Yay! Let’s talk to each other!
BUT BEFORE YOU EMAIL ME… just a head’s up:
(Photograph: James Cox)
I get a lot of emails and phone calls from people I don’t know yet, to discuss things they’re working on, or get my advice on a project, or to propose a potential collaboration. Since my TED talk went online, about 10 a day… which is awesome. But that adds up to over 300 interesting new people every month!
Due to the Law of There Are Only 24 Hours in a Day, unfortunately I don’t have time to schedule phone calls or coffee with most of them. So I thought I’d try to streamline conversations so I can have more of them.
To that end, I’ve created a Secret Headquarters for people who want to change the world through games — either by playing them, or by making them! It’s called Gameful, and the goal of the HQ is to make it as easy as possible for world-changing game designers and gamers to find each other. I want everyone who writes me to have the chance to meet and collaborate with each other. There are a lot of us… and we should all join forces!
In the meantime, here are the best ideas I’ve come up with so far for starting to brainstorm the future together.
How to jump start our conversation:
If you just want to say hi and introduce yourself, awesome. I love meeting potential future allies and like-minded spirits. Facebook is really good for this. And tell me where you live so I can invite you to a talk or live game event!
If you want something from me, send lots of information in your first email. The more I know about you or your project, the more likely I won’t be able to stop thinking about you or your project and simply HAVE to write back.
Let’s plan to start our conversation on email, not on the phone or over coffee. We can always schedule calls or coffee after a few emails if things are going well! If you really, really want a face-to-face conversation, try to connect at a conference or a game or a festival. I attend a LOT of them.
If you have actually played a game that I’ve made, PLEASE mention that. I give super-top-priority to people who have actually taken the time to play one of my games. If you haven’t played one of my games, you can always ask me in your email for a game that’s currently live that you can play. If you come to one of my live game events, that’s the best way to connect.
There will be no “brain picking.” That’s really one-sided and I hate that. I have a ton of articles and slides and video lectures online that afford all the online brain-picking you could ever want. Beyond that, I’d much rather have a conversation and hopefully learn something from you. So, it’s always a good idea to start an email by telling me something interesting I probably don’t know about yet. I love to talk to people who share instead of brain picking!
If you want me to come somewhere, that’s awesome — I love to travel. But please let me know in the first email if you have budget for travel support, honorarium, or speakers’ fees. It helps me prioritize so I can pay the rent while still meeting lots of interesting people. (You can also go directly through my speaker’s bureau for the quickest reply.)
If you want me to work on a project with you, that’s great! Can you tell me upfront what specifically you have in mind for my participation, what the project’s for, what the timeline is, if you have a budget, the intended audience? Really as much information as possible. Can I also recommend that you post a notice on Gameful, where you might find lots more folks like me who would love to be a part of your effort?
If you want to interview me, send as much information about the story you’re working on as possible, ideally with the kinds of questions you want to ask, and whether it’s for background or on the record.
If you want me to give feedback on something you’re working on, send me a link or an article or a video or slides or whatever else will help me get up to speed on it as quickly as possible. This is much better than trying to schedule a call or a meeting. Although this is the kind of thing I really often don’t have enough time for, since I am usually developing several projects myself at any given time. If you are going absolutely crazy for my advice, ask for a half-day or day of my consulting time. I can make time for formal advice more often than I can for informal advice.
Okay, now that you’ve read all that, you can email me at my first name @ avantgame.com.
your future ally/co-conspirator/collaborator, Jane
(P.S. Secret hint: Even when I ignore my email and Facebook, I check my Twitter replies. So if you follow me on Twitter, and say hello, I’m about 100x more likely to reply!)