Fantasy Fueling Reality

Stefanos Lalic - Software Developer for Snowball Digital

The world of fantasy has always attracted me. Looking back on my past, I guess the fascination was curated during childhood. At that time, my family was always moving somewhere new. We started in Greece, then paced around Bosnia for some years until I finished high school. I even tried out Serbia during my undergrad. And there was one thing I could count on through it all: my video games and the connection they gave me to an endless number of fantasy worlds.

Operating Without Limits

I initially pursued an education in architecture and construction. But I got bored, left the program, and switched to software engineering - a space that immediately felt like home. Games - like Dota, World of Warcraft, and Titan Quest - had drawn me in because of the worlds they allowed me to play in. This same feeling ended up in my love of programming because I too can control how I want the constructed reality to function. When you immerse yourself in an abstract version of reality, you own the storyline and the ending. What follows is a real sense of personal progression. 

The limits of reality can be suffocating. But in games, it's an entire universe that can bend and shape to your dreams and desires. So is the beauty of programming.

Outside of gaming, I also believe that the time I spent in Bosnia built up some thick skin. Life there is hard, but it is a sweet kind of struggle. I don't think I would have turned out the same if I were born in a more developed, westernized country. The struggle was inherent to the strong, spiritual person I am today. It inspires me to live gracefully and has instilled a belief that people can overcome anything. It all depends on your spirit, the energy you are putting into the world, and your capacity for resilience.

The Future is AI 

Making a difference by creating useful things for others is what powers my internal. One example is with automated, semi-life forms. After all, you can argue that it is the code making AI's do things. We aren't just talking robots here: I also mean automated systems that connect business, people, and products. There is a meta-world behind the code that is doing all the work without help from humans. How incredible is that!?

The most important things in life aren't seen, but felt. Materialistic items don't connect us to ourselves, to others, or our communities. If we base our happiness and values on them, we lose direction and focus.

I believe in the power of machines and embrace a shift towards AI reliance. I think it will give humans more time to be creative, expressive beings. Life may be easier than ever before, but I think we have become a bit lost along the way. Long-term contentment will increase if we regain some time for creativity and personal pursuits. For me this comes in the form of sports (soccer, tennis, swimming, martial arts), music (playing piano, dancing, singing), and time in nature (camping, hiking, deep conversation under the night sky). It’s why I see programming as the ultimate solution; it represents the brain behind the code that will bring us forward into new era of ultimate human freedom.