Pixel Scroll 7/13/16 Scroll on the Water, Fire in the Sky

(1) YOUTUBER PAYOLA? ScienceFiction.com headlined that “The FTC Has Proven That Warner Brothers Has Paid YouTubers For Positive Reviews”.

In some not so awesome news, Warner Brothers was caught buying off YouTubers to give them positive reviews of their video games. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released details that the company was working with some of the most influential YouTubers out there to provide positive reviews of their games, film gameplay footage that worked around bugs and hype sales numbers that all ignored criticism of the titles they were being paid to look at. Oh, and they of course never disclosed that they were being paid to do this which is against the law. **

While this is currently limited to video games, one has to wonder if it may extend to films as well.

Most damning though is that Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, or PewDiePew as he is known to millions of ‘Let’s Play’viewers was involved as well. PewDiePew is the highest watched YouTube celebrity in gaming circles and had an undisclosed agreement to provide positive press for ‘Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor’ when it was released….

** According to Washington Post reporter Andrea Peterson, the notices that they were paid endorsers of the game appeared in fine print no one read. The FTC settlement says that paid endorsers have to reveal in non-fine print that that they have been paid by game manufacturers.

(2) PAUL AND STORM CONCERT AT MACII. The comedic musical duo Paul and Storm will perform in concert at MidAmeriCon II on Thursday.

MidAmeriCon II is delighted to announce that comedic musical duo Paul and Storm will be appearing at the convention. They will be live in concert at 12 Noon on Thursday, August 18, and interacting with members throughout the convention in the MidAmeriCon II Dealers’ Room.

Paul and Storm (Paul Sabourin and Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo) are known internationally and across the Internet for their original comedy music and vaudeville style shows (mostly with a nerdish bent). They also co-founded the geek variety show “w00tstock” (along with Wil Wheaton and Adam Savage) which has toured across America since 2009, and co-produce the annual JoCo Cruise (www.jococruise.com).

The duo’s original webseries musical, LearningTown, debuted on YouTube’s Geek & Sundry channel in January 2013. In the same year, their song “Another Irish Drinking Song” was featured in the movie Despicable Me 2, while their guitar was memorably smashed on stage by George R.R. Martin. Their fifth full-length CD, Ball Pit, came out in 2014, and was the central item of the duo’s successful Kickstarter campaign.

Paul and Storm have a long history of bringing well known personalities on stage during their shows – and with this being their first Worldcon appearance, they will have an exceptionally broad range of writers, editors, artists and other genre names to choose from. Members can look forward to a memorable and entertaining concert, full of “mature immaturity” (NPR).

More information on Paul and Storm can be found on their website at www.paulandstorm.com.

(3) CHARITY AT SDCC. NBC Los Angeles covers Comic-Con charitable events including the Heinlein Blood Drive:

The annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns to the mega pop culture convention for its 40th go-around. Billed as “the San Diego Blood Bank’s longest-running event,” the Comic-Con blood drive has collected “16,652 pints of blood” over its four-decade history.

Talk about superheroes. Want to give? Head for Grand Hall D at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Once you’ve given your pint, and you want to look for more ways to lend a hand, consider two off-site traditions that, while not affiliated officially with the convention, still keep ties to its cape-wearing themes and charitable heart.

The Heroes Brew Fest raises money each year for Warrior Foundation — Freedom Station. Yep, you can wear your costume, yep, you’ll drink nice beer, and yep, you’ll need to zoom through the clouds from the convention center, or at least catch a ride, to San Diego’s Waterfront Park on Saturday, July 23.

Earlier in the day the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Pawmicon returns, though don’t head for Rancho Santa Fe, the home of the center. The “Cosplay for a Cause” — think furry pumpkins in their “Star Wars” and superhero best — is happening at the Hazard Center in the late morning.

(4) BLOOD OF PATRIOTS. There was also a Blood Drive at LibertyCon – Lou Antonelli says that’s where he met Jason Cordova, one of many first encounters mentioned in his con report.

(5) AUTO CRASH. I found Brad Templeton’s “Understanding the huge gulf between the Tesla Autopilot and a real robocar, in light of the crash” to be very helpful.

It’s not surprising there is huge debate about the fatal Tesla autopilot crash revealed to us last week. The big surprise to me is actually that Tesla and MobilEye stock seem entirely unaffected. For many years, one of the most common refrains I would hear in discussions about robocars was, “This is all great, but the first fatality and it’s all over.” I never believed it would all be over, but I didn’t think there would barely be a blip.

There’s been lots of blips in the press and online, of course, but most of it has had some pretty wrong assumptions. Tesla’s autopilot is a distant cousin of a real robocar, and that would explain why the fatality is no big deal for the field, but the press shows that people don’t know that.

Tesla’s autopilot is really a fancy cruise control. It combines several key features from the ADAS (Advance Driver Assist) world, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping and forward collision avoidance, among others. All these features have been in cars for years, and they are also combined in similar products in other cars, both commercial offerings and demonstrated prototypes….

(6) JOE HILL’S DAD. Boston.com reports, “Library of Congress to recognize Stephen King for his lifelong work”.

Stephen King—Maine native, horror author, and hater of Fenway’s “protective netting”—will get a new title this fall: Library of Congress honoree.

King is set to open the main stage of the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., where the Library will recognize the author for his lifelong work promoting literacy, according to a release.

