and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke
June 12, 2012 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a more righteously vindictive career than video game programming?

I'm a dissatisfied video game programmer. I'm really, really good at it (for my experience level), and I make great money. But, I hate going to work. I'm tired of making toys. And the programming in 99% of other positions is insanely tedious "business logic" if you don't have substantial domain knowledge of the real problems you're trying to solve.

In fact, if I could get out of the entire "you exist to maximize shareholder value" corporate world, I'd be ecstatic.

So, I'm considering a different career. I've got a couple of ideas, but I thought I'd ask metafilter about one particular angle I'm exploring, as there's invariably stuff out there that I didn't even know existed.

I think I'd really like a job smiting douchebags.

You know the guys on the news? Or that woman who ruined her family? Or those folks breeding puppies in tiny cages?

I'd like to get paid to shit in their cereal. I mean, all things considered, I'd prefer to shit in the cereal of the world leaders fucking things up; but, I'm willing to start with the small devils.

To be clear: I don't feel any calling to *help* people, directly. I don't want to manage case files for the downtrodden. I don't want to build houses for the poor. I sure as fuck don't want to help the "lesser of two evils" politician. I'm all for those things happening; but, I have infinitely more wrath than charity in my heart.

Also, I'm not really looking to volunteer or moonlight. Unless it's as Batman or something.

So, in basically, I'd like a job making the lives of the wicked slightly more miserable. Any ideas?

(I don't want to uphold law, and I don't want to promote national interests (so, not a cop; not a soldier or a spy); I'm fucking *terrible* at taking orders. Also, everything I have read indicates that law (as in, being an attorney) is about the stupidest career move I could possibly make, even if they have above-average misery-causing powers.)
posted by Netzapper to Work & Money (38 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
posted by 4ster at 4:08 PM on June 12, 2012

Community Manager for a MMO.
posted by Jairus at 4:09 PM on June 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

Journalist breaking these stories.
posted by verbyournouns at 4:10 PM on June 12, 2012

Private investigator. Bounty hunter.

Unfortunately, there's not much out there in the way of employment opportunities for "Wrathful Vengeance-Delivering Vigilante." Unless, of course, you've got mafia connections or something.
posted by erst at 4:11 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you have a job where you get to "smite" or just upset other people, it usually means you're doing it on someone's behalf, possibly on behalf of the state. This means that your smiting will be pretty indiscriminate, and you will not get the same rush of righteousness. For example, I had two ideas: process server and debt collection officer. You get to crush people, but not necessarily "bad" ones.

To be honest, I'm not sure your impulse is the healthiest one psychologically. Might want to settle for smiting trolls in some MMO (on preview, I mean the other kind of troll).
posted by Nomyte at 4:11 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

I imagine that a posting of "freelance asshole hacker-- must justify assignment" on Craigslist would get a few replies. "My company's CEO is a terrible person; help me get into his e-mail to embarrass him."

Granted, it's not exactly legal, but I think you're going to have to pick, at most, two from "legal", "profitable" and "vindictive".
posted by supercres at 4:12 PM on June 12, 2012 [8 favorites]

"freelance asshole hacker-- must justify assignment"

posted by Nomyte at 4:14 PM on June 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Disintermediation platforms:
Kickstarter/Fundable – eating VCs
AirBNB – eating hotels – eating politicians

Disclaimer: I am starting a large-scale disintermediation platform and one of the app coders is a former video game programmer interested in doing something a bit more... disruptive.
posted by nickrussell at 4:15 PM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

Are you planning to use your programming skills to become Batman? I mean, do you want the cereal-shitting to be digital? If so, I'm thinking you could generate some pretty good income with a clearly written Craigslist ad. Form an LLC, come up with a catchy name, and wait for the customers to roll in. Best part of this is that you can do it part-time starting immediately and see if it takes off.
posted by raisingsand at 4:16 PM on June 12, 2012

But, umm, on second thought, not sure how much of it would actually be legal.
posted by raisingsand at 4:16 PM on June 12, 2012

If I were in your shoes (and I almost exactly am ) I would like to work on games with imaginative mechanics, with non-douchebaggy characters and gender roles and interesting stories that communicate something about the human condition. The world of video games is in need of plenty of de-douchebag-ification, I'd say - maybe you could be a part of that.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:23 PM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

You could form a revenge for hire company like Norm MacDonald in comedic classic Dirty Work.

Or you can become a high end chef... and literally shit in these people's over priced cereal
posted by Quincy at 4:28 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am okay with substantial non-smiting occupational activity.

I'm not okay with indiscriminate, non-wicked-directed smiting.

I'm basically okay with working for an organization, if their and my views on who is "wicked" and what constitutes "smiting" line up most (but not necessarily all) of the time.
posted by Netzapper at 4:29 PM on June 12, 2012

You might enjoy working for a very tiny hedge fund. You write code to snipe profits away from Goldman Sachs. Your target fund has a handful of other people in it, and you are the technical mastermind. You make the tools for smiting, and the trader pulls the trigger.

Alternately, continue doing what pays the bills. Write books about your revenge fantasies.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:37 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Rather than play the flight of fancy game (which might be enough for you), I'm going to suggest that you use your current pay to cover a job or life coach. A real good one. Plan as best as you can.

Then, if you feel you need vindication, super quit with extreme prejudice.

