Yes, It is a Gaming Industry Problem

This came across my Twitter feed earlier today, and, having worked in the gaming industry for five years now (if you count that time working on customer service systems FOR a major gaming company) I have my own horror stories about the culture of silence concerning sexism and sexual harassment in the gaming industry.

As a games tester, there’s tremendous pressure to conform and to operate as some idealized worker-robot. A worker-robot that’s straight, male, and white, because for some reason an industry that used to provide a shelter for alternative lifestyles, hell, used to be an alternative lifestyle in and of itself, apparently operates according to the same dudebro asshole code that high school locker rooms and cliched college frats operate on. It’s like all the geeks saw the assholes who bullied them and said, “Yeah, that. I want to be that.” Continue reading Yes, It is a Gaming Industry Problem

The Dark Tower, Chiastic Something or Other, and Existential Blue Screens

So, we hit the 10-year mark on the last book of The Dark Tower series this year, but in case you, like me, are a F/SF fan that totally missed the whole thing because the bookstores file it under Literature with the rest of King’s work (WHY!?), I will alert you that yes, there are decade-old spoilers straight after the cut.

For those of you that haven’t read it yet, all you should know is that it’s good to read, and that King does manage to wrap it up with a satisfying-yet-not-satisfying ending. I want to talk about that ending. Continue reading The Dark Tower, Chiastic Something or Other, and Existential Blue Screens

Snowraven 2014 and other news

Wow, okay, um. Hi.

I haven’t posted an update here since August, and that’s kind of irresponsible. There are a lot of reasons for the lapse, but the best reason is that I dumped a ton of time into finishing Snowraven’s rough manuscript. It still needs edits, but those edits won’t start from the ground up, and that makes me as happy as a… a… well, a writer that’s finished a rough manuscript.

My next project is an as-yet untitled 3-part serial novel with the elevator pitch:
“What if Conan the Barbarian had trouble with women?”

Apparently I think that this story’s more important to tell than the backlog of other ideas that were waiting for post-Snowraven free time to complete. In a way, I find the new story comforting. The plot is quick and silly, but it’s been two years since I’ve had a new story idea rather than just executing on backlogged ideas. It’s a relief to know my stock of story-seed isn’t exhausted.

Notables since August: I finished The Dark Tower series, read Chuck Wendig’s Mockingbird, watched two anime series (“Ika Musume” and “Attack on Titan”), and got lost in Civilization III and IV, The Sims 2, and Fallout 1, all over again. I’ll have reviews for these things up here soon.

Oh, I took the JLPT N1 again. Results will be back in February or March, not that it really matters. I’ve been doing fine professionally without that certification anyways.

Why Writers Should Come Out Of Their Caves

At Norwescon, I sat in a panel assembled to answer a pretty simple question: What benefit can writers get from leaving their caves? More the pity then that the panelists spent more time discussing how introverted they were, how much benefit they get from staying in their caves, and how the light and the outside world exhausts them.

Okay. I get it. You’re a writer. The myth and legend of solitary creation has so captivated you that you’ve dedicated your very life to getting as little human contact as possible. As one panelist put it, “If you aren’t getting something out of your writing, enjoying the very task, then why would you be there?”

Sure. But does forced solitude follow that? I like talking to people. I like capturing the spirit of how people are. I like social gatherings, time with friends, shit, time with strangers. Do I have to offer that up on an altar just cuz some late 19th early 20th century drunks pooled in the societal expectation griddle and congealed like thrice-cooked-and-rancid sausage fat? Does every other writer have to be battered and cooked in that shit? Continue reading Why Writers Should Come Out Of Their Caves

Drive Might Be Inherited, Money and Connections Certainly Are

This article came across my feed today, from a magazine that usually does a pretty good job of things.

I couldn’t help myself. I broke my rule of arguing with strangers on the internet in order to post this diatribe on the Facebook post:

This is horrifying, more like reading Ayn Rand than your typical U.S. Republican speech.

So the rich “inherit” the drive of their parents? What about the political, social, and financial capital that separates the elite from the poor, even in an egalitarian society such as Sweden? What about the fact that a rich B-student in the U.S. can afford an unpaid internship while a poor A-student might have to work for minimum wage in order to mitigate the financial damage of an education? What about the fact that due to these circumstances, the rich B-student gets fast-track to Management, while the A-student may end up working retail after he gets out, because he has no elite connections? What about the fact that the elite have the financial reserves to take outsize risks, safe in the knowledge that however hard they screw it up, they and their family will assuredly not starve.

The world is not an equal place, and Economists deal with the real world. That’s why we’re not philosophers or moralizers. Leave biased, incorrect, and unscientific ideology to them. We’ve got dismal science to do.

While I’m not at all alone in this assessment, I’d like to expand that last paragraph. Continue reading Drive Might Be Inherited, Money and Connections Certainly Are