Terra 2112 Class – Day 1


So. Last Tuesday I finally got to bring my game, Terra 2112, to a group of school kids. (YAY!)

I’m teaching the game at the Centre Learning Community (CLC) Charter School here in State College, and it’s a really cool school. I’ll be there every Tuesday afternoon for two hours with a group of 12 5th-7th graders – ALL BOYS – and my wonderful helper Dawn – for 21 more weeks.

During this time, we’re going to have a blast learning how to become Light Warriors – drawing on our Love and Power in Service to the good of All Humanity. And now that I’ve received my new Mac-friendly Heartmath technology, I’ll be able to teach the young light warriors how to vanquish their INNER static as a precursor to addressing external static in the world.

During the first class, I got to know a little bit about my students. They are really amazing little people. I asked each why they signed up for the class, what kinds of games they enjoy, and what they wish to contribute to Terra 2112. The biggest theme that emerged form the group is their passion for going BEYOND BOUNDARIES! These guys are ready to EXPAND the LIMITS of what is possible and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. :-)

My favorite part of the day was the end of class, when I asked the boys to write THEIR own versions of how this game from the year 2112 was discovered after it came through the portal in time. I turned down the lights and played “Dreamtime Tara” by Jonathan Goldman (which they LOVED) and they all started typing away with their faces lit up by creative intensity.


This week I get to read all their stories, and get back permission slips from their parents to share video of the class. (I’m wearing one of those GoPro Hero HD cameras on my chest while I teach, and will be sharing cool moments from class on this blog…stay tuned.) This is gonna be FUN!!!!



Happy Peace Day!!!

Though it still goes woefully under-reported and under-celebrated, today — Sept. 21 — is officially the United Nations’ day of peace and international ceasefire. And though our jaded collective contemporary consciousness may find the whole idea laughable in light of all the planet’s innumerable conflicts, a Brit named Jeremy Gilley has spent an enormous amount of time and energy creating this day, and I for one loudly applaud him. You can learn more about the day at his site, www.peaceoneday.org

All day today a live Web stream is available from this site, where you can view Peace Day activities and celebrations going on all over the Earth. Yes, they really are happening.

If you’d like to take part, but don’t have much time, you can sign up here to pledge to take one minute at noon today to pray for or simply meditate on peace. I’m going to do this. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, and we have to start somewhere.

Finally, I want to extend an invite to all who read this post. Next year, Sept. 21, 2011, I want to be a part of a real event celebrating the day–right here in State College, PA. If you share this desire, please post that fact here, so that we can begin the process of bringing that desire to life.

Peace is more than a nice idea. It’s more than a dream. It is the noblest of all human aspirations, and a goal more worthy than any other of our deep collective consideration and mutual effort. And it is entirely up to us to bring it about.

Thanks very much, and Peace Be With You.


New Penn State Sustainability Gig

It’s funny how the Universe will give you what you want when you ask consistently, stick to your guns and stay true to your own true nature.

Case-in-point: about 6 months after leaving my last job, I’m doing some truly fulfilling and soul-enriching work with Penn State’s Center for Sustainability. My official title is “Strategic Communications Director” and I’m doing everything in my power to help the good folks over there make the most of a serious transformation underway right now. Big goals. Good goals. Righteous work.

Thank you, Universe!

World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth

Hey Earthlings! Wanted to spread the word about this very important happening that’s happening this week in the Southern hemisphere of our beloved planet. Down Cochabomba, Bolivia way, to be precise.

In the face of Copenhagen’s utter failure to get anything substantial done on the global climate change front, some of the world’s poorest and most disenfranchised people are doing their OWN thang about it: The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Has a really beautiful ring to it, don’t cha think?

More than 90 governments and 15,000 or so human beings are expected to participate all through this week, and it all kicks off today. Sadly, you’re not going to hear about this thru any mainstream news outlet. Not in the USA, anyway. So please click here and hip yourself to the scene behind the scenes. Thank you very much!



Techno-Classica 2.0!

Tomorrow night at 8 PM I’m playing guitar for Max Fomitchev’s Techno-Classica show again. The viddy below is from the first time we did it at Eisenhower Auditorium at Penn State.

This time it’s at the State Theater in State College. We pared down from the 26-piece orchestra to a quartet, but added a live drummer playing an electronic kit, plus videos mixed live behind the performers. We’re gonna play again Next Friday, April 16 at the HUB-Robeson Center at PSU, too. That gig will be more live a dance club, with an open dance floor. Should be a blast!

