Monthly Archives: January 2015

#GamerGate and other popular controversial hashtags

I wanted to talk about the recent popular controversial hashtags that I have avoided to talk about, and how it has affected me lately. You notice that I included as many trendy hashtags in the tags section just to catch readers’ attention, so this promises to be interesting.

While I’ve tying been active on the gamer community of the Internet, there are news, controversies, popular trends and hashtags that breezed through my brain, mostly by accident. There are moments when I stare at the computer or phone, and contemplate my boredom, tying to fill it with anything trivial. Mostly it is during time when I’m supposed to sleep but fails to oblige. Among the few places to fill my brain is the game developer community. I find content on YouTube, Twitter, and wherever it leads me. There is still not enough interesting content to grip my attention. Eventually, I derail and bump into the trending topics. Since I follow the gaming community closely, the trending controversy to hit me is #GamerGate.

My first reaction to the word #GamerGate? Well it kinda sounds like #BillGates, but I doubt it would have anything to do with him. I remember a while ago there was a problem with the iPhone’s antennae, which caused Apple to apologize to its customers and offer a freebie. Can’t remember if Steve Jobs was around at that time but I can hardly imagine Steve Jobs apologizing for anything. That made the word #AntennaeGate popular, so by analogy I thought #GamerGate means the gamer community is broken. Not sure if associating the hashtag means I side with gamers or against gamers, but actually I didn’t really care.

Then the term #GamerGate keeps re-popping during my lazy internet exploration. I was watching BlizzCon, cause I really love Starcraft, and Blizzard’s CEO Mike Morhaime starts talking about recent harassment issues and other crap that seems to lead to #GamerGate. Later, there seems to be this trendy feminist YouTuber called Anita Sarkeesian who seems to be getting a lot of popularity and a lot of hate. So is that what all the fuss is about?

Later, I was exposed to more details about #GamerGate, like a consumer getting exposed to subliminal advertising. Apparently, the big fuss is there’s a war that stated when a game reviewer was having sex with a game developer, and that made the reviewer biased, and for some reason people really don’t like that. I still had a hard time giving a fuck, but I can’t help, out of morbid curiosity, to dig out the dirt out of this story. So far, I heard that people got bullied, which is bad… so bullied that they had to close their Twitter account. Hum.. ok…. I heard there were death treats, yeah that’s pretty serious. So this is what people are waging war against on the Internet, that’s what they spend their energy fighting for. I saw a lot of recurring comments about Anita cherry picking moments in video games to prove her point gender inequality. Yeah, that’s bad, she shouldn’t do that. Oh but that actually helped her gain popularity. So I guess it was smart for her to do that. Yah, but it does not reflect the truth about the gamer community. Ok… can’t we just end the debate at “She’s half right” and be done with it? It seems like a lot of gamers get really worked up over this. It made me question myself. Am I really insensitive and unwilling to defend the gamer community by not giving a fuck? Actually, I don’t really have that much ammo to criticize her because I think she’s half right that the video game industry is a bit macho, and yes I didn’t have to watch her videos to say that. And as silly as it sounds, I am wasting my time writing this article just to show how much I don’t care. It seems silly to me that an issue like this would escalate to death treats. I hope nobody died from #GamerGate, I didn’t really follow you know.

There’s more about feminism. So I watched a video from another feminist, Rebecca Watson. And I got on her channel simply because of a video she made on 5 tips to beat Civilization V. I have to admit feminism is a turn off for me, but it doesn’t really induce hate. So not sure why, that silly video about Civ V made me subscribe to her channel, then I get all those vide about feminism. I don’t really buy it. For me it’s kinda crap, but it’s like a cheap burger, not satisfying but it’s enough to fill my boredom. But then I encounter the video of people attacking her. For some reason, a feminist talking shit doesn’t really bother me, but men attacking her for talking shit kinda does. Isn’t it a big sign of insecurity when a man go all their way to attack a woman, when her message is not even directly addressed to them? A lot of people (I assume most of them men) seem to defend the image of their community as if they’re fighting for freedom or something. That did made me wonder if I’m not the jerk here. By not caring, not taking sides in those controversial issues, does it make me bad in some way? And if it does, should I really care?

