Talking to a brick wall...

Rants & Raves

Rants & Raves

The Games of Our Youth

The Future of The WebAs the strategy guide had led me to believe, I did find not pixels, but people in this game. So complete was this illusion for me that I did not notice that their representations were so horribly deformed as to make cant, on the right here, look photorealistic.
    Let's face it, John, people are not square in shape. These things were, though. roughly 16x16, and filling every bit of the space. Their heads, in fact, were just about as big as their bodies, resembling the "super-deformer" style of Manga or Anime.
    Still, even looking back on it years later, it took an offhand comment by a friend of mine before I actually realized that these people were deformed. To that extent they were real to my early teenage mind.

Having said this, I will now note that I am not crazy. I didn't actually think that they had thoughts and feelings, any more than I expect to walk out the door and run into Rand Al'Thor from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. But, like Rand, they could have, if their world existed. And, in the minds of some few, it did, or perhaps still does.

In any case, as I played through the games, I saw in these bits of code the same things I see in people all around me. I saw their ideas and opinions change, though very primitively, and I saw some express what could be loosely interpreted as emotion- not emotion innate to the characters, of course, but emotion programmed into them by the game designers, like the emotion on a script to a movie. Fortunately for the games, a 16x16 pixel character cannot be a very good actor, so acting well was not expected of them.
    Every bit as often I saw nothing but statements designed to move you on to the next game goal. But still, the game, as I played it, unfolded as a story, however primitive. And so, in being a part of that story, the idea that it was a story like any other, became embedded in my mind. >>

  1. It starts with a dream
  2. Pixels are people too
  3. A story like any other
  4. I change, they change
  5. The craft for itself