Subject: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 07 2011 @ 04:29 PM
By: Harris

Content:


CMJ EDIT:
These are the ground rules for this thread. If you can't follow them, don't get involved.
1. This thread is about the programming and writing issues involved in moving away from a gender binary. That is all this is about, do not try to change the subject. If you want to fuck about with semantics, politics and other noise that isn't about writing or PHP, take it to email.
2. The only argument against accommodating non-binary characters is that it's probably impossible.
3. We are going to make the attempt whether you like it or not. Arguing against it is meaningless.
4. If you have suggestions, please try to understand what you're asking for.
5. Remember that this is more complicated than you think - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't suggest things. Just understand that about 99% of suggestions will be impossible to carry out - we're looking for the 1% that is merely very hard.



NOTE: This is a split from Programming Rants: Commentary and Bios. http://enquirer.improbableisland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=26215


Quote by: Sasha

Quote by: Harris

Agreed on the principle of gender display importance being greater than arms and armor display importance, but from the technical aspect, did you know that CMJ has also said that preferences, as a whole, muck up the game?
Also- you jump straight to a "non-binary gendered/ally player must wait until Season Three to feel more OOCly welcome"? Why? This is the same game that has a foetid Midget brothel! In game IS insensitive- it's part of the point.
Out of game, what are you basing that claim on, exactly? I do not refer to indvidual players' actions, of course (sadly, dickheads happen); I mean how have you decided that the game is being run/programmed/written that way?



Erm, the difference between a foetid Midget brothel and how the meta-game addresses non-binary genders ought to be obvious. 1) It's roleplay/gameworld vs. mechanics/meta-game; 2) One is being played for laughs, the other isn't. You might also note I haven't complained about the jungle encounter with Doc. Paprika's whackjob (though come to think of it, I haven't encountered that one in a while) - that's at least in part because it's gameworld silliness.

I am aware there are technical issues surrounding Preferences in general, and said as much in a previous post, and offered two options for avoiding the use of Preferences altogether (that turned out not to be workable ideas, but not being a programmer, I'm used to my programming ideas not actually working). However, going from a system where you can hide your gender and say you are whatever you want without having people just peek at your mouseover and contradict or even challenge you (something that has happened to me more than once) to one where you cannot, and making a stand on that, cannot send a positive message to people negatively affected in one way or another by the gender-binary standard (whether in-character or in Real Life).

And I didn't intend to say "this is how the game is being made," because I'm sure the slight to non-binary people and their allies is unintentional. CMJ's track record (that I've seen) suggests he's a pretty cool frood in general, including gender issues. I'm worried about how this is coming across, not that there's OMG A WAR MARCH FOR DISCRIMINATION going on here. What you quoted me on is simply a somewhat strong (but not hyperbolic, since I don't feel it's an unreasonable inference for someone newer than I am to the Island and its politics) interpretation.

This issue can also be disruptive of some roleplay (and there was enough of a problem with this already).





I hope this makes sense?



I suppose I didn't make my reply clear- I apologize, because imagine that it was my slang usage that muddied my reply. I meant to address the different points for in the game, and in real life as well, but only separated them by saying "In game" and "Out of game".

The difference is; that's why I was taking exception to you naming off only in-game examples, then seemingly citing that there were these in-game examples and out-of game examples (that you never listed) that make the Island an unfriendly place to folk who ascribe to Not Female or Male persuasion. Making such players uncomfortable, I can easily see. But unfriendly? I see nothing of that in the game, or in the evidence you gave. Hence why I wanted to know what you meant by "outright unfriendly to people whose... Real Life selves live outside the artificial gender binary" and calling CMJ's decisions "questionable" (partial quoting is intentional here, as these were the only parts I saw that needed to be argued with) .

Again, the differences between the game itself's presentation, and meta-game presentation IS obvious. Hopefully you can see where your phrasing, however, made it sound like you were sharply criticizing both, and doing so while only supporting your criticism of the game with facts, and not your meta-game criticism.

Thank you, I believe I understand you now. You meant to say 'Here are problems I see in the game now, and here are some potential problems I see coming out of them.'
Right?
If that's the case, I still disagree. I see no evidence anywhere that out of game unfriendliness from the site itself is likely to be a problem. Possible? Sure. Anything's possible. But nothing to suggest that this game will come across as hateful/dismissive/etc. to anyone who really looks at it closely (I say this as a practicing Catholic who has regularly killed and eaten the Pope in this macabre little playground, by the way. I don't like it, but I am damn sure that neither CMJ, nor Emily, nor any of the Moderators mean that encounter as anything other than a silly joke, having seen the rest of the game, and how they run it and create it. They're real hoopy froods, the lot of 'em.).

If I'm not understanding you, please rephrase?



Replies:

Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 07 2011 @ 07:05 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Okay, now that it's a separate topic... I'm not The Expert on what can and can't be done with the code this Season (that would be CMJ!), but I have looked at the code enough to be able to offer, maybe, a second-best opinion.

There are two kinds of gender-specification here -- as far as the game code is concerned -- and the discussion will go better if we don't conflate them.

1. The binary male-female indicator in the Accounts table.
2. How gender is presented to other players, primarily in the Commentary mouseover.

The first one wasn't CMJ's design. It was inherited from LotGD, and it still has many ramifications throughout the game. Changing it this Season is just not practical. At all. When we get to Season Three many things will change, and (guessing here, but based on CMJ's responses in Labs) this is quite likely to be one of them. We can still talk about what would be a good way to design this to be a more reasonable fit to the complexity of real-world gender, but be aware that this is a) implying a hell of a lot of coding changes, and b) necessarily, for technical reasons, not about to be implemented any time soon.

As for the second one ... well, we now have the ability to hide our Race-and-Gender. (And Clan!) It seems to me that if those two, Race and Gender, could just be separated into two independent prefs, as they logically are... oh dear. I'm asking for a new preference! But with the clean new table design, maybe this one would not be too onerous?


