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Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity was a game that interested me – the operative word in that sentence being “was”. Before I get into why, I’ll go over what led me to this change of heart about Pillars of Eternity and Obsidian.

Pillars of Eternity (reviewed by TechRaptor’s Robert Grosso here) is a new take on a more classical style of RPG. Obsidian took to Kickstarter (archive.today link) to get this project off of the ground. The game (originally codenamed Project Eternity) succeeded its Kickstarter goals and then some. They initially requested $1,100,000 to produce the game, and 73,986 backers chipped in to the tune of $3,986,929. Pillars of Eternity is now out and available for purchase, and by all accounts was a success on Kickstarter. The devs received over three times the money they initially requested, the game was finished, and it’s now anyone can buy the finished product.

The $500 tier reward for backing Pillars of Eternity resulted in a rather interesting problem. Those who chipped in over ten times the game’s retail price received a slew of lovely rewards as thanks:

The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack: signed COLLECTOR’S EDITION BOX (cloth map, elite cloth patch, and printed manual included) + your name and a personalized message on a MEMORIAL STONE IN-GAME + full color PROJECT ETERNITY *HARD COVER* COLLECTOR’S BOOK SIGNED by the development team + A GOLD PLEDGE SPECIAL THANKS in the credits + T-SHIRT + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF PROJECT ETERNITY + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE SOUNDTRACK + A GOLD PLEDGE VIP FORUM BADGE. Your name will also go on our top pledger plaque in our office, so we can always remember your special contribution.

The bolded portion is at the heart of the recent kerfuffle. One of these memorial stones contained a short poem:

Firedorn Ligthbringer Original Memorial Poem

Image originally sourced from here.

 

Firedorn Ligthbringer

Here lies Firedorn, a hero in bed
He once was alive, but now he’s dead
The last woman he bedded, turned out a man
And crying in shame, off a cliff he ran

 

 

 

The contents of this poem made Twitter user @icequeenerika rather upset to the point that she called it “transmisogyny”, a word that is defined as “discrimination or prejudice against transgender women”. (I had to look it up as I’ve honestly never heard the term.)

(Here are archive.today links for the first and second tweets, respectively.)

These initial tweets picked up quite a bit of steam, and were later brought to the attention of Obsidian Employee Josh Sawyer (who was most notably the Project Lead and Lead Designer of Fallout New Vegas as well as Project Director and Design Lead for Pillars of Eternity):

(And here’s an archive.today link for the above tweet.)

Four days later in Update 93: Patch 1.03 Obsidian appears to have capitulated to the demands for the removal of the poem from Pillars of Eternity. The very top of their patch notes (archive.today link) contains a statement on the matter:

Backer Content

It’s come to our attention that a piece of backer-created content has made it into Pillars of Eternity that was not vetted. Once it was brought to our attention, it followed the same vetting process as all of our other content. Prior to release, we worked with many of our backers to iterate on content they asked to be put into the game that didn’t strike the right tone.

In the case of this specific content, we checked with the backer who wrote it and asked them about changing it. We respect our backers greatly, and felt it was our duty to include them in the process. They gave us new content which we have used to replace what is in the game. To be clear, we followed the process we would have followed had this content been vetted prior to the release of the product.

We appreciate the faith you have all given us into making Pillars of Eternity the great game that it has become, and we appreciate the strength of conviction all of you bring to every conversation we have together.

Sincerely,
Feargus Urquhart, CEO
Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.

It later came to light in a forum post (archive.today link) that the person who made the original poem was offered a choice whether to leave the poem in or not and elected to replace it:

Actually, there was a choice.  They asked me if I wanted to change in light of what happened.  I chose to change it so that they can concentrate on the game instead of this PR nightmare.  They weren’t going to change it, they asked ME if I wanted to.  I can find another platform to write my controversial crap, and I will.  They, on the other hand, did the right thing and allowed me to decide the fate of the epitaph.  I chose to turn into something that made fun of the bitch-bastards that were complaining.

They went above and beyond what I would have expected them to do.

This is where the reporting of facts ends and my opinion on this event begins.

I find it absolutely laughable that Obsidian has the gall to talk about “strength of conviction” when they quite clearly lack the conviction to stand up for Pillars of Eternity.

Let’s start with the opening statement of the announcement of the removed poem in Pillars of Eternity:

It’s come to our attention that a piece of backer-created content has made it into Pillars of Eternity that was not vetted. Once it was brought to our attention, it followed the same vetting process as all of our other content.

Obsidian is making the claim that this particular piece of backer content in Pillars of Eternity was “not vetted”. This claim puts Obsidian between a rock and a hard place – they either allowed content created by a third party into their game sight unseen (which can cause all sorts of problems) or they are falsely stating that it was not vetted beforehand and are using that as an excuse to remove it as a PR move.

While reading up on this particular subject, a Reddit comment (archive.today link) by user /u/columbine brought something interesting to my attention: Firedorn Lightbringer’s name is misspelled on the original tombstone. This lends some credence to Obsidian’s claim of it not having been vetted, although it is also entirely possible that it was looked over and the spelling mistake was missed. After all, I missed it myself!

Prior to release, we worked with many of our backers to iterate on content they asked to be put into the game that didn’t strike the right tone.

Unless Obsidian was brashly irresponsible with this backer process, they must have felt it struck the right tone at the time. According to their own Kickstarter page, there were 579 backers at the $500 tier and higher on Kickstarter (and possibly more via Paypal). I imagine it must not have been all that difficult to go over all of them and rework any of them that they felt were inappropriate. I can’t see this being an especially laborious or costly process, especially when the budget is nearly four million dollars.

In the case of this specific content, we checked with the backer who wrote it and asked them about changing it. We respect our backers greatly, and felt it was our duty to include them in the process. They gave us new content which we have used to replace what is in the game. To be clear, we followed the process we would have followed had this content been vetted prior to the release of the product.

Obsidian continues with the claim that the initial content was “not vetted”. Obsidian states that they approached the backer who wrote the original poem and asked about changing it (and the above forum post seems to confirm this). According to Obsidian (and the backer’s own forum post), the backer replaced the poem with this:

Firedorn Lightbringer Revised Memorial Poem

Image originally sourced from here.

 

Firedorn Lightbringer

Here lies Firedorn, a bard, a poet
He was also a card, but most didn’t know it
A poem he wrote in jest was misread
They asked for blood, so now he’s just dead

The replacement poem quite fittingly makes light of this entire situation. It makes the claim that the original poem was “misread”, which I can understand as I just can’t reach the same conclusion as @icequeenerika. Let’s take a look at that original poem on Firedorn Lightbringer’s (or is it Ligthbringer?) memorial:

Firedorn Ligthbringer

Here lies Firedorn, a hero in bed
He once was alive, but now he’s dead
The last woman he bedded, turned out a man
And crying in shame, off a cliff he ran

What I personally get from this is the following: Firedorn Lightbringer was quite promiscuous since he is described as “a hero in bed”. He slept with someone who “turned out a man”, and this was shameful enough to him that he committed suicide.

Pillars of Eternity is not a game that shies away from dark themes.

Pillars of Eternity is not a game that shies away from dark themes.

For starters, the woman who “turned out a man” is not described in enough detail to determine if she or he was transgendered. Indeed, there’s no mention of whether or not this person identifies as a woman or a man, merely that they had the appearance of a woman. This person could have been a male-gendered homosexual transvestite (someone who dresses as the other gender) and not at all a transsexual.

Nonetheless, it is made apparent that Firedorn’s last sexual partner was biologically a man, and this bothered him enough that he killed himself.

If his last sexual partner purported to be a biological woman but was in fact a biological man then that would probably qualify as “rape by deception”. Lying about your biological gender to a sexual partner is, in my book, just as heinous of a crime as if you were to knowingly lie about having a sexually transmitted disease.

However you might choose to interpret the original poem, it certainly has some rather dark themes in it. One of the earliest sections in the game has a tree loaded with dozens of hanging corpses – I elected to use this image as the header for this article specifically to highlight exactly how terrible things can get in this game. There’s quite a bit of rather horrible dialogue. The world of Pillars of Eternity is neither happy nor kind. It is dark and gritty in every sense.

A questionable poem in Pillars of Eternity that upset some people was replaced with a poem that makes fun of the people who were offended by the original. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

In my opinion, this is unquestionably showing Obsidian lacks the courage and conviction to stand up for their products. They have put out a message – if it offends you and you can make enough noise, we will change our games to appease you. Pandora’s Box has been opened, and now Obsidian has the unenviable task of deciding which complaints are valid enough to warrant a change and which are not.

Suppose that someone had a friend or family member hang themselves and find the hanging tree in the Gilded Vale offensive. Will Obsidian remove it? If not, why is their complaint any less valid than the complaint about the poem?

Indeed, when someone requests that you change a piece of art because it offends them, there is only one acceptable answer: no. Thank them for their input, and then politely refuse to compromise your artistic vision in even the tiniest of ways. To do otherwise is cowardly.

The creator of the poem states in his forum post, “I chose to change it so that they can concentrate on the game instead of this PR nightmare.” Obsidian was going to face a “PR Nightmare” either way. I can respect that they approached the backer and sought his input on the matter (and indeed, the patch notes defend the backer’s choice).

That said, this complaint should not have gotten this far. It doesn’t matter that they gave the backer the choice on whether to change the offending poem or leave it in. They should not have approached the backer to make this decision in the first place. The fact that they even entertained the idea of changing something in Pillars of Eternity because someone complained about it offending them is what I find so very troubling.

This type of situation – “change your art or we’ll boycott” – is a lose-lose. Don’t change the tombstone, and people who were offended by it might call for a boycott. Do change the tombstone, and people who liked it or weren’t bothered by it might call for a boycott. The difference between these two choices is that one shows a confidence in their product and their artistic vision and one doesn’t. Obsidian made the choice that doesn’t. That’s why I won’t be touching Pillars of Eternity, and that’s why I’ll have to very carefully consider if Obsidian games are worth my money anymore.

Seeing as Obsidian claims that they didn’t vet every one of the tombstone backer rewards in Pillars of Eternity, I’ll put this one here and hope that they see it. Maybe they can learn something useful from the words written here.

Pillars of Eternity Erlend Hoel Memorial

“Far better is it to dare mighty things than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory or defeat.”

Special thanks to TechRaptor’s News Editor Don Parsons (@coboney on Twitter) for providing some of the flavor screenshots used in this article, highlighting the relevance of the final screenshot, and assisting me with constructive criticism. Special thanks to Shaun Joy (@DragnixMod on Twitter) for bringing the backer’s forum post to my attention.

Do you feel Obsidian was right to change Firedorn Lightbringer’s poem in Pillars of Eternity? Let us know in the comments below!

More About This Game

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!



  • Dr Dub

    There were a number of ways to deal with it appropriately:

    1, Issue a statement standing by the artists vision of the world. Point out that movies/games/stories that portray Nazi’s or racists do not condone the view/values of those people. They merely portray how those people would behave in the fictional (or factual) world of the product. They can then state that the behaviour of fictional characters do not reflect their own personal views but are essential for portraying the unpleasantness of the game world and that the limerick will remain in the game unmodified. Perhaps add a menu option to remove potential upsetting lines – a bit like the developers of Hotline Miami 2 did.

    2, Issue a statement stating that they originally thought the limerick was funny but upon speaking to concerned members of the audience they realise now that it was offensive. Then issue an unreserved unconditional apology for any offense they caused and perhaps make a small donation to a trans charity.

    3, Just refuse to comment and wait for those complaining to find something else to go after (give it a week and the next drama will start).

    ——————————————————-

    What they absolutely should not have done is:

    Lie to consumers and pretend that the limerick wasn’t vetted. As if they would ever just put something into the game from a member of the public without reading it. Christ almighty he could have sent them an extract from Mein Kampf.

    Refuse to take responsibility for the decision but instead heap the pressure on the backers shoulders by saying “we don’t have the balls to do anything about this, we are taking a shed load of abuse but will let you decide….no pressure LOL”.

    Consider the material inappropriate and potentially offensive enough to be removed but then insult the people who were potentially offended by replacing it with a dig at them.

    The developer either felt it was a perfectly reasonable limerick but then dumped responsibility on the backer instead of taking responsibility and defending it themselves.

    Or they felt it wasn’t reasonable, pulled it to save their backsides but then mocked those that were offended – showing no true remorse for including offensive material.

    Obsidian come out of this looking very bad.

  • Marc Henriksen

    The girl on twitter is very right. This is not acceptable in 2015. HOWEVER, Pillars of Eternity isn’t set in 2015 in our reality. It is set in a medieval setting with magic and mystery. If we were to look at a period of time akin to this, from our own reality, we would find that the middle ages weren’t kind to homosexuals or trans-dressers, and hermaphrodites were killed off at birth in many many countries.

    Fact is, that this group of people hadn’t been accepted until quite recently. and are only now starting to get the same rights as those with the more common sexual preferences. This is of course wrong, and all human beings should have the exact same rights, however, from a ‘realism’ stand-point, this joke makes all the sense in the world when you look at the rules of the time it is based around.

    I think people forget that.

    Also, great piece mate 🙂

    EDIT: Did people even read my comment, or just the first 2 sentences, because I’m saying that she’s wrong about what she is saying… Nvm -.-

  • King of Bros

    No she is wrong.
    Transexuals are never mentioned in the limerick.
    She,being one,let her brain make the false connection and got all OFFENDED.
    Then,the social justice brigade,in their infinite delight to tear down ”problematic” things,ran crying to Sawyer,a fellow SJW.

  • Dulius

    And children hanging from a tree is? Or necrophilia? Or decapitation (via mailbox)?

