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My name is Joseph. I have a computer, I eat food, all my socks have holes in them, I almost never wear a cape, and I'm currently using that computer I told you about before.
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Recently, there has been a lot of talk about "the hate" in the video game community. Gamers are portrayed as being hateful, mean, sadistic bullies who wish death on those who don't share their opinions. Those who make this characterization of gamers often cite countless examples of hateful, mean, sadistic, bullying, death wishing comments as evidence; which, to be fair, does seem like pretty good evidence.

However, it is my contention that the vast majority of these sorts of comments, not just in the gaming community, but virtually everywhere online, are actually hyperbole, and that hyperbole is a perfectly acceptable way for someone to express themselves.

Just about everyone uses hyperbole all the time, and it's pretty much always recognized as being just that. You might hear someway say, "My wife is going to kill me if I don't remember to pick up milk on the way home," and you do not assume that that person's life is actually in any danger should they forget to pick up milk; nor do you take offense to the fact that they would even joke about something like that. For instance, you wouldn't respond to this person by saying, "Dude, you shouldn't joke about things like that. It's offensive to the families of real murder victims!" You would instead completely understand that the person only meant that their wife would be upset should they forget to pick up milk, and you would think that their saying that their wife would kill them was a perfectly fine way for them to express this sentiment.

So why is it that people, who seem perfectly capable of recognizing and understand hyperbole in most situations, suddenly fail to recognize it when someone they disagree with tells them to fall in front of a moving train? Why do they all of sudden react by saying things like, "You really want me to fall in front of a train just because I disagree with you? You're a terrible person. You literally want me to die just because I don't share your views. I'm so offended, and also morally superior to you!"? Why do people forget what hyperbole is in these situations?

The answer is that they don't. It is my belief that they do recognize the hyperbole in these situations, but are merely pretending not to understand it to villify the other person. In this case, it is actually the person claiming to take offense to the hyperbole who is being the asshole. They know that the other person doesn't actually wish any harm on them, but are pretending to think otherwise in order to make that person look bad. This is not a very nice thing to do, and, if you're someone who does do this, you should stop doing it.

This isn't a tactic that's exclusive to feminists, or Democrats, or Republicans, or Christians, or any particular group. I see people on all sides of pretty much every issue play this game. They pretend not to understand hyperbole when they think they can use it to demonize those they disagree with. Even people involved in the #GamerGate hashtag, which I largely agree with, are not above doing this. Devin Faraci, of Badass Digest, recently came under fire for saying that he has more respect for the terrorist organization, ISIS, than he has for the gamers who are being critical of Zoe Quinn. But no one actually believes that Devin Faraci genuinly thinks that gamers criticizing Quinn are literally worse than terrorists who are cutting people's heads off. Everyone understands that Faraci was using hyperbole. So let's not pretend we don't understand that.

Hyperbole is a very useful way of expressing certain ideas, sentiments, and opinions, and is an important part of language and commincation. Let's not ruin hyperbole just to portray those we dislike or disagree with as villains, or to serve our own vanity by pretending we're so much morally superior to those who have used hyperbole against us. And, if anyone still disagrees with me, please shoot yourself in the face.

5:53 PM on 09.03.2014

Recently, a bunch of developers supposedly signed some petition urging gamers to stop "hating." We've also been hearing a similar rhetoric from journalists for a while now. It is my belief that there is very little, if any, actual hate going on in the gaming community, and what is actually occurring is that accusations of hate are being used to disparage those who dare to challenge the narrative that's been shoved down our throats for a while now.

Most, if not all, of what's being misconstrued as "hate" is actually hyperbole, which is something I might address in more detail in a later blog depending on how this one does and if I feel like it. For now, I'd like to address the most popular example of "hate" in the gaming community as of late; the alleged death threats against Anita Sarkeesian on Twitter. This is being brought up all over the Internet as PROOF that gamers are a bunch of hateful, misogynistic, ...nerds, for some reason.... because the people who write about games for a living were all jocks in high school? But I digress.

Basically, the narrative as of late has been that Anita had just recently put out her latest video pointing out what she alleges to be misogyny in video games, and some gamer got so upset over this that he decided to threaten her life in hopes of silencing her once and for all, and we know that this was the case, because.... Refresh my memory. How do we know that this was the case again?

How exactly did we conclude that the person responsible for those Tweets was a gamer, or that their motive for sending the Tweets had anything at all to do with Anita's criticisms of video games? Where is the evidence for that? Where in the Tweets are video games or Anita's criticisms of them ever mentioned? Anita is not a video game critic. She's a pop culture critic. She has spoken out against what she alleges to be misogyny in pretty much every form of entertainment, from music, to movies, to television, to even Legos. How do we know that the person responsible for those Tweets wasn't someone from the Lego community who was upset about what Anita has said about Legos?

