outline: chapter 2
chapter 2, dragoncon 1, brainstorming the game. levitation; lessons; videogame; news w/family; report
the boy and girl find an empty stretch of floor on the ballroom level of the hotel (which hotel?) and quickly write down what the angel showed them, what happened to them on their quest, and the point of it all, the answer to the angel’s question. they draw a map of the layout. they’re still shaken; someone gives them a croissant and bagel. coffee. red bull.
various friends come by and stay to hear their story. they explain their experience, they show the text message to their friends. they post it on fb and tweet it.
they find they can communicate with each other inside their heads. they know where each other are and can hear each others’ thoughts. they realize they are different because of what happened to them, and feel closer to each other.
quantum powers. at first the buzz is positive. the people around them are getting excited by their experience, even tho it didn’t happen to them. just telling about it, just being around the boy and girl starts a vibe going that has them all thinking maybe they can do it too. some of them feel a vibration.
we really flew. the angel, reading thoughts, zapping clouds, seeing long distances – they argue about the nature of how they were seeing – we weren’t just seeing like thru a closeup, we moved closer just like that – instantaneously, and popped right back again when we were thru. teleportation. neat antarctica game; we’ll get to that. creating worlds, that was fun. and the people we made, so cute, and their little lives, i felt really responsible and was really angry when he turned them off. i was like livid. yeah, she burst into flame like the angel. he was impressed, wasn’t he? yeah.
we really flew. flying is like in dreams. there’s a pull or a push, a leap anyway, an intent. that sounds like an oob. what’s that? boo backwards… an inverted boo, a surprise when it happens first, and then it’s normal. right.
it was real we really flew around atl. graffiti. remember taking pic, pulls it up – grafitti on top of something odd. planet antarctica on her phone. her and boy taken by angel w/flares where hand is. overexposed pic of angel. she remembers as she goes thru phone. posts pics, everybody pulls them up on their phones (image of everybody and their phones).
can you do it now? fly? they look at each other. what can we do right now? well, i know what you’re thinking. duh. can you read my mind? mine? she looks puzzled, looks inward. is she picking up any thoughts? just the vision of millions of players changing the world. nothing personal or specific. the boy is off doing something else. people close can feel a vibration, and someone touching her feels it. one by one they reach to touch someone touching her until the whole crowd is feeling the vibration, silent and intent. they are all deep within themselves and joined and aware within the others. it seems they are all floating in a much larger area than their bodies make up, thru extra dimensions. they feel connected to everybody there, and feel the contact extend thruout the world. suddenly the lights go out, and a wave of reaction hits the crowd, who all feel a jolt and snap back into themselves. they hear maniacal laughter as some prankster takes credit for the lights, but they all agree that something extraordinary was happening with that vibration thing, and they all go off to tell others about it.
the quantum event makes dragoncon tv that night, referred to as unscheduled performance art with spooky action at a distance shit – had us all going. people instinctively belittle quantum activity at first. the boy comes back to find everything buzzed up about it, is concerned about too many people knowing? them? being thought a crank? something embarrasses him.
buzz in the bathroom and smoker’s gauntlet.
teaching the essence.
the crowd grows, management moves them into a large empty room. the boy and girl go up on the platform. the first objections.
they’re asked to demonstrate, they immediately do something spectacular, but very fleeting. a lot of people miss it. and they try again, and nothing. it seems the more they try, the harder it is to do. it’s not something that can be ordered, or that the left brain can make happen. it’s spontaneous, linked to genuine emotions, flow. you can’t cause flow with your rational mind, you can only relax into it and allow it. some go off grumbling.
they realize they have to teach how to allow it, someone suggests mashing up magic and yoga and the force and the bene gesserit teachings and lots of newage stuff, obe, starwars, bene gesserit references. miracles of jesus. harry potter. merlin. how to achieve the full mystical experience. zen, yoga, tantra, breathing exercises, magic, drugs. affirmations, i love my life. all the new age ways of creating the world you want to live in. sales psychology techniques. orgone and orgasm. and start teaching it as philosophy and martial arts and healthcare, as well as selling it as a comic book and a game. some go off thinking it’s a racket.
we really could change things just with our minds. willpower. thoughtforms, really easy…Star Wars Force Trainer. tulpas. this from a bellydancer from the silk road track.
how do we design a game that teaches the essence? what’s the essence? we’re all one. “It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” the force is with us. that’s quantum theory said a science track guy. that’s a full mystical experience, said a psylicibin aficionado and a zen practitioner. microbians…Midi-chlorians. symbiont cells in touch with the force. quantum tunneling at synapses. starwars track guy.
star wars “Dark side feeds off anger, jealousy, fear, and hate (snake). telekinesis, telepathy, levitation, deep hypnosis, enhanced empathy, reflexes, precognition, and enhanced speed, strength and accuracy. mind trick. Sith Force Lightning in combat or as an instrument of excruciating torture. enhanced skills in lightsaber combat. the ability to heal or drain the life-force of others, increased resistance to attack, ability to warp space and to dissipate energy attacks.
quantum – mind over matter, connection = power. entirely quantum, where everything manifested is created by the players, who either leave them there (the advanced ones) or pull them around in the air after their avatars.
players’ knowledge of quantum physics is developed by the graduated exercises they were shown in their vision, starting with a review of classical and relativistic physics. the exercises are designed to produce quantum effects in the game that must be learned and practiced by the player, and knowledge is tested before the player moves to the next level. must be educational progression, some practical basis of understanding in order to pass the essence on. it’s not just feeling, there are theories and it’s a real learning curve.
so called OBEs are products of dehydration and oxygen starvation and aren’t actually valid, observed a skeptic track guy. and they’ve been scripted by popular culture. just because it’s a common experience thru the ages argues for its validity, not continuing human error. sucker born every minute. eternal truth. which truth; if it’s quantum, there is no one truth, so which one is the eternal one? grrr. don’t give me beauty and lightworkers, because the dark side uses the force to control and oppress the universe, so it’s not like a quantum world is going to be happy like heaven.
why teach the 3×7 if the real message is we’re all one? in a quantum world. so we need to act like it. and like our generation grown up on the internet, we conceive of the world differently than old people, and so different things are possible for us that weren’t for them. like before pcs and cellphones it was xeroxes and faxes. stone knives and bearskins. so if we make a game where you have to immerse yourself in a quantum world, then people will get used to it, and pretty soon they’ll be using the same techniques at home, school, and the office. the whole world will change.
can’t have quantum effects on macro level. dogmatism already. anger by some at pretending it’s possible – raising hopes, manipulating gullible. reject multiple worlds. pseudoscientific misuse of quantum to include consciousness and thus hippy drug stuff.
