Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta discussion. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta discussion. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 31 de mayo de 2017

The rocks

   Every single woman in the town visited the rocks at least once a weak. It was the perfect place to do laundry by the river, but also a place for encounter. They would discuss the latest news, as well as sharing some of their most personal things. Not every woman went there at the same time, so small groups of them visited the rocks every few hours. It was never crowded because they all knew at what time they should be visiting in order to find the people they communicated best with.

 The ones that arrived at the earliest were mostly older. For some reason, experienced women tended to do their chores as early as they could. It was kind of an irony because they were the ones with the least amount of work at home and there in the rocks. After washing a couple of undergarments from their husbands, they were finished and did not know what else to do. They usually stayed on until the last woman had finished. That means they only stayed about an hour in the morning.

 The biggest group visited the rocks after midday. It was the time when most women had finished cooking for their families, so they all decided to process their meal by doing some exercise, and washing laundry was exactly that. Some women spent up to three hours there. It wasn’t very surprising considering the amount of dirty clothes accumulated by one husband and at least three young children. It was a lot of clothes to clean and they did it as fast as they could, as they talked and laughed.

 Then, there was a small group of women that visited the rocks an hour before sunlight disappeared. They normally visited that late because they really didn’t want to confront other woman during the day. They just wanted to do their thing and then leave as soon as possible. Women that visited at that time were often widows or single, having never married. They were just a handful in town but enough to make people talk about them. That’s why they preferred a certain darkness.

  What they all had in common, and rarely realized, was that every single one of them loved to visit the rocks because it gave them an outlet, it was something different from seeing men every single day and then having to do what they said. There, in the rocks, no man was in charge. Actually, they practically never went there, as they knew they would encounter a large number of women and men always felt a bit scared when outnumbered by anyone. The rocks were only for women and, as such, it was a safe space where they could discuss anything.

 It wasn’t uncommon to hear women curse and talk about their families in a not so kind way. A person hearing them out of context would never understand how much these women actually cared for their families. But they would sometimes need to vent their dissatisfaction with some of the thing that happened at home, because they needed to tell someone. In the household, the men were not supposed to be bothered with those issues and children were too immature to understand.

 So they only had each other to talk about those things that only women went through. Of course, they didn’t all got along as adults are complicated and there’s always some kind of animosity against someone because they did something you may think is wrong. That’s why the single women had their own scheduled to clean. Because they didn’t wanted married woman to ridicule them in their own time, when they needed to feel they could breath for at least a second.

 The point was that life for women was very difficult in town and they were grateful to have a space of their own to talk and have a little bit of fun once a week. There was no fun in anything else they did and their little town, so out of the way of the world, was sometimes too slow and boring for any of them to feel they were living the best life possible. Granted, some of them stated often they could never have a big city life as the change would be too much and they thought of urbanites as sinners.

 Religion, as expected, had always been a very important part of the town’s life. Every single person, or at least most of the people, would go every Sunday to the mass. There, Father McGregor would tell them once and again that their ways were wrong and that it was time to correct them in order to get into the kingdom of heaven. Sometimes he softened his words but it wasn’t something that happened often. It was clear that religion wanted people to be scared and they were effective at that.

 So much so, that women sometimes felt guilty of whom they were just because they were women. They discussed it sometimes on the rocks, but it was a very complicated subject that some of them didn’t want to talk about because they felt heir beliefs were above anything else. These women had been raised to believe that they were inferior, by nature, to men and most had assimilated that and thought it was true. Changing that was very complicated so that’s why it wasn’t a very popular subject to bring to the table. Something more entertaining was always better.

 On the rocks, they laugh, they cried and they shared thoughts and words and what little knowledge came their way. Sometimes they could stop talking and other times, there was a silence that settled in and made them fell protected somehow. It was strange but after so many time there, they knew exactly how they should behave there and how they should do it at home and how it was better to never mix both worlds, because doing that could be dangerous to anyone.

 A woman once remembered a funny anecdote she had heard on the rocks and laughed out loud. That happened in her home but in front of her husband and children, while they were having supper. She tried to explain what she had remembered but the only thing that happened was that the husband stood up in silence, walked towards her and then slapped her as hard as he possibly could. The pain on her cheek was enough to understand that she could never mix the rocks with her daily life.

 Every women had a story like that, sometimes more tragic, sometimes less surprising. But they had all experienced what it felt to be something like a domesticated animal working for a master. They were like the bulls that helped in the fields or the horses that carried people from one place to the other. There were not that many differences between the two and that made them angry and hopeless. So they discussed it sometimes and they always ended up with a sour taste in their mouths.

 However, the rocks existed. And as long as the women had them to go and have a chat, they would feel empowered to keep going, to keep living day after day even if it felt difficult and, sometimes, impossible.

sábado, 16 de julio de 2016


   The video game presentation was going perfectly. Everyone in the arena was talking about booth number 45 and its very interesting game. Of course, as many games in exhibition, it was a virtual reality game. People put on some glasses and that was enough to immerse themselves in a very big and interesting world. The people at Rakami, the company that had created the game, were very nervous about the reception of their new product but after one day, they had to be confident everything was going to be just fine with their sales.