    I find it hard to take seriously a complaint about bigotry from someone who uses #killallmen in a straight faced manner

  • Kamon

    You seem to be incorrectly damning Obsidian for the decision to change it. One of the very quotes that you shared stated that Obsidian was going to leave it as is but gave THE BACKER the choice of whether or not to change it. Obsidian’s own Josh Sawyer has publicly shut down these social justice types previously(the specific example coming to mind being on their forums when somebody was complaining about rape being present in New Vegas).

    Regardless of what your thoughts are about the fact that it was changed, it’s not Obsidian’s fault. THEY were going to leave it. The BACKER chose to change it. Direct any condescension to Firedorn Lightbringer, not Obsidian

    Seriously. I love this site, but this is some Kotaku-level shit.

  • Dulius

    A lot of trans people on twitter were just saying stuff like “oh get over yourself, it isn’t transphobic” to the initial complainer

  • Wow, they actually took the time to listen to some idiots who didn’t even back the game, nor are planning on purchasing it. Great job.

  • Come on now.

  • Marc Henriksen

    come on.. read the whole comment… I’m not saying she is right about pillars of eternity. I’m saying transphobia isn’t alright in 2015, but Pillars of eternity isn’t set in a modern 2015 world. That was my point.

  • Marc Henriksen

    Which i went on to say in the rest of the comment if you cared to read more than the first 2 sentences 😀

  • Brad Sherard

    “This is not acceptable in 2015.”

    That is demonstrably false given that many people did and do accept it, most notably the poem’s author.

    But I suspect you are using words imprecisely and what you actually mean is that it is wrong to hate transgendered people.

    As others have noted, the poem has nothing to do with transgendered people so we could stop here and that would be sufficient.

    We could also point out that the poem has nothing to do with hatred either. This is because the connection between hatred of someone and the desire to not have sex with someone has not been established so leaping to that conclusion is a non sequitur. That is sufficient to refute the claim again but lets go further by counter-example: empathize with a hypothetical person who accidentally slept with a loved family member(don’t ask how, this is just hypothetical). Does the person hate the family member because they regret the mistake? Of course not, we all know this. So why then does it suddenly become ‘not acceptable’ for the case of sleeping with a man on accident? Is a man not entitled to feel regret for making mistakes in sexual partners?

    There are even more layers to the absurdity of this SJW mind control. We’ve already demonstrated that the poem was not hateful, but now lets go one step further. Suppose it was. So what? Why is it wrong to depict hatred, not even to advocate it but merely to show that it exists?

    It is particularly obvious that there is a deeper and nefarious purpose behind these demands for censorship. As the author of this article noted, depiction of evil itself is not questioned in these censorial tweets. Images of murder illicit no reaction from these offended commentators. Only particular perceived hatred(which we’ve demonstrated isn’t hatred at all) is condemned. These people don’t care about bigotry, else they’d be far more concerned about much greater depictions of evil than a poem.

    So what we have is people trying to condemn men for having sexual preferences. That is the heart of the matter. They want to control men.

  • MotherofFish

    Excellent article that articulates exactly how I feel about Obsidian, albeit without my shrill demands for a refund that their support is yet to reply to.

  • Kyle Francoeur

    The difference between here and Kotaku is that this was stated to be an Op.Ed. in the header.

    FWIW, I agree with you about the rest; talking to the backer and getting their feedback on the whole situation before acting is the best possible thing they could have done in the situation. If Obsidian was *really* worried, they wouldn’t have allowed the mocking tone of the new limerick through wit the update.

  • Dulius

    And I agree with you…

    Now please demonstrate how a stupid limeric IS transphobia

    Edit; bonus points if you can prove that even if it is, it’s existence is endorsement of transphobia by Obsidian (when like i mentioned there is plenty of other nasty stuff in the game and we don’t assume Obsidian endorses all of these things)

  • Audie Bakerson

    I’ve asked Sawyer things on Twitter in the past and he never responded, yet a neo-nazi instantly gets his ear?

    Above all, I’ve lost any respect I’ve had for Sawyer.

  • Audie Bakerson

    “girl”

  • Dr Dub

    Hey Mr Backer guy, look at this giant media storm. We are coming under serious threats and abuse here. I know we vetted and approved your limerick and all, but f**k that we ain’t taking the blame and standing up for it.

    Look the heat is really ramping up. So look its up to you whether we keep the limerick in the game. Now no pressure or anything, it is your choice but we are facing a lot of abuse here. No pressure though right. No pressure.

    P.S mate we are going to lie and tell the public that we didn’t vet it and just blindly copied and pasted in what you wrote. But no pressure mate, its your call. We aren’t telling you what decision to make. We are just saying that it’s your limerick, we are nothing to do with it so its all your responsibility right mate.

    P.P.S. did we tell you that we are all coming under a lot of abuse and pressure? But no pressure on you though mate, make what ever decision you feel is right. We are all really stressed here though. No pressure mate. I might commit suicide tonight because of all the abuse I’m receiving and I would leave my wife and new born baby with no one to support them financially. But no pressure mate, you do whatever you feel is right. No pressure.

  • Olympion

    #2 would NOT have been an appropriate way to deal with it, that would have been even more pathetic caving and SJW pandering that would definitely encourage SJWs to harass even more devs over “offensive” content.

  • Audie Bakerson

    If “#killallmen” this is how transsexuals act (and oh boy it’s how I’ve seen every single one I’ve had the misfortune of having to witness acted. Saying they speak for all women, raping dogs and more: All 100% nuts) there’s nothing irrational (“phobia”) about disliking them.

    That taking all the bullshit from them actually RAISES suicide rate says even if you cared about these crazy people they aren’t right and have to be told no instead of being indulged.

  • Dr Dub

    I am talking about whether Obisidian felt it was offensive or not.

    If they thought it was not offensive then #1 would be appropriate.

    If upon reflection and with the benefit of hindsight THEY “believed” that it was offensive then #2 would have been an appropriate course of action for THEM to make.

    In the even of #2, that wouldn’t mean that it was offensive in the eyes of you or any reasonable person. I am just saying that if OBSIDIAN thought it was offensive, then they bloody well should have done #2.

    Not removed it and then took a snipe at the people they offended.

    If they didn’t think it was offensive they should have stood by and defended it themselves and not tried to palm off the responsibility to someone else.

    It is a binary choice. Do you (Obsidian) think it is offensive?

    No? In that case stand by it. Man the hell up and take responsibility.

    Yes? Bloody well apologise sincerely with no childish sniping at the people you offended.

  • Marcin Jabłoński

    “Regardless of what your thoughts are about the fact that it was changed,
    it’s not Obsidian’s fault. THEY were going to leave it. The BACKER
    chose to change it.”

    An offer he couldn’t refuse really. He even said in plain English he’d prefer the original to stay.

    http://i.imgur.com/h0QA7tj.jpg

  • Kyle Francoeur

    Nothing in the backer’s comment came anywhere close to suggesting there was pressure like you’re describing.

  • JackDandy

    The biggest problem when devs do that is that they set up a precedent.
    They’re basically saying “Browbeating devs into submission is okay”.

    It doesn’t just hurt their reputation, it hurts other devs as well.

  • JackDandy

    Yo
    Just wanted to say I think your post was funny, so don’t feel bummed out!
    Sometimes sarcasm just doesn’t transmit well over the net..

  • Kyle Francoeur

    Earlier in the comment he also says in plain English that he doesn’t think he didn’t have a choice.

  • Typical

    I have an abused spouse relationship with Obsidian, (if that “triggers you, piss off). I know they release buggy, watered down crap sequels for the most part, yet they keep getting rights to stuff I like, eg fallout, D&D, KOTOR, etc. So I end up coming back. I was truly enjoying this game, and I’ll finish it, but I think I’m finally done with them, because I hate when a product I buy is changed after it’s in my house, like PS# linux I never was going to use for example.

    These People need to stop being such babies about everything. I’m sick of vocal minority weaklings, who are so hurt and offended by everything ruining everything for the rest of us. There’s a reason so many Trans people kill themselves, it’s because they are inherently unhappy, disturbed individuals, who nothing ever seems to make happy.

  • Gasbandit

    It’s a precedent already set by Divinity: Original Sin, when SJWs complained about the boobplate armor and got it changed.

  • Psyramics

    Firedorn’s statement changed my opinion on this entirely. Obsidian wasn’t going to change it? Ok. They didn’t cave, they weren’t planning on caving, they asked the writer what he wanted, and they followed his wishes. Obsidian is in the clear here.

  • Dr Dub

    How would you feel if you were the backer and they came to you said “we are taking a lot of heat (well that much was obvious right?) but it is your choice”?

    You wouldn’t feel any obligation or pressure to act in a certain way?

    Of course you would. Even I would. I mean I might stand by my statement but I wouldn’t necessarily want someone else to face the flack on my behalf if they weren’t committed to it.

    But still, they vetted the original statement. They approved it. They should have stood by it. They should never have consulted the backer.

    Unless he approached them out of the blue and asked for it to be removed.

    Or if they decided to remove it and then it would just be a polite “sorry we are removing it, we will offer the courtesy of allowing you to write something else otherwise it will be blank”.

  • Kyle Francoeur

    Show me evidence that the backer felt the way you’re describing. Until then you’re not any better than the people who bitched in the first place.

    Conjecture without evidence means precisely zero.

  • Dr Dub

    Why ask the writer what he wanted?

    He wrote it. Of course he wanted it! He hadn’t at that point asked them to remove it either. If we believe they didn’t “cave” then they wanted it too.

    They caved. They should have left it in unless he specifically came to them of his own volition and asked them to remove it.

    The minute they said “er what do you want to do” they were wavering.

  • Nytezero

    Good. Glad I never backed these suckers.

  • This is the first (and hopefully only) time I’m writing on this subject. It didn’t receive much traction outside of Twitter and a few extremist sites, and the gaming press did not turn on Obsidian wielding their pitchforks of progressiveness +3, so the story until this moment was literally ‘someone on the Internet is offended by something.’

    That said, some of these points could use discussing. The hanging tree for example, is Obsidian-made content. It was specifically designed by the developers to make the player feel uneasy. Removing it would be compromising art to cater to a sensitive minority. Many of humanity’s greatest works throughout history are or were at some point offensive.

    This short rhyme hidden away in an optional memorial was created by a backer. Removing it does not affect the world Obsidian crafted. It is a small part in the story of how the game was made though (there’s also developer commentary in the options menu if anyone’s wondering), every note like Graffiti on a wall, representing a generous backer whose contributions allowed the game to be made in the first place.

    Obsidian may have passed the buck and expected us to believe they didn’t bother looking at backer messages, but in the end that message belongs to the backer, not us. It’s his personal reward, he paid for it, and he chose to change it. Do I wish he hadn’t? Sure.

  • Dr Dub

    Neither of us have any way of “proving” what went on behind the scenes between him and Obsidian.

    Instead (because we aren’t going to act like typical anal internet f**ktards right?) we are going to use common sense and experience to deduce what might have happened and how people might have felt.

    Assuming he isn’t a sociopath or has some other social disorder then my 40 years of life experience as someone without a disorder tells me that he will have felt pressured when asked to make the decision.

    Human nature. How would you have felt? Imagine it was your statement, they are under a lot of pressure and abuse, they have made it your call. Hell they may (or may not) even tell you the blatant lie about vetting and you sense that they are going to distance themselves and point the finger at you. Are you human or a psychopath? How would you feel?!

    We know that lies are being told about the vetting process so the chance of getting any honest answer out of either of them is next to zero.

    Did the backer even state whether when he wrote the limerick he was specifically thinking of the woman as trans or a bi-sexual male in drag or what?

    Did he state whether he was writing something that he personally just found funny or did he say whether he was writing something that he felt was artistically consistent with the universe?

  • Kyle Francoeur

    More conjecture on your part. In response, I’m going to tell you my evidence.

    My evidence is the backer explicitly stating that Obsidian completely left it up to him, and considering what it was replaced with and everything else he said I have absolutely no doubt that if he felt he was being strongarmed he would have said so.

    Here they are:

    https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74461-controversial-limerick-discussion/page-25#entry1631723

    https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74461-controversial-limerick-discussion/page-26#entry1631983

    https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74461-controversial-limerick-discussion/page-26#entry1632047

    https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74461-controversial-limerick-discussion/page-30#entry1632237

    https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74461-controversial-limerick-discussion/page-31#entry1632297

    Stop getting offended for someone that is clearly not.

  • Kyle Francoeur

    It’s easy for me to make conjecture without evidence, too. It’s plain as day that they simply brought it to the backer’s attention because they felt obligated to, because people say things all the time without thinking about the way it could affect people.

  • Dr Dub

    And I’ve told you I don’t believe a word of it.

    Just like I don’t believe Clintons statement that he didn’t have relations with that woman.

    You take people’s statements as irrefutable evidence do you?

    Oh he said so. Must be true!

    Life experience and empathy tell me that no decision of that nature would be cold, emotionless and purely objective.

    Unless the guy is a sociopath then he felt a burden. I know that because I am a normal healthy person.

    They published the initial work. They should have stood by it.

    They passed the buck.

    They put the guy in an awkward position where anyone with an ounce of empathy could see he would feel pressure.

    He has admitted to acting in the companies best interests but you are so naive to believe he isn’t doing that in his statements too!

    Lost cause. Keep white knighting for the cowards. I will keep tearing them down.

