Jan Willem was supposed to write about our presentation at Gamelab #6 last thursday in Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, so we could post a video of it on the blog. I specifically asked him to make sure to explain that the video is in Dutch, but that it was subtitled in English. Instead, tonight I received a heartbreaking account of the tragic story of his marmot when he was five years old. In Dutch. Since the e-mail might have spanned a few pages, I've translated only the gist of the mail and put in a slightly more readable format so that you, too, may learn one of the darker secrets about the game designer at Vlambeer.
When JW was five years old, he always wanted a squirrel or a bunny. He loved that kind of small animals. He opened his dad's encyclopedia one day and found the following excerpt:
Marmots are generally large ground squirrels. Marmots typically live in burrows (often within rockpiles, particularly in the case of the Yellow-bellied Marmot), and hibernate there through the winter. Most marmots are highly social, and use loud whistles to communicate with one another, especially when alarmed. Marmots mainly eat greens and many types of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, roots, and flowers.
JW , sadly, at this age had a tiny room, but his smart dad proposed a dwarf-marmot, which apparently is a existing gene of marmots. Two weeks later 'Stippie' (Spotty) was a fact and Stippie fitted in JW's small room. They were happy together for just over a month, when JW found the kitchen closet empty and Stippie fat and dead. And smelly. That's when JW learned dwarf-marmots are nasty animals. But kind of cool.
Yeah. True story, I suppose. Uh. Now for that video of Gamelab #6.