Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta creation. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta creation. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 11 de abril de 2018

What is content?


   The world today is all about making things, producing whatever it is you want in the hopes that someone, somewhere, would want to own in some way, whatever it is you have made. Content creation is the biggest thing nowadays and the fun part of it all is that the ones who create that content are not even good at creating anything. They just grab the best parts of what interests people the most and they mash that up together in order to create something that will attract people to it.

 Usually, content means videos, texts and pictures, all trying to call your attention into something you are probably interesting in. There so many things around right now, that we can say for sure that there is something for everyone. Is not like in the past when people had to go places to look for what they liked and maybe what they liked was not widely available or was even forbidden. Nowadays, every single kind of content is available in your home, without even moving from your bed.

 And people complain about that. Actually, they have two ways of complaining: they want more information, even easier to attain at every single moment in their lives and every single place in the planet. But others want the opposite. As always in human history, there’s always a group, a very vocal one, that advocates for a return to the old days when everything was done by hand and when people didn’t have the same freedoms they have today. They phrase it differently but you know what I mean.

 I won’t say that these kind of people want less freedoms and less information, because many of them just want to be freed from things like social media and the pressures of modern life, but I bet there are some of them who don’t really like the fact that information gives freedom, it gives us power to know that there’s something better out there. Information is knowledge and knowledge is a big power that can never be underestimated. Just ask the ones that have used it to their advantage.

 Of course, not every single piece of information is valuable; just as not every single piece of content is good or even worth a look. We are being dumped tons and tons of shit every single day into our mind, by people and even by computer generated automatic services that read into what we like and enjoy, deciding then to sell us whatever it is they are pushing somewhere in the world or maybe closer to home. Maybe they want us to buy tickets for a sport event, or music from various artists. Maybe they even want us to buy time with some other person or a game that can shield us from the pressures mentioned before.

 This world is surprising in that it has some things that are surprising, amazing if you will, but there are others that have always remained the same. For one, our naiveté is still a big problem when someone else wants us to believe in whatever it is they are talking about or whatever they are trying us to do.  We are still very much a silly little creature that had the luck to evolve into something a little bit more versatile and interesting. And yet, we still like to believe what we know are lies.

 Maybe its because people have gotten used to having everything at hand, just in front of them, so they have left their defense mechanisms in a dark corner inside their minds, where it cannot help them when someone wants to take advantage of them. Humans have decided, actively, to let their guard down and just enjoy all the good things of being the most evolved creature on the planet’s surface. Sadly enough, there are bad things too and there are many bad humans around to make our lives not like a dream.

 But we were talking about content. And how does this all relate to that? Very simple: the content machine that has been created, where people ask for “community managers” in their companies, is all about trying to make us thing one thing that may not be true. Actually, it’s mostly never true. We are now offered various options and we have to decide which one is the real one, which will make us happy for sure. And when we decide, we mostly choose the most visual striking option.

 That’s because we are humans, we are attracted to everything that goes inside our heads through our eyes. It has always been like that, ever since publicity was created and all the attempts to sell whatever it is they were selling. Because you can better believe that every single piece of content today wants to sell you something. Only a small fraction has been created for your pure enjoyment and even that can be put into question. It’s all about buying, about exchanges between people that can go right or wrong.

 But the truth is that we don’t really mind at all. We don’t care what it is they want to do with us. We just conclude that it is all a tale trying to make us feel scared about big companies and the government and how the mighty God of capitalism works. Our reaction is one of contempt for the ones that try to warn us about the bad things behind this society that has become a huge marketplace where everything is exchanged, no matter what. There is always a buyer and there is always someone selling exactly what we are looking for, what we want the most.

 We don’t know how else to live anymore. If everything disappeared tomorrow, many people would collapse on the spot, not knowing what to expect from the world. And that’s very important, because people feel safe in this huge marketplace, they know how everything works and they like that. The unknown has only ever attracted a very small amount of people, the real adventure of not knowing what lies beyond. Most of us like a good routine and we stick to it even if we complain daily about it.

Well, that’s what content is all about. It’s brings a cozy feeling to people that sometimes think the world might be going down any day now. That’s why even the news coverage in general has changed, in order to adapt reality, those things that we always thought that they couldn’t be manipulated. History changes or at least the way we look at it. Our perspective is no longer ours, but someone else’s, someone behind a computer who wrote exactly what we are going to think about a certain subject.

