We're at it again, drafting essays in Skype. Here are our latest musings:
11:04 PM Jewelfox wants to trade her PSP in for a Vita or something, maybe, but there are several amazing games that are only available in UMD format. Which, the only device that can read those is a PSP.
11:05 PM Jewelfox feels like it's just wrong to ask people either to give up old games when they upgrade, or hold on to ten-year-old consoles, and that this kind of waste is endemic to the whole console industry.
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Because I'm starting to get into interests besides "figuring out who I am," like writing a ridiculous number of words about gamefeels and painting a dozen identical miniatures at the same time. It's just that pretty much everyone I know here subscribed to me because of the essays about identity, religion, and the like, whereas people who are (or would be, hypothetically) interested in fanfics and minis would more than likely be turned off at worst or confused at best by getting to know me / us as a person.
... is how I see it.
We're also facing some unpleasant trends, while we'll discuss in more detail below the cut.
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What do? Any thoughts? Does this place, do these writings, does any of it mean anything to anyone? And if they do ... how many of the people they matter to will still be here next year?
The one pleasant trend I've noticed is Patreon becoming A Thing, but at this point I can count on one hand the number of regular commenters here. So I don't think we're anywhere near the point where we should be talking about it.
tl;dr: Religious abuse only happens because religious leaders are allowed to claim ownership of things other people need in order to live, which is basically the spiritual version of "private property." Because of this, most Internet Atheist criticisms of "religion" would be better directed at capitalism instead.
Content note: Discussion of abusive religion and eating disorders.
From CollectQT's Political Definitions page:
capitalism - An economic system wherein the means of production are largely privately owned. Capitalism is inherently oppressive.
To unpack that a little, "the means of production" are what you need access to in order to make a living. They can be anything from printing presses to app stores to hunting preserves.
In a capitalist economic system, like the ones in China and the United States, these things are all privately owned, meaning that one person or corporation is allowed to control them despite the fact that everyone needs them. This is why capitalism is inherently oppressive; whatever political freedoms you may have, the people who own the means of production have the power to decide whether you live or die, and under what circumstances.
When critics of capitalism are talking about "private property," this is what they are criticizing. The "property" in question is the means of production, not your personal effects. They are not saying that you should be forced to give up your plushies or miniatures. On the other hand, if you've ever seen someone eBay their most prized possessions in order to make next month's rent, you know that this is exactly what capitalism does to the people it makes into losers.
I've been kind of uncomfortable with Pathfinder and D&D both for different reasons, and started looking for another role-playing game that has the rules for free online and lets you write your own stuff for it.
Both are strongly inspired by Pathfinder and D&D, with stock fantasy adventuring tropes and more or less stock fantasy character options. But the authors went in two different directions with them ... especially with regard to how accessible their games are to newbies. Whether those newbs are players, or fan / professional authors.
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So, I spent much of today reading comments and forum posts by Warhammer 40,000 players, for some reason. (This doesn't only apply to them, though; it has a lot to do with Pathfinder and video games as well.)
40k players spend an awful lot of time complaining online, it feels like. But what's interesting to me is what they choose to complain about. Roughly half of the forum-goers I saw were complaining about the company that makes the Warhammer models; how Games Workshop's latest rulebook ruined their fun, invalidated their strategies, and obsoleted their favourite models.
Some of their stories are really sad. "40K" players invest dozens or hundreds of hours in their cherished pastime, sometimes in just a single model, and it shows. Far from looking for an excuse to complain, the most upset players seemed more like betrayed lovers, who had given and given and given and were rewarded with Games Workshop's scorn.
The other half ... were complaining about the first half.
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I don't know where I'm going with this. It's late, and I'm tired and rambly.
I just feel like, the less inequality there is between players and game publishers -- and between the players and each other -- the less fighting and arguing there seems to be, and the more creative freedom there is.
I like the Tau model collection I'm building, but I feel more at home with game players and companies which treat me with respect.
The guy what made Minecraft bought a $70 million mansion in Beverly Hills.
I get that Minecraft has been a lot of fun and helped a lot of people and been a tool and a canvas for self-expression. But as Firefly / Serenity fans know, being awesome doesn't necessarily lead to becoming popular. And as anyone knows who's been inspired by an underpaid teacher, having a profound, positive impact on the lives of numerous people doesn't earn you six (or eight) figures. It might not even pay the bills.
I'm not saying Minecraft doesn't deserve to be popular. But I am saying that if it's worth $70 million USD for what it does, then there are a whole lot of people and creative works that we're undervaluing here. Starting with all the unpaid fanwork that made Minecraft a household name to begin with.
I also think it's obscene that any one person is allowed to have that much money and use it all to buy a house, when even one other person is involuntarily homeless in the same country as the house that he bought.
I'm going to see the pictures of that housewarming party in my head now, every time I see Minecraft merchandise in stores.
Content note: Ablism and strong language in the source link.
Complaints about materialism are bunk, [Kirk Cameron] explains [in his film Saving Christmas], because Christmas is a celebration of God's spirit taking on a material form in Jesus. It's only fitting, therefore, that we give each other material things to celebrate his birth. As for gluttony (only technically a deadly sin), Christmas is our time to celebrate the most important man in the world, and God wants us to celebrate. "So get the biggest ham!" urges Kirk Cameron. "Use the richest butter! Make everything in your house point to Jesus!"
From the stranger.com
I pray to a goddess of food and wealth, and I'm kind of skeeved out by this. Wasn't it just a few years ago that most Christians were cautioning each other against letting Christmas shopping and parties and stuff detract from "the reason for the season?"
Which, I mean, I know the real reason for Christmas is "early Christians wanted to celebrate Yule." But what kind of person thinks it's okay to encourage a suburban North American audience to eat "the biggest ham" and "the richest butter," in honour of a homeless Jew who told his followers to give what they had to the poor?
It's never been more obvious that what most people call Christianity today is just capitalism.
Attacks on religious expression are an example of a program undertaken by left-leaning individuals without thought for how this may be a part of capital’s larger approach to destroying sources of meaning outside of itself. […]
Marx and Engels never saw some sort of “defeat of religion” as a necessary condition for moving society forward.