Hi everyone, a few things to talk about.
First off, I’m going on vacation this weekend, so this Sunday’s update is going up now. Next Wednesday’s should be up at the usual time.
Second, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the person who has been commenting on my earlier updates, pointing out spelling mistakes and the like. That is really helpful to me, as it lets me go back and fix them. Cannot thank you enough.
Lastly, my usual begging. If you like TFD please use the button on the top of the page to vote for it on TopWebFiction. If I get 4+ a link appears on TopWebFiction, which usually brings some people by to check the story out. Big thanks to anyone who votes for my story.
You can tell a lot about a culture by the way that its games are structured. Games are what we wish the young to learn. They are the only avenue that most citizens have to unambiguously lose at anything in their day to day life. They are vital.
Your job is what you have to do. Your games are what you choose to do. It is arguable which is the more important, but games are pretty clearly more revealing.
The old world’s games were staid things, reflecting the settled worldview of a more civilized age.
Go is a good example. Every stone as powerful as every other. Victory determined by the space that they surrounded.
Chess is another. There are more powerful pieces here, sure, but they are ultimately yolked to the cause of the comparatively feeble King. This reflected a world with mighty tanks and far striking planes, all subordinate to the wills of Presidents, Prime Ministers, and other feeble humans.
The modern era’s games are more..exacting. Most of them have a time limit, measured not in terms, but in minutes. Nearly every one of them incorporates a mechanic that mimics the Process, removing large numbers of weak pieces to generate a few stronger ones.
Another commonality concerns the ‘identity’ of the factions. As opposed to older games, where one took the side of ‘white’ or ‘black’, modern games tend to identify players with particular pieces. The most powerful piece on a given side tends to be the one whose fortunes are tied to the gamer’s performance. These lead pieces can betray their sides in games with more than two opponents. They can be assassinated to bring about a swift defeat.
The fundamental conflict of our times, these games understand, is not between the Regime and the Pantheon, but between Prevailer and Zeus. The victor will not be a nation or any other imaginary concept, but a person.
If the games of old are ever to return, it would have to be because something happened that called this wisdom into question. The titans which bestride the world would need to be toppled, not by their equals, but by those that they consider vermin, those they grind underfoot.
This seems unlikely, but one must always remember that the ancients, too, thought that they’d seen the final shape of the world.