Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: I'll Take Actium and Trafalgar

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  • Emma Hart,

    Ben: Ren writes several times on the politics of online gaming. She plays tanks a lot, so she writes from a tank-y sort of perspective, where you get annoyed because other people seem to be sitting back and doing their nails while you get creamed. In the comments on that thread of hers, a few people do point out flaws in the tank analogy.

    But are there Healz? Yeah, there are. I recovered some serious hit points from the Big Gay Collab, and a few more today from this. I think at least around LGBT issues the importance of Healz is recognised, perhaps not so much with other areas of activism.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And neatly tying up divergent topics -- GamePolitics reports on Michael Laws bashing chief censor Bill Hastings for being gay, appearing to hint that's why he let Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 be released in New Zealand.

    Leo just tweeted this link as "Michael Laws is a massive, massive douche."

    Good boy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I think Healz is the weakest point in the metaphor. The closest thing I can think of in non-computer-game terms would be 'supply lines'. In terms of intellectual battles I guess supply lines is probably analogous to 'sympathetic research'. If you rush well ahead of sympathetic research, then you will end up isolated and exhausted, bereft of new material and assailed by enemy deconstruction, bolstered by their new material. Damage is also a problematic position - perhaps these people could be seen as the ones tearing enemy research apart. They may have nothing of their own, analogous to having poor armor. If they are turned on, they are easily destroyed unless the sympathetic material is pouring in to support them.

    It seems to me that some people do actually specialize in these kinds of positions, and rather than simply hacking your teammates apart for not all being Tanks, the best thing to do is find the appropriate position for their talents, whatever they are. Some people are natural deconstructors. Others are better at generating theory, which leaves them highly exposed in the early stages to deconstruction.

    Also, these 3 main roles are Tank-centric in their organization in the first place. They have formed this way in gaming because Tanking is so popular. In practice there are a great many other roles. Some broad categories: Leadership, scouting, running interference. There are often entire missions which do not even have Tanks at all, particularly scout missions, capturing flags, sneaking up on poorly defended positions etc.

    There are also phases in battles that call upon quite different skills - defending and attacking are not the same at all. Counterattacking is sometimes seen as entirely different in every way to both of those, as is counterdefending. But these are intellectual constructs for elucidation - I find that once I gain experience in a form of battle, I'm thinking of everything simultaneously, attack, defense, counter, positional weakness, and all the boundaries end up blurring. It's really exciting to be in a battle where the team believes in the leadership (and themselves) despite being on the back foot, and the entire thing turns around in an instant, usually from a number of people simultaneously doing their particular jobs excellently. All Black captains usually call this "digging deep" in their formulaic post-game summaries.

    Emma, just read your response so I'm posting this while I catch up. Don't wanna waste the damage, need to rush for some Healz. Ta, Tank, with u soon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8500 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Leo just tweeted this link as "Michael Laws is a massive, massive douche."

    Good boy.

    Russell: Would you please give Leo a non-creepy cuddle on my behalf?

    And neatly tying up divergent topics -- GamePolitics reports on Michael Laws bashing chief censor Bill Hastings for being gay, appearing to hint that's why he let Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 be released in New Zealand.

    Oh fascinating Aidia --once more, I'd probably be more offended if Laws made any sense whatsoever. If Laws thinks the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 is too "liberal" (and that's legislation Hastings and his staff have to apply) then why the hell did he vote for it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11933 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If Laws thinks the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 is too "liberal" (and that's legislation Hastings has to apply) then why the hell did he vote for it?

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I'd probably be more offended if Laws made any sense whatsoever.

    Indeed. I struggle to find him genuinely offensive any more. The desperate attention-seeking has become so obvious I think it's probably just time he took a time-out until the sugar rush wears off.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    If Laws thinks the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 is too "liberal" (and that's legislation Hastings has to apply) then why the hell did he vote for it?

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    Alternatively, DPTM (Doth Protest Too Much)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    I'd have to go check, but I think Laws was even on the select committee that considered the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Bill.

    And I know I'm on a hiding to nothing here, but even his gratuitous fag-bating was more than usually incoherent. I quote from Russell's link:

    “I don't care if he lets gay sex through because, well, that's what he enjoys watching in a darkened room somewhere and thinks everybody else of his ilk should be able to do so as well.”

    Who is going to tell Laws that Hastings doesn't personally classify everything that comes into the office, and instead heads ( according to the Structure and Staff page on the OFLC's easily found website) "an organisation of approximately 30 staff. Roughly half of these positions are classification officers appointed to assist the Chief Censor with classifying publications".

    Even if he wanted to, I doubt it would be physically possible for Hastings to rub one off over everything that might catch his fancy.

    Laws might also want to look at the legislation he voted for -- which, as far as I'm aware, doesn't have anything to say about classifying material on the basis of whether it does (or doesn't) turn on the Chief Censor.

    I now think Leo was somewhat unfair to douches. I can imagine circumstances under which squirting warm water up your twat might be a rather pleasant experience. Laws in close proximity to my man-bits - EWWWW!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11933 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    But are there Healz? Yeah, there are. I recovered some serious hit points from the Big Gay Collab, and a few more today from this. I think at least around LGBT issues the importance of Healz is recognised, perhaps not so much with other areas of activism.

    Ya, I was kinda thinking that 'morale building' is a very Healzy kind of activity, although morale is actually everyone's responsibility. But there are specialists, artists of various kinds most likely, as you hint with your links.

    Team dynamics fascinate me. It's especially interesting what things tend to build or destroy morale, and which people are the more susceptible to it. One insight I had some time ago was that strong morale can be a double-edged sword - people whose morale can be built up can also have it knocked down swiftly. This is not always bad. Yes, they will break and run faster than those with internal strong morale, but they also rally faster. People with strong morale, once broken, tend to stay broken. Sometimes these people are neglected, on account of their apparent faithfulness, but if they are 'turned', then that can be a shocking loss. So building morale constantly is a very high priority.

