22 October, 2009

Currency of My Youth

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Photoshop creation from scanned images

The single most influential video game upon my life has been a role-playing, Super Nintendo console release from the mid-1990s. Chrono Trigger's gameplay, throughout its epic themes, plot-developments and magnificent musical score, impressed upon my Being a certain conviction that the past, present and future are intermingling and reflecting upon one another. Many aspects of the game, such as the use of magic as based upon the elements, a planetary foe which is simultaneously aiding & abetting the evolution of consciousness, and the most aesthetically pleasing time machine since the DeLorean of Back to the Future, presented data to me that further crystallized my interests in art, biology, mythology, and all studies which have invariably aided my path toward understanding our planetary experience.

While I matured, video games had a publicly polarized opinion as destructive to young minds, helping along the institution of violence and isolation within society. As the accessibility of video games expanded just before my birth in 1985 from the arcade format to home consoles (worth corroborating to the emergence of the personal computer), the creativity of video gameplay design likewise increased with new varieties and directions. As all growth accompanies a rate of degradation - this is in reference to those games which displayed a lack of creativity or less virtuous themes (Mortal Kombat comes to mind, being very controversial for the gruesome "fatality" finishing moves) - the apprehension to approve of video games socially was often fueled by narrowing discussion of those which displayed violent acts toward human forms.

The 21st century affords us a variety of console, home computer, and handheld formats for video games with increasingly complex resolution, adaptability and gamer control. Although, at such high rates of technological advance, the very fabric of our interactions with video games are evermore challenged and stretched. Do we actually acquire a comprehension of the Reality which video games contain in their genesis, by our Senses or from the composite Mind of storytellers, composers, designers? - only the conscious laborer knows. The creations which continue to reflect back at me the more perennial issues that give certain video games value (likened even to some works of literature, art or music) contained something which much of today's developers sacrifice for general consumption of hardware - imaginative vision.
Chrono Trigger has survived the limited longevity of its original console format (SNES, 1995) and has continued with a force propelled by its fans and players with more than one re-release for the Sony Playstation in 1999 and another more recently for the handheld Nintendo DS in late 2008.


My photo
Portland, OR, United States
For the Observatory's Grand Opening