Meaningful Games

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There are a lot of good reasons to be following Evan Balster’s game project Infinite Blank. If you’re a fan of Minecraft and other open world, sandbox-style games, then Evan’s project — a game that lets you create the world you play in — is a natural fit for you.

But what I especially love about Evan’s project is the personal approach he takes in telling us the story of creating his game. In one of his many fantastic updates, Evan speaks at length about what motivated him to develop Infinite Blank:

Creativity. Curiosity. I hold these to be two of the most fundamental, powerful and noble drives a person has. I think everyone’s creative—has the drive to give form to ideas born in their minds. But in day-to-day life, the majority of us (those who didn’t choose a life as creative individuals) keep those impulses to ourselves for shame in our artistic skills.

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Virtually all of us produce at least a little (social networking, among other things) but are often discouraged at the small reactions it produces and ashamed to see our work constantly alongside “greater” things.

For Evan, Infinite Blank became his way of overcoming these creative roadblocks and inspiring others to do the same:

Infinite Blank welcomes doodlers. It welcomes average people. So, too, it welcomes the skilled who are tired of competing and comparing. It offers a place to create freely, without the burden of expectations. It also offers an explorative experience that must be worked at, and so gains allure in lacking the immediacy we’re familiar with. Unlike most things that do this, it replenishes endlessly. It offers interaction with others, through a playful caricature of speech and movement. And it offers the satisfaction of having one’s creation as part of a wondrous collaborative artwork. It offers “I made this”.

I’m a fan of Evan’s project not just because I love games, but because his game represents so many things that the world should be.

“The world of ideas is boundless,” Evan writes. That it most certainly is.

Check out the full update here, and support Evan’s project here.

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