Portraits of Giants

I previously mentioned that Justin Nichol is doing a Kickstarter project to make Creative Commons Fantasy Portraits of donors.

The idea is simple: Justin needs tuition for school next semester. He’d rather create art for video games than work at Starbucks. So, donors can pledge some cash and in return get a digital painting of themselves. These paintings will be released under the Free/Libre license CC-BY-SA (and GPL for compatibility with games like Wesnoth) and are designed to fit with the style of FLARE. They will be PC portrait choices or NPCs in the final game (probably displayed during conversations).

Well, only a few days into the Kickstarter we see some interesting names: Joi Ito and Mike Linksvayer — the current President and Vice President of Creative Commons! Somehow they’ve gotten wind of the project and thought it’s a neat idea.

We’re thrilled! And it seems only fitting that giants of the Free/Libre, Copyleft, and Creative Commons community make guest appearances in my free-licensed game. So I joke: what if we ask other people? Stallman, Doctorow, Lessig… I know those guys are busy. It can’t hurt though, right?

Today I get an email response from Lessig that says “done”. Holy hell, Lawrence Lessig has commissioned a fantasy portrait of himself and will appear in my video game! Justin, the artist, is beyond excited too — his portfolio will forever contain commissioned portraits of three giants in copyleft culture. And I’m excited because Lessig — one of my personal heroes — will end up as a literal hero in my video game!


I also got an email response from Richard Stallman! He admitted he could not donate towards a project that used the term “Open Source” to describe itself, but would gladly participate or give a nod of approval if we instead agreed to use the terms “Free” or “Free/Libre” to describe it. I’ve decided to take it a step further and rebrand the entire project. I’ll be posting more about this later today.


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