Trigger Warning: Dickwolves Ahead
A lot of people I know and follow on Twitter have talked about boycotting PAX over the dickwolves controversy. Recaps abound all over the internet, but here's a timeline and a summary from my point of view:
PAX is a very large gaming con run by the guys who write the webcomic Penny Arcade. Last year, they wrote a strip (see "dickwolves" link above) making fun of quests in MMORPGs. Typically these quests go like this: Save five slaves. Leave the other fifteen to rot. Move on to next quest while more slaves spawn in behind you. The joke is that games don't make sense, and in fact encourage our fictional-selves to be jerks.
The controversy is over the use of rape in the joke. The (male) slave declares that he is going to be raped to sleep every night by dickwolves, but not even this persuades the heartless hero, who has other quests to complete.
Most of the controversy arose months after I read this strip (and LOLed). Gabe and Tycho issued a funny apology where, in spite of the humor, they make it clear they do not condone rape. Later they pulled their dickwolves merchandise, but not the comic. Again, that first link is the quickest way for you to get up to speed here.
Gabe and Tycho have actually received death threats over this, so yeah, it's a pretty big deal.
Nevertheless, I happily attended PAX Prime 2011. The subject came up in Twitter several times over the year, and each time, I tried to describe in 140 characters or less why a boycott is the worst possible reaction (second to making death threats). But Twitter is a poor place to make effective arguments about sensitive and complex topics such as these, hence a post.
I've been attending cons since 1995, and of them all, PAX is the most female-friendly. I want to support that. More, I want to continue to influence con culture by being a strong woman with strong opinions. That's how culture improves. Each of us makes our little waves in the best way we can, trying to persuade. We don't take our toys and go home. That doesn't persuade anyone. As con culture improves, we need to continue to participate fully. Now is not the time to abandon the community just because we're all now more aware of what has always gone on.
Fact: Geek culture is hostile towards women. It always has been. It won't always will be. This past year there have been a lot of other controversies, which in my opinion, are far more worthy of outrage. Like actual harassment at Apachecon against a speaker and board member. After that a lot of women came out of the woodwork to tell their own stories, and I realized I have a few of my own that I could look at in a new light. Instead of feeling shame, which was my original reaction, I realized I could feel empowered and set boundaries and push back.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Of my four years of going to Defcon, I had the most fun this year at Defcon19.
Granted, my first year was pretty fun. There were lots of antics going on, and I went to a lot of talks. And Defcon17, we got an invite to the Facebook party at Studio54 where DualCore and YTCracker were playing. And last year, Defcon18, was kind of a blur.
But none of those years had a badge hacking contest I could actually participate in.
When I heard the badge this year was going to be non-electronic, I scowled. I waxed cynical. I joked to people that they were going to print the badges on hot-pink cardstock. It was hard to imagine any badge being as cool as this, this, or this.
As with every year, there were not enough badges. Here's a quick summary of just how lucky I was to even get one. I got in line at 2:50 on Thursday. I stood in line for an hour and a half, the line stopped 14 people away from the front, waited 30 minutes, got told lots of conflicting information about badge availability and wait-times, waited longer, got to the front of the line, got told more metal badges on there way, but if I registered right then I'd get a
Color me ecstatic and incredibly lucky. Here's a picture of my beautiful badge:
at 5:00 PM
The grand post probably none of you have been waiting for. My previous post is an overview of the badge contest. This post gets into the very detailed list of clues and theories and musings. It will only be interesting to participants of the contest, and even then, we only actually solved a couple of things. So if you're looking for answers, it's likely that here you will only find more questions. :)
That being said, I
stole got a few solutions from other people who were weak and capable of being social engineered willing to share their findings.
at 4:58 PM