Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I used to have a home, now I don't even have a name

Marc Rossmiller invited you to join him on Google+

No. Die.

Moving on--how about an entire page of great fandom cakes? And man, some of these are amazing. Not a cake wreck in the batch.

More Hurricane Irene news: LordKat, an occasional correspondent through That Guy With the Glasses, lives in Staten Island. This is relevant because for the past couple of days, he pointed his webcam out onto his street. (And no, the film's not shown in reverse; the car near the beginning does back up and out of the street because it was blocked.) From a mild drizzle to Atlantis and rising damp in 48 hours. Impressive in a slightly unnerving way.

So yesterday, I mentioned the whole Alyssa Bereznak fiasco, and there's been a couple new points of interest pop up. First, Dork Tower actually put out a strip commemorating the whole controversy, and there was a link at the end to another article. That's where the real interest for me picks up.

See, apparently, Ms. Bereznak, forgetting she worked as a geek blogger, and that her little 'ew Magic he's so gross' post would turn into the shot heard 'round the geek world, changed her blog entry twice over the course of the next day, trying to make herself sound more like a victim, and Finkel more like a bad date that any thinking woman would have fled from. (Which doesn't really fly, either, because Australia's branch of Gizmodo preserved the entire thing so they could rant about her, too. But--interesting side note--even the Australian version of the article has now been edited to take out her copious links to Finkel's Wiki page, YouTube videos, and personal details she gave out that made him seem like the worst form of predatory stalker. Way to stay classy, Alyssa.)

But it gets better. Forbes Magazine thinks she made that post deliberately, just to get page views. There are now parodies. She's been made into both an online Magic: the Gathering card, and an online meme at once. Buzzfeed gathered up the ten best responses to the article and posted those. The Renaissance Dork got involved. Federico lo Giudice calls the whole thing a witchhunt. Dr. Nerdlove calls it a horror story. MovieBob jumped into the fray. The lady behind GeekGirlDiva included a ton of fun links at the bottom of her rant.

And ultimately--whether or not it was linked to this faux pas of epic proportions--Alyssa Bereznak was terminated from her position at Gizmodo.

I think for me, the story's pretty cut and dried: she's a shallow woman with all the depth of character of a lunch tray, and she went out on a date with someone who, to her, fit whatever criteria for "normal" she holds in her head. Who then revealed his geeky side, after, it must be remembered, she revealed that her brother is a gamer. Finkel's likely side of that conversation: "She has a brother who games. I have a gaming hobby. This could be a fun topic." Bereznak's blurrier, because apparently--at least according to everything she's written--she was either deliberately angling to discover nerdy skeletons in his geek closet, or chose Finkel because she knew he was a gamer, and thought it would be a good article? Or maybe she was really that clueless and vapid.

Either way, as others have pointed out, this then shifts the blame to Gizmodo, for deciding to run with the article--because...again, because why? Why would they deliberately do anything that would tarnish further their reputation with their own readers?

Maybe they thought it would be funny, a bit of fluff to fill the day's quota, a light humor piece that their ardent readers would embrace, inhale, and subsequently discard. What they never sawn coming was the fact that most of the online world would rise up against Berezak, including women gamers (more on that in a bit).

In short, bad decision-making all around, but also, it's definite and final proof that no one is writing in a vacuum--if it's on the net, anyone can read it, react to it, and lay blame for it, pro or con. Me, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, overall. Stand behind what we say, say what we mean, then--"mean" or not--we're taking responsibility for ourselves. Which Ms. Bereznak clearly did not.

Now, getting back to Susan Arendt's apology to Finkel. It contained this line:
Except humiliating someone by name online to make yourself seem cool is disgusting, unfair, and mean.
Which did make me stop and think, involving the various 'name' fiascos that have hit this blog.

I know, 100% know, no doubt whatsoever, that anyone I have ever mentioned on this blog by name--be that "real" name, Second Life name, online handle, business, blog, whatever--I have done so with no intention of seeming "cool", or making myself seem superior, or even in the right, at all. Humiliation has never been my game, though I will freely accept, nay even embrace, the "mean" part of that statement. Put plainly, that's never been the point.

I have wider goals, sure, and some of them, to long-term readers of the Train Wreck, should be obvious by now. I also have more than my fair share of aggrieved pettiness, and that I'll own too. But I've never sought personal gain by mentioning anyone in an entry.

That having been said, especially after I spent four hours yesterday gutting out any mention of Miss Insect on this blog (by her request), I think it's time for an official change of policy.

Unless it is an estate owner (think people like Desmond Shang), a Linden (I refuse to anonymize Linden-made statements), or a maker of things I want people to be able to find (by mention of proper name, business, or blog), I'm going to do my level best to anonymize anyone I feel the need to directly mention. This may mean blurring of faces, changing of names, changing of locations, because frankly? My former insistence on the authenticity of names being important has dissolved completely. Facing the growing-endless hassle from people who've Googled themselves, and then freak out entirely that I actually (ohthehorror, you'veruinedme, I'mabrokenwoman, youFIEND) mention people on whatever entry it happens to be...yeah, I'm done with it.

[Expansion from the Editrix: I'm also not going to anonymize names and comments pulled from the JIRA, and from the forums. You're on your own lookout, there.]

Also, Mr. Dagger designed a new banner that I quite like, but I'm now pondering a change back to sepia tones for the blog. Why? Because it's a sepia banner. And while I could tint it, I like it the way it is.

But that means finding (or making) a new background, possibly altering the layout slightly, et cetera and so forth, and that will take a few days, depending on how busy I am. Still, expect a new look no more than two weeks away.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

and how could you dare to become so close?

"Here was a guy who had dedicated a good chunk of his life to mastering Magic, on a date with a girl who can barely play Solitaire." Ah, see, that was your problem, Ms. Bereznak--you were on a date with someone who had life skills, as opposed to you. And possibly a working brain. I understand your distress.

The beauty of being the bigger person (in this case, that person being Jon Finkel) is that your date didn't feel compelled to blab about how horrible going out with someone who didn't even know how to play one card game (let alone several) was. See how that works?

The last line of the article is just as priceless: "Also, for all you world famous nerds out there: Don’t go after two Gawker Media employees and not expect to have a post written about you. We live for this kind of stuff." Yeah, because Gawker Media doesn't have enough bad strikes against it.

Not only that, but she's accusing him of this one geeky, nerdy behavior that she's trying to make sound shameful...on a website devoted to geek culture. Is she that colossally stupid? And apparently she seized on Magic: the Gathering as the symptom of all his ills, forgetting he also likes to converse on other topics, plays poker (he's won a hefty sum in poker matches, but I bet that doesn't impress her, either), and looks like this.

My gods, woman. Rein it in, you need to be kicked in the head. You have zero sympathy.

Finally, a fan page for the rest of us--entirely devoted to women in reasonable armor! Woo!

"neil and i are constantly trying to figure out what our marriage is. all we’ve figured out so far is that it is 100%, definitely, [absolutely] not fucking normal. that’s a nice start." (From Amanda Palmer's latest blog entry.)

Someone who doesn't want to be remembered commented recently:
Already that you have hidden my name is already a form of respect in my humble opinion.
My obsession is not as you think, but I took this as a "gibe" that's why I put myself on the defensive.
Now you can also delete these comments so that you complete my anonymity. Thank you for your understanding.
Yeah...So essentially, thanks for taking four entries out of my blog with your whining. But you're as off the radar as I can positively make you, and, because you seem to want nothing to do with any mention here, I'm doing my best to remove any and all references to you.

You're not welcome. Good gods, there's preserving anonymity, and then there's making utter hash out of any form of coherency...But hey, request was made, I follow request. There should be no further SL linkage of [nationality]'s named persons at this time.

In news from the real world, enjoy some window-dressing pics for Hurricane Irene preparations.

