Scripting Space

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

A space, perhaps a corner of a room, is significant for what you can do with it or in it. For example, you might think of any activity as a degree of freedom.

Let’s say it’s making rice. First you need water and something to put it into and something to heat it with. You need a pan, rice, water, and heat. Two cups of water per cup of rice. Fill a pan with a little less that two cups of water. Fill a cup with a little more rice. If the rice is parboiled you can go about twenty minutes. I do mine with a small palm of salt, a dash of pepper, and a couple of sprays of olive oil. Jasmine rice. Nutty, fluffy, and dry.

The directions on a bag of rice never work well because conditions matter and change. Gas heats differently, for example, and the pan–thin or thick bottomed–affects the outcome.

In IF, as John will attest to, cooking rice or tea makes for interesting thinking about degrees of freedom that require method, as in putting together a film. Even the lightest footprint of work demands a plan, plot, purpose, and nuanced adjustments.

Let’s make some tea. It’s not really that easy.

In any physical space, such as a game or digital adventure, it seems to me that options must be physical–you can’t think an option or wish a way out. The way out is a physical entity. But you could think about an option of programming and development that initiates as a reaction, like a cell kicked into action with an electric jump.

You could start with a hall. If you move down the hall, a language could react to that action, a language behind that monitoring the potentials, a listener and a builder. If one moves down a hall, allowed as a starting point, perhaps a few doors may be in order. The prescripted “you,” touches the door and the program builds something from libraries. “You” open the door. What’s there?


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