Friday, December 30, 2011

Constitution and explanation

of Technomancers Sojourn Inc.

Provide a Christian environment in which to:
Initiate a transient LAN
With Cooperative intent and friendly rivalry,
Sojourn to an alternate virtual reality,
psizomai a native or create an avatar.
Quest and participate in the world.

Deus Ex Machina is to be avoided while eucatastrophe is encouraged.
Not to be taken, seriously; For fun and comedy.
Community is intrinsic to all activities, both with fellow technomancers and the locals.

The group started off as an offshoot from the youth group that I was running around 4 years ago. Gradually the numbers dropped off an I started watching anime in the youth room instead or studying the Bible. Then I figured that I would be playing computers anyway so I dedicated one night a week to it. This may have helped me avoid procrastination the rest of the week. Herin lies the source of our regularity, the fournightly friday night BASICLY (Brothers And Sisters In Christ Lutheran Youth).

With a dedicated day I found playing games much more fun with other people. We would build up a local area network and do something multiplayer.

The competitive games never really interested me much. There is something about dying for the 100th time in a row with a full ammo clip in Counter Strike that made me lose interest. Then my brothers knew all these neat maps in Frozen Throne, I wouldn’t have the foggiest what was going on except that I needed to do it fast. Also people like Sam often give advice that is purely for funnies (“left click to talk to him”), attacking quest givers is not exactly conducive to learning.
For me the friendly rivalry of backstabbing teammates and eventually uniting against a boss was way more fulfilling than getting a high score.

This took a while to nut out, the escapism you get from movies and books is too passive I think. The same thing happens here but it is more like active meditation. Since we only have a temporary journey both to the house where the LAN is setup and to the virtual world then sojourn fits nicely. Interestingly I couldn’t find any foreign language analog of “virtual reality”. It seems nearly all computer terms are phonetic pronunciations of the English word.

I had to make up a word to explain this. If I were a daemon I would be possessing the “Player Character” But I’m not a daemon and the first point was that we are Christians. Same goes for “Avatar” which initially was the description of the god Vishnu for when she created a vessel for herself so that she could pretend to be a mortal when she was playing with them.

Can it really be a game without fetch/ travel quests? Also you need to activate the “Suspension of Disbelief” to overcome bizarre user interface glitches and prevent “Breaking the fourth wall”.
The participation part is really important because without it there would be no point to life. And so we form communities amongst ourselves and with other gamers and with the characters of our games.

Eventually we need to return to the real world, and reincarnate is exactly the right word to use after our group OBE (Out of Body Experience)

Technology is not the only reason for the gathering, we also like to talk about stuff and eat pizza and drink too much pepsi. A debrief at the end also makes things a lot more casual and less rushed.

Invoking the god of the machine to cheat won’t make things more fun for long, so it is best avoided. Much better to play through as the developers intended, all the way to the end were we win and find the Amulet of Yendor.

Regardless of how much I participated in Frozen throne is war rarely much fun. So why did I play it? Because other people were having fun.

And thus began our community, the Technomancers Sojourn Inc. Why does this all sound so esoteric?