I think I do care to some extent about my online persona, because I do publish games online, and an attack on me would kinda suck and probably affect negatively what I want to achieve. On the other hand, I don’t really give a fuck that much. Jack Le Hamster is not my real name ;-P. But now, I find the irresistible urge to voice my opinion, despite that doing it shows I do give a fuck and completely invalidates my points.

So at first, it’s true I didn’t really care for all this controversies. I was just letting it pass on my little cloud. I’m sure most of us would not care about this at all in 1 or 2 years, but perhaps there’s a little bit of my thoughts I could share through this story. When I grew up, I used to think the important things in the world to care about are the hungry children in developing countries. We’re talking about children dying here. It’s a serious problem, which have gone by for so long that I now feel desensitized by it. Sadly, it’s almost becoming a fad, it’s so 90’s. But humans still need that sense of purpose in their life, this idea that they have to fight for a cause. When this whole controversy came out, a lot of heated arguments on social media took place, yet for me, it seems so trivial to even think about that.

I also think there’s something about wrong for men with publicly attacking women on social medias. While this clearly shows gender inequality in my mind, I really do think that Anita’s claim didn’t have to be taken seriously. It would actually be the best way to be against her, since fueling the controversy increases her popularity. Who knows, maybe it was her plan to get unwanted attention, and anti-feminist felt into her trap. If someone makes a bad comment about you or your community, the best way is really to ignore, or respond in a way that shows you don’t care. What is the worst that can happen if some people believe Anita’s claims? Women characters having more power in video game? Defending against that shows a lot of insecurities about gamers in my opinion. That ruins the image of the gaming community a lot worst than having people believe the gaming industry has gender inequality.

Now for the part that’s gonna get feminist to hate me…

So does it mean I agree with feminists and all their men bashing videos? Well, like I say I’m really turned off by feminists and I consider most of what they say as unimportant. I’m don’t have much love for anybody who attempts to spread message of hate, but I guess we can lend them an ear once in a while, to figure out ways we can less piss off women. Guys, we all know we can’t win fights against women, so why even try. When women argue with men, there’s maybe between 30%-99% bullshit that you can ignore. Trying to argue with that makes you look downright stupid. I think women just want to be heard, they don’t necessarily need a response of some sort. Just knowing that men understood their message is enough I think. For men, showing hints that they got the message is probably enough. We don’t have to be literal about everything women argue about, because remember, there’s a huge chunk of bullshit that needs to be filtered out.

So you’ll notice that there’s even more crap I added in the tags section, more trendy controversial hashtags to discuss about.

Maybe I’ll skip #KimKardashian. I was just screwing around.

So aside from that. There’s another recent controversial hashtags that surface recently. #JeSuisCharlie et #JeSuisPasCharlie.

I have to say, the terrorists attacks on the French cartoonist really didn’t concern me. First of all because I was born in France, but also because I do believe in freedom of expression, and that the cartoonists shouldn’t have been murdered for criticizing a religion through their cartoons. I won’t even claim that I’m brave enough to risk my life by defying a religion and proving my freedom of expression, yet I feel somewhat outraged by some of the perspective that came from this story. Saying that they deserved it or that they saw it coming is the kind of comments that really shouldn’t be made. Other comments that directly attack the religion are not great either, but that’s something unavoidable given the situation.

I didn’t really jump on the bandwagon with the whole #JeSuisCharlie tag. If I had to choose, then yes, I’m on the side #JeSuisCharlie. I actually find the sound of it pretty silly, and I also didn’t feel like falling in this trap of following the popular trend.

So following the popular trend makes me a sheep, yet perhaps ignoring it makes me feel left behind. At the end, I think this is really just a decision I have to make whether or not to leave this historical trace of me on the Internet. By experience, whenever I look at something I wrote five or ten years ago, I always think: “That is soooo stupid!”. But I don’t think I’ve ever regretted.

