Monday, March 14, 2022

"Get up. The war has started" Interview from Kyiv


Hey all, like I promised Friday, here's an interview with a gamer in Kyiv, as the bombs are dropping.

How did this happen? Anton from the metal band Kauan is a fan of my game stuff and Anatoly is also in his band. 

We all want to know what's going down there, so here's an interview. The first thing I asked is who he was, what games he was into, and what's going on. The interview begins with what he said, via Telegram (click to enlarge if it's hard to read):

Imagine paying for Kingdom Death and then having to leave

Territorial Defense Forces, Ukraine

How much debris would it stop?

William T Vollmann, a real nice guy who introduced me to getting shot at in Eastern Europe

Disco Elysium

Vladimir Putin's favorite band

Did you see that? Of course I saw it.

Ok, that's that. If you're interested in the perspective of Russian gamers I am also working on an interview with one of those guys as we speak--hopefully it'll be ready and up within the week.

And for those of you who are like "Yeah yeah international events are very exciting but when are you going to get back to telling us about what you learned from suing Something Awful trolls while suing people?" Well if you're interested in that--don't forget to vote!


Benjamin Cusack said...

Lots and lots of things I did not know, very informative.

Something I have seen is the trend of people hating Russians, which seems unsavory - they live somewhere where Pussy Riot members get jail time, and journalists are poisoned.

I have seen that protestors have been apprehended in Russia, protestors against this Ukraine conflict, so it will be interesting to hear the Russian side of view.

It feels like when people on the right hate the Chinese, because their government does terrible things.
I guess it brings about the question of how much separation there is between populace and government - how much of this is a machine that has a mind of its own - a post Soviet mech with a evil crew of Putin and his supporters, trying not to overheat and blasting Thin Lizzy in the cockpit.

Thanks for communicating and considering this, it is really informative!

Simon Tsevelev said...

Nicely done. I hope they stay safe in Kyiv.
As for Russian gamers, a friend of mine who used to play online and talk to them regularly said they had seen the whole spectre of reactions, from "hold on, this is terrible, please stay safe, do you need help to get out of the country?" to "bro, I'm not talking about politics, I don't know who's telling the truth, I'm not in Kremlin" to just complete, utter silence. Which is better than the reaction from the Russian science fiction/fantasy writers, 99% of which are by now a wake of warmongering brown-nosed vultures.

Zak Sabbath said...

On the Russians, only going on what I know firsthand--

The Russians I talk to are people who speak English and know about obscure RPGs, so tend to be mostly well-educated and west-facing I guess. They are against the war and Putin.

Some are leaving some are protesting some are just very depressed.

With the rest, I'd just be looking at polls, or asking these people for second-hand reports of their friends.

Simon Tsevelev said...

@ Benjamin Cusack
Keep in mind that Ukraine had been getting hate from Russians for a long time. More concentrated in the last 8 years, but even before that it was present, including the prominent figures like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Soviet dissident, laureate of Nobel prize, who claimed in the 90's that "Russian-speakers are oppressed in Ukraine". It's got slightly deeper context than just "Russian army invated Ukraine so Russian people are hated".

Benjamin Cusack said...

Of course, but from my tiny viewpoint however, it just seems like a bad idea to hate people - which I guess is what they are trying to foster and direct at Ukraine, the idea of hating people.

It is a very nuanced thing, and one I am nearly wholly incompetent to speak on - I just thought that it might be prudent to address simple facts such as the existence of silent or hesitant people's that are being silenced or controlled.

It is really hard to imagine what it is like, being from the USA, but on the other hand - as a Texan - I have seen snd heard plenty of things that clearly show how people can become prejudiced if not willing or able to get enough information. It is maybe a case of people being willfully ignorant or being kept ignorant through action - and it is just terrible that it is then leveraged into a tragedy.

No offense meant.

Zak Sabbath said...


If you all want to continue this conversation, please do it elsewhere. There's nothing wrong with it and it's a conversation worth having, but it has passed beyond the zone of what I can responsibly speak to-, fact-check, or be responsible for.

Simon Tsevelev said...

Okay, Zak.