An Open Letter to Bob “Moviebob” Chipman

Mr. Chipman, I’m concerned for you. This isn’t a snide sarcastic comment or an attack on your person. I am worried about your well-being, especially when you go around saying things like this:

“So when I see something broken/flawed in society and am looking at solutions to fix/improve it, I could care less whether a solution is philosophically Capitalist, Socialist, Objectivist, right-wing, left-wing, Libertarian, Authoritarian, whatever – all I want to know is if it will work and what will the immediate effects be. Beyond that? There’s an imperfect world to keep improving and a better tomorrow to get to, and I’m for using every tool in the damn box (and inventing some new ones, when necessary) to get there. Fortune, after all, favors the bold.”

-Moviebob, Another Long Collection of Thoughts

I wrote a response.

Full disclosure: the following post below was originally posted as a multi-part comment on Bob’s blog post linked to above. I waited for my comments to pass moderation status and appear publicly. As of this posting (Hong Kong evening time, 22/10/2014) these comments have not yet appeared on the post in question; I feel that it’s important that my response is read by anyone who cares to.  Please try to think of this response as being in no way connected to the ongoing GamerGate controversy; I am not going to go back on my words and spew about the GamerGate movement any more on this blog out of a belief that there’s far too much said already and I stand by that.

What I wrote below should apply universally regardless of affiliation or beliefs, and I hope years from now there are people who will read this and think very carefully how they view the world. I believe it’s extremely important to not just me but people as a species, and the Universal Theory of Pocky – one of the core tenets of this blog.

Addendum: the link here is also required reading although it is tonally inflammatory. Proceed with caution.

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Destiny: A Job You Pay For!

Unprofessional Portfolio

Destiny is among the weirdest games I’ve ever played.

I’ll get the obvious and repetitive stuff out of the way first.

The minute-to-minute gameplay is excellent. Bungie clearly knows how to craft a tight first person shooter. The abilities of the player character and smart use of level geometry provides a welcome departure from the pop up shooting galleries that are the default in the FPS genre. It’s enormously satisfying to fly around a room tossing grenades/meleeing and swapping between weapons. The guns themselves are far less interesting though, besides increasing or decreasing the numbers popping out of enemies when you shoot them, after a few hours they all feel the same. You’ll quickly stop caring about what a gun does and simply look at the numbers and colour; the game borrows the coloured gear system from WoW so Yellow > Purple > Blue > Green >White.

The missions themselves are very by…

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Exclusivity and Inclusivity

I want to say this again, because it absolutely deserves to be said as many times as possible.

We live in an era where people are justifiably terrified of making something that others won’t like, and are making generic, milquetoast, mass-audience dreck in a poor, misguided attempt to check as many boxes as possible. I get it. But the following needs to be said, and repeated, and put on t-shirts, billboards and emblazoned on a plaque in every boardroom.

Just because something is specifically targeted to a niche does NOT make it exclusive.

I am seeing so many “because ________, then ___________” arguments these days. Because there’s no women in this, women won’t like it. Because there’s no achievements in this, achievement whores won’t like it. There’s no romance in this, so people who like romance won’t like it. There’s no pieces of authentic cultural history in this, therefore people who are interested in that won’t like it.

Well so fucking what?

Are you that scared of how people won’t like or buy what you’re doing?

If your answer is hell yes, then it should be reassuring for you to know that there is nothing stopping someone from buying something not aimed at them specifically. Try as you might, you have no control over the market! The market has control over you. That’s what it means to be a free market. People have the freedom to vote with their money and buy what they like, as well as ignore what they don’t like, and you can’t force them one way or the other. This is incredibly liberating! You don’t have to give a shit about what other people think. If they like it, good for them! If they don’t, that’s on them! Not on you!

How about you stop trying to sell guns to gun control advocates, meat to vegetarians, Hanukkah ornaments to anti-Semites, and just focus on what you’re good at?

Remember, the only thing that can be inclusive is people. Not products.