The office politik: Twilight v. The Atari 800

The office politik: Twilight v. The Atari 800

Ok, so I really want to write something about Flash games or indie games, or retro games, but every ounce of my energy for and interest in those topics is being funneled into the final revisions for the book. I would love to “mash some Flash shit up” or review some “sweet retro zar jaz”, but I’m struck with something worse than writers block: I have been “Twilighted!”. Some of you may well know that Steve and I don’t get to work on indie games all day long. We both work for a very large American multi-national company. While I would love to live the indie life all day in and day out, I have not been able to find the right combination of Mochi pennies and contract dollars to do so. Maybe once the book is complete I will try again, but for now I keep my family living in sunny Southern California because of my day job.

Let’s get something straight though, I don’t particularly like working for that “man”, but it is a necessary evil right now. I am damn lucky to have decent job in the current economy, so I am not crying. There are people and tasks at every company that I probably wouldn’t like or respect very much. So when you (the reader) starts to say to him/her self:

“Oh shit, here we go again, this American twit is going to complain about the state of I.T. in 2010 or he is going to rage on about how making money and living comfortably in California sucks! What a wanker!”

Don’t worry, I’m not there today. I might be there tomorrow, but today I want to complain about one thing: Twilight! (the movie). Ok, well not the movie actually because I have not seen it. I forgive 12 year old girls of every generation their “safe, but bad boy” passions. There is nothing wrong with it, they need it and I am sure there are child experts who will both say it is healthy and those that will condemn it as odd behavior. I will do neither. The movies make money, the books make money. There must be at least a small amount of quality there (I hope). This “safe vampire as super-duper hero” genre certainly killed High School Musical and the last “Safe, but good boy” passion for tweens, Zack Efron. That can’t be a bad thing now can it?

I wouldn’t even waste space on this subject if it were not for this terrible day job task I have (there he goes again). You see, when you work at a big company you have to deal with ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE. What does this have to do with Twilight? Well I someone at my job made a mistake. I was tasked with cleaning up the mess and in doing so I had to visit a bunch of people I don’t know and ask them some questions. Most of the visits were fine until I got to the “Twilight Cube”. This was the cubicle office space of a 30 year old female twilight fan. I was appalled. There were 1/2 naked pictures of Robert Pattinson all over the place. Although offensive, I don’t begrudge this woman her passions (even though she is not 12). The funny thing is that the 30 year old “Twilight” fan with her “safe vampire porn” set of promo pics is no better or worse (to me) than the 80’s era office “dude” who had posters of just swimsuit model butts, Budweiser girls, and the Jagermeister bikini team plastered all over his office walls. I wonder what would happen to me if I started plastering my walls with hot female vampirettes? Would I get a call from HR asking me to take them down?

Probably, but then I look around my cube and see all the crap I DO have:

A sign that says “When Chuck Norris jumps in water, Chuck Norris doesn’t get wet, the water get’s Chuck Norris”, a poster of the original Knight Rider, a sign that says “No, I will not fix your computer”, and pie graph that breaks down the lyrical components of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, A poster that says “None of us is as dumb as all of us”, an actual TPS report cover sheet, and my Atari 800!

All of these items are easily ignored if noticed alone, but paint the picture of a mad man if taken in all together, out of ironic context, by a casual passerby.

So, I am going to forgive the 30 year old woman her Twilight obsession. As long as no one takes away my Donkey Kong cart (the Atari 800 version is one of the few with all 4 levels) I will be quiet about the wholesome vampire porn. I guess Twilight to her is is like my Atari 800. Although (thankfully) I don’t have any 1/2 naked pictures of Steve Mayer, Joe Decuir, Jay Miner or Doug Neubauer* in my cube either.

* Note: They were just a few of the engineers behind early Atari hardware, specifically the Atari 8-bit computers.

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