The Soapbox: What the Mass Effect Andromeda kerfuffle ought to teach us about games criticism

Today is the official release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, which was preceded by the frankly baffling decision to allow people access to an early build of the game ahead of time. Or perhaps the final build without everything enabled? The point is that you could play a bit of it if you were willing to drop some money. That seems like a bad idea that we’ve been dealing with in online-game-land for a long time, but regardless, it gave people the opportunity to see some of this RPG ahead of time.

This, in turn, allowed the typical internet trolls to find any and all animation flubs and then happily declare that it was all the result of one woman working on the game and handling all of the animations. Which, you know, is a conclusion that would be helped significantly if the woman in question actually worked in that role on the game, which she did not.

Obviously, the game under discussion is not an MMO. But it is symptomatic of two all-too-common problems in gaming culture that are worth noting to people who do not have balls of spiders in place of a soul. So let’s talk about those.

Games are big

Have I mentioned lately that I like this game?Do me a favor and go watch the credits for Final Fantasy XIV. (If you don’t already own a copy of FFXIV, you have made a poor choice and you’ll have to just take my word on everything here.) This is a game with a big budget and large production values, and its credits are… substantial. And in what should be not a surprise at all, the name “Naoki Yoshida” crops up exactly twice in those credits as the game’s producer and director.

That means, at the end of the day, that those were his areas of focus. That was his job. That was what he did. He oversaw the production of the game, directed what people were doing, but he did not, in fact, have personal oversight of every aspect of the game’s design.

Does that mean that he signed off on everything in the game? Yes. But it also means that the sheer nature of how much stuff is in the game meant he couldn’t carefully check every single part line-by-line. Even if he could check and see certain issues, he may or may not have been able to address those issues before the game launched. He was not the only person involved in the making of this game.

In fact, there are very few MMOs for which you can point to a single person as the sole proprietor of a game. Pretty much everything else is the work of a lot of people working in concert, and while people at the top of the pile have a pretty big influence on what happens on down the line, it’s not absolute.

Let’s take a half-step back and look at a situation in the opposite direction: Mark Kern and Firefall. By most first-hand accounts, Kern’s leadership was an impediment to the game’s development and well-being. However, the game itself still stumbled out to reasonably warm perception in the MMO community. The big problem wasn’t that Kern personally killed the game, just that he burned through a huge amount of money that greatly diminished what Red 5 Studios could do from there on out. He made the game a lot worse than it could have been, but it would be downright wrong to say that everything wrong with the game was his fault personally.

This goes even more strenuously for people further on down the line. The animator who worked on a game is likely not the person making top-level decisions or even the person making mid-level decisions. That animator’s work was checked by several people and was subject to several other parts of the game working correctly, like the game calling for the right animations at the right times and the models all corresponding properly. The best animations in the world don’t matter if the game isn’t indexing assets correctly and everything displays like a mess.

So there’s the first part: Games are big. You cannot, in most cases, point to one person and say that it’s Jerry’s fault; it’s usually the result of a lot of factors coming together. Even on indie titles, you’re looking at more than one person making things happen.

Don’t choose the targets you want

Sometimes it really isn't the undead, for example.Of course, as mentioned above, all of this would be much better if the woman being attacked had actually worked on the animations at all. This was not the case. She was targeted because she had worked in roughly the right field at around the right times and she was, well, a woman. That was all the legions of grousing Twitter denizens really needed to launch a harassment campaign: They already wanted to dislike her. She was a woman working with video games. Any actual evidence was secondary.

Not to put too fine a point on it, this is beyond awful. And it’s another thing we have a nasty tendency of doing: We pick the targets we want to be responsible for something and assume they must be at fault.

This is something we’re all unhappily good at. It’s tempting and easy, for example, to say that the reason why X game didn’t take off is because a whole bunch of World of Warcraft players just jumped into the game and then jumped back out, neglecting questions like “why didn’t the developers plan for exactly that” and “why is it that all of the complaints from people who started playing and then stopped are centered around the game being too much like WoW.” It’s easy because these are the culprits you want, and that means it’s more satisfying to blame them.

Alas, life rarely works that way. What happens more often is that you see certain patterns repeat with certain common elements, and that points to those common elements as a shared contributing factor. You can even see it when people accuse this site of hating, say, subscription games or sandboxes or raiding or whatever.

Leaving aside the fact that this site is not a monolithic establishment and we frequently disagree (Bree and I argue for hours sometimes in good-natured debates), the simple reality is that we don’t hate any of these things. I don’t hate subscription games; I’m playing three of them right now, and historically I subscribe to any game that gives me that option when I’m playing. But I also recognize that a subscription game in the current market is facing constant competition from an army of free-to-play games, and it’s far more likely that the subscription model is going to turn people off than that it will convert new people.

That’s basic logic. Don’t decide on what you think is true and then find situations that support it; find what evidence there is and then draw a logical conclusion from that. And be reluctant to accept reasoning that coincidentally lines up exactly with what you want to be true.

Neither of these things is new, of course. Neither of them is even particularly unusual. But as we look at the latest person being harassed about a game unfairly to punish a perceived slight that isn’t any one person’s fault to begin with? It’s worth considering.

Everyone has opinions, and The Soapbox is how we indulge ours. Join the Massively OP writers as we take turns atop our very own soapbox to deliver unfettered editorials a bit outside our normal purviews (and not necessarily shared across the staff). Think we’re spot on — or out of our minds? Let us know in the comments!
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152 Comments on "The Soapbox: What the Mass Effect Andromeda kerfuffle ought to teach us about games criticism"

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Steinar Bergstøl

Personally I’m enjoying the game. It certainly has some animation issues and certain NPCs do have the “I’m dead inside” look, but that’s nothing that can’t be ignored if necessary. The most annoying part to me is that after a while of playing the game will start stuttering badly, dialogue will get scratchy, eventually to the point of being impossible to enjoy and FPS drops sharply. The only way I’ve found to do something about it has been to shut down my PC entirely and restart it. Just closing the game and restarting it won’t do the trick as then the scratching and stuttering returns after just a very short time. I’m really hoping they do something about this problem.

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Ailsa Nordstrom

Let me give you my perspective:

My son recently showed me a gameplay video from Mass Effect Andromeda of one of the dialog/cutscene parts of the game. I was of course familiar with Mass Effect even though I never played any of the titles. I’ve seen my husband and sons playing them in the past. Other than being aware of the series of games and the companies involved in developing/publishing them, I had no other information that would bias my opinion

And I have to tell you that my opinion about the facial animation was that it was poor. It was not a step forward from the previous title, it was two steps back. I was impressed with the skin texture quality and detail, but that was about it.

