So I was hanging out with a 16 year old the other day. As a 43 year old man, this could sound a bit weird, but I know his dad for ages, and it was all of course above board as they say. The really weird thing is that this kid is probably my biggest fan as an author, besides of course my mom who’s not read anything I’ve ever written. Otherwise there are obviously loads and loads of them.
About a year ago at this point I was handed on a silver platter with an incredibly ornate, Baroque, handle, the idea that this thing I’ve been designing and making shouldn’t be just for this amazing story I wrote “The Gates of Vienna” but could work just as well for reading and teaching real and potentially less absurd history.
I’ve been talking to educational institutions, universities, NGOs and the like and they all seem to agree: Yes Jim, this would be good for educational sorts of things. They are generally talking about older, non-teenager people though. Fine, but what about the people who are at a crucial time in their lives, and are often at this point turned off to the whole dusty and complicated hunk of the world called History and Literature and the like? University students are among the already converted so to speak.
So Bastion at this point lives on your phone. You take out your phone on the bus and you read a bit. Phones though in a lot of schools for kids are banned. Not all schools, but many if not most schools actually prohibit the device that holds the thing that they say is good for learning history in this case. The interesting thing about this is how my biggest fan besides my mom told me he uses his phone for homework all the time, except outside of school. He uses it to look up things, because its smaller. Its easier.
I always liked the idea of Bastion being a way better history textbook in your pocket. A textbook of sorts that is of course not only smaller, but one that you would want to read. One that would allow you to dive into people and places that you’re interested in and not have to slog through reams of paper to find the bit that really grabs you. A textbook of sorts that you would actually want to read.