BioWarrior: What is a BioWarrior?

 

What is a BioWarrior?

A BioWarrior is a cyborg-esque human that has superhuman strength and can live forever, as long as their machinery is maintained. The title BioWarrior comes from a military term referring to biologically enhanced warriors. In the past, people around the world opted to receive surgeries, both life-saving and voluntarily, that would replace bones, organs, and, even, entire body parts with machinery. This machinery was unique as it was it was fueled by the human’s natural immune, circulatory, and respiratory systems and had a near perfect survival rate for organ transplants. Due to the unique machinery, certain structural enhancements in the human body needed to be made to compensate, which resulted in extraordinary strength and sustained youth. These obvious improvements proved desirable and many people began receiving surgeries. These people became known as Biologically Enhanced Humans, or BioHumans.

In a short time, militaries started recruiting Biohumans for machines of war. An elite force of Biohumans that voluntarily replaced all of their organs and bones was formed — they were called BioWarriors. This procedure would often leave the subject horrendously scarred.

BioWarrior History

For less than a hundred years, the bio-human movement took off. Up until the advent of Telemorose, bio-enhancing surgery was one of the most sought out after procedures, albeit, incredibly expensive. People started to take notice that the rich and powerful were the only majority receiving these procedures and ideologies started to form that biologically enhancing surgeries was a just tool for oppression. This led to what has become known as the Bio-Extraction movement. Bio-humans were systematically hunted, torn apart, and killed by the military and privatized organizations. Bio-humans, in exchange for immunity from the Bio-Extraction movement, could join these groups to hunt and eradicate other Bio-humans. At the end of the Bio-Extraction movement, these BioWarriors were either killed or had a special procedure which rendered them thoughtless, manipulatable creatures. Only a few escaped unscathed.

BioWarrior History

For less than a hundred years, the bio-human movement took off. Up until the advent of Telemorose, bio-enhancing surgery was one of the most sought out after procedures, albeit, incredibly expensive. People started to take notice that the rich and powerful were the only majority receiving these procedures and ideologies started to form that biologically enhancing surgeries was a just tool for oppression. This led to what has become known as the Bio-Extraction movement. Bio-humans were systematically hunted, hacked, torn apart, and killed by the military and privatized organizations. Bio-humans, in exchange for immunity from the Bio-Extraction movement, could join these groups to hunt and eradicate other Bio-humans. At the end of the Bio-Extraction movement, these BioWarriors were either killed or had a special procedure performed which rendered them thoughtless, manipulatable creatures. Only a few escaped unscathed.

BioWarriors in BioWarrior

BioWarrior takes place centuries after the Bio-Extraction movement. Only a few Bio-Warriors exist on the planet, one of them being Roy “Fox” Manith who managed to flee the military. The other existing BioWarriors that are seen are the “brain-neutered” soldiers who protect Eden — a city made exclusively for those who are Enlightened. These soldiers are referred to as the Guardians of Eden and are given the names of Angels from the Bible.

There are other existing BioWarriors in the world of BioWarrior, but are never seen. Sometimes, characters will reference other BioWarriors, much like how people refer to myths or urban legends. They are all given nicknames referring to particular characteristics or aesthetics of the BioWarrior, hence the nickname “Fox” for Roy.

What do BioWarriors Represent?

BioWarriors represent societies’ fear of change and technology, and societies’ desire to be “human.”

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BioWarrior: Character Bio – Roy Manith

What is BioWarrior?

BioWarrior is a dystopian sci-fi novel where humans have found a way to live forever. Taking place in the year 4055, the novel follows a man named Roy Manith, who is a BioWarrior — a cyborg-esque human that has superhuman strength and can live forever as long as their machinery is maintained. Biowarriors were wiped off the planet to make way for a new and less invasive procedure called Telomorose, which led to all-out war. Now, years after the dust had settled and most of the planets resources and population had been wiped out, humans just try to survive to reach the age of enlightenment–when they are given the remaining Telomorose, receiving enternal life and entrance to Eden. A group of terrorists, known as the Darwinians, are hell-bent on destroying Eden and everything it stands for. As tensions rise, Roy is sucked back into a world he tried so hard to leave and must navigate the bloody streets of New Detroit to find his true purpose.