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 07 2011 @ 07:17 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

As for the second one ... well, we now have the ability to hide our Race-and-Gender. (And Clan!) It seems to me that if those two, Race and Gender, could just be separated into two independent prefs, as they logically are... oh dear. I'm asking for a new preference! But with the clean new table design, maybe this one would not be too onerous?



Preferences about what to insert into chat are doable. It was the preferences about what to display that were fucking everything up (show other people's armour, show other people's avatars, etc etc etc). I guess we can separate out race and gender into distinct prefs.

As to Season Three, I'm honestly dreading the idea of having the vast, multidimensional analogue spectrum of gender in one hand, and a programming language in another. It's gonna be like trying to mash a rainbow through a square-shaped hole with a hammer.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 07 2011 @ 08:59 PM
By: Sneaky

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe



Preferences about what to insert into chat are doable. It was the preferences about what to display that were fucking everything up (show other people's armour, show other people's avatars, etc etc etc). I guess we can separate out race and gender into distinct prefs.

As to Season Three, I'm honestly dreading the idea of having the vast, multidimensional analogue spectrum of gender in one hand, and a programming language in another. It's gonna be like trying to mash a rainbow through a square-shaped hole with a hammer.



Makes sense. That's a lot of names to add and take account for (do you use 'they' or 'it'? will that upset?).


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 07 2011 @ 09:26 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

It'll be They.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 12:25 AM
By: Awesome+Fred

Content:

Here's the message I had hidden (was it really hidden?) in the last thread:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My personal preference on the stance is to simply never define the player's gender nor sexuality, only define that of the recipient NPCs of the various issues.

However that actually doesn't help my biggest gender nitpick:

One of the biggest problems with gender I find is when writing Monster Submissions. I can't ever assume the reader is one gender or the other (or something else altogether), which lend to archaic language ("One doesn't like to pick sides..."), plural pronouns on a singular subject ("A person can pick whichever one they want..."), cumbersome prose ("Whether he or she prefers, he or she may choose whichever he or she wishes..."), or visually unattractive text ("(S)he will choose at character creation to be referred to as "him/her"...").

And I have no idea whether people like using the hermaphroditic "hir", "shi", and all that other stuff I don't even know.

For me, I think Jungle Monster gender handling would be optimal by doing...

...wait for it...

...opt-in gender prefs.


+ Jungle fights that assume nothing about the player's gender are always active and not a pref.

+ You can check a box that says, "Allow Jungle Monsters to view me as Male.". That means the player can now also fight monsters where the text somehow indicates the reader is Male. These jungle monsters are flagged "Appear for Male" behind the scenes.

+ You can check a box that says, "Allow Jungle Monsters to view me as Female". This does exactly the same as the Male version, for females.

And that's it. Players can check neither, or check both, or check one or the other. I'd prefer these were about gender pronouns though, as I don't intend on any Monster Submissions to refer to specific dangly-bit-possession. It's all just about gender pronouns.

And this problem could all be avoid if English had a gender-neutral pronoun that did not imply that the noun is an inanimate object. (That's not really a failing of English specifically--the vast majority of languages, I've been told, all fail this as well.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The thing is, is that everything I wrote has blinders on to almost everything else with the exception of Monster descriptions. Would the system be useful for flagging appropriateness of other encounters as well? Is it at all acceptable?


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 12:53 AM
By: Reverb

Content:

Meh. A hook that checks the player's file for their gender could automatically sort out the pronouns for you.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 01:44 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

@Awesome Fred: If we had the spare time to do that, then we'd have aquatic monsters, monsters that only come out at night, monsters for whom the text always makes contextual sense, monsters with time and weather sensitive text... It's a maybe-oneday-someday thing, and will probably have to wait for Season Three.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 09:09 AM
By: Sasha

Content:

Quote by: Harris

Thank you, I believe I understand you now. You meant to say 'Here are problems I see in the game now, and here are some potential problems I see coming out of them.'
Right?
If that's the case, I still disagree. I see no evidence anywhere that out of game unfriendliness from the site itself is likely to be a problem. Possible? Sure. Anything's possible. But nothing to suggest that this game will come across as hateful/dismissive/etc. to anyone who really looks at it closely (I say this as a practicing Catholic who has regularly killed and eaten the Pope in this macabre little playground, by the way. I don't like it, but I am damn sure that neither CMJ, nor Emily, nor any of the Moderators mean that encounter as anything other than a silly joke, having seen the rest of the game, and how they run it and create it. They're real hoopy froods, the lot of 'em.).

If I'm not understanding you, please rephrase?




I don't think we're misunderstanding each other at this point. I'd say we may have to agree to disagree but as of CMJ's posts my concern, if not the entire discussion, may be moot (and thank you for that, CMJ!).


Quote by: CavemanJoe

It'll be They.



I'm not sure this is the right solution. In a similar vein with Fred, I don't really like the use of plural pronouns for singular anyone/anything, and to take his point about monster submissions in another direction, I should point out it's entirely possible to avoid gender references altogether. It's especially possible with events (the Island signup sequence, monster encounters, flirting with Emily/Seth, the kissing booth, getting Danquests, etc.) written in the second person, as specific gendered pronouns are, or at least can be, replaced in almost all instances by "you" outside of formal address ("sir/madam/lord/lady" etc.).

Come to think of it, so much of the Island is written in the second person that third-person "he does this, she says that" pronoun use in reference to the player's character may simply be unnecessary, reducing the "mashing a rainbow through a square hole with a hammer" headache when Season Three comes. The majority of third-person writing on the Island is done by players in Story, so far as I can see, and we generally take care of ourselves when it comes to that.

Then again, I may have failed to understand how deep the Season Three changes will be, just now. I don't know.



Edit because new self-display preferences are already in. This is what I get for checking the forum before the Island, I guess.

Thank you very much, Joe!


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 09:40 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: Sasha


I don't think we're misunderstanding each other at this point. I'd say we may have to agree to disagree but as of CMJ's posts my concern, if not the entire discussion, may be moot (and thank you for that, CMJ!).



