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Four common questions
by Rami Ismail on 05/07/14 05:15:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

I’ve been using ask.fm for the past few months, answering questions from both developers and gamers alike. There are a number of questions that I’ve received more often than any other, and instead of answering those on ask.fm or Twitter, I wanted to sit down and write a proper response. Here are the four most common questions I get about independent game development and my answer to those questions.

How can I get started, or how can I get better at making games?

The answer to this question is always disappointing to many, but the answer truly is to make a game. Games can be infinitely complex, from designing mechanics, creating spritesheets, to writing code. The defining difference between a ‘better’ developer and a ‘lesser’ one isn’t technical knowledge - it’s experience. If you have absolute no experience, I would recommend visiting Pixel Prospector for a list of game development tools to play around with. Download a bunch of them, and in each one - regardless of what you want to make - get started making Pong, Breakout, Pacman and Space Invaders. When you’ve got those down, visit Compohub to see what game jams are happening and participate in a few. Independent of what you want to do in the industry, working in small teams or alone forces you to learn about and interact with every aspect of game development.

How do I get more attention for my game?

The baseline is a good game. That’s where you start, you make a good game. You make something that’s personal, unique, interesting or better than anything else that exists. You’re going to want to think about a number of things:

  • What is the story of the project? I’m not talking game narrative, but the narrative of the development. What is unique about your game, or about your team, and your process?
  • Can I pitch the game in three sentences max, in case I run into somebody that would be interested in the game, and would that pitch explain to them what the game is and why it’s interesting?
  • Have I checked up on how to write a good press release? (see http://gamasutra.com/view/news/167706/Ask_Gamasutra_How_to_annoy_a_games_journalist_with_a_press_release.php)
  • Have you made sure that any claims about your game are actually unique and interesting? Everybody makes an ‘innovative’ game, and everybody makes a ‘good game’. Those things don’t make your game stand out. What would nobody else be able to claim about their game? Learn to talk about that.
  • Can the press easily find high quality screenshots and trailers of my game? (see dopresskit.com)
  • Are there distribution platforms that I could submit my game to?
  • Are there events that I could showcase the game at? (see promoterapp.com/calendar)
  • If I can’t afford to showcase at that event, is there a way I could still go to the event and show the press my game?
  • Are there awards that I can submit my game to? (see promoterapp.com/calendar)
  • Do I have a list of press, YouTubers, Twitch streamers and industry thought leaders? (see http://press.pixelprospector.com/ and http://youtube.pixelprospector.com/)
  • Have I e-mailed all of the people on the above list a code, copy or build for the game? (see http://dodistribute.com/)
  • Do any of the people in the press, YouTube or Twitch community live nearby, and have I checked whether they’d like to meet up?
  • Have I made sure to try and negotiate specified marketing opportunities with every publishing or distribution deal I’ve made for the game?

With marketing efforts, don’t believe in “less is more”. Until you’re somewhat established, more is more. Don’t be afraid to reach out to anything you feel is beyond your size, and don’t feel scared to follow up once or twice. Persistence is key.

What do you feel is the most important trait in a game developer?

The ability to communicate and be communicated to. It doesn’t matter in what way - whether its verbal, through drawing or through prototypes - in the games industry communication is everything.

We’re dealing with very abstract ideas, statements that can be interpreted in endless ways and complex problems. The ability to clearly and properly communicate information, ideas, thoughts and problems in some way is something I value a lot. Vice versa, the ability to listen to someone and figure out what they’re really trying to say, even if they don’t quite have the words for it, is really important.

Even if you’re making a simple game - let’s say a straightforward shooter of sorts - it’s easy to say “people in level 3’s middle section think the game is too hard”, or to nod along when somebody says that. The problem is that that statement is infinitely confusing. Who is people? What is ‘the middle section’? Do they mean the game ‘up to level 3’s middle section’ is too hard, or that ‘level 3’s middle section’ is too hard? Why do they think it’s too hard? Is it the level design? Are there too many enemies? Not enough ammo? Wrong weapon types? Bad checkpointing? Poorly communicated goals? Do the enemies look too imposing? Is it unclear that you first have to flip that switch to make enemies vulnerable? Does the person telling you know what causes the perceived difficulty, and if so, how do they know? If not, how did they establish the problem in the first place?

Being able to communicate in a way that minimises potential sources of confusion, and being able to ask the questions that resolve gaps in what people communicate towards you will give you a huge advantage. If you learn how to and when to deal with the assumed agreement over communications in some way, you’ll find yourself much more capable to create, market and collaborate on whatever you’re making.

