Play To Win!

Scavenger Hunt 1979
Scavenger Hunt (1979): Watch it on YouTube!

Tonight, I was reminded about the movie Scavenger Hunt (available free on YouTube), which was an all-star madcap comedy similar in concept to It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, in that it’s sort of a winner-take-all rush to win a life-changing prize (in this case, a two-hundred-million-dollar inheritance), with a whole lot of real talent of the day involved in the lunacy.  At the time, it was playing about four to eight times a day on one of the premium cable channels–there wasn’t a whole lot of content yet, so anything that was available at the time aired a lot.  It was one of the few movies my sister and I could watch together and both enjoy because it was very funny, family-friendly, and low on violence, which was something our family appreciated.  Being a product of the seventies, there was plenty of stereotype humor, but it was really harmless with it, and there were people of all nationalities, races, and body types acting badly in pursuit of the money.

That said, it kind of spoke to my internal core inspiration to be a game designer, with it’s core messages of “playing to win” and the positive message that success comes from playing cooperatively with others, and acting as a team.  This movie is one of the reasons why many of my games contain elements that support both cooperative and competitive game play to some degree.  It also speaks to why I’m enjoying participation in SFI, scoring points to gain success while helping my team do the same thing, and why I’ve designed a game for Emergence:  Earth to go with their Indiegogo campaign and their website.  We’re all here to work together and have fun doing it.  I wish more people had a passion for exactly this.

Okay, Here’s The Basic Plan…

Michael Marcus

All right, here goes…

I’ve been doing the HIM thing for quite a while, but I’ve always been branching out, using my various skills and creative inspirations anywhere I could.  That’s taken me to scads of interesting places, introduced me to hundreds of interesting people, but no single place has, by itself, been the Big Hit that would enable me to really choose a direction, stick with it, and make it into a career.  In fact, it has sort of done the reverse, leading me to a point where not everything I do falls easily within the banner of Hamtramck Idea Men.  To that end, I’m working to make updating the information for people following various bits of it easier.

Michael Marcus as Dr. Pweent from The Amazing Cynicalman

Now, those of you who have seen me on screen have seen my Inner Mad Scientist come out, and to properly indulge that, I realized that what I need to do was divide the various types of project up into “labs,” where I could experiment with each, all while practicing more and more of the skills that I need in order to study this overall challenge in greater detail.  Some of these labs, I host in various places, like SuperMindPower, which is a place where I will be able to host links that I find interesting but don’t really fit with everything else I’m working on, while some of them, like the MarsDust Network, are projects under someone else’s bailiwick, where I get to practice writing articles, and some of them, like SFI, are experiments in other modes of internet sales.  Then, of course, there are places that don’t quite fall into either category, like what I’m doing with on-demand game sales or helping people through hypnosis.

Of course, any of you who want to see some of my continuing misadventures in video can catch what I’m doing with “The Adventures of Jack Uzi.”  I understand the guy running the show on that is getting close… to something… soon… ish.

The Adventures of Jack Uzi--the Logo

"Frustrated Joy" an oil pastel piece by Michael Marcus

Of Blogs and Business

"Frustrated Joy" an oil pastel piece by Michael Marcus

Basically, as I started working on this retooling process, building a blog in with the business, I started realizing that it turns my way of doing business completely upside-down.  Rather than showcasing it all myself, using straight HTML and organizing things in what seemed like a top-down way to me, I was pulling things into a blog, working with its theme, and adjusting every little binkie and widget beforehand before I actually got to present anything.  It was actually quite taxing because I had to create content before I could even sell anything... and the whole “having products to sell” had always been the most important thing to me.  Atop this, this was not the way I liked to work–I liked putting things where I wanted them, working with the total freedom from constraints that comes from working on one’s own.  With this, I had to relearn everything from blogging to sales.

This was to become a serious discipline issue to me:  not only was I going to have to be “regular” with a blog again, I was going to have to learn everything to do with each of the plugins and figure out how to get it all to work for me, exactly where I wanted it.  Like most people, I have always tended to find other ways to distract myself rather than bog down into the tougher, less enjoyable challenges.  In the end, it became something that would take something like force.  More on that later, though.  The plan with this morning’s post was to produce some content to help with the layout process, and with that, here you see it.  Success.  A small success, admittedly, but at least it’s real success.


Reopening for Business

It’s not so much that we ever closed, but Hamtramck Idea Men is reopening for business.  HIM’s purpose has always been to help others, build collaboration and showcase people in the local community atop everything else.  I’m Michael Marcus, your friendly neighborhood Idea Man;   I write, I edit, design graphics, design games, and help others (like you) to take your ideas from concept to physical and digital projects.  As you come back to this page more and more, you’re going to find something that will be of use for you. whether through business or entertainment or enlightenment.  Expect things to change regularly here because this is a big, fun experiment in process, and I love being a mad scientist!  Come in, sit down, and put on the metal hat–it’s fun!