Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

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Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby LastFast » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:16 am UTC

Anita Sarkeesian of the Feminist Frequency fame has come under some criticism for using clips from "Let's Play" commentaries in her Tropes vs Women series. Several of her sources have confirmed that they were not contacted by Ms. Sarkeesian, and none of them have been credited.

Edit: More detail

Vicsor of Viscor's Opinion reported that Anita Sarkeesian has used clips from Let's Play commentaries in "Tropes vs Women" without providing credit or requesting permission beforehand. While these sources are considered fair use for nonprofit ventures, this finding has raised concerns about Ms. Sarkeesian's journalistic integrity and the veracity of her research. This may also raise legal obstacles should she sell or otherwise monetize her series in the future. Vicsor has also noted discrepancies between the referenced versions of the games in Tropes vs Women and the actual versions recorded in the Let's Play videos.

Anita Sarkeesian is best known as the target of a large and decentralized trolling campaign against her series. She seems to have struck a chord with concerned gamers and feminists alike, accruing $160,000 for the production of her series. Some of her backers have requested she release accounts of her production expenditures, and this recent discover is liable to further this pressure for transparency.

EDIT to include a source:

Last edited by LastFast on Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:42 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Red Hal » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:21 pm UTC

I'm not sure what you mean by Let's play.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Snark » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by Let's play.
Let's play - video game term
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby philsov » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:34 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by Let's play.


The act of filming your screen while playing a video game and talking, or the video made therein. And I'm pretty sure her using other people's clips of video game footage falls into the same grey area that the LPers themselves use in displaying someone else's game on what is essentially public domain. The sources have no grounds to be upset (did she include their speech, or something?), and the critics surely have a better means to counter her argument than to throw out a level 2 technicality.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Xeio » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:20 pm UTC

Or in the case of the 2009 version of Bionic Commando, not only has your wife been dead the whole time but, turns out she’s also part of your bionic arm.

Clip- Bionic Commando
“I never wanted you to be involved in this”
“It’s okay, I’ll always be by your side”

Yes you heard that correctly, his wife IS his arm.
Just sort-of skimming the blog entry (and transcript of video), but that is hilarious.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby LastFast » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:53 pm UTC

philsov wrote:The sources have no grounds to be upset (did she include their speech, or something?), and the critics surely have a better means to counter her argument than to throw out a


Her critics have also claimed that she never actually played the games. Additionally, taking other people's content without crediting or even asking for permission is morally questionable any way you cut it.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Lucrece » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:02 pm UTC

LastFast wrote:
philsov wrote:The sources have no grounds to be upset (did she include their speech, or something?), and the critics surely have a better means to counter her argument than to throw out a


Her critics have also claimed that she never actually played the games. Additionally, taking other people's content without crediting or even asking for permission is morally questionable any way you cut it.


Oh, please, morally questionable my ass. Some people just need to have their ego stroked by having any trivial shit they've done written in a footmark, so people know THEY did it even though nobody gives a shit -- they just give a shit about what was produced.

She has not monetized the videos, and I'd hardly call playthrough videos from youtube private property. All you did was capture yourself playing.

----

There are legitimate claims you could make against her, like her review of some games is superficial and some of her examples are taken out of context. For example, when she complained about Sam Adama in Caprica, because he was a gay character that happened to be a mobster hitman. Oh noes, another villainous gay character! Except, he was actually made to be sympathetic and he was just one of the many sympathetic mobster immigrant characters.

There are other examples of inane complaints, but instead some people would rather try to smear her by technicality. It's such a bullshit way to go about things. It shows how desperate some people are.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby ameretrifle » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:21 pm UTC

LastFast wrote:Additionally, taking other people's content without crediting or even asking for permission is morally questionable any way you cut it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.


You know, it's terribly odd; the only meaningful result googling "Viscor's Opinion" gave me was a terribly similar post by someone with your username over at the Escapist forums yesterday...
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby philsov » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:34 pm UTC

Holy balls, a source link. Finally.

