I’m glad I took yesterday off this project and stayed up playing BattleTech until nearly 3am this morning. Yeah, I know I said 2:30am on Twitter, but it was closer to the top of the hour. I can tell you fine people that truth because I know you won’t judge me…unless my mom is reading this production diary. She would pick this one post to be the very first one she reads on this project. I imagine the phone call when next we talk flowing like so:
How are you doing?
How’s the cat?
What’s a BattleTech, and why are you staying up all night playing it?
Is this like the General Zod thing again?
Why is the computer smiling in that picture?
Have you talked to your sister about the thing?
I love my mom. There are, however, moments when explaining the backstory of things makes my life seem…well more absurd than it feels.
Moving swiftly on: the first draft of the Jamming with Edward review is done. I really like this episode. It floors me that a show from 1998 does things modern TV seems reticent to do because it might upset the mouth breathers.
Consider Edward is presented as a gender non-binary, possibly gender fluid, character. This is just a thing. I am making a bigger deal of it than the show does. Yet here we are, 20 years later, and how do we measure progress? With angry BattleTech fanboys sabotaging the game’s steam reviews because BattleTech’s character creation system includes a non-binary gender pronoun option.
Seriously, nerds? BattleTech’s developer, Harebrained Schemes, should be praised for making more space for people in strategy gaming/war gaming. This is not new ground for them, either. One of their previous games, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, has the best lessons on privilege I have ever seen in a video game. It is also hands-down one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played.
Art carries with it all manner of ideas, lessons, and exhortations. We, as a people, are better when we strive to make and embrace art that is more inclusive, more representative, and more infused with the ideas that, though sometimes challenging, will ultimately better us as a consequence of its existence.
And if such an observation is too dense or too inaccessible for you, good reader, then let me leave you with this final thought. If you think that BattleTech, Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, any tabletop war/strategy game, any computer game, or for that matter any cultural artifact on this planet is sufficiently diverse and no more work needs to be done on that front, then let me be the first to say congratulations on owning a white penis.