Issue 30

the Week of November 23, 2015
A heart-shaped, bright red tree on the horizon line, in a bright red field.

In this issue, we discuss exploitative monetization models in technology, and critique representations of online identity and how they impact underrepresented groups. We look at the pervasive empathy gap in tech communities, and how the diversity movement in gaming continues to fail marginalized developers. Plus, a look at domestic violence in the Marvel universe, and a Q&A series with technologists with disabilities on their work, STEM education and the pipeline. Photo CC-BY maf04, filtered.

Promo poster for Jessica Jones - there is an artist's rendering of Jessica with the villain peering over her shoulder.

Netflix, Uncovering Cycles of Abuse and Chill: Jessica Jones and Domestic Violence

On the heels of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Jessica Jones confronts many themes of intimate partner violence.

Panelists sit at a long table.

Q&A with STEM Professionals with Disabilities

In the current discussion on diversity and STEM, as with so many diversity initiatives, disability is usually excluded or thought of purely in terms of accessibility or accommodations.

A whale pictured, jumping in the sky as someone looks up at it from the end of a dock over water.

The Whales of Microtransactions, and the Elephant in the Room

Game studios are now purposefully designing bad systems and mechanics, hoping that people will be willing to pay to get past the poorly-made parts of the service: when microtransactions are the sole source of income, we start to build our entire product around that model.

Two women collaborating on a computer.

Breaking the Tech Language Barrier: How Empathetic Communication Can Bridge the Gaps

The system won’t work if there are no developers. It also won’t work if we fire the sales team or get rid of the marketing staff or can the designers. Tech is an ecosystem, and it’s much healthier when we are working cohesively within that system.

A keyboard with the keys lit up in rainbow colors.

The Argument for Free-Form Input

We continue to arbitrarily trust the judgements of white, able-bodied, neurotypical cis dudes to define personhood in the digital world.

Logo that reads "Gaming For Everyone" with icons of a planet, rocket ship, and alien.

Intel at IndieCade: The Cost of Diversity in Games

Marginalized developers suffer from an industry-wide epidemic that withholds basic income from hard-working artists for the dubious privilege of exposure. But despite popular belief, we are not in dire need of exposure, petty consolations, or a tent on the outskirts of a major industry event.