Home > Uncategorized > Recombinant folk art: dungeon mapup

Recombinant folk art: dungeon mapup

The obvious next step from Plagmada: a semi-random dungeon tile-assembler, stocked with OSR community map bits.
…really when you put it like that, this whole sandbox creativity thing doesn’t seem so unprogrammable after all. All you need is a smart engine for finding meaning in randomly generated sentences, which is basically what James thinks players are, ISTM.

Brilliant simplicity: a lamp that is gradually dimmed by the sand in an hourglass.
Perfect at your bedside to get you to drift off into slumber.

There’s a name for both of these: bricolage. And it makes me realise what I dislike about the term “folk art” – it has exactly that same semi-appreciative, semi-dimissive quality Levi-Strauss had when he posited the existence of ingenieurs alongside his bricoleurs. It celebrates some stuff that wouldn’t otherwise get celebrated, while imposing a glass ceiling over it, keeping it out of the elite galleries.

If I propose something sufficiently complicated does it become the work of an ingenieur? Or do I need some sublime spark of originality? If I could somehow pull off a reverse night light that works as an alarm clock, using one of those hourglass-type-things that contain a liquid that bubbles up into the top chamber when the lower one is heated (so much classier than a dimmer switch), would that be modern, or is it disqualified because I showed you my intermediate steps up there?

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