  • ComVlad

    This is completely a personal opinion but I think some the ways Obsidian handled this has to do with the fact that it is a 3rd party authored easter egg rather then their work. I think Sawyer defended FNV elements because they were a part of the story/worldbuilding he felt was appropriate and at least when it comes to writing he actually did what I want all authors to do and that is put story first. So if a complaint was lodged against the hanging tree or anything else that’s part of the actual game they’d ignore it but something that is essentially a credits thankyou note gets altered.
    Now that’s an explanation for why they decided to alter not a justification of it. Personally I’m actually more pissed off at the weasel talk in Urquhart’s post then about them going to talk to the backer and making the change. I have a hard time believing “not vetted” instead of someone sane reading through it to make sure it wasn’t full of four letter words or mein kampf, maybe having a chuckle, and not thinking anymore of it. Why not just say that you didn’t think it was offensive when you approved it (cause you aren’t a twitter outrage monger)

  • Kyle Francoeur

    I don’t take statements as irrefutable, no. I take them as evidence, and his evidence is the only that exists outside of Obsidian’s post and the people whining.

    Note that there was evidence refuting Clinton’s claims.

    Your court of public opinion bullshit it just that, bullshit. Sticking to the facts of a situation is what sets us apart from the people whining; I’m sorry you seem to have forgotten that the second it became convenient for you to do so.

  • Dr Dub

    Why are they obligated to bring it to his attention?

    It’s all over the Web! He knew about it!

    “Hi that viral outrage thing that has blown up all over the Web and that you obviously have read? We just want to bring it to your attention. No reason, just thought we’d tell you!”.

    Lol.

  • Kyle Francoeur

    You have no idea how real lives work if you don’t at least think it’s possible he missed something that only happened over the course of about 2 weekdays.

  • Dr Dub

    It’s called empathy.

    Are you incapable of feeling it?

    We don’t have facts. We have “statements” (not the same as “facts’) where a guy admitted to making a decision to protect the company.

    You don’t think he might also be protecting them in his statements about how he felt/what went on in the private discussions between them?

    Really?

    There is “sticking to the facts” and then there is being plain gullible.

  • Zanard Bell

    The amount of Obsidian-approved gamebreaking bugs notwithstanding, this has seriously made me question the developer’s integrity, and even the backer, whoever he is.

    You know how simple it could have been? One is to apologize to the audience who felt offended, but stood firm that as per artistic integrity, nothing will be changed. Notice here that I am saying this to BOTH Obsidian and the backer.

    And the opening to the patch notes should have been: “The opinion subject matters inside the game does not in anyway reflect Obsidian’s or its affiliates.” That way, you appease the parties involved.

    But no. The backer had to replace it with a lame limerick. (How’s that ‘avoiding the drama’ stuff working out for you, by the way?) Obsidian had to be sneaky in dealing with the matter at hand. And it still all doesn’t add up.

    Sometimes, I’m beginning to question if gamers are just happy to have their hobby die a most agonizing death. Somehow, the Gamers Are Dead articles are bearing fruit, for all the wrong reasons.

  • Dr Dub

    He might have missed it. He might not.

    Is it likely be missed it? No, I don’t think so.

    Even if he did miss it, he wanted it in the game. He paid good money to get that in there. Obsidian vetted it. Obsidian claim they wanted to retain it.

    Hmmmm suddenly they feel the need to bring it to his attention. Oh really? Why is that?

    I smell wavering.

    As I say, unless he came to me I’d have left it in as per his original wish.

  • Marcin Jabłoński

    Technically, there’s always a choice.

    Obsidian approached the guy and asked him to self-censor and he, being a good fan(boy), agreed. Even though he’d preferred to have his original content to stay at it was.

    And here’s a funny part:
    According to Obsidian’s CEO, epitaph sent by Lightbringer was not vetted.
    After being accused of being “transmisoginistic”, it was vetted, failed the vetting process and was changed.
    One way to interpret that is, that according to Obsidian’s CEO Lightbringer is a “transmisoginist”. Good to know Obsidian Entertainment stands by their fans 😀

  • Zanard Bell

    And now Obsidian is dealing with insane individuals, on both sides. How’s that working out for you?

  • Kyle Francoeur

    The facts of the situation are that the only evidence we have are statements. Barring anything else, that’s what we have to work with; if you choose to ignore them that’s on you, but calling someone gullible for going off what’s available is intellectually dishonest at best and ad hominem at worst.

    This isn’t like blindly believing a group that has a history of lying and hiding the truth or capitulating to whiners, like many governments or other studios. You’re talking about Obsidian, the company that made South Park: Stick of Truth, a game that literally had the anal rape of a child by aliens played out in a QTE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcBZvOIE9aw ).

    The replacement they approved also completely lambasted the people who were complaining. If it were as simple as capitulating, do you honestly think they would have let that happen?

  • Kyle Francoeur

    On your final point I do agree, but the world isn’t full of people who think the same way or want to be passive about happenings.

  • JackDandy

    I’ve been butthurt about it to this day.

    I’m glad their artist had the balls to make that Deviantart post and interview on OneAngryGamer, but it would have been the best if the fiasco never happened in the first place.

  • That is why my basic message is this is a line you must never cross.

    Also, lol “basic message” in 2,000 words. ._.

  • Well, I *was* planning on Purchasing it. Was.

  • As crazy as some people might be, it’s polite to do them the courtesy of referring to them as the gender they wish to identify as. Please don’t do that.

  • JackDandy

    Sometimes you gotta iterate, man! Nothing wrong with that with getting a point across!

  • I do not feel I am “incorrectly damning” Obsidian. The fault entirely lies with them. Re-read this paragraph:

    “That said, this complaint should not have gotten this far. It doesn’t matter that they gave the backer the choice on whether to change the offending poem or leave it in. They should not have approached the backer to make this decision in the first place. The fact that they even entertained the idea of changing something in Pillars of Eternity because someone complained about it offending them is what I find so very troubling.”

    The only way this is mildly okay is if the backer came to them and asked that they remove it. Were I the head of a studio at that point, I’d probably offer to remove the name and that’s about it. I’m pretty sure there’s no clause giving backers carte blanche to change their backer rewards after the fact.

  • That is something I considered, but the fact that it was third party content does not really matter in the end run to me. It’s still in *their* game.

    Someone rights a guest article on your site and people are bothered about it, it’s still an article on your site. You take any requests for censorship to that article as you would to any of the ones made by your staff – you tell them no.

  • Nanowired

    My thoughts are this: Now they have you, Obsidian. They have something on you, and because you chose to cave they will push your buttons more and more, until you are firing people you care bout for “microaggressions” and being forced to replace them with “Mission friendly” individuals .

  • I don’t think the “size” of the change makes it okay. It’s an all-or-nothing prospect in my book. Once you show you are willing to give up artistic freedom in any way, the blood is in the water.

    I don’t see any difference between removing the hanging tree and replacing the poem other than who created it. But it’s ultimately in *Obsidian’s* game. I’m 99.9% sure that they had a clause stating the memorial poems would become Obsidian’s property after being submitted, too.

    It’s unfortunate that it upset someone, but it’s much, much more unfortunate that Obsidian even considered making a change much less actually made one.

  • I disagree. That would mean they entertained the idea of a change even being possible. Their immediate answer should have been “Thanks for the input, but no, we don’t change stuff in our games because people don’t like it.” Full stop.

  • Talpss177

    My thoughts on this : Obsidian did the right thing, giving the backer the choice of whether or not to change it. He took this rather unique oppurtunity to make an even funnier situation, but now a bunch of angry morons are just screaming at the top of their lungs “CENSORSHIP!” even though, from what I hear, alot of SJWs are still really pissed. So, I guess it’s just going to become the norm that we ruin every single company, person, and entity that doesn’t do exactly as we say, isn’t perfect, or doesn’t agree with us. Hm. Where have I heard that before? *cough SJWs and aGG cough*

  • Alex

    Cowards

  • This was all and all stupid thing. Obsidian handled the issue and the communication so badly I’m embarrassed for them.

  • Alex White

    I don’t get the concern, the guy himself wanted it changed, I’m happy with how they handled it.

  • Hyetal

    The initial complaint came from someone who does play the game. That’s how she found it…

  • Audie Bakerson

    I’m not going to call someone who calls for genocide of “degenerates” German because “he identifies as” German even though he’s actual Austrian, and I’m not going to call him female even though he’s actually male.

    I’m not going to feed his insanity that makes him think murder is OK. Period.

  • I don’t necessarily believe that the gender dysphoria and the misandry are tied into one another in this case. It’s just about basic respect. I’m perhaps too forgiving, though, as I often give the benefit of the doubt to people who turn out not to deserve it in the end.

  • Caio Pontes

    He did not miss it. He posted on the forums stating that he’d change to help Obsidian along, but he’d rather have not changed it.

  • Caio Pontes

    Of course they veted it. The thing is: only a crazy trannie would find that offensive. The dude or dudette doing the vetting probably read the thing, thought it was funny, and moved on. I think that in order to avoid such missteps in the future Obsidian should hire a crew of man-hatting crazy transpeople to proofread everything they or their backers do from now on.

  • Caio Pontes

    I’m glad that’s done now. Let’s hope that no one on twitter finds anything else in the game offensive.

  • Caio Pontes

    But that did not generate any controversy to Obsidian. They didn’t have to capitulate on anything because no one demanded it. The deleted scenes were there to get the game on those markets.

  • Bayonnaise

    “The amount of Obsidian-approved gamebreaking bugs”
    Remember, New Vegas was pretty much unplayable for a good long while. I don’t really trust Obsidian anymore, especially not after this.

  • R.J.

    Individual consumers can however choose not to support companies they feel are acting like dumbasses and hurting themselves more in the long run.

    Strictly speaking it IS true that GG is part of “outrage culture”. It became that when it used weapons of radical left loonies (OMG this hurts us as gamers, this is harmful, this is problematic – messages like that to advertisers) to combat them. That’s not to say I necessarily object; proto-aGG REALLY didn’t see that coming, which makes it kind of glorious.

    Personally, I’ll probably get Pillars on sale. Regardless, yeah, not impressed with how they handled this.

  • Dr Dub

    So that would imply that they would censor such limericks and other similar content in the future?

    Wouldn’t you prefer that they just stood up and defended the decision to publish it in the first place?

    I’m not saying which one is preferable. I think they are both good options.

    Either publish and stick to your guns.

    Or don’t publish it in the first place if you are worried about it offending someone.

    Both are better than publishing it, backing down, lying, passing the buck etc.

  • Fenrir007

    They could have:

    1- Pinned the user made mod that purges the heretical content;

    2- Ignored the harpies completely;

    3- Established an honest-to-god DIALOGUE with backers before doing anything (and this has the added benefit of giving us context to whatever was decided);

    4- Added a toggle in a patch to turn off said content (and a possibility to remove all backer content, as ACTUAL BACKER had been asking for);

    Even after doing what they did, it was expected they didnt lie about removing it (they said it wasnt removed, just moved – but thats the memorial itself, the contents WERE removed) the backer having a choice (he never had – they should be upfront about this, because if he said no, they would simply strip his perk from him) and TALKED TO US. A canned PR response when this highly controversial decision was made AGAINST the large majority of the backers as seen on the forums and twitter was reason enough to address us without the shield of PR. We made this game a reality – if they cant even indulge us with some communication, and worst of all, promptly listens to any feminazi (appropriate for her, since she advocates male genocide and male concentration camps) and an yellow journalist (as in yellow press, not alluding to race or anything) to butcher game content, then I cant think of anything but being stabbed in the back after I ran my usefulness.

    Obsidian really showed themselves to be evil on this one.

  • Fenrir007

    But the official statement says plain and clear that the content was a rogue element that got past their veto process.

    Were they lying in the PR statement?

    I asked him on the forums if they told him he had a choice, and he said they never said anything, simply approached him and asked if he wanted to change, but he never asked if he could say “no”.

    If you want to change something and that is an unpopular action, first, you ask if the person will change it, giving him the illusion of choice. That avoids another PR headache if he simply complies, as it happened.

  • Fenrir007

    “Second, to clarify, they asked me if I wanted to change it in light of
    what was happening. I didn’t even ask “what if I say no?”. I
    immediately volunteered to do it.

    From your second link.

    Now, contrast the illusionary choice with the PR statement:

    “It’s come to our attention that a piece of backer-created content hasmade it into Pillars of Eternity that was not vetted. Once it was
    brought to our attention, it followed the same vetting process as all of our other content. Prior to release, we worked with many of our backers to iterate on content they asked to be put into the game that didn’t strike the right tone. In the case of this specific content, we checked with the backer who wrote it and asked them about changing it.”

    Sounds like he had a choice?

  • Fenrir007

    Did he have the choice? Read the PR statement before answering.

    Also, the biggest problem is how they immediatelly listened to a random harpy with an obvious agenda on twitter and a notoriously yellow journo while ignoring backers in the process.

  • Talpss177

    Exactly. You can choose to not buy it because you don’t like it, but a coordinated boycott is so extreme, especially when you really look at what happened. I’ll probably buy it when I get some cash or if it looks cool to me, but whether or not a backer changed his content because he wanted to make a funny situation out of a SJW freakout doesn’t really matter to me.

  • LePatriote1980

    The only statement they should have made is to tell this dumb bitch to go fuck herself.

  • Fenrir007

    Please, dont diss the backer. Obsidian unfairly dumped a LOT of pressure on his back. He also had a choice between losing a perk he paid $500 for or helping the studio he loves enough to dump $500 cash in it. He still stated he would prefer if it stayed as it was, and condemned the outrage at his limerick.

    Had he said “no”, he would lose the perk, look bad in the eyes of his heroes (I know this is lame, but, lets cut him some slack here) and might end up liable to be the target of the harpy hatemob brigade as an unrepetant transphobia apologist or whatever.

  • I’m still keeping up with this. There are quite a few people on Twitter angry about the replacement joke, unsurprisingly. I’m sure Obsidian is going to have to endure more complaints now.

  • Actually, if you read the forum post from the backer, he said that Obsidian was going to keep it, but asked him before making any decisions. He decided that it would be best to change it, not Obsidian. Does that make this any less of of a mistake? No, I’m just a bit of a stickler for factual correctness.

