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Polygon article on JonTron and A Hat in Time (Humble Bundle responds to controversy)

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Yukinari

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May 11, 2015
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They are 8 people in the dev team. How People cant understand why they dont want to comment on this particular matter is beyond me. Its not worth the death threats and irl-targeting, and its not worth the potential sales loss for a super-small indie team that has been working on this game for over 5 years.

This as well is probably a factor.

When Playtonic removed Jon the devs had to make their twitters private, even Grant Kirkhope, who has spoken to and seen Jon personally.

Update: Apparently Grant hasent been in contact with Jon in ages according to his twitter response.
 

GamerJM

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May 19, 2013
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Gears for Breakfast's lack of response to this thus far is.....really annoying and makes me lose quite a bit of respect for them. If JonTron isn't actually going to get paid (iirc, not 100% sure if this is the case?) then his presence doesn't really bother me too much, but the fact that Gears hasn't bothered to come out and just say something about the situation gives me pretty bad vibes and makes me quite a bit less likely to support the game.
 
Jul 30, 2015
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Once again, in full support of people not buying the game because they hate JonTron, but please stop saying that everybody who buys the game and knows about the situation is in support of JonTron. That's a load of bullshit.

The dude paid to be in the game. Me paying $30 for the game isn't supporting JonTron in any way whatsoever. I bought the game because I wanted a good 3D platformer.
They might not support Jon, but his white nationalism clearly isn’t a deal breaker

It’s the people who passively accept racism who are the most dangerous tbh
 
Things move quick here. We've gone from "Developer doesn't comment on racist guest voice actor" to "Developers are Nazi sympathizers".

So wait, if you know about the Jontron controversy and you still choose to play the game, you're a racist?

Does it not matter that Jontron doesn't make any money from the project? Or that all we have to condemn the developers with is the lack of a comment? Or that a developer is in fact a group of people who don't necessarily share the views of their superiors?

If people want nothing to do with the game I totally understand and respect that, but these attempts to black-and-white the issue into oblivion is getting insane.

When you have control over literal supremacist Jon Jafari being in your game, or don't inform people that you no longer have that ability, you are showing you're at least ok with his hateful filth. That, by definition, sounds sympathetic.

You took a pretty big logical leap over people playing the game being racist, but again, apathy shows you're cool with it.
 

ramoisdead

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Feb 21, 2013
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Saying nothing is saying everything.

Bingo. When ex-employees take a stance on this JonTron situation along with Humble, stating they have zero creative control of a developer's game, it looks worse and worse for Gears For Breakfast. Plus the history behind some of the folks in that development group being shady as fuck...

...yeah not gonna support them with a sale. It should be okay with them...my sale is just gonna get replace by some racist, sexist Gamergate person anyhoo.
 

cw_sasuke

If all DLC came tied to $13 figurines, I'd consider all DLC to be free
Sep 9, 2006
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Can't support something like this... And gladly I don't need to with Mario Odyssey being out this month.
 

Maximo

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Jun 23, 2014
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They are 8 people in the dev team. How People cant understand why they dont want to comment on this particular matter is beyond me. Its not worth the death threats and irl-targeting, and its not worth the potential sales loss for a super-small indie team that has been working on this game for over 5 years.

Whats the point of helping minority's if someone calls me names? I better not do anything I mean I did the best I could!
 

Gotdatmoney

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May 5, 2014
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Once again, in full support of people not buying the game because they hate JonTron, but please stop saying that everybody who buys the game and knows about the situation is in support of JonTron. That's a load of bullshit.

The dude paid to be in the game. Me paying $30 for the game isn't supporting JonTron in any way whatsoever. I bought the game because I wanted a good 3D platformer.

If the choice is giving money to people you know openly refuse to comment about a white nationalist and you playing a 3D platformer and you chose the platformer then well. You can handle the criticism frankly.
 

Valtýr

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Jul 20, 2012
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The kind of purity test bullshit that goes on when this kind of discussion comes around is tiring. It lacks all sense of a nuanced understanding of the way actual humans act and make choices. From the approach of some people here you'd think they are robots.
 

Granjinha

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May 20, 2015
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See:

Also, and it legitimately blows my mind I have to say this in a year that Get Out released in, just because you sit up and trash Trump on Twitter doesn't mean you cannot be racist and flaunt white privilege openly to your benefit over others.

*sigh*

Ok, dude. I don't think you really understood what i meant. We don't know the circumstances behind the silence, so i don't think you're right in saying they are nazi sympathizers (especially the whole team), white supremacists or any shit like that. If i'm wrong it sucks and fuck them, but yeah, i'm not a fan of jumping to hasty conclusions.

On the second point: Get Out doesn't deal with online harassing, and trust me, a lot of devs get harassed for speaking up against this kind of bullshit that Trump is aligned with.
 
