Towards the end of my time working with Disney Interactive, I was starting to become disillusioned with designing one childrens video game after another. I realized that these games probably wouldn’t be remembered a few months after they hit store shelves, along with the fact that all my efforts were probably just contributing to the problem of our society amusing itself to death.
Shortly thereafter, I went back to school and became an EMT Intermediate and Certified Firefighter to try and make a difference. The competition was incredibly stiff. I remember testing for one fire department in a convention center with a thousand other qualified candidates when they were only hiring for two positions. I repeatedly tested in the top percentile, landing several oral interviews with different fire departments, but found myself unable to compete with youth, those with connections and those who already had years of experience. I came to face the the truth that this particular career change wasn’t meant to be.
During my EMT and Fire Academy schooling, I did have a wonderful opportunity to work on a plethora of worlds for an education centered company called Virtual Immersive Educational World. I created a handful of real campuses including BYU Hawaii and Southern Virgina University. One of those campus projects was creating a virtual educational environment for Golden Sunbeam Schools in Ghana, Africa so that kids could learn in a virtual environment that looked like the actual school campus.
In early 2017, I was given the opportunity through Abe Day and Attraction Studios to use my modeling, texturing and game design skills to create 3 complete levels (Robot World, Micro World and Candy Creatures) for the video game BrainyAct for Kinuu.com. Credit goes to Abe Day for the fantastic character and art assets in Candy Creatures. Today, I stumbled across a demo video of my levels in action, along with a 7 minute intro to Kinuu video, and it was very fulfilling to realize one of my dreams, which is seeing my art used to make the world a better place.
There is of course nothing wrong with casual, moderate entertainment through video games and I believe they do have some positive effects for children and adults, but BrainyAct is something that can change lives in disabled children and that is something I am proud to be a part of.