    I certainly won’t be buying any Obsidian games in the near future, especially if this is how they plan to go on conducting business.

  • Fenrir007

    Actually, I read all forum posts from the backer, and I had a brief exchange with him on the forums.

    I asked him to clarify if they provided an option for him to keep the content. Here is his answer:

    https://archive.today/zVviO#selection-3791.0-3797.149

    “Second, to clarify, they asked me if I wanted to change it in light of
    what was happening. I didn’t even ask “what if I say no?”. I
    immediately volunteered to do it.”

    So, they reached out to him, asked him if he wanted to change, but what if he didnt? We are left wondering… or we would, if not for the PR statement they released themselves contradicting this:

    “It’s come to our attention that a piece of
    backer-created content has made it into Pillars of Eternity that was not
    vetted. Once it was brought to our attention, it followed the same
    vetting process as all of our other content. Prior to release, we worked
    with many of our backers to iterate on content they asked to be put
    into the game that didn’t strike the right tone.”

    So, this content was branded as a rogue element that skipped their veto process, yet, somehow, they would still allow it if the backer had said he wanted it to remain? Am I really supposed to believe this?

  • Fenrir007

    What is a cause of concern here is how this whole thing unfolded:

    1- Why did Obsidian listened to lunatics on twitter (who were a clear minority and werent even backers) and a yellow journo (as in yellow press, not race) in the first place?

    2- After listening to them, why did they promptly ignored backer feedback on it?

    3- Firedorn himself condemned what he felt was censorship on his blog post and said on the forums he would have preferred to keep it as it was. He changed in a bid to help defuse the PR nightmare for Obsidian (which catastrophically failed).

    4- Firedorn also said in his blogpost (and his changed joke) that the limerick was grossly misinterpreted.

    5- There was an user mod that already corrected the heresy by removing the offending content.

    They said right on their KS page that they expected to listen to the backers and include us in the process. They previously approved this content, so it was deemed acceptable by them (and was cherished by backers as a funny little joke that, unlike most of the other backer content, was in line with the game world). Yet this all crumbled because a single, perpetually offended snowflake and a journo with a bad rep somehow felt offended at fictional content on a goddamn videogame. And that made the content on MY game to change.

  • Fenrir007

    South Park was made with Matt and Trey as a shield – a shield that already fought and defeated the mobbish hordes of angry snowflakes before, so they just leave it alone (and every dev should do the same – starve these mongrels of oxygen, like how Brad Wardell does, and they quickly lose the will to keep pestering you with their clear agenda). They were contractors to their idea.

    This, however, is 100% their intellectual property, and they showed an appalling lack of resolve to stand by their own decisions and creative integrity.

  • Zanard Bell

    And yet, all of those things did happen by him changing the limerick. The SJW harpies are still not happy, he looked bad not just in front of Obsidian but by, I would guess, a sizeable amount of the gaming community, and the controversy that he wanted to avoid still happened.

    I know he’s like, Magnus the Red in all of this heresy (and Emperor knows how much I felt for the primarch), but had he stood firm, they could’ve diverted the SJW harpies on their new “outrage of the week” in just a few days.

  • Fenrir007

    Well, I firmly believe Magnus did no wrong.

    if anything, Obsidian here was the first heretic. They were the Erebus that spread the lies and paved the way to the greater heresy.

  • Zanard Bell

    In that, you and I agree.

  • Douglas MacArthur

    I beg to differ. The only thing that is unacceptable about the reaction of the gentleman in the poem is his decision to commit suicide. In 2015, deception is a punishable offence. The Twitter user should know better.

  • Alex White

    Unfortunately the permanently offended brigade will always find something.

  • Sorry, my mistake. The backer’s post made it sound like there would have kept it had he wanted it to stay. No ill will, I hope.

  • Fenrir007

    The only remaining ill will I have is towards Obsidian.

  • Reptile

    He could have changed it to “Fuck Ice Queens, they’re all authoritarian bitches”.

  • Reptile

    Better one “Ice Queen? More like Ice Bitch!”

  • cypher20

    While I don’t know if I would say a creator should ALWAYS say no, I do find myself in agreement with the author here. Changing things because someone was offended is a rabbit hole with no end and pretty much everything is offensive to someone, somewhere. I appreciate that they approached the backer, they could have handled this a lot worse. Still, they really should have just never gave in at all. Ultimately, the Two Minutes Hate would have subsided and life would have gone on. Giving in to the bullies, and those who want the world to revolve around their every offense ARE bullies, is not a winning strategy. It just encourages them and they will always find something to be offended about.

  • Mark Andrew Edwards

    It’s backer-created content, not the Dev team. I have no problem with them asking the backer for a different poem. I’m curious what they’d have done if he’s said no, but the backer did change it. So that’s a non-issue to me.

    I also have no problem with people mocking the person who started the complaint as a thin-skinned little priss.

  • cptk

    P.P.P.S. If you don’t agree to change it we’ll release a statement saying we asked and you said no. We should probably mention they know your username and blog accounts so if you don’t change it you should expect harrassment and threats for the foreseeable future.

  • Firedorn’s “official” response on our Guild page: http://goo.gl/jwuVzG

  • gabis

    Responding to one gross overreaction with another.

    Brilliant!

  • no

    4Chan created killallmen, Bitch

  • no

    Not a real hashtag

  • Kurjek Kolds

    I don’t understand this “prejudice” thing. Incest is illegal for a reason, it creates abominations through reproduction because of the biological process involved isn’t compatible (almost 99% of the time). Now, knowing that, all the babies born with horrible deformities, retardation etc are mostly unacceptable and quite litterally a waste to society (It may sound mean but look at it from a neutral standpoint, they do nothing but eat, and sleep their entire life and be taken care of. I’m not talking about the rare intelligent ones, I’m speaking of the ones that can barely talk or even form a cognitive thought.) This happens because it’s not biologically correct due to a number of horrible factors involved, being unnatural.

    Now it’s my personal opinion after seeing the irrefutable evidence that LIFE ITSELF finds this an unacceptable biological concoction then, I would also believe that changing your gender to the opposite through the use of any hormones is also equally unacceptable to life as you’ve already long since progressed through your body’s production and growth and now you’re unnaturally changing it after life has already deemed you what you are. You cannot change your chromosomes, or your neural pathways. (Much different in men and women and largely affects how you think) Someone saying, “I’m a man in a womans body” or the opposite is someone simply being human and curious with psyche issues that were probably formed through social life/environment. There’s no actual truth in it whatsoever, science has proven that there are no biological abnormalities in people that think like this, they are just -thinking- this way. You’re born a male, you’ll think like a male (Sexual preference isn’t the topic here, I merely mean thinking like a male due to the neurological make-up of a male) and it will never change. You’re just unnaturally forcing mutation through hormones to change your gender partially, (Yes mutate, female-to-male and male-to-female both use mutation to achieve the desired result) which to me is disgusting, but I also find piercings to be disgusting and I have the right to be disgusted by things. (Oh no I expressed distaste, I’m a horrible, discriminating, prejudice person now!) Although I may be disgusted by it I will still accept any person into society without turning them away so long as they actually help society and not burden it. If you’re born a man or woman, that’s what you truly are and no amount of hormones or surgery will change this truth. A male-to-female cannot get pregnant. A Female-to-male can get someone pregnant (although it’s rare because of it being biologically incorrect most of the time). Why? Because they’re just mutated/mutilated people. Transsexualism is nothing more than a preference of that person attempting to live life as the opposite gender (even though they won’t have overies if male-to-female and will STILL have them if female-to-male).

    With all this said, I have no idea why people are even CONSIDERING discrimination/prejudice for that poem. You can’t discriminate against someone simply because your tastes/ideals are different and you take action against YOURSELF because of your own mistake. The poem never once talked bad about any gender or anything, it merely stated the MAN was shameful, NOT THE GENDER.

    People not allowing you to be a part of society fairly for reasons that aren’t controlled by you is discrimination. I could sew genitalia to my forehead and say I’m being discriminated against because someone ran away from me screaming off a cliff and it would be the same thing she is complaining about right now. (albeit very strange but so was transgenderism before hormonal therapy so I could argue everything starts out strange) THe poem never once said anything remotely close to prejudice or discrimination. Shame isn’t expressing that. He could’ve simply went against his own faith/morals of laying in bed with another male/female of any type and killed himself because of it or just simply his own distaste. Can’t call someone prejudice or discriminative merely because their ideology conflicts with your lifestyle. Her logic suggests she wants a world where everyone accepts everyone else’s lifestyles, ideas, preferences etc without even a hint of distaste. You could also easily argue her logic falls under the, “I got rejected when I asked him out so he’s prejudice/discriminating against me” shit. No, he just doesn’t fucking like you, the same thing with this poem; HE DOESNT LIKE YOU, or himself after the fact. Not like the poem said they casted the woman/man out as an exile. People showing distaste for someone is one thing, making you an outcast and exiling you from society is another.

  • Man Against Politics in Gaming

    LOLOLOLOL best poem evar!!! keep it up freedom of speech the greatest American Right yet people choose to ignore that its a two way street. Political correctness hurts just as much it’s called censorship. QQ moar pansies. LOL to a heroic heterosexual hero the thought that you slept with a man was enough to drive him to suicide how is that bad. Feel bad for the dead guy not the transexual who led an unsuspecting man to suicide. If it hurts your feelings don’t play it I for one love comedy and if ya can’t see humor in this then you my good sirs ladys and in this case anything inbetween should never leave the house. Is this somehow worse than racist jokes which comedians of all colors use to get laughs in a comedy club. Its a Game not Propaganda to rally the masses as these stupid organizations that are trying to impose their hateful will upon all others whom just want to play a game and have a few morbid and satirical laughs. Grow up and Why So Serious!

  • Slippery slope fallacy combined with strawman argument. I went into these comments and we’re already off to a good start..

  • “They, on the other hand, DID THE RIGHT THING and allowed me to decide the fate of the epitaph.”
    “They went above and beyond what I would have expected them to do.”
    The backer himself praised their decision. It is literally right in the article.

  • Neo-Nazi’s are transphobic if I recall, so I’m afraid your analogy could use some work. Also, it’s unreasonable to expect someone to give (presumably) random questions the same weight as “Hey, some people are voicing complaints that our product has content that can easily be seen as derisive towards a minority audience that is subject to a high level of physical violence, abuse, and retaliatory murder (resulting from people having sex with them, feeling betrayed), you might want to see if their claims are valid.”

  • Slippery slope fallacy.

  • They DID talk to the backer in question. He should be the only one involved. Other backers have ABSOLUTELY no business with the decision on whether to change or keep his poem. How on EARTH does it affect any backer other than the guy who submitted the poem? I can understand your complaints about the person who raised it, and, although I disagree, I can understand your complaints about them changing it.
    But I completely fail to comprehend why other backers should have even half as much say in the matter as the person who made the poem.

  • They didn’t snipe. The creator of the poem did (the backer who they asked if he wanted to change it), and I think it is to their credit that they didn’t change that, and that that honestly shows they thought it was an issue. Otherwise I completely agree with you on number 2.

  • I get what you mean (about the first part), but I can’t help but giggle at the wording implying you dislike bugfixes and added content. (I’m just going to stay out of that last sentence.)

  • Exactly. I think a boycott over the product would be extreme on the side of the social justice crowd, but bringing an issue that potentially wasn’t thought about from a certain perspective to the developer’s attention harms no-one, and boycotting them because they listened to a complaint and talked it out with a related party is just baffling to me. Especially because there seems to be a weird, simultaneous blaming of the backer for the new quote (despite the backer saying the company was in the right) and the company for giving the backer the option to change their quote.
    Whatevs.

  • However, isn’t that assuming that the people complaining are the bullies instead of the bullied? Wouldn’t them not complaining any more be THEM giving in to the bullies who keep telling them their problems (which vary by group but can range from people telling them they look ugly to increased rate of being the victims of homicide) don’t matter and mock them for it? I mean, yeah, some people are definitely hair trigger about this kind of thing and blow stuff out of proportion, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop for a sec and think about whether their complaint holds water and act if it does. And even if someone’s normally super hair-trigger about stuff and complains about things that REALLY shouldn’t need to be complained about, a broken clock is still right twice a day.

  • I also have a problem with the insinuation that not telling someone what you have between your legs is just as bad as putting them at risk for developing AIDS.

    I’m completely straight, but if someone asks me “Hey, which do you think is worse, finding out you just had consensual sex with someone with manly bits (who you are implied to otherwise find attractive and desirable, with said bits being literally the only issue) or the chance to get AIDS (or frankly any other STD)” I’m not about to say “Well gee, I’m not sure what’s worse: the thought of someone not telling me what they have between their legs until after an act that was otherwise (implied to have been) enjoyable as a one time thing, or the thought of someone knowingly putting me at risk for a chronic, debilitating disease that will slowly kill me. I honestly think one is just as bad as the other.” Please, I’d rather find out I just slept with Kim Jong Un than find out I was at risk for having contracted HIV.

    The fact that a lot of the time, murders of trans individuals occurs after such an occasion makes that line about “Lying about your biological gender to a sexual partner is, in my book,
    just as heinous of a crime as if you were to knowingly lie about having a
    sexually transmitted disease.” somewhat disturbing.

  • False Dichotomy and Slippery Slope.

  • It’s possible to not think about something in one way and then realize there’s a problem if viewed from a certain way after it hits market. It happens literally all the time.

