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Greg Machlin
Works at Ralph Ehrenpreis, A PLC
Attended University of Iowa
Lives in Los Angeles, CA
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Greg Machlin

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This is the Daily Dot article about child porn on 8chan.

http://www.dailydot.com/politics/8chan-pedophiles-child-porn-gamergate/
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This is as good as the original video. AMAZING. GANDHI GANDHI GANDHI GANDHI GANDHI.
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Hi. I make games. I write about games. I get paid to make games. I used to get paid to write about games. I walked away from paid writing about games, because it was a pretty shitty, corrupt, jaded process that really flew in the face of why I wanted to write about games. 

I've talked to a lot of pro- #GamerGate  people over the past few days. I've tried to hear out as many as I could. It was hard. I want to first address why that was hard, then I want to try to address some of the trends between the reasonable, cool people I spoke with. 

First off, it's very difficult to wade through the hate. The signal to noise ratio is not good. In fact, it's terrible. If you're reasonable, and you want to have a conversation, it's difficult to do that when the person is hearing ten death threats and thirty insults for every single reasonable message. That mars any perception of credibility for a group that's invested heavily in credibility and ethics. 

Now, I've heard a few people say, "Point out the threats and insults when they happen! We'll report those people! They don't speak for us!" I've seen numerous people pointing these threats and harassments out. A couple of very bad times, I saw some people jump in, report, and otherwise shut down the threats. But more often than not (by a wide margin) what I saw was apologism and excuses for the threats and harassment. I saw a lot of "but this time it's warranted!" style messages. That doesn't help anyone. That doesn't build dialogue. 

So, if you want to know why there are prominent journalists right now talking about how gamer culture is toxic, and how gamers as a label are dead, this is why. Because even if you're rational, passionate, and wanting good things, your voice is being drowned out by loud, hateful, toxic people. 

A couple of days ago, I posted an email from the San Francisco Police Department verifying a police report placed by Anita Sarkeesian. Why? Because a muckraker accused her of lying, and drummed up a BUNCH of hate. His message had over six hundred reshares. His thread had dozens of people talking about how she needs to be imprisoned, how she needs to be shot, and how she's... you get the picture. So, I fact-checked. And I posted the results of that fact-checking. Did I get six hundred people recanting their threats, insults, and accusations? No. I got a couple dozen people threatening me, and a fuckton of people insulting me for DARING to fact-check a journalist. When, mind you, the Gamergate movement is supposedly about holding journalists accountable. Do you know how many messages came up to the effect of, "Oh. I shouldn't have jumped the gun and accused her without the facts?" None. None at all. 

So understand why a lot of us say, "This group of people is toxic." It's because a large majority of what we're experiencing is people doing very toxic things. There are some reasonable voices. But from where we stand, they're a stark minority. The movement is about accountability and ethics in journalism, yet the ONLY reaction I got from fact-checking a journalist was hate, denial, threats, and insults. From where I stand, calling Gamergate toxic and hateful isn't a far stretch at all, because it appears to be doing toxic and hateful things.

Yes, there's some positive. Yay, charities. But that's drowned out. And ironically, when we hear about a charity or otherwise positive thing, it's universally used as a method of attack. For example, there was a period where the Gamergate folks had it in their head that Zoe Quinn was lying about charitable donations. They'd trot out, "We aren't lying con artists! We really donate to charities!" Essentially, weaponizing charity. Then, I also heard a lot of people bragging when Zoe's donations were verified officially by the charities, because a group of (allegedly) thousands of people were able to donate more than a single independent game designer. Like seriously, very petty shit. 

So, corruption in journalism. Can I let you in on a secret? 

We want to have that conversation. We all do, with maybe a couple of exceptions. This is a conversation we've tried to have, and wanted to have for years. 

But why aren't we just sitting down and talking it over and smiling and playing games and shutting up about the feminisms? Basically, it's because we're having two completely different conversations. One's an insider conversation, informed about the industry. The other is an outsider conversation, based on half-truths, misunderstandings, and what we see as skewed priorities. 

On our side, a lot of journalists hate the nepotism, and most importantly, they hate the relationship the industry has with journalism. Because a while back ago, "games journalism" was essentially coopted as a marketing arm for certain AAA publishers. At that point, AAA publishers became gatekeepers for success in games journalism. It's awful, because we want to be talking critically. We want to be looking at games in different lights. We want to approach these works of art as works of art, and not just as the next success or flop. But that can't happen on any large scale, because of that corruption, because of the commercialism of it all. 

