Do yourself a favor and read this Jonah Weiner profile in the NY Times Magazine on the reclusive brothers behind the Dwarf Fortress complicated, but retro-graphics computer game. It profiles a couple of interesting characters who have decided to dedicate their lives to an esoteric game rather than more traditional pursuits. Here’s a good bit:
If much of Tarn’s apartment suggests a tenant who never fully moved in, his bedroom suggests a tenant who never sets a sock outdoors. When I peeked inside, rumpled underwear, discarded boxes and books lay scattered across the carpet. A sheet of plywood, edged with black foam rubber, was wedged into the window frame and affixed there by metal clamps. Tarn wakes up around 3 p.m. every day, codes through the night and goes to bed around 6 a.m. The plywood keeps slumber-disturbing daylight out of the room, making it a chamber fit for a vampire dwarf — or at least for a computer programmer.
Tarn and Zach’s parents live on several wooded acres in nearby Bremerton, and Zach, who is 35 and between jobs, has lived with them since 2002. Zach brought over a drinking glass from the house in case I got thirsty, because Tarn owns only a couple of dishes. In the fridge were three sodas and a jug of water and nothing else. Tarn said I was welcome to anything, although the jug technically belonged to Scamps — the tap water has something in it that makes the cat refuse to drink it. Tarn consumed “maybe one glass” of water in the last three months, hydrating with soft drinks instead. “Water’s not doing it for me these days,” he said. “I know it’s bad, but the sugar goes right into programming the game. If I don’t drink soda now, I get a headache and can’t do any work.”
Great description and a hilarious quote. “Water’s not doing it for me these days.” You’ll chuckle about that line in a few days.
Read the rest.