Proving that she didn't make the footage herself doesn't counter her argument, or ruin her credibility, or do anything beneficial to the discussion.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Arancaytar » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:17 pm UTC

What's the fuss? Just credit the sources. I don't think that using credited second-hand sources has any impact on journalistic integrity or whatever.

As far as fair use commentary goes, I'd distinguish between using LP footage to comment on the game, and using it to comment on the LP commentary. The second case documents gamer culture using the LP as an example, and shouldn't, imo, require permission at all. The first case uses the work of the LP author for an unrelated purpose (talking about the game itself) and would probably be worth just dropping a line to the creator. Among the LP creators I know, I can't imagine who'd have issues with that (especially considering that this kind of documentary is highly needed and should be valuable to gaming culture as a whole); and anyone who did object could simply be replaced with someone else.
(Unless there are LP creators who got greedy and wanted a cut of the funds for having some thirty-second clip used somewhere. Which would be kinda pushing it, to be honest.)
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:52 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:
LastFast wrote:
philsov wrote:The sources have no grounds to be upset (did she include their speech, or something?), and the critics surely have a better means to counter her argument than to throw out a


Her critics have also claimed that she never actually played the games. Additionally, taking other people's content without crediting or even asking for permission is morally questionable any way you cut it.


Oh, please, morally questionable my ass. Some people just need to have their ego stroked by having any trivial shit they've done written in a footmark, so people know THEY did it even though nobody gives a shit -- they just give a shit about what was produced.

She has not monetized the videos, and I'd hardly call playthrough videos from youtube private property. All you did was capture yourself playing.

----

There are legitimate claims you could make against her, like her review of some games is superficial and some of her examples are taken out of context. For example, when she complained about Sam Adama in Caprica, because he was a gay character that happened to be a mobster hitman. Oh noes, another villainous gay character! Except, he was actually made to be sympathetic and he was just one of the many sympathetic mobster immigrant characters.

There are other examples of inane complaints, but instead some people would rather try to smear her by technicality. It's such a bullshit way to go about things. It shows how desperate some people are.


It's generally proper to ask a person for permission before using footage they made, and credit them appropriately. Yes, this is irrelevant to the quality of her reviews, but it is not merely a technicality. I've found that most people are quite reasonable about allowing use of their stuff provided you are polite and follow the above protocol.

Arancaytar is correct in that there is a legal distinction in fair use for the purpose of critique. If I show a clip of star wars to critique it, that's legit. If I show a clip of star wars to critique something else, not so much. This is right in that fuzzy grey area in the middle, in that she is critiquing the game...but she is not just showing the game.

I don't really care how good her reviews are, it's bad form to use other folks' work without so much as crediting or asking them.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Magnanimous » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:47 pm UTC

LastFast wrote:Her critics have also claimed that she never actually played the games.

This might just be me, but does anybody else not care whether she played the games or not? The videos are about character design and culture, not gameplay. I'd assume this requires a minimum of watching cutscenes and interviewing the production company or people who have played the game, but playing all the way through a bunch of games seems like a waste of time.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Derek » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:29 pm UTC

I can't really blame someone for neglecting to cite sources on the internet. However, since the mistake has been pointed out, she should cite her sources from now on (and preferably add retroactive citations). This is only a problem IMO if she refuses to provide citations after its been pointed out.

Magnanimous wrote:
LastFast wrote:Her critics have also claimed that she never actually played the games.

This might just be me, but does anybody else not care whether she played the games or not? The videos are about character design and culture, not gameplay. I'd assume this requires a minimum of watching cutscenes and interviewing the production company or people who have played the game, but playing all the way through a bunch of games seems like a waste of time.

Now this I completely disagree with. I don't know anything about the veracity of the claim that she hasn't played them, but she ought to have first hand experience with most of the games she uses as examples. If not then she is likely getting her information from reviews and summaries, that do not even attempt to address the issues she is discussing, or clips that are by definition an incomplete picture. If there were more scholarly secondary sources she could work from, that would be acceptable, but for the majority of these games she is the providing first scholarly secondary source.

