Tag Archives: Ezio Auditore

Death of the creed

Before I begin I must warn you, if you are an AC fan, a fan of what Ubisoft produces, you will hate this story. The second part is that this is based on personal views, speculations and what the ‘leaked’ 30 minutes of AC Valhalla brings. The game is still in development, so the end result could differ. Keep all that in mind!

We saw the creed getting killed, its fans have seen a steady decline since the third game, and that is where we stand, it took 8 years. It took this long because no one will argue that AC4 (Black Flag) and ACO (Origins) are indeed excellent pieces of work, but it was marketed by what I like to call a group of people without any backbone, softcovers the lot of them. Black Flag is an excellent game but it is not an AC game (the escape from prison level is perhaps an exception). Black Flag is the pirate game that Sid Meier dreamt of making, but technology stopped him and Ubisoft had the inside track here to make a new piece of memorable IP, but they moved away and set the stage to a much larger IP hoping to set new standards, perhaps they partially succeeded, I will let you decide. After that the quality went down fast and as I see it they had a chance to make a new IP with Origins, they took a separate detour and it was truly an amazing product, but they spoiled it with Odyssey and now we have Valhalla, one person had the same idea I had, it is Odyssey with a new skin, it feels like that. Graphically it does look good, but the parts I saw is all about spicing and lacking substance, one viking goes into the fray, onto the breach and into the masses and slaughters what can be slaughtered. A lot of posturing, it feels off and I was afraid of this from the beginning, their marketing was so intent on creating hypes, this early, 6 months before the game is out, that usually reeks of shallowness and in all this, the game is as disappointing as I feared. The Creed was murdered by its own friendly forces. An IP dragged to death by shallow idea’s and a lack of creativity and staging of braced ego, or is that braised ego? It is a shame, for even as the first one lacked to some degree, it was an amazing start, after which we got Ezio in 2 and Brotherhood and legend status was reached. There is a decent case for revelations, but it was downhill from there, which is a shame, including AC3, the story was pretty amazing, there was a much larger stage and even as some (including me) did not consider AC3 to be a great game, it did bring surprises, there was no denying that. The Graphics department has never disappointed and that must be stated out loud, graphically the game remained at a high point all the way to Odyssey, even as we dread the last game, it was close to sublime in the graphics department. 

Perhaps this is the future for all who wants to make a game pleasing everyone, as I see it you are left with a product that pleases almost no one, it is my view on the matter.

So as I consider the Valhalla leak (no idea how the game was leaked, I think it is marketing, afraid of what is most likely to happen), I see a game that is shoddy on several fronts, but I do realise that I was watching something that had not been released yet. However, the stage I saw is in line of what AC had become. Yes, it is a game, as was Odyssey, but when you realise that not one fort on the planet had thousands of arrows, their aim was not that great (especially as they cannot shoot things in the night that moves), we see a much larger lag in gaming and a lag in the AC series. You merely need to see the first two seasons of Vikings to get that picture across to a much larger degree. To create arcade gaming situation in sandbox games implies the game needs triggers and that leaves you in a stage moving from mini game to mini game, did you sign up for that?

It is hard to write anything positive, and that too is an issue, apart from the graphics which has been far above par again and again. So even as we see the ‘leaked’ footage, we realise that the stage that Ubisoft created was the makings of hypes with no game play, it was perhaps the most stupid thing they could have done, and they should not have started the creations of hypes until October at the earliest, perhaps the birthday of the board of Directors on October 4th might have been a good idea (World Animal Day). If the game continues the way it is (as I saw it) there is every chance that it will be the last AC game to be made, I only bought AC Odyssey as it was on special at 80% discount, I stopped playing it after day 2 as the game was massively inferior to Origins and as I see it Valhalla is going to be even worse. If not, then Ubisoft better make it very clear in a next presentation with actual gameplay. 

Can the IP be saved? I am not certain whether it should, there have been too many massive misses, a new IP station makes a lot more sense and they have options there, they merely decided to ignore them (as I personally see it). So whilst we might consider bashing the Guillemot members (which is never a bad idea), we need to realise that they have bigger problems at present, because as I expect Valhalla to disappoint us, they only have one shot let, Watchdogs: Legion better be a slam dunk home run, if not the existence of Ubisoft might be done for. After Odyssey and Breakpoint, Ubisoft cannot handle any more disappointments, even as the Division 2 is heralded by its fans as a serious step forward, it does not get bonus points, Valhalla needed to be a win and there is every indications that this is not going to happen, implying that the life of Ubisoft will be in the hands of Watchdogs: Legion. It might not be fair, but that is how it is and even as it is shown to be pretty amazing, the failure of Valhalla will impact Watchdogs: Legion as well, unfair, but that is life, often not fair. Can I give Ubisoft any advice? Yup, they should have listened to me when I stated again and again that games need proper testing and both Odyssey and Breakpoint can be seen as evidence that this was not done. 

