I am a huge fan of the 40′s, dunno’ why. In fact, when I see or hear things from the 40′s, I feel such nostalgia that I start to believe in reincarnation. I must have been a boy then, or a college kid. My family must have lived in a 3 bedroom house, a quiet street.
We lived outside of Cincinnati, you could see the buildings from our windows. At Christmas we would go downtown like in A Christmas Story, look in the windows, go shopping, smell the pine.
My older sister got married, was supposed to have a child. She died before it could happen, car accident. Some drunk hit her from behind as she leaned forward to look out the front window at the moon.
My father liked model trains, and in the garage he had made up a small set that looked kind of like our neighborhood, one tiny house even had a car like ours parked out front. At night in the summer we would turn on the miniature lights of the town, sit in the dark with the garage door open so he could smoke. He let me have my first beer on a night like that.
I can picture all these details, details upon details. I can imagine scenes like this all over the world, spread out over the canvas of time. Details going back to the stone ages, children imagining at night, dreaming of other places, but some of them never knowing what science would explain to us, truly believing that the wind was something more than it was. I wonder how they saw the world? I wonder what made nostalgia creep up on them? I can imagine details going forward through time, until the end of the next few centuries, humans living on other planets, robotic servants, flying in space. Would they feel the crush of all these details? Would they wonder about this time? Of course some of them would, like I am now.
All this is to say that all these details coalesce to give me the experience of my life, they are all threads in a blanket. A very familiar warm blanket.
So when I log into a virtual world of someone elses creation, when I explore virtual lands that someone else built, I know the details are there and wouldn’t mind seeing a few of them up close. Give me time to do so, and encourage me to do so. Don’t make every game about passing time, make a good part of the game about stopping and forming some kind of miniature life, a life that we might dream about.
I guess that’s why I skip around so much in my gaming. There are so many choices in gaming right now, but so few give me that feeling of a detailed world, of another time and place that I could have lived in. I don’t need these other realities because my real-reality is empty or devoid of memory, but I need them to be a pretended real to exercise my emotions in, safely. A place to act like I might not act otherwise, due to physical and other limitations.
Maybe this doesn’t make sense. After all, I’m pretty tired.
Perhaps I just see games as having such magnificent potential, with so many falling into the trap of worrying about a few simple things to do, certain repeatable activities, instead of worrying about creating a place that people want to explore.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many examples of wonderful other-worlds. There just needs to be more, maybe?