Why are you so loud about feminism?

I describe myself as a feminist because I believe in equality for men and women. However, feminism to me is just a tiny part of a larger struggle for equality for everybody. I believe that the equality debate in games is currently mostly concerned with gender equality because it’s such an obvious and large group in our medium that is entirely underrepresented. 

I want to see how much progress we can make there first, for women to be considered and treated as full equals by a majority of our industry. Beyond that, I have the same worries for people of colour, people with disabilities, people of different cultural backgrounds and perspectives, people that aren’t heterosexual, people of different socio-cultural backgrounds, people that don’t speak English and those of different nationalities.

Having lived my life as a Dutch-Arabic cis heterosexual able-bodied male, born to a middle-class family in the Netherlands, I’ve seen my share of both sides of privilege. I’ve seen how I get picked out for random checks at airports over a white male, but also how I don’t have to worry for my safety when going on a date.

During my travels, I’ve visited many a community of wonderful developers that simply don’t speak English, or that don’t have the funds to buy computers for at home. In some countries, the idea that one can't be creative for themselves because of the default state of working as an outsourcing partner for the West is so pervasive that I’m impressed they dare make something of their own. I think acknowledging that we are lucky to be able to even consider being our own person, with our own ambitions and dreams to pursue, is a big step.

This year, Mahdi Bahrami gave a talk at the GDC Experimental Gameplay Workshop (starts around 36:40) about his game Engare. He’s Iranian, and his language is Farsi - which shares the majority of its alphabet with Arabic. It was the first time I’ve seen the scripture of half of my identity on a screen at GDC. It wasn’t even Arabic, but something that resembled it in writing, and regardless of that fact, it still felt like an important moment to me.

Every time I see a list of ‘inspirational people’ in the industry, I count how many of them are female. I also count how many of them aren’t white, straight, English-speaking, white or highly educated. We have to start somewhere, and we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking we’re there when our ‘people lists’ have gender diversity. That’s really just step one.


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Comments


Sjors Jansen
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Nice overview, any indication of when distribute() is open for registration?

David Klingler
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This is a very good post. You've gained even more respect from me, Rami.

Greg Scheel
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If you believe in equality, call yourself an Equalist.

Feminism, at least here in the SF bay area, is an excuse for all the worst forms of bigoted misandrony, and you need look no further than family court for proof. Until someone hates on you for being male, and 'white', you will never have a damn clue what you are really supporting. Being vaguely pale does not grant you any privilege at all, only money and bribery can do that, and being male just gets you hated on and treated like a sack of money to be stolen from, no benefit at all.

Really, adding 'feminism' to this post pretty well ruins the flow of the piece, next time keep divisive politics out, this is not the place for it.

Chris Proctor
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Look at the games industry. It's predominantly white, straight males. This is a genuine problem, and warrants discussion. Suggesting that it's divisive suggests a lack of empathy for the people affected by this lack of representation.

Greg Scheel
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@Proctor

I have been refused work, for being male, they even told me so to my face. I have been the victim of physical assault, more than once, by women. Calling one's self a 'feminist' is very divisive, and intentionally so.

If what you stand for is equality, then call yourself an Equalist, for that is what we are, when we advocate for equality. The term egalitarian carries no weight, so I do not use it.

You are casting aspersions concerning empathy, while showing none of your own.

Andrew Williams
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The point about writing something is to try to convey meaning. When Rami Ismail says, "I describe myself as a feminist because I believe in equality for men and women", I would argue that most people (including you) would understand what he means. I don't think that it "ruins the flow of the piece". It might well be something that you don't agree with, but that's not the same thing at all.

Greg Scheel
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Well, it would seem that I cannot resist making my point clear, or at least trying.

To summarize the OP:
1. How to get started and get better at making games.
2. How to promote and market your game.
3. The importance of communication skills in the development of games.
4. Lets have a fight about gender, and call it feminism.

Yes, that does ruin the flow of the OP, for the first three points are about games, and the fourth is not related to games at all.

For your information, feminism is a highly divisive topic, it always has been, because feminism was never about being respectful of the rights of others, but rather about being mean to men, this has been the case ever since Gloria Steinem started it.

To state that one is 'a feminist', and then to claim to believe in equal rights, is a nonsensical statement, for there are many persons, myself included, who will perceive that to be self contradictory.

