> ...but Matti pushed the angle. And as the challenge went on we discovered that he had cornered Jon in a room to try and get him to speak poorly of Zoe, the only negative “story” they could muster out of all fifteen contestants.
> “Two of the other teams have women on them. Do you think they’re at a disadvantage?”
Silence. It was like the wind was sucked out of the room behind the barrier, but the floor was so loud only the two all-male teams heard the question. Mark answered diplomatically that the teams actually had a huge advantage by having more viewpoints, though everyone was strong regardless because of their skill. Matti cut him off, pulled back the camera, and coughed, “Stop filming. We’re not getting a story here.”
It's a pretty long article, so here's a TL;DR:
Maker Studios is a very large YouTube network (the one that was just bought by Disney for $500 million). They tried to create some sort of game jam, and invited some teams of indie devs to participate. It devolved into being some sort of awful corporate-backed reality show, and the devs were consistently disrespected. The guy with the misogynistic quotes above was the main problem, according to a lot of the people there. Trying to push contention, etc, for the sake of the "reality" aspect of it.
That dude got sacked, and the devs all walked away. Apparently the whole thing cost $400,000.
Based on what I've heard of him, Leshem turned a career making soap operas into one of those "high-energy brand power" sort of consultancies, the marketing equation solved to its limit that disgusts everyone when they think about "marketing." He and his wife represent a big Hollywood power couple -- she's high up at Warner Brothers and responsible for movies like Se7en and Benjamin Button, he's responsible for cultural triumphs like "USA Rock Paper Scissors League" (sponsored by Amp Energy, a PepsiCo brand, of course).
This article should explain a lot, from Variety in 2003: http://variety.com/2003/scene/news/branded-tv-bubbling-up-fr... -- I have no doubt in my mind that Matti Leshem showed up on set thinking "YouTube vehicle for Pepsi" and acted accordingly. Which should tell you a lot about Pepsi, honestly.
"Also, how are yo, pretty lady? :)"
"I will kiss you on the vagina if you do"
"Ill still kiss your vagina"
"Let me know if you need a penis for anything in the meae future *near"
"Like. My penis. For your vagina"
[Too explicit for me to feel comfortable leaving readable]
If you have a few examples of these I'd be very, very much obliged.
I'll bet Polaris tries to push the "it was all Matti's fault" angle that the Indie Statik article had. But I'm assuming Polaris knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when they got Matti on board for this, given the information you shared.
Probably because he had no idea who the guy was.
I hope it, but I doubt it.
This whole story reads like a some tech people got rolled by a couple of Hollywood types. It sounds like the only intentional asshole was their producer guy.
Props to all of them who told the producers to diaf.
Technically he was a contractor and not an employee of Polaris. He didn't get fired (you can't outright fire contractors), the remainder of his contract was canceled. I suspect this is due to some perceived breach of the contract related to his reporting on GAME_JAM.
The author mentioned upfront that he didn't necessarily expect to come out unscathed after the article, but he stuck to his guns and did what he felt was right. Respect.
"CLARIFICATION: @PolarisTweets never let me go! I am still there in my old capacity. It was really scary miscommunication, thank God."
To be honest, his writing in that article is terrible and his ability to miscommunicate something like that is scary.
I think they get too close to their subjects too often for my liking, but the most part it's not a bad read.
Personally, I had no trouble following the article.
Whilst I understand that's probably not the most common take-away, I read it as a story of how software development is slowly changing to a field where sexism is no longer acceptable.
I think it is fantastic that the developers stood up to Matti, and refused to give him the story he was looking for.
People will continue to argue all they like over if software development is a meritocracy and/or if different genders have differing natural inclinations towards the field.
All I know is that on that day there were two female developers who had gained enough respect from their peers that no one would fall into the trap of "providing a story" for the show.
I think that does all the developers involved credit.
Edit: Adriel Wallick (one of the developers involved) has written a blog post about it. I thought this bit was great:
I will not put my face and my “stamp of approval” on something where this is even a question. No, we are not at an advantage because we have women on our team and no, we are not at a disadvantage because we have women on our team. We all have advantages and disadvantages because of our varying skills and strengths. Having the audacity to be a woman does not hinder nor help any of these things. Being a woman simply means that we are women.
I agree completely. Nobody should put up with that sort of bullshit, and I'm glad the developers didn't.
However, a comment from the linked account:
'But the people responsible for hiring those who ultimately destroyed it – they all contributed to a toxic environment, and they should be held accountable for that.'
I must disagree with this. There is no such thing as precognition. How someone comes across in an interview is a weak predictor of how he performs on the job. With the best will in the world, sometimes an employer will make a mistake and hire the wrong person.
And this mistake is already punished by law and custom more harshly than it should be. The result is that employers are incentivized to err strongly on the side of caution, to never give a candidate the benefit of any doubt, no matter how ill-founded.
