Apocalypse

lavos

Apocalypses are interesting. First: How is that pronounced? Hard E? Rarely pluralized, is what I’m saying.

Um. But that’s neither here nor there.  We’ve just gone through another projected doomsday, with results similarly unimpressive to all previous doomsdays, and are all set for another stupid year of tedious existence. Yay!

What is it about armageddon that makes us have so many words for it? What is it that makes us so certain it’s just far enough away that the tomorrow to end all tomorrows will be here before we know it?

Does it make us feel better about our mortality if we get to imagine the world dying with us? A kind of ad hoc solipsism? I can see the appeal. Maybe some people just pretend to believe it because it’s a way to convince themselves that all of the mistakes they’ve made, or will make, will soon be made irrelevant.

Game over. Game over. Game over.

The end of the world ain’t what it used to be, though. Our fascination with the apocalypse has extended into what happens afterwards, which seems at least a slight contradiction in terms. If you survive an apocalypse, it’s not your apocalypse, just a shitty day. Get in line, wait for your own apocalypse.

Everyone gets one eventually.

There’s some appeal in a destroyed barely-world, though, isn’t there? Yet it’s hard to put one’s finger on exactly what that appeal is. It comes in many forms…

Sometimes we crave a game setting that mirrors the brutal simplicity of the game’s mechanics. Back to simpler days, eat, run, fight, fuck.– except we can’t do that last one because that would be inappropriate. Tokyo Jungle figured out a way to sneak that by though, so props to them.

And sometimes we like the entirety of existence having a cast smaller than Game of Thrones because it makes things easier to remember. Hard to keep all of these new faces straight, so let’s set off some bombs. Keep the drama all nice and intense and personal, because everyone outside this room is either a zombie or an asshole.

Not to imply that everyone inside it is neither of those things

Not to imply that everyone inside it is neither of those things

And sometimes we just want a game where we can have guns but make them scarce enough to be interesting.

Regardless, in most games apocalypse is just used as either the threat against failure or the back story behind the world. Apocalypse usually merely exists around the perimeter of the plot, but rarely actually intercedes.

For some reason, Japanese games seem to be the ones that actually process the end of the world as something that can occur within the boundaries of the game narrative.

Really, though, there is nothing inherently different between a doomsday and any other kind of ending. Destruction, even by way of armageddon, is never complete: However, it is quite final to those who experience it first-hand. And to those who experience their own ending in their own time without the benefit of an apocalypse, it all ends very much the same.

Game over.

I guess my point here is that something is lost at every moment. Each day is the end of the world of the day before. And I guess my point is that at some point the distinction between the big losses and the small losses begins to blur.

I guess my point is that 2012 is over and it won’t be coming back. Not bad, not good, but a loss and a commensurate gain.

Long live 2013.

I give it a year.

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