 

Character Bio – Roy “Fox” Manith

Basic Statistics

Name: Roy Manith

Age: 345

Nationality: N/A

Socioeconomic Level as a child: Middle Class

Socioeconomic Level as an adult: Poor

Hometown: Unknown

Current Residence: Off-grid

Occupation: None

Income: None

Talents/Skills: Spy Tactics, Martial Artist, Swordplay

Salary: None

Birth order: Only Child

Siblings (describe relationship): None

Spouse (describe relationship): Dead (Murdered)

Children (describe relationship): None

Grandparents (describe relationship): Dead

Grandchildren (describe relationship): None

Significant Others (describe relationship): None

Relationship skills: Introvert

 

Physical Characteristics:

Height: 6’ (183 cm)

Weight: 190 lbs (86 kg)

Race: Unknown

Eye Color: Black

Hair Color: Black

Glasses or contact lenses: Bio-Eye

Skin color: Olive

Shape of Face: Manly

Distinguishing features: Scars on arms, back, and legs

How does he/she dress? Tattered cloak. Dark clothing.

Mannerisms: Stoic, Slow movements, Stiff, Imposing

Habits: (smoking, drinking etc.) Drinks

Health: Deteriorating

Hobbies: Gardening

Favorite Sayings: None

Speech patterns: Slow and direct

Disabilities: Left hand malfunctioning

Style (Elegant, shabby etc.): Practical

Greatest flaw: Apathetic

Best quality: Moral Compass

 

Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

Educational Background: Multiple Ph.D. equivalents

Intelligence Level: Very high

Any Mental Illnesses? PTSD

Learning Experiences: Life is Harsh

Character’s short-term goals in life: Get bio-fuel

Character’s long-term goals in life: Live in peace

How does Character see himself/herself? As not part of society. Wants to be left alone

How does Character believe he/she is perceived by others? Doesn’t care

How self-confident is the character? Very confident

Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof? Ruled by logic

What would most embarrass this character? Nothing

 

Emotional Characteristics

Strengths/Weaknesses: Slow to Anger / No compassion

Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert

How does the character deal with anger? Manages it

With sadness? Doesn’t feel sad

With conflict? Takes control

With change? Doesn’t care

With loss? Doesn’t care

What does the character want out of life? To be left alone

What would the character like to change in his/her life? They were dead

What motivates this character? A sense of responsibility

What frightens this character? Living forever

What makes this character happy? His garden

Is the character judgmental of others? No

Is the character generous or stingy? No

Is the character generally polite or rude? On the rude side

 

Spiritual Characteristics

Does the character believe in God? Agnostic, a god

What are the character’s spiritual beliefs? Agnostic

Is religion or spirituality a part of this character’s life? Yes

If so, what role does it play? Guides him

 

How the Character is Involved in the Story

Character’s role in the novel (main character? hero? heroine? Romantic interest? etc.): Main character

Scene where character first appears: Chapter 2

Relationships with other characters:

  1. Terry Goldsmith: — Acquaintance of Roy. Want to use Roy for his own nefarious plan.
  2. Manti “Mancer” Cervo: — Mancer sees Roy as an Idol, something to aspire to. Eventually, Roy does something Mance does not approve of and has his perception shattered. Roy and Mancer have a big showdown.
  3. Adam — The first Enlightened. The one man Roy absolutely hates. Once Roy finds out he is still alive, sets out to kill him. Roy eventually lets Adam carry out his plan.

 

How character is different at the end of the novel from when the novel began:

In the beginning, Roy thinks and feels about the world one way and by the end, he has his ideas turned upside down

Additional Notes on This Character:

  • He is an Anti-Hero
  • The only surviving BioWarrior from the Bio-Extraction movement
  • Has a Military background (spy)
  • Lives in isolation, own a motorcycle (?)
  • Body is falling apart, needs better maintenance
  • Avoid conflict and contact

 

Possible Quotes:

“When you have a taste of what it’s like to be a God, you start to believe there is one.”

“What’s something a man who has everything, who can live for eternity want? Death.”

“How quickly everything went back to normal. We had a chance to be something different, something new, but we were too shallow, stupid, and greedy to progress.”

 

Workout

I walk out of my office, just a normal day with the same routine. I wait for my bus to come and I pop in my earbuds, ready to be taken away to another place — I hit play.

As the song tunes in, the memory comes alive. So sick of being tired and so tired of being sick. Crammed into a crappy Ford Taurus, five guys singing out of tune, out of sync, at the top of their lungs. Yet, in harmony. In those moments, there was no judgment, fear, or embarrassment. Only acceptance and trust that can be gained through lifelong bond and love. I still remember the wind on my face from the rolled down windows, the laughing in my ears, and the sun setting in the rearview mirror on the flat Michigan plains. Those are the days I miss the most — days of pure freedom, of pure existence. The bumper of my turquoise Taurus, branded with an All-American Rejects sticker, begins to fade into the distance.

