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Category: Life

What I Learned from “The Sims”

For almost two years, I worked for Maxis, a division of EA, on various Sims games including an expansion pack for The Sims 1, game text for Sims 2, and game production and design for various console and handheld titles like The Urbz. In a way, it was a dream I never had, come true – as a child, I never really considered the possibility that I might one day have the opportunity to work for the creators of my favorite PC game, SimCity. (I still remember that red copy-protection leaflet fondly…) Even prior to beginning my time at Maxis,…

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The Fortuitous Cookie

I’ve “quit” acting twice. Clearly I’m pretty bad at quitting. The first time was partway through high school; I went to a very large public high school in Pennsylvania (850+ students per graduating class) where the competition in the theatre department was quite fierce. I started doing musicals in middle school, and by sophomore year of high school I got my very first role with a solo singing verse and (brief) lines of her own. I was excited to see what our upperclass years held. Then, during junior year, they announced that year’s musical: “A Funny Thing Happened on the…

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Unsettled

For 18 months of my life, from May 2002 – Nov 2004, I was a nomad. At one point, I had active leases on three apartments (two in CA and one in PA). It was absurd. My living situation looked something like this: Pittsburgh -> Orlando -> Pittsburgh -> Walnut Creek, CA -> Palo Alto, CA -> Redmond, WA …All within 18 months. Moving that often does things to your head. You start evaluating purchases on size and weight, and packability index. You never hang anything up because it’s not worth losing the deposit. You become ruthless about throwing everything…

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Life as Origami

There have been certain moments in my life where it feels as if a majority of my disparate life experiences are combining to inform a particular critical moment. In some cases, it’s not entirely surprising – like the feeling that all that Sim City play as a kid was meant to inform my future job at Maxis. There are other times, however, where one’s experiences combine to create something so utterly inexplicable that my brain has difficulty parsing the situation. As if all of the folds in life’s blank sheet of paper have come together to form some astonishing new…

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