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The land of opportunities

It turns out that writing an article on a plane, isn’t very different from writing elsewhere. Sitting in front of my desk on my second workday, returned from a vacation as a celebration for life and my first year in the Game Industry. I was reading a mail from Anthony, who let me know our project Radio Unknown was selected for the ALT.CTRL.GDC @ GDC 2015. The project was made for the Zoo Machines Festival, a gamejam with a twist organised yearly in Lille, France. It’s a Game Jam close to my heart as many beautiful things happened for me on the 2012 edition. That its influence on me, would work once again, was however a very happy surprise. As if I didn’t owe Marc Lavigne already enough, for all that has happened because of my first participation in his gamejam back in the days.

The USA and especially Silicon Valley, was always like a heaven on earth in my imaginative mind. A place reserved for Gods separated by borders and oceans, from mortals like me. I must admit, it feels not just great to finally be able to see it with my own eyes, but also weird. The sudden shock or surprise is still fading out. Transfer in Brussels was over in a blink, just enough time to hear people speak in my mother tongue, giving me a smile of recognition. I was going through the movie list, sitting comfortable in the iron bird with New York as its promised destination. First I watched Bucket List, afterwards I tuned in on The First Grader. It gave me moments of happiness and inspiration. It also made me cry, slow and a little more fast paced. Crying doesn’t come easy for me, especially not during very personal events. Digital Media however, triggers it now and then. The previous times I remember, happened while watching the documentary “Indie Game the Movie”. Emotional triggers aren’t just very relieving, they also give inspirational dust.

As a human collective, we’re great in dealing with changes. We get used to things quickly, which is good in some situations, but often undesirable. As an entity in this global society. It is our duty to remind each other of this, constantly. Be it family, a person you grew up with or an entity you got very attached too. Don’t forget about the girl you sit next too. or the man sitting with his dog on the steps of a church. They also can remind you and vice versa and are part of the crazy space in constant chaos, we like to label as a society. Talking has the power to turn shadows into stories and even friends. It’s a beautiful experience. It’s something I need to start doing way more regular. Today, not tomorrow.

Opportunities are everywhere, as visible as you want them to be. I like to think of myself as someone who grabs these as quick as I can spot them. Water can be found everywhere, even in the dessert. Admittedly, I am a very flawed human being. I make as much mistakes as I try to fix, thinking of how to do better and reflecting on the past. I read, learn, grow and code every day. I wasn’t always like this. Times brought changes with serious impact. Where joy brings smiles, tears are often because of Good Bye’s. It’s certainly easier to monitor the progression, how it all has changed, instead of gazing into the past. Respect for my teachers in secondary school, having had to deal with the lost teenager that I was.

I feel often lucky and happy for many things in my life. Running without heavy breathing. Not having to mule extra weight with each action I take. The fact that I think, and therefore I am. And the biggest source of what I just mentioned and more, is that I am born in Belgium. Better is possible, but more likely is worse. The fact that going to school from the age of 4 until the age of 18, is normal. The ability to play around and enjoy a youth in a safe environment. In a place where being born sick, doesn’t mean your life cannot begin. We get used to things all th time. And it is up to all of us, to be a pillar for the ones around us.

My plane enters the USA, meaning New York is very close. I came from far, but have a challenge of a lifetime ahead of me. I wrote in a previous article that Open Source is important for me. It’s what allows me to help improve our world, one microscopic diff at a time. I can’t predict the future, but I certainly strive to make it a much bigger part of my life, rather then something I do on the side. Time will tell, unless it stops.

The ball is rolling. The conference starts in 2 days, the expo a couple of days later. I will land tonight and start my 10 day San Francisco Journey with a friend, who was once a shadow. Siked and nervous of what will happen and what not. What will be learned and what threads will start, and be the fire of progression for a much longer time. Who will I meet, and what will I see. One thing is certain, the journey will end with the CodeCombat crew, whom I’ll finally meet in person. Much quicker then expected.

See you all on the other side, see you at #GDC2015!

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