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creating external value for haiku games

Started by droqen, May 23, 2024, 09:23:48 AM

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when i was part of 10mg wombat shared his intentions publicly. he said in the interview linked: "10mg is a psyop. The goal is not to make money, or to immediately convince people that short, experimental games are worthwhile. It would be great if that happened, but 10mg is primarily about shifting the overton window of the game length discussion."

i think that in some sense i have adopted his mission. if anyone has been psyop'd, it's me.


a major problem with 10mg is that each of the games found it necessary in some sense to stand on its own. each of them was one steam game. people did try to engage with the mass of games, but each one was responsible for almost all of the other things that a game is expected to do, e.g. have an individual identity, teach you how to play, give you a satisfying experience.


i do not think that all of these things belong to the true nature of a game. a single game of tic-tac-toe does not teach you how to play, it does not necessarily give you a satisfying experience... it exists within a context.

this is the goal of this thread: a value-giving, life-giving, context for haiku games (which, themselves, are not perfectly well-defined -- which is a problem, but one i hope to tackle here while solving the problem of context).


the features of a haiku which i presently regard as crucial:

  • composed in one sitting, by an individual.
  • about noticing experiencing something real in the world. (haiku were written about nature, senryu about human nature. these are 'real' things. haiku are not written about haiku, or about other art forms. another description of this feature might say "haiku are not meta.")
  • requires no special equipment or knowledge to appreciate or transmit.
  • the tools are available.


i am ready to find value for haiku games anywhere i can.
on steam. in old people's homes. on the street. in the valley.
online. offline.
but as i continually recognize, it is a chicken and egg problem...
as long as haiku games are loosely defined, i cannot perceive their inherent value.
and, as long as that value-giving context is loosely defined, i cannot place haiku games within such context.

which comes first?


and what place has the war against boring art among the various facets of this problem?

i will return to read the art of war with this in mind:

- i have no clear enemy, opponent, or ground. i am able to choose the ground of battle.
- victory is measured in a quantity of external value assigned to haiku games, measurable in mass attention, measurable in money.
- the presumed target is the games industry, is gamers, is the social corner containing games, but it is not the only target, nor is it the necessary target.
- the necessary target is people, of some sort. people.
- victory is measured in value placed not upon the act or process of creating haiku games, but of something external to the haiku game, something regarding the produced artifact.
- i am able to choose ground of battle.
- i am ready & willing to produce the necessary ground.
- i will find the ground.

edit:: here is an interesting twist on the wartime perspective. what if i presume that value is zero-sum? where do i want to go to steal such a thing? where can i go to wage battle, where i can be certain of victory, and be certain that my victory is virtuous?


1. look for weak points. not where things are busy, popular, well-defended. look for the quiet places.

2. do not destroy. take whole. i must reflect further on this. take whole.


easy, effortless, obvious. do not reinvent, do not create from scratch. what has already been created for me? what is already there, undefended? (unsatisfied, perhaps.) do not fight on distracting ground. wait until you have the advantage... find a place where you already have the advantage.

where do i have an advantage?


i must better measure money and attention. what are the forms of money? what are the forms of attention?


the idea of winning an art award or grant, competing against others before a panel of judges, speaks to me. it feels like a form of competition i could actually get into; that is, it actually aligns with my values.

i don't want to take money and attention from other artists, there's nothing virtuous about that.

but it is a battle that i actually care to win.