Always glad to know I'm making sense, and simultaneously understanding the other person. Smile

Is gender in game a point worth worrying about? No. Is it worth considering? Yes. If nothing else, I think we can both agree that it'd help make Mutants and Robots become more logically detailed from a roleplaying perspective if there were a third gender option. Shall we respectfully disagree and agree too?


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 12:47 PM
By: Sasha

Content:

Quote by: Harris

Is gender in game a point worth worrying about? No.



I can't agree with you on that, or I wouldn't have brought the point up in the first place. Wink


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 02:38 PM
By: Maniak

Content:

*throws a wrench into the spokes*

You've been discussing the player's sex, rather than gender.

*hurries out*


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 04:45 PM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: Maniak

*throws a wrench into the spokes*

You've been discussing the player's sex, rather than gender.

*hurries out*



Why, Maniak! How very progressive of you!
AND IT'S WRONG!
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gender?show=0&t=1323362516

So nyah. Razz


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 04:52 PM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: Sasha

Quote by: Harris

Is gender in game a point worth worrying about? No.



I can't agree with you on that, or I wouldn't have brought the point up in the first place. Wink




: pouts in a corner. Frown

(I highly suggest not worrying! It's bad for you blood pressure! Razz )


I...have to let the discussion get back on track now. There's only a certain amount of emoticons one can use before it is deemed socially obnoxious...

Ahem.

Kidding aside, you did know what I meant there, right? Just to not act in fear, and to act in calm instead.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 08 2011 @ 11:03 PM
By: Allardyce

Content:

Quote by: Harris

Quote by: Maniak

*throws a wrench into the spokes*

You've been discussing the player's sex, rather than gender.

*hurries out*



Why, Maniak! How very progressive of you!
AND IT'S WRONG!
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gender?show=0&t=1323362516

So nyah. Razz



Even though you've been discussing gender, the game refers to the Male and Female distinction as one of sex, according to the Contestant List. The distinction here of course is that the former is based on social identity, and the latter is based on chromosomes.

Chromosomes are not something that one can change. But that isn't the point I want to make with this post, since chromosomes are not something you can readily see. There's a more important dynamic to consider here, if we absolutely must consider the the gravity of the implications of this very, very simple game being "gender binary."

The thing to consider here is that no one but Doctor Paprika ever asks you to pull down your trousers so that they can get a look at your junk. Every other non-player character in the game (as well as every roleplay character) technically distinguishes gender/sex based on what you tell them you are. This is, of course, because they can't simply look at you and make a determination the way real people do in real life.

Yes, it's very, very rare that someone would not try to determine what gender or biological sex a person is based on sight as soon as they get a look at them. That's just something that people naturally do, because like most animals, humans expect one sex or the other.

You can count on the players to be sensitive to gender issues (for the most part), but you can't count on the game to be nearly as sensitive. The characters in the game either don't care what gender you are because they'll hump anything, or they don't care for your progressive mumbo-jumbo and think you look like a pre-pubescent boy or some kind of slightly less nauseating mutant. The characters of the game would identify sex based on appearances if they could, and if they couldn't, they'd just take a wild guess, and/or make light of that fact.

It's the natural response. Even many of the people who don't mind it or are supportive of it would still make light of it, because if one insists on taking issues like these too seriously, it can be kind of a bitter experience for everyone. That's true in real life, and it's certainly true on the Island, where nearly every subject is treated in a campy or satirical way.


When my character was a plant creature, he was not only fully hermaphroditic (like most plants, in possession of both male and female reproductive plant structures), but he no longer resembled anything remotely humanoid. I hid his gender in the Preferences. People of course would refer to my character as "he" or "she" depending on how they interpreted the character's avatar. I myself only referred the character as "it" in narration.

You may rue and lament it, but this is how the world works.


My point is that I strongly, strongly disagree that this is an issue worth worrying about, and additionally I disagree with adding non-binary gender identity options. An option to hide Sex without hiding Race? Sure. Maybe an option to hide Sex from other players? Why not. But the sex you choose at the start of the game is how the characters are going to interpret your sex based on how you look, just like how if you hide your Sex/Race, people will interpret your sex based on your commentary description/avatar/narration.

Based on what I've seen, not one single non-player character on the Island is ever going to naturally refer to someone as anything other than "he" or "she", because that just isn't natural behavior. Unless you're a particularly horrific mutant or have two sets of genitals hanging out (or both), in which case "it" may be the nicest thing someone calls you.


If anything, the dialogue when starting the game could be slightly tweaked to reflect that the choice of male or female is one that reflects what kind of genitals non-player characters will assume you have, but I don't believe it is rational or worthwhile to do more than that in response to this issue.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 09 2011 @ 02:37 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Excellently put, Allardyce. Lacking reason to believe a common problem with the game being written as it is exists, all changing the game around in the way that you're asking for, Sasha, would do is at best make the narrative clunky and unabsorbing.

Awesome Fred gave very good examples of that:

I can't ever assume the reader is one gender or the other (or something else altogether), which lend to archaic language ("One doesn't like to pick sides..."), plural pronouns on a singular subject ("A person can pick whichever one they want..."), cumbersome prose ("Whether he or she prefers, he or she may choose whichever he or she wishes..."), or visually unattractive text ("(S)he will choose at character creation to be referred to as "him/her"...").



This is good reading at times, but reading text like this every time gender/sex comes up? No. That would suck.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 09 2011 @ 04:11 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

To be fair, guys, you make good, logical points against catering towards non-binary players and characters. But there's also a strong logical point to not supporting VI players either; namely, that designing for VI players takes up a healthy chunk of time so that we can cater to a very small margin of our player base.

And yet we do it anyway, because fuck it - somebody's got to.

Allardyce, your argument was well-written and logical, unless you're looking at it from the point of view of someone whose gender exists outside of the binary - who could, I'd hazard a guess, agree with all of your points but differ with you on what all those points add up to.

Since 2009-odd when I decided that we were - sometime in the future when we'd figured out how - going to start expanding out of the binary, I've been writing quests and plot events that didn't query the character's gender. With the exception of the Rohit the Robot introduction (see if you can spot where!), none of the stuff I've written hooks into gender at all, but it's very hard to write that way. This is a problem of writing and programming.

