You’re the best,
you’re the one,
your work shames all the rest,
and we shall have no other fun.
You’re the best,
Coming soon: Storium Alpha 2
Storium melds creative writing and gameplay in a unique way. One of the things we’ve learned from our alpha playtest feedback is that Storium gives players plenty of creative freedom, but it needs to do more to help them keep their stories moving forward. As a result, we’re making the gameplay aspects of Storium even stronger.
That means making some changes. Right now, we’re working on a major revision of Storium that we’ll be unveiling in a few weeks as “Alpha 2.” It’s like a Hollywood sequel, but with less explosions. Probably.
All right, we get it. Your life is beautiful. Your life takes place in picturesque urban and rural settings. You eat lovely breakfasts on weathered tables adorned with cloth napkins and perfectly chipped plates. You eat at the local dive where the poutine comes in a paper basket with a checkered…
This morning, Timehop reminded me of one of the best things I’ve ever read about Tumblr. Thanks, Will.
Thank you! I kind of totally forgot I ever wrote this bit and am happily surprised to be reminded it exists. Much obliged!
The Comment Section For Your Mind
You’re wandering along the Internet, procrastinating, when you find a link to an oddly named site. It has your name on it. It appears to be a news site with a flashy front page, blog posts, and streaming videos. Every post is about you. Every photo is you. Every video? You.
The front page shows what you’ve done lately but it isn’t just what you’ve done, it’s what you’re doing. What you’re thinking, right now, as you read the front page, that’s the top news item on the front page. A tweet scrolls by, reporting your reaction to your own thoughts.
An RSS feed tells readers on their mobile devices all the things you say to yourself. People who want to develop apps based on you can get the API. Your likeness appears to be a registered trademark of a towering media conglomerate.
For every day you’ve been alive, there’s a thread on the forums. The five-day forecast suggests your mood through the weekend and it’s rainy. That stupid thing you said to that person you admire is splashed on a T-shirt for sale in a banner ad. Click here for a slideshow of you alone in the bathroom.
After each post, beneath each video, you see… a comments section.
When you click to “Like” things, for better or worse, it changes the way I write for a little while.
I type this not-word a lot: toruble.
To the best of my knowledge, it has no meaning except, perhaps, “trouble so severe or dreadful as to cause typing fingers to flutter.”
What do you propose toruble means?
The Fireworks Outside (Old Rough)
All this weekend, people have been setting off fireworks outside my building. They whistle and pop, crackle and boom. They’re fireworks—some of them explode in the sky like proper celebratory blooms, like someone hit a homer down the block. The dog has not been sleeping well.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get my Internet access working properly. This involves a mixture of technical troubleshooting, for the technical issues, and social tinkering, for my social issues. I make too big a deal out of stuff that people write on the Internet sometimes. Sometimes they’re writing to me, sometimes about me, sometimes it has little or nothing to do with me—I can still blow it out of proportion, no problem.
Except, wait, it is a problem.
I fret and fidget and dwell and obsess. I mistake a forum post for, pardon me, actual writing. I sometimes spend time trying to get the language and nuance of a forum post right, to reward a deep reading for context and subtext and what I didn’t say in addition to what I did. I craft tweets to work in little series, to counterbalance my doldrums with my guffaws, to modulate the ups and downs in a way that convey my mood that day. I open the browser and I fiddle. These may have been hours misspent—nobody’s putting half the damn into reading my forum post that I’m putting into writing it or dissecting the response to it—but there I’ve gone, misspending.
Without steady and reliable Internet access, though, I’ve been spending less time reading and writing that stuff and more time breaking stories, building up game adventures, designing games, and outlining books. I’ve been putting more of what I want to say into writing that maybe—just maybe—will last longer or be better regarded than a forum post or a tweet. Writing that has a chance of doing that, at least.
For a few days, I was really dreading what was happening on the Internet without me. What gags and dramas passed by? What glimpses into other people’s lives? Was I falling out of the conversation, falling behind the discourse?
Outside, a firework went boom.
I was in the studio with “B” and he was like “all the stuff on the internet about music, comedy, art, etc. is like parents watching children play on a playground and being like ‘look at Susie sliding on that slide… what an idiot[.]’”
All right, we get it. Your life is beautiful. Your life takes place in picturesque urban and rural settings. You eat lovely breakfasts on weathered tables adorned with cloth napkins and perfectly chipped plates. You eat at the local dive where the poutine comes in a paper basket with a checkered sheet of paper underneath. That dessert is a delight, not only to eat but to look at. The glass sweats just so.
Yes, we all see it. Your GIF does not just move but is moving. We saw that episode of Parks & Rec, same as you. The words read as witty but the image reads as sweet, like a salty dessert that intrigues the tongue. We right-clicked and saved that saturated image of the funny dog being funny, too. That dog thinks he’s people. So do we.
That picture of you, looking happy, maybe, or looking like you do not give a fuck, is gratuitous. Also, important. You be you.
That picture of the boy you like, the girl you like, the celebrity you like, that picture reaches out like a languid bolt trying to form an arc. It’s an audible, visual sigh.
It’s clear now.
You give us definitions, new definitions, using old words, of things that are everywhere and familiar, things that we feel and do. We feel what you feel.
You put words on pictures, song lyrics, sometimes, and aphorisms, playing with type to make old clichés talk new again.
You are naked on the Internet, naked and splendid, true and mysterious, talking with your arms, singing with your eyes, becoming part of the light and the room. Then, some nights, you write it all out, speaking of fear and lust—lust for a starship captain—and everyone’s there with you for 400 words or so.
You capitalize some words, whole words, so they bang like bass, marking the rhythm of your oration, sticking your jokes in our memory like you were hanging ornaments on a tree.
You paint with ink, faces appearing in the brush strokes, emerging like replicants from the rain, each one’s feelings contained, locked up, except at the eyes, the smoldering eyes.
You draw beautiful drawings on your computer and animate them just so, just so they breathe, just so we know that you’re alive, we’re alive, we’re all alive.
You’re funny. We know that. You’re funny and your friends are funny and taken together you’re all funny and talented. It’s all sharks and sandwiches and Sparks McGee all the way down, down to the roots, where the serpent that circles the world is a cat jumping into a box and out again.
And yes, you’re Neil Gaiman and you’re brilliant and kind and generous and loving and measured and charming.
You, all of you, are traveling to the place we miss or you live in the place we’ve loved. That song takes you back. That video makes you laugh. You are young or young again. You are glad or sad again. You think this thing is beautiful or you think we might think it’s beautiful. We’re alone but at least we’re not alone.
We get it.
Whatever else you do, don’t stop. Do not stop it. Do not stop.