So why Computer Science and The Arts? It’s a question I’ve asked myself because when I was in high school, I didn’t like Information Technology. I was first and foremost more interested in writing and other Art related activities. So let me tell you my story, about how I fell in love with The Arts – especially writing – and how I became interested in Computer Science.
I was a bookworm when I was much younger. I can’t remember much about the fiction books I used to read back then, but I do remember quite a bit about the non-fiction material. I used to read a lot of National Geographic especially. There was so much to learn and observe. Ancient civilizations, Earth sceneries, astronomy, chemistry, scientific discoveries…there were few things that didn’t interest me to some degree. The more I read, the more my curiosity and imagination grew.
The first book that triggered my urge to write was a children’s fantasy novel called The Borrowers. For a brief period I became obsessed with the idea of people who were tiny enough that they could live within the walls of a house. I tried to write stories with these tiny people as the subjects; they tended to be unimaginative works that looked like I was asking to be sued for ripping off other material wholesale, or got corny really quickly. That much is expected of a beginner, but even back then I knew the difference and abandoned this endeavor.
I was first introduced to science fiction when I read a Star Trek book that a cousin lent me. It wasn’t the best book I had read up to that point; as a matter of fact I think it bored the hell out of me. The introduction, however, was enough to spark my interest in science fiction. This genre of fiction has practically endless possibilities. One can develop a universe full of exotic worlds, beings, cultures, and although your concepts may seem far-fetched, it’s your universe to do whatever you please. I hasten to add that I prefer science fiction that has a semblance of logic behind the fictional mechanisms it may feature.
The first video game to grab my attention was Mechwarrior 2: 31st Century Combat. A major part of the appeal was the music, but I also became immersed in the background of the Mechwarrior universe. This game spawned my second campaign to copy wholesale something that I liked. I abandoned the projects eventually.
I then was introduced to Halo: Combat Evolved; I was once again immersed in the stories behind the games. I would spend hours at a time reading fan speculations about the origins of mankind and all the mysteries that Halo: Combat Evolved presented. The writing bug hit again, but unfortunately once again I was only copying from the Halo universe. But this time was also different. As I continued to work on the writing material, elements that seemed too similar to the Halo saga began to disappear and I started to develop my own ideas; I wasn’t copying wholesale from the stories and games that I liked anymore.
So I was an aspiring writer who loved to play video games. I didn’t just loved to play them though. I loved to delve into the back-stories of these video games. Video games were a match made in heaven for me. I got to read a story while having a part to play in the events. Who doesn’t love to be immersed in a fiction world where they control events? Suddenly, Computer Science didn’t look that unappealing to me.