Chris Crawford, whose lifelong dream has been to master the creation of interactive storytelling, turned 60 in late June. He moved the final red bead, the ones marking each day of his sixth decade, to the jar on the left.
In a sobering late June post I saw yesterday as it wound its way through Twitter, Crawford explained the weight and gloom of that birthday. It is a birthday that triggered life assessment. He had not perfected the Storytron, his dream project for making stories in video games feel truly interactive. In fact, he had abandoned it.
In his birthday post, he wrote:
...[W]hen my sixtieth birthday struck, I found myself bereft of achievement in my most important undertaking. I have always felt a calm self-assurance that I am right, that I have developed ideas that would surely conquer the world if I only gave the world enough time to recognize them. My sixtieth birthday shouted loudly that my ideas had most definitely failed to conquer the world. It certainly looks as if I am a washed-up failure. I don't really believe that — I still believe that I've hit upon a solid approach to interactive storytelling and that someday the world will appreciate my work. But with each passing day the evidence of my failure mounts.
Crawford ends his post inspired to try once more. His entire post is moving and a welcome warning to those of us who have not yet reached our seventh decade. Brace yourself. Read his words, linked below. Use them for good.