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Posts tagged ‘storytelling’

On Napster, the Creative Class, and the Future of FREE…

April 29, 2015

brookeburgess

(Note: listen to this featured chapter sample first and then, if you smell what we’re cooking, read on for the related transmedia insights)

Dear Friends, Fans, and Feline-aficionados,

I was catching up on eps of Silicon Valley the other day. I love the show. My tech and venture capital pals assure me that the portrayal is pretty much an accurate one. And, as I watched the latest, I was reminded of something I used to ponder often.  Specifically, when the douchey, monied bro’ below spouted the following:

‘I put Radio…on the Internet.’

Yes. That happened. And not just on the show.

Napster changed everything. But was it for the ‘better’? I can’t help but feel some days that they were singlehandedly responsible for planting the grotesque, rarely-before-thought perception in the minds of a generation of consumers — that they hand-birthed the reality where music (and, by association, nearly ALL creative output) should be free.

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CASE STUDY: Of Games and (going with your) Guts

January 12, 2015

brookeburgess

(by Brooke Burgess)

Happy New Year, kittens and cats!  With 2015 well underway, I find myself shifting gears out of (fiscal) necessity. It happens. The Beast must be fed, and those games and gadgets and goodies aren’t gonna buy themselves, right? Pity.

Most of us don’t have the luxury of making the things we want to make most the time. Instead, our stars tend to align in service of other masters.  That’s where the term ‘service work’ comes from — it’s your focus and sweat, in varying measures of servitude. So all you can do is cross your fingers, twiddle your rosaries, and pray for decent pay, benevolent bosses, and a pinch of artistic satisfaction after the dice are rolled. I’ve just been lucky to get a few more sevens than snake-eyes.

Somehow — whilst chiseling away at the narrative marble to carve out screenplays, a book, a few comics (animated and otherwise), and potentially cool stuff that never saw the light of day — I’ve been able to fashion a (nearly) functional balance between passion projects and rewarding contracts. Writing and narrative design. Animation. Interactive stuff. You can even scope some of it here.

And I’m about to start work on another one, helmed by one of my fav’ game industry pals. We first collaborated on a pretty cool Japanese co-produced PS2 launch game. This was easily one of the most rewarding and educational experiences of my professional life; the scope was massive, the timeline tight, and the team endlessly ambitious. 15 years on, and things have come full circle in many ways. Colour me optimistic.

 

But it doesn’t always work out so smoothly. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I swore I’d never work on a game contract again.

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SPOILERS. AND SYMPATHIES. AND DAMN FINE STORYTELLING.

June 3, 2013

brookeburgess

untitled

 

The Red Wedding hurts because it’s real.

We know what should happen.  The Hero’s Journey archetypes have conditioned us into comfort and expectation.

Yet our lives have shown us, too many times, what will happen.

We see the evil in men’s hearts.

We learn that ‘good guys’ rarely win.  That honour no longer holds sway in the world at large.

We face the heavy truth that Love is ill-equipped to ‘conquer all’.

And yet..?

We endure.  We accept.  We transform.

Bad things happen every day.  Terrible things.  And all that we hold dear is eventually taken from us.  Parents.  Lovers.  Friends.  Children.  Beloved pets.  Each are destroyed by the selfish, frightened, power-mad hands of another.  Or the ravages of Time.

It’s how we react to these tragedies that defines us.  How we are shaped by them.  Bettered by them.  Like I’ve said a thousand times, if I’ve said it once:

We are taken to the forge, battered and burned and beaten some more…thrust in the flames to the point of dissolution…

…until we become a Sword.

Do not weep for the Starks on this day.

Do not curse the gods, or abandon all hope in the unseen engines of Fate.

Instead?  Say a prayer for the survivors.  Send them strength, so that they may emerge from their pits of suffering and sadness. With fire in their bellies, courage in their hearts, and minds sharpened like unholy razors.

Winter is coming.

And, may the Seven have mercy on any soul who has been marked for Her wrath.

On Fiction, Self, and Circles

July 17, 2010

brookeburgess

If anyone knows this woman, please make sure she learns that her future husband is currently in Canada but will join her in southern France shortly 😉

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