Since his first published novel, Carrie, in 1974, King has written more than 50 novels and hundreds of short stories, according to his website.

The festival takes place Saturday, September 24. Authors Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shonda Rhimes, Bob Woodward, Raina Telgemeier, and Salman Rushdie will also appear on the main stage.

(7) JUNO SHOOTS THE MOONS. IFLScience has the story behind Juno’s first image of Jupiter and its moons from orbit.

This image, taken on July 10, proves that the camera has survived the pass through Jupiter’s intense radiation, meaning it can start taking stunning high-resolution shots in the next few weeks. The camera (called JunoCam) itself has no scientific purpose, but will be used to engage the public with images of the gas giant. You can even vote online for what it takes pictures of.



(8) FUNNY PAGES. A popular fantasy work is referenced in the July 13 Wizard of Id comic strip.


  • Born July 13, 1940 — Patrick Stewart (age 76)
  • Born July 13, 1942  — Harrison Ford (age 74)

(10) LIVING UNOFFENDED. Maggie Hogarth, SFWA VP, was moved by Cat Rambo’s post yesterday (“SFWA Is Not a Gelatinous Cube”) to make a point about personal growth. The comments are very good, too.

I wanted to call out specifically her comment about having been pleased to recruit me specifically because I’m a conservative writer. When she suggests that we work well together because of our sometimes opposing perspectives, I think she’s entirely correct. It’s not that we talk politics specifically (though unfortunately, sometimes our jobs as officers require us to)… it’s that our beliefs give us oblique approaches to things, and consulting each other helps us find our own weaknesses and blind spots.

This is not a new thing for me. I have always worked in arenas that are overwhelmingly colonized by people of opposing political viewpoints (hello, Art, Academia). The knowledge that I would have to find a way to work with people who believed stuff I found strange, wrong-headed, or toxic is so old by now that I don’t even think about it. But it’s interesting to me that the people who are in the majority in any arena often seem to be offended at the thought that they should have to deal with people who disagree with them. At the university, I have brought up lots of professors short who were upset that I didn’t think they were right. One of them even asked me what I was doing there, which was… frankly bizarre. (Broadening my mind, maybe? By grappling with ideas I don’t necessarily agree with?)

Here then is my takeaway from living as a political minority in the workplace all my life: unless you’re in a group devoted specifically to a political cause you agree with, you cannot expect to be protected from people who don’t share your beliefs. Inevitably someone will tell me that this is an invitation to abuse and cruelty, as if there can be no disagreement without extremism. Reject this false dichotomy. People who don’t share your beliefs aren’t all heartless criminals who long to see you hurt. They just… don’t agree with you.

(11) TAKING THE TEST. Rambo and Hogarth have also publicized their vocabulary quiz results.

Rambo Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.37.22 PM

(12) SCALZI BREAKS THE SPELL. Don’t expect John Scalzi to be posting a quiz score.

No risk of my relitigating my SAT results. I can personally assure John you’ll never see me embarrassing myself by reporting results from an internet math quiz. I did just enough on the math side of the SAT to keep that from sandbagging what I did on the verbal side and get a California State Scholarship. (However, if someone knows a link to an online math quiz the rest of you might enjoy it….)

(13) TIMOTHY BREAKS THE QUIZ. Camestros Felapton published Timothy the Talking Cat’s score plus Timothy’s interpretation of all his test answers.

(14) MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE THESAURUS. If there’s anyone who should score high on a vocabulary test it’s John C. Wright – and he did.

My score was 30500, also in the top 0.01% Albeit there was one word I did not know, and guessed.

I am going to the dictionary to look it up, and then I am going to use it three times correctly within the next 24 hours.

I was once told that is the way to accumulate a large and handsome vocabulary.

(15) COMICS HUGO. Nicholas Whyte has posted “My Hugo and #RetroHugos1941 votes: Best Graphic Story”.

It’s really striking that two years ago, it was impossible to find enough comics from 1938 to populate the Retro Hugo category – we gave a Special Committee Award to Superman instead – but this year there is a wealth of 1940 material to choose from. Having said that, there’s not in fact a lot of variety; with one exception, the 1941 Retro Hugo finalists are origin stories of costumed crime-fighters

(16) TASTE TEST. Joe Sherry continues his series at Nerds of a Feather, “Reading the Hugos: Novella”.

Today we continue with our Hugo Award coverage with a look at the Novella category. There are not many categories on this year’s ballot which lines up so well with my nomination ballot, but this is one of them. Of the five nominees, I nominated three of them: Binti, The Builders, and Slow Bullets. Naturally, I am happy that the three of them made the cut. If I had the power to add just one more story to this category, I would have loved to have seen Matt Wallace’s wonderful Envy of Angels make the list. That was a fantastic story and everyone should read it. Since people tend not to fully agree with my taste in fiction, let’s take a look at what is actually on the final ballot.

(17) FROM THERE WILL BE WAR. Lisa Goldstein reviews “Novelette: ‘What Price Humanity?’”, a Hugo-nominee, at inferior4+1.

And here we are at the third story from There Will Be War, “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke.  It’s the best of the three, though unfortunately that’s pretty faint praise.  An infodump at the beginning tells us that aliens called Meme (Meme? Really?) are attacking from the outer Solar System, and that when the Meme’s reinforcements come, every decade or so, EarthFleet suffers catastrophic losses.  Captain Vango Markis wakes up in Virtual Reality, having suffered what he thinks is a bad hit, and meets other officers he’s served with, some of whom he remembers as having died.  They find flight simulators, and go on practice runs.

