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The Two Faces of Zoe

"Good" and "great" are seldom the same man.

-Winston Churchill

I've actually just heard of all of this, so I had to go through the text messages and some of the commentaries concerning Zoe.

In terms of how she handled her personal and professional life I am actually kind of torn in how to criticize her actions.
Obviously Zoe was not the ideal mate (or spouse, since in one of her posts she inferred that she was married). Zoe was not a person I would ever want to be in a relationship with because of her proclivity towards unfaithfulness and lying. Her lack of moral character belies her "innocent victim" persona often employed by many who seek to hide behind a cloak of intelligently-spun tales to save face in the light of truth: for this, she ought to be ashamed. In her right mind, she should apologize to everyone she hurt: not only to her boyfriend/husband, a number of girlfriends which includes least one wife that were betrayed by their husbands/boyfriends because of her indiscretion, but to thousands of fans and followers who looked up to her and believed in her.

Zoe's business acumen, however, shows the ruthless resolve and the caste-like and isolated desperation of a Dickensian socialite. With this facet of Zoe's personality in consideration, you see that she elegantly wears a public personae that is strategically causing the current "uproar" regarding criticisms towards her. Basically, her public face is a construct cleverly crafted by a social tactician: if you attack her newly-manifested private face, you will draw the ire of netizens viewing her socially-acceptable and innocent public face. The duality here is that the formation of her public life of being a well though of and "buzzworthy" game developer came at the cost and destruction of her private life. Many things she has done to assure the upward mobility of her career has basically undermined and sabotaged every relationship away from her career, with significant ramifications, as we have all seen.

Although I am a fervent advocate for a level playing field, sexism (as well as a lot of other "isms") and the propaganda to continue such things will not go away. As long as people can use it to oppress other people you pretty much have to accept how certain people will react to being under such constrictions.

Although some of the relationship chatter is going above my head, what Zoe Quinn has done isn't new at all; for example, the "casting couch" concept is in everything from acting (where the term came from) to getting good grades in school to getting that promotion. Even heterosexuals do it to other heterosexuals, males or females, in the form we commonly call "sucking up", to be kind. What Zoe did there is not new at all, not even to gaming.

Even though other companies didn't do things as drastic as what she has done, no one can say that companies didn't (please excuse the term in light of the respective subject) whore themselves out to get good ratings. We all know that an early copy for review or a well-placed gift basket given or not given will sway the opinion of a game critic one way or another.

What she has done is deplorable but the sad part is that she, in her own mind, may feel justified in doing so being an indie with a great game, but no way to display what could be her one big shot. Unlike, let's say, a big company that can give out gift baskets, she could only operate with what she has: and that "tool" has been used to put people in high places since time immemorial.

As a matter of fact, if you compare her actions to keeping her game (and by extension her company) afloat, she didn't do much different when Cleopatra made "concessions" with Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony to keep Egypt from being a conquered empire. Through her feminine wiles, she was able to keep herself sovereign much longer than it would have been possible b herself. On the more self-serving side, Zoe's actions drew parallels to why Herod Antipas beheaded John The Baptist: Salome's mother in law had Salome dance in front the ruler and he was "swayed" to execute an innocent man.

Although the stakes are much lower in Zoe's case, the cause and effect are the same. People in desperate situations will use what they have to keep themselves in positions of perceived power; even if it means relegating themselves to deplorable circumstances and will be justified in their own eyes because of barriers they perceive as insurmountable.

What I believe she was trying to do was trying to accelerate her connections with the gaming industry to give her game some publicity, and by doing what she did, she exchanged her integrity for notability; and just like in the days of Caesar, she permanently altered, if not destroyed, her personal life as part of this Faustian arrangement to uplift what she valued above all else: her game. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of people who will not pass up an offer to either take advantage of remarkable individuals in a vulnerable position or people's willingness to sleep with people of "power" for their own advancement.

As it is written: There is nothing new under the sun.

Cleopatra: she is as beautiful as she is cunning.

SilentNegotiator3321d ago (Edited 3321d ago )

"Zoe's business acumen, however, shows the ruthless resolve and the caste-like and isolated desperation of a Dickensian socialite"
This is a very insightful blog.

pixelsword3318d ago (Edited 3318d ago )

Thanks Silent, I believe you and maybe one or two more got it (well, one of the other two guys almost got it).


For everyone else who must play the Apologist card in lieu of actual reading comprehension and/or competency, I'll try to explain the subtlety of my sentences and concepts in fewer and much smaller words.

What basically very few people understood is that the article is dealing with one thing: the actions/reactions to social constructs; and not just Zoe, but the journalists, big game companies, and the gamers on both sides of the issue as well. The article is about Zoe, so obviously the roles of everyone else are minimized (that means, I'm not going to talk a lot about them since the article isn't about them).

If I have to take the rest of you readers by the hand and guide them through everything all of the time, then I definitely understand why people are using one-trick pony Fox News terms like "Apologist", sending pictures of graphs on them, and a jingoistic attitude towards any other opinion other than their own.

