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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one… - ea_spouse — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
ea_spouse

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[Dec. 15th, 2004|02:18 am]
ea_spouse
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve
the political bands which have connected them with another,
and to assume among the powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature
and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions
of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

- The U.S. Declaration of Independence




Welcome, and thank you for visiting. If you are here in search of the original "EA_spouse" article, you can find that here. The following is my update as of 12/15/2004.

So much has happened in the past month, I find it difficult to grasp. One essay written months ago set off a powderkeg of response, not just from the game industry but from the entire software development community. Truly, the power of the Internet is astounding, and all other things aside, we live in a positive age when so much information can be shared so easily and quickly.

The thing that lifted this up into public view, though, was not my essay so much as the response to it, so I will keep this brief. I have left the original essay and comments intact, and you can find them below. To supplement the original essay, I have organized my own comments and links to others' commentary into a FAQ. I have also put together a press page that links to all of the news stories related to this blog.

I am pleased and a little flabbergasted to announce that "EA: The Human Story" was nominated for Joel Spolsky's Best Software Essays of 2004. More details on this as they come.

I also would like to announce the initial inception of Gamewatch.org -- don't visit it yet, there's still nothing there. =) But there will be. It is my intent to start a non-corporate-sponsored watchdog organization specifically devoted to monitoring quality of life in the game industry. As much as I would like to extend this to the entire software industry, games are what I know, and where I need to stay right now. However, this project will be as open-source as I can possibly make it. All code written for the maintenance of the site will be available to the public, and all financial information for the organization (which will be a volunteer one) will likewise be made public. While GameWatch will occasionally run articles, its primary purpose will be to provide a reporting site where employees from any company in the industry can come to share their experiences. Our goal is to hold up and reward those companies that operate ethically, the better to ensure that top talent can seek out employment where they will be respected and best provided with the resources to do their jobs, namely family time, sleep, and sanity. Employees will be able to post anonymously or publically, as they so choose, and will also be offered an in-between option to register with the site but have only their testimonial posted, not their name or contact information. Registered testimonials will be given a greater weight than anonymous ones, but both options will be available. We will also provide forums for advice and discussion for all game industry affiliates, including existing employees, veterans, and aspiring students.

If you are interested in helping out with Gamewatch, please contact me with 'Gamewatch.org' or similar in your subject line. In particular, I would also like to announce a logo contest for Gamewatch. Simply, I'm looking for a one or two-color vector graphic (black with single-color highlighting, or simply black and white), approximately 200x200 pixels, on the GameWatch theme -- a couple of ideas we've tossed around are a caricature of an English Bulldog or Doberman Pinscher with a controller in its mouth, or some variant on an actual wristwatch theme, but do not by any means feel restricted by these suggestions. I will accept entries at ea_spouse@hotmail.com for one month, until January 15, 2005, and then a winner will be selected. I will pay the winner $20.00 -- $25.00 if the entry is provided in a standardized vector graphic format (Adobe Illustrator .ai, for instance). It isn't much, but it's what I've got -- and the artist will of course be credited on the GameWatch website.

For those interested in discussing Gamewatch.org as a concept and in its details, I have added a page here for that purpose.

All of this aside, the most important thing I have to say is -- thank you, to everyone who has visited this page, and especially those who took the time to contact me with an interest in our story. And especially especially to the spouses and EA employees who voiced their support and declared their own willingness to help our industry fulfill its potential. We're not done yet, but we've made a great start, and that is entirely due to the outpouring of response that flooded the Internet over the past month. Thank you.

Edit: Hello all. I'm sorry about this, but I've turned on screening for anonymous comments in this thread and the Gamewatch one. We have a troll who has been spamming comments every few hours or so, and I just don't have time to keep coming in here and deleting them. Rest assured if you post anything that ISN'T vulgar, I will unscreen it as soon as I see it. Hopefully the troll will lose interest soon and I can lift this.
Edit 1/4/2005: Turning screening back off, since things seem to have calmed down a bit. Thanks, all, for your patience.
Edit 2/24/2005: Modified contact link to reflect my new gmail address, ea.spouse@gmail.com.
linkReply

Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2004-12-17 06:34 am (UTC)

GameWatch.org verification suggestion

For Gamewatch.org an excellent way to verify the identity of people is to create a ChaosEngine account and ask people who have verified industry email addresses to send you a private message. Although I'm not affiliated with TCE, you could ask them to forward all your PMs via email for automatic processing. TCE is fairly stringent with its access. You can also be vetted by other TCE users (in case your employer tries to block email to TCE). The web site is http://www.thechaosengine.com

And another thing, are these people who are 'trash talking' us for posting on this blog for real?

I work at EA and these shameful work practices are indeed prevalent.

These imbeciles must be either be:

a) very naive employees who think they are actually helping EA by posting such puerile drivel here
b) fanboys (game industry wannabee who laps up anything we discuss in the public forum)

If they're ancillary staff and not on a game team then it is very possible they may not work any significant amount of overtime. They may even have their 'head in the sand' enough to not realise how much occurs because they're always out of the office by 5pm.

EA_Spouse, I applaud your courage.

First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller


And just to save you some time, Paster Niemöller doesn't work for EA or in the game industry.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: todpunk
2004-12-17 07:23 am (UTC)

Re: GameWatch.org verification suggestion

Two rules of social mechanics are in play here, I think:

1) People are afraid of change. When bad things are the norm, and someone stands up for change, you'd be surprised how many oppressed individuals will try to silence the rebellion.

2) People do not see movement in systems they are not a part of. Basically what that means is "If I'm not changing from X to Y, it must be stupid for others to move from X to Y." Kind of like one can see in the comics industry. With webcomics, there are MANY skeptics from older systems of syndication and abuse who think webcomics are silly, even though there are webcomic artists that are paid far better than traditional cartoonists ever have been. People argue about how nobody will ever be able to make a living by doing a webcomic, yet that is what many have already done and continue to do.

This change is no different. Wether the change will succeed, or if it will just be rolled over by the steamroller that real change is, nobody can say. Time will tell, and it ought to be fun to see. =c)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: royalme
2004-12-18 04:18 am (UTC)

Re: GameWatch.org verification suggestion

Just to expand on point 1. I think many oppressed people actually just get used to it if it's not "that bad" for them and they'd rather not have to work to bring about a change. They're settled and even though it's hard, they know the routine. And they might be afraid of losing their current status as whatever and having it become worse.

Then there's the ones that just believe in "toughing" it out no matter what.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)