The way a lot of the Gamergate stuff looks to us really looks like some strange bizarro world where the games industry works completely different than it really does.

The biggest targets of Gamergate have been people who are frankly powerless in the games industry. People like Zoe Quinn and Phil Fish, they are not gatekeepers. They are not able to enact any real, significant influence on the industry. Most independent game jams, awards, and exhibitions are small groups of people, trying to make names for themselves in their little ponds. That's how independent artists work in pretty much every creative field. They can't compete with the game industry, so they're trying to carve out their own little micro industry, where they do their own things and have a captive audience. 

The people being targeted the most are small names, on the fringe of the industry. Even if these people all pat each other on the proverbial backs and promote each other into the ground with the corruption of a thousand watergates, their games will NEVER be as successful as even moderately popular indie games like Castle Crashers. We're talking about games that won't pay a single basic salary if successful. To these games, success doesn't look a lot different than failure. 

"SJWs" aren't affecting widescale change in video games. There's some minor change here and there. But most of it is shit that, if you weren't aware was changed, you wouldn't know was any different. If they get what they want, and that's a big if, the end result will be a few more games featuring a little more diversity, and maybe less rape and objectification. This will never, ever approach social justice change in major titles like Call of Duty. The SJWs know that. The Call of Duty developers are making Call of Duty. Nobody expects them to make something else. There's room for Call of Duty. Nobody is trying to take it away. Fuck, the ideal is ultimately MORE GAMES. This is a good thing. Experimental games move the industry forward, and make your core games better. Those games get to be the testing ground where we try out new ideas in a less risk adverse environment. 

Anita Sarkeesian? So far, a writer for an already very diverse game was influenced to cop to a trope in his games, and say he won't be using it again. Fundamentally, the game is still a manshooter game. Just, one story element will be swapped out for something else in the future, instead of recycling the same old thing. That's pretty much as far as her influence has gone. 

Here's why: She's not trying to enact and force change. She's pointing out trends, the way an art critic does. Some people might look to what she's saying, and ask for more exceptions from that trend. Some developers might see those trends in their work, and shift away. But she's never once said that games featuring sexist tropes should not be made. She even makes explicitly clear in every one of her videos that playing games with sexist tropes is okay, it's not wrong to have fun with those games. But, certain trends do influence attitudes, according to numerous scientific studies. She doesn't say these games will make you sexist. That would be stupid, since she, and numerous SJW types, have played these games. If she was saying that, and she's not, she would have to follow up her videos with, "I played this game. It made me sexist." 

Do you know what else this focus on Anita's doing? It's making your games worse. And I'm not saying, "Oh, if you leave Anita alone, she'll make games better". No. But right now, AAA game executives see people like Anita calling for diversity in games, and they're seeing people like Gamergate attacking them vehemently. They see SO much hate. They see 650 people retweeting the guy claiming she lied about a police report. This tells them that the market doesn't want diversity. This tells them to double down on boring, scruffy 30-something male protagonist with a dark past, blah, blah. When we look at games like Watch Dogs, and we think they could have done better if they were a little more ambitious, understand that people shitting on "SJWs" causes that risk averse, milquetoast game design. 

You can have discussions about Anita's points. But understand that she's making critique. A lot of it is subjective. A lot of it relies on specific definitions that she gives. For example, it's popular to attack her use of Hitman as an example of Women as Background Decoration. However, the only way it's not a valid example is if you're not actually using her definition. Essentially, you're throwing out her thesis and applying a different thesis to her examples. That's not fair, and it's not academically sound.

But have these discussions! Just focus on the art, the trends, and the culture. Don't focus on the person. Because if your goal is debunking her, you've already lost. Right now, people are throwing so much shit at her, hoping it sticks. Seriously. A journalist literally investigated whether or not she actually made a police report when people were threatening her life, and another prominent blogger demanded police report numbers from her. Neither of these people are entitled to that information. They're trying so hard to catch her up in a lie, that they're losing sight of what they're doing, and how silly and unethical it looks. Why does Anita have to be discredited, if her points are not valid? If her arguments are wrong, discuss them. 