And in SL news, I'm really looking forward to finding these avatars on the Twisted Hunt. But don't mistake me: for the run of the Twisted Hunt, even for those of you whose groups I'm in or whose friends I am: you're all evil bastards and I loathe you all. Just so we're clear.

Just don't be dumb. Being dumb means I bitch to Vasha and Vasha shrugs and I build up more resentment and it's just unhealthy for me. Think of the children. Or something.

Monday, August 29, 2011

and ride off into your delusional sunset

From the Mystara group notices:
Fae Family Fun Time
Tuesday,30 Aug 2011 03:26:28 GMT

In an effor to education children about Fair Folk and Fair Folk about children, the Mystfolk and Kids Group of Mystara are coming together Tuesday, 06.Sep., @ 2pm & 7pm SLT for a day of family fun! Both sides can ask questions and play games, with fae providing supportive, 'responsible' type roles and kids testing the mettle of these Mystarian 'adults'! We look forward to seeing you there at the big field across from the Stromness Village!
Yeah...there are so many problems with this one. Let's list them in order.
  1. It should be spelled "effort". Spell-check when sending out notices is a GOOD thing.
  2. It should be "educate", not "education". If I ever want anyone to "education" my children, just go ahead and bury me, because I'm obviously brain-dead.
  3. That bit with 'responsible' in quotes. Generally, that's considered a distortion of term--as in, I'm telling you we're going to be 'responsible' with your funds, but because I am putting 'responsible' in quotes, I actually mean I'm going to steal them and burn the bank down. So what EXACTLY does Mystara mean by saying 'responsible'? If they actually meant responsible, as a concept, then leave the damned quotation marks off!
Honestly, some people.

In Minecraft news, there's a big update coming--so big and so massive, it's going to be split into two parts for better ease of installation. My problem? The last time Notch and the team said they had a "big" update, it resulted in a psychotically broken game that required me to backdate to a version five release versions behind, just to log in and play. I have dread.

How'ver, there's also some interest, technologically speaking, in Minecraft: namely, what this fellow is doing with interactive projection. Is it sad that I'm now thinking of laser tag runs with blocks you have to tap to get them 'out of the way'?

And mask-making has stepped up a notch--granted, for a more full effect, one would likely want to glue bits down to skin with spirit glue, but beyond that, that's an amazing amount of articulation and expression for a single latex cast! I'm deeply impressed!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the smell of hospitals in winter

This is both beautiful, and disturbing. The wax casting is phenomenal, and I truly believe taken from a live model; if not, then it's even more impressive. But for me, the fact that she's a candle means she's going to go from beauty to horror the longer she burns.

(Plus, the back of her gown looks like her spine's been removed...but that's likely just me.)
[03:07] "TSG" Iliana Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with n.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with n.
[03:07] "TSG" Genevieve Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with n.
[03:07] "TSG" Stella Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with n.
[03:07] "TSG" Random Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with n.
[03:07] Emilly Orr: S, C, Q, I, Q
[03:08] Yoon [something or other I can't be bothered to remember]: S, T, F, U, B
[03:08] Yoon [something or other I can't be bothered to remember]: sorry .. had to type that

[03:08] Emilly Orr: .....
[03:09] Emilly Orr: Yes, thank you for being five. It could have been that the boards weren't rezzed in yet.
[03:09] Emilly Orr: Sometimes it helps to know what's ON the board.
So, I learned this trick over at Dare Designs. They've got a pretty professional crew there; any time anyone new ports in, any time one of the chairs changes a letter, someone calls it. Because in busy sims, or sims that haven't had a restart in a while, it can take a bit for things to rez in. Especially with lucky boards and chairs, this means waiting and not knowing which board's going to be what. Sometimes it helps.

All night long I had been doing this in Sugar Garden's back room. New people came in, boards changed, some people tapped who weren't group members and I gave them the group SLUrl to become members...I wasn't doing it to correct, or be bitchy, or be anything but helpful.
[03:15] Emilly Orr: Oh, and Yoon? You're not sorry, or you wouldn't have typed it in the first place. The least you can do after insulting someone is stand behind your words.
[03:15] Emilly Orr: Which you manifestly failed to do.
[03:18] Yoon [something or other I can't be bothered to remember]: sorry, what are you talking about?
[03:19] Emilly Orr: Again with the sorry.
[03:21] Yoon [something or other I can't be bothered to remember]: Y, O, N, L, B

[03:21] Emilly Orr shrugs.
[03:21] Yoon [something or other I can't be bothered to remember]: you should have done that from the very beginning
[03:22] Emilly Orr: From the very beginning I was trying to help someone. I've done it in the past, and I'll do it again.
I know it is a small and petty thing from a small and petty person. But it bugged me. I shouldn't have let it, but I was overtired, and I let it get to me.
[03:26] Yoon [something or other I can't be bothered to remember]: and if you will visit luckyboards in the future more often you will notice that if people type out the letters other people will answer with other typed out letters... and 5 is not easy ... thats why i said sorry
[03:26] Yoon [something or other I can't be bothered to remember]: get used to it
[03:27] Emilly Orr: Aww, that's precious.
[03:28] Emilly Orr: Save for the fact that I've been here, and at other lucky boards, rather a lot. Sometimes finding out what the letters are helps.
And again, all I was trying to do was to keep things running smoothly, and help out.

Apparently that's not wanted.

But at least we know that she struggles with her immaturity. As she said, being five isn't easy. Here's to her beating those horrible odds when she finally turns six.

Friday, August 26, 2011

and I tore out the buckets from a red Corvette

Master of Flash lick my hatchet wound
Literal Lass: That nearly sounds like a challenge

Most of the time playing in City of Heroes is fairly mundane. While there are some freak-outs here and there, for the most part the roleplayers roleplay, the rest of us run missions, and no one gets hurt.


And I don't want to tell you that this went anywhere, because it didn't. But I will say it's one of the odder things I've heard anyone in City of Heroes utter to me, and that includes the NPCs.

"I don't know, it just showed up!" Hee!

I don't remember if I mentioned the GameStop debacle yesterday, over GameStop employees being told by management to open game boxes and remove content provided in the game. (Yes, okay, it was a coupon for a month of OnLive service; I don't care if it was a small squeaky toy dog, what matters is that they were opening factory-sealed games, removing the coupon, then selling them as if they were still factory-sealed. That's so far beyond sleazy we need a new word, because it would be offensive to sleazy people to term it that.

Well, the plot thicks, apparently; today has dawned with announcement of a new offer: this one primed at seducing back any customers lost by their bonehead moves earlier. As quoted in the email mentioned in that entry:
For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a free $50 GameStop gift card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned purchase. We want to earn back your trust and confidence in the GameStop experience. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from and present it to a Game Advisor.
The problems with this, in my opinion, are manifold:
  • They removed game items included with the game. I don't think this loss of faith is recoverable.
  • They're offering a toss-off $50 game card to try to buy back their customer base. Are they kidding?
  • They're offering with that a 'Buy two get one' offer...which is the same offer frequently found in their store ANYWAY.
  • And ultimately, if they've done it with Deus Ex--and gotten caught--then what haven't they been caught doing?
For me, that last one is the most damning.

Moving to RL matters, there are concerns on Hurricane Irene's path of (potential) devastation, and no wonder, considering the projected path. Still, some folks are getting prepared early:

[19:37] Zyx Flux: And if you look at this hurricane map, you can see me
[19:38] Zyx Flux: Let me zoom in for you
[19:40] Ami Tamura: lol zyx
[19:40] Fawkes Allen: Yeah, sorry about that. I just didn't want Irene to hit, so been blowing all my fans Eastward.
[19:41] Emilly Orr: Wau. 'Fun' little map that sense of 'fun' being something most people don't survive...
[19:41] Zyx Flux: We are resigned to losing power.

And potentially more. Here's to power loss being the only bad thing.

The Muppets now have a nail polish collection. I...don't really have anything to add to that.

