Open Thread: It’s All Fun & Games Until Someone Brings An AR-15 to the Pokemon Championships

Not the Onion (this may need to be a category). Per Kotaku:

Two men who drove from Iowa to Boston for the Pokémon World Championships were arrested Friday after threatening violence over social media against attendees of the event, according to the Boston Police Department.

Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, were arrested on several firearm-related charges. The official Pokémon site lists a Kevin Norton and a James Stumbo, both from the U.S., as invitees in the “masters division” of the world championships for the Pokemon Trading Card Game.

Private security at the Hynes Convention Center, where the Championships were taking place, were also aware of the threats and stopped the two men when they attempted to enter on Thursday. Police detectives seized their car and upon delivery of a search warrant on Friday found within a 12 gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. They then arrested Norton and Stumbo that afternoon in Saugus, Massachusetts…

Is is too soon to say “I blame Rep. Steve King”?

U Mad Bro?

As a lifelong gamer, this is not even remotely surprising:

Here’s a research finding that should surprise no one: The men most likely to harass women online … are the men most likely to have their own problems.

That bit of validation comes courtesy Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Miami University, respectively. For their latest study, published in the journal PLOS One last week, the duo watched how men treated women during 163 plays of the video game Halo 3.

As they watched the games play out and tracked the comments that players made to each other, the researchers observed that — no matter their skill level, or how the game went — men tended to be pretty cordial to each other. Male players who were good at the game also tended to pay compliments to other male and female players.

Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.


In each of these environments, Kasumovic suggests, a recent influx of female participants has disrupted a pre-existing social hierarchy. That’s okay for the guys at the top — but for the guys at the bottom, who stand to lose more status, that’s very threatening. (It’s also in keeping with the evolutionary framework on anti-lady hostility, which suggests sexism is a kind of Neanderthal defense mechanism for low-status, non-dominant men trying to maintain a shaky grip on their particular cave’s supply of women.)

“As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status,” Kasumovic writes, “the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank.”

Losers are losers- hoocoodanode.

I’m Glad I Am Not the Only One Taking the GoT Season Finale Badly

Others are as well:

Banner day for dog ownership around here. Thurston chewed through my headset earphones in several places, so even though they can be spliced and fixed, I have to sit very still because I have about 6 inches of spare cable left to maneuver. Then, went to the big city, stopped at Wendy’s for a diet coke, and the lady at the drive thru gave Lily a chicken nugget because she was so cute. Lily gulped it down and then threw up on my crotch halfway home. I had to sit with vomit on my lap for 10 minutes because I could only move once or it would be everywhere, and that had to be a coordinated movement out of the car to where cleaning supplies were. I managed to hold back my gag reflex and not wreck while a puddle of warm, wet, viscous, and smelly dog barf seeped through my shorts onto my private parts. WINNING!

So, any recommendations on a nice gaming headset that will work with an ASUS XONAR ESSENCE soundcard. Have optical and RCA inputs.


I am on a self-imposed staycation for the next week. Done with some stuff I had to take care of, so I am just goingto garden and blog and play computer games and try to harness Thurston’s energy into something productive.

Speaking of games, there are just too many out there to keep up with. I have Pillars of Eternity and the Witcher which need my attention, and expansion for Dragon Age Inquisition, and I am still sucked in hard to World of Tanks. My clan in World of Tanks is all 11th ACR guys, some of whom I served with and many others throughout the ages. We range in age from active duty guys to old Viet Nam vets. We have a teamspeak server, shoot the shit, do clan matches and battles, tell war stories, and just joke around. We have an organized chain of command and clan officers who we elect, and we have clan practices twice a week and scheduled battles twice a week. I spend most of my time in game platooning with a crusty old Sergeant Major from the brown boot era and a guy about my age in Colorado who I met in game, and we work on tanks and joke around.

It’s really a cool thing- part time waster, part rehab, part club, part advice group, etc.

It’s About Time Travel In Game Journalism

Via the awesome Brianna Wu, see if you can spot the issue with this ZDNet article on women in the video game industry and getting VC funding.

Another entrepreneur, Janese Swanson, left Broderbund Software Inc. — the giant maker of educational and gaming software maker — and now heads Girl Tech, which focuses on technology products for girls. The fact that she didn’t see a lot of women in senior positions at technology firms was part of the motivation for her move from Broderbund six years ago.

“There wasn’t much room at the top,” Swanson said. “I didn’t see a whole lot of women being promoted.”

