Thursday, October 07, 2004

Warping

I had a dream, though I can’t remember it. When I woke up this morning, I only had the faintest memories of what my brain made up while I was sleeping. The bits and pieces: finding a key, avoiding falling into a hole and the crude-yet-visually distinctive graphic style of the 8-biut age of video games.

It’s not the first time I’ve dreamt about video games.

When I was a kid, video games were a big deal to me. Less so now, but they’re still there, whether they’re stacked up neatly in my closet or hiding in the recesses of my subconscious. But when I really think about it, the difference between having a dream and playing a video game are actually quite minimal, at least along the mental path I’m dragging the idea.

Both, usually, put a person in an active role — they make you the actor and agent, so to speak. Both thrust a person into performing some crazy task — whether plucking vegetables or flying with a raccoon tail or sorting through jumbo bin of tennis balls to find the one with an ear growing out of it — that he or she does without really questioning the underlying logic. And both, in a sense, allow a person to act in impossible ways in impossible situations.

When I really think about it, I feel like video games come closer to dreams than movies or books or waking life or anything like that — for me, at least. I wonder if the children born in the last twenty-five years are the first to have these machines that allow us to approximate dreaming. I wonder how that might affect our brains, our conscious and unconscious minds. Or I wonder if my personal style of dreaming has just changed to reflect the formidable influence of video games.

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