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Be Different, Be Daring, Be Bold

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On a whim, I picked up a copy of the recent edition of the Atlantic while in a long-forgotten airport terminal. The cover provoked me by implying that Facebook was making us lonely. Always looking for things that challenge my thinking, I gladly dove into the magazine. Surprisingly, the article that really resonated with me the most in the mag was a profile of Jonathan Blow, titled “The Most Dangerous Gamer.” Blow is wicked smart and he’s kind of a smartass. Both are qualities that I appreciate. The profile is exceptionally captivating. However, the last paragraph connected with my head and heart like an underwater sonic boom. Chills and moist eyes. Resonance.

Which, in a sense, is just what he is—a spiritual seeker, questing after truth in an as-yet-uncharted realm. These are the terms in which he sees his art. “People like us who are doing something a little different from the mainstream have each picked one direction that we strike out in into the desert, but we’re still not very far from camp,” he told me. “There’s just a huge amount of territory to explore out there—and until you have a map of that, nobody can say what games can do.”

I recently gave a talk on “Influencing Student Affairs By Quitting My Job” at the 140cuse conference. I hope that what I am doing, what I have done, is different. I’ve picked a direction and I’ve struck out on a journey that has no simplistic rulebook.

Jonathan Blow does what he does because it feels right. He sees things differently and then acts upon that vision. Pretty inspirational stuff. Think about it.

Written by Eric Stoller

April 27th, 2012 at 1:59 pm