Game Log

I've been recently enjoying Dino's Game Log, a series of posts where he documents his video game sessions. Reading these posts come at a time for me when gaming has turned into a frustrating hobby. That frustration comes from the competitive nature of a team-based multiplayer game I play – Overwatch. Win-loss ratios swing wildly from session to session. Sometimes you'll lose five games straight before winning one. Those lows can be particularly brutal. Why do I choose to spend my free time playing a game that makes me do anything but relax? But I know it's not the game – it's me. My competitiveness sucks any joy from the experience.

And that's where Dino's Game Log came in. There's an awareness in them that serves as a refreshing contrast to my own toxic attachment to the game's outcomes. I only cared about my win-loss ratio during each session. Nothing else. But here was Dino making observations about mechanics and highlighting moments in the games he played. Reading his posts felt like seeing what I should focus on when I play. Not what's out of my control but what's within it – the little wins, fascinating patterns, subtle mechanics. Those are within the power of observation. All I need to do is be intentional about writing them down, about thinking them through like I would anything else. There's a power to writing things down. If it can work with certain facets of our inner and outer life, why not with video games?

I intend to write about each gaming session in my paper journal. It will be an interesting experiment to see if knowing I will write about the session will attune my mind to focus on things other than the win-loss ration. Maybe then gaming will be what it was suppose to be all along – leisure.

Beneath the visual surface of your computer is an old and powerful magic, a silent but quick stream of energy that the computer draws from for power. This magic is hidden but always present, like the sacred well held in the base of a cathedral.

This hidden place has many names: Shell, Terminal, Bash, Zsh, The Command Line. All of these names are correct, but incomplete; accurate to a part, but unable to describe the whole. Like all magical things, there are aspects of the command line always beyond our articulation.

Too, Like so many magical things, the secular world will always try to deform and defang it. Modern tech culture will describe the command line as an obscure productivity tool; something you learn only to impress other tech folk (a meaningless activity) or to become a “power user” (a meaningless phrase). Conventional tech wisdom will tell you that the command line is an intimidating, obscure, imposing place — impossible to learn and dangerous to use. This is only an attempt to hide its true nature: the command line is a place made entirely of our first occult technology, the word.

The command line is pure language, and to exist in it is to practice all the reality-shifting and world manifesting power of metaphor and dialogue. This is a place of empowerment, tangible creativity, and mystic bewilderment. While it can be dangerous, it’s also exceedingly helfpul if you know how to listen.