Thursday, March 20, 2014

Will o'Wisp

A peasant, returning home from the fields after the sun has just set, sees a light travelling before him, moving as he moves.  He stops and squats close to the ground, and as he does the light stops also. The peasant catches his breath and holds it as long as he can, and soon enough the light moves a bit towards him ... and as it nears just a little bit, he sees that it's carried by a dusky little figure, holding a tiny lantern at arm's length over its head.  The figure moves away and the peasant gets up and follows, forgetting home and his warm bed.  They travel through the wood, and across a stream, and up to a hill, and all the time the peasant never gets any closer.  For miles they travel, until the peasant is certain the little figure is a gnome, and that it is going to its horde of treasure, kept far from anywhere.

Suddenly, the light disappears, and the peasant finds all around him is dark.  He turns around, unsure which direction leads to home, and at the same time he cannot see anything at all.  Cautiously, he takes a step, then another ... but when he takes a third step, there is no ground at all, for the peasant was standing on the edge of a cliff.  As he tumbles, he sees the light reappear, and hears the sound of a malicious laugh ... and then the peasant falls helplessly to his death.

We grow so certain of things that we doom ourselves.  That is the lesson.  This must be so.  This has to be true.  Like the peasant convincing himself that the figure is leading him to something wonderful, the peasant forgets where he is, or that he cannot see anything, until he is completely blind and lost.  So it is when we chase phantoms, even those that seem very real.

We should be less concerned about what seems or appears or 'feels' real in the fabric of the game, and MORE concerned with what is real and experienced by the actual players.  This is, however, something that most people will never, ever get, as they chase little lights that bring them comfort and hope.

1 comment:

Eid said...

I'm going to be re-reading and referring this posting alot over the coming years. It hit a core nerve with me, on this a most introspective day.