Being at a startup also has allowed her to create the products that are close to her heart: software for girls that’s not pink or poofy. Swanson said big firms focusing solely on the bottom line didn’t see a market for such products. “The view was that if you make software for boys, girls will buy it, but if you make software for girls, boys won’t buy it. So you make software for boys.”

Still, getting funding for startup ventures isn’t easy. Women who jump from larger firms can seek support from their former employer — as Polese did. But venture funding for women-owned firms is scarce. Studies show that only about 2 percent of all venture funding for technology firms goes to companies run by women.

NWBC’s Millman said that’s the next big hurdle for women executives in technology. “In the past they were discouraged,” Millman said. “Now the main barrier is finding the money to make it work.”

Seems to be a pretty standard article on making and marketing games to appeal to everyone (and women and girls in particular), and the difficulty involved for women in getting the money to do that.  If you’re still stumped, answer’s after the jump.

Read more

Open Thread: Roll For Initiative, Mike

And while we’re on the subject of Indiana today:

A major gaming convention, Gen Con, threatened on Tuesday to move its annual event out of Indiana if Gov. Mike Pence signs into law a controversial bill that would allow private businesses to deny service to homosexuals on religious grounds.

Pence has signaled he will sign the bill, possibly this week, after the Republican-controlled Indiana Senate overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday a lower-house version of the bill and moved it to the Republican governor’s desk.

Both houses had previously passed the bill, which supporters say will keep the government from forcing business owners – such as bakeries and florists who don’t want to provide services to gay couples – from acting in ways contrary to strongly held religious beliefs.

Opponents say the legislation is discriminatory. The Indianapolis Star has reported that big employers in Indiana, including tech giant Salesforce, diesel engine maker Cummins and Eskenazi Health, have opposed the measure.

On Tuesday, Seattle-based Gen Con’s Chief Executive Adrian Swartout said in a letter to the governor that diverse attendance is important to its annual convention, which it says has a $50 million yearly impact on Indianapolis.

You know, Mr. Swartout, Cincinnati is just a hour away from Indy if you’re looking for a nice centralized Midwest location to hold Gen Con in the future.  Ohio hasn’t managed to foul up on a Hobby Lobby bill quite yet.

Open thread.

Late Night Open Thread: Crowdsourcing

Just in case the Blogmaster needs ideas, I guess. The National Post explains:

Rob Ford is at least $23,000 richer after auctioning off “memorabilia” from his tumultuous time as Toronto mayor, but experts say budding Ford collectors may have just made a bad investment.

“Everyone wants a piece of it while it’s hot, and in three, four years, people are going to be saying ‘Rob Who?’ —that’s my feeling,” said Mike Rice, a British Columbia-based specialist in Canadian political collectibles…

Late last month, Mr. Ford listed about a dozen items of “Rob Ford memorabilia” on the online auction site,

Bidding for the first round ended Wednesday. By far the most expensive item — it went for $16,100 — was a gaudy National Football League tie the then-Toronto mayor wore at a press conference where he officially admitted he had smoked crack cocaine…

Mr. Ford has said 10% of the proceeds will be donated to cancer research…

And in crowdsourced documentary news, per the Badass Digest:

Cinephiles everywhere have been following the production of The Sarkeesian Effect, a work of serious investigative journalism that we first mentioned back in August. Spearheaded by skull fancier Davis Aurini and bathrobe couture pioneer Jordan Owen, it seeks to expose the corruption and collusion of Social Justice Warriors like Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, including but not limited to their reckless squandering of crowdfunded money.

There are no such worries to be had with The Sarkeesian Effect, a project that has received approximately $8,000 a month for seven months. That’s the message communicated by producer Owen this morning in a characteristically professional video blog, even as he relayed troubling behind-the-scenes issues with the production…

… Anyone who could put together such a well-intentioned and professional production is clearly worthy of investor trust. Some backers have donated hundreds of dollars per month to these truth-seeking purveyors of cinematic art – you don’t do that unless they have a proven cinematic track record.

Fans shouldn’t fret about this development. The Sarkeesian Effect will be completed. All that’s left to do is “the editing, the animations, and possibly a bit of fact-checking” – which any filmmaker knows are minor and even unimportant elements of the documentary process. Time and time again Owen and Aurini have demonstrated themselves to be upstanding citizens with truth on their side. They’ve even included actual women in their film, proving conclusively that they are definitely not misogynists…

There are videos. Be grateful I’m not embedding them here.