“that everyone hit by a tsunami or erupting volcano, etc, had past life karma that made such circumstances right for them, or unconsciously intended by them. Although this can’t be proven or disproven, it starts to get morally repugnant, as an affluent New Ager can thereby feel that people experiencing macro catastrophic events are still in charge of their own destinies. From their POV, an infant dying of AIDS is creating their own reality, however unconsciously, as surely as some affluent person repeating a neurotic tendency in romantic relationships. You-create-your-own-reality absolutists may invoke quantum mechanics to justify their fundamentalism. Indeed, the wave-particle duality—a photon being a particle or a wave depending on which you expect it to be—does raise questions about reality as observer dependent. Again, I feel that this principle is a potent reality-forming vector; I just don’t think it is the only vector. There may be other humans collapsing the wave function based on different intentions than ours, and there is also the gigantic inertia and momentum of the collective human psyche affecting our world. There is a New Age tendency to use quantum mechanics as a magic wand, or an endless supply of fairy dust, that can be used to justify any proposition, no matter how fantastic. The abuse of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which was created to have very specific application on the subatomic plane, is used by some relativists and New Agers to mean, “Everything is uncertain,” which for them means, “Anything goes.” Quantum mechanics does have profound implications, but we can’t be cavalier about applying them to the human reality. Quantum mechanics applies to the subatomic domain, and it is comprehensible in the language of mathematics, not English, so we need to be careful about applying our personal mythology of what quantum mechanics means to the human domain. Although you-create-your-own-reality absolutists never admit this, their principle requires an act of faith as much as any religious fundamentalism. They never acknowledge how much their principle is divorced from empirical experience. Why hasn’t some sufficiently positive thinking you-create-your-own-reality person, for example, created a world without any environmental pollution? If everyone is creating their own reality, why does the rotation and orbit of the earth have such predictable clock work accuracy? Wouldn’t some true believing schizophrenic who knew absolutely that the earth’s orbit was based on his whims have an influence? Wouldn’t people who wanted a particular day or night to last a bit longer throw off the Newtonian clockwork? Does the you-create-your-own-reality principle apply only to benign, politically correct intentions like world peace—which shows no signs of happening, despite all sorts of individual and mass prayers and intentions? Wouldn’t the principle apply with equal validity to malevolent individuals? Suppose my intention is to bring a black hole into the solar system or to abuse and manipulate someone else’s reality? Since we are part of a human collective, what happens when our application of the you-create-your-own-reality principle is inconsistent with other members of the community? How does that get worked out? Even on the individual scale, the principle seems to work in some cases, but not others. There are all sorts of medical miracles where someone does seem to create their own reality in direct contradiction of medical prognosis. But this effect seems to go only so far; we don’t, for example, have any documented cases of a transsexual, who absolutely believed he was another gender, waking up one day to find a new set of genitals that matched his beliefs, intentions, etc Somewhere I remember reading about someone who observed many faith healings, and saw many crutches thrown away, but never a wooden leg. Philip K. Dick said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.””
“Raymond Moody, an MD who has written several books on the afterlife based on patient testimonials, who believes NDEs are evidence of a soul (consciousness that exists separately from the brain), and evidence of the existence of an afterlife. He’s boiled the typical NDE down to a few key features. First, there’s a strange kind of noise, alternately described as a ringing or a buzzing. There is a sense of blissful peace, and often an out-of-body experience (feeling as if one is floating above one’s body and observing it from that vantage point). There’s that light at the end of the tunnel, being met by loved ones, angels, or other religious figures, and a kind of “life review” — seeing one’s life flash before one’s eyes. But as the Skeptic’s Dictionary helpfully points out, Moody’s books ignore the fact that as many as 15% of NDEs are outright hellish experiences….The results were a bit startling: about 18% reported being able to recall some portion of what happened when they were clinically dead, and between 8 and 12 percent said they experienced some form of an NDE. Neurochemistry offers some convincing alternative explanations. Perhaps NDEs aren’t evidence of an afterlife, but illusions created by a dying (oxygen deprived) brain. Cardiac arrest and the anesthesias used in ERs are capable of triggering NDE-like brain states. The Dutch researchers found that “similar experiences can be induced through electrical stimulation of the temporal lobe,” for instance, as can neurochemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, and hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and mescaline. He describes REM intrusion as “a glitch in the brain’s circuitry that, in times of extreme stress, may flip it into a mixed state of awareness where is is both in REM sleep and partially awake at the same time.” Something similar might be happening with NDEs,…..managed to induce NDEs with ketamine, a hallucinogenic related to PCP, but far less destructive; it’s an anesthetic that works not just by dulling pain, but by creating a dissociative state. According to Jansen, the conditions that give rise to NDEs — low oxygen, low blood flow, low blood sugar, and so forth — can kill brain cells, and the brain often responds by triggering a flood of chemicals very similar to ketamine to protect those cells, which would produce “out of body” sensations and possibly even hallucinations. Jansen claims his approach can reproduce all the main elements Moody attributes to NDEs: the dark tunnel with a light at the end, out of body experiences, strange noises, communing with god, and so on……neural noise. During cardiac arrest, in the throes of death, the brain is deprived of oxygen, causing brain cells to fire rapidly and quite randomly in the visual cortex. There are lots of cells firing in the middle, and fewer towards the outer edge, producing white light in the center fading into dark at the outer edges. That feeling of peace and well-being might be due to the fact that the brain is pumping out endorphins in response to pain, which can produce a dream-like state of euphoria. That same cerebral anoxia might also cause the strange buzzing or ringing sound people claim to hear when they enter an NDE.”
