Archive for October, 2010

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Every day the same dream

14 October, 2010

It’s the name of a game you can play at 1cup1coffee. Well, not so much a game as a puzzle. Well, not even a puzzle.

I’m really quite confused. I hope you don’t mind me spoiling it for you but basically you’re a guy who gets out of bed, gets dressed and goes to work. You do this five days in a row and you’re supposed to find different things to do. So the first one is obvious, you go to work and sit at your cubicle and then the game resets and you’re back in your bedroom. Then there’s a homeless person, a cow and a leaf you can find that also all reset the game.

The final “step” as the elevator lady refers to it is if you go to work but instead of sitting at your cubicle you walk straight past it, go out the exit and then commit suicide by jumping off the building. It’s awfully depressing especially with the game’s soundtrack. After you’ve done all these you reset for a final time but everyone’s gone. Your wife, the elevator lady, other drivers on the road, the homeless person, your boss and co-workers … all gone. It’s so lonely.

You go to work, walk past all the empty desks and out the exit just in time to see the someone jump off the building … presumably the last person alive. Then the game ends.

I have no idea what this game or puzzle is saying but it’s intrigued me. At the very least it’s something like the 30 Days Has September project which encourages you to make a commitment to doing something different every day for a month … but it’s more than that. Appreciating the small things you normally take for granted or walk past without a second thought. Showing compassion to the disadvantaged, taking pleasure in something like patting a cow. I don’t know. The whole suicide thing? That’s got me stumped.

I think I need a stiff drink now.

UPDATE: Found this on the game designer’s page: A short, existential game about alienation and refusal of labour.

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How people help form your life

13 October, 2010

I’m not the sort of person to carry on friendships when contexts change. For example I’ll befriend colleagues in a workplace whilst we have something in common but once we go our separate ways those friendships will probably end. Just like when I left Facebook I lost contact with people I primarily knew through Facebook. It’s partially laziness on my part but it’s also acknowledging that friendships don’t have to last forever; people weaving in and out of each other’s lives like chain-link fencing.

However it is amazing when you reflect on your life, your knowledge and things you own and recall how people you know or once knew contributed to making you the person you are. Even something as simple as my pocketknife I still own and use that a friend at college helped me buy because I was underage. The book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain that Linda and Ash recommended to me last October that’s sitting on the desk in front of me. The tripod next to me that my parents bought as a birthday present several years ago. The computer under my desk that friends on Twitter helped me spec and assemble. The dolphin wood carving on the bookshelf in the corner of this room signed by Mandawuy from Yothu Yindi when we toured the Solomon Islands in 2005. My Crumpler bag which once again my Twitter friends recommended to me and who even helped me choose the colour of my Asus Eee PC laptop while I was standing in Harvey Norman two years ago.

So many people who’ve influenced who I have become in less tangible ways, offered advice and changed my mind on things. I don’t talk to most of those people any more but I remember those times fondly and am thankful for how they’ve helped me.

It’s incredible to just sit and contemplate your thoughts and possessions and trace back the origin of those things to friends, family and even strangers and marvel at how you’re just a node in a network, a product of a million factors, thousands of contacts with people directly and indirectly, physical and non-physical things.

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My not-values

12 October, 2010

I recently went through an exercise of identifying and listing all my personal values, mainly by way of figuring out what I liked about people I admired and aspired to be like.

This list is not those values. This list is the opposite of my values, characteristics I don’t want to exhibit and that I don’t believe are part of me … although I admit from time to time in dark moments some of these things come to the fore:

Insincerity, weakness, rigidity, self-doubting, pessimism, maliciousness, daydreamer, careless, mindless, incompetent, ignorant, foolish, irresponsibility, sneaky, boastful, aloof, unreliable, lazy, naive, negligent, indifferent, rude, undermining, obstructionist, narrow-minded, secretive, undignified and self-defeating.

Not sure about the last one – it’s meant to be the synonym of ‘self-caring’. Best I could think of.