No posts cuz no gaming

I think I’m in one of those gaming funks that most of us fall into now and then. Most of this week I’ve spent doing daily crafting writs in The Elder Scrolls Online (I got my new XB1 character to 15 and we’re supposed to do a dungeon run on Monday and I didn’t want to get too far ahead of everyone else so haven’t been adventuring) and…that’s about it. I’ve popped into The Division and even Forza 6 a couple of times but neither is holding me.

Mostly this week I’ve been watching TV (the excellent PBS series Wolf Hall) or fiddling with a new laptop that my job sent me. I work from home and generally use my own gear, but a few idiots have been working from their virus-ridden home machines and uploading contaminated files to work data repositories, causing major headaches for IT. So new policy means I have to stop using my machine and use the machine they gave me. “Moving in” to that machine took a couple of days. Too much stuff!

I got to pick the machine I wanted, within reason, and decided on a 15″ HP Spectre x360. Since my co-workers use stupidly expensive Macs I was able to upgrade the x360 a bit, and got 16 GB of RAM and a dual core i7 processor. The IT Director threw in a stylus to use with it, too. Even with the upgrades, my machine was still cheaper than the Macs she usually has to buy. It doesn’t have discrete graphics so it is definitely not a gaming machine, but it doesn’t have to be for this purpose. The screen is really nice (though I didn’t ask for the 4K upgrade) and both touch and the trackpad work really well. I actually prefer it to my Surface 3, to be honest.

I’ve also been watching some videos from Microsoft’s Build conference, which has me kind of itching to build something.

I used to semi-panic when games started to hold no interest for me. They’ve been my primary hobby for so much of my life. But I’ve gone through this phase enough times now that I know that’s just what it is: a phase. In a few days or a few weeks I’ll be enjoying the heck out of games again.

But until then, the blog will probably be a bit quiet.

I’m too old to play (some) videogames

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: there’s no upside to getting old. I’m speaking from experience. In terms of ‘traditional’ video games I’m in what I imagine is a fairly small group: folks over 50 who still spend a lot of time with a controller in their hands. Old age means your eyesight starts to go wonky (I had 20-20 vision for most of my life, now I wear $500 progressive bifocals and I have to get them upgraded every few years), your joints start to hurt and your reflexes (both mental and physical) start to slow down.

A few months ago Rock Band 4 came out. I had a lot of fun playing Rock Band back when it was hot so I bought the game/guitar controller bundle for RB4 as soon as it came out. So far I’ve played it once. I have just enough arthritis in my hands that trying to play on that controller causes me a lot of joint pain in my fingers. That wasn’t a problem as recently as Rock Band 3 that came out in 2010. But once your body starts to degrade, things go downhill alarmingly quickly. If I played through the pain it might get better (I can use a traditional controller without any pain I think because I’m so used to it) but so far I haven’t wanted to play badly enough to endure the discomfort.

RB4 is just one game and its loss isn’t all that great, but this week I discovered an entire genre has been closed to me: side-scrolling platformers. Earlier this week I was going through my PS4 collection looking for games I felt good about removing from the hard drive, which is getting pretty full. I stumbled on Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, which I believe was a PS+ freebie a long time ago. Or maybe I bought it during a sale…who knows? In either case I had it installed but had never played it.

So I tried it, and it was super-fun for about 3-4 hours. But as is the case with most platformers, the farther in you go the more complex the moves you need to use to progress and soon enough I came to a section of the game that I just couldn’t get past. I knew WHAT I had to do, and if I was playing back when I was 45 I’m sure I could’ve cleared it without too much difficulty. But now? I just couldn’t keep my fingers moving fast enough for long enough to pass through this area. This passage had me doing that ping-pong wall jump routine that many platformers challenge you with, in order to move vertically up a shaft. The twist here is that 1 wall is in the “dead” world and 1 wall was in the “living” world so in addition to wall jumping back and forth I had to phase between worlds as well.

In mechanical terms, I had to tap X, then X again (a double jump with a brief pause to get enough height to make progress), then R2 to phase between the dead and the living world, and then push & hold the left stick left or right to stick to a wall. That sounds easy, right? And it was, but I had to do it smoothly about 6 times to get to the top of this passage. And time and again I’d do something stupid on repetition 4 or 5.

