By: Eric VonDerfecht
Considering the rule for this blog post was to write about something I am passionate about, it is hard for me to not mention electronic entertainment, particularly video games. I’ve been enamored by video games since Super Mario Brothers was first introduced to me at age 3. To this day, I still remember taking turns playing Mario and Luigi with my dad and being completely enthralled with the experience of jumping over Goomba’s and trying to get as far as possible with dying. It created a feeling of both excitement and intrigue, and that feeling stuck with me.
If my total playtime across all games was tallied up it may be off-putting to some people. Video games may seem like a waste of time to a lot of people (and to a degree, they are), but they hold more emotional weight to me as pieces of art that are more than just products for entertainment. They have that unique quality of interactivity that sets them apart from other forms of entertainment. To my 3-year-old brain, seeing a character move because I told it to was mind-blowing enough, but getting older and seeing how that interactivity can be shaped to create beautiful and memorable moments is what still keeps me playing today. Games provide the perfect method to experience fictional settings. There are so many science-fiction and mythological themes explored in gaming that any fan of either genre would love the exploration games provide.
Video games are also where I’ve met a good chunk of my real-life friends and how I typically maintain a lot of my relationships with them. It’s easy for two or more people to jump into a game together and still have that sense of their presence around them as they interact with each other through the virtual environments and game mechanics.
If I had to name my dream job, it would probably have to be in video game sound design. Games were my first introduction to thinking mechanically about media careers. When I played video games, I wondered how the developers were able to make me feel something by doing A + B to achieve C within the game, and it got me thinking about how all media is made. That sparked my interest in video and audio production, which is one reason I decided I wanted to join Jacht. I find the implementation and function of sounds incredibly crucial to providing a strong experience in the gaming sphere and I find the process to be very interesting, as there are no rules when it comes to sound design. The crack of thunder in a medieval fantasy game could be the developer’s stomach gurgling before lunch. A headshot splat could be the sound of a rail pike thrust through a watermelon, so on and so forth. Games are what sparked my interest in behind-the-scenes development behind all sorts of entertainment, and they remain my favorite method of consuming electronic media.