[NPC] Enforcer Smasher: I can't stop smashing things!
[NPC] Freak Buckshot: Rage against the machine, man!

Fight the power.

Finally, look what's going on in Sweden--Minecraft socks! Whee! (The only problem? Well, beyond the price of them? They're only calf-high! Think KNEE-high, people, KNEE-high! Honestly.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

leave you here wearing your wounds, waving your guns at somebody new

Seen at Raven's Heart Sculpts:

(from the shopping album)

For anyone who can't make it out, and doesn't want to click, it says
And thus was it so that in that time did come to pass all that had been predicted. And he that had predicted it did say unto the others 'I told you so' and yea were the others much [aggrieved] and struck him with sticks until he shut up.
That about sums it up.

[21:28] Your Friendly Internet Troll [Jakkar Carlos]: I HAVE ENCOUNTERED A HOMOPHOBIC!
[21:28] Emilly Orr: That's hardly surprising on SL.

But he posted a chat transcript.

[21:00] GlennM Foggarty: what a fag jakkar
[21:00] GlennM Foggarty: is that all u got?
[21:01] GlennM Foggarty: compensating for a small dick in life?
[21:01] GlennM Foggarty: come on omo bring it on
[21:02] GlennM Foggarty: still waiting for you to porve to me your a tough guy

Okay, let me stop here. Now, I know Jakkar. We have had our fights and disagreements, we don't always get along, and some of his hobbies, frankly, I just plainly don't understand.

But. Even if you're a homophobic moron, at the least step up and read a book now and again, okay? It's much harder for people to poke holes in your straw-man arguments on why "homos are bad, mmkay?" if you're actually literate, and present those arguments calmly, rationally, and above all, intelligently.

Exhibit A, GlennM. "is that all u got?" And yet he fully spells out--correctly!--'compensating' on the next line! But then, he falls over his own feet one line lower, when he forgets that "omo" has an "h" in it.

As it stands, if you'd expanded that out, Glenn, to full "omosexuality"? That would just mean you'd want to have sex with your shoulders, and that's not only ludicrous, but I believe it's biologically impossible, as well.

And the last line just makes me cringe--"porve"? "PORVE"? Seriously? And misspelling "your" is such a common error, it just makes you look dumb as a stick, Glenn.

A particularly thick stick.

But they went on.

[21:02] GlennM Foggarty: fucking ladyboy
[21:02] Hisoka (baccus.docherty): LoL what's there to prove? At least Jakkar knows which 'your' to use in a sentence.
[21:02] GlennM Foggarty: u stfu
[21:02] GlennM Foggarty: did i ask for your opinion
[21:02] GlennM Foggarty: i think not

Here's the thing. Before we get to the tear-down of why using five letters for a five word sentence is such a bad idea, you're saying this in OPEN CHAT, you idiot. This means your conversation is not private, is not simply between you and Jakkar, and that anyone can comment on the words coming out of your mouth. Or is that not simple enough for you to understand, Glenn?

Let me break it down for you: use full words. This make meaning clearer, everyone get words, everyone understand. Did that help?

Next, the whole point of communication is clarity. Occasional typos can be forgiven--in the heat of any given moment, everyone has misspelled words, me included. However, this is just textspeak pushed through the wall and out onto the wide sea of obscurity. Besides, "u stfu" won't impress anyone you happen to be arguing with, and I really think the whole point of that retort was to make Hisoka back off whimpering and cringing in terror from...


*pulls up profile*

Oh, dear gods, you have zero excuse, Glenn. This is confirmation that you're this much of an idiot by choice. If your profile is to be believed, you:
  • own your own business
  • help budding models get gigs in modeling
  • have traveled the world
  • and have been in SL since 2007
So...what the hell is your problem? You've been exposed to other cultures, you've dealt with a wide variety of people, and these are supposedly good things. I guess traveling being a broadening experience kind of skipped past you, Glenn. You have NO excuse to be this lunk-headed.

[21:04] Hisoka (baccus.docherty): Nah, I was stating a fact. And I wasn't harassing anyone, I came here and was assaulted by your gay bashing foul mouth.

I am liking Hisoka a LOT.

[21:04] GlennM Foggarty: i dont like being harrassed by a faggot

Nobody likes being harassed by Jakkar, Glenn. It has nothing to do with whether or not he's gay.

[21:04] GlennM Foggarty: so again, why don't you stfu and get lost
[21:05] GlennM Foggarty: as for you jakkar you faggot, bring it on lady boy without a dick

I love this assumption that verbally emasculating someone with a choice phrase--even if, in this case, the choice phrase is on the moronic side--will result in nigh instant evaporation of the target of the phrase. And this rarely ever happens. Most of the time, you call someone gay--on or off the internet--and if they are, there's not a lot of wiggle room there. So to speak. The least challenging reply is "Yeah, so?"

But let's again break down the linguistics, here. Glenn is telling Jakkar that he's gay; follows that up with telling Jakkar that he's gay (thus being redundant as well as homophobic); then again informing him he looks like a girl (which, being a bish, is actually a compliment to Jakkar); then again stating that he looks so much like a girl he must be one...which circles back around to being gay in the first place.

It's as if men like this only have two places in their heads for people: "men" (including "other men") and chicks (which apparently include both gays and women alike). Pursuing this line of reasoning, then, if the whole point is to demean the gay male down to female status, and you are a heterosexual male, Glenn...then aren't you setting yourself up for a gay encounter? I mean, if you're telling gay men they're girls, and you like girls...sooner or later you're going to be sleeping with gay men. Because they're women to you.


The big problem I have with guys that seem to have their brains stuffed with hair, Glenn, is that you won't learn. It's not that you can't; education is out there, a thousand different libraries have books online, complete with research manuals, diagrams, architectural plans...With only a little bit of effort, you can take online courses in hundreds of jobs, training to be whatever you want to be. Local libraries will be happy to lend you books, DVDs, CDs, and some libraries now are even offering e-Reader programs, where for a nominal fee, you get your own e-Book reader that can access and download tons of books, from research texts to fiction, all at the touch of a button, or with only a few keystrokes.

Barring that, you've got all that Google can bring you--just type in a phrase, a word, even a single letter, and Google will fetch you literally hundreds of links on as many topics. Want to learn about plumbing? Google. Want to learn about theology? Google. Want to know what your town did back in 1945? Google. So much information can be found there, it's overwhelming.

And barring that, there are classes in SL, nearly every hour of every day. Building, making clothes, making accessories, business management, dancing, club ownership, retailing, runway walking; classes on correct historical deportment, classes on landscaping, classes on giving birth, classes on how to use all the features of whatever viewer you're on at the time. And that's not even touching the colleges and other educational institutions that are still in SL, who offer classes on the grid for actual college credit, on an amazing variety of topics.

You have all this wealth of knowledge, Glenn, and yet you choose to be dumber than mud. Why? Why would anyone want to be stupid by choice?

Must suck to be you, Glenn. Good luck with your little modeling thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I keep on thinking that it's all done and all over now

[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:07] "TSG" Lillith Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:08] "TSG" Genevieve Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:08] "TSG" Stella Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:08] "TSG" Stella Lucky Board whispers: Sorry, your name begins with K.
[03:08] Emilly Orr: Little bit twitchy there, [Kambo]?
[03:08] [Kambo]: YO HAVE som problem?
[03:09] [Kambo]: Hey... If you don't like it, go to russia...

Yes, because my mild objection to someone hitting a board without their letter on it fifteen times means I'm a Communist. No one bothers with education these days.

But it got worse--she started playing "oh EXCUSE me" gestures, which were annoying, as gestures nearly always are.

[03:09] Emilly Orr: Oh, a gesture-spammer.
[03:09] [Kambo]: I like to hit the boards, other kind of people like other things
[03:10] [Kambo]]: I would not call myself spammer, go to club and see how noobs spam.
[03:10] Emilly Orr shrugs.

