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telling stories to remember life

Started by droqen, January 07, 2023, 02:01:51 AM

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I used to post on social media and write blog posts a lot, and I've almost completely stopped now. I use this newforum often, though. A few internet-friends wrote up their 'games of the year 2022' and more than once I started writing a 'books of the year 2022' post, and even my own 'games of the year 2022' (I had a few genuinely wonderful experiences last year, as much as I have been down on 'games' and it was nice to realize that), but it never seemed like something worth finishing, or maybe not worth finishing in that format.

These events and experiences, all the things that occur in life, I want to relive them, remember them. They are etched in there. But I know that it's possible to fail to express an idea. I want to be able to tell not a story but the perfect story, express something in the perfect way, in a way that respects the importance of everything that is being told. Maybe this is my perfectionist agenda in action. I don't mind if it is. I'll embrace it.


It was Paradise's second birthday last month, and we celebrated by playing zk map together, fifteen or twenty of us, or so.

There, I've summarized it. That was enough for me to remember the event, in broad strokes. It helps me to find my way back to the memory. But I can always go into more detail, ever more detail. I don't know what changed, but I feel as though my memory is becoming more accessible to me than it was before.

But now that I'm here, how in the world does anyone decide what details to include? where, when, and whether to tell their stories? to whom do people tell their stories? why do people tell their stories? Do I talk about my experience? the past? the future? Do I ask others present about their experiences in order to capture some larger truth about the event as a whole?

My brain hurts. The ocean is too deep.



It's not like I need a grand unifying theory in order to do things, though, right? If I'm hungry, eat. If I'm tired, sleep.

I want to remember Zeigfreid's message in this moment; I feel it has some relevance. "I have some original thoughts, and I think I'll keep working them for their own sake and let the vague cloud of my own fond memories just be a natural, gradual part of my aesthetic instead of mistaking it for inspiration, or a guiding principle".

This quote was an expansion of the earlier statement, a clarification of what he meant by "I'll just keep working on the valley." I'm going to try neologizing an idiom. To "keep working on the valley" . . . is to . . . "let the vague cloud of my own fond memories just be a natural, gradual part of my aesthetic instead of mistaking it for inspiration, or a guiding principle" . . .

I don't know if that's quite sticking. I've enjoyed reading books. I've enjoyed having big meaningful books in my life, because they are vessels containing wealths of not just information, but beautiful information, useful lessons, insights. I've wondered for a while what the purpose is of making long games. I tried making short games, but nothing quite sticks like a long game. Why is that? It's the same for stories. Long stories. Long, long books contain a great deal of life. Short stories, short games, don't. It's the mechanical thing again... I need to capture this thought... Ah, having this forum has changed my life.


Longer works, more perfect* works, are more capable of being The Mirror of the Self, of being a strong center, a whole.

I quickly discard concepts that are too trivial, too disconnected. I'm not too good, I might say, at producing or caring about trivial connections. Nothing quite sticks like a mirror of the self. . . and a long game, a long story, a long work, it can contain trivial content, it can be weak, but it can also be much stronger. The larger a space is, the more alive it can potentially be. In the sense given by Christopher Alexander in The Nature of Order, there must be some objective limit to the strength of life attainable by a fixed number of centers; although more centers does not mean better, and more space does not mean better, I believe it must mean that more space and more centers increase the maximum possible strength of life within that space or among those centers. Longer games, longer books, longer works . . . have more space for more centers, and it is exactly this which makes them capable, theoretically, of being more alive, and by extension being better mirrors of the self.

*What I mean is work that is more developed, more polished, more detailed. I don't mean without flaws, unless I define flaws in a circular sense, to recursively mean that which makes it a worse mirror of the self.