It's a foregone conclusion that yes, we should do this. The politics are settled, because I say so (one of the perks of being a dictator). We support blind users, we even have a fair stab at trying to support Internet Explorer users, so why not?

The question, really, is "How in the blue fuck are we actually going to do this? Can it even be done, or is this a fool's errand?"

In 2010 I had a conversation with an intersexed person about the Island, and I pointed them to a discussion on Labs about that very thing - one that went into quite some technical detail.

Shall I show you their proposal? They sent me this. And presumably dusted off their hands, sat back in their chair and said "Right, job done!"

For a gamer, who once took me to task for sticking to a gender binary, I can't believe just how far they missed the point. The point is over here, right? And they're on fucking Mars. That's how far they missed the point by. As someone who plays games, they must have some idea of how they work, right? You don't drive a car around believing that it runs on unicorn farts.

We need programmers in this conversation. Master programmers. Master programmers who understand modern gender issues. I've only been dicking around in PHP for six years - that's not enough XP for this.

In short... this isn't about politics, it's about programming, and it's more complicated than you think. It's more complicated than I think, and I know for a fact that it's going to be horribly horribly complicated, and that when I actually sit down to do it, it'll turn out even more complicated than I thought it was.

Any ideas are welcome, but if they're gonna be useful, you're gonna have to shout up your recommendations from the bottom of the coding rabbithole.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 09 2011 @ 04:47 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Yessir!

Much less on topic, but a bit of relevant memory you just jogged, Mister Joe-

Quote by: George Bernard Shaw

"Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?"



In the context of the quote itself alone, and who said it, a very important, if not vital part of writing, and writing well. So hell, go for it. I still disagree with the writing choice on principle, but as you said, it's your game, Sir!

At worst, you will exercise your damn fertile imagination, and imaginations need exercise. As for coding it, yeah, I have to stick to wishing you very good luck in this.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 01:12 AM
By: Sasha

Content:

Quote by: Allardyce

Even though you've been discussing gender, the game refers to the Male and Female distinction as one of sex, according to the Contestant List. The distinction here of course is that the former is based on social identity, and the latter is based on chromosomes.

Chromosomes are not something that one can change. But that isn't the point I want to make with this post, since chromosomes are not something you can readily see. There's a more important dynamic to consider here, if we absolutely must consider the the gravity of the implications of this very, very simple game being "gender binary."

(And some stuff about Real Life. Clipped to make this not a megapost.)




One, wouldn't you agree that the Island is an exercise in fantasy, we could try to move further from how the world does work and closer to how it should? People already do that for their straight, non-monogamous, gay, lesbian, transsexual and hermaphroditic characters, and I see no good reason not to include non-binary-gendered people and characters. Can it be confusing? Sometimes. But making no effort in that vein whatsoever only reinforces the standard of pretending non-binary genders are invisible or don't exist, which just strengthens the pervasive ignorance surrounding the issue and further marginalizes the effected people. The status quo cannot be accepted just because it is the status quo; if it is accepted, it must be because it works. One need only look at the social issues of today to see quite clearly that it does not (and I don't just mean for LGBT/etc people; racism and sexism are alive and well, even if their form has changed somewhat, in the developed world).

Two, your point about chromosomes is not as relevant as you seem to believe. Sex is not entirely determined by chromosomes; there are intersex conditions where the genitals may be a partial combination of both genitalia with only one chromosomal pointer; there are intersex conditions where the genitals may simply be the opposite of how everything else, including chromosomes, was wired; and there are chimaeras (if I understand them correctly, at least). It seems mother Nature herself disagrees with the social setting of someone's sex in stone, even by the perhaps-overrated standard of chromosomes.

Also, you did read where there's going to be a third option in some form next season, right? So.. yeah, even the Contestant List is going to disagree with you.




If you don't want to read all of the above, one possible summary is an accusation that you are justifying the status quo by saying it is the status quo, which is a pretty serious logical fallacy. Neutral

Rather than continue to push aside the issue and all people involved, it might be time to look at languages which do have appropriate pronouns, and to engage them in the good old English practice of mugging them for vocabulary and going through their pockets for spare grammar.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 01:26 AM
By: Sasha

Content:

Quote by: Harris

...all changing the game around in the way that you're asking for, Sasha, would do is at best make the narrative clunky and unabsorbing.

Awesome Fred gave very good examples of that:

I can't ever assume the reader is one gender or the other (or something else altogether), which lend to archaic language ("One doesn't like to pick sides..."), plural pronouns on a singular subject ("A person can pick whichever one they want..."), cumbersome prose ("Whether he or she prefers, he or she may choose whichever he or she wishes..."), or visually unattractive text ("(S)he will choose at character creation to be referred to as "him/her"...").



This is good reading at times, but reading text like this every time gender/sex comes up? No. That would suck.




Except that's how the game is written already, and by your comments I assume that you do not find the Island's narrative features clunky, unabsorbing, or "suck" as they stand. Almost everything is in the second person, and there are very few direct gender references in deference to the player's right to choose from more than one gender. I'm not suggesting some massive overhaul or anything, just to continue being unassuming about the character's gender, which isn't all that hard in the second person. Fred's examples are all third person, which the Island uses... very little of.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 04:02 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: Sasha

Fred's examples are all third person, which the Island uses... very little of.



I would like to poke my head in for a moment to point out Fred is one of the most prolific writers of monsters on the island. If you take your top five favorite monsters, guaranteed he wrote at least three of them. If he points out that with a current system, it's hard to find non-clunky wordings, I'd take him at his word on that.



CMJ, just a small ticky-tack need for a clarification: is what your intersexed friend sent you a bad idea because it is Bad, or because there is no programming attached to make it work?


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 04:05 AM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Just wanna say kudos to Joe for tackling this problem. I can't understand either side of the argument, so I wish him the best of luck. Oh, that's right, I'm in a rabbithole aren't I.