Suddenly, through a thick white cloud, the lights come bursting in. It’s night time, so LA is as bright as it could ever be. The glowing, twinkling lights inviting me down from the sky. I remember thinking “One day, this will all be mine.” A stupid thought. A childish thought; I was a child, after all. When we were young. The city brightens and crumbles into sand and I’m in the backseat of the car driving through the Nevada desert, answering trivia questions and talking about pop-culture. We were bonding, but I was seeking approval too. I get a little bit bigger but then I’ll admit I’m just the same as I was. I played that song for you to listen to and now we have that too, brother. Always inspiring me to make the leap, you’ll forever live in these lyrics, you’ll always represent my dream. That Honda Fit rolling through the dirt and dust covering the window, “Where am I going now?” I’d never know.

The window is washed clean as the rain comes pouring down as if God was crying too. My face is streaked with tears as I flip through the photos. My heart is broken. We’ve been broken up for months, but here I am sitting at a computer in your Aunt’s house looking at pictures, but not of you, of her — your sister. For three days I compose her a masterpiece, hoping to catch the vibrancy of the infectious energy she emitted in her short life. I have loved you for a thousand years, I’ll love you for a thousand more. My heart sank that night you called me. I didn’t want to believe it was true. Sadly, it wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last, not even the only time that year. I used to hate you — for using me, for stealing my best friend — but I don’t anymore. We were young and naive and that’s ok. Even though that was the last time I talked to you, I still hope you the best. I learned so much about myself then.

The dark clouds in the night sky open up to reveal a star-filled sky, the kind I used to love looking at while sitting at the beach in San Diego. Everything comes from nothing. Everything is something. I felt so at home, so at peace there. The friends I had, the community we formed, the bond we shared. It was perfect, but only in hindsight. I took it for granted, left for “greener” pastures — a necessity, as it turned out. Sometimes, you have to lose something to fully appreciate it. Now, I’m riding a riding a bike while rain beats down on my cheeks in Europe — the beach has never seemed so nice. I am being pulled farther and farther away, not knowing if these decisions are ever truly mine. I long for the day to be back in San Diego just to see those beaches, those mountains again. As I stand there, awing at their grandeur, I know one day I’ll be back.

The mountains in front of me grow taller, separating us even further. Our relationship had always been strained. Every mountain you climb takes you further away. I had ambitions, but I also lacked direction. I warned you they could pull me away, but it was like you didn’t listen. And now you’re gone and I’m alone again, wandering and wondering and dreaming. I try to see the future, try to picture where I will be — all I can see is dark and sand, all I can feel is warm wind. I’m afraid to make any connections as they will end up in the same position you are — arms outstretched, hands gripped as if something just slipped through and me looking back while still running forward. Being lost is a peculiar thing, not knowing where you are but always being somewhere. How will I ever know when I’m found?

My bus stops, it’s time for me to get off and go home. I pull my earbuds out and allow myself to adjust. As quickly as those memories came they faded, leaving me exhausted from my emotional workout. Tomorrow, I’ll do it all over again. However, with a different sequence of emotions and memories — the way only music can.

Starless Night

As I sit in my small rowboat floating aimlessly in the vast, dark ocean, I wonder to myself where you are. The sky used to be filled with your brightness; even among a million twinkles, you shone through. You said you would always be there — if I got lost, you would guide the way. The words comforted me even as danger lurked all around me.

But now, you are gone. An empty sky, a void where you used to fill. As if your light fueled all others, everything has become dim — a starless night. I have lost the will to row, too afraid that I will go in circles, too afraid that I might miss your shine again. A hopeful thought. A foolish thought. Your light is gone, in fact, it was gone a long time ago. I just didn’t know it.

Other lights come and go, giving me the brief courage to start rowing, but they quickly fade. None other shines as bright as yours. I settle for duller lights, hoping that if I row harder, row farther, the lights will get brighter. They never do. Even after years of rowing, they only end up disappearing.

So once again, I’m floating. No courage to row. Thinking about your light. Think about how bright it was. I can only dream. I can only hope. Maybe one day, I can find a light brighter than yours, a light so bright it will fill the sky — obscuring all others, but, most of all, to forget yours.

The Letter

Hello!

I did a quick, fun “short story”. It’s based in 1860 London, follows an antagonistic character, and is in the mystery genre. It’s a just a start, but let me know what you think!

