Look. I’ve barely gotten any decent sleep since getting back in Boston so I might be a little aggro and cuss-heavy on this but I feel like I get this enough that I need to be.
Don’t let assholes stop you from doing what you love, if at all possible. Being weird is one more reason we need you here if you’re feeling up to it. Everyone is weird, come be weird with those of us who won’t treat you like shit for it.
If we’re not made to feel welcome in any “scene” because their image of what it is and what it can be and what a game designer looks like is so fragile that it can’t handle us, then we can make our own scene. People who resist change and new ideas and acceptance of growth and people who aren’t like them are standing on melting ice. We can throw better parties.
It’s sincerely fucked up to me that some asshole who has nothing better to do than to do the internet equivalent of shouting insults from car windows at passerbys could potentially keep someone from something that could change their life for the better as much as learning how to make games and program has changed mine. You know who doesn’t leave bullshit messages like the ones I get?
Anyone with anything interesting to do.
I wouldn’t ask anyone to take on this kind of work if they legit think that this kind of thing would destroy them - but I do want you to know that you would not be unsupported. I thrive because of other developers who commiserate with me and share their own struggles, and there’s no shortage of them from any background you can imagine. And think of it this way - if you’ve seen the (frankly small sliver of) hate that I get that I let the public see, then you know how toxic people can get. I’ve been very frank and upfront about how it’s impacted my life. But you also know another key part of it, the most important part of it.
I’m still here. I still love what I do. And the messages barely touch me anymore. I eat hatred and shit bad jokes in response on the days I can, and on the days I can’t I’m getting better at transmuting it into working on the projects that piss them off so much. Sometimes out of spite, sometimes out of feeling like I have something to prove, and sometimes out of needing to balance out the bile with love. The days I drink to deal with it are getting fewer and fewer, and I’m destroying myself over it a lot less these days - partially because my work and those who I work with rely on me, and I want to honor that in the ways they should be. It can get better.
None of them have scared me off, and they’re not going to. And while I still have a voice that’s worth anything at all in this industry, I will try and use it to help other people find theirs as well. You have my sword. Any of you reading this right now do. I mean to pay forward all the same support that’s been given me, ideally with at least a x2 modifier on it. And I’m far from the only person who feels that way.
Don’t feel the need to change yourself. Don’t be scared away outright. Don’t stop being you because some asshole can’t handle how rad you are. Don’t even heed any of this if it’s not good advice for you in particular. But if you do decide to walk this path, it doesn’t have to be alone, and it doesn’t have to be while bending to anyone’s will.
If you feel like joining us, we can do this together. No one has to be alone. And even the worst of shit gets easier in time.
It’s our medium too god damnit. Games are for everyone.
seeing the things people send you makes me worry about starting to make my own games. i'm weird too and i'm afraid that i'll be treated bad. what should i do?
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