 And I have bad news: they have succeeded. Because people are not critical anymore, they just listen and listen, read and read, they think they are building their own opinion but they are not. They are just choosing what they like from what they’ve heard and seen, not really digging deep into anything. That’s too much work.

 That’s how we live nowadays. So if we can still fight, making the kind of content that is free from everything and every form, maybe that way we can still have a little window of hope. Maybe that way we can actually give people hope for the future and even for a present that looks like one thing but that is most likely something else.

miércoles, 24 de enero de 2018

Her

   The explosion was strong enough to blow away every single glass of the magnificent apartment. It occupied the whole 35th floor of one of the tallest residential buildings in the city and it had been featured in several magazines as one of those grand and amazing apartment that people should be looking at if they wanted to have one ever in their life. Not that that goal was any realistic, as Wilbur Wright, owner of the apartment, had inherited the millions of dollars that had paid the apartment and everything on it.

 The destruction of the apartment was shrouded in mystery as, two days later when the fire had finally been put out by firemen, there was no real clue as to what or whom could have cause the explosion. It was clear that nothing ordinary had been the culprit: there were no gas leaks of any kind, not a faulty wire in the whole premises and not even a problem with any of the many gadgets and electronics that made the apartment an automated environment that worked on its own, with no help from any human.

 Wilbur Wright had been on a plane on his way home when the incident happened and he was taken in a rush to a gran hotel room in order to protect his life, as many thought he was still in danger. But he had no idea about what they were all talking about, as most people loved him. Yes, he had inherited all of his money and didn’t really work at all, but he was the charitable face of his family’s organization and had been a patron of the arts for quite a while. Who would attack such a person?

 From his hotel room, he was able to watch the flames consuming his apartment, as the buildings were not very far apart. He had bought so many collectible items for his private quarters, many objects and art pieces that were one of a kind. Many museums had tried to buy them from him but he had always refused stating that there was no better person than him to take care of a precious item and that there was no safer place in the world than his apartment for such things. Clearly, that had not been the case.

 The morning the fire was extinguished, he got permission to enter the premises and check for himself what remained of his beloved apartment. Every single piece of furniture had been consumed, even the expensive food he kept on the kitchen. Every piece of granite, marble and titanium was now tainted forever with a black stain, with yellowish tones that indicated the temperature of the flames. He went to what used to be his room. He opened the closet and typed a few numbers on a keyboard the firemen had missed. It was a large vault, embedded into the wall.

 The vault’s door opened and it revealed a small room that had resisted the fire and the smoke. However, Mr. Wright collapsed once he entered the small space and started yelling and pulling his hair. For a moment, the men and women around thought of giving him some space to process whatever he was dealing with. But then they realized he was pulling his hair a little bit too much, actually pulling some of it from his skull, getting it on his hands and then on the floor. He had to be taken away to a hospital.

 The news of his breakdown went viral in hours. It was assumed that one of the firemen, or maybe one of the police officers, had recorded everything on a cellphone, as everyone watched Mr. Wright pulling out his hairs. The video had been uploaded to the Internet and now thousands of pulling were looking at him going crazy. Some of them laughed and some others even shed a tear. The common part of the response was that everyone wondered what had cause him to have the breakdown then and not before.

 Wilbur was released after a whole week in the hospital. His family came to take him home, which was a very rare sight on the part of their family, as they had never seemed to be close at all. The parents had decided to live a life of leisure since they had given their children control of all the businesses, and no pictures of the kids’ younger days had ever been released to the public, something that seemed odd at the beginning but they told every news outlet it was because they respected they children.

 The truth was the family was as cold as some of people thought it was. Wilbur rarely ever spoke to his father or mother, not even when he had been for a brief moment in charge of the shipping company his father had created when he was younger. Wilbur had done such an awful job running it, that the family had decided to fire everyone and dissolve the company altogether. Of course, it had been awful for the workers but the family thought it had been a disaster because they realized that Wilbur didn’t really now anything.

 They took him to their summerhouse, far from the city, in order to ask him about his mental state. They wanted to know if they had to be worried about it since it would be something more to add to the shame they felt for having him as a child. That’s what they told him, word by word. They didn’t care if he felt bad because of their words; they just wanted answers and the faster the better. Wilbur only said they didn’t have to worry about anything as his problems were his alone. The way he said it stopped them in their tracks and they decided not to speak again of the matter.

