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Old 02-17-2017, 06:51 AM   #1
BeardedSonOfNel
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Devolver co-founder Mike Wilson Takes Issue With Trump


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The sudden and convoluted rollout of President Trump’s executive order that severely restricted travel and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries threw an unexpected wrench in travel plans for thousands of people who suddenly found themselves unable to enter the United States.

In the video game industry, one of the immediate effects of the immigration ban was that developers from these nations could no longer (or were afraid to) attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, an annual meeting of video game developers from around the world that begins on Feb. 27.

Even if the shifting sands of American politics means developers from the potentially banned countries can’t appear at the GDC in person or are dissuaded from even trying, one company is working to make sure that these creators’ projects have a presence at the conference. Devolver Digital, the Austin-based publisher of independent games like Hotline Miami and Downwell, is accepting submissions of games from developers affected by the immigration ban. Devolver plans to set up demo stations with PCs and VR headsets to show off these games at the conference.

This is not the only way that Wilson is responding to the present political climate. In addition to planning for the GDC, he is also in the process of moving his family from Austin to Victoria, British Columbia, making good on a promise he made to move to Canada if Donald Trump won the presidency.
Via Austin Chronicle
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:12 AM   #2
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:20 AM   #3
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The 7 countries are targeted, which was a list created by the Obama admin, are: Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria.

Who else restricted travel from these countries? You guess it -- the Obama administration did. It's funny that when those exact 7 countries were targeted by the previous administration due to either being a well-known government sponsor of terror or having widespread terror issues, it was okay. Now, when that same list is used based upon the same rationale (there is a terrorism issue), it's suddenly bigoted targeting of Muslims.

Where was Wilson when the Obama administration was barring refugees from Iraq, putting tighter immigration controls on these nations and bombing Muslim majority nations? Why didn't he move to British Columbia in protest then?
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:58 AM   #4
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Exactly what developers are being impacted by travel issues with present-day Syria?
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:15 AM   #5
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Also -- I am sorry, but of those countries listed the US either has been actively killing people in those countries or we have intense sanctions against them. In addition they are either terrorist hotspots or known funders of terrorism.

It only makes sense to extreme-vet these people. If the Navy SEALs start killing people in Ireland or we start Drone strikes in Ireland, then I would support extreme-vetting of people coming from Ireland too.

It only makes sense that someone from those countries where the USA has killed people (lots of people) -- they might want to come over here from Revenge.

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It is also amazing all the things people are suddenly upset about that were not an issue under Obama #FakeOutrage
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:15 AM   #6
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by VenomUSMC View Post
The 7 countries are targeted, which was a list created by the Obama admin, are: Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria.

Who else restricted travel from these countries? You guess it -- the Obama administration did. It's funny that when those exact 7 countries were targeted by the previous administration due to either being a well-known government sponsor of terror or having widespread terror issues, it was okay. Now, when that same list is used based upon the same rationale (there is a terrorism issue), it's suddenly bigoted targeting of Muslims.

Where was Wilson when the Obama administration was barring refugees from Iraq, putting tighter immigration controls on these nations and bombing Muslim majority nations? Why didn't he move to British Columbia in protest then?
Well, if these restrictions were indeed in effect back then, they were certainly not "weaponized" in the same way they are now. I've been to a couple of trade shows in the US and have met with several developers from Iran* over the last years. None of them have complained about not going (or not wanting to go, as Devolver claims, which I would take with a grain of salt) to GDC and GCA before. This simply wasn't an issue. In my opinion, it's not the actual laws or drafts that alienate people these days, it's the way in which they're propagated.

*) I doubt the other countries have anything worthwhile, but Iran is actually home to a flourishing indie development scene, which is quite obviously supported by the government (with official booths and brochures at Gamescom, for example).
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:40 AM   #8
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Well, if these restrictions were indeed in effect back then, they were certainly not "weaponized" in the same way they are now. I've been to a couple of trade shows in the US and have met with several developers from Iran* over the last years. None of them have complained about not going (or not wanting to go, as Devolver claims, which I would take with a grain of salt) to GDC and GCA before. This simply wasn't an issue. In my opinion, it's not the actual laws or drafts that alienate people these days, it's the way in which they're propagated.

*) I doubt the other countries have anything worthwhile, but Iran is actually home to a flourishing indie development scene, which is quite obviously supported by the government (with official booths and brochures at Gamescom, for example).

Really? Iran? I never would've guessed much of anything was coming out of that place. The way I understood it was that as soon as Hassan Rouhani was installed, the country started a hard lean towards fundamental islam. The free thinking Iran people are being pushed out and aside as the more radical side of Islam is brought into the mainstream.

At least, that's how I understood it.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:45 AM   #9
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Well, if these restrictions were indeed in effect back then, they were certainly not "weaponized" in the same way they are now. I've been to a couple of trade shows in the US and have met with several developers from Iran* over the last years. None of them have complained about not going (or not wanting to go, as Devolver claims, which I would take with a grain of salt) to GDC and GCA before. This simply wasn't an issue. In my opinion, it's not the actual laws or drafts that alienate people these days, it's the way in which they're propagated.

*) I doubt the other countries have anything worthwhile, but Iran is actually home to a flourishing indie development scene, which is quite obviously supported by the government (with official booths and brochures at Gamescom, for example).
But part of the problem is that the weaponization, as you say really came from the media. They blew this all up in an effort to generate a controversy. Much of the difference between when Obama performed these actions and when Trump performed them is the coverage it got, not the manner in which it was executed.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #10
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Really? Iran? I never would've guessed much of anything was coming out of that place. The way I understood it was that as soon as Hassan Rouhani was installed, the country started a hard lean towards fundamental islam. The free thinking Iran people are being pushed out and aside as the more radical side of Islam is brought into the mainstream.

At least, that's how I understood it.
Well, there have been more and more political adventure games over the last years (typical indie stuff, really), but they also have a casual industry producing the same silly mobile games as every other country.

The first "big" Iranian title I was aware of was "Garshasp", a fairly competent (for the time) "God of War" clone. We rejected it, because, well, you really can't sell Persian mythology in the West. SteamSpy agrees with us, but I really would have liked to help the devs... If Devolver is serious about this (and not just using a hot topic as a marketing stunt), good for them!
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:55 AM   #11
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Just looked it up, because I have this extremely professionally made (212 pages, full color, hardcover) Iranian game industry guide. The "Iran Computer and Video Games Foundation" took care of the Iranian booth at Gamescom:

http://en.ircg.ir/

From the blurb on the back of the guide: "Currently, more than 140 game development companies are active in Iran, focusing on developing mobile and PC games."
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:34 AM   #12
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Ohhh a crappy publisher which had not released a single good game is moving to Canada......OK see yah later and good luck with the taxes in Canada.... You think US is rough wait till you get there....

Bye.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:40 AM   #13
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:01 AM   #14
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The 7 countries are targeted, which was a list created by the Obama admin, are: Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria.

Who else restricted travel from these countries? You guess it -- the Obama administration did. It's funny that when those exact 7 countries were targeted by the previous administration due to either being a well-known government sponsor of terror or having widespread terror issues, it was okay. Now, when that same list is used based upon the same rationale (there is a terrorism issue), it's suddenly bigoted targeting of Muslims.

Where was Wilson when the Obama administration was barring refugees from Iraq, putting tighter immigration controls on these nations and bombing Muslim majority nations? Why didn't he move to British Columbia in protest then?

People keep trotting out that list of Obama's like it is some sort of saving grace, except of course the list is just a list of nations he wanted heightened checks on travelers from (which as far as I can recall he did, but never restricted travel in any greater capacity). Not that I was the biggest fan of his anyway, but I never hated him like so many others did and frankly his list has very little to do with anything other than as a justification to shove in people's face when they object to this shit. There's arguments to be made for some of the actual timed restrictions he did, but that's a topic for another day.

Having a sudden 90 day ban on travel from several nations at once entirely fucked over several companies and even whole industries, targeted legal travel over illegal immigration and was handled so incompetently one of the questions asked of travelers was "Do you support/like Trump?" Had it been about safety against terrorism Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would've been on that ban list (not that that would've worked either, but that's where the priorities of the ban's authors were).