exercises for mind control. not them controlling your mind, you controlling your mind. here’s a whole course on magic for kids. here are some typical mind exercises. a bunch of aikido warmup exercises, good for generating ki. how to use that pre-sleep wandering state to program your sleep. machines that train your brain to produce whatever-waves. yoga and pilates and their insights on stilling the mind. zen and the art of controlling your thoughts by telling jokes. regular meditation exercises. tantric sex. drugs to attain nirvana. rock and roll, dance, sound, singing. are we just talking about brainwaves here? is deep meditation equivalent to whatever waves on the eeg? alpha and theta. if you induce these waves, do you lapse into these states?
“The new Copernican revolution of quantum physics inspired the recent movie sensation What the Bleep Do We Know, a lively, thought-provoking film that predictably takes a somewhat narcissistic approach to quantum reality. Whereas Islam orients us toward awed submission to the Lord of the Worlds, new age spirituality often emphasizes personal power and gratification. Rather than finding balance and inner peace, and marveling at the stunning richness and multiplicity of unfolding creation, the new age approach to the discovery of multiple universes is, “That means I can choose which universe I want to live in—I can control the very reality I perceive! Wow, I’m almost a god! Maybe I AM God!” This mistake is inevitable, given Western culture’s drift from Christianity (which confuses a man with God) to humanism (which makes mankind into its God) to the current state of confusion as technology grasps for seemingly godlike powers.”
“In “Islam’s Quantum Question,” you relate a shocking story about a supposedly scholarly scientific conference held in Kuwait in 2006, in which presenters talked seriously about pseudo-scientific topics, such as Qur’anic ways to combat the evil eye. You decry this as nonsense, but say that this kind of religious-science hodgepodge is widely accepted in Islamic society, even among the educated elite. Why? It is actually much worse than that. First, that conference was the eighth in a series, held every two years by the “International Commission on Scientific Signs in Qur’an and Sunna” (Sunna refers to Prophet Muhammad’s Tradition, i.e. statements and acts): there’s an English website, alongside a huge Arabic website and others in eight additional languages. Secondly, the topics discussed are not just related to the evil eye, but how certain Qur’anic verses contain predictions on the laser, iron abundance on Earth, various facts of geology and physics, and a long list of topics systematically mixing scientific issues with acrobatic references to the scriptures. Even “training workshops” for “young scholars” are organized by such institutions, which receive generous funding from various governments. And, what is worse, many of the practitioners of this field are scientists and academics. As astonishing as this may be, this is the biggest trend in the cultural landscape of the Muslim world nowadays! And few voices are countering this “theory.” Why and when did this phenomenon come to exist and become such a dominant cultural trend? That is explained in my book, but suffice it to say that both science and religious education have been hugely deficient in recent times in this region, combined with a feeling that “despite our temporary lag behind other nations, what we have (our religion and tradition) is truly special” — to the point of being well ahead of modern science in various predictions).”
“conscious fields are powerful, that is, fields where the people who comprise them are consciously aware of the field as a field. most of the fields we pass thru, in shopping malls, grocery stores, office buildings are not particularly conscious fields and are therefore experienced as a bit chaotic or as having a kind of coherence. however, you and i can generate conscious fields with the awareness that we are doing so. when you come together with others to generate a conscious field, the field is focused and guided by a deliberate, created intent.”
“”we could ask why should methods for awakening consciousness be kept a ‘mystery?’ one reasonable explanation put forth is that a person needed to have reached a certain level of responsible maturity and spiritual advancement to learn about such things because when the higher states are reached, (as we have pointed out,) it is said one acquires the use of certain ‘powers’ of creation and the holders of the knowledge wanted to make sure people used the knowledge wisely. now we can consider that we’re in an era when such ideas can be discarded simply as old ways of thinking. if we continue to lock in place the idea that enlightened minds or awakened thinking is only for a special few ‘spiritual elite’ how can we ever expect to live the wisdom?”
“since everything exists as energy fluctuating in varying frequencies, consider that your intent sets up a resonant field. intent sets up probability waves in the field of infinite possibility. this means that your intent sets up a probability for any number of beneficial outcomes to attract your way – whatever resonates with the energy frequency of your intent. you cannot use intent in a way that is manipulative, in the sense of forcing or push-pull. intent establishes the nature of relationship between you and the other person, a relational field, like a field of attraction that activates all the probabilities consistent with your intent.”
“ramana explained to those who inquired that it is the mind that is vast, not the world. the knower is ever greater than the known, and the seer is greater than the seen. that which is known is contained within the knower, and that which is seen is in the seer; the vast expanse of the sky is in the mind, not outside, because the mind is everywhere and there is no outside to it. “here is the essential key that opens the lock to time travel: find ways to suspend your bodily awareness. this can be accomplished in two paradoxically differrent ways. one way is to do as maharshi did – contemplate your essential self by holding one thought in your mind, ‘i am not the body.’ the second way involves practicing mindfully what patanjali calls asanas, the physical poses and reposes used to bring the mind to concentration and absorption. as iyengar explains, this often involves perfecting the asanas, going beyond the trials of learning the poses to discover both the power and the limitations of the finite body. that is, by becoming fully conscious of the body, the practitioner realizes that he or she is other than the body and merges with the soul.”
