Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dear Angry Gamers, I Am Calling Your Bluff


Anna Kreider / Wundergeek is sending traffic over here from a smear post she wrote to harass me. For the actual facts about that post, please read this.
Anyway, back to the original post, which you'll notice doesn't match Anna's description is not a "charity ransom" (money went to charity, just not one chosen by the harassment clique, and I make no mention of "acceptable answers"....


So the charges against me and the women in my group have been totally debunked.
Thank you, Molly.

However, some liars are still lying and pretending they didn't lie or defending their right to retweet lies and it's boring everyone. Aren't you bored reading this?

So, let's finish this like the gamers and do-gooders we are:

Here's the game--I ask you a question about things you did or said to create this controversy. You answer the question clearly. Each straight answer you give I donate 10 US dollars to the charity of your choice.*

No religious, anti-porn or other conservative charities allowed. Anarchist, feminist and LGBT ones recommended. Personally I am a big fan of the Downtown LA women's shelter since our party's thief works there but the lgbt center's good too. I cap out at 1000$ or when I run out of questions, whichever comes first. Multiple comers welcome.

Formal rules:

You have to answer. No rhetorical questions, no grandstanding, no "I can't believe you would ask that question", no bullshit joke answers for the crowd, no "oh come on, you know the answer to that." You answer the question, you answer seriously and succinctly. Then you wait for the next question.

You may ask questions of your own, that is permitted. No dumb troll questions and you still have to answer mine. No money for my questions, but I'll answer because I'm a good person.

Beyond that, you try not to make any other statements (so do I). This is hard (and asking a question often involves making a statement), but the point is to understand that which is not understood.

If you feel the question is leading or unfair, you can clarify and I will reformulate.

This is not a debate--this is an attempt to understand where the real, base-level differences are between whatever you think is going on and what everyone else does.

No interjections from anybody else.

The venue is this blog or Google + (public thread or private thread (to be moved to the blog when it's over)) whichever you prefer.

If you are afraid to reveal a source, we'll try to rephrase to get a plausible scenario out of what you're saying.

This offer is only good for a certain list of people, but you guys hate to be listed. So I'll just say: if you are Tom Hatfield or retweeted the Tom Hatfield article some time before Aug 9th and have over 1000 twitter followers you are eligible to win some cash for your favorite charity. Also, Ettin, Wundergeek and Mikan are eligible regardless of how many followers they have, considering their roles here. (EDIT: Aug 13--you are also eligible if you have over 1000 twitter followers and shared it publicly on Tumblr or Google +.)

Questions you don't answer or evade get no cash. Personal attacks or insults disqualify you immediately.

So: do you care about not admitting you're wrong or do you care about the marginalized people in the community?

If you would rather just call me names, donate money yourself and then go about your business, that's fine, too--someone has been helped by this gesture and that's what's important.

Do let me know.

I have no doubt this will be called "grandstanding" by bitter jerks, but there's the money. Take it or leave it. Are you more afraid to answer questions than you are eager to secure aid for your favorite cause?

(EDIT AUG 18: Ok, it's been a week. Nobody who fits the requirements has responded, and there's evidence they've mostly seen it. Even if they assumed the questions were leading or insulting, they could just stop, so they were risking nothing and still couldn't get over themselves enough to answer questions about the accusation to help the causes they claim to cherish. We can fairly call them all Fake Activists now. But then, what do you expect from people who are scared of a shirt?)
*One of the liars involved has recharacterized this game as saying you have to "agree" I'm a "good guy" (instead of "answer questions") which, if nothing else, is conclusive proof he is a bad guy. Seems like a lot of bending over backward to avoid truth or generosity to the underprivileged, but there you go. Same shit, different day:




    LGBT center, please.

    1. I don't understand, Hawk.

    2. Short version? I've read both sides of this nonsense and even if you weren't a problem before, you became one the second you 1) threatened to effectively blacklist anyone who liked, shared, or endorsed your opponents, and 2) started THIS particular game of 'wounded gazelle' ego sopping.

      If you feel blameless? Move on. You are making an unprofessional joke of yourself and using your loved ones to do it. Not cool.

      So? 10 to your local LGBT center, please.

    3. Say your twitter name and link to your retweet of Tom Hatfield's article or else state that you are Ettin, Wundergeek or Schmelz.

