Defend for your life.
Padded leather helm
prevents subcranial bruise
but not excuses.
Welp…looks like I found my next writing exercise…
WHO JOINS ME!!!
I decide to join you
As the last frames of the crudely drawn animation enter my eyes, they trigger pickle-scented electrical sparks that transmit up the nerves from my retina to my brain.
i decide to join you
The atoms of my body shift and reconfigure themselves, physically forming into a raygun. A German man in lederhosen, A leather-bound copy of Being and Nothingness. A Big Mac.
i decide to join you
You are standing on the stage of an infinitely large lecture hall. I am the only one there. I raise my hand. You quack in response. Your jacket is woven from strands of spring water. It melts to the floor, forming a hot tub. We climb in and have a few Painkillers.
i decide to join you
The hot tub becomes a rocket ship and takes off into the sky. We orbit the world twice before exploding into four million brightly colored stars. The stars are Painkillers. You quack in response.
I decide to join you.
Happy 2013 everyone! I hope everyone’s holiday season was as fun and rejuvenating as my own.
2012 was a year of changes for me. I left my job at Zynga East after working there for 2 years, and I left Baltimore entirely. I decided to really start my career in educational games, and was fortunate enough to be offered a position at MindSnacks out here in San Francisco. Another big change was the fact that I was even able to let myself move out to San Francisco after many years of “not being a San Francisco person” (whether or not I’ve made the transition to “being a San Francisco person” has yet to be seen). In 2012, I also became something I never thought I could be: MindSnacks’s de facto producer. Being an engineer by education, I never thought I’d be able to manage people or a development effort, but I learned a lot about myself by stepping up and giving it a try. Fortunately, I’ve been (at least relatively) successful at that role in the end.
Finally, 2012 brought two great joyful pastimes into my life. Learning to box has been a godsend for me, emotionally and physically. I started training in Baltimore at the beginning of this year, and eventually joined a gym out here in San Francisco. The bonds I’ve formed with my trainers and classmates are incredible, and the act of boxing itself has taught me more about myself than I’d ever have imagined. Also in 2012, I began learning how to brew my own beer. It seems silly to mention it on the same level as boxing, because to my mind, they’re almost opposites: boxing makes me fitter, while beer gets me drunk; boxing is fast and violent, while brewing is slow and methodical. But what brewing has allowed me to do is satisfy my creative joneses in an afternoon, instead of the several months it takes to develop a game. It also allows me to create something physical, which part of me needs in order to call myself “creative”. And it’s sparked a sudden interest in bio-chemistry, which I would have never imagined.
One of the talks I saw at GDC two weeks ago included a clip of this song, and it’s been stuck in my head since then. It’ll be in the background while I meditate on what I’ve experienced in these past two weeks.
A friend of mine (who happens to be an avid reader of The New Yorker) shared this article with me today: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/09/100809fa_fact_baker
I found this section particularly funny:
Here’s what it’s about. It’s about killing and it’s about dying. Also it’s about collecting firearms. And it’s modern warfare, which means it’s set in places like Afghanistan. Assassin’s Creed II is set in Renaissance Florence and Venice. The game has moments of real loveliness. But mostly, it’s death, death, death—and fistfights, and the accumulation of wealth by acts of thuggery.
I mostly found it funny because I imagined it being exclaimed to me by a young, very upscale New Yorker in increasingly desperate and exasperated tones. (I also imagined his next words would be along the lines of “It was so *icky*!”)
But now to the point I’d like to make: While I’m very glad to see that video games are now being considered legitimate fodder for “traditional” editorial media, it greatly upsets me that they’re still being brought up in the context of their violent content. True, many mainstream games contain an elevated level of violent content, but they all utilize that violence as a way to propel a story. Many of them even use violence to drive home a point or an idea.
This is all pretty much old news for the majority of game enthusiasts I know, but not for everyone else. Thus, my frustration isn’t in that these “traditional” publications only discuss the violence in video games. It is in the fact that they do not discuss how video games use violence as a means to promote a concept or story. I wish that would change, and I hope it does soon. After all, it’s not like video games are not the only entertainment media in which violence plays a key role.