Tuesday, June 8th, 2004
How did this happen? How did I win, and how did I learn?
In GT3 now, space has change in subtle and challenging ways. But so has my own personal world. We have a room, a console, and a running game. The game when its running drills illusorily into the space if the room and becomes a part of it, flat, suspended, three dimensional, a part of its density and light, affecting artificial space within what I perceive as the real world. I see the room and the game. To see them takes time; the sim running on the console uses Standard time but is experienced in game play through signs as Standard duration sped up. From ignorant to novice has taken me in a few weeks what it would have taken years to accomplish in real-time, and yet, as a response, I feel that I want to go faster, win, win, win, money money money: bigger and better, but skill hampers, economics gets in the way, and in many ways my frustration is getting the best of me, because my desires are better than the cars that Im driving.
This is true of all narrative possibilities. If we had our way, Hamlet would act differently, Caesar would know that Brutus is conniving, and that that plot on the soap opera should be figured sooner. Time is always central to the experience and structures of narrative. Then again, in reality, in space and time, I am always what I am; I am never what I was, because was is lost, part of Augustines time past. Memory and artifact. But it must be remembered: memory is not the experience it recalls, just as GT3 is not driving. People hold onto images of a loved-one or family member at a distance. When they step off the plane years later, we begin again with updated images. Experience in this light is transpositional. Our positions are always changing in remarkable ways.
I remember those first few days of trying to figure out when GT3 was fun. But now that it is fun and I am into the game play (into the narrative of the game, a narrative of stage and level progression characterized by the understanding of the games conditions and physics), the first few moments are consigned to memory. We move on. We live with that inevitability. Ive moved into permanently changed space, a space where I am comfortable with the play and know what needs doing. Overall, my primary goal is to win all the races I possibly can, a narrative climax, each race playing the role of complication in the complex story of play. Thats how the game is won. The levelsbeginner, amateur, pro, Rally, Endurance–accomplished. But that climax is subsidiary to my position at each moment: my space and time at this or whatever point in the game.
After the first few days, the game got into my head when I wasnt playing (but I think I was playing, as in playing out or practicing), just as work and love does, even gardening. At night, I recall specific tracks, and visualize how to traverse them. Of course, the problems that stay with you, not the successes. Id imagine coming to the end of a straight-away, prep for the vertiginous turn, visualize the line, break, ease around, accelerate out, anticipating swerve. This cognitive exercise isnt limited to games, but to any other problem before us, anything that needs solving. It may be work, a recipe, a drive to an unfamiliar city, an unpleasant conversation thats played over and over again, muddled over. This is in a sense a mapping or exploratory exercise or conceptualization, a covering of ground in the imagination.