Posted by jeanne
jim and i were discussing the characters this morning. he’s got his own ideas as to their backgrounds. he knows where they live. let me see what i can remember.
the boy is a military nut, and is in the sca because he likes medieval brawlers, but dragoncon doesn’t have an sca track, so he is into space opera military things. he lives in midtown.
fairy works as a massage therapist and is into bdsm and altered states. very middle class background, or hippies. lives in little 5 points, of course.
snake is from real money; his parents live in country club of the south or better, and he’s got an apartment in buckhead and drives a bmw because he’s slumming. ga tech and he works at emory in their computer department, but he’s more of a manager than a programmer.
and the girl? he says her name is mary elizabeth, or beth. i laughed, i’m afraid. still, it’s better than eve…she comes from a church background, with her mom as a musical director and the dad as the holy preacher. she lives by herself in an apartment inman park, motorcycles or marta in motorcycle leathers, works in computer graphics in a corporation.
kurt: doesn’t matter where he lives. maybe farm people for his parents. was a dotcom millionaire and invested it. works on side projects he’s interested in, but mainly works on his quantum computer, in his van, parked in a public lot on a monthly pass.
jim had a lot to say, but i interrupted him a bunch, so i forget most of these details. but they’re not the point, and i can fill them in later. (which i did)
i’m going to have to redo the first chapter – the vision – because what happens in their vision is not a miniature of what they develop into a game, but what they’re supposed to do with the game, how they’re supposed to change the world with it.
when they go to translate their vision into a videogame they get sidetracked into making the midway and carneytown levels – they think they need to give remedial physics lessons to the players, and so they delay getting around to teaching quantum skills – and mainly this is because they don’t know anything about teaching quantum skills when they design the game. they only get put back on track when the boy and girl land on antarctica and find all the other players arriving at the same time.
the game they design never gets built or played. it’s all there on paper, but shit happens while they’re waiting to make the game.
how are they sidetracked? could it be that they are already in their midst, sabotaging their every move? in the case of abandoning classical mechanics for quantum mechanics, the saboteurs are already there inside even the most gung-ho revolutionary – even the people it’s happening to will deny and reject it once they’re back to their ordinary minds. every one of them will edge away from the implications of a quantum daily life. what happens in an altered state can’t, and shouldn’t, cross over into waking reality. that’s what dreams and fantasies are for. they’re not real. if they became real, there’d be hell to pay. so nobody really wants the things that happen in dreams to start happening in real life. and so there’s no sabotage needed, no agents provocateur, no them.
the way it happens, the midway turns into a gambling parlor where lots of people make lots of realworld money and people learn all the rules of physics that can help them cheat, and all the skills get put to the wrong uses. carneytown becomes a place of violence, a dark shootemup with stolen car races and group shootouts where players learn cooperation but also mob mentality and wartime morals.
this is how the real players see it once it goes live. the beta testers only reported gameplay bugs, and started using the lessons to win games, the alpha testers didn’t really get the point of the lessons, and the bug reports were shallow, the boy and girl just ran thru making sure the lessons were in place.
but once they’re in the quantum kernel’s realm, which a real and persistent altered state, they can do anything they desire, literally. the strength, force, and discipline of your desire is what causes things to happen in the game. in quantum reality. and when players get used to that, they naturally start using it in the realworld, and they pick up on it immediately. but it has to be something small.
they’re doing open testing at the second dragoncon. testers start popping up in two places at once. on security cameras. because…the hub of the midway is modeled on the atrium lobby level of the marriott hotel, yeah, one of the hubs of dragoncon. right. and when people are in the hub on the midway, they appear in the atrium of the marriott, in their avatars. maybe as ghostly shapes, maybe as solid objects. maybe practicing wacky things with gravity or acceleration. when the boy and girl go to test the cloud level that night at dragoncon, they find open testers all over, building shit in the clouds. okay, that’s good. just popped out, just like spitting out another baby.
that’s not small, however.
jim said something when i asked this question earlier. when the boy and girl are telling people about their experience and their quantum powers the next day, and they’re asked to demonstrate, they can’t. no, that’s not it. when they’re asked to demonstrate, they immediately do something spectacular, but very fast. a lot of people miss it. and they try again, and nothing. it seems the more they try, the harder it is to do. it’s not something that can be ordered, or that the left brain can make happen. it’s spontaneous, linked to genuine emotions, flow. you can’t cause flow with your rational mind, you can only relax into it and allow it.
