Thursday, 7 November 2013

On The Believer's Journey...

   "That depends on what you are threatening. Killing him would just wake him up... but pain? Pain is in the mind"
   Most of you probably remember this quote. It's taken out of a great film, one that the superb Christopher Nolan directed in 2010 and that's called "Inception". Mal speaks those words to Cobb in the beggining of the feature, holding a gun to his partener's face. A movie that mostly takes place in a dream-space, in which the death of one's avatar would just result in them waking up... not in the most gentle of manners but that would be it. The feelings felt in there however would be as powerful and real as any expressed or felt in our reality. The event might always be around us... but the experience is in the mind.
   I think after years of studying, thinking and trying to understand why people all around me are so ill-pre-desposed concerning the gaming industry I've funally managed to conclude that their idea's roots are not that deep. I've always known that the less one understands about something the more they tend to loathe, fear or misunderstand it but in this case, it's all rather simple... and simple is the perfect word to describe it. That's what most of those snobs think: That gaming is a simple proceedure, involving mostly the wasting of time, dulling of senses and lack of social interaction (like THEY all lead very interesting lives, them TV-consuming, coach-potatoes... but I won't go there. It's beneath me). Summing all those adjectives together, it's easy to rationalize why they misunderstand so much. You see, a phenomenon witnessed in most lowly-educated societies captures the core of the problem and it has to do with the fact that a person with no SPECIFIC interests never endeavours in expanding their horizons. When all you do with your every day life is work, watch trash on TV, have the occasional coffee break with another person just to find time to "discuss" how bored and disheartened you are about the course your life has taken, well... there's really not much to look forward to. And who has time to TRY and find something interesting to do these days?! Right...? So, along with most of the not-100-years old things that our grandmothers didn't see fit to teach our parents who then, in turn, didn't see fit to introduce to us, gaming fell into the cracks. And what a shame that is...
   You probably know this already but most mediums these days are sterile beyond most hope of repair. For every Dexter, The Walking Dead and Fringe you get 1000 cases of Sex & The City, Desperate Housewives and so on. Series about people who have managed to turn their lives into every-day marathons against boredom, personal failures and lack of focus. There's no empowering factor here, nothing to move you forward or make you question what you would have done if things went sour or how you can improve in the here and now (unless you consider tactics of getting new boy/girlfriends every couple of weeks the way to awesomeness). So living in this era of mediocrity whilst being bombarded by the socially-accepted standard of "coming short" who has time for bloody Adam Jansen fighting against the dominance of misleading media in a destopic world? Who cares about Old Snakes making one last stand for a free society? For armour-clad soldiers without names, without a home to go back to, who've lost everything having nothing to gain, throwing themselves into the fire for the survival of an entire race, and then some? No point in that of course. It's just non-existent people, in non-existent - but oh, so close to our own - realities fighting non-existent battles. There's really not much to it now is there? Is there?
   Sad truth is, people who interprit all information around them in simple terms will always diminish the worth of new things, the worth of creations that require you to look at the details, the worth of work that calls out to you to think differently, dream bigger, feel larger, go further. Humanity has always been able to move itself from place to place, the perpetual nomads in a world that called out for us to step on new grounds and draw new blood. The location of the corporeal flesh has always been the final frontier, at least for the average man. For every Karpyshyn, Kojima and Nylund there are THOUSANDS of "news-watchers" and "bored-out-of-their-minds" consumers. Their escapade from the bog of inactivity, mayhap, has always been at the tips of their fingers: In the pages of a good book, in the frames that comprise a movie... and now, after just a few decades of experimentation, in gaming titles with enough mental nutrients in them to make us think, lose sleep over, get troubled and RECONSIDER.
   Reality can only take us so far, the glorious aspects of our world sometimes out of reach, sometimes mundane, sometimes conquered. The physical realm, finite as it is, might very well kill the joy of exploration and longing that we might have felt whilst growing up. But The Journey Beyond... The Journey is in the mind.

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