Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

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StalinSays
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Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by StalinSays » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:14 pm

Feature: Hollow as the World by Ferrett Steinmetz
Drabble: The Oldest of the New Gods by George Sandison
Genres: Horror Sci-Fi
Warning: Some strong language

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Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
One of the reasons Joshua loved Lydia as much as he did was all the secret rituals they’d devised. Their shared jokes were treasured secrets, never to be shared with the other kids at high school; some days, the way Lydia could send Joshua into high titters with a raise of her pierced eyebrow was the only thing that kept Joshua from slitting his wrists…

Lovecraft Month
Clarion West Director's Commentary

Episode Art: Oskar Kunik

Twabble: “ I never knew my mom. But I love stepmum. She gives the best of herself. I'm lucky to have such a good intestine to call home. ” by MonsieurMoustache
Last edited by Algernon Sydney is Dead on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by StalinSays » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:46 pm

Upon completing the story, I booted up my WiiU and ran Mario directly in to a pit. Free will is mine! ..I think..

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by Flintknapper » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:21 pm

Lovecraft meets Minecraft. The two crafts combine! My wife and oldest son play minecraft is this what is going to happen to them?

Loved the story. Great concept and the delivery was spot on. I have really liked just about everything Ferrett has written. This was no exception.

I am not a big fan of games like Minecraft, Terraria, and others that are all about building with little or no direction. However, I never saw these games as inherently horrific. I think Steinmetz does a great job of really spinning them off at a different angle.

As for games, I will stick with my Dead Space, Alan Wake and Half-Life franchises. When are we ever going to get Half-Life 3?!?

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by okr » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:25 pm

This story really resonated with me. I enjoy tales about game worlds and virtual reality and people trying to make sense of what they find inside. A computer is in my opinion a very Lovecraftian plot device in itself - it's like a modern version of a book in some ancient language that we bring home and don't understand. We try to make sense of it and it slowly drives us mad. Like compiling the Linux kernel at three in the morning. Scary stuff.

I had some of my most mind-shattering Lovecraftian experiences playing Dwarf Fortress. This game is full of randomly generated plots that end up with all your lovely, jolly dwarfs dead in a spiral of madness.

Also, because it's my first post I'd like to say hello. I'm Oskar and I did the artwork for this episode :oops:

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:24 pm

Welcome board, Oskar!
Interesting, eerie artwork.

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by Andrew Styles » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:02 pm

I, honestly, didn't really like the story. To me, it just felt like a glorified "CreepyPasta", and it never truly felt very Lovecraftian. I kept waiting, and it never came. I was really hoping for a cool Lovecraft-ish video game story, but for me, this came up short.
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by Varda » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:46 pm

I found this story incredibly moving. It may just be my new lead contender for People's Choice this year so far. Just finished my second listen, and still not entirely able to scrape my thoughts together in a coherent way, so I'll just list them:

1. Oh, to be living in the future, when Portal 3 is released!

2. I don't care if Stonehewn is evil. I would still play it, and happily run myself to death. It does sound like it's based on Minecraft, except derpy Steve has been upgraded to a creepy badass who builds you stuff while the game's idling. This story took me back to playing Minecraft in beta for the first time: the endless, randomly generated world, the surreal lack of any objectives, the beauty and loneliness of hours spent turning the wilderness into civilization. Sorta a post-apocalyptic feel, or maybe prehistoric. I've never stopped to think about what that impulse to toil and create means, when there's no one around to enjoy it. At least in Minecraft, the monsters come out at night, and those dang green creepers jump out of the shadows every once in a while to blow a hole in your stuff.

3. I really connected with the characters in this story. This could have been me and my friends back in high school. I've been known to marathon "My Little Pony" with my husband... often at his suggestion. As a snapshot of gamer/nerd culture and awkward teenage friendships, this story was fantastic.

4. For me, this story was mainly about grief and regret, even more so than some of the philosophical questions raised by the ending regarding free will. The death of Lydia, and the way this poor kid's trying to come to grips with it, dominates the whole story. He's driven by feelings of guilt over maybe being responsible in some ways, and regret over not making more of their time together because of his cowardice and indecision. One possible way to read the ending is that he goes insane from grief and hallucinates the whole bit with being controlled by Ameinias, and running into the woods really is his suicide.

5. Originally I thought that Lydia had changed places with Ameinias in the game (who, being a video game character, mindlessly ran her body to death), and that Joshua was going to unintentionally torture Lydia to death in the game as he attempted to glitch it to death. So well done, author, with a well-executed surprise ending.

6. This photo of a street in Africa side-by-side with its Minecraft recreation comes to mind.

7. Great episode artwork, Oskar, and welcome to the forums!

8. Loved the Drabble and Twabble this week, too. :D
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by TheBigBadG » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:13 am

Varda wrote:8. Loved the Drabble and Twabble this week, too. :D
Much belatedly - fanks! I've been playing it to everyone I can find. If I've done well I might have converted a few people as well, shown them the creeping lambence of the 'Cast. More for the cult.

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by strawman » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:03 pm

This story is also my Peoples Choice frontrunner. The digital world of virtual reality is as much of a shift as Lovecraft experienced with Einstein's new paradigm. Virtual Existentialism.

What is Truth? Is it in the quantum glitches? Can it be cheated?
Or is it essentially a matter of choosing the kiss?

The whole idea of VR gaming, life spent inside one's head, preoccupied, keeps you from "running through the woods" until you die. Lydia's death only makes sense as metaphor.

Appreciate Varda's comments and Norm's outro . Now where do I have 5 bucks?
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by Scattercat » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:20 pm

The story is clearly speculative because, as the recent update notes specify, they have removed Herobrine.

(I play a lot of Minecraft. I'm not *good* at it. I just play it a lot, roaming around building castles on mountaintops and piston-operated waterfall elevators up to them. And gardening. And mining, in lovely straight patterns, filling in the holes where the ore was neatly behind me. It's very soothing.)

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by strawman » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:11 pm

Would you self-identify as a Designer or a Cracker?
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by Varda » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:30 am

Scattercat wrote:The story is clearly speculative because, as the recent update notes specify, they have removed Herobrine.
:lol:

That brings up an interesting question: is StoneHewn where Herobrine's been removed to? Whenever Mojang finally exorcises him for good?
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by Scattercat » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:08 am

strawman wrote:Would you self-identify as a Designer or a Cracker?
Oh, Designer, no question. I have no drive to break things or find exploits, but I do like discerning the underlying systems. That's why I love board games so much.

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by tbaker2500 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:33 pm

Great artwork, Oskar!
Also good drabbles and twabbles.

This story fell flat for me. Maybe it's because I don't play minecraft. But the whole "what is real, the computer or the world" concept is so old to me, I couldn't get engaged in it. Steinmetz tried hard to add complexity to the concept, but nothing about it gripped me.

To channel Mr. Tweedy, "meh".

By the way, I tend to not like writing negative reviews. So I'm not sure why I'm writing this one. Maybe it's because I have a cold, and I'm really pissed about that? And I'm taking it out on poor Mr. Steinmetz. Sorry. :oops:
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by strawman » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:50 pm

tbaker2500 wrote: Maybe it's because I don't play minecraft. But the whole "what is real, the computer or the world" concept is so old to me, I couldn't get engaged in it. Steinmetz tried hard to add complexity to the concept, but nothing about it gripped me.
I don't play computer games either, (unless card games count). The story isn't about which world is real, Tom. It's about External/Internal life, and how each is lived. Gaming is a good vehicle to illustrate self-absorption and isolation, and whether there can ever really be something like virtual relationship. Virtual reality is a hollow world, and Lydia and Joshua fall into it.

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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by tbaker2500 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:12 pm

strawman wrote:I don't play computer games either, (unless card games count). The story isn't about which world is real, Tom. It's about External/Internal life, and how each is lived. Gaming is a good vehicle to illustrate self-absorption and isolation, and whether there can ever really be something like virtual relationship. Virtual reality is a hollow world, and Lydia and Joshua fall into it.

Gesundheit!
Points well made. I guess it just didn't do it for me. When the outro, of Norm explaining the story, is more informative and engages me more than the story, I think the story and me just didn't click.
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Re: Drabblecast 292 – Hollow As The World

Post by You're not Sci-fi! » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:53 am

Just heard this story, thought the strength of the story was the blunt and direct write up of the main character's fears and motivations. Agree with Varda it is story by about regret and fear. Kudos for re-enforcing the strongly held belief of most anti-social gamers that running will kill you.

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