I spent about 10 minutes trying to get past this segment and decided maybe I needed to take a break (I’d been playing for a while). So I did and came back to it fresh and spent about 20 minutes and STILL didn’t get past it. At that point I gave up, and deleted the game from my PS4 (in part because I was trying to clear up space and in part so the icon wasn’t sitting on my dashboard mocking me).

It’s possible that had I kept trying I might have eventually gotten past this section, but the other thing about getting old is that you become more and more aware that you have a finite amount of time left to live. I know that sounds way dramatic and it’s not like you think in these terms, but it’s more like a background hum of “I don’t have the time to waste on this.” I mean video games are inherently a waste of time I guess, but at the same time I find they can be super-satisfying and often relaxing. But there are a LOT of games I want to play (with more coming all the time) so when it’s taking me too long to get to the next “rat pellet” (by which I mean some kind of dopamine producing happy moment) I move on to something new.

After I deleted Guacamelee! I went back to clearing out old games, and I found a few other platformers and realized that for the most part, I may as well delete them too. I’m not meaning to pick on Guacamelee! in this post. I don’t think it’s an unusually hard platformer. My issue is with the entire genre (specifically 2D side-scrolling platformers). With a limited palette of moves to work with, the only way for designers to ramp up the challenge as you move through the game is to either ask you to string together longer and longer combos of moves, or making the timing required more and more precise. Neither of those things is a good fit for an aging gamer who doesn’t have the mental and digit-al (digits like in fingers…get it?) dexterity that s/he once had.

Another genre I’ve given up on is competitive MP shooters that are played in small arenas, because again my brain-to-finger connection just isn’t fast enough to compete with younger gamers (games that offer more space to move around in tend to also reward tactics and sometimes I can still do OK in those).

I’m not sure what genre I’ll have to give up next and I hope I don’t find out for a while. But in broader terms as both the console gaming audience and the developers who make games age, I wonder if we’ll ever see a time where some games cater to older players. I read an interview with Cliff Bleszinski (I can’t remember where) in which he said that his next game is going to offer some kind of class or weapons meant for older gamers because he (and he is way younger than me) is already feeling that he can’t keep up with the youngsters who can snap off headshots without breaking a sweat. That was pretty encouraging to me and I hope more developers adopt a similar philosophy.

It won’t be easy though, because if a developer makes a game and puts in giant bright red sparkly letters across the box that the game is intended for gamers over 60, the 20-something internet blowhards will still rip it to shreds as being too easy and the game will end up with a 40 at Metacritic (in spite of the old gamers loving it) and the publisher will lay off the entire dev team. It’s why we can’t have nice things.

On the bright side, I only have 20 years or so left to worry about any of this.

A different kind of stress

As of today it’s been one week since I stopped writing for ITworld (last Tuesday in a marathon writing session I banged out 3 posts and scheduled them for the remainder of the week). This change has had quite an impact on me. I’ve caught myself laughing more, being silly more and just, in general, feeling less tense.

Except when I’m not. Basically I’ve traded time-pressure stress for financial stress. I’m not sure how it’s going to feel once that extra check stops coming in so I’ve been fretting about that. But the difference between time stress and money stress (for me at least) is that time stress is constant. I often spent most of my day stressing about what I’d write about next. There was always a new deadline coming. Even when I took time off from the day job, I had the blog to worry about.

Financial stress is actually more intense (because it’s nice to have a home to live in, for example) but I seem able to ‘put it away.’ There’s not much I can do minute-to-minute about money, but I could, in theory, always be writing or researching a blog post. I used to check my RSS reader at least 6-8 times every day in order to keep up, for example.

The end result, so far, is a happier, more relaxed me. I find myself doing the WEIRDEST things. Last night after dinner I sat and read the newspaper. And I mean an actual, made-of-ground-up-wood newspaper. We subscribed to the Sunday paper mostly for the coupons (see above re: financial stress) but I’m finding myself leafing through it and reading about stuff I’d never otherwise read.

