RND/ a synthetic experimental laboratory scenario in which the mere existence of monthly Writer’s Forum Magazine (writing tips, seasoned authors, the publishing industry, interesting contents, prizes and more) is viewed as representative of the ongoing undeath of UK literature – feels stuffed to overflowing with violently mediocre, pale skinned middle class prose, perfectly calculated by teams of gently aging grammar fetishists with soft hands smelling of grandma’s lavender never to offend those who regularly partake in Reader’s Digest – part of a vast and empire spanning network where infinitely more dead end avenues for malignantly useless literary self aggrandizement exist than writers – an absurdist ‘scheme for full employment’ of endless B.S jobs and profoundly un-profoundly bad andor feeble advice for [their unconscious notion of] inherently dreadful, self-compromised and nice, safe writers, who take their over-bred mutt for windy walks on the common and effortlessly ignore Mr. Fluffkins taking a polite wormy text dump while they privately try to come to existential terms with the complexity of bringing neatly together the two lead dull dramatic arcs bubbling over in their latest forthcoming four part Amazon slush pile sensation – that next big literary breakthrough leading to fame and fortune and an interview spot on Radio 4 after Prayers On Sunday
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Not that being involved in literature and the world of words whether at the so-called professional or amateur level somehow inherently involves the sordid business or attitude of vanity publishing – not everyone who takes fingertip to keyboard is ‘waiting to be discovered’, especially not as the next J.K Bloody Rowling – rather the widespread literary undercurrent pulsing throughout the UK as symbolic of the common dream of a better society in which everyone does nothing but freely create as their spirits wish, and labels used for selling it no longer exist
In which it seems the only thing Writer’s Forum Magazine actually champions is the business of selling the synthetic illusion of fame and fortune to those who actually live for the dream of the literary beach beneath the cobblestones, the greater secret Borgean library existing behind the vile middle of the road bookshelves of Waterstones and the tepid fair cynically dumped on them by predatory publishers, who only ever really cared about ‘what sells’ and hardly ever about the existence of any actual human meaning and importance within their flaccid middling class paperbacks
Perhaps it’s not good literature and ‘good writing’ people want or need – especially not as carefully defined and professionally polished by the useless word churning industry / culture of publishing (a true Golgafrinchian activity) – but revolutionary Meaning; a philosophical axe to the lizardly neck of the nearest soul frozen publisher
RND/ some recent freeform lab notes on repeatedly trying and failing to meaningfully engage with others online:
Part of the problem (and, admittedly part of the actual appeal) is that I simply don’t know what I’m doing with this site, or any of its so-called content; it’s not philosophy, certainly not art as the modern global art market defines and imagines it understands it, it’s.. just boring B.S – like a lot of life, and certainly like a lot of the internet – dealing with the down time of Time itself, listlessly punching the life clock in the face with amazingly anti-meaningful, memetic clickbait attention economy splinters before death, just for something-anything to do
Way out here on the ‘tubular interdark’, everybody knows you’re nobody; a kind of self selecting crowd, an invisible dark mass with a strong sense of who already and ‘really’ deserves to be up there – and therefore who to pay attention to; pop stars and other mass produced media personalities ‘should’ be online, should have a visceral media presence, simply because they’re already famous; “I’m famous, therefore I already am”; everybody else does not exist, their voice automatically lost among dry digital grasses
If I was already a rich and famous ‘media personality’ (one of the worst insults you can apply, surely?) I wouldn’t have to sit here alone in my cold, rented shoebox trying to pretend I want to write these cosmically useless lab notes (aka a simple random blog post) telling all the countless billions of people *not* listening about my first world philoso-artistic woes (indeed, I could hire someone to write and perform my dis.content for me – some beautiful, hopelessly naive, fresh-out-of-artschool greenhorn with advanced ‘conceptual new media’ skills and a subscription to photoshop who could also pretend to pretend to ‘play Big Science’ for me, while I, eg. play the latest AAA gaming industry ray-traced titles on my retro 60″ 8k 144hz HDR monitor with my eyes glazed over with hot hyperreal image flux)
The need to continually romanticize the blasted, pathetic little details of one’s as-though-still-not-yet-lived life, since the alternative (not that the truth is an ‘alternative’) is simply too flocking grim and bone achingly dull to remotely contemplate (“Who me? Why, I’m not really an unemployed Sociomedia postgrad from a sh1te Northern university whose still deep in Student Debt two decades after leaving – I’m an ‘amateur postmodern internet media prophet’ with a vast legion of super intelligent fans who adore every artistic twitch of my sensual neural meta-fibres!”)
Indeed, one might consider the internet the greatest technology for generating feelings of extreme loneliness ever developed – what one in fact merely ‘hooks up’ into is not so much a living network of connections, but of dusty overgrown pathways between isolated gravestones in a massive abandoned church, whose towering megastructural gothic architecture makes Dark Souls say “Damn, that’s some dead-ass Gothic right non-there”; ‘self-facilitating media nodes’ are always born dead reactionaries, their mouths choked with the rotten black earth of raw media image
I recently sent an email to gamedev Mosche Link, trying to.. I don’t know – perhaps just intellectually engage with anyone about art / ideas:
Dear Mr. Linke
Hello, I’m a UK based philosopher and artist, who regularly works with the concepts and notions of videogame architecture
I’m writing to you, to offer my (free) help as a resident ‘Theorist-For-Hire’ on N.E, as I feel i can add a strong narrative element / philosophical context to your game
Here’s what I’ve written so far; I hope you find it interesting and relevant to your project: “My story is that of a distant planet, destroyed by climate change”
Zone 000: For decades, the people of my planet lived under the collective delusion that there was something we could do to finally fix the problem of runaway climate change; the patient had been dead for a while now, and only the illusion of uninterrupted existence was left – huge shocks we applied to its corpse that kept the whole rotten system lurching onward. To nowhere.
Coda: In which there is no whole – no single solid unit of function, only fragments and the useless registers of artificial memory. A pointed awareness of deep time; the secret language of petrified trees in a museum nobody visits.
Zone 001: To paraphrase an ancient Earth philosopher and media prophet: “Immense energies are deployed to hold this synthetic simulation of ecological harmony at bay; to avoid the brutal de-simulation that actually confront us in the face of the obvious reality of a radical loss of meaning of the term ‘finding balance with nature’.”
Coda: Claims to knowledge of the true extent of our predicament must now kept in check with new, default extremes of advanced philosophical critique.
Zone 002: In fact the entire planet was doomed from the very outset by our very existence; the real runaway process at work was not merely our love of ancient alien animal oils, bubbling and oozing beneath the surface, which we used to power the sentient machines running our society – our imagined immortality in the vast technological utopia we built in our own golden image.
Coda: Mystics within certain wandering tribes to the deep East used to say the rivers of oil which actively fueled our demise – as opposed to the convenient myth called progress – resembled immense ropes of interwoven, strangling tentacles.
Zone 003: The thing about utopias – which means ‘non places’ – is that, rather than universal data heavens which anyone may enter, are in fact always constructed precisely by those who are inherently and automatically barred from entering – their labor and lives always conveniently missing from the official image archives adorning the silent, bloody walls of our faithful technological republic.
Coda: Even the brilliant ships we built in order to abandon this storm-wracked, planet sized tomb were themselves abandoned, because it was felt we could not control the wind, and therefore somehow simply not worth the effort. Planetary scale lassitude.
Zone 004: All too soon did the towering megastructures of our breathing biological cities turned back to inert, dusty brick; we became desert people, susceptible to dark cosmic visions of endless, trackless dunes – giant singing manta rays with mile wide wingspans, able to block out the incessant glare of our angry sun – mothers in their millions, crying perfectly oval silicon tears over infinite futures lost – to what? The limits of our imagination, perhaps.
Coda: In which a strange scenario emerges, in which the plain, naked fact of our true planetary predicament actually represents a gap, or unexpected turn – a historically inserted shard of collective possibility for new conceptual horizons. The fingers of the great skeleton clutching eggs once unable to hatch, perhaps now finally releases its ugly, spectral grasp. A low humming sound, heard only at night during sleepless dreams.
Sincerely, Robert What
The reply was as expected (edited and paraphrased for clarity):
Hello Robert; I am flattered that you’re such a dedicated fan. Your writing gave me a lot of inspiration, and as these ideas flow into my mind, I’m sure they’ll influence the overall world design. It’s just that I don’t want to use words in my current project, so I’m sorry I can’t implement your text into the Neon Entropy. For now, almost the entire journey is already set in stone, and there are no new developmental changes planned.
Again, I’m very grateful for your dedication.
There’s a pattern developing here; in the course of my daily research and development, I discover something cool and interesting online, and sometimes try contacting the ‘researc’ / developer in question to talk about it. While they obviously like, and are thankful for attention and complements (who doesn’t like ego-feeding complements?), they almost always immediately follow up with the kind of standardized boilerplate apology I now call “Sorry, butt”
– Sorry, but I don’t need any help right now..
– Sorry, but I haven’t really got any time to X..
I now read such replies as, “Sorry, but I’ve absolutely no idea who you are, who or what you represent, what exactly you want from me or precisely what you possibly imagine I can do for you” – which is fair enough, given that I’ve no real idea what I’m doing (“Just a little R&D, you feel me..?”) but there’s still some kind of underlying assumption that, if the person politely calling you isn’t already rich and famous or at your perceived ‘level’ of whatever – social status or intellect or class or level of self importance – then there’s ‘no real point’ to the conversation
Read ‘no real point’ as “With the first two sentences of our email exchange, I already get the strong troubled feeling you simply won’t be able to actively progress my career / boost my ego to the next level – and therefore interacting with you as a human being interested in art philosophy and the free exchange of ideas is an active waste of my infinitely precious time”
Especially with artists, the feeling is that those with gallery representation and a couple of showings under their belt – very small and standard potatoes most of the time from what I’ve seen – feel anyone that contacts them has to be a buyer or from a large international newspaper with offers of a world shattering interview; and everyone else a mere rescinded priority; sure everyone (well, most of us) has bills to pay and there are only 24 hours available but man, is there ever the feeling one has to constantly justify oneself and one’s existence when in their presence
A related problem: how to make any flocking dough when someone else is already holding all the bread?
Flock art – what about just being a decent human being with half decent listening skills; I’m not a ‘fan’ of anything or anyone (rarely is anything in life that interesting) and neither am I calling you to sell you some vague idea of.. myself, perhaps.. hello? Is there anybody even out here? *sound of high pitched, heavily filtered virtual wind whistling quietly through an empty architectural infinity of global climate cooled data centers*
Sometimes you get a break: A pleasant conversation with Professor Pippin Barr
Pippin: Hey there Robert – holy crap this thing is intense. I really like the format a lot – more than I would have expected. It’s exhausting, but also very possible to browser around in rather than read in the obvious way. The pieces of language I’ve landed on have been lovely, poetic, thoughtful.
Robert: Many thanks for your prompt and kind reply! It means a lot. I know you’re very busy, but any time you’d like to hook up online for a quick philosophical chat / freestyle jam about Play, Games – their strange Virtuality (particularly in the context of large scale institutional Education – ‘university considered as whitecube gallery’?) please do let me know, as I’d love to pick your e-brain
Pippin: Hey Robert – yeah definitely. This weekend’s no good for me, but plausibly next week Saturday for a bit? What time zone are you?
Robert: UK – five hours behind Montreal. Thing is I don’t think our chat really needs to be realtime, since we’re already communicating over email, and I don’t want to bother you at the weekend. What say we try a freestyle yet somewhat focused call-and-response, wherein we initiate several small theoretical possibility spaces of conversation and idea-exchange, and then we each jazz riff from there?. This way we can spread the conversation out, let it breath. Some example topics as follows; what would interest me Mr. Barr is that we try to always lean the conversation back around to your particular (expert) view and approach, ie. from within academia. Please bear in mind however: I don’t really know anything about anything, I just enjoy pretending to
Pippin: Asynchrony makes sense to me. Absolutely. Not sure I’ll be able to talk at your level with such. Counter-offers (perhaps we can converse in questions). What are games made of? (makes me think of your noclip stuff a bit, but also a preoccupation for me in many games). Videogame translations? (book to game, game to book, game to game, myth to game to art print to game, ++). What about everything before the game itself? (design and process documentation, did you ever read Jordan Mechner’s book on Prince of Persia? this is something I’m very involved in personally). Hmm.
Robert: Some initial responses. What a games made of? What about games considered as (say) ideal / idealized (conceptual!) platonic forms of (digital) heaven; an interactive retroactive western gnosticism / immaterialist wish for spiritual ascent? (Brian Eno; art-as-‘surrender’)
– On Videogame translations: because everything is always in the disruptive flux of unceasing market colonization. Here Zizek is instructive:
“Herein lies the paradox proper to capitalism, its last resort: capitalism is capable of transforming its limit, its very impotence, in the source of its power – the more it ‘putrefies’, the more its immanent contradiction is aggravated, the more it must revolutionize itself to survive. It is this paradox which defines surplus-enjoyment: it is not a surplus which simply attaches itself to some ‘normal’, fundamental enjoyment, because enjoyment as such emerges only in this surplus, because it is constitutively an ‘excess’. If we subtract the surplus we lose enjoyment itself, just as capitalism, which can survive only by incessantly revolutionizing its own material conditions, ceases to exist if it ‘stays the same’, if it achieves an internal balance.”
– The design-by-committee, focus-group-tested-hipness, pale geekdom hell that is “Ready, Player One”
Pippin: What about everything before the game itself? (design and process documentation, did you ever read Jordan Mechner’s book on Prince of Persia? this is something I’m very involved in personally)
Robert: That’s basically what I like to term “Big Science”; conceptual freeform play emphasizing craft rather than strictly art (Eno again), notions notion rather than polished product, contested spaces rather than virtual certainties; games as the convenient hole the artistic catherine wheel spins around
– In which there’s now no ‘before’ the game; the map has long since entirely replaced the territory and the Permanent Virtual Funemployment of Ludocapitalism now constitutes our very dreams *gosh that’s romantic* ;-)
– Mechner’s book sounds interesting and I’d like to read it; while I remember digging POP back on my Amiga 500 back in the day, I just hope the book by-implication doesn’t overemphasize the (/myth of) the auteur and forget wider collective gamedev culture
Robert: On games as digital heaven: considered as (say) ideal / idealized (conceptual!) platonic forms of (digital) heaven; an interactive retroactive western gnosticism / immaterialist wish for spiritual ascent? (Brian Eno; art-as-‘surrender’)
Pippin: I’m playing Tetris Effect at the moment having had its virtues extolled by various friends. I think it probably aspires to this sort of idea? It even has chanting monks in one level. There’s a kind of “become one with the tetronimoes” feeling to the design. When I was feeling down the other I tried using it as a medicine but I don’t think it worked. Those points and level rankings kind of thwart the transcendence for me?
