Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Letter from Darwin12

My name is Noah.

I figured this would be an interesting experience, something to return to. After I quit ROBLOX News a few months ago because of a variety of reasons, mostly attributed to having a personal loss of interest in ROBLOX, I kept moving on. Recently, I've been producing the last of my work on ROBLOX and cancelling my BC. It seems this is the sort of thing that I've always wanted to do: I wanted to access five years on ROBLOX in one post and get back to you on the overall influence ROBLOX had on me.

For some background: five years ago on the day of November 1, 2009, I wrote myself a personal letter for the future declaring that I would become a different person and decide who I was as an individual. At the mere age of nine, I wrote this letter and addressed specifically what I wanted to do then.

After sifting through things during a sort of cleaning time, I managed to find that letter. It was a folded piece of paper with a letter addressed improperly and conceived with improper grammar consisting of just under two hundred words or so. As I read through, I found myself appalled by just how little difference there was in me over five years. I realized I grew as a person, but didn't change as a personality. So I began to ask myself why?

At first, personally, I was wanting to write a story out of this entire thing. Explaining exactly what happened. But I'd like to just list exactly what happened. Besides the fact that people change and people grow up, I'd like to address and appreciate the fact that ROBLOX as a community - not a game - is solely responsible for ever aspect of my new, critical, realistic, and direct personality. What do you know? It seems that a lot of small things change people's lives. So maybe this will help you somehow:

1. Criticality:
What I've found from years of doing the same thing is that there are three kinds of people when it comes to opinions: people who have experience and a reason to be reviewing/critiquing or effectively suggesting changes to your game, people who have no experience, but the decency to give you pointers and point out what you should work on, and people who have next to no experience and should keep their mouth shut.

Everyone has their own level of entitlement to a respective field. When you figure out what kind of person you are or want to be, you will know what that is. It isn't "arrogant" to be speaking an opinion about something you know a lot about, as long as you actually have some valid points to produce. If you are a critical individual, your intents should be to point out concepts, ideas, and things for other people to get better. You should never put people down for their work unless it's an absolute mess and it's a genuine cluster. If you're a creative individual, you should have a person entitlement to appreciate what you have created and you should stand by it.

Critical people are everywhere. However, realize the difference between someone who is going to make you a better creative person, builder, etc. and a person who is going to drain your personal drive to get better at that work.

2. Originality
A variety of direct clones of other games off the ROBLOX platform such as minigames from Garry's Mod, other games cloning the apocalypse and zombie genre, and more have popped up in past years DIRECTLY SCALPING the concept of these games. Yet, it seems that as the game is built here on ROBLOX, according to these people and their blind followers, it is therefore "original" because it was produced off the game. This is not the case at all, anyone saying that "Murder Mystery" or "The Mad Murderer" is an original concept must be seriously mistaken and ignorant or stupid and misleading. Same applies to a grand variety of other games. 

I'm not saying that taking concepts and manipulating them to make them better and different is bad. I'm saying that stealing games in their entirety is a bad thing. It seems that this 'formula' of stealing original concepts is contagious, and it's only making these developers rich because of things such as DEVEX. I find this profound: the fact that thousands of people are never going to be rewarded for their original and incredible contributions to the ROBLOX engine and others are going to be rewarded for their unoriginal, directly copied, so-called 'contributions' to the engine.

(wow i've always wanted to say that)

3. Don't take it too seriously.

If you're taking ROBLOX seriously - partaking in countries and clans and making a "serious" environment on the ROBLOX platform, you're looking like a bloody joke. There's nothing serious about a plastic building game made for mostly kids and teenagers. If you are genuinely over-serious, you might as well go produce your own MLG side of ROBLOX for "serious entertainment."

I speak from past experience: there's nothing entertaining about being a 'police officer' in a virtual game that has to follow the rules. ROBLOX is supposed to be about making your own rules, making your own things, and here you are reading directly from a forum post or a book exactly what you should be doing. It's idiotic. 

Which leads into my final statement.

4. "Do your own thing, stand up for people, make people's day."

If it hasn't occurred to you yet that individuality was the entire concept I stuck with all this time, it will now. I figured out when I was nine, after being insulted for "being me" that that's all I ever wanted to do. I went back to those people and told them to stop being clones, and what do you know it, those people have to this day had no growth. This should be a consistent lesson for all individuals: people who bully other people for "not fitting in" are out of it. The only people who change the world are the people who don't fit in. We need more people who break the rules. We need more people who push boundaries and this generation so far has begged to impress. When I see something outstanding from someone younger or just a bit older than myself, I will genuinely be excited to see the development and overall beauty of what they have made and I will definitely be along to celebrate it with them.

The same should go to you. You should never settle for being someone you're not. You should never put yourself in another character unless that's your direct intent. You should be open to new experiences, but you shouldn't change entirely who you are. Surround yourself with people who enjoy you for who you are, and drown out the voices who don't appreciate you with the potential you have. There will always be people out there that will adore you as a person and a creative person. These people will want to make you the best person you possibly can be, and if your friends aren't what fits that right now, maybe it's time to find new ones who will fit that category: who will appreciate you and enjoy you.

I'd like to wrap this. So, lets go that direction. I've spent five years now doing all *this* on ROBLOX. I've spent five years and I've grown up quite a bit. I used to be a kid and, technically, I still am. But they call us "teenagers" nowadays. I've never lost the heart and interest I had when I was nine and the bad thing about growing up is that people expect us to change. There are people who want us to be a certain way, and I hate to admit to others that fact that what I am right now is what's going to remain. I'm simply a person with the same heart and a changed mind and that's not something for everybody. But the one thing about growing up is finding out who you are and what other people are. The goal is to find meaning and purpose and if you haven't found it yet, that's okay. There's always time still, based on the fact that you're reading this.

Clearly, we've gone through time and now that I think about it: five years is a lot of time, but at the same time it's not. Now that I look at it, it seems as though it was instant. However, I'm not ignorant to the knowledge that time moves slowly in many respects. It's only how we perceive what we see and what feel. Hence the phrases like, "Time flies when you're having fun."

Well, I had some fun. I had some experiences, and I hope the same for you. I hope that you all have a story to tell when the time comes closer to the end of your respective era. My time in ROBLOX's community was one era, but I'm prepared to move onto another one and all of you will eventually too.

With that said, I will not stop writing. I will not stop making things. I will always be the same person at heart, but time is one of those things that teaches the mind, not the heart. It affects everything about us. We all react differently to time and our experiences, so the next page is not mine to write. Simply put: it is yours whenever the time comes. Whether that be tomorrow, next week, next month or next year, the time will come...

.. and when the time comes, there will be many things to recall. Plenty of things to remember, and plenty of people to thank.

Enjoy the time you have now.
Your next era approaches.