In terms of gaming I’m enjoying time-gobbling activities like going for fast lap records in Drive Club. The blogging me never had the patience to drive lap after lap trying to shave a second off my time because it felt like I was wasting precious time. If a game activity didn’t offer constant in-your-face stimulus I would bail on it as too time-consuming. But now I have free time to do things. I no longer have to decide what one thing I’ll do in an evening, there’s time to do several things.

Overall it’s a pretty good feeling, and worth having to cut some corners financially in order to maintain it. As long as we’re safe and warm and can pay stuff like medical bills and buy new shoes every so often, I think I’ll stick to this one job idea. I kind of dig it.

Scientist vs Lawyer: How I’m going to try to be a better blogger

A couple weeks ago I was watching Star Talk (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s show). His guest that night was Bill Clinton. One of the interesting points made (and forgive me, I don’t recall exactly who said what) is that we need more scientists in government, and fewer lawyers. (Lawyer is the most common pre-politics job in congress, apparently.)

The reasoning was that scientists based their views on evidence. They look at the evidence and then form a statement based on it. Lawyers, on the other hand, are trained to work backwards from a goal (e.g. this person is innocent/guilty) and present supporting evidence to bolster their goal and weaken opposing views. Evidence that doesn’t support their goal doesn’t get presented. Yes, this is a huge oversimplification and I don’t want to get into politics here, but it lodged in my brain.

Too often (when blogging) I act like a lawyer rather than a scientist. In other words (purely hypothetical example) I’ll think to myself “I should write a blog post about how the PS4 is a better media streamer than the Xbox One.” When I come up with the idea, I’m assuming it’s true. Then I start gathering data to support my assertion. If I find data that doesn’t support it, it’s really tempting to just kind of push that data aside.

A more scientist-y way to approach a blog post is to ask myself a question: “Which is the better media streamer, the PS4 or the Xbox One?” Then I’d go gather as much data as possible, determine the answer to the best of my abilities, and then write the post, possible changing the question to the answer at that point: “Here’s why the Xbox One is the better media streamer.”

I’m inherently stubborn so once I decide something is true it’s really hard for me to change my mind. That was touched on in the Star Talk episode too. Too often our society views changing our mind as a sign of weakness. (Remember they were talking about politicians.) If a politician says they’re pro-{insert any policy} and then new evidence is presented that causes the politician to change their mind and become anti-{insert that same policy here} then too often the politician is seen as weak, wishy-washy, or not fully committed. In science though (according to the folks on Star Talk!) being willing to change your opinion based on new evidence is seen as a positive thing.

Moving forward I’m going to try to embrace my inner scientist more. To start the posting process by asking a question and then letting the facts answer that question; to base my views on the evidence and data I have available; and finally to be willing to change my opinion based on new/changing evidence.

As a corollary, another thing I need to work on is saying “Thanks” when someone corrects me. Too often when I state something that is incorrect and someone corrects me, my first impulse is to dig for data or a way to spin things so I can still appear to be right. That’s my ego at work. The wiser course of action is 1) confirm that the correction itself is accurate and assuming it is 2) thank the person for making me a tiny bit smarter that day.

Reinvigorating the pursuit of mythical fire-lizard critters

Hey if you’re reading this, I want to thank you for being one of the 3 people…. oh wait, that one is a bot. OK I want to thank you for being one of the 2 people to still have Dragonchasers in your RSS feed.

For the past five and a half years (give or take) I’ve been writing a blog at ITworld called The TechnoFile. It’s been an amazing opportunity, but over time Dragonchasers really suffered because of it. For a few years I managed to keep both going, but eventually I started to run out of steam and got to the point where I just didn’t have it in me to write for this blog after finishing my work for that one. I’m not as young as I used to be, you know!

Anyway, this Friday my last post for The TechnoFile will run. Suddenly I’ll have a lot more time in the evenings (that was a side job…I do have a 9-5 full time gig as well) and I’ve been thinking maybe I should try to revive Dragonchasers.

I’m not 100% sure there’s still an audience for gaming-blogs being written by some schmo with no insider info; I kind of feel like social media may have replaced personal blogs. But what the hell, it’s worth a try. I do have a huge list of marketing and PR contacts at this point, though I’m not sure how long they’ll be interested in engaging with me as a solo act. I guess we’ll see.