Covered in blood, she ran into the den and slam the door behind her. She removed the the hood she was wearing and dropped it on the desk. It was dusk outside and the room was dark except the light of the candle emitting from her desk. Her gloves were slick and shone a dark maroon. She fumbled to pull them off, still trembling from the jolt of adrenaline she received as she opened up Jacob’s throat. It was still in her mind – the skin splitting open into a red smile spitting at her face. Laughing, she sat the desk chair.

 

“I did it.” She giggled. “It’s over,”

 

Jacob was the heir to the steel mill in town. He wasn’t much of a looker and his breath smelled of onions on his best days, but marrying him was easy enough to endure to be set for life. It wasn’t as if she couldn’t remarry after the dust had settled. Jacob had just named her in his will days ago and she will soon be heir to the steel mill.

 

“I can’t believe I got away with it.” She smiled “It was so easy. They’ll never be able to catch me.”

 

Suddenly, there was a loud knock on her front door. Startled, she stood, went to the window and peeled back the curtain enough for her to peek through. She spotted two police horses in the middle of her cobble driveway.

 

“How are the police here?” A sense of dread started to fill as her joy quickly drained.

 

She paused as she realized something.

 

“I didn’t light this candle today.” she whispered.

 

Slowly she approached her desk, as if it was going to come alive and leap at her. She noticed a small white envelope tucked under the candle speckled with melted wax that had since coagulated. Written on it was her name — Elizabeth. She snatched the envelope and tore it open, revealing a letter.

 

“I know where you’re going. I know what you’re doing. You will not get away with this.”

 

She dropped the letter as panic started flooding in. Another bang on the front door faded away as she raced through her mind trying to replay all of the faces she had seen that day. Was it the banker? No, too old. Was it carriage driver? Couldn’t have been, she had sent him into town earlier that day.

 

“No, could it be? Norville?” Elizabeth was starting to piece it all together. She was so careful to cover her tracks, making sure she had an alibi for every situation, but she never expected the boy down the down road to do anything. She only ever saw him walking his dog and he didn’t seem very intelligent to her — he had shaggy hair as if he never bathed and was always wearing ill-fitting, unwashed clothes.

 

Another loud bang, this time pulling her back to reality.

 

“I’m not going down because of some meddling kid.” She thought out loud. Elizabeth had a plan — she always had a plan, she was always thinking ahead.  “Looks like a few more people are going to have to die.” She pulled open the pen drawer of her desk, revealing a Colt model revolver which belonged to, her late husband, Jacob. She drew three deep breaths to calm herself, as she needed the strength for what she was about to do.

There Is No Such Thing As Cultural Appropriation

Do I have your attention? Great!

 

In no way am I out to attack people for their beliefs, rather, hopefully, people will be able to understand this topic better and view the world through a more understanding and accepting lens. If you are ready to start slinging white privilege, mansplaining, snowflake, alt right, or libtard terminology without even reading the article, you don’t belong in this conversation and you can leave now.

 

First of all, let’s recap the current status of the cultural appropriation topic:

http://www.complex.com/music/2018/03/bruno-mars-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-space-between-cultural-appropriation-homage

Bruno Mars, an extremely popular RnB artist, is being taken to task for being non-black and dominating a traditionally black genre of music. Ironically, the person in the video in the article complaining about Bruno Mars uses a handle with the Japanese word Sensei (meaning teacher) even though they do not appear to be Japanese ethnically or nationally — I make this point because in this conversation consistency is everything, the slightest bit of hypocrisy discredits your stance immediately and when you are reaching millions of people you have a responsibility to do your due diligence.

With increasing frequency, topics like this boil to the headlines of every news site giving a platform to people who really aren’t qualified to talk about it. Often, the equivalent of asking the kid who failed algebra to do your calculus is given the pencil and no one is moving the needle in a positive way. Every time, the argument can be distilled to an “I was here first!” mentality — a product of the entitlement culture seen throughout modern-day America. I would like to put a stop to this and hopefully start a positive movement.

So, what exactly is the definition of cultural appropriation? Doing a quick google search, I came up with this:

GoogleSearchCultApp

 

Cultural appropriation, often framed as cultural misappropriation, is a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture. It is distinguished from equal cultural exchange due to the presence of a colonial element and imbalance of power.

 

Now, the let’s take a look at the definitions of culture and appropriation separately to see how those words’ definitions add up.

 

Culture:

 

  1. the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
  2. the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

 

For the course of this article we are going be using the second definition as that aptly describes the current state of the word

 

Appropriation:

 

take (something) for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission

 

Let’s rewrite the Wikipedia definition to say what it should actually be, not the nonsensical, “social justice warrior” jargon-riddled definition.

