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Economics

The Problem with “Hardcore” Gamers

hardcore-gamer

For starters I reject the term “hardcore” as it sets up a false dichotomy. It implies casual gamers are “soft” which in a community of 99% males means weak. I prefer the term tryhard because that’s what they do and what they want to force everyone else to do. To try hard. To be punished for failing to try hard.

Quite simply the problem with them is that it’s not enough for them that we openly admit the high points of a given game. If we complain at all, if we don’t obsequiously adopt their bizarre work ethic mentality towards gaming in its entirety, they literally act like we’re a bad people.

Casual gamers on the other hand are perfectly fine to let tryhards play however they see fit without judgment. What I judge, is being judged. In this sense tryhards need to effing relax.

If you complain about a game being too hard they say “It’s supposed to be hard.”  They respond as if you’re complaining about chess being hard. Never mind that chess by definition is ultimately the most casual of games. That doesn’t stop international competition chess from being a thing.

Chess is how it should be done. I can play any variant of chess I want. The tryhards have no power there. The less power you give them the better a game, and the game’s community is.

Catering to tryhards is a mistake because, as with chess, catering to casuals would not prevent them from enjoying fierce competition gaming, it would only prevent them from having the power to deny casuals the same right to play and enjoy.

Catering to tryhards makes people like them feel justified in literally hating people like me. This does not occur in casual game communities. It is a direct boot camp, cultist, Stockholm syndrome style reaction to a hateful unforgiving game setting.

There is some seriously dark psychology in play here. Tryhards behave a fair bit like religious extremists or fascists of some stripe. No joke. I firmly believe if they had the option of hurting me and getting away with it over this ideological difference, they’d do it.

But see, I wouldn’t hurt them. Casual gamers generally wouldn’t, expressly because they are casual. Honestly, even if I had a magic button that would just low voltage zap them, I wouldn’t even do that.

What I am opposing is the effort to make a game into a religion. Which is what tryhards more or less do. They elevate this stuff to religious extremes and the devs encourage it for the money and the rabid worshipful fan base.

They are cult builders and that’s clearly bad. IPL abolition would solve this problem because it would suddenly be legal to reinterpret and translate the holy texts, by which I mean it would be legal to fork the code.

They often say we have plenty of easier games to play, as a prelude to telling us take it or leave it, stfu or gtfo. But they have the overwhelming majority of other games to go play as well. Again, this is part of the problem.

A badly coded game is a “challenge” too, and plenty of inept devs hide behind “challenge” as an excuse for being lousy coders. (Evil Dead on the Dreamcast springs to mind. Worst controls ever I think.) Ease of use in the application market on the other hand is usually an indicator of skill. Not so for game devs. Because of tryhards.

There are tryhard equivalents in the software community too, to be sure, plenty of Linux types get all miffed and ideological about not making GUIs or clones and the like, but they aren’t as common as the gamer version by any stretch of the imagination.

Hard core gamers and games are unilaterally exclusive. They’re like the gaming version of racists. The games which cater most to tryhards, are also not coincidentally, the most rigid and unchanging. The most resistant to modding and inclusiveness. The most brimming with smug hate in the communities. The most rife with the sheer loathsomeness of greed and obsession when money is on the table, as in the case of Starcraft and Counter Strike.

On the other side, a causal game with a nice open mod system could be as hard as you want it to be without excluding others wholesale. (Again, see Chess.)

In short: Give casuals what they want, and we can all play how we like. Give “hardcore” gamers what they want and only they can play how they like.

Obviously, our desires are the more inclusive and more ethical. Tryhards should be ashamed of themselves by any rational ethical measure.

Everything I ask for in any game would be implemented ideally as an option/setting. My wishes being granted would not impact tryhard play at all. Casuals are not the problem here. Tryhards are.

 

Addendum 2016-01-24 0608 AM:

It is a constant source of rage for me because I see in them mirrored the same psychologies that allow some of humanities most shameful actions.

The entire software market is a toxic meme in my view. The notion that one can own an idea to me is dangerous lunacy on it’s face. And these people are the shock troops of that lunacy.