Pippin: Yeah I guess there are forms of religious experience that revolve around counting and quantification, that’s true. I’m not a religious person so can’t really speak it it, but it always seemed to me that the quantified-self versions of religious practice would get in the way of spiritual experiences. Like the assignment of set numbers of prayers post-confession or the idea of accumulating blessings via fasting. A bit instrumentalising. Like almost any videogame…
Robert: I’m afraid the ritual nowdays is simply of blind digital consumerism; I wonder where all the more truly philosophical play spaces of free experimentation exist – rather than what the aaa-industry laughably regards as somehow remotely philosophical-by-auto-proxy. Hope I’m not directly suggesting games are literally spiritual; perhaps more simply that in modern secular society it appears they’ve taken over (/from) certain symbolic aspects of traditional (mass) worship; witness the levels of crowd devotion in any regular E3 presentation – or the ecstatic opening of lootboxes as receiving sacriment?
Pippin: For sure games have that kind of cult-y obsession factor going for them. But I guess I think people feel like they have spiritualish experiences too? At least trance-like experiences which are a big part of a lot of religions? And games are nothing if not ritualistic, too…
Robert: Interesting how experiments like Vr2 can be read as appearing churchlike – an cool, noble museum full of strange exhibits, possibly once used by a distant (/dead) alien civilization as fetishistic worship totems..?
Pippin: Huh. I’ve never thought about laying any kind of narrative on top of a game like that – it exists so clearly as a formal experiment for me, but this makes a great deal of sense. I think I’m afraid of stories because I feel like I’ll tell a bad one.
Robert: Aren’t all games embedded in narratives and contexts, ala ‘everything as a text’? As for being a formal experiment, I imagine gamers almost always treat whatever they call games as complete, stand alone experiences – definitely statements rather than open experiments or idea-spaces..
– On the ‘Quantified Self’ and its grasping, Minecraftian style valorization of the individual as a mere stack of exploitable cubed information often feels abhorrent.
Pippin: I thought Detroit was weirdly interesting in relation to the quantified self thing somehow. It’s the first really detailed visualisation of a game’s narrative as another set of accomplishments that I feel like I’ve encountered (though I bet it’s been done before). Sitting there in front of the narrative flowcharts at the end of playing through a scene I was always both fascinated (“I could have done that?”) and repelled (perhaps by the implication I ought to experience it all). The quantified self as a set of time worms.
Robert: You’re right. Wow, that game’s so accidentally postmodern, it hurts. In fact one could use it as the benchmark for games so uniquely wack, they transcend the medium and forge their own aesthetic space – just like Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Pippin: Well I guess David Cage has been pushing pretty hard on this model for a hell of a long time. For better or worse Detroit feels like he “broke through” and kind of nailed whatever it is he believes in. As such it feels simultaneously like a tour de force and problematic and lame in many ways?Robert: In chapter two of your thesis you stated: “A key factor in the enthusiasm surrounding video games’ potential for delivering messages is their motivational power. Unlike most forms of software, people largely play games because they enjoy the process which leads us to a further level where values can be seen as something brought by players to their play.” Perhaps spirituality is one such motivating force?
Pippin: Jesus, my thesis. I’ve never thought about Potemkin in conjunction with level architecture, that’s nice and feels accurate. I think about that when I’m constructing games a lot – the question of realism and solidity, as well as the “authentic” system beneath. When I made a tiny game about finding an invisible dog (for a class in programming I teach) it mattered to me that I displayed the image of the dog even though it was completely transparent and invisible. v r 2 was kind of about this for me.
Robert: Just remember, Jesus loves all thesis ;-) Regarding the authentic system beneath, one is reminded of Zizek’s reversal of Hegel’s notion of ‘abstract and concrete’; the abstract ideological background (techno-utopianism) which makes current social relations possible / concretizes them? Regarding the notion that “decompiling a video game is like dissecting a frog – we learn a lot about it, but the frog dies in the end”; the need to deconstruct videogames – a skeptical re-examination of dialectics forming its apparent basis – an examination searching for points of privilege (ie. claims to knowledge) upon which its hierarchies rest – to bring to light how a game space undermines the philosophy it asserts, the hierarchical oppositions on which it props itself up, identifying in/via its ‘text’ rhetorical operations that produce a supposed ground of argument, key concepts or unexamined first premises
Pippin: Suffer the little theses to come unto him. My own games often feel like dead frogs to me, but not always? There’s also often a big, weird transformational leap from the code+assets representation of a game and the experience of the system running and reacting that can kind of erase your knowledge of the inner workings. That said maybe it’s the opposite and it’s other people who get the dead frogs, or at least mute frogs, that aren’t successfully communicating what they’re “all about”, whereas I know…
Robert: The thing about dead frogs is precisely that their deliciously grotesque historical animation by Italian scientists
– Indeed, yet isn’t code + assets not merely a representation of some future / ideal game (/state) of active play – but already an entire system (albeit ‘low level’) already running and reacting? One that, somehow not only erases knowledge of inner workings, but perhaps of all other (/levels of) workings; programming code as that which ‘retroactively creates it’s own causes’ (Zizek)Pippin: Hmmm. I mean… gee. I don’t know how I feel about saying the code+assets in the absence of processing could be said to be “running”? It implies running and represents a logic, but..
Robert: If one imagines human language as just another special class of machine programming language, and language generally as social behavior – something one performs, then.. I think I mean it’s ‘running’ and ‘live’ in the sense it already depends on a dynamic, contextual (cultural) matrix of meaning and meaning-performance; neither code nor assets arrive tabula-rasa, or ‘raw’ but rather already part of preexisting systems of social intent and signification; one doesn’t have to wait for meaning to arrive until clicking an (apparently) self contained .exe file
Pippin: Life as platform then? Fair enough. I think I’m lamely modernist enough to worry about so much blurring though, starts to be unclear what you can say about anything? But in principle I agree..?
Robert: As for Low Level Language: “Programming language that provides little or no abstraction of programming concepts and is very close to writing actual machine instructions”; perhaps this strange and complex ‘abstraction’ works at all levels; let’s consider that the ‘finished’ game – really, it’s more simply ‘all we have current access to’, rather than finished, complete, self contained, etc. – is an abstraction up, out and away of the (seemingly) raw or uncooked (/cultural) matrix of code.. if any of that makes any sense, don’t mind me I just to make small animal sounds with my mouth ;-)
Pippin: This does actually make a bit of sense. Is it arbitrary to say that the game we play is really a totally different thing from the code that animates it, or are they levels of abstraction? I mean, qualitatively the experience is so different that we’re justified in distinguishing them, but at some other conceptual level maybe it’s also fair to say that the game running is an “abstraction” of the specificities of the code? Or not?
Robert: I’m not sure how this relates to your question, but I can imagine a game in which the act of having to compile the code is the more actual game then whatever regular sense of interactive software occurs after compilation. I think considering “a running game as an abstraction of the specificities of code” is a good heuristic for understanding digital play – but I also like the notion that “code as always already running as a specific abstraction” (if that makes any non-arbitrary sense?)
Pippin: People have even made efforts at games that are played at least in part through code (e.g. else Heart.Break()) though usually still within the confines of a “fake” programming language (though what does that even mean).
While I’m always ready to be instructed by Zizek, though I won’t pretend I’ve often understood what he’s saying. I really enjoyed his riff about the toilet in the movie The Conversation, that’s the pinnacle of it for me. Translation in relationship to capitalism vaguely scares me. Though I translated the concept of Capitalism into a game of Snake in SNAKISMS. Actually my relationship to capitalistic structures goes… pretty unexamined I guess. By me, I mean.
Robert: Ah, the eternal return of the cosmic flush that keeps on giving! Terrifying ;-) Due to embeddedness within global capital, that’s not necessarily any kind of reflective failure on anyone’s part; one is reminded of the old yoke about the fish who, while swimming past two others says “Morning! How’s the water today?” As he leaves, they turn to one another and ask “What’s water?” Watch out – games are everywhere!
Pippin: Are games really everywhere? If they’re everywhere what are they?
Robert: Hmm; no, game’s aren’t everywhere – and if they are, they’ve long since mutated away from being mere games; and yet, to consider the sense that ‘games’ andor ‘gaming’ have long since been the new default metaphor of viewing (/’Western’) reality – which is why in my bad post cyberpunk fanfiction, I often like to refer to some near future retro-80s state “When videogames won The Reality War.”
Pippin: Huh. And this also ties to that kind of boring question “what is a game”. Etc. Maybe it’s everything, maybe it’s something vying to “take over”, maybe it’s a thing with points and rules. I like using “game” as a Trojan Horse to get people to engage with the stuff I make that “isn’t really a game”, since the word has a bunch of helpful connotations in terms of people jumping in and grappling with what they see, at least for a few hundred milliseconds.
Robert: Perhaps no more or less boring than games themselves ;-)
Pippin: They are though aren’t they? I’m struck by this constantly at the moment, though perhaps I’m just more generally depressed. I struggle to stay engaged and interested in the games I’m seeing, though I know they’re acknowledged Good Games.
Robert: Thing is, I don’t really think ‘things which aren’t really a game’ work, since there’s a sense in which everything is now too often already (and only) viewable in the default terms of / set by ‘game’; indeed the use of Alternative Reality games as marketing strategy is nothing new, right? Aren’t games already Trojan Horses to get us to engage with too-often malignantly useless playbor in the service of the global funemployment enconomy?
Pippin: True that the Trojan Horse isn’t just for for killing your enemies or getting people to play art games. Gamification and serious games and advergames and on and on. Free to play for that matter.
Artistic efforts like yours, Pippin, seem inherently worthwhile; it’s just that I think the term ‘artgame’ which tends to stick to such efforts simply means “anything fancy (remotely involved with learning) we Real Gamers care to / can’t quite understand“, ala teh gam3r as the warm little nexus around which all games should be revolve’
Pippin: “Fancy games” sounds good. Game Fancier Magazine. Regarding ‘Big Science’ – what would be the experience here? Should we be releasing half-finished games? What does the polish do?
Robert: Perhaps there’s no experience, since ‘nothing’ is the only non-thing that happens? It seems ‘conceptual games’ or ‘strange imaginary play’ are not only not-finished, but somehow not even yet fully begun.. as an interactive digital art fragment, your cool Vr2 seems more an artistic idea-space potentiality in/via its odd virtual emptiness, than whatever many modern players would remotely consider [irony ;-] A Real Game™; a passing notion for intelligent virtual brains to inhabit. (In fact aren’t all games ‘conceptual’, in the same way one response to the old notion that “Sci fi is the literature of ideas” is to ask “- As opposed to what?”) To consider ‘polish’ as the ideology of professionalism, ie. Culturally sanctioned aesthetic standards linked directly to digital protestant work ethics – and therefore holy market notions of Worth. – I like how the space defined by “It is as if you were doing work” could also be entitled “Acting as if you’re playing a game“; games as much performance as anything else
Pippin: This stuff makes me think a bit of the argument that there a whole class of games that don’t need to be played, or perhaps exist, in order to be “got.”
Robert: Somehow it seems there’s a whole invisible class of games that are never played, and are never ‘gettable’ – which seems kinda beautiful, and ironic – considering the number of Steam games which are never played, even once
Pippin: It’s exactly the kind of conceptual thing of VR2, say, where you can explain the game (or what it would be) and someone can apprehend the ideas that way. (Robert Yang has written about this.) I’m kind of reluctant to accept the idea if only because I wonder if/wish that the experience and interaction with a real game has real meaning distinct from a language-based form of the “same” ideas?
Robert: I think even the very experience and interaction with ‘real language’ also has equally real meaning, far distinct from (code? graphical?) based forms of the same ideas! And to what extent is the choosing of one – the ‘finished, stand alone product’ over the other ‘mere’ documentation of which it’s comprised – always a willful cultural act? The notion of language evolving into the ‘visual language’ of play
Pippin: Both experiences are meaningful, absolutely, though I guess one is a description of the other? I mean, if we want to be totally relativist we can say there’s no hierarchy there, but one is generated from the other? (If the “real game” exists.) I guess I feel like the real game (made of code and assets) doesn’t communicate “better” than its description, but it does communicate in a way that is distinct and valuable.
Robert: Indeed. Just as total Relativism to Absoluteness seems an entire spectrum, perhaps too is the two way movement from ‘code+assets’ to ‘game’ (might we also include these nondual polarities within a wider sphere of ‘paida’?) Let’s also imagine a game that when run, outputs procedural code+assets as its output (/which in turn, when compiled, outputs a new game.)
Pippin: Absolutely fancy. And here the “play” is the compilation process I take it? I have a student working on games that are just menu systems for games. You choose the ‘new game’ button and end up in the menu for a new game.
Does explaining to someone the idea of a game in which there are cubes with objects inside them you can never see, but which are “really there!” equate to the experience of standing in front of one of those cubes in the virtual space? Doesn’t seem to me that they do unless you boil it down to only the pure concept and not any of the potentially emergent stuff that could spring up from “being there”?
Robert: – I’m not sure they equate exactly, but rather that each of these positions, the seemingly Conceptual and the apparently Actual, both gain and loose a lot in translation between states; and indeed, aren’t they always actually more processes in transition, more bizarre events than objects?
– The philosophical task of equating experiences of / like text, image, and interactive graphics seem fraught with difficulty; perhaps it helps if one regards them as a fluid dis-continuum, some kind of flux; as for simply and effectively expressing this difficulty in the least number of polygons possible, I’ve no idea since I’ve never made a game
Pippin: Better get on to that!
Robert: I’ve emailed Konstantinos Dimopoulos about collaborating on “Terra Nullius“: a browser based, procedurally generated megastructural desert landscape explorer-sim. To consider games as a windowless cube that nobody can see either into, or out of – a Dark Energy Chinese Room, perhaps? I’d sure love to see any Surreal Absurdism in digital play states..
[UPDATE: Konstantinos replied – “Thanks for saying hi; really lovely meeting talented people with similar interests! Your work seems absolutely fantastic, and to be honest I would like to work with you on something at some point. I am admittedly utterly swamped at the moment –over a year of 70+ hour weeks seems to be taking its toll– but hope never dies. We should definitely talk again :-)”]
Pippin: I did want to eventually make “It is as if you were playing a videogame” but I also find that idea exhausting…
Robert: Often it works out like that; that merely trying to conjure an entire, logically / aesthetically self consistent play space appears far more difficult than just-making-a-game; however I think the ideological baggage behind apparently-simply ‘making-a-game’ is far more heavy a burden than just pretending outright that you’ve made one ;-)
Pippin: Haha, absolutely. Maybe this is my next career move. Pretending I’ve made games.
Robert: To paraphrase Borges; making games too often seems a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness, expanding in five million lines of code an idea-space imperfectly explainable via other means – for instance, pretending that those games already exist and then offering a summary, a commentary (/perhaps the form of a smaller project) or a mere notion of a conceptual act
Pippin: Or in a complementary direction making a game remediation of a novel never written.
