I’m the Chief Creative Officer at Spry Fox, a grand company focused on making games that make the world a better place.

I’ve been making games and software for over 25 years and each day is more exciting than the last.  My journey has led through some of the largest companies such as Netflix, Microsoft and Epic Games as well as a variety of visionary startups. There are many years worth of essays on this site, most of which should stimulate your brain in at least some tingling fashion.

Check out a list of popular essays: https://lostgarden.home.blog/worth-reading/

A note on the name “Danc”

When I started this blog in the early 2000s, it was anonymous. I signed posts with “Danc”. The blog stayed this way for well over a decade before I broke down and put my full name Daniel Cook out in public.

In that vacuum, people have come up with a huge number of ways of saying my name. In person I go by “Daniel” or “Danc” (pronounced ‘dank’ or ‘dahnk’ depending on your level of Europeaness.) I’ve never gone by “Dan” or “Danny” or “Danny Boy” and always do a bit of a double-take when someone says “Dan”. I’m like wait, who are they talking to?

The confusion is I think two-fold. First, Americans desperately want to shorten names into something that fits into their brains comfortably. Roberts turn into Bob. Williams turn into Will or Bill. Many Americans can barely pronounce Daniel. The ‘iel’ confuses and flusters them. So Dan is a comfortable fallback. Perhaps by insisting on being called Daniel, it can be seen as a form of brain training; a public good in our age of fetishized simplicity.

Second, people make the leap that “Danc” is short for “DanC” or “Dan Cook”. Folks go so far as pronouncing the name “Dan See” or “Dance-E”. As a confession, Danc comes from a period in my early teenage years when I was obsessed with rogue-likes. When creating characters for Moria, I would bash the keyboard to try to type my name as quickly as possible. One time, the result was Danc and that stuck. The other popular one at the time was Darkmist (which would have led to less confusion, but now feels ripe with angst.) But to be clear Danc was never a shortened version of my name. It was a random fantasy name for a particular barbarian who lived a short and incompetently executed life.

Around the same period, I also started signing my art Danc. And then when that art went online, folks naturally knew me as Danc. For the first 20 years of my career, industry folks only knew me as Danc and tended to say it correctly. The trends toward Dan or Dan C is a recent one that snuck up on me and must be now nipped in the bud.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Scott Kim with Puzzles and Game Thinking | Episode 180 – Professor Game

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