Making games in wartime

I had a really hard time working today. I was thinking about El Paso and guns - racism and immigration - politics and power.

I was thinking about what it means to create play when the world is on fire and the country is at war.

I was asking, “What the fuck is the point of this work in the face of white nationalism?”

For me, it’s easy to escape into playing games. When I was stressed growing up, I would retreat to the basement and turn on the Genesis or N64 or PlayStation and tune out the world for a bit. I still do that with my phone or Switch, and this kind of play has its place.

But lately, I’m trying to escape less. I’m trying to stay, and work through, and work towards.

I believe games and other tech can play a supportive role in our work to stay. Standing up takes strength, and trees need soil to stay rooted.

If you’re dedicated to working towards ending violence (whether environmental, internal, racial or otherwise), you need support. And I know when I’m spending all my energy tending to my own fires with money or health or various daily mishegas, I don’t have much left to put towards the good of the world.

I think every app that saves folks just a little bit of energy, that gives them even a taste of freedom, allows them to further work towards the good of others if they’re so inclined. When you’re helping people resolve their money stress or negative self talk or just letting them laugh and recharge for 90 seconds, you give them that much more freedom for the rest of the world.

May we all taste that freedom. May we all take action in service of what we believe in.

-Sam