A Good Kind of Uncomfortable

Hello everyone. My name’s Jordan. I’m happy to know that there is a humane tech movement and I’d like to be a part of it.

I’ve been designing and developing web and mobile games for 15 years, some of which have been played by many millions of people. But I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable with the move to “free-to-play” gaming and the feeling of being an Addiction Designer. Fortunately, I was recently able to find a new job creating educational games and apps that help families spend quality time together on and off of screens.

I wrote and published a book for all ages, hoping to share my behind-the-scenes view of addictive technology. It’s a fictional story (a sort of parable), and I’ve made it available for the cost of printing (i.e. I don’t make money). Please consider reading and sharing if you find the message worthwhile, as I do. A review is included below.


Alef and the Analysts

“As a videogame programmer, Alef and the Analysts makes me uncomfortable. But it’s a good uncomfortable. It examines the human cost of the free-to-play entertainment model that treats time and attention as currencies, and how embracing these costs without thinking through the consequences takes away from the enjoyment we can get from real life. The author is fair-handed with his criticism, and the underlying story is more than simple anti-progress venting.”

“More importantly, the story flows nicely! Similar to Michael Ende’s Momo, Alef follows the perspective of a child who is watching the adults around him be drawn into the behaviours created by nefarious, slick outsiders, and struggles to find a way to stop them. It’s accessible, sweet, sad and funny.”

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Welcome to the community, Jordan! What a wonderful idea to create this book, I love it. Thank you.

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Great idea for the book - I look forward to reading it.

I am relatively new to the community as well, and come from a different perspective (cybersecurity/incident response/cyber threat intelligence) which has led to me having my third eye squeegeed open with regard to addictive programming.

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I love the imagery of a squeegeed eye. Makes me smile, but also squirm.