Hi! I really want you to like me!
I’ve thought a lot about what I would wear today.
Whether I should wear my glasses?
Do they make me look smart?
How much makeup is too much makeup?
I’ve worried if it’s antifeminist to worry about those things.
I’ve thought about every embarrassing thing that I’ve ever done.
And every time I’ve ever been quoted not quite saying what I wanted to say.
And I have obsessed over those things in my mind,
trying to find the lesson
to make sure that they would never happen again.
I’ve thought about how this is being live-streamed.
And how if I do something embarrassing, before I even walk up stage.
It could be screen shotted and tweeted,
but worst of all, discussed in group chats that I’m not in.
I’ve thought about how I feel helpless
to the scale of internet and social medium
and the lack of privacy I seemed to have welcomed into my life.
I’ve thought about how …
there’re at least three people who I went on Tinder dates with,
and never spoke to again,
who still watch my Instagram stories.
And I wonder if they’re watching this?
I have thought that if I think hard enough about all of these things,
and work hard enough to find the answers to all of them,
then I can somehow seize back a sense of control over my own narrative
and how I’m perceived by you.
And I thought about all of these things
within about a minute of being asked to give this talk.
Why am I like this?
Well, it could just be me!
I’ve had a little bit of an unusual life so far.
So when I was 18, I moved here to Sydney,
with the plan to have a grownup life.
I got a full-time retail job for the first time,
I got a cockroach-filled room in new town,
and I was going to go to the University of Sydney to get an arts degree,
become something noble and wise like an art teacher.
And then, six months later,
I dropped out of uni and I broke up with my boyfriend
and I quit my job and I moved out of my house,
with the plan to become internet famous.
My parents were thrilled. I’m sure.
嗯 我的工作得心应手 大学生活一切顺利
Ah, I was doing fine at my job, I was doing fine at uni,
Ah, if not at pace with the cockroaches,
I become very like quick on the drawer with the bug spray.
But, I felt this sense of emptiness and unfulfillment in my life.
There was one thing that did make me feel good.
Our 2011 was a very different time.
But, not the whole internet, one very specific part of it.
That was cosplaying on Facebook.
[A Cheer from the Audience]
I did not expect for a cheer for that.
So, cosplay was very important to me, a giant nerd.
Being a weird awkward teenager,
I got super super into it.
So, this is me, in high school, not long enough ago.
I feel like the Australian flag in the background
really just ties in together.
So I did this a lot.
我制作服装 乔装参加动漫大会 拍宣传照
I was making costumes, dressing up going to conventions, doing photo shoots
还有这个动漫角色 Eve Beauregard 别问！
ah and this cosplay persona, Eve Beauregard. Don’t ask!
And, I was really enjoying it and started to gain some attractions.
A couple of these photo shoots went virtual,
然后我开始想 管他的 说干就干
and that’s when I had my FILDI moment.
And I decided to make it my job.
So, why still?
So at the time, no amount of throwing myself into my studies
or selling heaps of perfume at Priceline could make me feel as good
as sharing a new costume or a new photoshoot
with a group of people who love the same things that I did.
It felt like this community really believed that I could do anything that I set my mind to.
So eventually, after many many photo shoots
and learning all about social medium and community management,
many glue gun burns and all nighters later,
I eventually decided to get jobs in the games industry, working for games companies.
So I would travel to conventions.
And I would spend eight hours a day on my feet,
sometimes up to five days at a time,
in big high heels and corsets and wigs, like makeups
and all kinds of forms of torture
Eh, and I would talk to people about video games all day,
which upon reflection does sound like hell.
But at the time, it was very energizing and an amazing experience,
cause I was traveling the world, finding these pockets of acceptance.
And what I was feeling was validation.
But that feeling didn’t last forever.
So before too long, I found it harder and harder
to keep up with the same level of output and emotional investment.
The thought of doing all nighter to hit a crazy deadline
was no longer exciting to me.
I dreaded doing the work.
I was holding myself hostage with ridiculously high expectations.
And then because of that, I started to resent the people around me.
And then ultimately, I blamed myself.
