Reactions I’m Not Interested In Hearing

I worked with him and I never noticed anything. He can’t be bad. This is such a wilful denial that codeswitching exists. We all behave differently around different people and in different situations, and it’s not reasonable to assume that someone who treats professional equals well is therefore incapable of predatory behavior.

In addition to that, we all have a reasonable personal interest in just doing our jobs and not getting involved in workplace drama. This goes double for creative fields with a lot of freelancing, where networking, contacts and good professional reputation can determine whether you’re hired again. Some guy at work who makes questionable dating choices that don’t directly affect us can just be read as awkward personal dramas to avoid.

Finally, it annoys me that we often hear a variation on “he seemed fine to me, therefore she must be lying” and rarely “she seemed fine to me, therefore a person with a vested interest in keeping this quiet is probably the one lying.”

She’s making it up for the attention. This makes no sense, because the attention women get from saying they were assaulted is not good attention. No one thinks it would be great to have their lives and choices torn apart in public, and have internet detectives dig up any past dating mistakes, professional setbacks, unattractive photos and pretty much any type of discrediting information. The court of internet opinion accuses victims of being both too unattractive to assault and too slutty for it to “count.” And there are still apologists we try to say that women are seeking this attention?

She’s lying to hurt him. I mean, I guess false accusations exist? I’m not saying that it’s completely impossible for a woman to make up an assault, but we don’t ignore any other reports of crimes based on the possibility of dishonesty. If you report a stolen wallet, the first reaction isn’t that you probably spent the money foolishly and now regret it.

And considering the complete lack of consequences men face, it’s not a particularly effective way to lie for revenge. Why not just lie to the IRS and get him audited?

It was a confusing situation. Look, no one is saying that a person who greets with a hug when the other person is coming in for a handshake is a sexual predator. Misreading signals is a thing. But, you know, if a man keeps somehow misreading signals of interest, and keeps kissing and touching people who aren’t interested, and it keeps happening to subordinates, and only subordinates, well, it gets harder and harder to see it as an honest mistake.

We’re all aware of power structures at work. If you claim that you don’t notice such things, send your boss out for your coffee tomorrow and see how that goes.

It’s disingenuous to pretend that a social request from someone with power is really a social request. If a superior invites a subordinate for coffee or dinner to discuss her work, or her future at the company, or a potential freelance project, she’s got to accept. There’s a whole other conversation about asking women to lean in, look for mentors, and network, telling them that they’re not going to earn as much until they communicate more like men, and then punishing women for sending signals of interest because they spoke about subjects of mutual interest with a man.

I mean, it’s not that confusing. Don’t put your hands on people who are backing away from you. Don’t kiss people who are backing away from you. Only show your dick to women who want to see your dick.

Fine! I guess flirting is illegal then, huh? If you can’t tell the difference between telling an acquaintance she looks pretty, or telling an acquaintance what sexual acts you’re going to perform on her, or showing unsuspecting women your junk, then yes, please don’t “flirt” with women.

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I like The Orville

J’aime l’Orville!

Ich mag die Orville!

Me gusta el Orville!

No matter how you say it, I like the stupidass show, The Orville.

Via I like The Orville – Recollections of Play 

Pretty much, man.

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What You Need For a Road Trip

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I tend to be a passenger, not a driver. My commute is by train, I run errands on foot. So, when we pick up a car, we’re usually taking a road trip or at least a cool day trip. Here are the essentials for a good road trip:

Comfortable car When we pick up a car, we usually get a Honda Element, a Jeep Renegade, or something like that. Mostly because my husband is six feet tall, and he gets cranky without legroom and headroom on a road trip.

Cell phone charger! Even if you’re not playing Pokemon Go in the car (and I’m not, mostly because Harold wants us to, like, talk to each other or something), navigation and podcasts will use up your battery. Newer cars often have USB ports for charging, but I usually have a cigarette lighter converter in my purse. This is a post, and not a random-converter post, but converters with two ports exist. It’s great.

Playlists Fun roadtrips need a great soundtrack. Spotify has made up some roadtrip mixes already. or Podcasts I’m listening to RadioLab, This American Life, The Weeds and Dear Prudence. Not necessarily in that order….And if you haven’t listened to S-Town, you should!

Water bottle I carry my own, which saves on plastic waste because I’m not buying disposable bottles, and also keeps me from getting ripped off when bottles of water are $5.

Change cup For tolls and parking. I think there are 3 or maybe 4 free parking spaces in greater Boston, and I’ve never parked at any of them.

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Indie Dev Life

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Shanghaist and Gothamist Are Over

A week ago, reporters and editors in the combined newsroom of DNAinfo and Gothamist, two of New York City’s leading digital purveyors of local news, celebrated victory in their vote to join a union.

On Thursday, they lost their jobs, as Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade who owned the sites, shut them down.

When the DNAinfo and Gothamist New York newsrooms first moved to join the union in April, management warned that there might be dire consequences.

DNAinfo’s chief operating officer sent the staff an email wondering if a union might be “the final straw that caused the business to close.” Around the same time, Mr. Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, wrote, “As long as it’s my money that’s paying for everything, I intend to be the one making the decisions about the direction of the business.”

In September, Mr. Ricketts, a conservative who supported President Trump in last year’s election, raised the ante with a post on his blog titled “Why I’m Against Unions At Businesses I Create,” in which he argued that “unions promote a corrosive us-against-them dynamic that destroys the esprit de corps businesses need to succeed.

