Whenever I get time, or whenever I don’t have time but I don’t particularly want to do what I should be doing :S I try to catch up with a variety of different websites. One of my favourites is altdevblogaday. It’s full of articles from people in the games industry and I reckon it is well worth a look for anyone considering a career in games.

I recently read this post about how the faceless minority of gamers and developers, safely shrouded by the anonymity of the internet are spoiling a whole host of online interactions for the rest of us. I must admit that I hardly ever play multiplayer games online, and when I do it is always with people who I know from “real life”, however some online communities, particularly in MMORPG games like world of warcraft or eve online seem to manage to regulate themselves and avoid a large chunk of this sort of antisocial behaviour (with the potential exception of Leeroy Jenkins), but that takes a lot more dedication from the gamers, and a conscious effort to build a meaningful community. Perhaps antisocial trolling is the price you pay for not putting that effort in, and just wanting to pick up and play.

I was more shocked though, by the accounts of trolling from within the indie developer community. I think to some extent it that being critical is a valuable skill in computer science. Often understanding what you are doing and the trade offs involved in the choices that you make involves a lot of critical and divergent thinking. That is a skill that should be celebrated. What should be avoided at all costs is trolling, flaming, bullying, picking on someone for having a different view – call it what you will. When criticism gets to that level something has gone awry, and it’s likely that people who are guilty of this are actually not applying any sort of critical thinking.

I have a lot of respect for these people who give me interesting content and perspectives, and in doing so putting their neck on the line for abuse. I really enjoy reading the offerings of people who I don’t know, but who know better than I and often, I pass on what I learn to students in one way or another.

I also have a lot of respect for our students who’ve taken to blogging. They’re also forfeiting their anonymity and putting their views and themselves out there. It’s my hope that they will continue to do so and maybe some of them will keep up their blogging and form an online alumni of industry professionals, who remember what it was like to be a student and are willing to continue to share their experiences, and help out when they can.

Keep it up guys 🙂