pikuniku sleeper on my beanbag.
i play the picnic game on orange bean bag.
it’s not that I can’t sleep. I sleep easily. but for minutes at a time. When I don’t want to sleep I fight it, but it’s not even a fight. Sleep takes hold.
I don’t want to turn off.
I can play games during hypnogogia, the state between wakefulness and sleep, just as you’re going into it. It’s not play though, it’s almost play, just as hypnogogia is almost sleep. This is the longest part of the day.
There’s a little red ball with legs. I find out, lucid to it after I’ve been half noticing it in and out of pre-sleep for about five minutes, that you can kick with one of those legs and that’s one of your main interaction tools.
Pikuniku opens in a cave. The cave has a ghost in it, passages to squeeze through, rocks in the chambers in between. You can kick the rocks.
you can kick the rocks into the passages. this is something you wouldn’t do if you were cognisant. right. that a rock blocking a passage isn’t ideal. but. if you’re not, you kick it there and you keep pushing against it. like the sleeper you are you push against the rock and wake up like, fuck. Why have I blocked my route?
Then I quit and try again, get up walk around. Put on some pyjamas, get some water and chocolate, and create a new game.
I can make it out of the cave super easily this time, since you just have to follow the path up, and not block the route. Jump, easy jumps that I remember my sleepy brain saying, “well i guess i can make it but why would they make it so hard.”
Then I am outside and complete some of the puzzles and end up in this spot where a villager is asking me to draw a new face for a scarecrow and my mind is wandering and soon I am out again. and we’re drawing this time, on a little canvas the game gives us, and i’m drawing a low grade impression of an evil puppet, that’s what comes out. a red eyed. a red eyed putppet. and i think it’s the saw guy and i think it’s a spamton.
i turn off the game.
What is that kind of play, where the autopilot is on? I remember it clearly, some of it, waking bits and drowsy moments. Why don’t I just stop once I’m clearly tired?
I sleep with my phone playing the voices that comfort me, and I don’t know if that helps me sleep or what. I check in to see what my friends have said to me. Even if they are not my friends and they were not talking to me.
I’m not scared of the dark, but I think I’m scared of the silence. I think I’m scared of not being attached to something outside of my interior mind. I have to outsource comfort to exist. It’s almost two years of me alone and my brain has wrapped neuron links around my earphones.
I do not want to sleep, I do not want to step out of the chamber, and I hear people I do not know in the walls. I can only think for myself in small steps and when I do it hurts, because I do not feel well. I have never felt well. Wired up to several different interfaces that each allow me passage into the world as a cyborg being. Donna Haraway level shit but my eyes are strained. These are the things that bring me my friends, money, intellectual, sexual and cultural stimulation.
we joke about it, the idea of being cyborgs, that “kids these days” can’t get off their damn phones, that people need to touch grass, go outside, interact with the pre interface ideals of a natural world. you know, go out and do normal people things. but the illusion of normal people things is over. The normal ‘here’ is the idea of a computer self, but in a way that eliminates further all non “advanced” society, it recreates the imagination of a noble ‘savagery’ but for people who have no structural access to, no permission, or no want to access the many global versions of internets in ways that further their coverage. We are dehumanising via technology forever.
I personally joke about it because it’s terrifying to me that essentially I have wired myself in. And to admit that is seemingly to cede ground to cultural conservatism, ideas of “mental slavery” and some greater Luddite purpose for the human body etc… but these are all ideas of the conservative mind and images of ideologies that I have received from people themselves that planned, benefited from or encouraged the cultural, capitalist conservatism and surveillance that got us here.
There isn’t a disconnect that equals some full blooded full fleshed image of the world that I can imagine, because all these supposedly disconnected ideas are ones I’ve received through the internet. There’s visions you get of places where connection is denied. these are the places we can turn off? we come back and we say we did it, we found a way out. for a minute. but there’s nothing more than a minute.
we would make people digital prisoners if that was possible, and we already make the people in prisons pay to interface with increasingly digital systems of regulation. If it is possible to further mediate a person we will continue to push ourselves towards that, not out of a hope for things like disability justice or the connection of rural communities, but in search of the perfect way to kill someone. A way that requires no mess. The chance to erase data.
where does the green and pleasant pasture exist. it never did. in the sense that even for William Blake it represented an illusory escape from the capitalist now, based on the coming of a rapture. permanent changes were made in my chemistry, and if i reach in and pull on the cords they’re attached damn well. I am permanently here and I will never sleep again. I am hypnogogia and I am kicking the stone deeper.