gov. Scott Walker
11.5            Sen. Ted Cruz
11.4            Dr. Ben Carson
8.3             Former Gov. Jeb Bush
4.3             Former Sen. Rick Santorum
3.7             Sen. Marco Rubio
3.5             Donald Trump
3.0             Carly Fiorina
2.8             Gov. Chris Christie
1.1             Former Gov. Rick Perry

One the one hand, it’s clear that conservatives have no patience for another “electable” moderate who will lose the general election. On the other hand, 11.4 percent for an anti-gun token black candidate indicates that a lot of them are still more concerned about being called racists than they are about winning elections.


#GamerGate: the last redoubt

Nero has some important observations that those in other communities attacked by the SJW Left should take to heart:

In all of the distracting, hysterical, evidence-free and unfair allegations of misogyny and bigotry hurled at supporters of GamerGate, the consumer revolt that continues to surface outrageous misconduct in the video games press, something is being forgotten.

GamerGate is remarkable—and attracts the interest of people like me—because it represents perhaps the first time in the last decade or more that a significant incursion has been made in the culture wars against guilt-mongerers, nannies, authoritarians and far-Left agitators.

Industry after industry has toppled over, putting up no more of a fight than, say, France in 1940. Publishing, journalism, TV… all lie supine beneath the crowing, cackling, censorious battle-axes, male and female, of the third-wave feminist and social justice causes.

But not gamers. Lovers of video games, on seeing their colleagues unfairly hounded as misogynists, on watching journalists credulously reporting scandalous sexual assault claims just because a person was perceived to be “right-wing” and on seeing the games they love attacked and their very identities denied and ridiculed, have said: no. This will not stand.

The key, as he points out is here: “Because hard-core gaming is overwhelmingly male—don’t
believe cherry-picked statistics that tell you women now make up 50 per
cent of gamers; they don’t, in any meaningful sense—and
because those men are often of a stubborn, obsessive, hyper-competitive
and systematic bent, it has produced an army finally capable of
launching offensives against the censors—using the censors’ own tactics, such as advertiser boycotts, against them.”

Keep in mind the Four Fs of Victory. Fight, Follow, or get the F— out of the way. And if you’re a concern moderate who has “concerns” or is “worried” or thinks one tactic or another might be “counterproductive”, shut the F— up. 


As history clearly shows, you’re the one who is counterproductive.


Truth in Anti-GamerGate

It’s admittedly hard to find. But we finally managed to locate some after correcting for a few modest exaggerations and untruths, shall we say. Meet Fuchsian Stains, the oft-open mouthpiece of Anti-GamerGate.

And this exchange is why you ALWAYS ignore the ever deeply concerned Concern Trolls.

George Feher ‏@BRC1134
Why the fat shaming? Bad enough they shame mental and neural health issues. Shouldn’t you be better than them? 

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Click on the link. It should be self-explanatory.

George Feher ‏@BRC1134
I understand parody, but I think this will be used against gamergate and other things that don’t need sjw crap.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Don’t focus inward, target outward. There are no GG thought police.

Bloody moderates. Always concern-trolling, always thought-policing, always preferring to shoot at their own side than the other one. I think I’ve finally figured it out their counterproductive tendencies, however. Moderates tend to be gammas, so they don’t want to take on the enemy directly because they’re conflict-avoidant and after all, the enemy might shoot back.

So, they suddenly become “strategists” and experts in coming up with ways to prevent anyone from actually doing anything. It’s freaking hilarious to see a few of them “strategizing” together because they inevitably produce a consensus that is not only less effective than literally everything they’ve been criticizing, but is usually unrelated to the original objective. “We should be better than them” is their battle cry. They love to show that they are “better” than the other side by preemptively surrendering and refusing to fight back. Which, of course, is why they reliably lose.

Now, I should point out this isn’t always the case. Brad Torgersen may be the cuddly Bleeding Heart Care Bear of the Evil Legion of Evil, but he’s as steady under critical fire as The Mountain That Writes, and if he lacks my quasi-sociopathic immunity to social pressure, he is nevertheless remarkably calm about it. One thing I’ve learned about Mormons in the last two years is that they are remarkably unflappable.


Shots across the bow

Zerohedge notes that China appears to be taking sides in the Ukraine conflict and doing so in support of Russia:

Speaking in very clear and explicit language, something diplomats are
not used to doing, the Chinese ambassador said the “nature and root
cause” of the crisis was the “game” between Russia and Western powers,
including the United States and the European Union.

He said external intervention by different powers accelerated the crisis and warned that Moscow would feel it was being treated unfairly if the West did not change its approach.

“The West should abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real
security concerns of Russia into consideration,” Qu was quoted as
saying.

His comments were an unusually public show of understanding from China for the Russian position. China
and Russia see eye-to-eye on many international diplomatic issues but
Beijing has generally not been so willing to back Russia over Ukraine.