Good luck.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 04:16 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: dizzyizzy

CMJ, just a small ticky-tack need for a clarification: is what your intersexed friend sent you a bad idea because it is Bad, or because there is no programming attached to make it work?



It isn't a bad idea. It's just the equivalent of a cyclist telling a learner driver "Just make the car go to London. Lon-don."


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 04:28 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: dizzyizzy

CMJ, just a small ticky-tack need for a clarification: is what your intersexed friend sent you a bad idea because it is Bad, or because there is no programming attached to make it work?



It isn't a bad idea. It's just the equivalent of a cyclist telling a learner driver "Just make the car go to London. Lon-don."



Okay. Just wondering if I should kick out random ideas or not.

I can "code" in Alice and Visual Basic. I'll be here if you require that particular skillset. Razz

EDIT: I felt bad not putting "code" in quotation marks.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 06:47 AM
By: Allardyce

Content:

Quote by: Sasha

One, wouldn't you agree that the Island is an exercise in fantasy, we could try to move further from how the world does work and closer to how it should? People already do that for their straight, non-monogamous, gay, lesbian, transsexual and hermaphroditic characters, and I see no good reason not to include non-binary-gendered people and characters. Can it be confusing? Sometimes. But making no effort in that vein whatsoever only reinforces the standard of pretending non-binary genders are invisible or don't exist, which just strengthens the pervasive ignorance surrounding the issue and further marginalizes the effected people. The status quo cannot be accepted just because it is the status quo; if it is accepted, it must be because it works. One need only look at the social issues of today to see quite clearly that it does not (and I don't just mean for LGBT/etc people; racism and sexism are alive and well, even if their form has changed somewhat, in the developed world).

Two, your point about chromosomes is not as relevant as you seem to believe. Sex is not entirely determined by chromosomes; there are intersex conditions where the genitals may be a partial combination of both genitalia with only one chromosomal pointer; there are intersex conditions where the genitals may simply be the opposite of how everything else, including chromosomes, was wired; and there are chimaeras (if I understand them correctly, at least). It seems mother Nature herself disagrees with the social setting of someone's sex in stone, even by the perhaps-overrated standard of chromosomes.

Also, you did read where there's going to be a third option in some form next season, right? So.. yeah, even the Contestant List is going to disagree with you.




If you don't want to read all of the above, one possible summary is an accusation that you are justifying the status quo by saying it is the status quo, which is a pretty serious logical fallacy. Neutral

Rather than continue to push aside the issue and all people involved, it might be time to look at languages which do have appropriate pronouns, and to engage them in the good old English practice of mugging them for vocabulary and going through their pockets for spare grammar.



First off, everything that I said about chromosomes was exactly as relevant as I made it out to be. That is, I said that it wasn't the point I was making with my post, and I only mentioned it briefly. But what I said isn't incorrect at all: sex is a biological consideration. When sex is discussed, it's with DNA in mind, not gender (social) identity.

In any case, despite the vivid spectrum of abnormalities you listed, Nature tends to aim for male or female and not both (in humans, anyway, and that's not going to change). Because of this I would not say that Nature disagrees with me, but I will concede that variations certainly exist, variations that are too significant to ignore. Even making a determination of "Sex" based on what capacity a person has to donate chromosomes or their contribution in reproductive processes cannot successfully place ALL humans into only one of two categories.


The point I was making with my post of course had to do with the social climate established in the game. I did not fail to acknowledge that there are already examples of intersexed and sex/gender-ambiguous people and creatures in the game. I am aware that Season Three will have a third gender option, and I believe that regardless of the programming issues, it is a worthwhile change because of the many sex/gender-ambiguous individuals therein.

I only pointed out that the status quo of the game mirrored present-day reality in language and social considerations. Actually, if anything the game is already much more progressive than reality, with almost no lifestyle choice discriminated against. However, the language in the game continues to operate according to the standards of present-day reality in terms of how gender is understood and expressed. Namely, that there are two common genders, and that nearly all people would assume one or the other, whether one believes that this is right or not, and they neither understand nor possess the words to properly express anything in between.

One can see how modeling the language in a game according to the understandings of its players could be useful, right? Trying to shoehorn a lot of new vocabulary and concepts into a game is... not the point of the game, really. While it is certainly no vain effort to try and improve the status quo in real life, Improbable Island is not a sounding board for invoking social change, nor is it a place where negative ideas are reinforced. Improbable Island is a social game, and so you tend to find the people more than the game itself establishing the status quo in that place. Contrary to what you suggest, it is not the job of this fantasy world to attempt to improve society by telling the story of a "better" society. This is a game where your character is able to gleefully murder little old ladies, eat their flesh, and then have dirty sex with midgets. It's a game that uses the word "midget." And yet I don't believe that by not meeting your standards, this game is somehow perpetuating negative ideas about non-gender binary people, nor is it subjugating them by ignoring the issue.

It's simply not the game's job to champion these ideals. And it is not the responsibility of a fantasy world to do anything but reflect the world that the author envisions as the setting for their story. And it is certainly never a fantasy world's job to be better or more progressive than the real world.

Asking for gender-neutral language in quests and consideration to non-binary gender options is one thing, but telling me that I am ignorantly supporting some status quo as if in accusation, and then ranting about the importance of Improbable Island addressing these issues... I think you need to rein yourself in a bit and be thankful that CMJ is giving your requests such thoughtful consideration at all. Improbable Island is his world; not yours. He's looking at these things from your point of view, formulating a compromise. Do not suggest that I am unsympathetic either, because I support change in this regard. I just don't believe that you have any right to be so aggressive in promoting your agenda that you disregard the ideas and perspectives of others.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 03:59 PM
By: Sasha

Content:

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: Sasha

Fred's examples are all third person, which the Island uses... very little of.



I would like to poke my head in for a moment to point out Fred is one of the most prolific writers of monsters on the island. If you take your top five favorite monsters, guaranteed he wrote at least three of them. If he points out that with a current system, it's hard to find non-clunky wordings, I'd take him at his word on that.



