First post for the website and first time writing something for you to read under my own banner. The most important thing, regardless of anything else I write in this post, is my attempt to understand my position right now in time. So, what I write here is important to be looked at from that point of view, but also should be decent and reasonable years from now.
What a fucking trip GenCon is every year. Last year I was working for Privateer and that booth scarred me 3 times over on my arms. It was arduous, but also let me appreciate this year. Then, I had mostly contained energy in one area kicking ass, selling product, and talking to people. This year, I walked about 10 miles every day all over the place to interview people, try games, and more. I even played games for myself this time around!
Most importantly, I had breakthroughs in my own thoughts. It was this show coupled with countless people telling me beforehand that I should open my own business again. I had the skills and I did it before. I know when to find someone else for the job, etc etc. It could go on and on and it was all unprovoked by me. So, what's the verdict? Well, a lot. The first bit is a hope to make the world of gaming as inclusive as it was meant to be.
Divergent story related to the above: I submitted a panel to Pax West about the importance of transparency in communication for the gaming industry. I talked about it in huddled forums at GenCon, but I was hoping to get to have this grander audience at Pax. They didn't go for it, I have found out, which is fair. It's fucking heavy. I also don't blame them one bit. If I were to be presented that topic at that time, I'd likely vomit and do something else. Elisa amazingly got me in contact with both Emily and Mitch Gitelman. Jessica Price (Yup. See where this is going?) and I talked to Simon Berman and Laine Garret. It was going to be fucking amazing. Then, two weeks after submitting it the shit went down with Arenanet. I was fucking floored. The EXACT thing I am wanting to talk about is happening, in real time? Cannot be a coincidence.
So back we go to inclusivity. I want people to be proud and able to talk for their companies, regardless of gender, skin, etc. We're all fucking people. Your company should back you and support you if they hired you. You also shouldn't be beholden to communities 24/7. We're all people. That was the thing I absolutely hated most as a marketing manager. When interacting with communities I always had to be on. I couldn't have my own opinions in public. I couldn't necessarily be honest. I had to be a shill and that cannot work if you don't agree. It's okay to not be okay with a project, but ethically you have to be on board. Sometimes I wasn't.
Here we are now. I recently announced with partnering with a previous coworker and friend, James Arbuthnot, to start our own company. We announced it on our social media the other day for our own friends and family. I said these words:
"In a partnership with @James Arbuthnot, we will be building a gaming company to achieve our dreams that went unrealized during our time working for others. We will strive to build a company that speaks as transparently as possible, empowers its employees, and creates products that we would all be proud to see on the table. Our goals are to help elevate those seeking entry into the games industry while simultaneously allowing veterans a new avenue for their most passionate projects.
We aim to make gaming a more inclusive, safe space where everyone can have fun. We look forward to bringing original worlds to life that everyone can enjoy exploring. With that, we implore our friends to reach out if interested and help us on our journey. The only way to game is together and we're definitely not going to do it alone. As we travel, we'll update you with new websites, product information, and more. For now, it is our time to live our dreams and do the things we always wanted to do."
And so we go. I realize this wasn't as exciting as it could have been, but it was honest. GenCon was a big deal, but it's also too big of a show in some regards. With that said, the industry is too big in certain ways and needs to be...divided in some regards. My hope for us is to be on the wave before people realize it is even there.
If you don't do it, someone else will do it. That's what they say. Whoever they are.