Could I be wrong?

Yes, of course I can, but those who have seen and flocked to the 30 minute leak will agree with me that Ubisoft has massive problems and not everyone is a Rainbow 6 lover, a game that so far has remained well above par (according to those who play it). So whilst the Creed is that ‘everything is permitted’ the Ubisoft board might have taken this too literally and releasing below par games should have been prevented, it is merely my view on the matter.

Oh and in the coming stage of the PS5 (and the Microsoft alternative), they better stop the entire stage of 25GB+ patches, it will hurt their business even more as I personally see it, and Ubisoft actually knows this, you merely need to see the opinion of internet in Rural France for that (which is France outside of Paris, Bordeaux, Cannes, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes) and Europe has a few of these places, as such, the people interested in Ubisoft games will be dwindling down faster than they are happy with.

 

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When games become real

It is one thing to stalk a person, sneak up on that person and slice his throat, it is not that big a deal when we do this on a console or PC, but when we do it for real it is murder, whether targeted killing or not. It is warfare against most often a non-combatant. And when it is simple murder, we are outraged (or we should be) and if the rules of evidence are clear and fulfilled you go to prison, unless you are in the Netherlands and you kill a child and two grandparents whilst speeding, in that case you get 120 hours of community service (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-Q0Mg9tioM) . So, at times things are not equal, that has never been a surprise.

Yet, what happens when the lines are blurred? Let’s take a step back to 2014, after a year of delay Watchdogs was released. It was over hyped in many ways, yet it was not awful and it was as we needed to recognise an entirely new game, a new Intellectual Property in gaming. So like many, I thought it was a flawed game, but it had potential. So, I kept an open mind for the sequel that was released a week ago. Well, I have spent enough hours of game time to form an opinion. Graphically the game is passable (read: awesome in some ways) and as an open world it is pretty impressive. I think that San Francisco as a choice for several reasons was the deal breaker that took the game from failure to optional success. I reckon that in another major city this game would not have worked. Whether you visit Nudle (read: Google), whether you see Pier 39, the Rock or just Jack London Square. The game gave me the feeling that I was actually seeing San Francisco, and let’s not forget that big bridge!

As an open world it is one of the best released open world locations. I think Ubisoft did what I hoped it would and as such, the jump from Assassins Creed to Assassins Creed 2 has been equalled from the stern Altair we went to Ezio Auditore. In Watchdogs we went from the driven Aiden Pearce to the data tyranny opposing Marcus Holloway. This African American is more than just likeable, like Ezio Auditore he is the good hearted scoundrel we all wish we were. In a similar way to AC, this game is also a large leap forward. They are not there yet, because the game still has issues on several levels, but overall the game is more than just playable. In the first game, I quickly grew a dislike to driving, that feeling was not present in this game. Traffic was a lot better, less annoying (apart from some Taco truck, which might be an inside joke), the game has a much better setting towards stealth, it could improve in many ways, but it is a lot better than it was. Control of Marcus is still a question in some specific cases, yet we might digress too much towards Assassins Creed and this is no Assassins Creed game.

What is above all others is the story, this one is sublime in several ways. Those stinkers (read: level of envy) at Ubisoft Montreal did something brilliant. Even though the game comes with disclaimers of fiction and coincidence if too alike, but they did manage to pull a rabbit out of a bow tie. You see, the world we move towards as per 2017 is in the game. It will not be  like the game in reality, yet when we see the data gathering that is happening now and when we see the 5G world as it is to happen (at https://5g.co.uk/guides/what-is-5g/), parts that were described in my earlier blog ‘Non iudicium tuum‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/10/18/non-iudicium-tuum). We need to get an eerie feeling, you see the accusations for 2 years on Facebook selling your data/information, and we see mentions of Google doing the same.

