We do not play out the catastrophe
February 26, 2018 11:17 PM   Subscribe

 
And they said games couldn't be art!
posted by overglow at 11:32 PM on February 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


This feels like a flashback to the aughts, to Brenda Brathwaite’s Train and Darius Kazemi’s You Were Hallucinating The Whole Time and so many “oh no, we’re the baddies!” moments. Great if other folks get something from this -and it’s cool preview of the idea that RPGs can be innovative and weird- but it feels very retro to me.

Reading about it also made me lose the game, so there’s that too.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:37 PM on February 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


(Hot Guys Making Out and My Centipede Boyfriend look fun though)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:50 PM on February 26, 2018


This feels like a flashback to the aughts, to Brenda Brathwaite’s Train and Darius Kazemi’s You Were Hallucinating The Whole Time and so many “oh no, we’re the baddies!” moments.

I think this is somewhat different from those two examples. Both Train and You Were Hallucinating fashion those moments as reveals whereas in this it could be that everyone knows prior to setup. Or hypothetical setup anyways given I'm not sure anyone would actually setup and not play this.
posted by juv3nal at 11:57 PM on February 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


...terrapomorphism

*record scratch*
posted by The Tensor at 11:58 PM on February 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Going To Maine - The Party Of One podcast did a playthrough of Hot Guys Making Out (episode 85) if you want to hear it in action.
posted by nothing as something as one at 1:05 AM on February 27, 2018


Playing the game: Stay outside the room. Do not go in.

This is how I play Monopoly.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:56 AM on February 27, 2018 [18 favorites]


Take 1:
What would such an inscrutable culture look like to us? Answer: exactly like natural processes.
What would our own culture being harmed in such a way look like to us? Answer: exactly like a natural cataclysm.
How do we know, then, that when a hurricane or a volcano wipes out a town, that it isn't an unknown civilization destroying ours? Answer: we don't.
Is it useful to so anthropomorphize (in a way) natural things? Probably not.
Does that mean this isn't a valid perspective? No.

Take 2:
Wait a moment, we could tell that great ecological harm had been done to the planet even if its nature eluded us.
And is it really true that an alien culture could be wholly undetectable to us? Indeed, Star Trek aliens might be too anthropomorphized, but civilization requires thought, memory and communication, and their existences, even post-mortem, would leave detectable traces just from the necessary workings of the thermodynamics required to support them, right?

Take 3:
From what perspective could we say that the alien mono-cellular culture existed at all?
It would have to be an omniscient one, a kind of "god." But omniscient beings cannot exist; a perspective logically cannot contain its negation, which it would have to to be omniscient.
The supposing of the existence of such a perspective is, itself, anthropocentric.
There are an infinite number of such cultures, overlapping every possible region of space, and there exist hypothetical minds capable of recognizing each one.

Take 4:
Man this is some good weed.
posted by JHarris at 3:41 AM on February 27, 2018 [20 favorites]


4:22 : The Game.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:21 AM on February 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


The exact nature of this collapse is not well known — it is presumed to be a virus carried on the ship’s cat 

Aw smeg.
posted by BiggerJ at 4:26 AM on February 27, 2018 [13 favorites]


leotrotsky: 4:22 : The Game.

If you didn't mean Mark 4:22, this is an insane coincidence: "For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open."
posted by BiggerJ at 4:31 AM on February 27, 2018 [9 favorites]


something something winning move
something something not to play
posted by glonous keming at 4:37 AM on February 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


A little heavy-handed. Unknowable lifeforms with an unknowable society and unknowable cultural artifacts. Got it.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 4:39 AM on February 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


*annoying voice* Hi I'm Metafilter and I don't like liking things
posted by duffell at 5:00 AM on February 27, 2018 [19 favorites]


I’m prepared to record that message for robo-calls.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:12 AM on February 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: A little heavy-handed.
MetaFilter: *annoying voice*
MetaFilter: Reading about it also made me lose the game
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:16 AM on February 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yeah, why they gotta blame the cat!
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:28 AM on February 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


Oh, the cat is guilty, rest assured.
posted by eustatic at 5:56 AM on February 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


(Though I do appreciate the implication that the game is over even if the cat goes into the room.)
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:36 AM on February 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Perhaps you are unfamiliar with cats.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:38 AM on February 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


leotrotsky: 4:22 : The Game.

If you didn't mean Mark 4:22, this is an insane coincidence: "For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open."


Nope, I just posted before I was fully awake and screwed it up. It was a reference to Cage's 4'33".
posted by leotrotsky at 6:46 AM on February 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


I loved this.

