‘Hardspace: Shipbreaker’ Understands the Joy and Grace of Good Work

My grandfather was born in Alliance, Ohio, a rural farming town which transitioned to a manufacturing economy in the 20s. He grew up working a farm, considered dropping out of high school (but didn’t), and, when his family’s farm went under and was purchased by a corporate farming enterprise, he went to the machine shops that came to define the town. There, he operated a manual mill, a highly technical instrument capable of machining pieces of metal to millimeters of precision. His shop, asbestos ridden, gave him the cancer which killed him forty years later, when I was 17.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/akewwz/hardspace-shipbreaker-understands-the-joy-and-grace-of-good-work
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Magnificent, Renata. Thank you for sharing this with me.

Had me in tears, thank you for sharing this. It articulated many feelings about physical labor I’ve struggled to explain in the past.

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DAMN

what a piece

It’s been interesting to see someone with such a similar background to me at Waypoint. Renata speaks to a lot of things I really appreciate, and it’s rewarding to see someone clearly wanting to bring their depth to these topics. I’m from a Rust Belt city in northern Ohio, I went to the same kind of technology-focused high school, I’m agender but pharmaceutically identical to a trans woman. I am a lathe person rather than a mill person, though ;-). I’ve just stayed in this world, though, being a quiet and lonely weirdo machinist that devours SF and history books on my lunch break. I’m moving into the house I grew up in soon. I more often see people like me trying to disown this background and this world. Not without reason - it’s come real close to killing me. But it ain’t closed the deal yet, and there is simply more to it than that. I have a few artifacts and tools from my great-grandfather’s days as a machinist, and I want to pass them and my own on to someone else that might come to understand them.

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RenSpace: Heartbreaker

Articles like this remind me what I love so much about what games writing can be. Not only does this present a solid understanding about Hardspace: Shipbreaker as a game you experience, but it connects the narrative and mechanics to the history of labor as well as its present. That Renata has a personal stake in the subject matter, and shares it with us as well, only makes the article better. Great work.

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