Need a Job?

By Shamus
on Sep 3, 2009
Filed under:
Video Games

The following job listing was forwarded to me by a friend. It’s… amazing:

Skills Required:

Game Designer, PC, Xbox, PS3, Wii, game levels, game play, AI,
Job Description:

Game Designer, Game Producer, Game Developer,

If you are a Game Design who has shipped titles, please read on!

What you need for this position:

– Bachelor degree in computer game design, computer science or a related field is preferred
– 3+ years of related professional experience required
– 3+ years experience with games/design preferred
– Strong sense of game product structure.
– Able to develop relationships at all levels of production and management.
– Well organized and proactive in gathering information and applying information to specific issues.
– Proven ability to work in an extremely fast-paced environment.
– Ability to write schedules and manage teams to schedules.
– Must be able to convey product and task vision to team members to implement.

What you’ll be doing:

– Develop concepts and treatments for specific game modes and features, and help implement the design features and game worlds.
– Design game flow from high concept to implementation
– Benchmarking and competitive research to influence continual product improvement
– Determine game level layout and design
– Create and produce game play content
– Evolve and tune game mechanics into fun, intuitive features that are player centric.
– Communicate designs visually and verbally to other team members, by possibly creating 2D maps of game levels, 3D roughs of game objects and level, documenting of gameplay functionality and design plans, document expected behavior(s) and functionality of entities
– Create detailed specs describing concept, content, assets, rules and behavior(s), constraints, etc
– Implement designed elements or oversee implementation of designed elements.
– Test gameplay and use results to tune gameplay, to make the game more enjoyable
– Examine problem sets and determine optimal solutions
– Develop product requirements and write specification documents for development team
– Develop workflow schematics
– Write product documentation for game users
– Correct errors found in product after live deployment
– Effectively receive and give constructive criticism
– Collaborating with the internal production, & marketing teams to define problem sets and determine tasks
– Develop systems and tools to improve team workflow and product efficiency
– Coordinate work of development team to complete tasks and projects
– Prepare cost and labor estimates
– Develop schedules and manage teams to them to ensure product goals are met

So, if you are a Game Designer with shipped title experience, please apply today!

The ending should read “If you are a dozen people, please apply today!” Imagine if someone put up a job listing for a “bricklayer” that required designing homes, electrical wiring, plumbing, HVAC, carpentry, operation of earth-moving equipment, insulation, overseeing personnel, and experience as a realtor. Now, I’ve worked in some very small-company situations, and I’m all for hiring people who can wear a lot of hats. I’m certainly one of those people. But this is preposterous. This is basically “everything”. I imagine the guy who gets hired will be put in a room with a computer and told, “Make a game and get it published. Let me know when you’re done and I’ll have another assignment for you.”

The only people with these abilities are one and two person studios like 2D Boy. And finding someone who can do all of that, for all platforms? And multiple shipped titles?

I love “develop workflow schematics”. Yeah. You don’t need to document the workflow process if you’re the only one involved it it. A bachelor doesn’t write down the menu each day before he makes himself breakfast.

Also good is “Effectively receive and give constructive criticism”. At the same time! To yourself!

“Develop schedules and manage teams to them to ensure product goals are met” – Teams which will be run by and comprised entirely of… you!

“PC, Xbox, PS3, Wii” – Has there ever been a single title that shipped on all of these platforms? I can’t think of any. [EDIT: According to the comments below, yes there are! I just haven’t played any of them yet. While not common, this does happen. Of course, we’re talking about games from immense development houses, who we assume wouldn’t go around trying to hire the one-man-band of game development.]

Whew. Crazy.

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2020201777 comments. (Seventy-seven is the smallest positive integer requiring five syllables in English!)

From the Archives:

1 2

  1. Simplex says:

    “PC, Xbox, PS3, Wii” – Has there ever been a single title that shipped on all of these platforms? I can’t think of any. ”

    Ghostbusters
    Call of Duty World at War
    Call of Duty Modern Warfare (will ship on 1st November on Wii thus meeting the condition)
    Quantum of Solace,
    Transformers,
    Transformer 2,
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine,
    Alone in the Dark.

