As I write the start of this, it is the waning end of 2016; I am sitting in a parking lot outside my day job, not looking forward to going inside with all the drunk and noisy people who will be making a ruckus for the next several hours. I’m also thinking about the coming year, and the work ahead for anyone who doesn’t want to hunker down and hope the worst of letting a bunch of goons who are kleptocrats and best and fascists at worst run the country I live in.
I have a few things to work on that are my own, in addition to the effort of supporting those people and groups that do the things I want or need but can’t. Games with representation matter to me more than ever, since we’re entering a period where the government will be doing their best to make minority groups shut up and go away. I have something cooking on that front, hopefully with the help of my wife.
Fiction with representation is also important; I aim to write more this year, even though it will involve setting aside some of my time spent on my hobbies. It’s a price I’m willing to pay, if it helps others through this extinction burst of terrible behavior among the fascists and bigots. Games and stories provide the threads to weave a narrative of hope and the rope to hang onto as a lifeline against swelling darkness.
It is now just before midnight; I’ve spent a couple hours dealing with noisy drunks playing with noisemakers. I find myself wondering how many of the people who are blowing horns that sound like anguished ducks know what the reason behind the noise is? It’s thought to have originated as a practice to keep malevolent spirits at bay by frightening them; the same is connected to the tradition of fireworks across the New Year. Today, they’re just absent celebrations where we make noise and bright lights in larger numbers than ever without knowing why. There’s a lot you could say about how we keep following traditions without asking ourselves about the source and purpose of those traditions.
And now it’s a couple hours past the tick of midnight; the moment came and went with nothing to mark it but a bunch of drunk people screaming and blowing horns while the band pretended they knew a traditional song for the end of the year. The only thing that has changed from yesterday is the calendar itself. The work that lay ahead then still lays ahead now; people who have been given authority still threaten to use it to try to silence and erase any of us that don’t fit their idea of proper members of society. Games will still be made and played; it’s up to us to make those games tell stories that aren’t about square-jawed musclebound white men with a perpetual three days of stubble on their chins. Stories will still be told; it’s up to us to see to it that they include women with agency, people of color, queer folks, and the disabled as neither victims nor villains.
Just like yesterday, the world needs to be made into a better place today. One where the old ways, the traditions of empire and power, are called down and challenged and replaced by something that lets everyone speak.
Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let’s try to make it one with a story worth telling, yeah?