the artistry and psychology of gaming


World 4 (Esper Dream 2)

World 4 (Esper Dream 2)

I’ve no doubt in my mind that you were told that books could transport you to another world when you were a child.  I’ve also no doubt that – assuming that you were as cynical as I – you viewed the sentiment as a ruse to get you to read more.  Of course, speaking metaphorically, they can take you somewhere completely new, but did you know that in some cases, they can also do so in the literal sense?  It’s true; I visited a mysterious library that had shelves upon shelves of books, each capable of taking a reader’s body to a new world.  There were typical worlds, such as harbors and mountains; not so typical worlds, like a time-traveling train; and worlds typical on the surface, but very strange if you were to dig deeper.  Today, I’d like to tell you of the book about a quaint little factory.

When I first arrived, I was quite underwhelmed; the floors were among the dullest gray I’d ever seen, poorly accented with a dark green.  The walls were the most interesting thing to see, and they were merely a steel blue color.  As I peered into a dark room, however, I saw blinking pink lights; I could not determine exactly what they were.  I entered a place known as Minus Town, where sentient screws and screwdrivers as tall as I resided.  After a brief stay, I left the town and headed out into the wilderness, so to speak.

Out here, the coloration was much the same, but unusual machines spun inside of the walls, and large cylindrical objects whirred incessantly.  I came to a chasm, which had the same square tiles lining its walls as those on the floors.  There were outlets occasionally belching pink flames far in the distance.  All the while wondering what kind of factory this was, I entered a dark room.  Upon lighting it up, I saw a large hole; seeing nowhere else to go, I leapt into it.

The basement was one of the most wonderful things I’d seen in this world of books.  A molten substance of beautiful pink flowed, bubbled, and cascaded all around the walkways.  Said walkways were black, trimmed in a bright green, like some sort of neon glass.  The air was quite strange down here, but it was so nightmarishly beautiful.  Carefully making my way across conveyor belts, I eventually came to a strange capsule.  It was tall, orange, and had a horizontal line engraved into its top; as I stood, staring at the photons floating through it like a reverse-gravity hourglass, I wondered what its purpose could possibly be.  Stepping inside, I found my answer: it teleported me back to the outskirts of Minus Town.

Not content to believe this to be all that the world had to offer, I continued to explore, this time taking a different path.  I passed chains of smoking machines in an area with more of the mysterious pink liquid.  In front of me stood a curious object; it was some kind of light blue pillar with a computer built into it and two antennae atop it.  Unable to discern its purpose, I moved on, eventually reaching an area with orange walls.  This place seemed to be almost a mirror image of the steel blue area, except more dangerous.  After a while, I came to another town, this one called Plus Town.  The sentient screwdrivers here were pink, and the sentient screws had different heads.  It then hit me; plus and minus described the heads of the screws that resided in the respective towns.  I’d never thought of screws having different races before, but I suppose that it did make an odd sort of sense in a whimsical world such as this.

Moving on, I came to an area with strange devices lining the walls.  Getting closer, I realized that they were to generate damaging fields through which one could not safely pass.  Fortunately, they had a sudden malfunction and I was able to slip through and into the chute at the end of the path.  At the bottom, I was on a long pathway that led into a large chamber.  In here was a large machine, which bellowed, “You do not belong here!”  Before I could react, he zapped me with some kind of electrical weapon.  The next thing that I remember, after the surge of agony that preceeded my losing control of my body, was awakening on the floor of the library right in front of the book case.  I may never know how I got back, but my thanks go out to whomever was responsible.

One might not think of an automated factory as an ecosystem, but it can certainly be viewed that way.  It has components that create, components that consume, and components that work together to perform a task.  It is a self contained environment that operates just fine without any external intervention.  There are a number of factors that require delicate balance for it all to function.  Most importantly, that delicate balance can be upset by seemingly innocuous events.  You might see this simply as the way of the world, but perhaps the worlds that are created by humans are modeled after their own, whether or not they realize it.

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