  2. BaCoN says:

    Dude it’s time to start cloning yourself and teaching them all different skills. Then, when they need an “AI Designer” you send in the AI Shamus. Level Designer Shamus works on Tuesdays.

    God, think about the Mario Party games you could have!

  3. BaCoN says:

    Also, World at War was even released on the DS. Gasp! And Modern Warfare hasn’t been ported to the Wii… yet. But it’s coming, I hear. :x

  4. Gresman says:

    Most of the EA titles are released for all major platforms including DS, PSP and PS2. Sometimes there are great differences in gameplay between these titles.

  5. Eldiran says:

    I am a Game Design! I unfortunately have not shipped titles.

    Part of me hopes that typo is actually part of the job listing. In fact, I’d be surprised if it weren’t.

  6. Maldeus says:

    This all made me chuckle. Whoever this was has a very good grasp of buzzwords, which makes me wonder whether it’s a clueless, pointy-haired manager or a gamer trying to break into the development market with zero experience.

  7. Simplex says:

    “Most of the EA titles are released for all major platforms including DS, PSP and PS2. Sometimes there are great differences in gameplay between these titles.”

    Very often completely different developing teams are, well, developing a version for each platform. Or one team develops version for current gen (PC, X360, PS3) and another team develops for previous gen (PS2, Wii) – as was the case with Alone in the Dark and X-Men Origins Wolverine, for example.

    BTW. It would be nice what company put up this job offer, so that we know which company to NOT work for. Ever.

    • Shamus says:

      Simplex: I thought the same thing. This is listing is the biohazard symbol of management. Sadly, it’s through one of those blind headhunter systems so you don’t know who it is until they hook you up.

  8. Kdansky says:

    Amusing.

    Completely unrelated: Your blog is just too slim in width. That quote box there is quite mangled with the dozens of linebreaks caused by the tiny amount of pixels it gets. 40 characters is just not enough, Shamus. I’m always changing my Eclipse autoformater to allow for 160 chars instead of the usual 80 (java) or 72 (xml), because I’ve got a decently sized (16:9) screen. Your blog entries fill the middle 30% of it, and such as the above box uses far less than 20%.
    Of course, some people still have 5:4 or 4:3 screens, but seriously, FOURTY characters is too slim. Could we have a meagre 80 at least? I always thought it was a bit slim on my 5:4, but now, it’s getting ugly.

    I was considering
    cutting off
    all my lines like
    this, making the
    comment horribly
    hard to read. But
    I thought that
    would be bad
    manner.

    • Shamus says:

      Kdansky: A subject I think about often.

      I found out the hard way that there are a lot of people out there still using 800×600, and many more who have big screens like us but who keep the web window small. So going to 1024+ width for the main text is not an option.

      Which leaves dynamic width, which is a hellish nightmare for someone trying to embed pictures in the text like I always do. Too wide, and pics start stacking diagonally.

      Although, I think simply making the quote box wider would help in this specific case. It’s wasting a lot of room on either side, and with the distinct “THIS IS A QUOTATION” background indentation is not strictly needed.

      Hmmm.

  9. midget0nstilts says:

    Well, my job IS network engineering, but since it is a “related field”, I suppose I could give it a whirl.

  10. Maldeus says:

    Curse you, Simplex, and your stealing the credit for my comments. Someday, I will have my revenge!

  11. Matt K says:

    I’m actually pretty certain that no game (excetp maybe Marvel Ultimate Alliences) have been developed for the PS3, 360 and Wii by the same studio. Ghostbusters on the Wii is very different even in the type of graphics.

    So Call of Duty: World at War (not the other title), the first Transformers game (not the second). So 2 games that I can find out of a lot more. So pretty much yeh.

    As a person reading classified for a while before I got my current job, that classified is full of red flags. Essentially it’s saying we want some one with tons of expirience and this will be a crappy job where we’ll work you until either we go out of business or you quit. Oh and forget about making a decent wage.

