Monday, February 19, 2018

Writing - A Tale of Two Bards - West Marches

Writing - A Tale of Two Bards - West Marches

“Oi! Bard!”

Sedriks looks up from a wooden bowl of eggs and pork cracklins to eye a longtable of farmhands, the lead of which, a grizzled greybeard has just addressed him.

“That twanger on your back, is it just for show or can you play a tune?”

Taking one last long pull of the mead, the bard in question responds, “Isss not for show, how dew ya do. I can play it right smartly if ye have the coin for me trouble.”

There is a slight rumble of chairs and scrapes, the farmers rustle through cotton pockets and into leather pouches to produce a fistfull of brass.

“Here then! If you are as good as they say from the night of the attack, a song. More where that came from if we likes what we hears!”

Sedriks unslings the Viola, with a nod of thanks to the waitress who deposits the coin on the table before him. The room falls to silence as a long ashwood bow is produced from within a sturdy carrying case. The first pull of the bow produces a clarion clear note, low and mournful, echoing through the rafters and out the half-cracked windows into the evening rain.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Equality - On The Basis of Merit

Equality - On The Basis of Merit

Redditor Psyladine wrote a fairly detailed idea about why the argument "The most qualified person should get the job" lacks a certain amount of understanding. I wanted to save and share widely this contextual view for consideration.

'most qualified' implies the 'most qualified' inherently seek out the position. What affirmative action seeks to address is that half of all available brain power, i.e. women, are not pursuing the industry.

Since men already pursue the industry disproportionately we'd have to rule out a common factor explaining this discrepancy, the remainder then seems to be a contentious choice between implicit bias in the industry on the basis of gender, hidden disincentives towards women, or a factor inherent in the women themselves independent of the industry. Given the prevalence of sexual discrimination laws and the very existence of the civil rights movement, the third, while convenient in placing the burden of evidence on the non-participating gender, seems a bit too convenient.

The reaction to even token participation of women in the industry as being contrary to a meritocracy is evidence of that bias itself. When there is a disparity, corrective action does seem heavy handed, but the disparity itself is the issue, not the beneficiaries of positive incentives.

Let's look at it from a different angle. Say there's a fascinating industry directly relevant to the interest of the 18-45 crowd, massive entertainment industry here, nearly 100 billion a year.

When you look at the employment in that industry, you find out out of 10 people, only 2 are white to the 8 black (maybe a sliver of one goes towards latino or other minority).
The very fact of its distribution creates a specific mental image and set of preconceived assumptions about that industry, assuming you aren't part of the 80%. Sure, you might get in edgewise, you might even make it, but you will always be an outlier, an exception, and possibly, god forbid, a token used by the industry to ward off possible discriminatory action by the state.

This isn't about a 50/50 distribution so much as it is assessing a disparity and critically weighing whether that disparity is innate, cultural, social, or even purposeful and self perpetuating.

For the white programmer in the gaming world, you are the 80%. To hear that someone doesn't feel included, well, what's it to you? It's your club, your environment. If they want to belong bad enough, they'll bend until they fit into yours.

But it doesn't seem right, does it? Or maybe it does, and you don't know why it should ever be different. After all, if they aren't already a significant corpus in the industry, maybe they just don't belong there, right? Culturally, of course.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Theatre - World Theatre Day 2017

Theatre - World Theatre Day 2017

Isabelle HUPPERT
The message author of 2017 is Isabelle Huppert, the theatre and cinema actress from France.

World Theatre Day Message 2017 by Isabelle Huppert

So, here we are once more. Gathered again in Spring, 55 years since our inaugural meeting, to celebrate World Theatre Day. Just one day, 24 hours, is dedicated to celebrating theatre around the world. And here we are in Paris, the premier city in the world for attracting international theatre groups, to venerate the art of theatre.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Game Design - Resist Jam - If Not Now, When

Game Design - Resist Jam - If Not Now, When

It has taken me a week to collect some thoughts. I think that might be a hallmark of doing difficult and meaningful work. That you need to take time away from it, just a little bit, to decompress and actually think, and consider what you did.

Last week Sunday, the team of Chris Slater, Ian Pratt, Lindsay Comeau, Lawrence Cheung, Bryan Link and I completed our Resist Jam submission. Resist Jam was a week long game jam inspired by the recent events going on in America today. We were mandated to make a game about resisting authoritarianism in all its forms. We were tasked with making a game that showcases some ideas about diversity and inclusion.

Check out more information on Resist Jam Here.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Writing - On Wonder

Writing - On Wonder

We spent thousands of years looking up at stars. Naming them, calling them, creating stories around them and weaving myths. We promised them to one another, and dreamed, is anyone out there? We were hoping and wondering and imagining.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thoughts - Profit

Thoughts - Profit

For what is a person profited, if they shall gain the world, and lose their own soul?

I've been thinking a lot about this statement lately. I've been thinking about it because it is deeply representative of the argument I find myself utilizing in the face of those who support Trump based on a perceived Fiscal idea. There are a lot of people I know who are... "give him a chance" about Trump because they are seeing positive effects in the marketplace. They are seeing stock markets rise, bullish investments, lowering rates on interest.

But what is it to profit, to get a better investment rate of return, to make another five thousand dollars at the end of the fiscal year...if it is to turn your back on society. To turn your back on scruples. To profit at the sake of another, and maybe not just another, but every other.

Will you tell me that it is just fair play?

Will it still be fair play when you are the one being made profit of?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Theatre - On Othello, Walterdale, and White Privilege

Theatre - On Othello, Walterdale and White Privilege

I'm angry.

And then I'm alternately sad.

I like the Walterdale. That theatre is fun, and we've mounted many shows on that stage. I've seen a lot of my friends cut their teeth on productions in that space, as actors, as directors. It provides a great training ground with different stakes that are necessary to provide more fuel for a successful theatre community.

Then I was made aware of their mid-season show, Othello.

It's heartbreaking.