Existing in a Space


So this raises the question: Why games?

Frankly, it didn’t have to be games for me. It could have very easily been literature or film or visual art. These are all forms which I find interesting, each of which I love in my own way. So why, then, do I keep coming back to games? Why is it that when I come up with an idea for a world or character or situation or plot to explore I always think of it as a game idea, at least at first?

The thing which games do that the other forms don’t, the thing which I find exciting in ways I can barely express, is the feel of existing in a space and being able to explore it. Every time I ride the bus down the street and I see all of the houses lined up, and I see the weight of their three dimensional existence and I imagine what it would be like to climb over them and in them, see what it’s like inside each house and under each house and within the cracks of each house. But I don’t, because that would be dangerous, and exhausting, and creepy.

Maybe it would be easier to just be a burglar.

But isn’t it a bit odd that we interface with the world in such a superficial way so much of the time? We see each building as just an exterior, and we can extrapolate certain ideas about the internal structure by what we see of that exterior and what we see through the windows, but we can’t really know what’s going on inside. Isn’t it interesting how precisely the way we interact with each other’s houses mirrors the way we interact with each other?

Of course, it’s not just houses. Rocks, rivers, mountains, caves, each a space explorable, occupy-able, geographical genitalia waiting to be fucked. And compared to that extravagance, that scale and variety contained in this relatively puny planet, our games’ worlds are specks. Honestly, most game worlds are, compared to the complexity of any room in any house, the bits of sentiment attached to the objects, the way those objects are stored on and in and around each other, completely surpassed and superseded.

But: We made that game space, in a sense which even exceeds the way we make our homes, our buildings. The buildings are more, really, just a rearrangement of matter to form a kind of housing. The fake buildings we create in games, though, are a purer expression of artifice, an idea crafted from other ideas and recorded into a machine.

Whenever I dream I wake up nostalgic for something that never happened. I sometimes feel like I got kicked out of my real home back in slumber and just moved here to reality because rent’s cheaper.

With games, though, at least I can see back through a window, see what furniture the strange folk who moved in have put in my dream house, which I used to live in, which I can no longer afford.


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