Vindication

By on October 6, 2013 10:10:48 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Not that I expect those people who are wholly invested in their hate to retract or express any regret for the death threats, smearing, or abuse they sent my way, but as any lawyer who is familiar with employment law can tell you, this is as clear of a victory as you can get.  I said at the time that we wouldn’t pay out a dime (except for lawyers obviously) and that only an apology letter would satisfy us.

Anyone who has ever run a business with lots of employees knows that sooner or later, you’re going to run into something like this. Every business has their own horror stories. 

The sad thing is, our industry (the game industry) has legitimately serious problems. There really is a lot of misogyny in it. There is increasing awareness of it – which is good. But at the same time, there are too many opportunists ready to cash in on this issue. I know after what I went through I’ll never look at the issue the same again. I know many of my coworkers (male and female) feel the same. Is a story true or has it been exaggerated to get page views?

I know I’ll never have the same naïve views on business that I had in 2010 but I think I’m a better CEO as a result. 

And in case there are still people out there wondering about the original allegations: They were either completely made up or they were taken so out of context as to completely change their meaning. 

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October 6, 2013 10:09:05 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Glad for you that it's finished, more or less.  And those last two sentences could not be more true.  Did just that not 2 weeks ago.

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October 6, 2013 10:17:48 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Iam happy to see it worked out for you Brad.M mother used to say hind sight was 20/20.Sometimes it seems the only way we learn.

Over my 60yrs i have a few of those after the fact lessons.And i am so glad you got your apology.

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October 6, 2013 11:01:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Yep, good news, Brad...

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October 7, 2013 5:31:28 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Hindsight is like a universal constant, it never changes. Change too can be considered one as well in that it is consistent, always changing therefore it remains the same. Sometimes its for the better sometimes not. In this case its for the better because the detractor looked back and decided going right was the wrong way to go then backed up and turned left instead. Lessons learned the hard way tend not to be repeated.

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October 7, 2013 6:05:27 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Very glad it ended this way, Brad. 

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October 7, 2013 7:00:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I do recall your posts on that a while back.

I'm glad that you were able to receive such a positive and promising resolution to the conflict.

 

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October 13, 2013 11:02:32 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Glad to see that's completely over. *thumbs up*

 

Seems like only yesterday other sites were so scathingly critical of you Brad and the entire industry as a whole with words like misogyny but those same people are not acknowledging this now.

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October 15, 2013 8:24:26 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting RogueCaptain,

Glad to see that's completely over. *thumbs up*

Seems like only yesterday other sites were so scathingly critical of you Brad and the entire industry as a whole with words like misogyny but those same people are not acknowledging this now.

Yea, some of the reaction I've seen online has been a bit surprising.  I could have (and maybe should have) required her to write a more explicit apology where she explicitly apologized for her allegations. We had to be careful on that front as we didn't want to create liability for her.

For the record though:

  • I'm not a sexist person. You will not find one person, including Miseta, who would seriously suggest I'm sexist.
  • I do make plenty of insensitive and obnoxious jokes. I don't tell dirty jokes however.  It's nerd humor. Not vulgar.
  • I don't change my behavior based on whether I"m around males or females. 
  • The allegations that were made in that lawsuit were mostly false (and all of the ones that people would consider problematic)
  • The infamous email where I said "I'm a sexist, vulgar, and embarrassing person" was regrettable in the sense that sarcasm doesn't translate. She knew I was being sarcastic (i.e. this is someone who knew me well and my style of writing). It was the end of a long chain of discussions where the context would have put my frustration into a bit more perspective.  

When Kotaku interviewed me, I recommended that they talk to a legal consultant who could put into perspective how rare it is to have a case end with the plaintiff writing a public apology letter and not getting a cent out of it.  A lawyer could explain, as an objective third party, the significance of that. It should end any speculation as to the merits of the case.  

But the Internet loves empty vessels to pour their hopes, dreams, hatreds, biases and bile into.  As a friend once said, those people don't really hate me or care about her. Neither myself or Alexandra remotely resemble what people have depicted us as. 

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October 15, 2013 9:32:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Even if you did that, the reaction wouldn't have changed. 


Most of the negative reaction is a combination of folks who just saw the original allegations, and didn't see the conclusion, folks who just hate you and are trying to spread crap, and folks who just believe you got your way on this because you're rich and she isn't and you lawyercudgeled her into giving up.

 

There's really nothing you can do about it now.  I'm unsure if confronting the misinformation or just ignoring it now is the best approach.  (I'd suggest ignoring if I was working for you in an advisory role on this)

 

 

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October 15, 2013 9:53:19 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Alstein,
Most of the negative reaction is a combination of folks who just saw the original allegations, and didn't see the conclusion, folks who just hate you and are trying to spread crap, and folks who just believe you got your way on this because you're rich and she isn't and you lawyercudgeled her into giving up.

I'd say that ALL of the negative reaction is from people who don't have a clue but need a reason to live...and the Internet gives it to them.

