(last edited on April 29, 2014 at 1:28 am)
A couple nights ago I was talking to buddy Steve, someone who I hadn’t talked to in years. We had worked on a shareware game together for the Apple IIGS called Dueltris in the early 90s, and we also worked together at a game company in Florida for about a year. It was interesting to catch up with him, and share some of the insights we’d both had regarding teams, management, and leadership. One of the funnier ones that sticks out is “Golf is a great sport. You can drink beer with your buddies and walk around the course until you’re 90.”
We talked until 3 in the morning. The combination of meaningful conversation plus a few back-to-back episodes of Battlestar Galactica lead to a dreamless, no-nonsense slumber. I closed my eyes, and a few hours later I opened them with a sense of clarity I hadn’t felt in a while.
First of all, it occured to me that I’m entering a new personal phase, one that’s actually kind of exciting. Here’s the rough timeline:
- 1992–1999 Video Game Development is my Life and my Passion. So I think.
2000–2003 Ok, my passion isn’t apparently video games…drifting. I shift to new media / interactive design. Start working with friend from college, life is good and filled with possibility.
2003–2004 Friend dies from cancer. Back to drifting. Switch to new media development, less design. Also realize that I’ve been something of a prick from 2000 onward, and don’t like what I’ve started to become: all business, no passion, fed up with incompetence and just angry.
2005 I relax. I blog. I even allow myself to be goofy, supportive, and nurturing. I go with the flow. I don’t force agendas. I discover, to my great surprise, that I really adore people. Many things clarify, internally, as to what is important to the “inner me”.
2006 I wake up on Tuesday, March 22nd, and realize that it is time to re-integrate some of the 2000-era Dave into the newly-relaxed 2006 model. This time, I think I can balance the drive, passion, and appreciation for people.
p>Whereas 2005 was a year where I pretty much accepted things as they came to me, 2006 is shaping up to be a year where I’m more desirous of impressing my will on circumstance. I know, that sounds kind of bad, but I don’t think it is. It just means that I am giving myself permission to want changes and that working to achieve them is OK. I’m also sure that is a “duh” thing to say to some people, but I’m working against two things in my past: The “don’t be too cocky” Asian upbringing, despite me being largely “whitewashed”, and that period of time in 2000 where I rebelled against it and became something of an asshole. I have been atoning for the latter for years. But this Wednesday morning, I awoke knowing I was done with that.
What does it mean? I’m not sure, but I can tell you what it feels like: I have just finished playing a 38-year long game of chess. I started out in fear, but by the end I learned to love and respect my opponent. I didn’t exactly lose, though I was on the defensive for most of the game, until I realized I could affect the flow and movement of the game as well. By the end, I manage a draw. We’ve cleared the board, refreshed ourselves with drinks and snackage, and we’re setting up again. This time I am going to play for the sheer fun of it. I’m going to enjoy the company of my opponent. And I’m not going to feel embarassed by it.
It’s interesting that my melodramatic posturing above is triggering all kinds of internal alarm bells. I hear my Mom’s voice saying something like, “Don’t be so brazen.” Or is it a fear that I’m not going to live up to my declared expectations in the second game? It’s a bit of both, I know…so the thing to do is to suck it up and just post this.