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campylobacter : gamedev   33

ArenaNet firings cast a chilling shadow across the game industry
Female developers across the industry have also subsequently reported sometimes coordinated attempts to get them fired on the basis of their social media presence — attempts they believe were inspired by the ArenaNet firings. One developer, who asked to remain anonymous because of potential backlash from online mobs, learned that her employer received form letters touching on her social media presence. Rather than specifying her name, some of these letters had been botched and simply said “%FEMALENAME.” Speaking to The Verge, she says these messages began arriving on Sunday night after word of the ArenaNet firings had spread. “This is 100 percent a response to the ArenaNet thing,” she says. “There’s no doubt whatsoever in my mind.”

She says the company’s public dismissal of two employees over a social media spat — framed by O’Brien as an attack on the company’s fans generally — has emboldened bad actors involved in movements like Gamergate, which target women and marginalized people in particular. “If you’re a woman, you’re just waiting for the wrong tweet to end your life now,” she says. “It sent a message to the harassment junkies that have infected our communities for the last four years: ‘Please come for our women.’ I don’t know what could undo this damage without further riling them up.”
workersrights  gamergate  gamingculture  gameDev  sexism  abuse  harassment 
july 2018 by campylobacter
Black Skin Is Still A Radical Concept in Video Games - Waypoint
Moonlight takes the stage in an industry that by and large has no idea what to do with its black actors—that constantly under-lights and backgrounds them—and drops a floridly explosive bomb in everyone's faces. Seeing black actors stunningly lit on screen is both inspiring and painful. Inspiring to be able to see the same faces you see every day at the same level of detail and nuance on a 50-foot screen. Painful to try in vain to call to mind any other movie that made black people look this good. Black skin needn't be drab, muddy and devoid of detail; that only happens when it is ignored or forced into the same constraints that allow white skin to flourish.

As mentioned above, lighting black and brown skin becomes much more complex in 3D games. Lighting can be prohibitively expensive to render, so the fewer lights there are in the game, the smoother it runs. As a result, many games rely on light maps and other forms of "baked" lighting, which predetermine how objects in a scene will look but can further exacerbate inconsistencies in character lighting. Another problem area is inconsistent framing. Where movies make use of locked-off sets and tightly scripted action, modern games grant the player a large amount of freedom in deciding where to situate your character and how to position the camera. A character can go from being well-lit to barely visible in a few tugs of the thumbstick.
cinema  videogame  gameDev  whiteprivilege  photography  racism 
march 2017 by campylobacter
CHARIOT: Guest Post: Women in Historical RPGs
women’s history has been actively erased by misogynistic cultural forces for thousands of years. Those records that do survive are circumscribed by the limits of the culture that produced them. Even when they exist at all, records of women doing things that fit their prescribed societal role are maintained; records of women who resist patriarchy are destroyed or altered to make them more socially acceptable. Records of cultures that supported powerful women were destroyed and supplanted with a conqueror’s narrative. Men who prove unpopular after their deaths are re-imagined as effeminate. Again, this did not happen by accident.
history  sexism  misogyny  gameDev 
november 2016 by campylobacter
Female Video Game Developer Snaps at Twitter Troll, Results Are Fantastic
"we're using he term 'game dev' very loosely here I see. Your game looks like something that would've been shitcanned on the ps1"

"I know you're trolling me, but engineer in me has to say. Technically, the PS1 could not have even come close to running R60. PS1 had two megs of texture memory. Even with PVRT4 compression, it couldn’t have run 1/4th of a single character’s textures."
misogyny  gameDev  twitter  sexism  gamingculture  videogame 
february 2016 by campylobacter
Placebo effect works in video games too
In the first round, the researchers told the players that the map would be randomly generated. In the second, they said it would be controlled by an “adaptive AI” that could change the map based on the player’s skill level. After each round, the players filled out a survey.

In fact, neither game used AI – both versions of the game were identically random. But when players thought that they were playing with AI, they rated the game as more immersive and more entertaining. Some thought the game was harder with AI, others found it easier – but no one found it equally challenging.

“The adaptive AI put me in a safer environment and seemed to present me with resources as needed,” said one player.
gameDev  psychology  videogames  gameMechanics 
october 2015 by campylobacter
Crunched: has the games industry really stopped exploiting its workforce?
Right now, this change in management approach is reliant on the entrepreneurial spirit of a few forward-thinking studio heads. To negotiate an industrywide change in labour conditions, workers are increasingly looking to collective organisation. The IGDA’s 2014 survey reveals 56% of respondents want unionisation: whether or not the organisation wishes to serve in that role, its constituency is clearly ready for more direct action.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Montreal, an important centre for game development with major Ubisoft, Square Enix and Warner Bros studios in residence. Here, there are now regular and very passionate meetings about the viability of unions and worker co-operatives – they could represent a vital first step in an industry without much history of labour organisation.