real message is about raising consciousness. hippie. an unconscious person is dogmatic and judgmental, believes ads and news reports, thinks what everybody knows must be true, gets caught up in their emotions (panic about the overwhelming urgency of my needs in this moment), is conservative and fearful and stupid. a conscious person avoids histrionics and strong emotions because they cloud the mind, sees the twist involved in understanding the background truth, the boy and girl are more conscious now; calmer and more insightful, more rational. but in a quantum way, because we’re not talking about regular newtonian rationality.
what about the ethics? changing peoples’ worldviews when they’re not ready? arjuna must fight evil; they’re already dead.
some leave thinking it’s all a scam or at best a delusion.
buzz in the hamster tubes, in the line for shatner’s appearance.
management asks them to move to an auditorium, the crowd still getting larger. the boy and girl lead a brainstorm about the game, the ultimate purpose is to teach quantum consciousness in the player. the idea is for as many people to play the game as possible to achieve quantum critical mass. but not just play it, to have the full mystical experience and become quantum-enabled, like the boy and girl are after their vision.
illustration: the girl (or the boy) standing in the middle of a crowd at a panel discussion while people shout out genre suggestions, either in a million separate tailed balloons, or better yet one big balloon with a million tails. the character thinks for a moment, maybe looks over at the other one for agreement, and says with feeling, “we’ll do it all!”
antarctica “Tourists go there every year, yes, in their well-heeled hundreds. They fork out the price of a house for a cruise, which takes them through seas that squeeze at their stomachs and make them curse the fact that sea legs cannot be bought in stores. They step onto the ice for a couple of hours, snap a few thousand penguin shots, shutter fingers shaking in cold-weather gloves. And then they leave, possibly quite delighted to have breathed a glimpse of paradise and to return to a life sponsored by supermarkets and satellite TV”
genre: an open source game that caters to everybody – a free to play, online, massively multiple, emergent, first person shooter, realtime strategy, management, adventure, driving, non-violent, exploratory, role-playing party and puzzle game. Action, Shooter, brawler, Action-adventure , Adventure , Role-playing , Simulation , Construction and management simulation , life simulation , Vehicle simulation , Strategy, music, party, sports, puzzle, trivia, board, adult, advergame, art, casual, xian, educational, exergame, serious/training
rules: a voluntary set of guidelines instead of rules governing players’ behavior. a game that rewards cooperation and inclusiveness, and where your own karma provides the punishment for your sins. unlimited lives, karmic scoring, connectedness is the highest good.
point system: players have unlimited lives, and the more advanced ones can choose when and where and even who to be spawned as. karma=rank is the tally of each character’s behavior and actions and takes into account the other players’ reactions. karma is influenced by your history, your attitude, your actions, your wishes. karma can be good or bad (plus or minus) points. karma is reflected in an avatar’s health, as well as the severity of hardships and the difficulty of tasks. health is food and sleep (time out of the game) and good relations and connections and places, and instant karma from actions. possessions are positive in the level, but count as a negative when you change levels. places also have karma/health points which affect players both directly and subtly.
scoring: health points reset to a level determined by your progress in the game (complicated formula). karma is directly connected to empathy, things done for others, and connection to other players. the karmic score is decreased by unkindness, abuse, cruelty, cheating, theft, violence, waste, selfishness. karma can be increased by learning your lesson, moderating your behavior, doing favors unasked, helping other players. call-center philosophy: connectedness increases good karma. evil people/actions are isolated to the point where they have to become god in order to get anything to happen – that’s like working all night just to get the sun to come up.. connected people get to share the powers and duties and burden of being a god. a lonely god is a crazy god.
karma is not the same as health. karma is long term overall score, health is day to day food and instant-karma things, including what people think of you and how you treat npcs. [move?] things have health points that you can eat, and unscrupulous players go around eating everything for the points. the boy especially. the girl cares for every living thing, and avoids getting points from things. she ages fast, while he remains in the peak of condition but finally uses a khan chest and ends up like gandolf, fading fast.
violence: you want the first two levels to be nothing but arcade games? with flying? that’s the lowest slice of the game industry. by far. and fill it up with adventure, strategy, role playing. but you’re leaving out sports and action and shooter and racing, which are all more popular. so you’re marketing to the bottom quarter and totally ignoring the top 75% of users and buyers. wtf.
“Mike Sellers’ Hypothesis: “The more persistence a game tries to have; the longer it is set up to last; the greater number (and broader variety) of people it tries to attract; and in general the more immersive a game/world it set out to be–then the more breadth and depth of human experience it needs to support to be successful for more than say, 12-24 months. If you try to create a deeply immersive, broadly appealing, long-lasting world that does not adequately provide for human tendencies such as violence, acquisition, justice, family, community, exploration, etc (and I would contend we are nowhere close to doing this), you will see two results: first, individuals in the population will begin to display a wide range of fairly predictable socially pathological behaviors (including general malaise, complaining, excessive bullying and/or PKing (player killing), harassment, territoriality, inappropriate aggression, and open rebellion against those who run the game); and second, people will eventually vote with their feet–but only after having passionately cast ‘a pox on both your houses.’ In essence, if you set people up for an experience they deeply crave (and mostly cannot find in real life) and then don’t deliver, they will become like spurned lovers–some become sullen and aggressive or neurotic, and eventually almost all leave.” You’re going to have violence done to people no matter what the facilities for it in the game are. It may be combat system, stealing, blocking entrances, trapping monsters,stealing kills to get experience, pestering, harassment, verbal violence, or just rudeness. It is always more rewarding to kill other players than to kill whatever the game sets up as a target. A given player of level x can slay multiple creatures of level y. Therefore, killing a player of level x yields ny reward in purely in-game reward terms. Players will therefore always be more rewarding in game terms than monsters of comparable difficulty. However, there’s also the fact that players will be more challenging and exciting to fight than monsters no matter what you do.”
“Lambert’s Laws: As a virtual world’s “realism” increases, the pool of possible character actions increase. The opportunities for exploitation and subversion are directly proportional to the pool size of possible character actions. A bored player is a potential and willing subversive. Players will eventually find the shortest path to the cheese.”