Right now, publishers are buying reviews. Right now, publishers are giving large amounts of money and other perks to journalists in order to skew the public perception and influence, both positively and negatively, game sales. Right now, Metacritic is being used to determine whether or not designers get to keep their jobs. Right now, AAA executives are cutting women and LGBT characters out of games in development, because of "the core demographic". These are huge problems. These are problems we want to talk about. These are problems we want to fix. 

We aren't going to smile and nod while hundreds of people dogpile a couple of people's sex lives. We're not going to cheer you on while muckrakers are hounding people for answers to stupid, invasive questions they shouldn't be asking. We want a better industry. But we feel that what we're seeing, or at least the bulk of what we're seeing is making a worse industry. 
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Really good possible explanation of what happened to the Malaysian flight (onboard fire) that explains all the seemingly strange behavior.
 
MH370  A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway.

A lot of speculation about MH370. Terrorism, hijack, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN - almost disturbing. I tend to look for a more simple explanation of this event.
 
Loaded 777 departs midnight from Kuala to Beijing. Hot night. Heavy aircraft.  About an hour out across the gulf towards Vietnam the plane goes dark meaning the transponder goes off and secondary radar tracking goes off. 
 
Two days later we hear of reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar meaning the plane is being tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of Malacca.
 
When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and I searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.
 
The left turn is the key here. This was a very experienced senior Captain with 18,000 hours. Maybe some of the younger pilots interviewed on CNN didn't pick up on this left turn. We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don't want to be thinking what are you going to do - you already know what you are going to do. Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles. He did not turn back to Kuala  Lampur because he knew he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.
 
Take a look on Google Earth at this airport. This pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make that immediate turn back to the closest safe airport.
For me the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire. There was most likely a fire or electrical fire. In the case of fire the first response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one.


If they pulled the busses the plane indeed would go silent. It was probably a serious event and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate. There are two types of fires. Electrical might not be as fast and furious and there might or might not be incapacitating smoke. However there is the possibility given the timeline that perhaps there was an overheat on one of the front landing gear tires and it blew on takeoff and started slowly burning. Yes this happens with underinflated tires. Remember heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long run takeoff. There was a well known accident in Nigeria of a DC8 that had a landing gear fire on takeoff. A tire fire once going would produce horrific incapacitating smoke. Yes, pilots have access to oxygen masks but this is a no no with fire. Most have access to a smoke hood with a filter but this will only last for a few minutes depending on the smoke level. (I used to carry one of my own in a flight bag and I still carry one in my briefcase today when I fly).
 
What I think happened is that they were overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on  the heading probably on George (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed. I said four days ago you will find it along that route - looking elsewhere was pointless.  
 
This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi. No doubt in my mind. That's the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi. It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.
 
Surprisingly none of the reporters , officials, other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot's viewpoint. If something went wrong where would he go? Thanks to Google earth I spotted Langkawi in about 30 seconds, zoomed in and saw how long the runway was and I just instinctively knew this pilot knew this airport. He had probably flown there many times. I guess we will eventually find out when you help me spread this theory on the net and some reporters finally take a look on Google earth and put 2 and 2 together. Also a look at the age and number of cycles on those nose tires might give us a good clue too.   
 
Fire in an aircraft demands one thing - you get the machine on the ground as soon as possible. There are two well remembered experiences in my memory. The AirCanada DC9 which landed I believe in Columbus Ohio in the eighties. That pilot delayed descent and bypassed several airports.   He didn't instinctively know the closest airports. He got it on the ground eventually but lost 30 odd souls.   In the 1998 crash of Swissair DC-10 off Nova Scotia was another example of heroic pilots. They were 15 minutes out of Halifax but the fire simply  overcame them and they had to ditch in the ocean. Just ran out of time. That fire incidentally started when the aircraft was about an hour out of Kennedy. Guess what the transponders and communications were shut off as they pulled the busses.
 

Get on Google Earth and type in Pulau Langkawi  and then look at it in relation to the radar track heading. 2+2=4  That for me is the  simple explanation why it turned and headed  in that direction.

Smart pilot. Just didn't have the time.

 


 
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And...we're live! Check out the first three episodes + 2 special Blog Lady intros to season 1 of WRNG In Studio City. Next 3 episodes drop on Friday.
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Agree with most of this, though I tend to gravitate towards other like-minded folk who just grit their teeth and get stuff done.
 
