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bungie land

network seal

some sociopathic teenage minded chicagoans have concocted a steady streaming male oriented immersive virtual experience called marathon, which when harnessed over the company resourced local network becomes two to eight nodes of cooperative death and mayhem.

usually after dark, after so many untoward hours seat bound and staring at the screen, a few electric minds, the late stayers, the late late stayers, switch over for a quick game - "recreation"

I have no idea the intention of this product except that it is addictive - the demo is playable, the first one's free.

I read in tools for thought about "spacewar," that when campus computer center operators removed this early, simpletech space warfare simulator, productivity declined. it was a mood alterator that somehow encouraged computer endeavour.

gunnin'this is the modern descendent,
bungie company producer of this "game" utilizes millions of dollars of internet startup financing and technology and billions of web slave brain cells as it pushes these folks up against their deadlines, aggravates their carpal tunnel
either the bosses are in on it, or somehow the work gets done enough to prevent widespread outcry

but I wonder, if we charged young men were using the network for cooperative building, constructive endeavor, all this time, what would we have created by now?

rounds of combat leave me dangerously twitchy and impatient; people asking for advice or assistance or patience
I respond with rapid fire garbled mean spirited enthusiasm

I used to play a ton of computer games. most of the ones I enjoyed were of a mental immersion - characters playing out fantasy storylines through adventure accumulation.

and I think, as I'm dashing maniacly through another alien corridor, what are the stories that emerge herefrom? "wow - dude, remember that time, you were standing on that platform with a bazooka, and I came up with only a pistol and wasted you? or like when I shot you with the rocket launcher, and your corpse flew across that huge arena?"

the thrill seems to lie in playing out as many storylines as quickly and extremely as possible. there being a list of maps for network play, mazes to run around in, we churn through them at a brisk clip. eight minutes in one. that sucked. ten minutes in another, that ruled. one more, six minutes. and vagabond jim figured out a supreme trick - he made the faster running motion of a character a caps lock toggle, so all of us chase each other down constant at twice regular speed and it is not enough; like drugs, an altered state, like armed hamsters barging past and maiming friends for a shifting cocaine/glee button hidden somewhere in a pixeldriven maze.

dead fields

in the product literature, the company uses the word carnage with alarming frequency. moral regulators, forget hollywood, the real violence is here and even for this fledgling spirit seeker, it is alarmingly intoxicating -

so my coworkers and I, we play on "total carnage," which means that in the course of a four person game, we average 1-3 kills per minute,
folks toting napalm spewers rocket flingers and laser pistols blow each other up
dying screams shouts and wails spurt sporatically from both the computer and the players

over and over and over again

and there's nothing like playing with friends. the included package game pales in comparison to having human familiars upon which to unload yer shotguns

flechette fight

occasional cackles of boyglee
four young men sit hunched intent forward
eyelocked into their colour light and glass deathworld portals
occasional bright flashes of exploding rounds whitelight their faces
digital sounds of screams from crisped bodies recoiling from massive hits
objectionable treatment of the human form

women seldom play, at least in this space - a near impermeable cloud of testosterone expands steadily from these marathon runs

marathon state, marathon land
I don't know that it's a place any less real than the web
I do know that after I play this for hours in a night,
I go home,
I close my eyes to sleep
and I'm running through halls
death-bent figures dart out into my vision and try to waste me.


igor said:

Now there's a challenging project. Writing an agent that can make Marathon interesting to watch as a spectator. Dry little detached comments about who and how you like to kill. I had students playing M. in the lab a lot one and two semesters ago. I was pretty bored by it until I realized how supportive the designers were of people editing most aspects of the game. Level building was sort of interesting but the real lure was in changing the graphic elements to things with a radically different affect. Halls tiled with the face of Richard Nixon, cream pies as the only weapons.

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