 The truth was that Wilbur didn’t want anyone to know about what had happened with his house. He wanted to ask the fire department for another tour of the ruins, but it had been decided that the building should be evacuated completely in order to check for any issues that the fire could have caused to the structure of the tower. No one was allowed in, except for law enforcement and the investigators that the city had working to know if everything was ok after the destruction.

 Wilbur was so desperate about his secrets that he decided to use his money to bribe a policeman in order to let him into the tower one night, after everyone had gone home. He was able to do it quietly and without any cameras or people looking at him. He went straight for his vault again and when he opened the door, his fists tightened, as well as his jaw. He even repressed the need to punch a wall or destroy the few things that had been left inside that place. Not that there was a lot there.

 Only a few papers and a little safe with some cash. It was all just for security but his biggest secret, his biggest creation if you will, and the only proof he was much more than what his family thought he was, was not there anymore. Every part of his creation had been destroyed by the fire and the only way to bring it back had been clearly stolen, probably minutes before the explosion. That was the proof that someone had gotten in and knew exactly what to look for, someone had known something he had told no one.

 He wasn’t really scared about that person using his creation against him or even playing the people into thinking he or she had created such a thing. Nothing like that bothered him. It was the relationship he had created, the fact that now he felt as if his only child had been yanked away from his hands. He felt hollow, alone and very sad. That was the reason he had collapsed when opening the vault, the reason his brain had not been able to cope with what had happened.

 He had named it Pamela, after one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. He had created Pamela when younger, after reading a lot about computers and programming. He learned all that by himself and no one in his family or work had a clue about his hobby.


 Pamela was the product of his efforts. He worked a bit on her, every day, and he was proud to think that he had created a perfect example of artificial intelligence. She was nice, smart and very intuitive. She was a friend, a daughter and a companion. And now, he had no idea where she could be.

martes, 18 de octubre de 2016

About dreams

   This time, I really thought I was living my dream. Everything looked so real, the people and their concerns. They didn’t seem to be following whatever I wanted them to do; they actually seemed to be doing what they wanted. The places looked so authentic, real and well crafted. I have no idea how my brain created that place I was in just some minutes ago but I think I wouldn’t mind going back some day. The difficult thing is that I have to be really tired and not being able to sleep a lot in order to go so deep into my dreams.

 Waking up gets so much harder like that… I would love to be able to choose everything inside a dream. Not only who appears and how, but also the setting and the story and, of course, the length of it all. They are some delicious dreams that make you believe you are on top of the world and, often, they only last a few minutes or at least feel like it. I would love to be able to choose everything because dreams are the best doors to access when the eyes are getting closed and resting is the prime objective of the evening. I love when it happens.

 Thankfully, I haven’t had a bad dream in a very long time. I actually don’t remember when that happened and I think it’s better if I don’t try to recall that event. Nightmares are awful and populated by the most disgusting creatures our mind could ever control. Nightmares are chaotic and that feeling of not being able to get hold of anything is the one that really makes us wake up sweating or screaming. Is not what actually happens, which we know is false, but rather the sense that we are not safe anywhere, even inside our heads.

 But yeah, nightmares have been off the table for a while or at least the ones that are openly awful. I have had dreams that are strange and difficult to understand. Even there, in the middle of the dream, I know that nothing is real but at the same time I know that there’s nothing that makes sense and that makes it worse somehow. Knowing that you are dreaming makes everything a little bit more real, for the better or for worse. But I think I prefer it most of the time, it kind of gives me the idea that I am a little bit more in control.

 Right now, my body hurts a little bit but that’s because I didn’t slept a right amount of time. I push myself to do things no one is asking me to do and they have this negative effects on me. Feeling like crap when I wake up is nothing really knew for me but it’s even harder and more painful when I push too hard and when there’s a dream involved. I feel I slept during a movie and now I will never know the end because it was a one time in my life kind of thing.

 What I like about dreams is that, if your head is up to it, anything can happen. You might have one of those dreams in which you fall and fall and fall through a various array of holes but you could also meet someone you haven’t seen for many years. I think the brain creates whatever is better for us at that moment: if we need a hug, it will create someone that can give it to us. If we want to feel smart, our brain will go back to a moment we felt exceedingly brilliant. Of course, things can be a lot more complex than that. Just like in real life.