I was doing my best not to cause controversy. Keep in mind we were at the Sugar Garden, where there are a group of five group-locked boards--four with different shades of skins, one with random items ranging from candles to clothing. All four skin boards, by the way, were for female skins.

[Kambo] was male. On top of everything else.

[03:10] [Kambo]: "wooo TP your friends" yea right... go fuck yourseld damn spammers I am not for calling my friends
[03:10] [Kambo]: yourself*
[03:10] Emilly Orr said nothing of the kind.
[03:11] [Kambo]: he's the host it's his damn job not mine
[03:11] Emilly Orr: He's not here.

This used to be a habit of mine, back when I was young and stupid--responding to people who were talking to me in IM, in public. For the most part, I've cleaved that behavior away, because listening to it from [Kambo], I am realizing anew how insane it sounds.

I thought everything was over for that miniscule spat, but one minute later...

[03:12] [Mediterranea]: That's some boobs on the skin!!!
[03:12] [Kambo]: I feel sorry for you
[03:12] [Kambo]: never seen boobs
[03:12] [Kambo]: ?

*sighs* This would be more disappointing, but this kind of thing happens all the time on the grid. I can't even say it's an American-versus-international thing, because it happens with just about every nationality, given time and inclination.

In the meantime, there's a new Muppet tribute album out, which has a terribly amusing video as a tie-in, featuring OK Go, nearly every Muppet that's appeared in any version of the show, sleight-of-hand, puppeteering, Rube Goldberg moments, and strange sleepovers. In short: it's perfectly Muppet-astic.

While there are several factors, I'm sure, that led to the shut-down of Atomic Comics, there's at least one artist out there who believes that the largest one is tax dodging. I haven't heard that, but it does present an interesting perspective.

It's not a new fad, but it now has a new name--they're calling it horsemanning now. After, y'know, that movie that one time.

In the meantime, enjoy this list of ten Harry Potter characters scarier than Voldemort. In general, I think they're absolutely right, which should tell us something about how dark the series got in spots.

Real world science news: Russia is planning a pipeline/train tunnel to run from Siberia to Alaska. It will cost an incredible amount of money, but, once done, it will both be the world's longest train tunnel, and an easier conveyance for Siberian raw goods to feed Canadian and American needs for those goods. Will this help the US economy pick up? Only time will tell.

And this is now the only record of the now-deleted 'robot diaries', from a robot operator working on the beleaguered Fukushima nuclear plants. It's a pity they were deleted, because there was actual solid information there--information that other robot design companies were putting to use as solid product testing details--in and amongst the complaints critical of the job itself.

For fans of Portal, I have two videos for you. First up: the Gary Hudston Engagement Project, which is pretty impressive as a level and as a proposal.

Next up, No Escape, which is singularly one of the best fan-made videos I've ever seen, with absolutely top-notch casting, effects, and set design. Well worth a watch, it's highly recommended.

"Food or comics? There's no app for that."

Which is exactly why people go to comics movies then don't turn around and actually buy the comics. It's blatantly obvious--to anyone who's not DC Comics--that they're prohibitively expensive for the folks who are most likely to buy those comics. Period.

I finally got to the Beta Grid after numerous tries and I was immediately griefed with objects that took my name, spammed chat with racist hate speech and offers to open Web sites to learn about avoiding griefing, but were, in fact, advertising pages. Later, I got to see some mesh objects."

It's nice to know that the new Linden Labs hard-lining on their policies and how important it is to keep mesh builds above-board, with no copyright infringement and specific guidelines, has protected people from harassment on the beta grid.

Yes, that was sarcasm.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sweet as the apple of Peru, the inklings of the Eastern Sioux

Caught on Hulu while watching an episode of the Daily Show, but since this is a global campaign (save for the UK, at least right now), I felt it would be appropriate to mention here: Levi's latest commercial, which uses a powerful poem from Charles Bukowski, The Laughing Heart:

Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

It's a powerful video, and when we think in the broader sense of how universal denim is--from the fifteenth century, when it was uniformly known as 'sailor cloth', to now, where we have an infinite variety of dyes, shapes, fades, aging styles, and brands--I think the ad, paired with the commercial, speaks to a universal audience, about a universal message. Life. Live it to the fullest. Live it while you have it. Embrace it.

And thrive.

Speaking of powerful ads, let me bring your attention to a commercial from Taiwan that is as heartbreaking as it is strong. While the commercial only deals with five men (the original story featured ten, a mix of women and men), some of the most powerful images are from the original tale, including one of the most powerful for me,the man who carried the mourning portrait of his deceased wife on the cross-country tour.

So, Second Life news. This one's big. Mesh has gone live, along with a raise to the allowed prim size to 65 meters, from 10 meters. So what does this mean for those of us not on official viewer 3.0?

Yeah, that's the down side. We have to wait for mesh to be enabled in our viewers, if it ever is. So let's do the rundown:

Phoenix: Not updated.
Kirsten's Viewer: Updated but only for uploads on the mesh beta grid (but according to users who downloaded today, Kirsten's can see mesh).
Singularity: Not updated.
CoolVL: Not updated.
Firestorm: Not updated.
Imprudence: Not updated.
Emergence: Not updated.
Restrained Love: Not updated.
Rainbow: Not updated.
Ascent: Not updated.
Dolphin: Not updated.
Libretto: Not updated (but seriously, it's a text-only viewer; why would it be?).
METABolt: Not updated (but again, a text-only client).
Mobile Grid: Not updated (messenger app only).
OMV: Not updated (Linux viewer only, but it hasn't updated in a while nevertheless).
Pocket Metaverse: Not updated (but only an iPhone/Android app anyway).
Radegast: Not updated (low-graphic viewer anyway).
Sparkle: Not updated (iPhone client).

If you know of any other viewers, do let me know in the comments. But as of today, one's rushed out an update. Keep a watch on your viewer's page, maybe you'll get lucky. In the meantime, I'll update when I get new information.

On the plus side, while no one's released mesh-enabled updates, several third-party viewers can make larger prims now, because apparently the code applies. So that's good news.

In the meantime, one artist has decided to combine her love of Elder Gods, Minecraft, and chibi cuteness into LittleCraft. Dread it. The cuteness has no bounds.

And The Secret World MMO will soon launch into beta. Apply now if the concept of an entire gaming space where all the conspiracy theories are true intrigues you. (It intrigues me, I just don't think I have the time.)

Finally, someone's come out with a Faceless Fox avatar. Beyond the name, I don't know anything about it, but I'm definitely intrigued. Tell you when I know more.

and what does a mirror show you, can you see the gray?

I want to state this clearly and distinctly: I have been very mean to very many Lindens over the years, but Soft Linden is now one of my personal technological deities for this. Dragging this particular JIRA issue into the archives was both masterful and completely worthwhile; the conversation is, by and large, applicable as both a historical record of a Second Life era, and a discussion of the technological issues involved. But leaving it open to the now endless backbiting and petty arguments involved between the participants who had hijacked the thread for their own devices...Well. As I said, Soft Linden is, at least for the next small while, a hero to me. Thank you, Soft. You did a very, very good thing.

Tonight, we visit Bentham Hollow, another stop on the Peaster's Hunt.

(from the scavenging album)

There's a path designed to draw you deeper into the mists, so that you can discover what you seek, the key held by the lost child. But along the way there are whispers in the woods and chanting in the underbrush. What happened here? What went wrong?

(from the scavenging album)

The eye in the water watches as you come in, appearing from mist, walking into mist. The palette is muted, greys and blacks and white of moonlight and fog, which forces into sharp clarity the oranges and yellows of fire-lit hollow trees, and the glowing fungus that rises from the damp ground.

(from the scavenging album)

A tumbledown shack at the end of a path, with a very unfortunate traveler tied to a cross. He appeared to be burned; I didn't move closer to check.

(from the scavenging album)

Little lost child, counting to ten, adrift in the cold and the damp. And the whispers surrounding each blade of black grass, each timber slowly rotting to the core, each skeletal branch reaching for the dead sky.

(from the scavenging album)
Nearly everything has eyes, red eyes, orange eyes, glowing eyes, floating in the mist, animating trees that should be still, lurking in shadows and in hollows. And the whispering, the chanting, the occasional howls and scuffling of large beasts that cannot be seen...

(from the scavenging album)

Some of the lost children are lost entirely, being face-down in various pools of water. (A side note; the same sculpt was used for all the children, made by Lauren Bentham, yet how each child was placed tells us different things. It's the same image, so to speak--but placing it face down, or against a tree, or simply standing, tells our pattern-seeking brains that different situations are happening with that child. Interesting.)

(from the scavenging album)
How many reaching hands out of the darkness? How much rustling in the underbrush? Can we move fast enough, can we escape soon enough, can we stop what we hear and what we sense?

Are we finding the children, or losing our way out?

(from the scavenging album)
And they are everywhere; counting or standing, crying or weeping, dying or already dead, they are small dreaded yellow figures that never seem to be where we would expect.

(from the scavenging album)
Following the path is no better than walking through the underbrush; while the path is lit, the lights match the eyes, match the glowing mushroom spectres made out dimly on the horizon. The lights do not lead us to safety.

(from the scavenging album)
And even where there is fire, and spaces clear of monsters in the dark, we do not feel as if the children are safe, and warm, and free.

(from the scavenging album)

The rising and falling mist obscures our feet, and can also obscure the key we seek, regardless of how well we follow the rules--if we follow the rules at all. If we are diligent, if we are not led astray by whispers, or spooked by howling in the dark, we can find the key. We simply must keep looking...and not be led out into the dark.

(from the scavenging album)

For if we are...Well. If we get lost in the dark, we can be reasonably sure what will find us. Eyes first...teeth later.

All in all, Bentham is a wonderful sim to visit, if you're like me and semi-embrace being creeped out. It's well done, and the sounds are nine-tenths of why--don't mistake me, the decorations are well-chosen and appropriate, but the sounds are what made the hairs on the back of my neck rise. And even walking through to take these pictures, I kept glancing fearfully over my shoulder, wondering if something was moving...that shouldn't be.

And I'd say it, like the Epic Toy Factory before it, deserves a visit whether or not you're on the Peaster's hunt.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I would Tipp-Ex you out but that only hides the pain

Is there ever a time where this picture:

(from the shopping album)

is really going to be the best advertisement for your store?

I mean yes, it's not the skin, it's likely the underlying shape, but seriously.

At least she came pre-censored.

Also, isn't visible penis supposed to be in Adult lands, not Caledon? As always, click on the picture for the non-censored link.

(And don't mistake me--there is perversion in Caledon, and I'm a happy proponent of [at least demi-accurate, and/or semi-historical] the same. And this is a powerful image, with or without the water prim cascading down in front. But there should be limits, in an open, airy shop with no other pretensions to modernity, in part of Caledon, to suddenly turning the corner and being faced with modern bondage photography.

(This is not bondage, you say? Of course it's not. It is full frontal male nudity, however, and it was next to portraiture of females in bondage poses, and all of it is derived from modern, not historical, sources. Therefore.)

In other game news, there's now a blog specifically for female dwarves in the Lord of the Rings Online--it's called Curved Steel. The entry that first came to my attention, with a tip of the hat to Headburro Antfarm, was To Dress or Not to Dress--and yes, they mean that literally. Should female dwarves dress in a feminine manner? Especially when adventuring, when skirts would be cumbersome and potentially dangerous in battle, is it a good idea, or would it be a lethal indulgence?

And there's an entry on dwarven concepts of beauty which is wonderfully written. They know their dwarves--at least, how the dwarves are written in Tolkien's lands. Which is kind of the point, because it's a LoTRO-centered blog.

And now there's Duck Tron! Or at least Duck brand duct tape, in Tron motifs. (Plus there's a moment of absolute giggle-worthy childish behavior at the very end, which is very nearly charming.)

Also, there's going to be a Ghost Rider 2, for those following such things, and--because I am one of those followers--here's the trailer. (And a tip of the hat to Fawkes Allen for finding it for me.)

Like Portal 2? Like physics-defying puzzles? Like user content? Have at it--a downloadable, non-Euclidean level for Portal 2. Trippy as hell. Even the set-by-set breakdown at the end does not remove the visual trippiness. (Oh, did I forget to mention? Yes, there's a video along with the download.)

From the Know Your Memes site comes this actually informative piece on Maru the Cat, complete--as ever--with videos, images, but also, accurate information. Good to know.

And the Shadow is returning to comics--but in the hands of a group of publishers and writers who know nothing about the character. Oy.

Finally, courtesy of Miss Magdalena Kamenev, this delightful link on traditional bathing suits and bathing machines by the shore. Pity I can never find a good pattern...

while surviving this attack I soon learned how to battle back

Rue has new horns in new color packs! But she's made a teensy error on the blog post, so go to the new Everwilde location, look over that color pack option, then go to Ctrl-Shift-H for the Seraph options. Everything in the Moody Monday boxes are L$55 per pack; the rest retail at her normal, very reasonable price of L$175 per pack.

Solace Beach is asking its current customers and tenants, and interested parties, to comment on a low rating at What WOT does, essentially, is allow the consumer to check--online, or using downloadable tools, on the safety of any website on the net.

Some months back, the site updated with a new version of Joomia. Unbeknownst to any staffers, this particular install had a security flaw, and someone discovered it. There was a hacking incident that brought the website down, replacing it with a phishing program...I can't even remember for what, right now, but it was a minor nightmare. A few hours went by, and the breach was discovered, closed, and Solace Beach has had no further website-hacking problems.

But the damage was done, Solace Beach was listed as a phishing site, and dangerous. Warnings went out. Several major systems blocked the site from accessing their systems, and by extension, their customers, some of whom rent from us.

Ayesha Lytton is asking that, if you have experience with the website, if you'd go to and register a favorable rating. One day of being hacked does not a dangerous site make, and since that time, there have been no further problems. All Ayesha wants is for the site to regain the rating it had before the incident, because it's not a phishing site, a hacking site, or dangerous in any way.

Want to know what live-action video gaming looks like? The folks behind BodyCount have you covered.

And Google Translate is going away as of December of this year. I'm torn between Damn, that many people have been abusing the service? and Screw you, you bastards. Honestly not sure which is the more 'truthful' reaction, so to speak. Find your alternatives now, get them hooked in place, and be prepared for a LOT of in-world translation services to break, and break badly.

And now, the ultimate Escapist Post Round-Up! Here's allll the links:

Part I: Wherein you, the faithful readers, read along on the conflict between the Escapist and Extra Credits.
Part II: A couple positive, and several negative, responses to the conflict.
Part III: Ads, scary mesh constructs, and who (so far) has come forward on not getting paid for work done by the Escapist.
Part IV: More on the controversy, along with both the Yahtzee bring-him-to-PAX debacle, and also Yahtzee's bone-deep loathing for Joss Whedon.
Part V: Sex elves and fan rage.
Part VI: The death of Hellboy, strange fan art, hunts in Second Life, weird Disney projects and more fan rage.
Part VII: More from the JIRA That Will Never Die, and more fan rage (along with some direct responses from the actual participants).
Part VIII: Weird captions and even more fan rage.
Part IX: More from the JIRA That Will Not Die, Longbow "shoot-me-I'm-a-target!" costumes, and dear gods, more fan rage.
Part X: More fan rage, and a Meat Loaf song!
Part XI: Cosplay, Minecraft updates, upcoming car engine advances, and more fan rage!
Part XII: Goats, the first link set for the Escapist posts, an explanation of the Monkeysphere, inaccuracies corrected, and strange sidewise threats.
Part XIII: Corsets, bodypaint, and testing understanding so far.
Part XIV: Minecraft, Dwarven songs, goth-blocking, Underworld trailers, and discussion of donations after surgical costs were met.
Part XV: Comics, derailing, music, Escapist staffers, viewers, and trying to make sense of it all.
Part XVI: The West Memphis Three, cost breakdown on air flights and Seattle hotel stays, contracts and T-shirt costs.
Part XVII: Found art, Linden boosting, controversies on the Escapist thread, and more on donating after the fact.
Part XVIII: News on City of Heroes' First Ward, collectibles, literal videos, IP conflicts, and an astounding offer from Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits.
Part XIX: Bad fashion, Jack Harkness, and wrapping up the end of the thread.