so they realize they have to teach how to allow it, so they mash up magic and yoga and the force and the bene gesserit teachings and lots of newage stuff, and start teaching it as philosophy and martial arts and healthcare, as well as selling it as a comic book and a game.
so what really happens in the vision? the garden of eden sequence is fine. but once they go out into antarctica to make their game, that’s all different. all my current version is doing is prefiguring the action to come, so i can just split it up and redistribute it. but what they see in their vision is how the game is supposed to make people accept the reality of the quantum universe and take their places in it.
they go thru the lessons themselves, the 7 levels of physics/philosophy/reality from animism to god consciousness, the 7 quantum skills from mind-reading to manifestation, the 7 levels of civilization from the isles to the gamburtsevs. then they can answer the question (what is the meaning of the game).
but how to tell this as a fairy tale? in the first level they learn the first skill and the first mindset? a long complicated fairy tale?
maybe their bodies don’t work, or go right thru things. they have to learn to make the grass grow and talk to animals so they can eat (consciousness, energy building ring 1 isles animism) then build shelter and make fire (levitation, concentrating energy ring 2 mountains goddess). they become more real (manifestation ring 3 lowlands xian) with every lesson learned. they look outward for something else to interact with (entanglement ring 4 wilderness classical). they master their environment (action at a distance ring 5 hinterlands relativity). they learn their limitations (self consciousness ring 6 hell quantum). they accept themselves (god consciousness ring 7 gamburtsevs god consciousness).
this can be worked into a coherent little story. but it was awful to present to jim just now.
so how does it go as a story? at each ring they ask themselves if they have the answer, and it’s a different answer each time. they don’t split up in their vision. they don’t fight. there’s no violence, no cheating, no resistance to the message. if they get distracted the flow fails and things get sick. the colors gray out as the story goes on, with stark black and white in hell and wireframe in the gamburtsevs.
neolithic: among barren rocks they are like babies and have to coax the environment to help them. they interact with winds and water and seeds and finally with great effort establish contact with animals who help them and feed them until they can form weak bodies.
viking: in harsh mountain forests and on cold deep seas they compensate for their childish weakness with psychokinetic muscles, concentrating energy to build ships and buildings and make fires.
medieval: in pastoral villages and small port towns they attain their full strength and opacity, and develop the ability to manifest, as other players appear to fill out the other roles. they find themselves entraining other players, hampering their gameplay with interactions.
golden horde: over vast areas of uninhabited piedmont and estuary they avoid the growing crowds for a time, developing a sense of where all the players are. they become aware of everything in the game world. their powers enhance their appearance and confidence, exaggerating their strength.
hinterland: in rich and productive lands being steadily encroached upon by the big city, they organize the following crows and teach them how to harness their wills as best they can. but the crowds are mesmerized by them and can only be controlled weakly. their appearance hardens and lumps up, shrinking slightly as they tire from the effort.
hell city: in dark, dirty and crowded city of extremes they and all the droids they command are no match for the powers that be, and they resist as best they can, within the system and against it. they continue to spread techniques for self-mastery / quantum powers, even tho tptb are winning. their appearance ages and weakens as their powers are exhausted by fighting tptb and watching their people suffer.
gamburtsevs: in an electronic mountain range they stand alone to fight the boss enemy. they face themselves as they were in the garden of eden – young, spoiled, innocent, stupid. then they are those younger selves, facing caricatures of their old selves in ridiculous ill-fitting fantasy getup. ready to fight to the death. they decide this is a silly idea, and put the weapons down, and embrace.
the embrace makes them all explode, and they see that they are all one, and there is no time or space, and they create the entire universe in their own minds. the angel appears to ask the meaning of what they’ve just been thru and they answer.
i’m working it all out on the blog today. and then i’ll transfer the main chunks to my document where i usually do it the other way around. i just started here today and never made it back to the outline, because i need to split it up again and amn’t really ready to tackle that. plus these ideas came up this morning.
and then i’ll do some work on it, and come back here with it all chopped up into panels and pages for illustrating.