Looking out for “For the People”

By now the Steam Game Festival has already ended, but fear not! There will be more posts about the demos that I played! Alas, this post is about For the People – a game about time management and political choices. We take control of the newly appointed mayor of Iron-1, Francis Rivers, who has to try to appease all kinds of different parties from the working class to the military to other people that don’t just seem to get along.

Brezg Studio describes it as an “acute social novel with strategic elements”, which honestly fits really well as you sign documents, make difficult choices, appoint agents for different missions to deal with certain tasks, on top of managing all kinds of appointments, tasks and, at last, more paperwork.

You need to manage your time efficiently while also strategically distributing resources to the people in order to earn their trust and increase your influence over them. Of course, you can’t please everyone. I tried to do that… but it just seems as if you’ve got to take some sides here and there, which obviously results in the displeasure of other parties.

In my case, I ended up trying to provide sufficient healthcare to everyone, no matter their race, gender or class, but I couldn’t appease the military force or the fire force who were in need of resources. I also made some difficult decisions here and there where I denied funds to some people who would obviously abuse them for some bad things… meanwhile other times, I made the wrong choice and accepted proposals that were based on lies and misinformation.

It all comes down to this: You can’t do everything right. You can’t appease everyone. Just go your way and see what happens!

There are five different endings in the full game, although the demo only lets you play through the first few days, so I couldn’t really see what’s going to happen. I’m quite excited about how it all plays out. I’d love to see if there are any possible romance options as well, since I kind of ship Francis with our assistant, Helen.

And then there’s the style. It’s just insanely great. You’ve got these visual novel style cutscenes here and there with incredibly stylized moments in the next scene and cuts to different points in time, which I found rather impressive for a small studio’s first game!
My explanation of all of this probably doesn’t make much sense unless you see it for yourself, so to make it easier to understand: The presentation is great. Just go see for yourself!

And then there’s the soundtrack. It was great! Yeah, I can’t really describe it too well, either…

Honestly, I’m really excited about this game. It kind of reminded me of “Papers, Please” and “Through the Darkest of Times” as well as (potentially) “Beholder”. All lovely games and all so unique that TtDoT probably fits the most style-wise and theme-wise, though the other games may fit more choice-wise and gameplay-wise.

Either way, this is a game that I’ve got wishlisted for sure. The Release Date (2020) is relatively unspecific, so I just hope that it arrives soon!

Going silent to spread awareness? Thoughts on #TwitchBlackout

In this post, I’m talking about why exactly I feel like the blackout-movement isn’t exactly working and what would be better. Sadly a lot of the things that I wanted to say were already put into less words in a lot better way by Lowco, so I’ve linked her video down there and tried to talk about something else in this post. 🙂 Please check out @Lowco2525!

It’s a small movement with little to no force behind it. A view thousand people stopping to stream is not going to bring down the bad guys. There are demands that are being heard but I am not a fan of the “silent protest” treatment that we’re supposed to give to Twitch. 

Be loud! Be angry! Make yourself heard!

Spread awareness!

Don’t go silent. 

For anyone who doesn’t know, the TwitchBlackout “trend” was a movement in support of #BLM where you don’t stream on Tuesdays and essentially try to host/support POC on Twitch. I didn’t participate for the same reason that I’m not participating in the movement now. 

made by @badluckbuddha

Right now, it’s to make ourselves heard about the harassment and bullying as well as the sexual assault and the abuse of power that is happening in the Streaming/Gaming industry. Women are sharing their stories once again talking about their abusers and the predators that haunt them to this day. And now people won’t stream today (the 24th of June) because… that spreads awareness? 

I’ve read plenty of these stories and it’s saddening and sickening to hear about what these victims and survivors have been through.

What a movement like this needs is for people to SPREAD AWARENESS by NOT GOING SILENT. How does one spread awareness? Well, talk to people, educate them, spread resources and links about the issues. 

Twitch-streamer Lowco summarized the issues that she has with the movement quite well in a recent video that I’d recommend checking out as well. She also put out a google doc with all kinds of important resources, links and information, so check that out as well.

I’ll set up a command with this doc so that people can educate themselves and, if they want to, support charity foundations that help assault victims. I’ll talk about it. I’ll try to show my support with a logo on the screen. That’s how I’ll try to spread awareness. By not being live I’ll just mess with my viewers. I won’t be able to spread anything. I won’t be heard. I’d be silent. 

Don’t go silent. Be heard. Be loud. 

That’s my opinion at least. And while I think that a movement like that is alright… I don’t think it’s perfect. 

There is no force behind it that pushes forward.

The tweet by @SirKatelyn that I could find was from two days ago, so there was barely any time to organize it and from what I’ve seen most “bigger streamers” that I follow don’t take part in it either. 

