The most uncomfortable truth

I’m going through it with video games. “Let me watch some Diablo 4, oh, it’s the exact same thing as Diablo I and Torchlight from respectively 20 and 10 years ago, OK.”

Games bore me to death these days and yes, considering the important things we need to tackle and vote for or on, they are a bit of a waste of time. It is very painful to admit.

This article about Starfield makes me think about it. Yes, spending dozens of hours “exploring” pointless data on a computer, when you already have done it for hundreds of days in your life, is silly. Yes, flying over empty planets designed this way, using your super fancy GPU to display 4K textures, is a waste of energy and time. Yes, doing the exact same thing 40 years ago created the same excitement with a tenth of electric consumption. No, games being more immense than before doesn’t help in any way.

Developing games is insanely hard and being able to make something that works, that is fun and that people love, is a brilliant feeling to feel. It’s incomparable to anything, it’s impossibly joyful. I understand.

The impact of computer games on culture and society? Way fucking darker and questionable.

I struggle with this.

Audio&Games Me Myself&I

VR not

Virtual Reality is 45+ years old. In 1992, they were claiming that affordable VR would be ready in a couple years.

It is not affordable over 30 years later, nor did it take over, despite billions over billions of dollars sunk into it.


Because current engineers think that the brain is just a pair of eyes connected to a processing unit. It is not. The brain is connected to an entire body in ways that we are still learning about.

Back in the 1960s when personal computers and information technology were being formed by a team of psychologists, electrical engineers and mathematicians, they knew that computers needed physical access to themselves. They understood that as corny as it sounds, humans are One: one brain, one body. It’s all combined and intricately connected.

This is how they came up with the mouse, an input device that is still to this day the most accurate way to do well, most things on a computer. Why? Because it utilizes the wrist, a magnificent and ultra precise tool that created all the arts in the world.

What I mean is that human beings will never dissociate from their meat envelope. That is just how we’re literally wired. Full body tactile feedback will always be superior to zero tactile feedback because we’re so good at it. Thousands of years of experience on the resume.

Ever realized how incredibly fast our skins feel a change of temperature? Like, it’s basically instant. Our lives are all about tactile feedback, if you think about it: receiving a kiss, opening a door, tasting a beverage… It never stops.

This is why VR keeps failing. It disconnects us. That will not change and we won’t either.


The first computer game ever

But this digital computer was supposed to act as a flight simulator, a machine for which there was never any “answer,” just a constantly changing sequence of pilot actions and simulated aircraft responses. So Forrester and his team would have to create not a calculator but a computer that could monitor its inputs constantly, staying ready for whatever might come along; that could respond to events as fast as they occurred, without ever falling behind when things got hectic; and that could keep going until the simulation was over, however long that took. In short, they would have to create the world’s first real-time computer.

M. Mitchell Waldrop in The Dream Machine.

This is happening between 1945-1947.

Real-time computing is computer games’ heart and soul. It is the most complex type of programs and software, for it has to be solid in real time.

Today a modern computer game monitors in real-time inputs from 40 folks while simulating a 2-mile wide 3D world with real-time physics from lighting to sound to gravity (yeah we still cheat on all that, using pre-baked stuff as much as we can) simultaneously rendering all of this on 40 folks’ monitors at the rate of 60 frames per second, each frame being a grid of 2560 x 1440 pixels or more. Without crashing even if things become hectic. For as long as people play.

The complexity of something like Fortnite is beyond your comprehension (and mine).


Perfection Game

Perfection. (

It is still a great, soothing little game. Grab it.



I played Elden Ring on a PS5 this year. I played some Noita on my laptop. And then I stopped caring completely.

Too many things are not right in games.

Games are labor

Maybe you don’t work enough in your life but I do and I don’t want to do it again “for fun”. Fuck that. I don’t want to gather shit, I don’t want to level up, I don’t want to go there do that, go back there, being told what to do, go there collect that. Enough of this. The wandering in digital worlds sure, I’ve done that for decades. I’m wandering in books and cult movies these days.

The business model of games has lost its mind

Everything is about crafting abuse that can’t be seen. It is lucrative as hell, but the peer-pressure induced culture destined to make you buy more and more and more, and bet more and more and more is not right. And never will. I know, it’s everywhere now. It kind of got really efficient and scalable thanks to games. Remember how cute gamification looked in 2010 and now you can’t go grab a taco without an app, a leaderboard and some utterly meaningless “quest” to go after to collect “points”? It’s horrendously dehumanizing.

Game developers

Seeing many, many game developers that I respected and trusted come out as manipulators and abusive folks in the past few years, has been sobering. I’ve also had the most unprofessional interviews ever with game studios, by far. Again, really sobering.

The graphic treadmill

Today we have games in Real Time Ray Tracing in 4K with 1995 pathfinding. It is so jarring. Insanely realistic lighting with game states that we had when the PS2 was hot, is nonsense. It feels like nothing progressed, really. Shaders better than ever simulating clothes, hair, flames, wind, shadows all over the screen but the NPCs still can’t hear me drop from 30 feet right behind them. It’s nonsense.

