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About a week of intensive Ambient-ing has passed! I kept an internal document rather than posting all of my thoughts here. In short, I am enjoying the engine, I'm having the easiest time with entities and physics, would like to spend more time with UI. There are a bunch of small QoL snags that caught me along the way. Nothing insurmountable.

I made a very small cheap sort of 'racing' (well, just obstacle avoiding) system and I think I'd like to try making a more complicated system, something like boids with a life of its own. That should really be my next subproject.

Now it's important to start thinking about what a fun, unique standalone experience might look like. I've got the engine very partially internalized, in terms of its capabilities, and I need to start using that to begin imagining games to play. Forms of play.
Synapses / Re: Lists
Today at 09:51:32 AM
Ah, fuck, how could I forget one of the most beautiful lists of all?

Quote                           [..] 1. LEVELS OF

~ the fifteen properties, from The Nature of Order // Book One // The Phenomenon Of Life
Nope, not enough. 50% was good though.
Trying 25% salt!
Tenets / Re: composed of feelings
May 29, 2023, 01:35:55 PM
I saw OBSIDIAN with some Toronto Paradiseans and Brin and it occurred to me that like this artwork triggers multiple senses, a game triggers multiple senses.

If JÓNSI was going to make a digital OBSIDIAN-like, or rather if anyone was going to make a digital OBSIDIAN-like, they would have to make up for the loss of many physical feelings and sensations with other types of feelings and sensations.

I cannot say what these feelings and sensations are, but they are mostly mental, psychic, social, emotional in nature rather than physical, perhaps a simulated proprioceptiveness. There is a physical aspect to games too (keyboard, mouse, controller thumbs) but the level of control is extremely low and the level of individuality is not so high either.
Tenets / composed of feelings
May 29, 2023, 01:32:57 PM
Close reading / Re: Game poems
May 28, 2023, 08:56:36 AM
Unsent message to Paradise:

Quotei skimmed Game Poems in the way that i skim books and i didn't really get too much out of it, but that was fine. what really got me riled up was this one quote, this attempt by magnuson to sum up his self-described 'central thesis':

> that the core material of the videogame poet is the *language* of videogames: a vast tangled web of visual, auditory, and procedural signifiers, with all of their established ways of signifying (both denotatively and connotatively) in relation to one another and to the world at large.

the title of this thread is '**the art form of reacting to game culture**' bc i'm curious about other takes on it. i am... i feel that lately i have been moving further away from this, less and less interested in reacting to game culture. it's like... surely there is something interesting about game poems aside from the pieces of other games that compose them ugh
Reviews & reflections / Re: momin's games
May 25, 2023, 10:07:50 PM
MAY 25 - Type Traveler (https://foolmoron.itch.io/type-traveler)

This is a pretty neat control scheme, I think other games try for a similar vibe of improvement of tapping just the right buttons - the game that comes to mind is Ore no Ryomi, the precursor to Cook! Serve! Delicious!

In the case of this game, I would say that it leans into increasing awkwardness rather than a feeling of really comfortable mastery, and I'm not sure I'm all about that, but it definitely does a good job along those lines! I got to five letters before dying a sad death in time.

The 'time travel with multiplier' concept is super interesting. I've never seen anything like it! I don't think it really 'fits' with the mechanic here, they seem like very separate ideas simply put together; they do serve each other of course, but I feel that the relationship between the two lacks some poetry.
Reviews & reflections / Re: momin's games
May 25, 2023, 10:04:07 PM
p.s. forgive me for quoting you without your permission, but i thought it would be nice to place these games in the context of your own words about them! brief as they were.

Quotehttps://foolmoron.itch.io/the-cloister - geometric puzzler
https://foolmoron.itch.io/type-traveler - much better godot game, rhythm arcadey
https://foolmoron.itch.io/press-space-to-jump-the-gap - mystery
https://foolmoron.itch.io/the-tipping-point - gladwellcore
https://foolmoron.itch.io/the-consumer - abstract arcadey
Reviews & reflections / momin's games
May 25, 2023, 10:03:59 PM
Hello momin! At some point in the future I will probably send you this forum thread. At that point, I hope you will enjoy reading my thoughts which I have not yet written at the time I'm writing this text now :)
love, droqen
First, capital. The below text quoted by Keogh from Bourdieu's essay "The Forms of Capital" (1986, p 243)

Quote. . . economic capital . . . directly convertible into money . . . may be institutionalized in the form of property rights

. . . cultural capital . . . convertible, in certain conditions, into economic capital . . . may be institutionalized in the form of educational qualifications

. . . social capital, made up of social obligations ("connections") . . . convertible, in certain conditions, into economic capital . . . may be institutionalized in the form of a title of nobility.

Keogh describes the idea of a cultural field of videogame production multiple times in slightly different ways over the next few pages, and I love a collection of slightly different variant definitions.