My first take: wait, if we accept that THIS planet of thriving single cell organisms included intelligent clades with technology, art, etc, that is entirely inscrutable to humanity, "completely unrecognizable to the human probes or the human explorers that followed them," then why is there such certainty in the statement that it is unique among the planets of thriving single cell organisms?

If you didn't mean Mark 4:22, this is an insane coincidence: "For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open."

The Bible has a lot of books. I don't think it's all that surprising that one of several dozen verses marked 4:22 might end up being relevant. One could as easily remark on the insane irony of Proverbs 4:22 "for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body."
posted by solotoro at 7:00 AM on February 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


How do we know, then, that when a hurricane or a volcano wipes out a town, that it isn't an unknown civilization destroying ours? Answer: we don't.

If a butterfly farts on Uranus.....
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:39 AM on February 27, 2018


I figured 4:22 was a reference to the sort of things you come up with two minutes after smoking some weed.
posted by rikschell at 8:16 AM on February 27, 2018 [6 favorites]


d12s? Really? d6s are so much easier to get in bulk, followed obviously by d20s because of D&D, and then d10s because some people still carry the torch for White Wolf's Storyteller System. But d12s? Usually you only find them in sets, which means getting a lot of dice you can't use for this game just to get the ones you do need.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:27 AM on February 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Yes, human games tend to feature d6s and d20s more than other types. I think that's the point of the d12s.

For even more verisimilitude, use rhombic dodecahedral d12s rather than regular dodecahedral d12s.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:46 AM on February 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


What if this were the start of the game? What would that game look like?
posted by emmet at 9:21 AM on February 27, 2018


So I wandered over to Kongregate to idle while I thought about what that next game might be, and bumped into this:

There is No Game

Which is actually kind of interesting and, at times, funny.

Still playing through it, of course.
posted by emmet at 9:30 AM on February 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Schrödinger's Roleplaying Game?
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:47 AM on February 27, 2018


So I wandered over to Kongregate to idle while I thought about what that next game might be, and bumped into this:

There is No Game


That was _excellent_
posted by Maaik at 10:05 AM on February 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


radwolfe, are you trolling us? Since no one plays the game, the dice are only there to lend a flavor of rule mechanics, so that when you realize the game doesn't get played, you're more suprised. :)
posted by AaronDaMommio at 11:27 AM on February 27, 2018


The Tragedy of GJ237b was nominated for (but did not make the shortlist for) a Nebula as a short story. Which led one of the nominators, science fiction writer Yoon Ha Lee, to write a nice bit about it and what makes something a short story.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:07 PM on February 27, 2018


They had a rich, nuanced, complicated system of communication and social organization which we not only will never understand, but we can never understand, because we lack even the ability to comprehend their thoughts. [...]

They developed technology — although utterly different than our technology — art — although utterly different from our art — and even, we believe, limited space travel.


I think there is a contradiction at the heart of this description, which is that to say that something is 'art' or 'technology' or 'culture' is itself to put it within the domain of understanding, because 'art' and 'technology' and 'culture' are categories of human understanding. Just as you cannot have an 'indescribable red hue' (because to call it 'red' is already to describe it), it isn't possible to have 'social organization which [...] we can never understand' (because merely to call it 'social organization' is already to crack open the door of understanding).
posted by Pyry at 4:03 PM on February 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I sort of grumpily put this in the same category as a video I watched once of someone arguing that games should take a lesson from a game that was an endless 3D space filled with procedurally generated polygons. It annoyed me, and this annoys me, because the only meaning to it is the one you bring to it, and gesturing about how meaningful it is seems counterfeit when it's all projection. I could say that the keyboard I use houses a constellation of societies, each interrupted as I press the keys, every sentence an apocalypse, every time I switch to the mouse an era of peace and prosperity. But what would be the point? It says nothing more than the one where every impulse from the keyboard is feeding a digital creature growing inside my computer, until it's strong enough to swim up the stream of data to my modem, and then to the sea. It's a cheap parlour trick, an Ern Malley poem.

I concede that the text that describes the game has artistic merit, just not the game itself.
posted by Merus at 8:39 AM on February 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I figured 4:22 was a reference to the sort of things you come up with two minutes after smoking some weed.

I thought it was about how far off your thoughts get by the time you're nearly through listening to the Cage piece.
posted by straight at 10:00 AM on February 28, 2018


My Centipede Boyfriend

I'm disappointed this is not about a girl in the 80s who discovers that playing Centipede is more fun than hanging out with the boys.
posted by straight at 10:02 AM on February 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just lost. Just sayin'...
(because, well, Rule 3).

'Though not this Rule 3, 'though I think they're related. And there I go thinking again. Damn.
posted by TigerMoth at 2:28 PM on February 28, 2018


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