Even without support, I can go back to rambling about the games I play and whatever else moves me. It’ll be nice to be able to write about anything I like rather than sticking to the (admittedly rather broad) ‘beat’ that I was assigned to at ITworld.

Anyway again, thanks for sticking around. Once posts start rolling out I might ask a favor; I might need some help getting word out and maybe boosting my audience to 4, or even 5 (!) people.

A change in focus

May 13th, 2015 is the 13th anniversary of me starting this blog. Very meta, no? While for the past few years this has been a blog devoted to videogames, you can probably tell from my lack of posts that my enthusiasm for talking about games is waning.

In ye olden days I talked about all kinds of random stuff. TV, books, eating healthy…whatever random thing crossed my mind. And I think it’s time to go back to that. The alternative I guess is just closing down the blog but it seems unlucky to shut it down in its 13th year.

The fact is I just think the gaming community has worn me down. I still like to play games, but too often talking about them leads to arguing about them and that just leaves me feeling bitter and tired. For years now I’ve self-identified as a Gamer who blogged about games and filled his social media friends lists with other people who self identify as Gamers.

But man it’s getting ugly out there.

For the last few months I’ve been removing more and more “gamers” from my social media lists and replacing them with scientists, programmers or in some cases even brands I’m interested in. This has made social media a more passive activity for me, but more enlightening and less frustrating overall. And less time consuming. The other day I got into an argument on social media over the tag line on a can of beer, for god’s sake. Life is too short for that kind of nonsense. I just felt so stupid afterwards; I’d wasted my time and the time of the other people involved in the ‘discussion.’ On the other hand, the next day a cosmologist favorited a tweet of mine and I felt oddly proud of that. LOL.

And while I just said I still like to play games, I don’t think I’m satisfied with just playing games. I’ve been working two jobs for years now and that doesn’t leave a lot of free time, but what time I have I’ve devoted to gaming and just gaming and I’m starting to feel very static because of that. I don’t spend time learning new things anymore and I feel like that is making me stupid.

So my resolution now is to balance gaming with other interests and try to expand my horizons. I’m not even sure what that means in practical terms. I just know I really feel the urge to use my brain for a change. If I come up with any interesting projects maybe I’ll write about them here. And I hope eventually my enthusiasm for games comes back enough that I come up with a post or two about them, too. I’m pinning a lot of my gaming hopes on The Witcher III right now.

But if you have Dragonchasers in a blogroll or have this blog in your RSS reader (hey, I thought I was the last one using an RSS reader!) under the category ‘games’ it might be time to cut me loose and replace me with someone who is more focused on gaming. Life is change and change is life, right? Time to try something new.

2015: A different outlook on gaming

Lately I’ve noticed that I’m approaching games in a different way. It wasn’t a conscious thing and maybe it’s just temporary. In spite of my name-checking 2015 in the title of this post, it certainly wasn’t a resolution.

I’m still playing and enjoying games but I’m not talking about them as much. I’ve for the most part withdrawn from “the community” and gone back to a time where games were purely a solitary refuge from the stresses of life. I think I’m just tired of all the baggage that comes with dealing with other people. I just want to love what I love and not have to defend my decisions. Couple that with having stopped playing MMOs and there’s not a lot of benefit to talking to other people about games. I’m sick of me saying, or seeing someone else say, “I’m really enjoying GameX” and immediately getting a “Oh GameX totally sucked” as a response from some random mouth-breather.

(My one exception is forge.gg — it’s new enough and the membership is still positive enough that I feel like people still celebrate the fun they find in the games they play and just ignore games they’re not interested in, rather than trying to ‘correct’ people who enjoy different games.)

What’s interesting about this, to me at least, is that it’s been kind of freeing. Instead of playing the latest and greatest I’ve been sorting through my game collection and playing things I always meant to finish or even always meant to start. I finally finished a port of a mobile game that is so generic I always forget the name. Dungeon Hunter: Alliance? Dungeon Explorer: Alliance? Something like that. I played it on the PS3. I bought it for $10 or $12 in I think 2012 and finally finished it a few days ago. Or at least finished my first play-through. It’s not a game I’d recommend to anyone, but I really enjoyed it. In fact I might play it again.

