Everything Old Is New Again
In Australia, men’s urinals are devices of unique and perhaps even baroque construction.
I say men’s urinals, because even though I have never been in a women’s restroom in Australia I doubt very seriously they are constructed in this way. I don’t really see any way to use this device collaboratively that doesn’t result in a huge pile of women drenched in pee. Which is fine if that’s what you’re into, but I suspect that’s something of a gourmet taste.
In any event, using these “grate urinals” is a little like Donkey Konga, if you played Donkey Konga with your dick and stood on a barbecue grill while you did so. I learned later that I was using the device wrong: I was standing farther away than most of my compatriots, not literally on the grate, because I couldn’t imagine a universe in which you used these things in the way Australians do every single day.
Now that I was interfacing with the device properly, and optimal flow had been achieved, I had an opportunity to find text in my environment and read it which is my Prime Directive. I saw an advertisement on the ground, stamped with the dirt and unseemly moisture of uncountable attendee shoe waffles, for a local Escape Room.
I think that most people by now know what these are. People say that The Witness is like Myst, but I’m not so sure anymore, I think that was just a receptacle we had lying around. The Witness is not like Myst but is instead like having your mind colonized by a hostile psychic fungus. Escape Rooms are like Myst.
They’re like all kinds of things; I’ve talked to tons of people about their experiences, which vary as much as you would expect something to vary if its creators were all different humans with different experiences creating games in a new medium for live people which include elements of physicality, time constraints, and theatre. At root, you are in a place and you have to get out. You can bring your friends and try to crack it together. I ran Locurio’s The Vanishing Act on my birthday a few days ago, with a crew stacked 8 deep, and we were able to beat it with two minutes - just two minutes - to spare. Apparently it has a thirty percent success rate, and I’m not saying that to brag - everyone else on my team was way smarter than me. I said it so that you would curious - locurious? - and test yourself and your friends against it. You might wonder if you can do it, but I don’t. I know you can. You’re fucking gamers. You’ve trained all your lives for this.
If you live where I live, I don’t consider The Vanishing Act optional. Breaking into strike teams and roaring at each shared success, reinterpreting the venue and the objects in it, even failing in a hilarious way - it’s better than how I typically fritter away my leisure. If you don’t live here, but you’re close, come and do it. Investigate this space, however it manifests near you, in the near term - and be made whole.