 

The act of taking the ideas, customs, and social behaviours of a particular people or society without (the owner’s) permission

 

Ah, there we go. A definition that actually makes sense!

 

From this new definition, I already see problems and hopefully, you do too. The biggest problem being that no one owns a society or a people, therefore no one owns a culture, thus a person cannot appropriate a culture because you cannot ask anyone for permission.

brunomars_permission_meme

Case closed, right? Well, hold on, let’s dig deeper here.

 

Taking a closer look at a culture, we can rightfully say that a culture is not tied to race. Can a single race be the majority representative of a culture? Of course! But saying “black culture” or “white culture” in general is wrong — it’s 100% just a rewording of racial stereotypes.

I’m using the above Native Americans as an example of this. Just because someone is of Native American descent, does not mean they are a representative of the cultures they ancestors were a part of. The man on the left and the girl on the right might not have as much in common as you may think.

As I was saying, cultures are fluid; they are dynamic; they are constantly growing and evolving. A culture is never one thing at any given point in time. And just like how culture is growing and changing, people are constantly growing and changing. People are a part of many cultures all at once and phase in and out of the cultural stereotypes people within those cultures embody.And just like how people can come in and out of a culture at any time, people don’t necessarily have to be accepted into those cultures, they can just decide to be. There are no gatekeepers to culture, which is in fact what people are trying to do nowadays.

Let’s use the example of Gamer culture. Gamer culture used to be represented by nerdy, acne-ridden teenagers. Those teenagers could be of any race and often would fall into very strict stereotypes in regards to personality and social status.

OGGAMER

Yet, gamers were part of other cultures as well — nerds and geeks of all varieties were often the crossovers, even considered the same thing to outsiders. Recently, there was a bit of a revolution in gaming culture because of the evolution of gaming and it became accessible to more people.

Gaming, nerd, and geek culture were infamously known for gate-keeping as people apart from these cultures entire identities were formed from them. Now, as their identity became mainstream, others were identifying as gamers as well — people who did not fit in the traditional gaming culture. These newcomers did not ask for permission, they just appropriated themselves into the culture. There was a lot of backlash from the traditionalist, understandably so, as their identity was being appropriated by the very people who were oppressing them before. Sound familiar?

equalgamers

I use this as an example, because, at the end of the day, I think it was a good thing. However, I’m also using it as an example to pose the question, would you fight for the traditionalists to retain the cultural rights?

If you’re saying right now, “It’s not the same thing.”, stop. It is the same thing. The people who identified as gamers entire identity was stripped from them. It’s just as meaningful to them as any white, black, or Asian cultural backgrounds are. If we are to take this conversation seriously, you have to respect the perspective of others, even if you think they are wrong. You cannot simply write off a culture because you don’t understand it, that’s what this entire conversation is about.

I can sympathize with anyone feeling like their culture is being taken from them. I get that, I really do, but we cannot be gatekeepers, that will never work. As you can see from my example what would be considered cultural appropriation is not only a good thing but an inevitable outcome of culture reaching mainstream popularity. The sooner we can accept this reality, the better relationships we can foster with growing cultures. Whoever the misguided individuals perpetuating the negative stigmatism of cultural appropriation need to be stopped.

Can you Disrespect a Culture?

Another common thing people complain about when speaking of cultural appropriation is disrespecting a culture. The question is, can you disrespect a culture?

Now, on the surface, I wanted to say “yes.” After thinking about it, I am now not so sure. The reason is, in order for someone to disrespect your culture, you assume they have knowledge and understanding of it — you are also assuming that it is not in direct conflict with their own culture. For example, in many Asian cultures, when you enter a household you should take off your shoes. If someone doesn’t take off their shoes when entering an Asian person’s house, are they disrespecting the Asian culture? Or are they ignorant of the fact that is something you should do? Also, what if the person entering the house is from a culture where you do not allow your bare feet to touch the ground. That would put this person in direct conflict with their own cultural values. Now, even if they want to respect the cultural domain they just entered, are they supposed to oppress their own cultural beliefs? If you believe others should deny their culture to appease yours because you think it’s disrespectful of them not to, are you then not disrespecting theirs? Are you not signaling that you think your culture is more important?

removeshoes

This the muddy ground we tread on when we speak of cultural respect because it is very possible to come into direct conflict constantly. I know the example seems trivial, but it is important. What is the difference between removing your shoes and braiding your hair? You might think the shoe example is silly, but others might feel the same about the braids. It’s all a matter of perspective and as a society, we are doing a poor job of seeing that.