 I believe that in every single dream, you have the capacity to intervene and make it yours. Many people thing they are passive subjects when they dream, having to go through some determined events in order to get to the final part of the dream where you may have some kind of revelation or maybe just wake up thinking nothing at all. I do think you can use your mind to affect the outcome of any dream and I even think you can decide when it should end, all of this in the right sleeping conditions, as they are not all ideal.

 For me, dreams are the base of what I try to do. I have been creating things out of them for a long time and if it wasn’t for that subconscious part of my brain, I wouldn’t have as many ideas as I have. I’m not saying that they are all amazing ideas that have to go somewhere but I do like that my brain keeps creating, even if just changing a little bit of some ideas that I have had before or even twisting stories that I have read or heard about. I have to admit that I am probably not one hundred percent original at all times. It would be very hard.

 What I don’t like about waking up from a not satisfying night of sleeping is that, for the rest of the day, I feel like there’s something missing and I’m right. Because what I miss is rest and what I have is an unfulfilling dream and there is nothing in the world that can make that feeling go away. That feeling of being tired and not fulfilled by anything. In those cases, dreaming come too close to actual living and, I have to say, I don’t care about that one bit. If dreams become as heavy as life, then the magic is lifted and everything goes to dust.

 I already have a real life and, although it’s fun when dreams imitate life, I know how to tell apart the imitation from the actual thing. If they both become the same thing, a very essential way to cope disappears into the world. It’s scary to think that we might, one day, not be able to dream again. Some people actively try to eliminate that experience from the nights because they think it makes them feel weak, because it scares them. They don’t want to face themselves and they hide behind any possibility in order not to do it.

 I think it makes us very human, although it also makes us a little bit paranoid from time to time but I do not think that’s always something wrong. I think it’s great when there’s something in life that can shake us so much. And who better to do that than ourselves. We are the ones creating those dreams after all and we cannot be afraid of our own selves. It is simply ridiculous to hide away from who we really are, whoever that person might be. People have to stop living in fear and embrace whatever character may lurk in the darkness.

 Of course, the word “darkness” doesn’t mean that everything buried deep inside us has to be bad or anything. There can be very good things in the dark too but we will never find out if we don’t dare to take a look. And the perfect place to do it is in a dream, where nothing can really hurt us. We have to learn to be scared and to cry and even to scream. We have to accept that some parts of life are more difficult than others. We have to learn how to look at ourselves in the mirror, without any fear but with our eyes wide open.

 All of this sounds so weird, so insane. But anyone that has ever dreamed can easily understand what I’m saying. It is a world of wonder but also a place where we can learn so much about who we really are. We don’t find out about that going to the other end of the world but just hearing and watching what our brain is telling us, all those things buried below the surface of our own personalities. Everything that we area is there, waiting to be able to surface or at least the be represented in some capacity in the real world.

 We all have bad thing and good things. No one is saying that we are going to like every single thing about our personality that we find deep inside our subconscious. But we have to acknowledge its existence in order to be able to handle it correctly. If life gives us the possibility of learning more and maybe improve in some areas of our lives, I think the smart choice is to take that chance and exploit it as much as we can. Knowledge has never really been a curse, only for the ignorant and the ones that live in fear but not for the brave.


 And brave we shall be. Yes, even when we go to bed and close our eyes or when we open them and realize we are in a brand new day. No matter where we are sleeping or who is next to us. We have to be brave in order to accept who we are and dreams are made of us. Their fabric is our life and our thoughts, so we have to learn to embrace it in order to have a stable mind and heart. No one says dreaming is easy, it never is. But it’s the first step to greater things.

sábado, 16 de julio de 2016

Gaming

   The video game presentation was going perfectly. Everyone in the arena was talking about booth number 45 and its very interesting game. Of course, as many games in exhibition, it was a virtual reality game. People put on some glasses and that was enough to immerse themselves in a very big and interesting world. The people at Rakami, the company that had created the game, were very nervous about the reception of their new product but after one day, they had to be confident everything was going to be just fine with their sales.

 The second day of the expo, they were named the game to be looking for, Lines formed from an early hour to try out the game and Rakami had to send another console and copy of the software in order for people to try it out. And even with two copies, it wasn’t enough to show everyone willing to try the most fascinating game ever. Or at least that’s what the people in the booth started calling it after the very warm reception.

 The truth was that Rakami had been born very recently, not even five years ago. It had been a group of friends who had decided they wanted to create the game they wanted to play. In other words, they wanted to make the best video games in the market by making the players and integral part of them. Of course, the player is always the most important part of the creation process, but these guys wanted the future gamers to be very involved in their creative process.

