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Trans person responds to Amber Scott and the other writers

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  • PhilhelmPhilhelm Member Posts: 473
    Rawgrim said:

    Philhelm said:

    The real crime is that there is a female cleric of Tempus who is not Branwen. Of all of the BG1 NPCs, Branwen was one of the most legit. Besides, we could have discovered that she was actually Tranwen all along.

    Branwen never gets enough love. Cool idea, though. Branwen being a transgendered character would have worked well.
    The other clerics had too much baggage: Anomen, Viconia, Quayle, and Tiax. Branwen was super chill and down for adventure.

    AshielRathenaubooinyoureyes
  • AshielAshiel Member Posts: 254
    edited April 2016
    Yeslick was pretty cool, though being a fighter/cleric was kind of a hindrance. He's tons of fun with the BG1:NPC Project though. Seriously, playing this game without that mod feels like I took the wheels of the car out for a drive and forgot the car. It's spoiled me.

  • RathenauRathenau Member Posts: 80
    Philhelm said:

    The real crime is that there is a female cleric of Tempus who is not Branwen. Of all of the BG1 NPCs, Branwen was one of the most legit. Besides, we could have discovered that she was actually Tranwen all along.

    Regardless of what comes out of the rework of Mizhena's dialogue, I do hope someone will take this idea and make a mod out of it. Seems like a cool idea.

  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,338
    Ashiel said:

    I've been going through the thread using the find-tool to try to determine what you're talking about.

    And you didn't determine what I was talking about, since the find-tool wasn't asking questions of me it was seeking solutions to fit how you conceived of what I was saying, which had nothing to do with specificity of language and everything to do with broad strokes of argumentation.
    Ashiel said:

    Because there are many fans that have been angered. Simple enough. I didn't say that she angered all the fans, nor most of the fans, nor a minority of fans but that she angered fans.

    No, you said she angered/insulted "the fanbase", you're going back on that here to make a different rhetorical point, but when your rhetoric wants to, it swings to an inclusive picture of who Amber Scott/Beamdog/SoD has managed to upset. That's all I was calling out, you pointing out you can hit Ctrl+F on "gaming culture" in this thread isn't what I was talking about, I was talking about the tendency to do the thing you're doing right here, where you flip flop back and forth between "Amber Scott is insulting the fanbase" and, when you're pressed on it, flipping back to "some fans were angered", it's a slippery rhetorical move and I was putting a spotlight on it. You've put it back onto it yourself here.

    You may not have directly claimed a majority, but you're misusing general terms like "the fanbase" if you don't think it refers to a majority. Or, to put it more gently, we were talking past each other because we had different conceptions of the rhetorical implications of the word "fanbase", and now (hopefully) you can see where your definition of "some fans" as constituting "the fanbase" is different from my definition of "most fans" as constituting "the fanbase", and with that clarification of terms we can see where our disagreement stemmed from. I also don't know why you used the find-tool on the term "gaming culture" based on the post that I made, since I don't use that phrase in it, but I imagine it's because you meant to search for where you talk about "the community" or "gaming community" in this thread? idk I'm not about to comb through the thread hunting for it, I'm talking about broad trends in rhetoric not incidents of specific phrasing.

    And maybe I missed it in the pages before I joined the thread, but did you ever actually outline the common complaints? What are they? Oster's statement is kept intentionally vague because there were so many different things said, many of them I feel completely unfounded and in fact provably so based on the content of the game (like the people complaining Mizhena wasn't fleshed out, for example, which she actually is moreso than most of the merchant/service provider NPCs, or that her character focused on her transness over and above every other facet, or that it only focused on that, both of which are also provably false from her content in SoD, etc, etc) so I wanted to see what the common complaints were so I could respond to them. Instead you posted a quote from the statement, and the statement doesn't go into what the common complaints are.