Jul 30, 2015
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Valtýr;251105957 said:
The kind of purity test bullshit that goes on when this kind of discussion comes around is tiring. It lacks all sense of a nuanced understanding of the way actual humans act and make choices. From the approach of some people here you'd think they are robots.
In what way? Taking a hard stance against white nationalism?

If that’s robotic I better hope no motherfucker hits me with the voight-kampff
 

pa22word

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Oct 24, 2010
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If the choice is giving money to people you know openly refuse to comment about a white nationalist and you playing a 3D platformer and you chose the platformer then well. You can handle the criticism frankly.
This is what saddens me the most about this situation. The bar is so low that people can't help themselves from buying a platformer.
 

Crossing Eden

Hello, my name is Yves Guillemot, Vivendi S.A.'s Employee of the Month!
Feb 14, 2014
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This game has a man who believes that minorities are diluting the gene pool and are inherently more violent than white people, believes that the Mexican "reconquista" is real, and that white people are discriminated against as a voice actor. Boycotting.
Fixed that for you champ.
 
Nov 26, 2015
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I'm with everyone here on all counts, but I think we should probably get away from attacking posters who still choose to buy the game.
 

whipihguh

Banned
Feb 11, 2014
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Valtýr;251105957 said:
The kind of purity test bullshit that goes on when this kind of discussion comes around is tiring. It lacks all sense of a nuanced understanding of the way actual humans act and make choices. From the approach of some people here you'd think they are robots.

...I guess doxxing is a particular concern, but it's not like Gears for Breakfast hasn't had months to prepare against it. Then again, I guess there isn't much one can do about it, with site archival and all that. Still feel like people shouldn't be afraid of condemning white supremacy.
 

FlyinJ

Douchebag. Yes, me.
Sep 22, 2005
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Valtýr;251105957 said:
The kind of purity test bullshit that goes on when this kind of discussion comes around is tiring. It lacks all sense of a nuanced understanding of the way actual humans act and make choices. From the approach of some people here you'd think they are robots.

My thoughts exactly. It's crazy that people just ignore how troubling it is that a developer has no problem having a white supremacist in their game and just blindly defend it like an empathyless automaton.
 

PaulloDEC

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Sep 6, 2012
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When you have control over literal supremacist Jon Jafari being in your game, or don't inform people that you no longer have that ability, you are showing you're at least ok with his hateful filth. That, by definition, sounds sympathetic.

It becomes a question of where you draw the line. If you won't support a game with a white supremacist in it (Jontron), well okay, that makes perfect sense.

If you won't support a game made by people who'll tolerate the presence of a white supremacist in their work (Gears for Breakfast), well that's a bit different. My 102 year old nana is pretty racist, but I tolerate her. Does that make me as bad as Gears? Does that make both myself and Gears Nazi sympathizers?

To once again be clear about my stance here, I neither like nor support the racist piece of shit known as Jontron, and as soon as I'm able I'll be modding him out of the game. I was a Kickstarter backer of Hat in Time before this whole thing went down, so while I'll be playing Hat, if Gears continue to behave the way they are now, I'm unlikely to be buying any of their future titles.

You took a pretty big logical leap over people playing the game being racist, but again, apathy shows you're cool with it.

I'm not sure I get what you're saying here.
 

pa22word

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Oct 24, 2010
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I'm with everyone here on all counts, but I think we should probably get away from attacking posters who still choose to buy the game.
If posters are viewing the pointing out of their own privilege in being able to sit back and turn their brain off long enough to be able to make the mental leap to put playing a platformer over refusing to support white supremacy, and that the act itself is a racist one as an attack, then they need to get over their own fragility and do a little self reflection.
 

Valtýr

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Jul 20, 2012
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In what way? Taking a hard stance against white nationalism?

If that’s robotic I better hope no motherfucker hits me with the voight-kampff

People compartmentalize choices literally every day of their lives. Do you stop and give money to every homeless person you see on the street?

Buying a video game because you want to play a video game is a FAR cry from "supporting white supremacists" and to draw the line directly from one to another muffles the conversation.
 

L Thammy

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Nov 4, 2012
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If posters are viewing the pointing out of their own privilege in being able to sit back and turn their brain off long enough to be able to make the mental leap to put playing a platformer over refusing to support white supremacy, and that the act itself is a racist one, then they need to get over their White Fragility and do a little self reflection.

I'm not white. I'm assuming not everyone who doesn't agree with your position is white.

I'm also assuming most of us own something that we know is manufactured at Foxxconn. It's almost impossibly difficult for every one of our actions to be ethical. You had people in the previous thread saying that because someone doesn't makes an ethical stand somewhere they should give up, are hypocrites and shouldn't boycott anything, and I think that's wrong too. We should strive to do more while acknowledging that we, and no one else, are not perfect.