To 'hate' someone you don't even know...and with whom you have never even crossed paths is both profoundly pathetic and sad....

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October 15, 2013 10:23:53 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Alstein,

Even if you did that, the reaction wouldn't have changed. 


Most of the negative reaction is a combination of folks who just saw the original allegations, and didn't see the conclusion, folks who just hate you and are trying to spread crap, and folks who just believe you got your way on this because you're rich and she isn't and you lawyercudgeled her into giving up.

There's really nothing you can do about it now.  I'm unsure if confronting the misinformation or just ignoring it now is the best approach.  (I'd suggest ignoring if I was working for you in an advisory role on this)

 

Probably right.  I've never really understood where all that hate comes from.  I realize that my direct interaction on forums can be seen as abrasive at times but some of the hatred that I've had directed at me is kind of spooky. I'm just a guy who makes games and desktop gadgets. There's very little drama where I work and my home life is pretty drama free (or as drama free as having two teenage sons can be).  Been happily married for almost 20 years. 

As for the conspiracy theory that she was just bullied into submission, that's where having a legal person in the story would have been helpful. In legal terms, I am what you call "highly collectible". If there was a snowball's chance in hell we could have lost, this wouldn't have ended the way it did.  Virtually all the legal expenses were done. It was just the trial left. 

The reality is, if you have access to 5 years worth of someone's posts, emails, private messages, skypes, etc. you can present any narrative you'd like of someone. But that narrative won't survive a court of law unless there is evidence and facts to back it up.

 

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October 15, 2013 10:28:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


Probably right.  I've never really understood where all that hate comes from.  I realize that my direct interaction on forums can be seen as abrasive at times but some of the hatred that I've had directed at me is kind of spooky. I'm just a guy who makes games and desktop gadgets. There's very little drama where I work and my home life is pretty drama free (or as drama free as having two teenage sons can be).  Been happily married for almost 20 years. 
 

It comes from the fact that you are outspoken and successful and unwilling to conform to the internet hive-mind mentality.  You're outspoken about both your beliefs and your success and when confronted you stand up for yourself with respect to both.  Some people can't abide that.  Your beliefs are heresy or your success is proof that you are evil or both.  

Wear it as a (really creepy) badge of honor and get on enjoying your life.  They're not worth your time or thoughts. 

Edit: Oh, and congrats.  It's been a big month for you (and SD). 

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October 15, 2013 11:24:22 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Kantok,


Quoting Frogboy, reply 11

Probably right.  I've never really understood where all that hate comes from.  I realize that my direct interaction on forums can be seen as abrasive at times but some of the hatred that I've had directed at me is kind of spooky. I'm just a guy who makes games and desktop gadgets. There's very little drama where I work and my home life is pretty drama free (or as drama free as having two teenage sons can be).  Been happily married for almost 20 years. 
 

It comes from the fact that you are outspoken and successful and unwilling to conform to the internet hive-mind mentality.  You're outspoken about both your beliefs and your success and when confronted you stand up for yourself with respect to both.  Some people can't abide that.  Your beliefs are heresy or your success is proof that you are evil or both.  

Wear it as a (really creepy) badge of honor and get on enjoying your life.  They're not worth your time or thoughts. 

Edit: Oh, and congrats.  It's been a big month for you (and SD). 

Thanks!

It's a shame that those who take their politics so seriously that they hate people based on what they believe might, just for a moment, consider the cause and effect. Beliefs and measured outcomes.

After all, I started with nothing. I hear these people talk about American poverty. I grew in a 2-bed room apartment where my mom worked a minimum wage job. She refused welfare.  I was skinny. Skinny as in, underfed skinny.  I was 110 pounds (5 foot 11) in high school. That meant no cable TV, no VCRs, no air conditioning, no other things that were considered "common" even then. 

My beliefs then are the same today: I believe we're responsible for our own destinies.  It isn't someone else's job to take care of you (unless you're a kid).

Yet today, we have people who think it's the job of government (or business) to take care of them.  

There was an interesting twitter conversation between me and a woman name Zoe Quinn where she was interested in working on the new Star Control game but learned I was a "terrible" person because of the Kotaku article.  I went back and forth with her on Twitter one evening to try to better understand her world view.

Now mind you, the link I post below is from someone who thinks what I am posting is evidence I'm a monster.  I look at the same thing and think "Wow, these people are sad."

http://storify.com/docky/conversation-with-zoequinnzel-almostapollo-dragino

In the course of these conversations the view point was made "If something you say offends ANYONE then it has no place at work."  That's insane. 

Naturally, none of these people will ever run a successful business or be in a position of leadership because they're too busy being held down by "the man".

 

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October 16, 2013 12:41:29 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
 I look at the same thing and think "Wow, these people are sad."

I've seen people like this first hand.

I worked for Sun Oil back in the 90's. There were 2 'young ladies' whose immediate supervisor went through a divorce and had found herself back in the dating scene. She would describe her dates the next day to these two young ladies. In. Detail.

They asked her to stop with the 'details', then asked her to stop with any 'info' about her social life all together when the first request fell flat. This too was ignored by their supervisor. They reported this to 'her' supervisor where it fell flat once again.

Long story short, the two sued and were awarded $11 million.

Needless to say, the rest of us in management went through some extensive 'sensitivity' retraining.

Since then, I have graduated to one of those people that have had to teach the classes to others. As serious as it all is on many levels, so often it is done with a wink and a nod.

I actually witnessed a company Vice President point at a humans resource director (in the middle of my training class) and say 'SO, calling (HER NAME) a prostitute would be wrong?' and then laugh.

I have also witnessed two 'white' supervisors, who were sitting and watching a 'black' male employee work (and he had been working for near 9 hours straight and busting his hump the whole time) if he would 'give them a song' like 'all their other workers do'. FYI- This was in South Carolina. The worst part was 'he' told me NOT to make an issue of it so he could keep his job. 

One of the things that surprises me about the Twitter post you linked is this woman's extensive use of vulgarity. If a woman or a man spoke like to me, I would assume (whether it be wrong or right) that not much would or could offend them. Yet, it' the way she uses it that impresses upon me that she is exactly the type of person (again, I am assuming) that would lodge a complaint if someone she worked with used it in a conversation with her..IF that person were someone she didn't like, had a gripe or issue with, or had offended her with their own beliefs. I can almost hear her after the other person is reprimanded or what have you, saying 'I took care of their shit.'

 

 

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October 16, 2013 1:11:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm glad to see this story come to an end, and I'm glad to see it come to this end. I'll be sure to link this when it comes up in review threads and such.

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October 16, 2013 5:13:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank god.  It's irritating to see that every time anything about Stardock is brought up, someone calls Brad names.  Not that this will ever satisfy some people, I know, I work in a mental hospital...with some people no amount of evidence trumps delusion. 

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October 16, 2013 5:34:56 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,

Thank god.  It's irritating to see that every time anything about Stardock is brought up, someone calls Brad names.  Not that this will ever satisfy some people, I know, I work in a mental hospital...with some people no amount of evidence trumps delusion. 

Heck, on Blues News I still see people bring up the "FACT" that I'm a big Glenn Beck fan when in fact I've never even seen his show or have any interest.

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October 17, 2013 3:02:53 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
I still see people bring up the "FACT" that I'm a big Glenn Beck fan when in fact I've never even seen his show or have any interest.

I knew there was something I liked about you.

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October 17, 2013 3:33:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,

Thank god.  It's irritating to see that every time anything about Stardock is brought up, someone calls Brad names.  Not that this will ever satisfy some people, I know, I work in a mental hospital...with some people no amount of evidence trumps delusion. 

 

Some folks will never let it go.  Just have to deal with it at this point.

 

 

 

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October 18, 2013 4:39:55 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Looks like I spoke too soon.

Galactic Civilizations 3 gets announced and what does everyone want to talk about?  Why Stardock's evil villainous mustache twirling and NOT Galactic Civilizations 3 of course!  I'm just going to have to unsubscribe my feed to these sites and get news from alternative sources because trash sites like RPS have really gone to the dogs.  Page after page after page of this garbage, it's unbelievable.  The whole point of rest and relaxation is to escape from politics.  So yes the letter has been discussed, very extensively.

 

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October 18, 2013 6:02:59 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting RogueCaptain,

Looks like I spoke too soon.

Galactic Civilizations 3 gets announced and what does everyone want to talk about?  Why Stardock's evil villainous mustache twirling and NOT Galactic Civilizations 3 of course!  I'm just going to have to unsubscribe my feed to these sites and get news from alternative sources because trash sites like RPS have really gone to the dogs.  Page after page after page of this garbage, it's unbelievable.  The whole point of rest and relaxation is to escape from politics.  So yes the letter has been discussed, very extensively.

 

I didn't see that discussion but I can imagine.

We could have required the letter to be far far more specific and gotten that signed. I don't regret keeping it a little vague. The purpose wasn't to humiliate her. She got mad at her boss and took some bad advice and did things she now regrets. People do rash things when they're mad.

Unfortunately, people get really really invested in their hate. Even if we had required a video confession to be posted on YouTube you wouldn't satisfy those people. They'd just say we coerced her.  

In the legal world there are two types of defendants: Ones who are collectable and ones that are not. We are very collectable. But lay people think that the guy with the money enjoys a huge advantage in civil cases which is nonsense. And people know this at some level.  

You get rear ended by someone who doesn't have car insurance and is broke, and he sues you and you sue him back, who has the advantage? The answer is obvious.  The only way you get an apology out of the uninsured guy is if there's no way he's going to win his case and you're very likely to win yours. Otherwise, he might as well go forward and throw the dice because if he wins, he's going to get paid and if he loses, he's not collectable.

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