Ripping the Band-Aid Off: Women in Games

Yours truly at GDC in 2011

Yours truly at GDC in 2011

Gaming since before I can remember, working in games since I was 17, I’ve come across a thing or two. Lately, I’ve come across more than two things; it seems everywhere I turn is a new article about sexism in games. Well, I’m here to rip the Band-Aid off. If you’re looking for conclusive, quantified material, I advise you look elsewhere. These are my simple, 24-year-old, 7-years-in-the-industry, female musings.

Anyone who knows me well will attest that I am a relatively objective person, preferring to hunt down facts than jump to rash conclusions. I don’t get offended very easily, preferring to spend my energy elsewhere. As of late, I can’t help but ignore the constant flood of articles about another case of sexism in the game industry. From Josh Mattingly’s advances on “Alice Mercier,” to the recent crumbling of GAME_JAM after a certain remark made to Adriel Wallick. Not to mention, Elizabethe Sampat’s GDC talk two weeks ago all about women working in the industry (or even better, the comments section). And who can forget the whole Anita Sarkeesian thing. It seems as though women are either loosing silently and horribly or have the attention (and potentially the power) of the industry– by the balls.  Continue reading

Composing the Shot

Osaka_ShinSaibashiComposition is one of the fastest ways to ruin a shot – and one of the fastest ways to fix it. The good news is that most people have an eye for composition, it’s just a matter of learning a few quick fixes to turn “There is something off about this” to “I can’t put my finger on it, but this is stunning.”

It’s not formulaic in any sense, so two plus two doesn’t necessarily equal four, but it is a sensory science. Learn to feel out the picture and complement its natural attributes. If the natural attributes are competing, do something about it.

Hunting around on the web, you can find a dozen “Rules for Composition.” But as far as I am concerned, the below are the ones that make or break and image. Once you’ve got these down, you level up even the simplest Instagram photo. Continue reading

Thankful for Super Heroes


Super hero and Isu·per
 /ˈso͞opər/ adjective
 1. exhibiting the characteristics of its type to an extreme or excessive degree
he·ro /ˈhi(ə)rō/ noun
 1. a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

Last year, made a rather lengthy list of all the things I am grateful for. And that list still stands (mostly), but this year, I want to focus on one thing in particular that I am thankful for. If you’re as clever as I think you are, you’ve already deduced that this post is about super heroes. Just maybe not the ones you are used to.

Sure, Batman is brave. Superman is strong. Spiderman is agile. Green Lantern is fearless. But we already know this.

No, what I am thankful for are the ones that slip seemingly unnoticed through life. Unnoticed to all but those whom idealize them. All who believe that they, by the very definition of super hero, exhibit courageous, outstanding, or noble characteristics to an extreme or excessive degree.

In my life, when I think of super hero, I can only think of one person: my father.

Continue reading

Ellipsis

EllipsisI’m sure you’ve noticed a certain lack of post. An absence, if you will. Funny how life sometimes swoops in and takes you off your feet– not always in a feel-good sort of way either. It’s been a long, trying 4 months that I’m surprised I came out of without embracing some horrible vice.

There are a few things no one warns you about when you return home from a stint like mine. First and foremost, reverse culture shock. Ok, so people do warn you about this, but reading about something and experiencing something is entirely different.  Continue reading

Final Destination: San Francisco

Well, it’s done. It’s over. My grand tour of Asia 2013 has finally come to an end. After traveling for so long, the thought of being able to acquire items and not wonder how to get rid of them in a few months time is an odd thought. Even more strange, that I sleep in just one bed, “my” bed. Stranger still, I have to get a job. Now that’s the tricky part.

A lot happened over the last three months, as I’m sure you’re aware. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you. I could never forget about you. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to play “catch-up” with you as I post some of my recent adventures. I’m happy to report that nothing devastating happend while I was wandering around these countries. So sit down, strap in, and no arms or legs outside the vehicle. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Teasers:

  • 50K in one day in the 2013 Yamathon
  • Tokyo from 440 meters up
  • Street food in Malaysia
  • A duck race on the beaches of Langkawi
  • Living it up in Singapore
  • Celebrating Buddah’s birthday
  • Hiking in for 7 days in the Himalayas
  • A new fear of leeches
  • Working with an orphanage in Pokhara
  • A Buddhist meditation and yoga retreat

Color Me Rad 5K

552971_2449976965043_1368790045_nRecently, I joined team Pokemanz to “run” in the Color Me Rad 5K! Basically, as I said before, you start the race white, and end colorful! I mean, I did wear colorful socks to start, but they only got better as the race went on! For anyone thinking about doing this as a first 5K, I highly recommend it. It’s a very laid back event. No pressure what-so-ever. And who doesn’t like blindingly-bright chalk thrown at them while doing physical activities? No one. That’s who. Continue reading

Dropped the Ball

As the title suggests, I’ve officially done so. Life in Florida is fun only if you are me, seeing all of my old friends. Nothing to write about, however. Aside from trying a Zumba class and finally accepting the truth that I can’t dance. Other than that I’ve just drank a ton of chai lattes from Starbucks and sat on the couch working on my resume/portfolio. Shameless self-promotion link.  Continue reading

Game Developer’s Conference ’13

gdc13_logoEvery year I attend this conference called the Game Developer’s Conference. Basically, it’s a great chance to learn about the latest and greatest techniques in game dev, as well as drink– I mean network– with as many people as possible. The week is normally the “shortest” week of the entire year for me, and I can never see everyone I wanted to. For those of you I said “Hey! Let’s hang!” to and never got the chance, I’m sorry!! But I’ll be back in the bay area in June, so no sweat.  Continue reading

Departure

DeparturesSo sorry for the lack of posting. I handed off my internet to a friend in my last two weeks at work, and I just couldn’t bring myself to post at dial-up speed.

Luckily, not a whole lot has happened. By that I mean the following:

A good friend of mine, Kate (from Across The Sea blog) was the parade queen in the Tokyo St. Patricks day parade! I know a real-life celebrity! The day before the parade was a fancy-pants lunch at the Park Hyatt Tokyo with the most amazing appetizer/dessert buffet I’ve seen in a long time. The view was breath-taking, as usual. After our snazzy lunch was a farewell party for those leaving at a local izakaya.  Continue reading

Farewells

Omotesando PartyLast week began the farewells, as I said good-bye to my third-years at my other school for the last time. It took some coaxing to get them to understand that they won’t see me again, but once they got it, they were clearly really sad about it. And these guys would get a “good-bye” whether or not I was staying.

It’s been a lot harder than expected! I’m not one to cry, but I can feel my self getting emotional at the farewell parties for the students. They gave me those lovely flowers and a small board with notes from students saying how much fun they had with me. The kids were honestly the only reason I really loved teaching here. I like my schools and my company, but what made me smile, what made me love it, were the kids.    Continue reading