"Tinker, Tenor, Gamer, Nurse."
The phrase "good enough" means something different for each person - and for each situation.
In some cases, it means that something is up to the standards that everyone else takes for granted. In some cases, it means that one is tired of tinkering with something, and just wants it done and over with. And in some cases, it means that it meets the creator's vision of perfection, that it is far above anything that has yet been done, and can no longer be improved.
It is often said that aiming for the last is something that will lead only to tears, and lead to projects never being done. We've all heard horror stories of the artist who kept editing and editing and then finally destroyed their pieces in despair.
But there is something that is lost in settling for the common standard of "good enough."
Imagination. Pride. Ownership.
Which is why I don't settle, when I have other options. I am, by nature and by trade, a designer - someone who sees what could be, how things could be laid out for ease of use and interaction, how stories can come together with gameplay and graphics for something beautiful, how fragile moments can be encapsulated in something timeless, how systems can be reshaped to maximize individual satisfaction and engagement.
I've studied and plied my craft for many years now, as a scholar and avid consumer of multimedia, a student of nursing and healthcare, and a citizen of several cities and several worlds. I've lived in Los Angeles, with its rich history of Hollywood - media, film, television and more. In Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, which has had a history of grassroots initiatives promoting the social good (if also the lowest per-capita number of professional game developers of any city its size). In San Francisco, which all the world knows for being a hotbed of technology and tech startups.
Even the vast worlds of Second Life, Arborea, Tyria, Thedas, Middle Earth and Agartha.
Having studied at the intersection of psychology, game play, and healthcare - and as an avid player of games myself - I've been witness to the remarkable way in which games have changed and evolved over time, as well as how virtual worlds can strongly affect those of us in the physical world. As experiential media, they shape us as we shape them, no matter that they are creations of bits and bytes and pixels, and we of atoms, molecules, and subatomic wave-packets of energy.
And I think there is a power in that shaping - in the messages we send through games, the way we craft games, the way we ask people to join and contribute and play. Play is, after all, the best way to learn - any child knows that much.
At the University of Southern California, I studied theatre, and how worlds of imagination could come to life on stage, as well as multimedia - allowing me to take those arts and build imagination into more than a few hours of reality.
At the University of Pennsylvania, I studied nursing and healthcare to better understand the mindset of the healthcare professional - and to study the many crossovers with games, health, and the public good (which really wasn't such a change from what I've done in the past in my work for USC, the MacArthur Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and any number of others).
And now at AFK Studios, I am taking what I've learned and putting into action.
For I like to think that I - and many others - are citizens of many worlds, and that as citizens we have responsibilities to those worlds.
The world of flesh where physics holds sway, the world of silence where only imagination matters, and the infinite ocean of worlds of dream. For we are the playthings of our memories, with our experiences interpreted and emulated by a maybe 1.5 kilogram biocomputer, playing the "serious" game of life for keeps.
It is my aim to change conversations, rewrite shoddy dialogue, and create experiences that touch lives and make the world a better place through the power of games and those who play them.
I can be reached at:
Second Life: Saliant Infinity (or Salient Infinity)