Tuesday, 6 July 2010

I Know What You Did Next Summer

Many years ago, when I was training to be a gameshow host (yes, I really did), my instructor explained the golden rule of signing off. Essentially, you keep it short and sweet and then you go... and you never return to the microphone for any reason.
You don't need me to explain the thinking behind this: suffice to say that, when a job is done, it's prudent to move on.
Take the lovely classicist Professor Mary Beard: she was on Question Time a week or so back, and I was surprised when her answer to a question began with the observation that, if you read one paper, you'll be told one thing, and if you read another paper, (and you already know where this is going right?) then you'll be told another thing. Her answer was already pushing beyond saturation point. However, she continued with her answer, offering an example to illustrate her point. I didn't think it needed illustrating: I had understood and agreed with her point, and I was squirming on the sofa, hoping she would finish quickly, but she didn't, and her point stretched and stretched without any surprises.
Conversely, I recently discovered the album The Light by composer, poet, and philosopher Dave Hesketh, working under the name UtopiaXO. As I sat and listened, I became aware that the music was constantly evolving. So many similar ambient soundscapes are built from looped samples, and the brain discovers them and, in fairness, can find a safe haven within their repetitions. However, Dave moves from a short piano melody into a subtle guitar melody, then a girl's voice enters and fades, and so on.
I was constantly surprised.
I was constantly in a state of wonder, simultaneously absorbed in the sounds whilst anticipating the next development.

Last night I played the demo of The Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air.
(You're already thinking this is gonna be another rant eh? You got me!)
Here's a puzzle for you:
What you have to do is click on the clock on the right hand wall to see that it is set to six o'clock; and then a hint suggests that you should set those other nine million clocks to six o'clock too.
Shove it up your clockwork exhaust! The puzzle is already solved: each clock needs to be set to six o'clock!
Where's the fun in setting all those clocks? There's no surprise. It's a mundane, mechanical chore. I was half way through setting the clocks when the skip meter had filled, and so I chose to take the skip penalty rather than remain in a fungal necropolis of masochicm.

But take heart! There's also a stones puzzle!
In this puzzle, you get to click on stones to fill another meter.
No timer; no technique; no intellectual or emotional stimulation; no development. Just clickety-clickety-click.And yet more stories relayed in epistolary fashion (why must I read pages and pages of pointless journal entries and old letters?), facing backwards, lacking anything approaching charisma, devoid of any form of topography beyond that green line on a heartbeat monitor wired to a corpse.

Super! Feeling better already. Kisses.

No comments: