Thank Grog It’s Firday!
There is a Buddhist art form of creating amazing sand sculptures over time, and then wiping them out of existence after they are finished. These tapestries of color are called “Mandalas” and a source of endless fascination to me.
In practice, the exceedingly complex and beautiful sand paintings are meant to represent the universe. The process helps them organize what we understand about creation, but when each mandala is finished, they are destroyed in a way of representing the transitory nature of existence. In short…nothing stays the same…as evolution and change are the only constants in creation (and physics).
But…a real conundrum happens when they are photographed. And in many ways, our TSTO games face the same conundrum of existence…especially in light of Item Limits and EA dictating where we can create through Free Land Tiles to expand our “creations.”
But…there IS a solution!
Simple in the initial concept of a “fleeting existence,” but extremely complex in design, mandalas create a whole other conundrum when they are observed and captured in a photograph. In this case, they become a bit of “Shroedinger’s Art” in that they may cease to be a Mandala in its truest form, as soon as they are captured in a storage medium that could be placed into “the cloud” for an eternity.
I know… I know…this gets deep quick. But follow along with my reasoning.
If in fact, the universe and our reality are never really static, and are all in some form of degradation or evolution, then even if we destroy what we build, we may be leaving indelible imprints of that existence in a parallel dimension (or as some would argue, stored in a virtual vault in external consciousness). Many ancient cultures (and modern theoretic physicists) believe this theory as a possibility. Some even go so far as to say that our version of reality comes from an external source, and is merely interpreted by the “mechanical workings” of the brain. Mind/Consciousness being the external driver of “the soul,” and the “meat puppet” that is our bodies and brain tissue, being the receiver and translator, not the creator.
So one could posit that our entire reality is but an illusion created in a digital simulation of space/time. Anything we observe becomes “real” but only while being observed.
But, like Schrodinger’s Cat, who may or may not exist until observed, taking a digital photo (which is but a cluster of organized zeros and ones) of something that is destroyed in the “now,” may preserve it eternally in another reality.
Getting back to our games (finally!), there is a similar phenomenon taking place with what we assumed would be a “constant” in our quest for great town designs.
Ebron, who we have often called the “TSTO Gold Standard for Town Design” (you may now take a drink TippeeTippee), has found a solution around the horrendous Item Limits, and dearth of land around the Zoo we are bring forced to design and place in this event.
Yes. Once again EA has made things challenging, by not adding available land around the original land they opened up for this event. But, loads of people have just gone “off of the grid” and realized that anywhere they place the original gate, will also move the “Bonus Zone” for the zoo. Have loads of land? No problem. Short on extra land? You may have to have a pretty cramped zoo area.
I have gone “off of the grid” with Act III. I just don’t care anymore. I have a nice zoo…so the rest is going waaaaaaaay down on the opposite corner of my town. It’s where I place everything that doesn’t really fit in my Springfield easily. I’ll mess with coming up with an appropriate place later…or just store it.
Well…Ebron has an answer. She is an obsessive designer…with a limited place to design due to the item limits and her penchant for super-decorating with loads of details. So, as a solution to overcrowding, she did the unthinkable (at least by my standards). She blew it all up.
Yep. Just like a mandala…POOOF…or should I say, BOOOOOM!!!! all of it vanished.
My guess…is like the monks who travel from town to town to town, creating and destroying, in a continual loop…she is happy. It is the act of creating…not clinging to past victories that brings joy to some.
In fact, in a recent comment, she said how much she loved the new design elements of this event. “I like the accessory pieces, they match with all the Rigellian stuff…including a mini Hilarium pool. Think I’ll end up getting 2 sets so I can expand my Rigellian Christmas when the time rolls around again. The extra base (if it doesn’t fit with the Rigellian theme) will end up in storage and the original base set of oddballs will end up in Wiggums Fantastical Beasts display, along with the winged dinosaur. A pretty nice set of decor pieces, actually, so I’m a happy camper. 😊”
That is how you stay happy…adjusting and going with the changes. Never giving up…and looking at each challenge as a positive.
It works for her! Take a look….
Pretty amazing…and pretty gutsy.
However…IS EBRON’S TOWN REALLY GONE???
Not if you visit it again in this video capture…
If this is the first time you have seen Ebron’s town, you have no other reference point in time, except for “NOW.” However…after she nuked, “Now” is “then,” except when you are watching it…and then it is always “now.”
Don’t ya love the basics of Quantum Mechanics? Things can be in two places at the same time…and perhaps in different times at the same time…or something like that. And for all we know, consciousness is external, outside of space/time, so there is no sense of “now or then” unless you observe it and it collapses from the possibilities. And let’s not forget about the way that time is warped by mass. So, my version of time, may be different than your version of time, if you are smaller than me (which is very likely).
Gotta love it!
And yes…if you don’t “Cling to Past Creations” and are willing to blow some stuff up, or just store massive amounts now and again, you have plenty of room for fun designs. Like…our “other Gold Standard,” SuperBeast.
So cool! So creative…
In the next week, we will once again push the “time envelope” with another “Time/Space Crusher Character” in our games, Young Homer.
Whether you cling to your past creations like I do…or have found the freedom to create like Ebron has, by destroying what we create, almost as fast as we create it, TSTO really should be about creation. Ploppers? Don’t understand why they exist… getting more, and then not doing anything with it? The very definition of what is wrong with modern culture today.
But that my friends, is for another Friday Filler…
Nuke. Don’t Nuke. But never stop creating!