Wil Wheaton (YGtCTO #63)

Sometimes you just have to acknowledge change, in our selves and the world around us. Change can sneak up on you or it can be flung in your face. For instance, there was that time I worked for a university that was pushing their in-house medical services, so I ended up on their HMO assigned to their doctor. I did not have much experience selecting a doctor, but I knew what my doctor was supposed to be- some old guy with a gruff, but endearing personality who truly cared about my health by bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. The university medical services assigned me a female doctor about my age who had a friendly demeanor and tended to step out of the room to look things up. I learned that this was not a big deal, but it took a bit to adjust to my new world.

Like the rest of the world, I knew Wil Wheaton from Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Somewhere along the way, I heard that he had written a book.

As I started out indicating, the world has changed since 1990. With the coming of the Internet, a lot of people started websites and blogging caught on. I know you knew this, but remember how bizarre and imposing all that content was before decent search engines (or even still).

Here’s the thing that we don’t talk about enough- blogs are a new medium, primed for artistic expression, but we have yet to identify the characteristics that differentiate quality from not so good. For that matter, is blogging more like the Life of Samuel Johnson or more like music videos? In their essence, are they memoir as art or art as promotion?

Wheaton might argue that he did not start out as a writer fifteen years ago when he began blogging, but the medium demanded something else. Along with others, he has figured out how to create a body of text that rivals any modern memoir.

More than that, I think Wheaton has been a guide through the mire of modern technology for any artist looking to deliver their creations in this crazy connected world of ours. (All due accolades to Felicia Day for probably even more impressive path-finding.)

I know what you’re thinking (probably not, but let’s pretend I do)- Wheaton had a leg up with a ready-made fan base from his Star Trek years. If anything, that could have disinclined him from pursuing further public artistic endeavors. Anyone who has attended a pop culture convention knows what I mean- people are nice, but there is a point where knowing your audience too well has to make you question your choices. (Then again, Michelangelo hung in there with the Medici, so what do I know?) I think anyone who keeps making art and discovering new ways to create and experimenting with technology is leading us to the world that we want.

You’ve Got to Check This Out is a blog series about music, words, and all sorts of artistic matters. It started with an explanation. 237 more to go.

New additions to You’ve Got to Check This Out are released regularly. Also, free humor, short works, and poetry are posted irregularly. Notifications are posted on Facebook which you can receive by friending or following Craig.

Leave a Reply