updates, faux frames, geocities, and stuff…

Everything Is Going To Be OK is getting so nice and big now. I have the “fairy tale generator” in there for one of the pages. The context is adorable. A character dies and then one of the onlookers says “everyone dies”, “even the ones you love”, “yeah, especially those…” then they ask “so what was your life story?”.

You (the “player”) assemble a life story. It’s procedurally generated, but you can edit it, and mostly control what is assembled. So It’s kind of like you are co-authoring a story with the computer.
I think it’s interesting that I’m so drawn to generators for Everything Is Going To Be OK. For a commentary about life, it seems appropriate.
There is no control you have over it, and you are fighting so hard to make sense of it… or apply some level of reason to things happening. We love reasons, and explanations, especially for when bad things happen, but I really think there are none. We just need those to cope. I’ve been in so many situations where you finally come to grips with what happened (assign some kind of “divine” reason to “why this happened”), and then the next thing takes that all away form you. There is something profound about letting go of all that, and just kind of rolling with life. Control is such an illusion. Ok that’s enough of an update about this project…

Exciting news today! GameJolt just added a feature that allows people to completely customize pages for games, and profiles. Both them and itch.io allow this now (although you have to ask itch.io to enable this? still haven’t figured that out).
Link to their announcement is here.

This is mine: https://alienmelon.gamejolt.io/

One of the GameJolt themes that you can chose from is even a throwback to “trashy” geocities pages (current running favorite is this one).
Comic sans and (faux) frames included, and I am over the moon about this “nod” back to the old web…

One of the things I miss most about the “old web” is the creative expression that used to be so very common. I know that there are tons of counter arguments that can be made to this by saying “look at this .js project, that’s creative?”
For the sake of brevity. No. Not really. Not in the way that we used to have constant creativity in the browser.
People used to be able to fully customize their presences, and emphasis was placed on hosting your own websites, to the extent where each and every corner of the web came off as something unique and different.
Values shifted. Our emphasis on user experience, and defining what this means, has cost us a lot in terms of what everyone (or everyday people) allowed themselves to do.
Fully customizing your page (completely, not just adjusting a few options), for any social network, was very much a standard thing. Myspace allowed it to some extent, and geocities is probably everyone’s favorite go-to example of this.
Small forgotten projects like webneko http://webneko.net/ serve as a relic of this. “Copy and paste this code and have weird thing X on your page!”
The focus shifted a lot when we placed emphasis on the importance of the larger brand controlling its brand. People are just “users” and they kind of fade into the background of that heavily managed brand and “look” and monetization of said network.
I get that you can also throw “security” in the mix of arguing against this, but I disagree with that being a viable point, and would rather keep this post short (another time maybe)…

I find it amazing that the real amount of creativity happening for the web is coming so much from games. I used to talk about this a lot with my friends. You can’t really “lie” when you create a game. You can’t really (yet) convince people that “this game being boring and mundane is just better for games and your experience”, and that “all games should basically look the same and follow these rules.” We (still) expect games to have something to offer. Fighting for websites to be creative and “different” was always an uphill battle, and inevitably a lost cause.
I may be a little pessimistic with how I phrase this because really creatively courageous work is always going to be shunned (“feared” might be a good word here) to some extent or another. I very much hope that games can avoid the mistakes that websites (“web experiences”) have made which led to their irrelevance.
Nevertheless, because there are people out there that will applaud a game for breaking all the rules and doing something different, I think that games will continue to stay relevant.
I sincerely hope. *hopes pretty hard*

So when I see things like GameJolt incorporating features that allow this, it gives me hope to know that some still care about uniqueness and creative expression on the web.
I really hope that this will lead to more things like this happening. Just a little move like this opens up so many possibilities, creatively speaking.
For me, I look at this and get excited with all the things I can do and create because I’m allowed to “do and create”. It certainly pushes back a little on the mundane level of control, and do’s and don’ts, that we are so used to living under when it comes to social media.

Yes, I am going somewhere with this post! Short version:
Be unique and break the rules. It is important!