The Crew that Never Rests: Crowdsourced Absurdity

In a word, their pleasures were showy, but totally unsubstantial—their activity unceasing, but fruitless and unavailing—and their condemnation appears to have consisted in the necessity of maintaining the appearance of constant industry or enjoyment, though their toil was fruitless and their pleasures shadowy and unsubstantial. Hence poets have designed them as “the crew that never rest.” Besides the unceasing and useless bustle in which these spirits seemed to live, they had propensities unfavourable and distressing to mortals.

— Sir Walter Scott, Letters on Demonology

 

games without frontiers

Twitch Plays Pokemon via The Wisdom of Crowds (Metafilter). I think that Sisyphus is happy, and his name is Legion.

Attacking the darkness.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to sell Dungeons & Dragons, specifically I think “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”, as a cult. The idea is that the D&D books, while masquerading as a game, are actually the keys to an ancient and powerful spiritual tradition. And I alone am the chosen one who has been given the burden of showing Mankind the Way. The adventures, and monsters, and character types, and spells, and all of it are Tarot-like symbols that point inward to a hermeneutic tradition that has been suppressed for five thousand years.

The (expensive) services will be of course D&D games. As the supplicant’s character increases in level, more bits of the inner truth will become apparent, or be revealed by the treasures and monsters that are encountered. Higher level characters will be given the ability to buy magic items, spells, weapons etc. The opportunities for religious consumerism will be endless here: dice, dice bags, books, etc. At a certain level, the supplicant may be invited to become a game master at a low level. And after years and years, the top level (probably 33rd as in Masonry) could be achieved, after about $150,000 and a lot of work. The mysteries of character generation, character types, alignments, and the existence of “dungeons” could be explained in stages of symbolic meaning tuned to the supplicant’s level.

So I could fuse pop culture, childhood nostalgia, Scientology, the New Age, shopping mall “wiccan” distaste for Christianity, the will to power, consumerism, multilevel marketing, geek culture, the current Tolkien mania, and every mythic tradition that D&D itself grave-robbed.

And if there’s girls there, I’m going to do them.