Which brings us to now. Nineteen entries, 94 pages gone through, cannot believe I followed the thread out, and you all deserve a gold star if you've actually followed along (or even skimmed for highlights). Where are we at this point?

Well, I'm still waiting for the emails mentioned to be released in a non-Facebook form. (Though, from internal commentary in the 94-page thread, have they actually been released at all? That part's unclear.)

And I'm still looking for mentions from other threads of the emails. (Though in searching, I also found this, which is all sorts of fun to read through.)

So...from here we wait for more news. I'll keep everyone posted on when (or if) the emails ever become public. In the meantime, while I knew of Rule 64, I didn't know of Rule 63, which states that any male comic or video game character must, by default, have a female counterpart. Interesting.

Does the same thing work for female comic/video game characters? Are we ever going to see a Laurence Croft, for instance, or Wonder Man?

(Actually, I take that back--Wonder Man, pride and prince of the Amazons...that just doesn't make any sense.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

now I hold him prisoner in a Washburn jail

I really should know better, and I'm not specifically aiming for controversy, but--the hell, people. Did he just not realize his alpha panels had completely faded to invisibility? Plus, I'm fairly sure that's just how that particular silk set is made, but it also looks like he handily tied his penis in a knot for the photograph. Tch. (Though definitely impressive in a weird way if true.)

Of course, he still looks much better than this lass, because you would have to be as high as she looks to think those outfit bits go together. Is the gold/orange nightmare bit part of a...bodysuit? Maybe? Because I'm confused as to what, exactly, it is. (Also why it seems to be worn over her jeans.)

And apparently, there's now someone in Second Life offering virtual Botox injections and we need them to stop.

In the meantime, if you've ever considered joining the Royal Air Force? You're in good hands, then, with Captain Jack Harkness, poster child for the flyboys on the battlefield. Well, and the flyboys off the battlefield. Well, and the female support staff for the armed forces...Really, he's the poster child for anyone. Just call him.

Back to the Escapist.

affabletoaster: When James said that the Escapist could put him at the bottom of the pile, that was his unprofessional move. Professionals get paid, end of story. What he was doing was being Nice, and it ended up exacerbating an issue that any professional should never have to deal with: not getting paid.

What bothers me is when people here and elsewhere conflate being "professional" with "keeping your mouth shut and smiling no matter how you are being treated, even if that treatment undermines the very core of your profession." We have seen other content providers quietly leave this site, "professionally," one might say, and only now are we getting hints that the Escapist has made a habit of not paying its content providers in a timely fashion.

zephae in response to Daniel Floyd, earlier in the thread: You know, the more I read your posts, the more I see why you're the voice of EC. Being one step removed from the what would appear to be the most contentious issue and seemingly not having personal issues swirl around you, I think it would've been a lot better to have you, instead of James, do the messaging to the community. Perhaps the whole drama storm could've been avoided if the person making the statements was also not the most intimately involved in the whole process. I'm very glad to see you step up on the issue of refunds, though - it underscores to me the respect and consideration you have for your following.

magicmonkeybars: You'll forgive my laughter then when this goes to court and The Escapist gets its fair share of the donated money...

krellen in response: Don't hold your breath; Mr. Marcis has withdrawn all claims to it already.

Though I do believe he meant "Macris", but the point stands.

Da_Vane: The problem here is that only one side uses the term 'joint effort' and that is the Escapist. They are the ones who had been claiming they were also involved. A link means nothing, and quite frankly, I don't think anyone expected people to be so generous.

In a court of law, ALL of the money actually belongs to Allison. That's who people were donating to - and any intention otherwise would be considered fraud. The Escapist helped support this, but they hold no claims to anything - they willingly donated their time and effort to help Allison.

It is therefore up to Allison to decide who should and shouldn't get the money that is left over. Presumably, Allison has elected to give the excess funds to James and the Indie Game Fund, otherwise James wouldn't be able to hold any claim to the excess money, and could face criminal charges should he do so.

That said, if Allison made James her agent during this affair, then James does have a right to do whatever he pleases with the money in Allison's best interests, and if she has agreed then nobody else really gets a say in the matter.

The Big Robb: The site is covered in ads, there is defiantly a large volume of traffic here, but the content providers that produce the traffic aren't being compensated. If they aren't paying anybody, where's all the money going?

Also, if they're paying everyone weeks or months after they're supposed to, wouldn't that lead to a case of them owing everyone a ridiculous amount of money in the long term? If they can't pay them now, how are they going to pay off the huge debts in the future?

I know it's kind of off topic, but this is an important point in all this, If The Escapist can never pay back the content providers, it's likely that more issues similar to this will happen again.

Glass Joe the Champ on the 14th, close to the end of the thread: Hm, it's worth noting that this thread now has more comments than the Huffington Posts's headline story about Congress passing the debt ceiling bill.

Congratulations: video games are now more important than politics.

Wasn't that always the case?

TypeSD: Seriously, aside from EC, where is there in-depth discussion of stuff going on ~_~

And in a brilliant rejoinder to that, a sysadmin from Escapist, Kross, said: Not all of our content is in picture form.

Which is a damned good point. (Though my immediate retort: are all of them getting paid?)

And finally, we reach the end of the thread. Couple last comments to tie things up.

n00beffect: So, what's the conclusion so far?

And arealperson in reply: The Extra Credits team left, The Escapist and certain contributors are badly in debt, but everyone is just gonna keep on truckin'.

What I'm curious about is the official status of the IP and how that was/has-yet-to-be arranged.

And that's where things stand. Next up: wrapping up all the links in this derailing of the wreck, followed by any mention I can track down of those supposed emails.

I got people underneath my bed

A first glimpse at First Ward, the new Praetorian zone for City of Heroes. It keeps looking impressive--dangerous, feral, destroyed, and intriguing.

(By the way, if you ever wanted to get into City of Heroes, now may be your time--for $1.99, or 1,49€, or £1.29, depending on local equivalents, you can buy in to City of Heroes and get a month of free game play. Keep in mind this offer is for new players, not returning ones; still, it's pretty stellar.)

In other news, Figumate's designer, Yoji Shinkawa, has designed a set of the most twee Metal Gear Solid figures ever made. But this is where the story gets odd--there's a group of cosplayers out there who wanted to make the "sweet" versions their reality. Life is strange; cosplay is stranger.

Meanwhile, back at the Escapist...

dday4you: stay awesome everyone :)

Um. Okay, thanks! Not really sure what that's in relation to, frankly...

Purple Moose: On the ethics of the situation, I am personally of the subjective opinion that the background to this whole Indie Game Fund thing is very shaky and we are a very long, long way from OK. I was extremely wary of this whole thing from the beginning, when the donation was first announced. It seemed to me that sticking a very personal, very heartfelt plea straight in front of a video made under a business contract (albeit one that wasn't being honoured at the time by one of the parties, but I didn't know that then) was muddling things up and bluring what should be very clear lines. I felt that this was a very grey area and could very easily lead to, well, clusterfuck situations like the one we now find ourselves in. It also seemed to me that James was well aware this was a grey area when he started his appeal with something along the lines of "normally I would never do this, but I really don't have anywhere else to turn." So I, personally, while wishing Alison all the best decided I wasn't comfortable donating myself and was going to steer well clear of the whole thing. Call me a heartless bastard if you like, I've been called worse, but that was how I saw things. This may be why the first I heard of this Indie Game Fund was when I came across the front page of this thread.

