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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: (Anonymous)
2004-12-18 02:07 am (UTC)

Re: Curioser and curioser....

This was an interesting read, partly because of the handful of similar postings I've read on the blog ...

(1) 'huge mess' ...? Perhaps it depends on your circumstances and experience as to whether the situation is a 'mess' or 'time for change'? Rusty Rueff declared change is required.

(2) I don't understand why EA Spouse's original blog dictates that EA Spouse's SO 'should' resign immediately ...? Why wouldn't EA Spouse and her SO make their own decision according to their needs (financial etc) and timeframe? Wouldn't anyone plan their departure from a job rather than just up and quitting?

As I understand, the blog was a response to treatment and experience over time, not a 'threat' or declaration that 'they are OUTTA HERE'.

(3) EA Spouse -- correct me if I'm wrong -- has never typed 'husband', but always SO. Interesting assumptions are made in the haste of reacting.

(4) "Leave it to disgruntled employees to speak in disdain about their former employer. What a coinsidence."

Again, an interesting assumption.

I am not a disgruntled ex-employee. I am a former employee who chose to leave because I know the company and its management is capable of far, far better management processes, strategies etc. It was expected of me and my job performance and I didn't understand why it wasn't a similar expectation in the higher echelons. I relate to a lot of what has been posted. Does that make me disgruntled?

"though the points that ea_spose has brought up are valid and are a concern of the game development community worldwide"

"Electronic Arts, by and large is not the nazi sweat shop she made it out to be. Not by a long shot."

It was interesting to read these statements side by side. Possibly, your capacity on the team and in the studio where you work is not comparable to EA Spouse's SO's experience? Possibly EA Spouse's description is dead-on accurate and you/your colleagues would be shocked to observe the SO's work environment?

One month after EA Spouse posted the blog that was a catalyst for an unanticipated global response, I don't understand the few who have declared EA Spouse and EA Spouse's SO 'should' reveal themselves. Why?Because they've demanded it?! EA Spouse responds to questions and provides information ... but has not been singularly responsible for the length of the blog, the wealth of information posted on it or the publicity it's received. Clearly, there is scope and significance to the issues; it's not a matter of wagging a finger at EA Spouse, telling her to 'simply shut up' and demanding that she and her SO make their identity known to all.
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