This is Phil Fish

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
By: Matthew Doucette

Here's one of my favorite videos. It was referenced by Notch's "last" post, "I’m leaving Mojang" (Web Archive):

"This Is Phil Fish", by Innuendo Studios.


After seeing so many gamers misunderstand Phil Fish, I felt the need to explain what I like about him. Even after watching his personal journey through Indie Game: The Movie, the hate sustained! It is unbelievable how easy we cast out individuals rather than respect their trials and tribulations.

I am a huge fan of Phil Fish, and his work. So, I left the following comment on the video above. It has been upvoted considerably and thought I would share it here on

I like Phil Fish. I love that he gives the internet back what it hates, which is its own criticism. And the internet cannot handle it. It is pathetic really. It is easy to be a critic. It requires no thinking. It is much harder to actually understand someone.

Here's a wonderful thought on critics, from Roosevelt's "Citizenship In A Republic" speech:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Don't be a critic. Be a doer. Be a thinker. Understand people.


2019-DEC-11 UPDATE:

Stumbling back here from reading Notch's "last" post, "I’m leaving Mojang" (Web Archive) again. These parts stood out to me:

"I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either."

"I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I’ve had so much fun with work."

That is a game developer taking about making games.

It is the same as a gamer talking about playing games.

It is the same as any doer talking about doing the thing they do.

It parallels with my decision this year as an Xbox gamer to stop shooting for achievements. Currently, I have a 93,463 Gamerscore, with 128 completed games (not including DLC). Which I have bragged about. ( is basically a huge bragfest. I like that it is a single place where I can showcase my things for anyone interested.)

Since this decision, I have enjoyed games much more.

A long time ago, gamers play games on any platform (various home consoles, arcades, home computers, PCs, etc.) and the platform did not matter.

Accolades and purity do not always match.


That is all!



About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $190,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.