(18) LEVINE HIP-HOPS FOR ARABELLA OF MARS. Science fiction writer David D. Levine performs a hip-hop theme song, based on the opening number of “Hamilton,” for his Regency Interplanetary Airship Adventure novel “Arabella of Mars.”

…Every day she was learning posture and Latin
But every night she and her brother would batten
Down the hatches, hit the desert, going trackin’ and whackin’
Her brother backtrackin’, their Martian nanny was clackin’…

The rest of the lyrics are under “Show More” here. Arabella of Mars was released by Tor on July 12.

Arabella Ashby is a Patrick O’Brian girl in a Jane Austen world — born and raised on Mars, she was hauled back home by her mother, where she’s stifled by England’s gravity, climate, and attitudes toward women. When she learns that her evil cousin plans to kill her brother and inherit the family fortune, she joins the crew of an interplanetary clipper ship in order to beat him to Mars. But privateers, mutiny, and insurrection stand in her way. Will she arrive in time?


(19) FUTURE PLAY. On her Dive into Worldbuilding hangout, “Games”, Juliette Wade discussed games as a feature of worldbuilding.

Power struggle is one of the big things that games can symbolize. Chess has sometimes been used in science fiction as a form of communication between races. It can reflect or change a power dynamic.

Games are also powerful in folk tales, such as when you play a game with the devil, the fae, or Death.

Games can be critical as a symbolic representation of a larger conflict. If you can engage in single combat instead having whole armies clash, why not do it? If you can play a game and agree on the stakes, might you save many lives?

Games and the ways in which they are played reflect the world around them. If you are playing a game with plastic dice, it’s not the same as playing a game with pig knucklebones. Where do the knucklebones come from? Knucklebones, the word itself, makes the game of dice sound exotic and like it comes from a particular period. There are many games of chance or rune-reading. We noted that people have found real twenty-sided stone dice from the Roman period.



Four Pokémon have palindromic names: Girafarig, Eevee, Ho-oh and Alomomola.

(21) ROUNDUP. In a Washington Post article, Hayley Tsukuyama and Ben Guarino do a Pokemon Go roundup, including that Nintendo’s shares have risen by 38 percent in two days and how police in Riverton, Wyoming say that four men lured victims to a remote spot in the Wind River by promising an elusive Pokemon avatar.

On their screens, players of the viral mobile game “Pokémon Go” are seeing these creatures pop into existence alongside real-world physical objects. The mole-like Diglett peeks out of a toilet. A flaming demon Shetland called Ponyta gallops across the National Mall. A ostrich-like Doduo appears on top of the hold button of an office phone.

Capturing these little monsters isn’t just good for players. In just a few days since its July 6 launch, the game has become a national sensation, nearly overtaking Twitter in daily active users. It currently ranks as the most profitable game on Google and Apple’s app stores. On Monday, Nintendo’s stock jumped 25 percent. On Tuesday, it rose another 13 percent…..

Its makers also have made the game highly shareable. The delight of seeing a little monster pop up on the sidewalk in front of your home, or, in one case, on the bed of your wife while she’s in labor — has been social media gold for players.

The game is perhaps the first real success story of the use of augmented reality technology, which blends the digital and real world together. The combined effect is part bird-watching, part geocaching, part trophy-hunting, with a heavy dose of mid-1990s nostalgia.

(21) POKEMON SNARK. In a humor piece another Washington Post writer, Caitlin Dewey, says she told her fiance to stop playing Pokemon while he is wandering in the supermarket and driving.

This is all well and good, of course, but the hype glosses over something that gives me pause: With an app such as Pokémon Go, we’ve essentially gamified such basic pursuits as going outside, talking to strangers and visiting national monuments. These are activities we’ve long undertaken on their own merits. But everything must be digitally augmented now; no value is inherent.

The same could be said of the sorts of “engagement” trumpeted by the makers of Pokémon Go. If you’ve ventured to a local PokéStop, you know that — counter the pitch — most players aren’t making friends or appreciating the vista anew: They’re squinting into their screens, ignoring each other, hoping to sight that rare Pikachu.

(22) VIP BREW. Time to tap those kegs (or whatever they make it in) — “Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout 2016 Release”.


Drew Curtis, Fark.com Creator & Patent Troll Killer
Wil Wheaton, Actor & Web Celeb
Greg Koch, CEO & Co-founder, Stone Brewing

This barrel-aged palate-saver has been a favorite among our fans—and us—since its inception in 2013. Pecans, wheat, flaked rye and bourbon-soaked wood provide this whopping, complex superhero version of an imperial stout with a profound complexity that makes it ideal for cellaring—if you can wait that long. Now, we can’t say this beer bestows jedi powers, exactly, but your taste buds may just be fooled into believing as much….

A famed illustrator celebrated for her characters Vampirella, Power Girl, Silk Spectre and Harley Quinn and comics “Gatecrasher” and “Gargoyles,” Amanda Conner embraced the term “Stone’s bearded leader” for this year’s bottle art design. She transformed the three collaborators into unique renditions of “Star Wars” characters, with Koch playing the woolly role of everyone’s favorite wookiee.

At 13 percent alcohol by volume and with the highest concentration of midi-chlorians seen in a beer, the Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout may be enjoyed fresh, or cellared for several months or years to give way for the deliciously rich flavors to mature and develop more prevalent dark cocoa, coffee and nut notes.

The brew will be a centerpiece of the celebration at Hopcon 4.0 on July 20 in San Diego, where Paul and Storm will be among the many guests.

Our annual celebration of nth-degree beer geekery is back for a fourth round, and this time all 66,000 square feet are dedicated to the convergence of geek culture and beer culture. More retro arcade games, more casks and more bars add up to a release party large enough to match the formidable Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout.

[Thanks to Cat Rambo, Lisa Goldstein, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Red Wombat.]

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

194 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/13/16 Scroll on the Water, Fire in the Sky

  1. Martin Easterbrook on July 15, 2016 at 5:37 pm said:
    For a group that is about “harassment of minorities” GamerGate was pretty inefficient when it produced a debate team consisting of 3 women, one of whom is Indian and, I believe, a Sikh.

    You’re getting pushback on this because you seem to think that exceptionalism is a Get Out of Jail Free card. It isn’t. One can have a black friend or spouse and be (and say) racist things. One can be a part of a group that includes a few women and still be all about misogyny and harassment of women. One can be part of a group that includes women and minorities of all types and still be fundamentally averse to diverse representation.

    My stepfather was an old fashioned Southern racist. He loved Charlie Pride and had a black friend who was welcome in our home (he didn’t even treat the dishes differently after). He was still a deep dyed racist who would have happily worn a sheet and burned crosses on lawns most days, just not on his friend’s or Charlie Pride’s lawns.

  2. Thanks for the new references about fighting librarians !

    I’m starting watching a bit more anime, and the synopsis for Library War is just delightful

    To protect themselves against the Media Enhancement Law Commission, all major libraries are fully equipped with a military Task Force, who take it upon themselves to protect the books and freedom of media of the people.

  3. @Hampus Eckerman

    I stand completely behind what I have said.

    I managed to Google the article, from Alex Lipshitz, which I believe you are basing your reply on. I don’t recognise any of the names he quotes there, although to be fair I only corresponded with members of the patrol for a few days when I tried to give them some unfortunately rather ineffectual help in finding the person who doxed Felicia Day.

    I found those I did correspond with to be people of exemplary moral character, particularly one young woman who managed to track down someone making threats against Anita Sarkeesian despite, from what I could see of her postings, having concerns about her own personal safety.

    I can personally confirm that Zoe Quinn did thank the Harassment Patrol for their efforts because I replied to her tweet myself thanking her in turn for doing that. This is not based on anything I have read. This is a fact about an event I personally took part in. I will swear to it under any legal system you care to name.

  4. “I stand completely behind what I have said.”

    You can stand behind what ever made up facts you want. But it gives us a good reason to taking you seriously. And no, I’m not taking basing my reply on any article. I’m basing my reply on what I myself could view.

    You making up your own facts doesn’t get you anywhere when people have followed gamergate since the beginning. You can confirm that the earth is flat for all I care.

  5. It’s the opposite of my model for this blog to make it impossible to learn from people who don’t have the same views — and in particular, I have known Martin Easterbrook for a long time, and don’t think he deserves the treatment he’s getting.

    When Vox Day first wrote about GamerGate, which was before I saw it being discussed anywhere else, I did a bunch of reading of linked material because I needed to decide whether I was going to make this a story I followed on File 770. There was a lot of content to look at — and that was just at the beginning. There was too much for me to deal with and still work on the stuff I am really interested in.

    I covered GamerGaters’ harassment of Brianna Wu and others here, and personally consider that to be what the brand is marketing to so many that I’m pretty much immune to any defense of it. Which is to say I’ve seen enough — not that I’ve seen more than a fraction of what’s been written. And that’s not the same as feeling required to abuse somebody who doesn’t share my opinion, or who “dares” to articulate his own in a reasonable manner.

  6. In that spirit, there was something I was pondering asking earlier…

    @Martin Easterbrook:

    Note: The, controversy had been running for some time before the “ex’s post” you refer to. This was grabbed as a weapon in two ongoing feuds, which is a reason it apparently blew up so quickly from the point of view of those outside.

    Can you specify what “ongoing feuds” you’re referring to? Does this have anything to do with the incident where Jeff Gerstmann was fired from GameSpot over a less-than-stellar review? I noted when that happened but I was unaware of any significant or organized pushback against GS.

    NB: I have negative opinions about GG based on what I’ve seen and read, but am willing to attempt to put my preconceptions aside and read your sources on this.

  7. Mike,

    If you do believe Martin does not deserve what I have said, I believe you.

    Martin, I apologize for my last comment. It was unnecessary harsh. I have no reason to disbelieve your statement that Quinn at one time during the last years has thanked at least one person that might have been affiliated with gamergate at the time.

    * * *

    Here is the thing. I remember the Anti-Harassment Patrol of Gamergate quite well. If you followed the #gamergate hashtag during that time (I spent around two-three hours a day the first months at reading about gamergate, about twice on weekends), you could see that this “Patrol” was mostly used to scream out on twitter on how good gamergate were who tried to make everything clean. Their were memes created, pictures spread on tumblr, tweets on how fantastic GG:s patrol was. It was all part of the PR.


