Now That’s Commitment

Webcam cube

So that cube that you can see there has the feed from your webcam inside it, right?

Well, no not really. I mean, it has the feed from my webcam in it.

Except… not even that. It’s a screenshot of the cube in the game v r 2 that had, at the time of the taking of the screenshot, the feed from my webcam in it. I specifically walked to the correct cube in the world of the game to take the screenshot, I didn’t try to pass off just any old cube in the collection as being that one. I’m not like that.

Anyway, such is the nature of v r 2, it invites just these sorts of weird ontological equivocations. Which is nice.

It also involved me deciding I needed to get an SSL certificate for my website because Chrome in particular is starting to demand that you have one if you want to use the webcam in any of your pages. Partly I’ve been concerned about Let’s Play: Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Art Edition Edition breaking, but mostly it was for v r 2 because the having the webcam in the game feels vital. It allows the player-as-human to be projected-but-invisible inside the game itself, which feels important.

So, perversely, I just had to spend a bunch of money, completely break my website (and other people’s websites hosted on the same domain), and talk to customer service at my host multiple times, all for this particular little “point” about videogame/digital ontology in a specific browser. And yet, this is exactly the kind of thing that’s important to me. I might be inclined to not give too much of a shit if the shaders don’t look perfect in v r 2 (they don’t), but for anything that messes with the underlying idea of the game I’m very willing to go the extra miles. That knowing of what’s critical and what’s only “nice” seems like a vital part of design/making to me. Most of the time it rather pleasantly allows me to ignore elements of design and aesthetics that I imagine other people caring about a great deal (see: nice-looking graphics, good sound effects, tuned game mechanics), but just occasionally it sends me down a weird rabbit-hole of caring about something very specific.

Anyway, as far as I can tell my website works again, I’m https-friendly, and can ask for the very great privilege of turning your webcam on in my games. Thanks in advance.

27 May 2016
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