WILEY WIGGINS : Hi Michael how are you doing?
Michael Luo : I'm good.
WILEY WIGGINS : Same. Let me grab a glass of wine and we can get started…
Michael Luo : So, I guess to start… Fantastic Arcade, the games festival you produced had an amazing run. Could you share your insights from that work? Why are experimental games important, and how do you feel about the current trend of, say,ID@Xbox overtaking a space that was once truly independent? I'm also curious about your current view of the art-game scene… To me, it seems like [game art] operates at the fringe of the art world while simultaneously being rejected by the current indie game world. How are you navigating these spaces with your work/practice?
WILEY WIGGINS : I don't closely follow the situation with that specific platform, but I have witnessed distribution platforms negatively affect the quality and diversity of the games they carry and promote. As far as the borders between "art games", "experimental games" and "commercial games"… You know I really feel like every game is an experiment and no modern game has ever been truly independently made, regardless of whether it's a commercial project or not. I've watched all sorts of art scenes spring up around new audiences and new tools, creating what Ian Cheng calls "zones of permission". What usually follows is a process of attempting to scale and temper these works to try and build sustainable businesses, and then bigger money enters the space. In my opinion, the process tends to salt the earth, creatively. Scaling up replaces those zones of permission with zones of compliance. Voices and ideas that made sense in context to a specific audience no longer make sense or seem offensive or amateurish at scale. As a result those voices get tuned out, with the occasional exciting and chaotically effective outlier (often these holdovers that reach larger audiences than they were conceived for end up moving culture in interesting ways). "Independent games" and "The Art World" aren't so much static groups with cultures and locations and ideologies, they're business models that people pass in and out of, modulating behavior and output. I personally gravitate towards smaller audiences because I can't create or curate for "everyone" effectively. Fantastic Arcade tried to reach out from the marketing conception of game audiences to create a new audience of people interested in film and music and graphic art, but that's also an idea of an audience that isn't "everyone". That's part of the appeal of games to me in the first place– as a form they have a baked-in mechanism that enables audience design- that sliding scale of interactivity, non-determinism, and non-linearity… When you build a game you are imbuing it with the ability to show itself to only certain people who are willing or able to engage with it. Even a zero-player game requires someone pay attention to it or it keeps its secrets. I think that can be a feature. You could say that it's elitist in a way, like aristocrats writing for each other or something, and certainly difficulty is a complicated and interesting subject in digital games, especially in regard to disability, but for me it's a part of the process of making any kind of media art– that you are making it with an audience in mind that is not "the whole world". I don't think it's unethical, incorrect, or even necessarily crass to engage with a large audience or utilize more resources or people to do it, I just rarely see it done in games in a way that makes sense to me- a large scale project that speaks to, and justifies its own existence as a piece of mass media, existing on a large commercial platform? The platform and audience are a part of the work, they're a part of what the work is about, so there had better be a reason to do it other than just churning out more 'content' and moving money around.
When you treat any kind of artwork like this, but especially art like digital games, which take so much labor and ingenuity to make, so much hidden labor, and treat it as an ephemeral product that just disappears… either if audiences pass it over completely, or when the hardware or software it lives in as substrate dies… which happens at an alarmingly accelerating rate… it almost takes some kind of Zen master to continue creating under those conditions. But the art world makes "product" just like the commercial games industry does, it just brands it differently for a different audience. The problem is the same problem everywhere, it's human beings versus the gambling of entrenched capital and the impulse to put a price tag on everything and everyone, the same struggle at work in every facet of life.
Michael Luo : Right, I think that brings up a whole bunch of questions about… obviously, having the privilege to make something for even just 20 or 100 players, you know, without having to worry about selling thousands of copies. It's interesting to hear you talk about it, especially when you've organized game events.
WILEY WIGGINS : There was always a sort of tug of war between games as art and games as product. Commerce is one thing, but the stakes have slowly gotten higher and higher for anyone trying to make a living as an independent creator. Fantastic Arcade happened right when the self-publishing boom was happening on Xbox and iOS and then finally Sony third party got in the game, and there were some interesting titles breaking big. There was suddenly more crossover interest, and the trick was then showing people who found themselves checking out a few games that had broken out that there were as many facets and subgenres and sensibilities in games as there were in film, if not more. And then continuing to present wildly unhinged Thecatamites or David Kanaga games or what-have-you as having equal or more importance as something more conventionally recognizable as a pop videogame. It was kind of mirroring some of the work that I felt like the better film programmers at Fantastic Fest at the time were doing, where they gave context to some really unusual films and put them in this lineup alongside a bunch of more conventional genre movies, hopefully broadening viewers horizons. It was about giving each game context and giving the people who made the games a platform to talk about their work without having to babysit a booth all day at some convention, trying to coax people to play it. We were basically saying, "these people are artists, either learn about what they are doing or miss out on something really unique."
