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WildStar | Donatelli & Moore Respond to Concerns | MMORPG

This is easily one of the most extensive interviews I’ve done on WildStar, covering everything from the current mood at Carbine to the problematic QA process. Importantly though, both Moore and Donatelli set out how they’re planning to turn things around.

Green Skittles

Imagine that I invite a bunch of people over to Chezz Gazz for dinner, drinks and interesting conversation. During the evening, one of my guests becomes unpleasantly rowdy, is rude to everyone else, and generally makes a nuisance, forcing me to throw them out. I probably wouldn’t invite them back, either.

Guess what? Not censorship. My place, my rules, and there’s a general understanding of that when you cross through someone’s front door.. You can have your own rules for your own place, which people can agree to or not by choosing to visit you or not.

Websites operate in the same way. If I delete comments off my website or ban someone, it’s my choice. Same with any other website operated by a private company. If you want to interact with them on their site, you have to play by their rules.

Now, say I started up a movement to ban discussion of green Skittles anywhere. Not on candy forums, not in sweetshops, not even in your own home. You wouldn’t be able to bring it up at the dinner table, you wouldn’t be able to make jokes about it, and you wouldn’t be able to talk about it on your own website. That would be censorship.

But I realise that would never happen. What I can do is find a group of like-minded green Skittles haters, and campaign to anyone who advertises in shops, TV shows and websites where green Skittles are mentioned or made available to buy. If enough of them pull their ad money, places will drop green Skittles purely out of fear. I won’t have needed to get anything banned, I’ll have just made the discussion of green Skittles toxically taboo. That’s also censorship, it’s just implicitly driven rather than explicitly declared.

Likewise, it can happen the other way. A bunch of candy-craving organisations might tacitly agree that the discussion of green Skittles is too unpleasant for them to bear, and quash any discussion of it, either in the articles they print or the discussions they support. That’s also a form of implied censorship, but it’s very weak. There’s nothing to stop someone from setting up a green Skittles fan club, tackling the issues head-on, and providing a home for everyone who’s a fan of the verdant sweet.

The point? Candy is candy. Let people eat candy and talk about it however they like, whether it’s green Skittles or not.

Inducing a Chilling Effect

Here’s the problem.

Say that I have a problem with the way a company conducts business. Maybe its ethics are misplaced, or it runs a questionable advertising campaign. The remedy is simple - I can stop buying their products and tell others why I’m no longer supporting them.

Now, let’s say that I have a problem with the way an individual - a famous sports personality for example. I can complain to their sponsors, and possibly even boycott their products in protests.

So far, so good.

Now, what happens when you protest against a newspaper or a website that has opinions you disagree with? You can always switch to one you like more, putting market forces into action. There’s also the option of writing to the editor, saying why you’ll no longer be a reader.

But it starts to fall apart when I campaign to firms advertising on the site. Rather than simply take my clicks elsewhere, I’m saying that I disagree with their opinion so strongly that I want to remove any financial backing they have. This is even more problematic when I disagree with one or two contributors, but tar the whole outlet with the same brush.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like it should be a bad thing - after all, we’re exerting our rights as consumers. But here’s the wrinkle.

I want a free press that can publish what it wants without fear or favour. That means everything is open for criticism - corporations and creators on one side, consumers and culture on the other. Nothing is sacrosanct.

But I can’t campaign for a press that’s free from influence by corporate agendas on one hand, if I’m determined to directly influence what they can or cannot report on. 

By campaigning to advertisers that they should withdraw support from opinions I don’t like, I am arguing that those opinions should not be published. I am exerting the exact same pressure on an editorial board as the corporations I am opposed to. I am campaigning for economically induced censorship.

Now, that might be what you’re after - to make outlets so afraid of publishing certain opinions that they would rather kill a story than lose advertisers. Or even - as I’ve seen in some places - to dismantle or destroy outlets that publish those opinions. 

But here’s the thing - if I complain about a website being influenced by corporations, it is hypocritical for me to engage in the same. If I complain about my own voice being censored, it is hypocritical for me to campaign to do the same to others. And if I declare that I am for openness and transparency, it is hypocritical for me to induce a chilling effect on the industry.

After owning the iPhone 6 for 24 hours…
I love it. The shape is reminiscent of the original from back in 2007, which I regard as a design classic. The silk-finish aluminium is luxurious to the touch, and the curved screen polishes away any hard edges. It feels superb in the hand.
It’s big. A leather case makes it a little bigger. This is at about the limit for what I’m comfortable using one-handed. It also pushes the boundaries of decency when crammed into a jeans front pocket. On all these fronts, the Plus would be a step too far.
The screen itself is as vibrant and clear as you’d expect from an apple device.
Filming slo-mo never gets old.
The novelty of touch-ID wears off fairly quickly
The new power button location is going to take some getting used to.
Full-fat 4G is amazing, and I’m not sure how I lived without it for so long. 
Battery life is better than the iPhone 5, but it’s not significant enough to hold parades over. I’m still going to need a battery extender for those long days in convention halls.
Metal-enabled apps like Ashpalt 8 and Epic Zen Garden are a little disappointing. I’m not sure if the screen clarity is helping to highlight limitations with the on-die GPU, but I was hoping for more. That said, we’re starting to get Vita-quality gaming here, and left Nintendo behind a long time ago. It just needs games that cut through the crap in the App Store.
Is it worth the upgrade? If you have a 4S or earlier, definitely. If you have a 5 (like I had) then probably. If you have a 5S or 5C it’s probably not, unless you’re desperate for the latest thing. 
Zoom Info
Camera
Olympus E-PL5
ISO
200
Aperture
f/4
Exposure
1/125th
Focal Length
18mm

After owning the iPhone 6 for 24 hours…

  • I love it. The shape is reminiscent of the original from back in 2007, which I regard as a design classic. The silk-finish aluminium is luxurious to the touch, and the curved screen polishes away any hard edges. It feels superb in the hand.
  • It’s big. A leather case makes it a little bigger. This is at about the limit for what I’m comfortable using one-handed. It also pushes the boundaries of decency when crammed into a jeans front pocket. On all these fronts, the Plus would be a step too far.
  • The screen itself is as vibrant and clear as you’d expect from an apple device.
  • Filming slo-mo never gets old.
  • The novelty of touch-ID wears off fairly quickly
  • The new power button location is going to take some getting used to.
  • Full-fat 4G is amazing, and I’m not sure how I lived without it for so long. 
  • Battery life is better than the iPhone 5, but it’s not significant enough to hold parades over. I’m still going to need a battery extender for those long days in convention halls.
  • Metal-enabled apps like Ashpalt 8 and Epic Zen Garden are a little disappointing. I’m not sure if the screen clarity is helping to highlight limitations with the on-die GPU, but I was hoping for more. That said, we’re starting to get Vita-quality gaming here, and left Nintendo behind a long time ago. It just needs games that cut through the crap in the App Store.

Is it worth the upgrade? If you have a 4S or earlier, definitely. If you have a 5 (like I had) then probably. If you have a 5S or 5C it’s probably not, unless you’re desperate for the latest thing. 

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