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a woman is always to blame advocacy of violence allegedly false accusations gaslighting ironic nazis literal nazis lying liars men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny TROOOLLLL!! trump

Donald Trump: Could he become America’s first troll president?

The similarity goes beyond the hair
The similarity goes beyond the hair

Donald Trump is probably the most casually dishonest serious candidate for president that this country has ever seen. He lies so easily, so shamelessly, and so regularly that media outlets have largely given up trying to factcheck his more, er, problematic assertions.

Politifact, a site that exposes politicians’ lies, awarded their Lie of the Year prize last year to “the campaign misstatements of Donald Trump.” There were so many they couldn’t pick just one.

Trump is worse than a mere fibber; as more than a few observers have noted of late, he’s also a master gaslighter, as are the political operatives closest to him. Gaslighting is a favorite tactic of abusers who’ve mastered the art of lying so baldly that their victims are led to doubt what they’ve seen and experienced, and begin to think they’re literally going mad.

Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responded to reporter Michelle Fields’ claim that he had assaulted her at a Trump event by declaring her “delusional” — a favorite ploy of gaslighters everywhere — even though, as footage of the event now conclusively shows, he did in fact grab her and pull her away from Trump, just as she said he had. Lewandowski’s employer, whose own story on the assault has undergone a number of mutations, is now accusing her of changing her story, which has been consistent from the start. Add to this a heaping helping of old-fashioned misogynistic victim-blaming, and you’ve got a nasty smear campaign going.

But Trump’s latest claim about the Lewandowski incident is so over-the-top ludicrous that it transcends mere gaslighting. During a CNN town hall last night, Trump tried to convince the world that Lewandowski’s assault was perfectly justified because the pen she was holding could just maybe have been, you know, some sort of James Bond style pen-bomb.

“She had a pen in her hand,” he declared, “which Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb.”

Never mind that there was a Secret Service agent right there, and he didn’t deem Fields to be enough of a threat to intervene.

Oh, and never mind that A PEN BOMB!!? YOU CAN’T BE FREAKING SERIOUS.

And that’s a bit of a clue as to what is going on here. Trump can’t possibly be serious. The pen-bomb claim is almost certainly a bad-faith attempt to derail the discussion and to draw public attention away from the surveillance video showing Lewandowski grabbing Fields.

This is what trolls do. Trump is pulling the same sort of bad-faith nonsense that anti-Semitic trolls do when they declare that they can’t possibly be anti-Semitic because Arabs are Semites too; when a certain far-right fantasy author declares that he can’t possibly be a white supremacist because he has a bit of American Indian blood in his genes, a fact that he discovered only recently and which he gleefully trots out every time he’s accused of racism.

The trouble is that these tactics, however transparent they are to most observers, work.  As David Marcus notes in The Federalist, Trump’s energetic gaslighting has managed to distract the media from the real issues and shroud the Lewandowski incident in doubt.

Now that Lewandowski has been arrested and video shows that his account is patently false, Trump is lowering the lights. Well, he says, she touched me too, can I get her charged? He says, well, how do we know she didn’t already have those bruises (which she photographed the next day). As the lights dim, those most tragic figures, cable news anchors, fall into his frothing sea of who knows what the hell happened?

And when those claims began to wear thin, Trump started talking about pen-bombs.

Donald Trump is a troll. He’s been trolling us all from day one of his campaign. 

So it’s no wonder that the Anime Nazis have embraced Trump so enthusiastically. It isn’t just his racism that’s appealing to them, or his not-so-subtle encouragement of physical violence against protesters, more than a little bit reminiscent of Nazi electoral thuggery.

It’s because he’s one of them, a born troll.

I half expect Trump himself to take up the joke slogan of his trolly followers and promise voters that he will make anime real. After all, that’s a claim no more absurd than Trump’s contention that he will build a wall on our southern border and make Mexico pay for it.

Like most successful trolls — paging Milo Yiannopoulos — Trump has attracted a rabid following of trolls happy to troll and smear on his behalf. However ridiculous their memes get, their support for Trump is sincere, and their attacks still sting.

