Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day 2006


Every year I paint a valentine card and share it with as many folks as possible. Pass it around. I love this holiday, despite the commercial nature, the insane pressure to purchase the perfect set of truffles, and the long lonely night that awaits too many.

It occurred to me that none of this really matters. February 14th is a day that is a simple excuse to do something nice for someone else with no thought for yourself. Everyone has a small talent that is worth sharing...everyone has the chance to bring a smile to another person's day.

Such sentiments may seem cheesy as all heck. And they are. There is honestly nothing worse than living your life without a bit of good natured silliness. So load yourself to the gills on candy hearts and dark Belgian chocolate and unleash the love. Bake someone a cake, Pedro-style. Send flowers to your mailman and compliment him on his shorts. Dance at work. I guarantee that someone will crack a grin. Even if it isn't a strip-o-gram.

Of all the holidays, I humbly submit that Valentine's Day is the holiday that best matches the heart of game design. It turns out, you see...that your job is to create the world's best valentine. Game developers are in the fundamental business of bringing joyous pleasure to others.

The best games, many of which are admittedly not yet written, celebrate relationships, joy and giving. We aren't there quite yet, but if the marriages on WoW and the deliciously lost Mario Kart races with our significant others are any indication, we are on the right path.

You know, I am just dying for one of those diabetically huge sugar cookies smothered in thick, pink frosting. With sprinkles...can't forget the rainbow sprinkles.
Danc, Game Cupid

9 comments:

  1. Awesome. And so right.

    People forget that we are meant to bring happiness and joy to our players.

    Uplifting!

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  2. Very great and cute picture!
    The boy swinging down from the tree is so sweet

    Happy Valentines Day, Dan!
    You certainly bring a bit of light during dark times.

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  3. I really like the picture Danc.

    I'd go :)

    Colm Mac

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  4. Well said! It is a great holiday. My fiancée and I just had an amazing day, and we didn't spend a cent on truffles or gift-cards. You're right, it's just a reason to spend the extra effort and be extra nice.

    Thinking about games as giant valentines is also a heartwarming thought. Cheers.

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  5. "People forget that we are meant to bring happiness and joy to our players."

    Are we?
    Where is this Big Book of Meants?

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  6. "I humbly submit that Valentine's Day is the holiday that best matches the heart of game design"

    It seems you had the same thought as one of our gamers! - We had a fan create a special Valentines Day themed track in our game PSP game GripShift, which allows you to build your own custom tracks in an editor.

    He crafted the word "Love" out of track pieces, with mini love hearts at each end. The letters cascaded downwards, so you literally had to 'fall in love' to complete the track. It was quite touching, and we hope he shared it via Wifi with his special someone! :D

    If you want to check it out, we posted it to our game site here -

    http://www.gripshiftgame.com/falling_in_love.php

    Nice post once again Danc :D

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  7. Hey Danc! Happy Valentine's Day. I wrote this poem for this year's Valentine's Day... (you know me and my whacked out poetry...)

    Here goes... :)

    The Creature
    By Raymond Bingham

    With fire and ice, it chills and burns,
    And satyrs dance on Grecian urns
    It leaves alive the curious notion
    That with one draft of spurious potion
    The mind and will are fast supplanted
    And all desire cries, “Wish be granted!”
    Perpetuating the idea,
    Once it hits, you can’t think clear.
    Though mostly it will end with tears,
    This vicious creature: love.

    But truest, purest doth endure
    Through life or death, and rich or poor.
    It looks beyond the blackest curtain
    And raises chins sunken for certain.
    Even the cynic or heretic
    Rises from duty left derelict.
    Joining one on whom he once did spit
    And pledges til death, he will commit.
    His surrender, he may ne’er admit
    The crafty creature: love.

    Children’s image, its truest form,
    Transcends oneself to save from harm.
    Binding, Driving, it makes us whole,
    Mending the pieces of broken souls.
    Far too young to understand fully,
    In the lone shadows, looms a bully.
    So with known scripture imbued with sparks,
    They teach their youth to swim with sharks,
    Hoping, praying it won’t leave marks
    The hunted creature: love.

    And when she kneels by a stone cross
    And places wilting, her grief and loss
    Torn and tattered and stained with age
    The image of her wedding page,
    A grin will lift away her wrinkles
    The maiden’s eye, again she twinkles
    His ghost returns though preposterous.
    She dances, part of a lost circus,
    Taking with her what is best in us.
    The sacred creature: love.


    I agree with you, Danc, it's a great holiday, and you painted a nice painting (a bit too yellow, though... there's something uncomfortable about the palette, kinda saps the tenderness of the image...)

    --Ray

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  8. you inspire me. whoever wrote that poem about The Creature; love. i loved it. raymond. your very good. i love to write aswell. i write short stories. my dream is to have my story published. well...bye. great poem again. blessings.

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