Then, maybe by virtue of us not being a big convention style event, it became an event that game developers sort of looked forward to as a place to hang out without industry pressure. It probably helped that it happened in a bar. We ended up just having the most incredible talks by artists there, taking part in that definitely put me on the path that I'm on now and introduced me to game makers who have really inspired me a lot, people like Andy Reitano who made Super Russian Roulette, Everest Pipkin and Loren Schmidt, Jason Roberts, Paloma Dawkins, Mason Lindroth, Kyle Reimergartin… I could spend all day listing folks, and every one of them is their own radically different school of aesthetics and game design. I think Fantastic Arcade was the first time Thecatamites had ever actually been lured out to speak at a game event, which I'm pretty proud of.
Michael Luo : I'm curious about your view of tools. I know you prefer web tools over stuff like Unity, can you speak about how your background as a web developer and your personal practice influences your tool choice? And what do you think about defaulting to engines like Unity/Unreal versus using anything else to make games?
I think Unity is still a place of possibility, but it's arguably becoming more prescriptive. I definitely think that easy-to-use, anarchic tools are the most exciting places to be. I'm thinking about the incredible volume and diversity of games and game-like weirdness that came out of Hypercard, Flash, Clickteam Fusion, RPGMaker, Gamemaker, Construct and virtual consoles like Pico-8, each with a community and culture springing up around it. Tools matter so much… I fall back to the web because it's what I know best, and I see it as kind of a perfect case study for how technologies start out as those zones of permission that get torn apart by economic pressures and bad actors to the detriment of a commons. Even though I've been making my own games for a relatively short time, I've been up and down the rollercoaster of having things I make dependent on the trajectory of tools for much longer. When I was doing video installations I often used a free tool Apple made called Quartz Composer, and it was an incredibly versatile and easy to use little node-based creative coding tool that made it very easy do to things like make screensavers and interactive kiosks, but Apple let it die on the vine because there's a very tight inverse relationship between what a tool makes possible and easy and its perception as a security risk and performance sink. The web is still a place of possibility for me, but the post-internet world is locked down in a lot of ways too because people have very ossified expectations of what the web is and is for compared to the days of Net.art.
Michael Luo : What's your take on the "indiepocalypse" idea that there's just too many games now for people to play, that there's a glut?
WILEY WIGGINS : Well, I know it can be heartbreaking for someone to work really hard on a game and then no one plays it. I saw how bitter people could get when their games weren't accepted to events or didn't find audiences.
As far as there being too many games, I think Paolo Pedercini has written great stuff about this. I love his article Games Without Players, which gives some ideas about how gamelike art can change to meet different attention requirements and still be very effective works. Some of my favorite games are games that essentially play themselves, or games that are as much comprised of rumors and stories as they are the actual experience of playing. I love Dwarf Fortress for a lot of reasons but one of them is the fact that there's probably more second-hand mythologizing about the kind of stuff that happens in the game than there is people playing it. I don't fight that, I like that about games. A lot of my early experience of games was playground lore that surrounded them. We couldn't afford game consoles or computers when I was young. I got an NES when they were showing up at garage sales. My first two computers were literally dug out of the trash. I get that a lot of people don't have time for games now. Since I've been in the MFA program I pretty much only play games that aren't for research when they have daily challenges, and I set a timer to cut myself off. I think that a lot of people really have to budget their time and attention in this culture. You could say the same thing about movies, books, all kinds of art that requires any patience and engagement.
Michael Luo : Yeah.
