2017-01-10

Our Time Machines

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.”

— Jeremy Irons

2017-01-06

You Are Welcome Here

For me, the issue of gender and inclusivity in games isn’t always about sexuality or gender issues per se. It’s about acknowledging what your narrative choices say about the world you’re creating, and about the people in that world. And with respect (and in response to some discussions taking place elsewhere), I think people who say, “I would include LGBTQ content in my game if I had those people at my table” are missing a larger point.

In a (stereo)typical FRPG setup, if I say, “The owner of the inn welcomes you, introducing you to his wife where she works behind the bar…”, it says something about the world of my game. It’s probably not intentional, because we create these narrative moments by instinct, and our instincts are honed by our own experience of living in a world where men own things and women work for men. But contrast that to “The owner of the inn welcomes you, introducing you to her husband where he works behind the bar…” Because that says something slightly different — and, in my view, something important — about the world of my game. Just as “The owner of the inn welcomes you, introducing you to his husband where he works behind the bar.…” says something more important still.

The thing I hope that last one says to LGBTQ players is “You are welcome here.” The thing I hope it says to non-LGBTQ players is “This is the world you’re a part of.” Even over and above creating games and game narrative geared toward LGBTQ characters and players (because that’s obviously important), this is big part of what inclusivity means to me.

2017-01-05

Questions

From Facebook, just because.

Why not take a break from negativity* and learn about each other. 

[*Hey, I don’t knock your hobbies, so don’t knock mine, all right?]

1. Who are you named after, if anyone? 

I’m named after/by my maternal grandparents, the Fitzgeralds; and my paternal grandmother, who was dying when I was born, and who when she saw me for the first time, said I looked like a Scott. (The additional context you need for this is that I was adopted on unexpected short notice, so my parents hadn’t spent any of the time thinking about names that most parents do.)

2. Last time you cried? 

Watching The Force Awakens on New Year’s Eve. You know which scene.

3. Do you like your handwriting? 

I’d like it better if I could read it, and if writing didn’t make my hand hurt. So, I guess, ‘No.’

4. What is your favourite lunch? 

One I don’t have to make myself.

6. Do you use sarcasm? 

Never. I mean that sincerely.

7. Do you still have your tonsils? 

Not sure. I had them out when I was three, but sometimes they grow back if you remove them at that age. I haven’t had any reason to find out since then, though.

8. Would you bungee jump? 

Fuck, no.

9. What is your favorite kind of cereal? 

Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats.

10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? 

Never.

11. Do you think you're strong? 

Emotionally and psychologically, not particularly. Physically, more so than I sometimes want to be (see 13, below).

12. Favorite ice cream? 

Mango.

13. What is the first thing you notice about a person? 

Whether they make eye contact with me, or whether they’re inadvertently intimidated by me because I’m six-foot-three and look like I’m prone to beating people up, which I’m usually not.

14. Football or baseball? 

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

15. What color pants are you wearing? 

Black.

16. Last thing you ate? 

A handful of cashews.

17. What are you listening to? 

A mix of various film soundtracks.

18. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? 

Sky blue.

19. What is your favorite scent? 

The smell of fresh-baked bread.

20. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? 

One of my sisters-in-law.

21. What is your favourite sport to watch? 

Again with these questions that don’t make any sense. You’re trying my patience, here.

22. Hair color? 

Brown/grey.

23. Eye color? 

Blue/grey.

24. Favourite foods to eat? 

Chinese, pizza, nachos, black forest cake, baklava. Don’t ever get between me and a plate of baklava. It’ll end badly.

25. Scary movies or happy endings?

Happy endings.

26. Last movie you watched? 

The new Sherlock, if that counts; The Force Awakens if not; Rogue One if The Force Awakens doesn’t count because I already used it to answer number 2, above.

27. What color shirt are you wearing?

Black.

28. Favorite Holiday?

Last summer’s.

29. Beer or wine? Can't I have both? 

Coke Zero. Seriously, I’m just going to make up my own questions next time.

30. Night owl or morning person?

There is no morning. Any time from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. is “day”; any time between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. is the middle of the night, and not fit for human activity.

Distant Planets Spin

“It will take months to get my inner world peopled, and the people moving. How else to do it but plunge out of this safe scheduled time-clock wage-check world into my own voids. Distant planets spin: I dream too much of fame, posturing, a novel into print. But with no job, no money worries, why, the black lid should lift. Look at life with humor: easy to say: things open up: know people: horizons extend…"

— Sylvia Plath

2017-01-03

Another Day

Another day; another dream of winning several billion dollars in the lottery, buying Adobe Inc., giving the InDesign programming and development team a well-deserved retirement, piling up every system and archive holding the source code for their program in the center of their empty offices, and then burning the building to the goddamn ground.

I Wish

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

— J.R.R. Tolkien

2017-01-01

Nice Try

Achievement unlocked: Fixed unexpected New Year's Day failure of washing machine.

Nice try, 2017. Nice try.