"I've seen things you people wouldn´t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
We call them passwords because they allow us to step into worlds unknown. These are topics that fuel our curiosity. This is where we follow Bruce Mau´s design lead: When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we´ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we´re going, but we will know we want to be there. Roger that!
We love people. We love artificial people too. In his 1969 interview to Playboy magazine M. McLuhan said that "man thus becomes the sex organs of the machine world just as the bee is of the plant world, permitting it to reproduce and constantly evolve to higher forms." Regardless of the biases that literature and film has revealed toward these synthetic beings, time and again setting them out to annihilate us, we believe then to be our charmed progenies. Some of our best memories have been shared with them, be it playing alongside doctor Polito or shedding a tear – a tear in the rain – on Roy Batty´s farewell monologue.
NLP tries to teach computers to communicate with us using language, spoken or written. It involves artificial intelligence, computer science and linguistics. It is a subject brought forth by the late and missed Alan Turing in his article Computing Machinery and Intelligence. We reckon there´s still a long way to go until machines pass the Turing Test but who knows, they may one day fall in love?
Big games are turning into a sort of Hollywood: lots of flares and explosions but a basic inability to surprise us. There will always be a place for repetition, for enhanced graphics, for sumptuous post-production and, obviously, for lots of cash. There´s more to life thou.
When looking for innovative game mechanics, unexpected gameplay and disquieting narratives, our eyes better be diverted somewhere else. Indie games is a loose concept, not a genre nor a category – it´s more of an irreverent attitude towards games and the meaning of gaming. Sometimes the games are nourishing and fun, like Jesus vs. Dinosaurs, sometimes they leap out of the hardware to a very festive and sexy magical circle, like the ones our friends at Copenhagen Game Collective do.
As a guide to the baffled reader of The Atrocity Exhibition, the author J. G. Ballard wrote that "readers who find themselves daunted by the unfamiliar narrative structure - far simpler than it seems at first - might try a different approach. Rather than start at the beginning of each chapter, as in a conventional novel, simply turn the pages until a paragraph catches your eye. If the ideas or images seem interesting, scan the nearby paragraphs for anything that resonates in an intriguing way. Fairly soon, I hope, the fog will clear, and the underlying narrative will reveal itself. In effect, you will be reading the book in the way it was written."
For too long authorship has distrusted the reader: interactivity and fiction have never been easy cohorts. The problem, thou not conclusively resolved, has lost relevance as we now approach our media in multiple modes of exploration (M. McLuhan ipse dixit) and in turn the work of art ceases to rely only in self-expression to expose itself to soft metaphors and a network of readings and interpolations.