Saturday, August 20, 2011

oh Delia, don't go 'round when the devil's loose

So we back in the mine,
Got our pickaxe swinging from side to side
(side-side to side)
This task a grueling one,
Hope to find some diamonds tonight
(night night night, diamonds tonight)

Heads up, you hear a sound, turn around and look up
Total shock fills your body
Oh no! It's you again--
I could never forget those eyes
(eyes eyes, eyes eyes eyes eyes)

'Cos baby, tonight, the Creeper's trying to steal all our stuff again--
'Cos baby, tonight, grab your pick, shovel and bolt again--
Yeah. Even if you don't play Minecraft, Revenge is a masterful little video.
That's a nice life you have,
Shame it's gotta end at this time--
From lyrics to visuals, it's just perfect, plus some really excellent modeling and rigging work to make the animations flow so well. (And if you've never seen the original, check it out--because yeah, many of the movement references are directly from the vid.)

In other perfect video moments, let me introduce you to Goth Blocked. Stevie Ryan is half of the team TheRealParis on YouTube, and is a slowly rising internet celebrity in her own right. Plus, it's a funny song.

The only problem I have with the video? They spend far too much time in the sun for real goths.

Okay, more from the Escapist, but at this point, unless something is really stellar, I'd like to record what happened on days other than August 10th.

This may take a bit to scan through.

Kwil: From where I sit:
1. I donated well *after* the initial goal was met, with the list of what it was going for up on site. I did the $200 level because hell, getting every indie game developed by a fund with James being a mentor is gonna be worth well more than that, even if they only get 3 games out. So all this talk about how people donated for Allison is irrelevant to me. I donated specifically for the indie game development fund. So the money going to that fund I find completely appropriate. I did *not* donate to pay the Escapist's debt -- past, present, or future.

2. If Alexander wants to get pissy about the money for T-shirts and pubclub memberships, maybe he should start thinking how much James has saved him in interest and legal fees by being willing to *not be paid* for basically a year and not suing for it. That said, if The Escapist is too broke to even donate shirts and pub-memberships to the guy for his gaming development fund (which, coming from a place that used to be about furthering gaming is pretty damned sad) then by all means, keep mine ya cheap bastards.

3. Interpreting that the money will be used to save Extra Credits meaning any extra money goes toward paying The Escapists' debt or for future episodes of the show is hardly reasonable, especially when the expectation was likely that there might not even be enough to cover the surgery. The reasonable interpretation of that statement, at that time, is that the money will be used to save Allison's artistry ability, because without that, EC couldn't continue.

4. I find it completely understandable that after almost a year of non-payment, and after being in a serious situation where asking for the back-owed pay only got a thousand bucks, James thought that any promise of "the cheque's in the mail" from the Escapist being totally bogus, and moved ahead in trying to secure his rights to the donated funds.

I do, however, have a few questions left over for Alex Macris:

1. Exactly what form did your "collaboration" with EC take? I mean other than the shirts and pub-club membership that you expected to get paid for?

2. How many pay-cheques have you and Thomas missed?

Okay, so fine, that was from the 10th too. Still looking. Try this on while we're waiting: there's finally a dwarven digging song based on the the Yogscast team. Oh dear.

RSOG, also from the 10th: I think both sides are telling the truth. Both sides are sure that the e-mail exchange will defend them, which means this is a problem of perspective, not one of active deception. I've got a few theories as to how this might be in each case of factual disagreement, but this is all guesswork. The real story will come to light eventually.

Regarding claims to the money
James: "Instead they responded by telling us that they felt that they were entitled to 75% of the Rockethub money, thus their debt was covered and, despite not paying us for nearly a year, we owed them $9500 dollars"
Alexander: "We did NOT ask that James send us $9,500 - we said he should use $9,500 to create more episodes of the show that the money was supposed to be used to save."
My guess: Alexander is saying that the donation money be used to pay for Extra Credits on behalf of the Escapist, thus clearing their debt, and that the remaining 9.5k would be their future pay. In this way, it's "Saving Extra Credits" under the assumption that The Escapist can't afford to keep EC around and would have to cancel the show if they had to pay for it themselves - but it's also going straight to The Escapist in that it's being paid out in lieu of a paycheck.

(Though I will admit, the whole reply is worth reading.)

FalloutJack, still on the tenth: Because of a previous tirade against some of the Escapist's ad-related deallies (The Meebo Problem), I was able to learn quite alot of its working process for finance and so on. I should point out that from a fair and reasonable standpoint, I understand how bloody hard it is to get revenue. Ah, that word... I did indeed give them the benefit of a mature understanding that you have to support your own structure, employees included, when I was told about all this.

And then, I attempted to do that strangest of things: I gave the editors the helpful suggestion of using voluntary donation to further support everything and improve browsing for all. This notion was based upon the idea that if people liked this place enough, maybe they'd get some extra money for it, out of the kindness of their heart. Well, that was quite ignored, and here I stand with the proof that the Escapist is just too clever for helpful suggestions.

