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)