    And neither did you, unless it was before I joined the thread. What are the common complaints? In my first post on this thread I already dismantled all the complaints of the Steam poster, so if those are the common ones then I don't think any of them are valid. I also went into the common bugs complaints that I've seen earlier in the thread. I didn't go back before I popped into the thread, and skimming back just now I didn't see you link to "common complaints" at any point, so I'm not sure what they are specifically outside of ones I've already rebutted.

    So what are they? What are the common complaints? I don't know how to respond to you saying they exist without knowing what you think they are.

    KcoQuidamBelleSorciereAyiekieGozeta
  • AshielAshiel Member Posts: 254
    So semantics. Gotcha.
    No, you said she angered/insulted "the fanbase",

    fanbase
    /ˈfænˌbeɪs/
    noun
    1. the body of admirers of a particular pop singer, football team, etc
    Is synonymous with "fans". As I noted before, if you're insulting the quality and integrity of the thing that fans are a fan of, you are insulting the fans by proxy. How many fans were offended by the insult is to be determined, but she definitely insulted the fanbase.
    you're going back on that here to make a different rhetorical point, but when your rhetoric wants to, it swings to an inclusive picture of who Amber Scott/Beamdog/SoD has managed to upset.
    I disagree, and I don't see where you have established that as true, because from what I've seen, you are the only one intentionally misinforming by making claims of things I haven't said, or didn't do, and thus with each claim, the value of your word diminishes.
    That's all I was calling out, you pointing out you can hit Ctrl+F on "gaming culture" in this thread isn't what I was talking about
    I actually searched for gaming, sans the culture part, so that I'd catch any post I so much as mentioned gaming. Just to be sure. I never made the claims you said, simple as that.
    I was talking about the tendency to do the thing you're doing right here, where you flip flop back and forth between "Amber Scott is insulting the fanbase" and, when you're pressed on it, flipping back to "some fans were angered"
    No, I didn't flip anything. In my last post on the subject, I clarified exactly what I meant and it didn't change. I said what I said and I meant what I meant. Specifically to dispel this false narrative. I've made no false claims, but you have.
    it's a slippery rhetorical move and I was putting a spotlight on it. You've put it back onto it yourself here.
    It's funny. You literally misrepresent and lie about things I've said, create a strawman, claim you're putting the spotlight on it, and I put that down. I showed what I actually said, and made it painfully clear as to what I was talking about. Yet you accuse me of using a slippery rhetorical move when you're actually outright lying about what was said.

    Smooth. Real smooth.
    Or, to put it more gently, we were talking past each other because we had different conceptions of the rhetorical implications of the word "fanbase", and now (hopefully) you can see where your definition of "some fans" as constituting "the fanbase" is different from my definition of "most fans" as constituting "the fanbase", and with that clarification of terms we can see where our disagreement stemmed from.
    Okay, I can understand this. Which is why I clarified. After the clarification, to address what I thought was confusion, you then accuse me of flip flopping, when my position never changed nor did I change anything that I had said. Which signifies you weren't looking for the truth, or clarification, but rather a moment to shout "gotcha" and failed...miserably. :anguished:
    And maybe I missed it in the pages before I joined the thread, but did you ever actually outline the common complaints? What are they? Oster's statement is kept intentionally vague because there were so many different things said, many of them I feel completely unfounded and in fact provably so based on the content of the game
    While the majority of the thread has focused on Mizhena because the thread is about the reaction of some tg people to Mizhena's inclusion in this kerfuffle, Oster points out a few of the most common feedback complaints in the post I sourced, which include but are not limited to...

    1. Making Mizhena seem less token.
    2. Removing the GG joke from Minsc.
    3. Fixing a lot of gamebreaking bugs.
    4. Fixing the super broken multiplayer.

