The Road Not Taken

I probably spoke earlier in the year about my various disappointments regarding WWDC 2013. I applied for a scholarship and I did not win.

Someone I met somewhere I can’t remember who talks to me on Twitter told me about another conference happening at the same time, GLS 2013. GLS stands for Games Learning Society. It is an interdisciplinary group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is made up of tech people and education majors who are trying to create a learning experience through games

This conference opened my eyes to a multitude of things I had never considered. They showed me tools that others had developed with the express purpose of teaching children how to code by creating their own games.

This spoke to two things that I hold very dear: Gaming and using games to learn.

I grew up playing “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” and “Oregon Trail”. I never had a video game console or any of the “fun” games my peers had growing up, but I had games. I loved games.

I can only learn is something is interesting to me. I am very compelled by story. The only reason I know anything about astronomy is because of the vast multitude of celestial object that are named for mythological characters.

For me, the GLS conference was a life-changing experience. It really focused my attitude towards not just becoming a developer, but becoming a game developer.

I wonder how different things would have been had I gone to WWDC.

There was some focus on gaming at WWDC, but the vast majority was focused on grand-master programming. They focus on people who want to scale a code version of Mt. Everest.

I go back and forth. Sometimes I really want to be an elite-grand master programmer who scales Everest because it is there. Other time, I just really want to share my thoughts and ideas with the world and create nice tools that other people can use.

I am beginning my last full semester of school for programming. I am on a track that I hope to continue to take. Right now I am kind of taking inventory of where I am, where I want to be, and who I am right now.

I had a very turbulent summer that I intend to write about at some point. It is still hard for me to talk about, so I hope that if you read my blog you will be patient with my lack of responsiveness over the summer.

I am planning to write here more regularly. I have been advised to keep a public blog of my projects for my development class and this one is already established. Stay tuned for the next few months. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!