As for the studios mentioned in this article, we approached all of them via email offering a chance to answer the criticisms and observations of their staff members. Only one replied: Electronic Arts.

Crunch is less of a problem than it was in 2004, but it remains an intrinsic part of development culture. Better management, increased worker organisation and a more diverse staff base may well be the way out; but this being the games industry, it won’t happen without a fight.
videogames  gameDev  workersrights  overtime 
september 2015 by campylobacter
Anita Sarkeesian interview: 'The word "troll" feels too childish. This is abuse'
Sarkeesian has been meeting social media and technology companies, talking to them about how they can help stop gender-based abuse in gaming. Because, ultimately, this is a problem that needs solutions from the top as well as the bottom. “Where was the gaming industry in all this?” she asks. “GamerGate was a silver platter for them to say they don’t condone the harassment of women and they didn’t do it. GamerGate is the monster that the industry created.”

Independent developers tell Sarkeesian her work makes them want to create better games. “People come up to me at events and tell me how much my work has meant to them and that it has helped them to speak up,” she says.
abuse  gamergate  sexism  misogyny  feminism  gamingculture  gameDev 
august 2015 by campylobacter
Dishonored Co-Director: It's OK for Games to Be Mean to Players
“And similarly with Dishonored, Raph”—that’s Raphael Colantonio, his co-creative director and the founder of Arkane Studios—“and I made the decision, near the end of the project, if you played very, very darkly—you not only killed to get to your goal, but you also went out of your way to kill the maids and everybody else, then at the very end of the game, Samuel Beechworth, the old man who’s been driving your boat around, he basically says, ‘I despise you for what you’ve become.’ And he pulls a flare gun out, and he fires it, and he says, ‘That’s why I’m warning them that you’re coming.’ He betrays you. And we got so much pressure to cut that from the game.
videogame  violenceagainstwomen  violence  gameDev 
august 2015 by campylobacter
A moment that changed me – Gamergate Brianna Wu
As a woman working in the male-dominated gaming industry, I realised that sexism is still rife. And it’s not just the trolls who are to blame.

The truth is, the sexist behaviour that really holds women in games back doesn’t come from the moustache-twirling cartoon villains of Gamergate. It’s the sexist hiring practices of our journalistic institutions. It’s the consistently over-sexualised designs we see. It’s the entitled male-player base that screams from the hills at the smallest inclusions of women. We need the male professionals in our field to understand the unconscious bias that they consistently show against women – yet they sleep peacefully at night, assured that the real troublemakers are the ones sending us death threats.
gameDev  gamergate  briannawu  sexism  harassment  abuse  gamingculture 
august 2015 by campylobacter
For some tech feminists, online harassment is a constant
According to a Pew Research study published in 2014, women were more likely than men to find their most recent experience with online harassment "extremely or very upsetting," and women are also more likely to experience "more severe" harassment, such as stalking and sexual harassment.

The same study also shows that social media were most frequently cited as the scene of online harassment: 66 percent of those who have been harassed cited social media websites and apps.

Shireen Mitchell, an avid advocate for women and girls in tech and founder of Digital Sistas/Sisters, said because online harassment went unregulated in the early years of the Internet, a lot of the perpetrators of online harassment don't think much of their comments.

"The people who are doing it because it was acceptable and it was OK," she said.
feminism  harassment  sexism  misogyny  informationTechnology  gameDev 
august 2015 by campylobacter
Bioware introduces openly gay character in Dragon Age: Inquisition video game
A mage named Dorian, the brainchild of project writer David Gaider, magically breaks down barriers in video gaming.
characterdevelopment  videogame  gameDev  inclusivity  lgbtqia 
august 2015 by campylobacter
Same Face Syndrome or Why Scruffy-White-Dude Protagonists Don’t Help Anyone
Although I’m sure there are people in real life who look just like Nathan Drake or the default male Commander Shepard, the fact of the matter is that most men don’t look like that. As much as some players like to deny its presence, these characters, while generic due to their similarity, are as much a product of a patriarchal system as the objectification of female characters in video games. But instead of being sexualized and reduced to sex objects, these male characters act as manifestations of what our culture labels as a male ideal. They become hyper-masculine examples of what men are pressured into looking and, in many cases, acting as. In these examples gender binaries are often rigidly enforced, both physically and emotionally, which leads to an ideal that erases the presence of men of color, men who don’t conform to gender or sexual binaries, men whose body types don’t match the silhouette of a typical protagonist, and the like. These scruffy-white-dudes offer (white) male players a sort of role/wish fulfillment and the ability to act out male power fantasies, something women and other “nontraditional” gamers are often denied, but their reoccurance across titles also speaks a lot about what heroic/admirable men are “supposed” to be in our culture and what the rigid definition of manhood and male beauty is comprised of.
videogames  characterdevelopment  sexism  gameDev 
august 2015 by campylobacter
‘This has got to change’: Women develop new video games, and a new culture
The vicious mob, which coalesced under the name “Gamergate,” eventually drove Quinn from her home with its threats. It circulated nude photos of her, put her personal information online so others could harass her, and roped in her friends and family, and their employers, for a dose of harassment.