Ever since the early 90s when I washed up on the shores of the Internet in IRC chat, it amazed me that the first thing I found in what was essentially a shared lucid dream, the concept of hierarchies.

When I found out that rooms had operators that were literally placed above everyone else in the name list, I was floored and instantly began asking why?

“Oh well it’s to prevent this abuse or that.”

“Then why not bake that into the code of how rooms work?”

“*awkward silence followed by ban for violation of rule 32f/b Never Question Ops*”

Tryhards in any debate almost always first fall into an attack pattern of “Are you too stupid to read the rules?” Followed by “It’s just a game, the devs own it, you should be grateful for the opportunity to lick their boots, because other devs are even worse.”

And that shit sounds way familiar out here in the real world. When business owners first objected to the civil rights movement it was on the exact same private property my yard my rules argument.

Everyone sane and ethical scoffed, but virtually no one scoffs in the gaming world at the exact same logic. Gamers have no rights, and tryhards defend this lack of protection with all the vehemency of the Tea Party Movement.

I swear the gaming/software market has deep seeded the youth of America with these toxic memes and it’s all we can do to keep up on weed patrol at ground level.

 

See also:

http://underlore.com/why-devknights-exist/

http://underlore.com/its-not-just-a-game/

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/CasualVendetta

UBI as a Compromise on Reparations for Slavery

On the subject of reparations, I have something to say that I haven’t heard anyone else say.

Context.
1. Assume that people of color are oppressed to this day because of the damage done by slavery.
2. Assume the point of reparations is to address that early damage.
3. Assume that others profited and continue to profit unfairly from that oppression.

Ok. So, you want to address this in an economic way that’s fair and viable and ethical.

I think a progressive tax and a UBI (unconditional basic income) accomplishes that goal. And it has the added bonus of not being by definition racist in the way that affirmative actions are. This seems counter intuitive but here follow along for a second. After all if it’s not a special effort made in favor of a specific race how can it qualify as reparations? In the same way that a given policy can disproportionately impact a given race without having to expressly specify a race anywhere within it. The same way a flat tax disproportionately hurts the poor despite being by definition totally even mathematically.

A UBI provided baseline income would have diminishing improvement effect as you climb the economic ladder. Hedge fund guys are not even going to notice the tiny bump in income their UBI check would provide, thus the fairness price paid in letting rich white guys collect the same reparations check as descendants of slaves, is offset by the fact that by the very virtue of being rich, there is no effective improvement to their lives.

Also it will be offset by the fact that on balance they’ll be paying way more then they are getting expressly because they are overly wealthy.

This means a UBI by definition is a smart bomb for poverty. It self selects and self adjusts its impact by the very metric we all agree on is the metric of most relevance: degree of poverty.

A UBI check to a homeless man is literally life changing. So to of anyone else economically crushed for any reason, including damage done by systemic racism of the present or the past. The more damage done, the more a UBI will help. Automatically and instantly the people most aided are those most currently crushed. And as they rise, the help done diminishes until they reach a point of economic sufficiency where they begin paying into the system instead of extracting from it.

The more oppressed a group actually is, the more the UBI helps them over others who don’t need it. No bureaucracy required. No debate over who gets what is needed. No one decides.

The only debate is how much to give, and at what rate to tax. That’s all. Two figures.

The other end of the spectrum is the progressive tax to pay for it. In this context a progressive tax is as much a smart bomb as the UBI is. It has the opposite effect as you go up the economic ladder. The more advantage you are granted for any reason up to and including profits from systemic racism, past or present, the more the progressive tax will take from you, and the more you can afford to have taken from you without impacting your actual quality of life.

See here for my primary post about the UBI:

http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

Inspired by this video:

Black Voters and Bernie Sanders

TL/DR: Bernie won’t actually have a problem with AA/minority voters on the days of vote. The media is just saying that over and over hoping to make it true.

Bernie will have the black vote when it matters and here’s why.