After that I started Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light which is the isometric co-op game that came out a few years ago. I’m playing it solo which I suspect takes something away from the experience, but I’m enjoying playing it a bit at a time. Gameplay doesn’t stand up to long play sessions, IMO. I limit myself to 1 level/night. I also finally started Papo & Yo, but its unforgiving save system combined with glitches caused me to set it aside. I’ve no patience for replaying content because save points are so far apart and I had to quit to go to bed, or worse because a character in the game got stuck and I had to restart. Some day I might give it another try on PC.

I’ve also been enjoying some tablet games; something that is completely taboo in “the community.” REAL gamers don’t play games on tablets, amiright? No, I’m not right but there’s the small but loud subset of gamers who think so and will tell you so. I played through all of Monument Valley (though not the expansion) and Quell Reflect. Now I’m playing ZenGrams. All three have been quite good and kind of relaxing. All three were free apps on the Amazon App Store, too (I’m playing them on my Fire HDX which I still LOVE). Yup, Amazon still does its free app of the day!

Along with social media, I’ve also more or less given up on gaming sites. I still have Joystiq, Polygon, Game Informer and Gamasutra in my RSS reader but fewer and fewer headlines grab my attention. It all feels like rehash, or clickbait, or someone trying to stir people up. Oh, Bungie gave us free gifts and some players are angry about it. Does that really warrant a news story? Maybe it does, but reading about people being disgruntled because they didn’t like the free stuff they got doesn’t improve or enhance my life in any way, so from now on I’m not reading stories like that.

I don’t need the hype either. Every game gets huge hype but most of them don’t live up to it. If I have a resolution this year (and really I’m not much for resolutions) it is “Wait to buy.” I have literally hundreds of games in my collection; I don’t need to pay full price for GameX on the day it comes out. It’ll be half price in a few months AND all the glitches will be ironed out (or they won’t be and I’ll know to skip it completely).

So that’s where I’m at. Kind of a pointless blog post but the take away from all of this is that I’m enjoying games a lot more than I was before I fell in love with Dragon Age Inquisition. After DAI I spent a couple hundred bucks buying the other ‘hot new games’ looking for my next love affair but none of them really stuck in spite of them being hyped and well-thought of by the community. For now at least, I’ll play the games that speak to me and not worry about what’s popular.

All video, all the time!

As a cranky old man, I’ve often ranted at length about the Internet’s inevitable move towards video. When I’m researching a problem and Google spits up a link to an answer and I see it’s a link to YouTube, I groan. I don’t want to watch 7 minutes of pre-amble before I get my answer. I want text that I can quickly skim through to find the bit I need. Reading is fast, watching video is not.

So when I saw the headline What happens to literacy when the internet turns into a giant TV station? it made me happy because I thought I’d found a kindred spirit in the author.

Well, turns out that’s not the case; it’s actually a much more balanced piece, though I still like MIT social scientist Sherry Turkle quote “A life of visual memes is not enough.”

I found it to be an interesting read and you might too, if you’re at all interested in how ubiquitous Internet access is potentially changing our culture.

Or if you hate reading maybe they’ll make a video for you to watch.

Why all the fuss about “gamer”

This started as a comment on Belghast’s post… I apologize for how rough it is. I need to get to work so I’m just copying and pasting from his comment form!

Here’s what I wrote in response to him:


You might be interested in this post at Gamasutra:
Opinion: Let’s retire the word ‘gamer’

or this one:
‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.

I find it interesting that this is suddenly a hot topic. Both of those articles talk about the negative connotations of the term.

Honestly I think the whole issue is kind of absurd (no offense intended..as I say I’m the lunatic fringe here and many people ARE discussing it). Do people who knit sit around pondering whether or not they should refer to themselves as knitters? Do runners? Gardeners? “I have a garden but it’s just a couple of tomato plants… should I really call myself a gardener?”

You should call yourself whatever you want to call yourself. Gamer is just a word that is a shorthand way to communicate that one of the many things that holds interest for you is playing games.