Not playing the game is how we get wonderful stories like how Mass Effect is about having lesbian sex with aliens. If she does not have time to play all the games she cites (and should does cite a lot of games), then she should focus on a few (preferably very well known) games as the core of her argument.

I don't think using LPs is indicative of her not playing the games though. Should could have played them long before making these videos, or not have filmed herself when playing, or LPers could just have better footage of the game. The LPs should be cited because she is using someone else's work, but they are mostly just background footage, and it really doesn't matter who is playing them.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Joeldi » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:35 pm UTC

Given what I know about feminism, anti-feminism in online gaming communities, and the internet, I come two to conclusions.
1 - This is probably an attempt to smear her on something bullshit because small minded gamers hate feminism.
2 - Whether or not that's true, I think that crediting your sources is a good thing. Doing so now and from now on wouldn't be detrimental to her or her arguments and would cut off a line of attack.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby ConMan » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

Derek wrote:I can't really blame someone for neglecting to cite sources on the internet. However, since the mistake has been pointed out, she should cite her sources from now on (and preferably add retroactive citations). This is only a problem IMO if she refuses to provide citations after its been pointed out.

I think that legal or not it would be better for her to mention where she got the clips from. In a lot of cases it won't really make a huge difference (since she's commenting on aspects of the game itself) but it does seem like it would be polite.
Derek wrote:
Magnanimous wrote:
LastFast wrote:Her critics have also claimed that she never actually played the games.

This might just be me, but does anybody else not care whether she played the games or not? The videos are about character design and culture, not gameplay. I'd assume this requires a minimum of watching cutscenes and interviewing the production company or people who have played the game, but playing all the way through a bunch of games seems like a waste of time.

Now this I completely disagree with. I don't know anything about the veracity of the claim that she hasn't played them, but she ought to have first hand experience with most of the games she uses as examples. If not then she is likely getting her information from reviews and summaries, that do not even attempt to address the issues she is discussing, or clips that are by definition an incomplete picture. If there were more scholarly secondary sources she could work from, that would be acceptable, but for the majority of these games she is the providing first scholarly secondary source.

And this is something *I* completely disagree with. Yes she needs to get a good handle on the content of the game, but that can be gotten by looking at articles that do discuss the content of the game, and - funnily enough - by watching LPs (at least the ones that are trying to show off the game and not exploit glitches or make fun of it). I know many of the ins and outs of the first Portal despite never having played through a single test chamber. I know about the hidden rooms, the speedrun tricks, the challenge chambers, the radios, the cake, the fact that Chell is a woman, and countless other things. If Anita has at least done sufficient research to understand not just how the tropes she's referencing appear in the games but in what context, then that's enough for me.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:55 pm UTC

Yeah, playing the games herself is *one* way to get the proper context, but it's far from the only way. Feel free to share something relevant to this discussion that can *only* be understood by playing the game oneself, but in the absence of such, "Mass effect isn't about lesbian sex" is only an argument for due diligence in research, not for playing through everything herself.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby dwarduk2 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:07 am UTC

So I just watched the videos because of this post, and I can't see what the fuss is about. Sure, she used some LP clips without permission, a whole second here and there. Nothing unique to the LPers except that exact recording of the game was used. No strategies, playstyles, anything, just enough to characterise the game. I guess I'm saying none of the clips used, even if they are from part of a piece of original content, are original content in their current form.

As for the actual videos, I had to admit she raised some good points, though after all her long streaks of factual content she almost ruined it with feminist-agenda buzzwords designed to provoke a large reaction rather than look more objectively at the content in question. I look forward to part 3 (subversion of the trope) more now.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby PeteP » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:09 am UTC

The interesting thing about this is that apparently someone is obsessive enough to search through let's play videos to find the matching one.
Anyway after watching a video from here they seem to be mostly cutscenes, I might consider the request for quotations (or asking for permission) as not utterly silly once the clips contain anything which isn't damn near identical for everyone who has played the game (and differences in score counters hardly counts as original content.)
Now whether she has played the games herself is a more interesting question, but going the convenient route of using youtube clips doesn't really say anything about that.
(Though I find her videos uninteresting, they don't say anything new and spend too much time just listing examples.)
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:17 am UTC

PeteP wrote:Anyway after watching a video from here they seem to be mostly cutscenes, I might consider the request for quotations (or asking for permission) as not utterly silly once the clips contain anything which isn't damn near identical for everyone who has played the game (and differences in score counters hardly counts as original content.)

