ARK Survival Evolved is a massive multiplayer video game. It’s the state-of-the-art in multi-user environments, and where you might find him online today. He’s been socializing and creating content in massive, multi-user digital environments since the early eighties, before the internet.
Jason has always been fascinated at what’s defining the frontier of video gaming excellence because it’s always been the tip-of-the-spear, defining what’s excellent in the digital ecosystem. To Jason, ARK is what’s most excellent now.
In the seventies Jason loved going to arcades like everyone else. His parents bought him a computer one Christamas and he started programming computer games, trying to recreate the arcade experience with his own designs. He played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, a role-playing-game based on multiple rulebooks and dice.
In the eighties, before the Internet, many people were already gaming online. Compuserve, a dial-up service, was pre-AOL. It had a game that was multi-user, top down, and text based. It was an RPG called “Island of Kesmai”. It cost $10 an hour to play. Jason racked up a $400 dollar bill one month. Afraid to explain it to his parents, earned the money and paid it back himself, careful to never make another expensive mistake with per-minute services online again.
As video games evolved, Jason has always worked very hard to keep his hardware systems ahead of the curve, capable of rendering the most realistic virtual environments available. Now he doesn’t just have himself to provision: he has two teenage boys who also share his passion for video gaming. They need just as much, if not better, horsepower in their computer systems. His sons keep him informed on what’s best and he keeps their systems far ahead of what most business users experience.
If you want to see what the digital world is capable of when it’s most excellent, watch video games. This one game, ARK, epitomizes what makes games great today: the spectrum of behaviors and ideas people apply to it. It’s more of a plenum for things to happen, similar to Minecraft, but it has more of a structure. What makes it great is how people play it. It necessitates levels of cooperation and layers of behavior few other games have before.
Jason has been playing since the game came out. If you’re into playing with him, he’d love it. He’ll show you why it’s so excellent. Email him and let him know.