We Have Nothing to Contribute (#GGJ17 Address)

I originally delivered this address to the North Hollywood Global Game Jam site on January 20th, 2017, coincidentally, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States. I forgot to publish it, but here were my thoughts at the time. 

Hello, and welcome to the North Hollywood Global Game Jam.

You are amongst a cohort of hundreds of thousands across the world, who, over the course if this weekend, will bring a record number of digital, analog, and physical games to life. You should be proud of that. Games are ancient, and play’s influence spreads across history through our primal roots. In making games today, you’re practicing a potent, ancient magic with the power to touch and change hearts, and I think it’s pretty exciting to get the chance be part of something so vast.

This is my sixth Global Game Jam, and to me, the Global Game Jam has always stood out as a celebration of creativity, community, and collaboration, the very best aspects of the game-making community. I look forward to celebrating those values with you this weekend.

It goes without saying that there are things out there that should not be celebrated, injustices like xenophobia, discrimination, intolerance, territorialism. Unfortunately, that’s our world today, and we can’t deny what’s clear and present in front of us. We all have our brief time to affect the world around us, and it is baffling that there are folks who are using those precious moments to celebrate the toxic values Donald Trump and his base embodies.

But we, here, won’t be part of that. We have nothing to contribute to a stark mountain of cruelty and pain. We can practice that potent, ancient magic of playcrafting for good, and take responsibility as creators. Even if we are privileged by the security to not be marching the streets tonight, we can still take action with our practice. We can make games that uplift, empower, and inspire. We can shine a light and give those around us something genuine to celebrate.

What will you give to the world this weekend?


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