And that’s the problem with trolls. Their ironic stances have a tendency to calcify into sincerely held beliefs. Cartoon fascism becomes real hatred. Donald Trump the media-trolling buffoon becomes Donald Trump the dangerous demagogue. Some of his more over-the-top pronouncements may be mostly hot air, but his racism and misogyny are real. And to those who bear the brunt of Trump’s (and his followers’) attacks, a smear is a smear, even if the smearer knows he’s spouting bullshit.

But trolls can’t bend reality completely to their liking. Lewandowski’s attempts to smear Fields as an attention-hungry confabulator came up against the hard reality of the surveillance tapes. We need to keep calling out the endless lies. Trump’s fans may believe the lies — or they may find it convenient to pretend that they do — but I don’t think most Americans are quite as gullible as Trump and his troll buddies think they are.

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Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

EDIT: Who even mentioned Sanders?

D’awwww, widdle fuzzies!!

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

OMG IT IS AN OCELITTLE!

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 years ago
Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Carisma says we should cook something delicious.

http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ce5AvdpUsAA2OEU.jpg

Makroth
Makroth
4 years ago

I think the brain bleach was really needed.

Also, this is an interesting development: https://newrepublic.com/article/132283/anonymous-hacked-donald-trump

Considering the date they plan to attack on, i’m predicting they will reveal they were never planning to reveal any information. That would be a clever thing to do. We’ll see.

Pie
Pie
4 years ago

Personally, I’d prefer Trump to Cruz. Trump isn’t acting as if he’s running for head of government; he’s acting like he’s running for king. He can’t run the country by himself and he’s pissed off a lot of people on his way up. I don’t doubt he’d do some damage, but without the rest of the government behgind him the damage he can do would be somewhat limited.

Cruz on the other hand seems to sincerely believe in the ghastly things that Trump say to win approval, and hasn’t been burning any bridges. Cruz is far, far more likely to achieve his goals, and none of them are particularly nice.

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
4 years ago

Makroth, is that a dog nursing raccoons? I have to hear the whole story.

Makroth
Makroth
4 years ago

@banned

It’s a picture i found on Google images while looking for baby raccoons.

Here’s the source: https://www.reddit.com/comments/h1f34/

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

My comment which was at the bottom of Page 2 is now at the top of Page 3! Time to look for new comments!

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

@David: I got what you meant, at least.

mockingbird
mockingbird
4 years ago

@Lightcastle –

Mockingbird – I actually think that because Cruz is a Dominionist, he won’t work for the end of the world. Especially since he’s Seven Mountains like his dad. It’s basically postmilleneal – their job is to make the world Good and Christian and THEN Jesus comes back. It’s not the whole Rapture thing where you just hope the world burns and Jesus saves you.

Now, his version of a “good and christian” world is pretty much a nightmare in my view.

I think Trump more dangerous because it really is about unleashing the id of nationalism and bigotry, and specifically about being the top dog in a dominance display for him and his followers. That’s a far quicker ride to chaos and violence in my view. Other than “I’m on top, and I kick you while you’re down”, there is no guiding principle at all. I think it unleashes far worse impulses.

Cruz is a nightmare, but he strikes me as far more containable within the system. Trump will push the cracks in the system and maybe break it. (My view)

Wow, thanks for correcting me.
I had completely missed (forgotten? I think I’ve read it somewhere, but it’s gotten buried) that Dominionists are postmillennialists rather than premillennialists. The two are each scary, but in slightly different ways 😉

With that in mind – that his goals would require more explicit laying of foundations and coalition building rather than just “REBUILD THE TEMPLE N’ LOOK FOR THE ANTICHRIST!” (or “[…] N’ AWAIT THE RAPTURE” if they’re Dispensationalists”) – Trump’s fear-based authoritarian nightmare edges out Cruz’s OT-heavy authoritarian nightmare as far as the plausibility of inciting “mob rule and pitch forks” scary shit.

*makes face*

There’re enough culture warriors in positions of power to make a Cruz presidency plenty destructive, though.