Reading this article just now was the very first time I became aware of this controversy involving the gender of someone involved in making the game. I can safely say that my opinion had nothing to do with the particular people involved, their genders, their race, or any other superficial characteristics. I hope that no one is using that manufactured controversy as a way to excuse a poor product.

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Aaron Biegalski

It is fair and right for customers to looks at the bugs and problems and ugly characters and criticize. It is NOT appropriate to harass and attack people for perceived ‘injustices’ against games. Vote with your money and patronage. Internet vigilantism accomplishes nothing.

As with any product, the end result is all that matters, regardless of how it got there. The finished game — as released to the public — undeniably has janky animations, abundant bugs, and horrendously ugly human faces. (Like seriously. We aren’t even talking Oblivion ugly. It fairly obvious that whoever build these face models simply does not understand basic anatomy.)

It doesn’t matter HOW it got to be that way. Maybe it really is an “SJW” plot to make the women ugly. Or maybe it’s just innocent incompetence. At the end of the day it really makes no difference. I can promise that if customers stop giving EA money for these games, it will change.

Cramit
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Cramit

. That was all the legions of grousing Twitter denizens really needed to launch a harassment campaign

Here’s the issue right here. Don’t use Twitter.

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greyformat

People were still harping on about Hamburger Helper over this game? All I heard in the dev circle blaming game is Mac Walters for continuing the shoddy writing standards of the recent games from bioware, and that manveer guy for being a racist cunt and a reason people would not buy the game (or at least threaten not to), not sure how much the latter was involved though aside from being a game developer.

As for the game itself, after ME3 I’ve come to terms with the reality that the old guard that made the mass effects I enjoyed aren’t employed there anymore. So it wouldn’t matter who replaced them, it won’t be the same mass effect no matter which direction it goes. Though from what I gleamed from what gameplay footage I found I was not impressed with what they had to offer, even the ones with more positive spin of it did not give me much to desire for it.

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Evan Schultheis

It is clear that with the massive decline of SWTOR over the past few years and with Andromeda that something is inherently wrong with Bioware (that thing probably being EA), but you can’t blame it all on one person.

xpsync
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xpsync

“What the Mass Effect Andromeda kerfuffle ought to teach us about games criticism”

This is a perfect example of why i disappear from forums and avoid reviews and people’s incessant whining about every little thing. They are games, you either have fun or not.

Nutshell the game is F’ING AMAZING!!! It’s an Epic Space Opera, maybe peeps miss this?

Here is what my checklist (should be everyone’s).

Am i having fun? Check!

Done, checklist complete.

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Manastu Utakata

The narrative seems to be trying to get everyone to agree the game was bad outside of the personal experience. It’s what all the cool kids are saying. /bleh

xpsync
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xpsync

To deprive oneself from this experience due to immeasurable misinformation is a shame.
I played the trilogy numerous times, read all 4 novels, almost didn’t pre-order as i was trying to keep my hype level down (not excited), and nearly didn’t due to the rhetoric of fools whom do not or can not enjoy a space opera masterpiece.
Anyone whom is on the fence, tune out the idiots, tune out the bad reviews, because they have done you wrong on so many levels.

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rafael12104

Heh. I almost teared up when I read this. :)

I agree whole heatedly. MEA is Mass Effect and by defenition fantastic. Yes, I agree with the critiques in as so far as the workmanship of animations are concerned. But, it doesn’t invalidate how good the game really is.

All the SWJ stuff, arguments over the reasons why, and the game issues are secondary. MEA is judged by the highest standard because of the franchise but it is in and of itself worth the time and money.

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Manastu Utakata

This is why *I prefer to call them as “Straw Justice Warriors”. As it seems internet folks who opposes them are often making up the arguments this perceived, imagined or otherwise group have supposedly made. But I digress…

…yeah I get it. “WoW is for kiddies!” “WildStar is terrible!” “You must be a lolicon for playing TERA!” “Only folks who played CoH are those who wear **Underoos!” I could go on. But if I took everyone’s advise not to play so and so game because of so and so, there wouldn’t be much to left to play. /sigh

*Note 1: Don’t look at me, I am a Social Justice Mage! <3

**Note 2: Yeah, someone did make that argument back in Massively-that-was. :(

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kelvar

What’s a lolicon?!

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Manastu Utakata

Trigger warning and maybe also be NSFW, but here you go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolicon :(

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kody

I don’t know what all the whining is about. I’ve played for 7 hours so far and am having fun. I don’t regret my purchase at all.

The facial animations are awful, but I can’t remember a time when that kept me from playing a game.

This doesn’t excuse people trolling someone over it, but frankly, BioWare should be ashamed of the quality of animations in the game.

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Roger Melly

Looking around at the reviews it sounds like most think it’s a mediocre game . I rarely buy a game at release of this reason . I won’t rule out ever playing it but I’ve got a load of games on my steam to play through first by which time it will probably be on offer anyway .

I know a lot of people though who have been looking forward to this as one of the highlights of the gaming year . It’ll be a shame for them if it’s not that great .

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John Kiser

It isn’t by any means. I’ve had the most fun in any mass effect game in this one and I’m a big fan of the series. There is a lot of quests to do and reason to talk to every NPC. Yes animations and some things have glitches, but it is overall a fantastic game worth the money. A lot of negative reviews come from people that never even played the series at all.

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bobfish

This isn’t really the fault of an animator though. Andromeda appears to use an automated animation process, probably audio driven, but possibly text driven. This works from a library of animations which are associated with specific words or sounds, the library would be common and used for all human models. There are two immediate problems with this, the first is that apply the same animation to different faces will look different in each case, some of which will appear unnatural, and the second is that some lip movements are common for multiple sounds, which draws the risk of certain animations not flowing correctly in all circumstances of their use.

Utilizing this method of animation was, and always will be, a management decision at the studio. It is expensive to motion capture, and very expensive to motion capture multiple people for different face types. They probably only did it for the key characters (Ryders).

And then if we actually look at the BioWare Montreal team who made Andromeda, we find that all the discipline/team leads are men. So, the question is then, even if this women was an animator on Andromeda, why would anyone target her? It wasn’t her decision to do this, she was limited by the tools and technology available.