      P.s. My loved ones support this course of action fully, and if you don't agree you can ask them.

    4. None of the above, sorry. My twitter(@peregondusoir) is used primarily for my writing tumblr.

      And if your loved ones are down, that's fine. I respect that support. What I'm challenging are your actions and responsibilities, not their support. But I said my peace. I wish you well.

    5. You only have 42 followers.
      It looks like you didn't read the rules.


    6. "1) threatened to effectively blacklist anyone who"...

      -WTF Hawk. What does this even mean? Did Zak threaten to ban people from his blog that he who he thinks are jerks? Isn't that his fuckin' prerogative? The rest of your post is equally mind shatteringly missing the point entirely.

      OH MY GOD!!! Zak, you have the patientice of a saint to deal with people like this.

  2. this is so hardcore omg

    like im bored of all this drama but short of a knife fight this is the most badass way to confront people

  3. For the record game designer Cam Banks also tried to collect money for his cause without meeting the requirements--he didn't RT the article.

    He then lied about the reason why (I guess to make me seem crazy, IDK):

    1. Ok, re-examining it seems not to be an out-and-out lie but just _leaving out the obvious reason he was ineligible_

      Which is creepy.

  4. Zak, while I'm not a significant internet personality I totally support your cause and love the way you're calling out your opponents on this bull-pucky. Unfortunately I don't think they're gonna have the stones to step up on this one, but I suppose that will also be a win in your column. Keep up the great works

  5. Damn, now I wish I had retweeted Tom Hatfield's article just to take part in this.

  6. I really wish that this conversation had happened.

    The least anyone can say is that there has been a lot of really weird goalpostmoving directed towards both you and Pundit, and it came at the worst of all possible times, both because we all wanted to celebrate 5e and because Mandy was in the hospital.

    I think the “Do this thing, and I will donate to charity” tactic turns people — including me — off. It’s reminiscent of — even if there are differences — when Trump said he’d donate 5 million to see Obama’s college papers (or whatever it was). I don’t think it’s evil not to participate.

    I donated $10 to the LA Downtown Women’s Center. That’s all I got — I have debt and my income is weird.
    I understand that you didn’t ask that of me — I was not involved in this. I don’t even have a twitter, tumblr, G+, or FB account.

    1. The "feeling" of being "turned off" does nothing to deal with the fact that Tracy Hurley, Lyndsay Peters, Wundergeek et al just left money on the table.
      Nobody's "feelings" can ever overcome that: rather than simply _answer questions about what they allegedly believe in public_ (a harmless act that cannot hurt them if they believe what they say) and _materially aid a cause they claim to believe in_ they preferred to hide and make smug analogies.

      They failed as humans.

    2. It is _wholly_ evil not to participate.

      Emotions don't beat dollars.

  7. I didn’t know that Tracy retweeted that horrible article. That’s too bad. She does a lot of great things for D&D, such as working on the Tome Show.

    I think there’s a big difference between: “Would you please answer these questions” (followed by a list of questions) vs being presented by “If you do what I want, I’ll donate. If you don’t, you’re wholly evil”.

    In the first scenario, I might acquiesce.
    In the second scenario, I would rebel and not want to participate. Even if the questions were reasonable. Feeling forced to do something is a big repellant. I’m not sure whether or not emotions beat dollars when it comes to directing our decisions. In this case it seems that emotions won out.

    1. Again:
      _Feelings_ do not overcome the facts.
      That's the whole problem here: people want to FEEL like it's ok to lie and be full of shit and not help out their cause because they are sad.

      Because they are too busy FEELING they don't notice the _actual_ damage they are causing.

      Their inability to see past their feelings to the real damage is what makes them selfish and evil.

    2. If you say Hatfield is evil according to you, I have zero beef with that POV.

      If you’re saying that the lack of answers to your questions is the evil part, then I’d understand that, too.

      So I’m with you that lying and being full of shit is evil.

      But to that, you’re adding that not going along when someone says “Do [reasonable thing] and I’ll donate, if you don’t the lack of donations is on your evil hand” is evil.

      Can’t say that I agree with that. If that tactic should be good and legit for “[reasonable thing]”, why not for “[unreasonable thing]”?

      If that’s too “slippery slope” for you, think of it this way:

      It’s like a transaction. You offer something they want — donations to good causes — in exchange for something you want — a dialogue on your terms.

