Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another day, another grave

I had all but forgotten that I had this thing. These days blogging is somewhat passe, but if you want the scoop on what I'm up to these days head over to the blog for my indie game company, citizen12 studio.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

3 Minute Masterpiece

I decided to enter the 3 Minute Masterpiece contest.  I didn’t have much time between my return from Hawaii and the deadline (6 days).  Not only did I have to get myself a new camcorder, but I also had to plan, shoot, cut, and put visual f/x together. I couldn’t have done it without my family’s support.

I really wasn’t sure if I could pull it together in 6 days.  It took probably close to 40 hours of effort, all told, to shoot and cut a 3-minute piece.  I feel for those folks out there who do this every week for a 46-minute show.  Of course, they’re pros and I’m just a newbie.

It’s not everything I had hoped for, but I think it’s pretty good.  Here it is.  You can also see the HD version on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The End of Lies?

I have MPD, and so do I.

Ha ha.  Old joke, yes, but there’s a new twist.  I’m starting to think the age of personae is coming to an end, due largely to the fact that the Internet and social networks have made the world a smaller place.  The problem is that some of these networks are starting to overlap in a way that has never happened before.

When you’re in the context of a particular social network or circle, you behave a certain way.  You say things in one setting that you might not say in another.  This is the definition of the “social mask” or persona.  Here are a few of my personae:

    1. (former) Microsoft manager
    2. Creative Writer
    3. Wannabe filmmaker
    4. Super Daddy
    5. Husband
    6. Friend
    7. facebook user
    8. XBox Live player
    9. Blogger
    10. Anonymous Seattle-ite

There are others.  Depending on what social context I’m in I unconsciously slip into one of these personae.  So do you.  It is an effortless thing humans have been doing since we had human relations.  Lately, though, it’s been been getting harder.  I’ve had to place additional filters and checks on what I say.  Specifically, it’s getting harder to lie.  For this, I blame facebook.  I’m not talking about serious lies (at least not as far as you know).  I’m thinking more of the lies we tell that are “variations on the truth.” 

Here’s a really simple example.  For reasons I won’t go into, some people know me as “James” and others know me as “Jamie.”  When I introduce myself, I call myself one or the other depending on a complex set of heuristics that even I don’t fully comprehend.  I’ve been doing this for the better part of 15 years and the only time it’s caused confusion was when someone I met in one social context transitioned into another (e.g. co-worker to friend). 

Lately, though, there’s been an explosion of confusion as people I have met in various social contexts have become my facebook friends.  Usually what happens is someone on facebook will refer to me as “Jamie”, causing someone who has only ever known me as “James” to do a double-take.  Then that person starts calling me “Jamie” in a social context where I am known as “James” and pretty soon I got a lot of ‘splainin to do! 

A more unsettling example has to do with my recent change of employment status.  Again, variations on the truth.  In some social contexts, it’s enough to say I was laid off.  In others, though, I feel it’s more appropriate to avoid the stigma of saying “laid off” and just say “I left Microsoft.”  Which is true?  Well, both.  I might not mind one of my friends knowing those details, but it’s something I’d rather not discuss with, say, my mortgage broker (hope you’re not reading this, Kathy!).

Maybe this is all for the best.  Maybe it’s a good thing to do away with all our personae in favor of sharing our “true selves” with all our social circles.  It’s risky, though, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that.  Do I really want a prospective employer checking out my profile and learning how much I <heart> kittens and Battlestar Galactica?  Of course I could just abandon facebook and go back to the old ways, but there’s a lot of benefit in keeping up with your friends and acquaintances.  For now, I’ll just see if I can be a little more… consistent in my interpretations of “the truth”.