Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The sieve of reflection

As this new way to blog about living epic emerges, one thing that seems to make sense is to intersperse occasional reflective posts that will function as a sort of intellectual sieve, and help figure out what if anything from from the past day or so of play is worth keeping around for analysis.

Some candidates:

  • Hasty Renegade has always had a very interesting relationship with Garrus, and so seeing him alive last night (I was truly convinced that he was one of the four I'd lost in this career) was a really narratively significant moment, but in a way that took me out of the diegetic situation, since Hasty Renegade herself obviously couldn't have forgotten that Garrus was alive. In an ideal medium, perhaps, it would be possible for me to play in such a way that my surprise at seeing Garrus somehow did get communicated into my performance, but that wouldn't change the bifurcation of performance and player--the reason this moment was interesting and potentially enlightening for my understanding of my performance and of who I am becoming as a result of it was that my extra-performative surprise resonated with the feeling I've always attributed to Hasty Renegade of professional admiration of Garrus from a distance, tempered with a healthy dose of rivalry. Since they're both snipers, they very rarely go on missions together, and when Hasty Renegade explored Garrus' dialogue tree in Mass Effect 2 I was conscious of reacting with a mixture of sympathy and renegade-ish disdain for his letting his emotions get the better of him no matter how much he pretended not to be. This dynamic is potentially interesting in the way it provides a perspective on interaction between inside the story and outside the story through player-performance.
  • "Nonrepresentative" keeps bubbling to the top of my mind. My question is "Nonrepresentative of what?" My preliminary answer "the tradition." For me at least this seems to be the first direct evidence of communication of a tradition that in the days of the bards was associated above all with two things: professionalism, and the Muses. To tell me that my Mass Effect 3 performance is nonrepresentative is to tell me that I lack a relation to some font of game-performance inspiration. Many blog-posts in that vein, I think, to come.