Moggie
Moggie
4 years ago

sunnysombrera, that doggie looks like Calvin!

comment image

Hu's On First
Hu's On First
4 years ago

Mockingbird – I actually think that because Cruz is a Dominionist, he won’t work for the end of the world. Especially since he’s Seven Mountains like his dad. It’s basically postmilleneal – their job is to make the world Good and Christian and THEN Jesus comes back. It’s not the whole Rapture thing where you just hope the world burns and Jesus saves you.
Now, his version of a “good and christian” world is pretty much a nightmare in my view.

If only a Preterist would run for president instead. (They believe that all the major prophesied events have already happened, to the extent that many of them don’t believe in an “end of the world” at all).

Hambeast, Social Justice Legbeard
Hambeast, Social Justice Legbeard
4 years ago

Where exactly is the line between negative campaign ads and a candidate pointing out differences between themselves and other candidates? Hillary *has* taken money from Wall Street types and others. Hillary has super PACs run by people who have been affiliated with her to help deflect negative information while Bernie doesn’t. Both candidates also have PACs that work on their behalf without any sort of approval or affiliation because anyone* can form a PAC for any reason.

*such as Stephen Colbert during the last Presidential election cycle

Hu's On First
Hu's On First
4 years ago

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife is reportedly dating Vladimir Putin.

I can’t wait to see how all the white supremacists who currently support Putin will react to his dating a Chinese woman.

Not to mention the people who hold up Putin as a paragon of “family values” once they realize he divorced his previous wife, and is himself dating a divorced woman….

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
4 years ago

@ Hu’s On First

Meh. Authoritarians are notorious for not giving a shit about their leaders violating rules and moral strictures.

It’s everyone else who has to toe the line….

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Hambeast

Where exactly is the line between negative campaign ads and a candidate pointing out differences between themselves and other candidates?

Exactly what I would’ve said if I hadn’t already had enough of Alan’s trolling for one day. It’s impossible to run a campaign while pretending the opponent doesn’t exist. If stating the simple fact that Hillary has a SuperPAC is “negative”, then why the fuck does she have a SuperPAC.

There has to be room for a candidate to say “this is a difference between me and the other candidate”. It’s not a dirty trick to state your positions.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

Hambeast,
IN my personal opinion, there’s nothing wrong with negative campaigning if a candidate is going after the opposition’s actual record. Nasty personal attacks, dogwhistles etc are what’s the problem.

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

Alan, you and I grate on many of the same people. It may well be that some of what I’m about to say makes me a hypocrite. If so — well, so be it. Hypocrisy doesn’t mean I’m wrong. But also I hope (and trust) that someone will take me to task as well. I want to talk about language. Personally, I find it difficult to guess how bothered I’d be by your positions if not for the extreme condescension with which you often impart them. It’s been flagrant and persistent enough that I feel you cannot be fully ignorant of it, but it’s possible that you’re unaware of how pervasively disrespectful your conduct is.

I think that if you made a disciplined effort to show a little humility and a little respect for other posters, it would take you a long way. I can’t speak for anyone else, of course. And I don’t mean to imply that the substance of your comments isn’t offensive, because it is. However, although changing your demeanor wouldn’t make that offense go away, I do think your language contributes to the feeling that you’re not worth bothering with.

For instance, it’s the tabloid-style title “hypocrite Sanders,” that pushed your first comment from “annoying” to “insufferable” in my book. It implies that Sanders’ hypocrisy is (a) widely known, (b) universally acknowledged, and (c) his defining quality. I would prefer that you acknowledged it as opinion (“People may know that I often find Sanders hypocritical. . .”), but if you must present it as objective fact, it’s better to assert it than assume it. “Sanders is a hypocrite. He ejects protesters from his rallies.” is better than “hypocrite Sanders ejects protesters from his rallies,” because it acknowledges that others might not know or not agree that he is one.

Then there was this:

“a few weeks ago he just stood there whilst his security forcibly stopped protestors approaching him, so how’s he different from Trump in that regard?”

