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Acknowledge The Insufficient Medium

Started by droqen, June 25, 2022, 10:13:16 AM

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Staying committed to something is hard. When encountering the bad parts of something large, it's tempting to throw out the baby with the bathwater -- to trash it and get a clean slate. I do this all the time with individual game designs that fall short, and lately I've been feeling a bit burnt out on trying to make games do what I want. The medium is insufficient.

We were talking about gun violence in videogames and I reflected on my encounters with people stating that the work they are doing, or the event they are hosting, etc., takes place on "unceded land". That is, in Canada, we have entirely displaced and in many cases ruined the traditional territories of the First Nations people who lived here. I wrote,

Quote from: droqenFor a long time I thought it was a little silly that people in Canada acknowledge that they are doing things on unceded land [..]
but it's this weird unavoidable thing. Like, if you live in Canada, what are you gonna do, leave Canada??
If you recognize you're working/existing in a problematic medium/context, you might not be able to change some bad stuff, but you can at least... uh... acknowledge it, if it really matters to you.

I can acknowledge an issue, even if I don't know the solution or whether a solution exists at all, as long as I truly care about it. In the case of unceded land, it's not something I give much thought to or have much familiarity with. Although it isn't something I'm passionate about, I can at least recognize that it's not hollow for someone to acknowledge that they know, they know, that the thing they're doing is problematic to them and yet they carry on anyway. The medium is insufficient. As we grow and learn more about the world I think it is inevitable that we will learn more and more ways in which all mediums are insufficient.

Life is insufficient, but it's all we have. If it's all we have then it is necessarily the most beautiful thing, and if the most beautiful thing is not beautiful then what meaning does beauty have?


Quote from: Waymond, from Everything Everywhere All At OnceThe only thing I do know is that we have to be kind. Please, be kind. Especially when we don't know what's going on.

This quote had strong relevance to an earlier draft of the first post, and I don't want to lose that relevance. If we don't know what's going on, please be kind. But even if we think we know what's going on and it's saying all is pointless, still, still be kind. Even if we don't know why we're being kind, be kind.


I think there is a tangential feeling here - the principle which defines principles themselves is that we do them even when we don't know what's going on. My principle has for much of my life been something like "make art." I don't necessarily know whether that's a good principle, but it has been a constant for many years and, honestly, it's hard to stop at this point. It's just a part of who I am; it's a part of my life.

If at the #1 spot I had a more obviously good principle like Waymond's "be kind," what might be different about me as a person? about my life? I don't have regrets, just curiousity. This is something that's really interesting to me about people. This is a person's "core."