    Team sports and games do make for some interesting metaphors for human behavior. Easy to take it too far, though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8500 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Alternatively, DPTM (Doth Protest Too Much)

    Which is getting awfully close to Dan Savage's DTMA ... over to you, people of Whanganui?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Thanks. Great post.

    I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, I agree with a lot of what Gordon Campbell said too at least in relation to his position on freedom of speech.

    I think I have a lot more thinking to do.

    I'm glad in the end though that BDO didn't sign the guy and therefore the state wasn't required to legislation common sense.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    As a Tank who plays the same game as Ben I just thought I'd remind Emma something I tell myself every now and then.

    "Have you told your healers you love them lately?"

    And of course there are healers, probably some of the posters here act as Emma's healers. It about providing the emotional support. And I was trying to find a clever way of saying "any support I can give, I'm happy to give" but I couldn't so I'll just say it.

    I like the analogy for the same reasons Ben has described. No element of a team fighting a battle (and lets be serious some of these issues really are battles) is less important. Tanks have to be very focussed, driven and well ... eager to engage. But really good tanks have an awareness of what is happening to all their team even the dps. If your team doesn't want the fight you just picked you are going to have problems.

    The other reason the analogy is good is that tanking really is wearying and wearing. Tanks have to find a balance. Sometimes that means taking a different role in the next fight and sometimes it means doing something light and fluffy like loving squirrels.

    As for the issue at hand, I find myself unmoved to enter the fray. Hate speech is stupid, freedom of speech is important and there is a grey area in the middle where decisions are difficult.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3349 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Hate speech is stupid, freedom of speech is important and there is a grey area in the middle where decisions are difficult.

    Well said.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I suppose I'm a total TV Tanker than, given that I stand at the pointy, all-too-visible end of a team of people who make a programme.

    My philosophy in this role is essentially my philosophy for all of life: just try not to be a dick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I suppose I'm a total TV Tanker than, given that I stand at the pointy, all-too-visible end of a team of people who make a programme.

    Sort of half-tangentially, I think telly decides who the Tank's going to be a lot of the time. So Jay Bennie ended up being the Tank on this one, because he's a gay issues go-to guy. So the Face Out Front becomes the Tank even if they're not actually directly involved with whatever it is that's gone wrong.

    "Have you told your healers you love them lately?"

    heh, my book has a section on Things I've Learned About Sex from Role-Playing, which includes a shout-out to the importance of Clerics, and how under-appreciated they are.

    I also try to make a point of thanking other people for tanking for me. Team-tanking can work really well - Tag-Team Wrestling, basically. But I've also seen it used really cynically: you're losing, so you tag someone else in, who tries to make your opponent start all over again from square one until you wear them down out of sheer frustration, even if you're wrong.

    But it is nice to know that I can rely on another PAS luvvie to take over for a bit if I need to take a break.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And I should note that PAS is about the least aggravating and damaging environment for these conversations that I've ever run across.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    One thing I wanted to say - free speech does not mean we have any obligation whatsoever to provide people we find objectionable with a platform to perform their speech.

    We owe them the right to speak. We don't owe them the right to be provided with an audience for that speech.

    Some people seem unable to understand this.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And I should note that PAS is about the least aggravating and damaging environment for these conversations that I've ever run across.

    That makes me very happy.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    DTMA

    Had to look that up, but HA!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    After I read that bit Emma linky to, I now feel sorry for the guy. I know that probably makes me unpopular but sit through any question time in Parliament and his words (who incidently I chose not to listen to) do not freak me out on behalf of anyone. I know , I know, I obviously fall into some possy here (I so wish I could play games) but I am just one of those types that hopes for a better future for everybody. My point of this is to... thank Jackie Clarke for the Baklava.
    Moving right along now :) and whatever happened to the trolls?. Where did they go?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6135 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    One thing I wanted to say - free speech does not mean we have any obligation whatsoever to provide people we find objectionable with a platform to perform their speech.

    Which is why nobody I'm aware of is criticising the BDO's right to determine their own content by "disinviting" Beenie Manl.

    But unlike Charles Chauvel, I don't think we should be restricting anyone's ability to enter New Zealand because he (or the Immigration Minister) doesn't like what the person concerned says. IMO, that's setting up all kinds of slippery slopes I'd rather not cede to the government, no matter what colour rosette it happens to be wearing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11933 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Yes, not healthy when we have the Judge, jury, executioner, all wrapped up in one body.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6135 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    The other reason the analogy is good is that tanking really is wearying and wearing. Tanks have to find a balance. Sometimes that means taking a different role in the next fight and sometimes it means doing something light and fluffy like loving squirrels.

    For that purpose there's always dual talent speccing. Russell seems able to take plenty of damage as well as doling it out.

    Ben, Bart: what realm/s do you play on? Here's mine for everyone's enlightenment.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4267 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I was formerly found on Caelestraz, before I saved my soul, marriage, job and custody of my children by deleting the entire program from every PC, vowing solemnly never to return. 480 days AFK. I still have pangs. I never did take a toon to 70 - discovered battlegrounds and lost all taste for PvE grinding, instead cultivating a stable of mid level toons. Since that limit is now 80 and will soon be 85, I'm over it. But the memories are fond, and interestingly, my wife rated my former addiction to Quake 3 as worse. I personally think the blogosphere trumps all, because it masquerades psychologically as potentially useful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8500 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I personally think the blogosphere trumps all, because it masquerades psychologically as potentially useful.

    It is useful. But then so is gaming.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

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