On Alternate Dimensions


The latest Texas video. I updated the video export to also export audio.

Means of Transferral

The Wardrobe.

Moongates.

The Magic Mirror.

The Rabbit Hole.

The Small Door Behind the Filing Cabinet.

These are all devices for moving between dimensions. And there are more!

Types of Alternate Dimensions

The idea of exploring an alternate reality has everything to do with putting a new take on our own reality.

Some stories take place in that alternate reality itself. Take for instance the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. Discworld is a fantasy take on the real world, and has it's own alternate dimensions (for instance where Elves come from) but it's grounded only in itself. As a reader it's up to you to realize that Ankh Morpork is (I'm assuming) a certain loving take on London, or all big cities.

Take then something like the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Stories like these are grounded in the real world. The story starts in the common real world we are all familiar with and moves to an alternate dimension where the rules are changed. The story is grounded in reality, not in fantasy itself.

Sam's Experience

Texas is set up like the second case. The game is grounded in the real world, with an alternate-reality intruding on it. Sam will be thrust into this alternate reality.

In my grade 7 science class we were learning that all things could be classified into living, nonliving, and dead. Things that were nonliving were things that hadn't ever been alive, like a rock. I was not encouraged by my science teacher when I asked: "What about undead?"

You and I both know that undead are things that were once dead, but are now living. They've come full circle and it's usually not pretty.

I think Sam's experience is going to be like an undream. He was awake, but he's fallen into something like a dream-become-real. The rules of the subconscious are in play, but they are manifest physically to interact with in a conscious way.

What am I saying?

Well it's just another darn alternate reality story anyhow. It's after all just a device that should serve some story-telling end. Funny but I haven't thought too closely what that might be!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a Christian apologetic. I remember the uncle who said, if the youngest boy said there was a magical world behind the wardrobe, it wasn't certain if there was such a world but surely it wasn't rational to believe he was lying.

Ultima was a morality fable. An ordinary person (in fact, the player himself) was brought into an alternate reality where he/she was expected to be an upholder of virtues. The red moongate bridged the gap between our morally ambiguous world and a sort of philosopher's example world.

Zelda: Link to the Past is a subconscious fable. Rather than debate anything consciously, the storyline appeals to us on a primal archetypal level. This may sound kind of esoteric but it's the most common type of fable. Evil, good, heroism, maidens in distress etc. are all presented as archetypes that appeal to us subconsciously but don't really create a meaningful conscious debate.

Alice in Wonderland, I really have no idea. I haven't read it. It might be the most interesting example of all.

Being John Malkovich was sort of an interesting experiment in sense of self and free will, and did a nice job of playing with certain paradoxes. I think it was sort of asking the question, in many different ways, of "Who are you? What if you were someone else, who would you be then?"

No Conclusion Yet

Texas right now uses a moongate-esque teleportation device, but this was an arbitrary choice before I thought about what the alternate reality really was going to represent.

Now, I'm more thinking that it will be an exploration of Sam's mentality. I don't want to get too serious or heavy, but what if things that are present in the alternate reality are really brought out of Sam himself?

There is, certainly, a "real" malevolent force in the game, pulling strings. It's not going to be "Oh! It was all just a dream!" (which sounds pathetic but can be really effective). But maybe that force plays with Sam's own ideas to create the alternate reality world.

I think I had better read Alice in Wonderland.

2009-09-21


◀ Back