So overall, I’m not a fan of it. I feel like it’s pointless and harms any movement more than it helps.

I’d rather spread awareness for a longer period of time while making sure that my viewers (that possibly could get harassed somewhere else for being female or lgbtqia+ or whatever) have some place to return to where they are safe. I’d rather have that going for me than a silent, black screen with some information or whatever and no context.

TSS#63 – The current situation and my opinion, I guess

This is a shorter longer post and potentially a bit “heavier” than usual but this time around it’s about “our voice” and about politics in a way. It’s about my beliefs and my take on the matter and everything that is going on right now… and I’m telling all kinds of -ists and -phobes to fuck off. Despite being “heavier”, there will be no cat pictures in this post… or really any pictures at all. I’d say “enjoy” but I don’t think that this is all that joyful.

Welcome to another Stray Sheep!

Currently, as all of you probably are aware of, a whole bunch of things are happening over there in the United States of America and while we’re obviously not really affected by it too much here in Germany, it’s still quite worrisome. As a blogger or as a streamer or as really just anyone with a Twitter account, you’ve got a voice that “you’ve got to use” and while I understand that a lot of people don’t want to “politicize” their own opinion on social media or on their blogs, streams, etc., I also feel as if I cannot just ignore the fact that a whole bunch of people there are suffering with riots going on and with “not enough” people talking about it.

It’s a bit of a dilemma, I guess, in the sense that the “purpose” of my blog and the “intention” of me as a person are two different things.

My blog is mainly a hobby and is mainly there to promote Indie Games and work through my backlog. I do play games, I do write about it. I end up with a lot of different posts about all kinds of things and it’s generally rather light-hearted and focused around information and potentially even (if you like my posts) entertainment.

And that’s important. When Covid-19 was more of a topic (I mean… it still is), it was a relief of sorts for me personally when I got to read a post that is not about the or a virus. It was lovely to watch a video or a stream where people would just completely ignore everything. At the same time, we even joked about a Zombie apocalypse in my stream when someone brought it up once and it was a lot of fun and people seemed to enjoy that quite a bit as it served as a bit of a “change of pace” of sorts.

Now with my Twitter feed consisting of retweets of police brutality, racism, people that were hurt or killed in the riots and shops getting plundered, I thought I should say something, too.

But while this obviously isn’t the place to start a political discussion, this also is not a place to just ignore everything going on and to just stay quiet about it to not risk any backlash. But… do I have to fear anything like that?

I mean, sure, people could unfollow my blog or my twitter or twitch or whatever but in the end, the question of the day is: Do I care?
And the answer to that would be a definite “no”. As simple as that.

They’re only followers and views and all that and I don’t think I’d like to have people around here that possibly harm people offline.

I’m a left-ish liberal and an equalist, I guess. Politically speaking I am not a communist but I would still consider myself “left”, I guess. And as far as my lib-views and the equalist-part go, I believe in equality and that every person should be treated the same with the same chances in life.

While I know that you cannot “not have a bias” of sorts against people, I’d like to think that we should try our hardest at making a place like that where we are truly equal a reality. Little by little. Day by day. Treat others friendly and accept them no matter their political, religious or other views. No matter their heritage, their appearance, sexuality, gender, sex, their colour of skin, age or their profession. That’s something I’d like to work towards.

People are different and you cannot like every person. I know that. But I feel like it’d be nice if we could work towards a goal like that. I haven’t had any bad experiences with refugees or whatever and hence I don’t think that all refugees are bad. Heck, my parents were refugees. It’d be ironic if I was against them.

Just because there are some bad people, I don’t hate all people. Just because of some cops in the U.S. and in Germany and in other countries, I don’t hate all cops. Even now there are cops walking among the protesters… and even now, even among the cops out there that are doing their cop-stuff, there are people helping old people get away or stopping police brutality.

Right now we just get to see less of that. Right now we only hear about the negative cases… and the victims and the cases where everything is going to shit. Right now we only hear about the bad cases where the press or where the medics get pushed and kicked and pepper-sprayed. Right now we only hear about the cruel jerks that are wearing a uniform out there. But I’m 100% that not all cops are evil. “Heck, even my father was a cop” would be something that I’d say if that war that my parents had to flee from hadn’t had happened. And even if my grandma and other relatives died in that war, I am 100% sure that not all Serbians are bad people.

We only get to hear about the bad ones. We never remember the good ones. We only get to see the bad news, we never hear about the good ones. Don’t judge everyone based on the actions of a few.

