On Braid

[Playing Braid tends to put me in a rather reflective mood. As I was writing today’s journal entry (yes, I keep a journal, so what?) the following paragraphs somehow appeared. I’m sure this has all been discussed ad nauseum, I’d just like to present my rough thoughts on a truly spectacular game.]

Having played through the game again, I’ve given myself an opportunity to expand my interpretation of the source material. There are people who devote their entire lives to uncovering the secrets of nature and the universe. These people face enormous difficulties.  Opposition from society, limitations of technology, parochial upbringings; all impede those with wandering minds from progressing the corpus of human knowledge.

Society is often conservative, refusing to adopt new ideas and ways of doing things lest doing so destroy its very binding agents. Throughout human history, there have been many different societal obstacles: religion, politics, war, even things like famine and economic depression. Society is nurturing, true, but it holds ambitious minds back. Not every new theory or invention has benefitted society. Think of the nuclear bomb, evolution, gun powder; each – while certainly flagging a new era in human thought and ingenuity – disrupted a distinct way of life.

We create and invent, but doing so is often harmful to our present existence. No one should ever expect their creative work to keep society as it is, to play into conservative values. Change happens on its own, gradually, but a truly great discovery can force an abrupt paradigm shift, perhaps even with violent consequences.

We flirt with disaster. The farther along our technology develops, the more ground-shattering our discoveries become, we put our existence at greater risk. Our mistakes cannot be taken back, and society has learnt from past disasters to be wary of boldness.


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