Others have said that to compare authorizing non-harmful use of force by security staff with encouraging mob violence is appalling. I agree with them, but I’ll go further. You either knew or should have known we would feel that way. If you really don’t think the distinction matters, you should have made that case. A rhetorical question (“how’s he different?”) is basically a statement (he’s no different); you didn’t support that statement with argument or evidence even though you surely knew we’d vehemently disagree. Making provocative statements without supporting them is trolling, in my book.

If you’re going to stick around, I hope you will strive to
–Phrase opinion as opinion.
–When expressing opinions you know to be controversial, either make an argument, acknowledge that some may disagree, or bother.
–Be more cautious about claiming expertise. (No lawyer I respect would invoke professional authority to opine on legal actions they weren’t involved with in countries where they didn’t practice
–Refrain from telling people what they know or believe*

*A more serious example above, but my personal favorite has always been the time you said we probably all knew about an Egyptian cat god**, then ignored me when I pointed out that Google doesn’t believe she exists***.

**Not Bastet, who is real****. It was supposed to be “Putsh” or “Ptuch” or something.

***In fairness, the thread was pretty much over and you might not have seen me. But it was my first encounter with you and it set the tone.

****Well, not real, in my opinion. But you know what I mean.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
4 years ago

I’m gonna defend both Sanders and (OMG, can’t believe I’m doing this) Trump in terms of ejecting loud, disruptive protesters. When I go to see someone speak, i want to hear them speak. Right? I have protested candidate stump speeches before. I went to a Dan Quayle rally with signs and a t-shirt. And I stood at the edge and didn’t say anything and just jostled my sign up and down a little. That was enough. People got the point. And I got plenty of glares. But I certainly didn’t interrupt his speech. People spoke to me – a bit aggressively – but y’know there was no actual trouble or threats. I was supporting choice and it’s an emotive issue and they challenged me on the issue. No one challenged my right to be there, they didn’t like it though. My old boss, an ex-marine, happened to be there, too and said he thought it was getting ugly and was ready to step in to protect me – but it wasn’t needed and nor did I ever feel that it was that ugly. (I don’t know what to make of him being there but turns out his wife who I didn’t know very well then but friended me on FB after I friended her husband is a pretty hardcore Dem)

The difference between Sanders and Trump is that if you showed up in your animal rights shirt, etc. and didn’t say anything at a Sanders rally, I don’t believe that you would be forcibly ejected. Whereas people just wearing t-shirts and not saying diddly have been pointed out by the crowd and forcibly and sometimes violently ejected and Trump verbally encourages them to do that.

And I’m a Hillary supporter 100% and really don’t like Sanders for a number of reasons.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
4 years ago

@ Makroth

On the previous page, in the post where you embedded four images (four incredibly adorable images), the third one down appears to be a pair of tiny creatures that look like a cross between a mouse and an antelope.

Do you (or anyone else) know what they are?

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

@Rugbyyogi,

Sanders himself actually defended Trump right’s to have disruptive protesters removed. Sanders is opposed to disruptive action and says that people can and should protest outside Trump events but that he should be allowed to speak.

However, not all ways of ejecting disruptive people are equal. It’s one thing to have trained security escort them out. It’s quite another to tell your audience you’ll defend them in court if they assault a protester.

EDIT: @Alan,

Oh yeah, I forgot about your “usual detached rationality.” Setting aside for the moment the question of whether “detached rationality” is a virtue, being rational is like being cool. If you say you are, you’re not.

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

@Gaebolga: I think they’re chevrotain, or mouse deer.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
4 years ago

@ Falconer

Thanks!

katz
4 years ago

Yeah, Alan, I’m both an animal-rights activist and a Hillary supporter, and even I think you’re being ridiculous. Sanders made that one insensitive remark about factory farming once and you’ve been on the war path ever since.

And I’m not enthused about round 21353541 of “I’m so rational and obviously correct and the rest of you just can’t handle my truth bombs.”

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

comment image

littleknown
littleknown
4 years ago

Regarding how presidential candidates handle hecklers who attempt to shout over them…

Here’s the sitting President addressing a heckler: “These guys don’t need to go”

I sincerely hope our next President is also an adult.

