Moulton Lava

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Location: New England, United States

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


Game ReviewToyaanisqatsi

Toyaanisqatsi is a strange puzzle game that is a startling cross between an intriguing Myst-style puzzle game and a violent first-person shooter.

Toyaanisqatsi lures the player in with an enticing invitation to join with like-minded buddies to jointly solve traditional mind-bending puzzles with teamwork and collaboration, sharing discoveries and insights via built-in social network tools like chat and diagrams.

But unbeknownst to the hapless players, there lurks within Toyaanisqatsi a resident non-player antagonist called Testy of Toyaanisqatsi who suddenly rides in with her Tonka Tank and blasts anyone who has the temerity to engage in cooperative and collaborative play with their newfound buddies.

Toyaanisqatsi is an allegory for the Rivenesque divide between two disparate cultures.  On the one hand, there is Cyan World's beloved vision of the Stranger who labors arduously to save the distressed non-player characters whom the active player invariably finds in dire straits.  By contrast, there is the considerably more popular First Person Shooter, where the player is obliged to shoot down the evil monstrous non-player characters or die trying.

In Toyaanisqatsi, the non-player character, Testy, is the resident overlord of her private personal fiefdom who puts the players in a classic double bind, first inviting the players to work together, then abruptly reversing the cordial ambiance of collegiality and congeniality by declaring their mutual cooperation to be verboten. Testy then summarily shoots down any player with the temerity to openly collaborate with other players.

Toyaanisqatsi is a kind of allegorical meta-game about the UnCyantific Police Culture, revealing how that hostile and unbecoming culture systematically spoils the pleasure of collaborative learning and collaborative problem-solving.

 In short, if you are a Cyantist, I don't recommend playing Toyaanisqatsi.  Enter Testy's toxic world at your own risk.


Blogger Moulton said...

See also The Abominable Constable.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Source Material for Toyaanisqatsi and The Abominable Constable.

7:38 AM  

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