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Stop being ashamed of creative play

Dave Ex Machina - A Thousand Points of Articulation � If You’re Bored Then You’re Boring

“I was bored so I made this.”

I see this a lot on Flickr or YouTube or blog entries talking about some creative project such as a short video, a drawing, some bit of photoshoppery, or the like. I hate it because it’s the equivalent of “too much free time”, only applied against one’s own self to deflect criticism. It’s a way to ask your audience to forgive this creative effort of yours if they dislike it; the only reason you did it was because you were bored.

But of course the creator wasn’t bored. He or she was playing with Photoshop or Legos or a webcam or whatever, indulging in creative play. And if this thing that was created was such a wasted effort, a mere doodle or so, then why put it on the internet for others to see? Because you’re proud of it. Or at least pleased with it. Or maybe you’d like some feedback on it. Say so. You’ve done something creative; show it off! Don’t shoot yourself in the foot and go, “I’m sorry, this suck, but forgive me; I was bored.” When I see that whole “I was bored” thing it instantly removes any amount of being impressed that I had before I saw that.

You’re not bored and you don’t have too much free time. You’re using the free time you have in a perfectly honorable way: trying to create something. Quit being ashamed of that.

March 29, 2008

Kingdom of Loathing: This is why I love it.

The Kingdom of Loathing - Poormojo

KoL is a free, browser-based MMO that is known for it's humor and art. Here's an example of one of the ecnounters:

As you plant your sapling, you see a cute little bunny rabbit hopping through the forest nearby. As you watch, it scoops up a field mouse and bops it on the head.

"Hey, bunny!" you say. "I don't want to see you scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head!"

The bunny glares at you, nose twitching. "Well, I suppose you know all about the long and bloody history of the war between the rabbits and the field mice," it says, rolling its eyes. "I guess you're just the absolute moral authority on rabbit/field mice relations! These field mice killed my entire family, and they didn't do it quickly. The things I've seen... I'll be damned if I'm going to let some human tell me not to bop them on the head!

"Ah, sorry," you say. "In that case, let me help you." You spend a couple of minutes scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head. It's surprisingly satisfying.

March 27, 2008

Beeps and boops - a tracker for the 8088 IBM PC

Why write a music program for the internal speaker when...