A Ranty Pants McGee Moment

Maybe I attract more than my fair share of people seeking advice about writing. Maybe I'm a good ear. I don't know, but it feels like I've drawn a lot of attention from writers who say they want to write a novel, who do try, but at the end of the day, don't.

I like to think of myself as patient. Struggling writers strike a chord with me. I've been there, I've done that. I know what it's like to walk in those shoes. I spent years floundering about in them, through the muck and the mud. But, now that I'm on the other side of it, I find myself wanting to do what I wish had been done to me, and scold them.

So, I'm going to probably embarrass myself, probably act like a complete unprofessional buffoon, and refuse to care I'm doing so.  Why? Because I needed this told to me, directly, and with much force.

I might not have wasted so many years being stupid and idiotic, if someone had told me how stupid and idiotic I was for not taking my writing and myself seriously.

So, here I go.

Don't complain to others about how you have a hard time writing unless you're ready to shut the hell up, sit the hell down, and make serious efforts to write. Sitting down and simply stating you're trying to work isn't taking yourself seriously. It isn't taking your writing seriously. If you sit down, and you start browsing the internet, of course you're not going to get anything done.

You're wasting your time.

When you whine and cry over how hard it is to write, without putting in the hours of hard work to back how hard it is to write, you're not just wasting your time. You're wasting the time of the writer or editor who is putting up with you as you wallow in pointless self pity.

Writers write. You've heard it before, and frankly, it's the truth.

If you aren't writing, you aren't a writer. Claiming writer's block is just another way of saying "I am not a writer."

Get used to the idea. So, you want to write a novel. Great. I'll support you in that. I'll listen to you when you have a problem. I'll even offer suggestions, if you want them. Have a character problem you don't understand how to fix? Ask people. You might find an answer. Got a plot problem?

There are many people who are willing to help you sort it out.

However, if you say you have writer's block, and make excuses on why you can't write, you are not a writer. Get over yourself.

Writers write.

Writers sit down, put words to the page, and do not make excuses.

Life sometimes gets in the way. People have to work to eat. But, there is time to write, if you make it. Five minutes of time is enough to write a few sentences. That's writing. It takes discipline to sit down, and write right away. It's a habit that needs formed. Once you have that habit, though, you'll sit down, and you'll write. You won't stare at the screen. You won't tap a pen to a blank page, wondering what to write.

You'll sit there, and you'll write. You'll work, because your mind and body know it is time to work.

To get there, you need to prove to yourself you're serious. You need to take yourself, and your dream to write, seriously.

Writers write.

Writers don't sit there and say they had to work and they were tired when they got home.

They write three, four, or five sentences when they get home. Then they say they're tired.

Writers write.

Writers don't sit there and give up because a scene is challenging. They put words on the screen, one word at a time, until they've soldiered through it.

Writers don't approach their writing and editor friends, complaining about how difficult something is without making serious efforts to put words on a page.

You can't edit words you haven't written, and any editor (and writer) worth their salt will respect the effort more than the blank page.

Writers write.

They don't make excuses. Sure, we complain. It's hard work, writing. It's really hard work. It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of effort, and a lot of determination.

But writers sit down and they make it happen.

Earn the right to complain by doing the work and complaining about it after you've done it.

If you're complaining about work you haven't done, you refuse to do because you're making excuses and 'finding reasons you can't do it', you are not a writer and please stop calling yourself one.

Writers write.

Get over it, get over yourself, and write. That's how you get better. That's how you finish a novel. That's how you make your writing dream a reality.

Respect the other writers and editors in your life, and don't complain and whine to them about not writing. All you do is make them uncomfortable because they write. Worse, you make them think thoughts like mine:

If you're so serious about writing, why is it you're complaining to me instead of writing?

Don't be that chronic, non-writing someone who manages to annoy all of their writer friends without ever having anything to show for the time and effort that has been put into you by other writers and editors who genuinely care about the craft.

Maybe I'm being a bitch because of this stance, but if you're going to corner me into spending my time helping you with your writing, don't waste it. Don't take away time from my clients and my own writing when you are not serious about yourself or your writing.

It's rude. It's not just rude, it's completely inconsiderate to the people around you.

