Monday, April 7, 2014

Dear John Carmack

Full disclosure.  I never really liked (or was good at) playing video games – a tough admission from one who has lived the digital entertainment life, watching it crest and wave, strategizing and brainstorming its course.  But what you created so many years ago fascinated me and opened my eyes to a genius I had merely glimpsed in my years at Cornell University, surrounded by friends with nicknames like, “The Bug Finder.”

And then, there I was, back in 1994 with my own geeky nickname, “The DOOM girl.”

So, why I am writing you years later, and almost 20 years since the momentous launch of DOOM II (“Doomsday,” October 10, 1994)?  

Well, through my work and play, I am both a communicator and active observer of the studied, and at times astonishing, changes in consumer technology, digital and social entertainment. I am always hungry for the next big thing.  Our press invitation for the DOOM II launch presaged, “Prepare Yourself for the Second Coming.” I am wondering, is your new venture the “Third Coming"?

John, you have inspired me to look forward – and back…  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Camp Reunion: Summers at Camp Hadar

Last weekend I went to my camp reunion.  I was a camper in the late 70’s to early 80s, and although I can barely muster the memories, when I walked into that NYC bar and saw familiar faces, it all came rushing back.

Camp Hadar was your basic, coed sleep-away camp for kids of all interests – more like  “Meatballs” than today’s fancy camps that you might mistake for a country club, and with no competitive specialty like circus camp, space camp or fashion camp.  There were wooden cabins with clotheslines for wet bathing suits and towels, unkempt sports fields, jungle gyms and swing sets, an arts & crafts lodge and a fenced in swimming pool.  We had the typical camp traditions (e.g. Miss Hadar awarded to the male counselor that looked best in a dress, Gangster Day, 50s Social, Carnival, Olympics), and we lined up at the flagpole for the pledge, sang camp songs, cheered and even prayed for our food (Hadar was, like many, a Jewish camp).  We looked forward to getting out of camp for trip day and, if we were good, were treated to Friendly’s Fribbles at midnight.  It really wasn’t anything special…but it was.
 I drove to the reunion with my friend Missy who I hadn’t seen in 15 years.  We both live in Westchester, she in a huge stone mansion with its own pool house.  She still had the same red hair and tiny hips, and an ongoing banter and spirit that kept you smiling. 

When we walked in, the first one I spied was our very own camp celebrity, and the owners’ son.  You couldn’t miss Bobby with his Keith Urban hairdo and brown leather jacket, but with the six-deep line of women waiting to say hello I decided to walk deeper into the bar to see if there were any other familiar faces.