A review of my year in writing

On occasion folks pay me to write for them! Here’s some of my faves from 2016 in no particular order:

Ride or Die: Mafia III Review – Ontological Geek 

Ghost Busters is still Haunted by Negative Racial Tropes – Polygon

Where do we find Community as Gamers? – Uncanny Magazine

Racism in Watch Dogs 2 is Subtle, and that’s how it won me over – Polygon

The Developer of Moon Hunters Explains how Diversity Shaped the Game – Vice

On occasion I write stuff for fun, or because I’ve got many thoughts on the topic:

Review – Women in Game Development: Breaking the Glass Level Cap – I Need Diverse Games

Thoughts on Diversity, Conventions and Costs – Medium

Twitch Etiquette – Some things I’ve Learned – Medium

You can keep up with my writings on Medium, my site or more than likely over on Twitter, where a lot of my thoughts start off and get reshuffled into a more cohesive thing on Medium.

If you like the stuff I write outside of freelance games pieces, you can support my work on Patreon for as little as $1 a month.

 

https://patreon.com/cypheroftyr
patreon.com/cypheroftyr

On the expectation of free labor to diversify your spaces

[Copy/Pasted from an early AM twitter vent this morning 12/21/16]

I’m in a mood, and I’m irritated. I want to talk about value of work, specifically diversity work & people’s expectation of free labor. So I’m lucky, and in a good position where sometimes people come out the gate with what are your rates & fees? This does not always happen though, don’t get excited. Like I said I’m in a good position.

However…there’s the pervasive idea that we should provide our expertise, our skills and knowledge for little or no pay. How about no? A lot of places want to be seen as progressive, diverse and doing the right thing but they don’t want to invest time & resources. Or they think it’s as simple as invite a few brown folks and a queer person, give them top billing one year & we’ve done it! Uh no.

web-analytics-my-1-if-you-built-it-they-will-come

See, we can see right through that bullshit. Especially when your convention committee doesn’t change, your policies don’t change. You can’t put the current hyper visible POC in your field up as your diversity! And expect us to flock to your event. Again, we see you.

Here’s my main gripe though. Reaching out to people to get help but not offering compensation at the same time.

It’s always “Let’s have a coffee, let me buy you lunch and pick your brain…”

This isn’t about greed either. This is about valuing someone enough to “pick their brain” but not enough to pay them.This is doubly true when you expect someone to help with event they may attend but won’t offer some kind of comps or payment.  Helping the community is great, but it doesn’t negate the value of that persons time.

Even asking someone to take the time to chat with you, have an email exchange or Skype call should be considered work.I think it comes down to people not seeing it as “real” work. Also, acting as if someone asking for compensation is wrong? Or insinuating they don’t actually care because they wanna eat?

Nah, we all got bills and if you want my time & expertise? FU Pay Me. Nobody expects teachers to work for free, or other laborers so why us? Because a lot of the work is emotional labor. To unfuck the ways that events and orgs have failed on representation is a lot hard work y’all. So stop asking for free labor under the guise of doing better. Improvement takes effort, time and money. Investment not hollow promises.

When you ask someone on how to do better, ask what their preferred compensation method is. Fucking pay people for their time.

fuckyoupaymeartprintfromgeekcalligraphycom

 Fuck You Pay Me available from Geek Calligraphy, purchase one for your workspace!

Last thing, think real hard on how you react to black Womens, lgbtqia & other folks asking to be paid vs whites.Look at all the extra shit people want from us to prove we’re worth the time, effort & money to support. Look at how angry people get when we dare to say our time & knowledge is valuable. Y’all have seen it, people bring accused of running scams, that we should help for $0.

However, white folks come up with the weirdest shit for a kickstarter or crowd funding that overfunds but we can’t make the minimum.So if I’m bitter? It’s with damn good reason. Tired of being told the work is valuable, needed but when we ask for help? Support is nil. TL;DR, stop asking people for free work. Value our skills enough to offer payment when asking for said work. Exposure kills, it’s not money, not valid currency anywhere.

It’s not the first time I’ve talked about this. It probably won’t be the last either. As long as people continue to undervalue, or assume no value for the hard work that is required to achieve better representation, more diversity and make it stick; we’ll keep having this damn go round and around until people get it.

Other writings I’ve done on this topic & related issues: 

You Wanna Diversify huh? That’s Nice, Pay Us

On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Thoughts on diversity, conventions & cost

Emotional Labor, OT edition for POC, LGBTIQIA & others — Fandom edition

ICYMI – I wrote about Ghostbusters, tropes & missing discourse for @Polygon

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Ghostbusters is still haunted by negative racial tropes

What the movie got wrong

Opinion – By Tanya D.

I remember the original Ghostbusters movie. I was a teenager when it was released, and I saw it in the theater. It was fantastic for a little nerdling like me to see science and cool stuff and people who won through smarts rather than brute force.

Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore wasn’t a scientist. He wasn’t one of the smart guys who saved folks. That’s what bothered me when I saw the first film the most: seeing a black person on screen, but not seeing them be fully part of the story. We’ve gotten the same old tropes 30 years later, and it’s still a problem. This is why I’m not cheering the reboot with the same unbridled glee as other folks.

THIS IS A TREND

The original Ghostbusters wasn’t an anomaly in this sense. I never got to see myself as the scientist, the geek or the nerd, except by proxy of a token black dude that tagged along with the other guys in movies. Black girls and women weren’t there unless they happened to be the mom, girlfriend, sister, cousin or random neighbor of the token black dude. I grew up, but the media I watched didn’t.

Read the rest on Polygon