my name is capitayn catte: Time4Tea:
Your unicorn analogy is faulty. If evidence of unicorns existence was published and you then asserted "No evidence of the existence of unicorns has ever been presented." then I was expect you to prove that
i.e. I would expect you to explain why the evidence that has been presented doesn't count.
No, it's not. If you knocked on my door with that claim and also claimed that evidence supporting the existence of unicorns has been published, I would expect you to be able to direct me to that published evidence. If that evidence turned out to be weak and unconvincing, I would be justified in dismissing it and asking you to provide a better example.
I think part of the disagreement here may be that we have differing interpretations of what we consider 'evidence'. You seem to be including anything that has been proposed as evidence (regardless of quality). However, when I talk about 'evidence', what I mean is 'convincing evidence'.
As joppo mentioned above, that thread about the Weibo posts to me seems like weak and unconvincing 'evidence'. All that is evident there are a small handful of posts from Chinese users, which does not indicate anything like the sort of large scale backlash from 'many gamers' that would have justified GOG's rush to remove Devotion from sale. I find that to be highly unconvincing; therefore I don't really consider it to be valid 'evidence'.
You have a point though, in that 'something' has been put forward and proposed as evidence. So, perhaps it would help if I clarify my position (to try to avoid further confusion): I have not seen any convincing evidence to support GOG's claim that they had received 'messages from many gamers' that would have constituted a large backlash from Chinese gamers.
What I would consider to be convincing evidence would be screenshots or sample messages showing that at least several dozen messages were received, if not several hundred, over a short period of time. Remember, over 9000 people have signed the Devotion wishlist request and GOG have not graced them with a response, nor even acknowledged them. So, I would expect there to be a damn sight more than 5 measly Weibo posts from Chinese gamers lying around somewhere, that would have constituted a backlash large enough for GOG to do a 180 on Devotion within a matter of hours.
And here is the thing (which joppo also mentioned): if GOG's claim is true, then they should easily be able to provide convincing proof of these thousands of messages from Chinese gamers, because they should have the records of that on their system. Therefore, my expectation for GOG to prove their claim is reasonable
, since they should easily be able to prove it. (and this forms a large part of why I don't believe them)
On the other hand, your demand that I prove that no (convincing) evidence exists is not reasonable
, since I don't have access to GOG's records and so for me to prove that sort of negative is going to be nigh on impossible. It should be understandable that I am not able to prove something that is intrinsically very difficult for me to prove, but it is far less understandable (imo) that GOG is not able to prove something that should be very easy for them.
Again, the burden of proof here clearly rests on GOG:
- they are the ones who made the initial claim of 'many gamers'
- they are the ones who are able to easily prove their claim (since they have access to the records)
- ultimately, it is their credibility that is on the line here (so they should have an incentive to provide the proof)
Whether or not GOG could prove their claim, why would you expect them to want to? They've never been known for transparency about anything, even when accused of all kinds of things. GOG's standard tactic is to stay quiet.
However, I consider them innocent until proven guilty. With the evidence that is available to us - that the game is highly controversial in China
, the fact they announced the release directly on Chinese social media thereby skipping a few steps towards it going viral and the expected negative responses - I see no reason to disbelieve
that they got a very large amount of negative feedback in a short space of time. Everyone is a potential customer, thus 'many gamers'.
The number of wishlist votes is somewhat irrelevant. The important numbers are:
- How many sales will be lost due to not releasing Devotion? I'm not talking about sales of Devotion, I'm talking about lost sales in general from those boycotting.
- How many sales would be lost if they did release Devotion? At the very least there would be a much larger boycott in China
than the one they're currently experiencing. There would be even more sales lost if they were actually banned.
I'm not normally one to defend GOG, and I think they've handled this situation abysmally at every stage but being stupid and being a liar are different things. I still haven't seen anything to convince me that GOG are lying. For all this talk about burden of proof, I think if you're going to assert that they lied you're going to need proof. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.
My defence of them is not due to having proof that they're not lying, but due to not having proof that they are.
Any proof that GOG would provide isn't going to be accepted unless identities of the "gamers" can be verified.
What exactly would need verifying and how? The gaming community, as diffuse as it is, has for a long time been guilty of terrible gatekeeping and "no true Scotsman" arguments. How the hell do you decide whether someone is a gamer or not?
And aside from that, in the context of a company that sells games, "gamers" is nothing more than buddy-buddy PR speak for customers (both current and potential). To assume that it means anything more specific when coming from the PR channels of a games company is naivete itself.