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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Why am I here?

Underlying that question is the faulty assumption that I am somehow more important (in the larger scheme of things) than most people. This is of course untrue. I'm just a person, and like any person I've been put here by God to be part of the whole of society. I enjoy organizing and micromanaging and copying data and tasks with clear rules where I can challenge myself to be as efficient as possible. I pride myself on all these things. There is plenty of room in society for a person like that. I could be a librarian, or a secretary, or a store-owner for comic books. I could easily be happy and productive; all else is arrogance and folly. I need to be a dependable person, get myself a nice wife and settle down and live happily ever after. That's the Real World. The dreams and plans, those are childish nonsense.

Why am I here? Well, that's obvious, isn't it? As an "Asperger's" person, I've been granted a gift by God. That gift is music, and to ignore it is to ignore every single signpost that God's thrown my way. My entire life has been a linear course to greater opportunities in music. I have potential. It wouldn't be easy to become a professional musician, but it would be natural. Many people have told me that they'd buy a CD if I made one- this in itself should be proof enough that that's what I'm meant to do. When else has anyone ever said to me that they'd pay for something I was good at? New musical themes are constantly coming to me, and I do nothing with them. Every opportunity that has been handed to me I have discarded. I need to stop ignoring my skill, and start using it.

I'm here to make games. I'm not particularly good at it yet, but I will be. I must be. Because if I don't make the games which I know need to be made, no one else will do it. The platformer and the adventure are in horrible shape. The RPG and the metalude are stagnating. They are not evolving in the right direction, and no one is going to set them on the right course if I don't do it. So yes, I don't have skill. But I will make up for it with stubbornness and the strength of my convictions. Nothing in the world seems as important to me as gamism, and that's because it's what I'm meant to be doing. Forget happiness, forget self-fulfillment, forget all the hints from God that other paths will be easier. Pursuing gamism is the path that makes sense. Anyone can be a secretary or a musician; no one can replace the future me as a gamist!

There need to be more people working on artificial intelligence. I have no experience and even less understanding, but I can learn. I am a human being, I can decide on how my life's going to proceed. If I decide to learn neurobiology and psychology, I can do it. Tamir tells me there actually are projects to model AI on the way brains work, albeit projects which aren't taking emotions into account. But it's a start, and I ought to support it. Creating a new kind of intelligence is a worthy cause, and it would be an honor to devote my life to it. What makes me reasonably well-suited to that kind of work is my willingness to be proven wrong and consider many possibilities, and more importantly my eagerness to make a rational system out of many parts which don't seem to fit together. If I learn enough of the details of intelligence, I might be able to figure out some rules which other scientists haven't thought of yet.

When I wrote my first interactive dialogue, I had an epiphany that that was what I could offer to the world. It was difficult, to be sure, but so satisfying. It was easier for me to make Smilie than it was to make The Perfect Color or now The March of Bulk, and that's because it comes more naturally to me to do interactive characters than other kinds of games. So I ought to devote my life specifically to making adventure games, and forget trying to make other kinds of games. I have one huge idea for an adventure game which I think could be really great, and many smaller ideas. My idea for a dynamic interface is one that's never exactly been in a game before, and it has more than enough potential to spend an entire life learning to use. If I made several adventure games with the same system, all totally different in tone and content, it raises the chances significantly of other people continuing my work. Whereas if I were to jump around from Form to Form, never staying in one place, each of my works could be seen as oddities and have no impact. So while I agree that I'd like to make games, I think I really ought to only make adventure games.

I ought to move to New York and try to become a comics editor. Wow, that would be fun. I'm already editing comics just for fun, how cool would it be to do it for a living? Getting to be a part of this entertainment which I love so much, getting to know the brilliant writers responsible, trying to get those writers into positions better suited for them. I spend so much time worrying that comics editors aren't doing what they ought to be doing; well, I could do it! There's lots of micromanagement, creativity in which ideas to keep and which not to, there's regular tasks I could be efficient at. It seems like a dream job, and I absolutely could pull it off.

I'm never going to do anything. I'm going to try a lot of things, never finish anything, never get anywhere, never help anything or anyone, and never find happiness. And then I'll die. And someone will see how I died at such an early age, read this blog, and understand that I was a person confused about my direction, running into roads which I have neither the talent nor the work ethic to get through. My life's purpose will then be clear: I am a cautionary tale. This observer, who I barely know, will take my death as a reminder that life is fleeting, and he/she will hurry up and do things. That's why I'm here.



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