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Tycho / on Mon, Jun 13 2011 at 12:00 am

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The Hippothalamus

Also a true story.  Well, a true story about an imaginary thing perhaps.  The hippo was small, lying on its side, and its long tongue wrapped around it in an apparently infinite sequence of concentric rings.  The exertion it took to maintain this creature was immense, and very near the limits of my ability; if not for the richness and amiability of his company, I might have consigned him to oblivion.

I liked that part.

Once I’d discovered this capacity for inserting things, it became apparent how much wholly invisible toil is involved in maintaining perception.  The gear ticked from automatic to manual then, placing the responsibility for managing the body’s unrelenting stimuli wholly upon me, and I broke under it.  You breathe all day without thinking about it, but once you start to consider breath, as you are doing now, it stops.  Until you forget about it again, and the chain catches in another part of your nervous system.

I liked this part less; the part where I blacked out on a cliff with only an illusory hippo to keep me company.  It was kind of a weird summer in general.

Long-time readers will know that, even as an atheist nega-Pope, I think Biblical material is woefully underutilized in games - and that includes apocrypha like The Book of Enoch.  You can think of the apocrypha generally as The Director’s Cut of the Bible; it includes things that didn’t fit in the original thematic “budget.”  Part of the reason its underutilized is, of course, because utilizing it creatively is a sin.  So there’s that.  Maybe reaching out for corollaries to the “main event” offers some safety in this regard.

As for the game, though, there’s just not much safety here.  It’s unmoored from classical retail conventions like…  polish, let’s say, but it’s hard to know the extent to which they intend these ambiguities, and I find that sort of thing exciting.  You can secure the demo quite easily, and I command you to; and get a friend over, so that they can turn their head slowly toward you half-way through it, their lips forming the words “what the fuck” without making a sound.

(CW)TB out.

magical aids frog

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