Also, consider the specialty of image processing. There is a tremendous amount of overlap with the skillset of a good game programmer and there is demand for it.
posted by plinth at 4:58 PM on June 12, 2012

Sorry netzapper, but the best one that jumped to mind involves upholding the law. Maybe it might be up your alley anyway?

If I had some brilliant technical genius skills, I would love to be on the technical teams that track down and nail pedophiles who create and distribute child pornography. There are so many different ways technically that they do this. One was that a pedophile posted a bunch of photos of himself molesting children, but used a photoshop tool that turned his face into a swirl. He thought that was really smart, right? Well, a team of tech people unswirled his face. Imagine the moment you successfully achieved a recognizable unswirl of that guy's face. I think that would be the ultimate in vengeful glory.
posted by cairdeas at 5:00 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ask the mods to make this post anonymous so the NSA can track you down and hire you to work on the next iterations of stuxnet and flame.

Upside: mighty smiting and not for profit.

Downside: no bragging.
posted by alms at 5:22 PM on June 12, 2012

Data mining for investigative journalism is the one I can think of with the most directed wicked-smiting, or at least shaming. Choose between Smite-ee-leaks and your newspaper of choice.

Good luck, I will be cheering for you from the stands.
posted by kandinski at 5:32 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Community Manager for a MMO.

Seriously. Or any moderately popular community site.

I've said too much
posted by jessamyn at 5:42 PM on June 12, 2012 [30 favorites]

Ha, I would have suggested being one of those fancy yachts that lure pirates for smiting. Because really, why you trying to board said pleasure yacht with grapples and automatic weapons. Somali and Thai pirates need smiting.
posted by jadepearl at 5:49 PM on June 12, 2012

Playing off the data miner for investigative journalism - helping something like wikileaks or the next wikileaks? I know those had a higher purpose and were supposed to be open to any leaks, but if you started/ran your own, you could only leak on folks you wanted to smite!

The only other things I can think of involve law enforcement - running down pedos (as mentioned above) or 419 scammers and other online miscreants. Maybe you could accept donations/bids to wreak havoc on online spammers/scamsters? Would likely be illegal, but the law enforcement folks might overlook you if you were mostly on the side of the angels.
posted by clerestory at 6:01 PM on June 12, 2012

Is there a political or other cause you feel righteous about where you could smite the opposition by doing some work for them? Like, I dunno, helping Human Rights Watch smite assholes or working for the city helping the Police Department track down pedophiles and doing data restoration to catch bad guys?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:32 PM on June 12, 2012

Become a pioneer in human flesh search.

It seems to be big in Asia, but there's plenty of room for growth in human flesh search in the west.
posted by allnamesaretaken at 6:34 PM on June 12, 2012

Since you more than know your way around coding and such, please fulfill my fantasy: hack into the coffers of Amway and dump the treasure directly into the checking accounts of Planned Parenthood, leaving no trace behind.
Can't get into Amway's coffers? Any right-wing douchebag organization will do.
If you do this, you will be listed amongst the angels.
posted by BostonTerrier at 6:34 PM on June 12, 2012

Oh, and a wiki link: human flesh search.
posted by allnamesaretaken at 6:35 PM on June 12, 2012

Ombudsman? Forensic accountant?
posted by Zen_warrior at 6:45 PM on June 12, 2012

So, something like Adbusters or the Yes Men, but with less "self-smug asshole" factor?
posted by mrbill at 8:04 PM on June 12, 2012

posted by unknowncommand at 8:06 PM on June 12, 2012

Go to law school and do commercial debt collections. The most fun I had while practicing traditional law was screwing a winery that refused to pay a (valid) $5000 debt to my client, another winery.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2012

Security, fraud, or abuse engineering at most major tech companies will keep you busy.

memail me if you'd like more specifics.
posted by spanishbombs at 9:37 PM on June 12, 2012

Chairman of a homeowner's association.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 4:34 AM on June 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

Work for an organization like Politifact!
posted by mareli at 6:10 AM on June 13, 2012

Labor unions do a lot of research into the corporations they are trying to organize. Not quite sure how it would use programming skills--maybe you could automate access to public records or that kind of thing?
posted by ropeladder at 8:02 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

A charity such as Amnesty or Liberty, that actively works to protect the rights of the little people by going after the big ones and holding them to account.
posted by mippy at 8:36 AM on June 13, 2012

You want to piss EVIL off? Work towards minimizing the ability of corporate assholes to pass off negative externality onto the world around them. Until goods & processes price reflects their actual cost to the world, so much of the attemts to manage evil is fiddling while rome burns.

Alas, the standard method for this is inventing a new tax or regulation. But you could just say "CEOs of industry X have 1 year to factor in Y horrible environmental problem, or they start getting kneecapped".
posted by lalochezia at 9:02 AM on June 13, 2012

You say no to being a cop, but how about Internal Affairs? You can be a loose cannon always looking over your shoulder and taking out crooked cops!
posted by cmoj at 10:59 AM on June 13, 2012

Want to fight rich people for a living? Work as a union organizer.
posted by univac at 12:04 AM on June 14, 2012

Anti-hacking and anti-bot programmer for MMOs. Design systems and stop gold farmers/spammers.
posted by jopreacher at 10:56 AM on June 24, 2012

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