Context is...
An Artist


Insert tl;dr

  • Originally Written: 25-Jul-2020

  • Word Count: ### / ## minutes


Did you know that Sean Raymond put together a proposed model for building a ‘better’ universe?

In the model, he required himself to keep all of the Solar System’s planets (and large moons) and their orbital configurations. But, just by switching the orbits of different planets and moons, he ‘built’ a Solar System with seven potentially habitable worlds!

This is an interesting fact I wouldn’t have been made aware of if it weren’t for the amazing game Universe Sandbox, which is a terribly addicting game just from the looks of it. So many options!

The amount of things you can do is ungodly! You can change the size of planets, their compositions, atmospheres, watch comets come through the galaxy. I just watched as my best friend showed me this, but I couldn’t help but note all of the options.

The appeal to gaming is because of that. They provide us with options. They provide us with the freedom of choice, so long as we make the choice to continue playing the game.

In this way, an art is born.

Art is any form of expression.

I just witnessed a sphere of moons collapsing on one another, pushing each other off into far corners of the galaxy. They exploded as they collided and the earth was fiery hot.

That, to me, is fucking art.

What people who don’t play fail to see is all of the ways in which you can play.

Just as there are many ways one can paint. The decision on whether it is art is really up to the person.

Given that, I’ve seen many a boring painting in a museum before that wasn’t half as cool as exploding moons.

But whatever.

And so we continue playing, channeling our creativity into video games because those are the outlets we were given to paint with.

Frankly it’s easier to ‘paint’ in a video game than it is in real life.

As a painter myself, at least as a hobby, it has taken a long time to realize I was a creative individual.

But how you play a game is an art itself, a meta. It is the way through which you accomplish what you want.

It’s much more cunning to focus on the meta of a game once you start to understand how all the pieces work.

What sets video games apart from other media of self expression is the setup time.

I mean sure, one can just squirt open a bottle of paint and start slopping it onto a canvas, but if we’re going to be real with ‘setting ourselves up’ with the kinds of options that Universe Sandbox provides? It doesn’t fucking compare.

No wonder Millennials drifted towards video games. No wonder they’re so addicting.

Addicting? Yes. Video games can be addicting. They can prey upon your abilities to craft your own dopamine and serotonin when normal life resumes. All of the stories, fantasies, combat scenes, simulations, and options leave you so stimulated by the end of the day that you’re exhausted.

Exhausted from what? Doing nothing?

Yeah, it can look that way.

But what if it is exhausting oneself towards an art, such as painting?

Would we shame people who locked themselves away to paint? Or write? Or sleep?

What you do with your time is one thing but, while I’m human, I’m playing some video games.

But. While I’m also a human, I will be the connected, living individual that I am. As best I can be.

And if the way you connect with me is not on terms that can work with me, then we’re just not on the same wavelength.

However. Feedback is your friend. It’s how we learn as human beings that we are coming into conflict with one another when our intentions do not align. And that’s okay.

Things don’t always have to align. In fact, they rarely do. Especially when it comes to having to align yourself around feeling a particular way in order to get a job or task done.

The reality is you will never get the job done if you wait for conditions to be right and clear for you to start.

We can all say what we would have done with the options that we clearly see laying before us but, if this tutorial would just let me, I would show it a thing or two on how to play this game!

Back on point, when we feel restricted by things we know will help us, they can feel like they diminish our self-worth and cause for being at times when it’s not put into context as to why we're playing the game in the first place - which is to have fun!