My Watch Has Stopped Too

Today Chad sent across a link to the “Game Idea Generator“, an amusing diversion which creates random ideas for games at the click of a button. It does it by pretty much just randomly combining a bunch of words in different categories – an experience description, genre description, and a setting. So you click the button and get something like this: “scary, abstract, child-like, abstract game combined with RPG, set in the future”. Which is pretty cool. And if you click the button enough, you can get some pretty genuinely neat ideas for games, like this: “disturbing, surgical, sim game combined with virtual pet game, set in the country” (dark!). Or something vaguely disturbing, like this: “fantasy, romantic, aggressive, virtual pet game, set at night”.

Which is all well and good, and demonstrates the wonderful powers of randomness, evocative words, and the human brain. It’s a fantastic little project, and I’m very much on board with this kind of thing. Except at one point I clicked the button and seemed to open a portal directly into some kind of creepy other dimension. You see, the thing spit out a word-perfect description of an existing game. And not a generic existing game, it was a very specific game:

That is, the Game Idea Generator described with complete precision Tale of Tales’s game The Graveyard. In that game you play as an old, slow woman who walks through a cemetery to sit on a park bench and remember the old days. It’s definitely boring (even if you like it, it’s pretty boring in a calm sort of way). It’s in black and white. It’s a sim game about being old. It’s an art game about death and memory and aging. And it’s set in a cemetery, obviously enough.

Frankly, it’s creepy that the generator came up with such a description. I was even forced to ask the author whether it was really random or whether they had put in the occasional accurate description, but I was assured it’s completely random and that you can even inspect the Javascript on the page. So… wow.

Now consider that this sort of level of “No way!” must happen, to someone, all the freaking time in the world. Someone, somewhere, must be having that experience pretty much each second. As such, is it really surprisingly that we people believe in all kinds of nutty stuff, simply because we can’t accept random chance?

Sorry. I tried to derive some kind of moral there. Really, the moral is: how cool is it that the random generator managed such a vivid description of a random art game? Pretty cool.

4 October 2010
← next words previous words →