Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm Paul Bills

Hello, Team Ahab!

Me and my wife, Maddie
I'm sorry I haven't posted earlier, it's been quite a crazy weekend for me because my birthday actually happens to be tomorrow and so I've been busy with family and all such things.

I'm Paul Bills. I'm from Salt Lake, and I've been married for just over a year now to a girl I've known since Jr. High but never even thought about dating until I saw her for the first time after my mission here at BYU. You just never know what can happen, I guess.

I'm a senior English major hoping to graduate in June, and I'm looking forward to getting a Master's Degree in Video Game Production from the U of U as they were recently ranked number one in the nation for their program. I actually just very recently made that decision, in part thanks to Dr. Gideon Burton himself. I was in his Shakespeare class last semester and he encouraged us to do our final paper on something that we really cared about and to make it publishable. So I did, and I found out games are way more important and intriguing to me than I have ever given them credit for, and that they are doing more than they ever have. The paper I ended up writing, "'Such Stuff As Dreams are Made On': Shakespeare and the Cultural Legitimacy of Video Games" got accepted into the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association conference, which I will be presenting at in October alongside professors from all over the country. At first I thought I was going to become an English professor focusing on New Media applying literary theory to video games, but the more I studied the more I learned the kind of games I want to study are just barely starting to get made, and I wanted to have a hand in that. So that's my plan. Since I made that plan I have been designing a game concept every day as a challenge to myself inspired my Ray Bradbury's writing method of writing a short story every day from the time he was twelve until a stroke took away his ability to write decades later.

Screenshot from The Last of Us, an amazing game that ends in Salt Lake City (image credit

Besides video games, I'm also a huge fan of board and card games, which are going through a renaissance of their own at the moment. I design my own games for fun, and play games like Dominion, 7 Wonders, and BANG! whenever I get the chance. I also follow a ton of tech blogs and sites and have written and queried a first fantasy novel in a series of four that I've been outlining since I was nine years old. I've also been very serious about writing poetry for a long time, though time constraints and competing interests have suppressed that a bit lately.

I'm excited to get to know you all and excited for the class!

To the Pequod!