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Martinez

I’m playing Mass Effect now and you know what? Not impressed, and this from a Die hard Mass Effect 3 wasn’t bad apologist! So The animations and characters faces are all over the place, you from the Ships captains creepy Plastic looking face, to the main characters lazy eyes/cross eyes, the lip sync is waaay off so that it feels like your watching an Old Shaw brothers Dub Kung Fu Flick from the early 80’s. I really don’t understand what happened as Call of Duty Inf Warfare has excellent faces and facial capture/animation. The controls are crap, the story so far is super predictable/ Sci-Fi troupes ( so far its the plot of Star Trek Beyond uugghhh) No one person is responsible for this, it took many many devs and probably some EA head honchos meddling to screw this up. I’m hoping as I play thru it I can ignore the awful Faces and painfully obvious plot, but since most of the Original Mass Effect crew have long since left EA. I’ don’t have a lot of hope. People being A-holes on the internet is nothing new and will continue to the end of time, but that’s not whats wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda. Its a symptom..not the problem.

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Manastu Utakata

Anyroads, going mostly stick this one out as Mr. Bals suggested way below. Don’t have the energy to deal with the ignorance and hate, today or ever. Plus I might get myself into trouble again…

…I will ask though, can you really roll a character with a pink EVA suit as pict’d in the header for this game? o.O

Great write up, Mr. Eliot! /bows

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thickenergy

I’m pretty sure that’s just the lighting in that setting. In all the gameplay I’ve watched the suit of the main character is white.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Suit colors can be customized like in the other ME games.

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thickenergy

Well, there you go!
I must watch all the boring YouTubers. :P

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

The color wheel’s one of the things they really got right. You can get pretty in depth with your shade mixes, though armor will only have a combo of 3 pre-set locations for the colors you choose. It’s strange how they put in these massively customizable color wheels for armor and on-ship casual clothes, and then for hair color you just choose between like 20 pre-sets….

smuggler-in-a-yt
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smuggler-in-a-yt

I don’t usually put MOP articles as shares in my FB feed, but this is exceptional journalism. Congrats, MOP. You just made my top five, alongside NYT, WashPost, ForeignPolicy, Economist, and Wired.

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Dug From The Earth

Decent write up, there was only one part that i stood back a bit and said “wuuut?”

“all of this would be much better if the woman being attacked had actually worked on the animations at all”

So wait… it would have been OK for internet trolls to attack this woman if she HAD been the person fully responsible? Getting your facts right makes this sort of abusive bullying ok? What??

No… no it wouldnt have been better. There is never a time when it would have been ok to go after someone like this, even if they had been 100% responsible.

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PepinoCantador

She was targeted because she had worked in roughly the right field at around the right times and she was, well, a woman. That was all the legions of grousing Twitter denizens really needed to launch a harassment campaign: They already wanted to dislike her. She was a woman working with video games. Any actual evidence was secondary.

I’ve seen a bunch of stuff about her being harassed, but is there a source for her being targeted specifically because she’s a woman?

Edit – For anyone else that comes across this and wonders, there is a link in this Polygon article to the source of the whole thing, and the author makes it pretty clear.

Crow
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Crow

Yes. The source of the criticism was a decidedly sexist and racist individual who uses his platform to spread hate.

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Targeter

Whoops, looks like the comment I was replying to got removed right after I posted to it. So yeah … er … I’ll just leave this here instead.

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Roger Edwards

This “brouhaha” teaches us very little about criticism, which is an intellectual process. It does however say something quite clearly about some gamers.

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Targeter

Counterpoint: Mass Effect Andromeda is fine and I’m enjoying playing the ever-lovin’ shite out of it (well, when XBL isn’t down). The dudes who went after this lady programmer seem like they’re just in it to hurt folks for fun. Not cool.

semugh
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semugh

should have linked the animations in question
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-msmx9yW5Q

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Manastu Utakata

It’s a little stiff and creepy. But I’ve seen a lot, lot worse.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

No. How bad the animations are was not the point, just like naming the victim and the trolls was not the point, and we didn’t do that either.

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Witches

In what alternative reality were the facial animations for the PC in ME anything other than atrociously bad?

We’re talking about something so unanimously bad that they had to submit the improved femshep for approval beforehand.

BW just isn’t that good at PC customization, once in a while they get it right, but the only good ones are the ones modeled after real people, in SWTOR you have some modeled after the BLUR trailers that are also good, but those are the exception not the rule, these are the people that gave Tali a stock face.

Just go watch MJ doing the start of SOR, the expression your character does when you are talking to the first person you meet on Rishi is so bad it’s..nope that’s just it, it’s pretty bad.

As for the crazy people part, incoherent people should be treated the same way animals are, do you bark back at a dog that barks at you? Or even respond to a parrot that can actually say things that seem intelligible?

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Esoteric Coyote

According to men on the internet, sexism doesn’t exist and feminism is a tool enslave men. So this article has to be wrong. /s

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McGuffn

I didn’t know there was a kerfuffle, but I know there were complaints about the face from a video a while back. Someone decided that the facial animation was fine, and people have been looking at the faces internally for months at least and decided there wasn’t a problem or wasn’t worth fixing.

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NeoWolf

I loved Mass Effect Andromeda’s trial personally and can’t wait until it releases here fully tommorrow so I can enjoy the game fully. Yes some of the facial animations are bad, but nothing that cannot be patched. I think the game looked visually fantastic the new engine really works for it.

Haters gonna Hate.. I form opinions for myself.

Crow
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Crow

There’s a trial? Eeek… must. not. download. Will. wait. for. sale.

luxundae
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luxundae

I don’t understand how bad animations could justify being an asshole. If someone sets your apartment on fire or covers you in spray paint or something like that, by all means shout at them and tell them they’re being a bad human being and they should stop.

If you don’t like an animation, even if you can magically determine who is “responsible” for that animation…so what? I mean, maybe you could offer a suggestion as to what you think would look better? If you have some expertise in animation, of course, and know the person well enough to offer critiques. But why would it even occur to you to go further? Maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t understand where people even get the energy to work themselves up into a rage over something like this, let alone direct that at another person.

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mastema

The reason why they went after her is because she painted a target on herself. She advertised herself as the lead facial animator, when she wasn’t as noted by Bioware GM Aaryn Flynn, which she has since corrected. However, this in no way condones the harassment she received.

This probably would have never happened to her if she wouldn’t have misled everyone about her official job position making everyone think she was actually in charge when she wasn’t.

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Alex Willis

Not sure you fully read or grasped Eliot’s post. The point is that it makes no sense to blame her, even if she identified herself as the lead facial animator. Because that’s not how games get made.

So. Blame BioWare. Not her.

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Roger Christie

Yes, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with them being worthless assholes who should die in a dumpster fire. Nothing at all!
Sheesh.

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Hirku

Sounds like you’re as much a problem as they are. Better save some room in that dumpster.

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Serrenity

I mean, I don’t know I would go to “die a dumpster fire,” but maybe stop just shy of that with the “learn to be decent human beings.”

