August 16th, 2006

Ever tried floating things with your mind? It’s harder than it looks. Lots of squinting, and it gets you nowhere. How do superheroes do it?

Lucky for us, we don’t need mutant powers, we have the world of first-person perspective games–where objects float through the air with the greatest of ease. Because, when the introduction of a visible avatar, or even a good old-fashioned arm, seems too entrusive, we’re left with levitation.

Not just guns, but boxes, spinning saws: Half Life 2 speaks for itself. Or, if you’re looking for an example from the other side of the tracks, try VirtuallyJenna. Floating sex toys are strange enough; what about floating tongues and floating members? Talk about a disconnect.

We may never be able to master the fine art of levitation in real life, but children’s books and television have long since taught us the meaning of floating: repression.

Mathilda had no outlet for her brilliance, and she could throw chalk with her mind. Jean Grey was forced to suppress her sex-obsessed alter ego, and she could throw cars. So what, pray tell, are us gamers repressing?

Tags: Blog

2 Responses to “Like Jean Grey, but Less Repressed”

  1. Patrick Says:

    While your correlation doesn’t imply causation (since, you know, repressed people go around NOT levitating things all the time, and I’m fairly unrepressed and I fly and shit in my dreams) there’s an interesting psychological connection, and it has more to do with identity, associative vs. dissacociative, than physics and the paranormal. As we’ve discussed here before, games need to include the social (i.e. associative) psychological elements that make up the majority of good sex’s utter goodness. You need to be able to interact with that chick from HL 2 in more ways than just standing there while she recites a long bark, and then strafing in front of her face while her eyes move back and forth, and then shooting right by her head with no reaction. Its the uncanny valley, and it applies to a broader variety of interactions than just the sexual, though as we both know, interaction itself could be usefully described as sexuality, both of the everyday social variety and with technology.

  2. Bonnie Says:

    While your correlation doesn't imply causation (since, you know, repressed people go around NOT levitating things
    Oh, is that how logic works? :P

    I used to fly a lot in my dreams, but not so much recently. I wonder why…

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