QuoteA field is the structured space of social relationships where . . . agents compete for access to the different forms of capital (22)

Quote. . . to speak of a field in the Bourdieusian sense is to denote an ambiguous, contested, yet shared arena of common principles and . . . markers of success. (22)

QuoteFor Bourdieu, the most all-encompassing field is the field of class relations in which all members of a society are constituents. . . a field becomes more or less recognizable as a field . . . as it develops a limited autonomy from the broader field of class relations, where success and capital within that field may be measured by different metrics than that of economic value or political power. (22-23)

QuoteA field of cultural production, then, is a semiautonomous space of relationships between creators that compete to accrue the forms of cultural capital recognized within the field as legitimate. (23)

QuoteA cultural field becomes autonomous as a field as it more successfully "consecrates" . . . its own markers of legitimacy and value (such as awards, review scores, recognition by other producers in the field) separate from those external markers of economic and political profit (such as sale figures, popularity, sponsorship deals). (23)

I'm thinking about this a lot. How do I feel about these things? Thinking less about whole fields and thinking more about tiny circles is valuable; consider a friend group, or even a relationship with one person. In these contexts we may very easily be able to escape 'external markers of economic and political profit'. However this is in contrast to what Keogh says here:

QuoteFields are thus homologous to the field of class relations in that they inherit a similar structure between dominant and dominated positions, and a similar logic based on the exchange of symbolic values, but the specific structures and recognized forms of capital themselves differ. (23)

Would the most autonomous field not be that which consecrates a wholly different structure? That may not be possible -- it may be human nature which causes any field to ultimately collapse into a fungible appeal to the comparative and quantitative (e.g. "economic capital"). It seems that part of the problem is the willingness to measure, to see such an exchange in terms of what can be measured.

That is, in Bourdieu's essay quoted at the start of this post, he writes that cultural and social capital are both "convertible, in certain conditions, into economic capital." Surely this is an incomplete picture that places economic capital, and money, at the end of a great alchemy. There is no talk of how money becomes economic capital, or how economic capital becomes cultural and social capital...

Quote. . . a field of cultural production is . . . a continuous struggle to define the field---a struggle played out between those already recognized as existing in the field (who have a stake in ensuring the current shape of the field persists) and those striving to be recognized as existing within the field (who have a stake in upending the current shape of the field). (23)

QuoteThus, we could say the videogame field is the site in which creators take positions and compete to determine whose positions are the most authentic videogame maker positions (i.e. generative of the most symbolic* capital recognized within the field. . .) . . . (23-24)

*symbolic capital is both economic capital and social capital

There is a great fight happening! I'm kinda into it, this boiling social field. It certainly exists and can be described as taking the shape given here, so long as Keogh and Bourdieu don't make any tree-like claims about everything stemming from some part of this field theory, I'm on board. Oops, nope, there we go

QuoteDispositions and position-takings matter because cultural fields always exist within the broader field of class relations. (25)

Like, things can have relationships within belonging within one another. It's annoying. ~ A CITY IS NOT A TREE, damn it
Chapter 1 is a fascinating application of Pierre Bourdieu's 'field', a concept "developed over a series of essays" "compiled together in The Field of Cultural Production" (I tried to take this book out of this library. The library does not have it, alas) to videogame makers.

There are many parallels and I really enjoy this fitting of a previously unknown-to-me concept to a known-to-me part of the world.
I took a hard copy of this book out from the library and it's now slightly overdue and I cannot renew it because someone in Toronto wants it. I'm going to spend a bit of time this morning reading the book before I return it. (The library is not yet open anyway.)

I'm remorseful that my actions have kept this book out of someone else's hands, but happy that someone else has a hold on the material. Maybe I should write a little note for them in the book? No, that'd be rude...
Spicy Lightly Pickled Cucumbers

December 20, 2018

Cucumber spears on a goldrimmed white platter lightly covered in spices and herbs.
Photo by Alex Lau, Prop Styling by Kalen Kaminski, Food Styling by Sue Li
These quick pickles have just the right amount of sweet, salt, and tang going on. The brine can work with any crunchy veg, but we like them best with cucumbers. We guarantee they'll be the sleeper hit of your next party spread.

8 servings
2 lb. medium Persian cucumbers (about 12), cut lengthwise into spears
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
2 Tbsp. chopped dill
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Step 1
Toss cucumbers in a large bowl with vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 2 tsp. salt. Chill, tossing once, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

Step 2
Just before serving, add dill and lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Close reading / Re: Game poems
May 21, 2023, 09:49:18 AM
P. 150

Quotewhen I think about my own practice . . . these are the games I want to make; these are the games I want to play.

Strong echoes with Jack's first letter:

QuoteI want to describe to you a kind of game that I like to play, and a kind of game that I want to play.

This is a great lens! I think we should be asking ourselves and each other these questions. Jack goes on to be open and describe something difficult, something vague, something incomplete. Magnuson's words don't resonate with me, but I am glad he is looking for answers, making statements with which I can fight in private like this.