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Serrenity

I’m having problems reading your post in such a way that doesn’t blame her for the treatment she received. Is that what you are saying?

exhibitorblue
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exhibitorblue

People shouldn’t lie about their positions or job titles.
People shouldn’t harass other people.

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Manastu Utakata

And in what way did she lie about her position or job titles?

exhibitorblue
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exhibitorblue

She claimed to be the “Lead Facial Animator” for the game on her Twitter, according to the archive/webcache taken of her profile. BioWare refuted this claim, and in the game she’s credited as a member, not lead, of the motion capture team.

None of this justifies harassment, but that is a misrepresentation and a lie. A pretty harmless lie, but one nonetheless.

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Manastu Utakata

No, but it seems some are equating lying with harassment. Kinda like conflating fibbing with murder. Whether she lied or simply described what her position did is really irrelevant, beyond the apologetics.

exhibitorblue
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exhibitorblue

I’m saying two things are wrong. Not equally wrong, but nonetheless both wrong. Obviously harassment is orders of magnitude worse than “inflating” your credentials, but the latter is still both wrong and far too prevalent in the industry. Doesn’t excuse what happened in retaliation, of course, and especially doesn’t excuse the true reason behind why she was targeted.

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Manastu Utakata

No…it just you guys seem to be saying without the qualification (even if it is not what you intended), “The *itch got what she deserved.” That’s how it’s coming across. And that’s the thing I have extreme issue with.

Furthermore, there is no real context to why she made her claim. It could be simply misunderstanding her position…where there was no intent to deceive or inflate on her part. Because you know, women make mistakes too. And in comparison to your President who flat out lies all the time with seemingly little impunity, you making mole hill into a mountain by putting the two together in the same assertion. Just don’t do that. Thankx.

exhibitorblue
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exhibitorblue

No…it just you guys seem to be saying

You’re replying to me, not “you guys”. I said nothing of the sort you’re implying. In fact, I’ve been very clear about distinguishing the two factors in terms of importance. If you’re taking issue with what other people are saying, then address them directly. Thankx.

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Manastu Utakata

You forgot…

“…(even if it is not what you intended)…”

…context is everything.

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mastema

This.

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Manastu Utakata

Nope, not this at all. /shrug

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mastema

And in what way did she lie about her position or job titles?

[The person who started the harassment claims that] she had listed her position on her twitter account as Lead Facial Animator, which she has now changed. The General Manager of Bioware, Aaryn Flynn, has verified that she was not a lead member on the game. https://twitter.com/bioware/status/843190432033005568

Nope, not this at all. /shrug

Why you would condone harassment or lying?

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Manastu Utakata

Strawman. Why would you conflate the two?

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mastema

You take a contrary position to two simple statements.
Lying is wrong.
Harassment is wrong.
Explain yourself.

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Manastu Utakata

Nonsense. Hence, the strawman is in your court…as opposed to putting claims in my mouth I never made for the /upvote padding. Thus you’re the one that needs to some explaining here, bub. Just saying.

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Witches

One can in extreme circumstances be a crime.
Another is always a crime, if not always prosecuted because the law isn’t magical yet.

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Hirku

I miss the days when there wasn’t so much rage over mediocre video games. You simply knocked the cartridge across your backyard with a baseball bat and moved on with your life.

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Serrenity

or … when we were just able to like a game despite it’s flaws. It’s an art we seem to have lost … being able to like a game despite its flaws. We demand absolute perfection or it’s not worth experiencing.

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Alex Willis

Like, how badly would Planescape: Torment be savaged if it were released today? A game which regularly tops peoples’ “Best Of” lists was quite flawed. Its action/combat gameplay was terrible. And yet…one of the best stories ever to emerge from an RPG.

So yeah. Gamers are pretty fickle these days.

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Witches

That’s only true for a (very) few countries, and i’m skeptic about the average commenter on games being a gamer.

One thread on this site had people i had never seen before and that i have never seen afterwards posting, i doubt all, if any, of them were gamers.

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Alex Willis

Fair enough. I am certainly dubious of the “gaming credentials” of a huge swath of GamerGaters.

Crow
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Crow

Which is part of the issue. When you dismiss a whole swath of people you close a door.

It is more work, but better, to refute and re-argue.

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Yuri Geinish

the game’s just bad, dont care about why

exhibitorblue
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exhibitorblue


I don’t know what you’re talking about.

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Targeter

Maybe all the cry-freezing drugs gave Sara some constipation? I love the game, but some of the facial animations are pretty unintentionally hilarious. And some of the dialogue makes Manos: Hands of Fate look like Citizen Kane. Jesus, Liam, NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR COUCH, OK.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

The dialog jumps between MST3K and teenage tumblr fanfic, it’s pretty horrible. But facial animations are far from the only animation problem in the game.

Nearly every time I get out of my rover, at least one of my party just kind of magically appears and floats down to the ground from a much higher elevation than the top of the rover itself. I’ve seen teammates use the biotic ‘charge’ ability on enemies I have suspended in the air, and they just kind of.. appear in midair, and then float there for a few seconds as if they’re standing on flat ground.

I’ve also gotten stuck on small rocks, and put into this weird jerky movement where my character stops animating and can only go forward a couple inches at a time. Seems to happen in particular if I get stuck somehow hitting my jetpack or sprinting.

There are many things I really enjoy about the game, but seeing this stuff so often makes it feel like some shitty budget title pulled out from the dregs of Steam.

Crow
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Crow

I’ll happily destroy my hobby brick by brick until it’s form today is no more.

I’m with you there, and I think as soon as the inflated MMO bubbles does burst we’re in for some good times better adjusted to what MMORPG players actually want.

hurbster
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hurbster

Not into the whole witch hunt thing but someone signed off on those animations, voice acting and quality control testing.

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Schmidt.Capela

Yep. But if those were found lacking, that information would then be relayed to the higher ups, who would decide if the extra expense in improving those, and the delay that redoing that work would cause, was worth it.

If I had to take a guess it would be that the animators noticed the issues, more than any common fan ever could, but weren’t able to do anything about it due to a tight schedule and lack of budget.

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

I could just be making this up, but I swear this topic came up in one of the recent podcasts or review vids I listened to, possibly Giant Bomb; basically someone said this feedback had been given by members of the media in a preview event last fall/winter, directly to one of the game’s leads or director, and they just kind of brushed it off.

purplecopper
Reader
purplecopper

The real crime is that Mass Effect Andromeda is mediocre.

Also, the safe answer would be to blame EA.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Is it? I see back-and-forth on this question of if the game is good or not. Maybe what is better to ask is if there’s anything prior fans would object to?

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

If it’s not mediocre, it’s very close to it.

