01 June 2009

I'm wrong. There, I said it.

I’m a big fan of pretension. It means “an aspiration or intention that may or may not reach fulfillment.” It doesn’t mean failing upward. It means trying to exceed your grasp. Which is how things grow.
-- Warren Ellis
Hearing / reading someone I admire so much say this, realizing it's true, and looking back on my own usage of the word... it makes me feel like a complete ass, really.
I always used "pretentious" as a blatant insult, as a descriptor for overly intellectual blowhards and theor vacuous discourses. I still think that those people are a gargantuan waste of space and Hampshire's educational time, but I'm not going to describe them with that word anymore. That word, pretentious... it describes what I am, actually. I'm trying to exceed the grasp I have on narrative, on characters, on the making of the story. When I set out to become a game designer, I KNEW it was above me, then. It still is, now. I'm not too much closer than when I started, but I am closer, and that's the part I hold to be important. It's a struggle, learning all this intellectual information, all this psychological research, trying to ferret out what it's telling me. It's tough to play a game and always be asking- What makes this fun? What makes me keep playing? It takes the fun out of it, for sure. It's also much harder than saying what sucks about it- complaining, finding fault, that's a sucker's game. Anyone can play. But when the creator says "Ok, so it sucks. Can you do better?" the complainers sort of shake their heads, sidle away, look uncomfortable. I want to be able to say "Yeah, yeah I can. Watch." and then DO IT.

To everyone who asked me when I was little "what do you want to do when you grow up?"
It's that. That's what I want to spend my life with- Making progressively more awesome things.