i'm back!

i'm back!
Festival in the Harbor of Honfleur, Eugène Boudin (1858)

Hello! Sorry for the brief, unscheduled break in newsletters — I was at the Game Developers Conference out in San Francisco, and things were a bit chaotic. The weather was beautiful, though, and I learned to love the city's municipal transit.

This time around, GDC drew in nearly 30,000 people; a small town's worth of folks there for various meetings. (There were a lot of meetings.) But mostly the people were in the park. Every day, a glut of people would park themselves in Yerba Buena park — right next to the convention center — and hang out. That's the other half of the equation, in a sense; you've got half of the thing in the dankness of the convention center and the other half outside, beneath a cheerful sun. I guess the other part of the GDC experience is the parties, where even more meeting gets done. There are layers to that whole thing too. Suffice it to say: by the time I left, I was exhausted enough to enjoy the transcontinental flight home, because I didn't have to talk to anyone.

I think the point of GDC — aside, of course, from the Important Meetings — is that it's a celebration of the profession. It's the reward for toiling away all year, in a sense; you get to be around your peers, these other creative people doing the same kind of work over in a different silo. It's nourishing to talk about the thing you love/hate with other people who have the exact same relationship to the work and the process as you do. Though I guess that might go for anything! Regardless, I had a wonderful time and met some wonderful people.


Anyway, now that I've returned from San Francisco, I've been relishing the quietude of my life right now. I've been reading and writing a lot — stuff you'll eventually be able to read in magazine form, mostly — and it's been quite nice to immerse myself in media away from the chaotic mundanity of social media.

One thing I read recently: the manga Goodnight Punpun, by Inio Asano. I think I can confidently say that it's a masterpiece. The story is pretty simple: it follows a boy named Punpun from elementary school to his early 20s. It is absolutely devastating. I'm not sure how to describe the experience of reading it, other than to say it's like being in someone else's head, and that person suffers from major depression. (Do not read it if you are currently depressed; it'll make you feel like your life is actively being ruined.) Oh, and the main character is mostly depicted like this:

Hello, Punpun

It's a punishing read. But it's so quiet and thoughtful (and horrifying). Goodnight Punpun does the thing that all good fiction does: it mimics the texture of life. And by that I mean everyone and everything is believably sad, with believable motivations; it is a world that's rich and full, even though it's circumscribed by circumstance. That little bird face does a surprising amount of emotional heavy lifting. You should read it! But be careful (emotionally speaking).


things i'm consuming

Goodnight Punpun, Inio Asano

Delicious in Dungeon, Netflix