First-Round DML Contest Results: “Nope.”

Hey earthlings.

Well, I finally got the results for the first round of judging on the DML contest. They were supposed to be released Monday the 22nd, but in reality we all had to wait til late yesterday (the 25th).

And the big news is: Terra 2112 didn’t make the cut.

I’ll never know for sure exactly why, but my wife Sharon has a really good theory. She thinks I asked to too much money (The maximum award of $200,000) without even promising a final product to deliver. (I just wanted to build a prototype and then do a series of focus groups with middle school kids and their teachers).

I think Sharon has a really good point. Also, the fact that I’m just a guy with an idea, and have no history with games, or any institutional support, probably didn’t help me much either. Perhaps if I had applied for a more modest amount I could’ve had a shot at round two, and would now be working on my budget and video… Oh well, live and learn. I have no regrets, and am still really enthused by all the support I’ve received and connections I’ve made.

Just to be clear: all the comments I collected were just supposed to augment the submission. They were not “votes” for the best idea. And so even though Terra 2112 received as much, or more, public commentary than any other concept in the contest, it was really up to the judges to determine which 50 ideas they are interested in potentially funding.

There are some great ideas that DID make the cut, from all over the planet — Check them out! My personal favorite is from a guy named Jason Robinson in Toronto, whose idea, ironically enough, is called “Terra X”. When he gets his 3-minute video online I’ll post it here.

SO…What’s next for Terra 2112?

Well, I’m not going to just let it die, that’s for sure. Too many people got too excited about it! First, I need to follow up with some folks here in the Penn State/State College PA community who expressed an interest in working with me on it. Then I need to reach out to about half-a-dozen people on the national/international level with whom I wish to partner. (I was holding off on this previously, to see how the DML contest panned out.)

The person I’m most interested in contacting right now is Jane McGonigal. I’ve been playing (and struggling to keep up with!) her current world-changing, social entrepreneurship-focused game game, Evoke, since it launched early this month and think she’s just about as righteous and brilliant as a human being can be. Check out her recent TED Talk below…

Again, thanks everyone for all the support, and please if you have any thoughts, ideas, or advice you’d like to share about the game or anything else, please get in touch.



(PS – Seriously, watch the viddy below. Jane McGonigal ROCKS.)


Wow. What an amazing week. To all the people who took the time to read through my concept (despite all the screwy text on the page), register at the DML contest site (a big CHALLENGE, at times!), and post their heartfelt reactions to Terra 2112 (such INSPIRING posts!), I really can’t thank you all enough. Here’s how it all played out:

TOTAL COMMENTS for Terra 2112: 103

Of these, 95 were from other people, and 8 were from me, responding to specific questions and suggestions from others.

I never could figure out exactly how may concepts were entered in the contest (the listing system defied all logic), but it appeared to be around 600 or so…of these, the only idea with more commentary than Terra, as of Sunday night (2/21), was “They Might Be Giants INVENTION,” based on the dynamic duo’s “Here Comes Science” CD/DVD package, which looks AWESOME. I totally want this idea to get funded, too.

So the TMBG concept had 95 comments posted the last time I was able to check (Monday 6 AM), and I had 103 comments posted for Terra at 10 AM Monday morning (2/22) when the system abruptly closed completely. The They Might Be Giants concept may have ended up with more comments then Terra by the end, but I just don’t know…either way, Terra had an outstanding showing–better than I could have dreamed!

So now I get to sit tight and wait, until March 22, when the judges announce the finalists who will be invited to move on to the next round. If i make it, Ill need to produce a 3-minute video for Terra 2112, and submit a detailed budget outlining how I’ll spend the $200,000 prize money to create a Learning Lab focus group. This is where I’ll put a rudimentary version of Terra 2112 in front of middle-schoolers, and get their feedback and make the whole thing stronger–while seeking partnerships to build the whole game out properly!

Final decisions for all prizes will be made by the end of May. Here’s the official time line.

A million thanks to everyone who supported me in this first round. I feel like a very, very lucky man.



Blast the STATIC with light! Comment by 2/22!!

Calling all Earthlings who care about our kids’ future–YOU can help make it brighter! Go comment at my game’s contest page today!




Public commenting open at Terra 2112 contest page!

Dear Earthlings,

If you would be so kind, please go comment on Terra 2112 at my DML contest page by Feb. 22, 2010.

The more good comments I get on the concept, the better our chances of giving our kids a powerful tool to contribute to the healing of humanity and our planet. Read more about the game…




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.