“Hold on to the center”

Hyper Light Drifter, the Tao Te Ching, and the Process of Mastery

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According to Lao Tzu, the Master never forces desire but abandons it, flowing constantly like water in between the passive and active, the soft and hard, the dark and bright. This passage, if it is to be good, requires a letting go; holding onto outcomes one desires inevitably makes them impossible to achieve. Rather, goodness is found in the processes of becoming master over one’s body and mind, not the final results. There’s something compelling in this notion, which implies the beautiful balance between yin and yang, the relaxing feeling when you flow down the river and let go of intention and desire. But there’s also something fiercely pleasing about mastering your body too, of defeating opponents, of accruing skills and being the best. I’d like to think it’s not as simple as choosing between immediate, short-term pleasure and the more gratifying, harder-to-find peace that comes with a lifetime of virtue, but I can’t say for certain. It’s a difficult, gnawing kind of question—one that takes ages to answer. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 14

One True Game: Keep Remastering

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At First Person Scholar, we do Game of the Year differently. The rampant chaos of end of term and the general lack of time and funds that graduate students have means that getting through many of the latest releases is nearly impossible. Instead, we focus on the games we spent the most time with and the ones that the had the biggest impact on us in 2016. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 11

Procedurally Generated Feels: No Man's Sky

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In this first episode of the term, we discuss the highly controversial game No Man’s Sky. We go in depth with the early and more recent marketing of the game and how Hello Game’s relationship with Sony helped and hindered the development process of the game. We also talk about our personal experiences with the game, how the procedurality is executed in comparison to similar games. We close out the episode with a discussion about how games scholars and media archeologists might want to approach a game like this. Continue Reading