Guest Lookouts Page Four is now available, peeled hot from the griddle by the perpetually fluxing Dreistadt/Grigsby meta-entity. Their chemically complex state is dangerously unstable - I hope we’ll be able to secure the fifth and final page before heretofore uncataloged forces burn, crush, boil, and freeze them simultaneously.
I am always wracked by sentimentality, in large part because I demand to live in a context rich with emotional meaning. I invest everything around me with a narrative, or a place in a larger narrative, until everything is more or less humming with crucial purpose. You may be wondering, what does this have to do with Red Faction?
We’re getting to that.
It was this way, even as a very young person. It drove people up the fucking wall, and factually speaking I know that my tendencies in this regard continue to have this effect on people. I understand now that while I do not myself require anything resembling a vacation, other people do from time to time need a vacation from me.
The tendency I mentioned is this: I have to know what something means before I know what must be done. That’s as true when I pick up a tiny Lego person as it is when I pick up a controller, to guide this quarter’s batch of sneering gladiators through whatever tawdry parable the design team cooked up after hours. I’ve been wondering why I can’t find the game journalists are writing about when I consume their reviews, and the reason is actually very simple: we aren’t playing the same game. I construct a lattice around everything, altering it, meeting its creators at some conceptual halfway point, taking responsibility for my own enjoyment.
So after a few days away, days which have not been characterized by torment of any kind, my thoughts turn quite readily to all the lives my leisure has halted altogether: cultures arrested mid-revolution, spike encrusted footballs frozen in mid-air. Pick-axe hovering over the glinting ore, acts of incredible, premeditated violence blunted by a rapid, terrible cooling of every atom involved in their manufacture. There are now ten stunted, suspended universes awaiting the return of their impetus.
You know what? Maybe I shouldn’t write on vacation after all.