Quick thoughts on The Lizzies

The Lizzies are the Australian IT Journalism awards, presumably named after the fact that the first ever journalist to cover the information technology industry in Australia was a lizard who made a nest in a ‘press’ hat and hissed angrily until it was given an employment contract. I refuse to investigate further.

The point is that video games are included under “IT Journalism”, and so every year, Australia’s increasingly-precariously-employed videogames journalists make their way to Luna Park to enjoy an open bar with the secondary thrill of finding out who gets to take home a trophy.

It rules to get nominated for the Lizzies. They are, even with all the criticisms I’m about to write, the most exciting and prestigious award for games writing in Australia. It’s a thrill to see your name up there and to feel like your talented and hard working peers think you’re hot shit.

But despite all that, the Lizzies kind of suck. Here’s why, and how to fix them.

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Sad Girl Posts Online, more at 11

I’m having a lot of thoughts. They’re too long for Twitter, too personal for Facebook, too much to be contained in my brain, too much of a cry for help to stay in a diary. I don’t really need help, I don’t know how anyone could help if I asked them but I need someone to listen even if it’s the faceless emptiness of the internet.

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Around the Amygdala in 365 Days

2018 was my year.

Everyone says 2018 was trash, but to me it was wonderful. I took 2017 off because I was tired, just so tired. But 2018 was going to be my year – I would waste less time, do more things. I had been stuck in a rut, but 2018 was the year I would finally summon the energy to turn the wheel.

A lot of my triumphs were silent things, thoughts and feelings that were not good Facebook posts or Instagram photos. Things that live only in my mind and in my heart, that are so much a part of me now, I have to look back on my journals to remember a time when they weren’t there. But soon, they will also exist in these words.

A lot of my growth this year came from challenging what has always been a part of me. To say “was taught to me” implies a level of conscious decision on the part of my elders that simply wasn’t there. But it was taught to me nonetheless, and I am having to – at age 32 – unlearn many things.

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Some Books What I Read This Year And My Thoughts On Them (The Books)

I read a bunch of books this year in an attempt to make my brain bigger. Here are some of them.

1. 1984, George Orwell, 1984

I’ve never actually read 1984 before, although thanks to the magic of cultural osmosis I basically absorbed the entire plot and most of the catchphrases at some point over my adult life. In the last few years I’ve become an insufferably woke socialist so a lot of the themes of 1984, which it turns out actually run a lot deeper than what if surveillance, but too much were particularly resonating with me as I read it. The entire second part of the book, where George Orwell basically uses the flimsiest pretext to drop in a blatant self-insert character and writes an enormous essay called “HI READER, IT’S ME GEORGE ORWELL, CAPITALISM IS BAD”, is especially great.  

I started to wonder why this book was never taught in school to me or any friends I know, but quickly realised that there were probably two reasons for it. The first, that it directly asks the reader to question undemocratic social hierarchies and the artificial poverty which is deliberately created and maintained by a state of constant war and fear (hmm, doesn’t ring any bells); and the second, that every time the main character meets up with his girlfriend they absolutely go to town on each other and fuck like rabbits.

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Bethesda, Games Media, And The Uncouth Vulgarity Of Acknowledging Capitalism

Off the back of the critical and commercial success of DOOM, Bethesda have formally announced their intention to continue with a policy of providing media outlets with review copies no earlier than 24 hours in advance.

Their announcement (which quite tellingly offers no justification for the change other than “the game sold a shitload of copies, so fuck you”) is being met with no small amount of criticism from games media who have correctly labelled it as anti-consumer.

That’s not the issue. Of course it’s anti-consumer. It’s difficult to think of something more anti-consumer than to proudly brag about how your game is 100 hours long or needs to be played twice to be properly understood, while simultaneously doing everything possible to make customers pre-order a year in advance and to prevent media outlets from reporting on any possible shortcomings until it’s too late.

The problem is not that it is anti-consumer; the problem is that the industry as a whole is anti-consumer. It has been for a long time, and Bethesda’s formalisation of that anti-consumer position is doing for the games industry what Trump’s racism did for the Republican party: scandalising the establishment by saying out loud the racist things that were previously only conveyed through polite smiles and racist policy*.

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