“Bethesda wanted to “immerse players in the daily life on Skyrim’s citizens.” But I don’t want to spend time in a video game doing every day activities when there are dragons to fight and adventures to be had. The repetitiveness of chopping wood at least gives you planks to sell, but the saw mill? You move some logs around and get no benefit out of it.”
relativity – winning for the house (the rudiments of capitalism) time dilations, black holes and other cheats
“When the creator of Portal makes a new game, we sit up and take notice. That game: Quantum Conundrum. Kim Swift’s new title features first-person action puzzles and is designed to bend your mind to the breaking point. Quantum Conundrum tasks players with solving problems by changing the very nature of reality itself. You throw your surroundings into different dimensions in order to overcome obstacles. According to Swift, creating such an ambitious title required three things: “Play-testing, play-testing and play-testing.” Game Description:In Quantum Conundrum, players take on the role of a 12-year old nephew to the eccentric Professor Fitz Quadwrangle (Professor Q). Upon entering the Professor’s vast, highly customized mansion, players quickly realize their uncle has gone missing. In order to find him, players will need to use an Inter-dimensional Shift Device, allowing them to manipulate space and objects. While on the journey, becoming adept at switching between dimensions will help them trek from one bizarre room to the next. It might sound easy enough, but it’s a tall order for a 12-year old in a vast, kooky mansion! Once players start shifting between dimensions, they’ll soon discover physics is on their side! The primary game mechanic is the Interdimensional Shift Device (shortened to I.D.S.) – at the press of a button, the player can switch into one of four different dimensions. To do this, they must first locate special batteries and place them into coloured receptacles, which subsequently creates a dimensional rift. The geometry of the normal environment is retained when switching dimensions, but changes are made to the aesthetics, and the physics and properties of objects are altered significantly. One of the dimensional options is the “fluffy dimension”. When swapped to this, the environment takes on a bright white, softened look. This causes objects to become 10 times lighter in weight, allowing the player to interact with them in ways that would not be possible in the default dimension. Other dimensions revealed so far include one that slows down time to a twentieth of its ordinary speed, one where objects become 10 times heavier in weight and one that reverses the direction of gravity.”
“The “this is not a game” (TINAG) aesthetic. ARGs themselves do not acknowledge that they are games. They do not have an acknowledged ruleset for players; as in real-life, they determine the “rules” either through trial and error or by setting their own boundaries. Narratives present a fully realized world: any phone number or email address mentioned works, and any website acknowledged exists. Games take place in real-time and are not replayable. Characters function like real people, not game pieces, respond authentically, and are controlled by real people, not by computer AI. Some events involve meetings or live phone calls between players and actors. A large and extremely active fan community called the Cloudmakers formed to analyze and participate in solving the game, and the combined intellect, tenacity and engagement of the group soon forced the puppetmasters to create new subplots, devise new puzzles, and alter elements of the design to keep ahead of the player base As players of the Beast, members of the Lockjaw development team were extremely aware of the community playing the game and took steps to encourage the tight bonding of the player base through highly collaborative puzzles, weekly Euchre games, and the inclusion of player personas in the game. While the numbers never rivaled those of The Beast, the game proved both that it was possible for developers to create these games without corporate funding or promotion, and that there was interest in the ARG form beyond a one-time audience for a production on the Beast’s scale. Lockjaw marked the start of the ARG as a genre of gaming, rather than simply a one-time occurrence…..In the wake of these successful, low-budget independent ARGs, an active “grassroots” development community began to evolve within the genre. While the quality of the grassroots games varies wildly, amateur storytellers, web designers, and puzzle creators continue to provide independently developed ARGs for the active player community……Serious ARGs introduce plausibility as a narrative feature to pull players into the game. People participate to experience, prepare for or shape an alternative life or future. The games thus have the potential to attract casual or non-players, because ’what if’ is a game anyone can play. Serious ARGs may therefore be sponsored by organizations with activist or educational goals; World Without Oil was a joint project of the Public Broadcasting Service’s Independent Lens and its Electric Shadows Web-original programming.….Their serious subject matter may lead Serious ARGs to diverge from mainstream ARGs in design. Instead of challenging collective intelligence to solve a gamemastered puzzle, World Without Oil’s puppetmasters acted as players to guide the “collective imagination” to create a multi-authored chronicle of the alternative future, purportedly as it was happening. By asking players to chronicle their lives in the oil-shocked alternative reality, the WWO game relinquished narrative control to players to a degree not seen before in an ARG….a number of possible ARGs, where players engage in seemingly fictional covert spy operations.”
“another symptom of a city, a nation and a world at perpetual war with itself. It’s merely one in a series of tragedies that we are numb to or never hear about or, because it happens overseas and at our hands (and we call it war), we wholeheartedly support. Even worse, it’s part of pop culture. Violence is our national distraction; we consume it as entertainment, whether in the movies or in the news.”
levels: intro not-really-a-level where you suit up and learn how to interface with the game, get the history etc. then using rudimentary flying skills navigate to antarctica (second star on the right exercise (girl gets right and left confused) blending all three physics (aiming classical, time dilation or suchlike, and action at a distance). then the levels where you learn all the lessons and move on.
