Welcome traveller. My name is Nollind Whachell. I’m a researcher and writer on how play creatively leads us to our authentic selves, using this website as my primary space of play to explore both it and my Self—a sort of sanctuary within the wilderness, far from the conventional world, if you will.
Stepping Off the Conventional Path
Back around 2003, I started researching The Future of Work in my spare time, believing that there had to be a better way to work, as the conventional concept of work just no longer seemed to be working, especially in light of the fallout from the Dot.com Bubble bursting, leaving many people unemployed regardless of how well they may have performed in their work.
As my researched evolved, I realized that Social Innovation was the primary way to step into this new future of work and Creativity was the primary means to achieve it. With this newer insight, I also realized that what was being redefined and transformed wasn’t just work but learning as well. In effect, newer ways of learning allowed for newer ways of working.
Discovering The Gap
By 2018 though, something became apparent to me. There was a gap, a disconnect, within my life story that I needed to resolve to unify it and give it a greater sense of meaning. This gap was occurring because prior to 2003, my conventional life at that time revolved around primarily playing video games and building online communities around those games, first personally and then professionally. So even though I was fascinated with Creativity, Social Innovation, and The Future of Work in the present, my background around playing games seemed out of place with others because they often assumed my background work experience was as a change agent transforming organizations.
For myself though, my transition seemed like a completely natural and logical step. In having built online communities around video games, I soon began to question and inquire why the communities I had helped build seemed so much more positive than the other ones I had experienced out there at the time. I realized that our different culture was the primary reason, so I started researching culture more which lead to researching organizational development and The Future of Work in turn. So again a very natural progression and step from one to the next.
Yet regardless of it seeming like a natural progression for myself, I had to express it in such a way that it seemed natural for others as well, helping them to see the deeper connection in turn. By the start of 2019, I felt like I was closing in on articulating who I was more fully, when the obviousness of it finally revealed itself to me, like a teacher sitting and waiting patiently for the student to catch up and understand the lesson. It was at this point that I realized I had been playing my entire life and I was now playing at a level I never imagined possible before.
Playing at a Higher Level
As I had noted above, we are more than just redefining the way we work, we are redefining the way we learn as well. Well the most obvious step beyond this is that we are also redefining the way we play as well, with the three together redefining society and how we live as a whole. In effect, it is newer ways of playing, beyond the conventional, that are making newer ways of learning and newer ways of working possible. But what I realized is that these newer, higher forms of playing are often invisible to others, so they need to be pointed out to be seen.
That is the primary focus of this website. It is to shine a light on this higher level of play that goes well beyond the conventional understanding of it and reveal how it is the foundation for the creative process, allowing us to socially innovate and step into a whole new world in turn.
Reflecting back on my life as a whole now, it seems somewhat poignant. I started my life playing games within imaginary worlds and now I’m imagining a better world that we all can truly play within together.
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This website is the tattered remnants of one originally created back in 2005 on Squarespace. After Squarespace Version 6 was released though, I decide to leave it and migrate slowly over to WordPress. The primary reason for this was because of the huge feature loss with Version 6, as it wasn’t so much an upgrade but rather a complete rewrite. In addition, whereas previous versions allowed a designer to do a lot of customization and layout changes without needing to touch too much code, Squarespace 6 required you to be a hard core backend developer if you wanted to manipulate the functionality or layout of the site in even the slightest.
Even using WordPress though, I wasn’t that happy, regardless of it be free and open source. It was like a hack on top of a hack on top of another hack to get anything done. Because of this, I eventually even decided to give up on web design and development altogether because I just couldn’t find a platform that had the flexibility and customization I wanted without it requiring massive amounts of coding to achieve (which was the beauty of Squarespace at its original core).
Thankfully though, I wasn’t the only one who saw a pretty brutal landscape of web platforms and perceived a possibly better one laying on the horizon. To my surprise though, it was Automattic that had the foresight similar to mine and today it is evolving through the new Gutenberg editing experience into something that I believe will eventually mirror Squarespace’s flexible functionality and even surpass it.
In the interim though, I’m slowly rebuilding my website, striving to one day hopefully reintegrate all of my previous posts from Google Plus and even Twitter into this website, so that all of my scattered previous progression of thoughts can be contained within one space as a digital world that others can explore and adventure within.