How I learned the Value of Meaningful Work

mortal-kombat-fatality-finish-himWhen you start a new job or formally meet new partners there are typically a round of introductions that may include the question “Tell everyone something about yourself that they wouldn’t know.”  With the internet this has become a more challenging endeavor.  Since I have no co-workers I figured I’d start re-introducing myself to the world on this blog.  So, here is something just about everyone reading this didn’t know…

When I was 11 years old I ran a magazine business. Well, calling it a business would probably be a stretch.  I convinced my friend we should try to make a living playing video games.  I figured that next to “Professional Toy Tester” a career playing video games had to be as good as it could get.  I fired up my Atari ST and we wrote game reviews and hard-hitting editorials that, for example, explained why it was OK for your kids to rip the heads off of characters in Mortal Kombat.

Each issue was self printed, copied, and stapled together en-mass.  We then convinced the managers of any rental shop within bike range to stock issues above the video game sections.  It turned out people liked them and the issues were being picked up by kids and parents alike.  It was awesome and it felt good to have people read what we wrote.   We simply forgot about the whole making money part at the time. Smile We were happy with distribution and doing something we loved at the time.

But doing something you love, even for a short while, can have long lasting impact on your life.  From this experience I can trace the following path…

1. Improved writing skills.

2. Learned about the state of the part in digital publishing tools.

3. Turned that into being editor of our high school paper for two years.

4. Leveraged that as a weapon to get into Vanderbilt and turned that education into my first career at Microsoft.

I also learned that because the work had meaning I was also able to rope other kids into helping us write, copy, staple, and distribute for free.  I may have simplified a few things along the way, but the seed was planted.  I loved doing meaningful work and was rewarded for it over the long run.

If I’m lucky someone reading this will have a copy for a second edition printing.  🙂

Switch #2: From PSP to DS

When I got my PSP the DS was the ugly step-child with a limited selection of games and sub-par graphics.  The PSP was sexy, played videos, had better graphics, and a gorgeous screen.

A lot has changed in the last couple of years. The Wii was sort of like a gateway drug into the world of Nintendo products for me.  Sure, the Xbox is king of connected games and entertainment, but there isn't one experience I've seen bring gamers and non-gamers together like the Wii for a party.  The DS has the same appeal.

Pick up the Mario Kart version for your kids and the Brain Age edition with leather carrying case for mom.  Gret and I got the Brain Age edition. I'm currently 37 and she's 32. 🙂 I'm a little worried how quickly I'll improve my age since I have to steal practice time from her.  I guess I shouldn't have gotten the crimson "raspberry red" edition. I also reccomend picking up "my spanish coach". Flashcards have never been so fun.

I'm not sure if I'll sell the PSP just yet, but I'm not sure I see much of a reason to keep it.  Any recommendations for DS games to get after we get our Brain Ages back down to normal?