Latest on the blog

Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

Read Now

We play our life. Life is a game, and we’re fun guys. (We’d like to think so.)

You play games, too. The mathematical object defined as “game” must have: players; actions to perform or neglect: payoffs for all outcomes. (We are oversimplifying game theory.)

Do you use Kahnoodle? It’s a smartphone app that gamifies your relationship. You fill a meter called a “Love Tank” by performing little romantic gestures for your partner. It’s designed for people who need their marriages reanimated.

(We don’t apologise for oversimplication. If you quantify something you’ve already reduced it.)

Talking about systems of play – do you have a Facebook account? Did you have Klout? Have you clicked “Like” for a page or a photo or a status update? Do you track the amount of “Like”s on your posts religiously?

And, talking about religions – have you thought about how long it’s been since your last confession? What your karmic balance is; where you’ll end up on Kiamat?

Planescape - Lady of Pain

The first edition of Deities & Demigods (a D&D supplement) describes the Hindu cosmology alongside beings like Corellon Larethian, Cthulhu, and Aphrodite. You could meet Shiva, an aspect of the Vedic overpower, on break from His aeons-long meditation in the Negative Energy Plane.

But the Lady rules in Sigil — the city where Planescape campaigns are typically set — and all other powers are barred from Her domain. The Lady is fickle and omnipotent; in a game originally designed by a statistician She is un-stat-ed – She is DM fiat personified. Under Her gaze, gods are given numerical attributes and subjected to d20 rolls behind a storytellers’ screen.

As above, so below, etc.

Cosmic morality is a game with rules. Politics is a game – that’s why its rulebook, The 48 Laws of Power, is popular among Malaysian politicians; that’s why we made POLITIKO. Art is a game, played competitively, with codified ways to success; that’s why we’re making Vernissage.

Life is a game you play. You could choose not to – but you do, for whatever reason: it is a comforting abstraction of incomprehensible reality; the only way to make a living; the game you didn’t know you were playing.

We say: don’t take things so seriously lah. Play for fun only.