End Rant.
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I tend to agree with most of this, too, Greg. I've always been the type of writer/producer/artist who sits down and just works. If I have nothing to work on (what some would call "writers block" but which I call "lack of discipline"), then I sit down anyway - and work. If I find I don't feel "inspired" then I sit and go over yesterday's work, correcting, revising, editing - and guess what? Usually after performing these tasks I have been reminded of how important it is to just sit and write, and I probably now have a ton of ideas about "WHAT" to write now that I've been perusing yesterday's tomb of work.  Writing is, just, writing. It is discipline and work and dedication. And it's work - did I say that already? People sometimes ask me how I accomplish so much. I tell them, honestly, that I wake up at 4:00 a.m. or earlier every morning and make coffee and then head straight downstairs to my office to begin. And begin is what I do. After about 1/2 hour of coffee, my mind is woken enough to string coherent thoughts together - and so that's when I begin writing. Early morning is also my best time for thinking. I know this, so I capitalize on it. I time my schedule so that my most productive portion of the day is the part of the day I schedule to write.

Now, what's so hard about getting up early and writing?

Laziness.

Thanks so much for the original writing - and Greg, thanks for the share!
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Slowly getting the hang of this G+ thing. Kerry Hite as the mysterious woman.
 
The Mysterious Woman (Kerry Hite) prepares to make an offer to Blather & Pomesh. DP Jesse Speer films. Photo credit; Timothy Whitfield.
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Greg Machlin

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MIKE: (spends 10 minutes defending 8chan.)
Then: MIKE: I don't know how 8chan works!
Then: MIKE: Who am I defending?!

(Sweet Jesus, I'm 26 minutes in and Kluwe is just crushing it.) 
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At 1 hr, 18 mins in, Cernovich is claiming that wikipedia editors took a "payoff" with regards to gamergate articles.
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This is even better than Picnicface's "The Button," and "The Button" is one of my favorite youtube videos of ALL TIME.
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2 Live Crew, 1989. 9-0 Supreme Court. Thank GOD for the Supreme Court.
 
A friendly reminder: Parody is protected under the 1st Amendment.

Dear God, we HOPE parody is protected under the 1st Amendment.
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MUPPETS WE BUILT THIS CITY
 
We've got a big announcement coming next week. :) Here's a hint.
(No, we're not getting taken over by The Muppets. That would be awesome, but no. Not happening.)

We Built This City (on Rock and Roll) - From Disney's The Muppets | HD
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Yeah, this space is kinda going all-WRNG in Studio City, all the time...but that's okay, because it's AWESOME. We don't drop episodes until August 20, but in the meantime, you can get a glimpse of our awesome cast and crew. LIKE THE PAGE ISN'T IT OBVIOUS WE'RE DESPERATE FOR ATTENTION?
 
BOB THE CFO (Spencer Downie) tries to think his way out of an impending arrest for "hookers & blow" while STAN BLATHER (Adam Hahn) ponders his beard.
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Work
Occupation
Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist
Skills
Writing, literary editing, video production & direction, casting.
Employment
  • Ralph Ehrenpreis, A PLC
    Case Writer, 2013 - present
    Immigration law. H-1B Department.
  • Company of Strangers
    Producer, 2010 - present
  • Freelance
    Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist, present
  • Parker Anderson
    Enrichment Instructor, 2009 - 2013
    Chess and Lego robotics instructor.
  • Revolution Prep
    Instructor, 2008 - 2011
    SAT Prep Instructor.
  • The University of Iowa
    Teacher, 2005 - 2008
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Los Angeles, CA
Previously
Waterville, ME
Story
Tagline
Writer/producer and web series creator based in L.A.
Introduction
Creator: WRNG In Studio City, a single-cam comedy digital series about reporters suddenly forced to make up fake news stories and pass them off as true. 

Co-exec producer: On the Rocks, the world's first multi-cam, live-in-front-of-a-studio-audience webseries. 

Co-founder: Company of Strangers (theatre company.) Most recently produced Joe Luis Cedillo's play "7 eight 9," which was picked up for an extended run in San Juan Batista by Luis Valdez.
Bragging rights
Heideman finalist for "Family Portrait" (Actors' Theatre of Louisville award).
Education
  • University of Iowa
    Playwriting MFA, 2005 - 2008
  • Brown University
    Theatre Arts (B.A.), 1998 - 2002
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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