    So these are some of the most common complaints. Other common complaints include the attitude and disrespect by Amber Scott for the franchise and those who play it, the perceived theme of pushing a political ideology through the game, changes to established characters (to which the common counter argument I've seen tends to be "But they weren't great when you liked them" or something paraphrasing this answer), the requesting people who were underwhelmed with the game not review it and those who were enjoying it review it, the way response was met with accusations of bigotry, or attempting to undermine points by trying to - without evidence - leash those points to the invisible boogeyman somewhere (which is an ad hominem, last I checked).

    However, my interest has and continues to be centralized around the very scandal itself, and how it affects people like me as a whole. That, primarily, is based around people's perceptions of Mizhena and the attitude of Amber Scott, and the perceived agenda mongering that she has (probably unintentionally linked us to by association).

    Rathenau
  • AshielAshiel Member Posts: 254
    As an aside, this is the reason I was upset.

    Transgendered people are often being publicized for many of the wrong reasons, often stupid reasons, often controversial reasons, that pit them as the boogeyman against normal people. This is one such case, where we've been associated with the political ideology of someone who has made it abundantly clear that she has a plan of action (an agenda) to change the BG franchise because she deems it sexist and cisgendered, and statements that she doesn't want strait cisgendered characters to be the norm (which in reality, they actually are the norm, we are the minority).

    An example of this in action is the North Carolina toilet thing, which I discussed earlier in this thread briefly. However, yesterday, I was remarking to someone I knew about this thread, and how I had been discussing the issues surrounding Transgendered people.

    Their response was, immediately, "Oh, that's so stupid," - blah blah blah, and he immediately started talking about how dumb the controversy was, and most importantly, had an opinion of how stupid transgendered people were because of it. I listened to him, and when he remarked that one of his coworkers were talking about legislated bigotry, I looked him in the face and was like "Tell her, I'm transgendered and I think it's stupid too", which caused him to pause. He was surprised but nonhostile, and I explained my position on that subject. And his response was that I wasn't what he expected, and he felt a bit silly feeling as he did. We're friends.

    The controversy, and how the media and activist groups framed it, gave him a preconceived notion about transgendered people and their issues. I dispelled those preconceived notions, but it'd be cool if I didn't have to re-validate us as rational human beings to people who aren't aware of any tg people in their daily lives.

  • AshielAshiel Member Posts: 254
    "There's been a few negative reviews but, most of the response has been positive. Obviously if you don't feel strongly about the game, there's no overwhelming need to post a review. If you do feel strongly, though, it can only help to post it -- both for us (we like to feel good too, sometimes), and for people browsing the store who want to know more about the game before they buy it." - Source.
    Attempting to persuade people who don't like the game to not review it, but encouraging those who do to review it.
    “If there was something for the original Baldur’s Gate that just doesn’t mesh for modern day gamers like the sexism,” said writer Amber Scott. “In the original there’s a lot of jokes at women’s expense. Or if not a lot, there’s a couple, like Safana was just a sex object in BG 1, and Jaheira was the nagging wife and that was played for comedy. We were able to say like, ‘No, that’s not really the kind of story we want to make.’ In Siege of Dragonspear, Safana gets her own little storyline, she got a way better personality upgrade. If people don’t like that, then too bad.” - Source.
    Amber Scott remarks that there is a lot of sexism and jokes at womens' expense, then admits that it's more like a couple, but then focuses on Jaheira and Safana as if there were something wrong with them and needed to be rewritten. Lack of content in BG I or not, people still enjoyed those characters as they were. She then says "if people don't like that, then too bad", which is the most damning thing in the quote because it shows a level of careless contempt for the original fans who liked them better how they were.
    "I don't like writing about strait, white, cis people all the time. It's not reflective the real world, it sets up s/w/c as the "normal" baseline from which "other" characters must be added, and its boring.

    I consciously add as much diversity as I can to my writing and I don't care if people think that's forced or fake. I find choosing to write from a strait default just as artificial. I'm happy to be a SJW and I hope to write many social justice games in the future that reach as many different people as possible. Everyone should get to see themselves in pop culture.Source.
    Amber admits to being a SJW (which kind of shoots the idea that they "don't exist" in the knee), and strait up says she consciously adds as much "diversity" as she can for its own sake. She's also, for better or worse, completely wrong on two counts of what she describes as the "default". Statistically, most people actually are both strait and cisgendered, though not white.

