This week I flew to Stockholm, staying just for a day, meeting up with some old palls and new contacts. I must say I was very excited when Mojang’s community manager Lydia Winters invited me on Twitter, to the office for a cup of coffee. Meeting with her was such a nice experience! She really is the same lovely, smart and talented Lydia as on Twitter. It’s not often people turn out to be the same IRL. Many ppl create an alter ego online that possesses all those characteristics they wished they had in real life, but not Lydia.
So I had a quick cup of coffee (or glass of juice for me since my stomach was still rioting after the flight), and I must say it was so sweet to meet old friends such as Tobias and Johan (also hired by Mojang now)! We went to school together, and they are both very bright and fascinating gentlemen.
But the coolest moment was when I opened the door to the office and an unknown family behind me tried to look over my shoulder to get a sneak peek of the Mojang office. It turned out they had traveled all the way from Israel, to see the place where Minecraft was made! The young gentleman in the Israeli family got to take a photo with one of the Minecraft devs “Jeb”. I have never ever seen anyone that starstruck, he almost fainted! His mouth was moving, but he could not make a sound, and his eyes were almost popping out of the sockets. It’s amazing he got to meet his big idol, and I’m sure he will remember that moment for the rest of his life. My previous boss at Junebud, Ola Holmdahl, was the lead designer for Battlefield 1942, and sometimes when he mentions this fact to developers at game conferences, they react a bit like this young Israeli kid. But they usually like to shake his hand and thank him for making such a great game (then they want to talk war stories from inside the game). All in all, it’s amazing to be part of something that actually means something to people, that changes them, that makes them have fun and connects with other humans.
It’s important to have someone to look up to, when you are young. To have some sort of role model, someone who inspires you and brings out the best in you. It can be your mum, your cousin, a teacher, a singer or a game developer. I admired Bono from U2 when I was a teen. And if I got to choose, I think he is still one of the most inspirational people I know. One day I would love to sit down with him and have a beer, talk about the world, and how strange place it really is.