The Game of Life -or- The Postmodern Theatre of Dream Vision
The Evolution of Video Games -or- Phantasmagoria of Dream Visions
In the late 60's and early 70's, as an adolescent the first video games I played were created by a computer console that connected into the TV and featured such games as "ping pong". For the times, it was cutting edge video gaming technology. My daughter was born in October 1993, and by early 1996 she was playing a diverse range of video games on the home computer. We would also watch TV shows like "Sailor Moon" and "Pokémon". One of the favorite TV shows that we enjoyed watching together was "ReBoot".
Here is another dream that speaks about video gaming;
OK. I've been having this recurring dream that I am Pac-Man. Pac-Man! I have to eat the pellets. I can't skip them, miss them, dodge them, avoid them, destroy them. I consume them. There are always more pellets. Like the video games, there are ghosts. They do not frighten me. I just dread meeting them. I allow them to pester me for so long, then I find a flashing pellet and eat the ghost. I get bored very easily, because, as Pac-Man, my soul purpose is to eat the non-tasting pellets. If I physically look down at myself, I am human. But if I pass a mirror, I'm Pac-Man. And there are a lot of mirrors. I don't like looking in them, because i'll be Pac-Man.
I have been under some financial and career stress, so I figure this is my brain's way of releiving that tension.
ReBoot's Game of Life -or- Postmodernism in the Global Village
Many dreams sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) speak of everyday stress and finding distraction in the phantasmagoria of dreaming. Understanding the basic principles that life (and stress) operates by, has been mathematically embodied by Conway's "game of life". Can all "video games" be seen as mathematical paradigmatic variations of Conway's "zero sum game" of life?
"Pac-Man" was an early popular video game. The idea that you are both yourself and Pac-Man in the dream, is explained in Antonin Artaud's "The Theatre and its Double". The mirrors in your dream relate to the "mirror stage" of psychological development. Via the mirror stage we all join visual culture in progress. The visual mirror stage provides the developmental foundation for the psychophysical paradigm of "subjectivity". This phantasmagoria paradigm of the "imaginary", can be applied to dream vision.
Your dream suggests that the behavioural economics of a postmodern visual culture consumer and the metaphors of this zero sum game are, ones of survival. Here however is also the psychological problem with postmodernism, much of the dreaming, playing and imaging is taste-less, or in your words "non-tasting". The aesthetics of taste were investigated by the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Bourdieu's ideas of taste can be applied to the phantasmagoria of dream vision. The problem is discussed in another dream sent to the IIDR "Visual Outlines of Pizza Pizza".
If the sublime provides a psychophysical index of taste and aesthetic beauty, then we can visualize such a postmodern sublime in the TV cartoon series "ReBoot". The opening scene of ReBoot features "Bob" whose format is a "Guardian", his cyber-function is to "mend and defend", to defend his "new found friends, their hopes and dreams, to defend them from, their enemies." (Watch video of opening scene) ReBoot's setting is the inner world of a computer system, known as "Mainframe". The "User" who reportedly lives outside "The Net", inputs games for visual pleasure. ReBoot can be seen as a cyber-animated parody of popular culture, the cyber-culture industies, their popular icons and the postmodern game of life.
Postscript: Postmodern Dream Vision -or- Welcome to the Machine
Here are some dreams posted at the IIDR website that discuss life in postmodernism.