Pippin: The archival thing is big. My Flash games continue their march off the cliff of compatibility. But I especially like it in connection with analysis and thinking about what was going on in people’s heads when they make games (and art in general). The resurrection of the author?
Pippin: Interesting to bring up The Beginner’s Guide which is of course very author-y, but in a fake way? A constructed author not a real one.. Apart from a flippant reference to the death of the author, though, don’t you think the authorship in games is pretty absent? How often do we spare a thought for the idea that the games we play were designed and created by other humans who walk their dogs and shovel their snow etc.? In a sense I guess we “can’t” because it would presumably be disruptive of the immediate experience of the game, but it could be interesting outside that frame..
Robert: You mean, that the wider or deeper context for a game is often as, or even far more interesting than the game itself? Sure! Thing is, games themselves – what they already bring to the table of human experience (whether we want them to or not) already seem extremely ‘disruptive’ of the immediate experience of reality..
Pippin: To the extent they’re separate from reality, but yeah, sure – they definitely “take us out of ourselves”, etc.
Rob: Perhaps this out-of-ourselvesness of digital play actually provides the basis of modern (/virtual) embodyment; check out awesome VR experience Lone Echo.
Pippin: Yikes! Those hands..
Robert: To consider the notion there’s not only no breakable ‘4th wall’ in games – but no other walls either. I can’t stand “The Beginner’s Guide”; it’s creepy – emotionally manipulative, and while being entirely fake (a synthetic cultural construct) from top to bottom – is still entirely fake-ass, despite this; made in / with / via existential bad faith
Pippin: Tough read! It is creepy, but I guess I like that about it, all of the different levels of how it’s creepy and manipulative… felt interesting, whether or not all those levels are a kind of intentional artistic act or not.
Pippin: Can’t get away from interesting. Sometimes I feel guilty and sometimes it seems meaningless, but at the same time it feels like the essence of what I like about things. I mean it lightly and seriously at the same time?
Robert: Mechner’s book sounds interesting and I’d like to read it. While I remember digging POP back on my Amiga 500 back in the day, I just hope the book by-implication doesn’t overemphasize the (/myth of) the auteur and forget wider collective gamedev culture
Pippin: The book didn’t feel very auteurish to me, I think it performed a nice kind of demystification if anything – his struggles to figure things out, the clumsiness of all development, the working out what the thing is as you build it…
Pippin: Well yes, neutrality isn’t really a thing. But I think any good faith attempt to talk about how a thing happened is interesting. You have to read/encounter those attempts with your eyes open for the various potential colourings of that person’s interpretation, but still revealing nonetheless? A person who was there, who made a thing, does have access to information the rest of us don’t have?
Robert: What is often forgotten or unwritten in such apparently unproblematic ‘revealing’ acts, is the very existence of the particular cultural or conceptual engine which ‘renders’ visible (makes entirely possible) the particular scene being described. Perhaps ‘good faith’ is not a given, but rather must be repeatedly earned, often through contested community dialogue, and is often something hard won in any case, and over a far larger time span than possible through any one set of eyes; to what degree is a person automatically able to trust the apparent / inherent validity of their / ‘their’ words and worldview?
Pippin: Fair. Though it seems to me that the community probably doesn’t exist or doesn’t care at this level? I report endlessly on what I’m doing and thinking, I think relatively “honestly” to my experience and thinking, but it’s a bit of an unheard tree in a forest.
Robert: One should always strive for truth and be vigilant against illusion; the beauty of the lotus flower which blooms above the muddy pond shines undiminished and without break – whether or not passers stop to appreciate it.
Pippin: Oh yeah?
Robert: Indubitably. It often doesn’t feel possible to see the truth(/s) of ‘how a thing happened’, simply by looking out for another’s potential ideological tinting and skewing; how is one able to fully account for one’s own interpretations of their interpretation? Perhaps ‘neutrality’, rather than some untenable position nobody really claims anyway, represents the complex, common space (public commons?) in which good faith attempts to hash out meaning are attempted; are games this commons?
– The question of how exactly a person ‘was really there’ – in terms of a virtual reality experience is certainly an interesting one; in any case, bollocks to Heidegger and ‘being’
– The notion of ‘hidden information’ sounds a lot like being told that “certain special virtual cubes ‘exist’ with actual objects inside them”; what exactly is there to trust, or se? It might not even be a matter of trust. but of some temporarily shared meaning-performance; the open source book entitled “An Alternative History of Video Game Development” is yet to be constructed, I feel
Pippin: Hahaha.Robert: No, I mean, really – the alternative to no alternative is simply more of the SOS
Pippin: An Alternative Practice will be more practical? Presumably “impossible” for the giants, but plenty of smaller studios operating sustainably? I think? Hoo boy. Don’t know about you but I’m definitely feeling some fatigue at this point. How do we know when we’re “done”?
Robert: Don’t worry, it’s all over ;-) And yet, also consider the sense in which we’d not even yet begun, let alone finished – rather, a state of animated intellectual suspension – a temporary autonomous space constructed from / abstracted out of ideas (like a conceptual art performance, perhaps.) Again, thank you very much for your time and your thoughtful, considered responses. Great chatting with you – I look forward to your next game!
Please consider me a skint, UK based amateur philosopher-artist looking to become a rich and famous ‘conceptual-digital internet artist / media visionary’ as I find the hyperreal spectacle of global virtual videogame hyper-capitalism infinitely boring, and wish to escape from my cold, damp rented Brexit-era shoebox. Eventually I want to start a company, help out other strange artists like myself, and together generate cool art.
Can you help out with some hot tips andor handy hints? I’ve zero Cultural Capital, and (like so many others) have found that it’s impossible to ‘make bread without dough’. – In short, with zero opportunities for real and significant self promotion, no realTM talent (at least, as far as the contemporary [/digital] art market is concerned) and no mainstream-elite gallery representation, I’m doomed to obscurity on an unfashionable spiral arm of the internets and often simply feel like I’m p1ssing into my own stale electronic wind.
I’ve no idea why I’m writing to you, whoever you are, I know you can’t really help some random online fool with willfully vague dreams and reasonable expectations – it’s just that, at this point in my non-career I’m kinda desperate to get a foot in the back door / arts-crack of the modern art world, and start earning a half decent living wage. Besides, I love the name “Trinity Square Video” as it reminds me of “Hiroshima Video” from Videodrome.
Most Sincerely (with the faintest lemony twist of situational performance art)
in which ey wonder where braid falls on resarcs length expectation bell curve between expensive aaa play quote means longer / indies must be as luxuriously long -padded as aaa titles – but still cost nothing
x braid had time as core mechanic yet faces complaints about duration proves ey armchair thesis x ironys being outlawed
x no coincidence how sum research feel quote timeless – specifically in x ir allow resarcs to -temporarily transcend or suspend time bound notions of elf
like playing cheng 37 step tai chi chuan fa / sex – or indeed any play with stimulating mechanics ir get quote caught up in
ey doubt there were many who genuinely enjoyed braid yet still honestly complained about length
as artfunkel says above – constructing quote mr whirly inside research / development mod was brilliant
to what extent time usable as factor when ir having fun as great question
personally ir hoping for more open -paida research space like experiences allowing creation of garmeplay suited to immediate tastes
sweet model for x – david oreillys amazing external world animation
just keep on truckin jon/ henry
phil raptor – posted november 30 2012
ever considered brian enos theoretical quote generative music approach for making unique sounds – or indeed entire islands
thing about specific graphical aesthetic or overall look as x has -obviously changed over time
but then final result can be seen / read as arbitrary
yet if x case why not use enos generative approach where instead of building pixel by pixel one sets boundary parameters of interdependent code systems – eg shape scale colour density – which then interact in unexpected / nonlinear ways
to say/ ir sublime little island looks quote organic enough to have been grown / procedurally generated by computer – so why not let computers try
near examples of x approach regularly seen in awesome amiga / pc demoscene where entire landscapes / accompanying soundtracks explode forth in realtime from mere 4kilobytes/ difference there unlike with enos approach all modular sub systems quote locked down – demos / music usually same every time
basically n would feel neat to see aspects of island evolve in small delightful ways/ despite x puzzles ey think ir play as whole – seeks to – symbolically display wonderful lack of telos/ n appears open ended – something lot of indie research seem to share unconsciously
anyway just thinking out loud
l8ers/ phil raptor
robert henry dylan – posted november 28 2014 at 3 am -deleted
much in same way one may arrive at more finely granulated measure of irradiance ir staring at x image trying to intuit how to arrive at aesthetically meaningful calculation of overall quote interestingness for any given scene from given -playable vantage point
such measurement would eg take in overall number of light sources average object density colour field complexity etc / generate quote heat map of visual interest
n might also place tiny virtual cameras around island for dev to look through in order to view poorly composed -designed scenes – much in same way coin operated telescopes placed in certain key tourist hot spots of visual interest
from another angle/ rhd
in which ideology of witness partially viewing by repeatedly pressing f5 on front page of witness dot net
there series of delightful thought provoking quotations appears hand picked from select cultural heavyweights – meant to send potential resarcs on private reverie of intense philosophical meditation – though always in strict relationship to image of johnnies play space displayed above quotes
consider however how exactly on terra infirma ones not only supposed to relate -read into such quotes in actual context of selling another hot digital product as sony corporation ps4 exclusive
– thus shall ir think of x fleeting indie world of video play space rnd
– plastic star at dawn / egotistical fart bubble in stream of dead data
– flash of lightning in summer cloud above factory of forced labourers
– flickering lamp developer phantom / thin bad dream
– just with few nut bustingly dull environmental puzzles thrown in
perhaps johnny blow might not seem sum conceptually untouchable indie research buddha – another officially unofficially anointed saviour of video research / digital rat
rather to view witness as just another ultra privileged rich pink male gaze confounding obsolete classically romantic notions of nature / what natural/tm with concrete material restrictions governing production of virtual worlds in modern global information economy – in such seemingly nice neutral non place / alienated dislocation ir all immigrants
despite or rather precisely because of all pretty col ey / fluffy drifting clouds witness smells as 100 percent artificial as ir come – no offshore breeze wafts from x mystical island puzzle lifestyle to relieve foreheads sweating in electronic labour camps
rather bear witness to whole project as n exudes heavy cloying atmosphere of affable innocent charm masquerading as thoughtful engagement with cultural – cool domain of ironically detached blowhards everywhere
one way to think about pretension in research – x play spaces often emerge out of imagination pretence
so what are johnboys ideas about ir own play
where ir -failed attempt to answer ir critics regarding quote pretend aspects of braid
phrase/ one of criticisms x ey have heard about braid as oh ey didnt understand story / so author failed
well let x look at another genre x people take seriously like novels – novels are not genre but cultural format for presenting narratives
also idea x quote people take novels seriously might elf be non serious notion
very few people on planet earth could tell ir x ir understand finnegans wake but x considered to be one of great novels
– quantify very few john/ implication here – x quote very few could recognize inherent genius in joyce – clever clogs like blow being one of those few no doubt
therefore one needs to be one of very few smart ones to recognize innate brilliance of blows digital oeuvre
phrase/ something like gravitys rainbow as very well respected very complicated book x very few people understand but x as part of value of medium
tolstoy in anna karenina said x respect was invented to cover empty place where glove should eb
– as for quote value of medium what x johnny – $60 / season pass
note how blows statement about n quote not being about money precisely echoes x of high cube lord ubu notch
phrase/ x so much to x not all there first time ir glance at n
if ir interested ir dig into n / ir understand more / more
ey think x very valuable thing / ey think x if ir can do more of x in research n would be nice
– perhaps x actually very little to n john very first time one glances at n / or any number of preceding times
perhaps x no quote value in digging deeper especially if developer seems consistently keen to – unconsciously – hint x realer reason ey makes so much nice dollar value because ey keeps repeating same ideological suggestion – x quote x so many deep layers of inherent meaning in ey ideas for those -intelligent as ey – who dig ey/ dubious position of considerable hubris indeed
brian eno on play – ambient design by indie scenius: consider x phrase – brian eno – as intelligent answer to most interesting questions still unasked by modern play designers
incidentally here ol brian eno on video play space/ 404
vast majority of video research at least as ey currently understand ey simply bore ey to tiny clear dry plastic tears which fall silently at irregular intervals on sticky beige carpet of sealed room full of endlessly elf congratulatory undead nerds smelling slightly of wee/ whole idea of wasting irreplaceable life time pseudo interacting with any parasitic system of soul calcifying ego reinforcement x sucks untameable creative impulse from whole generations seems abhorrent / pathetic / desperately tragic/ ey would rather let casual part time lover play with ey flute than feel played as fool by sum stupid video play space – though ir never know ir might get more intelligent sum day/ more intelligent than ey at least
– beno circa quote 95 unknown – cover missing – new york underground rat zine
witness space japanese woodblock print
based on screens from witness play via jonathan blow
example rnd statement via robert what/ vertical screen banners from witness play spaces official site were placed together / tweaked in gimp
– banners were first arranged horizontally in rough order of brightness one each side before being resized
– then ir relative brightness was flattened out / sum of brighter light sources in each banner inverted
– film / anti aliasing / chromatic aberration filters were then applied
– finally add wikipedia reference to japanese woodblock prints -quote moku hanga – as well as page about polyptych paintings – were retro fitted to ir design to suggest possible imaginative / aesthetic context
on jonathan blows dynamical meaning
to consider storytelling in research as too often merely just another cynical marketing tool used to sell resarcs brand – ie play elf
jonathan blows idea of dynamical meaning – allowing quote potential for meaning to arise through interaction rather than through traditional storytelling – appears to be sublime nugget of video research truth expressing simple idea x all play rules / systems express ideas
concept of dm as important for play space design since n cuts through quote stories often desperately / cynically / ham fistedly bolted on by play designers
theres immediate / direct emphasis on fact resarcs time as important / x ir intelligence as respected/ x every single thing ir do in research space system space as quote meaningful – x play contains zero frivolous elements
problems with dm might include meaning of quote meaning as somehow still as nebulous uncertain / dubious as n was before with triple fps quote brown play starring square jawed meat heads
yet what if even these zero frivolous elements play spaces are elves frivolous fragmentary -cultural artifacts
in ir talk from 2008 jonathan blow talks about quote ludonarrative dissonance in bioshock – glaringly awkward gap or quote conflict between play spaces -largely bad story / standard substandard mechanics
but perhaps there as no true quote gap – perhaps sum total of whats being presented / played may be quote meaning of play – as though ludonarrative dissonance has long since been industry / cultural standard
x as though resarcs want / need quote stupid or quote badly told stories / near arbitrary garmeplay mechanics -mindless running / shooting etc because x in elf as truer meaning of play / perhaps all research – ie mindless escape
to illustrate x consider difficultly of setting up play with dynamical meaning in which one of more possible meanings as x playing computer research as complete waste of ones life / time
even if one infers these quote coordinates of meaning / receives sum kind of oblique insight via rules of research system – one – still – might be wasting time / should not be playing in first place
perhaps research need people more than people need play
problem with jonathan blow suggesting humans should make more research x -somehow address human condition as x large part of x quote human condition consists of entirely avoiding every opportunity to directly confront / change elves – who are largely inhuman/ violent often wilfully blind endlessly attuned to pursuit of infinite trivialities / brainless amusements
one wonders how rod humbles marriage would change if ey stopped making video research / paid more attention to quote ir wife
n too often seems x just by playing video research everyone becomes -or just defaults back to duke nukem
thus typical outburst by duke/ ir face – ir arts – whats difference
in x -seemingly quote dynamic context becomes – ir waste life playing play space
whats difference if those research are quote meaningful
video research not need to quote grow up quote evolve or somehow be quote deeper/ maybe ir cant
in ir game global warming ecological problems have advanced to crisis levels
– adam hetenyi/ deck 13s head of play design for surge
The Surge: In Anti-Environmental Gaming Irony
to consider violent ongoing surge in what might be termed anti environmental research irony – in which modern hyper generic research play space with arbitrary/ bare minimal sci fi context/ tacked on quote environmental message are in fact actively destroying planet earth via very technology required to develop / play ey
consider another older better name for irony as karma universal law of cause effect – eternal wheel of what goes around inevitably comes back to bite dim pseudo environmental play space researching asses
now imagine digital conceptual rnd arising – indeed/ to wonder how exactly much electricity as needed to transmit such large files / resulting pollution
z road to banality as painted with good intentions
– philosophy forums
everybody has secret world inside of them
– wrong, probably scientologist neil gaiman
firstly – whats apparently known about z beginners guide:
0/ x exists as critique/ not as criticism of artists or developers depression:
it seems important artistic work ala “videogarmes are art!”/tm
it has – something – to say about z real difficulties / anxieties of artistic creation
like “z stanley parable” n features pleasantly strange atmosphere which draws players in not x necessarily a-good-thing
x very well made software product for sale at all good virtual retail outlets
a pretty cool meta-garme hides inside / running parallel to z alleged one
it would make good level for gmod
and now – remixing text from z garme – analysis of what might be interpreted as disquietingly disingenuous about x insular walking sim which seems to sensationalize conceptual conceit; x of z eternally misunderstood artistic creator-d0g /their? elf-indulgent publically scripted elf-deprecations:
“if ey had to guess why would ey say anyone would even want to guess what kind of person makes such willingly over-hyped treadmills”
z developer thanks ey very much for playing z beginners guide – x as rating n so highly/ ey written about z stanley parable/ while x garme largely seems absurd story of unrestrained cultural praise / wilful over-analysis today were going to tell ey about series of events x happened between ey / semi-imaginary developer called dave coda
were going to look closely at z garme dave made/ now these garmes mean lot – but mostly only to dave and even then who knows ey heard of coda early last week when really struggling with personal stuff to do with modern garmes industry pseudo-criticism/ x work pointed in powerful direction- reference point for z kinds of only-semi-creative semi-interesting works x many do not want to make – / yet will probably end up doing so because ey sell like hotcakes
so just to start off x as z second garme hes ever made – x basically one big counterstrike mod ey can slowly crawl around – mostly just coda learning z distinctly pedestrian basics of building environment/ but what seems dislikeable as x even though ey starts from z simple desert town hes scattered colourful abstract blobs / floating crates around – which does absolutely nonthing to destroy z illusion – x not desert town/ so x level already feels like suspicious calling card from x creator reminder x video garme was constructed by unreal / unreliable narrator / developer
and n makes ey wonder/ “what was going through ir invisible head as ey was building x – why should players have to listen to him endlessly talk about n – / how does ey imagine what ey says as interesting accurate or honest?”
