Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Sunday, 17 March 2013
i've always been leery of the alternate reality game
i find the notion that some people agree to do things they'd never otherwise consider at the urging of some other people whom they may never actually meet in any way other than virtual
clearly this is a space wide open for exploitation
think, for a minute, about the implications of a big data game tied into specific movements of an individual through a narrative sequence and a storyworld mapped to their geophysical space
an augmented reality live action role playing game
talk about bread and circuses with a few insect drone harvesters and we're two generations from the matrix - or that dim apocalyptic future in which Earth Quest Adventures finally gets built.
Be that as it may, and as odd as that social formation sounds - the ability to network a bunch of agents in the field through a narrative framework then provide a soup of mediated code to distribute - using otherwise innocuous technology (think wifi from a lightbulb) - that could be the holy grail of gaming
to game an entire world - turn the earth into a chess board
jk no one would ever be up to something like that
So yeah - I've always been a bit leery of the alternate reality game, mainly because I'm clearly already playing a few too many of them.
Discordianism is an ARG - in a sense, that's the big reveal - a glimpse behind the frop to the blue tinged goddess revered as chaos these change agents watch this sequestration of her nature through this lense, but discordia is more tangential to chaos - Eris is a coyote soul - her howls are rips in the fabric of space and time where new, tentacled weeds can grow. Do not place her next to the smiler Dobbs and expect them to be equals, she hatches plots long forgot by yetisan scholars, whomever they be friend or foe, yo - she will bomb the orgy. Discordianism is the alternate reality behind all religions - that gods by and large are as much of a squamulous laggard as any given town council.
To say that the worship of Eris is an alternate reality game would not be untrue - in that she plays back at you. But even more importantly, the alternate reality game that fractals in on the 23 current is as vibrant now as it was years ago. Certain 'hashtags' have been coded into society for years - representations of the like-minded, signifying to find the others. Playing along with Eris, the Principia Discordia, and all the attendant materials which have cultivated and deepened the Discordian Religion become a game you play with yourself and those also in on the game - it can be a serious game, but it often feels more like a disposable superstition, anchored to very specific observances, and flax.
However, adapting a set of beliefs, be they in service of a game's borders of narrative, or in service to a religious observance - or societal role, political party, emotional labor for your family or lover - all of these decisions are both environmentally determined and emotionally selected. I when observing a twenty-three am choosing to scream "oh Eris the fnords!" and in so doing, I alone benefit when the fnords devour the souls of those around me. Taking that energy and directing it to something worthwhile - now that's the real magic trick.