All posts by Florencia Rumpel Rodriguez

About Florencia Rumpel Rodriguez

@__rumpel: Journalist. Yes, really. Wrench Wench of all things computer related. Makes games, writes stuff, loves TV Tropes, reads too much into stuff. Has a devlog.

PSA: On Being a Woman and Making Videogames

There are far fewer women than there are men doing videogame development in Argentina: we don’t have the exact numbers as of yet, but there should be a [itg-glossary glossary-id=”516″]FundAV[/itg-glossary] survey soon that will provide us with concrete data on the matter. What we do know is that they exist, they’re professionals just as capable as their counterparts of the opposite sex, and they work in every role and capacity necessary for the development of a videogame. That’s to say, there are women who program, who do QA, who make art, design UIs, animate, do game design, make music, and produce. Continue reading PSA: On Being a Woman and Making Videogames

Love in the Time of BBS

Before the rise of social networks people used forums to hang out on the internet, and before the internet as we know it even existed,people used Bulletin Board Systems (or BBSes) to communicate. I was never part of a BBS, but I have read Underground, a book by Suelette Dreyfus and Julian Assange about the birth of hacker culture. The first hackers used BBSes to talk to each other on the web, and hacking and technical differences aside, they hung out on the web in the same way my friends and I did on forums.

Forums and BBSes were systems generally provided by an individual so that people could talk to friends and strangers on the internet. You would post a public message, other community members would answer, and discussions would arise. Your value as a member depended on what you posted: as long as you had your own style and the stuff you shared was interesting, people would converse with you.

Unlike social networks, those communities made it easy to be anonymous, because you only needed a nickname and an email address in order to post. Those communities were also more tightly knit and more tribal. If something about one your virtual communities bothered you, you could file a complaint, go somewhere else, or roll a forum of your own.

Life was rough on my teenage years: there were troubles at home, I was in the closet, my classmates and I never clicked. But when I was on the internet I felt that I could be myself without having to suffer for it. Thanks to internet forums I met people who are still with me to this day, and I learned how to code.

My teenage safe havens, however, are now long gone. I used to worry about new generations not knowing about BBSes, or forums, or about how people interacted on the internet before social networks were a thing. Thanks to Digital: A Love Story (Christine Love, 2010) and Guilded Youth (Jim Munroe, 2012), my worries have been put to rest. Continue reading Love in the Time of BBS

Undertale and the Power of Empathy

When you start crafting a story and characters, there is something so crazy important that you must always keep it in the back of your mind: there is no single force on this planet more powerful than that of empathy… Hulk knows your likely counter already: Oh yeah, Hulk? Well what about Galactus! Galactus is totally the most powerful!!!! Pssssh. How does Galactus get defeated? It’s because Alicia Masters appeals to the Silver Surfer’s sense of empathy, which causes him to join the Fantastic Four and defeat his former master! Empathy, bitches. Empathy.

Film Crit Hulk!, Screenwriting 101 by Film Crit Hulk!

As Hulk here says, empathy is the most powerful force in the universe and Toby Fox’s Undertale, my favorite game of 2015, is all about empathy.

Stories are tools made for teaching, they make us feel empathy for the protagonist, and said empathy aids us in discovering new things. Videogames, as a storytelling medium, give empathy a boost, because they put us in the protagonist’s shoes. The issue with stories is that they will always show us the protagonist’s point of view, but they will rarely present an empathetic construction of the Other. Continue reading Undertale and the Power of Empathy

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Coming Out Simulator 2014

Find the story, Granny Weatherwax always said. She believed that the world was full of story shapes. If you let them, they controlled you. But if you studied them, if you found out about them… you could use them, you could change them.

 Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

Coming Out Simulator 2014 (by Nicky Case) is a story within a story about the struggle of coming out to your parents. In this case, the author comes out as bisexual, but it applies to coming out as anything: atheist, trans, lefty, you name it. Continue reading Coming Out Simulator 2014