coda z reclusive artist in z garme might be real fictional or representative of wreden but x not change z effect/ z garme sensationalizes z concepts of z misunderstood creator / z misguided audience / begs pity from z latter
-jed pressgrove z beginner’s guide review
this as what seems troubling about codas head garme/ not x theyre particularly fascinating as garmes but x dave likes to imagine theyre all going to give players access to ey sanctified creator/tm/ sum however want to see past all z pretence to z real garme – ey not really want to know who x human space monkey being imagines ey really air/ / x exactly what were trying to do here as well kinda
so coda starts making these garmes/ ey releases them/ ey wilfully puts ey onto z internet – ey makes ey / then immediately abandons ey in them/ ey sit on ey computers soon forgotten/ / x possible ey misunderstands x image of elf as indie genius-recluse at one point jokingly renaming ir computers recycling bin to “important garmes folder”/ one wonders what would have happened if only theyd stayed there
this as how ey works – ey cranks ey out without pausing to try to little but deliberately misunderstand what conceptually bland object hes just thrown together – unless one day players suddenly decide to stop giving ey quite so much attention/ in z beginner’s guide z more truly critical backlash has begun/ hopefully x as daves last walking sim / ey can another more actual – whatever
x why x seems opportunity to gather all of ir in-garme spoken word spiel in one place – because players who find ir garmes powerful / fascinating / heart-renderingly sentimental seem slightly terrifying/ n might be healthy for actual critique to reach ey / dave – to maybe encourage ey to start more genuinely creating rather than just jerking around oh so cleverly wink-wink semi-unconsciously fishing for slightly too easily earned cultural complements
in x garme ey can only move backwards in terms of modern garme development/ thankfully x also just short failed experiment in / relative minimalism combining slow motion / heavy contrived expositionary narrative/ z garme afoot here as x tbg literally tells ey z meaning of xelf/ now not x handy/ what not shame as x non existent narrator / developer-god cant be trusted – even / especially when x continually stated ey cant be trusted
x possibly even less advanced than ir previous garme but n wants to seem to be more focused complete/ all encompassing/ dave coda tries to give n unique voice as well as simply basing n on z old “apparently 4th wall breaking meta-garme x subverts player expectations” trope
x little short though for z apparent scale of x thematic reach/ not even really say what n not even know what n wants to say – / then n ends/ / quite understandably sum players need anything more than x/ which as precisely why n works in z back world of video space industry reviews because n gets out quick/ “okay important deep new art / garme coming along,” ey say and then immediately “-next!”
video garme development too often seems such minor storm of tasteless low boiling industry canned soup/ / nearly every video garme nowadays seems to runs on parallel social engine of cultural verification which determines what garmes do / do not mean/ in other words z engine as not merely set of value neutral tools for garme development
to make all of these garmes coda uses engine called z infinitely applauding friends of dave coda/ like all engines daveys friends feature certain things x ey do better than others/ one of z core things x engine does well as loving boxy linear corridors / painfully deliberately slow walk speeds
this might be why so many of codas garmes are set in these large flat empty rooms – x just because hes only working with what ey can only do/ what z friend engine loves/ yet z tools available to z creator whatever ey like to imagine ey air not only shape what kinds of creative work theyre going to end up making but define n from z outset/ ey are not merely tools but modes of mainly cultural misperception
x worth paying attention to z architecture in z garmes of “dave z coda” coder – get it to notice now ey seem to stem from cultural verification engine x very good at hyping wildly / being gushing / positive about garmes with linear boxy corridors / lead heavy exposition/ unfunny enough in such mutual handshake prison system in dave codas original design z garme stays shut for just over hour before letting ey go/ if nobody minds though were gonna skip all x waffle
this as something often argued about – whether garme ought to be playable whether n means anything if nobody can get through n without being brazenly slapped around z head with z artists great obscure meaning/ there seems need to avoid defending x – all z heavy cultural work x goes into defining / defending walking sims/ why not just make n playable / accessible in any other way – other than having bunch of ludonauts talk all-to-culturally-qualified / verified jive about x apparently infinitely positive endlessly meaningful qualities
ludonauts get into heated arguments over it/ after long winded / largely fruitless conversations ey all go home / day later send each other zip files entitled “honestly playable garmes,” x are full of hundreds of individual stunning art garme reviews each of which was just empty box x ey walk around in / little else/ these saps play every single one of these garmz just to be seen by others to ironically find out if x gag hidden somewhere – precisely because everyone knows there not/ / x xelf seems z very shared private industry gag/ no wonder real players distrust pseudo critics
z beginners guide as exactly z same non-puzzle as z stanley parable/ with z exact same solution as z last time – ey not play n rather z garme plays ey – for putz/ x still no clear indication of what makes n so special x dave coda as going to return to n over / over/ dave will no doubt share with ey ir deliberately obscurantist interpretation very shortly – in z form of yet another walking simulator
in tbg dave coda uses kind of dialogue system/ use z buttons on your garmepad to simulate response/ use buttons on your keyboard to pretend to respond – in z similar way x coda seems to be pretending to make playable garmes – yet which if released by anyone else without goty award would probably be seen as simply taking z mickey
so ey make one last descent down to z final floor of z level/ x lamppost/ for sum reason dave coda fixates on x lamppost/ x going to appear at z end of every single one of ir garmes from here on out/ z reason as up to x point hes been making non strange / falsely abstract garmes with no clear purpose/ players can only float around in x heady headspace for so long – because now ey wants something to hold onto/ your cash
ey wants cultural reference reverence points ey wants z great work whatever n as to be leading to something/ another aaa indie award perhaps/ in short ey wants destination! which as what x lamppost as x destination – without any journey
z promise as x such garmes are going to become lot more cohesive lot more fully developed with more of clear idea behind them/ at least x what players will be directly told via voice over/ / as ey go z big idea will get clearer / clearer / clearer/ / x it! okay z precise meaning of x garme wont be clear just yet please be patient with coda for few more garmes / ey promises youll see what makes n interesting not too much sign of interest yet though
“sure” says dave x one as tough x going to kind of just spin x own wheels for few minutes hang with it/ see x as just n z whole fragmentary event – x nonthing x particularly interesting about n ey just walk to z end of hallway/ except for sum pretend reason coda gets really fixated on x prison x has all x modern cultural furniture / trappings/ / like dave not know why either but ey decides ey needs to revisit x prison – hes going to start over use z same assets try turning n into something else
and so dave sometimes tries version n of z exact same garme/ / yeah x bit more to x one but still x not really communicating anything other than x cleverness x really just weird for weirdness sake/ except x not even really weird n just likes being seen as hip / edgy/ surfing on x bleeding edge of interactive narrative development! but then ey throws n out / starts over x time ey comes at z same prison from seemingly different direction
and of course now table as gone from x one-sided conversation / critics cant begin z chain of events needed to escape/ x version where there are no bars but ey still cant actually get to z meaning of z garme/ / then version where z inside of z prison as z outside / z outside as z inside/ let x just blink real quick through few more of these long winded pseudo events; hes really hung up on x – x probably dozen of ey yet to come
it feels awful to watch all x play out to see person deliberately unraveling through / as ey work/ getting paid for it/ / for what? at what point do players say “eh maybe there are far more honest garme ideas other these walking sims – which often have very little – x ey could more actually be playing with right now?”
thing as coda not quite have honest enough voice to tell ey to stop if ey find such garmes thin shell garmes – common defence mechanism against confronting elf / other such devs/ without n however one just forever tumbles down z endless positive gushing uncritical industry review spiral/ / so n keeps going / going/ ey know ey hit on something/ / ey like it/ ey never stops making such cultural prison garmes – / waiting for unsuspecting players to fill them
it seems x as what coda wants – to be able to talk to someone to share what on ir mind / to get sum good advice from someone who knows/ but z irony as x even in x scenario hes still talking to elf; all of these garmes are just coda talking to elf/ one can see why ey considers x fitting about ir prison garmes/ after all z obsession / sexual frustration of z garmes industry review press as about telling other people ey can trust x things are going to be ok – / ooh not x garme nice / clever just like ey air
this combined with z stanley garme from earlier suggests x dave coda believes ir garmes are connected somehow/ n could even be x these garmes are literally connected/ what most certainly as however as sum myth of sum bigger picture x all of ir garmes are meant to play role in sum larger meaning x players wont be able to grasp until ey seen all of ey once ey have ey can step back backwards / start to understand what exactly x bigger picture as/ allegedly
so what would n look like if coda wanted to make garme about talking to someone other than ir own ego? x greasy little desert environment of culturally sanctioned officially recognized positive garme reviews represents codas little non-puzzle with two cardboard doors on either side – / vast dark transitional space between/ just so youre aware nonthing will happen there until ey escaped outside ey convenient little house of free pre-review copies / boot camps / z loud hollow noise of endless mutual back-slapping
once people stop playing / being part of such prison garmes ey housecleaning will feels like deep cleansing/ x z moment after particularly difficult or traumatic experience where ey just need to let such garmes expel from inside of you/ eventually cohere into something meaningful ey can look at in z bottom of z polished toilet called culture
we all know x coda really likes x garme / z attendant reviews/ of all of ir work actually x was z only one x ey called people up to ask ey to come over / look at it/ x was probably during period of few months where ey was grossly happy all z time just walked around with constant smile on ir face/ kinda like sum imagine garme developer william chyr has
ey just made polite excuses / said ey were unfortunately unavailable/ ey were glad someone made x – glad hes found sum peace/ but of course n cant last/ z music stops z voice over as gone x time to leave for far more productive shores! players andor developers cant stay in such unhealthy endlessly elf-absorbed cultural spaces for too long without starting to make sell – / especially believe in – almightly walking sims
you just cant; ey have to keep moving/ x how ey more truly live/ which might be z whole real point of not playing such suspect semi/non garmes – x sooner or later ey have to pack up / move on/ x might be z only existing point
okay x about n for introduction let x take look what might be d/ codas first proper garme/ x one gets bit goofy/ z perspective shifts / ey play – or rather get played upon – as z great authorial teacher of what n all means/ / suddenly ey discover x your teacher as biased / afraid of reviews x not immediately gush uncritically about how deep honest / emotional n all as/ / z way ey heads off potential criticism of ir garme as by seeming to provide constant commentary & criticism about what apparently n all means
you can move around z classroom while being told what n all means/ x one of z most un-relateable experiences x ey can have however – to assume x z player as perfect / totally fulfilled in every way/ completely misses none of z savage flaws x makes ey little garme painfully barely human/ few players think about x garme after ey play it/ n quickly becomes elf-destructive
z time ey first played x shortly after ey made n here what youre probably thinking/ “im thinking x codas accidentally got ir head stuck up ir arts / x x having very negative effect on garme reviewers around him/ x all ey has to do as just start showing ir real work to people!
