A job that's just too far


#1

As the category suggests, this is very much off topic and I’m looking for opinion on an event that happened in my life just recently.

So, I am a writer. I love to write and play games; those are my passions. Well just a few days ago I stumbled upon a small indie game studio looking for a writer. I’d kickstarted their game a few months back and now they’re looking for an author to help with some stuff so, naturally, I applied giddy with excitement… and was accepted into the fold a few days later.

I cannot say much due to signing an NDA but I was reading through the basic outline and plot lines and what was expected of me, the style I would need to write in, etc, when I came across something that (excuse my vagueness) crossed a moral line for me as a writer and a gamer. The story is meant to be harsh but it was just too far for me and I felt I didn’t want to contribute and have my name there alongside it (personally I don’t even think it should be in any game).

So I turned it down. This was my dream job; writing not just professionally but for a real game studio. I was torn between my own morals and ideals and the dream of having my first published work be in a game for thousands to see.

My question to you all is would you have done the same? Could you move past your own morals and go on with the job or would you give up possibly your one and only chance at your dream job?


#2

Easy, i have no morals :smile: (jk)


You made a very hard dicision but if you found that game going too far then it was the right one. You can still find that dream job you want somewhere else with a more ‘friendly’ gamee.


#3

What RC said. Better to doubt a choice than to live with something you don’t agree with. The fact that you decided the latter and to leave, shows that you wouldn’t have enjoyed yourself for taking the job.


#4

Morals in my opinion are the trump card. A job is a small price to pay for piece of mind and an easy conscience.


#5

Morals are so important. If your internal alarm was giving you red flags, you did the right thing by leaving. Better to turn your back on something that you thought would be great but was actually sketchy than to violate your morals. From what we can see, I’d say you absolutely did the right thing.


#6

Thanks, guys. It sucks but yeah, if it’s something I can’t take pride in then it’s probably not the right job. It just sucks to pull that carpet out from under yourself XD even when the carpet is on fire.


#7

Better you then they. Nothing worst then spending all your heart and soul on something and then they reject it.


#8

Have you voiced your opinions to them already? You should definitely do so if you haven’t. Tell them why you think it shouldn’t be there in the first place.

You can stick with your principles, if it feels that bad that you can’t do it. However, you should also come to think about why they are asking for you to write it. They had some creative motive (presumably) to make whatever situation it is, and they might have a good reason for it. Sometimes the things shown in a story is not for the sake of showing it, but to shock, reveal a terrible perspective and bring the readers/players closer to the characters and events.

As a writer who makes his own stories, you are free to do whatever you deem best, but when working with other people’s stories, you’ll have to bend a bit what you think is best if it means to convene what they are thinking. Remember that, although it is you who are writing, it is their story to tell, and you are there to make it sound better. So you might just want to face it as a challenge, for your own character even.

Whatever way you choose will be right, so you can remain confident in your path.


#9

You talking about that hatred game? No worse than gta.

Gears of war let’s you chainsaw people in half.

Manhunt let’s you suffocate people with a grocery bag.

Unless it’s raping and killing 12yr olds then I don’t see the problem. (And I believe in Jesus Christ crucified, resurrected and seated by the right hand of the father awaiting the trumpet, sounding the second coming.)


#10

I have and they thanked me for being honest but it’s a part of their world so it’ll be there.

I’m not entirely sure how far I can stretch the NDA so I’ll have to still be vague, but had the situation been subtle, something that MAY have happened that you only infer it would have been more gray, but what they wanted was pure black. The world was meant to be blackish sure, but I just felt it crossed that line.

@ReleaseDaKraken… NDA would probably prohibit me from commenting on that or anything similar.


#11

If you compromise once, you are far more likely to compromise again, and soon you will stand for nothing. As an artist and a writer I’ve faced the same dilemma as you many times. I regret some decisions I’ve made in the past, and knew when I faced crossing a line. I’m also glad I finally took a stand even though it meant losing a lot of business and notoriety. As a person, all you have to stand on is your dignity and integrity. If something you find is unacceptable in your daily work, attempt to confront the people in charge and see if they might be willing to change things a bit, and maybe even see things the way you do. Without knowing the finer details, this is not always an option. If it’s not an easily modified issue though, and intrinsic to what they want to develop, and it goes against your morals…spare yourself the regret and take a stand for yourself. I can only imagine what you are facing, and without specifics, I just have to say go with your gut. Yes it could be a massive opportunity lost…but then, why work for people who indulge in practices you don’t want your name associated with? You’ll be ashamed of yourself for compromising. You’d probably also find that whatever that awful thing is you dislike now, there’s a lot more of it that’s worse coming down the pike.

I heartily sympathize. This can’t be an easy decision. Having been there, I know at first making the call is going to be a huge knife rending your dreams to pieces, but you won’t regret it when you look back later on.


#12

I encourage you to go to an Internet cafe library w.e and use a throwaway and tells us exactly what made your morale compass explode.


#13

There are few things you can come up with that would be moraly wrong to evry ‘normal’ person.


#14

I don’t even want to know. I can imagine some truly dark things…and sometimes that’s not even scratching the surface. I’ve seen other artists get involved in some very sick things all for that almighty buck. Artists asked to illustrate rapes, snuff, child porn, all 3, and then some. I’m sorry, but anybody who commissions that kind of thing with joy, I don’t want their money, and I don’t care how popular they are.


#15

I’m not sure I understood what you said there. It’s cool though, I believe you. I just wanted you to think about it from their perspective, whatever it is. Ultimately, if it’s something you really don’t want to take on, simply don’t. Just like everyone else said here.


#16

I totally agree, I cant even handle the little bit of the world I live in! Much less what truly is out there…


#17

That’s not true. Look as a person who has been dirt poor (literally) money runs this world and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to make money to survive.

If his rent isn’t paid, he’s out on the street. He can’t buy groceries on morale high grounds and philosophical gravitas.

If he has to write a story about a serial killer getting away with all his hellish crimes, then he has to do it. Unless he’s got another direct deposit in the bank every month of course.


#18

Exactly this.


#19

No he definitely cant. But even a hobo could come to my house and mow my lawn for twenty bucks. I have never been homeless, but I have always been poor. The poor survive, friends, family and even strangers can help. No amount of financial desperation should result in moral degradation in my eyes. But I will admit, I am by far an oddity in life…


#20

I agree with you. I go to church and read my bible and wouldn’t do anything that goes against god (in theory lol)

Put sometimes you gotta steal something you can’t afford b/c you simply need it. Besides walmart grosses 400$ BILLION A YEAR!

You think they’re going to miss the item I stole?