I know no one wants to talk about this really for fear of being misconstrued as implying that blacks as a voting block are ignorant. However, the root of Bernie’s problem with the black electorate at this stage is ironically a consequence of everything he’s trying to fight.

Blacks and most others frankly at this point haven’t on average looked into who to vote for yet because they know it’ll be a trivial decision to make and because they on average are too busy or disenfranchised to engage in what is at its point essentially the politico version of fantasy football.

At this point the election is a first world problem for the majority of those 61% of people that didn’t vote last time. For the moment, and only for the moment, most people have more pressing matters to attend to.

Not having the time to inform yourself of the reality of your choice in an upcoming vote is by definition a bigger problem the more disenfranchised your group is because then you have bigger and more real problems to deal with day to day expressly because of systemic racism or other forms of oppression.

When you are worried for example about being shot by the local police walking down the block to buy groceries, assuming you can even afford them, you’re not going to have a lot of time or inclination at first to wiki Bernie vs Clinton and their voting records. This does not make you stupid, it makes you human.

Sure it might be unwise as a group to disengage, but individually (and here is the critical part) this early, it’s essentially a waste of time. But again, be honest, this really isn’t as complicated an nuanced as the media (both mainstream and alternative) how long would it take anyone browsing to decide which is the candidate for them? We all want to sound smart, but really a choice like this takes no more than 30 minutes of searching.

There’s also the general impact of austerity measures especially in republican states on political awareness. Schools generally are in third world shape in this country and they only get worse in oppressed communities. But again, that doesn’t matter much in this specific context because of the internet and the penetration of smart phones into every level of society.

All this is in my opinion why there is this perception that Bernie isn’t doing well among minorities, blacks in particular. It’s ultimately an illusion.

This will all change the moment the primary begins because he’ll win Iowa and New Hampshire and the news will be forced to name him and the busier more distracted of the black electorate will, by virtue of it no longer being a first world problem, will inform themselves on their upcoming choice.

And when they quickly find that their choice is between a woman who accepts money from the private prison lobby and says whatever she thinks is expedient at the time, or a man who walked with King and was arrested fighting for the civil rights movement, who has not deviated from his message of equality and true progressivism in decades, they’ll make the intelligent, self serving, and compassionate choice.

See, the thing about low information voting is about the price in time of acquiring that information. The opportunity cost is the deciding factor here. As the day of the primary gets closer and closer in each state, a moment will be taken by each person who isn’t totally disconnected or prohibited from participation even indirectly, to confirm or deny what they already believe, and they’ll find Bernie’s revolution waiting for them, instead of SSDD not worth the wait inline come election day.

The issue of who to vote for in the primary will for each person stop being a waste of precious time. It then stops being a trivial day to day hobby horse race, and it starts being something real that matters today. And that only means millions of people discovering Bernie and coming to #FeelTheBern

I believe that essentially all it takes to turn the average black Hillary supporter into a Bernie Sanders’ supporter is 30 minutes on a smart phone and an open mind. Call me sappy or naive but I’m pretty sure open minds and smart phones are still ubiquitous in this country, no matter what the news tells us.

Also, primary voters are by definition more engaged than general election only voters, and engaged voters Google who they are voting for. Any progressive that shows up has a great chance of being behind Bernie than any of these polls can predict. Unless they are online, and the online polls show a landslide coming because there are no spoiler effects in play. It’s perfectly safe to vote Bernie. Indeed, given his performance (compared to Hillary) vs Trump and the other republicans, he’s the safer vote.

This election is defined by populism. That will include the dismissal of the main stream media by the electorate. The same anti establishment populism that caused this race to boil down to Trump vs Sanders also is present vs the six company news machine we all know by now has been lying to us for decades.

Mark my words, Bernie is essentially going to sweep the primaries barring outright election rigging.

“An update on your petition on strong encryption”

My thoughts are below:

We the People

An update on your petition on strong encryption:

Thank you again for signing the We the People petition on strong encryption and getting involved with this important debate.

We wanted to give you a quick update on the process so far:

This month, administration officials met with some of the original petition signers to listen to their priorities and concerns regarding encryption. In our last correspondence, we asked for your thoughts and questions — and you answered.

