Wednesday, July 1, 1998:
This particular essay (the you are reading at the moment) is the one that I first began to write several weeks ago. I wanted to relate an experience I had -- express a little something about a dream I had in direct response to a new video game we were testing, a video being created by E.J. Gold.
As I dug into the subject, trying to bring the reader into some understanding of the wonderful shock I had experienced I realized it was impossible. So rather than blab away into a vacuum of hopelessly bewildered readers I figured: "let's set the stage with a few preliminary pieces about the effects of video games on the dead."
Okay, so what's the big deal?
- Video Games and Their Effect #1 -- Friday, June 5, 1998
- Video Games and Their Effect #2 -- Monday, June 15, 1998
- Video Games and Their Effect #3 -- Wednesday, Jun 17, 1998
Nothing, or at least a variant of nothing, is the big deal.
The even bigger deal was the sudden absence of this nothing brought about by the sudden presence of a something.
I am not new to the multi-player video game world. I've been playing Diablo, Quake and a few other mutli-player games on the internet for quite some time now. I suppose in terms of flight-time I've put more hours into Quake Team Fortress than any other game.
The way team fortress is played each team works to capture the flag of the opposing team. Grab the flag from a well defended base and bring it home to "capture" it and makes some points. Throughout the game one is in communication with team members -- typing plans, coordinating troop movements, and reporting on enemy whereabouts. In addition one will type messages to the opposing team. Congratulating the other team on being either worthy opponents or perhaps comparing their ancestry to barn yard animals. On occasion discussions of other sorts will spontaneously break out. I've seen discussions of other games (to be expected), discussion of movies and favorite television shows (also not unexpected), and on occasion discussion of literature, physics and other subject (not usually anticipated).
The point being, I have been submerged in multi-player online live video gaming for months. So on the face of it testing the nvCTF levels E.J. was designing should not have been a significantly new experience. But they were, as evidenced by that nights nocturnal voyaging.
I have had the wonderful experience of other forms of gaming and game development wending its way into my dreamwalking opening doors and clearning the way. Remind me to tell you about the double room episode some time. On this night I was in for more than a mild shock.
As I wandered, dreamwalking, doing that which I was wont to do in the dream, I was not alone.
I don't know about you. Most folks that I know of that have any honestly eventually get to the realization that bottom line no matter where they go, or what they do, they are alone in the dream. Others may be responsive, talk, dance, fight, make love, run around in circles and even tell jokes. But bottom line they are very much like having a well animated full-size telephone around. As much as we may make contact the one we are with seems much like a telephone that is present in the room acting as a conduit for a presence that isn't really quite there. They are some where just not quite exactly in my transit.
So when on this occasion I suddenly found myself not alone it was a bit of a shock. I've been not alone in several circumstances. But prior to this I had not be not alone in my dreamwalking. Oh, I had interacted with others -- even compared notes the next day and verified we had both been in the same place. Any yet, previously, my experience had always been that I was alone in transit with another that was alone in transit.
I would have thought this to be accidental or circumstancial had I not compared notes with a few others also involved in the testing process. There is something about the design of these spaces that is bardo-active -- a nonphenomenal form of psychoactive.
The more expensive, the more cutting edge, the more hardware hyped video games may have been able to create a souped up video display. But they were not able to grab the soul and shake it around like 20 minutes with this video game did.
It was on this evening that the value of video games in bardo training became clear for me. Not just any video game. Rather the video games as they are being produced on the Clear Light Engine.
The Clear Light Engine is a specially modified version of the G.O.D.D.TM gaming engine with a few proprietary addons introduced specially for the Clear Light Engine. These additions have either been excluded for the other forms of the rendering engine or have simply not been utilized by the other game development licensees using the G.O.D.D.TM gaming engine.
I have always assumed that my journey through transit will be a solitary rundown of my bardo habits -- a solo course through the alleys and byways of the bardos. Now after this dreamwalk I'm not so sure. It looks very likely that group work can continue on the otherside.
This is news to me. I'm a little slow on things such as this so it may be old hat to you. To me though it was a breath of fresh wind.
After pouring over two decades into the development of video games destined to be used by only a very limited number of serious bardo voyagers this clarifies for me how the quality vs. quantity equation can make eminent sense.