New Project: Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Limited Edition
This is just to say that I did decide to plow on ahead with that sequel/remake of Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment. I’m calling it Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Limited Edition. For a while there it was a more obvious Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment 2, but it doesn’t really make sense as a direct “sequel” per se – it’s another take on the concepts from the first game. Plus, I’ve already made Let’s Play: Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Art Edition Edition, so it seems like a game that comes in editions rather than in series/sequels.
The idea behind this one, which I’ve had sitting in my queue for quite a while, is to explore the idea of the punishments being finite – the idea that you can in some sense “win” each of the previously unwinnable levels of the game. So I guess the thought is to make it a more “successful game” by moving away from the “realism” of infinite punishment and toward the deep satisfaction we all feel (don’t we?) at getting to the end of a trial.
Thus, Sisyphus will be able to finally get that stupid boulder (that looks like a cookie, I know) up to the top of the slope. Prometheus will at last shake free of his chains. And so forth. I like this as a way of prodding at the idea of a “good game” some more. The original game was unapologetically about how the game form allows for a kind of faithful rendition of the punishment, but at the expense of being “unplayable” in some ways. This version will then explore the idea of bringing the game back into the fold of conventional wisdom to some extent.
Except that I’m me, of course, and so my though right now is that after each of the trials is completed – after Zeno’s race is run, after Tantalus’s apple is eaten – it will be even more depressing because you won’t even have anything left to do. My dream is for it feel even more abject than the original punishment – in a way it could be thought of as the “true game version” of the punishment, in fact? It makes me think of the Camus essay on the myth of Sisyphus, in which Camus suggests that we must “imagine Sisyphus happy” essentially because: he has something to do.
In other words: what’s worse than pushing a boulder endlessly up a hill? Endlessly not pushing a boulder up a hill.