And this hurts everyone. It hurts good people who can't get a job because there's no absolute proof they'd be good hires. It hurts good people being abused by sociopathic bosses because they're afraid they wouldn't be able to get another job if they were fired. It hurts good people being paid below their worth because wages are bid down by the desperate. One way or another, it hurts you, and it hurts people you care about.
The blame for the fiasco needs to be placed where it belongs: on Matti, not on the people who hired him without perfect foreknowledge of his future actions.
This is absolutely true, so far as blame goes.
But the people who hired him were responsible for him. That's how business works: a business cannot just reject responsibility for the actions of people acting for them because they subsequently find out they did bad things. The business can (and should) try to correct those thing, but they are accountable for it.
I disagree with this. Yes, employers should be able to take risks on people, but at the same time a business can bring powerful resources to bear on something, and in the wrong hands those resources can be dangerous. A business absolutely should consider this when they hire, and should be held accountable if they make a mistake in hiring.
This is not about someone unknown suddenly acting offensive. The guy was known and nobody tried to tone him down.
I agree with you that generally we must allow companies to make hiring mistakes. I also thing that it is better for everybody if even biggest jerks can get job and earn living (instead of being unemployed on help). But known jerks should not be kept at positions where they can screw others big time.
I agree, they shouldn't. The impression I get from the article is that once it was brought to the attention of Matti's employers that he was screwing up in a big way, he was quickly given the boot, though I'm open to correction if this turns out not to be the case.
That being said, I read down that he is a big animal, important for Pepsi and influential in shows making cycles. So, show produces might have been between rock and hard place.
On the other hand, it is hard to excuse Pepsi, they seem to be happy with him. It even looks like they are "on his side" in follow up and complained about above article or something.
Is Mountain Dew not fairing well with the minsogynst demo?
Really interesting read, but now my eyes hurt.
The premise is to get a bunch of comic strip artists together and compete to win a working space at Penny Arcade's office in Seattle and some cash (the idea being this would be used to launch their own comic strip).
Some things that really worked well:
* There was almost zero bullshit reality TV manufactured drama
* Everyone treated each other with respect and I think every artist gained something from being on the show (new fans, support for Kickstarter projects, etc)
* Focused on the work being produced, including plenty of links to scans of all the artwork on the show website
* Episodes released on YouTube (could use existing apps, infrastructure)
* Two episodes (15-25min) released each week (short enough to consume, frequent enough to keep you hooked)
* Enough production value for it to not be a distraction; obviously this isn't a major network TV show, but it wasn't some person's first production using iMovie
* The show didn't take itself too seriously. Watch the "elimination ceremonies" to see what I mean.
Definitely worth a watch, and worth learning from :)
It’s not about a game jam (but it’s four team leads with four teams getting to make a prototype of their game idea in two weeks, so pretty similar) but it’s about game development.
Great productions values, all on YouTube, no manufactured drama, but still plenty of actual drama, tension and hilarious moments.
The idea behind this game jam is pretty awesome and deserves to be implemented the right way. It wouldn’t even have to be the more contemplative style of 2 Player Productions.
Yeah these are fantastic. High recommended. Production quality is high enough they could air them on TV too.
I didn't feel like Strip Search was a
particularly effective way of finding
the best cartoonist in the group.
If 'survivor' wanted to make a show about survival skills they'd use a bunch of ex-marines, mountaineers and woodmen. If 'dancing with the stars' wanted to show the best dancing, they'd get rid of the celebrities and just have professionals. If 'the apprentice' wanted to find people with business skills they'd get candidates smart enough to realize infighting isn't a useful business skill.
I'm not saying I like it, but 'so you think you can dance' certainly has more viewers than the Prix de Lausanne youtube channel. And what's the point in making ideologically pure TV that no-one wants to watch?
That's a very different type of challenge from "You can't dance, and we want to see if you can learn to dance before you explode", and that's part of why SYTYCD is a good show. Obviously it's a reality show and SYTYCD is going to have some compromises (for example, you might argue that the judge selection is suspect, or that the styles and choreographer choices are limited) but it was honestly pretty close to ideologically pure as you could get; the people who succeeded were the people who were good at dancing, not the people who were good at ballet or contemporary or hip hop or ballroom.
On the other hand, I can't see an ideologically pure version of 'So You Think You Can Code' any time soon.
Dancing with the Stars finds the best dancer out of the group, even if they're not pros. Survivor ostensibly finds the best survivor out of the group, even if they're not true outdoorsmen.
Reality TV is the same - except the fiction is the competition isn't rigged and its primary goal is to find the best candidate. The show doesn't wildly contradict it, it's just not true.
Looking at the strips after the fact, Abby and Katie pretty obviously are writing the best strips. And sure, Abby's is the better of the two, but her concept is harder to distill down to its essence and present - Katie was the only one of the three finalists who was able to competently and interestingly introduce her new strip with just a few sample pages.
If you think they picked wrong, who should have won instead?
(Note that several of the other cartoonists have been hired by Penny Arcade for other tasks such as doing The Trenches and designing pins. So even if you ignore the publicity aspect there were still multiple winners.)