And here is the Donald debating Reagan and Bush on immigration: “These are good people”

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Hu’s on First:
A lot of racists seem perfectly okay with White men dating Asian women. Sadly, I don’t believe that I have to spell out why either.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

Oh, and:

@Orion:
I just wanted to let you know that I saw your message on my blog. I’ve been having quite a heavy few weeks so I’m not in a philosophy mood at the moment, but I didn’t want you to think that I’m ignoring you.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Orion

*applause*

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

On the topic of Alison Rapp, I’ve just learned that her second job was as a burlesque performer. That should in no way conflict with Nintendo’s non-compete clause. They’re well known for firing people for signing on with competitors like Microsoft, but this is completely different, and while they may be legally able to fire her for this reason (or any arbitrary reason, being in Washington state), this is not something that would typically concern them. It’s clear in my mind that she was fired for the GG antics and that’s really disappointing.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ Thread

Yeah, fair enough. I was out of order here. Please accept apologies where sought.

I’ll try to be less didactic in future. Feel free to call me out if (or based on past form, when) I cross the line again. I do love you all and I honestly don’t want to tread on any toes here. This is the only online community I’m part of and I forget sometimes that it’s not the same as real world discussions with meatspace friends. Obviously in those situations it’s a bit more ebb and flow and real time responding whereas here I can see how me putting up a post is more of a statement rather than part of a conversation so comes across as more condescending if that makes sense?

@ EJ

I’m a big fan of checking on myself, I find it rewarding rather than painful. I think it’s important to self monitor. And I’m always happy to have other points of view put to me. I’m always willing to change my mind on something if a case can be made; there’s nothing more harmful than an entrenched position. And no worries about not likening me. I still find your posts interesting and I enjoy our discussions. I do like you. That’s pretty much my default position with everyone (with a few exceptions for some public figures as you’ll have spotted). I’ve even had pleasant conversations with people who wanted to kill me (for political not personal reasons, amazingly)

Once again, apologies to all and I appreciate the way you’ve called me out with undeserved politeness.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

You guys are awesome 🙂

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw
I haven’t read all the comments yet. I won’t get to them for a while. But I want to say now that although I support Sanders, I understand your disappointment.

You seem to put animals first, at least in some ways. So do I, at least in some ways. They are often trampled on. They don’t have political power. They don’t even speak our language. So it’s really, really good that people will speak up for them. I’m glad when you speak up for animals–you encourage me to do the same.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

So when Donald Trump starts to give some thought to abortion, he realizes that he doesn’t want to go to prison for what he’s done (my interpretation–not based on anything the Drumpfman has told me):

Then, Matthews asked Trump if the man involved in the pregnancy should be punished. To that, Trump said, “…different feelings, different people… I would say no.” By the end of the segment, Trump had revealed that although he is pro-life with “three exceptions,” he would support women being punished for receiving abortions, but he would not support punishments for the men who were also responsible for the pregnancy. (Cue the cringe, again.)

http://www.bustle.com/articles/151156-donald-trumps-abortion-punishments-dont-include-men-for-whatever-misogynistic-reason

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ kat

I haven’t read all the comments yet.

Er, then maybe just skip ahead to my apology. I was a complete knob in the way I addressed this.

I do have a particular thing for animals and small children though. Abuse to them really makes my blood boil. Lots of reasons but perhaps the main one is that with other victims you can at least explain to them that it’s not their fault. The real heartbreak is when you see someone too young or without the capacity to understand, trying to figure out what they did wrong and still trying to win the affection of their abuser.

Social Justice Atheist
Social Justice Atheist
4 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw

I am also a very strong supporter of animal rights as well as a Bernie supporter, and I can understand why what he did upset you. It upset me too as well, a lot. I can understand your position, but I feel Sanders is a better candidate than Clinton simply because Sander’s beliefs align more with mine. Nobody is perfect all the time, so I personally would rather have Sanders even though he makes choices I don’t agree with sometimes.

