Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sockpuppets Strike Back

Well, not really strike back. More like rant and rave in an echo chamber. It's actually not much of a rant, either. Maybe pissing in the wind is a more apt term? Anyway, I'd actually wanted to blog a bit about Fate Core (which I was finally able to get around to backing yesterday) but I wanted to address our friendly neighborhood sockpuppet, Mark Smith, while I have some spare cycles.

First, he has given us a review of the Bucoli sourcebook (remember this is the blog created solely for a Vampire: Undeath review...it's even in the name), complete with a copy-pasta introduction from the previous review. He also has taken to rather odd rants about Trolls, capitalized in much the same way as Mr. Lakim capitalizes words. I'll buy Mr. Smith two clues: 1) troll is not a proper noun, 2) criticizing something is not "trolling" and 3) using the same word, in the same manner, as the person you're not a sockpuppet for is not convincing. Well, that was three clues but I never said I was good at counting.

Speaking of what I am good at, there's something I want to get off my chest because of this classic bit at the end of his post:
Please tell me this guy has no life and he gets an SSI check. Well folks, that's my rant I'm going back to Minecraft to relax because stupid people make my head hurt.
First, there's the implication that receiving SSI is somehow bad. One of my best friends was on SSI - he had chronic asthma and a bad heart and his life ended much too soon, while on the waiting list for a transplant. He was also an aspiring actor (O.M.G. - someone on assistance trying to do something so they won't have to depend on it!), an excellent uncle to his nieces and nephews, and one of the most moral, principled people I've ever met (frustratingly so, sometimes). Another good friend of mine receives SSI, because her husband (who, along with the former person, were practically brothers to me) died in a horrible accident. He was a fantastic husband, father, friend, and all around nice guy. My mom qualifies for SSI, because she's legally blind and has been all of her life. So, that bit of standard idiot-mantra of "Anyone who receives anything from the government must be a loser" can eat a bag of dicks.

But, aside from that, Mr. Smith doesn't have to worry! I have both a life and a very successful career as a SQL developer. He may want to look up what SQL means - a forewarning though, the subject does contain big words, plus some relational algebra and set theory.

Now I'll address the meat of this post.
Not only does he troll Dark Phoenix Publishing but he accuses everything he doesn't understand or like as being fake, thievery or he just throws a fit.
Do you mean trolling like this, where two sockpuppet accounts (James Pendragon and Iblis Eterna) came out of the woodwork? This behavior went on for virtually every post on the White Wolf Facebook page until eventually pretty much everyone was banned. I've not posted anything, aside from one post, on either the Dark Phoenix Publishing page or Mark Smith's page. This must be some new threshold for trolling I'm unaware of.

Besides, the rallying cry of  "you don't like it, so you have no right criticizing it" is the biggest load of horseshit ever uttered. Typically, people who don't like something tend to have extremely good reasons (say, blatant copying and a pathological drive by the author to deny it), and often when their criticisms are addressed the end product is something even the critics have at least something good to say about. This isn't one of those cases. The criticisms are completely and totally valid. No fits involved here at all, just good old fashioned critical analysis.
So let's see here, first he accuses Dark Phoenix of plagiarism. He can't find a single, published case of plagiarism [...]
Dark Phoenix Publishing's Vampire: Undeath lifts portions of the Storyteller system and many of White Wolf's concepts without crediting White Wolf as the inspiration. Hell, the entire list of planned game lines is a carbon copy of White Wolf's business model, down to the subjects of the games and even the layout of the covers. The books and other pages/websites are still using unlicensed, uncredited artwork and graphics. There are proven cases of plagiarism on the Dark Phoenix Publishing Facebook page - some of which have now been removed, but were memory-hole proofed in my previous post. I'm not the only one who has seen it. I'm not the only one who has reached this conclusion. Posters on 4chan, Something Awful, reddit, Giants in the Playground, and others have reacted the same way to the material.

And the next bit:
So wait, you feel a book about Succubi shouldn't be about sex?
No, I said it was poorly done and full of crappy ideas. The dead giveaway that being about sex wasn't the issue may have been the second blog post, where I give an example of a game I feel handles the subject of sexually-driven characters well. I guess Mr. Smith never claimed reading comprehension was his strong point. Maybe he should stick to Minecraft and WoW.