ames are media, too. Which is why I’m covering this here.
I’m currently writing a game called Pathfinder. The game focuses on a pathfinder ship that has the ability of slingshot around the sun and go up to the speed of light. Even at this speed, the average distance between stars is four light years, meaning it will take four years or more per jump. Of course, most of the crew can go into suspended animation in their sleep bunks for the flight, but a skeleton crew will need to be assigned (and they won’t be happy to lose four to ten years out of their lives in an echoing starship rushing through Doppler space). Once you get to the next system, you’ll need to build a warp gate so the rest of humanity can pour through to settle. Meanwhile, you’ll jump again, a proverbial Flying Dutchman, trying to compete your mission to the end of the galaxy before you grow too old and pass away.
Charming, right? Should be fun to play.
But tonight I was musing how to keep track of the ages of the crew with you.
Myself, I’ve been having a tough time since retirement. There was the weird eye thing where I thought I had a stroke. And the aches and pains I never had before. The kidney stones. The bicycle injuries. The deaths of old friends around me. And then – fuck me – the prostate cancer (which I’m looking at surgery to remove, something I’m not happy with). Yes, cancer (and possible death) focuses the mind.
And then it hit me while I was washing the dishes tonight. This game I’m writing, is it just an analogy for what I’m feeling? Is the point of the game to keep going as you get older and older and your original crew gets enfeebled and dies off? I actually felt queasy when I realized the real reason I was coding this, a statement about aging, of cheating death for as long as I can. I’m like the man writing his own biography, trying to find a meaning and conclusion before I find myself in a hospital (like my father and so many others) with no escape.
I came in after drying the plates and looked at my code. For a moment, I thought I might just shut it down and not keep pushing code into this.
But no. Maybe this needs to be written. I might not have many games left in me but I’m going to get this one done.
Or die trying.