And your post even adds nuance.. hardcore gamer vs casual gamer vs tabletop gamer. So you can sub-categorize if you feel the need to.

Tam can identify as Game Designer sure, but that has nothing to do with whether or not Tam is a gamer. It’s like my referring to myself as a Brewer. Sure I brew beer but it’s entirely possible that i might brew the stuff but not drink it, so saying I’m a brewer has no relevance to whether or not I’m a beer drinker. Am I a beer drinker? I do enjoy a beer once in a while but I don’t drink a 6-pack of Bud every night, and Bud is the most popular brand (it’s the Call of Duty of American beer), so maybe I shouldn’t call myself a beer drinker.

But if someone asked me if I was a beer drinker and I said “No” I’d feel like I was being dishonest since I do drink beer. Same with games… I play games, therefor I am a gamer, among many, many other things.

LOL sorry for the tirade… those two Gamasutra articles really got me spun up yesterday and the effects are still lingering… I probably should post this to my own blog since it’s so long….

Polygon’s selective reporting of the GaymerX controversy [Updated]

UPDATE: Polygon has now set the record straight in NIS America to make its GaymerX payment ‘in full,’ conference founder apologizes. I’m so glad to see this: faith in Polygon’s editorial policies restored.

Original post begins:

In case you somehow missed it, it all started Monday night when the CEO of GaymerX, a “gaming event for everyone, but focusing on supporting LGBTQ gamers and allies” took to Twitter to share an email sent to him by an employee of NIS America, a small video game publisher that focuses on localizing Asian games for the Western market. Apparently NISA had pledged $3000 to sponsor an event at GaymerX and now this employee was indicating they weren’t going to be able to pay.

GaymerX’s CEO, Matt Conn, was understandably upset and shared the email via twitter. (Tweets have been deleted.)

Polygon covered the story in NIS America allegedly backtracks out of GaymerX sponsorship. The post was written by a Polygon staffer who disclosed that she was a personal friend of Conn. It’s good that she disclosed this fact but bad that it was she who wrote the piece in the first place. The piece included this line:

Conn noted that he felt NIS America’s actions denote a poor attitude towards queer people. “I feel awful and betrayed,” he said.

Here’s what Conn initially tweeted:
“To me, this isn’t about the money, this is about standing up against bullies”
“The whole POINT of gaymerX, the reason why I left my high paying job @bandpage was to fight for queer geeks”
“I don’t care about the money, $3000 is nothing in the scheme of life. that’s a month of pay. The big deal is a company is bullying us”
“they’re bullying us becuase they think they can get away with it and I wanna show the world that you CANT get away with bullying queer geeks”
(again, all deleted unfortunately)

Meanwhile Joystiq covered the situation too in GaymerX in dire straits after NIS America pulls pledge [update]

Joystiq opted not to make this about sexual orientation, and added an update:

Update 1: Though it has no formal comment at this time, NIS America tells Joystiq it is “trying to work with GaymerX so that we can resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

By later on Monday Conn and NISA had already begun to sort things out. Another string of his tweets:

“We are working towards a resolution on this matter tomorrow morning and I’ll be able to update you then.”
“NISA is a good company that made a small oversight and I responded strongly. We both are at fault and I look forward to a quick resolution”
“I have no interest in causing NISA harm..i just want to be paid for the services that were rendered. I have been assured it was a mixup”
“And I take them at their word. Everyone can calm down now. Call off the war train or whatever”
“I deeply apologize for implying their choice to not pay was related to anything due to my sexuaity as I’ve realized that was self projected”

In the meantime another small publisher, Devolver, offered to cover the $3000. Tuesday morning Polygon reported on that:

Hotline Miami publisher is coming to the rescue of GaymerX after this week’s funding mishap (update)

There was no mention of the fact that Conn and NISA were working towards a resolution, but did reiterated that original issue.

Devolver Digital has come to the rescue of the LGBT-focused video game convention GaymerX after the event’s original sponsor NIS America pulled out earlier this week

Notice according to Polygon they have no longer “allegedly” pulled their pledge, it is now being reported as fact.

At some point during the day on Tuesday Conn and NISA cleared things up.