    EDIT: Turns out Marvel Ultiate Allience for the Wii was also done by another studio.

  12. Binks says:

    Well with the possible exception of World at War all the games mentioned were made by 1 company for one or two systems, then ported by other companies. No game out there (with the possible exception of World at War, don’t know who’s did Wii development) was made for all those platforms by one company. Not even the big development companies develop for all those consoles.

  13. Nihil says:

    @Kdansky: I strongly disagree. 40 lines are fine for me, and I suspect I’m not alone.

    In fact, I think that while widescreen monitors are cool for watching films and playing first-person games, they’re awful for reading. There’s a reason why newspapers, books, parchments, scrolls, and tablets have been more tall than wide for thousands of years: it’s just an aspect ratio more suited to the eye movements of human readers (at least those using horizontal writing systems). My browsing has much improved since I used a couple of Firefox extensions to trade in precious vertical pixels for expendable horizontal ones.

  14. Kameron says:

    What Matt K said. When I assembled my own team to develop a game I designed, I wrote separate ads for 3D artists, flash developers, and graphic designers. I also had a network admin/dba and a web developer, but they were already partners. This sounds like a guy who has an idea for a game, is looking for the talent to turn it from “high concept” to reality, and stripped all the buzzwords from other industry ads with no concept of the actual work involved.

  15. Julian says:

    Well, the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, the newest CoD games, Tomb Raider: Underworld,

    Also, about the dual-tabbed browsing: what I do is open firefox twice, and then resize both windows. I do the same thing when I’ m doing translation work: I have Word on the right and Firefox or whatever document I’m translating on the left.

  16. Western Infidels says:

    Even supposing there was one person who met the insane requirements in the ad, and even supposing that person saw and responded to the ad, the ad-placer would be faced with another problem: Why would this inhumanly talented person deign to work for any real-world company and salary? Especially since (clearly) no one who already works there is remotely in his league?

    This is like advertising a spot in your community theater with “Skills Required: You must be Michael Caine.”

  17. Most jobs I apply for in the industry all read like that. Clearly, it’s what HR expects out of us. It’s like they have a list of words they have hanging near the coffee machine and they make sure every job ad has all those words.

    Also, I’ve started running into the diagonal stacking with my own blog (and I’m *trying* to keep a variable width). I use a ‘clear: all’ as part of the image CSS, but it can still be screwy on RSS readers. I think I’m just gonna have an image take up it’s own line (allowing them to be wider and I don’t have to worry about how the text wraps around the sides.)

    I guess we’ll see.

  18. Robyrt says:

    I concur with Shamus here. I read the Internet at maybe 800-900 pixels wide, on a 1920×1200 screen (or dual monitors, at work). I find it much easier to read vertically than horizontally, and I often have other things in the background I want to have instant access to (iTunes and instant messaging are both primarily horizontal activities).

  19. Matt K says:

    I view similar to Julian and have it set up so I can have 2 browsers (or a browser and say Word) opened side by side. This way I can go from one to the other with no problem (or copy or compare). It’s easier at home where I have Firefox more difficult at work where I have to use IE 6.

    As for the Ad, this is problably one of those ads that’ll run for months because the Company can’t find anyone they think is qualified. I ran into this a bunch and places are looking for someone with tons of various experience who’ll work for cheap.

  20. UTAlan says:

    Regarding the width issue:

    I am a web developer and I’ve stopped developing for users with 800×600 resolution. XP ships with 1024×768. Anyone with Windows 98 or older can, honestly, get over it or change their resolution to be something from the 21st century. (Granted, I also don’t develop for IE6, so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt.)

  21. Shamus, you wrote…

    I imagine the guy who gets hired will be put in a room with a computer and told, “Make a game and get it published. Let me know when you’re done and I’ll have another assignment for you.”

    Well, there’s the problem right there: automatically assuming that a GUY will be hired for the job.

    If they hired a woman, she could easily do all of that.

    With one hand tied behind her back.

    While cooking a burrito.