“zones – the engine doesn’t care about the contents contained in a zone that the player can’t see. that means the engine doesn’t display any geometry, textures, lighting information, objects, props, or actors in that zone. when the engine displays less, it performs better.” zones, layers. the basic level is antarctica. only parts of antarctica are available for each ring? no, all parts are available to each, but what keeps the players contained in their area are the tasks. if they don’t achieve enough points, then the next layer is invisible, and that area where they are goes on forever, over the whole of antarctica, with only the present tasks available. but you can try your skill facing other rings’ challenges. you’ll just die.
they make a rough sketch on the back of an autographed picture. the game has to model their vision closely, but when they try to explain quantum mechanics to all their friends, they realize an ignorance of classical physics makes it harder to understand the difference. they argue about teaching quantum skills directly – it wasn’t in the game – but decide there’s a place for it in the chart, and besides it’s a good place to put shooter and puzzle games, things the gaming world expects in a videogame.
using the 7 levels of reality as a guide, and rearranging it a bit, they put newtonian and relativistic models in their own areas (the carnival) that weren’t in the original vision. they argue over xian and animism and goddess placement and decide a simple shift works. “everything’s a metaphor. everything’s relative. in carneytown!”
they look around them. all these jobs to do and none of them were anything but amateurs. who are we going to find that can do all this? game design, graphics, sound, programming, writer, scripts, character animation. hands keep going up. costuming, battle sequences, period details, fonts, hud design. more hands. game production? lead programmer? lead artist? lead designer? loads of hands but all on one- or two-person games. who wants to devote the next year and a half on no budget? they melt away, leaving email addresses and friending the facebook page. snake keeps in touch but can’t help right now. wrapping up project and very interested in being a part, believe in power.
someone writes up a report. security footage shows the participants and the activity but the noise level is too high to record, so all they have to go on is the report, full of baffling references and crossed out words, some noisy youtube videos from cellphones in the crowd, and the girl’s text message and in-game photos (screenshots?).
|discipline||mind||body||quantum head||subtle body||esp||flying||manifesting|
|lesson||all one way||all knowable||all relative||all possible||all alive||all together||all one|
|midway game||coaster||tiltawhirl||bumper cars||arcade||hall of mirrors||tunnel of love||???|
|classical physics||momentum||angular||?||2nd law||optics||???||???|
|carneytown job||service||game master||miner||builder||accounts||personnel||cop|
|relativity||time dilation||distortion of light||gravity wave||curvature||big bang||black hole||???|
|cloud powers / physics||action at a distance||teleportation||clairvoyance||time travel||manifestation||multiple universes||entanglement|
|ring skill||create||name||nurture||guide||share||preserve||pass on|
|ring religion||animism||goddess||early xian||buddhism||fundamentalist||black pope||god consciousness|
turns into an all day ad-hoc track panel discussion program with various people seeing and discussing the various aspects. first they write down and talk about their vision. demonstrate the quantum superpowers they learned in their game-vision by levitating the crowd. they reveal their new quest: to make a quantum videogame and change the world. then they talk about what the essence of their vision was and how to translate it into learnable skills. then they talk about what a video game based on these teachings would be like. lots of people are interested, and they brainstorm elements of the game in ad-hoc panel discussions. people only see some of it, like those who just heard about the angel giving them special powers and them making cute people on cute planets with their powers. and some people only hear about the flying and how to do it in real life. some people went away after the shared energy, and some people refuse to believe that happened and only heard the criticism and ridicule from those skeptics and others. some were only in it for the game brainstorm. supporters think this should be taught to everyone. detractors think powers should be secret. this is reflected in tweets and overheard conversations, especially between panels. they examine video and phone images and dismiss the event. media reports performance art. the couple’s use of unusual abilities is noticed and reported by the authorities.
the vision is done three times. the first time is the dreamiest, the most vague. it’s all very significant but they don’t remember anything specific. vast powers, wrongly used, lots of running around doing things, and lot of white buildings near water, a city on a hill, highways, a station. then the next day in the retelling of it, they gradually come clearer on the message, the quest. no, that’s the third time, when they get it right. the second time it’s all about their powers, the plus. with the quest comes what can go wrong, the preview of the rings, only the point of the rings is shown, the meaning hidden in plain sight. when is this, the third time gong thru the vision? chapter 3 w/kurt, or 4 designing or 6 creating? of 13 w/exkurt on cloud level at final testing.
the girl: the boy and girl at the first dragoncon. in their mid 20s, they’ve been going for years. neither of them could attend for the last couple of years, as the job, etc has gotten more onerous. but now and the girl just decided she didn’t want to be a manager and stopped giving 573%. the girl attends the costuming and artshow tracks. she’s at a crossroads and not sure what to do with her life. she’s been making small changes, clearing things out in unconscious preparation. but not sure she wants to devote her life to a videogame. they find they can communicate with each other inside their heads. they know where each other are and can hear each others’ thoughts. they realize they are different because of what happened to them, and feel closer to each other. they argued in their heads. but the vision didn’t have war and competition and killing. and any tendency toward violence was brought in by us, in error, insisted the girl. the snake in the garden is us? he asked. yeah, she said. everything was fine until we got there and be’d stupid humans and got kicked out, the boy responded. we got kicked out for wasting our time playing with our toys, and we were forced to grow up and use our abilities for the good of all, shouted the girl. the good of all, he scoffed; well, i spent all my time winning and levelling up. you wasted your time in social gameplay and had a really low point score in the end, the boy pointed out reasonably. but don’t you remember, she pleaded, the score and winning was just a distraction? the real point was to share everything and bring everybody up, not be the last man standing on a field of bones, the girl said scornfully. the girl insists on sticking with the vision, with majority peaceful play, and violent play restricted to easter egg levels. the boy plans on making these easter eggs very well marked. The girl walks off the cliff. At first she’s swept along by the experience of the vision, the reception by the crowds, her powers. She’s at a loss when it comes to translation, codification, specification. The expectations everyone has for her are stressful because she doesn’t see anything special about herself and gets tongue tied when someone knows more than she. So fast-talking snake runs rings around her, makes her feel stupid, has her studying his knowledge. But does the work because he’s depending on her to inform him. When planning the game she’s lost in techniques for enlightenment. she’s 23. little: 5’3” with big black eyes and dark hair cut pixie short and flyaway (anime-like without being too much so). she weighs nothing and looks bird-frail, but she’s lithe rather than fragile, graceful but quick. when she’s tired she gets dark rings around her eyes. army brat, dad a colonel, lived everywhere, speaks a bunch of languages sort of.