Yes, yes. The business ethic here is indeed screwy as all hell. If half of what the Escapist stands accused of is true, they are in perhaps the most trouble they'll ever see (unless something bad goes down with Yahtzee as well). Now, I think plenty of you know where I stand on this. I said as much in big fucking red letters before. The donations for Allison were FOR Allison. Out of kindness and human decency, people pledged well over the necessary and kept on going. And when the EC crew said "Hey, let's set up a non-prof to benefit the creation of indie games!", we the donators of the cash and fans alike went "Cool".

Sgt. Sandstorm: Does this mean that we won't get our shirts if we donated?

That's a really interesting point, actually. Will the people who donated to the Rockethub fund get anything at this point, with the Rockethub funds in dispute? That's yet another ringing call of Please, help us screw our customer base, thank you! What the hell? Does anyone have confirmation of this, pro or con?

Signa: I would like to take a moment and thank the moderating staff for their choices of who to moderate in this thread. I'm 15 pages in, and I've seen tons of rule breaking, but the only punished offenses have been the posters who acted like complete jackasses to another member.

To be ruthless here, the Escapist staff doesn't dare wade in with the Banhammer of Doom, because that would be the fastest way to start a mob riot. Right now they're pulling about 70/30 in public opinion; with 70% favoring Extra Credits against the Escapist in the first place. They have to be very careful in what they choose to do on anti-Escapist forum threads.

That being said, it would be really nice if anyone on the Escapist staff actually stepped up and said something else about this conflict.

Of course, I am still stuck on August 10th, so wading through the replies as fast as I can...

Have a taste of the Woman in Black trailer while we wait. That film's starting to look very, very good.

AnarchistFish: I was wondering what the hell all this was about and then remembered that this is the US and your health care system is about as charitable as Al-Qaeda.

Ouch. I mean, yes, it's America, it's true, but...ouch.

[02:04] IAmABanana (IAmABanana Resident) is now known as IAmABanana.
[02:04] IAmABanana (IAmABanana Resident) is now known as IAmABanana.
[02:05] IAmABanana (IAmABanana Resident) is now known as IAmABanana.

Why am I being told this? She's not on my friends list. Why am I seeing this on my screen? The hell?

And why three times?

TypeSD, still on the 10th but worthy of the quoting:

"Escapist: [points a shotgun at Extra Credits] EC, don't you take another step!

Extra Credits: Now I did a job; and got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character. So let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job...

[Extra Credits takes the money from The Escapist]

Extra Credits: and then I get paid. Go run your little world.

Griffolion: I wonder if Alex is going to respond to the response of the response?
(from the media album)

AsurasFinest: Why does this remind me of the EA vs Valve stuff.
EA/Escapist clearly do wrong, fingers all point to them being the guys in the wrong and yet idiots still come in and say that Valve/EC are at fault, because of...something.

Nevermind that people have come forward saying they were also not paid, nevermind the fact that they are asking for donation money meant for Allisons arm, nevermind all that lets just say The Escapist is right because of no logical reason whatsoever.

I mean jesus christ people, when other former contributors come forward and tell you they weren't paid as well, that its the reason why they left, how the hell can you think EC are lying?

My take on this--though I have an admitted bias towards Extra Credits--is that both parties are at fault. Why? Because much of this, if not all of this, could have been resolved behind closed doors. And it is precisely because the Escapist hasn't paid other contributors; we haven't heard anything about that from anyone else until the folks at EC said, "Wait a minute..."

Did James Portnow play the sympathy card? Yes, and he should be ashamed of it. Did James also hire a lawyer and a business manager and step things up to the Intense Confrontation Hour we have now? Absolutely.

Did the Escapist pay them in the first place? No.

And, as far as I can tell, it's still ongoing--the Escapist says 'the check is in the mail' and the Extra Credits say there's cobwebs in the mailbox. Something else is going on. We just don't know what it is, yet.

Oh, but here's a fun kicker, on which I think I'll end this patch of the drama: someone from the Extra Credits team responding in the thread, on August 10th, 2011, at 11:33 pm:

Extracredits: I apologize, I have to respond. The escapist put in no money, nor did they ever print t-shirts or give away pub-club memberships. Alex says this as well. Additionally, the 75% was on money above and beyond the cost of printing anything, it was specifically on money that wasn't part of the costs associated with the fundraiser.

And--unless Alexander Macris responds to that at some point--I think that's our answer on whether or not people are going to get t-shirts or Publisher's Club access from donating to Allison's surgery fund/the Extra Credits indie development charity.

(That answer, in case you missed it? They're not.)

So, now we're here, I figure I should sail us out on another non-Escapist bit of hey, there's going to be a fourth Underworld film! Yay!

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