My response, if you will read carefully, is to ask that those wishing to express support of equal rights, use the term 'equalist', rather than 'egalitarian' and certainly not use the word 'feminist', due to the sharply negative connotations that 'feminist' clearly implies to a great many people.

If you mean 'equal', say 'equal', not 'femen', this is a simple thing.

If the point of writing is to convey meaning, then the point of careful reading is to receive it, and to be able to discern when contradictory statements are being made.

I would like to conclude by asking for your thoughtful contemplation of these truths, and to invite you to ask politely about anything that confuses you.

Andrew Williams
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The article starts with this: "Here are the four most common questions I get about independent game development and my answer to those questions." So that's why the fourth question is there. I think it is about games.

This has clearly upset you and I don't think there's really any point in continuing to debate the issue.

Greg Scheel
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@Williams

The author could very well have just left it at 'Three most common questions', he is under no compulsion to drag gender into it, being that he himself is in control of his own title.

I very much take issue with the blind champions of feminism, particularly when those wannabe champions are a typical crowd of white knight het males, charging in to save a non-existent princess toadstool.

Jean-Paul LeBreton
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I'll bite.

> 4. Lets have a fight about gender, and call it feminism.

There wasn't a fight here before you showed up.

If you've been assaulted, I'm very sorry for that and nobody is trying to discount that experience. Try to understand that there are power dynamics at play that are larger than what you may have personally experienced. Talk to women about their experiences with harassment and misogyny. Regarding systemic discrimination, there's a lot of data on this; a good starting point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_pay_gap

If you can agree that this data is factual, then there's a problem to be solved, and feminism is just part of an effort to solve that. There's no rational argument for how that negatively impacts men. It's nothing to feel threatened by.

If you don't think the data is factual, do you believe there's a conspiracy against men? Is such a massive deception possible, and if so why would it be worth the effort?

Don Hopkins
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Feminism is "about being mean to men"?

Where do you get your definitions and beliefs from? Wikipedia, or Rush Limbaugh?

Here is the Wikipedia page on feminism -- go read it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

Where in there do you see anything about feminism being mean to men?

Oh, I see which wiki page you got your ideas from:

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Rush_Limbaugh

Greg Scheel
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Nice projection you have going on there.

Try reading Gloria Stienem, Naiomi Wolfe, and in particular, Susan Faludi.

In case you have not noticed, you are refusing to read what I actually wrote.

And yes, I will continue to defend equal rights, the equal treatment of all human beings, and the kind treatment of all human beings, no matter how many illiterate persons, such as yourself, insist on making fools of yourselves.

This is not an appropriate venue for invective nor for hate, and you are invited to apologize to me.

Don Hopkins
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Are you Republican or Libertarian or Right Wing or Tea Party? Because I politely ask you, if you actually wish to express support of equal rights, to use the word 'Regressive', rather than 'Republican' or 'Libertarian', and certainly not use the words 'Tea Party' or 'Right Wing', due to the sharply negative connotations that 'Right Wing' clearly implies to a great many people.

Pedro Fonseca
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@Greg

Equality is actually what Feminism stands for or, at least, stood for when it first started.

I do agree that it is indeed an unfortunate name that invites easy misinterpretations from all sides and that it suffers from too many bad representation from all over the place, regardless of level of education; from straight-out misandry to a somewhat more tame desire and social pressure to choose a female over a male even when that is not the best option, falling in the "positive stereotype" can of worms.

Doesn't discredit the whole package though and yes, it is very unfortunate to be in the "privileged majority" social class when you're not really there and due to that not being able to speak up for your problems without people labeling you machist or whiny.

Greg Scheel
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@LeBreton

Wait just a moment here.. you are demeaning my experience, for you say "if", by definition you are discounting what I have said, and suggesting that it might not have happened. You are not taking me at my word.

Then, you proceed to say "larger than what you may have", both implying that I have no idea what else is going on in our society, that I somehow have no idea about power dynamics, and further, your use of "may" is a clear refusal to accept me at my word.

You sir, are picking a fight.

You even said you would "bite".

My request, rather painfully repeated, is that if anyone here is truly interested in advocating for the equality of rights among human beings, please join me in calling yourself an Equalist, and for the reasons aforementioned in my prior posts.

Andrew Williams
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I don't understand this. Why should he stop at three? Because it upsets you? I don' think that would be a very good reason.

Greg Scheel
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@Williams

I asked you to respond in polite contemplation, you are choosing to create a fight, by acting rudely. You need not resort to personal references or attacks.

