Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why Developers Can't be Transparent

One thing I have a hard time doing is writing a serious blog post. I feel it sets me up for negative criticism I don't want. I'm not a game developer, philosopher, writer, or some educated genius, I'm just an average guy with an average job living an average life. I'm very happy about that, but it doesn't make me an expert in anything, so writing a serious post sets me up for things I might not want to hear. It makes me more transparent than I really prefer.

That said, when I have an idea I really need to get it out to clear my mind of it, so I can get back to writing the average crap I normally write. Since yesterday, I've been bothered by what Massively wrote about John Smedley. They misquoted him and purposely rewrote their article to justify their misquoted. It made Smedley look like a raving crazy developer. I too can take my posts down and reward them whenever I want. What they said keeps drumming in my head pissing me off because I was enjoying Mr. Smedley's transparency and Massively tries to fuck it up by phishing for hits. They are quickly becoming the tabloids of gaming. It's sickening. Luckily, Smedley has balls and won't be bullied by those kinds of sites. I can't say the same for other developers.

Yesterday, Smedley started blogging. His first real post was amazing. I fear if he becomes too transparent we will lose a lot of great information and insight into gaming because of hit hungry sites like Massively. He will start censoring himself and leaving out his pure thoughts on a subject. Not something he has shown to do in the past, but blogging changes a man. I'm not saying he has to be as crazy as me in his blog posts. Imagine the backlash he would get adding comedy and sexual jokes to his blog. Shit, Derek Smart is still considered a bit crazy after some of his forum rants he went on. I, on the other hand, think Mr. Smart is brilliant. He is a wealth of knowledge.

They're in the spotlight 24/7 when they're developing a game and that makes them a perfect target for us to get fanatical. We start treating them less and less like humans and more like gods. Their words become scripture open for anybody's crazy interpretation. They have a choice how they're going to handle their fame, but more often than not they get pissed and go into hiding away from the paparazzi.

Just like Eminem said in the rap, The Way I Am-

" And I'm thankful for every fan that I get
But I can't take a shit, in the bathroom
Without someone standing by it"

These developers are celebrities in a gamer's mind. We hang on every word they say and try to dissect it to discover a hidden meaning that will award us with their attention. With their information being spewed over social media, a lot of the true meaning is lost in translation. We stare at their words like Hamlet staring into an empty skull contemplating life or death. Luckily, Hamlet was talking to the dead and not killing ideas and creativity with poisonous greed.

We're seeing a great thing with John Smedley and I hope he can keep up blogging. His knowledge of the gaming industry and it's development process invaluable, but like many developers before him trying to just be human and helpful, the greed of gaming "news"  sites will force him back. To be fair,  a lot of gamers add to the toxic environment that forces sites like Massively to write controversial articles.

Unfortunately, I'll never meet someone like John Smedley and get the true meaning of his words. Like you I'll have to scour forums, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, blogs, and gaming news sites for a glimpse into what he knows. We just have to be better than the attention hungry people or gaming sites. We have to take his words for what they're worth and not twist them to draw attention to ourselves. If we can't censor ourselves and listen for a change, we will be staring at John like Hamlet stared at the lifeless skull wanting answers, but only getting dead silence.

In my opinion, I think Massively should delete their post and apologize to Mr. Smedley.


  1. Smedley has never censored himself in the what 20 years he's been in the industry. Why do you suppose he would do so now? Especially after this week where he tore into among others, Massively for misquoting him.
    No this is another nail in the coffin of the hush-hush policy the gaming industry has employed and good on Smed for it. I may not always agree with the man but he needs every bit of support for what he's doing to open up the tool box and let the moths out.

  2. I really don't see Developers as celebs, then again I never got into the cult of celeb for regular celebs.