    Infamous examples include: pencils that say “Don’t do drugs” that shorten to “Do drugs” when sharpened, a food line called “Hits” that looked like something else when lined up on shelves,

    My personal favorite is that one time Coca-Cola, as a promotion, made toy robots that had swastikas on their nipples (yes this happened. Yes, it was the Nazi orientation of the swastika. Many of the people complaining were also fully aware of the buddhist significance of the symbol, [especially the person most frequently cited], and mentioned it in their complaints. You can find articles from 2003 about Coke realizing the issue after complaints were made and pulling it from the shelves.)

  • “Why ask the writer what he wanted”
    Because the writer might have not realized the possible reading, actually found it offensive, and wanted to change it?
    Because they might simply want to avoid drama?
    Because he might not have found out about it otherwise until long after people were associating him with something they found offensive, and the longer it stayed, the greater his image could be affected?

  • Maybe he would have thought it was too late to change it.
    If I were him I’d honestly be really hesitant to contact a publisher and say “Hey, that thing you put in the game as thanks to me? Could you, you know, change it?”
    I would honest to god probably be sitting there going “Oh god oh god I didn’t mean that thing that way, but now people do, but these people are putting so much work into this game, I don’t want to bother them to change it for my sake.”
    Some people have trouble with self-advocacy. It happens.
    I agree, coming to him suggests a “proper” response for him to give, but you can’t just assume that everybody is willing to put forth the courage to ask for their contribution to be changed AFTER the game was already released (and for some people, courage is what it takes.)

  • You are assuming, of course, that this game has the exact same history as our own. You are assuming that a world with magic and mystery has to have a setting that mimics our world’s history.

    I mean, YES, it DID have those things, but it also had other thins that are generally considered unpleasant to bring up in representations of history.

  • It’s not so much that it’s transphobic as that it can reinforce transphobic ideas, and it implies (however unintentionally) that people who look like one sex while actually being another are something bad enough to commit suicide over.

    Kind of like how people who say not to vaccinate your kids for potentially lethal diseases because vaccines might cause autism (they don’t, but the fact that people SAY they might is what’s important here) doesn’t necessarily mean the speaker has something against autism, but it implies the viewpoint (which the speaker, even if they hold it, might be unaware of) that it is better for your child to have a risk of dying than it is for them to have a risk of developing autism. Needless to say, many autistic individuals aren’t particularly thrilled with this unintentional insinuation.

  • Nah man you’re totally right. It harms nobody to call them what they want (most of the time), and not calling them what they want upsets them, but helps nobody. I mean, why knowingly hurt someone if you can avoid it?

  • Actually, it would cause a far larger PR headache if he said “no” and it came out that they asked him and then ignored his response after he payed $500 to get it in the game. I don’t think they would have risked it by asking if they weren’t prepared for such a situation.

  • Actually, stuff DOES slip through. As an example, changes to dialogue are made when games are localized to different countries. But, when a certain Mario Party game was released in the UK, they forgot to check some of the dialogue to make sure it was appropriate for that audience and accidentally included a word that, while not a slur in the US, is considered by the public at large to be one of the most offensive slurs in the UK. It’s entirely possible it really wasn’t vetted, or that it had been vetted, but that they decided to re-vet it with the viewpoint of how transgender individuals might interpret it (and the backer did NOTHING but compliment them on their decision to ask him, which is VERY clearly stated in his quote in this actual article.)

    You’re creating an incredibly hyperbolic representation of events without much to support it (you know, considering the fact that the backer is on the record as saying they made the right decision to ask him.)

  • I disagree that only transgender people would find it humorous. The poem depicts what’s known as “Trans panic”, a situation that frequently results in the death of transgender individuals.

    Additionally, transgender individuals would have non-transgender friends, so plenty of people would know someone who was killed due to a situation like the one described in the poem, which, while not depicting murder of the (potentially) trans individual, did insinuate that having sex with someone who either a: you did not know considered themself a man or b: presented as female while having male genitalia, was a terrible enough thing to drive someone to suicide.
    Even though I’m straight and cis, and even if I didn’t care about social issues in the slightest, if my best friend was killed by someone who upset that they had sex with someone who was upset with having had sex with someone and having found out their identity or genitalia didn’t match what they expected, I’d be pretty pissed off at jokes implying that suicide, an action of similar or greater severity, is warranted in such a situation.

    Yes, perhaps the reaction was overkill, but considering this type of violence happens frequently enough that there’s a term for the legal defense murderers use to try and get away with it, it’s completely understandable to think that multiple individuals, regardless of identity or political leaning, would be offended by the joke due to occurrences in the life of them or their loved ones.

  • What if you publish it without realizing there’s a problem because you didn’t look at it a certain way, then look at it that way and genuinely go “Oh wait this is actually offensive I don’t agree with this at all”?
    I mentioned a similar situation above, where a Mario game released in the UK accidentally included a word that, exclusively in the UK, is considered a slur against those with certain medical conditions (the game was voluntarily recalled.) The publisher would EASILY not have known about it, but then realized (and ONLY because it was brought up to them) “Oh, wait, even though I didn’t intend it this way, this is how this audience is reading it, because their experiences are different from mine, and I don’t want them to think that this definition of the word (which is almost exclusively the one used there) is what I meant.”
    Perhaps if the company understands the initial problems before they publish it, THEN they shouldn’t cave under pressure. But I think that if they only learn about the problem after release, and they wouldn’t have included it prior to release if they know of that detail in the first place (even if they didn’t know how the public would react), I think it’s in their right to change it.

  • Pressure arising from something having to be asked is completely different from asking the question in a manner that says there is only one right answer.

  • Going to a publisher to ask to change content in a published game (which you are suggesting should have been the requirement) is ALSO a heavy burden to many people though.

  • Dr Dub

    What you described is NOTHING like blindly copy and pasting in some random crap from a member of the public.

    It did Not “slip through”.

    Wise up son, they read it!

  • Audie Bakerson

    Ian Mile Cheong IS a Neo-Nazi and Sawyer responded to him.

  • Typical

    Additions are one thing, I’m specifically referring to them taking away, or altering to give you less product after the point of purchase. This is a vile practice that needs to be addressed. Imagine if ford or GM decided your sports car was too fast because someone got killed in an accident and decided to come to your house and put in a smaller motor in the middle of the night.

  • Huh. So he is. Doesn’t invalidate his claims or what I said about the difference in what does and doesn’t get published responses.

    Wait, actually, looking it up further, it appears that, 15 years ago (as a teenager, a time when people’s worldview is rapidly changing), he made white supremacist posts, which he has apologized for now that he’s in his 30’s (people change.) Doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t still holds those views, but it’s not fair to hold a mistake made by someone in their (comparative) childhood when they have since then APPEARED to have made no similar statement, and actually disavowed their previous statements.

    I can ABSOLUTELY find questionable actions they’ve committed in the recent past, but I’m searching and finding no evidence that they still hold neo-nazi views, and quite a bit of evidence that he’s apologized numerous times for the ones he did express while he was going through puberty (also worth noting the things he said then seem to be the exact opposite of what he’s saying now, so if he’s really still a Neo Nazi he does a shitty job of it.)

    Literally the only proof I’m finding that Cheong is still a Neo Nazi is people saying “Cheong is a neo nazi” with nothing to back it up other than those private chatlogs from his teenage years (which, as I said, he has apologized for and admitted were hurtful, stating he “Grew out of” those views.)

  • What? Less product? What on EARTH is there less of?
    One poem was changed for another poem. That’s it. That’s all. It wasn’t REMOVED, it was CHANGED.
    Your analogy would be more accurate if GM decided your sports car’s color looked awful and replaced it with a brand new car of the exact same make and model in the color scheme of your choice (or maybe more accurately offered to repaint your existing car, at no cost to you but at cost to them.) I mean, yes, one could argue that the change might have been unnecessary, but to say that there is “less content” is silly.
    Unless you somehow think that, in the very beginning, with both choices offered (and no controversy, simply as a one-to-one comparison of each poem, isolated from the outside world), one somehow has “more content” compared to the other, in which case I can’t help but wonder why the one that can be read as a joke about a situation that gets a minority murdered has more content and is thus more worthwhile.

  • “obvious agenda”. The person who brought it up was trans and stopped playing the game when she found out a joke was made that could easily be perceived as reading that sleeping with someone like her was something to commit suicide over.
    And then they didn’t “ignore backers”, they contacted the guy who paid for it. The only person they should have contacted.

  • Ah yes, let’s compare expression of gender to procreating with your immediate relatives.

    Also, using “retardation” and “quite literally a waste to society” in the same sentence? Please just….. don’t….. I’m not objecting to the use of the word (I don’t think it should be used when alternatives are available, but I understand why people use it as part of common parlance, so I’m not about to criticize you for it), I’m objecting to your blanket statement about those with cognitive disabilities (which, let’s be honest here, is what “Retarded” in that context typically refers to, as I’ve seen it applied to just about every cognitive abnormality in the book) and implying that they’re all a drain on society, with only rare exceptions. If you are referring to a specific subset, be more specific. It won’t necessarily be right or politically correct (I honestly think it would still be pretty terrible), but it will be at least marginally less discriminatory.

    Also, I’m not sure you understand what “mutation” means. Unless you consider pregnant people “mutants.”

    Lastly, please look up “Intersex” on wikipedia, I think you’re in for a surprise.

    (wait, is it just me, or did you make that Disqus account solely to make a comment about how unnatural trans people are? I see no other comments or upvotes on your profile.)

  • Typical

    No minority has or will get murdered, don’t be a fucking drama queen. It’s not the product I bought, what’s next, some little pussy decides they don’t like how another part of the game works, so they whine and cry until obsidian changes it to suit them? At what point did it become up to teh customer to tell the producer what to make?

  • Typical

    Really? Because it was another pussy backer that threw the fit to begin with that got it changed.

  • Typical

    fucking douchery and an awful strong need to push an agenda.

  • Typical

    It’s still a fraud and if the liar gets their teeth kicked in, they had it coming.

  • Typical

    I’d kill myself if a dude tricked me into fucking him, or more likely give him the beating of his life. Aren’t you bleeding hearts always crying about consent and rape by fraud?

  • Typical

    And in a free society, you’d be free to express that you’d rather be dead than autistic. anyone who gets offended would be free to get bent rather than piss and moan.

  • People with your view are exactly the reason this joke is considered problematic, because it reinforces it. If you consented to sex throughout the entirety of the act and only found out AFTERWARDS that the person wasn’t the gender/sex you thought they were, YES they were arguably in the wrong (unless you literally thought they were an entirely different PERSON in which case they were ABSOLUTELY in the wrong) IF they were indeed trying to be deceptive (as opposed to both parties making assumptions, with one party making assumptions about the other party’s knowledge and the other making assumptions about the other party’s organs or gender.), but that doesn’t excuse such a reaction. If WILLFUL deception was involved (or if one party says to stop in the middle and the other doesn’t, because that’s actually rape), legal action is certainly an option, but honestly I’ve seen nothing that implies that is the case with any frequency at all. Chances are that most of the time the trans party simply thought the other person was aware (this is why communication in ALL aspects of sex life is IMPORTANT.)

    If you never even had sex ( for example, finding out just prior and proceeding to beat them up) then it’s even WORSE, because that’s like punishing them for the fact that YOU found them attractive.

  • I dunno, I think autistic individuals would be just as free to tell the first person to get bent. Especially because freedom of speech means the government can’t punish you for what you say, NOT that other people can’t criticize it or make you face social or even professional consequences. (See also: disbarment.)

    Go ahead, tell your boss his mom’s a prostitute and say he should never have been born.
    Go to a job interview for your chosen chosen career and call the interviewer a slur and say you hope they die, and that you hope your children never grow up like them, then see how well the defense of it being “a free society” works as an objection to them “pissing and moaning” by blacklisting you from said industry.

    However, that’s admittedly hyperbole. However, if you call me a slur and start saying hateful things about a minority, or say you’d rather be dead than in a minority, even in your free time, I’m free to show your boss and they’re free to fire you (sure, they don’t HAVE to, but they CAN.)

    So yes, you are free to say you would rather be dead than autistic, and I am free to say that you’re an asshole for saying that, and other people are free to verbally agree with me (as long as it doesn’t devolve into harassment), and companies and corporations and people who own whatever method you used to say you’d rather be dead than autistic on (especially if it’s privately owned by a single individual) are free to condemn your statement and cut off ties with you (in the latter case especially if statements about hate speech are in the TOS.)

  • Audie Bakerson

    He didn’t! He never apologized!

    He blamed “gamer culture” for it, but he has NEVER apologized for it.

  • Ad hominem.

  • Well that would be assault and still doesn’t address the problem with the mentality some people have that both situations are just as bad. Yeah, lying to your partner is shitty, but lying to them about something that directly (and possibly permanently) affects their health and safety is exponentially more shitty than lying to them about what is in your pants.

  • Let’s assume you’re correct and that “they” did read it (which is probably the case): who exactly IS “they”? The executives? One person going through the 375 submissions who might not have found that one a problem (or not considered the implications) even though higher ups who DIDN’T read it would have had it arrived on their desk prior to publishing?
    I can almost guarantee you that SOMEONE from the Nintendo Localization team (in other words, “they”), read that dialogue from the Mario Party game I mentioned as well to check and make sure everything was acceptable. Sometimes issues only become visible when you sit down and think of them. As I haven’t found information on exactly what the “vetting” process entailed, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to think that an individual gave it the rubber stamp even though his superiors (who wouldn’t see it as they would trust the vetter’s judgement) wouldn’t have had they been in their position.

