Category: General (page 1 of 247)

The future has been foreclosed and the present is intolerable

This is an insightful and enjoyable article about something which I’ve noticed even at my level of gaming. For example, when quickly explaining the controls for Sniper Elite 4 to someone recently, I realised they were almost exactly the same as Red Dead Redemption 2.

That ‘legibility’ is a double-edged sword. It allows players to switch between games quickly and easily, but perhaps mitigates against innovation, experimentation, and getting really deep into a game…

Writing for TANK magazine in 2019, Josh Citarella mused on how WoW Classic tied into Mark Fischer’s idea of the slow cancellation of the future” (aka where are my hoverboards”)…  Cirtrella points to the collapsing gap between items that generate culture and items that can be (nostalgically) reflected upon, especially as The future has been foreclosed [and] the present is intolerable.”

[…]

Said differently, games are forced to be legible to players. This isn’t a call for radical experimentalism but to simply state that the cost to make games (due to a large amount of factors) is steadily increasing, and as such there is a proportionally growing interest by the powers that be that those games turn a profit. With little flex on things like price (proposing games should cost $70, $80, or more leads to general uproar, despite being something that should totally happen), games are forced to internalize this economic burden on the process of production itself.

[…]

It’s here that I introduce the title of this article, something that sounds more thinky than it is – Game Design Mimetics”. If the role of mechanics design in a game is to best serve the content of the game, be legible to the player, and not introduce too much uncertainty into the middle of a production, the simplest answer to what should we do about the design” is to just copy what already works”.

[…]

The past here isn’t looked at as the past, but instead as the metric by which to hold directly against considerations for the present. The constant backwards facing view as the rubric by which to create the future acts as a collapsing mechanism for possibility.

Source: Game Design Mimetics (Or, What Happened To Game Design?) | k-hole

Abandoned places

We didn’t have time to go and see the bay with lots of abandoned hotels near Dubrovnik when we were in Croatia recently. But there’s definitely something fascinating about faded glamour and abandoned places.

Though apocalyptic, there’s something beautiful about abandoned places. The clocks have stopped ticking and there’s not a soul in sight, but the shell of what used to be remains. Abandoned places show us what happens without consistent human upkeep—and perhaps what could even happen to the places we love and frequent. These spots are haunting, and there is a mysterious beauty in neglect. The following locations (albeit somewhat weathered over time), are some of the most striking we’ve ever seen. Read on to see the most beautiful abandoned places in the world—and learn their backstories. You’ll almost feel voyeuristic looking at them, like you’re witnessing a very intimate piece of someone else’s life.

Source: 54 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places | House Beautiful

Pain, suffering, and scuba diving

In this post, Derek Sivers shares his experience of a panic attack during a scuba diving trip and being calmed down by his instructor. He then subsequently used the same technique to help someone else who wasn’t OK on a later trip.

Pain and suffering are part of the human experience. For anyone ask “why me?” doesn’t make sense. There are those who dissimulate and those who don’t, but underneath it all there is hardship.

There is less stigma around therapy than there used to be, but I haven’t met anyone (me included!) who hasn’t transformed their life for the better after going through some form of counselling.

I learned a few lessons from this experience.

There are things in life we think won’t apply to us: Panic. Addiction. Depression.

I thought that was for other people. I thought I wasn’t that type. Why is this happening to me?

But I learned so much empathy that day. These things that only seem to happen to other people can happen to me. We’re not so different. It helps me recognize it in others, and be most helpful by remembering that feeling.

I imagine this is why people, who have been through really hard times, become counselors.

That day also reinforced the power of imitation. My teacher calmed me down so well that it was best to just imitate him.

Source: scuba, panic, empathy | Derek Sivers