I have gaming (and my parents) to thank for setting the course of my academic success and professional life as a Co-founder and Co-CEO at LOOP.
Looking back, educational video games from the 90s taught me that learning in a virtual environment was fun. It sparked in me a joy for new knowledge and problem solving mastery. Video games were the starting point for all other things I’ve learned in my career.
I learned city planning from SimCity, and I’d later go on to learn under one of the architects of the game, while studying at MIT. She taught me how to calculate the game logic, which functions off of actual economic growth principals in cities. For example, over-densification in the game led to more disasters and disease. The power grid failed more disastrously when cities were large and difuse and the network didn’t have duplicity. And when a tornado strikes, the consequences - high spending on rebuilding housing and stagnant growth- were built from simulation models of actual disasters.
I learned engineering from Incredible Machine, an incredible game that challenged kids to string together common objects in order to achieve an objective like moving a ball into a bucket. I learned intro physics, mechanics, and creative problem solving from testing and retesting how gravity, a virtual bowling ball, and pulley system could move a basketball across the screen.
I learned geography from ‘Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.’ My guilty pleasure is trivia on foreign capitals and mountain ranges. This game made learning geography into international espionage sleuthing. I never did find Carmen.
Leaning in on the things I enjoyed about gaming, showed me the way. And by following these passions, I’ve built a career and life that feels just as fun as gaming.