    According to LGBT demographics for the united states, it's estimated at about a 3.8% average for the populace, but pretty much assured to be less than 10%, and that's including both homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered people, with transgendered people being less than 1% (about 0.3%).

    Hence why it comes off as an agenda, because you're identifying as an SJW, and adding people with certain traits just to include additional diversity (which is literally Tokenism by definition).
    This wasn't a bad joke, hell given the subsequent controversy it was actually a prescient joke that was made funnier by GG's unethical lying about Mizhena being token based, clearly, on not having played the game enough to know she wasn't tokenized in any way shape or form.
    I think Liana K. explains the outrage better than I. I share her sentiments. This is, interestingly, why I don't think an antagonistic approach to social interaction is a good idea. If you tease the dog, as it were.
    Being trans, I am also incredibly concerned. But Amber Scott's comments did not concern me. Siege of Dragonspear did not concern me. What concerned me was the response by right-wing gamers...
    Sincerely, thank you for this. I just got home and I need to get ready to take a nap after work so I can be awake some of today (night shift->day off->day shift following day, don't want to waste all of my off-day), but I'm going to think about what you've said. I'm still concerned that after the dust settles, people are going to associate this kerfuffle with us. :confounded:

    I still don't think the reaction to this game would have been as explosive if not for the perfect storm of circumstances (since there are lots of other games with non-cisgendered non-strait non-white characters that aren't generating the outrage), but I see where you're coming from. I also apologize for getting angry earlier in the thread. This is something I've been putting up with a lot lately from sources outside of gaming, and so it's pretty touchy for me, and I very well may be letting my emotions get the better of me. If so, my sincere apologies.

    PS: I shared some music earlier in the thread, so here I'll continue that tradition.

    RathenauGenderNihilismGirdle
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 909
    edited April 2016
    Ashiel said:

    "There's been a few negative reviews but, most of the response has been positive. Obviously if you don't feel strongly about the game, there's no overwhelming need to post a review. If you do feel strongly, though, it can only help to post it -- both for us (we like to feel good too, sometimes), and for people browsing the store who want to know more about the game before they buy it." - Source.

    Attempting to persuade people who don't like the game to not review it, but encouraging those who do to review it.
    What the actual F.

    I'm not even going to say you're deliberately lying here, I'm just baffled.

    You have disproven your own point.

    "If you don't feel strongly about it, there's no need to post a review" is literally saying "Don't post a review about the game just to help us, only do it if you really liked (or disliked) SoD." It not only proves you wrong, it proves wrong the BS lie parroted by the usual suspects that Beamdog was begging for their own positive review bomb.

    I have no idea why you don't know what "feel strongly" means, but flip it around: it means "have strong feelings". They didn't say anything about negative feelings. Not one word. In no way, shape, or form did they "attempt to persuade people who don't like the game not to review it".

    I'm tired of fighting about exact wording and your consistently malicious interpretation of everything Amber Scott said, but the above is just mind-boggling. Your take on it barely even resembles what was actually said.

    GenderNihilismGirdleBelleSorcieremf2112KcoQuidam
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,338
    Ayiekie said:

    Ashiel said:

    "There's been a few negative reviews but, most of the response has been positive. Obviously if you don't feel strongly about the game, there's no overwhelming need to post a review. If you do feel strongly, though, it can only help to post it -- both for us (we like to feel good too, sometimes), and for people browsing the store who want to know more about the game before they buy it." - Source.

    Attempting to persuade people who don't like the game to not review it, but encouraging those who do to review it.
    What the actual F.

    I'm not even going to say you're deliberately lying here, I'm just baffled.

    You have disproven your own point.

