the artistry and psychology of gaming

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Air Man (Rock Man: No Constancy)

Air Man (Rock Man: No Constancy)

I once had a dream of the futuristic world of robots that was a beautiful amalgamation of many other worlds that I had visited before. Some of them appeared in a different color, some had a different aura about them, and some were largely the same. One consistency among them, however, is that their layouts were different from their worldly counterparts. The reason that I have reached this conclusion as to the identity of this world is its inhabitants; they are one and the same as those in my second trip to the robotic world, albeit colored differently. In many cases, this dream made the world seem much less futuristic.

I would like to tell you of the site that exists high in the sky. In this dream, it still exists above the clouds, but looks less like a highway and more like a floating palace. It is a bit of a coincidence that the palace in my dream resembles those of Grape Gardens in a place called Dream Land, which is a physical location. However, it is only the architecture that bears a resemblance to these other cloud castles; the scenery itself is something altogether different. I was fortunate enough to reach this place at dawn, which is far more beautiful in the sky than you can imagine.

This open-air palace was constructed of bricks that were white and periwinkle, with black s-shaped designs carved into them. The layer upon which I stood was comprised of similarly-colored blocks that had more of a mosaic pattern. The terraces above my head were held up by tall, smooth pillars of white that blanched in the distance. The dawn itself was the true star of the show, however; the fading night sky was a beautiful blue, with some stars still visible. A gradient began as it neared the land below, with stripes of pale purple, lime green, and several shades of light blue. At the horizon was a thick band of white, and below it all was a vast mountain range – or perhaps it was a cloud cover – that was painted in a mixture of all of these colors.

I made my way to the edge of where I was standing and leapt onto a series of platforms comprised of the mosaic blocks, which was a precarious situation, as the winds were very powerful. I eventually reached another palace, this one being much larger in size. Here, there were a few solid walls of white, adorned with interlocking four-point stars outlined in blue. Above me was a terrace, but it was a bit further back; there was nothing at all direcctly above my head. I came to an opening in the floor, and so I leapt down, bringing me to another area, this one a bit more walled-in. There were a number of gaps in the floor, but these had nothing beneath them, save for a grizzly demise. I carefully made my way across, eventually coming to another open area.

Out here, there was a very wide gap over which I could never leap. My only way across was to traverse a number of small clouds with propellers beneath them. As I floated over the empty sky, I looked into the distance to see the rising sun, brightly shining in white. The small palace that I’d reached had another gap, and so I leapt down once again. Down here, I was completely walled in. There were spikes above and below me, their beautiful pale blue and purple shine doing little to ease my tension. I made my way across them and leapt down even further into another enclosed area. This area had a terrace, from which I could see out; it was the sort of place that I would love to live, so that I could stand on my balcony and watch the sunrise every morning.

A bit further on, I came out from under the ceiling and into an area with large stretches of spikes. I made my way back to a terrace and warily sidled my way across the dangerous needles. Just as I’d made my way across, I had another one to traverse, though this time, I had to leap from pillar to pillar. At last, the only hazard before me was a long drop. I made my way across tightly-grouped platforms, admiring the view below, since the walls shielded me from the powerful winds that had hindered my progress earlier. Soon, the walls were behind me, and I was running along the sunrise once again, eventually reaching the control chamber, where I sat, waiting for the sun to fully come up before moving on to my next adventure.

Is it any wonder that our ancestors fantasized endlessly about the sky? Such a large, mysterious expanse of wild blue that was so clearly visible, and yet, so far away. The desire for flight was followed by the desire for entire cities that floated along with the clouds. Though we’ve yet to reach such a goal, it is clear that no level of science can satisfy that childlike curiosity about the world above us. We can observe and theorize, even collecting data until the end of days, but nothing short of being wrapped within it can satisfy that deep desire to consume its endless beauty.

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