I have gone to buy a computer, and had the salesperson speak to my husband and not to me, even though I am a professional game developer and my husband has trouble using a printer. I have had men in my department throw a Halo launch party and not invite me, assuming that as a woman I have no interest in games. I have had my professional opinion on server purchases overruled by men that were talking over me in meetings, and then watched those men be fired when the systems they purchased didn’t work.
Those life events inform my experiences and opinion. And, they inform my perspective on 2013 Tomb Raider. And, with respect, if you only have people voting on game of the year from a very singular opinion — generally white, straight and male — it’s missing so much information that it loses its validity.
This doesn’t mean guys can’t have awareness of issues affecting women. And it doesn’t mean women have a singular, monolithic opinion on games or even sexism. Even among my female friends, we have vastly differing opinions about 2013 Tomb Raider. Some of us love Bioshock Infinite; some of us hate it. But more viewpoints need to be represented in discussing games. We need more female games journalists who have a more central part of the dialog.
Sometimes, though, you run into a guy with empathy, who takes multiple points of view into account, not just his own. He might not even think of himself as a feminist. When 2011’s Vanquish came out, former IGN editor Ryan Clements was extremely enthusiastic. Then, in the middle of glowing praise of “watching an enemy explode into a cacophony of pieces” and “feeling entire highways crumble away under your feet,” Clements makes the following offhand remark in his video review.
“I say this game needed more badass girls, but that’s just me.”
[I agree. the world needs better representation for girls/women/ other folks etc. Expand the point of view of your company, team, whatever as widely as you can. It raises everyone's level. We also need more folks who are badass at whatever they do and whatever field they do it regardless of gender or other ways people falsely divide themselves. ]
So I’d think twice about deciding your online persona is “righteous asshole.” If it seems like a good idea, think two more times. You are not speaking truth to power. It is not a litmus test for determining your true friends. You are not guaranteed that only the “right” people will be pissed off. And you will build an audience that rewards you for being unkind—which makes it all too easy to cross lines you shouldn’t. When you get called on it, it’s too late to rip off your asshole mask and protest that’s not who you really are.
And it’s not just keyboards. It’s ebook readers. Flashlights. Not your smartphone, but the removable battery in your smartphone. (Have you noticed it running down just a little bit faster?) Your toaster and your kettle are just the start. Could your electric blanket be spying on you? Koomey’s law is going to keep pushing the power consumption of our devices down even after Moore’s law grinds to a halt: and once Moore’s law ends, the only way forward is to commoditize the product of those ultimate fab lines, and churn out chips for pennies. In another decade, we’ll have embedded computers running some flavour of Linux where today we have smart inventory control tags—any item in a shop that costs more than about £50, basically. Some of those inventory control tags will be watching and listening to us; and some of their siblings will, repurposed, be piggy-backing a ride home and casing the joint.
The possibilities are endless: it’s the dark side of the internet of things. If you’ll excuse me now, I’ve got to go wallpaper my apartment in tinfoil …
[Know your sources folks, it's going to get worse before it gets better. And since I am one of those folks that for years has been waiting for all these devices to talk to each other for my good, it's obvious that I'll have to do stuff to make sure I understand how they're doing what they're doing and if anyone else has joined the party without my knowing.]
My hope — my expectation, even — for 2014 is that the fog starts to lift.
As much as I like using the fog metaphor, the thing about surveillance is that there is no actual fog. You can’t see it. It’s everywhere and gets in everything, and it still looks like a sunny day on the internet.
[Now that are our eyes are open, and we continue to add to the piles of data companies like Amazon, Google, Twitter, etc. know about us and of course, the vast amounts of data the Government knows about us what do we do? As a technologist I have a few ideas of where I can make things better for some people. And that's what I'm going to do.]
Imagine too, how such glasses would affect something like the proctoring of an exam. A cheater could use their glasses to read the questions (OCR) and give them the answers. It’s not practical to administer all tests within Faraday cages, and for some subjects, like math, you wouldn’t even need network access to facilitate the cheating: just the camera and HUD. ↩
[Up until this last paragraph of the footnote I was in agreement. I find the single use versions much more compelling than the walk about town version. Riding my bike with a HUD? Nice. Operating heavy machinery with an overlay of whatever's important? Sure. Exam proctoring? Tests taken in a classroom? That's not the future.]
There are industries of people throwing money at other people saying they’ve found a breakthrough way of doing X for Y, where X is Instagram and Y is something that couldn’t possibly be a dishwasher because that wouldn’t make any sense whatsoever. There are companies like Everpix who try to fulfill what some other companies are promising and what we all want, but they run out of money. To the extent that they can’t survive because no one wants to pay and all the funding’s gone to Twitter-optimized coupon sites that don’t know five years in how to turn a profit, yeah, we’re screwed.
But we’re not screwed because no one wants to pay for anything and would rather file status updates during Christmas dinner. We’re screwed because no one dares to actually break the mold. No one wants to unhinge everything and fucking fix it. No one wants to stop making photo library apps for 2001 where it’s just cool that you can have those family photos on the computer or the photo sender app for 2006 where you can send pictures to people outside of the room(!) and make the photo library app that will be needed as everything will be going digital, everything will be kept forever and accessible from everywhere and no one will even remember there being a discussion about no one remembering paper copies or rolls of film.
I promised some ideas and there’ll be ideas, but I can’t do this alone. Stop wondering about what version numbers the next versions of Windows and OS X will have. Start wondering about how the hell we’re even getting along with what we have.
Source: Brent Simmons
ongoing by Tim Bray · More Things About TV: Said by “Bob” in the comments:
If consumers are going to be given 4k or 8k, then to “see” that resolution they need to have the frame subtend a large angle at the eye. Either they sit very close to the screen or they have very large screens. Viewers will resist this so long as images continue to be composed for small-screen viewing.
[ I think this is well said, but I suspect there's an age related aspect to this. Noah cannot possibly sit/stand/play close enough to the screen regardless of size. (I grant that the largest screen in the house is a 42" diagonal). Still I doubt that a larger screen would change his desire for immersion and ability to ignore the pixels. So at some collection of distance/acuity/lighting etc. a 4k 80" screen may not have value, but it certainly does for other cases.]