Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sunday Night Rambling

I'm all tired out after a couple of days of migraines (perhaps the result learning the ins and outs of both a new palm pilot and a new phone in the same week as we're working on our taxes. note to self: don't do that again), so here's a little brain dead blogging:

Not sure how I came across this, but after teaching the pre-k Sunday school class at church this month, I can't get the sweet yet disturbing images of this website out of my mind. We do a lot of God Is Love talk with these little ones at our church - even the ten commandments were pretty much all about the love today (as per curriculum, I would ask them "how can we walk in God's way?" and when they could tell me one, I would say "God's way is so SWEET" and give them a piece of apple with honey squeezed on it. And two pieces to Eli for "I can cwean up my woom!") So anyway, I"m trying to imagine a context in which a 6 year old would be asked to draw a picture of a real live gory crucifix. Do you know?


Hurrah for the theotechnogeeks! Did you see this thing about how the seminary students won a competition to design a cell phone game? Here's what they said about it, which I quote in full, because it's so fucking awesome. Hat tip.
Basically, we felt that many video games today require too much activity - the player ends up mashing buttons with both hands as quickly as he or she can. We wanted to make a game in which knowing when to act and when not to act was important. At the same time, we wanted the game to be engaging, even when the player was choosing to do nothing. This brought us to the Taoist principle of Wu Wei, or "non-action." In short, Lao Tzu taught that one must learn the art of "creative quietude," surrendering to Tao and using no more energy than is necessary. It's somewhat analogous to the New Testament concept of Kenosis, or "emptying oneself," which has been used in Eastern Orthodox spirituality extensively.

So, we ended up with a game in which you are trying to to help a lost Moth find its way back home by the light of the moon. Unfortunately, there are other lights in the game which will distract the moth. The player controls neither the moth nor the light, rather the player controls obstacles in the environment, trying to gently encourage the moth to go where the player wants. It's a very gentle game - the moth can't die so there is no problem with setting the game aside for a moment (very important for a cell phone game). Finally, we tried to give the player a feel of serenity by placing the moth in meditative settings (a moss covered cave, a church, etc) which were communicated with the visual art and the music."

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