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The Hopeful 21st Century Romance of the Game Developer
by on 02/14/13 02:26:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Romance is risk.  Porn is not sex.

Romance is deep, passionate connection with I AM.  Elemental.  Knowing He's real, tuning in and refusing to touch that dial.  Declaring your soul's course, committing wholeheartedly to endeavor, regarding circumstance as just that.  Living purpose now.

Privilege is making art that viscerally connects.  Inspiring love and hate.  Unrepentantly playing the infinite game for the sheer ecstasy of being a lunatic game developer.

Life is risk.  Sex makes life.  Art makes honesty.  The truth sets us free.  Blessed are those believing without seeing.

Ruthless optimism is why, how I make games.  This is it.

Top Gun is IMAX 3D revelation.  A most dangerous romance.  It's impossible not to be seduced by its afterburnered jingoistic orgy: Communism never stood a chance.  Call of Duty carries the worst of its torch without any of the undeniable humanity of Charlie and Maverick (and Goose)—not to mention a foundational soundtrack.

Challenge is opportunity.  Thus, the video game, the highest art, the highest privilege: How mold the 21st century?  Culture to stand the test of time are microtransacted anti-depressants?  Banal Grand Guignol?  Joysticks to drone strikes?  Real money gambling?

Braid is brilliant.  Sating and irreversibly expanding the appetite for challenge--intellectual, emotional, mechanical, spiritual and aesthetic--brought about by one willful individual and a ragtag band of sympathizers; a shot ‘cross the bow of a decadent, slothful, trite, envious, underachieving industry: Uniquely now, uniquely video game.  I love it.

Valve empowers itself as it empowers people, course-correcting in tune with technosocial potential.  Gabe N. recently blasphemed that the Internet is more capable than the corporation; souls of living rooms the globe round present in contest: AAPL, SNE, MSFT, GOOG and NTDOY enjoy for him a heretic's hotfoot. 

Brushfires of 頑張れ in the digital minds of men is the mission.  Atom bombs of positive artistic apocalypse.  Total engagement.  Pure religion.  Romance worthy of sacrifice, adventure, great daring and maximum vulnerability.