Now, as for authorship: an author can darn well choose what to talk about, and my analysis stands, that if this were to be an effective piece about game development, three points are more than sufficient. The fourth point, being one certain to draw much discussion and contention, is worthy of it's own treatment, and need not be thrown in with the other three points.

I have made my argument based on literary analysis, and you have made yours upon a personal attack. I reproach you, and will not accept your provocation.

Don Hopkins
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Wait, did I just read that??! Promoting gender equity is being "divisive"??!

Is it opposite day? Or are you just using the standard childish right wing polemic of psychological projection: accusing your opponent of something you're guilt of but they are not.

No, women don't take you to family court to pay child support because of the color of your skin or your gender: they were fully aware of those facts before they had unprotected sex with you. Next time, use a condom.

This is not a men's right's blog for you to vent your frustrations about your ex-wife making you feel emasculated. If you're looking for that, then go here: http://www.returnofkings.com/21204/3-ways-women-have-ruined-video
-games

Don Hopkins
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Says the guy who empathizes with Rush Limbaugh.

Greg Scheel
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Wow, nice load of hate crime.

Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, and I cannot say any better about you, Mr. Hopkins.

All I ask, is that those of us who support equal rights, call ourselves Equalists.

You, sir, are projecting your fears and assumptions, try to learn how to read before you comment.

Don Hopkins
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Sure, if you'll join me in calling yourself a "Regressive".

Don Hopkins
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Worthy of "its" own treatment. Not "it's".

That said, Rami clearly wrote: "Here are the four most common questions I get about independent game development and my answer to those questions."

Read that again: THE FOUR MOST COMMON QUESTIONS.

He is answering the four most common questions other people asked him. THAT is why he decided to "throw in" a point about feminism. So who are you to not take him at his word, while grandstanding that other people aren't taking your at your word?

Again, you're exhibiting the classic right wing polemic of psychological projection: accusing your opponent of something you're guilt of but they are not.

As somebody who has just demonstrated that he can't write well enough to use an apostrophe correctly, he can't read well enough to count to four, and he can't argue well enough to not sound like Rush Limbaugh, I don't think you have much of a standing to lecture Ravi on his writing style.

Greg Scheel
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@Hopkins

I am Occupy Wall Street, and a non-voting independant.

You really should refrain from getting all CNN or FOX on people, that is no proper way to behave.

Once again, you are caught up in projecting your insecurities and folly onto others, I would ask that you really try to discover where other people are coming from before making baseless accusations.

The author (OP) did make his third point about the importance of communication in game development, perhaps you should take his words to heart.

I really do feel as though you are trying to bully me, and I am going to stand up for myself, in as decent a manner as I can.

Greg Scheel
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And once more, Mr Hopkins, about reading skills:

"@Williams

I asked you to respond in polite contemplation, you are choosing to create a fight, by acting rudely. You need not resort to personal references or attacks.

Now, as for authorship: an author can darn well choose what to talk about, and my analysis stands, that if this were to be an effective piece about game development, three points are more than sufficient. The fourth point, being one certain to draw much discussion and contention, is worthy of it's own treatment, and need not be thrown in with the other three points.

I have made my argument based on literary analysis, and you have made yours upon a personal attack. I reproach you, and will not accept your provocation. "

And as for spelling, punctuation and grammar:
"Feminism is "about being mean to mean"? "

You cannot even spell "men" correctly.

Don Hopkins
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Greg, my mother is a feminist, and she raised me well as a feminist, and today is mother's day. You have just deeply and severely insulted and attacked my mother. Should I call her up and read to her all the names you called feminists, today? And tell her that she was wrong all along about how she labeled herself, and that she should have actually called herself an "Equalist"? You've told me what you call my mother, now what do you want me to call my mother, Greg?

Your pathetic Ann Coulter emulation is a complete failure, but you're actually serving the purpose of demonstrating that gender inequality really still is a problem, because of idiots like you.

Many game companies have people just like Greg Scheel, who stand in the way of hiring and retaining female employees. What woman in her right mind would want to work in an environment with somebody like that?

Let me recap Greg's antics:

Stating that feminism "is an excuse for all the worst forms of bigoted misandrony".

Misspelling "misandry", which means hatred of men.

Whining about how hard it is being a white male.

Implying that his suffering as a white male is worse than women's suffering in the workplace.

Failing to offer any proof of what he claimed.