I also don't think that it's enough to say that 'The Fund is going to be a non-profit organisation, so that's OK.' There are a hell of a lot of questions still unanswered. Right, the Fund itself isn't going to be making any profit, but what about the Indie firms signing up to have their titles published using money from this fund? Are they required to turn over all the profits from this too? Seems a little unfair, after all their hard work and if they end up with a smash hit on their hands, they're not allowed to enjoy any profits from it. Isn't this restriction going to turn a lot of them away? And if they are allowed to keep the profits, well then James might not be making any money directly but I imagine he has a lot of friends in the indie community and does consulting work for a lot of them, and that's one HELL of a conflict of interest right there. Should James be banned from consulting from the firms getting funds from the Fund? Might that not also drive developers away who were looking to benefit from his expertise? Maybe he should consult for free, but then that's one hell on an unfair incentive to work with the fund, he'd have to offer his consulting services to everyone else for free as well, and seeing as he's stated he won't take any money from the fund himself then how would he make a living?

Kopikatsu: To all the people waiting for them to post a new episode on Youtube: They can't. The Escapist still owns the IP, so Extra Credits is dead in the water unless they can somehow get it back.

This was the response:

UnJammerSully: I have no idea why people keep saying that...

...along with embedding the latest episode of Extra Credits. While, yes, we appreciate the sarcasm involved, methinks the point of the previous comment may have been missed. That's okay, though, there's further commentary.

Kopikatsu: That just means Extra Credits is in deep legal shit.

The Escapist owning the IP means that they own Extra Credits. They own everything to do with it.

The fact that the EC crew has moved Extra Credits to Youtube despite The Escapist owning the IP means that they've opened themselves to a legal shitstorm. Basically, they'd better pray that Alex is merciful and doesn't call his lawyers.

Put bluntly.

Ghostkai: Patiently awaiting Mr. Crowshaw to ride in on a flaming tripple-cunted hooker with the lightning-shuriken gun of destiny and end this madness.

With Branston Pickle...

I would apologize, but that was so stunningly, impressively obscene it begged requoting. And thus.

But there was (at least) one comment remaining.

Kopikatsu: I honestly think that Yahtzee will remain aloof and only mention his feelings on the matter in passing after the situation is defused.

Unfortunately, I do too.

Glass Joe the Champ: I'm a bit confused. The videos here are still up, but the new episode on youtube is still called Extra Credits. Who has the right to the IP right now?

I think we're all there. Obviously Extra Credits think they own the IP. The Escapist previously indicated they retained rights to the IP. Simply making more shows using the same name is not an indication of IP ownership, just that they can (until legally ordered to cease) make more shows using the name--in the sense of actual speaking/programming, not legality.

But as of now--the 20th of August--we still don't know who owns IP, and I personally suspect neither does the Extra Credits team.

kyosai7: When you put a project up on Rockethub, you CAN'T put a cap on donations, and you CAN'T end it prematurely. You are REQUIRED to let the deadline come, and then do what you want with the money. EC Expected a good month to build up the funds to help with Allison's injury. They got all they needed and more in SIX HOURS. And the money KEPT COMING. Should they have shut the fund down? Probably, yeah. But they couldn't. Rockethub doesn't allow that. What do you do when you only needed so much, and people are giving you literally 10x the amount, and aren't stopping? That's when the Indie Fund came up, as, as I understand it, EC was just expecting to get their checks from Escapist later on.

It is an intriguing point. Once funded, the fund must entirely close before dispersal of funds raised? Or funds can be assumed to be there and drawn against? Which makes the Escapist's claim of the funds odd, to say the least.

Uszi then asked: Any word on when the emails are being published? Or is that still some unmentioned time in the future.

I want to know that, too. Because as of yesterday, the 19th, the email transcripts still weren't up.

Fiz_The_Toaster: Ok, so they didn't properly read their contract and they went to the internet to let everyone know what happened and what's going on?

Just...COME ON!!

Really? You honestly didn't want a dramatic circus but you guys talked about it on the INTERNET, what did you guys think was gonna happen? Massive amounts of rainbows, glitter, and unicorns of understanding and civility?


(from the media album)

Alas. We move on.

Skylants: When do we get to see those emails?

Still waiting. But in response to that...

TypeSD: When I can put them up.

Um. Still not up. This is bad. But there is another comment from him in response to a tipped word from Matt Wiggins of Loading Ready Run fame.

TypeSD: My take on it

They got a surplus

They proposed the indie game fund

Everyone went along with it. (Seriously, find me an opponent)

Themis Media heard about it

Escapist is struggling with cash.

Logical conclusion is the current storm.

Pretty much, that sums up my understanding of the situation, too, until (and unless) corrected by more meaningful explanations from either side.

Getting down to side points...namely, swag.

evilneko: Ahem. There was no payment for the shirts because the shirts did not cost Escapist a dime.

This is patently untrue. Posit: the Escapist donated prizes they had on hand, that were already in stock (putting aside the Publisher's Club memberships, which are entirely ethereal, hence, 'costing' nothing at the outset, but showing a defined cost after application of the club membership; we're just talking physical goods), thus, as most of us define such, they didn't cost anything additionally to provide.

But that doesn't mean they didn't cost anything. Shirts have to be printed, print houses have to be paid, designers had to design and receive renumeration for their work, and beyond all of that, the shirts had to be made in the first place for the Escapist to buy. None of it came free.

I think it's extraordinarily disingenuous to hold the line at "it cost them nothing". Because it cost them. (At this point, a ton of public opinion, club renewals, and legal fees, but let's set that aside, too.) Just dealing with the shirts, on their own, exclusive of other benefits: they had a cost, and the Escapist expected (not entirely without merit) to be repaid for what they cost.

Therumancer: As far as the latter point goes, I'd still like to hear what Allison has to say about this. James Vs. The Escapist is well and good, but she was still the "face" the money was collected for, even after the goal had been met. As far as I see things, it's her money, people were basically donating money for her medical treatment, and after meeting the goal that money presumably being intended to help her recovery and so on as no other purpose had been stated.

krellen: What if Allison opted to use the money to create a fund to sponsor independent game development?

Excellent point.

FalloutJack: And effectively, because the team discussed and went with the idea as a whole, she did just that.

Game and match.

And as much as I don't want to see a run on the funds...

krellen: If you don't like what Extra Credits is doing with your donation, contact them; Mr. Floyd is willing to get you your money back.

Which, genuine or not, kind of puts this whole thing to bed, dunnit? The fans helped him raise the funds; beyond the cost of Allison's surgery (which has already been done in anticipation of those funds being released), he's willing to give the money back.

This is not the bad guy.

Of course, there's always another side to this particular coin.

grimner: And according to RocketHub terms of service ( there are no refunds as a rule:

"We will not reinstate any deducted RocketFuel except in limited circumstances at our sole and absolute discretion after investigation."

Which stands to say that people should be responsible of how and what they donate.

FalloutJack asked TypeSD to drag the mention above to the front of this elongated thread; TypeSD's response?

Buddy, I'm so far ahead of you it's like I've stuck you in a time-dilation field and buggered off through the Stargate.


coolkirb tossed this in:

Hee pt. II.

And Sylocat had some pertinent advice for us all: Take a deep breath. Turn off your computer. Go outside. Get some sunshine and enjoy the fresh air (or hear the crickets chirp or whatever, depending on where you live and what time it is). Take a walk around the block or go to a park or something.

The internet will still be here when you get back.

It's so true.

*takes a deep breath and--* Ooh, wait, new info!

antman9000: i just checked the rockethub site, to see if the donations had gone down at all since yesterday, and it has in fact gone up $1,000.

That's...kind of staggering.

But in the background, attacks on Allison Theus had started. They culminated in this startling remark.

rhodo: She evidently wasn't so poor, since she -could- afford a computer, among other things?