We see these accusations and the opposite defence by both that this is not happening. It is not what I believe, because I do not think that this is what is exactly happening. Yet, when Facebook offers the deepest and most granular population for your advertisement, it seems to me that it has access via portals to offer to advertisers a selection of people. Google does the same, it offers a portal for advertisers even though those advertisers will never know the identity of the individual; their advertisements go to the most likely interested people. So data is not sold, it is a semantic on how people are approached and by what means. This reality will grow over the next 5 years, especially through 5G and that is the group watchdogs 2 is now dealing with. You see, the reality of 5G is offering Smart mobility, domotics and Utility management. It also offers smart security and surveillance. Yet what Watch dogs 1 and now 2 in a larger extent addresses is that one man’s smart is another man’s stupidity. So is the world we move to as in the games or not? You see, the reality is catching up to the games and this game is showing the dangers of no privacy. The issue in reality is seen to some extent (at http://theconversation.com/there-really-is-a-link-between-your-facebook-posts-and-your-personality-68186), where we see “Privacy campaigners this week applauded Facebook’s decision to block big UK insurance firm Admiral from using young people’s social media data to help set their car insurance premiums. But this is just the start of a debate over the use of social media information for such purposes“, yet this the reality we faced for a while. The event seen in November this year happened in real life less than a month before Ubisoft voiced it in its game where people saw premiums rise because of life choices (like ordering pizza) and a mere 10 months after I mentioned it in ‘Double standards, no resolve (part 2)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/26/double-standards-no-resolve-part-2/), where I stated: “So if we do the following math 32% of 70 million (falsely assuming that they were all American gamers), then we now get the number of people confronted with a $144 a year additive. So in one swoop, this data set gives way to an additional $3.2 billion for insurance fees. Data is going to be that simply applied sooner than you think“, and guess what, UK insurance firm Admiral did try just that. Yet as we read: “Facebook’s decision to block” is just a shot across the bow, because when the genie is out of the bottle putting him/her back is much less of an option and data tends to get out into the open. If you doubt that, just ask the Mail server IT person of the Clinton family, he can assure you of that.

In this now, we get the point when gaming and reality get uncomfortably close. It is one thing when we play call of duty where it is just guns, guts and adrenaline. The reality of war tends to hold us back from doing stupid things, yet what happens when the reality is merely copying a file, how will we stop acting when we have misguided ourselves into believing that it is just a harmless file? When we see: “The Admiral case could well be remembered as just the beginning of a tortuous back and forth over using digital footprints in financial modelling“, yet the danger is seen in other ways too, yet it is not voiced. We pay a certain premium for a certain risk, yet it takes years to get a discount for loyal non claiming clients. It only takes one algorithm to raise it by 10% plus on collected data that is alleged of personality not a given and as such we get to pay for being social in many ways. This is a clear case of worry at the very end where we see “As long as companies use our data transparently and with our consent, why not allow both parties to an insurance transaction to rely on what appears to be very accurate data?“, because it might give a $10 relief for a healthy young person. It will cost anyone who had been in an accident an additional $200 a year and we have decades of data that these companies are run by greed driven people, board members who do want their 8 figure bonus and giving discounts is creating a gap of getting that bonus. Meaning that we sell our neighbours away for a few dollars whilst the neighbour is cut off from health insurance because he fell and hit his head, that is what the message on Facebook said and it did not come with an admittance or with evidence. That is the danger and Watch Dogs 2 shows that in clarity as you move from hacking router to hacking router.

The 5G guide gives us: “By 2020 it’s predicted that there will be 50-100 billion devices connected worldwide, many of which will need continuous data access“, which is a low estimate. Here at University I see people with a Laptop, a smart phone, some with additional Tablets and music stream devices. Now some of these elements overlap, some are used strictly separate, yet in all this the low estimate of 50 billion devices can easily be surpassed before 2020, and connection are growing in other ways too. Most TV’s are now Android enabled and connected to the home network, so are PC’s and consoles, so the average family will have 8-12 devices connected. That whilst the RFID world is only now starting up within the domestic household sphere, so this number will drastically change soon enough. This is what the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility team advertised today “At least 60% of security breaches start with employee credentials getting into the wrong hands. With modern mobility and bring-your-own-device solutions, protecting your data starts with protecting the identities of your organisation’s employees. That’s why we’ve made identity security central to Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). Discover how focusing on identity can help make your organisation more secure“, I am not questioning on how needed this is, because mobile security needs to be on the top list of any person, whether as an employee or as a personal reason. You see a system that requires over a 100 patches on an annual basis has issues. Now, we need to accept that this was always the case and a system this big will always have flaws, yet when we see the level of issues in an age where non-repudiation is almost more important than digital evidence gives rise to the reality we face and the games we play.