    If you checked the twitter accounts of those gamergaters who shouted proudly about the patrol, their own feeds were full of abuse, misogyny and harassment. Tweeting about Quinns sex life, keeping on attacking Sarkeesian, calling her bitch, c*nt and worse. That is because they defined harassment as only and exclusively deaththreats and doxing. Everything else was ok.

    It was a try at whitewash. It is absolutely clear for everyone that read at that time. Regardless of Lipshitz wrote an article or not. And all these accounts always tagged Wu, Sarkeesian and Quinn, demanding they respond, demanding they tell how Gamergate wanted to help them, always keeping up pressure. Thus being a part of the harassment campaign.

    Now and then people tweet as if this “patrol” did anything of use, as if it still did anything. But no. Mostly its member were part of the harassment themselves. Thinking that as long as they didn’t threat to kill someone, they were ok.

  8. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for that but it isn’t necessary. I think I should rather apologise to you for starting a bar fight on your very pleasant blog. A blog which is definitely not the right place for this argument but sometimes arguments just happen where they do.

    I quite agree that some of the most vile abuse I’ve event was sent to Brianna Wu in the name of GamerGate. I think Zoe Quinn is actually a bit of a ‘bare knuckle’ brawler type who, if male, often become well known and popular within in SF fandom.

    I also encountered at least one person who risked their own safety to prevent harassment and to support some of the aims included within GamerGate that were important to them. I don’t believe I would be a worthwhile person if I ignored that and did not speak up to protect their reputation. It may sound a bit old fashioned, or even childish, but for me it is part of the implicit deal of being an SF fan is that you never ever do that.

  9. @Hampus Eckerman

    of those gamergaters who shouted proudly about the patrol, their own feeds were full of abuse, misogyny and harassment

    That may be true but I am talking specifically about members of the patrol itself.

    I’m sure the person sending the Thank You was Quinn. If it was the tweet you linked then my reply would be part of the conversation.

  10. “That may be true but I am talking specifically about members of the patrol itself.”

    The most prominent person in the patrol itself, Icze4r, was very well known for their abusive language towards others.

  11. Mike Glyer: And that’s not the same as feeling required to abuse somebody who doesn’t share my opinion, or who “dares” to articulate his own in a reasonable manner.

    I’ve seen very little of what I would consider to be abuse in this discussion. I’ve seen pushback. Nor does it have the appearance of a “bar fight” to me. It’s strange to see how people can perceive the same thing in such different ways — probably because there is no voice tone or body language in an internet discussion to add context to the written words.

    I absolutely believe that Martin Easterbrook genuinely believes what he says, and that he is not a GG troll who is being disingenuous. I can also see that what he is saying varies massively from what I learned in my own efforts at extensive research and reading to try to identify which claims (if any) are valid, amongst the massive amounts of propaganda and opinion that have been recorded on the Internet.

    Telling him that what he’s saying does not in any way match up with what I (or others) have seen is not abuse. And the fact that he’s genuine and cares and has made positive efforts does not magically transfer by osmosis to the rest of the GamerGaters. I would suggest that he is too personally close to the situation and too personally invested in seeing GG as a positive force, to be able to recognize all the things that contradict that.

  12. @Hampus Eckerman

    I’ve never used Icze4r as an example of anything because I have never been convinced that this account was not a manufactured personality of some sort, possibly with multiple account holders. I have never seen zir harass anyone and, while I was observing ze never tweeted anything about harassment and the need to combat harassment that I felt was not laudable. I can’t find any claims of harassment by that account via Google, except for some GamerGate accounts that felt that ze was involved in trying to censor them. It seems strange that if any evidence exists against the leader of the Harassment Patrol it has not been more widely publicised by those campaigning against GamerGate.

    Specifically the person I have been talking about is not Icze4r.

    If you’ve ever looked at the account you will know that ze constantly retweeted a stream of anime porn so I gave up following it. I could see that many people would be offended by that but I didn’t see any of it being tweeted at a particular person nor did I see anything I would describe as deliberately hurtful tweeted from it. Weird, confusing and explicit, yes but hurtful, no.

  13. @Mike, @Martin

    I hope I’ve not crossed any lines in my recent posts. I’ll admit to a certain level of disagreement, and disdain towards some of the facts and points of view that I’m seeing @Martin say, because they just don’t correspond with actual reality.

    Gamergate has been notoriously silent when it comes to actual incidents of dodgy ethics in video games. Jeff Gerstmann was actually fired over the fact that he didn’t give a game a great review back in 2007, but there was never anything similar to the noise heard over Zoe Quinn’s non-existent review by a friend. And it’s not just there

    Ubisoft regularly imposes insane embargoes on their games, sometimes to the point that no reviews can be run until (and at one point, *after*) the actual release date. Ubi and Bethesda have effectively blacklisted Kotaku, after it some less than flattering reports, as well as on some leaked information regarding future releases. Then there is the aforementioned Shadows of Mordor Youtube deal, as well as the earlier reports of Youtube “sponsorship” deals.

    In all this instances, GG remains relatively silent, especially in comparison to their overwhelming vitriol when say, a game has a trans character, or when a female video games journalist or developer says something that isn’t completely fawning to GG or their talking points. Heck, they actually laud some of this as, hey, it’s only Kotaku right?