Lecturing Ravi on what he should and should not put in his own article, telling Ravi that he ruined his piece of writing, while at the same time demonstrating his own lack of basic spelling and punctuation skills.

Lecturing Ravi on not bringing politics into the conversation, while at the same time repeatedly using the conversation as a coat hook to introduce and pontificate on his own extremist Rush Limbaugian politics.

Accusing several people of being divisive, while at the same time calling people names, challenging and belittling their own self identification, telling them what they should call themselves, what they should believe, and what they should write.

Asking other people to be polite, while at the same time being very rude himself.

Accusing people of picking fights, while it wasn't a fight until he showed up and started insulting people, telling them how to label themselves and what to write, and picking fights by literally picking out individual words from other people's replies, misinterpreting them out of context, and arguing with his own straw man definitions.

Asking for your thoughtful contemplation of truths and polite discussion of questions, while thoughtlessly spewing lies and insults, and rudely and conspicuously ignoring and brushing off the valid points other people raise in response.

Responded to me pointing out that he's projecting his own flaws on other people, by accusing me of projecting my own flaws on other people.

Accusing me and other people of committing imagined hate crimes against him, while inviting people to apologize to him for imagined slights and hate crimes.

Calling people illiterates and fools, then in the next sentence lecturing that this "is not an appropriate venue for invective nor for hate".

Accusing people of refusing to read what he wrote, while not reading what people wrote in response to reading what he wrote.

Accusing people of not taking him at his word, while not taking Ravi at his word that his article is about the four most common questions he gets asked.

Painfully repeating his demand that other people self identify and label themselves with the words he deems most appropriate.

Telling people they need not resort to personal references or attacks, while resorting to personal references and attacks.

Claiming to not accept provocation, while jumping at every opportunity to reply to each and every response in a provocative way that incorrectly frames everything as a personal attack, then responding with name calling, childish unreasonable demands and commands of conformity to his own rules, terms and definitions.

I could go on. And Greg Scheel certainly will go on. But this has been a wonderful teaching opportunity to demonstrate just the kind of bullshit women have to put up with from just the kind of assholes who permeate this and other industries, every day.

So keep it up, Greg. Every single message you write confirms what Ravi has said, and demonstrates that he is right and you are wrong.

And thanks a lot for insulting my mother on mother's day. I hope your mother is proud of you, too.

Don Hopkins
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That's right, you are correct: I made a mistake.

I will explain why I made that mistake: it was a typo. I typed the word "mean" instead of "men", and the consequence was that you couldn't figure out what I meant, so you tried to hurt my feelings by accusing me of lacking reading skill and not even being able to spell "men" correctly, so now you have successfully punished me for my mistake by making me feel bad.

I'm sorry for making a mistake. Now I have corrected it, so you can comprehend my argument, which my mistake has apparently prevented you from doing.

You should note that I admitted I made a mistake.

And you should note that I acknowledged what the mistake was, and that you were right and I was wrong.

Furthermore, you should note that I did not try to deny my mistake, or blame it on other people, or claim that life is not fair, or that I am being oppressed, or use my apology as a coat hook to introduce any personal attacks or political agenda.

And you should note that I explained why I made a mistake, and acknowledged what the unfortunate consequences were, and said what action I would do to right the wrongs that I perpetrated.

You should also note that I did't say I'm sorry for the way you reacted to my mistake, nor did I imply that your reaction was inappropriate.

And you should additionally note that I also didn't say that I'm sorry for your misperception that I made a mistake, nor did I imply that you didn't perceive me correctly.

And finally, but most importantly, you should note that I promptly corrected my mistake.

That being said, I now expect you to:

0) Now that you're able to comprehend my argument, please respond to it instead of ignoring it, by addressing my points, and providing objective citations to prove your points. Let me remind you of your own argument: Prove that feminism is "being mean to men".

1) Admit you made mistakes.

2) Acknowledge what the mistakes were, and that you were wrong.

3) Explain why you made the mistakes, acknowledge the consequences of your mistakes, and say how you're going to correct your mistakes.

4) Sincerely apologize for your mistakes.

5) Don't make non-apology apologies in which you actually apologize for how somebody else reacted to what you said.

6) Don't make non-apology apologies in which you blame people for misinterpreting what you said, or imply that they're bad at reading, have poor comprehension skills, or are simply evil or stupid.

7) Correct your mistakes by editing the messages you posted so they no longer contain any statements that are provably incorrect (like spelling errors, punctuation errors, or factual errors that people have provided objective citations to prove, and that you can't provide objective citations to counter).

