liz ryerson on leaving games

the thing i love about game culture is so many people try and preserve what creations were left behind by a ruthless, brutal market and bringing it back to the forefront in a passionate, sincere way. that’s the best of what something like Magfest has to offer the world to me – an unaffected, infectious, incredibly excited exploration into the world of games (and especially the music, which i’ve always connected to so much). the thing i hate about game culture is there’s no real creation, no challenging, no constructive criticism, no moving forward, no healing. the fundamental truths of games can never really be questioned unless you want to greatly offend people’s entire basis for being. even as the industry moves on coldly and the world of indie games moves on just as coldly. and so it just seems, in the end, like the church for a lot of very damaged, lost people. and nothing i’ve ever experienced in games – even after several years of being involved in the “social justice warrior” side of games, has really challenged this fundamental truth for me.

liz ryerson, “I’m leaving games

Liz has written, or been responsible for in some possible chain, some of the most interesting and important articles about games over the past few years. Go to her site and read everything.

The real horror of our loss (and this is, to be sure, a net loss in the critical games writing community that is wholly the fault of the community, whether those of us who are aware enough of the problems to fix them have the ability to or not) is that the exact process that Ryerson is describing will continue without stopping. People will continue to reinvent the present through the process of reinventing their childhood. We’ve lost quite a few great writers over the years to being ignored, to being selectively cut out of conversations, to being actively attacked, to interpersonal conflict. And there’s so few of us doing this kind of work on a consistent basis that we’re all either in it or on the periphery. There’s not a lot of space in this level of orbit.

It’s not something that can be fixed, really, and I think most of that has to do with the mediums that we use to communicate these very complex ideas to one another with. It’s much easier to say that someone is wrong than it is to produce nuance of any sort. It’s much harder to apologize in a meaningful way in 140 characters. But that’s my own hobby horse.

Like Liz, like many others in the past/present/future, I’m tired. And I’m sad to see another person going. The best thing we can do at this point is to not forget another person, but even that’s hard. So read the work.

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