  • “As a teenager, I said a bunch of things I’m very sorry for. It never occurred to me at the time that what I was saying was deeply hurtful.” 12:00 PM – 29 Sep 2014

    “I apologize for saying those things in the past, and will continue to work and advocate against the excessive amounts of racism and antisemitism in gaming. Thank you for hearing me out.” 1:35 PM – 29 Sep 2014

    “I’M NOT BLAMING ANYONE FOR HAVING BEEN THAT PERSON —I was a crass and thoughtless individual. I hope people can learn from my mistakes.”3:01 PM – 29 Sep 2014 (emphasis mine)

    One might argue those aren’t GOOD apologies (I think they’re pretty decent for tweets, but that’s just my opinion) but they’re certainly apologies.
    (I’d include links to the tweets, but I am not aquainted with the policies for putting links in comments on this site.)

  • Typical

    yet women call it rape after the fact on college campuses across america every day. If you’re trans, and don’t tell someone you’re about to enter a relationship with that you used to be their same sex, you deserve what you get if they find out and are pissed after. I don’t condone any discrimination against the mentally ill, but I believe you have the right to have sex with who you want to, and if you find mentally ill people who think they were born with the wrong pee pee repulsive, you have the right to know if you’re about to sleep with one.

  • Typical

    I agree, but your whole prior point seemed to be something about autists being offended means the people that don’t want to have an autistic kid are somehow wrong.

    My aunt has Cerebal Palsey, I’d hate to have to raise a kid like that.

  • Typical

    If they’re a religious nut, you’d think it damns your soul to eternal hell, so, more alike than you think.

  • Holy shit, are you saying it’s okay to beat people (WHO MIGHT FEEL LIKE OUTING THEMSELVES FROM THE START WOULD BE DANGEROUS) up for entering a relationship, even if sex (which I am for the purposes of this defining as “Anything involving genitalia”, meaning most caressing and kissing doesn’t count) is not involved?
    Or am I horribly misreading you?
    In such a situation, perhaps it’s on YOU to state you find such things repulsive. Yes, no ACTIVE deception should occur (immediately prior to sex at least. Outside of that situation, then as I said, some people feel legitimately unsafe revealing such information early in a relationship. You know, because some people think it’s okay to beat up people who reveal such things, and they might want to see if they can trust their partner not to put them in the hospital), but sometimes omission of information is completely innocent. They might literally not think it matters, or they might be under the false assumption that you already knew or that, you know, you noticed when you saw them naked prior to sleeping with them.
    I also object to your calling them “Mentally ill”, but the attempt at justifying abuse is the bigger issue here.

  • Typical

    Sorry, thinking you’re Napoleon and thinking you’re a different sex are the same type of delusion, except that surgeons and psychologists can’t get rich banishing people to elba.

    You shouldn’t start a relationship out on dishonest terms, it’s no better to hide your sex change than it would be to lie to a woman in a bar that I’m rich for a BJ.

  • Look up ”
    List of unlawfully killed transgender people” on wikipedia. I’m not saying it’s the JOKE that gets people murdered, and I’m saying it’s the SITUATION (sleeping with someone consensually and then later finding out your partner was a member of a specific sex) that gets them murdered.

  • Typical

    Well, I’m a firm believer in the death penalty for rape, so I’m not losing sleep over it.

  • What does that have to do with situations where people are murdered for having had consensual sex (which by definition is not rape)

  • Typical
  • Starting a relationship with someone while omitting information that puts you at a real risk of getting killed is not on the level of actively trying to deceive someone for the sole purpose of getting a blow job.
    If you tell a woman in a bar that you’re poor, there isn’t a reasonable chance that she’ll gather her friends, wait for you to leave, then bring you into an alley and beat the shit out of you, or even potentially rape you to “Correct” your being poor (look up “corrective rape” on wikipedia.)
    Those are both things that can and do happen to trans individuals (and the REALLY shouldn’t.)

  • The definition of that is pretending to be a different INDIVIDUAL. NOT pretending to have different genitalia to someone who knows your identity.

  • Typical

    So only when something happens to the left’s minority flavor of the week is it bad? It’s not scummy to be a dishonest scammer to seduce someone when you’re a trasnutjob I guess. It’s already against the law to beat on someone in your example, in fact, we have special hate crime legislation that elevates some people’s worth when it happens to them, yet apparently the smart thing to do is take the high road and lie to someone about something they might find abhorrent after they’ve committed.

  • Typical

    Interesting, how many trans people’s parents thought ahead and gave them women’s names? And if you’ll look to the example the guy in Israel lied about religion and marital status, something a lot less terrible than genitals.

    You can split hairs all you want, but you’re masquerading as the opposite sex, unless they somehow added chromosome and DNA changing to that operation.

  • Have you ever heard of having your name legally changed? Or respecting others by using their chosen name in such articles?
    Also, the idea that something doesn’t matter because something worse exists is bullshit.

  • If somebody is at very real risk of getting killed for saying something about themselves, they are not “scum” for not starting off conversations with that information.

  • Typical

    Now you’re using that tactic by pretending to argument a point I didn’t make. Your statement that the law pertains to pretending to be an individual is false, as evinced by the case in Israel, though I doubt it would have gone that way if the guy wasn’t Muslim.

    And changing your name is not the same thing. you are still NOT A DIFFERENT SEX, no matter how you mutilate yourself.

  • Typical

    I didn’t say they should wear a scarlet letter, but it’s not too much to say: “look, I used to be a woman” or “I was born a man” before it goes further than conversation. I guess you’re ok with looking at every young black male as a potential violent offender, because that statistic far outshines your trans violence one, you racist.

  • Dr Dub

    Hahahaha that is an even bigger fail of an excuse!

    Pretending not to have seen it at all is better than saying “well it was seen but not by a high ranking employee”!!!

    Utter BS excuse!!!!

    As a company you take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for anything ANY of your employees do including the tea boy.

    That is absolutely the responsibility of the company because anyone with half a brain could see the dangers of allowing random Joe Blow off the street to submit something for your game. The risks were obvious.

    So if the company handed the vetting task to Bubba the tea boy with his IQ of 70 then they are totally liable for anything that happens!

  • Fenrir007

    The person was intellectually dishonest. Why do you think she avoided discussion of the topic on a place where proper feedback for the game should be given, like, I don’t know, the bloody OFFICIAL forums? I’ll tell you why – she knows she would be unable to explain what, exactly, was “offensive, she would be unable to explain why a USER MADE MOD that removes the heretical content was not enough to keep her happy and she wopuld have plenty of people with big, fat “BACKER” badges disagreeing with her.

    “easily perceived” hah! There is a lot of mental gymnastics involved in assuming the person was trans. So, what, the guy didn’t notice the extra pair of sausages hanging around? This is a seducer, mind you. Oh, surely he could be intoxicated or drugged – but then, he could just as much have done the unthinkable (for him) with another male, perhaps bissexual, or perhaps just an elf that looks dangerously bishie.

    They ignore ALL the backer feedback on the forums. They didn’t talk to the very people that BLOODY FUNDED THE GAME so this genocide advocate could even play it! Why was the voice of a complete stranger more important than the voice of your investors? This goes against the very first sentence on their goddamn kickstarter. Once Obsidian SHIPPED the content, it wasnt about only Firedorn, but about us all, as we already had that game content on our hands and CLEARLY did not want it changed. Game content that had already been previously approved by them. Game content that Firedorn himself said on the forums he would rather let stay as it was. By the way, Firedorn said on his blog he felt censored by this ordeal.

    Their lies were the worst aspect, though, and the reason why I won’t forget this slight from Obsidian.

  • Fenrir007

    I’m not sure I follow.

  • Fenrir007

    I hope you are aware that the PR statement was released AFTER he agreed to it. How you frame it is what matters. They purposedly avoided overcommiting so they could still do some damage control and still get their desired outcome. They were counting on Firedorn being a big enough fan of theirs (after all, he did pledge $500) to promptly agree to whatever they asked him.

  • Fenrir007

    Your examples are all obvious and apparent, with absolutely no dissent regarding how they are viewed. Something that says “do drugs” is not open to interpretation, nor are swastikas.

    In this case, however, we have one person cherry picking the most unlikely interpretation possible to this limerick (as I explained in multiple posts), and to top it off, considers it misogyny because… reasons? OLr maybe she feels entitled to other people’s sexuality. We’ll never know, because she never planned that far and will die before explaining her flimsy, made-up points.

    Perhaps Erika would have a leg to stand if she bothered going to the forums to explain her points of view (which, if they were as readily apparent as the examples you just gave me, that would be quite easy, no?) and debate the issues before censoring OUR game. Turns out she didn’t, but I don’t expect anything different from a genocide advocate.

  • Fenrir007

    “They DID talk to the backer in question. He should be the only one
    involved. Other backers have ABSOLUTELY no business with the decision on whether to change or keep his poem”

    I disagree. First of all, the game was SHIPPED already, so this is different from the approval process that happens BEFORE we even get to see the content. Second, their kickstarter said on its first sentence that they would always include their backers in the creation process. Third, if backers had nothing to do with this, then what about Erika? Why does her particular interpretation of something should force developers and backers to have their game neutered because of her agenda? And yes, it IS an agenda since she could simply remove the content with the pre-existent mod. Forth, Firedorn himself said he would rather let it unchanged, and mentioned he felt censored on his blog. And finally, there was ALREADY a thread on the forums blowing up with the overwhelming majority of their BACKERS being AGAINST this change, and discussing why this interpretation of hers is flimsy as hell, and why no one has the right to not be offended (as well as offering alternative solutions, like pinning the mod on the forums or making an official toggle to turn on and off that, and maybe all backer content).

    Why they bowed to this genocide advocate who is as intellectually dishonest as it gets is beyond me, but I will remember when their next game pops up.

    What is really funny is that some users have been complaining and asking for a way to remove all backer content from it. Obsidian completely ignored these please, but changed the game at once when an offendatron with a persecution complex thought this medieval fantasy game was all about her.

  • I think you misunderstood me.
    I think that any backer has a right to raise a complaint about other included content (and other backers even have the right to complain about proposed changes to content), but only the backer who created that content should have a say in the DECISION of whether it gets changed (even if input is also given from the other backers.) Basically, both sides can influence whether the company should ask the content submitter whether they want to make changes, but once it’s come to the point where the company is deciding whether or not to change it, the FINAL decision shouldn’t be made by, say, a vote amongst all the backers.

    For example, if you thought some content was promoting, let’s say, censorship: you could raise a complaint about it (I don’t know why you would, and I certainly don’t think it would be listened to, but it would be in your rights.)
    However, if the original backer wants to change it out of respect for the person who raised a complaint (or to avoid a potential hassle, as was the case in this situation), other backers shouldn’t be able to veto that decision on any grounds other than perhaps that it is unfair to them that they do not get to change their contributions as well. (They could still, of course, raise a complaint that the new content is inappropriate. It may or may not convince the company to take action, but they could raise the complaint.)

  • First of all, you’re raising the bar, but regardless, there are still issues. “Your examples are obvious!” really? Because to many people, this is JUST as obvious. You said the problem is that they approved the content, then changed it when complaints were made. In LITERALLY every example I gave, that is what the company in question did. It was NOT the most unlikely interpretation possible to people familiar with such situations.

    Also you are ABSOLUTELY wrong about the “not open to interpretation” bit regarding the examples I gave, ESPECIALLY the one with the swastika. I completely understand if you don’t know this, but swastika originated as a religious symbol (that was co-opted by the nazi party) and is still used in MULTIPLE religions around the world (such as buddhism), including China, where the robots were released (I should also note that even WITH this, some of the most outspoken critics were Chinese. The robots were ALSO released in Europe though, but if I recall they were pulled from both countries.) It’s still even used in modern media in that context, in which the manner in which it is used can be VERY important for how it’s interpreted. For example, you know that popular animated series Bleach? The main character’s sword has a swastika as its guard in one of its forms, but in that situation its significance is much less ambiguous due to the context, helped in large part by it also being a Japanese Kanji http://www.mahou.org/Kanji/5244/?usage#usage which is also used to mark temples on maps, with its relevance being made less ambiguous by, in its usage, a specific association with spirit.)
    Part of the issue with the robots was that, although still just as valid (and still commonly used in religion), the specific orientation of the symbol on the robot happened by coincidence to match the one used by the one most commonly associated with the nazi party (I will reiterate, that exact same orientation is STILL used for religious reasons. Also, I still consider the situation a massive fuckup on Coke’s part. They should have thought it through better before releasing the robot.)

    Basically, the same way that “Swastikas = Nazis unless clearly implied otherwise” is how most westerners see things (even though people in some other countries might only make that association if the swastika was used in certain specific contexts, such as with a salute, although I will admit the association is still likely easier for to make for the majority of the populace in those countries), “Person mistaken for a woman is actually a man and someone gets upset because of it” = “implications that being transgender is bad” to many people within the LGBT community, especially those familiar with retaliatory violence against trans individuals.
    It may seem not obvious and unlikely to you, but it is incredibly obvious to other people.

  • Wait, which PR statement? From my understanding, there were a couple.

  • Hmmmmm, I’m trying to think of a good analogy, but it’s late and I’m having trouble. I’ll try to get back to you on that.

  • I’m not saying they’re in the right for their excuse. I’m saying that it might have been a legitimate mistake and there’s a very good chance the higher ups REALLY didn’t know about it and REALLY DID care (also, the person vetting it might have been told to look for very specific things, with transphobic content not being one of them) However, you are right, they SHOULD fully own up to it.

  • What you said is actually exactly what I was saying. I misread your prior comments as meaning, “They should say this before they get into a relationship AT ALL”, not “Before they have sex”

  • You implied that there were a suspiciously large number of people whose names matched their preferred gender on the page. I was giving you a reason.
    Additionally, believe it or not, in some countries, the things the man lied about actually ARE considered SIGNIFICANTLY more serious than the genitals involved. You’re judging the ruling of another country by American and European standards of religion, the value of virginity, and the sanctity of marriage (especially because in some countries [not necessarily Israel], such infidelity is, SURPRISE: something people get killed for. Not LEGALLY mind you, but it still HAPPENS. Also, did you read it completely? The original charge was for a VIOLENT SEXUAL ASSAULT. The prosecutors were on the record as accepting the PLEA BARGAIN for the other charge so as “to spare the woman a long cross-examination that might undermine her evidence.”)