And yet he, CMJ, and all other writers who have had anything to do with the Island (self included, as I have monsters of my own presently in the game) manage, and manage pretty well actually. Neutral

I'm not saying there aren't tricks to it, just that it's quite doable, and that the principal authors of Island game-text have experience in the area and do it well. And again, the Island's prevalent use of second person makes it much, much easier to avoid gender assumptions (something that, as I've said before, was put into practice long ago to avoid assumptions about whether the character is male or female and extends to other genders as well by default).



(As a sad side note, I don't actually have a favorite monster, let alone a top five. After a nauseating number of encounters with each (Sasha is not my first account), no monster still has the power to make me giggle. I do occasionally grin when I encounter a freshly-approved new monster, but they get old pretty quickly. At this point, if I want to laugh, I get into roleplaying or outpost banter.)


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 04:50 PM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: Sasha

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: Sasha

Fred's examples are all third person, which the Island uses... very little of.



I would like to poke my head in for a moment to point out Fred is one of the most prolific writers of monsters on the island. If you take your top five favorite monsters, guaranteed he wrote at least three of them. If he points out that with a current system, it's hard to find non-clunky wordings, I'd take him at his word on that.



And yet he, CMJ, and all other writers who have had anything to do with the Island (self included, as I have monsters of my own presently in the game) manage, and manage pretty well actually. Neutral



"Managing" and being able to write what they want are two completely different things. I like Awesome Fred's idea of Gender Prefs, as unfeasible as it is.

(And why stop at gender? Every monster is written from a human perspective! How would a mutant react to a romantic writer? A midget to Team Awesome? A zombie to the Zombie puppy?)


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 04:55 PM
By: Allardyce

Content:

Fascinating, Sasha. No need to link your sources; I'll take your word for it. Not that any of that information was relevant to the main topic, or even the least bit surprising. I mean, the world is full of grey areas that we take for granted because aside from the purpose of more accurate labeling, these small grey areas are rarely a significant part of our lives. That's what the status quo is about.

And how many times do I have to say that I don't necessarily agree with the status quo? No, your character's genitals are not a concern of mine. I could not care less about anyone's genitals in this game outside of the standpoint of humorous speculation. But you need to buckle down and admit that for all of your fantastic scientific discoveries, humans are still staggeringly male and female right now, in present time. Non-inclusion should not be considered discrimination because the alternative is so rare that for most people it still defies comprehension. Again, I am not arguing against the inclusion of a new gender option. And yes, I agree that gender is far more important than sex in the social consideration of things.

Case in point, I call two of my born-male friends "she" and my born-"female" (technically, but not completely) ex-lover "he". And yeah, We used the term "lover" because we decided that "boyfriend and girlfriend" were not acceptable terms in our case. Whether or not I have the right to not care, to say it's "not my job" (and I do have that right), I do care. But I believe that your argument that there is no meaning to the status quo as it exists is at least as ignorant as assuming that there are only ever two genders, don't you?

Frankly, my gripe has been with your accusatory attitude, and your insistence that the changes you propose are somehow necessary, both for accommodating the admittedly minute player base for which these considerations are both accurate and desired, AND somehow for the betterment of the world in general. Why must the game world's status quo change in order to satisfy you? I'm not saying I'd be down if it did, but why do you insist it's so important? Changes to game mechanics in favor of gender neutrality are certainly favorable, but why are you treating this issue as if it some major battleground for activism?

Crying discrimination doesn't make me more sympathetic. Going off on a tangent about what humans could be one day does not make me more interested. I just think you're kind of rude. I suppose it makes me rude to point that out, but I feel like somebody should. I feel like there's a point where anyone can ask too much, given the objective importance of what they're asking, and I feel like you're on the threshold of that. At least, that's my opinion of the proceedings. Do remember that most of your points are opinions as well. I know you feel quite strongly about them, but I don't think this is the appropriate place to bring this complicated ethical battle to bear.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 03:04 PM
By: Sasha

Content:

Quote by: Allardyce

In any case, despite the vivid spectrum of abnormalities you listed, Nature tends to aim for male or female and not both (in humans, anyway, and that's not going to change).



I quote this in particular because it's actually not necessarily correct where chromosomes are involved. The mammalian Y chromosome, the presence or absence of which usually determines genital sex in humans, has lost over 95% of its original function at this point in time and may lose the rest as various factors continue to cause its degradation. There are several species for which this complete loss of function has already occurred. There are also many species which, despite featuring male and female reproductive sexes, have never had a Y chromosome. The idea that the Y chromosome is so evolutionarily weak could be rather damaging to chromosome-based arguments.

Speaking of reproductive sexes, yes, nature tries to produce one or the other in humans. That is, however, as far as our agreement goes. Researchers in the field of biological sex now discuss more than one indicator of human physical sex, of which the crude "pants check" is not such a dominant factor as you appear to believe. (I would provide a citation here if I hadn't lost access to my source, which is at any rate part of a private database for and of scientific and academic study and thus unavailable to the public.)

And seeing as we agree that this is a social game, not one of mating (despite the great deal of pornographic writing by, erm, certain people), I don't understand how you can also be so exclusive of all non-genital factors of sex. My character's genitals, for example, are never going to actually matter to yours, and are kept out of sight anyway. So not only is physical sex more multi-faceted than your arguments assume, it is in general (and especially for reproductive sex) actually much less important than social sex, or gender, in the context we're actually talking about. (This is true for almost all social action that isn't involved in looking for sexual activity with other people, in both roleplay and real life.)

