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I'd Move Mountains


After about an hour, a bed flew out of space and crashed into the mountain.

There wasn't really anything I could do about it.  I rotated the mountain back and forth, and clicked on the bed to no particular avail.  It's still just kind of sitting there, embedded into the mountainside at a weird angle, and seems like it will be there forever.  

There isn't much you can do about anything in Mountain.  It begins by asking you a series of questions about yourself, to which you must respond by drawing in answers (look, all that messing around in MS Paint is finally going to help you after all!).  No one knows what the game does with the answers.  Maybe nothing.

I'm calling it a game. I mean, you can argue about whether or not it is one. I like to think we've outgrown that discussion finally. Like, nothing says "insecure about my hobbies" like the need to formulate a thesis to justify them. Maybe we should call it an interactive meditation, or a digital snowglobe? Whatever revs your motor. 

Mountain is sort of like like an old bottle that someone discovered in a trunk in the attic, and you've bought it at a garage sale for a dollar, and you take it home and you discover that the top is permanently sealed on.  So you rattle it around a little bit, and you're sure you can see something in there but the glass is too scratched and tinted for you to be sure what it is, no matter which way you turn it. So you just end up putting it on a shelf, and every once in a while someone asks about it so you take it down and puzzle over it with them for a few minutes at a time. Otherwise it just sits there on the shelf, inviting you to think about it every once in a while. 

Have I just described a game? I suppose I haven't. But it's sold in the same places that you find games, and I use the same portion of my day to play with it that I would otherwise spend on games, and it shares some features with games, like being on a computer and responding to your keyboard and mouse inputs, and having sounds and graphics and whatnot, so let's call it a game and be done thinking about that part for now, eh? 

Every once in a while the mountain has a thought. 

These thoughts occur with little chiming sounds. Sometimes they repeat, as your own thoughts do. They're pensive thoughts, and sometimes even a little dark. The mountain sounds like it is trying to figure itself out by studying its surroundings, with minimal success. There may be a lesson in there for you. I don't know.

Word on the (virtual) street says it was made by the same person that made another not-a-game that is featured in the movie Her, which is apparently about a man dating an OS that lives in his smartphone. If you like this sort of thing, thing being solitary mountains drifting alone while time passes, pondering the nature of existence, then you may also like that sort of thing, which is Spike Jonze. 

Some of the buttons on your computer will make something happen in the world of the Mountain's world, but not all of them, and the range of interaction feels pretty narrow after a few minutes, but who knows how many surprises are lurking in there? I don't want to spoil too much. Anyway, I'm not telling you how to spend your money. I thought it was worth a dollar, so that I can fire it up every once in a while and think about being a mountain. Maybe that's dumb. But what else are you going to spend a dollar on? Go on, try and come up with something. I'll wait. I'm pretty patient.

Maybe that's why I like Mountain.
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About fulldamageone of us since 7:39 PM on 06.06.2008

Frontpaged blogs
Teh Bias: Big Heroes
Freedom: A Closer Look at Enslaved
Motion Control: Show me what you've got

Welcome, wanderer.

I am old beyond time.
(Not actually true, but I ain't young. I still get carded every single time I go to the liquor store or buy cigarettes, and they always make a big deal about it when they read my birthdate off the ID, so I guess that's good.)

I am omnipresent.
(Okay, not true either. But I've lived in a lot of places. Currently adjusting to living in a smaller town after coming from a huge one.)

I have watched your kind over the years, learning.
(Well, I can be a little antisocial; I'm an introvert. Social situations exhaust me. But I'm actually pretty friendly and have learned, with painstaking practice, to hold up my end of a conversation.)

I have watched you evolve.
(I like all sorts of games. I have some over-analytical tendencies, and when no one's looking, you might actually catch me playing with a notebook and pen at my side, taking notes. I love to see games do new things, create new systems and new ways of playing. Games like Catherine, Journey, or Child of Eden - or even little indie strangenesses like Passage and One Chance - always get my imagination fired up.)

I have participated in your rituals.
(Music - Electronica, darkwave, ambient, 80s, chillout, punk, rock, conscious hip-hop, some folk and indie. See last.fm for things I tend to listen to; the profile's out of date, and of course doesn't account for any non-digital music I own.)

I have absorbed your literature.
(Books - Stephen R. Donaldson, Michael Moorcock, Gene Wolfe, Warren Ellis, Stephen King, Chuck Palaniuk, Hunter Thompson, Richard Morgan, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Lovecraft, Haruki Murakami, Jeff Lindsay, Mervyn Peake, Borges, Harlan Ellison, Emma Bull, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Banana Yoshimoto, bros Hernandez, Nancy Collins, Jessica Abel, Brian Wood, Mary Roach, Mary Karr, Jane McGonigal - and many more.)

I have aided your heroes.
(Fondly remembered games - Final Fantasy series and FFT, Persona series, SMT and DDS, Portal, Bioshock, Batman Arkham Asylum, Fallout, Silent Hill, Valkyria Chronicles, Culdcept, Baroque, Katamari Damacy, Odin Sphere, The Red Star, Rez, The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, Soul Calibur, Panzer Dragoon, Oblivion, Planescape Torment, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Civilization, Limbo, Puzzle Quest, Demon's Souls, Okami, Parappa the Rapper, any and all co-op beat 'em ups, PixelJunk Monsters, and I'm probably forgetting tons worthy of mention).

I have chosen you to hear my words and bear them to all who will listen.
(Kind of!)

Welcome, wanderer. Make yourself at home.
PSN ID:fulldamage
Steam ID:nosavingthrow


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