    Leslee

  22. Nihil says:

    Nihil: I’d love to do tabbed browsing in a brower that supports two sets of side-by-side tabs or something, so you can see two pages at once, and both are tall and narrow.

    Oh, for that one you should definitely check out the Split Browser extension. I have it installed, but I don’t use it that much except when I need to deal with translations. Otherwise, in a pinch, Windows 7 has handy Win+Left and Win+Right shortcuts.

    What I actually use the horizontal space for is Tree Style Tab. If you spend more than, say, two hours a day on the Internet, this will probably make your life significantly easier.

  23. Yar Kramer says:

    My (secondhand) understanding is that, while there are several games released for all three platforms, the versions which aren’t PS3/360/PC will be … well, basically an entirely different game, really. Oh, sure, it might have the same level design and most of the cutscenes will have the same dialogue and choreography, but on a basic level, they’re not quite the same thing.

    Bit of a hairsplit, I know, but …

  24. bbot says:

    2 cents regarding layout width.

    I’m on a EEE 900 right now, which has a 8.9 inch screen with a phat 1024 horizontal pixels; and the proliferation of line breaks didn’t bother me all that much. If a site’s style sheets annoy me, I can always turn them off.

    Styling is a bit more of an issue on my phone since some jerk named Shamus has a limited-content RSS feed, forcing me to visit his site with my fabulous 320×480 screen. Geez, what a jerk that guy is.

  25. Nyaz says:

    Huh, as I started reading this post I was wondering where you were going with this, Shamus.
    Then as I got down a few lines in the job description, a nibbling thought started jumping in my head (and I’m not a game designer or involved in that process at all, therefore I know nothing of that, I justp lay said games): “…does one person actually do all that? That can’t be right…” and as I got down to your comment… I was right! That’s what you were going for! Haha! *Feels proud*

    *Chases after butterflies*

  26. Maldeus says:

    Leslee, I can’t speak for the comments population at large, but your rampant sexism isn’t endearing you to myself in the slightest.

  27. mneme says:

    Hmm. It’s a bit overblown (the job description list and list of systems was, yes, a bit much), but I don’t see that the posting deserved -that- much scorn. Things it didn’t include, after all, were any of the production (e.g., no coding, no art), any of the marketing, etc — it looks from here like they’re trying to hire a game-designer who’ll take a high concept and turn it into the idea for a game, then shepherd it into implementation without doing any of the (production) work. Obviously, very large companies mostly don’t work this way — the game is designed by a committee a lot of the time even if you do have a central designer, but I’d think (as someone with decent connections to the hobby game industry, but not so much the much larger computer game industry) that a mid-sized game company would have one person in the “designer and product manager” role.

    Leslee’s comment didn’t look like sexism from here — more a comment on gender assumptions.

  28. Tacoma says:

    I like the explanation of the contractor with multiple skills in your commentary, Shamus. It’s exactly what I was thinking while reading the ad.

    Plus, even if you did get a person who could do all that, you’re left with just eighteen hours a day he can work without dying!

    I see a lot of this in indie game maker website fora. People will post saying they want to be the “idea guy” who runs the operation, he just needs an artist and a programmer. So basically he will do no real work while the other two make a game – oh wait, they will have to work around his inane suggestions and comments. And this ad looks like it’s from one of these starry-eyed 12 year olds. Bad grammar and spelling included.

    There are too many “idea guys”. These people need to learn how to draw or learn how to code.

  29. Henebry says:

    Regarding the readability of the quotation: if you’re happy with the current site width (I am, in a big way), all you need do to fix the problem with the narrow quotation boxes is decrease the font size slightly. I’d go with .9 em or .95 em, see how that looks. Your standard font size is plenty big, so a slight decrease in font size for quote boxes will still be readable, while allowing for more characters per line.

    It’s my sense, by the way, that text layout should average between 10-12 words per line. Your blog runs near the upper end of that range, but the quote box runs about 7-8.

