Monday, January 29, 2024

egghead reports research, weirdos pissed off

So if you haven't heard, last week a researcher named Dr. Clio Weisman published an article on Medium called "The Worst People You Have Never Met, or, What I Learned During A Four Year Academic Study of Online Harassment In The Dungeons & Dragons Community." It was up for about 14 hours before the author pulled it for reasons to which I am not privy. But it was preserved here, so you can read it for yourself. Becami Cusack archived the referenced audio clips here. I look forward to reading a formal, peer-reviewed version of her findings when they are published.

Apparently a few people think the article is some sort of hoax and Clio Weisman isn't real. These people must not have access to Google, as it is pretty easy to verify that she exists. And her other academic work isn't that hard to find confirm either, though you'll need access to specialized data bases to actually read the various pieces. Brian Yaksha, Olivia Hill, and Patrick Stuart have all confirmed talking to Dr. Weisman, though they aren't exactly fans of the article. Curiously, none of those three tweets complaining about Weisman and her piece bother to deny any of the allegations in it.

Dr. Weisman interviewed me for a couple of hours, several years ago. In addition to the Zak situation, we discussed her other research into bias. This was a topic of interest to me professionally, so she later sent me a draft version of an article she was working on. I assume I don't appear in her Medium article because my interview was boring compared to incestuous hate-mob she shines a light on. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about all the fuckos mentioned in the article, but since last week I've been going back and forth between sincerely hoping they get the help they need and sincerely hoping they rot in hell.

The other thing that some people are claiming is that Dr. Weisman has some undisclosed reason to slant her article. If she has any skin in the game, I have yet to see any evidence for it. As far as I can tell, she came to the project from outside the game scene and did her best to figure out what the hell was going on. Truth isn't always easy to determine in complex situations. That's why we have institutions like academia and the courts, to help us suss the truth out. These institutions are imperfect, but without evidence to the contrary, the people poo-pooing her work sound exactly like MAGA election deniers to me.

Some folks are probably going to give me the business in the comments. That's fine. Just expect to be asked some simple questions like, "Did you read the article?" and "Did you listen to the audio?"

updated Snail Quarter map for Dillhonker City campaign