Exactly. If I look up a quote on Wikisource, for instance, and quote something from there in a post... am I obligated to show it as a quote of a quote, and cite Wikisource? Or just cite the original thing it's a quote of?

Or, to avoid the derailing by Wikimedia's licensing details... say I wanted to quote something from a Futurama episode, but I can't remember the exact wording, so I find a transcript by Some Guy, on some random website, with no visible licensing/copyright details. Am I obligated to ask that guy for permission before taking the quote, and am I obligated to cite their site?
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Derek » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:59 am UTC

I don't think anyone is talking about citing cutscenes. They're talking about citing gameplay.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:32 am UTC

Derek wrote:I don't think anyone is talking about citing cutscenes. They're talking about citing gameplay.

I just opened half a dozen randomly-selected screenshots from the big list in the original article... 5 of them were cutscenes, the sixth was gameplay but the thing that Anita was commenting on in context was a dialogue line, and not the actual gameplay that was happening at the time. Maybe I just got unlucky, and all the rest are the ones that are actually talking about citing gameplay?
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Xeio » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:39 am UTC

phlip wrote:
Derek wrote:I don't think anyone is talking about citing cutscenes. They're talking about citing gameplay.
I just opened half a dozen randomly-selected screenshots from the big list in the original article... 5 of them were cutscenes, the sixth was gameplay but the thing that Anita was commenting on in context was a dialogue line, and not the actual gameplay that was happening at the time. Maybe I just got unlucky, and all the rest are the ones that are actually talking about citing gameplay?
Nope, I was doing the same, most of it seems to be cutscenes (or at worst dialog sections of gameplay), and most of the clips are 3-5 seconds, maybe 10 for the longer dialogs (longest I saw was Prey at around 30 seconds). And even the "gameplay" sections are pretty much all dialog psuedo-cutscenes.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Weeks » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:22 am UTC

I wonder if the Retsupurae guys will talk about this in a future podcast. This seems a bit like what happened when Nintendo made a statement about getting ad revenue from Let's Plays of their games, and everyone FREAKED OUT because OH GOD HOW COULD YOU I MAKE A LIVING OUT OF THIS.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Jahoclave » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:30 am UTC

phlip wrote:
PeteP wrote:Anyway after watching a video from here they seem to be mostly cutscenes, I might consider the request for quotations (or asking for permission) as not utterly silly once the clips contain anything which isn't damn near identical for everyone who has played the game (and differences in score counters hardly counts as original content.)

Exactly. If I look up a quote on Wikisource, for instance, and quote something from there in a post... am I obligated to show it as a quote of a quote, and cite Wikisource?

Technically, yes. There are actually methods for doing this. The point is to give as much information as possible to how you came to the information. Ergo, if Wikiquote's is wrong, then people will know where the error in quotation came from. It's partially about protecting your own credibility as it is giving credit to others.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:59 am UTC

To be clear about what some people are annoyed about:

Some people are upset that she launched a hugely succesful kickstarter under the pretext that she would use the money to buy games and DLC (amoungst other things) so she could play and research and record them to make her video series. "If she just ripped videos off of youtube then why did she need all that money to buy games?" is the sentiment.

Others are annoyed because she allegedly did not do her research, or not enough research. No one seems to think there are copyright issues, the original blog post even pointed out it was fair use, though some people feel it is unfair, meanspirited, or underhanded to not mention it wasn't her footage she was displaying.


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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:22 am UTC

Magnanimous wrote:
LastFast wrote:Her critics have also claimed that she never actually played the games.