  30. B.J. says:

    This really looks like one of those “kitchen sink” job postings that recruiters use to lure people into their contracting firm. I doubt its for a real job; the idea is to have qualifications so broad anyone with any experience in the field could qualify for it.

  31. Robyrt says:

    This posting isn’t written by one of the Internet’s many “idea men” looking for code, art and design. It’s hiring you to BE one of those guys – a Lead Designer who is not expected to code or draw or even script, just to come up with all the “player-centric features” and take all the responsibility for the entire game. And, you know, to manage the rest of the team in all your copious free time.

  32. Chris says:

    Well this line alone knocks out at least 50% of the potential candidates:
    “If you are a Game Design who has shipped titles, please read on!”

    Not to mention the kitchen sink mentality of the rest of the listing. Say someone actually qualified for this job and was hired, what would everyone else be doing? Is everyone else getting fired now that super-developer-awesomeness-amazing is here? Does this job replace 5 other people?

  33. Nathon says:

    Shamus: When I’m not using links, my firefox has just such a plugin. It’s called split and it lets you split your browser in as many directions as you want. Have you considered dynamic width pages with a minimum? I’m pretty sure you can do that.

  34. TehShrike says:

    I always assume people have at least 1000 pixels to work with width-wise.

    Also, I’m with bbot – gimped RSS feeds make me sad.

  35. Neil Polenske says:

    “Now, I’ve worked in some very small-company situations, and I’m all for hiring people who can wear a lot of hats. I’m certainly one of those people. But this is preposterous.”

    As a former employee of a small videogame company, I can confirm this is not outside the norm by any means. I was hired on as an animator with the expectation that I’d just be creating the in-game and cinematic animations, but I ended up designing levels (in this case, puzzles as it was a children’s puzzle game), creating in-game assets including new characters and environments, and all sorts of other things I had no experience in.

    Loved every minute of it mind you, but I’m just saying I can personally attest that this scenario is pretty standard.

  36. Re: Web Design – the funny thing is that we’re cycling tech now.

    Two years ago, enough people had 1024 you could do it.

    Now, you don’t know. The might reading it on a netbook. A smart phone. An iPhone. The built in browser in Steam. Hell, the built in browser in EVE. Some Java based browser that runs in their email. Who knows? So you might well have to deal with 800×600 *more* now. And non-standard browsers.

    Re: The job – I wrote a flash game and emailed it to myself. I think I fit all the criteria….

    Re: Sexism – that would only be sexist if she’d said making a taco.

  37. Lupis42 says:

    I actually read web content in 1280. At work, that’s just how big the screen is, and with multiple small monitors, everything is full-screened. At home, on the 30″, I use a little program called Win-Split-Revolution that maximizes windows to portions of my desktop, so browsers etc. are 1280×1600, and there are two windows of tabs side by side.

  38. meltorefas says:

    I don’t know how I lived without tree tab style and split. I really don’t. Thank you.

    And yeah, that job description looked a bit silly to me… but then, most do. Loved your write up though.

    And, I am pretty sure Leslie’s comment was meant to be one of those humorous, semi-serious things that are often based on stereotypes. I personally laughed… my experience is that women do tend to multitask better than men, in general.

  39. SatansBestBuddy says:

    I was so sure this was a joke, and that I’d get some sarcastic comments as I kept reading.

    They never came, so I have to assume this is real, which somehow makes it even funnier.

    On the width issue, yeah, either full screen or shrunk screen, that quote box is on the small side.

    Maybe bump it, say, 10 pixals either side, see how that works, cause as it is now it’s… well, it’s fine, but no reason to see if we can’t make it fine-ER!

  40. Blake says:

    I tend to keep my browser window quite small.
    It’s sitting around 900px atm.

  41. Shadow2336 says:

    “Hi, my name is Legion. I’ve worked on the PS3 more than any of the other ones, but I worked on Daikatana back with Ion Storm”

  42. Aw, Maldeus – you’re such a cute little troll.

    It wasn’t my intent to be ‘sexist’. I was just making a humorous comment on gender stereotypes and assumptions.

