Bertine van Hövell’s Meditations game was a representation of when you work extremely hard, but do not feel successful. It is a puzzle-form of the Imposter Syndrome. In Hövell’s game, you complete a jigsaw puzzle where none of the puzzle pieces have any art on them. You must examine the shapes of the pieces and fit them together, creating a completed puzzle that is one bland color.
The pieces not having art was a portrayal of an artist, creator, writer, or any other worker, not seeing the value in the work they do. They work day and night trying to make something they are passionate about, but sometimes it feels like they aren’t getting the success they want, which makes them feel like their work is not important.
I used to feel this way a lot, but not too much recently. When I would look at site statistics, I would often be disappointed to see a viewer count under ten, and there were a lot of days where I would have doubt that my career was going anywhere. If only two people read my articles, then why even write them? This was my original thought process when putting a value on my articles and myself. I thought I was worth very little, and that my site was a disaster.
Once I started being disappointed daily and thinking that I wouldn’t make it in this industry, I knew I had to change. Not change my work, but the way I defined success. Almost every time I finished an article, I was very happy about the final product and was excited to publish it. This would immediately change when I looked at the stats. Suddenly, the article I thought was amazing became another piece of trash on my garbage website. With the decline of my mental health as a writer came the decline of everything I created. In September I felt like calling it quits, and in October I only published three articles. Everything was over.
In November I told myself to never look at the stats and focus on loving my work and being proud of what I have made and who I am. This change of direction worked and November was the best month of Scoffin Games. I published 15 articles, and as I later found out, reached over 1000 views.
That’s right! I did not listen to my advice to myself and checked the stats again. I was surprised to find out that people started reading and loving my work once I started being proud of it. I love my audience, I love every single person who visits my site and I hope all of you enjoy what I create, but what matters most is that I enjoy what I do. If I didn’t, like in September, I would no longer be doing it. My dreams would be shattered and I would be struggling to find something else that interests me.
In today’s Meditations game, you put together puzzle pieces in a manner that is not precise, at all. The pieces do not fit together perfectly, as there are small gaps between each piece when you place them together. This was representative of when a creator is not sure about if they will achieve success. At the end of the game, there was a delay between when the puzzle is complete and the reward for completing the puzzle, and I am not totally sure that this was intentional or just a bug, but it represented the change of the definition of success.
In the time before the reward, which is a nice display of fireworks, I was not sure if there was something I did wrong, or if I actually completed the game. At first, I let out a loud “ummm” as I frantically looked around to see if there was any mechanic that I somehow missed. After clicking everywhere, I stared at the screen saying “I did everything I could” and was ready to close the tab, but that is when the fireworks started.
“I did everything I could” was a great last statement about my experience with this game, and it is the last statement I make about every article I write. I did the best I could possibly do, and the views don’t matter, but they will surely come, because what I created was worth viewing. My puzzle, while imperfect, was the best thing I could possibly make out of the pieces of the puzzle available to me, and maybe I am just looking at it wrong. Maybe, in the eyes of the audience, the broken pieces of this bland puzzle combine to create a beautiful and untainted landscape of unimanginable wonders. Maybe my creation was beautiful and I just didn’t see it.
That is symbolic of everyone’s first steps into their career they are passionate about. You always feel like you don’t belong, and that you can’t create anything perfect. The latter is true and is true about every single artist, writer, and creator around the world. Nobody is perfect, but there are people who will love your imperfections, and you will be loved and appreciated for your work. Whether it is a small bug in a game or the too informal and rambling tone in this dang article, someone will see your hard work and love, and they will respect it.
Hövell’s small puzzle game may not have been intuitive, as I stumbled to find out if I could drag the puzzle pieces or the meaning of the on-screen phone, but it provided some insight about the mind of a creator, and the constant struggle to be proud of your work. I hope all of you learn to love your work and learn that the number of followers or views you have does not determine the value of you and your work. It is okay to appreciate the numbers, but don’t let them get you down. I know the struggle can be extremely difficult, but you will get through this!