8) Make amends for your terrible manners and antisocial behavior, by editing the messages you posted so they no longer contain any demands that people conform to your own labels, self identify with your own definitions, censor their writing according to your own taboos, or call people names, insult people, falsely accuse people of hate crimes, bully people, play the victim, construct and attack straw men, provocatively respond to imagined slights and hate crimes, pick fights, or attempt any of the other unpleasant polemic techniques that you also accuse other people of while demanding that they not do exactly the same thing you're doing.

Better yet, you should just delete all of your messages and go away, because cut out all the bullshit, there wouldn't be anything left of what you wrote anyway.

Greg Scheel
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Mr. Hopkins, you are trying your best to bully me.

No, I will not let you.

I am not going to bow and scrape before you, just to appease your mean spirited attacks. I am proud of my ability to defend my ideas and myself, in the face of so much blatant vitriol. I have made no mistake, and have nothing to apologize for.

To be quite clear, you have refused to engage with my ideas and arguments, and instead you have resorted to ad hominem attacks, you accuse, rather than ask for clarification, which I have already provided profusely.

I have defended equal rights, I have only asked, not demanded, that others join me in using new and useful language, I have stood up to you, and it is your ego that cannot let go.

Don Hopkins
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If you think this is my best try at bullying you, then you have no idea what you're missing.

On the contrary, I am INSISTING that I be able to engage with your ideas and arguments, by showing you an example of how to apologize and get over mistakes that distract from the conversation, resist the temptation to derail the conversation on parliamentarian grounds and meta discussion, and return to the main point, which is:

You claimed feminism is about "being mean to men". Now prove it, with objective citations. Simply linking to a page full of Rush Limbaugh quotes is not enough, lest you think I was trying to prove your argument for you before. Show us where you got the ideas that feminism is about "being mean to men", and prove that your ideas are correct, by countering instead of ignoring all the arguments I and other people have posted.

Greg Scheel
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My own personal experience of those who call themselves feminist is proof enough. It's not like Gloria Stienem is renowned for being nice or anything.

If you are truly in favor of treating everyone with respect and dignity, if you truly believe in and support equal rights, yet one more time I ask you to join me in calling yourself an Equalist, for the equality of all humanity is what we stand for, and so should we be named.

Don Hopkins
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Your claims about your own personal experience and your implication that you were personally abused by Gloria Stienem herself are woefully insufficient and certainly not objective. Stop dodging the question and answer it with real objective proof and citations, such as a link to a wikipedia article that supports your point, or a photograph of Gloria Stienem personally abusing you, and a scan of your government issued ID to prove it's really you she's abusing.

Back to the question you so far have not been able to answer:

You claimed feminism is about "being mean to men". Now prove it, with objective citations. Simply linking to a page full of Rush Limbaugh quotes is not enough, lest you think I was trying to prove your argument for you before. Show us where you got the ideas that feminism is about "being mean to men", and prove that your ideas are correct, by countering instead of ignoring all the arguments I and other people have posted.

Greg Scheel
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Once again, you assume rather than ask, you cast aspersions instead of seeking to understand.

You sir, are a bully.

I need prove nothing to you, as it is quite clear that you have no interest in changing your mind. You seek only to abuse me.

Again, to repeat once more what I said before:

"I asked you to respond in polite contemplation, you are choosing to create a fight, by acting rudely. You need not resort to personal references or attacks.

I have made my argument based on literary analysis, and you have made yours upon a personal attack. I reproach you, and will not accept your provocation."

Don Hopkins
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You claimed feminism is about "being mean to men". Now prove it, with objective citations. Simply making vague references to anecdotal evidence whose details you refuse to share, implying that you were personally abused by Gloria Stienem herself, and then trying to divert the argument by playing the victim is neither necessary nor sufficient.

Show us where you got the ideas that feminism is about "being mean to men", and prove that your ideas are correct, by countering instead of ignoring all the arguments I and other people have posted, or feigning moral outrage, hurt feelings and emotional distress as a lame excuse for bowing out the argument you know you've already lost, and running away from addressing the valid points that I and others raised.

And since you've insulted and degraded my mother on mother's day for self-identifying as a feminist, remind me again what names you implore me to call her and terms you insist label her with, when I call her on mother's day?

