hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

How Proteus taught me to let go of the past

2:00 PM on 08.24.2014 // CousinDupree

Promoted from our Community Blogs!

[Dtoid community blogger CousinDupree shares a beautiful epiphany. Want to see your own work appear on the front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon]

"Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"
He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
"I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before."
-The Great Gatsby 

I was sitting on Proteus' second island, atop a small ridge jutting out into the ocean. A vast and lurid aurora borealis was unraveling itself before me, framed by the arching branches of two nearby trees. The game's distinctive randomly generated music seemed to have been created with this very vista in mind, its gentle peaks and troughs mirroring the northern lights that twisted and buckled in the sky.

I was acutely aware of my size and shape in that world. All of my possibilities were laid out before me. The only pressing item on my agenda was enjoying the simple pleasures of the view, the music, and the sound of the waves softly lapping against the shore.

Everything was perfect.

And then I spotted a couple rocks on a nearby mountain. My curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to make my way toward them. I could always come back if it wasn't as good. I could always return to my "perfect spot."

As I climbed to the top of this second peak, I noticed the music changing; slowing down slightly. It started to rain. The "couple of rocks" were actually the start of a long line of rocks that, as I had recently discovered, could be used to play a basic melody.

I began walking along the line, and in turn, further and further away from my "perfect spot." This new music I was creating was pretty good, actually. Not as perfect as it had been before, but still good.

And then I became incredibly anxious. What if I couldn't find the way back? What if I couldn't recreate that moment? What if this new spot wasn't as perfect? I immediately came to a halt, attempted to take my bearings, and then darted back toward the first ridge with as much speed as the game would allow.

Upon arrival, I started to scramble around; running back and forth in an attempt to get the same combination of factors that had created that utterly perfect moment. To recreate my "perfect spot."

But it wasn't the same. Of course it wasn't. The music in Proteus is created by an algorithm that converts your position within the world into a song. It's almost impossible to find a very specific spot again, no matter how hard you try. What's more, the aurora borealis was slowly fading -- and the rain hadn't let up -- so I was looking at an utterly alien skyline.

As Jay Gatsby failed to realize, you can't repeat the past. No matter how hard you try.

Off to one side, I spotted the orbs of light that signify a portal leading to the next island. You don't have to use the portal if you don't want to, but it was so close -- and I was so discouraged by the loss of my "perfect spot" -- that I figured I may as well.

The second I stepped onto the third island I was overcome with regret. There was now absolutely no way I was ever going to relive that perfect moment again. A pure experience, whose memory was getting hazier by the second.

So I sulked. I wandered aimlessly in my new surroundings, refusing to acknowledge any of the gorgeous scenery that was trying its absolute darndest to cheer me up.

Predictably, Proteus wasn't going to let me indulge in my angst. Indeed, the game threw another potential "perfect spot" at me with alarming haste. This time it was a circle of trees. The wind was blowing through their leaves. The sun was starting to set.

Everything was perfect.

But this time I tried something different. Instead of becoming emotionally attached to this intensely specific time and place, I decided to just enjoy it while it lasted. And then once it was over, I moved on, and started searching for another beautiful moment.

To my surprise, it worked. I found another mesmerizing moment. And then another. And then another. Not even the memory of that very first "perfect spot" could ruin my new-found sense of wonder. After all, there was almost certainly a new and better "perfect spot" lurking just around the corner.

You can't repeat the past. No matter how hard you try. Not if you play the games that you played. Not if you listen to the music you listened to. Not if you watch the movies you watched. Not even if you go to the same places you went to.

But if Proteus has taught me anything, it's that the future is often better anyway.



CousinDupree,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

themcfaceman avatarthemcfaceman
visit themcfaceman.bandcamp.com - progressive hip-hop
Maldicion Janssen avatarMaldicion Janssen
https://www.facebook.com/maldicion.janssen
Maldicion Janssen avatarMaldicion Janssen
HI
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Are we really calling followers "fappers" on these quick posts? I knew I loved Dtoid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/z04MAOubUgM[/youtube] This might've been a fun show.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Someone is trying to log into my Dtoid account. I keep getting emails notifying me of bad password attempts. What?
gajknight avatargajknight
If you spend 10 minutes trying to write a Quickpost...can it really be called Quickpost?
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
So I have enough coins to get a new character in Heroes of the Storm. I like big portly characters like the Butcher or Stitches, but I did enjoy my free week of Tychus. Crowd thoughts?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Today I learned that Bad Rats 2 is a thing that is happening. I don't know how to feel about this.
techsupport avatartechsupport
The temp agency that employs me had me work as a sign spinner today. As in, I held a six foot cardboard arrow-shaped sign and spun it and danced for six hours. It got interesting when a homeless couple confronted me about hogging their spot.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
V days until !
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
5ish hours into Phantom Pain and it is absolutely glorious. This is truly A Hideo Kojima game.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
It looks like my job at PAX didn't work out (For a variety of reasons). Have fun at the convention, everyone! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A
thelivinglegend avatarthelivinglegend
Witches of Crookback Bog from Witcher 3 is the best quest in the whole game and of any game I've played in recent memory.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I was just accosted by the most gorgeous cosmetics saleswoman with an adorable Hatian-Creole accent. It's not often my attention gets that immersed in a total bullshit sales pitch. Well, that and I didn't want her to let go of my arm.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
My son just washed my Majora's Mask NEW 3DS because the screen was dirty. Bahahaha *cries uncontrollably*
Flegma avatarFlegma
Ever thought of skipping a console generation (and not upgrading PC for years, either) because of how big your pile of shame is? I'm doing that just now.
Tenzan  avatarTenzan
Apparently there are cancellations on the CE versions of MGSV:TTP from Europe and North America. People getting emails saying they are cancelled and such. On top of that is that there's been unboxings that don't have the extras for the Day One edition.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I've been mad at myself all morning for missing the apostrophe in "I'll" on my Quickpost last night, but it turns out that apostrophes just don't show up on the feed! Isn't that the bee's knees?
Perro avatarPerro
Playing through Skies of Arcadia Legends right now. Bringing this to Steam or current gen in HD seems like a no-brainer. Make it so, Sega!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -