Mass Mother Murderer and Off Forum Harassment

This is the type of rumor mongering that hurts the community and its environment.

1st: No discussion was “deleted” - part of it was hidden by the system when flags were made. If you wanted to read the flagged posts, you had the option to do so. The system (Discourse) hides flagged posts as a measure to allow those wanting to see problematic posts to skip reading them.

2nd: The thread was closed until the moderators had a chance to review the situation and it was to provide a cooling off period for those involved.

I know you want to be a voyeur with regards to what happened but it is detrimental to our community to rumor monger and fling accusations the way you have.

If you go into options and enable viewing 18+ content. The exact procedure eludes me for the moment but it starts in your user control panel.

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Thank you for explicitly stating that there was no forced deletion, @RETowers - not that I thought for a moment that there was any truth in it, but hopefully it will allay concerns (and reduce rumour-spreading) from anyone who did.

I can imagine it has been a difficult and stressful situation for the moderators to deal with and I hope y’all get a chance to take a break and relax with your beverage of choice.

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Personally, I kind of saw the entire situation happen when it did. I felt as if both sides were in the wrong for several reasons, personal attacks being one of them. This is not what this community should be about at all so I’m glad the moderators were able to step in and prevented the situation from becoming worse than it is right now, considering the fallout at the end.

And this is purely my opinion, not anyone else, but for those that has harassed the people involved should be dealt with somehow, like perhaps giving them a limited time ban since harassing other users is against the rules of this forum. And I certainly do not stand for such petty actions towards anyone on this forum. I am sorry for those that was involved but like someone else said on that thread, we can use this lesson as a reminder to be respectful towards everyone, even if you may disagree with their comments or opinions.

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I wasnt active when all happened but I hope this public statement from @RETowers helping erase certain nasty comments from certain people. This always has been a nice community and hope it still being so and that Samuel end returning as he is a wonderful writer. However I understand the concern some people had about a difficult topic. But I really believe an author like Sam and Cog will deliver a good game with good trigger warnings to people like me are trigger for certain content.

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It’s here for anyone wishing to join adult readers https://forum.choiceofgames.com/groups/adult_readers

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Thank you for clarifying the situation, @RETowers ! Neither the forum, moderators, nor any user besides the author himself was responsible for the deletion of anything. I hope we can all respect that and move on from this—while making it clear that threats, harassment, trolling, and other behavior like this is unacceptable in our community.

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I don’t know the specifics, but I guess it was inevitable a story this edgy would rub some people wrong. And Samuel is a cool guy, but I know he goes to a dark place at times and something like this could put him there. Hopefully he comes back before too long, he’s a big part of this place.

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My experience is that emotions run high this time of year, and we’ve had more angst on the forums lately than usual; I put it down to that to some extent. Let’s all recognize that the holidays can be a difficult time, and when things are heated, remember that it’s perfectly fine to step away and ground yourself.

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Can I just say that this situation just really doesn’t put the community in a good light? If I’m gonna be honest, I haven’t been entirely happy with my experience with the forum community and cog server especially recently. While I didn’t personally have any experiences that really stood out as particularly bad, there had been many times where they’d just really put me on edge for some reason

Being the social media goblin I am, I’ve seen a good portion of the offsite harassment that’s been going on and that just really hit the nail in the coffin. I’m not going to repeat what they say, both because it’s extremely triggering content and to protect the privacy of those affected, but what was contained in those posts were completely opposite of what this company stands for. While I’m fully aware that things off the forums are out of the mods’ hands, the fact that those types of people exist in the community despite everything makes me feel extremely unsafe to be here. It’s not that I don’t know how internet communities are (I’ve been using social media since I was about 9) but more like I’ve been a little too hopeful that things will be different for once and its draining to be constantly vigilant about alt-right trolls, so I’ve been taking a step back for a while now and I don’t know if I still want to write for HG one day if those people are being attracted :confused:

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As someome who talks to people who are labeled as and identify as “alt-right” , I can say for certain this is not the place they would flock to. They might enjoy some of the games, but they wouldnt interact much with the community.

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I’m sorry. But I don’t think we should forget the fact that because of this someone is getting actual threats and is being harassed. No matter what the situation that is completely uncalled for and I am sickened that it’s happening. It is disgusting behavior and if we can’t be firm in saying that it is not acceptable no matter what then all I can feel is… disappointment.

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He wasn’t excluded, it was his own choice to leave the forum. There’s no side to take here to be honest, both authors typed away on impulse and emotion.

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The issue stems from what crowds the respective authors attracted. And most unfortunately Sam did attract a number of people who… we’re all familiar with the term ‘stan’ (in its utmost negative meaning)?
And with Sam barging into Fawke’s thread to mock them and then lash out at the forum, staff and community, whether it was in the heat of the moment or not…

Let it be a lesson to us all

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Moving MMM to the adult category was a good call. As much as I loved the story and appreciated Sam’s work, I found it odd that it stayed in the general category for so long. I just wish there had been more clarity a bit sooner, as I didn’t find out until tonight that any of this happened and had only been able to go off the posts in Sam’s general update thread.