WILEY WIGGINS : I just think we ask these specific questions like, "oh, how will artists survive…" But the question is how will anyone who isn't landed gentry survive, pretty soon? You'll either become a serf serving some function for Disney or Google or whatever or you'll perish in corporate feudalism. It's not about "how do we sell digital art" it's about how not to have to monetize every human venture and make it possible to actually do things because they are intrinsically worth doing, profitable or not? It's about demanding a world where we're allowed to survive without turning every fart into a paycheck. I would be ecstatic to live in a world where a public works program paid me a living wage to go plant trees or something four days a week and then I spent the rest of my time working on whatever had value to me. I make things because it's how I create meaning for myself and interact with my communities. It's how I process things and critically engage with my life and memories.
Michael Luo : Heh, that could be the whole interview right there…
WILEY WIGGINS : Well, earlier you also asked a lot about… I felt like something weighing on your mind was what you perceive as being superficially visually arresting game work or animation work getting all of the attention, and I'd like to talk about that. You almost seem angry about it.
Michael Luo : Yes, yeah. I guess that's The next question it's… It's not really anger, it's more… You know we're talking about, you know, "shiny stuff" in class, right? But I mean, you and I know how easy it is to just download unreal and use Megascans or just follow a YouTube tutorial and get something that on the surface looks pretty impressive… you know, using a game engine in that way to produce something visually fantastic… I'm not saying it's bad necessarily but it's what I will call broadly sincere but textually shallow.
It's like they just default to this hyperreal aesthetic, right? And it's been going on for a lot of years. I guess, this question is because they do get more likes on Instagram or whatever right?
WILEY WIGGINS : Sure, but Instagram is specifically a platform about shallowly engaging with visually arresting things, right? Like, that's what it's all about. I definitely don't like to make sweeping statements about visual trends… they're shaped by the tools, right? The tools and what is already kind of getting attention. But you know, somebody like Robert Yang makes incredibly realistic and detailed 3D work that is so radical in its expression of queer sexuality, that it has to fight to exist on platforms… and we're talking about platforms that are permissive towards all kinds of totally obnoxious odious shit otherwise. So, you know, if a game needs to be realistic, it should be realistic. I think of it in terms of specificity, right? There are times that I want to be specific and talk about a specific thing that looks a certain way, and there's times when I want to be iconic and talk about things in a general way.
I think about how in Dwarf Fortress you'll see like a lower case "g" that represents a goblin, and it's not because they couldn't afford art or whatever, it's because when you examine the goblin you see a fucking wall of text about how it's got one purple eye and a wart on its nose and it walks with a limp on Tuesdays when it has to get up early on cold mornings and its arthritis flares up or whatever… you know, this outrageous amount of specificity and there's twenty thousand other goblins in the game.. You couldn't visually represent all that, so you have these two modes, an ascii symbol or an icon tile if you're fancy and a fucking proc-gen short story about a single npc. Or maybe I want to just talk about the vague symbolic idea of a character but still have them interact with the player, and leave it to the player to project their own idea of what that character looks like. Iconic and specific. As a kid I had a whole universe going in my head as to what these incredibly crude stick figures ambling around in an Atari 2600 game represented. Lately I've been playing with much more high-fidelity visuals since I started working with texture painting. In the last two projects I've worked on there's been both low-fidelity, stylized, iconic stuff that was also complimented by realistic texture-painted stuff. I like mixing up different ways of representing things, especially when I'm contrasting game or fantasy tropes with real life.
My point is, don't get mad about fads because they're just fads and they do pass as we become accustomed to seeing things. Never underestimate people's ability to get bored. Herzog made a couple of movies that were ostensibly science fiction movies (Lessons of Darkness, The Wild Blue Yonder) because of their narration but were made out of real footage of, respectively, the Kuwaiti oil fires of the first Iraq war and footage of Arctic underwater exploration and astronauts on the international space station. They were interesting experiments because there's this tension in movies where filmed reality butts up against what's synthetically constructed where we can sort of see anything but believe nothing. Walter Murch talked about this when he described "snowflake movies" and "black-box movies". The idea of "authenticity" in cinema can be powerful. It's why you see "practical effects" and "real stunts" used as marketing signifiers to try to bring audiences back in who are hard to thrill any more. Games have a different set of expectations and audience desires, but it is still this arms race of artifice and suspending disbelief. There seems to be this deep, impossible-to-satisfy urge to want to move into a fantasy world where we know what to do and can solve problems and be our ideal selves. The more fidelity an image has, the more we can fool ourselves into believing we are in that place, but it's always just out of reach, and critically engaging with that urge I think is hugely important.
