Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Doctrine #3 ~ The C Virus [Consumerism]

con·sum·er·ism [kən s mə rìzzəm]

1. protection of consumers' rights: the protection of the rights and interests of consumers, especially with regard to price, quality, and safety

2. materialistic attitude: an attitude that values the acquisition of material goods (disapproving)

3. belief in benefits of consumption: the belief that the buying and selling of large quantities of consumer goods is beneficial to an economy or a sign of economic strength

We live in an amusing place, built on rules granted by pseudo-objective stances and contradictory natures. I’ve constantly alluded to my own personal weariness with the videogame industry’s reliance on both consumerism and commercialism. However, I will admit that it is part of a necessary system where we’re all meant to be a mitigating factor. Though there’s an ideal (or is there?), the drive to achieve a goal of satisfaction is seemingly embedded with various factors of emulation, perversion, and adulation. A core consistency behind the notion of consumerism is how we all attempt to simulate those ‘above us’ on the social hierarchy [emulation]. Before then, many simply become lost in eking out their own class to the most ostentatious extent [perversion]. Some even go on to acknowledge those 'above us' by providing them with the illusion that they actually deserve a higher rank in society --- be it through talent, wealth, or general exposure to certain media outlets [adulation].

Videogames were born from this cesspool. Their father figure remains business, while ‘the mother’ is meant to carve out a nebulous sense of self from what many of us classify as the artistic zeitgeist now. People such as myself (and those who can stand reading the various things I have to write here) are nothing more than an extremely vocal minority. What little power we do have --- we relinquish in lieu of banding together against an overwhelming torrent of ignorance. That ignorance is constantly pressing on our subculture from numerous directions (e.g. one of them is the change games journalism is making right now), which leaves us lost, scrambling to haphazardly defend fronts in order to make room for our medium’s ‘tomorrow’.
Since none of us can effectively regulate each other’s behavior, we’re forced to tolerate the alternative; wading around in each other’s social defecation composed of belief, desire, and various luxuries. Every one of us lives in an age now where directly questioning someone on any stance that may even remotely graze their inflated egos is taboo (which is why sects like fanboys even exist in the first place).The obsessive need to tie oneself to having new releases on a consistent basis isn’t at entirely at fault, we have to consider everything lying behind that curtain as well.

One of those backstage attendees is integrity. Integrity is instantly compromised in our industry now. This is even to the point where refusing to buy any game on a principal is attached to some notion of unnecessary silliness. Those who bring such types of emotions and ideals to their gaming are written off as elitists and/or dogmatic, while the counter-audience is seen as excessively (and shallowly) self-gratifying. The argument of over-thinking/over-intellectualizing for example, is typically condemned since it compromises instant gratification in lieu of academic exploration. The more hedonistic stance here generally ignores the pleasure that is granted to the more cerebral of gamers (since it’s something that crowd doesn’t get off on themselves, they don’t recognize it and therefore --- don’t respect it). Like I stated though, since the stance of questioning is taboo now, the supercilious crowd in turn gets high-and-mighty when a fundamental counterpoint is presented (no matter how silly it actually is).
Where does the state of ‘All Play and No Work’ truly kick in? Videogames are an entertaining medium but if no appreciation is given to the current application of craft and artistry, nothing is gained from it at all (other than a shallow version of hedonism). Embracing hedonism past a certain extent freezes games into a state that so many gamers have struggled to detach the medium from for the few decades it’s been around. When the will to turn games into a childish toy only meant to amuse our whims inflates itself, some become increasingly volatile towards that growth. I’m one of them.

So, instead of expanding on that premise, I’m going to shift gears and use my common trick of coloring a self-righteous and pretentious allegory for your amusement. Fittingly picking up on a post-Christmas air meant to spoil other people’s fun, let’s look at the human digestive system (seriously).

The presence of general artistry in marketing stimulates interpretation, which squeezes our slightest interest towards an overwhelming desire. This interest, a whim that can range from general intrigue to outright obsession, passes behind the voluntary impulse of rationality and reverence for our own tastes and penetrates the will (a driving force behind desire) before reaching the ability to organize filth. Games advance through this canal by means of rhythmic contractions (tightenings) known as social interaction. The process begins when a gamer begins slamming his or her opinion in the face of their friends or enemies, to establish their commercial vanity. Games complete this quest ranging from anywhere around a few weeks --- to a few years.

