My translation: Edith Södergran - “Framtidens skugga” (1920)
When I recently started playing the urban planning/management game ‘Cities: Skylines’, I quickly got the idea — after trying out the game’s basic functioning — to create a city and surrounding mountain villages with railroads connecting them.
Something of a ramble about what made me stop playing Knights of the Old Republic II for a while, about playing dress-up with guns and gowns and what that has to do with roleplaying, and about what Ian Bogost wrote in The Atlantic today on games and the representation of individuals.
If there is one thing astronomy has taught us, it is the realisation that a planet like Earth, with its abundance of life, is incredibly rare in the vastness of the universe. We do know that there are billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars, so it is probable that life is to be found somewhere else in space; yet we are lonely all the same. We could - in a manner of speaking - travel for an eternity in any direction without encountering any sign of life. That overwhelming sense of loneliness on a cosmic scale is what strikes me the most while playing Noctis.
This is the third time I’m writing about a digital work by Flemish duo Tale of Tales, and that alone says something about the capacity of their releases to inspire discussion. I started with the peaceful MMO The Endless Forest, and also did a short bit on The Graveyard. Continuing the chronological trend would leave The Path as my next subject - arguably their best and most game-like work - but writing about that fascinating psychological horror piece still seems rather daunting. Instead, I’m sticking to the slightly more manageable FATALE and exploring a bit of what it has to say about the figure of Salomé and how she’s been treated throughout history.
Recently I had a dream wherein I was repeatedly meeting a dark-haired woman, predominantly in my workplace and other day-to-day environments. On a very literal level - as far as any such thing exists in dreams - it was just someone who appeared to take pleasure in my company and who came to see me often, me enjoying her company and the attention it brought, but not desiring any relations beyond friendship. My self-effacing side would say she was a projection of latent narcissism. However, on an emotional and symbolic level, there was a deeper attraction, but at the same time a mortal fear or sense of danger. This seemingly normal woman was at some non-apparent level a femme fatale.
Out of the 100 books I read last year, I wanted to highlight a few that I found particularly rewarding.
This is going to be a very brief impression, but there’s another game I wanted to share with you. Ruins, developed by Cardboard Computer, is a new digital art piece in which you control a dog, Agatha, who chases a number of white rabbits in a dreamlike landscape which is dominated by ruins, trees, fog, and piano.