So far we’ve received over 5,000 responses from you, which we are carefully reviewing.

We want to keep hearing from you. If you haven’t already submitted your thoughts or questions, please do so now here.

In the meantime, watch what the President had to say about bringing law enforcement, intelligence, and high-tech companies together:

POTUS gives a press conference

Thanks, and we’ll be in touch soon.

— The We the People Team

This kind of reply is why this whole government petition system is pointless in the hands of a centrist republican bank puppet President. All you’ll ever get is more evasive non-speak and 10 minute staffer written throw away replies.

The “answer” given in that video is worthless. It basically boils down to “we’ll ask your question to tech companies.”

Fortunately, on this issue we don’t have to wait for the government. But we do have to wait on coders to get over the greed.

People that want to patent the question mark when they grow up are not going to be helpful when society finds itself in need of blanket user friendly encryption solutions. They’ve already made it abundantly clear that they collectively don’t want anything like a user friendly open source windows alternative.

Not a single distro makes compatibility and familiarity core objectives. Each one is extremely petty systemically in that they disregard windows users as mentally defective and respond to desires from that crowd as flawed desires outright. Tech support answers in that context virtually always boil down to “want something else.”

We need strong encryption baked in to this kind of effort because it has to be adopted in bulk and it needs to be incidental and easy to provide real protection because at the moment, the very act of going through the monumental hassle to harden your communications very likely in itself puts you on a watch list unless you are already just a tech fetishist or are a committed privacy advocate.

We don’t need better bullet proof vests, we need bullet proof tshirts, so that when asked why you are bullet proof your answer can be “it just came with the shirt.” Until then we all know how society will react to anyone else who hardens their communication. “Well what do you have to hide? Why are you going through so much hassle to do this if there’s nothing illegal going on in your tech sphere?”

Thus what we really need is a deep privacy, deep encryption, baked in, peer to peer open source, distributed, version of windows xp. With the twin primary design goals of protecting people from assumed digital tyranny and providing a nearly seamless transition experience for the bulk of PC users. That is why it’s critical that this OS be able to install and run windows apps the exact same way they are run and installed under windows xp in terms of work flow and cosmetics, so that we have a true user-feasible, alternative to the dominant closed source ecosystems. I would also suggest a mac skin for this same base. So that all of us can move towards a shared operating system with pooled resources that serves users above all else.

It is not Obama and the NSA preventing that. So in a sense they are right to lay this sort of problem at the feet of the industry.

Response to Bernie Sanders on Gun Control

Bernie’s campaign sent this email. And below is it an explanation of why I can’t agree or sign.

Bernie Sanders for President

Dear Brandon –

Here is the very sad truth: it is very difficult for the American people to keep up with the mass shootings we seem to see every day in the news. Yesterday, San Bernardino. Last week, Colorado Springs. Last month, Colorado Springs again. Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Isla Vista, Virginia Tech, Navy Yard, Roseburg, and far too many others.

The crisis of gun violence has reached epidemic levels in this country to the point that we are averaging more than one mass shooting per day. Now, I am going to tell you something that most candidates wouldn’t say: I am not sure there is a magical answer to how we end gun violence in America. But I do know that while thoughts and prayers are important, they are insufficient and it is long past time for action.

That’s why I want to talk to you today about a few concrete actions we should take as a country that will save lives.

Add your name in support of the following commonsense measures Congress can take to make our communities safer from gun violence.

1. We can expand background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. This is an idea that over 80% of Americans agree with, even a majority of gun owners.

2. & 3. We can renew the assault weapons ban and end the sale of high capacity magazines — military-style tools created for the purpose of killing people as efficiently as possible.

4. Since 2004, over 2,000 people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list have legally purchased guns in the United States. Let’s close the “terror gap” and make sure known foreign and domestic terrorists are included on prohibited purchaser lists.

5. We can close loopholes in our laws that allow perpetrators of stalking and dating violence to buy guns. In the United States, the intended targets of a majority of our mass shootings are intimate partners or family members, and over 60% of victims are women and children. Indeed, a woman is five times more likely to die in a domestic violence incident when a gun is present.