Well, since I won’t regret anything, let’s just puke every opinion out and let it go. So that #KimKardashian picture from PAPER magazine…. godamn awful!!

Dream Journal – The Moving Cabin

Today I dream I’m inside a sort of cabin transportation device (looking similar to those ski lifts), going through a tunnel. As the cabin exits, the people inside tell me they have to eject me out. It’s a bit sudden and unexpected, and not at all how I was planning to exit. Unwillingly, I’m trying to prepare myself to land on a patch of grassy land so that I won’t injure myself. That’s when the dream ends. One thing I can’t figure out, as I woke up, I had an inner feeling that this was awesome.

The future of 2015

Throughout centuries, man have dreamed the future. Quite often, it leaded to a cool future filled with technology, often inaccurate. (Where are our flying cars!)

Now seems a good time to imagine the future of 2015. Our world now filled with communication devices that makes us communicate more electronically than organically. Now, in the year 2051, how did it evolve?

Communication with new species: In my imagined future, people got kinda sick of connecting with other humans with silly devices. Yet, one revolutionary technology completely changed society as we know it: A device that allowed humans and animals to communicate. From then on, the world changed forever. Dogs, cats, cows, birds… every animal on the planet developed some sort of intelligence, and eventually, got assimilated into earthling society. As humans started communicate with animals, they realized that traits that were assumed to belong to humans, like self conscience, art, philosophical thinking, were also present in animals.

Earthling society was a step up from human society. It became clear that killing to eat was no longer acceptable. But what would become of all the meat lovers out there?

Replicators: Thankfully, the invention of 3D printer caught on to the food industry. While it didn’t yet allow exact replication of atoms, it was able to produce organic produce. So while you couldn’t replicate a burger, you could reproduce the ingredients that let you cook one.

People often imagine that technology evolves to make people more complaisant, make their life easier thus causing them to be lazy. Like the microwave which let us make our meal in 5 mins with the press of a button. Not this time. The replicator made people more active by reigniting their love of home cooking. You could pretty much request any ingredients they want and produce a delicious meal out of it. While restaurants still do exist in our time, the one thing that faded into extinction, was prepackaged food.

So food replication was a revolutionary invention. It allowed the production of meat without killing animals. It also has a dark side. A new delicacy gain popularity: human meat! Of course it was more popular among lion or alligator customers, but actually every species was a tad bit curious to try how humans tasted like. Yet, in the world of 2051, a lot of people were still vegetarians. Even without the killing, a lot of beings are just grossed out by meat.

Matter disposal: Replicators also had a destructive equivalent: The Deconstructor. This basically allowed simple organic or non-organic items to be disassembled into primitive parts or matter. This beloved invention eliminated the need of garbage disposal. The world has never felt so clean. Rather than store junk into a container called a trash can, items would be deconstructed into basic matter on the fly, and recycled as matter usable by the Replicator. Outdoors, Deconstructors were found everywhere, and they blended well with the environment. Some were mobile, moving around like robots.

Deconstructor were smart enough to know not to deconstruct living beings. There are also several items that would be too complex for Deconstructors to disassemble, like a sculpture. In that case, the deconstrutor relayed its work to another technological marvel, the Transporter.

Transporter for items and beings: Transporters are flying entities roaming the sky, with the ability to control motion, gravity, momentum of objects. Back to the previous example.  When a complex object is thrown into a Deconstructor, it is forwarded to a transporter which lifts the object off the ground and throws it from transporter to transporter, until the item gets restored to the place where it belongs. If a sculpture was borrowed from a museum, it gets flown back there (in 2051, borrowing art pieces from a museum is as common as borrowing a book from the library). By throwing the object away, we’re basically saying we’re done with it, and the object gets returned to its owner, or deconstructed if that object can be easily be reconstructed from bsic parts of a replicator.