As noted above, China has long been very cautious not to be drawn
into the struggle between Russia and the West over Ukraine’s future, not
wanting to alienate a key ally. And yet, something changed overnight,
with this very clear language, warning some could say, that China will
no longer tolerate Pax Americana, and even the mere assumption of a
unipolar western world, let alone the reality.

Qu’s comments take place just as talks between the United States and its European allies over harsher sanctions against Moscow.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused
Western powers of trying to dominate and impose their ideology on the
rest of world. The United States and European delegations slammed Moscow
for supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Qu said Washington’s involvement in Ukraine could “become a distraction in its foreign policy”.

And then, Qu’s slap in the face of Obama: “The United States
is unwilling to see its presence in any part of the world being
weakened, but the fact is its resources are limited, and it will be to
some extent hard work to sustain its influence in external affairs.

Very soon after which a prominent critic of Putin was shot dead in a blatant hit that doesn’t resemble the usual Russian method of dealing with their critics. Of course, trying to determine whether it is a Russian act, a CIA act meant to look like a Russian act, or a Russian act meant to look like a CIA act, is futile. But it does look as if we’re back at near-Cold War levels of hostility between the USA and Russia.

The key difference this time, in my opinion, is that the Russian people will be considerably more united against the USA and its Western allies under a Russian nationalist like Putin than they ever were under the Soviets. If the American strategists are failing to take this into account, their efforts are likely to end in disaster.


Of deceit and discourse

Chris Gerrib made a demonstrably incorrect statement yesterday. He also implied that he had read the entire book, pointing out that he had bought it and talking about details from the first chapter. I called him on his statement and asked him a simple, straightforward yes/no question that would have indicated it to be not only false, but disingenuous and knowingly false.

You made a false and disingenuous claim about what “this SJW shit” is. Do
you admit that “this SJW shit” is what “gleefully subverts gender
roles” and “the subversion of the dominant white male paradigm”? Yes or no?

Instead of answering the question as per the clearly posted rules of the blog, Chris then went on to post NINE additional comments evading it. I gave him three opportunities to answer, and when he would not do so, I informed him that he would not be posting any more further comments here until he answered the question. This was his not-entirely-unexpected response:

Vox- I’m done talking to you. If you don’t want me to comment here, get
me banned. Otherwise, fuck off. If you think that’s conflict
avoidance, whatever. Why I should give a damn about the opinion of a
one-name wonder is beyond me.

He is done talking to me. He is done talking to everyone here, now that he is banned and spammed. Furthermore, I note that Chris Gerrib is a liar, a deceiver, an intellectual coward, and a near-textbook example of an insecure, passive-aggressive, conflict-avoidant gamma male, who turns evasive and runs away rather than even take the risk of being publicly forced to admit that he was wrong.

What was fascinating about his behavior yesterday is that at Alpha Game, we have been discussing precisely this pattern of behavior of men who belong to this socio-sexual demographic for the last two weeks, and helping various gammas try to break the pattern. Gerrib’s behavior fit it to a T; it was so predictable that several of us were discussing it before he even finished the customary Gamma routine. As one observer said, it was like watching a textbook example in action.

Notice the various elements of the socio-sexual hierarchy at work:

  • Alpha: doesn’t mind straightforward conflict, will not tolerate disrespect, is comfortable with direct and physical conflict. The political is not personal.
  • Gamma: can’t tolerate disagreement or criticism, bitchy, cowardly, puts himself in situations he is not equipped to handle. The political is personal, the technical is personal, everything is personal. Runs from direct confrontation.

 Here are a few of the typical Gamma behaviors identified by an ex-Gamma that were obvious throughout the comments.

  • In the past year you can’t recall a single serious online discussion you were wrong about anything.
  • In the past two years you can’t recall one discussion with any friends or family in which you were wrong about anything.
  • When finally shown you are wrong about something it is devastating,
    you remember it for months or years, avoid that place or people, and
    consider your time there a failure as a person.
  • You routinely lie about small, personal, matters knowing you can get away with it.
  • You think width of knowledge is more important than depth of knowledge.
  • If you start to lose at any game you find a way to quit if you can
    and hope to save face by degrading the game or the other players.
  • If someone defeats you at a game or competition you can’t look them in the eye afterwards and try to avoid them if possible. 

The two points that I thought was the most telling yesterday were those that concern routinely lying and width of knowledge. From the very start, Gerrib deceitfully struck a pose of being more knowledgeable about the book than he actually was before eventually exposing his own deceit.

  1. “Well, having bought the book based on the author’s reading of the first chapter at Windycon, I read stuff like this. Chapter 1 was pretty active, ending with a shoot-out and a bad guy trying to use some kind of mind-control device.” 
  2. “if you had gotten as far as the end of chapter 1, you would have found out that the women who cause the first gunfight were both Asian.”
  3. “I have not read past chapter 1.”