“We have come to an agreeable arrangement with @NISAmerica and they are currently making things right.”
“Agreeable meaning they’re paying what was owed and we both apologized for the misunderstanding and way that this went down”
“Everything is all settled – @NISAmerica has explained the poor wording of the email which I misinterpreted very poorly, apologies and hugs”
“Please note that @NISAmerica unlike most AAA companies was willing to sponsor and be at @GaymerX, which takes extreme courage”
“I have nothing but respect for @NISAmerica and their team, this was a poorly worded email that I received and acted very strongly to”
“I apologize for any distress that I may have caused their team and anyone who follows their or my threads.”
“I will be reaching out to press to help update the story and that it has come to a positive, peaceful resolution quickly”
“I personally do feel terrible for escalating it to such a level so quickly, I felt hurt and upset by the wording and reacted far too strong”
“for what the situation called for, I’m just happy that they have cleared up the confusion and confirmed that they will fufill payment”

These tweets are still on Conn’s stream but I wanted to capture them in case for some reason he decides it’s best to delete them. I won’t embed them all but here’s the first one

So the good news is, the story ended on a happy note. GaymerX is getting their $3K from NISA, Conn seems happy, everything is sorted out.

Later that day Polygon ran another post on the situation:
The industry is trying to resurrect GaymerX, $3,000 at a time

There is NO mention of the fact that Conn and NISA have settled the issue between them, no mention that Conn himself is trying to get the press to update the press about what he himself calls a “positive, peaceful resolution” to what was apparently an unfortunate mis-communication.

If someone were to only read Polygon’s posts (and ignore the comments…I’ve been trying to fix their poor journalism via their comment system) they’d think NISA was a homophobic company with “a poor attitude towards queer people” even though the source of the comment has pointed out that NISA was one of the few companies to sponsor the event in the first place.

The bias (or incompetence, take your pick) shown by Polygon is unfathomable to me. I’ve lost so much respect for that site. I’m hoping today we’ll see the situation being cleared up by them.

BTW Joystiq also wrote a second post:
NIS America to pay agreed pledge for GaymerX2 [Update]

It included a Press Release from Conn and GaymerX. He is really trying to set the record straight. I’m not sure why his ‘personal friend’ at Polygon isn’t passing this info on to readers. Press release in full below.


I would like to give an updated statement on the events that have unfolded over the past 24 hours.

We, GaymerX, received an email from NIS America in regards to the sponsorship, which read as though there was a budget misallocation and that they would not be able to complete the terms of the sponsorship. This has been explained that that was not the case, however, they agreed that it was worded poorly and could understand how I could misconstrue the intent of the letter.

I apologized to them for escalating it to the press in the manner I did – as I have no intention of causing the NIS brand harm, and was only looking to defend our company and make sure that we were going to get paid. I realize that it would have been much better to have more back and forth on the subject before going to the press and that my reaction, while in defense of the company, was extemely severe given the circumstances.

I want to publically apologize for any pain or distress I may have caused NIS America or their team – they have been very genuine and sincere in fixing the issue and have confirmed that payment will be made in full. They have been nothing but professional during this process after the initial email, and it can’t be understated the fact that, unlike most conservative AAA companies, they were willing to take the risk of being associated with a queer event and they went out of their way to be a part of it. That statement alone is huge and I feel as though my statements were taken out of context. I in no way intended for the dialog to be that they had made this action because we are a LGBTQ organziation, my point, at the time, was that I did not feel like that email would have been sent to a larger convention or organization, and felt bullied because of that.

They have assured me that this was not the case, and that the email was just simply poorly constructed for the meaning of what they meant to say, which was: “We did not run this up the ladder properly, and we need to discuss how we can resolve this”. I did not interpret that message correctly and that is how we came to this point.

In the end, I am very happy that they have made steps to apologize for any miscommunications on their end and to pay the full amount invoiced, and I am happy to publically apologize for a) escalating the issue beyond what the situation called for b) making comments which could be inferred as that they were making that decision based on anything besides budgetary concerns.

I hope that this statement helps clear the air on this matter and myself, or NIS America, would be happy to answer any follow up questions.

Thank you very much.