Source: DNAinfo and Gothamist Are Shut Down After Vote to Unionize – The New York Times

This is an insanely depressing story, not least because I really enjoy(ed) the goofy local culture pieces on Gothamist and Shanghaiist. Those sites meant a lot to me personally in my Brooklyn years and my China years, and in the times I’ve felt homesick for Brooklyn and China.

But it’s a depressing story on a macro scale. Writers and other creatives often struggle to be paid like valued craftspeople, not like dilatantes, and I won’t even touch the freelance / contractor / gig economy that saves employers loads of money by maintaining workers’ ineligibility for company health insurance.  But it doesn’t sound like the new union actually asked for money or health insurance or anything, just that a union was formed and the possibility of collective bargaining was introduced. The prospect was so off-putting to the billionaire owner that he just shut down the magazines.

This story gives lie to those narratives about how “job creators” deserve assistance to spread prosperity to the community, and all the bootstraps narratives about working harder and earning more, and all the self-determination narratives about how if you don’t like your salary or your work, you can change your job. The key to prosperity isn’t to work harder or longer or skip those self-indulgent coffees, it’s to be a billionaire and cut any companies that aren’t turning enough profit.

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Scenes From An MFA, Part 2

My assignment schedule: This week you have a major assignment due on Wednesday, and a minor journal due on Thursday.

Me: Ok, so means I’ll submit my minor journal on Wednesday and turn in the major assignment on Thursday. Got it.

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Secret Sauce

So we launched our first game, Captain Action, with careful plans for a social media campaign in the beginning of November 2016, but, guess what happened then? Weirdly hard for a little comic-themed card game to get any attention for some reason.

Our second game, Takeout, came out this month, and MAN, it’s a good time to appear in searches for Szechuan food. I mean, I don’t think these Rick & Morty people are actually buying, but still. Couldn’t have seen that coming.


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Takeout, After BFIG

We showed my card game Takeout at Boston FIG yesterday as part of the Tabletop Showcase.  I’m so happy we got in, so happy we went, and I had a lot of interesting conversations all day… but it was emotionally exhausting to speak to so many strangers, and to share my own creative work all day.

Our Chinese restaurant booth decor and box branding attracted players with an interest in Chinese culture. My original artstyle was neon lights on black, like every single street in China, but I’m glad we went with Harold’s red-and-white takeout carton. My original title, 吃饭了吗, also had to be Americanized for clarity, but watching attendees visually read our booth and come over ready to play a Chinese food game showed we made the right choices.

The best part was when players would notice design choices. Players would ask why it was so hard to get a cold drink or why all the Sichuan dishes were spicy, and their friends (remember, the decor attracted players with a least an interest in China) would laugh and explain it, and I was so freaking proud of myself. The best players were Chinese-American couples, who took a lot of delight in reading the flavortext and in stealing each others’ dumplings. I also laughed really hard when a friend-group would 没有 each other, over and over. It’s possible I made an entire game to share the frustration of 没有 with a Western audience. I’m not sorry.

The worst was a guy who could not accept that I both spoke some Mandarin and designed a game. Over the day, a few players were surprised by this in an impressed kind of way, which made me feel good, because, yeah, those are cool skills. But one guy was insultingly incredulous, and in retrospect, I should have told him to grass mud horse, but somehow it played right into my imposter syndrome. He doesn’t believe me! Maybe he’s right, and all the Chinese that I wrote on the card game that I designed is all a lucky fluke, when actually I’m not good at anything, and this random stranger is about to unmask me!  Imposter syndrome is weird.

Also, we sold out! Completely! I underestimated demand (see previous re: imposter syndrome) and we were sold out by mid-afternoon. I know we could have sold more copies if we had them, but I imagined myself schlepping a big box of unsold gamedecks home. Instead, people literally wanted to hand me money to buy my game, which is pretty much my game dev dream, but I couldn’t accept because I’d listened to my jerkbrain and didn’t order enough copies.

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Women in Games: From Designing to Playing and Nurturing the Next Generation

I was delighted to be part of this panel for LadiesCon! Such a great time talking with other ladies about gaming and game dev. It’s always so inspiring to talk with other game creators.

Women in Games: From Designing to Playing and Nurturing the Next Generation


  • Tracey Michienzi, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of ELS Game Day
  • Savannah Camacho, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of ELS Game Day
  • Emily Care Boss, Independent Game Designer/ Publisher, Black and Green Games
  • Adri Kliger, Co-Organizer of Women in Games, Boston
  • Meg Stivison, game designer for Small Monsters Games
  • Sarah Zaidan, comics artist and game designer

Have you ever looked around just to notice that you are the only woman in your game group? Ever feel like you don’t belong in the hobby? Trust us, you aren’t alone. The number of women who admit to gaming as a hobby are rising, and we are going to talk about it. Our esteemed panelists will discuss women’s roles in the gaming industry, equality in gaming, and how to create a positive gaming environment to set a good example to women gamers of the future.

via LadiesCon

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Scenes from an MFA

One week before a writing project is due: This story is really solid. Maybe I’ll make a few small edits, but it’s basically finished. I’ll come back to it for proofreading with fresh eyes, and then submit it!

One day before a writing project is due: Only a moron would think this is almost done. It’s complete garbage and I hate it. Because everything I write is garbage. What am I even doing.

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