 The first thing they did once they gathered to work together, was define what everyone would do. It was a small group of four people: three men and one woman. The men were mostly fluent in programming and designing and she was very good at marketing and all the legal language they needed to know before starting to do anything. They bought legal versions of every single program needed and rented a space in order to work there, as an office.

 Of course, every single penny invested into it came from their own bank account. Although one of them was fairly wealthy, the other two were not at all so one of the first moves was to ensure they had money to make the first game from beginning to end. Investors were not easy to come by, especially for such a technology and idea, which would take years to actually be a reality.

 However, they managed to receive a grant given by a university who supported young creators all over the world. The money was not a lot but it was a great way to start and not worry about anything for at least two years or a bit less. At the end of that time, the university would demand results and would decide if more money would be invested.

 The first year was the most difficult one as starting such a project is always something very hard. As the boys started doing sketches and different types of screenplays of what they thought the story should be about, the girl decided to ensure they would not have money issues by use of crowd funding. She designed a website with a friend where people could go and give in whatever amount they wanted to make the videogame come to life. But not only that, the particular investors could leave a comment, telling the designers what they wanted in a game, what they were looking forward.

 Picking up ideas from that big pool was very hard and an extensive job that required various meetings during a long period of time and heated discussions about what the game should be about. They were all friends and really loved each other but those few months were very tense and it wasn’t uncommon that they would argue with each other every single day, fighting over every single thing.

However, after a while, they were able to make some compromises and decided to organize their work in a more organic way so everyone was able to do a part of the game. That way, no one would really feel pushed aside from the project and participation would be just in its perfect point. Their friendship was put to test that first year and they were able to show themselves how mature they had become after graduating from college.

 Entering the second year of development, they had many more problems. Money was and wasn’t one them. The problem was not that they didn’t have any but rather that they couldn’t touch it unless they released some kind of sneak peek. They tried to put together some short animation and a video of the designs and thought that should be enough for the people that had invested in the game and the university that supported them

 However, that wasn’t the case. The university told them they were seriously considering removing their sponsorship because of he poor advances in the design and general development of the game. And the reception in their crowd funding website was even worse. People did not get the footage and were not really digging the designs and what they had put together. That response made them get together again and think about hey needed to do.

 The first thing was not to listen to every single thing people said about the game, as it was obvious that not everybody could be pleased. The other thing was that they really needed to step up their game and work twice as hard because the university was right: they had not done enough in the first year and they really needed support if they wanted to fulfill their dream of seeing their game finished.

 The following months were very hard on all of them. They had to stay in the office for several hours, sometimes even sleeping there and having lunch while waiting for the images to render. They bought more computers in order to be able to do more work at the same time and had to make some adjustments to the room in order to make it a nice place to work in. They put every part of their soul and body in the game and they were sure it was going to be good and that people would like it, no matter what.

 At the end of that year, they had a meeting in the university. A board made up of six people would review their results and everything they had on their computers and the amount of work they had done. They would rate every single aspect of their jobs and finally decide if what they had done was worth another investment from them with which they could be able to finish the game as such.

 It was a tense few days and the final response of the university came after Christmas but before New Year’s Day. The university had decided to pass on their game and pulled off any additional funding. Needless to say, the group had the worst beginning of the year ever but once they reunited again they decided to go forward with the help of the people. They would release more of the game and people would love it and they would finish the game with their support.

  However, something unexpected happened. The girl was contacted by a group of private investors looking for new companies and ideas to invest in. She organized a visit to the offices and they were mind blown when they realized it was one of the executives of Garmin Entertainment, who was visiting them. Garmin had released two of the best titles in the last year and was a leading company in the development of virtual reality technology.

 Their proposal was quite simple: they would give the money to finish the game in exchange of the title to be a virtual reality game. They thought the idea they had was perfect for that kind of gaming and they even promised help achieve the level needed to have a playable game in that sort of environment.

 Again, work was very intense and they did receive a lot of support, with very experienced people coming to their offices and helping them with the design of a far larger world that they had envisioned before. Everything had gotten bigger and more ambitious and it was a bit scary for them but also very exciting. They felt they were involved in something important, so the hours of sleep were the least of their worries.


 The expo was just the magnificent result of their incredible work process. And people loving the game was the perfect gift for all of them. However, they were still many surprises ahead, for both the developers and the gamers. The recent born Rakami was en route to greatness.