This might just be me, but does anybody else not care whether she played the games or not? The videos are about character design and culture, not gameplay. I'd assume this requires a minimum of watching cutscenes and interviewing the production company or people who have played the game, but playing all the way through a bunch of games seems like a waste of time.


All the way, certainly would be a waste of time. You can often discern that a game is horrible by playing only a small portion of it. I think it would be unreasonable to require that someone experience 100% of something to give an opinion on it. However, not experiencing it directly at all could be of some concern, yes. Things might well be missed due to lost context. But, at worst, this will result in her turning out bad product. Meh. That happens. I'm not gonna get up in arms over that. The internet is so full of things of mediocre or worse quality that I can't be bothered to worry if one more shows up.

However, content reuse without permission or credit is a real problem. It's one thing if it's a onesie, twosie mistake...people do slip up from time to time, and we don't need to go nuts over that, but at least a cursory effort to credit others would be a good thing. It need not be big, a small line of text in the corner of the video, perhaps, or a quick screen at the end. Yes, a lot of LP content isn't terribly amazing, but if you're benefiting from their work instead of doing it yourself, fair is fair.

I could see people that funded this on kickstarter being a little bit upset, but I must point out that a cursory check indicates that she listed the project as needing $6k. If she asked for $6k, and you gave her $160k, well...er, you didn't HAVE to do that.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Lewton » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:16 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, playing the games herself is *one* way to get the proper context, but it's far from the only way. Feel free to share something relevant to this discussion that can *only* be understood by playing the game oneself, but in the absence of such, "Mass effect isn't about lesbian sex" is only an argument for due diligence in research, not for playing through everything herself.


->

Lucrece wrote:There are legitimate claims you could make against her, like her review of some games is superficial and some of her examples are taken out of context. For example, when she complained about Sam Adama in Caprica, because he was a gay character that happened to be a mobster hitman. Oh noes, another villainous gay character! Except, he was actually made to be sympathetic and he was just one of the many sympathetic mobster immigrant characters.


.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby leady » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:28 am UTC

Whilst I don't agree with most of her points in the videos (they seem very superficial), she is quite pretty and watchable :)

I would definitely argue though that having raised $160k, she monetised the videos a long time ago...
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby aoeu » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:31 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Oh, please, morally questionable my ass. Some people just need to have their ego stroked by having any trivial shit they've done written in a footmark, so people know THEY did it even though nobody gives a shit -- they just give a shit about what was produced.

This. Though it's kind of alarming if she got 100k+ and didn't even get her own recording equipment.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Diadem » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:40 pm UTC

Looking at her videos, I'm not surprised people are wondering what she spent all that money on. It obviously wasn't these videos.

Let's hope she's planning to spend most of it on future projects. Otherwise I'll be reluctantly forced to conclude that she's a charlatan who abused a good cause to get rich quickly.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:00 pm UTC

Took advantage of, perhaps, but when other people voluntarily gave her almost 30 times what she asked for, it's a bit of a stretch to say she was abusing anything.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Red Hal » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:05 pm UTC

Thank you snark and philsov. I have so many other associations with the phrase "let's play" that that wasn't one that sprang to mind. Ms. Sarkeesian seems to have made some rather instructive videos, for which she has been paid the not insignificant sum of $160,000. It seems only fair to me that she should have at least credited the work of others and attributed them where used in her videos. It would be a simple matter to edit them to display the appropriate credit as a subtitle underneath, especially as she has a surplus of funds.

This would assuage the anger of those who feel their work has been used.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby PeteP » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:14 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Took advantage of, perhaps, but when other people voluntarily gave her almost 30 times what she asked for, it's a bit of a stretch to say she was abusing anything.

