In a world with a gazillion indie devs and a bazillion games, there is something of the question of "why?" (or rather "are you mad?!") And in moments of doubt, when things aren't going well and I haven't enough money to keep going, let alone fund some artist talent or get some business support, and I haven't enough public support yet to Kickstart or Greenlight, it's a question I ask myself. The answer is always the same - "because I have to."
A year ago, a teenage girl I knew very well took an overdose. I had known her since she was about six, having worked with her in school, and I had watched over the years, and listened, as events piled up and people's attitudes pressured her to this action. I had known her as a brilliant, fun, enthusiastic little girl. A girl who went out of her way for others, whom treated her poorly in return. And I watched her slowly been pulled down to this breaking point.
Thankfully she lived, and has just got her successful GCSE results and with help has turned things around. But she's not alone, and it's not anything confined to schools either. People are bullied, and pressured, all over the shop, without respect, or just overlooked, under-appreciated or taken for granted - generally being treated in a way that isn't nice. But hey?! People are good, and capable of amazing acts of kindness and humanity. What's going on?? It's literally just culture and the pressures of every day living that gets people acting in really crappy ways, and the crap spreads around like a contagion. Bosses dump on workers who dump on family who dump on classmates. Take those same people and put them in a different culture and they'll lose they're crappy attitudes.
Well, wholesale relocation to (non-existent) Utopias isn't a realistic option, but changing people's attitudes is. Fashion, attitudes, and culture are constantly changing with the tides of cultural movements. All we really need is a "Be Nice" social movement. The best I can contribute to that, other than being nice, is to try to provide an impetus. And what better way than playing together?
Games are awesome in their capacity to entertain, educate, and bring people together. Pokémon Go is the latest epic example, but maybe some of you remember the original Gauntlet arcade that brought four strangers together in cooperative play? And I learnt much history from Age of Empires! They can also encourage, create and/or reinforce patterns of related behaviour. So it is that I've set about creating Adventures, a game people can play together as friends or families that generates a persistent positive microculture. Mums and Dads can join in their children's mobile gaming. Students can take a lunch's downtime advancing their adventurers. And everyone can put the game down and carry on with some of the positive attitude momentum, unexpectedly being more complimentary and proactively supportive.
That's what I'm wanting to do here. And with the late-night weather cooled down and the room invaded by bugs, it's time to sign off. ;)