And while the “me being an equalist” part may sound as if I’d belong to the “All Lives Matter” camp, I would like to also clarify that I hate it when people use “ALM” instead of “BLM”. If anything, spread #BlackLivesMatter or #BLM on social media and not some stupid “Hey, we white people exist, too”-hashtag. When your neighbours’ house is burning down, you shouldn’t start to water down your own house… or rather the houses that also matter but that aren’t burning right now.

OBVIOUSLY, white people also can suffer from “racism” in a way but it’s not as frequent and not as bad as it is for black people to get shot when someone calls the police to come to those black people’s houses. When you get treated so differently just because of something that you couldn’t decide on at birth.

We can’t decide how we’re born and we can’t decide whether or not we get born at all. We only get to decide how we live our lives and how we treat others.

And I hate the concept of “privilege”, since people will always find something to bring you down, no matter what class you are from. The concept of “privilege” and not being able to talk about racism or discrimination based on your sex, sexuality, gender, colour of skin, heritage or age (aka “straight white old heterosexual male christian thin people”), is absurd since it seems to be just another form of discrimination…

But I guess in this particular instance, even I’d have to say that some people should just sit the fuck down when it comes to their attitude and their whole fucking “All Lives Matter” bullshit. You don’t get shot on sight for being white. You don’t lose a job because of being white. You don’t get framed for crimes for being white. Please think about it logically. Don’t try to stop a fire that doesn’t exist in your house while ignoring the fire in your neighbours’ house.

Only recently a black birdwatcher got accused of “threatening a woman’s life” when he told her to leash up her dog in a park. She called the cops and lied about “an afro-american man threatening her life” in the park. The whole process got filmed by the man. The whole process of her falsely accusing a black man of something that could get him killed if the wrong cops would get there – oh, and all while she’d abuse her dog while being filmed.

I just feel like some people can’t fucking keep quiet about their beliefs or whatever. People that actually talk about the “All Live Matters” hashtag **right now** are just like those “Straight Pride” people, in a way. They have to make everything about themselves. You shouldn’t take pride in being white or straight. Not like that, at least. Not that pride.

(Had to edit the post here as I forgot these last paragraphs initially, despite me taking notes on wanting to mention that very accurate comic about watering down a non-burning house while your neighbour is dying in a fire and the “all lives matter”/”straight pride” people and the Karen that abused her dog while falsely accusing a black man of somthing he never has done and everything. So, sorry for that long edit here.)

And while I know that in the States segregation and all of that has not been “gone” for too long, officially speaking, I don’t personally think that that’s an argument for racism or racial bias or police brutality and flat out murders. I feel like that’s especially a reason why we should do our best to bring people to court for what they do, even if they’re policemen.

Germany has had its past and while I personally have nothing to do with that, I still feel like we have to always remember the past and hold it dear so nothing like that ever happens again. It’s only been 75 years after all. Same goes for other countries in Europe and other places in the world, of course. There seems to be a rise of “suspicious” parties in the world and while, of course, you can’t just forbid every political party in the world, I don’t think that you should tolerate any intolerance.

My views on a certain president are probably rather obvious as well and it’s not due to “the media telling me that he’s bad” but rather due to the bigotry and hypocrisy in calling out other people for “fake news” but being against Twitter labelling actual fake news as… well… fake news.

In German, there’s a term called “Lügenpresse” which is basically Nazi-jargon and which means “fake news” or “lying media”/”lying press”. It gets used in the same way to shut up everyone who is against one.

If you tolerate intolerance, after all, the tolerant people will be the ones that end up not getting tolerated. The political extremes are, in essence, extremes that just fight each other to the death and screw everyone in between over… and if we tolerate bigotry, we’ll end up as the ones that are not tolerated.

We’ll be the ones that get pushed into a corner and eventually, we’ll be the ones that suffer as the racists and sexists and supremacists start rising again. If you tolerate the intolerant, you’ll be the ones that suffer.

And, well,… extremism. I’m against it. Obviously. Every form of fanatism and extremism is bad in my opinion. No matter if it’s left or right, liberal or authoritarian (or whatever the counterpart to liberal is). It’s bad.

While a lot of the cases of politically motivated cases of violence in Germany are committed by the far-right, I’d never say that the far-left is any less bad. I feel like it shouldn’t matter who you are or what you stand for in those cases. Crimes are crimes.

So the people out there that are peacefully protesting against everything that is going on right now… those people are heroes in a way. They are doing it the right way, peacefully, even when their lives can be at risk right now for it. “Just stay safe, please” is what I’m trying to think but I guess that’s easy to say when you’re on a whole fucking other continent. I’m sorry if I sound like an idiot in this post. It’s easy for me to write this when I’m basically on the other side of the planet, I guess.

The people that are plundering stores and that are hurting others. The people that are throwing rocks and that are cursing ALL the others. The people that are destroying so much that so many people have built together. Those people suck. The violent ones who are violent for the sake of being violent. Crimes are crimes. Be it violent policeman or violent protesters.