    So when Martin comes around trying to say that, “oh no GG is totes about ethics in videogames journalism”, I don’t buy it, because it’s just doesn’t correspond to things that actually happened. When he goes on to… well, I don’t know what the whole point was when it came to his last few posts. That token incidents should represent GG more than the vast majority of their actions? That there are Magical Minority Fairies who can declare an entire movement pure as the driven snow? IDK.

  14. Martin Easterbrook:

    “ve never used Icze4r as an example of anything because I have never been convinced that this account was not a manufactured personality of some sort, possibly with multiple account holders. “

    Well. I used Icze4r as an example, because that is the account that was the absolute most prominent regarding the GGHP. If it was manufactured, it is only more typical of the trollish style of gamergaters. I have seen zir retweeting lots of abuse and harassment regarding Quinn, Sarkeesian, Wu and others. Even egging known harassers on.

  15. God catch, Aaron! Which reminds me, Icze4r was one of those who used to sport the roguestar eyepatch, thus taking a stand for blackmail, harassment and threats.

  16. @Aaron

    That is the article that I referred to earlier. It makes an incorrect assumption about the nature of the anti Harassment Patrol and how it operated.

    Identifying the people in that argument are the equivalent of a person dialing 911. It is extremely unlikely that a police officer would do that.

    The AHP operated at the other end of that type of call, in the same way that the officer in the other end of a 911 call would. In fact they would not even have received most of those messages because they did not include the AHP hash tag.

    At the time it was very difficult and confusing to report harassment to Twitter. The AHP picked up tweets which included their hash tag, looked at the reported tweets and filled in the required Twitter web forms. Most of the tweets they produced were between themselves about House keeping issues and who was dealing with what.

    They also tried to identify IP addresses behind behind anonymous harassing messages on other platforms. They obviously had some success as they caught Anita’s harassers from Brazil but I don’t know much detail about this side of their work.

    If the people quoted were members of the AHP they would not have been making that type of tweet. They would have been communicating directly with other people that they knew inside the group or filling in the report forms themselves.

    @Hampus Eckerman

    I’m confused by the link you included. It doesn’t appear to mention Icze4r at all. Have I missed a reference identifying zir in some other way?

  17. “I’m confused by the link you included. It doesn’t appear to mention Icze4r at all. Have I missed a reference identifying zir in some other way?”

    There are two links. Wasn’t very clear of me. 😛

    GGHP was a total failure, mostly consisting of harassers themselves. They had a horrible way of dealing with things, always replying loudly when they claimed they had reported someone, often tagging victims into the tweet, thus upping the pressure on them. Mostly it was a very, very, very failed PR-stunt by people who was as much inclined to retweet abuse as to report it.

    Aarons linked article shows very well how GGHP worked.

  18. It makes an incorrect assumption about the nature of the anti Harassment Patrol and how it operated.

    No, it doesn’t. It shows quite clearly how the “anti-harassment patrol” worked. You are just engaging in the dodge common among GG apologists of claiming that things you don’t like weren’t really GG, and things you do like were. If you want people who aren’t GGers to take you seriously, you should stop trying to do this sort of sleight of hand and deal with the fact that GG was and is primarily composed of harassers who used “ethics in gaming journalism” as a smokescreen to try to hide their actions.

    If the people quoted were members of the AHP they would not have been making that type of tweet.

    Except they were, and they did.

  19. We have already established that the most prominent member of the GGHP took the side of a known blackmailer, harasser and abuser who was banned from twitter because of how he acted.

    That should end all discussions.

  20. @Hampus Eckerman

    The whole Roguestar episode was a car crash. Nobody comes out of it with credit but for Icze4r it doesn’t go as far as ever supporting harassment.

    The first time Roguestar was suspended many people felt that it was unfair, some felt it even reached the standard of false reporting. These were the people who adopted the eye-patch. Twitter actually agreed and reinstated Roguestar.

    Unfortunately it didn’t stop there. Roguestar began a childish game of producing tweets that deliberately exploited the ambiguity between being a joke about harassment and being harassment themselves. As you might guess eventually they crossed the line into being unacceptable and at this point most people stopped supporting him and removed the patch symbols.

    From the context it looks to me as though Icze4r was actually the first person to raise the alarm on this and say it was unacceptable but the tweet has been deleted and it would be fair to say that is my, possibly biased, interpretation.

    I would like to point out again that Icze4r has a lot of enemies but despite that I have still never seen any allegation that ze took part in Roguestar’s activities or supported him when it became clear that he had stepped over the line. in fact this thread itself comes out as one of the top hits when you try googling for evidence. Supporting harassment is a serious charge and it does need to be backed up by some real evidence.

    As far as the AHP patrol itself there is strong evidence that it did do what it said, not from an unbiased source, but from one you would expect to be biased against them.

    This is Jason Schreier, one of the journalists #GamerGate was campaigning against

    He said

    For some it might be tough to reconcile the idea of anyone condemning harassment while simultaneously supporting Gamergate, but it’s something I’ve experienced personally.

    Which is a quote from this article In Kotaku, one of web sites which is least favourable to Gamergate.

  21. If you customize your avatar to support a know harasser and blackmailer, tyen you are supporting a blackmailer and harasser.

    Icze4r, the most well known of all in GGHP, did that. Roguestars abuse was very, very, very well known when Icze4r changed their avatar.

    End of story.