People supporting this ban should take a good long look as to why they support it. It doesn't do what it officially sets out to do, falls in line with Trump's ill-conceived notion of a Muslim ban and makes the security situation worse since it takes up resources better used to handle greater threats, such as those from US-born jihadis. All of that disregarding the fact it makes the diplomatic situation worse with almost every single country (with only a few exceptions).
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:22 AM   #15
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People keep trotting out that list of Obama's like it is some sort of saving grace, except of course the list is just a list of nations he wanted heightened checks on travelers from (which as far as I can recall he did, but never restricted travel in any greater capacity). Not that I was the biggest fan of his anyway, but I never hated him like so many others did and frankly his list has very little to do with anything other than as a justification to shove in people's face when they object to this shit. There's arguments to be made for some of the actual timed restrictions he did, but that's a topic for another day.

Having a sudden 90 day ban on travel from several nations at once entirely fucked over several companies and even whole industries, targeted legal travel over illegal immigration and was handled so incompetently one of the questions asked of travelers was "Do you support/like Trump?" Had it been about safety against terrorism Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would've been on that ban list (not that that would've worked either, but that's where the priorities of the ban's authors were).

People supporting this ban should take a good long look as to why they support it. It doesn't do what it officially sets out to do, falls in line with Trump's ill-conceived notion of a Muslim ban and makes the security situation worse since it takes up resources better used to handle greater threats, such as those from US-born jihadis. All of that disregarding the fact it makes the diplomatic situation worse with almost every single country (with only a few exceptions).
Before completely going through your post, you think a pause on these 7 Muslim majority nations falls in line with a "Muslim ban" by only including one of the top ten countries in terms of Muslim populations. If it wasn't about terrorism because it didn't include Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, why did the Obama admin's list not include those two nations?

Pausing to asses if the measures in place were effective or not doesn't take away resources.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:40 AM   #16
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Before completely going through your post, you think a pause on these 7 Muslim majority nations falls in line with a "Muslim ban" by only including one of the top ten countries in terms of Muslim populations. If it wasn't about terrorism because it didn't include Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, why did the Obama admin's list not include those two nations?

Pausing to asses if the measures in place were effective or not doesn't take away resources.
It does in the sense that the ban isn't 100 percent effective, which is not a criteria I would've tacked on anyway. My main criteria for it is the fact Christians are being fast-tracked through this and getting in whilst Muslims are not (well, that's not entirely true, on account of it being really damn hard to figure out a group or especially a single person's religion when they enter a country if they decide to not be upfront about it, but that's another matter).

Edit: When I said "getting in" I meant during the period when the judges hadn't halted the ban, of course. Just wanted to make that clear in case someone rightly pointed out that isn't going on at this very moment.

And the fact Trump essentially did this after asking his aides: "How can I make the ban legal?" This is the best he could do with what he had. Best in the sense of accomplishing his goals, anyway.

As for the Obama list, you'd have to ask him. I'd be willing to bet money it was because adding them to the list would be a diplomatic no-no what with their staunch support (on the government level) of the US, disregarding that most terrorists in the world are either coordinated from there or originate from those places (at least high-level ones. Difficult to assess Jordanian, Somali and Syrian originators because they tend to stick around their own countries when blowing themselves up).

And of course pausing costs resources, you need extra personnel to enforce the travel ban during the interim period and to handle interrogations, housing, diplomatic messages between each embassy and now with the protests going on police actions to keep things civil. How do you imagine it would not cost money? That is of course beyond the costs to the private sector of lost labor from legitimate workforce transfers, business deals that can't be completed and university exchange programs now unable to complete research on time.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #17
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Ohhh a crappy publisher which had not released a single good game is moving to Canada......OK see yah later and good luck with the taxes in Canada.... You think US is rough wait till you get there....

Bye.
Hotline Miami NOT good?! MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAAA! Its one of the most captivating games of the last 10 years IMHMFO. Action packed, super precise, psychologically unnerving story, strategical, gory as F without being explicit, not to mention the adrenaline pumping audio that lifts the gameplay to a positively mesmerising experience.

You're missing out man. And so is The Game Developer's conference this year.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:45 AM   #18
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Hotline Miami NOT good?! MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAAA! Its one of the most captivating games of the last 10 years IMHMFO. Action packed, super precise, psychologically unnerving story, strategical, gory as F without being explicit, not to mention the adrenaline pumping audio that lifts the gameplay to a positively mesmerising experience.

