tags: percolation published on:
Treasure is something that is worth searching for. It takes on a meaning only in specific contexts. Finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has become difficult now because rainbows and gold both are in scarce supply. Gold has become the most expensive metal in circulation because our economy is fragile and doesn't offer any other bankable treasure.
Understanding the treasure of the moment is a very valuable piece of information to have and is somewhat based on the trial and error of experience and the urge to speculate.
Speculation itself is based on current pattern data that informs agents of the demand and supply equilibrium and lets them decide how best to manipulate it.
Treasure is a game world parameter that emerges from this manipulation.
This manipulation is established by agents but is not always created by them. History, archeology, archival practices, all help rarefy objects and experiences that are also in a seemingly parallel system supported by manipulation.
Treasure is just a word. It doesn't ensure the treasuring of the treasure object, it just provides a marker. The marker has to be further absorbed into the language of cultural symbology and made meaningful.
The hunt for treasure is another chapter. The way this hunt plays out either becomes a game or a story with the tension of chase. The experience of this journey can be something the player basks in and becomes the end in itself or something that becomes merely a functional in-between process. What makes the hunt an interesting model for a game to emerge is the hunger imbedded in the narrative.
Hunger is a useful emotion to work with because the drive is automatic. There is no need to propel the player into action.
The player is self-propelled, they directly place themselves on pathways of disaster. They push themselves out of moments of equilibrium, out of stability.
Treasure is an instrument of control. It is a very magnetic idea. Minds and wills are pulled without any effort. The promise of treasure is very attractive, it can make life worth living.
Cultural mythology offers itself to spreading the news of treasure without any self-interest. It is a situation of mutual benefit. It is like a radio that is broadcasting biscuits. Just to be in the transmission radius means to be nourished. Nourishment is the reward in itself.
Treasure is nourishment even if it is illusory. Even if it is never received, the mere idea transcends all bounds and enters the public consciousness.
A society that does not have treasure is a very base society. Such a society has no hope, no possibility of a big reward. It only has a choice to wallow in its own smallness.