But it's an interesting question: if your project isn't one which can easily make use of a money surplus and people give you far more than you wanted: what are you supposed to do with the money? I guess keep it, getting much more than expected can't force you to expand your intended project far beyond it's original dimensions if you didn't set stretch goals.
Maybe kickstarter should give an option to set a second optional amount beside the stretch goal for the amount of money that can be used fqor teh project and after that kickstarter adds an pop up which says: "Any contributions at this points won't be used for the project and are essentially donations to the maker".
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:26 pm UTC

All of the money earned is essentially donations to the maker, as far as I know. There's no real contractual obligation to do anything in particular with the money, even if they get millions of dollars more than they set as their original goal.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:23 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Took advantage of, perhaps, but when other people voluntarily gave her almost 30 times what she asked for, it's a bit of a stretch to say she was abusing anything.

But it's an interesting question: if your project isn't one which can easily make use of a money surplus and people give you far more than you wanted: what are you supposed to do with the money? I guess keep it, getting much more than expected can't force you to expand your intended project far beyond it's original dimensions if you didn't set stretch goals.
Maybe kickstarter should give an option to set a second optional amount beside the stretch goal for the amount of money that can be used fqor teh project and after that kickstarter adds an pop up which says: "Any contributions at this points won't be used for the project and are essentially donations to the maker".


Well, I do think that it's an unusual project that cannot utilize extra money effectively. Usually, more money allows you to do more/better things, and adding stretch goals is kind of a nice thing to do. You don't HAVE to do that, though, and if people keep throwing money at something that promises nothing more for it...well, that's kind of on them. It's perfectly ok to donate extra money to a cause, but one should probably at least read what is being planned with the money before deciding to do so.

gmalivuk wrote:All of the money earned is essentially donations to the maker, as far as I know. There's no real contractual obligation to do anything in particular with the money, even if they get millions of dollars more than they set as their original goal.


Well, an obligation exists, even if it's a hard to enforce one, to provide the promised rewards or, failing that, a refund. In this particular instance, it seems she is delivering on the promised rewards. Therefore, I have no real problems with that. The backers are getting what they were promised, so far as I can tell.

Perhaps they have made assumptions beyond the explicit promises...but assumptions are just that. You can't expect others to always have the same ones you do. I'm perfectly ok with criticizing her for failing to do proper crediting, etc(and that would be just as reasonable a complaint had she only made $6k), but I don't really expect her to do more than what she promised to do. Anything over the stated goals is a straight up bonus.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby folkhero » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:40 pm UTC

Well who's doing the complaining here? To me it seems like it's the people who don't like Sarkeesian and probably never did and wouldn't give money to her project. If the donors aren't unhappy with the finished product, then I can't really bring myself to care if people who didn't give any of their money are saying that the money was poorly spent.

That said, if I were a donor (which I'm not) and if she really didn't play a lot of the games she is talking about (which I have no idea if she did or not) then I think I would be somewhat upset since her kickstarter explicitly stated that she was going to take this money and play lots of games. It doesn't matter if one has to play games or not to critique them because she explicitly said she was going to. And while there is no legal or contractual obligation to do anything specific with the money (no one is saying she broke the law or should be sued or anything are they?), there is certainly a moral obligation to not half-ass your project when it gets such an overwhelming response. Whether or not she did half-ass it is a whole nother question.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Lucrece » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:21 am UTC

People also need to consider the amount of games you need the play, the research, the video production. She actually stated she got a producer for her project and the money is also going to make school curriculums and communications packages for outreach.

That's her time spent working. She should pay herself a salary. If she's getting donations to put out this stuff and pay herself in the process, she's no different from other project managers such as charity directors or executive directors for advocacy groups. She never said this was going to be a charity, so I don't begrudge her making money if she's earning it and people are willing to pay her for it.

The average "short" AAA game is 40 hours. RPG's and other immersive games can easily give you 70. I squeezed out about 100+ hours from skyrim. Take out a work schedule of 8-9 hours a day. A single 40 hour game is a week's worth of work. That's just playing the game, not researching or producing the videos.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:27 am UTC

Kind of a moot point if she isn't actually playing anything.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Lucrece » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:20 am UTC

And that's a claim her detractors will have to substantiate.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby jestingrabbit » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:09 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Kind of a moot point if she isn't actually playing anything.


her proposal wrote:I love playing video games


Is there a particular reason we're assuming bad faith on her part?
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