The result: Quinn still is making games, only now she’s a household name in the video-game community, and seemingly everyone working in the industry is talking about how to make a field long dominated by white men more diverse.

The role of women in the industry is a hot topic on the conference circuit, and even Twitter, a favored stomping ground for trolls and bullies, is stepping up its efforts to stem the abuse. Among other things, it has endorsed Crash Override, a network established by Quinn and her boyfriend and partner, Alex Lifschitz, earlier this year to help people who are targeted for online abuse and harassment.

“The industry is finally going to start maturing beyond its teenage years,’’ says Edwards. “The very thing they’re railing against, about diversity and all of that, is going to happen for real. We’re going to see an industry that is more diverse. We’re going to see games that are more diverse.”

In short, games that reflect the people playing them, and, increasingly, creating them.
videogames  gamingculture  sexism  misogyny  zoequinn  gameDev 
august 2015 by campylobacter
Report Reveals Restrictive and Hostile Working Conditions for Konami Employees
Development studios at Konami are constantly kept under surveillance with camera systems, not for security reasons, but as a measure meant to keep workers efficient and productive by reminding them that they're under close watch. This is further emphasized by a policy that requires workers to clock in and out with timecards during lunch breaks. Workers who run late are publicly named and insulted.

When a former Konami developer who was moved to a pachislot factory finally found employment with another company, he did what a lot of us would: He posted the joyful news to Facebook. Some of his former development team colleagues, who were sympathetic to his situation, liked that post... and soon after found themselves re-assigned too.
workersrights  abuse  videogames  gameDev 
august 2015 by campylobacter
Interviews: Brianna Wu Answers Your Questions
Last week you had a chance to ask the head of development at Giant Spacekat Brianna Wu about Gamergate, starting a company, and women-in-tech issues. Below you'll find her answers to your questions.
briannawu  gameDev  gamergate  feminism  harassment 
july 2015 by campylobacter
Play a game whose entire source code fits in a tweet
<body,t=d(s=0)><p style="float:left" onclick="(e=d(++s)-t)<15e3?style.margin=e%300+' 0 0 '+e*7%300:alert(s)">X</p></body>
gameDev  videogame  twitter  PROGRAMMING 
july 2015 by campylobacter
Brianna Wu: ‘The video games industry has a problem, and it’s not the players’
“They felt very threatened. They felt that games were their space and how could they not? Everything in their entire industry has told players that this is a space for men – the way women are portrayed, the language they use.

“This is important to say: I don’t necessarily blame the players for Gamergate. I think they were responding to a culture that is set from the top down. They are like fish swimming in a toxic ocean.

“When women are not represented in game media it tells the players we don’t belong there."
briannawu  gameDev  gameMechanics  videogames  sexism  misogyny 
july 2015 by campylobacter
Games Are For Everyone!
This is a curated list of useful resources, maintained by Zoe Quinn and originally made as a companion piece to The goal is to expand the scope of and provide resources and tools to anyone who feels like games might not be for them, or that they are but they're unsure of where to start looking.
zoequinn  gameDev  videogames 
june 2015 by campylobacter
Why the hell aren’t we going after Nintendo with pitchforks and torches over Pokémon Shuffle?
The problem is everything else. What Zynga, King, and various imitators do with these things is apply serious psychological research into how to make them as addictive as possible, and compel people to keep dropping money on them. Now again, that doesn’t sound like a big deal, because we always call really fun games addictive, but I don’t mean they put that research into making these games fun. I mean they exploit loopholes in how the human brain is wired to keep you compulsively coming back and stressing out when you can’t, trying to see the game through to the very end which may not exist, not even taking any joy out of the experience. Just sort of trudging through because you feel like you have to, or with this weird spiteful mindset, like you’ll stick it to the creators of this awful thing by playing it all the way through and never giving them a dime.
videogames  gameDev  gameMechanics 
june 2015 by campylobacter
A pixel artist renounces pixel art
It is with a heavy heart that I hang up the old pencil tool for all of our future games. To any dismayed pixel art heads out there, the good news is, we will continue to support Auro with expansion material, ports and other new content. Since we're at the point of no return with Auro, all future art for it will still be pixel art. Like I said, I love pixel art, so on a personal note, I'm happy to be able to scratch that itch for a while.

