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tech tantra thursday
   - behind the cosmic curtain with Bill Eberle

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Steve JobsSteve's 3 Stories and the Game of Inventing Games


Steve Job's Commencement Speech at Stanford in 2005 and the three stories he told are worth preserving and remembering. When I heard that speech on the radio today, and yesterday and today as I learned some things I never knew about who Steve Jobs really was, I was deeply impressed first by his humanity, and by the generosity his three stories revealed, by how wonderful the stories he wanted to tell that day were, and by how wonderful his belief is, his belief in what we all really are.

You've probably heard and seen a lot about Steve Jobs today and have probably also heard all or parts of Steve's speech at Stanford by now, but if you haven't, or if you want an easy placeholder to come back to, Steve's picture is a link to that commencement address.

Cosmic Encounter® exists because of three young people, long long ago, who, like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were first, well kind of crazy and possessed with an idea; for us it was the idea of creating a game that was different than any game that had ever existed before and different than any game that would ever exist after.

We loved doing what we were doing. We did what we had to do to make a living and survive and we spent an amazing amount of our “free” time creating games that were more fun to play than any games we had ever played before. And we did that because . . . well, truthfully because we wanted to play these games and the only way to do that was to invent them ourselves. And also, because the best game we knew, the most fun game we could play, was the game of inventing games.

Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge and Peter OlotkaIt wasn't easy; it was hard. That was what made it fun!. We argued, we threw things out that were the favorite idea of one of us, Peter's what if  idea, or Jack's instinct about what was needed, or my fantastic  idea, and sometimes we put things back in when the idea's champion reinvented it to make it work. And sometimes we didn't.

And it took time. We had to do everything over and over again. Changing things, removing things, rearranging things until it started to work. And then keep doing it until it worked perfectly. Imagine, trying to get a game that was different every time you played it to “play right” - to faithfully follow some hidden rules about what made a game feel right, rules we all had in our heads and hearts (different rules for each of us of course), every time we played it.

What made Cosmic Encounter great was three guys who were faithful to each other's visions; we got it all in. The most important parts of each of us got into our best games. And the games were much bigger and much better because we took the time to help each other get the best of all we had in our brains and our hearts into the game.

(continued . . . )


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