Walking Simulator

In a melancholy mood a landscape designer might spurn all of the very weighty and noble constraints of the trade, and try only to plot out one space after another; not much minding which one here or which one there, but only that they should trade place in sequence. Only under such circumstances would it be allowable to play a little jumble-game of a design, where each of a few parameters (trees and spacing, path and direction, ground cover) would be subject to a roll of the dice. If dreary little Victorian children might once have willingly played such a game, in the same way that they would play out their own season of baseball or campaign against the Boers, today it could only be a beach pastime for those who carry their offices in their heads.

Well, who knows; today the indie version of the corporate game is the walking simulator, which is nothing more than exploring a space made of a kit of repeating elements. If you were clever enough to show, say, a garden with all but the most necessary identifying character taken away, abstracted down to a fare-thee-well, you might manage to lure others into an algorithmic garden that is itself interminable, and interminably playing.

(August 2019)