jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Undertale and Minecraft are two of the biggest "indie games" to make it big, both financially and culturally. People encourage their friends to get into both, not just because they're amazing (for certain values of "amazing") but also because they want to discuss these things with you, and they need you to understand their shared vocabulary in order to do so.

This shared vocabulary enables people to create art that can be widely understood and appreciated. Hence, the piles of Undertale fanwork, up to and including professionally-made musical productions; and the intricate Minecraft creations, up to and including Turing-complete redstone computers.

There are problems with this kind of cultural ubiquity, though. For starters, the amount of attention given to "hit games" literally starves others.

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tl;dr I'm bitter about my fanfiction not being noticed, and should probably just learn to write stuff others like. Damned if I'm not saving *Mute first, though, and damned if I'm giving up on writing meaningful things for underserved minority groups.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

The guy what made Minecraft bought a $70 million mansion in Beverly Hills.

I get that Minecraft has been a lot of fun and helped a lot of people and been a tool and a canvas for self-expression. But as Firefly / Serenity fans know, being awesome doesn't necessarily lead to becoming popular. And as anyone knows who's been inspired by an underpaid teacher, having a profound, positive impact on the lives of numerous people doesn't earn you six (or eight) figures. It might not even pay the bills.

I'm not saying Minecraft doesn't deserve to be popular. But I am saying that if it's worth $70 million USD for what it does, then there are a whole lot of people and creative works that we're undervaluing here. Starting with all the unpaid fanwork that made Minecraft a household name to begin with.

I also think it's obscene that any one person is allowed to have that much money and use it all to buy a house, when even one other person is involuntarily homeless in the same country as the house that he bought.

I'm going to see the pictures of that housewarming party in my head now, every time I see Minecraft merchandise in stores.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
From Malcomb Gladwell's Football, Dogfighting, and Brain Damage (emphasis mine, no trigger warning probably needed):
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I haven't talked about the details as much here, but I was badly abused by people I loved and trusted. More than that, my loyalty to them was betrayed, to the point that my world fell apart when I realized what had been done to me and what I'd helped with. I was asked to do things that hurt me and others, over and over again, and was guilted and shamed to the point of near-suicide for my failures ... and for being hurt by it to begin with.

When things got their worst for me in the past weeks and months, I started dreaming and wishing that something like this could happen for me. I started imagining a society where it was accepted that people who'd been through this, who'd survived this, no longer had to justify their existence to anyone. That -- like the Marines who tell Saint Peter they've "served their time in Hell" -- they were no longer asked or required to do anything, but would be taken care of the rest of their lives as an act of social responsibility.

Part of the reason I dreamed about this was because it was so hard to keep up. I tried my best to stay on top of articles, but started falling behind, and people got upset with me. But I didn't realize until I read this that there were people who actually believed in this wild fantasy of mine. Just thinking about it is causing a lot of reflection, both on what I went through and how cruel it is to make "hard work" a virtue and a prerequisite for existence ... especially when not everyone can, all the time.

I want to work hard. Part of it is because that "virtue" has been ingrained in me, to the point where I feel I am worthless if I do not. To that extent, society continues the job that my parents and church did, in exploiting my "gameness" and loyalty. But part of it is just because there are things that I want to see happen -- like the RPG site, and people becoming their fursonas, and GNOME having comprehensive and comprehensible JavaScript docs -- that I know I need to work to make happen. And when I get into working on a fun project like that, it feels less like I'm toiling to survive and more like I'm playing Minecraft.

I wouldn't want to be deprived of that, even if I were living this fantasy.

The only other thing I wanted to add is that I feel like, to the extent that people support me and care for me and help keep me alive when things are tough, I already am. Thanks to you -- and the government food benefits, and Inari helping me get my internship, and people's charitable giving paying for it -- I can go grocery shopping today without having to worry that every purchase will put me over some arbitrary line. Without being terrified, and having my inner critic berate me for everything and tell me how I don't deserve anything but beans and rice, unlike the people around me.

People have been so generous to help in supporting me and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy. And while we can still use the help -- and probably will for a little while -- I very much want to make it worthwhile.
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
The last week or so has not been very good, thanks to illness, stress, and depression caused by both. On top of that, the Major News Site I write for is becoming impatient with me after a month of very poor performance, and is starting to lecture me about how to write for them and request fewer articles from me.

About work

I was beginning to think that I may have to write them off for good, even after the Of The Year award and some amazing performance before April. Which would have meant financial disaster for me, if not for the internship. But after spending the last couple days taking a break from things and playing Minecraft, I came back to it feeling refreshed, and wrote an article that I'm proud of about a subject that's important to me.

I'd been feeling like I didn't want to have anything to do with social justice issues; I didn't feel like I had the strength to address them. But I'm proud of how I handled it today, and I feel like maybe part of the problem is that they could tell I was losing my passion for things and burning out.

Between the internship and the financial support I've received / am receiving from some wonderful people (should I name names?), I think I can afford to not write to a quota anymore and only write things when I feel strongly about them ... which will probably improve my pageviews and make my editors happy with me anyway. I just didn't think I could afford to take that risk before.

Thank you, to everyone who's assisted us in the last few months. It means a lot to us and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy.

About the RPG

I've started work on a website that should help and be easy to use. It may take a little while, and I'm sorry if anyone's lost interest already. I haven't been able to keep on top of things as I'd like to, and I underestimated just how much work -- and how much interest -- there would be.

I'm going to continue working on this even if others' interest drops off, just because it's something I want to see happen. I'll show it to everyone once it's in a usable format.

Update on the internship

It starts later this month, and I'm trying to get the website done first (before I have to spend more of my day writing JavaScript documentation). I'm continuing to lurk on the GNOME IRC, though, which will basically be my workplace, and I'm keeping in touch with my mentor ... helping give input on things, and taking copious notes.

I'm still really excited about this project. I just wish I already knew what I could do afterwards, that could still be tech-related and could lead to a paying thing. I really want to have something to do for work besides writing, so that I can take a break from one or the other when needed to keep from burning out. Which is one thing I've learned that I need in the past couple weeks.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~


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