Turtle Rock Studios Community Manager Sacked for Calling Donald Sterling a Victim, Which He Is
The tidings which have dominated mundane news publications this week have largely centered around the fact that Donald Sterling is a hateful old racist on account of the fact that he expressed the wish that his gold-digging [now presumably ex] girlfriend would refrain from tramping around with black men. This has resulted in Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, being banned for life from NBA events and fined 2.5 million dollars by Adam Silver, and now faces the prospect of having the other teams in the NBA voting to compel him to sell his team. This article is not about Donald Sterling however, rather it is about Turtle Rock Studios’ [now] former community manager, Josh Olin, venturing an opinion on the matter. Olin, a staunch defender of first amendment rights, had this to say on the matter:
“Here’s an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He’s a victim.”
Donald Sterling has been lynched this week for comments that he made in the privacy of his own home where he should have had a reasonable expectation of privacy, so Olin is factually correct in claiming that Sterling is the victim in this situation, or rather one of the victims, as no sooner did Olin make his eminently truthful tweet then he was set upon by throngs of social warrior zealots masquerading as gamers. In attempting to stand against knee-jerk hysteria in defense of personal liberty, Olin was unceremoniously chewed up and spat out by the same unthinking nightmare machine that is currently masticating on Donald Sterling. Needless to say it was not long before Olin’s callow masters threw him to the wolves, making it clear that his Tweet had cost him his current employment:
“The comments made by our former community manager stand in stark contrast to our values as a game development studio.
We sincerely apologize for his remarks and in no way endorse or support those views.”
Not only has Olin’s mildly worded dissenting opinion given rise to some of the ugliest ignorance seen on the internet this month, but also some of the most laughably unprofessional “journalism” ever seen in game media, which is not exactly the high watermark of the profession on its best days. The role of gaming’s notoriously terrible media does not seem to be lost on Olin, nor the irony that this saga began with him taking a stance against one irresponsible media witch hunt, and ended with him as the subject of another:
“The irony of my Donald Sterling tweet(s) was I was raising an issue with sensational media. Expressly not defending his remarks or actions.
I’ll remind you, my remarks were in condemnation of sensational media, and support of one’s privacy. Not in support of Sterling’s actions.
Final thoughts: I believe in racial equality & do not endorse bigotry in any way. I also believe in free speech and decry sensational media.”
Congratulations, political correctness, you have once again made gaming a tangibly worse hobby to partake in, sucking out all joy, frivolity, and reason, only to replace it with anxiety and blind obeissance to leftist dogma – the bonfire of the vanities likely began in much the same way. If the author if this article is absent from his post next week, it will likely only be because he mentioned Donald Sterling in an uncondemning fashion. Thanks, internet.
Nintendo To Miss Another E3
Nintendo revealed some great news for fans of their Nintendo Direct streams this week, as they plan to once again entirely forgo their E3 conference in favour of delivering yet another Nintendo Direct broadcast! What on Earth could Nintendo be thinking? When they shunned E3 in 2013 to instead deliver a special episode in their [then] new format of Nintendo Direct, one was inclined to grant Nintendo a little leeway to see how their venture panned out. Hindsight is 20/20 however, and it has since become apparent that the mainstream press took precisely no interest in Nintendo’s E3 substitute, resulting in absolutely zero cut through in the mindshare of mainstream consumers. E3 is not important because the gaming press chooses to cover it, rather it is important because it serves as one of the few gaming events that mainstream news publications choose to follow. That pretty much means that E3 is one of a very select few avenues through which the gaming industry can directly appeal to and inform the kind of mainstream consumers who do not read specialist gaming publications.
Cue Nintendo’s Wii U, a console that has been stranded on an installbase of six million on account of the fact that the rest of the world does not even know that it exists. What is a Wii U? The average Joe does not know, and the mainstream press is starting to forget that it was ever announced, much less released. Instead of taking advantage of a platform that enjoyed vast mainstream exposure at this year’s E3, Nintendo will instead be showcasing their wares through a channel which will only ever be viewed by a predominantly enthusiast gamer audience. The trouble with that strategy is that the portion of gaming enthusiasts who are predisposed to purchasing a Wii U, already own a Wii U.
Zenimax Accuses Carmack of Appropriating Intellectual Property
Perhaps the most curious story to emerge this week has been Zenimax’s demands for compensation following Oculus Rift’s sale to Facebook. When covering industry legal wrangling it is often relatively easy to come down on one side or another, yet in this instance douche is squaring off against douche, and it is not at all certain which party has the better case based on what is known at present. In a statement released by Zenimax, the company states that:
“The proprietary technology and know-how Mr. Carmack developed when he was a ZeniMax employee, and used by Oculus, are owned by ZeniMax. Well before the Facebook transaction was announced, [Oculus founder Palmer Luckey] acknowledged in writing ZeniMax’s legal ownership of this intellectual property. It was further agreed that Mr. Luckey would not disclose this technology to third persons without approval. Oculus has used and exploited ZeniMax’s technology and intellectual property without authorization, compensation or credit to ZeniMax. ZeniMax and Oculus previously attempted to reach an agreement whereby ZeniMax would be compensated for its intellectual property through equity ownership in Oculus but were unable to reach a satisfactory resolution. ZeniMax believes it is necessary to address these matters now and will take the necessary action to protect its interests.”
From the layman’s perspective it seems that this case will most likely hinge upon whether what Zenimax is asserting can be backed-up with documentation. That is to say that it will be of absolute crucial importance for them to establish that John Carmack had a non-compete clause in the contract he signed with Zenimax, and that Palmer Lucky did in fact sign or prepare a document acknowledging Zenimax’s ownership of the intellectual property used in creating Oculus Rift. The real grey area in this case comes from the fact that Zenimax was aware that Carmack was moonlighting for Oculus Rift while he was still with id Software, and gave every appearance of being fine with it. Zenimax may or may not have previously discussed potential compensation with the Oculus crew, but they made no attempt to force any kind of claim until after the Facebook deal went down, which paints them as rank opportunists more than anything else. At any rate, this certainly looks to be a forthcoming legal battle that is likely to throw up a few twists and turns before it has run its course.