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Sep 12, 2011



♪ Leela, you've got me on my knees.
Leela, I'm begging, darling please.
Leela, darling won't you ease my worried mind. ♫


I doubt Richard Dawkins will be playing.


James Shaheen posted a piece about Cursed Mountain, described as "a Tibetan Buddhist-inspired video game", in Tricycle in September, 2009:


Come to that, I wrote a piece myself titled Doom Goes to Church for The Cursor: Game Developers Life, the short-lived journal of the International Game Developers Network -- I was Editor-at-Large at the time -- and it appeared in our first issue, April 1997. In that and a follow up piece (I am hazy about some of the details, and no longer have copies to hand) I noted the close analogy between the visualized spaces (and "wrathful deities") of Tibetan Buddhism meditation and the virtual spaces (and "demons") of video games, and suggested that theologians should pay attention to game designers – and game designers to meditation masters.

The Cursor itself is no longer with us, alas -- but you can find an expanded version of my presentation under the title The Lama and the Game Designer on Scribd here:


A player of one of my own HipBone Games who was dying of cancer told me, a couple of months before the end, that he had figured out why the games meant so much to him -- he had the feeling they were something he could continue to do in the absence of a body.

That comes pretty close to describing a "religious experience" I'd say...


(The pun "curser" for "Cursor" is hard to avoid here. As is a desperately confusing Futurama misreading. "Fry, stop touching my chakras!")

Chopra's alleged game seems to go in the opposite direction from spaces, Charles, since it focuses on one body's interior. Yes, body as temple is there, and the visualization opens up the body to multiple sites and motions... but it sidesteps sacred spaces. Or assumes the XBox/Wii immediate environment is that space.


Hey, Bryan!

Good to read you here. I'm not so sure about spaces -- I've I always thought of the chakra system as a sort of elevator "within" rather than "inside" the spine where "inside" is what x-rays show you, and "within" is what you see with insight. Truth to tell, I often find myself humming, ahem, "Kundalini rising, and the juke box blowing a fuse..."

But the whole business of "interior" and "exterior" can get very messy, it seems to me -- is it the flag moving? or the wind moving? or the mind moving"? as the old zen tale asks...

IS a memory palace interior or exterior? Is the scene projected in a movie theater -- or a theater -- "virtual" or "real"? And to get closer to the topic of your book on narrative -- when you read a book about Versailles, where's the Versailles? on the page? in the mind's eye? or somewhere in France?


Chopra has nothing on Radha Dastoor


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