In a world full of censorial inputs we are rapidly loosing our imagination and delegating creations 100% to movie makers and market gurus.
I remember when I read my first horror book a long time ago. I had never felt so scared in my whole life. I can still remember a couple of very terrifying scenes. It is very interesting that to be still capable of remembering these scenes in great detail. I remember the colors and materials, the textures and even the smell of certain things!
Obviously, these things never existed for real. They were just a mental representation created by the written inputs from the book I was reading. It is really impressive that those lines of text were imprinted much deeper in me than those of an expensive movies full of computer generated graphics. Back then, I learned to appreciate written fiction and carried that behavior for life.
But the censorial inputs of our post-modern life are astounding and we get lazy. We forget that there is something called “imagination”.
I recently came to remember this by being introduced to a computer game called NetHack. I am not a computer games person but I have seen some of the most recent games and all look fantastically dressed in immersive 3D graphics that are as close to reality as your hardware allows.
In any one of these brand new games, if you see a monster, you know exactly how it looks like. The game creators took care of that for you. They created a 10 feet tall green entity with dog-like face, drooling a brown, smudgy and stinky material from its distorted mouth-like cavity. You get what you see - what has been provided for you.
NetHack goes completely against the tide. It does not have graphics – at all! It uses a very rudimentary navigation system with characters spread all over a black screen. The same monster depicted above is probably represented by a single character like ‘F’ followed by a textual description of it.
The purpose of the makers of NetHack is not to stuff you with lots of graphical input but to focus on game-play and story-line. The idea is to grab your attention by imagination and not by vision.
This might be the main reason why NetHack has been under constant development for more than 15 years. Even with a gigantic proliferation of censorial inputs all around us, some people still play NetHack. Finishing it is quite a challenge and those that have done so, sometimes play it all over again because the story-line never follows the same pattern.
It is good to know that some people are not trapped by the reality created by others but are capable of creating their own realities – with their own imagination!
Where this humble writer is concerned, I must desperately find a way to free myself from a bear trap that is holding me by my right foot before the treacherous gnomes and their powerful leader approach. If I manage to survive this quest, I will probably hunt them down to find out what is that violet gem they have being protecting so fiercely. It would be a shame to die after having survived a massive attack of giant bugs and an elf werewolf and its accompanying jackals. As you might have noticed, I got carried way… by the way, my skin really hurts by the burnt of a liquid acid thrown at me when I was not looking.
Have a nice imaginative time!