    Leslee

  43. Sean Conner says:

    It could very well be for a job where the department already has a candidate to hire in mind (“preselection” as my girlfriend tells me) but due to regulations or internal policies or what not, they have to advertise the position. That may be the case here.

  44. Miral says:

    Wait, what tabbed browser doesn’t let you have side-by-side tabs? You can always just open up a second window — each window will have its own set of tabs (and the good browsers will let you drag tabs between the two).

    Tile those windows side by side (easier if you have dual monitors), and bingo.

  45. Rutskarn says:

    WE ARE THE ROMEROMIND. WE HAVE ASSIMILATED YOUR GAMING KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE INTO OUR COLLECTIVE. WE HAVE MASTERED THE ARTS OF DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION ON ALL LEVELS. WE DESIRE ONLY THE DESTRUCTION OF HUMAN CULTURE ON ALL LEVELS THROUGH INSIDIOUS MESSAGES IN YOUR “VIDEO COMPUTER TV GAME” ENTERTAINMENT. ALSO SOME DENTAL WOULD BE NICE, WE’VE GOT, LIKE, 50 HEADS OR SOMETHING.

  46. Jeysie says:

    Shamus wrote:
    Nihil: I’d love to do tabbed browsing in a brower that supports two sets of side-by-side tabs or something, so you can see two pages at once, and both are tall and narrow.

    Opera can do that; its tabs are actually real MDI windows.

  47. Maldeus says:

    @Leslee: And I’m sure you’d be amused if I made a humorous comment about how women who try to do manly jobs like, say, soldiering, are all so cute and misguided, but maybe someday they’ll find a man who’ll straighten them out and put them back in the kitchen where they belong.

  48. Julian says:

    Re: sexism. I’m sure Leslee’s comment was tongue-in-cheek. Now if she had said “scalloped potatoes”, that would have been sexist. My scalloped potatoes kick ass, and the thought of anyone, even if they have no Y chromosome, besting them is unacceptable.

  49. Ryan says:

    Regarding the screen resolution/multiple columns: My dissertation was on that very topic. What I found was essentially a difference between fast and slow readers.

    Fast readers have better reading speed and comprehension with relatively short to medium line lengths (30-45 characters or so, maybe a bit longer). Slow readers show the worst performance with very long lines (say, 90 characters – although that’s not so uncommon anymore), but otherwise can do “okay” with most layouts.

    Anyway, I’m a big proponent of narrower vertical spaces for displaying text. Many sites are actually using this now – the reading pane in the center with other content (links and ads) to the left and right.

  50. Ian says:

    @UTAlan:

    I am a web developer and I’ve stopped developing for users with 800×600 resolution. XP ships with 1024×768. Anyone with Windows 98 or older can, honestly, get over it or change their resolution to be something from the 21st century.

    The biggest fault with that is that you’re assuming that everyone has perfect eyesight and/or a large monitor.

    I’m a computer technician, and you probably wouldn’t believe how many people are still using 17″ CRTs (and smaller). I’ve also run into several people who simply can’t read the display when it’s set above 800×600. Simply setting the font sizes to be larger doesn’t help, since that ends up breaking many programs.

    So, yes, there are still very legitimate reasons for people to be using 800×600, and many of them can’t just “get over it” without incurring some kind of expense (i.e. a larger display).

  51. Nick says:

    “Most jobs I apply for in the industry all read like that. Clearly, it’s what HR expects out of us.”

    And this is the way it will probably remain until non-IT/developer people stop thinking of our profession as “magic”. I work mainly in DB management and reporting and I’ve had people ask me if I could write a “program” for them in an afternoon based on a single sentence spec. Maybe they think we just push a button and tell the mouse what we want and it creates itself.

  52. Benny Pendentes says:

    The posting I applied for was similar in detail, length, and absurdity, though in a different field. I went through a grueling interview process, really felt like I earned the position.

