Super Mario Clouds
November 12, 2006 § 1 Comment
We soldered together two stray ends of the Duck Hunt chip and now it plays, continuously, in the background; the dog constantly giggling if you don’t pick up the gun.
“I thought this would be cooler,” he says, “but it’s really just annoying.” I agree.
Our hero strips blocks and bricks from Mario games, so that all that remains are the soft and silent, floating clouds. We’re just trying to respond to our environment. There was a time when technology was supposed to usher in a new age of human consciousness. A world without poverty, divisions, or malice. It was part of the reason behind Microsoft’s optimistic “A computer in every household!” mission statement. The dog’s laughing at us again.
“There’s too many walls,” my friend says, and I ask him what he means.
“We spend too much time protecting ourselves. Technology was supposed to strip us of our inhibitions, but instead we’ve just created new ones. Or we’ve revealed parts of us that didn’t previously exist. What’s the good of that? The forty-eight-year-old diaper fetishist finally gets a voice, sure – but in the end she’s still strapping on an apron and playing mommy homemaker when she’s done.”
“So what you’re really looking for is a new form of genuine intimacy.”
“Exactly, this is good, but we’re not done. We’re just getting used to the idea, and realising how unsatisfying these half-measures are. Obviously, we need more. Connections in our brains.”
“But won’t that be unsettling?”
“Only in the beginning, until the ugliness gets cut out, or at the very least understood. If the information is allowed to flow freely enough, that shouldn’t be a problem.”
My friend fires a couple of light-wave bullets at the screen and shrugs. “Clouds?”