Sneaking into movies—excelsior—reading at the bookstore, for shelter as much as stimulation; digesting the bulk of Ken Follett’s 940-page latest at a suburban 8 Mile Meijer supermarket through the wee hours of too many mornings--‘cause there’s nowhere to sleep--staying awake for nigh a week straight during the longest undeath march—it’s torture; fresh from the local farmer’s market, grilling grass-fed beef with a resentfully optimistic, unemployed aviation mechanic who regrets his work as a civilian contractor in one of our guiltful desert horrorshows; lying under the stars on a motel's Lake Huron beachfront, not formally checking in, just triple-checking the front pocket’s pepper spray--rapid-fire nightmare lullabies of trespasser-mauling dogs--still loving the business outta the stars, watching the sun rise, weary, but sure; on a downtown Ann Arbor frat house lawn, urban foraging mulberries with a makeshift tarp and broom, enjoying the protein-rich fruits in my botany-autodidacted engineer ruumumeeto’s delicious gluten-free pie, chatting with Corey; employing Dance Central-practiced merengue—smoothly--at an outdoor summer festival with a random cool chick, joining, before leading, a conga line, beard untrimmed, rockin’ running shoes and gym shorts; discovering a garbage bag full of returnables set to the curb and money on the floor of the grocery store returned to, providing that day’s food and the next’s, minutes after deciding to forego worry of lack of eats and simply take a stroll instead; receiving a modestly life-saving, morale-exploding sponsorship of store credit—and cupcakes--from A2’s People's Food Co-op; Han Solo, designatedly piloting Lando’s Ford Bronco Millennium Falcon bucket-of-bolts through the neighbor’s farm’s field, in back, Chewie along for the ride--Lando never failing to slip Han some cash he never had to spare; Gierad; almost exclusively eating, not picking, organic blueberries with mom, ingesting giddy levels of antioxidants; dad and I doing our best, happily still managing to talk to each other; catching the Bane movie over the summer with my brother, being ready to talk with him; going days without anything to eat, listening to The Hunger Games audio book to pass the time, sarcastically musing on the ease of dropping into a frigid pond nearby, 99.9% sure it was indeed sarcasm; on the patio of Mt. Pleasant’s GreenTree Food Co-op, conversing politics with a charming 70-something woman Christian conservative—mutually thumbing up Ron Paul and Alex Jones, mutually thumbing down Mitt Romney and Barack Obama–ensuring her of the rectitude of medicinal marijuana in easing her glaucoma, her handing over a $10 spot, saying shut up and take it, all coming about because of her delight in my meal of bananas, peanut butter and granola; depending on the kindness of strangers, not getting raped; making fast literary acquaintance with Seth Godin, Brené Brown, Talia Leman, Wayne Dyer and Isaiah Berlin via the right passages, from the right books, at the right time; Indie Game: The Movie; getting a gift of a rosary and learning to pray it in a cafe from a good man whose ambition is sainthood; unhesitatingly, on a moment’s notice, $500 from my other brother, him saying “You’re good for it,” still looking forward to hitting him back; hitting the street with a monogrammed gym bag for another terrifying date with destiny: to augur bon voyage, getting another gift of a rosary from a good high school buddy whom it helped get through jail, having it blessed by not a mere priest, but a monsignore—Level 30 Vampires and below, get some—furtively dual-wielding both for divine energy shots snuck in public restrooms; a childhood friend and I looking each other up unknowingly simultaneously after years of failing to keep in touch, chopping it up like it’d been only days; petting Anya--North America’s first domesticated fox, it’s told--on the snout; pennilessly ringing in the New Year with a best bro street hustling his hot dog cart, toasting clandestine wine; surfing the couch atlas, gratefully imposing myself in the midst of friends’ lives, all parties blessed with opportunities to practice love (and the lending, donating and investing of cash and foodstuffs—and late evening snack runs), producing intimately deepened relationships that otherwise never would have had the chance to so profoundly blossom; my lawyer keeping the cool, and the good counsel, after yet more than a year of flat-rate compensation deferred; frequenting endless coffee shops, tea houses—and some bars—endless times; choosing passionate life in the meaningful world where people give a shit, the emperor craves the fashion critique: A few of my favorite livings of the past 11 months; building blocks in a grand castle.  Über alles, listening to the voice: “Don't worry, Nick.”  Faith.

“Nick, why don’t you just get a job?”  Because, Tony, my 1337 sole investor and true friend that never let me down, besides the fact of going irrevocably sane, Plans A through B are anathema: That’s not a brick wall, that’s the universe reaching out (maybe around the throat), commanding success.  Contract work-for-hire on unoriginal IP, writing words for the wallet and not from guts, unbelonging behind the counter a barista: Exactly what didn’t make me the man I’m not today, thank God.  Adversity is treasure.

$50 was my net worth a few weeks ago.  Afraid to lose it, it was given away.  Over a year ago, declining funding from those whose material motivation for which I share no affinity, now banking on the hope of support from someone I respect and admire, this bargain is struck any time of the now.

Vaporous was the state of my next game’s development a few weeks ago.  Sitting there in front of my folks’ awesome TV, catching up on my Sam and Dean, knowing for it to happen--Hunter Thompson’s Humphrey Bogart—a providential Skype from one-half of my favorite dynamic twin-bro indie duo—they’re Canadian too.  Ending with the beginnings of a beautiful prototype, concretely realizing long-simmering vision, seeing I got this, confident to the controversy, covenanted solely to my very best swing for the 100,000,000 download fences cosmic.

Tomorrow will worry about itself.  The promised land maps beyond the comfort zone.  I won’t live to regret it.  They’ll never take me alive.  Fuck spellcheck.  Damn the torpedoes, all guns blaze when the white of the eye.

I am become Romance, lover of worlds.

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