Today was “Memorial Day” in the United States, a holiday devoted to remembering Americans who have died in war. We often extend this to remembering all armed forces veterans. My mother and father both served in the Navy during World War II - In fact, they met at a Navy event. Both thankfully survived their military service, although my father passed away five years ago.
A sad memorial is also in order for the University of California, Santa Barbara students who were recently murdered. My son and I both attended UCSB, and Michael lived in Isla Vista where the murders took place. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of these victims.
Many Kinds of Heroes
There are many kinds of heroes. One of the themes of all our games is being a hero by doing what is right. Every one of us gets many chances to decide whether we will be heroes, villains, or merely ordinary people.
If you see someone getting hurt, do you run to help them, call the police, or simply look on? Phil Ochs wrote the song “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends” after an incident in New York City in which a woman was beaten and killed while many people looked on and did nothing. I have since read that some of them did call the police, but that they responded too late to help the victim. Could someone have helped that woman without becoming another victim? That’s hard to say. The real question is, what choice will each of us make in a similar situation.
I include among the heroes everyone who takes a stand to make their communities better places. Heroism can be as simple as contributing to charity, donating blood, or donating your time to teach or to help with a community project. Being a hero can be immensely rewarding in personal joy and in friendships with other heroes.
Heroes Harnessing the Sun
We are rapidly approaching the crisis point in depletion of fossil fuel resources, in the shortage of fresh water, and in the loss of our polar ice caps to depleted ozone and global warming. These are not issues which we can simply ignore - We are running out of time.
That is one reason why I was very excited to learn about the Solar Roadways project over on IndieGoGo. Our governments have been too tied up in political infighting to make serious progress on alternatives to oil. Instead, two individuals took a personal stand on this project and have already made great progress on it. This is absolutely amazing to me, and I count Scott and Julie in the rolls of true heroes.
Lori and I have few financial resources while we work to finish Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Still, we chose to support the Solar Roadways project because it has a chance of really making a difference in the world. Please check out their campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways. There are just five days left as I write this. They have already surpassed their $1 million goal, but it will take much more than that for such an ambitious project to achieve the leverage it needs to put solar roads, sidewalks, and parking lots all over the world. If this gets big enough, larger companies and governments will take notice and the great ideas will spread.
Here’s a video from the founders thanking Lori and me for our modest contribution: