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Tycho / on Mon, May 1 2017 at 10:52 am

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Form Arms And Void

Gabriel has failed again, and it’s my duty to catalogue it.

The way it looks if you are a father in 2017 is that you will ask yourself, “Is my daughter playing enough videogames?”  To a certain extent, I just want to her to know me through my own fascinations; that’s some pretty human shit.  You can’t push it too hard, and I’m careful not to.  You can convert the most advanced amusement technology our species has ever developed into trout very, very easily.

VR doesn’t require a sales pitch in my house.  She’d live in there if she could eat the food in Job Simulator.  But if I hand her a controller for a traditional system, it’s like handing her a lumpy, variegated cyst.  I want to utilize the Dowsing Rod as a metaphor, but the UI for such rods is very straightforward.  In truth, the controllers for the Vive or the Rift are more like a Dowsing Rod.  Essentially the idea that I’m trying to get across is this: the gamepad (and the thought-foundry that manufactured it) are artifacts of a previous generation.  Let’s say it’s like handing her a sextant, in a world where the GPS is real.  There is an unknowable volume of actual fun, let’s call it X, gated by this buttony lozenge.  I agree that there is a lot of value to be had in its mastery, but I also know that the time they live in is one where any cartoon ever made is two, perhaps three button presses away.  Interactive media has to earn their time.

So, I don’t understand how the Switch has short circuited this process.  It’s covered in buttons and she wants to know what they all do.  When I was opening the box in the kitchen, getting everything out, I was already planning how I would try to place the device in her periphery - at hand, with but plausibly deniable intent.  I came back downstairs and she was already playing with it.  Is it the size?  I had intended to spend this post lauding the virtues of the form factor, but that being said, I’m unlikely to ever find the Playstation 4 hidden under her pillow.  The manifold “conveniences” of the Switch exist on a sliding scale.

    (CW)TB out.


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