If someone is being willfully ignorant or blatantly offensive, it’s usually obvious and that should be stopped. If someone is being blissfully ignorant, they need to be educated, not crucified. The biggest issue comes from people who can’t distinguish the two — if you are one of those people, always err on the side of caution and choose the less aggressive of the two paths.

Now, I am one to acknowledge when I am in a different cultural position and I will try my best to follow the cultural norms as long as it is not in direct conflict with my moral beliefs, however, I do not come from a strict cultural background, this is why I say it is a yes and no situation, as it is completely situational and context means everything.

Can you exploit a culture?

exploitculture

I do believe it is absolutely possible to exploit culture. However, it is almost impossible to prove that someone is because exploitation needs to prove intent and the only way you could get proof of someone’s intent is for them to have explicitly said so. We cannot simply run around in a witch hunt claiming every little-perceived slight is an exploitation of culture. We cannot say the commercialization of a culture is exploitation either. This is a natural part of exposing culture to others and isn’t inherently exploitative. Making money off a culture as an outsider doesn’t mean you are exploiting it. In fact, exposing a culture could absolutely be incredibly beneficial to it. We wouldn’t have a lot of things today if it wasn’t for the commercialization of cultures.

So while I think it is possible to exploit a culture, it is a moot point because it is a battle that can never be won and doesn’t necessarily mean that the exploitation of that culture is negatively impacting it. If an outsider is exploiting a culture, but in turn is benefiting everyone in that culture, is it a bad thing? Also, you don’t have to be an outsider to exploit a culture, a person can very well exploit their own culture. How do you differentiate the two? These are questions you have to ask yourself.

Where does this all come from?

So, what’s the real issue today? Where does this all come from? I think it’s a mix of a desire to protect your own culture and it’s a part of the loss of identity through culture in America.

It is very natural to object to change. Change scares people. Change leads you into the unknown, you don’t know where you’re going to end up. So, you object to it, you try to keep the status quo because you know exactly where you can go with it. I do not blame people for this, I myself have objected to change many times and will continue to do so. But, we have to be more open-minded about it. We cannot simply object to change because it is a change. We have to understand where it can take us and that it is an inevitable part of evolution and adaptation.

The cultural backlash of minority Americans today is just part of the process of them losing their cultural identities — the identities that most white Americans have already lost. You can see the denial of this identity crisis within white Americans by how they cling on to anything that is even remotely tribal.

Ask a white American their ethnicity and they’ll give you a pie chart of their breakdown, none of which they can actually identify with if they actually went to any of those countries. Every white American loves some sports team, or the college they went to, or the state they are from. This is part of their attempt to give them some sort of cultural identity as they lost it a long time ago.

When people in the South don’t want to let go of their confederate flags, they are just trying to keep their identity. They legitimately do not care about the Confederate armies or the confederacy ideals, they just see those flags as part of their identity, just as an African-American person might wave a Ugandan flag, but was born and raised as a 3rd generation American in Atlanta. Yes, there may be some people who identify with the racist ideals of the Confederacy, but some of those people might also identify with the ideals of the Unabomber, are we supposed to clump all Confederate Flag owners as serial killers too? No. I understand the Confederacy has a very ugly past and I’m not coming to their defense at all, but we can’t just come in and rip away their identity. Do you know how incredibly lost they would be? That is not the solution, we have to give options to change with. We need to approach topics like this with more tact.

How do we change?

Well, the first step is to stop yourself whenever you are feeling offended by something culturally. Try to assess why you are offended, what makes you angry about it. If you think your culture started something first, take a moment and educate yourself on the subject matter, because not only are you most likely wrong, but the history is probably so complex and convoluted that there isn’t one single origin point.

culturalappropriation

Second is to change your perception. Instead of seeing it as someone stealing from you, see that your culture is worthy enough to give birth to a new sub-culture. What is really going on is that someone sees your culture, likes it, and they want to express themselves with your culture, but using their cultural identity. This will go a long way in life if everyone can view these changes like this. We can celebrate culture evolution by making a cultural revolution. Afterall, if we opposed, we would never have gotten Sushi Rolls (Uramaki), modern day EDM, or MMA.  There would have been no Bruce Lee, no Lebron James, no AC/DC. Essentially, everything that exists today is a product of appropriation and it has always has been that way.