Did you really mean that my mother is all about being "mean to men", that my mother partakes in "all the worst forms of bigoted misandrony" (sic), that my mother hates people for being male or white, that my mother will never have a damn clue what she is really supporting, that my mother is intentionally politically divisive, that my mother is never about being respectful of the rights of others, that my mother doesn't believe in equal rights, that my mother's beliefs are self-contradictory nonsense, that my mother shouldn't call herself a "feminist", that my mother should call herself an "equalist", that a great many people including yourself have sharply negative opinions about my mother because she calls herself a feminist, that my mother is a blind champion of feminism, that my mother raised an illiterate foolish bully who commits hate crimes and can't even spell "men" correctly, that my mother is a non-existent princess toadstool, and that I'm a heterosexual white knight charging in to save her?

You actually said all of those things about feminists like my mother, and then you complained that I'm not reading or understanding anything you wrote. So correct me: Have I got it all right? Have I missed anything? Is there anything else you would like to add for me to tell my mother the feminist, when I call her on mother's day?

And do you really think mother's day is the best day for me to come out to my mother as a heterosexual male white knight? Somehow I just don't think she'll believe me.

Greg Scheel
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No, I will not let you bully me.

And yes, your mother did raise an illiterate foolish bully, and an uncouth one at that. You are trying your hardest to be rude, and to get a rise out of me. How you fail to observe your own behavior is beyond me, but you are engaged in an ad hominem attack, with no reason and scant excuse for provocation. I am not sure why you think that this is an appropriate venue for trolling, it is not.

Now, begone with you.

Don Hopkins
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I would say that calling my mother the feminist, myself, and many others who identify as feminists all those nasty names on mother's day, is most certainly an ad hominem attack, with no reason and scant excuse for provocation. And that you're trying your hardest to be rude, to get a rise out of me, while totally failing to observe your own behavior. So stop projecting and accusing me of doing exactly what you're doing yourself, and answer the question.

It's now time to stop trying to derail the argument you know you've already lost, and address the question you keep unsuccessfully trying to dodge:

Show us where you got the ideas that feminism is about "being mean to men", and prove that your ideas are correct, by countering instead of ignoring all the arguments I and other people have posted, or feigning moral outrage, hurt feelings and emotional distress as a lame excuse for bowing out the argument you know you've already lost, and running away from addressing the valid points that I and others raised.

If you refuse to answer that question, then admit you're wrong, and apologize for acting like such a dick about it.

If you continue to dodge the question, that is even worse than admitting you're wrong: it's admitting that you're wrong, and an intellectually dishonest coward, who's trying to run away from a fight you picked yourself.

Don Hopkins
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I'd like to solicit opinions and reality checks from other people:

Is there anyone here who agrees with Greg Scheel?

Anyone at all who's willing to take up his side of his argument that he's afraid to address, trying to derail, and incapable of providing any evidence to support?

Anyone at all who can answer the questions he's trying to dodge?

Anyone at all who doesn't think he's totally full of shit and a pathetically amateurish troll?

Speak up! I even encourage Greg to create a sock puppet account and start over fresh with his arguments. I will gladly play along and pretend it's another person, if he's willing to actually participate in the argument he started and finish the fight he picked, under another name.

Greg Scheel
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Really? Encouraging me to create a sock puppet account?

And I am the troll?

Begone.

Don Hopkins
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That's only if you're too cowardly to answer the questions I keep asking you under your own name, that you keep attempting to dodge, again and again, unsuccessfully. Instead, you keep doing exactly what I predicted you'd do, instead of answering the question: ignoring all arguments, feigning moral outrage, hurt feelings and emotional distress, and accusing me of doing exactly what you're doing, then insulting me and telling me what to do.

So no, I will not be gone, but I will keep asking the same question until you stop trying to dodge it and running away from the fight you picked yourself, and answer the question:

Show us where you got the ideas that feminism is about "being mean to men", and prove that your ideas are correct, by countering instead of ignoring all the arguments I and other people have posted, or feigning moral outrage, hurt feelings and emotional distress as a lame excuse for bowing out the argument you know you've already lost, and running away from addressing the valid points that I and others raised.

Don Hopkins
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"And I am the troll?"

Yes, you most certainly are the troll. And now you've run away, because you were afraid to answer some simple questions, or finish the fight you picked.

And I highly doubt that "Greg Scheel" is even your real name. You're ALREADY a sock puppet, so it's pretty pathetic that you'd call me a troll for encouraging you to create a sock puppet account. I'm just calling you out for what you really are.