Are we an algorithm?

Are we real is the question we should ask and whilst we play we are not the real us, we play to be Marcus Holloway in San Francisco, Ezio Auditore in Venice or Geralt of Rivia in some other place. We are seeing that Marcus Holloway is showing us a world that is the one we seem to live in and that should be a little more upsetting than it actually seems to be, because we remain in denial. Although, all things being equal, me working in a place like the Delaware data farm would be a dream come true. Who would not go weak at the knees seeing the tens of thousands of data servers all streaming data? The game story gives us several parts, many I will not speak here because I do not want to give away the game, it is so much better when you experience it for yourself, but the truth will hit you as it remains close to the reality we now see in newspapers, although without 5G none of it can come to pass to the degree we see. The question that we are faced in reality is that as we are valued and weighted by our social interactions, have we been minimalised to a mere algorithm, which then leads me to the question are Sociopaths soon the only people valued correctly? It certainly seems to be the case when we consider the elements of the Admiral insurance scenario. The SK Telecom white paper on 5G (at http://www.sktelecom.com/img/pds/press/SKT_5G%20White%20Paper_V1.0_Eng.pdf) goes as far on page 40 on combining Business Intelligence (BI), Network Intelligence (NI) to form within IoT (Internet of Things) to form Service Intelligence (SI), that whilst we now get one of the earliest official papers to set SI as a “It knows me better than I know Myself“, this will vamp soon enough as they state it themselves as ‘Telco Asset-based personalised service‘, which is pretty much the founding father of Mobile based Software as a Service, based on collected data. It is a stretch to call this a personal data based service level agreement, yet, I wonder how far off I am when I do that. In addition, at the IP conference last week, I predicted that by 2022, the total amount of Trade Marks will have grown by 300% on a global scale. 5G will be driving new versions and new iterations of corporations, many who missed the initial digital age boat, those will run like crazy to not miss a second of the next wave, because those who do will be corporations that become non-existent. If there is one part that Google AdWords and Facebook advertising are proving is that granularity will become the next key in those who advertise, although there is a case to be made that the current data at present is not voluminous enough to currently completely rely on this advertisement track, implying that this path seems to be less than 18 months away.

This is where we are going and Ubisoft was more than a little brilliant implying darker versions of reality in this game, especially in the San Francisco light of living, where freedom of identity is everyone’s Personal Jesus. So in light of that, the game does hold up, due to the improvements and in larger pat to the stories that connect to one another in the game, the fact that some elements are taken from life almost here is just the icing on the cake making for a sweet gaming treat.

So even as the corporate world at large has been ignoring non-repudiation as a bad taste, we see that 5G is no longer making that an affordable option as the collected data is  going to be key in the time of personal services. Don’t take my word for it, Edgar Allen Poe is stating the same thing on Facebook, as did Shakespeare who gave me his fax number (bonus points for those who know what film that was from). In an age of SaaS, SI and service personalisation’s, we will see a dependency on identity and more important the linking of certain elements, which also implies that messing with that part will be the prankster’s new ‘O’ (for Orgasm), giving non-repudiation a very new light in security requirement on a level we have not cared for before, although, the wrong people have not been not-caring on that requirement for a little too long. So as we realise that there is a reality to these things, as our reality caught up with the games we play, we might wonder where Marcus Holloway is. So Ruffin Prentiss (at @RPrentissIII), you need to get your ass in gear and save millions of potential victims from themselves soon enough!

smartfridgeNow, we know that an actor might not have the skills to do what is needed, yet in all fairness, some actors became president, so the call is not that far from centre, in addition, many require decent degrees to get a gig nowadays, not just in communication. The reality that Watchdogs uses is based on real issues, some providers offer ‘zero day exploit protection‘ at premium price, so when we saw “By 2020 it’s predicted that there will be 50-100 billion devices connected worldwide“, how many will have been engineered by the lowest bidder? How many zero day exploits will we be confronted with? Now, many of those devices will have no real information, but what about that ‘intelligent fridge’? Remember Admiral Insurance? What happens when he has that juicy list of your fridge? The fish fingers (optional with custard), the Pizza, all those sugary drinks. What happens when your parties become the health risk you advertised in your fridge, what happens when your health insurance premiums start going up? That reality is not that far-fetched, because Facebook isn’t giving that data at present, does not mean that Admiral Insurance et al cannot get their fingers on the data it wants and needs to spike premiums. That is the issue we all face. And the image of the ‘smart’ fridge is already 3 years old, implying we have come a lot further in less time. The reality of growth is here, but so is the realisation of personal secured privacy data and it did not require a game to give that reality to us, but Ubisoft is bringing this story in an excellent way, a way that should give cause to realise that our private needs of safety are not being met and we are giving away whatever privacy we had much easier and freely than we admit, because we do not realise what else can come of it.

