Having Been Human
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Sat Sep 15 05:40:27 2012
Edge of the World

Just more-or-less finished a videogame I've been playing for a bit; it has a remarkably sophisticated "world engine", and I've had a grand time climbing mountains in the game (meaning jumping against tilted surfaces repeatedly trying to "catch" on edges in the surfaces; it's a hassle but actually feels about as close to indoor rock climbing or parkour as I imagine possible in a videogame). One of the last parts of the game involves leaving the gigantic open sandbox world (that I've already poked around to find its edges and how they're handled; curious programmer me) in a temporary trip into an afterlife area that's a much smaller world, not meant to be explored in the same way. After wrapping up what needs to happen and before heading back, I saved my game and mountain-climbed my way far from the parts of that world where I'm supposed to be. It was kind of weird because the center of the realm was a kind of norse drinking hall with lots of dead people enjoying their afterlives and stuff. A kind of lonliness set in as I found that the world kept going out there, but with all of the hard work the developers put into making the places people are meant to be not present on the edges; the graphical glitches kept building up too, and naturally there were no other creatures out there, nor trees, just the thin sketches of landscape that were probably only filled in so the area would have some definition when looked at from a distance. Strange experience, which began to remind me of some of my nightmares, bridged by an imagined dialogue with the gatekeeper character who congratulates the player on their actions and suggests fun things to do with the other players; I imagined complaining to him that there's no detail as far out as I am, and he'd respond that of course there isn't; haven't I learned that the point of things is the ties we have to other people? The digging through obscurities alone is not a viable way to live. And so it reminded me of the dream of somehow being shot out into deep space, never to see humanity again.

Probably shouldn't've read the player guide on in-game marriage right after that. Not great for someone feeling rather lonely and interpersonally empty and rather vulnerable about it.

I was trying to capture a bit of this kind of thing with Oyschlisn. It's hard to explain the perspective to people who haven't experienced this disconnectedness.