6. We should close the loophole that allows prohibited purchasers to buy a gun without a completed background check after a three-day waiting period expires. Earlier this year, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine of our fellow Americans while they prayed in a historic church, simply because of the color of their skin. This act of terror was possible because of loopholes in our background check laws. Congress should act to ensure the standard for ALL gun purchases is a completed background check. No check — no sale.

7. It’s time to pass federal gun trafficking laws. I support Kirsten Gillibrand’s Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking & Crime Prevention Act of 2015, which would “make gun trafficking a federal crime and provide tools to law enforcement to get illegal guns off the streets and away from criminal networks and street gangs.”

8. It’s time to strengthen penalties for straw purchasers who buy guns from licensed dealers on behalf of a prohibited purchaser.

9. We must authorize resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study and research the causes and effects of gun violence in the United States of America.

10. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 21,000 firearm suicides every year in the United States. It’s time we expand and improve our mental health capabilities in this country so that people who need care can get care when they need it, regardless of their level of income.Add your name in support of these commonsense measures Congress can take to make our communities safer from gun violence.

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate voted against non-binding legislation to expand background checks, close the “terror gap,” and improve our mental health systems. I voted for all three, although each of them came up short.

They failed for the same reason the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey legislation failed in 2013, just months after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School: because of the financial political power of a gun lobby that has bought candidates and elections for the better part of the last several decades.

In 2014 alone, the gun lobby spent over $30 million on political advertising and lobbying to influence legislators in Congress and state capitals across the country. And just last month, it was reported that the Koch brothers made a $5 million contribution to the NRA.

Americans of all political stripes agree. It’s time to address the all too common scene of our neighbors being killed. It’s time to pass a common sense package of gun safety legislation.

With your help, that’s what we’ll do when I’m president.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Sign Our Petition

I’m sorry but I can’t sign this.

I can’t add my name because of point 2. “assault” and “military style” are meaningless terms. And tough gun law in California and France obviously changed nothing. I will not be a party to creating a third unwinnable crime war.

The bottom line is this. Crime is already illegal. And shooting people is already a crime.

This entire debate is an absurd distraction from the real issues.

Guns are a containment technology. Take them away and the tools of psychosis become fire, chemicals, explosives, cars themselves.

Remember the guy that weaponized a bulldozer and stumped a whole town’s police force? They didn’t stop him. Faulty machinery stopped him.

The real issue here is a gargantuan impoverished class. We need to solve the root problems that drive people crazy and make it impossible to help them. We need to remove those social forces that allow them to feel there is no other solution but a violent death.

We need a single payer health system for starters so anyone anywhere in the country can walk into a hospital and get the help they need.

Gun control is a doomed, insane, concept. Every bit as insane as drug law and alcohol prohibition. Especially in this the era of 3d printers and CNC machines that can carve steel. Both of which a dedicated person can build from scratch.

Ban guns, and I assure you you’ll create a basement weapons cartel that will result in gun factories springing up like meth labs, everywhere.

You think gun violence is bad now? Imagine a totally disarmed legitimate populace vs a booming cottage arms trade that deals nearly exclusively in drum fed AK 47s.

The only reason gun control remotely works in Europe is because of extensive social services combined with police state style surveillance, and still, that didn’t stop the Paris attacks did it?

Gun law is not only wrong, it’s completely insane. Especially here. You start taking guns away and every survivalist hate group in the country gets the biggest I told you so in history to recruit with, and suddenly we’re drowning in domestic terrorism that could well escalate into civil war.

Fortunately, no one but ignorant commenters is honestly that stupid. You will not get your gun laws, so stop asking people. You’ll get token trivial gestures that will at best kill innocent people for want of self defense weapons.

There’s no such thing as “common sense” gun laws because gun laws are as nonsensical as prohibition.

All gun law does is make it harder for people like me to defend other innocent people.

#LeftistWithAGun

http://underlore.com/2nd-amendment-and-related-links/

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