When I was little, my family lived in a house that backed onto the playground of my elementary school. One would think I'd have spent most of my many hours out of doors there, hanging on the jungle gym, taking the huge bumpy slide or swinging to my heart's content.
Naturally, like any good 7-year-old, I couldn't resist the occasional flying dismount from said swings, but my tastes in outdoor activities tended more toward exploring the woods which provided one long boundary of the schoolyard. By exploring, I mean spending hours creating my own worn-out paths running through the undergrowth and making small clearings in which to play, using tree branches as brooms, sweeping away the detritus.
In retrospect, perhaps I was not your typical 7-year-old girl. While my contemporaries were playing with Barbie and her Dreamhouse, I poked around in the dirt for pretty rocks to stack in my clearings. While they had playdates for dress-up and tea, I more often than not cruised my self-made footpaths alone. I had dirty fingernails and a wicked farmer's tan. But I was happy.
Over the years, I've still enjoyed being out of doors, but I've become a bit more of an inside creature. Mosquitoes absolutely love me - I'm like a living Mosquito Magnet. Temperature extremes give me migraines. And while woods still hold a Robert Frost-like allure, they also are sometimes home to an illogical new fear: Snakes petrify me. Literally.
Some of this is age; some of this is bad luck; and the snakes, well, that's a long story involving a science center and a boa constrictor. Whatever the reason, things have changed as I've gotten older. I have more knowledge and experience. I'm more aware of the things that can go wrong, and I know (some of!) my limits.
I take my chances elsewhere, like going on camera for the purpose of posting entertaining and informative videos on this website. (It was fun!) Or checking out the sweet potatoes instead of my old standby mashed potatoes at the local K&S cafeteria. (Yummy.) Or even helping to start a new online magazine as Editor-in-Chief without any prior magazine experience. (Lookin' good so far ...) These are the things which make life interesting, right?
This week, The Escapist celebrates these sweet potato moments in our beloved industry. We go looking off the beaten path, in the rough and out in left field for the people "Going It Alone." In this issue, we explore the wild and crazy world of the indie game developer. Enjoy!