« Monday October 01, 2018 »
Start: 3:45 pm
End: 3:45 pm

I thought it’d be interesting to pick up where the Mystic Western game jam left off and make an event around Mysticism per se (actually lumpen suggested making an event, I just complained about the other jam on discord). There’s an understanding of the words mystic and mystical which implies an experience of wonder, the magical, and the occult. A mystic is someone who wields a strange power and works in unexplained ways. There’s a sense in this definition of there being unexplained mysteries that, possibly, can never be unraveled. Or of being transported to another world. But there’s another tradition of meaning for these words.

This other meaning of mysticism could be briefly but unhelpfully summarized as an immediate and direct experience of ultimate reality, a fundamental spiritual truth, or God. It refers to a type of internal experience in which one has the sense that something very important has been revealed. For William James, two elements define a mystical experience. The first is its ineffability: “the subject of it immediately says that it defies expression, that no adequate report of its contents can be given in words. It follows from this that tis quality must be directly experienced; it cannot be imparted or transferred to others. In this peculiarity mystical states are more like states of feeling than like states of intellect.” The other element is a noetic quality: “although so similar to states of feeling, mystical states seem to those who experience them to be also states of knowledge. They are states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain; and as a rule they carry with them a curious sense of authority for after-time.”

There’s a similarity between the two meanings, especially in terms of an underlying sense of wonder, but the noetic quality makes the latter very different from the former. If the knowledge of the former definition of mysticism is occult, the knowledge of the latter is exposed. The secrets of the former meaning have the potential to be revealed by initiation into their mysteries, but in the latter the secrets are already revealed, if ineffable. There is a sense that the truth has been in front of us the whole time, and that all we had to do was look at it the right way.

To make an event based on an ineffable and transcendent experience seems exclusive, but I hope that these experiences are not so uncommon as they seem like they should be. James claims that “personal religious experience has its root and center is mystical states of consciousness,” and William Harmless, in the introduction to his book on mystics, recounts a story about his students’ experience:

She said, “I don’t want to sound arrogant or anything. But you know- when I read these people, I think that I’ve experienced something like that. I am beginning to think that I’m a mystic--- maybe, not in the same way these people are, maybe not as intensely. But I know what they’re talking about.” There was a pause, then hand after hand began to rise. Each who spoke repeated something similar. These mystics were talking about things that they themselves had tasted, that they too had felt. I put aside the day’s lecture. We had something urgent to talk about. We talked about the culture we live in, the way our world ignores- even silences- the mystical, the way it has deprived us of words, stopped us from speaking about the mystery that runs under and through our lives. We talked about the way the mystics give us a language, a vocabulary, to begin to articulate what we all taste and feel. We talked a little about Karl Rahner, about the way he suggests that being a mystic is a constituent element of the human person, that most of are, in fact, repressed mystics.

I think also that a vast, overwhelming secular awe with the enormity of the universe and its unimaginable complexity is a feeling that approaches the mystical. After all, for an understanding that encompasses the whole universe and all of physics, it’s only a short trip over the threshold into metaphysics.

So, I see this event as an opportunity to explore games related to these ideas, or connected to them as broadly as you please. Have you had mystical experiences? Do you feel haunted by existential questions, and is your life lacking meaning? Do you have a personal religion, and is it perhaps at odds with your inherited religion?

Start: 7:00 am
End: 7:00 am

Hi everybody!

You know what I miss? Klik Of The Month events, where you could make a quick trainwreck, or just submit whatever you happened to finish at the time. These events were foundational in my view of Glorious Trainwrecks as a community, because it encourages playing the games made by people who submitted it to the same event. It also creates a kind of time capsule, that brings an assortment of things made around the same time together. It helps link otherwise unconnected games which, in my experience, makes it much easier to find new games and try them out!

As such, I've decided to make a general event lasting from September to the start of December, which is when I'll expect Sekret Santa to become the main event. To be a bit more accommodating, I'm retroactively setting the start of the event to September 1st, so people who've already submitted a event-less game recently are welcome to attach it here!

To give it some optional focus, if you really want to have a connection between your game and this event, here's an idea: Make a game ABOUT an event. You know, like "the circus is in town", "soccer game at 3pm", "checkers competition". Of course, it's okay if you ignore this completely- Feel free to make whatever!!

Happy trainwrecking everybody!

Start: 8:00 am
End: 11:59 pm

Above: an image of the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

I'm a bit elated by having one of my games featured in this Xbox Adaptive Controller showcase. I'm channelling that enthusiasm into a small event!

I find designing simple one-button games extremely satisfying and would encourage others to try it, but I'm not setting any requirements on what should qualify for this event. Focus on different kinds of accessibility if you want!

Thanks to gisbrecht for suggesting I mention Game Accessibility Guidelines, an incredible resource. Particularly relevant are the suggestion to avoid button mashing and offer an alternative to holding down buttons.

Start: 12:00 am
End: 12:00 am

It can be that time of year again

This person that seems cool made this october art challenge thing and thought it would be fun to do quick games instead.


That's basically it,

have a spooky time.

I'm only going to spend like a couple minutes on each game.

Clearly, you can pick and choose, I'm not forcing you to do anything


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