Thursday, October 07, 2010

For Those Living Stupid Lives

So I created a game on Twitter. I did it for those types of people who don't get Twitter  or who are, by nature, the type of people who actually like Twitter and help others "get it." So, I guess that's a broad, disparate range of peeps. Many are or will be probably new to it anyway. I call my game simply THE GAME.

I started thinking about it years ago when I started watching Singing in the Rain and I was tweeting at the time about something as I watched. You know the beginning of Singing in the Rain? If you don't, well go watch it. Pay attention to the time things happen, and how certain details are flashbacks and others seem to disregard time all together. Go now, watch it tonight and come back and read from this point on. We'll wait.

(You must have recently watched Singing in the Rain to proceed.) You now have all the help you require to figure out how THE GAME both starts and how it operates in the manner it does.  In short, all those time blips and jumps in the movie, well, they're just like the references we make every day about our ordinary everyday lives: ""X just happened." @jrome said Y ago, via"

Keeping Singing in The Rain in mind, here's how THE GAME works in a nutshell. I'll include why it is that this is remarkable at all on this blog at a somewhat later date, since you'll only understand it if you or anyone you know spends some time playing THE GAME. You'll have to really try hard to figure it out. But it'll be worth it. See if you can figure it out. I know you can do it.

<(Did you get all that?)>

START. Instructions for THE GAME are given in the form of tweets. Instruction distributions for every other game I've played in my life tend to come before said game has started, so I also did this by tweeting the two, what I call, fraternal end cards. These are BEGIN and BEGIN1. Yeah. Benji and Menachem. These two represent a manifestation of the current GAME (manifestations, being what they are, subject to change for games set well in the past, or at least for those occurring before these tweets) and are notable in the following two images respectively:

OPENING GAMBIT. So when the person chooses to start THE GAME, he/she clicks on the link to a twitter status keeping in mind the clue says "go back to the time of this tweet" NOT that the tweet should mean anything in particular to the person reading it. The tweet is about trash or something. Whatevers. The important part for now is when was it tweeted? ...I'll give you a minute.

Got that part? Are you there now, at some time in the past? Okay, make a note of the time. (And "No, it's not all there is to THE GAME." It's not all hunting for clues and following links.)

BEGIN1 tells you to open up @jrome's tweet stream around that time. That can be hard, but you'll get there. Just keep scrolling.and hitting that "more" button at the bottom. Benji also tells you to look at this blog from the time of that first tweet, which, to save you the time and effort, is here.

Only now has THE GAME begun. You're actually PLAYING at this point if you've clicked a link. You may as well follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole if you've come this far, or spent this long reading this post on a fall/winter/spring/summer day. Remember, follow the blog posts just as you would read tweets on the web, from the bottom up. Scrolling to the bottom brings you to some instructions about starting a video by one of those guys from Animal Collective a bit ahead of starting a video on Vimeo. Hmmm.

Well, that was a trippy way to get started. Kind of like the trip Alice took, no? Well, maybe, maybe not. The point is you can keep going. Continue to follow the rabbit, or just get back to your real life outside of Twitter. However, be warned, the more you follow the rabbit, that is, with every clue you may realize (or I hope you will if you're not familiar with Twitter) THE GAME is your life. It also IS your life. You play on Twitter, but THE GAME is just life. Actions you can track back to, enjoy for reasons other than the obvious, or maybe reasons that are blatantly obvious. You follow links and look for meaning. You look at pictures of people. Of their kids doing fun things. Sad things. Life things. Sometimes people explicitly tell you what to look for. Sometimes they don't. That's THE GAME. Following @jrome and @fakejrome can help you play THE GAME or at least make it more enjoyable to get started. "Enjoyable" is here used in the sense that you can play for a brief bit of time everyday and dig as deep as you like or have time for. This makes THE GAME better for everyone who is playing. Especially those that don't like to dangle their prepositions like I did two sentences ago.

The point of all this, you may be wondering... I wanted to give a value to everything that flows through Twitter. Everything. Every little hiccup. Every bit of spam. It all sits there as the part of a story that hasn't been told yet.

"Huh?" you say. Yeah. It's hard to even want to begin to think in that direction. Create something from other people's junk tweets? Not just those junk tweets. Any and every tweet can be used in THE GAME.  This means anyone can pick up a lonely tweet that didn't mean a thing and give it some value. Creative people with time to kill or out to make a life of it, can mine tweets for new types of interactive games, interactive workouts, interactive learning. The key is to start somewhere. Following the instructions that BEGIN and BEGIN1 laid out is one way. You can at any time create another.

So when spam and just regular old tweets bore you, turn them into a new branch of THE GAME. All you have to do is merely tweet, "Hey, I'm playing THE GAME. You can too: pls RT " Soon maybe your friends will play too.