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Doctrinal Purity

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My church is going through a phase of doubling down on doctrine.My pastor posted this parachurch Statement that was the basic evangelical thing about how we need to take scripture as literally as possible and if we don’t believe that the Bible is a perfect document where every word is perfect from God then we are all doomed.I posted the following on that Facebook thread.
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So, as far as I can tell, here's the mechanics that are work under the game of life... In every kind of social group there is a balance between cohesion and openness. (This applies to everything from political parties to art enclaves to sports fans to religious denominations) When a group creates policy that moves the slider more towards openness they start to lose the essence of what defines them as a group. This has the advantage of bringing more people to the group and the disadvantage of miscommunication/contention regarding the things that make th…

Accidental Monsters

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A proposed means by which we can view those who believe/vote/act in ways we find horrifically evil, to be, actually, just people.   Like us.

I’m walking down the street and come upon a tussle.  Two dudes are fighting.
To my left, a bystander points and says “Blonde guy started beating on Brunette guy for no reason!
Help him!”  Being a person who wants justice and peace, I act immediately, jumping into the fray.
Naturally, being an excellent puncher, I knock Blondie out. Another bystander runs up to me.  “What the hell is wrong with you?! Blondie was defending
himself from getting mugged!  You just aided a crime! You absolute garbage person!”

You might be surprised to learn that this didn't actually happen to me. It was an allegory.  

Here is my point. What did I do wrong in this scenario?  You might say,
“You just listened to the first person who told you what was happening.”  
I would say: “It was an emergency, there wasn’t time to take a poll!”
You might say: “You jumped to violen…

Crunch Culture in the Game Industry

A lot of people have been talking about crunch culture in the game industry from a moral angle. I wanna take a more utilitarian angle. My background: been in the game biz since ’96, worked everything from 2D kid games to AAA open world. I’ve done the 100 hour work week. My past 15 years have been at ArenaNet where we evolved an anti-crunch culture. Mid-sized studio with lots of sub teams, so it’s not 100%, but the difference between my previous experience (and that of my friends at virtually every other studio) and here is huge. I tweeted that fact the other day and got an interesting range of responses, which I’d like to now parse through the lens of incentives and systems. If that sounds abstract, it will become clear as I go. I’m going to bucket the replies I got into the following categories…
1: This is why your games suck and your studio is unknown.  2: Your studio has other problems [so your opinion about crunch culture is wrong?]  3: Crunch is good because it demonstrates pass…

Difficult Dialog Case Study #2

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The year: 2012. A game called Guild Wars 2 releases. I’m on the front lines, building content for the game. As an MMO, it requires constant work to keep it running and updated with new stuff. It’s like if Disneyland had to add a new ride or themed section every couple months. The first stuff we put out was Halloween content. Several new areas to explore, fight in, and climb up. I love jumping on stuff, both in real life and games, so naturally I tend to make jumping challenges. (Having worked on Guild Wars 1 for many years was frustrating because it had no jumping!) This Halloween event had so much stuff in it, I thought making one little part of it dedicated to a horror themed jumping challenge would be great. Some players disagreed. I ended up conversing with one of them on a YouTube video comment section.While the player started out incredibly hostile, by the end of the exchange they had cooled down and apologized. They didn’t really change their mind about my design decisions, but…