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Sociology

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:

Social Darwinists Headed for Extinction

Quick note to cutthroat types. Your days are numbered.

You monied types have two choices psychologically, buy the job creator style myth of the owner class, or watch your own ethics callous over from repeated abuse.

History is on my side. The march of history and the ascension of humanity has always been away from brutality and so called social Darwinism. What is the thing that Europe, and the United States, and China have in common? Confederation. They were all essentially separate nations or states that learned that it’s better for everyone to work as a team.

We have been on a steady march, along with the rest of life, towards unity, because it works.

From amino acids to Pando, from Lucy to the United Nations the clear and obvious fact of life is that working together pays better than screwing eachother over and making excuses about it.

The Ayn Rand crowd only exists because the rest of us permit it. You may well live out your life as an exploitative agent in the meantime, as many corporate apologists and Horatio Alger types will, because clearly it’s a slow march and we have a long way to go, but don’t pretend for a second that’s the future because it is quite obviously the past.

The only thing that would give your kind a substantive future would be a catastrophic setback.

_”We must not allow a mineshaft gap!”_

See also:

http://underlore.com/libertarianism-is-camouflage-for-republicans/

“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.

Three Things Bernie Sanders is Wrong About

I’m a committed Bernie Sanders supporter, and politically very far left. However, leftists generally and Bernie specifically have some things wrong. Here are three areas where Bernie (and the left) needs to look into the facts with the a cold objective eye and assemble their theory based on that evidence, if they really wish to best serve and preserve human life and joy.

The Wage Gap: (It exists but it is not caused by discrimination, and therefore current proposed legislation would be counter productive.)

Nuclear Power: (It is so hard to find a good starter video that isn’t tied to a particular personality, or is rather long, or extremely specific, etc etc.)

Guns: (Prohibition is no more a solution in the case of guns than it was in the case of alcohol or is in the case of drugs.)

This video is the best I could find. As far as I can tell no one is making the really core argument, that the 2nd amendment is an essential part of the checks and balances that keep our democracy from completely crystallizing into a final stagnant oppressive form.

Here is my essay and debate on the subject: http://underlore.com/2nd-amendment-and-related-links/

Also: http://underlore.com/response-to-bernie-sanders-on-gun-control/

 

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