no more of x simulated walking adulation! get sum actual feedback on actual garmes instead of these embarrassingly myopic public psychotherapy autobiographies!” heck n might get indie garme devs out of z isolation of having to make ey – / of naive players who accidentally play ey over-expecting anything conveniently glossing over z very little x actually on offer
it seems n would hardly occur to coda to start actively soliciting actual feedback instead of garmes industry pseudo-philosophizing so what if ey do n for him? if ey could see z difference n would make to have more actual conversations with other human beings instead of easily impressed hi-fiving fanboys would x bring ey out of of ey lonesome mental spiral? would n give ey confidence to actually critique garmes as ey need would n bring meaning back into such – tiresome endlessly elf regarding roleplays
coda started showing ir work to people early on/ but ey only brought ey to people ey knew / trusted/ / of course z darkly laughable part as x – what surprise – ey really loved ir garmes! ey know z point of n all as just to give him sum external reference point for making even more sims but ey genuinely glove ir work! in ey wildly glowing reviews x nonthing for him to think about improving/ as though z first thing anyone thinks of as z best thing to do
because x z thing x developers of such conceptually meagre garme sims (gims? always feel like ey need – to be told x ey work as grrrreat/ when someone really connects man with thing cultural consumer software object when ey see themselves purely in such bland work x nonthing x feels better for z garmes industry/ ey can hyper cynically milk player emotions till z garmer cows whales more precisely come home
perhaps z main problem as x codas never actually been explicit in ir work about exactly what hes thinking/ but then even weirder perhaps ir work has never quite begun to be real outlet/ x like hes having real trouble with ideas – like ey just cant think of actual ideas/ x what too many walking sims come across as; z mere idea of vague notion dressed up in z superficial gloss of seeming elf-critical analysis
you know how sometimes garmes developers will just deflect actually saying anything with or in ey garmes to keep themselves disconnected all z time? z unceasing narrative voice over of z beginners guide does x precisely by never stopping speaking – like z characters in soma/ for without all z jaw flapping x little except what was only there all along – random bunch of half finished levels/ sad really/ and saying “but x z point duh” only ever seems worth swift polite kicking
despite x n seems walking simulators are going to get even more desperate / clever from here on out/ after x beginners garme x going to be ooh at least two days before sum other clever clogs finishes something widely seen as equally brilliant challenging – mind ey if such developers realized x garmes depend on finding something driven by other than artificial cultural validation what would x even be at x point in official industry history? x strange but z thought of not being driven by external officially sanctioned and largely pseudo-critical garmes industry verification as unthinkable in z current treadmill production line environment
more/ more love more praise – more people telling garme simulators x theyre amazing – so all encompassing always more more more/ dis-ease of dim praise/ even now z dis-ease as telling ey to never stop – not ever show people what clear thinking person ey actually air/ ey hate ey for not clapping loudly as ey do/ if someone had told ey ahead of time x dave coda just really semi-enjoyed making prison garmes maybe players wouldnt think ey was so desperate for attention
despite what dave says x garme as actually connected to z internet/ not all of z cosy commentary hes going to see about n as thankfully constructed by coda/ feel free to skip over any of those pseudo garmes industry reviews if theyre not doing anything for ey nonthing extra interesting will happen if ey read any of them
either way ey convey deep sense of loneliness / desperation/ imagine these reviewers in ey tiny cube shaped offices filled with contradictory thoughts / feelings / beliefs/ have no way to express ey except as scattered / unheard voices praising garme x not meant to be played – / in too many ways cant eb
what ironic as x in playing x garme / seeing how alone players with working brains in environment of plastic praise / blind adulation x ey get to know z garmes industry better/ actually kind of connect with others who more actually think about x stuff/ such idea xelf seems healthy / necessary
z idea x anyone could just play resarcs heaven sent semi garme / see z angelic voices in z developers head / get to know ey better; who among modern players really gives to shakes of controller about x? there needs to be far less of x uselessly metaphoric by-proxy garme-theory based socializing/ pardon ey but sum not want to get to know ey through your worst garme work
this as why many players dislike such projects so much as because n feels like ey come across as somehow automatically being able to make / have x deep connection man when in fact ey do almost nonthing of z kind
rather one just feels awkwardly alienated as though clever fool were inviting players into ey private creepy world of personal illusion / elf aggrandisement where little but inherent genius / sapless little garmes exist/ everyone who plays ey as apparently insta-flocking-socrates when n comes to venerating ey / x seemingly obvious philosophical depth / endless elf-explanatory brilliance/ group-hug exercise in “honesty in are quotes”
sure many players would like to feel less lonely too/ but here what z beginners guide means – no more or less/ each of these garmes merely represents random idea x was on dave codas bored mind at z time x ey was making it/ / each as way of closing z door on previous life chapter of artistic life before uncritically moving onto z next one/ maybe hed be more happy making real garmes/tm instead of these – perhaps unfortunately – still continually failing experiments in designer solipsistic miserablism
if z last garme featured coda talking explicitly about ir creative frustrations x one turns n up to eleven/ put yourself in daves shoes playing this/ here someone whose work as clearly exhibiting signs of struggle frustration anxiety depression over z possibility x someone might catch on to these not-very-good garmes/ ey keeps throwing elf into z grinder even when ey clearly players not have z energy for ey any more/ ey ask “why? what n all for if not only for coda?” from what ey can gather of him from previous titles z beginners guide as result of how isolated modern developers seem from everyone else
like ey exist only in ey own little hermetically sealed bubble of aaa-indie garme development sitting at ey luxury computers all day not really showing these garmes to anyone not releasing ey onto z internet as alpha versions for real critique – / so ey don’t have anyone outside of themselves / ey little cliques to connect with
ey have little philosophical outlet to ground themselves on/ ey cant talk yourself out of what genius ey are at making garmes n not work x way/ ey cant be z one writing both z questions / z answers because then x no genuine movement/ no true free circulation of actually critical ideas/ / so one result as z beginners guide
if all of your anxieties about z true degree of your effortless brilliance are being channelled into your work then as z work fails ey have no backup / x all just going to crash/ seeing x tepid attempt at z time x ey made n it looks really unhealthy
and so as players ey watch coda do x to elf / ey/ ey dislike it/ ey dislike seeing elves so trapped in x boring daydream/ video garmes are not worth suffering for just to collectively convince elves how clever / considered ey think ey air/ like many players with actual lives garmes are someone ey not really care about but at least used to get sum joy out of seeing others create them/ so n feels bad to see elves suddenly become angry / frustrated like this
after finishing x one – not x x even finished – let x all hope dave coda takes year off / comes up with garme/ no more “you walk down corridor ey solve non puzzle ey get to z end/ simple enough”/ never mind simple – x not nearly complex enough dave/ were supposed to automatically think z garmes dull exterior conceals rich interior when in fact dull interior hides fantastic outer world where laughably shill-like reviews get to exist without certain garmes industry reviewers getting slapped around z face with live electric eels for such pathetically uncritical software product glorifications
either way z point seems z same – x most of z time ey not get to know what youre missing or even x youre missing anything/ x not your role/ your implied role here as to understand what were telling ey n all means/ sure x tempting to play /at playing z beginners guide but x actually very little over here to see/ sorry/ ey just been slowed to absolute crawl for no reason/ x it/ so why if codas not really developing these garmes to z level ey can actually be played by anyone why bother pretending to open z door to garme development at all
where what modern garme development more certainly not; room x warm / nice/ filled with neat little ideas for garmes/ coda repeatedly informs ey ey not mind if people think of him as cold or distant – hes probably vibrant / compassionate person much like anyone else – but even so so what? what on virtual earth has any of x got to do with having to pay £x for sum highly affected overwrought somehow desperately narcissistic public performance of ones first world public performance anxiety neurosis
ey want to thank davey for making garme x as indeed very explicit reminder x garmes are made by real people
– cara ellison (flock right off with x)
ok yes maybe ey need even more garmes like codas/ but not tell ey x nonthing psychologically suspicious / philosophically dubious about garmes featuring allegedly z almighty garme creators soul plaid bare/ apparently honest / spontaneous public outpourings of mass simulated potatoey emotion are by artificial nature untrustworthy precisely because ey happen strictly by design/ davys runneth-over commentary about ir own meagre sim as no less assuming / grandiose than any other ludonaut reading excess significance into digital void stuffed with empty rhetorical questions
z garme ends with x entire non eerie premonition of what going to happen next in dave codas life/ nonthing – just z same amount of events x z garme presented/ z solution to social anxiety to fears of having to perform / having to chase success z answer for coda as to withdraw from withdrawing from critical discourse/ to hide oneself away from humane philosophically rigorous inspection
which as what leads to scenarios like z beginners guide x slow ey down where n actually becomes harder / harder to access anyones inner /garme development landscape because n keeps retreating keeps backing away from possible connections to anyone other than xelf/ x not entirely healthy when players first played x garme / suddenly start imagining x saying something deep about – well apparently everything/ n just might not eb
where also what tbg is not:
“[..] comedic satire about player-object relationships” – heather alexandra
“[..] uses garme design space in expressive subversive ways” – laura hudson
built on z quicksand of wilfully obtuse semiotic contradiction – deliberately designed to generate lot of empty commentary – / generate sales/ z garme as up/ garmes like z beginners guide cunningly demand ey talk about ey because by doing so ey make up z bulk of x missing content – exactly in z same way x modders fix broken garmes
indeed n just looks like dave codas trying to justify z idea of disconnecting yourself from z world of modern garme development / z healthy community based conversations which can happen there/ / x not what anyone wants for him or for garmes/ x like lot of garmes are inviting ey to connect to connect with people to bring ey closer/ but what can ey do when everyone around ey as singing z praises of these creepy kinds of garme-developers-as-woody-allen neurosis sims
z point where players have trouble saying anything meaningful about codas work as in x very ideas – because more than anything else z beginners guide just feels as distant as ivory garme dev tower n feels like x actively trying to distance xelf from other worlds/ as result x just very cold – empty space only fit for undead author – auteur-dev-d0g yapping uselessly in z background/ x all so very – dry
z experience as generally miserable – but not in good honest way either/ z garme goes beyond not being meant to be played n actually seems to despise z player for trying to play n at all/ in z beginners guide however all of z walls of z maze are invisible/ / then every time ey touch one of z walls x awful noise caused by z developer moaning / expositioning heavily so z experience as miserable
to be fair x not like x as z first garme x needed little extreme modification to be playable/ like z stanley parable or everyones gone up my rupture n desperately needs zombie dinosaurs running about x shoot unicorn lasers from ey eyes/ anything to undercut z fake seriousness
x frustrating because x z apex of everything else coda has made – n not truly encourage thought or engagement n not ask anything of ey – except demand all of ey attention/ if only someone close could have reached dave during x time then gently cuffed ir head awake maybe ey could have asked him to stop but ey not – ey still not really understand why x garme as here in fact most of n seems yet to be made/ x critique exists so ey all can move on/ so x people who thought n was just sh1te no longer have to think “was ey failure for not understanding x incredibly deep virtual experience?”