This behavior makes no sense to the non-gamma male, but to prefer everyone knowing that you’re deceitful to publicly admitting that you’re wrong is the quintessence of gamma. Gammas know no honor because they reject the concept, they consider it foolish. And there is no place in the public discourse here for those who intentionally seek to deceive their fellow commenters.

This is not the first time Gerrib has behaved in this manner. S1AL noted:

That’s a truly amusing statement coming from someone incapable of admitting when he is incorrect about any fact. Really, tell me again how there were no black people in a pirate movie before 2005… or how the Declaration of Independence is the “founding” document of America. But hey, now I know it’s not just me to whom you won’t admit being wrong.

The Rules of the Blog exist for several good reasons, and one of the primary ones is to foster honest, civil, and rational discourse. Those who demonstrate that they either cannot or will not engage in such discourse will not be permitted to continue commenting here.


He lived long and prospered

Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83. Death comes for us all in time. Even half-Vulcans.

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.


Why we fight

Because this is what happens when you don’t:

Karen Memery (like memory but with an e as she explains), is just such a seamstress. She is the titular narrator of Elizabeth Bear’s latest steampunk adventure, Karen Memory (with an o and not an e). A prostitute at the Hôtel Ma Cherie, a high-class bordello in Seattle Rapid City in the late 1800s, Memery is dissatisfied with her job and her johns, longing for the prairie life she gave up when her father died….

Bear also gleefully subverts gender roles in Karen Memory. Not just with Karen and Priya’s lesbian relationship. She also introduces Crispin, the gay bouncer at the Hôtel Ma Cherie, and Miss Francina, one of the seamstresses who has a select client base. As Karen puts it:

    “…the thing about Miss Francina is that Miss Francina’s got a pecker under her dress. But that ain’t nothing but God’s rude joke. She’s one of us girls every way that matters, and handy for a bouncer besides.”

So not only do we have three prominent gay characters, including the main protagonist and her love interest, but we also have a transgender character — the first I’ve run into in a 19th Century setting. And Karen’s plainspoken acceptance of Miss Francina, and those other societal outcasts who gravitate to the Hôtel Ma Cherie is probably the most refreshing part of the book.

Indeed, one of the major themes of Karen Memory seems to be the subversion of the dominant white male paradigm. Bear puts a variety of alternative lifestyles and minority role models on display, and fervently asserts that they too can be heroes in a fantasy novel. Madame Damnable in her quest for leadership of Seattle Rapid City against Bantle; the African-American Marshal Reeves, who has risen to a place of leadership despite his race (and actually Madame Damnable as well – Karen makes it clear that the powerful madame is also African-American by blood, if not by appearance); and Priya and Karen’s blossoming relationship, forbidden both as same-sex and interracial, are all examples.

Does that sounds like “loads of fun” to you? Because reading about a dissatisfied whore while being subjected to a sermon on the importance of diversity in sexual orientation, race, and transgenderism sounds about as much fun as listening to to SJWs drone on NPR about intersectionalism. I would genuinely rather read an IMF paper on the monetary policy of Zambia  or Newton’s Principia. In Latin.

Loads of fun. That’s what they want to bring to the game industry too. Loads of fun. Now, you can either submit to this SJW shit, or you can help us keep it out of games and take back science fiction. What will it be?

UPDATE: Bandai Namco sensitively responds to SJW concerns by providing new armor for female characters Ivy and Amy. Happy now?

No, apparently not.


An SJW guide to making games

Anita Sarkeesian is not, by her own admission, a gamer. Nor is she a game developer, let alone a game designer. Kotaku quoted her as follows:

Sarkeesian mentioned her time in grad school, which I believe was the same time she was saying in that clip that she wasn’t a fan of games. “If you asked me at the time, I would probably have said I wasn’t a gamer,” she said. Under her breath she added: “I don’t even know if I want to say that now, but whatever.”

She’s not a gamer. She knows nothing about games. She is a classic SJW entryist, invading a culture to which she does not belong in order to change it according to her principles. Her list of “improvements”:

“Eight things developers can do to make games less shitty for women.”

  1. Avoid the Smurfette principle (don’t have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less “girl” or “woman.”)
  2. “Lingerie is not armor” (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)
  3. Have female characters of various body types
  4. Don’t over-emphasize female characters’ rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character’s
  5. Include more female characters of color.
  6. Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.
  7. Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic.
  8. Include female enemies, but don’t sexualize those enemies.

My response, as a professional game developer, is simple and straightforward. Go to Hell. I don’t tell Anita Sarkeesian how to publicly media-whore herself for a living and she has no business telling me or any other game designer how to make the games we wish to make. Only one point would even theoretically improve any game in even a minor way, and it could be applied equally well to TV and movies, namely, point 6. What is the point of motion capturing a giraffe if you’re trying to portray a cheetah?

