# Oct 20, 2010

“Metaphor time: imagine a desert, seen from above. There are many branching paths leading to many villages. When travellers cross the desert, you can clearly see the route they take, where they stop off, and so on. But what if night has fallen? Then, all you can see are the little fires in the villages. Occasionally, travellers emerge from the darkness and sit by the fires for a while, and then move on. But the routes they take between those fires belong to them alone.

All of which is a fancy way of saying that, while we control the actual chunks of the story, the paths between them belong to the player alone, and that’s a big deal. Just as in a film the story is told through the edit, in Echo Bazaar, the story is told through the darkened paths between the fires. In cinematic terms, it’s a montage: we provide the shots, the player does the arrangement.”

Betterblog | Echo Bazaar Narrative Structures, part three

# Oct 18, 2010

“Is it possible to imagine an artwork that would retain the power to challenge fixed or conventional meanings without dividing its audience into philistines and cognoscenti?” (22)

Frank Kester, Conversation Pieces

# Oct 16, 2010

“It denotes an activity aimed at creating situations, as opposed to passively recognizing them in academic or other separate terms. At all levels of social practice or individual history. We replace existential passivity with the construction of moments of life, and doubt with playful affirmation. Up till now philosophers and artists have only interpreted situations; the point now is to transform them. Since human beings are molded by the situations they go through, it is essential to create human situations. Since individuals are defined by their situation, they need the power to create situations worthy of their desires. This is the perspective in which poetry (communication fulfilled in concrete situations), the appropriation of nature, and complete social liberation must all merge and be realized. Our era is going to replace the fixed frontier of the extreme situations that phenomenology has limited itself to describing with the practical creation of situations; it is going to continually shift this frontier with the development of our realization. We want a phenomeno-praxis. We have no doubt that this will be the first banality of the movement toward the liberation that is now possible. What situations are to be transformed? At different levels it could be the whole planet, or an era (a civilization in Burckhardt’s sense, for example), or a moment of individual life. On with the show!”

Situationist Questionnaire

“[Post]-Marxist and post-Situationist wisdom is not content to furnish a phantasmagorical depiction of a humanity completely buried beneath the rubbish of its frenzied consumption. It also depicts the law of domination as a force seizing on anything that claims to challenge it. It makes any protest a spectacle and any spectacle a commodity.” (33)

– Jacques Ranciere, The Emancipated Spectator

# Sep 26, 2010

“The first secret is “story.” When I say story I am not talking about a linear “once upon a time” type story. I am talking about an all encompassing notion, a “big picture” idea of the world that is being creating. A set of rules that will guide, the design and the project team to a common goal. It is this first step that will insure the created world will be seamless. If you are creating a game or attraction based on, let’s say “pirates”, you’ll need to play your audiences expectation like a violin. You want to pamper them by fulfilling every possible expectation of what it must be like to be a pirate. Every texture you use, every sound you play, every turn in the road should reinforce the concept of “pirates!” If you successfully establish a strong enough “story” early on in your design process, you will have little trouble keeping your team focused.”

Gamasutra – Features – Environmental Storytelling: Creating Immersive 3D Worlds Using Lessons Learned from the Theme Park Industry

“When describing solids, one may ignore time altogether; in describing fluids, to leave time out of account would be a grievous mistake. Descriptions of fluids are all snapshots, and they need a date at the bottom of the picture.

Fluids travel easily. They ‘flow’, ‘spill’, ‘run out’, ‘splash’, ‘pour over’, ‘leak’, ‘flood’, ‘spray’, ‘drip’, ‘seep’, ‘ooze’; unlike solids, they are not easily stopped – they pass around some obstacles, dissolve some others and bore or soak their way through others still. From the meeting with solids they emerge unscathed, while the solids they have met, if they stay solid, are changed – get moist or drenched.

These are reasons to consider ‘fluidity’ or ‘liquidity’ as fitting metaphors when we wish to grasp the nature of the present, in many ways novel, phase in the history of modernity.”

Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity