actually, it’s about ethics in games

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This was a half-hour freewrite concerning the seemingly leaderless movement affecting women in games negatively today. I was outside waiting for a friend for drinks, needing to let some frustrating feelings out, and I just so happened to be reading some tweets about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air at the time. Thus, the freewrite is a different take on that theme, which you can check out here.

After some observation, I don’t believe this movement is solely about ethics in games. There’s a wealth of pain supporting the idea of this being a way to shut women up, and I cannot get behind that.

I wish people didn’t feel these harmful comments and exposures of one’s personal life necessary, if their main goal is to force journalists, developers &c to operate with a bit more integrity. Fear tactics are being employed.

As usual, respect to those who feel the need to leave the games environment for their own safety / well-being. Respect to those who stay, even in the face of abuse.

 

this is a story
developing now;
games culture went
pearshaped somehow

I’d like to take a minute
to reflect on that;
how criticism puts
you in danger in zero time flat

in southern California
with guys and dames
PlayStation is where I played
most of my games

chillin’ out, maxin’,
relaxin’ all cool,
playin’ Parappa badly;
can’t pass driving school

years later there were guys
who were up to no good
starting with misogyny
and bein’ rude

I got just one little dox
as would be my fate
for criticizing video games
and opposing GamerGate

I called on some support
and when it came near
the women, they got doxxed
creating a culture of fear

if anything I could say
it’s sad times for dames
but they say, ‘nah, forget it;
it’s about ethics in games!’

we go on months like this
and I’m gettin’ irate
at the Anita hate
I yell, ‘leave, GamerGater!’

I looked at my kingdom,
looked at Vivian James,
how quickly I forgot
it’s about ethics in games

 

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Silly SJWs, right?

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the end of games

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I wrote this with the past few weeks in games culture where women are concerned in mind. I suppose thinking about the last couple of days attending [convention name omitted], the culture and events surrounding it, and 4 hours of sleep likely helped this become a thing.

Respect to those who feel the need to leave the games environment for their own safety / well-being. Respect to those who stay, even in the face of abuse.

 

women in games,
y’know they have it rough
loving their work
seems never enough

you’ve got to get up, stand up
for their right to exist
making impact with your words
as your fist

knowing full well standing up may be
risking losing some credibility

but what is worth more in this industry
bonus points, or visibility?

we’ve got talent up to our nose
and as we highlight,
our community grows

if we can’t stand
being critical here
perhaps the end
is actually near

 

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From Portlandia. (Not my favourite show, but some lines ring true.)

the power of obligation

Last month, I was contacted by three people I would rather not have engaged with, but I did so anyway. Why?

 

An obligation, I suppose you could say. All three of these people were folks I’d had a habit of chatting with quite frequently and excitedly at some point in the past. At a later date, all three made me feel not OK in major ways for reasons that I’ll refrain from getting into detail here.

Somehow, I felt that I would or could make things worse by not saying anything in response to their contact, in case they didn’t understand why I didn’t want to be contacted (even though I communicated to each of them what was amiss). Our past interactions inspired me to respond, too.

 

 

There’s a sense of finality in breaking ties with people, whether it’s speaking to them less, or going your own way, online, offline or both. It can make things uncomfortable if you have friends in common, and/or frequent similar social circles. It can cast a shadow over anyone’s day.

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Not breaking ties is tempting. It’s an ‘engage anyway’ button that a good chunk of folks tend to push perhaps without fully realising it, and it almost always comes at a cost to the one pushing it.

 

 

When folks do something wrong, there can be an assumption in play that we should just carry on as though nothing has happened, and move on. That it’s not worth the bother. I’m trying fiercely to break this habit, at least in the sense that I don’t speak up when something’s not quite right.

Part of moving on for me involves dealing with the thing, if it’s within my ability to. At the very least, I want those around me to acknowledge they’re aware of it. I would want to know if I mucked something up so I could fix it, if possible. (I am very aware not everyone shares this feeling.)

At best, the problem lies within a simple miscommunication that can be smoothed out if and when all parties involved are receptive to talking about it. At worst, one side shuts down when such news is being relayed, which usually leads to resentment, questioning safety, and other negatives.

 

 

Practice does not necessarily make perfect, but it should make better in a number of cases.

It’s rough finding ways to let people know you’re not OK, especially if you’re seen by others as a person who is relatively strong of will and/or are used to going a lot of things alone. Keep this in mind: even strong people can break when you think that they’re merely bending.

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August ’07, Indianapolis

Please consider being receptive to constructive criticism, even if it’s just to allow the person giving the criticism space, and to give you space to mull the information over awhile. Even if they’re parting words, and even if it hurts. Within that hurt is the opportunity to learn. We’re works in progress, and it’d be foolhardy to assume we’ve got it all figured out.

Please also tell yourself – maybe more than once – that it’s alright to disengage when you feel it necessary, nostalgia be damned. Holding onto memories of the good times serves little purpose if it’s being invoked during repeats of harmful behaviour, whether said behaviour is intended or not.

 

One obligation we have and often forget is the obligation to ourselves, to our hearts and to our well-being. Those obligations are simply not possible to fulfill if we keep offensive actions in our lives.

Part III in a personal blog series about interactions on the internet.

Part II: https://kungfulasers.com/2014/04/03/possession/

Seattle, I’ll not stand idle

I’ve been in Seattle 4 years officially now. The time has been… bittersweet.

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Yes, it’s a beautiful city and region. That cannot be denied. The state of Washington and the Northwest in general offers treats for the eyes that are absolutely unparalleled. There are a number of people that are genuinely nice, motivated, and a delight to be around.

It can take time to find these people.

 

 

I can count on at least two hands the number of times I’ve been told “go back to LA!” or something similar aggressively (or maybe even passive-aggressively in places I cannot access), because I said something about Seattle that someone on the internet didn’t like. Even offline it’s prickly.

You know what, though? I’m not going back to LA. And I’m not going to stop loving this city with a critical eye.

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That’s what you do when you care for something — you spend time, money and effort. You pay attention. You call shit out. You think of ways to make things better. You remain steadfast.

 

 

Make no mistake about me. I want to work hard and live well and vote often and pay taxes that I know are somewhat going to the betterment of my surroundings. I want to learn, and to grow.

I understand that there are many people who’ve been in this area much longer than I, especially since I am not quite 30 years old and had to fight my way up here. However, that does not entitle natives or longer-term residents to bully me into silence when I say something that isn’t popular to dislike about this region, or commonly gets ignored in favour of other points on an agenda.

If I wanted to be purely antagonistic, I could step up to the stage, say I don’t care for Nirvana, drop the mic and be done with it. But that’s silly, because there are plenty of people who like the band and the culture surrounding it, which makes sense because this is grunge city and all.

Wisdom consists in not rocking the boat when there’s nothing to be learned or gained from it, so I don’t push that button.

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You may be asking yourself what I find so contrary about this place. Well, there’s a separate post for that which may come later.

For now, I am using this space to reflect on how far I’ve come, and to acknowledge that Seattle, for all its shortcomings (as you’ll find that no place is perfect), has helped me immensely.

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Florida is a very strange state. As far as I know, the MSM doesn’t do much to prove otherwise, with what I read of bizarre crimes and even more puzzling methods of state government.

I have taken several trips to Florida, as north as Fort Lauderdale and as south as Key West, with a main focus in Miami. Due to an intensely passionate long-term relationship, it got to a point where Miami crossed my mind when I considered a place to move to from Los Angeles.

I ended up with my first choice of Washington state, and in the process broke the strong ties I had binding me to Florida in any way. I was really quite firm in thinking I would not return.

Three years plus later, here I am, doing some remarkable stuff. I got over my negative mentality enough to book a flight and see people I value more than letting the past prevail.

Someone I’ve been online friends with for several years met me in Pensacola, spent the entire day with me and another gal of note I’d not seen for at least most of those aforementioned several years. It was an effortless sort of day, one you get to desiring after a long, difficult stretch. In our own different ways, we each needed to be able to laugh and be so carefree.

Summer ’12, Lake Lorraine, Florida

I’m not going to sit here and type this and pretend that my friendships have been all hunky dory, because that would be a lie. There are still a few I can think of off the top of my head that are in dire need of repair. I will mention that coming back after a while to talk about the goings on between myself and one of these women made a significant effect on me being here.

One point that really burns about rifts in friendships is that lingering lack of closure. It’s not necessary for the other person or people involved to give that closure to you, especially depending on how things went down. The best one can do is admit faults, and try to keep a cool head when receiving criticisms/hearing alternate sides of the story. I’ve got work to do.

My trip and experiences here thus far have taught me to keep trying, and that it’s okay to enjoy myself every once in a while without thinking too hard about what it might mean in the future.

the awkward dance

I don’t miss you, just who you used to be

and you don’t ring true, so please stop calling me

— Robbie Williams, “She’s Madonna”

Most of the time, I would tell you that I believe in second chances. I’ve believed in them so fiercely, it can cloud my judgment. It could also be that I am hasty to hand out second chances when what I should really do is take a proper amount of time to suss out the scope of a situation before coming to a decision. I’ve had my fair share of reaching out to people when I was younger, but my experience as of late is that I’ve been more on the receiving end of things.

April ’11, Vancouver, British Columbia

It is my sincere hope that I will not be discouraged against doling out chances in the future because I’ve been burned by people more than once. It’s unfair to immediately cast new connections into the shadows of those who came before them, isn’t it? I think so.

Though I wish I could, I cannot say for certain if previous experiences will impact how I deal with interpersonal issues later; the resentment tends to manifest and grow exponentially with each case. Let’s be kind, and assume the wisdom does as well.

I like the idea of continuing to explore friendships despite a misunderstanding here, or a genuine misstep there. That’s tricky — I don’t know if it’s for the best, or if I can actually do it all alone. It helps if the folks involved are willing to admit to such things, and then move ahead.

I can’t forget how others have made me cross, feel hurt, and/or disrespected. I dare not. That would open myself up for more of the same treatment. However, I enjoy believing that I’ll do my best not to harbor petty grudges and allow negativity to rule my days. Work must be done to support this. Perhaps I can mull it over, practice forward thinking, and see where it takes me.

April ’11, Vancouver, British Columbia

I will not pretend, I will not put on a smile

I will not say I’m alright for you

— Martha Wainwright, “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”

For the record, I do not believe in third chances. It sounds ludicrous!

If issues cannot be resolved after one lump or two, it’s likely that the connection was not meant to endure. Also, if someone is keeping track of times they’ve been wronged or upset by one person or party, that can be indicative of stress, and the beginning of a grudge. There are more productive means of using one’s energy.