Early morning tea thoughts

For some odd reason, I’ve been waking up at about 5am for months. It started when I began taking some medication, and I’d assumed that it had awoken a light sensitivity and that I was waking up with the sun. This morning I realized that when I woke up there was absolutely no light in the room. So there blows that theory.
Waking up in the morning is something that I’ve traditionally sucked at, in typical programmer manner. But I really love it when I can wake up early and have extra time to move into the day. So this morning I decided to sacrifice my coherent evening hours, and get out of bed at 5am to do some thinking and writing.
This week has been the first full week I’ve been in the new loft, and it’s been a boon for my social life. Being here in the city has enabled me to easily attend the IGDA-San Francisco event and Stormfront’s Demon Stone launch party, take meetings with the Game Group at CMP, go to an SF Fringe Festival event, and get drinks at a local bar with my buddy Alan Yu. It’s been so much fun to be in a location near actual things to do, and I’m looking forward to taking part in some events at Landmark (this evening), the Commonwealth Club of California, the World Affairs Council, and perhaps even the local Green Party location.
Lately I’ve been pondering this blog and its purpose/utility. I’ve been avoiding discussing politics here for the most part, under the assumption that folks who are likely reading this are familiar with me through the games industry. I didn’t feel that I should inflict my politics on them, since that’s not why they’re stopping by. However, after spending some time ruminating on the concept of integrity, I’ve decided to stop censoring myself on that subject. One of the things that has particularly shifted for me since moving to SF has been an emphasis on the concept of integrity, of living life and sharing oneself in a manner that aligns with one’s beliefs. NOT doing that, not living life in a manner consistent with one’s beliefs, is simply not doing a service to anyone – I believe each person in the universe is unique, and has a unique self-expression that, if censored, will be lost to all of us, forever. So I’m a huge proponent of people being expressed, and expanding their means of expression. Now, granted, there should be some delicate attention paid to this – there are occasions where the degree of self-expression should perhaps be toned down, out of respect for the individuals or situation involved. But in general, I believe that becoming expressive is one of the most powerful and useful things for individuals, especially in a culture that is dominated by so few, loud voices. The more opinions we hear, the more individuals we can encourage to speak up, the more valuable will be the ideas, discussions and debates that result. The Game Programming Gems series is, for me, a physical manifestation of this belief as implemented in a game development context.
Last week at the Austin Game Conference, I sat in on a few sessions of the Women’s Game Conference. I was quite pleased to hear some viewpoints that differed from my own, and that contributed to a broader possible world for games and game development. It was frustrating that the event wasn’t advertised more prominently, and that I couldn’t find the event schedule or location in any of the Austin event’s materials. Finding where the conference was located took some wandering, and the schedule was only posted just outside of the session room. So it frustrated me to read complaints about a lack of male attendees from the AGC coming to the WGC: Page 1, Page 2. Well, duh! Perhaps part of that was simply because they didn’t know about the event, because it wasn’t well advertised. I think Damion Schubert’s account was more balanced. I hope that the WGC gains a larger attendance, with more men in presence, next year.