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Tycho / on Wed, Feb 19 2020 at 12:01 am

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Gabe and I don't agree on much other than the fact that we should attempt to disagree without rancor. It's not always possible but we manage it a statistically significant amount of the time. I am of the opinion, as enunciated in the strip, that making things is fundamentally valuable. It's valuable to me and it's valuable to other people. This value is broadly defined; one way it's valuable is that in my experience creative work is very rarely wasted. It always comes back. Sometimes we'll have an idea fifteen years earlier than we could do justice to it and we have to circle back.

There are those, of course, who prefer Actual Value to abstract, Broadly Defined Value. For Gabriel, and I don't think I'm mischaracterizing him here, this sort of thing is synonymous with doing creative work for free. That conversation online is quite robust in the People Who Make Things Community already. He'd make the case that it was worse than free - his rejoinder to my bit about work coming back would be to say that some portion of this work, maybe all of the work spent wrangling your vision out of the Playstation with a DualShock, isn't transferable in the classic sense. I don't even know what the metaphor would be. Is it, like… learning to tattoo on ghosts?

Of course, you are reading this on a website where we gave our work away for free. It certainly lead to other opportunities that do pay the bills, and the bills of the people we've tricked into coming along with us. I'm not going to advocate for some kind of Law of Attraction type horseshit, but I did a lot of work nobody would pay me for until I got good enough, or notorious enough perhaps, to charge for it.

For their part, Media Molecule has enunciated a desire to deliver commercial licensing and robust portability to people's projects, but that's not the same as having done so. I can't even imagine what those conversations with Sony must be like. But it's worth thinking about how that should look.

First, they need to deliver Dreams on PC. I don't really think of this as being in question; it could constitute an authentic on-ramp to creating this kind of work, and placing it in the context where things like that happen only serves the thesis ultimately. Also, and it doesn't need to happen now, but a Dreams Player for PC and Playstation independent of the core product at some point would grant the kind of work made in this type of Walled Garden the sort of portability and audience that means health long-term. Third, the ability to extract the work you've done in standard formats with broad utility is a must. Since everything you make in the product is essentially a commercial for Dreams, this all strikes me as quite reasonable.

(CW)TB out.

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