Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

March 16, 2009 -

South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, who has to date single-handedly blocked the implementation of an R18+ video game rating in the Down Under market, explains his opposition in a letter to Kotaku.

For starters, Atkinson writes that he does not trust the Classification Board to do the right thing. He claims that the group stretches the current MA15+ category to accomodate games that should be refused classification. He fears that the same thing will happen with R18+ titles.

Although he is portrayed as a lone wolf on the ratings topic, Atkinson claims that there are other A.G.'s who agree with his stance. He complained, too, that he receives a great deal of hate mail on the subject. On this point, Atkinson writes:

It confuses and baffles me why I am being harangued, threatened and abused by people who want the right to play a handful of games. It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs.

 

I am concerned about the state of mind of an individual who thinks he should have the right to do this in a computer game and then wants to tell me about it. Add to that the threats to me and I feel more certain about my stance that I should do what I can to minimise the number of these games in Australian homes.

Atkinson points out that only three (out of 903) games considered in 2007-2008 were refused classification (i.e., banned). He cites the 2008 murder of a Bangkok cab driver whose killer - according to Thai authorities - claimed to be re-enacting a scene from Grand Theft Auto. In addition, Atkinson calls into question a video game industry sponsored poll which maintains that most Australians favor an R18+ rating.

Meanwhile, Aussie game journalist Jason Hill calls upon gamers to respond maturely to Atkinson:

As tempting as it is to also indulge in name calling and silly stunts, Australian gamers must continue to provide eloquent, intelligent and reasoned arguments about why they would like Mr Atkinson to change his long-held opposition to changes to our broken classification regime.

Demonising or attacking Mr Atkinson in the same manner that so many Americans targeted anti-games crusader Jack Thompson is not helpful. It is actually damaging the cause, no doubt helping to justify his stance.

Disappointingly, Mr Atkinson told Kotaku that he has received "more abuse and threats over my stand against R18+ interactive games than any other topic of public debate", including anonymous threats posted under his front door in the middle of the night...

Please write to your state Attorney-General or Mr Atkinson... But please don't descend into name calling or threats.

 


Comments

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I agree that the name calling and thoughtless correspondence sent to Mr. Atkinson does need to stop, however I would hardly call him untouchable or bulletproof.  Like a good supervillan he's handed my Aussie bretheren the keys on how to take him down on the issue of an R18+ rating.

First off, his whining about the amount of correspondence means that whomever IS sending in replies regarding this issue needs to continue.  They should be well thought out and without insult.  Sending the same correspondence again isn't against the rules.  He's a public figure.  You can't spam this guy when it's a message in regards to something he's dealing with.  Just keep that in mind.

Secondly...  I think people are looking at this from the wrong angle.  As many have already said this blockhead isn't going to change his stance about this just because the gaming community is up in arms.  Again, there's your answer.  Do as the media and politicians do.  Play the statistics and use their own stances/words against them.  Australian gamers need to flaunt and back a movement FOR keeping with the R15+ rating system that is in place now...  I already heard the "Whaaaa??!?!?!" so let me explain...  You press it for all the reasons he doesn't want the R18+ rating.  Such as ahem, "Keep R15 so younger gamers can keep playing R18 material!  Atkinson understands and is our ally!  Thank you Atkinson for standing up for gamers who love violent games everywhere!  No R18+ rating!  Parents don't know what they're doing."

How long before THAT starts to itch the wrong way with Mr. Atkinson?

Annoyance is the easiest way to motivate anyone to change a stance.  Make the public opinion opposing Mr. Atkinson go beyond the gaming community and R18+ will be a reality.  Right now he's playing public fears and claiming that all gamers are children.  He gave you the verbal rope...  I leave it to the Aussies to hang him with it.

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

"It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs."

It's called free-speech. Get used to it.

 

"I am concerned about the state of mind of an individual who thinks he should have the right to do this in a computer game and then wants to tell me about it. Add to that the threats to me and I feel more certain about my stance that I should do what I can to minimise the number of these games in Australian homes."

Considering you're personnally fearing something, I'm letting Louis awnser this one, to anyone who can guess from which game; "Lock the GODDAMN door!!"

 

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

'Free-speech' is an American institution.

We don't have a legally sanctioned 'right' to free speech in Australia.

