April 8th, 2003


(no subject)

There's this guy who rides the same bus as me home from work. He doesn't work in the same company, or even in the same building. He's a janitor, I think. He's one of those people who probably could have gotten a reasonable job with a college education - as it is, he'll probably never be able to afford one.

I've talked to him a few times. Once we got into a conversation about tech toys, and I pulled out my Game Boy Advance. He loved it - he said he was saving up for one.

I haven't seen him for a while.

As I write this, he's sitting two seats away from me on the bus. He hasn't noticed me . . . he's playing on his GBA. He's bought the exact same model I have.

Sometimes it's the small things that produce the most happiness.
  • Current Mood
    good good

(no subject)

Host name : linux
IP Address :
spipe initted, 316/308
Connected, socket is 300
DIFACE::GETCLIENTINSTRUCTION got ACTION_START 0 vq "mtex-20201-unprocessed.vqr"
tokidoki.size() is 4
tokidoki[ 0 ] is "ACTION_START"
tokidoki[ 1 ] is "0"
tokidoki[ 2 ] is "vq"
tokidoki[ 3 ] is "mtex-20201-unprocessed.vqr"
gjp "vq"
Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t! Pipe! w00t!

Sometimes my debug output really amuses me . . . the status output is so reasonable and sane, and then the one-line things I write for debugging are so weird.

(incidentally, it works. w00t!)
  • Current Mood
    easily amused

obies, read this

So I need to come by and shove my stuff into a slightly more permanent storage facility, as well as visit people for a day or two. I'm thinking of making it from end-of-class through a day or two of reading period - like, May 10 through May 13 or 14, with the endcaps dedicated to travel. Since I do want to hang out with friends in Oberlin, I should probably make sure you won't be *totally* busy (just almost totally :P), and to see if someone can give me sleeping space also ;)


(no subject)

Imagine what you will see with one of these tiny wireless video cameras!

Kids stealing from the cookie jar!

Completely empty bedrooms!

Half-naked girls lounging under waterfalls!

Well, I'm convinced. I've been wondering where those cookies were going, and sometimes I just want to look at my bedroom for a few hours.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

(no subject)

There's this thing that has been happening pretty often recently. People mention that I'm a tech, or that I'm this guy who's really into computers. Apparently using computers pigeonholes you nicely. I'm good at them, therefore they must be what I'm interested in.

I think it's time to talk about my goals.

I'll lay this out in front of you right now, just to give you some idea of what you're going into. I'm not a tech. Computers aren't the focus of my life. I'm something which doesn't have a word in English as far as I know - the closest match is "creator". I'd be a writer or an artist, but what I've chosen to do is go into computer games.

See, I like creation. I like making worlds. I like creating things, that's really all there is to it. I've just chosen a different medium than most, and this is the crucial difference that few people seem to get.

Neal Stephenson is not a typesetter.

Picasso was not a paint mixer.

Hitchcock was not a cameraman.

I am not a tech.

Computers, to me, are a tool. They're a pretty fantastic tool, I'll admit that. I can things with a computer that most can't even dream of. But they're not what I'm interested in. If someone came up with a way of making my artform without computers (which admittedly seems rather unlikely - it would be akin to painting without a canvas, or writing without words, but for the sake of argument let's ignore that), I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. Okay, so it's time to learn a new set of skills - but that's okay, because I wasn't terribly attached to those skills to begin with.

This, incidentally, is why it's rather annoying when people say things like "Well, I'm sure you'll grow out of games soon and be interested in more important things." Yeah, and I'm sure Larry Niven is going to stop writing about technology and go into research. I'm just plain not interested. I *like* creating things.

I suppose the obvious next question is "why". That one, I'm actually not quite as sure about. I suppose it's because I want to create something that will never die.

"But wait," I hear you saying, "how can an act of pure imagination last forever?" Well, that's an interesting question - I think the answer is because it doesn't have a choice. See, if I went into algorithm design or mathematics, I might do something really spectacular. I know a few people talking about the Garland-Heckbert algorithm. Floyd's and Dijkstra's are far more famous. Andrew Wiles might not be a household name, but in the world of mathematics, it's as close as you can get.

But wait. Floyd's isn't really all that impressive. Dijkstra's is nearly trivial - it doesn't make anyone say "Wow, that Dijkstra guy was really something". Garland-Heckbert is more impressive, but it's also a lot more specific - if someone comes up with a better algorithm next year, Garland-Heckbert will vanish into obscurity. Andrew Wiles has probably secured a place for himself rather concretely, but here's the next question - what have they actually accomplished?

And this touches upon a very nasty question which I'm not even going to attempt to answer for everyone, which is the whole Purpose of Life thing. As far as I'm concerned, the purpose of life is to have fun. (Yeah, people are going to argue with me on this one. Quick rebuttals: (1) fun at other people's expense is a Bad Thing. (2) Yes, I could spend my entire life doing drugs - I would find this dull. (3) not everyone thinks being a slacker is fun. I'm one of those people.) Therefore, I want to do what I enjoy, and even more important, I want other people to enjoy what I do. And, see, I *can*. People like games. People play them and enjoy them. People talk about them.

If I can make a game that stays on the "best games of all time" lists, that will be the best success for my life that I could possibly imagine, because it means that my life has been worth something. I've built something that other people like.

And that can't ever be taken away from me - because even once the game's forgotten (if it ever is), the effects of the game's existence won't have vanished - it will *still* have made people happy.

So that's my goal in life, and please don't insult me by telling me that it's unimportant.

And if you'd realize that I'm not just interested in computers, that would be even better.