    Later, deeper into the ‘tough times’ caused by upper-level ineptitude, I was asked to interview new people. I made up questions similar to the ones I had been asked, but my manager wouldn’t let me use them. It turns out that all of that verbiage in the job posting (which hadn’t changed) was really biz-speak for “1: Has a pulse.”

    Probably not a coincidence that the company, a 50-year empire, was bought by a small subsidiary of a competitors realm a couple of years later.

  53. Simplex says:

    It just ocurred to me – if someone had all the skills mentioned in this job ad he most definitely would NOT be looking for a job. Jobs would be looking for him… ;)

  54. Helm says:

    At the risk of causing an off topic flame war………Leslee your posting history suggests otherwise *shrug*

    Anyhoo I wonder what wages they are willing to pay this behemoth ?

    • Shamus says:

      Helm: I think the listing said $60k to $120k, which is another thing wrong with the listing. That’s a huge delta.

      “We’re willing to pay somewhere between ‘fresh out of college’ and ’20 year vet'”

  55. Helm says:

    Helm: I think the listing said $60k to $120k, which is another thing wrong with the listing. That’s a huge delta.

    “We’re willing to pay somewhere between ‘fresh out of college’ and ‘20 year vet’”
    Good Gods where do these people come from ? I can only assume the ad was put in by an infinite number of monkeys

  56. Ergonomic Cat says:

    When sexism is defined as “a silly joke on a comment” I think we’re doing good.

    “Maybe they think we just push a button and tell the mouse what we want and it creates itself.”

    I know they do. I had a senior level exec say to me (not a programmer, but the equiv in my field) “why is this going to take two weeks? Don’t you just feed in the information and push a button?”

    Yes. That’s why we have 5 people making a combined salary of over 300k working here. To enter data and push a button.

  57. Zaghadka says:

    Nutsy. Incidentally, I hear the position was filled by
    Billy Numerous.

  58. Kdansky says:

    Shamus: I can understand your concerns about maximum width of 800 pixels, but on the other hand: Those people are probably totally used to scrolling horizontally (how many other pages work with 800 pixels? None?) and they would only have to do so for the sidebar. And that is rarely clicked anyway.

    And yes, if the quote box would not lose another 30% of the already very thin column, then it would not be that much of an issue. You could also indent less from the title to the text (currently that is about 2.54 cm (1 inch), or an estimated 60-80 pixel), as that would already increase the column width by more than 10%. We don’t have to use the full near-2000 pixels some of use have, but more than just 30 characters would be nice. ;)

  59. Rosseloh says:

    Just want to concur with Ian:
    In my last job, I was the lone support guy for the staff of 8 different college dorm buildings, plus the central residence office. Our equipment was distributed kinda funky, because of the discrepancies between old and new computers, and the VP’s spending assignments didn’t help us get anything on a regular basis. Anyway, 3 or 4 people in the central office had 22″ widescreen monitors, 16:10.

    They ran at 800×600 and 1024×768 because otherwise they couldn’t read the information. I never could stand it; I get annoyed when I see an aspect ratio out of whack (pet peeve, actually). But it goes to prove that you can’t necessarily assume your users are going to be running higher than 1024 wide.
    Of course, you’re welcome to do what you please with your widths, as far as I’m concerned. But others may not be so happy.

  60. Maldeus says:

    See, now, all kinds of other people have jumped in on what I’d hoped to be a duel between only Leslee and myself, which kind of crippled my ability to make the point I was actually trying to make.

    Leslee has a history of complaining loudly about sexism against women, the first example coming to mind being that of the blatant male bias in Overlord II. Granted, there is nothing wrong with this inherently because it’s true, but it makes comments like the above rather hypocritical. If every woman held the double-standard against men that Leslee does, and if every man held the double-standard against women that a fair number of men do, we would not magically get equality between the two, we’d get two sexes that hate one another and never reproduce. If Leslee expects anyone competent to take any of her complaints concerning how women are treated by the media seriously, a good first step would be to stop treating men the same way.

