[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 112, Issue 23

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Fri Mar 28 09:41:00 EST 2014

On 27/03/14 02:22 PM, Kara Stone wrote:
> I wonder how important it is that blossoming game-makers actually
> understand how the programs they are using work.

It's important for people to know their tools if their work is not to be
determined by them. Game development tools are not made by or for a
different constituency from the rest of the industry. In their
reification and distribution of solved technical problems they all but
force recapitulation of the status quo artistically, technically and

> There seems to be something in particular about game-making that makes
> people want to hold on to the code, hierarchizing programming and
> “techy-ness” above all other aspects of game-making.

I went into games programming a few years after leaving art school and
was gobsmacked at management's resistance to paying for some decent
coloured pencils for the artist designing the characters for the game to

> The emphasis on “knowing the tech” strikes me as a another way to
> ensure that women, POC, the debilitated, and the very young or old,
> are not part of the dominant game-world.Not to say that any of us
> can’t be techy,

If being techy is such a determining signifier and enforcer of hegemony,
why would any of us want to?

And what would we do instead? Simply recapitulating the status quo
through using tools determined by it is not a critical stance.

> but to ensure that techyness is something dominated by white, cis,
> 20-30 year old men.

Not entirely to their benefit:


- Rob.

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