2019 Mood

I’m feeling energetic in 2019.

Sabrina Calvo asked me, “What kind of present do you want to live in?” Feminine power, care, connection, transcendence/epiphany, and celebration/joy are major themes for 2019.

This is a list in progress.

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Brie CodeComment
How To: Create Computer Games

With $116bn of annual revenues, the global video games sector is three times as large as cinemas, according to analysts Newzoo. Yet, there is a perception problem around games.

Media discussion of video games often focuses on violence, gambling or addiction. Many people are put off by these kinds of games. Masculine power fantasies — often a feature of this medium — are not for everyone. For many people, violence and stress are simply uninteresting.

Yet video games can also be spaces for healing, for learning or for connecting with others. I know from my own experiences that interactivity has the power to provide more visceral insight than books or film. 

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Fool LUV

My favourite Tarot cards are The Fool and Death. They are both about new beginnings.

As we begin 2018, we at TRU LUV are starting The Fool’s Journey. Our next 22 Care Kits will be a journey through the Major Arcana Tarot cards. This month we’re looking at Card 0: The Fool. At zero, the Fool is the first card in the Fool’s Journey, but the Fool is also present at every card in the journey.

Let’s begin this journey together, shall we? Where will we end up? Where do we want to end up?

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Waking Up, Sweet And Happy

My friend Tristane Penelope Nelson dreams. She used to tell me about her lucid flying dreams. More recently, she’s been dreaming about her dead sister. 

I can still see a round clearing in a crowded dance floor at an illegal warehouse party in Vancouver in February 1998. There was a girl dancing in the centre of the circle. Everyone was in awe of her. I was 17 and she was 15. That was the first time I saw Tristane and I’ve been in awe of her ever since. In September 1998 Tristane’s older sister Julia moved into my dorm. I was a lonely, asocial misfit with ugly glasses and bad teeth falling asleep in math and computer science classes. They were intimidatingly cool and charismatic sisters with great style and wit. Julia was in religious studies. 

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A Future I Would Want to Live In

Where are we headed? I'm concerned that most of the stories we are telling ourselves, especially within the games industry, are dystopian. Dystopia, no matter how beautifully rendered, is a resignation to a view of humanity or to our fates that is brutal, fearful, uncaring, and incomplete. I don't accept this view. I am optimistic about the future.

I grew up in the countryside outside Vancouver, Canada, before the internet. To know about interesting music, I had to take a bus for one hour and a train for another hour, then I had to know where in that scary, big city (ha) the interesting record stores were, and also how to conform to a certain style so that the people working there would talk to me. And then maybe, just maybe I would get handed a flyer to an interesting event...

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Games for Personal Growth: A Design Process

I love video games, deeply. Video games have been a resource for me at key moments of my life. They have been a safe space for relaxation, for meditation, for introspection, for identity experimentation, and overall, for growth.

But most of my friends don’t like video games. In fact, when I talk with my friends, their biggest misconception about video games is that games are a waste of time and don’t help them grow or change.

At my company, Tru Luv, we’re making games with the intention of repairing this misconception.

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Speech Anxiety for Game Developers

I've spent the past year and a bit travelling full-time from conference to conference, but I have no natural talent for public speaking whatsoever. The first time my boss asked me to speak on camera, I forgot my own name. Fifteen minutes before the second talk I ever gave, a man asked me if the seat next to me was taken and I was so nervous I couldn't understand the question and couldn't answer. I just stared at him until he walked away. 

But speaking at conferences is good. It's good for so many reasons.

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How To: Pack For Travel

I have a terrible memory but I live out of suitcases. So I use a list.

And living out of suitcases, I can only own a few things. I've discovered over time what things are good things. I've refined the list over many, many months.

For trips less than 3 months I use a carry-on suitcase and a laptop bag. For longer trips, I add a big suitcase. I'm happy with my Briggs & Riley suitcases. They have a lifetime warranty and after so many, many months they still look almost new. I'm currently using an Aldo laptop tote with bad zippers while I wait for a Dagne Dover Legend Tote to go on sale (as recommended by the fantastic Ann Lemay).

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