OK, let’s get one thing out of the way. Multimedia and game development is hard work. It’s fulfilling work, it’s often (but not always) enjoyable work, but it is an absolute mountain of a task. It often requires extreme focus, thorough organization, and mindful physical and mental health.
That said, the recent supreme court rulings, including (but not limited to) the overturn of the half-century-settled Roe vs. Wade, have been an enormous stressor. I’m fortunate, in that I live in New Mexico where actions are regularly taken by our government to protect citizens from these rulings, particularly the out-of-the-blue and in this person’s opinion, unconstitutional, ones; but it does little for the stress.
Texans are my countrymen, in that we are brothers. Texan women are also my countrymen, and they are my sisters. Florida, West Virginia, Missouri, Wyoming… some of these places, I once lived in myself. There’s a divisiveness in my country right now, with which it has become too easy to point fingers at the other side of the line and claim that, on account of some mistake legislatively made, all of the people living there are the same, or are even in support of it (or even in majority support of it). That’s just not true.
It isn’t that I’m not loaded down with anger right now, I am. A very house of government is beyond a legitimacy crisis. The right in my nation’s politics has become the extreme-far-right, siding with unity over reasonability as though, if everyone sinks together, there will be some merit over changing sides and fixing the leak. For nearly ten years, the UN has classified lack of access to abortion care as torture. It reiterated on that recently, after Roe vs. Wade was overturned. It’s right, childbirth is both painful and dangerous, and should be forced on no one.
There’s been another case recently where the court stripped the EPA, and sibling agencies such as OSHA, the FDA, and even the FBI, of their ability to effectively go about their core purpose. This has lead us into a concerning potential treaty violation with China, among others, and I can’t help but feel that the aim of this court has been to break down all forms of federal control.
The six justices who consistently vote conservative on these issues were all put in place, for an exasperating lifetime position, by presidents who lost the popular vote. Three of them were from a president who was an insurrectionist after losing the election. One of them is married to someone who was actively involved at the January 6th attempted insurrection in 2021.
I wish I didn’t have to write a piece like this, but it is not just affecting my workflow, it’s affecting the software and game industry. Texas has been a game development hub for years, and many of us are women. Many of us are minorities, or homosexual. We’re in this whether we like it or not.
In the future, right now will be classified, in retrospect, as the second American civil war. But war has changed; during the first Civil War we didn’t have cruise missiles or a strong navy. The air force wasn’t even a concept. The only automatic weapons we had were stationary Gatling guns, which weren’t in wide deployment. So we fought, and we beat each other in the mud and the blood until one side had to step down. This was only a hundred and fifty years ago.
This claim is not without precedent. In the winter of 1861, after Confederate soldiers had bombarded Fort Sumter and shots had already been fired, even the best and brightest in the country refused to believe what was happening. In fact, South Carolina senator James Chestnut—one of the ultimate instigators—promised to drink all of the blood spilled in the conflict, popular belief at the time maintaining that it would be “not a thimble”. No one wanted a war, so no one wanted to believe that it was already happening.
I take sole satisfaction in knowing that we can’t regress as much as this Supreme Court would have us regress, as that ship has indeed already sunk. You cannot survive in the twenty first century with nineteenth century ideals and methods.
I will continue to write my algorithms, my books, and my games and programs; I will continue to publish. I have to. Even in Ukraine, development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is continuing right now, in spite of the fact that most of the developers are firing actual assault rifles at intruding Russian forces during the day. Why? Because life is not a singular task, and this presents a sense of normalcy to people who need it.
Summarily, this is a message of love and solidarity. It’s a reminder that this is neither the first nor the last storm we will weather, and we have overcome the previous ones. It’s a reminder that the best and brightest in this country know that this outlandish violation of basic human rights, even if it should stand for a while, will perish in the end under the steel-toed boot of the righteous.
For those who happen to be on the other side of the argument, know that I will forgive you, in spite of everything; but first, we both need you to step down. We’re going to be mired down for the next decade, sure; but one way or another, this won’t work in the end.