In response to "When the Sky Comes out of the Ground" from The Escapist Forum: People have the strange misconception that good things happen to good people and that things should make sense in our anthropocentric and often sentimental view. There are no laws in physics or nature that would cause this. The universe is arbitrary and indifferent. The human race, our little blue planet and our existence on it, is as insignificant and random as an asteroid tumbling through the cosmos for billions of years. Perhaps only Chaos Theory can account for how all this began and where it will proceed.
Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos are part of pop culture, but remain relatively, and appropriately 'cult'; references are strewn everywhere but few understand, or often notice them. Part of this may be explained by the observation that - while I personally love his work - for a new reader, of whom I've introduced a few, it is often immediately uncomfortable, inaccessible; a blunt and sheer wall of sinister adjectives one must clamber to find each descending twist of the plot, each getting darker as the maniac Lovecraftian flavour becomes stronger, each twist driving us deeper into the bottle, risking driving through the sodden cork into the raw, chaotic and joyous concoction of his universe-view.
It's an allegory, above all, for our own insignificance in what he believes is a cold, massive and uncaring universe, in which humanity are, as science continues to proclaim, beings of no significance; merely a dot in a field of stars.
The article references a popular flavour of dark fiction that has had significant influence upon games across numerous genres, and uses it to giftwrap recent, unusual events that could easily be influencing the games of the future, if we have not all rotted to mounds of crumbling grey ash.
Reality imitates art. Art predicts reality. Iä! Shub-Niggurath!
In response to "Your Brain on (Smart) Drugs" from The Escapist Forum: As someone who was prescribed Ritalin in college and took it when I needed it, it got the job done. My anxiety left, and i was filled with a hyper-focus feeling of "Oh man, I can't stop" and got a lot accomplished on the pill. This was followed by a 5 hour crash which felt like committing slow suicide. 3 years later i have found something much better, meditation. Instead of trying to cover up or remove the feelings of anxiety i just sit quietly and take a look at them, and lo and behold, they disperse. It's natural, free, anyone can do it.
Lots of thoughts on this matter
- We already self medicate via coffee and other psychoactive consumables. I am guessing that the huge number of iPods I see plugged into people's heads are a often a form of meditation, music is magical that way.
- Anxiety and Depression are not always solvable by 'just get over it'. Our meat is run by chemicals (thanks Kurt Vonnegut) and sometimes those chemicals can be out of balance.
- We live in an artificially stimulating world. We move faster, eat more and have way more new stuff thrown at us than our evolution has prepared us for. Unless you are willing to go live in a grass hut on a savanna someplace and hope the world ignores you, you have to try to cope by whatever means are available.
- The scary part about these drugs is that there is no history of long term effects, so decisions to use them are going to be made with a huge gray area of ignorance
In response to "How to Interview the Dead" from The Escapist Forum: Erm...that was...different.
Seriously though, it's all well and good writing stream-of-consciousness, out there articles, but it would be nice if they had at least some semblance of a point or a message. I come to the Escapist to read high quality stuff, not the mad ramblings of someone who's had one red bull too many.
This article manages to take base, seemingly everyday words from the English language and stack or smash them together in such a way as to create a potent and palatable deliciousness.
I demand more Colin Roswell.