Wednesday, 20 August 2014

It's All A Game: The Quinnspiracy & Separating Product From Creator

Greetings friends!

So like a large chunk of the internet I spent a good amount of time reading the splurge if information regarding yesterday's Quinnspiracy which of course all started off with this Blog Post.

Now, after reading this; and if you haven't and you don't have the time to read the blog post, then I would simply check the much abridged knowyourmeme link at the top, or I can just summarise here:

Girl allegedly sleeps with multiple men to further the promotion of her self and her game, is shamed by ex-boyfriend and at the same time evidence is provided that suggests previous allegations of abuse and violent/sexual threats were in fact false and also fabricated to provide attention for her and her game(s).

Now being a commentator on a all things gaming I feel it necessary to throw my voice into the mix, all the while being sure to reiterate my reoccurring statement that I am not a journalist, purely someone with a blog-soapbox which in my view is the same as gaming blogsite Kotaku (despite what they claim).

Anyway, assuming what this woman has done; namely spin lie after lie in order to garner attention, is true then it should indeed be not only made public but the actions and the individual should be held accountable.

I am not demanding a witch-hunt here, but mainly assigning blame where it should lay.

You see the woman in question; Miss Zoe Quinn, has had many labels attached to her. Her ex boyfriend calls her unwell, a master manipulator and a compulsive liar, the internet vox populi seem to be throwing around words like slut and feminist, and of course she uses the word victim (seriously, doing a quick bit of research, the sheer volume of times she has either posted herself or done interviews where she has used the word victim to describe herself is staggering.

I would argue that all of these are wrong - to an extent.

In my view after reading all of the evidence including her own testimony on the issue, Zoe Quinn is clearly a Machiavellian Narcissist.

You see one of the most important parts of being an MN is 'the game' and I think that when everything was going her way Quinn thought that she was very good at playing it.

Recent activity however shows she wasn't.

We all do it to an extent, we act certain ways around some people, and other ways around other people and we are very much aware of what values other people brings to our lives and likewise what values we can bring to others, of course there is often what some might see as a level of deception involved as you are very rarely showing anyone (maybe with the exception of our significant others) the full 'true' you, however those like Quinn do it on a much more apparent level.

As a friend of mine once descried it, it's treating life like a strategy game, essentially life presents a series of choices and challenges and a decision needs to be made as to how that situation needs to be overcome, an extremely basic example would be:

You need someone to do you a favour, do you:
A). Make them fear you and do it for fear of punishment?
B). Make them like you and do it out of friendship?
C). Make yourself out as a victim so they do it out of sympathy and pity.
D). Make them think it is their own idea while you reap the rewards without anyone realising?

Kinda like a Fighting Fantasy novel, or, as luck would have it, the game Quinn developed; Depression Quest.

Now someone who was a 'master manipulator' would pull off option D, but here we have someone who most of the time (including the post 19/08/14 fallout, is still doing so) went constantly for option C, however when it comes to people like this they are almost always a victim by choice.


Now the thing is, who cares about all of this? Does an indie videogame designer cheating on her boyfriend, having sex with people to further her job and lying about being a victim of cyber bullying along with death/ rape threats really belong in the public sphere and should it have anything to do with her game(s)?

As many of you will know, last year I developed a dislike for a certain tabletop game developer, and it was during this time someone asked me:
What does it matter what the person is like just so long as their game is good?

It's a good question, and as time has gone by and lots of discussions with my awesome wife about this I do think that I am inclined to agree, but only to an extent.

You see, the way I see it there are three types of creativity when it comes to games:
- The game itself, the rules and code of the game. While the creator will have put a lot of time and energy into this, it is largely abstract, because of this it is largely separable from the creator.
- The lore, the storyline of the world itself. This will have elements of the creator involved, but it is a very top down view on things and still largely separable.
- The story/stories. These are bottom up in approach, involving opinions, attitudes, experiences, values and emotions that all stem from the creator. Stories are not separable from the creator.

And this is the issue we have here. Quinn has gone on the record saying that the game Depression Quest was designed as an almost biographic piece with a lot of the game ripped from her life and the lives around her. In other words, the story and characters in the game are intrinsically tied to her - or so is her claim.

Hence our impasse. If Quinn's attitudes, claims, values and ethics have already been almost-proven to be disingenuous then we have every single right to expect that what we see in the game is the same. That she is trying to sell us something that is based on a lie.

Quinn has over the past number of years tried to garner attention for her, her games and her causes, but we are now finding out that any number if those sales have been fabricated. This means that Quinn is not the reoccurring victim she claims to be but instead an attempting con-woman, and actually not a very good one at that.

On that note that's all from me. Speak soon!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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