Not that you have to agree. You can vote for or support whoever you want. I definitely understand your position about animal rights/rights of small children and I agree. Thank you for clarifying.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

I am also pro animal rights. I don’t see how being disappointed with Bernie over animal rights leads to calling him a misogynist, claiming he’s indistinguishable from Trump, and holding his campaign to ridiculous standards. This kind of personal vendetta, blatant lies, and Esmay-like hyperbole – all because Bernie had a less than perfect response to an animal rights related question once? Yeah, I’m not buying it.

guy
guy
4 years ago

On removing hecklers, I think it’s acceptable if the hecklers are actually to the point of keeping the audience from hearing the speech. Security should politely instruct them to leave and remove them with absolutely minimum necessary force if they do not comply. Otherwise, I respect speakers who can respond in a way that persuades the audience that their position is correct. Having non-disruptive protestors removed only shows that they’re afraid of what the protestors have to say.

Social Justice Atheist
Social Justice Atheist
4 years ago

@IP

I just now went back and read 2nd page of comments. :/

Claire
Claire
4 years ago

@ EJ

Ah shit, my bad! Don’t know why I assumed you were from the States. And your comment re Julius made me laugh so hard I snorted Oros out my nose. Thanks for that.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Claire:
On the one hand, I can’t stand Oros and never could. On the other hand I’m now getting confusing nostalgic homesick urges for it. This is a bizarre mixture of feelings.

How’s the autumn back home? What part of the country are you in?

Claire
Claire
4 years ago

@EJ
Seriously? Oros is the shit. I though everyone loved the stuff. When I was in London I used to miss Liqui-Fruit’s apricot juice. And Mrs Balls until I found it at Sainsbury’s.

I’m from Cape Town but I work in construction and am on a project in Durban. Durban doesn’t really have weather other than varying degrees of heat and humidity. Today it is 31 degrees and muggy as all hell.

Are you for permanent on Mud Island?

guy
guy
4 years ago

On the topic of Alison Rapp, I’ve just learned that her second job was as a burlesque performer. That should in no way conflict with Nintendo’s non-compete clause. They’re well known for firing people for signing on with competitors like Microsoft, but this is completely different, and while they may be legally able to fire her for this reason (or any arbitrary reason, being in Washington state), this is not something that would typically concern them. It’s clear in my mind that she was fired for the GG antics and that’s really disappointing.

Long analysis follows; tl;dr Nintendo almost certainly did this because GamerGate found something that Nintendo thought would look bad to parents rather than to appease GamerGate. Will probably do something pointedly anti-GG in the near future. Their stated reason is probably the real reason; you can oppose it and I’m not really happy myself but going by their prior behavior they probably aren’t lying.

Nintendo’s official statement said that her second job “conflicts with Nintendo’s corporate culture” and she did do it under a fake name, so I’m inclined to suspect it’s not directly due to the GG antics in the sense that while it probably wouldn’t have happened without them in the alternate universe where she was instead working at a family restaurant she probably wouldn’t have been fired. I have… opinions… on Nintendo’s actions relating to copyright law and other actions, but they’ve been okay on gender issues. Not great pioneers or anything, but they did do stuff like openly and directly mock the AC Unity comment about the expense of a female player character* in the Robin SSB4 trailer when they showed off that they had both male and female Robin and generally been above the sadly low bar of the other major console makers. My takeaway from their various actions and statements is that they won’t spontaneously work to improve representation of women, LBGT, etc. but when they do take sides it’s not been with GG before this.

The thing is, Nintendo wants to be seen as a family-friendly company. Look back a while (one of the open threads) and you’ll see people here praising their friend code system for protecting against stalking. They also crack down on anything that might hurt their image. So it’s entirely in character for them to fire someone if it becomes publicly known, or appears likely to become publicly known, that they’re in a “disreputable” occupation. My guess is that they’re soon going to announce Alison’s replacement by another woman, though I don’t want to give them too much credit for that; they’ll do it because they think they’ll gain more from feminists than they’ll lose from GamerGate that way.