The third thing you can do is expose yourself to a culture you know nothing about or don’t like at the surface level. Dig in deep and try to get a good understanding of how those people think and work. It will help give you a new perspective on how to view different cultures and how someone from a different culture might view you.

morpheusculture

Finally, let’s stand together, unify, and celebrate because, at the end of the day, we are all Americans. And for those of you who are not American, we are all people. We are all human. This is the culture of Earth.

#earthculture

 

Failures and Futures

I took a bit of a hiatus lately as I was failing to keep up with my schedule and needed to reflect. After some deep thought, I have decided to move forward with a couple changes:

  1. Removing the day from the title
    1. I felt this was a bit detrimental to the blog in the long run, I liked in the beginning as it was a motivator to see the number tick up, but the more I wrote the less valuable it felt to me. Moving forward, I will be removing it.
  2. Longer and more meaningful posts
    1. 2 things I want to focus more on. One is more time to write stories as those are important to me.
    2. The second is to focus on some more controversial topics, as I don’t have a space to express that voice, hopefully, I can start conversations with people on here in a constructive manner
  3. Less frequent posting
    1. I work a lot and the posting every day felt like a chore and take the fun out of the writing if I felt cramped for time. I don’t mind timetabling a writing, however, I don’t want to timetable my writing all the time.

This week, I will write 1 or 2 blog posts in a longer and more detailed format. If you like what I write, please feel free to reach out and talk with me.

Tomorrow, I will be writing an article on my take on Cultural Appropriation. Hopefully, it will be an interesting and enlightening read for everyone.

Day 38 – Game Design Recruiters

Game Design Recruiters

A good recruiter for the game design industry is hard to find. It’s a mix of being well connected and knowledgeable about the industry that’s hard to find. From an outsider’s perspective, recruiting seems both a very easy and a very hard job — easy in the case that LinkedIn essentially does all the heavy lifting nowadays, hard as in it can be difficult to understand all of the job nuances if you haven’t been in the position before. If you don’t know anything about recruiters or how they function in the game industry hopefully this will be a guide to help you navigate them.

Internal vs External

Internal

An internal recruiter means they work for the company they are trying to hire for. These are the people you want to look for on LinkedIn if you’re trying to apply at a company. Make friends with them, as they will have an easy in for you if you’re liked. The cons of an internal recruiter are that they don’t have to work very hard for you. They aren’t incentivized as much to negotiate on your behalf or be on top of hiring managers when they are moving slow.

External

External recruiters are people who work for a living to find people jobs anywhere in the games industry that they have contacts and a reputation with. External recruiters are great because they rely on providing high-quality candidates, maintaining a solid relationship with companies, and negotiating on behalf of their client because their payday is linked to it. They are incentivized to get things done right as one bad candidate can tarnish their reputation, unlike the internal recruiter who will keep their job no matter how many bad candidates they slide through.

A con against external recruiters is that they can feel very self-serving. It can be hard to tell if they actually care about you and makings sure the job is the right fit for you versus their pay cut of getting you hired.

What to Watch Out For

Recruiter Titles

Go ahead and look at a recruiter and see what their title is (if you need a place to start, check out CyberCoder recruiters). Notice anything? Every recruiter has some sort of extraordinarily embellished title like “Executive”. How many “Executive” recruiters does a single company have and what does that even mean, because if they are there to hire CEOs, then why am I getting messages all the time?

The point is, you’ll never see an external recruiter without a title of authority. This is on purpose to make you feel like they are qualified to do the job, but the truth is, especially in this industry, they are most likely not. Don’t fall into this trap.

Pushy and Aggressive

If you feel like a recruiter is being too pushy or aggressive for your liking, back away. If they can’t manage their clientele to make them feel comfortable, I wouldn’t trust them to represent you to an employer.

Lack of Basic Knowledge

If a recruiter messages you asking about this iOS developer job and all of your previous titles say design, this is a good sign that they have no clue about the industry. Cut these recruiters loose ASAP as they can only possibly tarnish your reputation, along with theirs.

Disclosure of Salary

If a recruiter asks you what your salary expectations are but won’t disclose how much the client is looking for then bail. They know the numbers and can tell you how much to ask for or how much to expect. If they are an external recruiter, they are technically working for you and it should act more as a teammate than a salesman. If they’re an internal recruiter, they are probably just pulling a shady HR move and you don’t need to be lowballed.

How to Message Them

Now that you know what to look for, how should you go about messaging them? Well, first, find the company you want to apply for on LinkedIn and do a search for their employees. Locate the recruiters and send them a friendly message about being interested in an open position and if they have time to talk to you about it (they do) or if they can help point you in the right direction (they can). It is pertinent that you aren’t overbearing or annoying, just like in any real-life situation.

