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Is it a coincidence that my nostalgia for this heady era of "retro-computing" shares similar space in my brain with a love of fantasy role-playing games of the same era? My own (still-unfinished) contribution in that arena is called Homebrew '82, after all. What the two things share is a fierce Do-It-Yourself ethic that may still exist in some places, but has been largely supplanted by many more people that are happy with just buying stuff and using it OTS (off the shelf) or playing it RAW (rules as written).
Yes, yes, I know. "In my day..."
But there are other, possibly more timeless, connections. The EA manifesto above says that what they're after is "Something along the lines of a universal language of ideas and emotions." But how is that any different from this...?
I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a truly meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.That's Hermann Hesse, from The Glass Bead Game.
That's what I still think is possible to create, now, a mere 30 years after Bill Budge put on that silly leather glove and began to remake the world. Computers may help make it easier to accomplish, but they're just tools.
Let's get building! :-)