Archive for May 5th, 2006

The Game I Can’t Write Yet

2006 May 5

The game I can’t write yet is about creating a persona, a person to be, by arraging and layering various masks. At different moments, in different situations, different masks come to the forefront and become your primary face, but your other aspects are always hovering in the wings or in the background. You are vast; you contain multitudes. One of the most valuable skills is to be able to rearrange your masks to adapt to the needs of the present. Perhaps you should display The Mask of the Mother Bear more prominently than The Mask of the Angel of Death to tackle your current predicament.

The game I can’t write yet is also about building this persona based on exising masquing traditions. You are not the first person to ever wear masks. You are most likely wearing several masks that you inherited from others, only some of which you have used up to their full potential. Some of these masks you took up willingly. Others were pressed upon you. Some masks may be old and tattered. Some masks you may have made yourself, in homage to the more splendid masks of your heroes, hoping to live up to them. Together, your set of masks represents your history, your heritage, and your future. It is the faces you’ve worn and the faces you may some day be ready to wear.

You will gain masks and lose them. You will outgrow some. You will cast some aside. Some you may burn or bury or tie to a stone and throw into the ocean, to keep others from ever wearing them. Some you will take from the dead bodies of your foes or friends. Some you will fish from the bottom of the ocean, rocks still tied to them. Some you will piece together from tiny fragments that have been scattered to the four winds. Some will be given to you by lovers or life-long friends. Some you will be tricked or cursed into carrying. Some you will make yourself, using bits and pieces of other masks, to pass on to your own children, lovers, friends, or mortal enemies.

The game I can’t write yet is about being part of a small community of people, all of whom carry and wear a variety of masks. They are your family. You love them but you also hate them, because they are so much like yourself, but also so different. This community changes over time as the people in the community change. They will not always carry the same masks. They may change into someone that is harder for you to love or hate, or someone you will have to love or hate in a different way. With the changing of masks, the community and the social rules that bind it together will change as well. And you’ll have to adapt to the changes because, like it or not, this is your family. You can run away for a while, but you can’t change where you came from. You carry each others’ masks and that binds you together. You are the person you are partially because of them.

Just had to get all that down. Thanks.

P.S. And if you say, “Masks sound like they are sorta related to the Keys from The Shadow of Yesterday,” your mind is working in the same direction as mine.