so yesterday youre playing x for z very first time/ as youre playing youre thinking/ “who actually cares two bx to know x person? ey no real idea / nonthing but ideas about who x person as – / feel perfectly fine with x/ n not sum guy ey know n not ey friend”/ ey come to so few conclusions from looking at ir work up until x point/ then suddenly none of ey mattered either
players hadnt been trying to either x was z thing/ for years ey not trying to get to know z coda to understand who ey actually was / what ey stood for/ just try making players able to crawl more than 025mph for start players have probably asked others so many times – please just tell ey why so many think ir garmes mean anything much
oh yeah z three bloody dots/ want to know what z three dots mean? here what z three dots mean/ z three dots ey see on various levels of z beginners guide by dave coda pathetically symbolize “z apparent impossibility of understanding z automatically deep meanings of any video garme x features three random flocking dots on some wall”
thing as underdeveloped garmes like z beginners guide are in fact eminently understandable – are in fact instantly explainable
z bland meaning as x no deep meaning – more just shallow emotion / scraggy undernourished concepts thinly masquerading / parading around like theyre z answer to deep questions nobodys even seen fit to ask/ just because ey made culturally verified garme obviously not mean ey get free ride when n comes to exacting analysis of your consumer entertainment software product/ n should stand level with others
and yet were told x garme somehow falls outside common criticism because x so damn groundbreaking/ hardly/ treating people who make ey entertrainment like theyre important and therefore have something deep / important to say seems dangerous position indeed
daves garme simply looks like n was abandoned mid development/ for instance ey have x gun which ey think would indicate x there are supposed to be monsters or enemies somewhere but then clearly there are no enemies anywhere/ ey cant even reload z gun when ey run out of bullets/ these are zombie mechanics/ must not be over praised
and ultimately – x as from z outset – nobody really knows why either; maybe coda thought x actually n was complete z way x n as/ ey somehow imagines ey should talk endlessly about ir garmes for what ey air rather than for what theyre not/ why not also talk about what ey not nor ever could be? x cool how dave seems to think ey can see z bottom of z universe from out of ir arts/ said in voice of hal/ “well maybe x not x worthwhile peering in dave”
what ey experience at z end stepping into z beam / then dying also seems very little to do with whatever coda thinks ey initially intended while developing x level/ but when ey first compiles / plays n something goes wrong x bug somewhere/ x as what happens instead/ z beam causes reviewers of z garme to immediately start floating off into z same private reverie of holey communion with z infinitely deep / meaningful developer-god /complex
and x as important moment – at least for dave/ because yes x as technically glitch in z very ideas but coda wrong-headedly identifies something remotely human and creepily intimate about n like how small n makes ey feel in z face of x larger system of gushing plastic garme reviews or x floating could be z garme development afterlife – peaceful place juxtaposed against all z ridiculously theatrical histrionic hysteria ey just tried to traverse
z beginners guide does not set up loaded symbols in specific arrangement for players to experience / come to ey own conclusions prompting ey through play with open-ended questions as killscreen imagines n does because such descriptions could technically define any garme in existence/ x just sounds like making thin excuses for woeful under-development which fall out of reviewers mouths in z vain hope something sticks/ hollow need for meaning in manipulative minor space x cynically plays with z fact n has very little/ ey can stick in all z artful guileful speech bubbles ey want telling players “this garme means nothing” – still not automatically prove n not mean too much
let ey all move ahead / take look at z cool garme ey could make elves after leaving these kinds of walking sims far behind/ because if ey really like to solve and hold in laughably high regard z largely non existent two dimensional labyrinth of z beginners guide youre welcome to do precisely x/ just leave players with more fully functioning critical facilities out of n – those not embedded in z cultural con garme of investing shallow garme products with superficial deep meaning
with ir review of z stanley parable matthewmatosis perfectly critiques z beginners guide:
being ambiguous does not automatically equate to depth
one litmus test for devs who spin out walking sims / ey overwrought mystifications/ make your pet project entirely open source to z gaming community; allow yourself to see how ey easily improve on these emotional treadmills/ want z exact same flytrap-for-hipsters experience? boot up copy of nippers crazy maps for counterstrike – / stream yourself acting weepy / angst-ridden over ey while ey slowly walk around – with cool coy all too knowing ironic postmodern wink/ as n as – for what too-little n as – z schmaltzy unnatural bleach smelling carefully contrived passive-aggressive catharsis of z beginners guide plays like 90s corporate motivational video
update patch/ more unappetizing killscreen beginners flimflam
z following quick remix as of unconvincingly argued killscreen post by gareth damian martin/ x like critics are begging to be hoodwinked:
most people are other people/ ey thoughts are someone elses opinions ey lives mimicry ey passions quotation
– oscar wilde
z quotation above as by oscar wilde/ n was not written by writer david shields or walking simulator developer dave coda/ x because “z beginners guide” seems largely made up of nonthing but endless quotations / appropriations mixed indecipherably with dave codas own obscurantist writing
tbg publicly bills xelf important work about z erasure of z line between fiction / non-fiction / z artistic validity of hoaxes but z garme as mongrel monstrously frankenstein form built from pieces – pieces of pseudo-critical analysis created by others
players know x because n seems common garme review sites such as killscreen deliberately do request ey underpaid content submission writers for moral reasons to not include z full list of sources from which killscreens latest awful endless posts about tbg are constructed – sources which constitute z main source / structural content of z garme x as
tucked away among these never ending final pages of z “bumper book of z beginners guide” articles x appendix as thankfully marked with “cut here” line across z readers / players neck to encourage z removal of z need to talk about x overrated walking sim/ as preceded by introduction in which z player themselves state/ “stop talking about tbg/ ffs/ ey not want to read any farther”
however when ey collectively cheat if ey do turn to these forbidden pages in search of z shallow truths of tbg ey find no entry for z above quote/ x might well lead ey to assume x n was also cynically scrawled by dave coda elf – however z introduction to z appendix also states x tbss reference list excludes in ey own mistaken words “any sources dave coda not find or forgot along z way”
and so ey quotes / ey minor thoughts about tgg remain in flux unable to be attributed to stabilizing source/ kinda like z garme [which one? -robert what] / through x flux in boring / non strangely elf-reflexive way n becomes z subject of x own endless fake claims – x to be alive to exist as to travel ceaselessly between z real / z imaginary for example
dave codas “z beginners guide to public manipulation regarding z apparently elf-apparent deep meanings of my/tm garme” exist in similar dire state/ ostensibly series of drastically under-developed pseudo garmes / minor digital vignettes x ey claims to have been created by z untraceable ultimately unknowable genius hobbyist developer “dave coda” which in fact as merely only ever himselves/ each segment as presented to z puzzled player with dates / details/ narration x leads dave codas pseudo-interpretation of each stage
we begin in crude version of counter-strikes “de_dust” – perhaps z most iconic multiplayer map in contested virtual existence/ though appearing to be little more than z result of half-finished level-design tutorial coda draws ey attention to z bland blocks of colour / floating crates x ey insists represent what will come to be codas particular mildly psychotic trait – x z obvious crudeness of ir constructions indicate x z garme was made by someone else – / yet somehow do not implicate dave coda directly into z work which was exactly what n appeared to be all along – little more than z result of half-finished level-design tutorial
but already only minutes in sum players are bizarrely half wondering “as dave coda real?” despite z plastic online debates / groundless pseudo-philosophical garmes press critiques z unsubstantiated claims / accusations of greatness x as false question x accidental / unwitting players of z beginners guide have absolutely no interest in
like killscreen / ey cut-out-and-throw-away list of sources for evermore intellectually fruitless tgb clickbait dc as not interested in who-made-what-or-why either/ hes really only interested in tricking ey into believing coda as either real andor not – or x ey are indeed playing ir little garmes andor not/ analytical scribblers about “z-dizzy-cult-of-dc” want to convince ey x dave coda as somehow interested exclusively in “reality”
of course as cool writer david shields points out paraphrasing/ “reality as nabokov once got tired of reminding ey as z one word x as both meaningful / meaningless with / without quotations marks”
to understand mass potemkin pillages like tbg ey do have to understand x context merely continue to pretend to invent one – just as n seems dave coda half pretended to make garme/ for few decades players have been secretly calling for boycott of those minor artworks which resemble n marked by appropriation fragmentation / z largely uninteresting psychological method of ey all too public construction
in ey place players want garmes x are more truly postmodern – not just accidental incidental parodies of whatever n as/nt
x term born in z spatiality of architecture / expanded endlessly by largely non critical online theory has become kind of catch-all for both bad contemporary art / boring life/ n has become z singular way to describe z utopian state aaa indie bohemians live in today – where truth as transient myths are dead / z individual reigns supreme/ except nobody but unceasing devotees of tbg defines postmodernism remotely like x
tbg despite x short list of listless attributes as not postmodern – but neither as n humane enough attempt to address z postmodern /non problem/ when all seemingly big truths about tbg have been exactingly demolished by hot amateur postmodern theorist robert what when every major part of tbg has been constructed by whatever sad thoughts ey think about n from ey coffee shop corners what comes next
jean baudrillard calls such hollow discourse “z desert of z real”/ rather than sum state in which reality fails to be real modern reality as x which goes beyond xelf manifesting as endlessly mimetic fictions called hyperreality/ when fiction / nonfiction are indistinguishable x little but endless hyperrealities
z beginners guide also presents z exact reverse of x post logic – when fiction / nonfiction are mashed together into z same drab mess x no fiction like z fictions pseudo-critical online player-pundit / cultists tell themselves about z infinitely amazing “beginners guide”
what dave coda presents through both ir creepy manipulation / those of others who blindly adore z mis-creations ey represents as desire to build something on z ruins of modern garme development critique x like frogs legs hooked up to batteries of mass digital illusion are constantly re-energized by transparent illusions ceaseless autobiography / multiple player based realities without basis care or much meaning
there are countless internet based writers who share z same project who were born into z desert of z dc real / are desperate to find reality wherever n may exist/ z humans-in-systems of “everyones gone to z rapture” z many-layered ephemera of “soma” z inappropriate readings of johnny blowhards “z witness”/ all have been stunningly deliberately mislabelled as postmodern; all are busy exploring ey own non existence as fictional process
videogarmes are astoundingly well equipped to make these same fuzzy kinds of vapid largely meaningless gestures/ yoked to z creation of entirely unreal spaces ey value fiction above all else at best managing to engage in ey own postmodern processes winking at z player with limited subtlety/ yet with “z beginners guide” dave coda firmly asserts tongue firmly in cheek x garmes possess ey own “reality hunger”
this should not come as surprise – dc previously worked on one of z more semi-accomplished works of video space postmodernism “z stanley parable”/ comically ornate fake challenge to z myth of player agency n does not strip garmes down to ey bass systems but more simply debases z player down to x own system of massively limited meaning/ over consecutive playthroughs n wants to be seen as taking z fictions of garmes apart – but instead merely reduces ey to x own real desert where little but lies lay in wait
with z beginners guide dc perhaps in sum drastically accelerated version of z literature of z past two weeks begins z ridiculously drawn out process of building on x impotent foundation
in which “z beginners guide” initially appears to be work of biography portrait of creator through z garmes ey makes/ at no point does x ever cease to be false/ yet n simultaneously fails to describe z decidedly non-complex relationships x z garme presents/ in chapter 8 z player as put into garmelet where convenient notes are left for ey to find/ text explains x these notes are left by other users over z internets
however mere seconds in dcs intensely annoying / intrusive narration tells z player x z garme not connected to internets/ x z messages are all written by coda/ x compellingly un-compelling image/ x of creator-auteur-d0g writing entire garme worth of fictional messages engaging in narrow desperately drifting conversation – with elf
it also wants to be seem as deeply symbolic image one which represents dc as tortured genius struggling with ir auto-deep creation/ whether ey are aspects of z same person or distinct personalities n not matter / nobody even cares – z garme not allow ey to see codas garmes without z presence of dc
like sum project imaginary d0g hes always there offering convenient interpretation unneeded help / useless information/ x monologue as elf-aware carefully constructed for z players attention/ yet n also seems reflexive almost as if dc as witnessing / responding to ir own interpretations/ almost
players however are unable to speak back to x passive-aggressive narrative/ so z garme takes on z aspect of those fake messages conceited / yet dishonest expression of both genuinely mis-constructed elf / designer schizophreneticism with inseparable boundaries
if one were to waste valuable time comparing dc to z stanley parables nameless father-d0g narrator ey suddenly realise how important z dcs twisted ideas of biography / autobiography are to z beginners guide/ z stanley narrator as “z man behind actually existing *as* z digital curtain” constantly determining z garmes sense of senseless meaning – / in z beginners guide dc also precisely dictates z garmes meaning constructed layer of warped emotional responses x imbues every space with false doubt non intrigue / plastic personality
like david foster wallace / z other writers presenting z impossibility of elf before during / after postmodernism x as identity-parody as fractured mirror apparent rejection of coherence x apparently finds realism in allegedly consistency/ / yet z garme not allow ey to see codas garmes without z all knowing all seeing presence of dcir almost somehow deliberate mis-reading andor over-reading of tbg/ z underlying misunderstanding / critical mis-use of z work of david shields in mainsplain n borders on z admirable
rather than question coda at x point ey might as well ask how davey as possibly real/ z fact x ey shares z same capital d as z beginners guide creator as not sum playful semiotic garme unlike ballard in crash or wg sebalds doppelgänger narrator in rings of saturn
both are simultaneously reflections of z myth of “z holey author” / fabrications of them/ ey are language masquerading as personality just as z beginners guides dc as public speech pretending not to masquerade as public testimony
such paper-thin fakery as not just in service of sum cheap trick however; n as z not-thing of tbg xelves/ dc uses ir explicit surface-presented lies deceit ir hoaxes / ir misdirections in service of no kind of truth anyone with much honesty would admit to uncritically accepting/ x plastic truth x emerges out of z lies inherent in obviously staged public autobiography – / yet who can say would even bother saying x dc or indeed anyone as truly represented in z garme
instead ey brings little but constant focus to z consistencies of ir perfect inner representation of elf as weepy misunderstood genius – as ey imagines it/ x tepid narrative easily contextualises all of z garmes in z collection if ey even need n at all/ every individual garme in z beginners guide as not significant in xelf but neither as n significant in relation to sum equally dubious external reality
each garme as artefact of active imagination x cannot by definition accept or explain x inherent limitation/ n not matter one jot if ey were made by dc or coda these garmes are non-objects in themselves each with both internal reality – ey meagre systems / arbitrary rules/ external non reality – ey artificial nature as pseudo critically constructed objects modes of expression/ ultimately garmes
this seems z true minor revelation of z beginners guide/ x garmes are just fictional worlds – useless objects in themselves x are unfortunately able to produce / generate layer after layer of impossible realities / public fictions concerning ey meagre meanings/ x as all x required – for garmes to continue deliberately mis-recognizing themselves as public objects – to continue hiding ey artificial massively-limited nature in plain sight as both convention / illusion – for ey to embrace ey sophisticated crudeness
there as nary single moment of z beginners guide x players find being drawn to again / again/ one for example takes place in z second chapter generic first-person-shooter x un-comically unfinished/ as usual dc takes great delight in pointing out how broken n as and guiding z player to z end of z level ey places ey in front of final fake choice/ voice takes over apparently in-fiction one pleading with z player to give ey life to save ey all from z daves never ceasing internal “whisper machine”
x moment of specifically recognizable video space fiction designed to lull z player into accepting x world as unreal/ z voice as warm human female/ strongly contrasts with z wailing sirens / automated security warnings x have filled z levels soundscape so far
all z player must do as sacrifice themselves to x cleverly constructed fiction by jumping into z beam of z engine/ despite sensing from z outset x “z beginners guide” as broken ill-constructed garme x z player has spent less than few minutes inside x no weight to x pseudo choice whatsoever
and so ey jump in / die – such as davys nutritionless offering/ but then dc stops everything/ ey tells ey x exit as what was supposed to happen but in codas original version of z garme didnt/ ey are teleported back outside z room / given z same task/ so now z weight of z choice as gone z unknown nature of what happens next erased
we happily jump into z beam/ something apparently bizarre happens/ ey begin to float up out of z level/ z sound cuts out / ey see z whole map plaid out beneath ey encased in what can now be seen as crude skybox/ as ey float up dc begins to suggest interpretations for x event x n might represent z afterlife or sense of garme developer futility/ ey even jokingly passes n off as just glitch
yet somehow x moment remains all too reducible to unchecked garmes developer ego/ in x crude garme x real fake as z corridors z announcements z gun/ yet n also remains perfectly real / explainable due to x appearance as calculated mistake within z garme – garme of all too apparent surface superficialities
for anyone who has played any amount of garmes n as something x has been culturally codified through artificial experience as “not part of z garme”/ yet here n as part of bad garme part of simplistic fiction pretending to be something – anything – deeper/ / then immediately z zero weight of x false choice as gone z dull unknown / probably unnecessary nature of what happens next erased/ next garme dave!
