You may all think I am evangelizing the mighty gospel of gaming, but that is not true.
What I am promoting is relevance.
My brother-in-law works for Blizzard games. He has been working 60-90 hour weeks for months on end. He is extremely talented and intelligent, like all of the Love brothers. He sent this e-mail about his work on Diablo III yesterday afternoon:
The above link has some breakdown videos of various player skills in Diablo III. We just released this info to the public today. I did all of the special FX for these, except for the baseline whirlwind and some of the Cluster Arrow variations. Some of these things, such as the Monk’s Sweeping Wind variations, require a entire week to create. So, now you can see where all those long hours have been going.
Here is an e-mail I sent to my brother-in-law in response:
B-I-L: – shared this with some of my students this morning, and talked about the relevance of learning math, science, language arts especially – and how they connect. Between the understanding of complex mathematical systems, and science systems, like flocking, physics, etc. and the dialogue and text of Language Arts, they need to know these entertaining and engaging games don’t just come out of “nowhere” but come from months of blood, sweat, tears, and mainly: intelligent talent.
The real challenge of an 8th grade teacher is making sure they begin to connect the relevance of their education with their connected and engaged futures. They are going into 9th grade where things start to ‘count,’ and if there is undiscovered talent or drive, oftentimes it gets lost in the mystification of “how is this going to help me?” They are constantly looking for the cost/benefit analysis and finding a vacuum instead.
And, they all thought it was COOL! Me, too! Can’t wait.
PS Someday it would be wonderful if you could come and speak at my school.
Just a mental note-to-self that was motivates us is not necessarily not doing any work at all, but doing work that feels important and relevant. Many times this year, perhaps, that’s what I felt: that what I was doing wasn’t making a difference, wasn’t relevant, or impactful. My motivation, my drive, in the past was signified by being a rock star of curriculum planning, creative lessons, etc. I need to get back to those roots, the big, burning questions of our lives we want answered.
My team and I are looking forward to next year so much. There is a renewed excitement that feels genuinely needed and warranted. Hope the blood, sweat, and tears of my own profession leaves me just as satisfied and proud.