  22. For those looking for militant librarian stories, Lirael by Garth Nix features a Second Assistant Librarian and her adventures.

    It can be read on it’s own but is probably better understood if you read Sabrael first.

  23. I’m always amazed at how people who don’t want to see harassment and abuse are able to be blind to it when it’s happening and others point it out. #WhyWomenDontReport #WhyHarassersControlSocialNetworks

  24. Pingback: Top 10 Posts For July 2016 | File 770

  25. @Hampus

    Who the hell thought it was a good idea to let Frank Cho draw Wonder Woman from the beginning?

    Sorry for the delay.

    I’m a big fan of Frank Cho’s art and his comic strip “Liberty Meadows”.

    I think the obvious answer to your question is someone that wanted to visual present Wonder Woman as being strong as well as sensual/sexual. Wonder Woman covers have always had more than a token amount of sexuality to them. It’s hard to avoid when the superhero wears what amounts to a tight fitting, shoulderless swimsuit.

    Mr. Cho updated Wonder Woman by enhancing her physicality/musculature without compromising the sensual/sexual aspect. The skirt in his covers appears to me to be more of a piece of armor/leather than something made of fabric. Of course, the durned thing isn’t big enough to offer any real protection, but it is more than the standard shoulderless swimsuit.

    The two things I find interesting are that (1) Mr. Cho’s covers are certainly no worse than any of the other several covers for Wonder Woman issues that Mr. Rucka has worked on and (2) that the edit to Mr. Cho’s third cover creates the impression that Wonder Woman wanders around bottomless (except for the armored skirt). Sort of moving things in the wrong direction, no?

    As Snowcrash suggests, I think if we leave the personalities out of it and just look at the art, the covers are not any worse…for values of ‘worse’ meaning more sexualized than is usual for a Wonder Woman cover…than other, recent Wonder Woman covers.


  26. Dann:

    I used to read Liberty Meadows myself. Was never a fan, but it was an ok comic. Thing is, Cho is mostly known for behaving lika a sexist asshole. To bring him in was to ask for unprofessional tantrums like this.

    Having said that, I do like his update of the muscles of Wonder Woman. That is one part that is severly lacking in the movie trailer.

    Why should we leave the personality out of this? It is the personality that lead to the tantrum.

  27. Hi Hampus,

    I think it is useful to remove the personality issue when looking at the art. Creative types have a penchant for being territorial about their works. They put a lot into what they produce and can react to criticism with less comity and decorum than most folks find desirable. (I had a joke involving Enkidu, Humbaba, and Ishtar here, but how about if we just go with Oscar Wilde and Vincent Van Gogh instead?)

    Mr. Cho’s female characters (when not tweaking his critics) are generally pretty strong as well as attractive. I’m not sure what Mr. Rucka saw in the (6) covers that he found objectionable. It would be interesting to get his perspective. Perhaps Mr. Cho is not the only artist involved here with an outsized ego based response?

    The Mary Sue updated their story with Mr. Cho’s longer response. It appears that DC failed to let everyone know the precise ground rules for Mr. Cho’s part of the project.

    As a semi-related note, I caught the most recent “So To Speak” podcast with the daughters of Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin. While their observations were oriented more on spoken word performances than graphic arts, I think their general thoughts about the need to find the line and step over it were worthwhile. Mr. Cho certainly steps over the line, from time to time. IMHO, those occasions do not relagate him to being strictly a “sexist asshole”.


  28. My favorite use of panty flashes is in T Campbell’s Fans! I strongly doubt he knew where the ultimate payoff for that was going to turn up in his story a decade or so in, but it was worth it. I don’t really have a second-place entry. That one stands on its own.

  29. I do not think it useful to remove the personility issue when you hire people. As a matter if fact, I find it being pure idiocy.

    When you hire a person you want it to be a professional, one that can listen to the editor to fullfil the requirements. If you can’t do that, if you throw a tantrum instead, you were the wrong person for the job. If you are a known sexist, doing a sensitive work, you are the wrong person for the job.

    And if you hire the sexist, give the sexist free reins, you are kind of an idiot.

  30. Dann: As a semi-related note, I caught the most recent “So To Speak” podcast with the daughters of Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin. While their observations were oriented more on spoken word performances than graphic arts, I think their general thoughts about the need to find the line and step over it were worthwhile. Mr. Cho certainly steps over the line, from time to time. IMHO, those occasions do not relagate him to being strictly a “sexist asshole”.

    I don’t think that’s at all related. You’re comparing comedians and their choices to be provocative to get people to think, with someone being provocative in artwork simply for titillation purposes.

  31. @Hampus

    Why do you consider Mr. Cho to be a sexist? Because he draws physically attractive women? Because of “Spider Gwen” and the subsequent tweaks?

    I think you are also missing the point that he was told (verbally) that he would have complete control over his covers. He was not told that the freelance writer had editorial control over the covers in his contract. Things only got sticky when DC couldn’t keep the promises they made (again verbally) to bring him on board.


    Well I suppose we are quickly approaching “agree to disagree” land. I don’t think his art is strictly about titillation.


  32. dann665: Well I suppose we are quickly approaching “agree to disagree” land. I don’t think his art is strictly about titillation.

    I didn’t say that his artwork was about titillation. I said that the provocative elements of it — i.e. the exaggerated female anatomy and the nudity — is about titillation.