The skill system is a huge leap forward, no doubt about that. The exploration theme and openness of the planets is a great step away from the more dark/military-esque feeling of the original trilogy. Graphics themselves are obviously great.

The character animations range from mediocre to clownish to horrifying. I’m not just talking about the facial animations here either; see my post above about issues with characters getting stuck in midair, characters just sort of teleporting when exiting a vehicle, the main character getting stuck in weird can-barely-move animations. That I’ve seen so many examples of these things just within the first 3-4 hours of gameplay is a horrible sign.

The dialog ranges from standard ME fare, to Tommy Wiseau awkward, to straight up “am I watching an MTV drama?” meme-filled fanfic nonsense. When it’s bad it’s really bad:

The game’s averaging around 7/10, and it’s the worst rated of the franchise. I think a 6-7/10 is totally fair. The things they got right they did really well, but there are just so many technical issues, quality issues, and poor design choices (dialog, messy UI, menu-heavy) that get in the way of what could have been a great game.

Reader
Targeter

IMO, no it isn’t mediocre at all. It’s a fantastic step forward mechanically. The main crime I see is some characters that just aren’t as compelling as what we’re used to from Bioware.

Reader
Greaterdivinity

As usual 90% of the shit related to this nonsense is dumb and stupid and awful. People on the internet continue to be assholes for the sake of being assholes.

I’ll just keep shaking my head at how poor the quality of a lot of the game seems to be (them horribly awkward lines and animations tho) while watching the drama unfold, patiently waiting to buy the game for super cheap a year or two down the road when they’ve hopefully addressed at least some of these issues.

capt_north
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capt_north

Gah! Read the comments on other sites. Anybody got some bleach and a course of antibiotics? Holy fudge, that’s putrid. Nuke them from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Every once in awhile I go and read the comments on Breitbart articles because I sincerely believe that attempting to understand one’s opposition is worthwhile.

And then I just lose all hope and faith.

Titarian
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Titarian

Personally, the biggest problem with this is that the perpetrators of this ridiculous witch hunt will never be help accountable for their actions. This doesn’t look good for the community as it portrays the gamer in a negative light.

I hope this doesn’t effect Ms. Rose-Marie’s confidence in her work or her desire to work in this career field. Even if these facial animations aren’t pristine, they are a hell of a lot better than what I could do.

People need to appreciate what they have instead of breaking down everyone else because you didn’t get hugged enough as a child.

Reader
Esoteric Coyote
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mysecretid

Clip was very apropos. Thank you! :-)

Crow
Reader
Crow

Negativity and anger, by psychological evidence, are far more powerful than any kind of “positive” emotion. And this isn’t out-there, it is pure evolution. We remember things that harm us more than things that bring us joy because from an evolutionary perspective it is more important to avoid danger than to be happy.

This is something a therapist once drilled into me: that our science shows that negative feelings are way more powerful than positive feelings. We remember the negatives, but we quickly forget the positives. And when we’re so far from our hunting/gathering roots this is the source of anxiety and worry instead of an imperative to survive.

Reader
rafael12104

Hmm. So much to parse through here as a long fan of the ME series. So first, I don’t have my ME blinders on. It isn’t all good. And to blame this all on one woman, whether self proclaimed designer or not, is short sighted at least. But let’s get down the the issue to better understand the ire of some and the trolling by others.

For those of you who may not be familiar with this latest iteration of Mass Effect Andromeda, MEA, it is an rpg. As such, many of us who play RPGS and most specifically MMORPGs are used to a certain amount of customization when creating a character. In fact, as MMORPG aficionados, we are now used to very sophisticated and detailed character creation. And this is where MEA falls short of the mark. The sliders they have are few and ineffective, the defaults do not look good, and the presets are even worse. It is bad. Very bad. And yes, on the face of it (pun intended), it would seem that this is done on purpose.

The males modles are just as bad as the females, but the females really stand out because the combinations of facial features, which is btw, the only thing you can customize, aren’t even symmetrical. The mouth and the eyes just don’t work for the majority of the models. And what you end up with is something that is less than yours or what you would want it to look like.

It is so comical and apparent, that I can see why some would take this to be a part of some broader strategy and done on purpose. And social justice warriors and anti warriors can easily jump in and tell us what it all means.

But sadly, having played the game and seen the various other issues including wonky animations and facial expressions, the pulpit for any who want to make it fit their political views is imaginary.

So, to wrap this up as I’m out of time here. The issue is a non issue. If this is, as some claim, part of a feminist agenda, both for and against btw, then they are overlooking those titillating sex scenes that are a part of MEA. Lol. Oh my, yes, they did improve those.

TL;DR? Net, net, I have read that some feminist have taken some credit. I’ve also seen the “mob” cry foul to a game incorporating a feminist agenda. The truth is, that it is neither. This is quite honestly shoddy work from a new dev team under the gun to release this landmark AAA title. The workmanship or lack of is obvious.

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Craig Sharp

I’m not sure anyone is suggesting it’s a feminist agenda (for or against). But trust me, sex and feminism are NOT mutually exclusive :)

Reader
rafael12104

Oh, but they are. If I have time I will find the links. But yeah, they really are as both sides are bringing in the feminist agenda.

In the meantime, check this out: https://youtu.be/v-0nCsE2zMA

As for the sex, I’m aware. But objectifying women sexually to sell a game? Yeah, they aren’t into that, I don’t think.

exhibitorblue
Reader
exhibitorblue

Which, you know, is a conclusion that would be helped significantly if the woman in question actually worked on the game in question at all, which she did not.

She’s listed in the game’s credits as being part of the motion capture team. Is even the tiniest bit of research asking too much these days? I don’t disagree with the article, but it would help if you grounded it on something that wasn’t just misinformed.

Either way, she played a minor role and obviously doesn’t deserve to be targeted personally. That said, the game overall is a colossal disappointment and the team as a whole needs to re-evaluate their process and direction.

Reader
Serrenity

Bleh, I missed this bruhaha which makes me happy. This pretty closely parallels GooberGoober and even the events of the most recent political climate in the US. For whatever reason, we give a pass to this kind of behavior in most venues, but especially Twitter in the name of “free speech,” which is … somewhat debateable (and not a topic I’m interested in tackling here).

More on topic, Elliot’s statement is right on. 99.99999% of the time, bad decisions are made by a group of people, often with a slow burn — start with some great and make so many ‘small tweaks’ throughout the production process that by the time you get to the end, it’s not recognizable and doesn’t actually fill it’s original intent anymore. To say anyone person is responsible for anything, especially something like this, is just silly.

Even when people hate Smed for his alleged crimes against gaming — he might have had a strong impact, but he was far from the sole arbiter of those poor outcomes.

