Politics

Banner: Movie clickDo you know who’s the biggest murderer in the history of the world, in terms of raw numbers? Can you guess?

If you guessed Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Ghenghis Khan, or any of their ilk, you’re wrong.

The answer is Thomas Midgley Jr. An unimposing man, a chemist, who created a couple of widely used inventions, then got strangled by one.

Watch for yourself:

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Banner: Movie clickAutonomous battlefield AI. Dystopian future. SciFi.

Already here.

Yes, it’s a controversial topic. AI could do a lot of good. It could also make precision killing very, very cheap.

After all, it takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to train a professional soldier. It takes a couple of minutes and maybe a thousand dollars or two to build an autonomous gun (once the platform is established).

Here’s a political movie about it, and if you’re interested, a behind the scenes look at Slaughterbots.

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We’ve seen it. Except not.

From Kurzgesagt, watch it, and engage in the dialogue!

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Oliver Kiley, of Big Game Theory!, does a marvelous job of summing up the #GamerGate brouhaha and adding his own thoughts and analysis of it (always worth reading). Here’s a sample:

Which leads us to the second point: games are a form of media. Media; like books, or video, or ancient scrolls, or newspapers, or TV broadcasts, or pamphlets, or press-releases. Just as “books” aren’t all supposed to be “fun, entertaining reads” neither must games. There are books that are written for entertainment (of all persuasions), just as there books designed to teach or instruct, or recount history, or inspire action or bring to tears. A film/video can be an instructional safety video or an inspiring work of artistic vision and narrative. Games are no different – and they certainly don’t have an obligation to be “fun” despite their historic roots. So long as a past notion of fun is used as a benchmark for conceiving of and evaluating games, the potential of the media is going to be constrained.

Linky: Culture Storms and the Evolving Medium of Games @ Big Game Theory!

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Jason Beck writes eloquently and thoughtfully about discrimination and its possible solutions on his blog “The Bored Gaymer” (BoardGameGeek’s most popular blog with the words “Bored” and “Gaymer” in the title!). This time he discusses what men can do to make the gaming hobby more friendly towards women.

That is, men ought to be interested in feminism, broadly speaking, for two reasons: first, because we ought to want equal rights, equal dignity, fair treatment, and so on, for the women in our lives (i.e. not just as an abstract philosophical notion, but because we can and should look around us and see mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, aunts, co-workers, friends, all of whom are impacted by structural inequality); and second, because men (generally speaking) hold the positions of power and, as such, are positioned to encourage more rapid change.

What I’d like to do, then, is consider the ways in which Ms. Watson’s speech can be applied at the micro-level of our gaming communities and at the macro-level of gaming culture.

Linky: On the Role of Men in Re-Shaping Gamer Culture for the Better

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