Non-Prescriptivism, Pokemon, and Cyborgian Emotion

Posted on April 5, 2022

murder of the unova-verse

as someone with great difficulty properly processing emotion, and an amazing partner with savant levels of emotional intelligence, it brings me hedonistic pleasure to realise that a seedling of a flowery feeling had managed to bud in the alien hellscape that is the folds of my brain, and that species was alien also to her.

digital monsters

wait shit uh not that kind

when times are hard, there are few things more effective to my brain than the escapism offered by the mainline Pokemon games. a world in which for however long it takes me to complete (sadly shorter and shorter with each escape) i can become completely immersed in a world void of the spectres haunting my mind, of situations i have not the resolve or ability to escape properly.

each of these creatures is fundamentally nothing more than a series of bits given semantic meaning by whatever version of the game im playing, however (as all fans of the series will be able to explain) these series of bits go beyond mere interpretation. they are the vessels of our stories, our internal mythos. we prescribe temporal continuity to these specific series of bits, to our specific series of bits, to others specific series of bits.

we are given some tools to have these monsters follow us throughout multiple games, we create our own tools when the above prove insufficient. we deem it necessery enough that we prescribe what amounts to a soul to these specific series of bits, beyond any capability any game has of doing.

it is not wrong to say that these series of bits create emotion within us, in much the same way that relationships with other people can.

games as a method for constraining emotion

in which i vouch for more non-prescriptivist methods of inter-game information sharing.

what is a game, but a system of constraining some data such that one or more people can reason about it in a fixed and well understood manner. our need for conformity, for well-assuredness in a capitalist landscape of software production, has blinded us to the beauty that could exist.

we insist that “rules” of a game be enforced, that “hacks” be violently snuffed and draconian methods of conformity be placed upon CPUs. yet what is a house-rule if not a method of taking a previously prescriptivist program, and altering the semantic meaning it imparts whilst keeping the inputs profile the same.

a romhack is nothing more than flipping the established paradigm on its head, of returning the freer ways of running one input on multiple interpreters, of breaking the chain that entangles subject and object, and instead placing that power to the observer, to the ego, to the unique.

the limits of computing

yadda yadda halting problem etc etc go touch grass.

it is silicon valley hubris that states the software we use is our new diety, that it is above us in knowledge, capability.

it is marketing that drives tech companies to attempt to replace the churches of old, with product being the new Lord.

they would have us believe that we bring our wares, our series of bits, to this god, and this god will bestow upon us some new series of bits, and in doing so announce to us the meaning of these bits, the correctness of these bits.

we cannot allow this to continue.

the emotions in our heads and our souls and our systems are chaotic and uncalculatable and scary and beautiful, and the origins of these come from our surprise at something being interpreted differently to our expectations.


as always i do not know where i intended for this to go, nor when it should end. i see it as my attempt to express how these series of bits representing funny little digital monsters that i have been able to find, lose, transfer, alter, corrupt, and ultimately input to many programs - some intended, some unintended - has cemented a place in my brain as producing the good toxins

its my frustration at a system of computing that continually attempts to lockdown the usage of data in a prescriptivist matter, that ties the output to the program “““intended”“” to interpret it, and that blatantly ignores the new emotions we as egos are able to impart to said data, the semantic meaning we impart solely for the purpose of experiencing it, and of sharing it.

it is my wish for a more freeform method of creating and sharing games, something easily editable, houserulable, hackable.

something we view as a method of temporarily restricting our courses of action such to aid creativity, rather than as a series of laws that must be violently enforced.

ultimately its the wish that i understood my defective brain enough to be able to share with my partner an means of feeling that has helped me through many hard times, and my wish to continue feeling that well into the future, should any hard times come upon me again.