The Living Dead: Leonardo da Vinci

Leo and the Curmudgeon sat down for a chat about art and video games.

By the light of a full moon, the Feisty Curmudgeon performs rituals to raise the dead. Rather than use this power for evil, he summons forth humanity’s greatest champions to ask them about our world through their eyes.

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Leonardo da Vinci, the Feisty Curmudgeon chooses you!

FC: Leo, can I call you Leo?

Leo: Of course! My bros in Florence called me that.

FC: Great. Welcome to the twenty-first century! It’s been nearly 500 years since you last laid eyes on humanity. What do you think?

Leo: Life seems very complicated in your time, but in much the same way that it was in my time. I see now that my time was known as the Renaissance, characterized by the rapid progression toward a more intellectual society. Truly, our understanding and craft of literature, art, science, and philosophy blossomed during that time.

Today’s society has a similar vibe. The last 150 years of recent history has unfolded so rapidly that many still living can barely comprehend the magnitude of change they have seen. The arenas of change may be more widespread than in my time, but that means those working within them must work harder to disseminate their learnings widely. Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.

That said, this Internet you’ve shown me is truly a work of wonder. Realize that everything connects to everything else; the Internet allows those connections to become apparent and tangible in a way that knowledge of my time never could.

FC: Socrates also really dug the Internet.

Leo: I see what you did there. Looking at the culture of the Internet, it fascinates me that it exists beyond boundaries and nationalities. It is an inventor’s dream laboratory, and I see great experimentation and quick learning happening there.

Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.

The Internet enables that on a much faster, grander scale than anything that was possible in my time.

FC: Other than the Internet, what things from our time do you wish had existed in yours?

Leo: There are many new mediums for expression and invention. There are more tools today to create art: photography, film, interactive video games. Video games are amazing. The purpose of art is to capture emotion and to convey ideas in an engaging medium. Video games are the ultimate culmination of immersive art because you become part of the art yourself.

FC: So what are some of your favorite video games?

Leo: Minecraft is fantastic. Such simple tools can be used to create amazing works of art. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Draw Something allows even novices to practice art directly through their fingertips on a screen. Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.

Journey is incredibly powerful in its ability to evoke emotion. I was also greatly moved by To The Moon.

I wish I had invented Angry Birds. Flinging those little suckers through the air at the disgusting pigs gives me great joy.

FC: Any advice for us?

Leo: You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand. Learning never exhausts the mind, so seek to learn what you can about a subject before forming an opinion for or against it.

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Character standing in front of a fleet of ships.
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A tree draped in shadowy shrouds at the center of the Land of Shadow
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Feisty Curmudgeon
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