The Snip Within
Being old is weird, and I don’t like it necessarily, but I’d still take it over being young. Both axis are laden with intractable bullshit, but in the latter half of your life people can at least recognize your fundamental humanity.
When you are getting older people start to talk to you about whether or not you should let a complete stranger sever your inner dong. You would think the answer to this would be “no, don’t do that,” but it comes up and gets seriously entertained while I shift uncomfortably in the seat. This shit keeps happening, these Big Questions about what it means to have a transient body long-term, and I’ve reached the point chronologically where my youthful invincibility has begun to flash, on and off, on and off, announcing its terrifying culmination. The Dentist told me that if I was careful and really worked at it, I could keep these teeth for the rest of my life. I didn’t really know what to say to that, except “Good” and “Yay, teeth!”
I’m home now, but I am constantly batting at phantom memories that rise unbidden. Isn’t that just like a phantom memory? They’re always doing shit like that.
An especially persistent spectre is associated with Kim Swift’s Quantum Conundrum. The demo was like that perfect slice of birthday cake, the one that has the correct ratio of cake and frosting, plus one of the decorations on top: youth, as a fractal. What they had on the floor featured a morsel from much later in he game that showed you just how mean they intend to get, and while not harrowing, it was clear that this is not a game which will be focused entirely on throwing around quilted safes. Gabriel and I discussed it at length, and being an environmental puzzle game it certainly bears a similarity to her work on Portal. I suggested that we don’t really have words yet to describe what, in another art form, might be called “style.” That’s not something we have good tools to contain yet, conceptually; we have a hard enough time delineating the rest of the form. Her deal is definitely about manipulating shit, we know that much; I am going to suggest she is a “Manipular.”
Three days ago, I couldn’t have imagined actually surviving the show, let alone being able to just sit in a chair and play a videogame, but here I am. Legend of Grimrock just unlocked on GOG, so I’m going to install it, and then run the executable. I’m writing this all down so I can refer to it later if I get stuck on any of the particulars. At some point over the weekend, I’m not exactly sure when because I can’t be sure, I became decoupled from linear time.