I still see the whole thing as fishy. We're not talking a poor homeless individual. We're talking a normal person like me and you, who got the money only because 1) she has boobs; 2)she makes a webcomic.
When I think of all the other people who may REALLY desperately need money for a much worse surgery their whole life may depend upon.... and these people don't get money only because they aren't a female comic book author on the internet... well, I feel pissed.

TypeSD replied: I really don't think "because she's a woman" was in the minds of anyone when they donated. That's just insulting to Extra Credits, Allison herself as well as all the fans who donated.

Ammutseba replied: What kind of computer do you have that could possibly cost the same amount money as an arm surgery?

Carsus Tyrell replied: Cause computers are really expensive and surgery in the US is dirt cheap right? Oh wait...

So basically what you're saying is people in wealthy countries are exempt from help because they're not poor or unfortunate enough? I think I have to echo the sentiments of my fellow Escapist and say don't be a dick. I thought you were just being a bitter cynic with your first post, thank you for confirming it with your second. Also nice dose of misogyny there too, I bet you're a real charmer.

And Andy of Comix Inc replied: SHE WAS GOING TO LOSE HER ARM. When I give blood, is it all going to poor African children with AIDS? When I'm an organ donor, how much of that really goes to "the poor"? Just because it's a charity doesn't mean it can't go to "normal" people. And, keep in mind the current healthcare climate in the United States (i.e., abysmal). To say this was a con is senseless and degrading.

I really don't like you. I give to charities all the time - Child's Play, Red Cross, Beyond Blue, what have you. They help "normal" people who are underprivileged. I'd say saving a young artist's career is a pretty noble cause, with the overflowing money going to help people get into the punishingly cruel entertainment industry. It's not going to starving kids or homeless people, but neither are other charities equally concerning issues. It's like saying it's not worth treating depression because the people with that depression have a roof over their head and access to clean water and food. So? It's still a troubling issue worthy of human action.

LadyRhian replied: And to Rhodo, whence comes all this false concern for the poor over Allison Theus? It's not your decision where other people spend their money, anymore than it is their concern where you spend yours. If you feel that strongly about helping the poor and indigent, go and do it already- start a RocketHub project and solicit donations. Heck, sell your computer and use that money if you feel so strongly about it. But stop the concern-trolling. It's stupid and just makes you look like a jerk of the highest order.

And furthermore, the Rockethub donation fund is still up because they set it to run until 8/31. There *is* no way to close it down until the event has run its course, even if you reached or exceeded your goal for fundraising. It's still up and still open, and you can still make a donation until it ends on 8/31. Stop talking out of your nether regions.

mysecondlife: I find it funny how the rocket hub's money rose about $400 since I checked last night.

It's almost like people want to see the Indie Game Fund happen.

And now we are on the 12th, and we are also on page 83, and that is a good place to stop and go to bed!

and I cut me a switch from a long branch elbow

Have I mentioned Nick Sayers yet? He's made an amazing amount of them, and they're all done using found objects, not objects created for the art. Detailed, whimsical, and massively creative.

(My favorites, of course, are the stitched card sphere, the measuring tape sphere, and the one based on bike wheel reflectors.)

Go Oz! There's hope for the Lindens yet.

And back to the grind...I mean, the Escapist thread.

I'm going to eliminate a lot of the controversy that BROUGHT us to this point (at least, in preservation-capture mode), but halfway down page 63, there was a question.

TypeSD: Can someone tell me what the hell I'm being accused of? I am not James from Extra Credits. I'm a jumped up Aussie with a love for the Escapist and Extra Credits.

Hagi responded: I'm fairly certain, although not entirely, that zvate would like you to add in the parts that Alexander omitted from my post which Alexander quoted which you quoted. If that makes any sense?

Maybe. There was also an implication from zvate that indicated he was upset because TypeSD, who uses a Jack O'Neill user icon, was in fact James Portnow from Extra Credits, and...that's just a baffling level of stupid, there.

How'ver, I can't find the original reply, and at this point, really don't care, but if you care to follow the logic, we have a lovely run-down from Hagi:
What I think it means:
- TypeSD's avatar has the name Jack.
- TypeSD seems to be mostly supporting EC, not TE.
- TypeSD quoted directly from Alexander, not taking into account that Alexander only quoted half my post.
- zvate feels that TypeSD should've added in the part of my post that Alexander omitted in order to fairly represent both sides since TypeSD seems to be supporting EC.
- zvate feels that TypeSD not doing this implies that his OP is compromised and giving an unfair recollection of events in favor of EC.
So, there you have it.

Meanwhile, there was another back-and-forth interchange that I came across while searching for zvate's reply. This one started on page 58:

Ramzal: And do all the people who've donated agree with you? Or for that matter, do all the people who voted and did NOT pick that option agree with you? Every single last one of them? And what about the people who went over the donation goal before the poll went up agree as well? If not then there is a flaw to your logic.

To which this was Kian2's reply: Yes, EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT DONATED AGREED.

You know how you can be sure of that? Because if they hadn't agreed, they wouldn't have donated.


If you donated before they hit their required funds, then you can be certain that the money will go to help Allyson. She alrady got the operation, in fact, and will not face any needs in the coming months until she is fully recovered. Exactly what the fundaraiser was for.

If you donated after they hit their mark, but before you were certain what the money would be spent on, then you are implicitly agreeing to have that money go towards whatever cause they choose to spend it on, regardless of your opinion. No one was forcing you to donate, they had already made it clear that they had all they needed.

If you donated after they decided on the cause, then you obviously must agree with the destination. Why donate otherwise?

As for research, the current situation is a matter of who said what, but there's a wealth of historical data to educate yourself and form a more informed opinion. There's the Extra Credits episodes where they talk about the fundraiser, and how they already have the money they need and are deciding what to do with the surpluss.

There's the RocketHub page. Have you actually gone there, and seen how RocketHub works?

There's their Facebook and Twitter posts where they discussed the destination of the funds. Have you gone back to look at them?

That's all free, open, unalterable evidence of the events leading up to this. If you didn't feel inclined to donate, don't hold it against them that they didn't go to more effort to educate the people who didn't care. Those who cared enough to donate and keep up with the issue were kept up to date.

I didn't quote the entirety of Kian's response (that's here if you really want to read it all), but this bit? Sheer perfection, and yes--very well reasoned, indeed.

Of course, as of August 11th, tempers are starting to fray. I present Exhibit A, TypeSD's response to zvate:

It does not. Zvate, link me to what you want added, tell me where you want it put. We'll go from there.

Also don't jump to idiotic conclusions which display a lack of knowledge and sense.


zvate: Alright, my bad. I'm glad my worst mistakes happen online and not off.... Anyway please include full quotations in your initial post as the partials tend to distort the meaning. I realize that such may demean relevancy but I think its important...

Owyn_Merrilin in response: You don't seem to have spent much time on the forums, so it's understandable that you don't know this, but it was actually Archon who omitted portions of Hagi's quote. The quote system here allows you to edit the text of what you're quoting, partially to allow you to get to the parts that apply to you, and Archon did that. When TypeSD quoted Archon in turn, the parts that Archon had edited out stayed edited out. It's actually a completely fair representation of events, since it was supposed to show Archon's response, not Hagi's question.

(By the way, in case you didn't know, Archon is Alexander Macris' screen name, which is why anything he says is relevant to the thread.)

And zvate's reply in turn: with the re-quotes.... I don't know, maybe it is too hard and I just saw something weird too late night... anyway, sorry for the initial misjump of bile...

I guess that's that.

So this one's kind of short--aheh--but I am trying to speed this unfortunate obsession along, so here you go. At some point in the next couple of days, oh, six, seven posts from now, I'll do another round-up of links, because the gods forbid, we wouldn't want anyone to get lost, now.

Gods, I need a hobby.

Besides this one.

And Second Life.

And all my other hobbies...