For the record, I'm not buying A Hat in Time. I'm not interested in condemning the people who might have been interested in this before Jontron's name was attached to it. So long as they aren't the waving the "well at least I can separate the art from the artist" flag.
 

Alucrid

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May 30, 2009
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It becomes a question of where you draw the line. If you won't support a game with a white supremacist in it (Jontron), well okay, that makes perfect sense.

If you won't support a game made by people who'll tolerate the presence of a white supremacist in their work (Gears for Breakfast), well that's a bit different. My 102 year old nana is pretty racist, but I tolerate her. Does that make me as bad as Gears? Does that make both myself and Gears Nazi sympathizers?

i wonder what disingenuous comparisons like that make you
 

Yukinari

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May 11, 2015
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If posters are viewing the pointing out of their own privilege in being able to sit back and turn their brain off long enough to be able to make the mental leap to put playing a platformer over refusing to support white supremacy, and that the act itself is a racist one as an attack, then they need to get over their own fragility and do a little self reflection.

I asked this in the other thread but does that also mean anybody who streamed the game (members of vinesauce for example) support white supremacy now?

Cause generally Vinny is a great guy to watch.
 

Gotdatmoney

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May 5, 2014
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This is what saddens me the most about this situation. The bar is so low that people can't help themselves from buying a platformer.

They're free to buy it. It's whatever imo. But "stop judging me for my actions!!!" is just sone weak ass defense. You know the whole situation and still wanna buy the game? Fine. Just admit the dudes comments and the developer silence doesn't matter to you.
 
Nov 26, 2015
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I asked this in the other thread but does that also mean anybody who streamed the game (members of vinesauce for example) support white supremacy now?

Cause generally Vinny is a great guy to watch.

No, they might not be fully informed on Jontron. I don't think anyone is making this claim.

Edit: that clip is bad
 

Neuromancer

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Jan 13, 2009
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You can find many search results about the game that mention my name. Just search for:
"a hat in time" "peter valencia"

This is my art portfolio, showing off just a few of the many assets I made for the game.
http://dropr.com/pvalencia/90246/a_hat_in_time/+?p=1175265

I was the only one on the team who had the skills to create Snatcher in 3D. Snatcher was originally just a 2D sprite that was overlayed on the environment, but because of certain cutscenes he later had to be evolved into a full 3D animated mesh. However, this required shape key (also known as morph target) animation, something no one else on the team at the time knew how to do. I also created the pillow pile (the one you can "swim" in) in Hat Kid's spaceship, using a physics simulation. None of my colleagues knew how to do that either.

Yet despite all that, the company remained quiet after JonTron called people like me lazy welfare thieves that should be kept out of the gene pool. Not even a measly tweet saying they disagree with him.

Regardless of how much money they end up making, they're going to have to live with the consequences of this for years to come. They've now established an audience firmly within neo-Nazi and alt-right circles, and they'll have to constantly avoid offending that crowd in the future to stay in business. Best of luck with that, Gears for Breakfast.
Thanks for the post. I'm glad you got out of there when you did.
 

Machina

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Jun 11, 2015
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I'm sure GAF will have a lot to say about Vinesauce when this clip starts going around: https://clips.twitch.tv/SolidTolerantLarkRitzMitz

 

Lowmelody

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Oct 31, 2013
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It's time to stand for something tech/game companies, apathetic non stances are no longer valid in 2017. I hope this game is made an example of so that moving forward devs will know it doesn't matter how amazing your game looks (and holy shit it does) if you wont use what little influence you have to fight against white supremacy and this modern nazi incarnation. Jon Tron isn't just an average racist, he is spills his bile straight into the open minds of children and ensures that the future is as ugly (and white) as it can possibly be.

Everyone has skin in this game and the insulated and apathetic need checked so they understand that it includes them regardless of their willingness to face facts.
 

PaulloDEC

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Sep 6, 2012
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i wonder what disingenuous comparisons like that make you

*Sigh*.

If you've got something to say, you can say it. I'm trying to engage with this topic in a serious and thoughtful way, so it'd be nice if you could do the same.

Initially this topic was about the presence of Jontron, but now it's become something broader, about whether it's okay to support a developer who tolerates the presence of a racist in their product. I'm not sure I agree with some of the points here, so I'm trying to understand the thought process better.
 
Jul 30, 2015
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Valtýr;251106617 said:
People compartmentalize choices literally every day of their lives. Do you stop and give money to every homeless person you see on the street?

Buying a video game because you want to play a video game is a FAR cry from "supporting white supremacists" and to draw the line directly from one to another muffles the conversation.
gonna have to hit you with a “nah” tbh

this game features a vocal white nationalist. a person who has espoused his hateful and racist views for *hours* and continued on with seemingly no remorse and zero retraction. people choosing not to support a game that prominently features a white supremacist is not “conversation muffling” whatever that means, and is the *bare minimum* of how people with any kind of moral compass should act

also if i was in the financial position to do it i would give money to every homeless person i saw, but that’s both irrelevant and a painfully deliberate false equivilance

if you buy and play this game knowing about jon’s history it doesn’t immediately make you a nazi sympathiser or a supporter of white nationalism, it just means that racism and the involvement of racists isn’t a deal breaker for you and that’s something that you’re going to have to accept about yourself
 

NegativeCero

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Apr 21, 2013
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Never heard of this game until this point. Given that Jontron has shown himself to be human garbage, I'll gladly continue to ignore it.
 

Rokal

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There are hundreds of fantastic games released every year without resorting to supporting games that support, directly or in silence, Neo-Nazi trash. Shame on the game team for either condoning Jontron’s bile or being too cowardly to confront it.
 

Kill3r7

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Jun 19, 2014
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Why doesn't Gears for Breakfast just....comment on it and say what they think? Even if they defend JonTron at least we'll know the story instead of continuously guessing what their motives are.

They are about to launch the project of their dreams. I am sure they want to steer clear of any controversy if they can help it.
 

pa22word

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Oct 24, 2010
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I'm sure GAF will have a lot to say about Vinesauce when this clip starts going around: https://clips.twitch.tv/SolidTolerantLarkRitzMitz
This more than anything else basically sums up in a few seconds everything I've been in here saying. In effect, "he's here he's a white nationalist and I don't give a shit". If anything I can say I applaud his directness instead of the roundabout leaps of logic deployed in this thread.
 

L Thammy

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Nov 4, 2012
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They are about to launch the project of their dreams. I am sure they want to steer clear of any controversy if they can help it.

They've had months to comment, have been asked to comment, and have had at least one person working with them who wanted to comment. The fact that they're about to launch now is irrelevant.
 

Painguy

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May 24, 2014
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It's sad seeing a few people want this small dev team to fail because of something someone else said after they had already worked, and packed up. Please leave the devs alone. They shouldn't, and don't have to say anything. It's like 7 ppl bruh. They made a fun game, and thats probs all they wanted to do. Having worked on few small teams myself, it's these kinds of armchair reactions discourage the creation of new good media. Peeps are str8 up scared of some of you, worrying that you're gonna destroy their lively hood for something they didn't do. That's why they don't say anything. No matter what they say someone is still gonna try to villanize them and they do not want to take the risk. Please consider the nuances in these situations. Most people in this thread have been very good about that, but it really hurts seeing a select few not take the time to really look at the situation.

It's not their fault Jon is a racist dumbass. Homies just finished their game. No one is tryin to go back in engine, find the scene, rerecord in a studio, recompile shit, update server data with new shit, send out the update, then manage PR. Like it's 7 ppl working on this yo. Jesus fucking christ.

Playtonic, sure they're big, they can do it, they have a lot of experience.

EDIT

I'm sure GAF will have a lot to say about Vinesauce when this clip starts going around: https://clips.twitch.tv/SolidTolerantLarkRitzMitz

A select few in this thread would have us believe that the world was gonna end and that Jon now has a platform to spread racist nonsense. Cuz that's totally what his character is doing in game lol
 

whipihguh

Banned
Feb 11, 2014
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Honest question, is the "seperating the artist from the art" no longer a valid stand point now?

It never really made much sense in the first place, especially when it seems it's only real use is "I want to enjoy this thing without being reminded of the awful person I'm supporting" most of the time. Can't separate Dave Sim from the Cerberus comics no matter ho hard you try.

A person's views should never be used 1:1 with their work, as it often will never be as blatant as my example. But it usually provides context to the work as a whole, even if it's only minor. Some works are large collaborative efforts, though, and the bigger and more diverse the creators of a work are the harder it is to point to one person as an influence.

At this point, people would be so put off on buying the game if Gears had said something about the issue, or, even better, took JonTron's work out of the game. I doubt he's getting paid for it, but their silence increasingly reads like apathy, or even acceptance, to all of the awful shit he said, and people are rightfully put off by any developer who refuses to condemn to acknowledge such disgusting viewpoints.
 

Alucrid

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May 30, 2009
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*Sigh*.

If you've got something to say, you can say it. I'm trying to engage with this topic in a serious and thoughtful way, so it'd be nice if you could do the same.

Initially this topic was about the presence of Jontron, but now it's become something broader, about whether it's okay to support a developer who tolerates the presence of a racist in their product. I'm not sure I agree with some of the points here, so I'm trying to understand the thought process better.

what's easier, extricating jontron's vo from your game or your grandma from your family? or purchasing a different game or getting another grandma?
 
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