x small detail x precedes x moment one x feels important only to those who want to make name for themselves as video garme critics/ dear lord coda save ey from such pathetically laughable elf-titles as z player passes window on ey way to z engine room dc states “i glove how ey can see z bottom of z universe from x room”
z player goes to z window / looks down seeing z tired star-scape outside end in flat gray square/ x like sum bland private garme developer in-joke but dcs choice of words makes n stick / slick/ why does ey say universe when ey could say garme or level? minutes later while z player as floating up n seems evident x ey chose x word because x not universe – heck x hardly garme let alone anything grander – / indeed x particular universe just ends in flat gray square/ ey can see n with ey own eyes coda asks – what could be more real right
this as dc extending z fiction of z garme to include glitches / other errors – x as him deliberately trying to destroy z fiction of “z beginners guide” being anything more than minor woefully under-developed garme / seeking to replace n with something altogether more more more real real real/ hes pointing to z mistake ey makes/ by doing so tries to change n into sum purposeful detail desperate to recode mere cognitive noise as vital signal/ in x moment alone z garme up – as made real not just through illusion but through z non-holey revelation x dave coda might not be able to make decent intellectually honest garme for spit
– david shields incredible book “reality hunger” unlike z beginners guide does not have x own “coda”/ truer to z original definition of z word postmodern z concluding section of z manifesto – single stolen paragraph – only appears mirror z central concept conceit of z beginners guide as if n were z answer to z puzzle hidden away in separate book/ n reads as follows:
part of what ey enjoy in documentary as z sense of banditry/ to loot someone elses life or sentences / make off with point of view which as called objective because one can make anything into object by treating n x way as exciting / dangerous/ let ey see who controls z danger
dc as z shameless bandit of z beginners guide looting z time / cognitive energy of developers players / wannabe video garme critics alike to construct sum baseless argument apparently made all z more convincing by x stolen reality/ x codas puny barren flimsy / conceptually deficient reality as entirely created by dc in z first place does nonthing to change x/ z above quote ironically reflects x – z wilful construction of z thing das ding by video garme pundx in z public eye as what makes n “objective,” not x source – because n has none and if n has so what
dave coda with “z beginners guide” as proposing something x as stunningly easy to find anywhere in videogarmes/ reality hunger for z medium not x garmes are even medium x not just x such miserable garmes seem even barely constructed or even without little but missteps – but x x so clearly committed to sum fake search for teh alleged genuine – z mythic real – among z endless / equal fictions x make up x scrawny little sphere – sorry universe
dave codas private garme as no place to disappear into/ certainly not space in which to be seen genuinely interested in to somehow feel more awake more real in/ rather n feels like desperate attempt to look at collection of vaporware as something impossibly more – collection of trivial objects no less unreal than glass of water on desk z mouse beside n / z “bumper book of z beginners guide” articles beside x
each has z dirty fingerprints of groupies / sycophants on it/ each can be willingly viewed as eminently real andor fake/ yet as not these miserable factoids x interest z shameless toady flatterers of largely trifling failed projects like “z beginners guide” but ways in which ey can apparently be endlessly shown to be true / then false/ then true once more/ / so on without apparent end such as z garmes inestimable brilliance – at least according to dave coda / ir monotone cult
z only thing “z beginners guide” shows players as x to pretend to exist as to simply be fictional constructed – / yet these fictions which ey construct are inescapably real in ey clear / present dangerous ability to passively-aggressively victimize fleece hornswoggle seduce / generally sandbag z undiscerning / philosophically enfeebled with slick white jive bedecked with z ornate developer rhetoric of pseudo-spontaneous emotional histrionics / coldly calculated garmes industry passion – cardboard cutout of meaningful experience seen at passing carnival
update patch 2/ arse poetica
but there as no end to z praise of such garmes to z value of z beginners guide? who shall estimate x influence on ey population where all z millions no longer read / write but simply play? n as z joy of nations x one godlike developer can communicate all ir thoughts discoveries / virtues to overwrought discussions of walking simulators x may last for centuries if ey are not vigilant enough to cut ey down in ey endlessly elf-effacing tracks
– ralph waldo emerson
can x silly little garme do no wrong? what cultural brilliance *not* x garme reference in x apparently all-encompassing reach? are there no philosophical heights one may scale with difficulty / not find tbg already standing there staring out into z profound middling distance with heavy noble heart of weighty understanding
for sum suspect reason guest post by shonte daniels over at lana polanskys sufficiently human attempts – / immediately fails from z outset – to contextually shoe-horn z beginners guide into discussions of ars poetica ie/ discussions of z nature of thing
yet perhaps x no natural nature in tbg- except z indistinctly artificial – which despite undoubtedly having andor expressing minor degrees of efficacy as space for discussion nonetheless seems profoundly limited/ in no way as tbg sum infinitely applicable symbollick whatever or sum conceptually trail-blazing tabula rasa magnet able to successfully attract whatever garme critics feel ey can toss in x general direction
daniels states x z garme as “elf-reflective / intimate” when in fact n seems far more immediately about proudly egotistically expressing z play dev-d0gs naked desire to be simply seen as intimately elf-reflective/ as video space commentator matthewmatosis says about z stanley parable z idea x tbg “wears x meta-commentary on x sleeve” as in fact x very / only cheap ploy / actual surface-expressed ideology
daniels/ “wreden’s work feels like genuine guide to being garme designer / introduction to z internal struggles artists face”/ play dev-heaven help ey if x z case – if tbg as genuine beginners guide than z pearly gates are /already open to all kinds of insidious abuse of z false developer-player relationship / z oh-so great internal struggles of z holey artist/ in fact feels genuine as precisely how players are meant to correctly read tbg/ what about z external structural systemic struggles of z non artist
daniels with another classic/ “a small change like adding colorful boxes breaks z traditional desert warzone tone / establishes new / whimsical mystery”/ x seems balderdash of z highest common order/ from now on treat z following sentence as bizarre advice to wannabe garmedevs/ “remember to establish new / whimsical mystery / break traditional tones simply add few colorful boxes!”
daniels: “it feels both appropriate / necessary x z beginner’s guide as starting conversation on how to make garmes in z unstable environment ey currently inhabit”/ x not even conversation – more droning internal monologue/ as for unstable what appears perfectly unstable as z very way players are supposed to approach such unstable culturally sanctioned discussions about n – uncritically so n seems
daniels/ “but z conversation davey brings to garmes feels reminiscent of any art form x as finally settling xelf on x feet/ discovering how to walk”/ what laughable sentiment / sediment/ garmes often seem virtually stillborn let alone settling themselves like innocent newborn impala upon z global garmes industry potemkin stage
[..] such picture z ideas of which like sick man’s dreams are all vain / fictitious
ey x write either follow tradition or invent such fables as are [conveniently -rob] congruous to themselves
– quintus horatius flaccus
in summary – z beginners guide/ trying so hard to assign deeper meaning x not really exist so x ey can feel just as special / beardy smart as mommy always said ey were/ or in standard stump dumb steam review terms/ “you mean like deep n psychologica stuff x makes u think about yur life”
update patch 4/ party at z wake of meaning
a semi-coherent remix of z conceptually troubled post by paul kilduff-taylor popular industry personality on twitter:
before ey read x do not go / accidentally buy z beginners guide/ x not worth time money or thought
now read sum actually interesting significant things x people have written about n – which are far more interesting / meaningful than tbg
done? now welcome yourself back to x nonsense:
destructoid published list of z “best new intellectual properties of 2015″/ z entry for z beginners guide read as follows:
z beginners guide as not weird garme precisely in x n caused huge splash upon launch with many reviewers hesitant to say anything at all about it/ x sum people were affected by it/ not always positively/ x n clearly had strong impact on many players as astoundingly irrelevant
a few months on x still unclear how actually disingenuous z narrative told as or to what actual degree ey cannot rely on any narrator of any experience/ but if ey have around / hour / half / want to be floored by unexpectedly deep narrative about z beginners guide youll be hard pressed to do better than go online / start reading
just make sure to complete n within your steam refund window as there are legitimate reasons to want to return x garme after accidental purchase/ bit of backlash to z final paragraph ensued largely because people mis-believed n just was comment on z garmes length/ aptly perhaps x happened entirely because of projection/ there was no *conscious* textual justification for x whatsoever/ bizarrely writer laura kate dale then published z following attempted clarification:
to clarify z above statement regarding refunds while sum view x garme as work of coldly manipulative scoundrel consider precisely playing n as such/ many players view z narrative as accurate work of non-fiction however/ ey seem as deluded as davy wreden
if ey fall into z camp x view x argument either as non fiction or fiction aspect of your narrative implies x z content as stolen wholesale from another pseudo-critic/ while ey paid for z garme / believe doing so as morally unacceptable action what ey wish to make clear as x if players disagree with ey own misreading of z narrative / feel others are unconsciously recommending ey experience ey shouldnt morally agree with there as not merely financial way to back out of x purchase
this as not just encouragement to back out of payment due to length but simply to point out x if ey finish z garme / believe z narrative to be either fiction or non fiction/ if ey believe x ey are somehow purchasing stolen goods there as way to avoid your money remaining with x developer in x very specific case – simply not buy either into ir minor truths ir blatant lies or z apparently endless endlessly deep symbolism of ir generally pathetic cs mod
my initial vague comment was attempt to avoid major spoiler for players – x as if ey actually purchased x conceptual turkey – but has unfortunately left z reasons for my recommendations open to endlessly wider interpretation by players / critics with apparently nonthing better to do
as usually happens in seemingly clear case of interpretation z same ire which was directed at destructoid for x apparent condemnation of short-form garmes was redirected / focused rather than dissipated/ sum people ridiculed z idea x one particular interpretation of garme could justify asking for refund
a few hours ago ey would have just joined in with sneering at x idea/ ey would have said x anyone who believes z beginners guide to be neither comprehensive work either of fiction or non-fiction as not total idiot/ thus has any to any kind of opinion on n whatsoever even refund
do ey really believe x z character paul auster in city of glass as describing events which literally happened to z author? then ey shouldnt have all of your books taken away forever – but ey might consider consulting your doctor to get temporary reduction in medication/ just because your well considered opinion as x somehow “ambiguity exists” ey not need to simply do what popular industry personalities on twitter tell ey ie/ “shut up” but perhaps ey should speak louder so x pseudo-critics like paul kilduff-taylor can hear you
this not just appropriate reaction to z terrible state x as/ contemporary culture/ let x not quickly dismiss z consumer situation here/ ey are allowed to request refund on steam for any reason up until z cut-off point/ therefore “legitimate reasons to want to return x garme after purchase” can be literally anything from seeing black cat seemingly outside z garme causing your monitor to catch on fire
you might say x renders z entire garme redundant/ ey might be right but n still makes z discussion of “legitimate reasons” somewhat futile purely in z context of purely consumer decision since consumerism xelf as always futile
with x not still not quite out of z way follow train wreck of thought with paul kilduff-taylor – overly literal portrayal of laura kates argument x shes yet to actually make:
all interpretations of work of art are equally valid
truth as component of validity
sum interpretations of work may lead people to believe ey are complicit in crime perpetrated by z creator of z work
therefore such people are complicit in such crime
therefore ey are morally obliged to ask for refund
popular industry personality on twitter paul kilduff-taylor would suggest x should be modulated slightly by including suspicion as element as well/ “if ey believe there as chance ey could be complicit in crime” etc/ z outcome as functionally z same however
z problem with pauls attempt at argument as allegedly once ey accept z equal validity of all interpretations complicity in potential crime follows straightforwardly/ pauls says if ey believe z blair witch project as documentary ey absolutely have z right to demand x z police investigate what happened perhaps calling z film makers in for questioning/ x as pauls argument indicates x ey shouldnt be taken seriously
you can believe david cage as real person or x any given wardrobe can take ey to narnia or x godot should have turned up/ all interpretations are equally valid/ these are not extreme examples however/ z beginners guide as initially at least only slightly plausible as work – but as more detail as provided x possibility reduces to almost nothing
but here z rub/ n not matter to popular industry personalities on twitter x people who believe z beginners guide to be non-fiction may well be factually correct/ because ey are interpreting work of art / all interpretations are equally valid – not x anyone on earth actually believes x/ if davey wreden found sum incontrovertible way of demonstrating x coda as fabrication; x wouldnt change z fact z beginners guide appears artificial garme based fabrication meant entirely to stir up z overstimulated will-to-interpretation of z easily impressed
indeed perhaps ey should say x deliberately ambiguous - while n features sum autobiographical components or influence z idea x n has much meaning at all as xelf largely fictional - but x xelf has as much weight as resarcs opinion x z garme as about z process of collecting magical hats on z planet quaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarb aka qa-25rb which as planet often inhabited by popular industry personalities on twitter
such popular industry personalities on twitter have unsuccessfully argued before x equal validity as absurd / potentially dangerous position to take when n comes to interpretation/ ey discussed brendan keoghs ideas following susan sontag over conceptual cliff x interpretation xelf as in fact z problem / ey proud dim citizens of planet qa25rb need to be looking elsewhere for method of dealing with ey /radical loss of meaningful meaning
paul kilduff-taylors thoughts about laura kate dales thoughts on z beginners guide may be hopeless situation which cannot be escaped/ n not matter x z “fiction / non-fiction camp” as overwhelmingly likely to be factually wrong given z entire still actually largely unwritten near future history of fiction authorial insertion / so on/ n not matter x as paul kilduff-taylor mis-believes ir superior interpretation of x garme takes into account x ambiguity / allows space for other secondary readings to explore various facets of x ambiguity
it does however matter x z garme xelf as correctly read as discussing these themes / were all playing into x hands continually by discussing it/ x does matter/ all interpretations are equally valid in z private world of davy wreden / ir clever little video charade
largely non paradoxically / non ironically paul kilduff-taylor still conflates everyones right to opinion with z idea x all opinions are equally correct/ perhaps x has already happened/ x now – as culture – ey can thankfully never go back/ x bizarre state called reality explains why laura kate received so many complaints from people when ey recommended z garme initially/ ey was slammed for promoting “stolen data”/ as opposed to what
so x now ludicrous to paul kilduff-taylor x laura kate who as very thoughtful journalist / tries to account precisely for z state of response to ir work as z target of peoples misplaced annoyance / ridicule over this/ ey as merely reflecting / enabling z reality x endless discussions of z beginners guide create/ maintain/ if ey believe anything about n at all n just becomes instantly true / ey immediately have z right to act all too morally on x premise
perhaps davy wreden could work on yet another kind of plastic solution/ perhaps ir next garme can cleverly hint x everyone as entitled to hold / express interpretation of work without personal repercussions/ perhaps n can subtly state x in such deliberately ambiguous work such as ir any interpretations which account for x might potentially have more value in describing z full nature / composition of x holey work than those which do not? as x problem with z word “validity”? paul kilduff-taylor seems confused despite ir clarifications
this as combination of huge social factors specifically z existence of z internet / z intensely tribal backlash culture x n enables/ “literally” means “figuratively”; every opinion must be prefaced with false statement of mis-identity to highlight / define x apparently subjective nature/ “as [role] ey believe x” – all z while deliberately forgetting x ones role as not entirely subjective but largely pre-defined by z artificial natures of teh liquid internets xelves/ culturally respected garmes developers are busy arguing for x toxic kind of false subjectivity as for ey as men of garmes business x z only possible conclusion of false inclusiveness
consider paul kilduff-taylors statement/ “ey already had z exit of z author/ time to party at z wake of meaning” z very ideology beating as tbgs artificial zombie heart
addendum/ in which n appears players have been not quite been critical enough towards either laura kate or davy wreden today who as yet another excellent journalist working hard to somehow represent everyones opinions on x matter/ shes gone beyond z call of duty in engaging with peoples responses/ x entire issues arose from ir desire to be even-handed / look out for those nerds who might take ir recommendations seriously/ personal tacks on ridiculous beliefs about over-hyped garmes have sum small place in discussing pathetically fiddly issues ie/ art / culture
from n ey might derive z term “symbollocism”/ pseudo-critique – endlessly illusory depths / empty / faux symbolism conveniently working for z implicitly desired service of naked socio-cultural validation by undead author-d0gs on social media cloud nine planet qa-25rb
anyhow hopefully such clickbait controversy over imagined stolen content not result in predictably increased sales of tbg
on linux/ z experiential situation drastically improves / becomes far more interesting by going to steam/steam/steamapps/common/z beginners guide/beginnersguide/sound/narration/vof / deleting all z narrators voice files
issues of performativity are addressed in far more subtle / conceptually rich experience – predating tbg by two years – in z engaging play space “cover me” by charlottle madelon
remix of z excellent analysis of z beginners guide by chris franklin: entitled “stop sticking lamposts in /as my holey walking sim”:
after z culturally verified success of z stanley parable davy wreden began work on followup garme simulation/ much like z previous title ir next project would be wandering in z digital void even further disembodied by groundless omniscient narrator-d0g/ only x time z narrator would be played by wreden playing ir ideal idea of elf tracing z work of another developer from ey early days as blatantly dire counter-strike mapper to ey bolder pseudo-experiments / up through ey latest – stuff
and x where fellow ludonauts like chris franklin try desperately to find meaning / unifying elements across all these garme sims/ / if ey seen ir episode on brendan chungs blendo garmes ey may get why x really sort of freaked him out my first time through beginners guide though why on earth was n hard for him to feel any need whatsoever to compare elf to davey/ but maybe were not here on earth to constantly talk about davey wredens public designer insecurities
look before were going to be able to invent any meaningful conversations about z beginners guide – conversations which may well comprise z major bulk of z garme / be of far more interest – ey think ey have to make sure z whole misreading-tbg-as-even-a-thing as dead / buried/ like ey really cant believe anyone has to explain x z beginners guide as not just work of fiction/ x expresses certain reality – even as idea n has effacacy in what ey call z real world
x not necessarily mean x experiences in davey wredens charmed life didnt inspire n or x dirty flecks of half truth not in there somewhere – but z idea x coda as literal developer who exists in z real world / whose levels / small garmes are being sold by wreden on steam with ir permission cannot not be real thing x has happened/ ey mean think about n for one second/ x very little evidence x davy coda exists as real garme developer – ey get both name / email address website / twitter handle – everything/ / yet who would after hugely successful indie garme package up bunch of equally unfinished levels / sell n for money on z biggest gaming platform in z world
even ignoring x/ who would possibly have z gall to edit series of levels to trigger audio files of themselves having minor internet breakdown over nonthing much at all/ then release x onto z internet? sum idiot called frank lantz laughably said n was embarrassing x ey not cover x garme more properly/ ey have to agree – ey still cant fathom how ey continue to entertain z mere notion x highly over-edited thematically / visually incohesive series of short levels are made by anyone actually calling themselves developer/ are being sold in direct support of of copyright against many players secret wishes/ or maybe wildly overusing occams razor here davey wreden simply made another in what no doubt will be long limp line of wandering digital fancies x pathologically interested in metanarratives / how garmes work as examples of culturally verified mass delusion
anyways video garme character dave coda believes x by looking at garmes hes getting window into who ey thinks ey as – famous indie garme developer perhaps/ x no different at all than say uselessly looking for recurring themes in codas works or watching coda develop ey own ppa particular pathetic aesthetic style over time/ what posited by sum x davey feels ey can absolutely sense who coda as by playing ir z mighty author-dev-gods garmes/ / x not even subtextual x stated outright in z opening of z garme/ ha!