Probably the best way of putting it is that they’re not progressive in their behavior-I have no idea what their executives actually think and it doesn’t really matter-but they want Mammotheers and similar to like them. Seems to manifest like this:
1. People start debating an issue
Ex. LBGT representation
2. Nintendo proceeds to hope it goes away if they maintain the status quo
Ex. Tomodachi Life did not allow gay marriage
3. They recieve protests
4. Nintendo makes a concession on the subject to mollify people
Ex. Announcement that they’d include some openly gay characters in Fire Emblem Fates

Then everyone decides they didn’t get everything they wanted but are glad that Nintendo listened and responded and move on to focusing on other companies. Point being that throwing one of their employees to the GG wolves would be out of character, but if the GG witch hunt finds something, Nintendo isn’t going to fight them if it might hurt their image with parents. They’re not particularly interested in the feminist cause, but this isn’t a sign they’re caving in to GamerGate. Within the month they’ll make a move calculated to send the message that they know people are understandably suspicious about them firing a woman targeted by GamerGate and reassure us that they’re in favor of women in gaming. And come hell or high water they’re not going to stop censoring explicit content; nothing GamerGate does can possibly change that.

I won’t say you have to like what they’re doing, just that it really isn’t because they’re bowing to pressure from GamerGate. And in the prior Kotaku article you can see that even GamerGate knows they have no power over Nintendo, whether or not they admit it to themselves:

Auernheimer encouraged people to contact Nintendo with a very specific tone.

“When you contact these people be very respectful, act as a concerned parent,” he writes of the Nintendo employees he’s listed. “Link to the pro-pedo statements she’s made but obviously don’t link back to DS [Daily Stormer] or she’ll be able to dismiss it as a white supremacist conspiracy.”

Because Nintendo cares about what parents think. They don’t care what GamerGate thinks. They offer up sacrifices to concerned parents, not misogynists.

This cuts both ways; like I said they’re probably going to replace her with another woman, to convince you that they’ve listened and responded and get everyone to drop the issue. But unless they respond by announcing that they’re no longer going to discipline people for what they do outside of work, then nothing has actually changed.

As for them not responding to GamerGate’s harassment until their public statement where they made a point of condemning it, that can mean various things. Most likely, they wanted to keep it out of the news because, well, she did in fact write a college paper opposing tightening Japanese child pornography laws. You can see why they might not want “Nintendo defends child porn apologist” to end up in any paper that a parent might read no matter what follows that headline. Being on the other side of an issue from an anti-child sex trafficking group does not tend to look good to anyone who has children.

The rank hypocrisy being that it’s an actual academic paper supporting the argument that people upset about the censorship will make in public and if they had the slightest shred of intellectual honesty they’d be plugging it every chance they get. They’re using something they claim to agree with as a bludgeon.

*I’m going to ramble about technical details but first I want to make absolutely clear that Ubisoft didn’t have a playable female character because they didn’t care to; not one thing I’m going to say would have been a serious obstacle given their resources. They would have had to spend money but they had far more than enough.

Anyways, there are some genuine challenges that aren’t immediately obvious. If you look closely in most any game, you’ll notice that the vast majority of the characters have very similar proportions. That’s because there’s secretly only a tiny handful of models and nearly all the variation is textures on the models. If a character is a different size from everyone else, they’re probably a rescaled version of a standard-size model. They’ll maybe make a couple special ones for major characters.

At this point the obvious response is to point out that they already have women in the game so maybe they could use that model. Yes, that is absolutely what they would do. However, they probably (I’m working second hand here) didn’t already have the full set of all the parkour and fighting animations for that model and would need to make them.

So couldn’t they just copy and paste from the ones for Arno? Technically; Mass Effect did that for femShep and it pretty much works. But given AC gameplay there’d be tons of little graphical issues unless they thoroughly re-worked them (not that anyone would have noticed given the state it launched in) and not doing that would make it insultingly obvious it was an afterthought. So like ten of the literally more than a thousand people on the team would have needed to spend a few weeks on that.