If she thinks my game, or any other game, is “shitty for women”, that’s her right. And it’s my right, and the right of every other single game designer and developer in the industry to tell her that I don’t give the smallest quantum of a damn what she thinks. It is also our right to continue ignoring her recommendations as we go about making the games we want to make rather than the games she would prefer made.

I am, however, willing to implement one of her suggestions. We will implement her point #7 in First Sword if Anita Sarkeesian volunteers to submit to a physical but non-sexual beating and have the painful sounds she makes in the course of that beating recorded. Solely in the interests of verisimilitude and making games less shitty for women, of course. That’s not a threat, it is merely an offer. She can, of course, refuse, and thereby inform the world that her commitment to her cause is rather less than total. Then we will continue doing exactly what we were doing before she started trying to tell us what to do.

However, her points do serve to demonstrate the utter futility, the utter idiocy, of giving in to her demands. First the complaint was that there weren’t any women. Now the complaint is that there aren’t enough women, they aren’t dressed right, they’re the wrong color, they don’t walk in the approved fashion, they make the wrong noises, and so on. It never ends.

Any game developer who is dumb enough to think the demands are going to stop there simply hasn’t been paying attention to anything that has happened in the last 50 years. Just say no to SJWs. Just say no to non-gamers trying to tell game industry professionals how to do their jobs.


Justice belatedly prevails

It doesn’t matter what you think of Adrian Peterson. It doesn’t matter if you think he should be hung, drawn, and quartered for the crime of overdisciplining his son, for which he has already been dealt the legal consequences. All that matters is the basic legal principle that the worse commissioner in NFL history, Roger Goodell, violated, the principle of retroactivity:

The 16-page ruling from Judge David Doty that reinstates Vikings running back Adrian Peterson turns on one fairly simple conclusion:  The NFL cannot apply its new personal conduct policy retroactively.

“There is no dispute that the Commissioner imposed Peterson’s discipline under the New Policy,” Judge Doty wrote. “It is also undisputed that in the [Ray] Rice arbitration, the hearing officer unequivocally recognized that the New Policy cannot be applied retroactively, notwithstanding the Commissioner’s broad discretion in meting out punishment under the CBA. . . . Consistent with that recognition, the Commissioner has acknowledged that he did not have the power to retroactively apply the New Policy: ‘The policy change was forward looking because the League is “required to provide proper notice.”‘ . . . Yet, just two weeks later, the Commissioner retroactively applied the New Policy to Peterson.”

In other words, Judge Doty concluded that the NFL was making it up as went along.

This is further evidence that the Sports Guy was right and Goodell is a dishonest man who is overmatched by his responsibilities, overly concerned with PR details that he should leave well alone, and fundamentally out of control. As for those who feign concern for women and children, and claim that the likes of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson should be prevented from making a living, how can anyone possibly pretend that removing the ability of those who support them to do so going to help the victims of these petty domestic crimes.

And they are petty. It may, depending upon the circumstances, be wrong to punch a woman once. It is certainly too harsh to spank a child until he bleeds. But in a nation where not one single banker has been jailed despite the theft of literal trillions of dollars for a wide variety of shamelessly dishonest acts, it is ludicrous to pretend that these are the serious crimes that demand more significant punishments.


Game Development newsletter

If you think you might be interested in supporting the First Sword kickstarter, or want to otherwise support what we’re doing on the game front, please sign up for Castalia House’s Game Development newsletter. All you need to do is enter your email address, no name or anything else is required. I think I can assure you that it will be, in the long run, even more significant than Castalia House. If Castalia was the first step, this is the second.

This is entirely separate from the New Release newsletter, so even if you subscribe to that for the books, you’ll need to sign up separately for the Game Development one. As with New Releases, you can expect we’ll be occasionally giving away free stuff to subscribers, although what that might be, I can’t possibly say. And obviously, there will be no spamming or selling of information.

Among the other benefits subscribers get is the chance to have first crack at all pre-Alpha, Alpha, and Beta testing. And just to show you the sort of thing we’ll be showing subscribers, here is a glimpse of a Warhammer Fantasy Battle-style tabletop we’re assembling. We’re still in the process of getting the miniatures into 3D; right now the High Elven Spearguard and the Elven Archers are complete and we’re working on Goblin Archers and Elven Cavalry. Eventually, this battlefield will feature nine regiments; the regiment featured below is the same one that can be seen on the right side of the stockade in the image above. The terrain will not normally be flat green, that is merely a toggle to show the extent of the playable “table”.

You will probably notice that these screenshots have absolutely nothing to do with gladiators. That’s because what we are designing is a 3D miniatures playing system. First Sword is only one of literally scores of games that we intend to be playable in our system. Anyhow, if it’s potentially of interest, sign up for the newsletter.