Phoenixi? Phoenixes? Phoenixes.

Colorado Flatirons

It’s definitely been too long since I’ve posted anything. I’m sure the two people that follow me right now forgot about my existence, hence the title. It’s my hope to use this blog for the same reasons I set out for little over a year ago, but also to use it for updates and allow people to learn as I do. Last time I tried, my blog lived a short and quite uneventful life, but I’m a lot less lazy than I once was.

I guess I’ll start at the beginning. My first console ever was a Playstation. Normally, when people talk about their video gaming heritage, people proudly state they were the first to own a NES and that they loved it to pieces. Well, I loved my Playstation. Of course, I’ve gone back and played earlier games, but I have to give credit where credit is due. “Lots of people love video games, what makes you different?” I hear you say. Well, imagine wee babby Ed. Only 9 years old and he just got Kingdom Hearts (an early birthday present). Booting up the Playstation 2, and seeing that opening scene for the first time. It was awe-inspiring in a way that only video games can be. Humans are such visual creatures. When we tell people to think of something, a person usually imagines a picture of something, but it’s not always just a picture.

Imagine the blue of the ocean. The green of a forest. The orange of the sun. We aren’t just visual creatures, however. I’m sure you can imagine the spray of the ocean on your skin; the smell of pine on a warm summer day; the frigid burn of sub-freezing temperatures and the beautiful, frozen dew on the foliage; or the chirps of the songbirds in the morning with the bitter-sweetness of a warm cup of coffee. The more senses you can use to convey an idea, the better. Books use words to invoke the imagery to the “user” (a word used commonly in software development, but I think it fits here). Music uses spoken word and sound to invoke imagery and emotion. Movies, get the benefit of all of these, but also can use actual images to convey an image faster than books.

Video games are very much like movies. Visual art combine with music to create an experience and invoke the emotion of the user, but there’s one thing that is given to the user that isn’t given in ANY other media. Choice. You may be deaf. You may be blind. You do have the ability to choose. In western thought, there are 5 senses: touch, sound, taste, sight, and smell. In many eastern philosophies, there are six. That sixth is (loosely translated) the mind. One could think of this more as the “soul” (the problem with this being that most eastern philosophies are atheistic in nature). Anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “Your brain is a muscle.” It’s true. Intellect isn’t something that is just handed to you. It builds on what was. It evolves. My point being that: humans use all that is allowed to them to perceive and interact with their world. It’s the medium that most completely allows the user to use all of these senses that will convey the most inhabited and compelling experiences. It’s the one that can most completely convey life.

I may be getting a little mushy here, but there’s a reason I’ve been rambling on and on. It’s that feeling wee babby Ed got when he first experienced Kingdom Hearts. The ability that games have to convey life over any other medium. The reason I decided 11 years ago to become a game developer. The ability to most completely express an experience to another person. The most complete way to express your humanity to another human.

It didn’t hit me until just now, that I’ve known what I want to do most with my life for over half my life. Holy shit.


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