I think working for an insurance firm has stuck with me more than I think (even if I STILL can’t reliably spell insurance on my first attempt) and certain business speak has lingered in my vocabulary longer than I’d care to admit. It’s with this that I have decided that I have a mission statement. I’m just glad I didn’t come up with a set of core values.
The Chaotic Tortoise Mission Statement is from hence forth this: To promote computer games and general geekery that others will enjoy but may not know about.
I have long held the believe that gaming appeals to way more people than are involved in it. In fact, Nintendo pretty much proved this with the Wii which was marketed to non-gamers in the way that Apple’s first iPod was marketed to people who didn’t know what an mp3 was. The only thing that prevents people from being interested in games is knowledge.
People see Call of Duty being advertised, or some of the atrocities that EA pulls out of their marketing department (cf. Dante’s Inferno, Deadspace 2) and people must think “that’s not for me”. People hear about the controversy of sex in Mass Effect (a hilarious piece of hysteria for anyone in on the joke) or the fact that you can murder prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto and think “that’s not for me and probably shouldn’t be for anyone.” We’ll ignore the fact that an 18 certificate sits on GTA and the sex in Mass Effect is far less graphic than anything found in the most timid of James Bond films (yet with more meaning and emotional maturity at the same time) and let people perhaps have that perception. It’s not unfair. If you hear it in these terms, it does sound abhorrent.
What most people don’t realise (and this includes a lot of those that do play games on a regular basis) is the sheer diversity and depth of the medium. There are so many games of so many varieties now that it is impossible to write them all off. It would be like writing off film as a medium because of the existence of pornography or the Star Wars prequels.
To get a glimpse of what I mean by the sheer depth and variety of games that are out there, have a look at this video by the guys at Extra Credits which lists several interesting and not necessarily mainstream games just since 2008 and is by no means an exhaustive list.
There are a lot of artists / academics / heroes out there who do this promotion a lot better than I will ever be able to and they are inspirational. The guys who make Extra Credits for example are amazing at this and engage in the medium in an academic, enlightening and equally entertaining manner. If you are for whatever reason not convinced by anything I’m saying here, go and have a look at one of their videos. It probably doesn’t matter which one, they are all of a similar quality and they’re only around the five minute mark, so it won’t take you long to get the gist.
It goes without saying that I love computer games. I always have, and to the dismay of my parents who probably thought I was going to grow out of them at some point, I always will. I am by no means trying to justify this love, I am trying to share it. Whenever I find something interesting, the first thing I want to do is share it with all the people that matter to me. With something as amazing as this medium, quite frankly, the world needs to know.
Our core values that we had at my old office were “Dynamic, Proactive, Committed, Focussed.” It always made me think that you can’t really be all four at once. To be dynamic and proactive, on some fundamental level you have to abandon being committed and focussed. I also think that I think too much about these things.
I can’t seem to write a single blog post without making some reference to Star Wars. This is becoming a problem. It’s undermining my writing, my message and my credibility. I may need to exercise these demons sooner rather than later.