As for the future, I'm planning to shed purism and do my best to mature. I plan to embrace the medium, whatever that may be, and make the best art I possibly can. No level of technology or spectacle can match the careful, hand-done touch of an artist. There are no shortcuts, and there are no algorithms. There is no cheap way to make it good, only relatively good ways to make it cheap.
graphics  videogames  gameDev  art 
june 2015 by campylobacter
Learn to Play: A Lack of Taste
Game creators who’ve spent any amount of time conducting playtests have learned that playtesters’ opinions aren’t what a playtest seeks to elicit. Playtests aren’t focus groups, in other words. Playtesting a game is useful if you want to see what kinds of experiences are produced from playing your game; those experiences can be just as varied as individuals are, but the more vocal about opinions someone is, the less likely they are to communicate about the rawer levels of their own experience, their own reactions. Excellent playtesters can watch themselves without thinking too much about what’s “wrong” or “right” about the game, which is why game designers are often described as the worst possible playtesters: we think too much about how we might create part of the game differently, and not enough about what’s happening to us as players.
videogames  gameDev  gameMechanics 
june 2015 by campylobacter
Comedy Games: An Underexplored Genre
Funny Mechanics
Absurd premises
Biting satire
Debatable satire
Celebratory Parody
Pop Culture References
Poops Farts Gags
Silly Hats
zoequinn  lol  video  videogames  gameDev  gameMechanics 
may 2015 by campylobacter
Scroll Back The Theory and Practice of Cameras in Side-Scrollers
This post is a modified version of a talk I gave at the Independent Games Summit, GDC 2015. It contains some background information on 2D scrolling, accompanied by plenty of classic gaming nostalgia. I hope you find it useful and enjoyable!
gameDev  gameMechanics  videogames 
may 2015 by campylobacter
5 Ways The Gaming Industry Is Way More Sexist Than You Think
by Mark Hill, Brianna Wu, Amanda Warner, Katie Williams
3 April 2015
videogames  gameDev  harassment  sexism  misogyny  maleprivilege 
april 2015 by campylobacter
The Psychology of Flow: What Game Design Reveals about the Deliberate Tensions of Great Writing
y Maria Popova

“The books that give us the most pleasure, the deepest pleasure, combine uncertainty and satisfaction, tension and release.”
gameDev  writing  plot 
march 2015 by campylobacter
The games industry is wrong about kids, gaming and gender (update) ignore girls' stronger preference to play as a female characters is to ignore the potential to fuel their appetite for games. When developers push male protagonists to the forefront, they're not encouraging sales among boys. They're actually stifling sales among girls.
representation  feminism  gameDev  videogames 
march 2015 by campylobacter
[GDC][Rant] This years GDC was...different
I saw a lot of hugging, A LOT of hugging between indie devs. Literal physical hugboxing. That is all.

[go home Grampa]
gamergate  videogames  gameDev  misogyny  sexism  lol 
march 2015 by campylobacter
Brianna Wu vs. the Troll Army
She set out to transform the video gaming industry by creating a hit game aimed at female players. Then came Gamergate. And the harassment. And the death threats.
briannawu  gamergate  harassment  feminism  videogames  gameDev 
march 2015 by campylobacter
Tim Schafer makes a sock puppet joke at GDC
SOCK: Oh! How many GamerGaters does it take to make a single piece of armor?

TIM: Oh god. I dunno.

SOCK: FIFTY! One to do the modeling, one to do the materials, and 40 to tweet that it's #NotYourShield.
gameDev  gamergate  videogames  lol  video 
march 2015 by campylobacter
The QTE is Dead—Long Live the QTE!
For many gamers [Quick Time Event]s are the nadir of a new wave in game design that reduces gameplay to mindless button mashing, or providing thin ludic spackle to an oh-so important cutscene, and Press F to Pay Respects seems only to fatally confirm the idea that such a mechanic can never act as a substitute for more complex gameplay or immersion.

But as with most commonplace pet hates, the reality is much more complicated. QTEs are not new; they appeared in the early days of gaming as a means of interacting with laserdisc movie games and rose to prominence with 1999’s Shenmue, still fondly remembered by many gamers. Through our collective amnesia, what gets lost is why QTEs exist in the first place. One might cynically say they exist because they’re lazy, uncreative and easy to make, but this does a significant disservice to both history and to game developers who’ve tried to make magic happen with the mechanic.
videogames  gameMechanics  gamingculture  gameDev 
february 2015 by campylobacter

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