On Being Present
In Bertrand Russell’s In Praise of Idleness, Russell talks about the joy and necessity of doing nothing — how idleness fuels creativity, who is allowed to be idle versus who is not, and how this is part of a larger discussion of how certain societies funtion. In an age where many of us are required to be online or on-call 24/7, In Praise of Idleness remains just as relevant as it was then.
Of course, in theory, it would be wonderful to be able to actually shut off all distractions and let the wave of idleness take hold — even if just for a little while. With the invention and popularization of video games, even our entertainment is determined to keep our brain’s activity at its maximum. And beneath this scramble for our attention, there are those who just want to wander. As a player, I often find I enjoy the “idle” parts of my favorite film, TV shows, books, and games. Those moments when I’m getting a lifetime’s worth of story/context in a glance, a reflection, or a concrete wall — those are my absolute favorite moments.
After I was inspired by the Mystic Western game jam, I decided to cram Gnana’s world with as much lore, history, and style as I could dredge up. And although oku is a narrative game, I don’t want to spoon feed the story to the player. I want the story to emerge from Gnana’s life, like a bloom.
Sure, I can’t necessarily create idleness in an interactive experience, such as a game, but I can create a narrative presence, a place for you to live and explore, just for a bit.
I took the plunge to make games full-time! If you’d like to support my work and be the first to get updates and builds, you can support me on Patreon!