You Have To Hand it To Curt

Curt Schilling’s latest venture is big news this month.  I didn’t know he started Studio 38 until this morning when I read the article about him in Biz Tech Magazine (September 2008).

38 Studios

(click)

See also Curt’s Blog on 38 Studios.

I can’t resist not putting a link to Curt Schilling’s blog on my own blog anymore.  O.K., we do share the same surname, and I get asked a lot if I’m a relation just because of the way I look, and  I have a fascination with baseball that goes back Earl Averill, who is from my neck of the woods (Snohomish, WA).

But it’s not that.  It’s simply because Curt decided to get into the technology side of things by creating 38 Studios.  And from a technology standpoint, he chose a really great and promising technology at that.  Sometimes ordinary people do extraordinary things, and then use their success to do more extraordinary things.

So I am compelled to write.  The fact that Curt chose to get into gaming which is simultaneously rooted in science, math, artificial intelligence and art is big news to me.  Gaming combines the latest in simulation technologies and artificial intelligence with artistic expression to immerse the player into a new experience.  If you have a gaming company with that kind of talent, it can be used to make gobs of money in gaming and do great research for serious science projects at the same time.  The two efforts are inextricably linked.  The more advanced the science, the better the game, and vice-versa.  The potential for the staff at 38 Studios to add to the important discipline of artificial intelligence either now or in the future, alone, is exciting to me.  And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Curt encouraged his staff members to present at an AAAI Conference.

Not to embarrass him, but Curt’s obviously got a lot of drive to do something bigger than himself, and that takes character.  See, he’s not content after a very successful baseball career to merely “take his toys out of the sandbox and go home.”  He’s putting his energy into gaming – which, from my perspective as an artificial intelligence researcher and computer scientist, is something much bigger than himself.  It’s like going to the moon and “doing the hard things”, as JFK said at 8 minutes and 23 seconds into his speech, just because it’s there.

Well, all that aside, I’m going to enjoy the “World Domination Through Gaming” experience out of Studio 38.  My MBA spidey sense tells me he’s onto something very promising.

Just a couple suggestions for the office, Curt: onsite daycare for your employees’ children with lots of toys; lots of simple creature comforts like beer in the fridge and beef jerkey for the employees; a special creative workshop where all the employees can bring in their favorite hobbies and art to work on; and of course a nice yard to throw the ball around once in a while.

Keeps the creativity and morale up for all those big thinkers you have to hire.

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