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Building-Head Land

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Aug 30th, 2010
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Since today is the day I was born, I’m pulling out something totally random. Consider it an exercise in imagination. Driving back from Ft. Worth recently I said something to my wife about my head (I don’t remember now what it was, but I bet it was normal-sounding, I promise). She looked at me and said something that had the words “look” and “red barn”.

“My head looks like a red barn?” I asked.

“No.” She pointed out the window. “Look at that red barn. It’s cute.”

“Oh!” Of course. I knew that. Why would she say my head looks like a red barn? Scrolling past on my right was a stretch of farmland with, of course, a dilapidated red barn.

But that got me to thinking. What if my head was a building? Not just mine. What if we lived in a world where everyone’s head was a building? As one of my favorite smiths of curse-wordery, Vince Vaughn, would say, “Stay with me, captain.”

Imagine, instead of a head, your body was capped with a building that best represented who you are. Sort of like a totem. It’s your spirit building. Now, you can’t pick a building that’s something you like. For instance, you can’t say: “Ooooh–I like coffee, so my head would be a Starbucks.” No. If your head was a Starbucks, that would mean that you are a person who energizes others. Or that you’re a spaz. Or you overcharge for your services.

All kinds of fun can be had with this. Maybe your head’s a smoke-chugging factory: you’re very industrious and you work brutally hard (or you exploit people, either way). Maybe you’re a motel (we all know what that means.) I was kind of thinking of my head as some sort of ancient temple or philosophical academy. The kind of place travelers would visit to gain deep insight, spiritual understanding. The Oracle at Delphi. Aristotle’s Lyceum.

So, I asked my wife, “What do you think my head would be?”

“Something like a cave.”

“That’s not a building.”

She thought a moment. “But the inside would have man-made stuff. Like tunnels.”


“Dark twisty tunnels. Like a maze.”

“What? I sound like a psycho!”

So, basically I’m walking around with a mountain on top of my neck. A mountain with a cave people wander into, get hopelessly lost, and then get eaten by some hideous bull-headed beast. Awesome. I guess.

Cave Head

So, seriously, what would your head be if it was a building?

About Me

Ricardo Bare
Austin, Tx

Ricardo Bare is a writer and game designer living near Austin, Texas. Currently he works as a game designer for Arkane Studios, which in 2012 released Dishonored. Ricardo started his career in the games industry working on the Deus Ex series, winner of the BAFTA and numerous other Game of the Year awards.

Ricardo is the author of Jack of Hearts and Fool of Fate, the first two books in a young adult fantasy series.


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