None of this is to say with any degree that the treatment of the woman in the question was in any way warranted, expected, allowable or anything other than sick, twisted and utterly reprehensible and far below the conduct that we should hold ourselves to as reasonable human beings.

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odin valhalla

The article avoids the bigger issue, the anonymity afforded to you from an online persona. Have you ever been to a meet up of players of an MMO? I have, and it was clear those who were more vocal on the web were much less so in person.

Posters will claim “I talk to people like this IRL” 9/10 times they dont, and the ones that do likely have serious issues and end up and conflict big and small. Being anonymous, and void of human interaction at the time of commentary allows you to exercise yourself from empathy. Most people are decent, have good morals and generally dont want to harm others in anyway. Sure they get frustrated but even then social constructs mostly force you into reasonable conflict resolution.

Here on the web? The veil is up.

Reader
Xijit

*shrug* this is why I do not follow / read / typically acknowledge that Reddit even exists.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Even better than avoiding confirmation bias is to avoid pretending one has “special knowledge” in the first place.

What I sincerely do not understand is that the bar for negativity and anger is far lower than the bar for positive reactions which get lost in the shuffle. And that is partly driven by the kind of individuals who feel the need to just “talk shit” about everything.

We all have known people like that, who simply cannot muster a nice thing to say. It amazes me that in this era of so many choices, many of which are tailored to niches and specific demographics, that we’re still playing the “everything is shit” game.

The other example of the confirmation bias that has been going around has been Iron Fist, which isn’t amazing-as-a-work in-and-of itself but is certainly not horrible. You had a bunch of critics going after the show from the start for perceived biases and a bunch of very boilerplate complaints. I generally can identify various “problematic” elements within media because that was one vector from which I was taught to see art, and the criticisms there are primarily of the same kind of “reaching” issues.

I wish that anger didn’t sell. And that rage was shunned. But the internet is the epitome of lowest-common-denominator discourse. You don’t get clicks for being positive; people want assholes.

No matter how much someone like Jim Sterling can be right, I can never, ever support someone like that who leverages and creates so much negativity that feeds right back into the motivational elements creating a nasty, nasty cycle.

Reader
Xijit

The Kung-Fu was pretty bad in Iron Fist, but that was because they hired the lead actor because he was in Game Of Thrones, when they should have found someone who already knew kung-fu.

…. The the whole “Cultural Appropriation / white washing” bull shit that has been making the rounds was just dumb founding to me ….

The entire point of the comic book character is that he IS a white kid that got taken in by kung-fu monks & earned his place.

Some people are just too stupid for the air they waste.

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

Example of people who had a problem with the concept and hiring choice, that you consider “too stupid for the air they waste”
Marjorie Liu
Lewis Tan (who’s actually in the show, auditioned for the role before Finn Jones, and would have done a far better job)
Jon Tsuei
The various folks on Nerds of Color

Sorry, but I’m going to give a lot more respect to their views on the topic. If you don’t know who some of them are, maybe take the time to look them up, as I think they probably have a far more invested stake in the discussion than you.

Crow
Reader
Crow

We poked about with the second season of Daredevil just for kicks recently, and the fight choreography is simply way better there than anywhere else in the Netflix Marvel stuffs. That said, there was a laundry list of complaints I just didn’t understand. Like “too much boardroom” wasn’t at all an issue for me.

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Arktouros

I dunno I think it all really comes back to just don’t be an asshole.

I have my own irrational hatred for Karl over at Arena Net because the class balancing that GW2 does is almost solely the entire reason I don’t play that game anymore after easily a thousand hours played. I don’t go harassing him on social media or calling him out on places like reddit. I just stopped paying/playing and sought my entertainment elsewhere.

Reader
Roger Christie

Yes but Karl isn’t a GURL getting icky cooties everywhere!

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Always thought that was a good rule of thumb too. Do unto others. Be excellent to each other. If you don’t have anything nice to say… etc.

But there is a whole counterculture that outright rejects this basic “getting along with other humans” advice. Because they find being an asshole easy and fun (and in some cases, profitable), they choose to see being expected to not-be-an-asshole as a form of oppression against them. And so, they kick puppies. The simplest, most obvious moral platitude like “try to be a decent person ffs” doesn’t work on them. And here we are.

Reader
Roger Christie

See our current president.

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Arktouros

I mean if we follow your own logic to it’s conclusion that people are aware of such moral platitudes but willingly choose to ignore them then an article like this is unlikely to convince them to behave otherwise. So who does that mean it’s aimed at people who already know such “obvious moral platitudes”? If not a discussion aimed at those who need it then it’s just a chance for everyone to jerk off to their moral superiority about how they would never do such reprehensible behavior.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

The article wasn’t meant to stroke anyone’s “moral superiority” but to expound on the two specific logical fallacies we all need to avoid when it comes to criticism, separate from not being a misogynistic troll, but using Andromeda’s fallout as a springboard.

Reader
Arktouros

But, again, who is your message for?

If the people who already know “obvious moral platitudes” are already “being excellent to each other” they likely aren’t doing things like harassing specific developers let alone doing so incorrectly with logical fallacies.

If the people who “find being an asshole easy and fun (and in some cases profitable)” then the message to direct their anger correctly largely runs counter to it being “easy” and won’t be listened to.

So, ultimately, what purpose does it serve? One group refuses to listen, the group that will listen already knows it. Therefore the logical conclusion is then for the group who already knows it a chance to revel in their own behavior.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Say what you will of “The Academy” but when we had semi-structured barriers for who gets to speak publicly with amplification we ensured that even people who had hateful views were at least qualified to approach them with a semblance of logical process.

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Arktouros

I don’t know what “The Academy” is.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Ah, no worries :)

“The Academy” is just an umbrella term, generally, for institutions of learning (i.e. colleges and universities). They used to be the gatekeepers for who gets to speak “with authority” on any subject at least under the assumption that beliefs and positions are put through a kind of peer-review before they’re unleashed on the world.

Basically, there used to be a soft academic requirement to be “taken seriously” and the internet is the great lowest-common-denominator discourse generator.

So we get low discourse like this instead of anything meaningful.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Actually, the gatekeeper was the Media, and in particular Big Media; the Media would often rely on Academia and their experts, but not always, which is how you often find Media commentators that are little better than laymen elevated to the status of experts.

Crow
Reader
Crow

That’s a good point to make. Though I believe that the watering down of academics is partly to blame for this “everyone gets treated like an expert” mentality.

The point is that the elitism of the academy was for a stabilizing purpose. It was about not giving credence to things that were illogical.

