Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Monday, 18 August 2014


You know the two most frequent quotes you can read when somebody writes about Elite: Dangerous? Hint: I believe the name of the game is badly chosen. It should rather be named either “Elite: Full of Stars” or “Elite: Celestial Event. Poetry!” 

I think this is what connects our real life with the virtual worlds (aka computer games). Poetry, and a sense of wonder and freedom. It is here, in real life, too. Of course. But it is harder to achieve, and you might have little time to cope with everything you want and hunger for in your little meaningless life of a Drosophila. 

- Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumber'd here; Puck 

I am coming back from a long weekend. Times change. Where I would have, five years ago, had some more or less unhealthy amount of beer, stood with my comrades of old and chitchat, erm, talk about manly things, nowadays I so fully enjoy crossing this old tradional faery market with my daughter on my shoulders, enjoying to see her basking in the awe of all those magical lights, turning carousels, exotic plush toys, unearthly good ice creams and flashy space cars, and basking along together with her. I am becoming myself child again with the ability to wonder and smile and laugh, and to exist like a child only in trust and happyness. Golden times it is. 

- space cars! what else could it be?

A big-belly pink and green and golden dragon balloon was my boon to her, and it kept faithfully with us, through day and night. Until we left this realm, when a gust of wind tore it from her little hands, up in the grey and stormy sky. While she watched it fly and looping away, with this expression of uncomprehensiveness on her face, I explained to her; "The dragon-balloon flies in the sky! He belongs there. He  is now going to visit other children and make them happy, too. Tschüss, Drache!" She did not cry. Maybe she learned again something about life today. The faery stay where they belong.

Quite somber, eh? Maybe next time I better stick to drinking a more or less unhealthy amount of beer and stand with comrades of old and talk about manly things...

In order to make none too long blog posts, Elite will make its star guest appearence again in my next entry. To close the arc I opened here with those two famous quotes; it is all about poetry, the things which make us do poems. Elite: Dangerous presents to us a virtual world to explore and to have fun in. We will encounter beauty of some kind, execute masterful plans, build up things, destroy things, go with the flow, meet our challenges or just enjoy the power of grief. In short, everything which is also found in our real life, abstractized, condensed. A game, yes, but also a short and timeless potential of elevation. 

This is what makes games, which tackle the scope of a virtual world, like now Elite: Dangerous apparently will, definitely more than a simple recreational activity; it is more than another Pacman of the 21st century. 

Driving back, where my wife, my house, my job awaited, I pondered about similarities, about being full of stars, about the need to become a poet, about things which elevate. Elite: Dangerous awaited, too. 

"In diesem Kosmos gibt es so gut wie nichts,was sich nicht berechnen ließe. Flut und Ebbe, der Gang der Gestirne, der Zug der Kometen: alles das unterliegt einer berechenbaren Gesetzmäßigkeit.Und dennoch, wenn du allein bist im All, draußen in der grenzenlosen Einöde des Raumes, der nirgendwoeinen Anfang hat und nirgendwo ein Ende, ist es jedesmal überwältigend, wenn das Ziel zur festgesetzten Zeit im festgelegten Winkel vor dir auftaucht. Fassungslos nimmst du zur Kenntnis, daß du es gefunden hast in dieser Unendlichkeit, die nicht einmal deine Spuren duldet." 

[In this universe there is next to nothing, that could not be calculated. High tide and low tide, the course of the stars, the trail of comets: all these are subject to a predictable regularity. And yet, when you are alone in the universe, outside in the boundless desert of space, nowhere a beginning nor an end, it is overwhelming each and every time, when the goal set for at a fixed time in a fixed angle, appears before you. Bewildered you take note that you have found it in this infinity which does not even tolerate your footprints.]

- Mark Brandis, "Aufstand der Roboter"

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