Gaming, Usernames, and Design

by syaffolee

I came across this yesterday (There Is No Such Thing As A Girl Gamer) and thought that this could apply to a lot of things in general, not just gaming.

The behavior of some people on the internet, especially under the relative veil of anonymity, was one of the reasons why I picked such an ambiguous username in the first place.  It’s probably idealistic to think that everyone should have the freedom to choose whatever username they wish, but in reality there are words and names that have certain connotations that people just can’t mentally shake off.

With a rather socially neutral username, at least random visitors wouldn’t already have a preconception of me when they glance at my ramblings.  But, I think, that’s the problem right there.  If I even have to be socially and culturally conscious about how to pick a fake name in order not to be discriminated against, we still have a long way to go towards equality.

* * *

I’ve been fiddling off and on for a while about writing an interactive fiction game and for various reasons, it has never gotten off the ground.  Last year, around April, I was tooling around with several ideas and unfortunately didn’t get past the point of figuring out how to implement one particular puzzle which involved tinkering around with time.  In retrospect, I think I was being too ambitious.  I’m a writer, not a coder.

This year, I’ve come up with some new ideas.  Ideas that hopefully won’t make me give up simply because my coding skills equal zilch.  So far I’ve decided on a short story I began back in August which was set in an abandoned sky city that crash landed in a caustic lake.  I’m envisioning that in this game, the city will only be one part of the landscape that the player character will explore.  I have at the moment (on paper), a summary of the plot and a map.  I plan on writing everything in a word processor first before implementing any sort of code.

I love the idea of having the reader actually interact and explore a fictional world rather than reading static text, but at this point, I’d be really happy to even have a shoddy and buggy framework up and running because coding of any sort really is not my thing.  But hey, if I find script writing unnatural yet manage to finish one after many years of trying, this can’t be impossible, right?

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