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Schmidt.Capela

The “everyone gets treated like an expert” issue is for another reason: too many people tend to consider anyone on a stump, and that sounds confident, as an expert.

What the Internet did was provide free stumps for everyone.

Crow
Reader
Crow

but to expound on the two specific logical fallcies we all need to avoid when it comes to criticism

I feel like we’d all have more success teaching ducks how to speak English.

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Craig Sharp

comment image

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Craig Sharp

Over moral superiority? Sounds dull, you need a better imagination ;)

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Tobasco da Gama

You cannot, in most cases, point to one person and say that it’s Jerry’s fault

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i had to look this up, so she herself was the source of the claim that she was lead animator of the game http://www.mobipicker.com/mass-effect-andromeda-animator-allie-rose-marie-threatened-fans-bioware-denies-shes-lead-animator-ea/ which is why the mob went after her. which ofc no the mob should not have gone after her in the nature presented.

who is telling the truth here wether she was ever working at bioware on MEA (which was made by their montreal office) or just a general EA employee at some point that was using twitter to claim something erreneous we don’t know.

who’s fault is mass effect androemda is in my opinion an ongoing process that goes beyond any singular person at teh company. and has been going on for a long time. it predates the EA purchase or the doctors leaving the company. it’s been a slow burn down, with various set ups in advance to deflect from the valid criticism of theirs games as to be based in bigotry rather than teh fact that the quality of the games on just about every slice of things has been progressively lowering the bar. this runs deep at bioware and has been progressing in this nature a lonnnnng time.

and if anything they set these people up like the young cosplayer in question to be pariahs that they can hold up as proof that their fans are awful and just hate everything and everyone and deflect from the truly valid and reasonable criticisms of their games. which this hasn’t been the first time they’ve done this, and won’t be the last.

which is why we’re talking about this young woman and the with hunt against her, instead of the very real problems with the game itself. which make no mistake, that’s by design.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

DK, I can’t find a non-GG website that’s reported the claim + pic that her bios originally claimed she was the lead animator. That site unfortunately isn’t credible. While you were digging, did you happen to find a better one?

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i’m afraid i didn’t look too hard, there’s tonne to searcfh from but i already closed the tab with that search results. and it’s just about nap time. but as crow notes below.

idk how old the retort blog post is either, i head the thing about her like a week ago? and couldn’t even tell you what blog site it was except it featured a pewdie pie video (got the link from fb trends).

but there is this: http://archive.fo/6xqY6

Crow
Reader
Crow

Polygon was pretty clear that this stemmed from the self-identification as the “lead facial animator” and frankly Polygon would be one of the first who would call BS on that if it weren’t true.

Ralph’s post yesterday, igniting the harassment campaign, included a screenshot of Allie Rose-Marie Leost’s Twitter page in which she identified herself as “lead facial animator for Mass Effect: Andromeda.” That claim has since changed.

From: http://www.polygon.com/2017/3/18/14969390/mass-effect-andromeda-lead-animator-harassment

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

That’s not how I read it. Polygon isn’t actually saying the screenshot is legit either because Polygon didn’t take it — the site making the claim did. Polygon took the safe way out, published RR’s claim and BioWare’s claim and flat out says her status was unclear. It doesn’t seem as if anyone credible got pics.

Edit: It doesn’t really matter for the purposes of Eliot’s soapbox anyway, mostly just curious since I hadn’t seen any non-GG sites pin the blame on her directly.

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Manastu Utakata

You probably wont. You know, because most other sources are likely not into /alternative facts.

Crow
Reader
Crow

I’d perhaps suggest that going to the other side and seeking 100% verified information is always a red herring. The bigger part, here, is that she did something that is very common and it just shows how the internet makes everyone a target and doing what people do to get jobs and advance their career is very much a “don’t get caught” mentality.

I really see no reason why this wouldn’t be true. And I don’t think that necessitates any kind of reaction. Someone upped their title because that is how you get better jobs. I hate that our system benefits those who don’t get caught and sacrifices those who do.

Because inflating one’s role is so very common. Everyone does it even if they don’t realize they do. But BOOM if you get caught… Sickening.

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Craig Sharp

That’s an excellent point Bree, often forgotten in the heat of online debate – sources must always be questioned, and it’s getting harder and harder for the general populace to tell the different between reputable publications and the rest.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Yeah. It could even be true. But goobergobbers ply doctored pics like currency; their credibility is sub-zero. I’m curious to see whether she remains an EA employee because that’d be a good answer.

Crow
Reader
Crow

I’ll say that her resume is offline at her personal site. That’s a smoking gun.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

I would have taken my resume offline first thing too, guilty or not. The last thing you want is thousands of trolls annoying your former and other current employers, and in previous cases like this one, that’s exactly what happened.

exhibitorblue
Reader
exhibitorblue

She’s in the game’s credits as part of the motion capture team (which is an animation role), but not as a lead. It looks like a title inflation, if anything.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Which is so not unusual nor something we should be hunting people down over. Everyone does it, and most people never get caught and the HR people know that hires don’t have 100% what they claim.

It is just more of this “being successful in business requires sociopathy” stuff. To get upwards you need to be a terrible person, but if you get called out for being a terrible person it kills your career.

It seems like we’re all lactose-intolerant and need to drink a gallon of milk in one sitting to get a job.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Her former employers are still listed prominently on the site, her Linkedin and such.

I’m not trying to argue that this is deserved at all. It is not. But it feels like we’re stretching our own bias to suggest that she never did the thing that sparked such hate.

My larger point is how much it sucks that you both have to inflate yourself (especially when younger) and if you get caught it is hellfire and brimstone. So moreso, finding someone who “lied” on their resume isn’t a big deal and making it into a big deal was the shitty thing that happened because of people being hateful and nasty and awful.

If we want to go by razor, it is very simple to believe that she inflated her experience like tons of people do and then got the business-end of a gamergate stick for something everyone does. I bet if we had the asshole’s resume who “outed” her we’d see the same kind of inflation of skill and position.

I’m in the process of a job search for the first time in years. I’m also now post 30 and looking for a job for the first time. It sucks. My “truthful” resume doesn’t get me in the door so I need to massage a few things to get myself through the first few automated rounds of selection. So I have every sympathy for anyone who inflates themselves to get financial stability.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Part of the issue is the precarious way our current career markets work where you need to do stuff like stretch what you did prior in experience to get what is better and a step forward. It made me sick to my stomach, but I always had to lie on resumes by beefing up qualifications otherwise you get stuck at the lower rungs.

Like most professional business, you have to lie, cheat and steal to get ahead. And when you get caught (often for totally outside and unrelated reasons) the hammer comes down despite the fact that that is how it works.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

do they not require references in the US? because they usually do in canada and she would’ve been outted in future job interviews and refused employment when they found she was lying on her resume.

for even low paying entry positions with minimum education required.

