We Wrestle With the Messy Politics of 'The Division 2' on Today's Podcast


That’s actually quite shocking that your care provider would be so brazen with social media.

I’m a preschool teacher, every center I’ve ever worked at, looked at or heard about has had pretty hefty restrictions on how children can be photographed and how and where those pictures can be distributed. I always understood that this was industry standard but maybe it’s just where I live.


The Occupation is sounding great to me from a gameplay standpoint. An immersive sim that removes or modifies the kind of cliche sneak/fight/hack to save the world tropes these games have gotten themselves into? Yes please.

I do want to note that all of Austin’s complaints about there being no in-game reason to know passwords and other information was solved years ago in the brilliant indie immersive sim Consortium. In that game you are immediately told that you are a person accessing and assuming control over an actual human in another dimension and that each play through is an attempt to solve a catastrophic event. It is a totally ingenious way to frame the game since it occurs in real time and the branching pathways can be so convoluted that you can easily not solve the central murder mystery. Since that doesn’t trigger a fail state the game expects you to play its 4-5 hours a couple of times to figure out just what exactly is happening. Thinking about it, it really sounds like the The Occupation is very similar to Consortium.


the way it was presented was that the idea is to maximize the amount that parents can see their kids doing the activities during the day- it was something that was mentioned by all 3 of the places we looked at. just to be sure i wasn’t making it up i just looked them up on FB and they definitely had a lot of pictures of kids in st patricks day stuff that i could see, despite not following them or anything. to your point, i live in MA- i would have assumed we would have fairly strict regulations on this sort of thing (and this place isn’t religious or anything, so no exceptions.)

also, like i said, the woman who runs it seemed honestly surprised we had an issue with the release forms in a way that seemed sincere. she also seemed like she had never considered any of the issues with hosting pictures on platforms like FB (my default with confused relatives is that FB could sell pictures of our kid and she could end up selling cigarettes on a billboard in myanmar- totally hyperbolic, but technically a legal gray area and thus illustrative of my point) and did promise to do what they could to minimize any exposure for her online. i wouldn’t sue them because they got her in the background of a group shot or anything, i just wanted them to be aware of our concerns


I understand what you mean about the platform and some added responsibility.
With what happened today, I work with them and see them everyday, they don’t know about my diet because it’s personal and diet talk is boring.

My worry is I don’t know how I’d be re-enforcing biases or trends I shouldnt. As when I make a remark like today I’m not advocating a carb free diet for everybody.


Content warning: dieting/carbs/food health discussion

I think that most people would understand that you aren’t judging everyone else and are merely expressing a your own longing for something that you have made a personal choice not to partake. If there is someone in the group that you know to have struggled with weight, or for some other reason you know they would feel judged, then yeah probably don’t bring it up with no prompting. But, if people are offering you pizza or something else you can’t or won’t eat I think saying," I miss carbs," with sincerity is an OK way to go about it.

I also don’t think Danielle was off base in any way either.


i don’t think that talking about a diet is necessarily a bad thing, but i do kind of see the phrasing as ultimately kind of a problem- saying ‘i sure do miss carbs!’ is kind of pulling a ‘holier than thou’ power move on the group.

but at the same time, our modern diet with processed foods and adding sugar to everything is really bad- there is a reason health care professionals refer to obesity as an epidemic and complications from our poor diets are always top of the causes of death for americans yearly. if someone offers you a slice of office pizza (or, even better, asks your input before they order office pizza) i don’t think you have to hide why you don’t want any, but maybe go with more of a ‘nah, i’m cutting back on the higher carb stuff’ for phrasing

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Content warning: dieting/carbs/food health discussion

I think that being unable to discuss your own diet choices for fear of upsetting someone else who is making different diet choices is kinda ridiculous, tbh. I think it’s fine to express that you miss things. I miss carbs, and I miss cigarettes, but I decided to cut way back on one and give another up entirely, and those are personal choices I made for myself.

American culture has an incredibly toxic relationship with food and bodies in general but I don’t think that the solution to that problem is to say that you shouldn’t talk about diets and bodies, but rather to find a more positive approach. My diet choices do not affect other people and they are not an implied criticism of anyone else.