Finally, I reject the notion that non-inclusion is not a form of discrimination. It's one of the primary players in the trouble faced by LGBT and non-binary gendered people in real life, and while the Island does not have real life's systematic effort to cling to discrimination against and marginalization of various groups, any non-inclusiveness is discriminatory (whether intended to be so or not), and I'm glad to see it'll be done away with here.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 03:29 PM
By: Sasha

Content:

And because I took a break and can't edit anymore,

Edit: While I did read the rest of your post, a great deal of it appears to be "this is what people are used to" and "not my job, man." While not necessarily incorrect in itself, it is a perpetuation of the logical fallacy I mentioned before: arguing to stick with the status quo simply because it is the status quo. The two arguments above, incidentally, apply to every single social issue in every single aspect of life: people are presently used to things being a certain way, and it is no one person's job to make society change, because despite the existence of activism, it is not the activists who have their work cut out for them. In short, if they were actually valid as counterpoints, we would still be living in a much more regressive and repressive society.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 10 2011 @ 06:20 PM
By: Awesome+Fred

Content:

Thanks for the defense and compliments, Dizzy, but it's true that what I bring up about gender pronouns is quite small in the scheme of other gender implications in this game. I still brought it up because it's a gender-related concept that is most immediate to me, but it's a survivable problem.

My post is still only about gender pronoun usage in monsters and nothing more:

1: We don't need a bus stop here: very few people living here go downtown frequently, and very few people downtown come up here frequently.
2: We need a bus stop here, because without it, travel is so inconvenient that people are limited to going or coming from downtown infrequently.


A large amount of our jungle encounters are 1v1 Player v Monster setups, so maybe we don't need to use third-person pronouns. Or maybe we have a lot of 1v1 scenarios because we can't use third-person pronouns due to the gender difficulty.

Basically, without that third-person pronoun selection, one of the first things that comes to mind that we can't have is enemies talking to other enemies about the player. We can't have enemies talking about the player at all without stretching some creative muscles (which is fun in its own right). Every fight becomes a back-and-forth between one of the multiple enemies and the player in order to make addressing the player a second-person affair. It makes it a bit stale and limits creative options when writing.

I'd prefer to have as much freedom in writing as I can. But if the barrier is very big and meant for keeping things in place on a scope much grander than my little writings, I have no drive to push against it.

And with that, I'll withdraw from this conversation. It's getting a little warm.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 03:06 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Let's wrench this back on topic and establish some ground rules.

1. This thread is about the programming and writing issues involved in moving away from a gender binary. If you want to fuck about with semantics, politics and other noise that isn't about writing or PHP, take it to email.
2. The only argument against accommodating non-binary characters is that it's probably impossible.
3. We are going to make the attempt whether you like it or not. Arguing against it is meaningless.
4. If you have suggestions, please try to understand what you're asking for.
5. Remember that this is more complicated than you think - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't suggest things. Just understand that about 99% of suggestions will be impossible to carry out - we're looking for the 1% that is merely very hard.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 05:12 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Sorry to grind this into the ground, but what's the difference between setting a custom weapon and calling it with `w, and setting custom gender options?


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 05:37 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Sorry to grind this into the ground, but what's the difference between setting a custom weapon and calling it with `w, and setting custom gender options?



`w support is, IIRC, part of the appoencode() function. It's a simple string replacement that just replaces `w with the user's weapon when the page is rendered. It is, in fact, the same function that turns `4 into <span class="colDkRed">. It only has to do one thing.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 05:56 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Why couldn't one code be assigned to him/her/ and one to he/she/fill in the blank? I know you've probably got better stuff to do than answer my naive questions, sorry.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 11:09 AM
By: Sonny

Content:

I like Dizzyizzy's idea. Would be quickly usable like the colour or `w code, for whatever equivalents are agreed upon. Don't know how easy it would be, though, or if it's even possible^^

Should this not work, I would like to propose a custom gender changer: something like the custom race changer, changing the male/female to whatever you think you want to be displayed in the mouse-over and/or bio.

Sure, one can do that by simply writing it into the description and bio and hiding the gender, or by just playing make-believe like the rest does, though some might think it's not enough.
It also doesn't solve Sasha's beef with the monster and game descriptions, but I think it's really important to remember that it's still just a game and therefore bound to certain limitations. You can RP pretty much whatever you want already.

So, how about a compromise till a better solution presents itself, which is not taking too much of CMJ's precious time and brainpower away from the things that are, in my view at least, a thousand times more important than this silly nitpicking?



Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 02:34 PM
By: Allardyce

Content:

I don't believe that anyone's been arguing against attempting to implement this in some possible form, CMJ.

Personally, I'm afraid I have no suggestions because I don't understand programming like, at all. Like others in this thread, I don't see why exactly it would be hard to program in user-chosen gender options. I can see why it would not come close to resolving the issue here, though.

So for the sake of discussion, I'm going to try and list where sex/gender appear in the game and/or have an effect on gameplay. I'm hoping that considering this list will help us figure out A) why it might be difficult to make sweeping, simple changes; Cool why it might be challenging to make changes that offer more elaborate variety than we have now; C) what changes could be possible and should be proposed; and D) how one would go about making these changes and connecting them to the present system in a clean and meaningful way.

Here goes:

1. Sex is chosen at the start of the game.
2. Sex is displayed in character biographies.
3. Sex is displayed in the contestant list.
4. Sex is displayed in commentaries along with Race (unless hidden).
5. Sex can be changed a limited number of times via a visit to Dr. Paprika.
6. Sex is sometimes mentioned in quest events.
7. Sex is sometimes mentioned in monster encounters.
8. Sex determines how some NPCs refer to ones character ('Lad' or 'Lass', et cetera).
9. Sex determines certain gender-specific options like whether you can marry Emily or Seth. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this.)

Have I missed anything?

I'm going to hazard that changing even the most simple of these to something more gender-neutral is more complicated than just changing one line of code, or three sets of pronouns in one place, and magically changing every instance of gender identification in the game. But I don't really know; what is the relationship between each of these instances of gender identification? How many of them could be reprogrammed in a simple manner, and how many would require more thoughtful programming after that?

Whatever the third gender option is, even if it's a user-generated option, it's going to have to just have its own set of options in the list above, if we follow the current system. To illustrate what I mean, consider this:

Male
NPC talking about you: "He's getting pretty strong!"

Female
NPC talking about you: "She's getting pretty strong!"

Third Option
NPC talking about you: "(Neutral Pronoun)'s getting pretty strong!"