Even as Google is calling this ‘the year of mobile’, there is every clear indication that 2017 needs to be ‘the year of personal data safety’. I wonder how many people realise how little they have done for themselves in that regard and if you have a PC or Console, Ubisoft has a game that can help you figure that part out, even though it is still a little futuristic for now.

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Values of insanity

I need to revisit my last article ‘Evolving our lives’, not the article itself, I thought it was a decent article and I stand by what I write. It is the massive absence of visibility that I see in the press that is so overwhelming, that it makes me wonder what on earth is going on.

You see, the fact that someone hacked the phone of Jennifer Lawrence is ‘great’ news. It had several pages of links of all shapes and sizes. I feel for Jennifer, I am happy that she is taking a stand and I hope her lawyer gets to take the hacker and his family to the cleaners for the next 5 generations.

The statement from her attorney Lawrence Shire is quite clear “This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible” (source: Perez Hilton at http://perezhilton.com/cocoperez/2014-09-02-kate-upton-leaked-nude-photos-addresses-statement).

My issue is not with Jenifer, as I stated I do feel for her. It is the LA Times (and many other US newspapers) that I am having an issue with. The LA Times who published only 10 hours ago: “After illegally obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other actresses were made public Sunday, the FBI is on the case — and so is Lena Dunham“.

It is interesting that the FBI is all about the famous, yet, as it is portrayed Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and a few others, who seem to be the object of extreme hatred and this visibility, remains mostly absent.

Now, I do not agree with some of the views Anita Sarkeesian had, especially in her video ‘Women as Background Decoration (Part 2)’, she is entitled to this view. She does bring in several cases a correct view, but again the fact that the view of the Darkness 2 is pretty much how the comic depiction is was not stated. Also is not stated that the prostitutes in Assassins Creed 2 and Assassins Creed 2 brotherhood were a weapon for Ezio Auditore to kill from hiding and to remain unseen. There is more than just a game here and courtesans were a reality in that era in Italy.

Consider the following historical fact “The Venetian authorities became concerned that it was impossible to distinguish between courtesans and respectable women. Rules drawn up in 1543 determined what the courtesans could wear” and “There was a red light district in Venice but there were also courtesans who were less obvious. They were educated prostitutes who were refined and well dressed and serviced the social elite“. This is how reality was. There is no real defence from me, for the most Anita Sarkeesian gives a truthful view, even though that view is not giving the whole picture. The same she does with watchdogs, where not just women, but also men are the target, yet her reasoning does hold water. In addition, the issues as shown in Far Cry 3 are not unknown (at http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21586575-laws-punish-domestic-violence-are-too-often-honoured-breach-everyday-aggression) the economist and many others show that there is an abundance of violence against women. This does not make it okay, but it is a reality we are all still fighting against. The economist states “it is a slow process“, I personally think is “a much too slow process“. There have been several views by many people that things have to change and I personally believe that Anita Sarkeesian should be allowed to voice these issues in safety and whilst not getting harassed.

My issues only partially against that view is that Bethesda (Fallout, Fallout New Vegas, Oblivion, Skyrim) and Lionhead studios (Fable series) and Electronic Arts (Mass Effect series) offer the option of creating a main female character, that part she left out. In addition, Female Shepard from the Mass Effect series is just as deadly as the male one. Yet, I admit these seem to be exceptions.

As Anita and Zoe are real people, why is their safety not more strongly advocated? Anita Sarkeesian’s dangers made the Washington post, yet it seems that these people (both Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn) seem to have escaped the view of the bulk of all American Newspapers. An Indie game developer stood up for her, his name is Phil Fish. When I looked for more info, I found this description on some Wiki page “Phil Fish (Powerword: Jacques Paul Philippe Poisson) is a shitty video game designer who received immense praise following his creation of a Super Paper Mario rip-off called “Fez”. A filthy hipster, Fish is widely reviled on the internet mostly because he’s a douche and a drama whore. He’s also French Canadian, which goes a long way towards explaining why he’s such a stuck-up narcissistic twat“. The hatred spilt all over several sites is unbelievable, now, perhaps the man has an ego issue, I do not know, because I do not know the man, yet his quote in support for Zoe Quinn drove a level of hatred that is beyond belief.

