friendpolarbear
34 Perth, United Kingdom
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friendpolarbear
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My self-summary
Ah, the self-summary. Aldous Huxley said, "To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves. Each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?" No, wait, I think I segued away from Huxley somewhere...

I believe that life should be fair. Saying that it isn't might be true, but it's a bit of a cop-out. I believe that subjective experience matters, and am suspicious of people who overemphasise objectivity. I believe that psychological, social and cultural needs are important along with physical needs.

I am a slightly odd bunny, but very loyal to my friends. I can be quiet, which is partly shyness, but also partly because I am a Listener. Sometimes you need someone to just let you speak. That's me.

I am a dog person but my flat is too small to have a dog. I could get a house cat: I don't mind cats, but I don't think getting a cat as a substitute dog is really going anywhere.

I am very interested in all forms of storytelling, but particularly in video games. I feel there's a lot of untapped potential in the medium, and I find that very exciting. To expand on that a bit: stories in traditional media tend to have a theme in the form of a statement that the author is trying to demonstrate or prove. They can leave it open-ended or ambiguous, but what excites me about games is the way the theme can potentially be phrased as a question, and play is a dialogue between player and game in trying to answer that question. Games don't often do this because their idea of what a story should be is ripped from other media. But they could, and moreover I think that is an increasingly appropriate art form for a postmaterialist world.

I'm not really into sport, though I have been known to watch a few ice hockey games. On purpose.

I don't believe in expecting any particular outcome here. The weight of expectation can really get in the way. Better to just see what happens.
What I’m doing with my life
Trying to start a career making video games, and hitting the usual hurdle of having great ideas, but trying to find the ideas that aren't stupidly overambitious.

I think what I like about making games is how it ties together a lot of my different interests. There's the technical stuff (my degree is in Computing Science), the storytelling stuff (the PhD I dropped out of was in Interactive Narrative), writing music (before I went to university to become all computery, I was pursuing a career in music, albeit unsuccessfully because I was too shy to promote myself), making art (this is somewhere my technical skills are lacking a bit, but I'm working on that), reading (it's amazing how telling myself "it's for research" is a great motivator to read books on all sorts of topics). So, to be honest, what I'm doing with my life is really trying to keep my chaotic dilettantism organised.
I’m really good at
Shooting mans in the face. AND IN THE GAME.

Being funny when I'm not trying to be.

Writing about games / interactive storytelling.

Not taking it personally.
The first things people usually notice about me
That I am a nerve-stapled Feminist Gaming Illuminati mandrone white-knighting mangina. And proud of it.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
People love to stick lists in this box, so you can scan it for something you also like. But then what? Merely liking the same thing isn't a conversation starter. "Oh, hey, we both like Star Wars." "Yes." End of conversation. With that in mind, I'm going to be a little more demanding and actually talk about what I like. I won't apologise.

My favourite book is probably The Collector by John Fowles. It really made me think about how commonly we as a society use 'sick' as a synonym for 'evil', and whether that's really ok. Clegg's male entitlement is a sickness - and a dangerous and not uncommon sickness, to be sure (although most 'sufferers' don't quite go as far as kidnapping women, preferring instead to send abusive messages on OKCupid) - but the question of whether that is enough to correctly treat it as villainy is an interesting and difficult one.

I'd be the first to admit that my taste in films is pretty awful, though. It's not that movies ARE mindless entertainment, but that's by and large the role they play in my life. My collection is mostly sci-fi, superhero and anime, although my particular favourites are a little outside this sphere.

I love music, but it's a difficult one. I go through phases of intensely loving a particular scene or artist, but never quite let go of them, particles of my former tastes weaving themselves into my music genome. I've been through indie, alt-country, EBM, goth rock, symphonic metal, and J-pop to name just a few, and I still love them all. Top 3, though? Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Birthday Massacre, The Delgados. Though even those are subject to change.

My favourite games are the ones with a flawed charm. I don't think AAA games are bad, but their experience is curated according to factors that are reliably enjoyable, which is all well and good, but predictable and not very interesting. The retro-nostalgia indie scene isn't much different: "I'll make a game just like [old game] because people liked that". It's like Oasis trying to sound like the Beatles. What made the Beatles great was their inventiveness, so trying to sound like them is kind of self-defeating. People talk disdainfully about games trying to be films, but even games trying to be games are baked with certain preconceptions of what games are "supposed" to be; the best games transcend that.

My favourite shows, by contrast, aren't the ones where I don't know why I like them, but, perversely, the ones where I just can't decide whether I even like them or not. Once Upon a Time, Smallville and Andromeda all fit this category. Also Jessica Jones is really really really good, but I do know I like that one. It also reminds me a lot of The Collector, covering markedly similar themes.

As food goes, I used to be a vegetarian but I no longer am. Sorry. If it's an egg dish, I like it. Unless it's a mushroom omelette. Mushrooms do not belong in my mouth.
The six things I could never do without
An internet connection. This used to be because I was really interested in it as a phenomenon, but now I think that in a few years, this answer will be as obvious as 'air' or 'water' that 'people' put in this list when they're 'trying' to be 'funny'.

Videogames are very important to me. If you think they're a waste of time, you're a waste of time and so's your mum.

A city. I love going out to the country but I can only really take it in small doses before the isolation gets to me.

Some kind of project to give me a sense of achievement, whether it's learning a new language, writing some music, or creating a game.

Other people. Social stuff can sometimes be difficult and anxious for me, but I have never been happier than I have in others' company.

I can't decide between coffee and green tea, so they'll hold a joint spot.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
The difference between thinking and appearing to think. I don't mean that in an elitist way - I hate the term 'pseudointellectual' because I think it's fundamentally dishonest. But I mean in AI: At what point do we stop making machines that appear to think and start making machines that think? And when we do, does that make that machine a person?

Whether or not I really would go back and kill Hitler if I had a time machine. I think I probably wouldn't: if those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, then time-travellers who change history doom everyone else.

Extra Stuff...
On a typical Friday night I am
Playing imagination games.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I secretly have a crush on you - yes, you - but I'm too shy to admit it. You should totally break all this tension and send me a message.

Cards on the table, I recently learned that I have The Disorder Formerly Known As Asperger's. That means many things, some bad, and some good. For instance, I have higher anxiety levels than most people, but I'm not inclined to deception or mind games. It also doesn't mean some things you might expect: I don't have off-the-charts maths ability (that's largely a myth), I don't get pedantic over minute details (true of some autistic people, but not me), and, most importantly, I care very much how other people feel, even if I don't always understand it.
You should message me if
You can guess my weight. You might just win me! Limited time offer.
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