A tabooed emotion called greed then separates the desire and the from the player's conscious mind. As footage and information on the game is revealed, this emotion relaxes, forming an opening through which the game can pass into a factory of filth organization. Then the emotion grows back, replacing desire for the actual game with personal affection, this becomes a rationalization that the entire thing isn’t just a waste of time. The emotion is the first of several such responses along the greed canal. These emotions act as valves to regulate the passage of information and keep it from being turned back on to the originator of desire, out of protection from self-actualization of the taboo presence (greed). This way, the gamers are allowed to feel better about themselves with no consequences whatsoever.

The filth organizer, is a saclike structure with strong, logical walls. The organizer can expand significantly to recognize any fact and distort it to fit the whims of the possessing gamer. The organizer twirls around at about three times per minute, churning the facts and mixing them with subjective whims. This mixture is introduced to thousands of life experiences, selfish desires, and an emotion called pride. The pride creates an acidic environment that the facts need in order to begin breaking down into mere conjecture. It also kills any semblance of taste or original thought that may have began with the interest above. Ambient human decency coats this process under the guise of an opinion, protecting it from attacks that may or may not have relevant information for the gamer overall. After this is finished, the remaining feelings on the game have been reduced into a substance known as flimflam, and then begins passing a little at a time through the psionic sphincter into the doggeddenofwill, the first portion of the small mind.

Most intake of the game, as well as absorption of worthwhile information, occurs in the small mind. This narrow-minded, twisting grasp of reality, fills most of the player’s head with lies. Over time, social interaction moves flimflam through the doggeddenofwill into the next portion of the small intestine, the jesusshutup, and finally into the illmindedfool, the last section of the small mind. During this time, the player typically secretes propaganda into the small mind by continuing to take in various information on the respective game. Propaganda breaks large facts into smaller theories, which aforementioned selfish desires can act upon. Logic and reason, secreted by the world around the player, enters the small mind against the players will (unless they’re hindered by schizophrenia). Logic and reason contain ties to reality that break down the selfish desires and into far simpler necessities, enjoyments, and wills towards meaning; they become a blank stance in order to make an experience palpable. Glands surrounding logic and reason also secrete additional social imperatives that fit themselves in order link up with surrounding players, friends, and enemies to further weigh things down in some semblance of reality. A structure called intellect helps support logic and reason to protect the player from the acidic effects of pride.

The small mind’s capacity for absorption is increased by millions of fingerlike projections called reactions, which line the inner walls of the small mind. Each reaction varies and depends greatly on the player’s interaction with another player’s ‘Hype’. Even tinier fingerlike projections called microreactions cover blog comments, tweets, and reviews. This combination of reactions and microreactions increases the player’s intellect, multiplying his or her capacity for absorption. Beneath the reactions’ single layer of cells are passions which may or may not be related to games and are vital to their well-being. These passions allow small instances of taste and original thought produced by previous digestion to travel to (and affect) all areas of a person’s total psyche. Simple facts and leftover pride pass through the passions in order to enter the psyche. Miscellaneous and dormant information pass through to mind for later use.
The watery leftovers of interrelated tastes, opinions, and thought remain unabsorbed. This residue leaves the illmindedfool of the small mind and moves by social interaction into the open mind for the remainder of its time. The open mind serves ironically as nothing more than lorem ipsum. It only begins to function under the influence of forces like hindsight, humiliation, and humbleness.

The open mind does however serve a few important functions. It absorbs a great deal of miscellaneous and dormant information passed on by the small mind. In addition, unrelated thought in the open mind promotes the correlation of extraneous materials to the solidified thoughts of the small mind. The open mind moves its remaining contents toward the internet, which makes up a great deal of the cesspool all gamers draw from to begin with. The internet stores this hype—waste material that consists largely of marketing ploys, excessive pretention, and idiotic inertia, until its elimination. Then, mental reactions in response to the internet push the hype toward the minds of other players. When actions between the internet and the player’s fingers relax, the hype passes out of the mind of the player, usually signaling they’re about to begin the process again with another game.