    "If you don't feel strongly about it, there's no need to post a review" is literally saying "Don't post a review about the game just to help us, only do it if you really liked (or disliked) SoD." It not only proves you wrong, it proves wrong the BS lie parroted by the usual suspects that Beamdog was begging for their own positive review bomb.

    I have no idea why you don't know what "feel strongly" means, but flip it around: it means "have strong feelings". They didn't say anything about negative feelings. Not one word. In no way, shape, or form did they "attempt to persuade people who don't like the game not to review it".

    I'm tired of fighting about exact wording and your consistently malicious interpretation of everything Amber Scott said, but the above is just mind-boggling. Your take on it barely even resembles what was actually said.
    To be fair, in context you could read it as "we like to feel good, hence we mean strongly felt positive reviews" although that assumes they wouldn't feel good reading a strong opinion about the game which is negative, which I don't know would be the case but it's a fair read of it. I think more likely they were just feeling down because of all the strong opinions that had nothing to do with the game. But a case can be made for Ashiel's read here, I think, even if I think the intent is more illuminated by focusing on their use of "the game" than about their use of "strongly held" and "feel good" one way or the other. I went into this in my reply above, but my post is a bit of a slog lol

    KcoQuidam
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 909


    To be fair, in context you could read it as "we like to feel good, hence we mean strongly felt positive reviews" although that assumes they wouldn't feel good reading a strong opinion about the game which is negative, which I don't know would be the case but it's a fair read of it. I think more likely they were just feeling down because of all the strong opinions that had nothing to do with the game. But a case can be made for Ashiel's read here, I think, even if I think the intent is more illuminated by focusing on their use of "the game" than about their use of "strongly held" and "feel good" one way or the other. I went into this in my reply above, but my post is a bit of a slog lol

    Sure, I can get that (although the "for people browsing the store who want to know more about the game before they buy it" part argues that any strongly felt honest reviews would be welcome), but Ashiel herself highlighted the line "Obviously if you don't feel strongly about the game, there's no overwhelming need to post a review. If you do feel strongly, though, it can only help to post it", and in no sense can you interpret "don't feel strongly" to mean "feel negatively". They just aren't the same thing.

    Like, I could see the argument that they were ONLY encouraging people who felt strongly positive about SoD to post reviews. But even in that, it's clear they were only encouraging people who had actually played it and genuinely felt positive about it, and that there is nothing at all to suggest they were discouraging posting genuine negative reviews.

    GenderNihilismGirdlemf2112
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,338
    @Ayiekie we are in agreement there, no doubt lol

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Maybe this is some gaming community-specific thing, but even if Trent had said "If you like the game, then please write a positive review!" (which he absolutely didn't), I would have zero problem with that. It's something that happens with everything from podcasts (iTunes reviews) to YouTube videos (thumbs-ups) to politics (votes). Reminding people to honestly speak out, even if you explicitly want them to speak out in your favor, isn't remotely dishonest. It's just proactive.

    P.S. I've seen some people explain their indignation about this by mentioning Steam's terms of service, and oh wow do I not care.

    kanemiAyiekieGenderNihilismGirdlemf2112
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 909

    @Ayiekie we are in agreement there, no doubt lol

    Yes. I probably even wouldn't have said anything if your post had shown up before I wrote mine; I didn't even see it until just now. :blush:

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,338
    @joluv I couldn't agree more, but it's worth it to take the fight to the arguments on the arguments' own terms to show how even by their own terms the arguments don't hold water

    joluvmf2112Gozeta
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,044
    @GenderNihilismGirdle Regarding Amber Scott referring to herself as an SJW, I believe that was in the context of her (or at least of BG:EE writers) being called SJWs, and her response was something like, "well if that's what I am, great." That is she was taking a slur that was being used against the EE writers because of dislike of Hexxat as a lesbian character and turning it around to say that there's nothing wrong with wanting to write diverse characters, and if that makes her an SJW then so be it.