Reader
blah blazh

depending on the job, you’ll be found out in the interview process if you know your stuff or not (maybe not the lower, entry level jobs). Some jobs will use the references but that is usually character references. Anyway, job searching is just awful at any level.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Most of the time if someone is at the point where they’re checking references, it takes something big for them to scrap the hire.

Reader
blah blazh

I agree with that. Although from my experience, security background checks almost will always use the references at some point in the process.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Well, depends on the security. If it is anything sensitive it goes a lot more in-depth. But for most general jobs references aren’t used much anymore. They prefer to get that info from Linkedin and Facebook and such.

Crow
Reader
Crow

References in the US are very limited to only be able to confirm facts and generally aren’t asked about personal stuff. In fact, the laws are such that generally saying something bad when giving a reference just doesn’t really happen.

But the truth is that 99% of the time they don’t even try to reach out to one’s references, and that’s in some higher level stuff I’ve done.

But being in a place where one needs to “inflate” their resume is super common. Because if you get in the door and do an interview and get the job it doesn’t matter. We’re at a place where initial weed-outs are all algorithmic at this point, and it is a shitty-but-necessary strategy to pass that first insane barrier to actually be able to present yourself-as-a-person.

The point being that this is the kind of shitty stuff that people feel like they need to do, but when they get caught they’re fucked. The internet is a shitty thing.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i’m talking about simple reference call here

“the applicant says they were lead in thise role on this project, was he/she proficient?”

“um no i don’t recall him/her being lead in that role….”

it has nothing to do with her character. lying on your resume or in an application is grounds for firing in canada even after employment is obtained.

Reader
Loyal Patron
imayb1

A little perspective, here. In the US, people have sued previous employers for saying things that jepordize their careers– and won. Anyone in HR will tell you that when they check references, they ask, “Did this person work for your company from X to Y time?” That’s it.

Anyone answering such a call should say yes or no and be done. Now, if the person never worked there, that’s a falsified application and that person will not be hired.

Similarly, if the applicant doesn’t mention any criminal history but an incident comes up in a background check, it’s a falsified application and the person won’t be hired.

Generally, such checks (if any) are done prior to hiring. Most companies also have a 90-day clause where they can fire anyone for any reason just in case something sketchy comes up.

Crow
Reader
Crow

Yeah, it just isn’t like that in the US. Lying on one’s resume is expected and unless it is an insane lie it usually doesn’t matter.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i’ve seen good workers get fired 3 months into a job for lying on applications or resumes.

Crow
Reader
Crow

In Canada I don’t doubt that. In the US we just lie about everything and that is normal. I wish people could get jobs without lying, but that is pretty standard in the states.

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Craig Sharp

Picked up on this story over the weekend, my understanding is that the original source that worked the a$$holes up into a frenzy was a blog post by Ralph Retort – renowned hard-right bigot and surprise surprise, cheerleader during the whole Gamergate mess.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i mean does that change the fact that she was claiming to be the lead facial animator on this game in a very easy to search fashion?

lots and lots and lots of reviwers and b/vloggers covered the animation and modeling issues and named her seemingly indepdent of one another. i would not even have known there was some kind of illuminati gamergate connection had i not learned of it within the last hour.

hell i’ve never heard of ralph retort before myself. and i am going to guess you haven’t either until now. so i couldn’t tell you about his politics or bigotry or connection with gamergate. as i’ve been reading alot of blogs and social media that mention her and her claimed credentials (and demo reel) casually without any hints of women hating involved.

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Craig Sharp

Fair enough, however the responses she received weren’t just disproportionate, some of them were outright criminal. The reactions that come from certain sub-sections of gaming (this and Gamergate being two very recent examples) are absolutely deplorable.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

as i noted it doesn’t justify the lynch mob against her at all.’

maybe something to be noted is the old addage i was continually reminded of in my working life about credit vs blame i guess.

Reader
Alex Willis

Our culture (both Western and gaming cultures) is still struggling with heaving, animistic impulses of misogyny. This most recent example is coming amidst a trend that’s been ongoing for years with respect to female developers and programmers.

Eliot makes some very logical points here about how nonsensical it is to identify one person within a team as the source of problems related to a project or game. And that’s all true.

But as we know from the hideous drama of GamerGate, this issue is less about actual problems or logical process than it is about perceptions: Twitter is full of nonsense saying that the programmer in question only got her job because she was female, and then linking that scenario with political correctness, and thus BioWare, and oh look at all the gender inclusivity in BioWare’s games, so now it’s been infiltrated by women and that company must be at the vanguard of an anti-male agenda, because that job should have been a man’s job, and lesbians in Mass Effect took my job and oh my god, at this point you are so far down the rabbit hole, good luck even being able to have a rational conversation about “basic logic” (to quote Eliot).

Crow
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Crow

I’m going to say that just like we’re not determined by our biology, that this isn’t as much a gender-based response as it becomes an anger based response.

Women get angry just like men. And the effects are just as awful because identity doesn’t have any actual effect on if people are assholes. While my One Shots comments and WRUP stuffs may show a relationship that is generally good, my partner is more like a stereotypical “man” than I am by far.

Which is just terrifying for people who can’t conceive of the larger being micro and macro, etc..

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BalsBigBrother

Agree with the sentiment of the article completely so thank you for writing that up Eliot. However I am stepping away from the comments as I really don’t have the energy needed for the discussion this one is going to kick off from a few different fronts I expect.

Good luck to those that do stick around though *cheers you on from the sidelines* :-)

antheriel
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antheriel

I feel for you, big guy. After the heaving faceful of homophobia I got on the last comment thread I tried to participate in on MOP, I basically just scroll through the comments to see if the MOP writers posted anything–or if BBB did. Thanks for being a thoughtful commenter.

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mysecretid

If you scan from the sidelines for a bit, you’ll notice that there are a few recurring “bad faith” posters here who are basically argumentative assholes in love with their own opinions. Only a few, but they resurface on every “hot topic of debate”.

Once you recognize these posters, you can ignore them, and talk to the people who know how to agree and disagree with others like civilized human beings. It’s what I do — I never reply to people I consider “bad faith” posters, because acknowledging them implies that their statements are worthy of my time and consideration.

Don’t let them silence you, just let them shout into the wind while you talk to the reasonable people. :-D

Cheers,

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Craig Sharp

Always the voice of reason BBB :)

Crow
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Crow

I one day hope to possess the kind of calm BBB has about nearly everything.

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rafael12104

Lol. Well done.

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