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[Dec. 15th, 2004|02:18 am]
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.

From: ea_spouse
2004-12-17 11:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Curioser and curioser....

You make a lot of assumptions here, and what exactly your goal is besides attacking my character rather than my issues (a distraction technique) is not quite clear to me.

First, anonymity. My anonymity is not "complete" and I am also not sure why you are so obsessed with it. In the press page on this blog you will find a section entitled "direct contacts". All of these contacts, with the exception of Netjak, I have spoken with either personally or on the phone. They have my name, my spouse's name, our exact occupations, our phone numbers (land and mobile), and in a couple of cases, our home address. I met with Alex Pham personally.

Now. As for my SO. Do you really think that if he didn't support every step in this process I would still be involved in it? This is another uninformed character judgment you make, and it is wrong. If you had actually read the articles published by the press that you so hate, you would note that my SO interviewed with Randall Stross from the New York Times. He did this in person; Randy has seen his EA badge. If you are truly all that interested in my SO's side of this, you can either read the New York Times article or contact Randy personally. He can tell you my SO's hair color if he so desires. My SO has not commented on the blog because there is little reason for him to do so -- disproving a wild conspiracy that he doesn't exist or opposes my efforts is not, I am afraid, a good enough reason. Mostly, he is exhausted, and does not touch the computer while he is home.

If you had read some of the comments on the blog, you would also know not only that other employees of EA have been fired for far more trivial 'offenses' than mine, but that several of your coworkers have warned me to guard my anonymity carefully. I am following their advice.

My identity and the veracity of everything I have said is quite realistically verifiable, and for that reason the press have the information they would need to get that verification. However, they felt they didn't need it -- in light of the copious collaboration provided by other EA employees. A number of these EA employees have given not only their studio location but their names, which I note that you have not; your comments have been far more anonymous than mine.

Yes, the press spread awareness of this story. Because that is their job. I am not sure what I have "blown out of proportion" -- perhaps you can call attention to specific phrases in the original article or in any of my comments that have in any way exaggerated the situation. What I provided was a start-to-finish narrative on my experiences with my SO's employment with EA. Challenge any statement you please (challenge everything!). You lambast a poster below for using "heavy accusations", but you have yet to call attention to a single line in my article or in the testimony of any other EA employee and challenge it directly, choosing instead to use yourself inflated terms such as "nazi sweatshop". Tell me where I have blown anything out of proportion and I will address your concerns then; until that point you are simply blowing steam.

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