Michael Luo : yeah I agree, It's… my contention with this is just that, of course there's going to be some anger that this one style of art attracts all the attention and sometimes it's the least considered and most default of styles…
WILEY WIGGINS : I think about it this way, sometimes you don't want that much engagement, like the kind of engagement that you get when make something that just demands shallow attention from everyone, when you are just dropping gifs or whatever on some commercial social media platform. Because, especially with games, you're getting attention because you've just engaged with people's desperate need to move into whatever fantasy world they are imagining that they are just angrily waiting for someone to build for them. That's the drive that gets a lot of eyeballs in entertainment gaming. You know, even these sort of like, cozy experiences with lots of good character representation etc. It's this need to move out of this awful world for just a little bit into a place that's both novel and understandable. And people can absolutely lash out when their expectations are violated. You're engaging with this raw collective id when you pick up a clearnet microphone and tell everyone that you're building a new world just over here. Like I said before, it's equally valid to only want to engage with people that spend time with a piece of art and co-negotiate what that art is about instead of demanding hot and cold running Lord of the Rings porn or whatever.
This is me speaking as a person who was, you know, famous for five minutes. When I occasionally take a look in the "message requests" section of whatever crappy commercial social media platform it's just this teeming mass of inchoate awfulness… you know, for shit I made 30 fucking years ago. I don't particularly want to go back to feeding that. I would like to sustainably make the stuff that I make in conversation with people who aren't… you know, assholes.
Michael Luo : yeah, I mean, yeah… that's a good answer (laughs). There's just so much to talk about, you know… this fad, I guess, they are really just fads.
WILEY WIGGINS : Yeah, I mean I think it's the narrowing of the of types of media that get made with overly prescriptive tools that's the problem. I am really interested in game makers who make their own tools, but I also feel so sorry for them, because often that way lies madness. My first ill-fated game project was this nightmare that went on for like six years because it involved building this custom adventure game engine, and it was built for iOS and all the money and effort got sucked up trying to keep this custom stuff at parity with an operating system and tools that changed every few months or so and gleefully deprecated the ground you stood on the whole time.
Michael Luo : Can you share your interest in retro-computing and retro-gaming as a form of art-making? That part of history is very much lost on me, but I'm really curious about people's drive behind it.
WILEY WIGGINS : I keep returning to a talk that my friend Rachel Weil did at MagFest about modding and homebrew on vintage hardware, the whole thing is worth watching, but she ends on a good note that talks about engaging critically with old hardware and history relating to her practice of making actual new games for the NES, which is an incredibly arcane practice that involves coding in an assembly language. Rachel charges right into the idea that unexamined nostalgia is toxic, at this retro game and chiptune convention! And it's pretty gutsy and amazing, and she actually completely gets the audience on board in a way that's encouraging. I think nostalgia is a powerful urge that should be critically engaged with along other powerful urges, and doing so puts the artist in connection with history, with ideas of technological progress, and gives opportunities for spaces of possibility and understanding. I've been pretty engaged with emulator communities, and I'm interested in re-evaluating old games outside of their commercial value, which is something Rachel does, just in different ways.
Rachel talks about how when she grew up, she was told the video games were for boys, right? And while she goes out of her way to reclaim and champion girly aesthetics which get vilified in a way that male-coded aesthetics often don't, she does touch on the sort of schismogenesis of gendered marketing, especially aimed at kids. Schismogenesis is this tendency of groups to define themselves as the antithesis of another group. Graeber and Wingrow talk about the phenomenon a lot in The Dawn of Everything. It can happen between cultures and it can happen within them, like the micro culture of gender. In America we have this outrageous oversized version of it where we've got two modes of reality. The American political divide isn't even ideological in any coherent way, it's just two football teams… two oppositional prescription drug side effects or something. People defining themselves by what they aren't, and it's essentially just branding. Groups with actual ideologies are kook outliers, real Americans are mad/happy about the new non-binary green M&M or whatever. Again, it's moving into that ever more tangible fantasy universe and being fucking pissed off about it instead of, and this is a radical concept, building it yourself to your own specifications, or, you know, engaging with the trash fire of history that is pushing you into it in the first place. Rachel is really intent to engage with history, and she often does it in this positive generative way where she makes new games that she would have wanted as a kid that embrace girly aesthetics, and then places them in this alternate history. In my practice I mostly use old games as bookmarks for taking me back to a place and a set of ideas, you know, not just using them as a discrete aesthetic separated from a material history. It's what Rachel calls critical retrocomputing.