And here’s the entry I basically aped to make a joke I’ll probably be the only one to laugh at:

"The presence of food in the pharynx stimulates swallowing, which squeezes the food into the esophagus. The esophagus, a muscular tube about 25 cm (10 in) long, passes behind the trachea and heart and penetrates the diaphragm (muscular wall between the chest and abdomen) before reaching the stomach. Food advances through the alimentary canal by means of rhythmic muscle contractions (tightenings) known as peristalsis. The process begins when circular muscles in the esophagus wall contract and relax (widen) one after the other, squeezing food downward toward the stomach. Food travels the length of the esophagus in two to three seconds.

A circular muscle called the esophageal sphincter separates the esophagus and the stomach. As food is swallowed, this muscle relaxes, forming an opening through which the food can pass into the stomach. Then the muscle contracts, closing the opening to prevent food from moving back into the esophagus. The esophageal sphincter is the first of several such muscles along the alimentary canal. These muscles act as valves to regulate the passage of food and keep it from moving backward.

The stomach, located in the upper abdomen just below the diaphragm, is a saclike structure with strong, muscular walls. The stomach can expand significantly to store all the food from a meal for both mechanical and chemical processing. The stomach contracts about three times per minute, churning the food and mixing it with gastric juice. This fluid, secreted by thousands of gastric glands in the lining of the stomach, consists of water, hydrochloric acid, an enzyme called pepsin, and mucin (the main component of mucus). Hydrochloric acid creates the acidic environment that pepsin needs to begin breaking down proteins. It also kills microorganisms that may have been ingested in the food. Mucin coats the stomach, protecting it from the effects of the acid and pepsin. About four hours or less after a meal, food processed by the stomach, called chyme, begins passing a little at a time through the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine.

Most digestion, as well as absorption of digested food, occurs in the small intestine. This narrow, twisting tube, about 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter, fills most of the lower abdomen, extending about 6 m (20 ft) in length. Over a period of three to six hours, peristalsis moves chyme through the duodenum into the next portion of the small intestine, the jejunum, and finally into the ileum, the last section of the small intestine. During this time, the liver secretes bile into the small intestine through the bile duct. Bile breaks large fat globules into small droplets, which enzymes in the small intestine can act upon. Pancreatic juice, secreted by the pancreas, enters the small intestine through the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic juice contains enzymes that break down sugars and starches into simple sugars, fats into fatty acids and glycerol, and proteins into amino acids. Glands in the intestinal walls secrete additional enzymes that break down starches and complex sugars into nutrients that the intestine absorbs. Structures called Brunner’s glands secrete mucus to protect the intestinal walls from the acid effects of digestive juices.

The small intestine’s capacity for absorption is increased by millions of fingerlike projections called villi, which line the inner walls of the small intestine. Each villus is about 0.5 to 1.5 mm (0.02 to 0.06 in) long and covered with a single layer of cells. Even tinier fingerlike projections called microvilli cover the cell surfaces. This combination of villi and microvilli increases the surface area of the small intestine’s lining by about 150 times, multiplying its capacity for absorption. Beneath the villi’s single layer of cells are capillaries (tiny vessels) of the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. These capillaries allow nutrients produced by digestion to travel to the cells of the body. Simple sugars and amino acids pass through the capillaries to enter the bloodstream. Fatty acids and glycerol pass through to the lymphatic system.

A watery residue of indigestible food and digestive juices remains unabsorbed. This residue leaves the ileum of the small intestine and moves by peristalsis into the large intestine, where it spends 12 to 24 hours. The large intestine forms an inverted U over the coils of the small intestine. It starts on the lower right-hand side of the body and ends on the lower left-hand side. The large intestine is 1.5 to 1.8 m (5 to 6 ft) long and about 6 cm (2.5 in) in diameter.
The large intestine serves several important functions. It absorbs water—about 6 liters (1.6 gallons) daily—as well as dissolved salts from the residue passed on by the small intestine. In addition, bacteria in the large intestine promote the breakdown of undigested materials and make several vitamins, notably vitamin K, which the body needs for blood clotting. The large intestine moves its remaining contents toward the rectum, which makes up the final 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in) of the alimentary canal. The rectum stores the feces—waste material that consists largely of undigested food, digestive juices, bacteria, and mucus—until elimination. Then, muscle contractions in the walls of the rectum push the feces toward the anus. When sphincters between the rectum and anus relax, the feces pass out of the body."

Again, no point. I just want everybody to think about me when they’re on the toilet.