    The story can be told perfectly well without those elements. They are there specifically to satisfy the prurient desires of some of the readers.

  33. As Snowcrash suggests, I think if we leave the personalities out of it and just look at the art, the covers are not any worse…for values of ‘worse’ meaning more sexualized than is usual for a Wonder Woman cover…than other, recent Wonder Woman covers.

    To paraphrase Socrates (badly), I said what?

    Cho’s figures are good. I like them. But it doesn’t get away from the fact that there’s a frickin high cheesecake quotient, and that it clearly wasn’t the way Rucka wanted his book to look, and they just don’t work for the current WW run Especially not when Cho is trying to put in a frickin panty shot on the cover. The cropping merely removes the egregious portion.

  34. Sorry, Snowcrash. I didn’t think I was misrepresenting what you had posted.

    In any case, I’d like for someone to explain how adding a skirt to a costume automagically turns the lower portion of that costume into “panties”.

    Take a look at the Rucka managed non-Cho covers. Compare with the Cho covers. Explain how the Cho covers are not acceptable.

    Take a look at the interior art. Do the covers significantly deviate from the interior art? From the little I’ve seen of the interior art, I don’t think there is a difference worth discussing.


  35. @Dann

    You’re gonna need to provide some examples of what you’re talking about. For example, the cover I was referring to is the following, for issue #3:

    Cho’s original
    Cropped version that DC went with.

    I would note that Cho was the one who decided that a simple crop = TEH OPPRESSIONZ and decided to whinge publicly. He’s also the one who walked away from the gig.

    So when you say non-Cho covers, which are you referring to? When you say you “don’t think there is a difference” between the Cho covers and the internal art, which are you referring to?

    I’ll also note that Cho’s variant covers for #1 and #2 were quite different to what he put out for issue 3.

  36. Hi snowcrash,

    In my original response, I supplied links to non-Cho covers of prior WW issues for which Greg Rucka was also the lead.


    IMO, those covers are not less sexualized than the Cho covers. I would respectfully suggest that those non-Cho covers are more sexualized as they include a very tight fitting costume and one or two poses suggesting some curiously flexible spinal structures.

    Also, here’s a link to a Rucka fan site with other cover art from his prior time running WW. The bottom section of her costume is frequently similar to (and in some cases shorter than) the non-skirted portion shown in Cho’s cover #3. Again, I see nothing here that would make the Cho covers…including #3….in any way remarkable with respect to the costume. Like you, I appreciate Cho’s more muscular take on the character.


    I’ve only seen a couple examples of the interior art. It looked to me like the covers were reasonably in sync with the interior art. But I can’t find those links. So I’m going to make a run to the local comic book store to see more.

    Based on Cho’s statements, he was given a verbal assurance by DC that he would have complete control over the covers. He walked when that turned out not to be the case. I guess it’s a good example of why you should get everything in writing when signing a contract. But I’m not sure it justifies singing the first 32 verses of “Frank Cho is an Arse”.

    I’m still stuck with wondering what people thought was under WW’s skirt to begin with. A thong from Victoria’s Secret? Did they think she went commando? Or was it more likely that the star spangled blue bottom half of the costume that has always been there would still be there.

    Given the multi-sectional arrangement of the skirt, there will always be a possibility that the bottom portion of the costume will become visible.


  37. dann665:

    “Why do you consider Mr. Cho to be a sexist? Because he draws physically attractive women? Because of “Spider Gwen” and the subsequent tweaks?”

    Because of how he responded to complaints about sexism. With trolling sexistic covers, using slurs like “SJW:s” against his opponents. He is obviously not an adult.

    Being asked to make changes is standard in the business, even when you have free rein on the initial layout. Having a work of art pulled when it doesn’t fit is standard in the business. It happens absoloutely the whole time. But some people are entitled children. Or trolls. They are absolutely the wrong persons to hire for sensitive covers.

    DC should have learned from previous mistakes.

  38. @Dann

    Sorry, missed out those links. You do realise that the examples you provided are from Rucka’s *first* Wonder Woman run over a decade ago? Where he *didn’t* have any influence over the art direction? Where he left and didn’t come back until DC gave him (in writing) added control over the direction of the book?

    But I’m not sure it justifies singing the first 32 verses of “Frank Cho is an Arse”…. Given the multi-sectional arrangement of the skirt, there will always be a possibility that the bottom portion of the costume will become visible.

    Firstly, Cho’s arseholish-ness has a long and storied history. This latest hissy-fit by him is just that – the latest dumb and unprofessional bit by him. Secondly, this wasn’t something that “just happened” in an action sequence. It was something specifically portrayed, on the cover. DC handled it in the standard form – hiding it behind a cut, or some other obscuring element (look at the normal cover for WW #3 for another example).

  39. Hi Snowcrash,

    No worries on the links.

    As we are quickly approaching that mystical land of Agreetodisagree, I’ll close with I see nothing in Cho’s covers to warrant an objection by Rucka. And I’ve not seen anything beyond folks not liking Cho’s personality as a justification for criticizing his covers.

    Thanks for your thoughts.


  40. Dann: I’ve not seen anything beyond folks not liking Cho’s personality as a justification for criticizing his covers.

    … apart from all the people who’ve commented that the extreme sexualization he puts in them is neither necessary nor appropriate in this day and age, no, nobody’s given any reasons. 🙄

Comments are closed.