the boy: they find they can communicate with each other inside their heads. they know where each other are and can hear each others’ thoughts. they realize they are different because of what happened to them, and feel closer to each other. they argued in their heads. but the vision didn’t have war and competition and killing. and any tendency toward violence was brought in by us, in error, insisted the girl. the snake in the garden is us? yeah; everything was fine until we got there and be’d stupid humans and got kicked out, the boy responded. we got kicked out for wasting our time playing with our toys, and we were forced to grow up and use our abilities for the good of all, shouted the girl. the good of all. well, i spent all my time winning and leveling up. you wasted your time in social gameplay and had a really low point score in the end, the boy pointed out reasonably. but don’t you remember, the score and winning was just a distraction? the real point was to share everything and bring everybody up, not be the last man standing on a field of bones, the girl thought scornfully. the girl insists in sticking with the vision, with majority peaceful play, and violent play restricted to easter egg levels. the boy plans on making these easter eggs very well marked. the boy does armory and gaming, the boy is a military nut, and is in the sca because he likes medieval brawlers, but dragoncon doesn’t have an sca track, so he is into space opera military things. he lives in midtown. the boy’s mom’s basement is moldy, and the furniture is all old and battered, it’s full of things the family hasn’t used for years, and the boy made a nest in one room and tunnels to the bathroom and the basement stairs. but now the boy is unemployed and living in his parents’ basement, the boy is a c++ programmer who was downsized mainly because he didn’t have the corporate attitude, and now lives in his mom’s basement. then reality reasserts itself (according to the dominant culture). our heroes realize the system is changeable at that point, when reality comes back. so we’re teaching quantum thought, magic, zen and sufi training, activist techniques, and changing the story. donald sutherland meets gandalf meets robbie. he’s 27. tall: 6’3” and dark and handsome-ugly. he’s gangly and his movements are awkward and exaggerated. he hides this with languid, slow-moving graceful gestures and long pauses. he used to have a stutter. he likes to be the man, to be looked up to. he has a sense of honor and tribal loyalty that extends to his woman and his friends. he likes the girl because she’s small and vulnerable and needs him, but he wishes she weren’t so stubborn and just a teeny bit nicer.
kurt: is at dragoncon – walks by, sees glow, hates crowds
snake: levitation: flicks lights, gets prankster to takes credit it. essence: star wars “Dark side feeds off anger, jealousy, fear, and hate (snake). videogame: violence: you want the first two levels to be nothing but arcade games? with flying? that’s the lowest slice of the game industry. by far. and fill it up with adventure, strategy, role playing. but you’re leaving out sports and action and shooter and racing, which are all more popular. so you’re marketing to the bottom quarter and totally ignoring the top 75% of users and buyers. wtf. snake keeps in touch but can’t help right now. wrapping up project and very interested in being a part, believe in power. vs fairy: “Emotion vs. Logic If you can guide them to feel a certain way—a way that benefits you—you’ll have a much easier time getting what you want. Be Charming and Flirt Often Charm is an important part of manipulating people. If you’re ridiculously likable most of the time, when you react with extreme emotion it’ll have a greater impact. Having control over your emotions also involves keeping them in check most of the time and not just being able to act. Because manipulation generally makes the target feel poorly, whether they understand that they’re being manipulated or not, the more they like you the better.”
fairy: fairy works as a massage therapist and is into bdsm and altered states. is a role player and social type, (sims and farmville, mario). fairy’s head is thinking/feeling/observing from altruistic newager’s point of view (course in miracles). sweet, sexy and appealing. she likes pink frilly things that make her look like gift wrapping, and has the fashion sense of a burlesque queen, so she looks like a fat hooker and acts like mae west. little 5 points where everybody has a record and has been thru rehab. she’s there for the levitation, goes out for most of the talk about essence, talks and brings lots of people back with her, and comes back in for videogame specifics, volunteering to work unpaid. vs snake: “Be guarded. Don’t be too forthcoming in a first or casual meeting. Gather intelligence.” miss piggy meets lorie meets ginger/mom – fairy plays jeanne d’arc. she’s 37. short: 5’3” and blowsy, with long red frizzy hair, as round as she is tall, with a shelf of an ass and a tiny little waist. very middle class background, or hippies. lives in little 5 points, of course.
random in town for bonus vacation w/his company (call center in india), wandering around without membership, hears about levitation, is in discussion about videogame specifics, thinks about what he’d like to see. comment on call-center organization gets taken up and written into chart. “Your first name of Random makes you a quick thinker, both philosophical and creative. You appreciate music, art, and drama and, if given training, could excel in those fields. Self-consciousness may prevent you from feeling at ease in positions of impromptu expression. Desiring to be free from detail and monotony, you find it difficult to finish what you start if it does not hold your interest. You enjoy reading and the beauties of nature, experiencing peace and relaxation in outdoor activities. A very individual, independent person, you live within your own thoughts. Although the name Random creates an interest in the deeper aspects of life, we emphasize that it causes procrastination, lack of confidence, and the inability to realize your goals and ambitions. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the heart, lungs, bronchial area, and fluid systems.”
=p: working for hotel security, nabs street people rolling conventioners, feels sorry for their innocence. she can notice kurt and snake and fairy, can witness levitation but not believe it.
c3ll3r! nathan, 15, wants to go to dragoncon but dad dismisses the idea, and he goes to mom w/levitation buzz on forums. business boost, the tv said. dad danger bad don’t leave house or else bad things, criminals blah. 15boy into games, boy wants to go to dragoncon, consumerist. First, awareness comes: unhappiness, an idea that things could be better, and a realization of the dynamics of the relationship.
traits: Conventional, ordinary. corporation middle-management job. never had all that much, now is getting in trouble. blames family expenses, indulgent wife, greedy unthinking kids. wants normal life but wife busy, teenage kids,
events: boy wants to go to dragoncon, wife too indulgent, hippy freaks. girl gets tatoo. consumerist.
work: When we allow debt to be the sole driving force of our economy, we create a situation where one person may toil only so that he can support his lender.
abuse: Making your partner afraid by using looks, actions, gestures. Using Intimidation.
mom wife busy. 1wife blond shorts suv suburb works part time. wife too indulgent, consumerist
sis 16girl doing the pretty thing. girl gets tatoo. consumerist. runs up cellphone bill.
armchair authoritarian: Conventional, ordinary. wants normal life but wife busy, teenage kids, 15boy into games, 16girl doing the pretty thing. 1wife blond shorts suv suburb works part time. boy wants to go to dragoncon, wife too indulgent, hippy freaks. girl gets tatoo. consumerist.
