Need a Fresh Perspective on Growing Up?


*note – scroll down to see the gallery;

As children we play not only for fun, but it is how we learn. As we grow, we’re often taught to leave our childish play behind. I wonder if there is way to maintain child like wonder, and play in a way that facilitates our ability to learn as adults? Let’s ponder this together!

Hello, and welcome to my first in a category of “sidebar” posts. These are posts I’d like to make, that are not strictly on the subject of digital design/development.

When I was preparing for Summer break following my 4th grade year of elementary school, a movie came out that directed the course of my adult career life. The movie I’m speaking of is of course, “Jurassic Park”. The ground breaking special effects and seemingly believable story made me feel that dinosaurs could live again. As an adult, this influenced me to have a passion for the digital arts, the field I’m currently employed in. As a kid it gave me plausible role models.

For example, a child can aspire to become Superman or Wolverine; however, it’s never going to happen. While there will likely never be a dinosaur theme park to have an adventure in, one could grow up to become a paleontologist, botanist, or mathematician… (not the lawyer;)

These role models and the environments they explored were realized as a beloved, and now classic toy line by Kenner. The process of playing with these and other toys developed my cognitive abilities in the areas of creativity, problem solving, and exploring my own inner thoughts.

I’m  now 32 years old. I’ve a wife, a one year old girl, and a “real” job. Is there any benefit to keeping toys in my life, specifically the ones that inspired me as a child? (spoiler alert: yes.)

As Jurassic World rampaged through the box office, it rekindled some of my fondest memories. Not memories created by Hollywood, but the ones my own imagination invented, using the film and book’s premise as a launching point.

My wife and I recently spent our 10th anniversary in Cambria, California. Just before leaving I couldn’t help but raid the “Jurassic World” toy isle. I had this notion that we could some how enjoy these on our trip. Sure enough we did. We had a great time running up and down the beach in front of our hotel, taking perspective shots of the toys. We made it a challenge. The criteria was that we had to move fast, get as few weird looks as possible, and we could not use Photoshop (or Gimp, etc..) to doctor them up. The most we could use was Gooogle’s photo adjustment features.

After a little reflection, I realized that we not only had a lot of fun getting some very unique shots, but that I rekindled my creative drive. I’ve been working all summer on completing the prototype for my first game release. I’d been hoping to get the game done and out before going back to work; however, I’m just now at the point that the full concept is becoming playable. I’d been feeling burned out. This child-like activity got me excited again. In an abstract way, it helped fuel ideas that would eventually get me through some mental roadblocks.

I highly recommend you all find ways to keep fun, child like wonder alive in your lives. You’ll discover personal benefits you didn’t realize you were missing.

Just bellow is the gallery of pictures we took. I want to give a special thanks to my wife Angie, who afterwards said to me “You have no shame in all the right ways.” It was a complement…

If you like these pics, check out my dream geek desk. Thanks for reading!

brach1 brack2rexbrachTESTrexJeep1rexJeep2jeep1 jeepRaptorraptor1
raptor2 rexGate1 rexGate2rexRoar1 rexRoar2

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