Re:Australian AG Cries over Opposition to His Opposition to R18+

Left 4 Dead

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

He will never change, so why bother trying to write maturely to him if all he is ever going to do is resort to name calling.

 

No ammount of concrete information is ever going to change his stance, not even the book Grand Theft Childhood.

 

So in return, I am just going to display a few videos I posted up on youtube as my own real attempt to talk about the R18+ rating in videogames in Australia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_aXeFwSMyo&feature=channel_page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4zzcBnqORM&feature=channel_page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq-OcTiOR6A&feature=channel_page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxmow8VbHIg&feature=channel_page

In these videos, I never ever talked about Mr Atkinson, I only just mentioned that only one Attorney General is openly opposed to it, and I left it at that,

 

Please watch these videos and leave your comments, that will be the only thing that we can ever do until this man is voted out of office.

 

 

TBoneTony

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I encourage everyone in Australia to keep writing to this douche bag letting them know how they feel. If this clown doesn't like it he can suck it up because the people of Australia want thier rating system changed yet he refuses to even allow a debate on it because of his own moral agenda. I want to know though how in a democracy like Australia how one man can override the rule of the people. When this guy is up for re-election I encourage every gamer who is of age in that country to vote him out. If every voting age gamer comes out and votes next time he's up for re-election, he will lose for sure. People we can't be appathetic anymore. Put down the controller for a bit and go out and get informed and vote because apathy is the greatest threat to our hobby. And reading this also makes me happier to be an American where we have NO legally enforced rating system and the system is strictly voluntary.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Please keep writing to him, Australia. At worst, when he's booted out of office he can look at the massive log of R18+ mail and see why no one voted for him.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18

Jackie-poopoo Just commented in this link http://blogs.theage.com.au/screenplay/archives/011727.html?page=4#comments

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18

Typical.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18

JT said(to andrew Eisen and Ezk) that he pwned us awhile after the german school shooting(is it just me or he is really acting like the Dumbass that we know)

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18

also regarding the German school shooting, (it was in the same message) JT said he loved it

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

It confuses and baffles me why I am being harangued, threatened and abused by people who want the right to play a handful of games. It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs.

 

You answered your own question. It is an individual gamer's right to decide that and not your own.
 

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Let's assume he's telling the truth that other AGs are opposed to the R18+ rating.  He would have to admit that, at the very least, they're at least willing to discuss the possibility of public discussion on the matter that may lead to a law change.  The most insulting part of Atkinson by far is his refusal to let people voice their opinions in a public forum that could lead to progress in this matter.  So we keep boomeranging back to him whining about this stuff.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

People who are being asshats to this dude aren't much better than him, if at all.

But I'd like to issue a challenge to Mr. Atkinson. I'd like to see him justify his stance against the R18+ rating without referencing himself or his beliefs a single time. Rely fully, 100% on peer-reviewed studies and third-party statistics about ratings systems.

Not going to happen, I know, because he probably can't... but it would be refreshing to see him shut up about himself for once, at least on this topic.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

There will always be a reactive element, a vocal minority that give the majority a bad name.

But let's look at the guys arguments.  Filled with strawmen, logical fallacies, outright lies etc.  This is the problem when you rub up against someone that wants to impose their will on others and has the power to get away with it.

If you attempt reasoning with them, they will not see your point of view.  If you resort to anger, they use it as an example of why they are right.  The problem is that they will never be convinced they are wrong.

A prime example, Atkinson said he was willing to put the theory that a R18+ rating would be okay to the test.  Then refused to allow it to be tested (and ignored previous studies that show that a correct full spectrum rating system actually led to games being rated more accurately...).

He bases his stance on belief and that is a big problem because belief ignores facts and refuses to be put to the test.  Is it any wonder that the online community (where anonymity breeds disrespect) is reacting in a harsh fashion?  The guy set the rules of the argument (no sensible evidence or referenced fact will be countenanced) and then bitches and moans when it comes back to bite him in the ass.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

"Demonising or attacking Mr Atkinson in the same manner that so many Americans targeted anti-games crusader Jack Thompson is not helpful."