我说 你知道这都是你一手造成的 你工作狂
I said you know you’ve done this to yourself, you work too hard
and you can’t keep up and you’re burned out.
And I was right about one thing, I was burned out.
Now, what I wasn’t thinking about was
Which part of that are you laughing at? This was really bad!
What I wasn’t thinking about was the more toxic parts of the cosplay world.
So yeah, being a cosplayer on line
comes with a lot of misogynistic trolling
and dick pics and worse,
然后还有个人骚扰 喝倒彩的嘘声 和咸猪手
and then in person harassment, catcalling, groping.
And as I was doing more work in that space, these things were happening more.
But I wasn’t seeing a correlation between having those experiences and wanting to quit,
which seems weird.
But at the time, I got really lucky
because my love of these communities
eventually led to jobs in community management,
which then led to jobs in marketing,
which then led to jobs in video game production.
So then before too long, I was making video games.
You know, at 24 years old,
I was the game runner on my very own video game
that I loved so much.
But, the same cycle played out.
I fell in love with video games and video game development.
But turns out the game industry is actually really hard.
You know in many ways,
I think the game industry combines a lot of the difficult things
that young people face entering the workforce,
but all at once and forever.
So there is a high expectation of unpaid work,
whether it’s through internships or crunch
It’s a rapidly changing space,
it’s highly competitive.
And we have a long way to go when it comes to equality.
So the inclination of game developers to be overworked
it’s not a reflection of us as people,
but of the space that we operate in.
And I was no exception.
I wanted to tick every single box that a person can tick,
这样 我可能会与众不同 每天早上醒来玩电子游戏
so that I could be one of the special people who got to wake up every day and play video games.
I thought if I worked hard enough and long enough,
then I would be one of the people the industry didn’t chew up and spit out.
But again, I got lucky.
Around this time, the game industry decided to have
really open and transparent conversations about the symptoms of burnout,
and how they affect us personally and professionally.
例如 情绪衰竭 注意力涣散 焦虑 悲观 冷漠
So stuff like emotional exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, pessimism, apathy.
Prior to learning that this is what burnout was.
I would describe that as a Wednesday.
But, now that I knew this,
when I started to burnout in games,
I didn’t blame myself.
There’s a quote from BuzzFeed article about
millennial burnout that I really like.
So it says, ” I never thought the system was equitable.
I knew it was winnable only for a small few.
I just believed I could continue to optimize myself to become one of them.”
No, I looked around me and I saw no other women in my company.
I looked through the glass door of the boardroom,
and saw that I hadn’t been offered my seat at the table.
I saw that no amount of burning myself our
and trying to forge myself into the perfect worker
had changed the systemic problem at the core of my industry.
I was throwing myself into a meat grinder,
hoping that it would treat me differently to the rest of the meat.
Now maybe I love games more than I loved cosplay,
or maybe I’m just older and more stubborn,
or maybe the glue gun fumes affected me in some kind of way.
But I decided to do something about it.
So, that’s why I created the Working Lunch
with the manageable goal of changing the world.
So the Working Lunch is a social enterprise
that offers mentorship and professional development opportunities
for underrepresented people and game industry.
So we take people who are constantly outnumbered and undeserved.
向他们提供技术 资源 工具和关系网
And we provide them with skills and resources and tools and contacts
to help them navigate those first couple of years
where so many of us burn out and drop off.
Now, I looked around me
and I thought you know my problems are real and they suck.
But I also have an enormous amount of privilege compare to a lot of my peers.
And it’s a sense of responsibility for how you should use that.
So I took my contacts and my resources
from my cosplay career and my games career,
从中获得赞助者 合伙人 导师和管理者
to get sponsors and partners and mentors and executives
all in the right room to talk to each other to make games a better place.
So my big learning from all of this.
I know how it feels to be the only person like you
in a classroom or a boardroom or a lunchroom.
And I know that no amount of burning yourself out changes anything,
without changing the people around you and the people who make decisions that affect all of us.
So, the learning is
the cure for millennial burnout is not a better you,
it’s a better world.
And I hope you will stick around to make one.
[Applause And Cheers]