The Anaheim Convention Center in sunny SoCal looks like any convention center in any other state, except when Blizzard Entertainment takes over. BlizzCon is an annual video game convention, hosting more than 35,000 people — and even more at home via a virtual ticket. I have a not-so-secret secret: I really like video games. As a decorated (I have degrees, people!) comparative literature geek, I love good storylines, characters and settings — much like a good game. Here are five things I realized at BlizzCon:
1. Love what you do. I recently left what I begrudgingly called my ‘day job.’ From a broad perspective the organization is going places and leadership seems to want to change their digital presence, but from a micro perspective — things seemed dire. Employees were tired, bored and uninspired. I felt held back on so many levels because of the ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’ attitude. Mix that atmosphere with distrust and fear, it really wasn’t a place I could be myself. Passion and creativity are the biggest drivers for a successful brand, happy customers and innovative employees but when those key elements get stifled, it feels like things are falling apart. It really is important to love what you do or else you will be sorely disappointed.
2. Motivation creates momentum. Surrounded by cosplayers, fans of all ages, artwork, panels, statues, tournaments and hyped-up employees — inspiration was everywhere. The dimly-lit, blue hue of BlizzCon sets the stage for one of the biggest video game exhibitions (a multi-billion dollar industry) and for major motivation to continue pushing boundaries.
I’m excited for the future in gaming and literature (wink, wink).
3. There are no limits to your creativity. I’m extremely relieved I have power over my own creativity and drive again — which is why it was so fun to escape to BlizzCon earlier this month. Now if I feel like my creative juices are a little lackluster, I’m going to remind myself of the worlds, characters and magic surrounding the Blizzard franchise. And the constant push forward to come up with new characters, storylines and fun. Fun!
4. Continue your education. Another thing I noticed about BlizzCon is not just the inherent urge to create new things but learn about them, master them and compete in them. I think it’s important to always continue learning and challenging yourself.
5. Passion is crazy. It’s hard to stop and not smell the fog machine-cloaked roses from the Starcraft 2 Arena, look around and be awestruck by how many passionate people there are surrounding you. Right now. I’ve learned that crazy-ass passion is contagious — as it should be — and it’s hard not to catch at BlizzCon.
The moral of the story is that work shouldn’t always feel like WORK (in all caps, yes). We should all strive to be part of worlds that enhance our strengths and melt into our personal lives. I’ve been watching a lot of Hearthstone on Twitch lately and thinking how much the digital landscape has changed with streamers and influencers dominating every industry. I’m excited for the future in gaming and literature (wink, wink). Thanks, BlizzCon 2017!
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