And of course, I have a lot of other thoughts on politics and social norms and we can surely have a discussion on those as well but generally speaking, I’d like my blog to be relatively neutral when it comes to politics… but I also don’t want it to be a platform for any forms of “-ists” or “-phobes”.

A while ago, I was torn up about reviewing a certain game which was or still is great… but I don’t think that I should support its devs. And not all of the devs are like that but the lead dev and her girlfriend are trans-exclusionary radical feminists or transphobes that have secret discord channels and stuff where they’d make fun of and bully trans-women in their community, pretty badly.

And honestly, nowadays, I still am torn up about it but I don’t think it’s worth the headache when it comes to this topic… and I don’t think it’s good to provide any coverage for a game when it’s going to directly support someone who hates trans-people so much that it hurts. I don’t think I’d like to support the intolerant like that and end up hurting those that I am an ally of.

So, if you’re a racist, a sexist, a whatever-ist or if you’re against the LGBTQIA+ community or certain people of colour or that kind of stuff, please fuck off.

And I don’t mean that in a “you can’t have your own thoughts or ideas or opinions” kind of way but rather in a “don’t talk about it and we’re fine since I won’t know about it” kind of way.

If you feel the urge to be very open about opinions, ideas and positions that harm other people… fuck off.

“Die Gedanken sind frei”, the thoughts are free. You can’t be judged for what you think in secret. If you think that all X have to die, then that’s obviously bad… but if you think that and don’t tell anyone, nobody is going to know… and obviously, nobody can judge you for it.

I have friends that are politically speaking on the other side of the spectrum than me… but they are not “too” far on the other side, I’d say. They are not far-right and they are not racist or whatever. They just do not agree with me in the same way as I do. But as long as they don’t commit crimes, it’s fine, right? As long as you don’t harm others or insult them or harass them or whatever, it’s fine to have your own thoughts and opinions.

And by voicing these thoughts and opinions, of course, I could become a target of sorts, too, but I really doubt that that will happen. Of course, people could unfollow me on Twitter or Twitch or WordPress but I doubt that I’d be bothered by that if it’s really just the racists, sexists, and other forms of -ists and -phobes that are leaving.

I probably won’t talk about politics too much on this blog but generally speaking, I’d like this to be a “safe space” of sorts where people come and read my posts and have a fun time. If you have any thoughts on the matter you can voice it in the comment section. I personally feel like having my opinions and my stances on things out there, like this, is going to be helpful in a way. I think it’s going to be important to be transparent like that. And while I’d like to create more posts on games and upcoming releases and everything to entertain and distract from everything that is going on right now… I also don’t want to just ignore everything that is going on in the world.

I don’t think that we need to watch how all the content creators out there are behaving themselves and how they are treating the situation. I don’t think everyone must display their views if they don’t want to and I don’t think it’s okay to judge people for not speaking up about it…

I do not think it’s all that necessary of me to write this post, in a way, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s bad. If anything, it’s better this way. I’ve been struggling for the past couple of days with putting my thoughts into words and with “writing a tweet on the matter”… I felt as if I’d have to write something on the matter and as if I’d have to do something about it to be there for others as I’m helpless in other ways and as I can’t help at all regarding actual ways of helping. I read about people judging others for not using some hashtag or whatever… and I don’t think that’s necessarily good. I don’t think it’s good to judge others for not hopping onto a bandwagon and I don’t think it’s good to only voice your opinion because others pressured you into that.

I feel like a few words of love or support would be a small way of helping but I am not good at all with words… and hence I’ve been struggling. I’ve been frustrated in a way. I ended up just tweeting “all the love to you out there” or something like that but I don’t think that that’s going to help. I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do but it certainly isn’t the time for “perfect tweets” or some stupid “campaigns” or movements or whatever.

That may be a bit contradictory in a way but I wanted to write this post despite it being unnecessary. If this is a non-political kind of place, we don’t need to know about my political views… and if I want to promote Indie Games, I shouldn’t tell certain people to “fuck off”, especially as they may want to buy some Indie Games that I’ve reviewed… right?

Hence, in a way, it doesn’t make sense for me to tell you all of this but I really wanted to get it off my chest and talk about it. If you ever feel like talking or if you need someone to vent to, my Twitter DMs are open (I think?) and you may message me on Discord at MagiWasTaken#4357.

Thanks for reading so far! I hope that this post didn’t bore or disturb anyone in any way. I just felt like it. Maybe I should create a second blog just for my political opinions on matters that don’t affect me… but then again, this post is so long that I got all kinds of politics covered for the next few years, I think… so that shouldn’t be too mandatory.

Have a nice day.