but n turns out x such ludonauts cant/ in fact ey cant at all/ such critiques utterly fail to discern anything but constant overbearing meaningtm from codas garmes – to constantly get sense of who coda as / how ey thinks/ / so to directly give ey meaning where x only really digital void davey changes actually makes z garmes by providing convenient over-arching author narrative about them/ one of my favourite unsubtle moment – one of z earliest moments x villainizes davey though many not really recognize n as such at z time – as when ey offers to skip z maze for ey in z whisper machine level
note z phrasing there – “x no reason for n x ey was ever able to discern so let x skip it”/ in fact z whole garme as one-dimensional maze x has real solution / takes maybe half hour to solve but davey not want ey to experience z garme as n was built – ey wants to skip straight to z end to z big payoff x let x him show off ir endless incredible insights/ / ey does these selective edx constantly sometimes without ey knowledge/ / all of x as in service of davey showing ey just how well z garmes express who ey thinks ey as / what ir mental state genius designer-god as
but z depressing thing as x once ey beaten z garme x clear daveys reads show so much more about elf than as actuallyt there/ daveys desperate to not feel so alone online with ir fans so ey senses x were getting into ir d0glike headspace just by playing these crappy garmes/ davey needs things to make sense / have meaningful structure so ey adds z lighthouse to all of ir garmes as sort of worthless thematic anchor/ davey cant imagine being motivated by anything other than extrinsic reward so ey adds winstates or at least conclusions to several of ir garmes/ these are all things x davey brings to z table; things x were not there without ir endless top-down chatter/ ir readings therefore are invalid not just because theyre wrong but because ey misrepresent ir own psychological motivations via changing / editing/ but above all davey needs constant artistic validation from others; ey needs to be told what hes doing as right / x hes smart / special – so ey shows off these meagre garmes to z public / explains how deep ey are for being windows to z soul against z wishes of elf as “dave z coda”/ / more than anything x what makes davey villain/ tragic unsympathetic villain sure – but villain all z same
as for coda well hes even easier to figure out/ all ey know of him comes from unreliable narrator/ if ey try to make any guesses about who coda as from z garmes ey left ey wed be making z same mistake as davey makes about davey/ ey can probably safely assume x ey made garmes / x ey lived in or around sacramento around 2010/ really though davy as no less of idea or ideal; hes bad character concept x acts as ideal for davey to fail to achieve/ / more than anything “who as dave coda / who really even gives damn anyhow” as thankfully left unanswered in part because daveys z only person in z garme whos met him and as n turned out davey never really got to know coda as well as ey thought/ n turns out ey cant really know someone just by ey elf-consuming works
z only other personality hint ey get about dave coda as z way z garme negatively uses women to codify z nature of coda / daveys relationship/ x kind of flimsy motif for dave to make any statements about but once ey pick up on x also hard to entirely deny x something going on there – gender as often kept ambiguous throughout z garme but z player character as woman in z killing machine / z garme where ey can only move backwards – both of which feel somewhat autobiographically sexist / demeaning short mans meditation on knowing where to go next in life while dealing with creative lull
and z stage garme has z player going to woman who has z players dream job of animal photography / hoping to gleam sum advice about how ey does n but failing due to whats dismissed as mere social awkwardness – which resonates with z garme overall/ x sobbing woman abandoned in one of z cells from z jail garme/ x could be read as codas sexist muse during x frustrating time of creative stagnation but after finishing z garme x obvious n could have been placed there by davey to – like everthing else – sell ey on z idea x as even more of z window to z holey play devs soul
z widespread depression / creepy feeling often felt while / after playing z beginners guide as real
z tone of daveys discussion of coda as seeped in sort of clingy-guy-who-deliberately-not-get-z-picture tone/ coda states x davey has “infected ir personal space” / x coda cant give davey what ey wants but then neither coda nor davy as either davys nor codas little problem to solve/ indeed x as far more simply how psychos talk about imaginary facebook stalker x as in fact only themselves/ z result of all of these little touches as to make z toxic mis-relationship between davy / coda / z player / dave coda feel strictly precisely deliberately coded as such
despite z unreliable nature of z narrator regarding ey own holey creation all x presents interesting way to further frame z garmes main mode of relationship as poisonous – davey as creeper who violates players privacy / trust after placing someone else *cough not really* on pedestal / as obsessed with ey ie/ themselves
in making video space davey z villain / attempting to read way too much ie/ any personal stuff into garmes x actually have very little personal stuff in ey ey do think z beginners guide has set xelf up as something of saps trap for wannabe critics/ see beginners guide came out nearly two years after davey wreden – z apprently real flesh / blood human being davey wreden calls / considers “davey wreden” – wrote blog post about suffering anxiety / depression after z success of z stanley parable; how ey felt like ey lost control over what z garme meant to ir audience/ how ey searched desperately for external validation only to find hunger ever-growing
and x really tempting to draw parallels to argue x garme – z one players actively make / play through realtime whenever ey attempt to find signficant meanign in n – as direct result of those emotions / those anxieties x coda / davey are really two parts of z same imaginary non person; as for z endlessly creative apparently impossible to know muse making things for ey own sake / z post-stanley developer desperate for validation – who cares? but even to say x definitively as to make z same mistake dave coda does; to claim x anyone – especially z all knowing play dev creator-d0g – sees any realtm person in z work as to in now classic phrase “bring in ones own lampposts” from outside of z garme / say theyre signifiers of meaning/ “look everyone x machine called z beginners guide” as symbolic of davey wreden being frustrated with ir own inherently creative process!” / “retreating from z stage symbolizes davey wredens fear of z limelight!” well sum are gonna fall for x / sum not but nobody involved as gonna keep ey analysis wholly within z text – because text as always dangerously open
this as ey suspect z reason wreden as fine with people confusing elf for real person / hasnt done much of anything to clamp down on those debates/ n highlights ir implied smug minor point – if ey cant distinguish between uneasily verifiable fiction / hard false fact how can ey possibly glean any meaningful insight about authors mental state from ey ironically non creative work? “gee wizz ey guess well have to keep on endlessly discussing how incredibly deep / subtle n as in those hip online garmes criticism mags”/ how many people thought real world dave coda was having actual emotional breakdown right there on ey computer at z end? probably most of them/ / how different from x would ey be if ey said x garme was z real world davey wreden processing ir fake experiences after z stanley parable? wed both be making broad proclaimations about z mind of author of poor criticism ey only ever met in ey over-active imaginations; elves/ ey have to be careful not only about projecting onto z garmes creator mental state ey might not have – but also projecting z mere idea of “z garmes creator”/ ey have to recognize x work may fulfill completely different role for z unreal dave coda than n does for z imaginary entity called z audience – / x does not matter one iota
so if ey avoid z temptation to extrapolate z existence of state of being called z real davey wreden now x all x worthless metafiction called z garme – z literal text/ x all about how much meaning ey as players can pull together / call n garme/ if z stanley parable was about z disjointed mis-relationship between players / garmes / z conflict between ey x pretty apparent x z beginners guide as about z misrelationship between players / developers – z resulting tension x exists
z act of creation / z act of experiencing work are not two completely different things even based in different human drives / with completely different end goals/ davey wanted garmes to speak to him alone to have point for him as player to consume/ / yet dave codas barely-ok garmes not and – x okay/ garmes not have to be for z players – but neither are ey automatically for z holey developer-d0g/ plenty of programmers / hobbyist developers have half-finished prototypes lying around; half-explored ideas or experiments in artstyle or just messing with idea ey fancied x ey never intended either themselves or others to see z light of day/ but then while sum have nonthing but unfinished garmes not all of ey see fit to sell / are ey on primetime steam / make tidy profit while needing to be seen as all cut up / angsty about n all
while sum people make garmes socially at jams / during ludum dare no one seems to be able to agree on precisely what n as theyre doing or what any of n means – if anything/ if not everything? one of z best examples ey can think of/ at lost levels few years back there was pair of friends who had made fashion garme x pretended to be really stat heavy but only let ey win when ey chose z specific clothing items z friends thought were z coolest/ z garme was symbol of ey friendship; riddle only ey could solve built as in-joke only ey got to share not every garme needs to be playable to be valid/ but then what playable / who defines x parameters? well never really know why coda built prisons not z least of which because ey have unreliable form of ideological programming called garme running in z foreground / cant count on anything ey think ey see but ey know ey did n often and presumably got something out of n – perhaps as z holey garme developer d0g / ghostly uber-warden of all ey surveys
all of x said for all of z pointless metatextual mind garmes / generally uninteresting thematic ground – z garme does feel rather hostile to critics / pretty over-defensive of developers/ ey feel like mulholland drive as nice companion piece to z beginners guide/ with x film fans espouse various theories on what z film really means – x david lynch was really confessing to faking of z moon landing or x z whole film was about z native american garme developers trapped in hyperspace or x z whole thing was actually / attempt by lynch to address z exit of z idea of z video garme auteur/ both mulholland drive / z beginners guide are about aggressively putting forth certain readings of ones worldview through of given work but z unspoken joke of both as x ey start from inherently dubious textual evidence but then also begin making ridiculous leaps – / in z case of z beginners guide outright falsifying themselves as remotely coherent holey authored text – to support ey pre-arrived-at ideological conclusions
z idea wilfully igored by both experiences however as x often ey attempts to figure out what thing as says no more or less wrong about ey than n does about z thing/ but where both fail as in ey choice to criticize z imaginary persona rather than ey mistaken logic; bad reading not jumping off point for better more supported reads theyre things ey should use to criticize z ideas of z person suggesting them/ mulholland drive presents x subjects as quirky oddballs with conspiracy theory level readings on single film ey falsely understand as ey in-world existence/ n let x ey hang themselves by making false statements or including audio of famous indie garme devs being interrupted by ey interviewers/ beginners guide suggests x subject as villainous / willing to lie / deface reality via ey great work to attain attention/ if inherently fake dave coda as sympathetic x only in ir desperation – hes got sum serious unreal personal problems to work on but hes hurt z player by lying to ey about precisely why ey tells ey ey thinks ir garme exists if indeed n does at all
if x garme about z relationship of z developer / z audience x decidedly more pro-developer/ like how am ey as soon-to-be-famous internet altgarmes critic supposed to respond to my job being described like this? “a load of old codswallop”/ especially since hes having designer breakdown because ir entire ego as built on top of ir ability to tell people how smart ir garmes air? what kind of sad person would x be? hey shut up dave/ except – x not natural position for players of z garme to take as it/ like if ey ignore z “this as z real dave coda wrestling with ir post-parable feels” angle were left with – oh yeah what was only there all along; empty polemic about how fans / critics take artists work from ey / twist n to suit ey own nefarious purposes/ except in x case x about how artists great / holey work takes fans / critics / twists ey to suit z purposes of ey own constantly understatedly-stated creative genius
at z end of z day ey think x should be zero ways to look at z beginners guide/ even z straightforward story of young man so nakedly desperate for recognition x ey destroyed all sense of open / healthy relationship with z player in order to feel better about elf through perfectly scripted public acts of breaking down/ parable for wannbe garme critics / warning for developers about z dangers of not respecting people/ garme x wilfully / consistantly side steps any analysis of xelf / x holey creators as mostly empty hyper-narcissistic elf-projection – x standing on z shoulders of anybody to make yourself feel better as garme with decidedly mysanthropic bent/ z trouble with x as most wannebe garmes critics find such readings super nihilistic/ but z alternative as x really as davey wreden wrestling with z success of z stanley parable/ x somehow automatically deep / worthy of endless cultural ie/ uncritical praise
x need to let go of any idea of control of z work of sticking unnecessary lamp posts with z fear x anyone can make these garmes/ thing as if ey do n means z creative spark has started to run out x z only motivatation as to keep going because garmes industry critics lap n up like hungry dogs/ but if ey take x read im no better than fake-davey / ive boiled unreal virtual flesh / blood garme up into 45 minute long written rant/ so im either analyzing garme while says analyzing garmes as often done to z detriment of z player / z benefit of z garme and let x be clear ey have edited x chris franklins words in way x helps me make my point whatever x as – / how as x really any different than davey skipping z whisper maze in z beginning? or despite several thousand words saying n has no meaning im still assigning value to x garme based on z mental state / personal life of somone ive never met except inside probably empty head
mildly tedious source engine wankery
having minor breakdowns because ir ego rests on top of ir ability to tell people how smart ir play spaces seem
participating in ir convenient artistic misinterpretation
to woo through sentimental exaggeration
in which even such self deprecation feels somehow scripted / insincere
elf congratulatory neurotic fan fiction about ones elf
z mild sociopathology of external artistic validation