More Information About Me

Simeon Peebler started out in the early 1980s programming his Commodore 64 and making his own games and music when he should have been doing "more appropriate" things. Flash forward to the present day; after years in game development and technology, he works as a game designer and programmer and has been working the last few years in teaching game design and game development at a leading digital arts college in Chicago Tribeca Flashpoint Academy In 2011, Simeon created Brain Bump, a trivia game for the Amazon Kindle. He also has been working on composing original music and songwriting (go to his songwriting site and hear his latest album).

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Personal Message to Graduates of Flashpoint Academy

May 29th, 2009

Dear Friends (Graduates),

I love Star Wars.

The main character in the Original Trilogy, Luke Skywalker, as you know, lived the formative years of his life as the adopted son of a farmer. He had big dreams. He wanted to join the army. He wanted to do something important. And when two robots, hot off of the back of a truck (also known as a sandcrawler, just to be clear) end up in his garage, an epic series of events unfold. Luke had an opportunity to make important decisions. These were risky decisions that determined the fate of the galaxy.

Many of you were sitting on the farm. If not literally, then in other ways. With big dreams, you always had a sense of being in a better place. In some cases, your destiny was not in your hands. Some struggles and setbacks kept you from becoming the person you hoped to be in the world.

And at the right moment, at the right time, you came upon Flashpoint Academy. Finally, a stepping stone leading you in the direction of your dreams was in front of you. Here was your chance to realize some of your potential. You followed Old Ben Kenobi (Ric Landry) to the Millennium Falcon and set your course for the planet Alderaan.

Of course, getting to Alderaan proved a bit of a challenge. In the film, Alderaan was blown up by the Empire. Luke was sucked into the heart of the Death Star on a desperate mission to survive and achieve what seemed to be impossible (destroying the Death Star).

This mirrors many of your experiences when you walked into the door during your first days at Flashpoint Academy. It wasn’t going to be easy to get through this adventure. For some becoming a game developer was something you thought was just going to be handed to you. Surprise! Alderaan is gone. It was time to face reality. In the days following orientation here, you were on a dead run to make it to the end. This roller-coaster ride through every challenge in class and out of class made for an epic journey with both setbacks and triumphs.

Getting to the end, in the trenches trying to reach one of your end goals – graduation – was harder than anything you could imagine. Many of you truly transformed in becoming digital professionals and leaders. After making to the end of the first movie, Luke Skywalker had earned his stripes. He made life-changing friendships. He had learned much from a teacher, and mentor, only to be left in the end to rely upon all that he learned and his own will power. He was well on his way to reaching his full potential.

The story does not end there. There were more challenges in life and many new obstacles. Luke had this in abundance during the events of the second Star Wars film, the Empire Strikes Back. Everything he learned in his journey to destroy the Death Star helped him in tackling the next challenges with precision. He still had much to learn of course, but he was absolutely certain about his direction. This made him very powerful indeed.

As you go from Flashpoint Academy into jobs, internships, establishing your own businesses, or for some of you in securing your first professional digital media opportunity in the world, think about Luke’s journey.

Luke had a dream to become extraordinary. Luke relied upon his friends, and came to their aid when they needed it the most. Luke never gave up even in the face of the most challenging things he experienced in life. And in the end, he overcame the Empire.

To all of our new Jedi: May Flashpoint be with you. Always.

- Simeon Peebler