    I hope that made sense.

    GenderNihilismGirdleGrum
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,338
    @BelleSorciere No, I get it, it's just on a personal level I find that people who unironically self-identify as SJW, despite usually having better politics (by miles and miles and miles) than people who unironically self-identify as anti-SJW, are missing the point by increasing the acceptability of reactionary terminology, even for the purpose of throwing it back in anti-SJW faces. There's baggage attached to that term (such as that SJWs are pushing agendas, a thing clung to in online discussions here that is definitely part of the original coinage by right-wing internet teenagers) that makes taking back the slur a bit of a messy thing to do (especially given the online-exclusive hunting grounds of the people who coined it and how saying such a thing online can give the unthinking, single-minded, naive weirdos who coined it a chance to apply all the negative connotations they intended to go with that coinage and say that the person meant that since they know better than anyone all that's contained therein).

    Might just be a personal preference, but as someone who has been involved in social justice causes since the 90s (i.e. well before the coinage of SJW) I just find tacitly endorsing the term, even as a "taking it back" kind of thing, very nearly as groan-worthy as spiteful deployment of it, just for a different set of reasons.

    mf2112BelleSorciereAyiekie
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,044
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,338

    Ah, understandable.

    But as my posts in this thread make clear, I am nonetheless unequivocal in my support of the sentiment she was expressing there, and not only have absolutely zero problem with anything I've seen @Amber_Scott say anywhere else on the net, but in fact feel very respected and encouraged by those things as a bi trans person (and as a human being and fan of Baldur's Gate in general, since I always appreciate someone being constructively critical of media they love in ways similar to my own critical consumption of media, in particular media I love like BG).

    BelleSorciereAyiekie
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,044
    Indeed. I really appreciate what @Amber_Scott had to say and I am glad she said it.

    GenderNihilismGirdleAyiekie
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919
    @GenderNihilismGirdle To your point above about %'s, I have been thinking about it and I am thinking the percentage could be potentially fairly high given the number of mixed offspring between different actual races in FR. Humans, orcs, elves, more, given many generations and magic and interfering (and procreating!) deities, who knows what exactly going on biologically inside people in the realms?

    Also, I am not trans, but it seems from reading posts here that it is physical and mental and emotional. I keep reading that magic can "fix" anything, but I don't believe and don't get the sense you believe that being trans is "broken", so how could a minor magic spell like polymorph bring all that into tune? Likewise with a girdle of sex change. Physical only. Maybe a Wish, but with carefully worded wishes still getting twisted by the grantor, who would take such an expensive risk?

    Thanks for your insightful posts, good reading!

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • AshielAshiel Member Posts: 254
    Well, being transgendered isn't not broken. I'm pretty sure that if all it took were a little bibbity bobbity boo, there'd be far fewer trans people in the world, simply because they would now just be normal men an woman. Our abnormal state is in fact what sets us apart from the norm, and if we didn't have that distinction, we'd just be normal.

  • AshielAshiel Member Posts: 254
    Put another way, you are not blind if you can see fine. Without the distinction, the label has no place. The very term transgendered means someone's gender identity doesn't correspond to their actual sex. So if you have a man, whose gender identity corresponds to being female, and then their sex is changed to female, they're not transgendered anymore. They're cured.

  • AshielAshiel Member Posts: 254
    It is fairly attractive in a fantastic sort of sense to imagine a world where gender disphoria could be treated and cured as readily as blindness, by a simple casting of a spell, in the same way that remove blindness/deafness can restore hearing and sight to the deaf and blind, or how regeneration can restore missing limbs and appendages.

    I know it's an attractive fantasy for me, at least.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,044
    I am not sure what you're getting at re: "nonbinary people (for whom the sexual identity matching thing is...a total nonsense)" - are you saying nonbinary transgender people don't ever need to transition or are you saying something else that I am missing?

This discussion has been closed.