I've been spending a chunk of my time lately participating in group playthroughs of games via my friend Andy Reitano's emulator webapp Telemelt. It's been like an excellent book club for old games, playing through this spreadsheet of games together and talking about them, looking up their histories. A lot of these games that are significant to me… they're kusoge (shit games) that nobody else cares about, but because I spent a lot of time with them, because you know… I got the crappy bargain bin game and maybe I didn't have a manual for it and I just had this very mysterious experience of working really hard to explore it and get through it… that's significant to me. That's something I engage with a lot in the new games I make, this edge of alienation that doesn't turn a player completely off but gives them sometimes confusing or incongruous feedback to work with and recreates this mysterious experience. I want to try and get that significance I feel for some of these older games across when the conversation about games is often only about their… you know historical value in the supposed march forward of technical progress. We played this game Deadly Towers that is just a universally panned game for the NES that I spent a huge amount of time playing and beating as a kid. I had wild dreams for a week after playing it again. Games can be both media artifacts and places of embodied actions that can be triggers for memory. They are a sweet spot of spatialized information, remembered hand movements often paired with music and images, a visual language and a built world, it's a very potent mix of things as far as memories go and it all hits somewhere deep in the limbic system, in some part of your brain that's reserved for performing rituals.
That' arguably why games exist, right? They're there to help people learn dangerous skills in safety… to try out social ways of being and embody ancestors and all these important social functions that we have carefully tried to separate away. There's this tendency to try to discreetly extract… say, music from its ritual functions and say, oh isn't this interesting in this very abstract way, isn't this pure abstraction interesting because it's just math or whatever, and you're looking at the tip of this giant iceberg of interconnected things. Our capacity and drive to recognize and remember unfamiliar patterns is there because it served very specific purposes. I think everyone interested in game studies should also look into ethnomusicology. I've learned a lot from reading books like Kyra Gaunt's The Games Black Girls Play. Reconnecting with a sort of anthropology of games is a place of resistance against turning games into discrete commercial products that satisfy some kind of isolating, individualized market demographic need that can never be filled, and returns them to being social rituals of cooperative meaning making that actually ARE satisfying. There's good research that points to musicality as having preceded symbolic language, and you can say the same thing about games and play.
Michael Luo : Yeah, I don't know how much I wanted to get into this, but there's so much ambiguity around the origins of play, but now you know when we talk about video games when or when like average Joe talks about video games it's not engaged with at all. Just this sort of checklist of AAA game interactions that are satisfying for some reason that we won't get into, they're just marketing requirements.
WILEY WIGGINS : Well the fact that I'm already engaging with videogames should hopefully tell people I'm not a snob about high/low art, if someone has a compelling experience in a big commercial game, that's valid, but I agree that we should engage with why some of these interactions work for people other than just making a laundry list of psychological quirks to be exploited. We should question these ideologies being couched in these pleasurable experiences which have been disconnected from their historical social and ritual functions. I play plenty of big commercial games. I mean I love Minecraft (laughs). But the reason I play it is because I play with a group of adult hardcore Minecraft players who have a server running with a 10 year history and the most amazing and expansive constructions. It's dizzying the stuff they've built. I can enjoy that and also question the underlying idea of Minecraft- inexhaustible extraction without consequences. Or, Animal Crossing, I love that game too. But you don't have to look too closely to see it's a nerfed economy for kids where you still need to pay a mortgage, but you can sell bugs and seashells and shake money out of trees so what's the harm? Instead of imagining a new way to live we've made a "nice" version of what we have, to kind of gently indoctrinate kids to the way it's going to be for them. Why do 10 people on an island need an economy with a turnip-based stock market? It's important to engage with what ideas pleasure is backgrounding as inherent and unquestionable when games become ideological corporate apparatuses. When you make a game you are making a reality with baked-in assumptions, and that has a subtle effect on a player, especially young players.
Michael Luo : on that topic can you talk a little about your game design influences? I see you attempting some quite complex systems of interaction and operation lately, can you speak to the aesthetics of systems and maybe dungeons, which you keep returning to as a theme? It's very different than the direction I've been going, but it's interesting to me.