Helpful or not, demonising and attacking those you oppose is a time-honored American tradition. No one's telling the Aussies that they shouldn't throw a kangaroo tail on the barby or blow that annoying didgeridoo.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Atkinson says he is not the only A.G. opposed to the R18+ rating and that he "won't expect a retraction or apology from Terry O'Shanassy when it become apparent that he's wrong - being an R18+ gamer and blogger means never having to say you are sorry".

  Funny, I thought being a South Australian A.G. meant "never having to say you are sorry".

I read the entire thing and Atkinson just comes out as being arrogant and out of touch.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Yeah, anybody else find it odd that he refuses to drop names as to who else opposes the rating, or even a discussion about the rating? "A gentleman never tells" almost always translates to "I'm bluffing!"

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

He looks pretty old, I hope he conks out soon.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

You know Atkinson most people would see a 90 percent support rating for the other side as meaning they are on the WRONG SIDE of the argument. Most people would see mounds of negitive Feedback, as perhaps a sign that they are wrong and that the people dont' support there views..  But not you, your to stupid to know that your on the losing side.

 

SO, in the immortal words of my favorite Fake tv news host. "FUCK YOU!"

Bonus points to whoever knows who my fav fake tv news host is.

 

Yukimura is still here "Honor, that is what matters, isn't it? " Yukimura Sanada, from Samurai warriors 2

"My name is Lenerd Church, and you will fear my LASER FACE"

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Jon Stewart?

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Right on the money.

 

Yukimura is still here "Honor, that is what matters, isn't it? " Yukimura Sanada, from Samurai warriors 2

"My name is Lenerd Church, and you will fear my LASER FACE"

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Dude isn't a fake tv news host. He's a real tv fake news host.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Good point, my mistake. Still love the guy.

 

Yukimura is still here "Honor, that is what matters, isn't it? " Yukimura Sanada, from Samurai warriors 2

"My name is Lenerd Church, and you will fear my LASER FACE"

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Kickass newscaster. Love that guy. Screwed Cramer and CNBC in the ass, and rightly so.

Damn fine man.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game on, brothers and sisters.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I would say that Cramer didn't quite deserve it, and at one point in the interview Jon Stewart even said it.  However, Cramer stuck his head out in the whole CNBC thing, and thus became the one to shoot down. 

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

______________________________________________________________________________________

Due to the overwhelming number of assholes on gaming forums, hate mail is bound to surge.  But the fact that he is bitching about the consquence of a stupid action that HE made, is very stupid.  Think about how much money would be put into Aussie's economy if they allowed more games to circulate in their market.   This guy is such an asshole!

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

"It confuses and baffles me why I am being harangued, threatened and abused by people who want the right to play a handful of games. It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs."

And yet if all of these activities are summed up in movies such as The Godfather and are considered cinematic classics.  What I want to know is why should gamers be the only ones to be demonized when these very same concepts exist in film, television, and print.

Oh yeah, that's right.  Movies are for upstanding adults who have thier freedom to watch on-screen assault, torture, slayings, slaughter and rape.  But video games are just for the nerds right?

Hypocrite asshole.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Self righteous arrogance and self importance  prosonofied....oh my!

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I always think this, but I've never actually put it up.

What if Jack Thompson and Michael Atkinson teamed up? Together they could pull some real dick moves. They are practically made for each other. I wonder if they ever get together and complement the other on their mutual hatred toward video games.

Even better would be if those two and Liberman would join forces in some comic bookish villains-only clan of evil like when all the Batman villains joined forces against (Adam West) Batman. The one with the shark repellant at the beginning. They could try to take over the world through censorship and conservative values. A giant robot would be fun too, maybe something like Big O...

I started this post with an actual point, but the comic book concept was too entertaining to stay on task.

Hal Halpin, Seanbaby and Adam Sessler would fight them as the defenders of the gaming community. "POW!" "WHAM!" "CRUSH!" "SPLUNK!"

lol... lol... lol...

-----------------------------------------

Managing Editor at TheBestGameSiteEver.com

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

 

You know that's actually not a bad idea!  It could be like superfriends against the legion of doom!!!!  Someone should totally make that. 

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I was expecting a Jack Thompson-like villian in a South Park episode by now. Thompson is disbarred and Atkinson isn't well known enough in the States to justify an episode now. Oh well...

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I was thinking the same thing a few days ago; South Park should totally make an episode about the violent game argument.