    • Shamus says:

      It is unfortunate that English doesn’t have a gender-neutral singular pronoun. Often we use “he / him” when we mean “some person, and the gender isn’t important”. This is ambiguous, since sometimes the gender does matter. “Him” means either “a man” or “a person”, but “her” is specifically female. The only way to clear it up is to clutter your article with clumsy language. But if you go around using “him” all the time, it’s not correct and it is often annoying to females who feel excluded. Then a defect in our language becomes an argument over sexism. Alas.

      Some people take this really, really seriously. (I don’t think Leslee is one of them, she does this in a humorous manner.) My wife had a teacher in college who was obsessed with this, and graded essays on how well you played to her gender politics. Use the word “him”? Points off! It all needs to be written as “him or her”. I forget the subject of the class, but it had to do with teaching kids, I think. Her inserting her agenda into the course was completely inappropriate. (Particularly because I strongly disagree with her solution. ALWAYS saying “her or him” is tedious and defeats the purpose of having short pronouns in the first place. I’d rather we invent a new word than clog up every single thing ever written with confusing stuff like that. )

      There’ nothing wrong with gently and politely encouraging people to mix up the pronouns a bit. My attitude is, “I’ll try to mix up the pronouns, you try to keep from denouncing me as a misogynistic brute when I don’t.” Then we can all get along.

      I like this system.

      • Shamus says:

        The above reminds me of the bit in Fabler 2 where Theresa tells you to go see the fighter chick. Only, the fact that she’s a chick is supposed to be a surprise. (OMG A GURL FITER! MY MALE PRECONCEPTIONS HAVE BEEN SMASHED!) But it’s a dead givaway because Theresa keeps saying odd stuff like. “Go meet the fighter. They will be waiting for you at such-and-such.” Er. They? It’s obvious that she’s trying to avoid saying “her”, so it must be a her. It was a dead giveaway. It also seemed hypocritical. You want people to accept women heroes as a normal thing? Then stop making such a big deal about it when you make one. It’s the equivalent of saying, “Wow. Great work Nancy. A man couldn’t have done it better.”

  61. Maldeus says:

    When did pronouns come into this? The blatant male bias in Overlord II had nothing to do with pronouns and everything to do with a trio of slutty mistresses.

    • Shamus says:

      Maldeus: I believe my use of “guy” is what goaded Leslee to write her comment to begin with. I wrote as if the position would only be filled by a guy. Leslee was just turning it around. Maybe I mis-understood her, but that’s what I took away from it.

      Her comment was silly enough to be clearly humor and not a demonstration of heartfelt umbrage or man-hate.

  62. Kdansky says:

    You can be lucky that at least the “fighter” is gender-neutral. In German, every profession has its own versions for both sexes, to give a literally translated and completely made up example: teacher (male) and teacheress (female). Guess how bad that is. It’s either cumbersome or sexist.

    Imagine all your texts to read:
    “If any female_students or male_students want to apply for a position as female_assistant or male_assistant, she or he may send her or his papers to her or his male_supervisor or female_supervisor.” It gets rather silly.

  63. I like to point out what I perceive to be CULTURAL gender bias and inequality by making humorous comments about it.

    I DO NOT believe that Shamus is intentionally being sexist or a bigot. I think he actually goes out of his way to be fair and gender-neutral, and for that I am very grateful.

    I am also NOT a man-hater. I have a husband who I dearly love and respect. I also have several male friends who I care for a great deal. None of them have ever accused me of being sexist when I point out the gender inequalities that I encounter as a woman.

    Hugs, everyone?

    Leslee

  64. Maldeus says:

    Let me reassert this, since evidently it wasn’t clear. I never actually believed Leslee to be sexist. I believed her to be a bit hypocritical, and made accusations of sexism to bring this to light, simply because my accusations against her seem to me to be equally ludicrous to her accusations against…Uh…Whoever it is that makes the Overlord games. Truly am I a double-faced lawyerly type person who is deserving of your collective mistrust, but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Well, unless you count lying through my teeth three different ways to try and lend a little bit more weight to an argument I could’ve just made out in the open to be stupid, in which case I’d be willing to believe you might be right.

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