Arman's stuff
More Famous Every Day

(Wed Dec 7 17:51:58 2011)

I'm getting more famous every day... and I'm not sure if I like it.

Every so often, I'll do a little test - I'll Google myself. Up until recently, my name in quotes wouldn't show up until the third or fourth page of results. Now? I'm in the first page. Several times, because of the games I entered in IFComp (As a note - Bing and Yahoo put my first hit on page 5, where I feel much safer).

I'm not entirely sure how I like that. I mean, the stuff I share on G+ is meant for 'the world'; there really isn't anything there that I wouldn't want the unwashed masses to know about. On the other hand, I like being invisible, and beating Andrew Metzger the neurosurgeon and Andrew Metzger the producer is a bit intimidating. Also exists the fact that the games I wrote are... not indicative of who I actually am. Fog Convict is, by any stretch, poorly written. A good concept, perhaps, but executed with the skill of a novice (the novice I was, to be sure). Blind is a better game as far as the writing goes, but it is... dark. Very, very, very dark. It's not morbid, or even that freaky as compared to today's standards... but it's a lot darker than I meant or wanted it to be. Granted, most people miss that, but still. I tried to write from the perspective of a blind girl, and what would freak me out the most. It ended up being almost sexual in some places, and I never meant it to be that. Scary, yes. Sexual, no.

These two results together - my name, and my games - means that I now have another face to show the world. People that have never met me in person will know something about me, and will make some assumption about me. I don't mind that; I never have. But if the information presented to the world is not representative of who I am, the assumptions made will probably be completely wrong. I don't care if people think I'm stupid, or snooty, or a second-rate hack - at least not for me. But I'm more than just a walking billboard for Me, Incorporated; I am an extension of anything and everything I endorse, associate myself with, or even mention in passing.

If I write that I like Star Wars a lot, I am now branded with that; just as the actions of anyone else who likes Star Wars (a lot) are transferred to me, just as my actions transferred to them. Just by liking Star Wars, I am easily branded a lonely, overweight, probably ugly nerd, who sits alone in his parents basement with no one but his World of Warcraft clan for company. That's not true, any of it (apart from being overweight... sigh). I don't even play World of Warcraft. But the assumption remains, no matter how flimsy, until disproved. Obviously, the very fact that I'm married and live in a house I pay for disproves the initial assumptions handily - but some assumptions aren't disproved nearly as easily.

I'm a Christian, and as such, am an ambassador for Christ. Just like an ambassador for Germany or Turkey in the US acts on the behalf of his country, I am to act on Jesus' behalf. That's a tall order, and one at which I fail on a daily basis. A huge part of that is the way I present myself to others - if I present myself as a loud-mouth, vulgar, obnoxious hypocrite, then by proxy, I am showing that Christians everywhere are just as bad as I am. All my actions, not just the ones I do for church or for some "holy" purpose, are going to be scrutinized. Even though God has forgiven my sins, those same sins will be held against me, and against God. "Oh, sure, there goes Andrew - he says he's a Christian. If that's what a Christian is, I sure don't want to be one." Or worse: "Christian? Really? Man, I always thought Andrew was just like everyone else! I never would have guessed!"

Frankly, that scares me. Being invisible is, well, safe; no one can see you shine, but no one can see you fail, either. Secret sins are visible to God, but not to the general public; if I curse when I stub my toe in the dark in my home, I need to ask God to forgive me. It's between Him and me. But if I curse when I stub my toe in public, I still need to ask forgiveness from God - but I also need to ask the forgiveness of anyone around me. Not because I am afraid I've offended them, but because I have put a black mark on every follower of Christ, and I need to do what I can to erase that mark.

So, here I am. I'm more famous than I used to be, but less famous than I may be in the future; my work and my words are more public than before, and all that they say reflects back on me. On the one hand, I could push people away from God with the sheer force of an abrasive personality; on the other hand, I could allow God to work through me to draw people to Himself. I'm afraid of making the wrong choices, taking the wrong actions; I'm a selfish person, and every piece of me that lands in the limelight means one more piece I have to focus on God. It's the way things should be, but this flesh doesn't want to let go of its freedom... the more of me that is visible, the less of me there should be visible.

I guess it really boils down to the fact that my selfish nature doesn't want to give up the "freedom" of being able to act how it pleases. And now more than ever, society's spotlights are being shone onto me...

It's a scary thought.

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This blag is tagged: Ambassador, Famous, Google, Textgames, All