Other companies had an absolute field day with how insultingly stupid claiming it would double the budget was; even generously assuming they misspoke and meant just the modelling/animation budget it’d probably be a 20% increase or so tops. Nintendo put in both versions of Robin and had the announcement trailer end with something to the effect of “Yes, you can play Robin for both genders, and we didn’t even have to double the budget!” Shadow of Mordor, which is similarly animation-intensive, released a tiny DLC that swapped the player’s appearance to that of the most prominent female NPC.

Perhaps the most jaw-dropping aspect of the whole thing was that they wouldn’t have been doing the actually hard part! Unity had this weird co-op thing where everyone saw themselves as the main character and other people’s customized avatars, and the other players vanished in cutscenes. Meaning that if they made a customizable female avatar like people asked them to they wouldn’t have needed to put them in cutscenes with all the trouble that entails.

Now, yes, BioWare does it, but that’s because BioWare is genuinely committed to having female characters as an option and invest quite a bit in doing so, and you can still notice the shortcuts they’ve taken. Voice acting is expensive and they want to reuse as many lines as they can get away with rather than recording everything twice. Listen very closely and you’ll notice that the dialogue tends to avoid gendered pronouns; the player is called “Shepard” or “Warden” or “Inquisitor” or “Hawke” or “Ser” or “Lord”. Because then they can use the same line regardless of gender. Oh, you’ll hear some pronouns and other gender-specific references, but that’s because BioWare is willing to spend some extra money to change things up. There’s a genuine technical challenge and they have done their best to overcome it because they do care.

guy
guy
4 years ago

Oh, there is a notorious visible instance of where Bioware’s tactic of just copying the male animations didn’t quite work.

See, the animations are in fact designed for male Shepard first and they’re all sterotypically masculine. Not generally an issue; nothing wrong with women breaking gendered expectations. However, the sitting animation manspreads a bit. Also not a problem in general. But then a DLC for ME2 came out, and it included a black dress as an alternate outfit, where previously everything had been pants or armor. So this happened:

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/female_shepard_legs_200.jpg

They would probably have designed that a bit differently if they’d made custom animations.

guy
guy
4 years ago

Clarification on Nintendo, because I’ve realized that I may have come off as defending their actions: I do not think Nintendo fired her because they had any moral objection to her actions. I think they fired her because they felt she was a liability and associating with her would damage their reputation with consumers. But for over a decade, it’s been extremely clear that the demographic Nintendo really targets is not the reddit and 4chan crowd, it’s children and by extension their parents. Their technological innovations aren’t focused on making graphics numbers go up; they’re toys for children that adults can also enjoy. When they build their online experiences, they’re safe and controlled; they deliberately made a team shooter without voice chat so parents wouldn’t have to worry about all the voice chat harassment horror stories. FE:Fates has excellent text input, but the online personal communications are strictly limited to pre-built messages, all positive. Their online payment system is deliberately crippled so parents don’t have to worry about their children going on unauthorized shopping sprees. Japanese companies rarely sue over unauthorized fanworks in Japan, even for-profit and sexually explicit ones, but one of the major precedent-setting cases was Nintendo suing over a pokemon porn manga.

So this is Nintendo disposing of one of their employees because she has become inconvenient by offending their customers. It’s just that the customers they actually care about aren’t in GamerGate; GamerGate managed to find something that threatened Nintendo’s reputation with their actual core demographic.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Quick note about AC Unity: I dabble with 3D, and making a female morph of the character + adjusting rigging + walk cycles etc would have required only minimal effort.

The previous dude in charge of animation development also says this (scroll to the bottom of the article, last Twitter comment).

Let me toot my own horn for a sec: I did a quickie commission job to a friend of mine and all three figures are derived from the same base — female elf, burly dude fighter, male gnome. All three also use shareable outfits, conforming to bodyshape and adjusting to rigging. Another: the werewolf and female fighter use the same base as above three (Genesis 1 base).

Where I stand, I’m gonna call their bluff, and did that when AC: Unity news first came out. The tech I used for those pics above came out in 2011, for software that’s given out for free (since 2012).

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

Alan, what do you mean when you say:

no worries about not [liking] me

? I read that as “you have my permission to dislike me,” which is. . . a deeply weird and rather off-putting thing to say. In my opinion, anyway.