WILEY WIGGINS : Well, part of being in an MFA program right now is about trying to get my technical skills to catch up with my imagination, so there's still a gulf between the kinds of games that I find mechanically effective or evocative and the kinds of stuff I currently make. Also, I am guessing that you, like me, appreciate and play a lot of different kinds of games that are dissimilar from the stuff you currently make or want to make. I am really attracted to non-deterministic, non-linear, systems-y games, especially if they have some kind of community aspect and some kind of history that accrues over time. My method now is to start with the simplest possible version of a game and then very slowly build on it, preferably with actual players involved. It's something that I should have started doing a long time ago, and I am finding it a very gratifying way of working. I'm very focused on that idea of games is narrative generators rather than narratives, and as a kind of a collaboration with the player and sort of co-creation of meeting. I think there's a place for polemical games and there may be polemical aspects to what I make, but I still want to make them in a space that I don't totally own and that can surprise me, and that has some life of its own.
For me games do a lot of different things… They're sort of spatialize information. A kind of architecture. They can be a place to hide things in a way that would be difficult or feel very different in a flat deterministic piece of animation or writing. It's making a place and some situations and then watching what happens there. I'm very invested in the idea of Easter eggs, and of digital games as a form of software that opposes productivity software– it's software that resists its user to a certain extent, that carries secrets, and that has to be unfolded. I'm interested in using games to retopologize other kinds of data, like for instance my current project, which in the long term I am working to make import genealogy data and turn it into a maze of interconnected rooms to explore. Architecture built out of lives.
When I had that idea I was… I was thinking a lot about… Have you ever seen these videos where someone will come and poor molten silver into an ant hill and then let it cool… and then pull it out this branching sculpture from all of the tunnels? I mean it sucks to be one of those ants, but the result is that it becomes this sculptural thing… I think about that, I thought about that the other day… "If I do this and it works, I'm basically pouring molten silver down the ant hill of my family." I can place items in this new architecture… I've made a few games that utilize random objects as a mechanic, My mother is a compulsive collector and I like the idea of moving these objects around to create associations and meaning inside this information architecture that lets me look at life outside the game in a different way.
Michael Luo : Yeah OK, so I guess this segues really well to another question I had.
I think one most curious things about this new project is you've put a lot of very personal stuff into it, but hidden in this silver ant-hill structure like you said. Is obfuscating things part of the interaction design? How does security through obscurity work in the internet age?
WILEY WIGGINS : Yeah I think that's something I'm actively working on. There's painful stuff in Mud Room, my new game, that might really upset some of my family members or re-open some trauma. Working in a way where this stuff isn't just, on vimeo as my MFA short animation or whatever, mining my family trauma for views, is really important to me. I am taking these events out and trying to process them in a space that is changing over time, that is semi-public but in a way where you really have to engage to access them, and where there's a very different game experience for me carrying out actions in the game space than for other players who are kind of tourists in the space. I talk about it like I am an npc that lives in the dungeon and you are adventurers passing through. There's also this game cliché that I am playing with- the really personal journal entries and tape recordings that are lying around in the open for the player to peruse in order to reconstruct a backstory. I like to confuse that idea that everything is constructed and staged for other players. It de-privileges them just a little bit. There's no breadcrumb trail creating a narrative path through mud room, it's more like a workspace. It seems like in the discussion of games, or really any kind of software, there's no longer any popular conception that these things could be made by a person for their own needs or just the needs of the community.
Michael Luo : When you're talking about making such a personal piece do you ever think about the idea of sustainable practice? Like as far as what are you going to do? Obviously you can't sell off family history as a product and games as art is still incredibly niche.
WILEY WIGGINS : That's the $10,000 question, right? I think I could return to curation in some form and still be able to maintain an art practice. I think there are still some opportunities in indie games, believe it or not. There's options. I know folks who do survive doing solely self-directed creative work, it's difficult, but possible. What I would probably not do is get involved with AAA games, I am too old now for that meat grinder most likely anyway. If I did, I would probably spend time trying to unionize those spaces and end up getting disappeared. I still think that's the only way that anything's going to get better in this world– people taking possession of the places where they work and steering those organizations towards behaving ethically.
There's so much hyper-focusing on what we as individuals need to do to survive, but the question we should be asking is what we as a society need to do to take care of everyone… And you can only do that through organizing, which is hard to do, but it's the only way forward.