If you are a real person, and not a trolling sock puppet, then prove it. I doubt you're even a real game developer. So what's your real name? Where do you live? Where did you go to school? What companies have you worked for? Which people have you worked with? What conferences have you attended? What articles have you published? What presentations have you given? What products have you shipped? What awards have you won? Where is your resume? Where is your linkedin profile? Where is your github account? Where is the list of the games you've worked on at allgame.com? Where are the video demo reels of your portfolio? Where are the examples of your work that we can download and play? Where are the reviews of the products that you've shipped?

Fill out your empty profile with some hard cold facts, so we can verify that you're not just a sock puppet troll who's too ashamed to give his real name. Because if you're too ashamed of yourself and what you've said to reveal who you really are, then there's no reason anyone should ever take anything you say seriously.

Of course you will never do any of that, because you're a fake, a fraud, a troll, you don't believe anything you say, and neither does anyone else. If you ever respond to this thread again, you will either ignore me, or try to come up with yet another lame excuse for not answering my questions and telling us who you really are, like your tired, implausible charade that you're morally outraged, emotionally scarred, unfairly bullied, paralyzed by hurt feelings, traumatized by your sociopathic ex-girlfriend, and living in the witness protection program because Gloria Steinem is personally stalking you.

The only thing you've accomplished is to prove by example, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Ravi is 100% correct that there are idiotic assholes in the game industry who are hostile to women. And that you are in in no danger of ever getting laid.

Does it hurt your feelings when I ask you to prove you're a real game developer, and not just a trolling sock puppet? Then I dedicate this song to you, in the hope that you take the easy way out, and never show your face around here again:

[HD] Hurt Feelings (with Reprise) - Flight of the Conchords
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuJzSTNDUGI

Greg Scheel
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Mr. Hopkins, I am calling you out.

You are a bully and a troll.

I stand for equal rights, and decent humane treatment of all human beings.

I am an equalist.

If you are a feminist, then your behavior is proof that there is something wrong with feminism, something rotten at its core.

You are directly trying to hurt me, launching ad hominem attacks, in direct violation of this sites code of conduct.

I reproach you, for you are dishonest and indecent in your treatment of others.

Kris Graft
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Hey fellas, let's stop this here, please. This isn't a productive, constructive or respectful conversation. Thanks.

http://www.gamasutra.com/static2/comment_guidelines.html

Don Hopkins
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"Greg", or whatever your real name is, I'd like to thank you for proving Ravi's point! I will leave it to others to judge for themselves who's the troll and the fraud.

I've already enumerated the many times that you've flagrantly and frequently violated guideline #1, "Be thoughtful and constructive", and guideline #3, "Keep things respectful".

I've tried very hard to keep you following guideline #2, "Stay on topic", by repeating the question you refuse to answer, and trying to guide you back to the topic every time you attempt to derail the conversation and distract from the topic by throwing tantrums and attacking and insulting people.

And I've asked for evidence that you're following guideline #4, "Use your full, real name (first and last) when posting", because I strongly suspect that you are not who you say you are. (Nobody by your name who's a game developer can be found on google, and you refuse to answer my direct questions about who you are.)

I agree with Kris that there's no point to discussing anything further with you, since you've proven that you're completely irrational and have nothing to contribute to the conversation but insults and attacks.

So this is the last time I will respond to anything you've written in this thread. Feel free to throw more tantrums and hurl insults at anyone you want, since you certainly have the right to free speech, but remember that you are not exempt from the consequences of your speech, and you may be banned if you do, and at this point, nobody in their right mind will ever take anything you say seriously again, so it doesn't matter what you say or think.

Benjamin Quintero
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Equal representation for all people is a lofty dream, but one that I do hope becomes a reality. In may ways, games are a reflection of the people who make them. That's probably why there are so many games about a bunch of white dudes who blow stuff up. If you are lucky you get a color slider that lets you modulate your skin tone to very weird effect. As a Hispanic American myself, I often try to count the number of powerful, influential, or key characters in a game that happen to not be a drug dealer or common thug who is usually Mexican or Filipino. It's a quiet day if there ever was one at the Hispanic Cosplay convention where everyone dressed like the kid from Papa & Yo and Barret from FF7... He was Hispanic right? I'll keep telling myself that. With such a grand dream like equality for women, you'd think that a game with law abiding Hispanics who aren't just there to pick your crops would be an easier hurdle to beat.

Billy Joe Cain
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Thank you for posting this. Being a feminist myself (as I have been called), I am constantly amazed at how few people understand that it is extremely difficult for women to get treated fairly.

Please keep up the good work.


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