It seems so very simple at first. But what about words like "lad" and "lass"? "Mister" and "Miss"? These would have to be removed from all present quests and monster encounters and never used again, OR there would have to be some player-chosen third option for all of those things, as well. And many of them could be specific to particular encounters (I have no idea), which would mean that these might have to be changed individually.

And would the third gender option be able to romance Seth, or Emily? Or will that be removed completely? Why not let them romance either one? But then, why not let any gender romance either one? It's only fair. But then that could possibly require reprogramming every sequence with Emily and Seth, and reprogramming what every gender has access to...



These are just the difficulties that I can puzzle out with my limited understanding of the game. I wonder if there might be more problems with making this third gender a reality that only CMJ really understands. I'd like to hear what you think the biggest problems would be for you, Joe. I think if we can put all of the potential difficulties out in the open, maybe some of us will be able to tackle them one at a time with suggestions that consider every aspect of the game that would be influenced by changes in gender.


MOD EDIT ON 12/13 BY REQUEST OF THE PLAYER, Allardyce below:

It's obvious that I ruffled some feathers with the way I framed my opinions here and I want to apologize. I felt that some of the suggestions here were proposed in a provocative way and I reacted strongly against that, however I am not and was never opposed to intersexed people and issues, nor am I opposed to adding options to the game that would support these people. I'm sorry that my words came off as sounding like that was the case, and that I unintentionally turned the topic toward politics.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 03:11 PM
By: Sasha

Content:

Quote by: Allardyce

Frankly, my gripe has been with your accusatory attitude (...) I just think you're kind of rude.



While you somewhat explained the latter, I have no idea where the former is coming from. Neutral Regardless, I'm sorry you feel that way.



To the rest, CMJ's post marks the end of my involvement in that discussion. Since I've already made what small contribution I could think of to the writing aspect of the discussion and have no programming knowledge whatsoever, I'm probably going to go back to not foruming for a bunch of months again unless I think of something worth contributing to CMJ's requested topics.


As a parting note, I'm kind of sad that a fraction of a fifth of my original post (in the thread this was split from) provoked such an... intense... discussion, leaving the rest of my points about the new chat system to be mostly ignored (but thank you CMJ for not ignoring them and fixing the outright broken stuff, and for your quick response on this topic).

Well, take care.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 06:02 PM
By: Harris

Content:

Point 1:

Quote by: Sasha

As a parting note, I'm kind of sad that a fraction of a fifth of my original post (in the thread this was split from) provoked such an... intense... discussion, leaving the rest of my points about the new chat system to be mostly ignored



Quote by: CavemanJoe

Let's wrench this back on topic and establish some ground rules.

1. This thread is about the programming and writing issues involved in moving away from a gender binary. If you want to fuck about with semantics, politics and other noise that isn't about writing or PHP, take it to email.



Point 2:

Probably silly question, but writing-wise, will we have to follow a new writing format for Monster submissions after the third gender option is added into the game?




Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 11 2011 @ 06:54 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

When the third gender option is added, we'll be in Season Three, and nothing that you know of Improbable Island will be the same. That means a different monster suggestion mechanic.

But writing-wise, no. Monster submissions already say "Don't make any assumptions about the character's gender, race, age or what-have-you," so it'll be pretty much the same.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 12 2011 @ 09:05 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Aha! Danke!


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 15 2011 @ 02:38 AM
By: Buddleia

Content:

I've been reading this with interest, and finally have something (that I hope may possibly be useful) to contribute.

On a discussion post on G+, I found wiki on the grammar of gendering which might be useful for the writing/coding. Excerpt:

Bucket has trouble grammaring properly when he doesn't know the gender of people he's talking to. Here are some ideas to fix this.

Now, maybe his current inability to use gendered pronouns is a good thing and we should continue to transform English to be more gender-neutral. But in the meantime, maybe it wouldn't hurt to have people be able to tell him their gender.

Gender in society is an incredibly complicated issue. For the purposes of this, we are not teaching Bucket about peoples' actual genders, but merely by which pronoun they wish to be referred to.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 27 2011 @ 07:45 PM
By: Cousjava

Content:

First of all, Happy Christmas everyone! Its been several months since I've played on Improbable Island, since I've been busy at work and had a number of computer problems (I've been through four computers this year, as well as 2 busted motherboards, 5 hard drives, a dozen OSís and now my router is behaving erratically) so I've now got the chance to make my contribution. And here it is I've written and tested it, and its available at https://github.com/Cousjava/Improbable-Island/tree/gender. It now add some more pronouns you can add, which can be set by the user in preferences. This involved some changes to output.php and a new module at gender.php.The new codes are:


I have set the defaults to neutral words that need to be changed by the player as I'm not sure how to change userprefs for different users when installing. I may make some changes and push a version later that sets it up correctly for new users and people who've been through Dr. Paprikas.

Oh and CMJ, could you please bring back the labs test server and also update git so I can actually be running a reasonable approximation of the island on my testing server, currently I'm running a combination of LotGD and Beeks' master branch, with errors cropping up everywhere where things don't match or appear multiple times.


Re: To Gender, or not to Gender?

Posted on: December 27 2011 @ 08:02 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

I appreciate the fact that someone is putting their code where their mouth is, so to speak, and Merry Christmas to you too. Smile

Outside of one or two files written from the Olden Days, we don't query for module installations in the core. We certainly can't query for a module installation (and load module prefs) in every output() statement. That would easily double our server load. Modules aren't appropriate for this sort of work.

I like where you're going with the appoencode-style gender options - that's something that we should have had a long time ago. In the next iteration of Improbable Island, we'll be moving to two-character appoencodes, for two reasons: first, more colours and shades, and even typefaces. Second, it'll be a damn sight easier to keep track of this sort of thing (we can use `gn, `gs, `go, `gr, `gd and `gD for the lowercase versions of what you propose, and `Gn, `Gs, `Go, `Gr, `Gd and `GD for first-letter-capitalized versions).

My Git-related shite is thoroughly messed-up, and fixing it is On My List.


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