Jack could break into Cartman's house, smash his game consoles and video games, then run out screaming "I SAVE YOU!"

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Thompson can still be used. HE may haveb een disbarred, but he tends to try and insert himself into cases anyway.

Say Cartman hits a kid, and during a mock trial the class holds JT thosws up to defend Cartman as mentally ill due to playing Warcraft, or soemthign to that effect.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I might also try to include Tycho and Gabe in some way since they are heavily responsible for having Thompson disbarred.

 

-----------------------------------------

Managing Editor at TheBestGameSiteEver.com

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Actually ,they had absolutely nothing to do with it. The swquabbles Thompson had with Tycho and Gabe were mostly Thompson's own fault as was his disbarment.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I agree, but they definately contributed to him looking like a comlplete idiot and that couldn't have helped him in any way. Plus, if I could pick any game journalists who has personally been in a big squabble with Thompson, then I would pick them. Plus, they are hilarious. They would add great comic relief since neither Sessler or Halpin is funny. I respect their opinions, but they're still not funny. They would also be great to have around Senbaby. That would be hilarious to have those three guys together.

-----------------------------------------

Managing Editor at TheBestGameSiteEver.com

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

He just doesn't get it. What he is doing is the opposite of what he wants. Now younger kids can play violent games like Fear 2, MadWorld, etc.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Politicians...

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

"It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs."

Because it doesn't harm anyone and the reasons for banning them are all poor.

Anyone else reminded of the group that tried to get Mad World banned and then seemed to be stunned by the negative feedback?

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I forget; which group was that again? Was it a conservative Christian group, a watchdog group, or was it someone in Germany?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game on, brothers and sisters.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I believe it was a watchdog group from the U.K.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?  Those words should never be together in the same phrase.  Dont ever utter it or bad things will happen.......

 

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

If you say it 3 times Jack thompson will appear.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

division by zero?

seriously, true Christians follow the teachings of Jesus, which happened to be very liberal during his time

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Oh, my apologies. I misspoke; I'm sorry.

The correct term is "Christian conservative". I accidentally switched them. My bad.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game on, brothers and sisters.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

See to me Christian conservative and conservative Christian are both valid, they just have slightly different meanings.  I see a conservative Christian group as a Christian group that promotes conservative values and a Christian conservative group as a group of conservatives which just happen to be Christian, maybe they would try to promote Christianity but it wouldn't be nessisary.  I fail to see what is so bad about the phrase "conservative Christian".

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Well, it partly depends on your political view, but on some point, religious as well. See, a lot of these "conservative" views have religious backing, so things tend to get intertwined.

For example, I see "conservative Christins" aka. The Christian Right (if I'm understanding what you are trying to say correctly, if not, I apologize) as, well...

I'm strongly liberal, so there goes conservatism. I'm a democratic socialist, but they love to group socialist as being "Communist" which isn't true, and like to teach that socialism is some horrible idea (well excuse me for wanting universal healthcare like France), and on a religious side, I'm pagan, and well, I don't think I need to go into how some feel about us (cough-devilworshippers-cough). Also, I strongly believe in the seperation of religion and government, but the Christian Right seems much more leniant on it.

So, it being "bad" is subjective. You may not think it bad, but I definitely do.

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

Thank you, however, when I was asking what was supposedly as "bad" about the phrase I was not wondering about the people it represented.  I was more referring to this reaction

"CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?  Those words should never be together in the same phrase.  Dont ever utter it or bad things will happen......."

I did not understand the reaction as well as the "correction" to “Christian conservative”.  As well I am myself liberal, perhaps socialist but I'm from Canada so by default I'm sure I may be considered one, and am a Pagan as well, although probably a different kind than you since it has a very, very, sweeping definition, and so often will disagree with "The Christian Right".  This, however, is incidental.  I was more curious about the objection to the nomenclature.

 

Re: Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

I see a lot of comments saying things along the lines of "No amount of civility will get Atkinson to change his stance."

 

While this may be true, that does not mean we should lower our standards.  Maintaining a standard of civility is something to strive for in and of itself, regardless as to whether or not it changes the stance of overzealous hardliners like Atkinson.

 

It's not about him.  It's about us.  The media thinks poorly enough of us as it is.  Don't justify their claims.

 
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