 The second day of the expo, they were named the game to be looking for, Lines formed from an early hour to try out the game and Rakami had to send another console and copy of the software in order for people to try it out. And even with two copies, it wasn’t enough to show everyone willing to try the most fascinating game ever. Or at least that’s what the people in the booth started calling it after the very warm reception.

 The truth was that Rakami had been born very recently, not even five years ago. It had been a group of friends who had decided they wanted to create the game they wanted to play. In other words, they wanted to make the best video games in the market by making the players and integral part of them. Of course, the player is always the most important part of the creation process, but these guys wanted the future gamers to be very involved in their creative process.

 The first thing they did once they gathered to work together, was define what everyone would do. It was a small group of four people: three men and one woman. The men were mostly fluent in programming and designing and she was very good at marketing and all the legal language they needed to know before starting to do anything. They bought legal versions of every single program needed and rented a space in order to work there, as an office.

 Of course, every single penny invested into it came from their own bank account. Although one of them was fairly wealthy, the other two were not at all so one of the first moves was to ensure they had money to make the first game from beginning to end. Investors were not easy to come by, especially for such a technology and idea, which would take years to actually be a reality.

 However, they managed to receive a grant given by a university who supported young creators all over the world. The money was not a lot but it was a great way to start and not worry about anything for at least two years or a bit less. At the end of that time, the university would demand results and would decide if more money would be invested.

 The first year was the most difficult one as starting such a project is always something very hard. As the boys started doing sketches and different types of screenplays of what they thought the story should be about, the girl decided to ensure they would not have money issues by use of crowd funding. She designed a website with a friend where people could go and give in whatever amount they wanted to make the videogame come to life. But not only that, the particular investors could leave a comment, telling the designers what they wanted in a game, what they were looking forward.

 Picking up ideas from that big pool was very hard and an extensive job that required various meetings during a long period of time and heated discussions about what the game should be about. They were all friends and really loved each other but those few months were very tense and it wasn’t uncommon that they would argue with each other every single day, fighting over every single thing.

However, after a while, they were able to make some compromises and decided to organize their work in a more organic way so everyone was able to do a part of the game. That way, no one would really feel pushed aside from the project and participation would be just in its perfect point. Their friendship was put to test that first year and they were able to show themselves how mature they had become after graduating from college.

 Entering the second year of development, they had many more problems. Money was and wasn’t one them. The problem was not that they didn’t have any but rather that they couldn’t touch it unless they released some kind of sneak peek. They tried to put together some short animation and a video of the designs and thought that should be enough for the people that had invested in the game and the university that supported them

 However, that wasn’t the case. The university told them they were seriously considering removing their sponsorship because of he poor advances in the design and general development of the game. And the reception in their crowd funding website was even worse. People did not get the footage and were not really digging the designs and what they had put together. That response made them get together again and think about hey needed to do.

 The first thing was not to listen to every single thing people said about the game, as it was obvious that not everybody could be pleased. The other thing was that they really needed to step up their game and work twice as hard because the university was right: they had not done enough in the first year and they really needed support if they wanted to fulfill their dream of seeing their game finished.

 The following months were very hard on all of them. They had to stay in the office for several hours, sometimes even sleeping there and having lunch while waiting for the images to render. They bought more computers in order to be able to do more work at the same time and had to make some adjustments to the room in order to make it a nice place to work in. They put every part of their soul and body in the game and they were sure it was going to be good and that people would like it, no matter what.

 At the end of that year, they had a meeting in the university. A board made up of six people would review their results and everything they had on their computers and the amount of work they had done. They would rate every single aspect of their jobs and finally decide if what they had done was worth another investment from them with which they could be able to finish the game as such.

 It was a tense few days and the final response of the university came after Christmas but before New Year’s Day. The university had decided to pass on their game and pulled off any additional funding. Needless to say, the group had the worst beginning of the year ever but once they reunited again they decided to go forward with the help of the people. They would release more of the game and people would love it and they would finish the game with their support.

  However, something unexpected happened. The girl was contacted by a group of private investors looking for new companies and ideas to invest in. She organized a visit to the offices and they were mind blown when they realized it was one of the executives of Garmin Entertainment, who was visiting them. Garmin had released two of the best titles in the last year and was a leading company in the development of virtual reality technology.

 Their proposal was quite simple: they would give the money to finish the game in exchange of the title to be a virtual reality game. They thought the idea they had was perfect for that kind of gaming and they even promised help achieve the level needed to have a playable game in that sort of environment.

 Again, work was very intense and they did receive a lot of support, with very experienced people coming to their offices and helping them with the design of a far larger world that they had envisioned before. Everything had gotten bigger and more ambitious and it was a bit scary for them but also very exciting. They felt they were involved in something important, so the hours of sleep were the least of their worries.

 The expo was just the magnificent result of their incredible work process. And people loving the game was the perfect gift for all of them. However, they were still many surprises ahead, for both the developers and the gamers. The recent born Rakami was en route to greatness.