Jim Munroe @ EDA Feb. 26

While each individual piece of Jim Munroe’s talk was interesting in it’s own regard, I was most moved by his text based games, sense of collaboration, and more specifically, his view of how individual work in the context of collaboration leads to a lifelong pursuit of increasing quality.

Text based games have one of the most unique ranges of possibilities in terms of their storytelling ability. Where graphics and game boards fall short, the mind does not. Text has the ability to easily morph into any sort of world that the writer imagines, giving the game designer full reign over any kind of characters, mechanics, or settings that he/she might want. The player can feel the true intentions of the designer – whereas in a console game the original intentions are often bogged down by company politics, time constraints, and monetary issues. This capability fascinates me, and I loved hearing about how Munroe incorporated graphic elements to his game to involve his player in a unique way that still captured the advantages of text based gameplay.

Aside from his specific projects, I was intrigued by Munroe’s theory of how completing projects individually can lead to collaboration in the future. I have always discouraged myself from completing large scale individual projects due to inexperience in a specific aspect of production. I love the idea of completing projects individually both as a way to teach yourself new techniques you might be unfamiliar with but also as a way to promote the parts of your work that you do well. This way, people that might be more in tune with the types of things you aren’t can work on your next project, until you have effectively created a team that complements each other beautifully and has the capability of creating hugely successful work.

Jim Munroe has a very unique view of art – while most artists and designers try and better themselves throughout their careers, Munroe has taken a productive version of this path to try and better himself through bringing others together. He is able to create is own style through working with and observing others. This collaborative mentality has led to incredible opportunities, and is something I have noticed the entirety of my peers at DMA beginning to utilize as well. While we have strengths and weaknesses individually, as pieces of a singular whole we have any resource we may need to undertake ambitious and multi-faceted projects.