“Jealousy & Possessiveness – Becomes jealous over your family, friends, co-workers. Tries to isolate you. Views his woman and children as his property instead of as unique individuals. Accuses you of cheating or flirting with other men without cause. Always asks where you’ve been and with whom in an accusatory manner. Giving your partner an allowance. Using Economic Abuse. Treating your partner like a servant. Using Male Privilege. Putting your partner down. Using Emotional Abuse. Making your partner afraid by using looks, actions, gestures. Using Intimidation. When we allow debt to be the sole driving force of our economy, we create a situation where one person may toil only so that he can support his lender.”
“who sings as she is dressed—oh, those happy peasants!—in accordance with the tradition of musical theatre to sing instead of enjoying a useful discussion. Everything stops while we listen to the same few lines being repeated. The formula recurs in nearly every Disney movie: when animals, peasants and racial minorities show up it’s time for a song.”
shit happens: levitation
they: first they can’t see you. someone writes up a report. security footage shows the participants and the activity but the noise level is too high to record, so all they have to go on is the report, full of baffling references and crossed out words, some noisy youtube videos from cellphones in the crowd, and the girl’s text message and in-game photos (screenshots?). tactic dismiss as cranks.
media: tactic dismiss levitation as delusion/art. “Police expect hundreds of thousands of visitors this weekend in Atlanta to attend several large events. That means there will be that many more people on the roads to tie up traffic. On Saturday afternoon, there will be a series of free concerts at Centennial Olympic Park. The gates opened at noon, but it seems wherever you turn this weekend, you’re going to find a crowd. Residents met up for their Saturday morning workout in Woodruff Park even as storm troopers took over the sidewalk. “It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful to see the city alive,” Jane Monahan said. The DragonCon parade got the party started Saturday. SLIDESHOW: See Wonder Woman, Joker, Other Creatures At Dragon*Con Parade “We get to be the heroes that we want to be, the heroes that we see on TV,” DragonCon participant Doc Geressy said. The concerts at Centennial Olympic Park will lead up to Saturday night’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between the University of Georgia and Boise State. Then there’s Braves baseball and the black gay pride events. With so many people downtown, police are urging residents to carpool or better “take MARTA, its smart-a. It’s the best way to get around,” Jane Monahan said. Police are blocking streets to corral the crowds and traffic. Thousands packed Peachtree Street for the DragonCon parade to watch witches, aliens and creatures from the deep go by. It’s an event that grows every year. “Last year they were about 10-deep and we were bowled over. We were amazed. And this year I’m just scared,” Cooper Holland said. While it may cause problems for those trying to find a parking spot, the city said it’s great for businesses. “Food, lodging. You have to think 30,000 people here in Atlanta this weekend. So, the amount of revenue that it’s bringing in, it’s an amazing amount,” Geressy said. If you do drive to any of the events this weekend, police stress their clean car campaign. Leave your valuables at home and remove everything from your console, even pocket change, to deter robbers from breaking in.”
authoritarian culture: starts out as b/w authoritarian utopia. “This is just a drip of change’s color into nostalgia’s black-and-white bucket of yearning for the way we never were, starring the fifties’ Father Knows Best and Sandra Dee’s virginity. No matter that beneath Dee’s “good girl” gloss was an incest survivor, divorced at 22, and a lonely life of anorexia, alcoholism and depression. Times were simpler back in the good ol’ days of sexual purity when guys were predators, girls were gatekeepers, and anyone in between stayed in the closet.” (chapter 8 authoritarian culture) “neoliberal thinking in terms of facts and figures on the one hand and serving the interests of demographic groups on the other also leads to ‘issue silos,’ the isolation of one issue from another – food and drug safety; children’s health care; controlling military contractors – as if there were no general moral principle and political issue governing all of these. but there is: privateering (see chapter 7). privateering is the destruction of the capacity of government to carry out its moral missions, together with the privatization of government functions with no public accountability and the enrichment of corporations at the public’s expense.” p54 their thought also leads to policy as technocratic solutions and ‘rational systems’ to be instituted through legislation and implemented in government. the assumption is that the rational system of law, the enforcement of law, government regulation, and the courts will win the day. meanwhile, conservatives have figured out ways to undermine all such strategies, by defunding or reassigning regulators, hiring lobbyists in government positions, letting corporate lobbyists write laws, refusing to enforce laws, and getting their judges into the courts. let us call this ‘administrative undermining.’ when people define their very identity by a worldview, or a narrative, or a mode of thought, they are unlikely to change – for the simple reason that it is physically part of their brain, and so many other aspects of their brain structure would also have to change; that change is highly unlikely. “conservative thought has a very different moral basis than progressive thought. it begins with the notion that morality is obedience to an authority – assumed to be a legitimate authority who is inherently good, knows right from wrong, functions to protect us from evil in the world, and has both the right and duty to use force to command obedience and fight evil. he is ‘the decider.’ obedience to legitimate authority requires both personal responsibility and discipline, which are prime conservative virtues. obedience is enforced through punishment. in large institutions, there will be a hierarchy of authority, used, among other things, to maintain order. loyalty is required to maintain the hierarchy. freedom is seen as functioning within such an order.””
first they can’t see you.
resistance. should be free for everyone. then you think it.