Thank you, Shamus Young

That’s an odd thing to say! I have never met Shamus Young in person, nor have I interacted with him in any way. And yet, I would say he is one of the primary people who showed me it was OK to program for fun. In fact, much of the way I approach programming as a hobby today is derived from what I saw him doing, and even some of the style of this blog is modeled after his.

Shamus is a lot of things, but I know him mostly as a blogger and a programmer (though, I first discovered him through his brilliant DM of the Rings, a webcomic that traces through the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy as if it were a D&D campaign). His conversational style presented things like octrees, Perlin noise, marching cubes, etc. in an accessible and engaging way. It inspired me at the time to launch my own blog cataloging my early C++ adventures. It taught me that programming didn’t have to be off-limits for a high schooler because it could be presented in a way that almost anyone could appreciate.

As I’ve said in the past, most of the joy of creation for me comes from other people enjoying what I make. So programming a game while writing creatively about it was my jam. While I write about a lot more than game development today–and I am not actively developing a game–that is where I started as I discovered the things I love to do.

Side note: Does anyone else get unique pleasure out of finding idioms (idiomata?) that go well together on multiple levels? Take bread and butter and jam, for instance. If I say something is my bread and butter, I mean it is an everyday thing; if I say something is my jam, I mean it is something special that I like a lot. When you put bread, butter, and jam together–mmm–that’s a tasty thing where the jam steals the show, but the bread and butter do their part. Just like a well-balanced lifestyle.

So thank you, Shamus Young, for helping me discover the joys of my favorite hobbies.

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