Of the last two, Abby should have won IMO.
The bit in the article that astounded me was where he talked about sections of the contract everyone was expected to sign: "Another clause allowed for willful misrepresentation for the sake of drama..."
edit: I realize this is basically asking "how do you stop online trolling?" which is pretty hard question.
1. Do not post about your personal sexual experiences or allude to the possibility that you have any.
2. Do not post about real life social activities or your romantic relationships.
3. Do not disparage, advise against, or show contempt for the celibate, NEET, or reclusive lifestyles.
These aren't normal people, and aren't really representative.
I don't think it's too much of a stretch to suggest that these people have some serious problems with women.
I also think that the article kind of tries to depict this thing as the norm in the gaming community. But, wizardchan users are not really representative of the gaming community as a whole. Yes, it sucks that she received this abuse from these people who have psychological issues, or other mental health problems (let's not forget the screenshot is from their board dedicated to personal depression), but you can't judge the whole gaming community based off the actions of this community.
Now granted, there are a lot of problems with the gaming community in general, but using wizardchan's warped perspective userbase is a very poor example.
I think those users are suffering from some serious psychological problems, and need help. And I don't think shaming them about their actions is enough to get them to stop. These people already have no social activity, no romantic partners, and have never even had sex, and for this they place the blame on society, but more specifically on women. Whatever their actions of statements about women in general should be viewed with that in mind, and I don't think there's any way of getting through to them.
j/k. seriously. you have basically solved the answer to the universe right above. if people treated each other with respect, even when they don't know who is right and who is wrong, we'd all be better off.
A great end to a great paragraph about the effect of summing up hard working professionals based on gender traits.
If you're writing Python, write Python not Haskell. C#, don't try to do Erlang. Basically, write to the language you're working in and not to something you're not.
Also, if you think a deep domain based algorithm is wrong, making it so that you can remove pieces of it piecemeal is the wrong choice. Point out the flaw, bring it to the people in charge and let them handle it.
I know someone in security who writes ruby that looks like C.
I was also curious about the space part of the project.
Be wary of allowing people and general culture from the Industry in on your gig. Especially if cameras are rolling. Really sit down and think about what is being traded -- possibly your time and integrity for a brief laugh.
Of course another way to look at it is: one individual who caused trouble here for taking it too far and not being sensitive to the situation. Whatever the industry, we've all run across people like Matti :)
Maybe they accidentally created a great documentary about contestants who revolted from a reality show. Shoot some followup interviews and make something great from this wreck.
That's the real narrative and it's more interesting than the drama they were attempting to artificially create anyway.
Angelique Krembs, VP of marketing at PepsiCo, also talks about Matti: “It makes us work at a higher level because we have that history. I cannot imagine not having Mattie[sic] to help solve our big problems or bounce things off of.”
Matti was most definitely not fired, and will be leading PepsiCos marketing and branding efforts. When you see Mountain Dew or Pepsi, just always remember that you can support Matti by buying a can!
> To say there is an uncomfortable air of fear in security is one (perhaps overblown) thing. To see the largest and only production of its kind, with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line and an entire secondary production company locked in silent rapture under lit signage for Mountain Dew, the entire project gloriously rupturing like the belly of the Bismark – that is another. To be ushered by muted fear and nervous glances, to stand in desolate directors rooms filled with black screens and empty chairs. Darkened judging stands. Color-coded team challenge floors, soon to be dismantled, but left intact in the hopes that some shimmering archangel would descend and reinvigorate the eleven indie developers currently revolting against Maker Studios inside their rented Winnebagos.
It could certainly be improved for a more general audience but I’m not even sure whether the author thought this story would blow up like it did.
(And yeah, the article does start slow, but I think that’s mostly driven by the author’s desire to really clarify and explain his complicated relationship to the organisers.)
Notably while you do divide up into teams in a game jam, and they might even give out prizes, game jams are not thought of as a competitive event. It's very common artists and musician to contribute to multiple teams, programmers help others with stuff they specialize in, everyone is always getting feedback and playtests from others, etc.
The sad part is, someone suggested to a few people on Reddit that people look into Game Jams if one is serious about coding games, stuff like that. Makes me much more skeptical to do that now.
Check out the original indie game jam: http://www.indiegamejam.com/igj0/
Here's some of the major organized game jams, if you'd like a better picture:
Ludum Dare: http://www.ludumdare.com/
Global Game Jam: http://globalgamejam.org/
By the time the last British torpedo hit the Bismarck, the ship was listing so far over, some observers thought the torpedo hit the port side superstructure -- in other words, the top of the warship. There is some debate over whether the Bismarck was sunk by torpedoes at all, or if it was sunk by scuttling charges installed by the crew.
An alternative possibility is that they will simply keep the format, but find another less discerning group of developers.
I think the latter possibility is the more likely one, and all developers would suffer as a result of the ensuing portrayal.