Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Perfection and Plato

hello everyone.

sorry for the long delay between this post and the last; i will admit i have gotten sucked into Oblivion and have been busy punching goblins and fencing all my ill-gotten goods. bethesda is a very fine gaming studio. <3

i did do some writing, but mostly over on TMC. i had posted a link there as an invitation to here, thinking people there might be interested in things here, and didn't really anticipate that people would post there about things here.

the TMC forums are an intimidating place for someone like me. there are half a dozen posters who tend to weigh in as the experts on nearly every topic, and certainly i am no expert on muds as a whole, or on anything (except, possibly, some dead writers). i don't doubt that they do indeed possess expertise, these rock stars of the TMC world, but i am curious where their fame stems from. are they famous coders? does everyone else know who these people are except me? do they know each other only through their many posts on tmc? is there some sort of secret mud admin society, a la eyes wide shut? curiouser and curiouser: the imagination runs wild.

it's fascinating to read posts there, since it provides some insight into the wide scope and breadth of muds in existence. this is why i love the internet: whatever can be dreamed can be developed, if the dreamer is determined. exactly this is why i believe so strongly in my ability to design a perfect mud... i am a very, very stubborn woman. it may take me a while to accomplish my goals, since i have a great many of them and pursue them haphazardly as inspiration marionettes me, but i do accomplish them if it is within my power to do so. i have abandoned projects which require someone else to do a major portion of the work, if my project partners lose interest and can no longer carry on, but Parviane is as interested in creating a mud which is really ours as i am. this will happen, and it will be something i am unreservedly proud of.

one thing i have been thinking about recently is what it really means to create 'a perfect mud'. i can't help but think of Plato here. (was it the republic? the statesman? i disremember and, not for the first time, am missing my library terribly. however, i can summarize without being able to supply sources. facts, and a memory which refuses to contain them, are the bane of my existence, now and forever. i think it was the republic. anyway.)

Plato felt that all tangible things existed as shades of the one 'true' thing which was that thing's immutable, undefinable essence. to understand universal truths, Plato felt, we must realize that all things we can touch and see are imitations, once-removed shadows or shades of the true and ideal forms to which we give names. a 'chair' for example, would not be definable in any of the ways we flawed humans conceive of a chair... all chairs that we can see or think of or imagine are once-removed shadows of the one true and perfect idealized form of the concept 'chair'. he wrote of what was, for him, an ideal place: an imaginary utopian Republic in which only the truest and purest form of all things could exist.

now, when i speak of creating a perfect mud, i am not suggesting that i am creating this perfect idealized essence of which all others are merely shadows. (sidenote: is it just me, but is it almost impossible not to use Heideggerian-style talk when thinking or writing about Plato?) what i can do, what i want to do, what i will do is create my own imaginary utopia: my own perfect mud. i don't think thomas more was trying to insult plato when he wrote HIS utopia. neither do i think that in creating what is perfect to me, do i insult others who have made or are making what is perfect to them. A Farewell to Arms is every bit as perfect Anna Karenina. maybe hemingway really did shoot himself because he couldn't be tolstoy, but i am not hemingway, and i am content, as austen was, to aspire to perfection on the simple scale of my own creation.

i will create the most perfect game i can make. and i will love the attempts to make it perfect: the crafting, the critiquing, the refinishing, and the endless endless polishing. i will make something beautiful.


PS if you are interested in reading what happened over on TMC, direct your browser to: http://www.mudconnect.com/discuss/discuss.cgi?mode=MSG&area=admin&message=6055#6055

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