Let’s get back to the issues involving women.

There is an anti-women group in gaming wave going on that seems to be utterly unparalleled and is far beyond any normal dimensions. I have no idea how repugnant something called ‘the Daily Caller‘ is. Yet consider the issue. A model named Kate Upton, her phone was hacked and we see this “So What Does Rep. Fred Upton Think About Kate Upton’s Hacked Nude Photos?“, which intros as: “Michigan U.S. Congressman Fred Upton is staying personally silent on the weekend hacking and posting of nude pictures belonging to his niece, model and actress Kate Upton“, so the man is her uncle and he is asked to give his view on his naked niece? How sick is this reporter? This was not some photo-shoot in Playboy and Penthouse, no this was the violation of her privacy and many are making ‘light reporting’ of it all. This is a side that Anita Sarkeesian seemed to have missed in her article, it is not just the gaming image but the press is to some extent glorifying this! Is it such a wild assumption that this is bringing a new low level of cyber-paparazzi? I wonder how much money lawyer Lawrence Shire could get and how much publications will bring in revenue on this matter. This is not about objectifying women, this all reads as a chauvinist tactic ‘to keep women in their place‘, which, if true is a crime as heinous as the acts Pol Pot’s killing of well over a million people. Does anyone remember the Killing Fields or did you all forget that massacre?

The victims are given this response “After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions“, so if there is a targeted attack, where did it come from? We get back to the basic need of a secure internet. The system has been built on such levels of ‘convenience’ for speed, that the entire issue of security seems to have been ignored to some degree (a targeted attack that becomes a successful transgression is one that requires investigation). You see, if we accept that any system can be transgressed upon, that it stands to reason that a clear market for the wealthier client is required. Consider the news that the US president was not allowed to have an iPhone and we read “explaining why he is sometimes seen with a bulky super secure Blackberry“, why are the personal assistants of both Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton not looking into that field? Yet, are these not new values of insanity?

Why should any woman need these additional levels of protection from criminals like these? It all goes back to the issue of non-accountability. People can do whatever they like and no one will be there to stop them. If we see the years of publications and the years of recorded issues on Domestic violence, we see an utterly flaccid legal system with too little actual results. The internet is just a new iteration of inaction.

Yes, the FBI is looking into this, yet how long until these women see results? How long until Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian can go home in relative safety for using their right to free speech? How long until the international press will take these issues and goes for real coverage of the issue, and not in some feigned opposition view as we saw in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/01/how-to-attack-a-woman-who-works-in-video-games) with text like “So, for those out there who have decided to join in and harass a woman developer or critic out of the games business, this is how you do it“.

Did the Guardian print the following in their papers: “If you want to take a good honest look at the breasts of Jennifer Lawrence and perhaps more, this is how you hack the phone“? Oddly, that is not what was printed, so why these two values? Yes, I know that the piece of Zoe Quinn was in sarcasm against the harasser, but I think it missed the point, especially as there is an abundance of non-journalistic sources burning her, whilst only the Guardian gave her any (but debatable) visibility. Is this the realistic view of Anita Sarkeesian view that women are objectified, yet now in a very real way?

Moving forward

I hope that Lawrence Shire might be willing to place a few calls and get a group of real journalists into the plight of both Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, possible with Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton standing next to them. You see, I think that this is all linked to a much bigger problem, if the threat to both Quinn and Sarkeesian is unreal, then people have a right to know, but if the threat is real then ignoring the threat is no less criminal then what the hackers are trying to publish. All this whilst the media is just printing the names that will improve their circulation, so in their view, the lives of Quinn and Sarkeesian have no value and are ignored.

I will accept that a Hollywood star is news, however, within the last 15 minutes as I was writing this last night speculations regarding Jennifer Lawrence grew by 12 pages, not one fact on either Quinn or Sarkeesian by any reputable source was added. This is not life in the fast lane, this is ‘garbage in the junk lane‘ and too many who should be vocal, remain silent.

