Reply To: Sierra – a safe haven from harm

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(re: re: General Conversation about Sierra & Personal invitation) I agree. I was 10 years old in 1989 too and the times were very uneasy for most people. I am from Bulgaria, Eastern Europe, and we were under totalitarian rule back then, and late the same year it broke; the oppressive regime fell. In the interim and after the events, the world of Sierra games made me look at life from a completely different, non-materialistic perspective. It made me learn new things and expand my imagination in positive ways. The Sierra games have played a big part in making me less materialistic and more focused at mental and spiritual development. Today, in the year 2003, my career as a programmer and a designer is taking off (currently I’m working in the Information Security field), and I could very well do some educational games in the future — expanding and improving on the spirit of Sierra games. We’ll see…
I am very much aware that the old Sierra games mean different things to different people, but there was certain intelligence in them, certain positiveness, certain purposefulness and mindfulness that is totally absent from today’s games — not to mention FPS. Perhaps these positive qualities were dictated by the fact that only more-intelligent-than-average people had access to computers at the time, so Sierra had no choice but to cater to them — the masses that use computers nowadays were nonexistent at the time. Or were the games what they were because people like Ken and Roberta Williams consciously put intelligence, mindfulness and purpose in them? Did Ken and Roberta have a conscious realization that the games were not simply products to be sold, but more or less had to be works of art not only in terms of visual appearance, but in terms of plot and meaning? I very much wish to hear Ken’s response on that, and I hope that the latter is true.
It is when a company goes beyond the mere “maximization of profit” and draws a high baseline for the quality of their products, endowing these products with meaning and relevance to universal human values, that such a company would be revered by its customers in the long term, and subsequently, would have profit in the long term. There are so many companies nowadays that cater to the base instincts of the masses, simply because only then they would maximize profit.
The buzzword of “multimedia” took real content out of games, and today’s best-selling games are nothing but empty shells, devoid of deeper meaning and limiting the creative horizons before the present generation.
Ken, Roberta — thank you for inspiring me to look beyond the obvious and seek deeper meaning in life. As part of my profession and spare time, I am programming, painting, composing music, writing. I keep an open mind and have been practicing meditation, concentration and yoga. All the activities I mention were in part inspired by YOU — of course not only you — but YOU, the old Sierra guys, in a large part.
Thank you, and be seeing you!
-Vesselin Peev (Vesko)
I am NOT considering myself a Sierra fan, since a fan means a fanatic. A fanatic is someone who is mindlessly worshipping someone or something, and I don’t think anything should be worshipped — including God. I am just a person whose rational thought and imagination were inspired by your Sierra, Ken. I am a FRIEND of the old Sierra, the Sierra of Ken and Roberta.
Ken, please respond! I would also like to extend an invitation to you and Roberta that if you ever come to Bulgaria, you would be my guests. This summer, I’ll be having professional training in Washington (the Pentagon) and Ottawa, and, just in case, if you are around, I’d like to meet you personally.