But living beings can also use transporters. With instinctive gesture and movements, the transporter will “throw” a being towards the direction chosen. That is the common mode of transportation in 2051. People don’t go around in cars anymore when traveling inside the city. They just leap magically using transporters towards their desired destination. Transporters are responsible for maintaining individuals in the air and avoid traffic collision. With this mode of transportation, birds feel they have lost their edge in society. Yet, they are one of the main contributor of the development of this invention. They also have the duty to repair those machines when they become defective. Some beings still enjoy moving around by foot, to keep themselves in shape or taking their time and enjoy their promenade.

That said, cars have not completely disappeared. In fact, all car models have evolved in a way that they are now all self sufficient, using solar energy, and they all have the ability to fly.

Cars are not allowed in the city because they would interfere with transporters. They are used for individuals to travel outside the city, wherever people want to go. A permit is required to own and use a car. It is a privilege to own one, because there’s a sense of freedom and responsibility when driving one.

How much do cars cost now? Well, it’s complicated… actually no it’s not. Cars cost nothing. Just like everything in this world costs nothing.

A money-less society: As objects and food became cheaper to produce and energy from the sun and other elements were harnessed so efficiently, it became clear that money was no longer needed. Money slowly devalued over the years and now, it is not used at all. You can get anything for free. It doesn’t mean you can do anything, since owning a car still requires a permit, but you can just get as much grocery as you want, get as much stuff as you want, eat as much food in the restaurant as you want… actually, that also depends how much the chef is willing to cook for you. Now that money is not used, cooks have no obligation to perform their jobs. They do it out of passion, and for recognition in the society. (in the form of kudos, which sounds like money but have nothing to do with it).

Money has remained in the circulation in forms of games, but it is now the equivalent of a score in a video game. It helps you get on a leader board but doesn’t let you buy anything.

How did the word end up in such communist like society? Well it is not exactly like that. Hard work and market competition still plays a role in this world. The goal rather than gaining money is to gain sphere of influence. It seems to work out the same way as capitalism and keep people from being lazy.

Now, the world is pretty much universally connected and nations have stopped waging wars. Every  inch of Earth is pretty much working under the rules that I have described, but there are still places where those rules don’t apply. For that, we have to look at outer space.

Space exploration: Some people have chosen to leave Earth’s utopia and venture into the unknown. The moon, mars, Saturn’s belt… all are covered with mini nations, each run by a governor with their own rules. The further we go from Earth, the least technologically and sociologically advanced the world becomes. Satellites of Saturn host worlds that resemble the world of 2015, except that it is faraway in space. A lot of people prefer that kind of lifestyle.

So far, we have not found any evidence of intelligent life outside our Solar System, but as always, we see signs that are more or less a subject of debate.

This is the world of 2051

The good, the bad and the ugly reasons why I can’t stop making games

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I just watched a documentary about cannibalism. Made me sick to my stomach. Somehow, it made me ponder about my reasons for making games. I came up with three of them.

The good: I love to create exciting and inspiring experiences to share with people. Imaging their delight when discovering a surprising element in my game feels me with joy.

The bad: I really love to make people struggle and pull their hairs trying to beat odds that seem impossible. Imagining them get infuriated spending countless hours trying to solve my stupid puzzle brings me a pleasure that i’m guilty of.

The ugly: with all the ugly crap that I see happening in this world, I feel that I really should spend this fortunate period of my life when ugly crap hasn’t yet reached my life, to create something amazing, which hopefully, will cause a bit less ugly crap to happen in this world.

Back on wordpress

So my plan originally was to move my gamedev blog to Gamejolt’s Fireside. But then I decided, nah.. let’s not do that. I mean I still plan to write gamedev articles for Fireside, but I’m not going to stop writing in my blog. On Fireside, I can’t just ramble on about anything (even if they do let me, I wouldn’t want to do that. ). But on my blog, I can’t just write about whatever the hell I want, so why would I give that up?

So anyway, check out Fireside (http://fireside.gamejolt.com) for some gamedev articles and check out my blog, which you’re already doing right now, for some rambling about anything.