      They’re not obliged to take the deal.

      If someone said “Do [reasonable but not necessary thing] and I’ll donate.” and someone else said “No, don’t do that thing, then I’ll donate instead.” Then you’d have no choice — either way, some money is being left on the table and you become evil.

      That’s as long as the “[reasonable thing]” is something that’s reasonable but not necessary to do.
      If the evil part is not doing the thing — in this case, not giving the answers — then that’s the problem. Not the lack of donations.
      Then you’re saying “Do [extremely necessary thing] and I’ll donate”. In which case it’s the necessity of the thing itself that makes the lack of it evil.

      Is that what you’re saying here — that the lack of answers is the evil part?
      Or is it still the donations-on-the-table that is evil?

      In the links you posted about their reaction to this blog post, someone mentioned that even that horrible horrible Something Awful was going around and donating to the Trevor project in response to this. Which means that at least some money has “left the table”.

      As for the answers. You are always good at answering with brevity and clarity. Not everyone can live up to that, especially during a lot of duress, but I agree with the ideal. As I said, I didn’t know that Tracy retweeted Hatfield’s article, which was wrong, but I’ve seen a lot of very strong attacks on her so I would understand it if she needed a break from this. She's done good things, too, and so have you.


    3. None of that made any sense:

      1. Retweeting the article is evil. Everything after that is bonus evil. We don't even need to discuss a person after they did that: they are already consigned to hell untilt hey apologize.

      2.No matter how much money Something Awful donated, they still left all this money HERE-- _a thousand dollars on the table for their cause by not answering questions_.

      So you are 100% wrong about that making them somehow better.

      3. This simply _proves they value their feelings more than their cause_ and are not real activists.

      4. It also proves they are so unsure of their attack, they refuse to answer questions.

      5. There is no "debate on my terms". These are courtroom terms, recognizable by any court in the world and by any scientific organization--you get asked a question, you answer it. When you accuse someone of hate crimesand appeal to the court of public opinion to punish them for said crimes (which they did), you incur courtroom terms.

      There is no "debate". Simply: You accused, you must now explain the accusation or be shown a liar.

      6. Tracy's actions (the retweet) make her evil. Alleged good deeds cannot undo an unrepented crime. She can have all the feelings she wants--causing undeserved harm to others can't be excused by having lots of feelings.

    4. 1a. You wrote: “We don't even need to discuss a person after they did that”. But you have also written things that I interpreted as “Not participating in this donation-motivated question-answer–session is evil”. Which, if that’s what you do mean, doesn’t make sense to me.

      1b. “they are already consigned to hell untilt hey apologize”. This is part of the fear of discussing with you. The fear of making a mistake, being deemed evil and being in hell. I’m trying to tread carefully.

      2. I did not say that I thought SA was somehow better or even partially redeemed. I will probably never accept them or want to be associated with them. That wasn’t the point of why I mentioned their donations up. (I was only trying to say that money is leaving the table, money that wouldn’t have left the table if yours had.)

      3. Valuing feelings over cause in a specific instance, under particular circumstances is not in itself evil. Weak? Maybe so. Heaven knows I am. Failure as a human? Even if so, that’s not the same as evil.

      4 & 5. Agreed. But 4 & 5 are not what I disagreed with in the first place.

      6. I’m an outsider to this. It seems to me that the main “bad guys” are SA and Hatfield.

      From what I know so far, I’m not ready to throw out Hurley and Hicks with that bathwater. But I don’t know all details nor do I have all pieces to the puzzle. Nor do I really want to. I get frustrated, I see people misunderstanding each other.

    5. It is very simple:

      Tracy (for one) Hurley retweeted a lie. She has also lied about me.

      Ditto Fred Hicks: he also lied.

      They have chosen neither path which might make them _not shit_ :

      -Apologize for doing that.

      -Appear in public and defend their action _completely_ with no question unanswered about why they thought this was justifiable

      These actions are evil.

      Further: _they indicate people whose judgments in the future cannot be trusted_.

      1-They are evil
      2-They cause a practical problem because in the future if they address any person or cause, we can't trust their judgment--they are crying wolf over important issues like sexism and prejudice. It makes the conversation worse and slower and makes genuine activism harder.

      They have done wrong. They have made no effort to redress it. They can fuck off.