POSER Manifesto

Today, this is my best attempt to describe what it is I want to do with my work. Tomorrow I might discover a better way to describe it. This page was last updated on January 24th, 2019. It draws heavily on the Meatpunk Manifesto, which is a great document, but doesn’t describe exactly what I want to do.

  1. POSER games are FUN and they are WEIRD. Sometimes they’re too weird, because that’s better than not being weird enough. They are easy to understand. They trust the people who play them.
  2. Art is political. Don’t let your art get coopted by fascists. Make it all as gay and trans and leftist and intersectional as you can imagine. If there aren’t enbies then you’re probably doing it wrong. Anyone who wants to keep politics out of gaming doesn’t deserve to enjoy what you make.
  3. Art is trash. Trash is art. Don’t put anyone’s work on a pedestal. Don’t put your work on a pedestal. Do stuff, put it in front of people, then do that again. Perfection is poison.
  4. MAKE ART. MAKE RENT. Help others do the same. Your work is valuable, don’t be afraid to sell it. Pay the people you work with. No exceptions.
  5. Build communities, support communities. Push other people up. Fight other people’s battles. Take suffering onto yourself to lessen the burden on others. Nobody will ever ask you, so don’t wait to be asked.
  6. FIGHT. Don’t let people get away with being shitty. Get angry, make enemies, be hated. Yell at your friends when they deserve it, listen when they yell back at you. Don’t just make shitty people feel unwelcome, make them feel unsafe. Show good people that you’ll go to the mat for them. Fight with your words, your fists, your heart, and your art.
  7. Learn and Listen and Grow. Stop to hear what people are saying about their experiences. Empathize with where they’re coming from. Research anything you don’t understand. Experiment with ideas that might not work. Do whatever it takes to understand yourself, and the world, and games better, then take that growth and use it to make better art.
  8. Failure is temporary. You will fail. You will make bad decisions, you will hurt people who don’t deserve it, you will fall short of your ambitions. It’s only a problem if you wallow in it. Try again. Apologize. Keep going and you’ll get there.
  9. Aggressive Honesty is at the heart of everything good. Find your truth. The one deep in your brain that hurts you and frees you. The truth your friends won’t understand because it’s not their truth. Then shape that deep truth into a piece of art that they will understand.
  10. Do not trust nostalgia. Do not trust complexity. Do not trust what worked yesterday. Do not trust nerds. Do not trust consensus. These things are not bad, but they will lie to you if you let them.