Learn how to make a creative project a reality. That was my one wish when I applied to Blast Theory's volunteership. As someone who has spent the last 4 years in academia I've become a professional at writing 6000 word essays that lie forever hidden in the folds of pixelated PC finders, or prototypes that twirl and fade behind secret doors. "The best thing you can do is show your games to people," our professors lectured us. I could almost hear the question whispering through our heads: 'But how do you do that?'
I sat with my peers at the graduation ceremony, our certifications for a successfully completed MA folded on our laps. Legs crossed, gowns tightened, between the closed cardboard file, the word "distinction" burried itself in the page. - But how do you do that? - I flapped my certificate in front of friends and family until the word "distinction" glided on the words "congratulations" and "well done". - But how do you transform a project into reality?
Starstruck into a corner of a Blast Theory couch, I murmured this question to Matt, Ju, Nick, Kirsty and Dan in turn. Their knowledge soared into the air in waves of spectacular performance and honesty. I hurriedly scribbled their words on paper. Below is a peak:
- Identify the 3 people that can change your future. Send them an email inviting them to play your game.
- Submit your games to all the festivals. Get seen. Showing a game speaks to people much more than talking about it.
- Go to talks and in the question and answer session raise your hand and start with "Hi! I'm Rosa from Ludic House and I have a question about...".
- Get big names to give a testimonial about your game. Use it everywhere! In all the funding applications, everything!
- Write personal emails to people you are inspired by and show them your work or ask for 30 minutes of their time.
- Sign up for talks. Even if its not your game, you can talk passionately about other games.
- Even if there is no money, do it. Start with what you can do and things will snowball.
On December 18th I hugged the Blasters goodbye and walked along the seafront from Portslade to Brighton for the last time. More than the sugar of the goodbye-gifts or the hangover hum from the night before, it was my notebook, penned with the knowledge of giants, that lifted me to an exhilarating high. Blast Theory is a family of artists who were never afraid of showing themselves. Even their work, in a world of high-rise anonymity, is a call for strangers to open up and connect. In the two months volunteering at Blast Theory, what my professors taught us finally solidified. I know what to do. Thank you!