The responses

Emma Watson’s response on Twitter is perhaps the clearest “Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy“. Yet, I am personally not certain whether she is correct; when the by-line from the Independent ends with ‘Poor Jay Law!‘ which was read by another woman in a tone of ‘ah well’ we can safely state that the matter is a whole lot worse. The tweet from Ricky Gervais, although badly received is deeper than some realise “Celebrities, make it harder for people to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer“, which might read as “When you are famous, you have no inherent rights of ANY kind, which means that either you pose naked for the press at large or someone will get those shots for them“.

Which gives us the unjust consideration “Breasts and genitals are coin, coin is essential, you are only temporary!” Whether Ricky Gervais was actively trying to state this, or “The only safe nude of you is no nude of you!” is up to Ricky Gervais, but I hope that my way of stating this all shows that the dangers women at large face (famous and non-famous alike) seems to be escalating. The view that “Domestic or partner violence is a global concern. Worldwide 30% of partnered women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime” is not a figment of anyone’s imagination, yet the fact that women overwhelmingly do not report these issues and only a fraction of the reported issues are successfully prosecuted remains a fact. This all links to all the issues we saw earlier.

There is an implied inherent air of ignoring, not prosecuting and persecuting these offences, yet overall these issues are more and more visible. I do personally disagree with my previous statement, yet consider the amount of registered domestic violence occurrences and how many of them were successfully prosecuted? Here I do not blame the police; it seems to me that at times their hands are tied even more than those of the victim. Consider the quote from the less likely reporting instance (the Daily Mail). “Domestic abuse prosecutions more than doubled from 35,000 in 2005 to 74,000 in 2010, and the conviction rate increased from 46 per cent to 72 per cent“, yet as we have seen from several sources like the CPS we see: “Nearly 1 million women experience at least one incident of domestic abuse each year (2009/10 British Crime Survey data: http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs10/hosb1210.pdf as reported in latest cross-government VAWG strategy http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/call-end-violence-women-girls/vawg-paper?view=Binary)“, so in 2010 we still see that less than 10% makes it to court, for whatever reason, so that 72% is not a victory it is nothing less than a joke on a massive failure in my view.

That what follows!

For some reason the NSA has an abundance of data, yet women remain in fear of life, we see that consultants and federal agents are looking into the mailbox and pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, yet no progress has been made. You see, something does not add up, when you target 101 celebrities, it means that you are trying to invade 101 secured accounts, now, it might be possible to get ‘easy’ access to some of them, but 101 targets gives the FBI a place to hunt, this is another question that boggles me and I do have a postgraduate degree in this area. Yes, I know that there is plenty of technology around, but in all these issues, traffic needs to occur and specific points were accessed. How did Perez Hilton get her pictures so fast? Was his ‘apology’ sincere? Was he used or was he the go between so that the global press knows that they are truly out there and for sale?

I do not have the answers, yet, here we see again a press driven value of insanity and let us be honest, at present there is no end in sight and too many women are currently in the firing line, not a firing line of Misogyny, but one of Inaestimabilis (non-English for worthlessness), which is a much more dangerous notion, because hatred can be fought, yet if a population at large deem a group to be without value, then we as humanity will have truly become a failure.

Should you consider me wrong (which is forever a valid consideration) then answer the following questions for yourself:

  1. In the US the following numbers were published by the Huffington post: “Number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq: 6,614: Number of women, in the same period, killed as the result of domestic violence in the US: 11,766“, now make a 1% list, so make a list naming 66 dead soldiers and naming 117 women killed through domestic violence. How long did it take to make either list?
  2. The following two facts come from Steve Stewart, Prosecuting Attorney, Clark County, Indiana. Namely “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (“Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report,” Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)” and “There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990)” Now, these numbers are a little old, but even then a dog was more than twice as likely to receive safety and treatment than an abused woman.

Where to go next? Well, that is as ever a good question and I am honestly not certain. In my view, placing these issues in the light and coverage by all papers it needs to have is an absolute first. I also think that the US Congress needs to think this through to a larger extent, they should consider that as UK and Australian law is a little better in protecting privacy they should consider the consequence of these women, packing up for a large part of the year and move to Sydney Australia (or London). These places have the same exotic shopping places and they are more likely to enjoy privacy away from the US, how would congress react when the Hollywood top feels safer outside the US and ends up spending their millions outside of the US? I wonder if Governor Jerry Brown truly considered the dangers that the lacking and hacking safety of women will bring him (and the state of California).

 

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