If messaging an external recruiter, you can look up agencies through google or LinkedIn and find recruiters who specialize in the industry. Try to set up a call to talk about your needs and wants and get a feel for the recruiter to see if they are a good fit for you and would want them to be someone to represent you. It’s as easy as that.

Day 37 – The Job Hunt

The Job Hunt

Looking for a job in the industry can be difficult, especially if you’re new to it. Every company uses different services, so you have to spread yourself out for your best chance of seeing an opening early. Here are some quick general tips for applying for jobs:

  • Being an early applicant is important
  • Tailoring your resume/CV and your cover letter is important
    • Yes, a cover letter is important to send, even if no one will read it
  • Being close to the job opportunity is VERY important
    • This is especially true for less experience roles
  • Monster.com and Indeed.com are garbage services, avoid them

You can find more information on generic information like this all over the internet. I’ve you’re new to job hunting, please do your due diligence.

Game Industry Job Searches

Below are my favorite search engines and websites to use while you search for jobs. You will get overlap while using these, but it’s important to use multiple so you can hit the outliers.

Gamedevmap

Game Dev Map isn’t so much a job search website as it is an aggregate of every game company in the world. Want to move and work in Singapore? Just click on the city and you have instant access to every game company there. From this point, you can browse every company’s page to see if they have any job postings up on their career pages.

Gamasutra

It’s not just a great game dev website, but it also has one of the better niche job portals out there. You’ll mainly find companies more serious about reaching game developers posting here. They break down the job postings by discipline, so it’s very easy to do a quick search. The only problem with Gamasutra is that their job postings have waned over the past couple years as websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor have become more popular

Glassdoor Search

Glassdoor has a great search engine. It has been getting better and better over the years as people use it to post reviews, interview questions, and salaries. Seeing as people post their specific job position at companies, it makes it very easy to do job searches that yield accurate results. Then you can quickly check reviews of the company and what you would expect a salary to be with them instantly. I find the results to be a bit murky when searching outside of the U.S. however, so take your findings with a grain of salt in that respect.

LinkedIn Job Search

Linkedin is a great tool for job searching. It’s incredibly easy to connect with companies and employees of companies, making LinkedIn very powerful when applying for a job. Having LinkedIn is a must nowadays.

It’s a bit of a hidden feature for the job search function, but you can do both searches by country or worldwide. You can even do searches by State in the U.S. Sometimes, job postings will have an attached recruiter or job poster, this will give you an edge when applying and writing your cover letter.

Twitter

A lesser used tool for job hunting, but it can still be useful. Some companies or niche job portals set up twitter accounts to tweet when a new job is posted. This can be helpful when looking for work at a specific company.

Subjective Digression

Some companies are very arrogant; thinking because they are a well-known company they don’t have to post job openings anywhere other than their own website. This is incredibly stupid, as it casts a much smaller net — doesn’t matter if you are already receiving hundreds of applicants, it only matters if you’re receiving the RIGHT candidates. At this point in my career, I almost don’t consider them at all. These companies usually have large recruitment and HR departments, they can easily put out a job hosting on the most used websites with little effort.

I am pointing this out as you will come across the companies. You will be doing job searches and wonder “Why haven’t I seen any postings for X anywhere?” and then you will go to their website and see that they do indeed have job openings, they just don’t post them anywhere.

If you’re young and new to the industry, do not let these companies bully you. Treat them as a client that needs your business as much as you need theirs and you will have a much healthier relationship with your employers. Companies that employ the “I’m holier than thou” attitude and make job hunters scramble for them are only trying to position themselves higher than you from the get-go. If they’re going to do this in the job search process, you can damn well be assured it’s going to permeate into the work culture.

Next Time

Tomorrow, I will be talking about how to find and message employers, employees, and recruiters.

Day 37 – Weekly Planning

The Rundown

For the next month or so, I’ve decided to try something new. As I constantly scrambled to figure out what I want to write each day, I figured a change was in order. So, starting this week, I will be doing a weekly planning on Sunday. This will break down what I will be writing each day of the week. Some weeks will even have a theme! Like… this week.

Game Design

March 19 – 24

Monday

Job Hunting in the Game Design industry

Tuesday

Recruiters and navigating LinkedIn for Job Hunting

Wednesday

Game Design Questions — Questions that you will be asked in an interview

Thursday

Why you suck at game design

Friday

Prototyping do’s and don’t

Saturday

Why being a game designer sucks