Jan 292006

This one merits an explanation in advance. 🙂

I’ve spent a lot of my life around creative people. A lot of people dressed in black, long overcoats, occasional breakdowns (while I was the resident assistant for the creative arts floor, we “only” suffered through a few mental breakdowns, one drug-induced miscarriage, one fire, one suicide attempt, and a half-dozen alcohol poisonings…), and of course, talent.

I’ve also now gotten to know a few “guru” types — particularly from the world of SF (yes, Bruce, David, Cory, if you’re reading this, I mean you). There’s some patterns to be seen (and I hope they don’t take offence!). A habit of preparing and practicing good phrases to drop into conversation. A certain manner about them that combines a brilliant mind with a certain degree of performance — expansive gestures and a fired-up passion about whatever they happen to be talking about. Getting past that to get to know them can be a little tricky, actually.

Well, long ago, “The Imaginary Playmate Speaks” opened the door to a series that I called “the genius poems.” They were about an “invisible playmate” who was, in some ways, the dominant partner. Someone who had the qualities described above: the aspects of guru and of talent and of, yes, kook. Someone who was both right and also needed puncturing.

I wrote a hell of a lot of these; probably thirty or more. This one here is one of the more sarcastic ones.

Of course, by posting this, I am giving away all of my secrets, and now all of you can get as many speaking invites and interviews as you like!

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Jan 282006

Dan Arey is the creative director over at Naughty Dog, and for GDC 2005 he put together a session on AAA games that interviewed numerous designers and collated their responses.

I didn’t answer all the questions, but I’ve finally gotten around to posting the ones I did answer in the Interviews section of the website. Some excerpts to whet the appetite:

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MusicNo, I don’t play the piano…

 Posted by (Visited 24997 times)  Music
Jan 282006

…anymore, that is.

I took lessons for a while. In high school, I started out with keyboards, not guitar. It wasn’t until midway through my first year of college that I first picked up the guitar, which means that I have now been playing it for almost exactly 15 years.

While playing guitar, though, I did actually spend a semester taking piano. I did OK, I suppose, but I struggled in some ways. My hands aren’t very big — could barely reach a full octave with one hand. I have a childhood injury that left my right hand pinky and half of my ring finger numb, and the pinky in particular is lacking in agility.

I also took music theory and composition classes, which were heavily driven by the piano. And that’s where this came from.

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Game talkThe future of virtual world commerce

 Posted by (Visited 10492 times)  Game talk
Jan 262006

This link popped up in a comment on the OGLE stuff, and it’s worth reading for the mercantile future it envisions for virtual spaces.

It may be quasi-dystopian (and it’ll certainly run into some issues regarding privacy and personal information) but it’s also highly plausible.