The Dreaming

The role of dreams has played a consistent and profound influence on my ‘craft’. The insights derived from these visions have allowed me to open in ways previously unexplored. I’ve since wondered whether the “dreaming” itself continues the more we leave the dream open for interpretation. A way of holding the dream without allowing it rest in any specific explanation or conclusion as to “what it means.” A way of re-visiting the dream experience with new perspectives.

Similarly, I began to wonder about the way I’ve always treated my games. Once it was considered finished, it was done. Everything else was an afterthought. For years I never questioned this. Upon crafting my 5th game and noticing some potential similarities of previous games of mine, I began to wonder whether I should in fact look back at the previous ones. I realized that I was in a rather precarious position.

One the one hand, the process for creating each game is unique. Each one has a particular “voice”. As long as I am being true in my craft for that particular game, any so-called similarities to anything else are merely incidental and irrelevant. But also, “originality” is my golden rule. There can be no overlaps in terms of the play. My dilemma was apparent – change the new game or change the previous ones?

The resistance was immense. There was no need to uncover anything for these games that were completed years ago. I recognized then the rigidity I had placed on myself and left everything open for a closer look. As I looked through old journals, I noticed reoccurring themes and ideas that seemed to surface every so often. For some reason or another at that time, I had dismissed them. I then decided to explore them once again out of curiosity.

To my surprise, I thought I had inadvertently re-opened the process for those games. But then I had an epiphany in which I realized that perhaps the process for those games never actually finished. While I’ve grown to appreciate the ebb and flow of the process with a particular game, I never considered this to continue after the play was considered complete. The “dreaming” metaphor was my guiding light.

Suffice to say, I was able to refine the play for each of my previous games in a way that enriched the experience for them even more than before. But what about the 5th game? Was it still similar even though the previous games had been adjusted? I reflected on this further and realized that the games were not similar at all. What I was doing was articulating the comparison of the 5th to the others in ways that made them appear to be similar. It was the way I was seeing the 5th that limited my perspective on them all.

Tags: Dreams | Craft | Process
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