Or, for that matter, how do we know that the Tweets had anything to do with her work at all? The person who made the Tweets seemed to know the addresses of both Anita and her parents(I'm assuming that was the part of the text Anita blacked out in the screen cap she posted). Who's more likely to have information like that? Someone who knows of Anita from her professional life as a pop culture critic, or someone who knows her in her personal life? Why assume that the Tweets were from a gamer rather than from an obsessed ex-boyfriend of hers, or even that it was a poorly thought out prank by one of her friends? How do we know that she doesn't have a stalker? How is it, exactly, that we've eliminated every single possibility other than that it was done by a gamer because Anita criticized games?

Even if we ignore everything that I just said and conclude that it definitely was a gamer, why would that one gamer be considered to be reflective of the gaming community as a whole, or even of a significant fraction of it? How is that any different than saying that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are representative of the gaming community because they both played Doom? LOTS of people play video games. Of course bad people are going to play them too. Maybe the person who wrote those Tweets was a gamer, but I bet they were also a fan of music and movies. Does that mean that there's a problem with hate in the music and movies communities?

This could potentially be a huge spoiler on the off chance that I'm right. I'm probably wrong, though. So you should read on anyway.


I think that Scarecrow is dead. I think he was eaten by Croc in the first game, and it isn't really him terrorizing Gotham in Arkham Knight. I think that someone else, possibly the Arkham Knight or whoever he/she is working for, is using Scarecrow's fear gas, and every time you see Scarecrow in the game, it's just a hallucination created by the fear gas.

My reasons for thinking this are that the Arkham games have a reputation for leading players to believe X only to reveal Y. Characters turn out to be someone other than who we think they are, and the person who ends up being the main villain usually turns out to be someone other than the person we thought was the main villain at the start of the game.

A lot of people think that the identity of the Arkham Knight will be the twist of this game, but the problem with that is that everyone is expecting it, and, at this point, people have guessed every possible candidate for being the Arkham Knight. Unless they manage to come up with something completely out of left field, like having the Arkham Knight turn out to be Alfred or something, I don't see how they can surprise by revealing who the Arkham Knight is. Just the fact that everyone is already sort of expecting the Arkham Knight's identity to be a twist sort of kills the twist. The thing that made the twists in the previous games work was that no one was expecting them before playing the games. That's why I think that the Arkham Knight is just a red herring, and the real twist is that Scarecrow has been dead this whole time.

The other reason I think this is that the Arkhamverse version of Scarecrow seems to be heavily influenced by Freddy Krueger. So why not go all out and have him be a dead guy who continues to terrorize the person he hold responsible for his death(Batman) in his nightmares. I'm not saying they make Scarecrow a ghost or anything like that. It's not actually Scarecrow doing the terrorizing, but it's never actually been Scarecrow doing anything that Scarecrow does, if you think about it. Jonathan Crane is just a guy. He poses no threat to Batman whatsoever, but the idea of Scarecrow, which is an illusion created by the fear gas, does, and, as long as the fear gas exists, there's no reason why that idea can't continue to live on and be as much of a threat to Batman as it ever was. So, while having Scarecrow turn out to be dead the whole time will probably upset a lot of Scarecrow fans, I can't think of anything more fitting for the character than to have him continue to haunt Batman from beyond the grave.

Cow dumps are not very comfortable to look at. Really, smelling them isn't either. I've always preferred to taste them. Just kidding. That's my idea of opening with humorous banter.

Anyway, the newest(mooest?) cow taking a dump video is out. We're finally out of the 3 part 'Cows Dumping in an Open Field' section and moving on to a new thing. Mostly, it's about the cow dumping inside a closed in area.

More than in previous videos, the cow seems to emphasize the point that it can crap on your toothbrush without crapping on everything you own, and so, therefore, it's inconceivable why you would have a problem with it crapping on your toothbrush. It seems like an attempt to nip any dumb counter arguments in the bud. Like at 0:22, where the cow explains that there's no reason why you can't brush your teeth with cow shit. In fact, cow shit is actually better for your teeth than toothpaste. The cow provides no evidence for this claim, but, as usual, if you point that out, it must be because you're an angry toothpaste lover who hates all cows. Of course, I doubt that'll cool any of the hot fingers(let's face it, you guys have very attractive fingers) just itching to yell about having cow shit on their toothbrushes. What babies.

To quote myself from my own subconscious thoughts, "Hey everyone, I'm a passive aggressive twat!"

Nintendo caused a bit of a storm during its new Smash Bros. character reveal.

The problem arose when Wii Fit Trainer, A WOMAN, said in her character introduction trailer, "Feel the burn!" This blew up on Twitter and other social networks, as people questioned whether or not they'd just heard a joke about venereal disease.

Among those to chime in on Twitter was Jonathan Blow, who Tweeted, "I haven't done anything relevant since 2008, and I desperately need attention."

For what it's worth, I doubt that this was intended to be a joke about venereal disease. If anything, the real offensive comment is the one at the end of the trailer. "Wii Fit Trainer WEIGHS IN"? Really? Just because she's a woman, we have to bring her weight into it?

In any case, jokes about venereal disease, made intentionally or not, are embarrassing and need to go away. Forever. And the only way to do that is to apply a special cream twice daily.

This originally started as a reply to someone else's blog, but it started getting pretty long. So I decided to just make it into my own blog.

Game companies don't have an agenda other than that they want to make money. They design their games based on what they think will sell. If you aren't seeing the types of games that you want with the types of characters that you want, it's due to the fact that game companies don't believe that those games will sell. They could be wrong, and I'm sure they are from time to time, but, in most cases, my guess would be that they're probably right.

I personally don't feel that there is a gender problem in video games. I don't believe that anyone has made a convincing case for that. The people who assert that there is one seem to be under the impression that most female gamers want games that are more or less the same as the games that most male gamers want, only with a female lead character who dresses modestly and doesn't look like a super model. The problem is that there's no evidence that that's what most female gamers want. If there were, that game would already exist.

I think that a lot of us so-called "hardcore" gamers tend to forget that there actually are video games that aren't in the action-adventure genre and don't involve shooting things. A lot of female gamers simply don't care how Lara Croft is dressed, or whether or not the female lead in Remember Me gets to have a husband, because a lot of them are too busy playing things like Angry Birds or Bejeweled. Those are video games too, and, when people cite those statistics that nearly half of all gamers are women, they conveniently leave out that a lot of those women are playing FarmVille; not BioShock.

As for the female gamers who do like playing action-adventure games, why assume that all of them have a problem with those games in their current forms? It's really easy to look at a character like Bayonetta or Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw and conclude that those characters appeal exclusively to straight men, and that women must either not like them at all, or would at least like them more if they'd put some clothes on.

But look at Britney Spears. Britney Spears looks and dresses like she's something straight out of some 14 year old boy's wet dream. Yet, if you look at her fan base, most of her fans are women and gay men. So there's obviously something about the image of an attractive woman who dresses provocatively that is capable of appealing to more than just straight men. This, by the way, is the point that I'm most interested in hearing feminists, or just anyone who thinks sexism is a problem in games, address. How do you rationalize claiming that the idea of a sexy woman in skimpy outfits only appeals to straight men when that claim is demonstrably untrue, as we have multiple examples, most notably in music, of that image appealing to women and gay men?

It's also not really fair to make the assumption that, just because someone is a female gamer, they would prefer to play as a female character. They may not care one way or the other. They could also prefer playing as a male character. There are plenty of male gamers who will tell you that they prefer playing as female characters. Why couldn't the opposite be true?

I can understand the frustration of the people who do want games with female protagonists who possess characteristics that are different from the ones commonly seen in female characters in games today. However, that's no different than the frustration you would feel if not a lot of stores carried your favorite kind of ice cream due to the fact that it wasn't a very popular flavor. It doesn't mean that there's a gender problem, or that what female gamers want is being ignored, or that game developers think women should be locked up in Josef Fritzl's basement(Don't bother looking up that reference if you don't get it. You'll be disturbed for days).

It just means that you happen to like something that isn't very popular, and therefore isn't in very high demand, and therefore isn't as likely to be produced. And that sucks, but it doesn't mean that anyone is doing anything wrong. It's just an unfortunate part of life. We all have things that we like that aren't very popular and aren't likely to ever be made. I, for one, would like a Batman game called "Barkham Asylum", where the entire game takes place in a dog pound for the criminally insane, and all of the Batman characters are replaced with anthropomorphic dogs. Even Catwoman would be a dog. Unfortunately, I'm guessing that game isn't in very high demand, and, even if they did make it, all the dogs would probably be dressed like skanks. So I know how you feel. However, that doesn't change the fact that there is no sexism problem in gaming.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to hearing how wrong I am in the comments.