I still can’t believe it. You Have To Burn The Rope is nominated for IGF’s Innovation Award! I thought I had a fair chance of making it in the browser game-category, but the Innovation Award, that’s crazy! (What happened to the browser game-category, anyway?) I’m so proud I’m about to burst. Mostly I’m just happy I get to go to the IGF, I’m going to meet all of my heroes! (Some of them I’m even competing against! Jason Rohrer! Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn!)
Congratulations to all the other finalists! I’m looking forward to beer-ing (I just made that word up) with you.
YHTBTR has taken me (and Henrik) to fantastic places. Hugh MacLeod, author of the inspiring Gapingvoid : How To Be Creative, writes “The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours” . It is uncanny how much this resembles how YHTBTR was made and the thoughts that went through my head at that time;
We all spend a lot of time being impressed by folk we’ve never met. Somebody featured in the media who’s got a big company, a big product, a big movie, a big bestseller. Whatever.
And we spend even more time trying unsuccessfully to keep up with them. Trying to start up our own companies, our own products, our own film projects, books and whatnot.
I’m as guilty as anyone. I tried lots of different things over the years, trying desperately to pry my career out of the jaws of mediocrity. Some to do with business, some to do with art etc.
One evening, after one false start too many, I just gave up. Sitting at a bar, feeling a bit burned out by work and life in general, I just started drawing on the back of business cards for no reason. I didn’t really need a reason. I just did it because it was there, because it amused me in a kind of random, arbitrary way.
Of course it was stupid. Of course it was uncommercial. Of course it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Of course it was a complete and utter waste of time. But in retrospect, it was this built-in futility that gave it its edge. Because it was the exact opposite of all the “Big Plans” my peers and I were used to making. It was so liberating not to have to be thinking about all that, for a change.
It was so liberating to be doing something that didn’t have to impress anybody, for a change.
It was so liberating to be doing something that didn’t have to have some sort of commercial angle, for a change.
It was so liberating to have something that belonged just to me and no one else, for a change.
It was so liberating to feel complete sovereignty, for a change. To feel complete freedom, for a change.
And of course, it was then, and only then, that the outside world started paying attention.