You're missing out man. And so is The Game Developer's conference this year.
Aye, Hotline Miami is, beyond a few smaller flaws here and there, an amazing game every single person should play.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:26 PM   #19
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It isn't even 10% effective, besides being temporary. When something is this ineffective at what it supposedly is about, chances are it is not what it's called. And mere speculation about the original intends behind this policy is no accurate basis for what it de facto is or not. By large most Muslims in the world are not banned. Religion does play a role though, since an important part of what terrorists from these regions refer to as their motivation is their particular interpretation of Islam. Christian groups in these regions are minorities that are being severely oppressed, hunted and killed. It makes sense giving them a preferential role for humanitarian reasons, besides that terorists threatening the US are not referring to the Bible in the same way.

It is a security measure that is mostly limited in time and region. These two factors are defining it most. Even though religion is one of the factors in assessing the threat. It is a ban on terror. This it does not 100% either, but even so it is far more effective at that than banning Muslims. Hence this is the most appropriate name. There can be all kinds of criteria for security measures, looking for an ideological backround is a valid one among them. It was decided that the economic costs are worth it in this case, since the consequences of a failing trust in security also has an economic cost.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:26 PM   #20
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It isn't even 10% effective, besides being temporary. When something is this ineffective at what it supposedly is about, chances are it is not what it's called. And mere speculation about the original intends behind this policy is no accurate basis for what it de facto is or not. By large most Muslims in the world are not banned. Religion does play a role though, since an important part of what terrorists from these regions refer to as their motivation is their particular interpretation of Islam. Christian groups in these regions are minorities that are being severely oppressed, hunted and killed. It makes sense giving them a preferential role for humanitarian reasons, besides that terorists threatening the US are not referring to the Bible in the same way.

It is a security measure that is mostly limited in time and region. These two factors are defining it most. Even though religion is one of the factors in assessing the threat. It is a ban on terror. This it does not 100% either, but even so it is far more effective at that than banning Muslims. Hence this is the most appropriate name. There can be all kinds of criteria for security measures, looking for an ideological backround is a valid one among them. It was decided that the economic costs are worth it in this case, since the consequences of a failing trust in security also has an economic cost.
I would agree, except for a few key points. A good comparison would be to the issue of genocide and Israel: There's a lot of claims that Israel is conducting genocide against Palestinians, and oftentimes people point out that if that is the plan then it is a pretty shitty plan, because that isn't actually going on at the scale one would think genocide would take.

The reason I don't think that a similar kind of logic applies here is for a number of reasons. One: Trump being incompetent was a given anyway, him fucking up his own plan is not a difficult sell. Two: He already said beforehand he wanted to do a Muslim ban, asked his helpers how he could accomplish it, and this is what they proposed. That it is an utter failure is, again, not an argument against what the intention is. And Three: Asking what religion someone is before they get to enter the country kind of implies that's at least got something to do with the reason behind the ban.

Also, as pointed out before, it is really easy to lie about your religion and there won't be a lot of ways to check if you're applying as a refugee since the country of origin probably wouldn't give you the information (or accurate info) if you asked. The law would only affect those legitimately trying to enter the country to any greater degree. Yes, Christians, Yazidis etc are all exposed to a greater degree in those countries, but again, if you're using that to determine who has a greater need of refugee status and to sidestep the ban then the ban has nothing whatsoever to do with stopping terror and more to do with stopping a particular kind of refugee. Terrorists are going to enter the US anyway and have done so in the past, entirely legally and above board, not as refugees to any greater extent but as visa holders and tourists.

As for that last point of yours: What? Where was that cost ever proclaimed and what numbers were used to justify that? How in the world would anyone come up with numbers like that in the span of the few days it took to get the ban out? Did you pull that out of your ass or did Trump, because that's ludicrous. Security had been top notch for years as part of efforts by Bush and Obama both and US security was seen as very strict by most countries around the world, to the point tourism had a few troublesome years when people realized how much effort they had to go through to get into the country. The ban is seen as draconian and not in any sense increasing security and I've yet to speak to a single company (that isn't looking to personally profit from the ban's costs to the public) that believe the measure was required to keep the country secure and the economy going.
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