This is my new desktop background at work.
I’m sure a lot of people would look at this and think “Man-Child.” They might even be right.
When I see this on my screen every day, I think of something completely different.
If you don’t recognize it already, this screen is from the very beginning of the original Legend of Zelda. The first thing you do is wander into a cave and HEYYyy, there’s this old guy and he’s giving me a sword. Awesome.
When I look at this screen I see beginnings — the first clumsy steps of a long adventure — and I’m filled with the spirit of ‘anything is possible.’ You have no money, no stuff, and there’s a blank map in the top left corner that’s yours to fill in. Ready, Set, Go.
I look at this and see
bravery a cautionary tale about the importance of planning ahead. Your character is a kid on a mission to kill a giant pig monster AND HE DIDN’T EVEN BRING HIS OWN FUCKING SWORD. That’s a little bit like a musician arriving at a gig and realizing he forgot his guitar.
I see the kindness of strangers. Thankfully this old guy has an extra sword laying around and is cool enough to give it to you. This act of generosity makes the entire adventure possible. It reminds me to take stock in all of the help, advice, and tools I’ve been given to succeed.
While we’re talking about Old Man, he reminds me to respect my elders. They’ve been through all of this before, and they have the perspective to help the next generation make better decisions with regard to weaponry and who knows what else.
Most importantly, my new work background reminds me to have fun and helps me tap into how enjoyable it was to pour myself into the immersive experience of such a well-designed game. It’s OK to be a little bit of Man-Child if you focus on the productive elements (enthusiasm, joy, curiosity, fun) and reject/confront the negative stereotypes
When I sit down to work, I look at the screen and try to channel the emotions I’ve assigned to this simple image: opportunity, bravery, preparedness, generosity, respect, and joy. I’m glad to have found an image that so efficiently captures so many of the motivational values I aspire to. On the surface, the background reads as nostalgic nod to my gaming roots, but as you now know, it serves a higher purpose.
What’s your desktop background these days? Why did you pick it? Does it inspire you in any way?