April 18th, 2003

sleepy

(no subject)

Here is something which I truly do not get.

I just read through "Genderplay: Successes and Failures in Character Designs for Videogames", which is about, well, gender decisions in games. Okay, I'll cheerfully admit that there are problems. I find it amusing that they mention BG:DA - I've *seen* the bartender they're talking about, and she's almost a parody. (The fact that her breasts were clipping through her shirt due to a bug at the time didn't help much - incidentally, her nipples are polygonal, not just textures.) However, you don't play BG:DA for the *ahem* plot, you play it for the beating-down-on-things. It's like going to see Starship Troopers in the theater and expecting a political movie!

Wait. People did that. Bad example.

But anyway. That's actually not what I don't get. What I don't get are the people who want games that are marketed for females and yet have absolutely no stereotypes in them.

I don't get this at all. How can you market for a group of people without, oh, *paying attention to the archetypical member of that group*? Games "marketed for males" do indeed have stereotypes - they assume we want to blow things up. Hey, guess what, they're right. But they're not saying "only males must play this!".

Okay, there's room for improvement. Again, no argument. However, the ideal situation is in the middle, when it's not being marketed for males *or* females specifically. So why do people insist on saying they want games marketed specifically for females?

Especially when we're apparently not allowed to use anything associated with females in any way in the advertisements?

If we made less violent games and said "they're for females" we'd get lynched! If we made *any* change in games and said "oh, that's because they're for females" we'd *still* get lynched. So what does this "marketing for females" involve?

And that's what I don't get.
sleepy

(no subject)

You know, some of the things people say in a game company are really bizarre out of context.

"I think I broke the fireballs."
"I've invented moonwalking!"
"You should run it on the girl instead. She'll be harder 'cause she has boobies."
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    amused amused
sleepy

(no subject)

Programming computers is a very weird experience.

There's this algorithm I'm working on. I hacked it together originally, then realized that it would eat about 5 gigs of RAM if I wrote it the easy way. Obviously this is a Bad Idea, so I came up with some optimizations and brought it down to 300mb, then some more to get it down to 150mb. At this point the big bulk of the memory usage was in two equal chunks, so I picked the one I hadn't worked at much to be my next target. After getting rid of some massive redundancies I'd brought it from 70mb down to 20mb, then down to 10mb. Now I just implemented some basic RLE compression, which I *think* will work well - this particular data really doesn't need to be accessed *often* - and it's down to, oh, 300k in most cases.

300k.

If I did it in ten-point Arial, in hexadecimal, it would be 133 printed pages.

The computer's tearing through this data like it's nothing, and I'm so seperated from the data itself that I can't read it. I can't look at it myself to make sure it's correct - it wouldn't *mean* anything to me. I have to teach the computer how to do its own sanity checks.

Most of the time this stuff doesn't surprise me, but once in a while . . . this is a strange, strange profession I'm in.