Gaming

Someone should make a game about: fatbergs

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Be warned: this can be a piece about fatbergs, that are actually, actually disgusting.

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Someplace close by, underground, rising at the hours of darkness, there might lurk a fatberg. The fatberg is right here. It has arrived. Now we have reached fatberg. Now we have achieved fatberg. We achieved it some time again in reality. The fatberg has been deployed. We’re all fatbergers now.

Mmm. Fatburgers. The enchantment of the fatberg, I feel – the very early enchantment – is that it’s a phrase that lies throughout an odd linguistic divide. Do fatbergs have ft? Grant them ft for a second, not less than. One of many fatberg’s ft rests on the planet of all issues disgusting. However take heed to it. Hear its whisper: fatberg! One of many fatberg’s ft brushes up towards one thing that sounds scrumptious. Who knew that this liminal world existed, that these two kingdoms, disgusting and scrumptious, had a shared celebration wall?

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All this till you see the fatberg, after all, at which level its waveform collapses and lo, the fatberg is solely disgusting. Within the sewer, it squeezes down out of the roof, brickwork giving solution to furious white and purple. It’s a tumour erupting into the world of Darkish Souls. What would it not really feel like to the touch? Not sponge, however some type of tissue. The fatberg would really feel like marrow, like mind.

Anyway, the primary fatberg I noticed was blocking a sewer in East London. Thames Water have been trying into it. The BBC had the scoop – not that the phrases ‘scoop’ and ‘fatberg’ ought to ever collide. The fatberg was huge, 250 metres lengthy, 130 tonnes. Matt Rimmer of Thames Water referred to as it “a complete monster.” He mentioned it might take three weeks to take away.

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And allow us to pause right here and mirror. Not on the fact of the fatberg, which is seemingly oil and child wipes and condoms and I am sorry I even instructed you that. However on the unreality of the fatberg, as a result of it does appear to be unreality. A tumour in Lordran. A complete monster. The fatberg belongs in video games.

I used to be considering of all this lately after I learn this really brilliant piece by Ewan Wilson about Cloud Gardens, a brand new sport that encourages you to tinker with vegetation in a collection of liminal edgelands. Ewan makes a wonderful level that I had by no means actually considered earlier than. He talks about how our concept of nature is usually an concept of one thing that has secretly been sculpted and punctiliously introduced. Now the Anthropocene is right here we’re having to confront the fact of sculpted nature colliding with the sculpted human atmosphere in ways in which folks typically do not actually like.

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Once more, considering of issues that belong in video games – and issues that really feel like unreality – let’s take into consideration the Anthropocene. That is our present geological age, I collect – or a proposed epoch, anyway – the Holocene having ticked over right into a interval through which people are a dominant pressure shaping the atmosphere and panorama. The Anthropocene may be very tangible: concrete, landfill, extinctions. However it is usually laborious to consider as a result of disgrace is available in to cloud issues. The Anthropocene grows partly as a result of it’s so laborious to have a look at immediately. It have to be ignored, or disputed.

Possibly, as Ewan suggests, video games may help. And perhaps it is easier and darker than that. Possibly the Anthropocene may help video games. You see it right here and there – Future with its rubble and rebar poking out of the scarred wilds, that is the Anthropocene – however there’s certainly extra it might probably do for the generally calcified creativeness of video games. It can provide us jarring specifics that make video games contemporary once more. Sod off orcs and elves and towering mechs. Make approach for the fatberg.

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Make approach for the fatberg! Make approach too for Dumpster Honey, as coined I feel, though I could also be incorrect, within the poem by Davis McCombs: “Unhazardous meals pigment leaked/from a bloated dip packet the place the bees/have been buzzing and accumulating…”

The Anthropocene goes to provide us dumpster honey and fatbergs. It is going to give us monsters. These monsters are ours, in reality. We’re making them. So we would as effectively declare them, artistically, in all their nice imaginative efficiency.

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