    EDIT: if you wish to reply to this, could we continue in a private conversation via Disqus? (I think there’s a method to allow that.) I just don’t want to clutter up the comments section any more than it already has been with an argument between just two people.

  • Dr Dub

    Just a reminder that putting the text in the game was fine.

    It was lying about it after that was the problem.

    They should have said “yes we are aware of the statement, we vetted it, we still believe it is acceptable, it’s inclusion is not up for negotiation, that is our final statement on the matter”.

    Instead they chose a snivelling dishonest approach and as I say if they genuinely felt that upon reflection the text wasn’t appropriate, they should have removed it and apologised, not put something sarcastic in its place.

  • As I’ve said, what if they were aware of the statement, WEREN’T aware of the implications, gave it another look after it was published, actually thought “Wait this does have these implications” and reacted based on that.

    I honestly think the “Put something sarcastic in its place” was because they wanted to still give the backer SOMETHING. I mean, if you look at how everybody else here is reacting to the backer simply getting to change it, I can’t imagine how people would react if that backer’s poem was simply removed. And he DID have a right to have something in the game.

    Even the person who complained initially said that, while the sarcastic new poem wasn’t ideal, it was significantly better than the original.

  • Dr Dub

    “As I’ve said, what if they were aware of the statement, WEREN’T aware of the implications, gave it another look after it was published, actually thought “Wait this does have these implications” and reacted based on that.”

    Then their public statement was a LIE as I’ve been saying.

    If the above were true why not just admit it!

  • Because they think admitting it makes them look worse. It’s easier to do a handwave and say something was missed than to say “whelp, this guy didn’t do his job properly.” It’s cowardly, but it’s easy to do (although I must say even that cowardly approach is better than quietly changing the content and pretending nothing happened)

    And a lot of people here don’t seem to care about the “lying about it after” bit (although maybe I’m misreading them), they’re just pissed that the poem was altered PERIOD (with some thinking the decision to alter it after the issue was brought up should have fallen to the backers as a group instead of the specific backer who submitted it for some strange reason I still don’t understand), which I feel is silly (Of course, I feel this is silly only considering the change was agreed to by the content submitter [even if they would rather it stayed, although they didn’t bring this up when the company asked] , had no impact on the game’s story, had no impact on gameplay, in no way detracted from user experience beyond people disliking the fact that a change was made in response to criticism at all[and arguably improved user experience, even if only for a small minority of players] If ANY of these weren’t the case )

    But yes, it was wrong of them to lie (or at very least use deceptive phrasing, for all we know they meant “It wasn’t vetted PROPERLY” but decided to exclude the properly to make themselves look better, WHICH IS STILL BAD. And then there’s the existent possibility that it legitimately somehow slipped through and wasn’t checked, but I agree that’s incredibly unlikely.)

    It’s probably why they kinda seemed to skirt the issue of what exactly the “vetting” process involved (who vetted it? Were they looking for specific content [and if so what] or was it up to the interpretations of whoever was given the sheet, thus leaving a gap for issues that only SOME some people find [understandably, although not necessarily justifiably] offensive and others don’t to fall through.) Because if their entire vetting process was flawed, it’s better to be blamed for a slip-up that got through instead of both the slip-up and using a system that would potentially let through things far worse.

    The fact that employees at companies involving this game (not necessarily obsidian though, although a similar thing could have happened with the person vetting it) are not doing their fucking job with this or don’t see this as an issue (even if their superiors do) and impose their view on it when making decisions was made clear when one customer tried to return the game to get a refund and the customer service rep not only asked her how it was offensive, but when she politely explained, this guy had the gall to ARGUE with her that she was wrong to be offended (the legitimacy of her offense is not relevant there. A customer service rep of all people. Even if she was being RIDICULOUS, that wasn’t the time or place for them to say that. http://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/849259-gog-issues-apology-behavior-customer-service-rep-pillars-eternitys-transphobic-joke (on that note, GOG handled their situation MUCH better.)

    But yeah, they should have issued a more truthful public statement, even if it would make them look careless.

  • Dr Dub

    PR lesson of the day.

    Lying makes you look worse than admitting to an honest mistake.

    No amount of rabid fanboys like you running around behind them trying to clear up the mess can save them from the damage.

    In fact the excuses you have made ended up making them look worse.

    Bottom line is that as a result of their lies I gave them no money.

  • ^Addressed above in a response to Fenrir.

  • A refund for a purchase of the game, or for a kickstarter contribution? Because there is news going on for refunds of purchases of the games caused by the kerfuffle making the news. (Basically, a customer service rep was like “Okay, I’ll give you a refund, but *proceeds to have an argument with the person asking for a refund*)

  • MotherofFish

    I backed the game on Kickstarter rather than purchase the game. I actually spoke a bit with Feargus on Kickstarter where he said “If you would like a refund, please contact us at [email protected].” but later said that wasn’t an offer of a refund, more an offer of a consideration of a refund which they decided not to do. But he was friendly and polite so I have no problem with them for that.

  • Fenrir007

    The one made by their CEO on this very article.

  • Fenrir007

    About the whole swastika thing, I am quite aware of its origins. Now, you did use something as a base of comparison that is close to worldwide reviled (something that can easily be linked to nazism, despite the legitimate use predating it) and to which westerns are particularly sesible about, but that is not the case with the limerick at all.

    “Person mistaken for a woman is actually a man and someone gets upset because of it” = “implications that being transgender is bad” to many people within the LGBT community, especially those familiar with retaliatory violence against trans individuals. It may seem not obvious and unlikely to you, but it is incredibly obvious to other people.”

    And there were a lot of trans people also completely okay with it, which begs the question – how do you decide what you should censor? Is it based on someone, somewhere simply being offended by it? But if we do it that way, then there will be very little left after all art has been sanitized. Do we default to listening to the majority? But in this case, Erika was a clear minority, as most people voiced their support towards the limerick. Do we automatically default to the smaller groups that take issue with this? I’m not I’m comfortable with a dictatorship of the few imposing their will on the majority. Do we play favorites and appease to groups 1 and 2 but not 3 and 4? Okay, but how do you get to decide which ones are deemed worthy of being taken seriously? Do we look at authorial intent to decide which interpretation is the correct one? Okay, in this case Erika was also wrong, as clarified by Firedorn. Do we, then, default to the interpretation of the people? But there are infinite interpretation possibilities as human creativity is limitless, especially on someone with a persecution complex or an agenda to pursue, and certainly will be possible to make a not very credible, but still true to that person, interpretation sullying that work of art.

    There is plenty of art in museums and galleries depicting very sensitive topics, like rape, for instance. Should we tear them down because a few were offended at it? Should we start covering the genitals of sculptures when the Morality Police rears its ugly neck?

    “Person mistaken for a woman is actually a man and someone gets upset because of it” = “implications that being transgender is bad” to many people within the LGBT community, especially those familiar with retaliatory violence against trans individuals.””

    To many, but not all, and seemingly not even a majority. Also, I never saw any violence there, as the supposedly transphobe (something I disagree with) killed himself. So rejoice! A transphobe was punished by his own transphobia! Besides, let us not forget that, even under Erika’s interpretation, the guy was conned into having sex with someone who was not of the gender he expected. No consent – perhaps you could say he was raped through this fraud. He may very well be the victim here.

  • Fenrir007

    The problem here is that you are saying only the backer matters, not uninvolved 3rd parties (though I’d say your goddamn investors are not uninvolved, but ok).

    Here is the problem, though – they blindly listened to a goddamn 3rd party who isnt even a backer in the 1st place who made a complaint OUTSIDE of the official venues for this, but proceeded to comply while ignoring COMPLETELY the extensive thread with feedback on the issue we had going on.

    Firedorn shouldnt even have been involved. This lunacy should have been curbed on its infancy.

  • Fenrir007

    “I think a boycott over the product would be extreme on the side of the social justice crowd”

    As a backer, I find a “boycott” (not GG endorsed) extremely reasonable for being backstabbed by them.

  • Fenrir007

    In this case, considering we have a genocide advocate behind it, I’m pretty sure who is the bully in here.

  • Fenrir007

    You are not entitled to other people’s genitals, nor to tell them how much grossed out they would be by interacting with the wrong set of genitals.

  • Fenrir007

    “Because the writer might have not realized the possible reading, actually found it offensive, and wanted to change it? ”

    Not the case, as Firedorn himself said it.

    “Because they might simply want to avoid drama?”

    Worked wonderfully! Now both groups hate them!

  • Fenrir007

    “They, on the other hand, DID THE RIGHT THING and allowed me to decide the fate of the epitaph.”

    If you notice in the forums, I asked him clarification on the subject, and he said they never told him he could keep it if he said no, and this statement from them branding it as a rogue element that got mistankenly left in through their veto process reinforces that notion.

    I wont post the link, but you can check it on the forums or on the comment section of PC Gamer where I dropped it a couple of times.

    He also mentioned on his blogpost that he felt censored by this whole ordeal – http://www.orderoflaibach.com/blog/screw-you-firedorn-lightbringer

  • Sorry, by “writer” I meant “Publisher”. Not used to talking about content being submitted by a third party.

    But yeah, the fact that now both sides are hating on him is ridiculous. On one side, it was an honest mistake that he was willing to change (and even if he didn’t find it offensive himself, he was still willing to change it, and even the person who originally complained said his new one is much better). On the other side….. I see literally no reason to be angry at him for changing it.

  • People shouldn’t need to be backers to bring up issues with a game.
    And it only should have been curbed in its infancy if the company actually considered it lunacy, which they clearly didn’t.

  • How on earth is this being “Backstabbed” by them. Someone ELSE’S text was changed. How on earth does this affect you and how is it a betrayal?

  • Ad hominem. Also, could you link me to sources for this person being an actual genocide advocate?

  • It wasn’t violence, but it was an extreme reaction, suggesting it was a serious thing.
    And I feel it should be decided on a case by case basis. I feel like if somebody says something is offensive, people should stop, seriously think about it, and then decide whether it is or not, and, if it is, whether it’s meant to evoke and highlight those issues (see: that woman in japan who got arrested for making a kayak modeled after her vagina, which was made to highlight the disparity between what is and isn’t considered obscene in that country). In this case, although others agree, obsidian appears to have come to the late consensus that, when viewed from a certain viewpoint, the original content was indeed offensive.

    There’s also a difference between offense being due to something being mentioned at all as opposed to offense at something that (the person objecting believes) reinforces a negative idea, particularly if that idea is related to abuse or violence towards a specific group (for example, compare “Herp derp”, which some people find ableist due to being perceived as making fun of a minority, to rape jokes, which some think rapists interpret as meaning rape is normal or acceptable. Or the infamous “slumber party barbie”, which some perceived to encourage eating disorders in children).

  • It’s less “People who want to have an autistic kid are wrong” as opposed to “People who would rather have their child die than grow up with autism are kinda gross”

  • Typical

    That’s not at all what’s happening. Anti Vaxxers are making a risk assessment, this isn’t a case of their kids are going to die without the vaccine. It’s like the panic of H1N1, all of 4 people died from it, vs the 40k a year that die of the regular flu, yet big pharma made sure to paint the vaccine as a life saving mandatory treatment. Like a tenth of a percent of people die from measles, it’s hardly a death sentence to not get a vaccination, in fact, the odds of the vaccine giving encephalopathy are 1 in a million, roughly the same odds as dying of measles.

    in fact if you look at the cdc’s own informaiton http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsus/vsrates1940_60.pdf

    page 85 is the death rates from measles, you’d note that there was a rapid and remarkable decrease in measles deaths between the turn f the century and a decade prior to the release of the vaccine, so obviously it’s not the vaccine that killed measles as the government would like you to believe.

    Oh, look, the testing isn’t as complete and safe as the company profiting from the vaccines are claiming and they’re going to federal court for it:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/merck-whistleblowers_b_5881914.html?utm_content=buffer927cf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    So while I vaccinated my kid, let’s not pretend that he was going to die horribly if I didn’t, it’s simply replacing one risk for another, a freedom anyone who wants it should have. I notice that the leftys who are all up in arms about companies dictating health care over not providing 4 out of 20 birth control methods don’t seem to care that some others have a policy that if you don’t get a flu vaccine you’re fired. telling someone they have to pay if they want a different birth control method must be way worse than forced medical procedures (or needle rape as I call it) or termination of employment I guess.

    Your turn.

  • Fenrir007

    Ask and you shall receive:

    http://i.imgur.com/viBM2CO.png

  • Fenrir007

    Quite frankly, I’m done with you.

    I would gladly debate this had I not already done it extensively on the PC Gamer article and addressed the exact same things you are saying over there. If you really curious about my answers, feel free to check them there.

    Have fun with your transphobia-free limerick.

  • Well, I see you’re linking to an article that references a study that was retracted due to conflict of interest: http://www.translationalneurodegeneration.com/content/3/1/22
    “The Editor and Publisher regretfully retract the article [1] as there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings. We apologise to all affected parties for the inconvenience caused.”

    But that’s beside the point. This is not the place to debate vaccines and I will not do it here (I only brought it up as an example of how some things seem more offensive to some groups due to others due to insinuations of the value of those in said groups). I’m ONLY giving you that link so that you don’t erroneously bring up that huffington post article somewhere else (which is also why I’m not pulling up the OTHER sources I’ve found discrediting it.)

  • Nah, I’m honestly kinda tired with this too. I hope you have fun with the new limerick as well. Later!

