You know that dream, the one in which you can change your environment, your circumstance, to suit your needs or to make your life better or happier? Staples ran with this blissful notion with their most recent marketing campaign – the bright red Easy Button. Movies have offered solutions from completely erasing a person from your mind to having God’s powers offered to you. Science-fiction and fantasy books sometimes offer views of future utopias with all problems solved.
And then of course, there are those who take these dreams and work to make them realities – well, at least the general reality of making life easier or perhaps more fun. Someone, one day, decided to pre-slice bread before he packaged and sold a loaf (creating a new UI?). It’s now the industry standard for everyday bread, in the U.S., anyway. And it was all because some guy, somewhere, wanted to make life a little easier.
More recently, the internet has given many more people a voice and a platform from which that voice might be heard. These people create and share and enrich others’ lives, collaborating, growing, learning while producing fantastic, original content. Most everyone can find content on the internet provided by peers that answers dilemmas, incites laughter or joy, or simply makes one feel as if they belong.
These creators of mods, the builders of addons, the designers of new UIs – these are some of the digital-age’s civilian inventors, those who march to their own beat, those who see the box and don’t just think outside of it, they often live outside of it. And there are groups who create and throw those creations onto the internet to join the chorus/cacophony of other voices, sharing their talents, giving depth and texture to all of our lives. And it is these people, and their inventions and unique voices on whom this issue of The Escapist is focused. Enjoy!