Content warning: dieting/carbs/food health discussion

i agree with you completely- i’m very uncomfortable with a world in which we are normalizing obesity. in the 1960’s, obesity wasn’t even something that was on the radar of health professionals and now we’re pushing toward 35+ percent of people who fall into one of the obesity categories, which means that they are at a highly enhanced risk of a myriad of painful diseases that will limit quality of life and probably lead to a shortened life. none of that is good- the issue (as you correctly point out) is that we’re doing a poor job as a society of correctly conveying the health concerns without also being judgemental.

and i think that is what i was trying to convey- framing it as ‘oh i miss carbs’ can easily come across as ‘oh, i have nobly given up carbs to make myself more healthy, as opposed to you slovenly folk who readily gobble down the fattening pizza!’ depending on how its put out there (think about the crossfit guy who is always talking about how into crossfit he is and you can probably get where my headspace is.)

the semi-jerk answer in the back of my mind in that situation is to actually rip on your coworkers for not ordering you a salad when they were doing an office lunch, but the more i think about it the more i think its a legit complaint. office lunches are supposed to be a treat for everyone. they should be making sure if anyone has specific food needs that they are being represented- especially if the company is paying. our office lunches always have a veggie option (i can’t swear to the strictest versions of vegan, but at least veggie)


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closed #30

Hey, folks. Just a quick mod team message regarding this thread: while we appreciate that one topic can lead from another, dieting culture is a sensitive topic that requires appropriate content warnings & use of hidden content tags to ensure that folks who are sensitive to that issue can engage on their own terms.

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I haven’t listened yet but from the description and their E3 comments I can guess where Rob’s take will lead, and I feel shame every time I boot the game up.


A friend of mine with a young kid has mentioned this; but they specifically send email updates of all the things that have been done. To publicly show everything on Facebook is kinda wild.

I also do event work and we do a lot in schools (in the UK) and they are much more strict on this now than they used to be


Austin dragging the rob/patrick mac wheldon ad, but it’s the only 3+ minute ad I’ve bothered to sit through all the way.

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yeah, i thought so too- i think its just the general ignorance of how these platforms work and what they mean. also, i’m not sure how familiar you are with the different US states and how regions and individual states can be wildly different, but Massachusetts is generally one of the most liberal states with strong regulations (generally, i’m sure we’ve got our weird blind spots) but i imagine they aren’t as uniform or well implemented as the UK. our federalist system encourages that sort of behavior in a lot of ways




Yeah nothing is particularly well implemented here, most of it is political point-scoring designed to play well with the Conservative mums and dads. Any protection that it provides kids is incidental. Mostly it is there so institutions can wash their hands of any responsibility for active engagement because they’ve done all they are “required” to do.

For instance I have a piece of paper that says that I have no criminal convictions, which schools will want to see. That piece of paper is 5 years old and has no official expiry date, since realistically it is expired the moment it is made.

It is also only applicable to people who spend a significant amount of time with the same children over a period of time, which we don’t do (single events, always supervised by teachers) but we still have to have it


Also, as I’m going through playing Division 1 at the moment, what I can’t help but feel is that I would really (REALLY) like an X-Com skin for either game


Yeah and even though kids today more than ever are growing up with the internet, apparently (and unsurprisingly), not all of them are okay with parents posting stuff about them online.

I came across this compelling article a few weeks ago with some personal accounts from kids (with parent approval) about how they feel about this kinda thing.

I found this passage particularly striking:

“Once kids have that first moment of realization that their lives are public, there’s no going back. Several teens and tweens told me this was the impetus for wanting to get their own social-media profiles, in an effort to take control of their image. But plenty of other kids become overwhelmed and retreat. Ellen said that anytime someone has a phone out around her now, she’s nervous that her photo could be taken and posted somewhere. “Everyone’s always watching, and nothing is ever forgotten. It’s never gone,” she said.”


its interesting that you bring that article up- when we first announced that we were not going to be posting pictures or stories about our daughter online in a public space and that we expected family to respect that, we got some pushback and had to put our feet down. some of the retired family spend most of their own internet time posting pictures of the other grandkids and they weren’t happy we wouldn’t let them. i saw that article several months later and had to really bite my tongue not to send it to some of the more passive-aggressive folk who had tried to guilt trip us because they couldn’t show off our daughter to their friends in the manner they wanted to

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