  • Typical

    fair enough, I had only first seen the huffpo article today when I was looking for the CDC numbers. Point is, you’re being awful hyperbolic, with not vaxxing = death statements. Personally, I think having that twit Jenny McCarthy be the big anti vax spokesperson is all the evidence they need that it’s a batty thing to do, but still, If people don’t want to do it, it’s fine by me.

    I was only replying to the topic to point out your tendency to use extreme hyperbole and make mountains out of molehills anyway, like implying the original poem could get someone killed.

  • Typical

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/killallmen

    upvote yourself more, lamer.

  • Yeah I know, it’s really not great. The main reason I do it isn’t necessarily because I always think it’s equivalent, but sometimes if people seem to be having trouble understanding something, a more extreme/explicit analogy can help with analogies and with giving a GENERAL idea of why people care so much about things.

    And as I said, the original poem won’t GET people killed, but it DOES actually cover something that DOES get people killed. And believe it or not, the situation (of the discovery, not the suicide) described in the poem has been successfully used as a defense against murder, in the same way as the “Gay panic” defense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_panic_defense (Yeah, wiki’s not the best source for stuff, but I’m currently busy and it’s easy to find.)

    As of such, while DIRECTLY harmful, it does portray and reinforce the idea that “finding out you slept with a gender you didn’t realize can be seen as warranting X situation.”(NOT bad on its own, only when combined with other media, along with the fact that people without such preconceptions will see it differently from people who DO have those preconceptions. Kind of like how Rape jokes are considered not okay. Although in this case the joke doesn’t feature the feared outcome, it still features a similarly extreme one. Hmmmmm….. how do I explain it…… It’s kind of like the argument isn’t “This will cause X to happen”, it’s more like “when people who might do X in a situation like this read this, the view that the situation is serious enough to warrant x [or in this case “y” with y having an approximate value to x, with that value being “Someone ends up dead”] is sustained, TOGETHER with the view that X is a reasonable response period.”)

    Another way to explain it is that this joke is read 4 different ways by 4 different people:

    1. People who don’t know about the potential violent outcome in situations similar to the one described, or don’t think any harm will come of it (the author and likely everyone who who looked over and approved it prior to the initial complaint probably falls under this), would likely consider the overall situation and irony humorous. This group (along with 4) is least likely to consciously interpret the poem as involving a trans individual.

    2. People who are at risk for being on the receiving end of a violent outcome in the described situation, or who know someone who has been, or who have in the past been made aware of it (this can have the unfortunate side effect of making people actively look for problems and thus get false positives, or actual but harmless positives, [think of how hand sanitize talks about how many germs it kills even though only a fraction actually makes you sick. Yes, they’re germs, and yes, it might be better if they weren’t there in the first place, but they’re not necessarily worth dealing with and at most should only be pointed out as things that could be done better next time]) Although there exists the possibility in the described situation that no parties involved are trans, the situation is up to the interpretation of the reader. This group is more likely (but not guaranteed) to read this as “Man slept with trans woman” than “man got drunk off his ass and thought a cis man was a woman.” (both of which are around equally likely from the information given in the poem)

    3. People who might actually consider violence and/or murder to be a reasonable response in this situation.

    4. (the rarest but still worth mentioning). People who have never been exposed to a representation of a similar situation in media, thus, the only reaction they’d have seen to this is “someone’s reaction to having sex with someone and finding out it was the individual, but not the gender, they believed was to take a life (in this case their own.)” NOT necessarily bad when the joke is isolated, but can have a subconscious effect when this is the most frequent representation of an event . (As an example of this, one could think of how in the west, black is associated with death, but in some parts of Asia, white is the associated color. If you see one funeral where everything’s that color, you won’t immediately associate that color with funerals, but, over time, as you keep seeing more and more funerals, you start to associate the color with the event on some level.)

    There have actually been studies on this kind of thing in regards to jokes about similar things (especially racist jokes and rape jokes) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1018868913615
    (Let me remind you though that correlation does not mean causation. Also, far be it from me to say that “Studies show” means “This is the case”.)

    I should also mention, what I’m saying is NOT “You should be upset about this” or “science says this is how the world works” or “the poem should have been removed”, It’s “please understand why other people find this upsetting, even if you think they’re overreacting.”

    Even if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill, it’s not flat ground (and maybe the molehill is a greater inconvenience to them than it is to you.) Sorry if that analogy is terrible by the way.

  • Typical

    I’m just tired of people being whiny and offended by everything. If you can’t take a joke, maybe you should re evaluate yourself. If you’re so hurt and upset about words, you really shouldn’t be outside of your special little bubble. People should grow up and stop being pussies. I personally don’t care about rape jokes, if they’re funny. Daniel Tosh never should have apologized to those 2 harpies, either everything’s fair game or nothing is. I notice a lot of people on the left want to play oh so sensitive flower when it’s an interest or personal trait of theirs getting mocked, but then will relentlessly badger and tear down others who are outside their circle, case in point, ask an oh so tolerant leftist to accept a religious nut’s wish to not make a cake for a gay wedding.

  • I dunno, I think the tosh thing’s a bad example. While his initial joke might have been harmless, his responding to the criticism by saying, to an upset woman, in public, “Hey wouldn’t it be funny if five guys raped you right now?” (without knowing if she actually WAS a rape victim) was NOT cool.
    If someone admonishes them for stepping on their toes, even if you think your foot wasn’t anywhere near theirs and they were just imagining things, you don’t respond by stomping on their foot. If you think they’re wrong you should ignore them, or at the most tell them they’re being ridiculous. You DON’T respond by doing the exact thing they asked you not to do in a more extreme manner.

    See also (as a more serious example, cause as I said, those comparisons, while overblown, can make it easier for people to get the gist of things): cases where people will ask a restaurant to keep something off the food, the person preparing the food thinks the customer is being prissy and puts extra of that thing, and it turns out the customer has allergies (this is sadly a thing that happens. I heard of one situation where a woman asked for soy milk and the barista thought she was only on a diet when in reality she had some rather serious ulcers or something.)

    As for the wedding thing? I think it depends how it’s handled on both sides. Is it about what’s on the cake ITSELF? How does the person it’s requested of react? Do they say “We don’t serve your kind here” or do they say “I’m very sorry, but this is against my religion. I’d be happy to work on a cake for some other purpose, or direct you to someone I know of who would be okay with doing this.”

    Not to mention, “either everything’s fair game or nothing is” is a false dichotomy, and those can be INCREDIBLY nasty. Context is absolutely important in all matters, and it really upsets me that, often, the reason I see people advocate the refusal to fix problems such as racist, or discriminatory (even if it wasn’t intended that way) with “even if this IS offensive, if it gets removed, EVERYTHING ELSE will be removed!”

    The same argument was used against the legislation in Japan that recently banned child pornography. Some people were of the mindset that it would extend to cartoon depictions (which I still find gross but don’t necessarily cause active harm in the production process) and thought it would be better not to have a law against child porn AT ALL as opposed to advocating for a law that only targeted porn made with actual children. And of course another argument was “If they ban child pornography, they’ll ban ALL pornography!” (that’s also slippery slope).
    That argument is also frequently used by opponents of Gun control, but that one’s still a divisive and unrelated subject, so let’s please steer clear of that one for now.

    “All or nothing”, “With us or against us” and “absolutely no problems or needs to be purged” are very, very bad mindsets. It’s not helped by the fact that the most visible arguments and opinions on either side are often the ones that are the most extreme.

  • Typical

    Slippery slope definitely does apply to gun control, the antis make no secret they wish to ban all guns at some point. They ban what they can get away with, making things seem evil because they’re scary, while leaving identically functioning models alone. that is definitely a war they want to win by attrition.

    Personally, if someone’s not physically harming you, my opinion is that it’s not actually harming you, so toughen up.

  • I literally just said “Let’s not get into gun control.” Regardless, the main thing I want to address is that second part, about “If something’s not physically harming you, it’s not actually harming you.” (from which I can assume you’ve PROBABLY never had a panic attack) and using that point as a reason to dismiss complaints about the contents of various media (yeah, some complaints are unwarranted, but the response to complaints shouldn’t be quite so automatic.)

    See, in ADDITION to all the stuff I mentioned before, there’s another issue that, while not completely relevant to this SPECIFIC situation (to our knowledge, it could actually explain the initial complaintent stopping their playthough cold turkey when they got to that part and not continuing until the text was removed) is absolutely relevant to that statement, that issue being PTSD and flashbacks. What doesn’t harm one person can harm another (or at least, make them vividly remember a time they were harmed.)
    TVTropes “Useful notes: Trigger” (YES that word is misused to no end and thrown out far too much, and yeah, it’s TVtropes) page is actually a very good explanation.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/Trigger
    “The (very simplified) difference between squick and a PTSD trigger is this: squick is staring at a fictional disemboweled corpse
    and going “Ewww, I didn’t need to see that.” A trigger is staring at
    the same corpse and feeling oneself being disemboweled and tortured to
    death in Real Life or else remembering the Real Life disembowelment and torture of your best friend next to you. Triggers may be described as hyper-personalized Squick meets hyper-personalized Nightmare Fuel.

    In such a case, they can’t avoid ever seeing corpses, but if somone asks you to be mindful, you do what you CAN. You don’t necessarily need to go out of your way, just say “Hey, you might want to know in advance that this has a corpse in it” or, if you know they’re going to see something you show them, and you know the corpse REALLY doesn’t add anything to what you want to show (uncommon with video games for this specific example, due to atmosphere, but it can apply to stuff such as news), then you omit the corpse.

    Also, remember, excessive stress CAN result in actual harm in the long term. You can’t avoid all of it, but you can try to take steps to minimize it.

    Not to mention, many of the most effective forms of torture inflict no physical harm, and can cause lasting MENTAL harm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_torture

    See also: Waterboarding (and I would suggest you undergo it yourself before criticizing those that complain about it being inhumane. I feel that if you think a method of torture is “harmless”, you should try undergoing it yourself to see what it’s like.) Although you should know that some people who have been subjected to it have been known to panic at rain or when taking showers (going back to PTSD)

    If it was as simple as “Toughening up”, psychological torture wouldn’t be as effective as it is. And before you say “But this isn’t psychological torture” let me point you RIGHT back up to PSTD causing people to RELIVE the experience of said torture or stressful event, even if the thing that causes the flashback isn’t the torture itself.

    I believe you YOURSELF said you’d beat the shit out of someone if you found out you’d slept with them and they weren’t the gender you thought they were (or they were the gender but weren’t the sex. ) Being ruthlessly beaten up (to them) out of the blue that’s the kind of thing that can traumatize people. Said people PROBABLY wouldn’t be too keen on seeing a joke about that situation that can be seen as brushing the situation off as not being serious (especially if they have to relive it in the process of seeing said joke, and especially if that kind of situation is unfortunately rather common. Remember that it’s used as a fucking LEGAL defense, frequently enough that some states had to change their laws to SPECIFICALLY prevent people from trying to [and in some cases successfully managing to] use it to get away with murder). And friends of said people probably wouldn’t be too keen on it either.

  • Typical

    Yeah, I acknowledge I’m a dick, but PTSD is also called “sand in my vagina” disease in my household. You don’t want to see bloody disemboweled bodies, you should remember the military isn’t just a scholarship program. Maybe if we hadn’t been feminizing it the last 70 years, we wouldn’t see so many cases. I know people who’ve been waterboarded, and they were fine after, then just didn’t want to have to do it again, protip: anyone who is in a military flight crew gets it, if it was so horrible we wouldn’t be able to operate flight crews. I’m not saying I go out of my way to antagonize someone with a sensitivity, because I’m not a psychopath, but if you’re the type of person that’s so hurt and offended that you can’t continue a fucking video game knowing it has a few lines of text in it you don’t like, then the gene pool is better off without your weakness polluting it. I’m seriously a big fan of survival of the fittest, and I’m tired of seeing the fit being inconvenienced to coddle some special snowflake that’s not able to confront the realities of life, time to suck it up buttercups.

  • However, frequently when people complain, it’s not even an inconvenience really. It was in this case, but if I recall, there was a recent thing with blizzard doing something as simple as renaming a boat, and people were up in arms about how it was “censorship!” and such.

    I feel like a good observation I’ve seen is that it’s kinda ironic how people who complain about that kind of change often seem to be offended themselves. An incident where that happened is actually how I found this article. https://twitter.com/CM_Lore/status/590695703401340929
    Blizzard was like “Welp, we didn’t mean anything by this, but see how people could think this was referencing a different event in our franchise, so we’re going to change it.” (it was meant to be an obtuse reference to one of her abilities, but coincided with a previous event involving the character in the franchise) and then people went apeshit, talking about how feminists had ruined everything for something as simple as a boat getting renamed (especially when the company actually liked one of the suggestions better than the original). It became a bigger thing AFTER the change, because although barely anybody had been offended before (and it wasn’t even necessarily about offense as much as portraying the wrong image of the character due to unfortunate coincidence), suddenly LOADS of people were offended that Blizzard changed the name.

    I kinda feel the same way with this. It’s like, even if the thing a person is offended by is silly, isn’t it even sillier to get offended when the company addresses it? Although this situation’s kinda different, I feel like these three tweets from one of Blizzard’s community manager twitter sum up most similar situations:
    https://twitter.com/CM_Lore/status/590968574967177216
    https://twitter.com/CM_Lore/status/590914448803500032
    https://twitter.com/CM_Lore/status/590939223739490304

    (and I’ll repeat, in this situation, the “Literally no other factors” bit doesn’t necessarily apply, but I feel like it was handled well, and a lot of the comments here are talking about “never caving” and stuff like that, so I’m not sure those ones actually care what factors are and aren’t involved.)