Powerlessness fantasy.

Michaël Samyn, June 30, 2012

I understand the joy of power fantasies. But I find fragility often far more interesting and beautiful.

The normal structure of videogames allows us to continuously feel like a winner. When we drop out of the flow channel and are confronted with situations that are not challenges that can be overcome, we may be confused and uncertain. But that is when we become sensitive to many other forms of beauty and joy.

Lack of power is not necessarily sad. Power feels good because it makes us feel superior to others. But lack of power feels good because it makes us feel connected to others. Per definition, there can only be one winner of any competition. Per that same definition, most of us are losers.

But only if we choose to see our existence as competition. There is absolutely no need for that. When we stop thinking in such terms, suddenly the world becomes much richer and more varied and nuanced. Suddenly feelings of confusion and doubt become pleasurable. If only because we know they are shared feelings.

Lack of power is liberating. When we refuse to run the race any further, we suddenly feel the sensation of the gravel underneath our feet, hear the wind in the trees, notice the myriad colors in the sunset.

Even our unfulfilled desires, our frustrations and wishes become beautiful. We are at our most noble when we long, when we desire, when there is something outside of us that is out of our reach.

Bientôt l’été is not a love story. It’s not about two people who meet and fall in love and then break up. Instead it’s a story about that story. We, the players, all know what love is. And in the videogame, we can explore these emotions, we can play with the things that we, humans, say and think about love. It’s not real. It’s a game.

Through this playing, hopefully, we will discover some of the beautiful shades that emotions can have outside of the narrow range of power, victory and success. We can be fragile, with each other. We can be mystified, feel dumb, feel ugly and inadequate, and laugh about it. Laugh, yes, because existence on this planet is wonderful. Even our capacity for suffering and sadness is beautiful, is wondrous.

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