In regards to the game itself, will what remains of it be left to be viewed by those in the adult category? The game does include sexual coercion now and I’d like to know how that is planning on being handled as, I would assume, it goes against the CoG content standards.

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Sexual coercion by the MC AND the other involved party (an NPC) not having any chance to say ‘no’ and get away from it at all, it’d appear. This should be mentioned, in case anyone decides to say ‘cog was okay with the same thing in cch1’, when, no, what happened n cch1 was not the same.

The future of the game itself is best kept to the discussion thread for said game, altho the last moderator comment I saw there seemed to imply that the staff would be alright with it staying as long as the proper content warnings were posted clearly

and looking at games like RaV trigger and content warning are a definite thing in CoGs/HGs. Wasn’t there by now a published game that allowed you to skip certain scenes entirely in the light of potential triggers? Didn’t RaV do that? (it’s been so long since I played it)

Yikes, seems like a poor time to miss a few days of lurking. I liked the stories of both authors (in the interest of not adding fuel to the fire, I’ll skew toward anonymity), despite the huge tonal rift between the two.

I will say, from what I gleaned of the situation, the reaction to the scene in Mass Mother brings up an interesting question about authorial intent. I dunno how well I’m remembering this, but the author of Worm once mentioned how important the relationship between Author/Audience/Text was when writing Web Novels. Here, game/book demos are released and “constantly” updated by authors while forum-goers read and provide feedback, so the paradigm’s the same.

“Authorial Intent” is usually brought up as “curtains represent the author’s battle with depression”, but it also encompasses things like scenes being used to highlight an element of the story(not all “monsters” are “monsters”), or outright rejecting a possibility (gender-locking as male in historical game 1 because you want to explore certain themes, then gender-locking as female in HistGame2 to fully explore how women were treated during the era you drew inspiration from).

Tried to be vague to avoid fanning any flames, sorry if it came at the cost of clarity. Overall I’d say one of the lessons to take from this is: Readers, be mindful of why an author writes something. Authors, be mindful of how you write something, because there are dozens/hundreds/thousands/millions of people interpreting a different meaning from the same 5 words. This doesn’t address the nuances of the Mass Mother situation and isn’t intended to, but I think it’s useful info going forward for the community at large, especially with all the aspiring authors eager to learn from our skilled & successful peers.

Or I’m wrong and none of this is relevant. I have missed a few days of lurking. :thinking:

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The fact of the matter is simpler than that @Kiteleesi.

MMM had a WiP in order to receive enough feedback that @RETowers and others involved with HG publication were confident enough to publish the game if it was submitted by Samuel.

MMM was a gray area game, meaning that its publication was not a sure thing. Rachel did receive enough feedback to determine that it needed to be considered under the Mature Content Rules and therefore was moved to the Adult Content section of the forum.

Samuel was resentful of this for some reason.

In addition, going against the advise of several of the best testers in this community, Samuel decided to write a graphical scene involving corrosion and forced sex - something that can be easily interpreted as rape by many.

Once he received further feedback, this time in public, he reacted poorly to it. The tester giving this feedback fed off this poor reaction and a negative loop was created.

I personally intervened about 30 minutes into the public sniping and closed the thread down waiting for moderation for everyone involved.

Samuel decided to circumvent this and escalated the negatively-charged discussion and this led to active moderator intervention.

Samuel decided to delete his account here.


Samuel knows the process needed to get his game published through HG.

The relevance here for authors is to take whatever feedback is given, use it or discard it but do not attack the tester providing the feedback.

The relevance for testers here is to provide feedback, accept the author’s decision on the actionability of that feedback and then move on.

Speaking from experience with quite a few AAA games, developers sometimes reject the best feedback that they receive. When/if that is done, it is the responsibility of the tester to either accept the decision and continue testing other aspects of the game or to sever ties with that author and leave that game’s testing.

I’ve done both. It is the developer’s right to develop their game the way that they desire but it is the tester’s right to leave a game in disagreement with the way it is being developed.

Both the tester and the author have a responsibility to respect each other’s role in the process and to keep things from becoming personal.

This is the relevance of this incident - both authors and testers need to learn its lessons or this will just repeat time and again.


CoG tries their best to make this community a safe place but no one should blame them our the other community members for actions taken outside of the community.

Again I am going to repeat two concepts that need to be adhered to in WiP threads.

1: It is often not so much what ones opinion is that causes friction, but how one chooses to express that opinion. Using negatively-charged value words are a good way to start friction, as is generalisation and sniping.

2: Discussions can devolve into circular arguments. To avoid that: if you have already stated your position, please take a short break and allow others to share their perspective too. Please avoid repetitively hammering a single view without adding anything new.

Honestly, @RETowers really should close this thread at this point because there is nothing more to say.

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The only thing I’d note, is we (I) don’t read WiPs unless someone brings it to my attention, and we don’t ever go in and determine if they meet the “grossly offensive” category until they are submitted. There simply isn’t enough time and resources to do so. The only way I see things in WiPs is if someone brings it up to me.