Peter E. Olsen
Before attending college, I was homeschooled my whole life. We used an eclectic assortment of materials from traditional textbooks and educational software to science kits and DVDs. Our family's library of over 5,000 books was a treasure trove of knowledge at my fingertips. Much of my learning took place during activities in which I worked independently and which allowed for flexibility. For example, in kindergarten I'd spend hours playing my favorite computer game, Logical Journey of the Zoombinis. But with educational freedom came the responsibility for getting my own work done. By the end of my junior year in high school I was determined to finish calculus so I completed eighteen chapters in one week, receiving A's and B's. The home learning environment was ideally suited to self-discipline as well as constructive creativity.
My growing up years were enriched with many family adventures. Packed with education as well as fun, each experience opened my eyes to different cultures and environments. Memorable images continue to fuel my imagination - building sand castles on the beach, hiking up volcanic cinder cones, walking among ancient Indian ruins, discovering ghost towns, participating in historical re-enactments, and driving on dusty dirt roads through the desert. I climbed the highest mountain in Arizona as well as a 14,000 foot peak in the Colorado Rockies. These wide-ranging learning situations helped to broaden my horizons both literally and figuratively. This taught me that a real education is more than book learning - it also includes exploration.
Although science was my best school subject, throughout childhood I wanted to be an architect. I developed strong conceptual and visual design skills through hobbies that consisted of drawing maps and floor plans, playing SimCity, putting together 3-D puzzles of famous buildings, and building LEGO structures. These pastimes allowed me to experiment with a variety of simulated landscapes and layouts. Then in my early teens I began creating new levels and cinematics for a computer game called Chex Quest. That's when I decided to become a game designer instead of a building designer. At the same time, I applied my analytical and problem solving skills when I built my own computer and three more computers for other family members.
While my aptitude for math and physics shows that I possess a high level of critical thinking skills, being creative is my real passion. A combination of logical and creative abilities is ideal for programming interactive multimedia, as in my college majors of Web Design and Game Technology. By taking general studies courses I was able to delve more deeply into geography, another interest of mine. Although most of my classes were held on campus, recently I've had the opportunity to take some online courses. One was a communications class in which we created PowerPoint and video presentations, then uploaded them to YouTube. In a presentation titled "Computer Games: Enhancing Education," I made a persuasive argument for the educational value of computer games.
From a little boy playing with LEGOs... to a teen making computer game mods... to a college student majoring in web and game design - the skills I've developed throughout my life have prepared me for a future in any field that uses innovative multimedia content. My varied interests in this area are reflected in a blog that I maintain for discussing anime, webcomics, games, machinima, Vocaloid music, and random topics from the world of computers and entertainment. I'm confident that I have what it takes to succeed in interactive media - creativity, technical proficiency, determination. My aim is to create imaginative games and dynamic environments for fun and learning!
Site and contents © 2012 by Peter Olsen