If you understand that all social constructs are real due to our interconnected world, yet interpreted by the individual (hence the words "perceived" and "in her own mind" appear in the article), then you will get the article; if not, then please, by all means, "apologist" me all over again; it's as good as you can do, and it's probably the only big word you know. ;)

DonDon3321d ago (Edited 3320d ago )

I'm sorry but I think my "pretentious radar" alarm is kicking in a bit--for example, how is Zoe's situation in any way "caste-like"? Is it because she's an indie? Female? In what way is she oppressed by some system that caused her to inherit the belief that her situation is fixed and that selling her body was the only option? Who (other than herself) told her that this is the way things must be in order to get your indie game noticed?

Phil Fish didn't blow anyone to get noticed. Nobody told excellent female indie game designers such as Kim Swift or Kelley Santiago that they had to drop the drawers just to get noticed in the industry. I doubt that Quinn's decision to exchange sex for favors wasn't originally initiated by HER (what's the chances that each and every one of those male journalists would have simultaneously thought up of the idea to approach her first for sex, let alone have even met her in person, had it not first been at her request to meet up)?

No there isn't a caste system. There isn't a rule that says that her game won't be noticed because of some perceived oppressiveness or classist/sexist social norm that says she can't advance in this industry due to being an indie, or female, etc.

The reason why she did this is most likely due to a lack of confidence in her own game (from what I hear it isn't all that impressive). And she turned to a trick that only 2 types of people would resort to using it: Either a person who is living in a society that only objectifies women and never embraces them for their contributions as hard workers (Think: The world of "Mad Men" tv show); or a woman who in modern times is aware of the great opportunities for an ever-increasing equality for women in the workplace, who instead of taking it for granted, decides to resort to victim-like mentality of sexually submitting herself to men (who never asked her to do it in the first place) so that she can convince herself that this was "necessary" for her to get ahead in an industry that already proved that women can be discovered based on skill alone, not sex or even gender-bias. Santiago and Swift BOTH were award winning indie game designers STRAIGHT out of college. They didn't have to defile themselves with strangers to win an award. If anything, gamers who played their games demanded they be awarded due to the quality of their games.

So to conclude, there is no caste system in terms of indie recognition--not gender-wise, not budget-wise, not anything. Quinn did it because she lacks confidence in her ability to shine in her field of work. Plain and simple.

Any "perceived insurmountable" obstacles that Quinn thought were in her way are due to her lack of skill in design, or lack of confidence in it. Not due to some real threat like Cleopatra (whom is used as an example in this blog) had to endure. Quinn is disgusting, a cheater (getting ahead of QUALITY female and male designers by offering sex with perverts), and an opportunistic coward who tries to pretend that her gender gives her yet another pass to avoid criticism (first using sex to avoid criticism by journalists of her game, and using her gender/faux female victimization to protect herself from a new kind of criticism).

She's such an embarrassment to the women who had to actually work hard to make good games. What a loser.

One more thing: The journalists had no power over her for her to think that she must submit to them sexually. The power was in HER hands: by making a QUALITY games. Had she done that, we would be discussing her for the right reasons, not the bad humiliating reasons she is known for today.

pixelsword3317d ago (Edited 3317d ago )

You almost got it, DonDon: Read my comment above, read the article again, read what YOU wrote, compare the two and tell me if I needed to say what you just said, or what was not said not needed if you just step back a moment and swirl it around a little, and keep this in mind:

Sometimes things are written to stimulate conversation, not just to inform; else, I would merely be a reporter, and not a writer.

In graphic design, noticeable gaps in the design are called negative space; and more so than not, the negative space is more crucial than the design itself.

Thanks for reading the article. :)

annoyedgamer3320d ago

I smell an apologist...lets condense what you just said. She is not that bad guys men to it toooo!!1!

ShaunCameron3320d ago

It makes sense for him to be an apologist. He thinks excusing her and defending her is gonna get him lucky like the 5 guys that did.

NarooN3319d ago

Perhaps the writer of this blog already got sucked up by her, lol.

Blacktric3320d ago (Edited 3320d ago )

"What I believe she was trying to do was trying to accelerate her connections with the gaming industry to give her game some publicity"
"What I believe she was trying to do was trying to accelerate her connections with the gaming industry to give her game some publicit"

If she's trying to give her game some publicity, she wouldn't have destroyed a charity event that's sole purpose was to get more women into game development, even if they lacked the ability to code or do other things that are necessary.

I'm sorry, but you're coming off as an apologist who's trying to do the same thing many others have tried before and many, so called, journalists are doing today;

-This is nothing new
-Why are you getting mad, this doesn't affect games
-Who cares if she slept with five men, it's her life
-It's already in all sections of life and some women have to sleep with men to get somewhere

And every single one of these are bullshit "arguments" concoted to defend an honorless, disrespectful, self centered nepotist sh*tstain, her honorless boyfriends and her band of merry followers.

Here, for your education;

Software_Lover3320d ago

It's a "somewhat" known fact that Cleopatra was in fact not as beautiful as the legends make her out to be. Maybe she did some beautiful things behind closed doors, but she wasn't beauty to look at.

ShaunCameron3319d ago

Well, she was beautiful. To Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, that is.

UnwanteDreamz3319d ago (Edited 3319d ago )

@Software Lover, Thank you for that awesome contribution, it really pushes the conversation in a meaningful direction.

Software_Lover3319d ago

No problem. I'm always here to lend a hand when needed.

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