The graphic treadmill is insanity and a 13 year old boy thirst trap.

The aimlessness of game design

The discipline is way too often about “me too, I can make a [trendy game design based off 90s nostalgia]”. Very few explorations. Insanely low progress in themes and worlds. For a profession that combines all other entertainment it’s quite amazing how generic games feel, consistently.

I understand! Making games and making a living off of games is extremely hard so in any design decision you tend to go for the most sound and secure approach: a first person shooter with zombies, for instance.

The issue is that game design has been doing this for twenty years on a loop, now. That’s half of video games’ existence. That’s a problem.

So yeah, time for me to go on a sabbatical about this entire thing.


So you wanna compose for games

This exact demo file was immediately rejected. In fact, Chad was part of the panel that rejected it. But he included the file on the album and listed himself as a co-artist, despite having absolutely nothing to do with it.

Oh boy. Mick Gordon, composer and sound designer talking about his great relationship with id Software.

If you want to make a living making music in this industry, don’t start.



I didn’t know this had gone that far.

Broke teenagers trying to fit in by getting into addiction isn’t a new thing, but those websites, their frictionlessness and technology (remember, tracking of every pixel on your screen, every move on your mouse) have made it a nightmare for our societies.

Also parents have sadly completely checked out from teenagers’ digital lives, for many reasons and variables.

We are in a gambling era. Don’t try to do it.

Scale back, bro. Leave your chats, your computers, and go read a book under a tree. Fuck them skins.



Internet search is so great, a few days after the leak and I cannot watch any footage of GTA 6 because y’all have gamed SEO so much, it’s impossible to find the right videos. It’s “Everything You Need to Know about GTA 6” by a bozo who’s going to stream GTA 5 shit with his face on the side, times a hundred. Sad.

It’s not that big of deal. It’s GTA. It’s a pleasant sandbox game. It hasn’t changed in twenty years and simultaneously improved a lot. Game design 101!

Audio&Games Me Myself&I

Presence in the physical world >> presence in VR

Lex says:

It just takes you to another world, and when you’re not in that world, you miss not being there… And then you kind of want to stay there forever cuz life’s… Shitty.

John answers by saying:

VR should be better inside the headset than outside; it’s the world as you want it.

While I understand his point of view, I dislike this take so much because it alleviates our accountability about life in the real world.

It makes it as if life was this static thing, that is shitty and can’t only be shitty, and that you’d better immerse yourself into a fictional 3D world rather than use your accountability, your presence to change the real world.

People will argue that you can do both, to which I’d answer that looking at our current metaverses —social media for the past ten years, the answer is no, we can’t do both at all: our brains will prioritize the version of our environment that is easier aka, the digital one (no accountability, baby!). And that’s when things (in the physical world) go wrong, unnoticed and unwanted.

John goes on examples:

There’s plenty of things that we just can’t do for everyone in the real world; everybody can’t have Richard Branson’s private island but everyone can get a private VR island.

John, it’s a fallacy to think owning things is the ultimate goal. It varies. Owning your toothbrush, sure. Your house, not that necessary. Your private island? Fuck no. No one needs that. Besides, everyone owning expensive shit knows that it’s stressful; therefore, why would you think a virtual version of that would be interesting? It’s not. It’s empty value. We’ve seen that countless of times since Second Life, Habbo Hotel or Roblox.

But the bigger argument to me, is Time. It’s the real currency here. If you spend 1,000 hours in VR and virtual worlds, it’s 1,000 hours you do not invest in the gravity-based world. It will backfire in a myriad of ways that we don’t know.

It is thanks to thousands of people waiting for hours and hours to vote in Georgia that we avoided some stuff, recently. All the close calls on polls and elections. Kansas showed up more than virtually and that was effective. Yeah.

It’s fair to say that the not so subtle rise of fascism and authoritarian stuff these days comes also from the fact that people are distracted in online worlds, 24/7. Twitter, fantasy football, Tinder, Elden Ring, whatever. The time invested there, is not invested over here.

One perfect example of weird disconnect between people and high tech, is housing. In terms of engineering, it’s a done deal! We know how to make the most efficient, clean and healthy housing possible, under every climates. But instead of having engineers and designers work out the details of scaling this up to the world to solve a real, worldwide issue, homelessness, engineers want us to go to freaking Mars or live in virtual worlds to spend virtual money.

No. I do not want that. Focus on the physical world and healthy human needs, please.


John Carmack is bae

He’s probably the only dude on earth with a kind of screechy, high pitched voice that I can listen to for hours. He’s so articulate and thorough in his analysis. Love it.

And his programming habits are healthy and sane. I like that. Because then I read comments like this:

For someone that is into hyper efficient graphics code, admitting that for the vast majority of code, using a garbage collector is perfectly fine is IMHO a very pragmatic and mature attitude.

It’s called adulting. It’s called being a grown (wo)man. It’s called using the right tools for the right problems. There’s nothing that pragmatic or mature. He’s just not a headless chicken trying to impress his peers. John Carmack is not about stunting about his programming abilities.

He just codes. He produces. And drinks a lot of Diet Coke.