(The Universe is a Serious Game of Statecraft)
Emblem, I is an interactive series of stories being related across a network of interconnected (essentially dead) authors, actors, and access points.
The parts of this series are not only overtly and subtly linked together into one narrative, but are also in narrative synchronisation with each other.
Emblem, I is also a play setup and open conspiracy involving billions.
Its players and co-conspirators can discover and share content, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and collaborate in groups to analyse the story and coordinate conspiratorial activities.
This story and play set-up is made up of 11 sources of content that contain the basic information to play, progress, and succeed in playing people, places and things out. These sources are as follows:
A feature-film-like production named Masks in the Sun. Part documentary, part new wave film noir, part mystery, whose story is based on “real life” persons, places, and things in a Midwestern town in the US.
In the town of St. Gabriel, in the Autonomous Province of Michigan, a beautiful still life of economies and privilege on the verge of decay, a documentary filmmaker is videotaping members of a local theatre group as they create an adaptation of A Christmas Carol. In the process of making his documentary, his film becomes enmeshed in stories of conspiracy and murder revolving around an old man suffering from dementia. Simultaneously, within both the town and the old man, the spirits of Halloween and Christmas are running together. Strange scenes are being acted out in a series of masquerades, an ongoing festival season of mourning and excess being mysteriously presided over by an enigmatic figure, seemingly part human, part angel, and part trickster.
Masks in the Sun is not simply a film in the traditional sense. It is like the experience of a disease that does not kill but alters, an odd adventure in which all can take part. It is not only a cinematic interlude where one sees a film and leaves a theatre. It is, because it has no choice, a performance and not a film.
A forthcoming novel-length, faux true crime, allegory and detective story entitled Kindness and Civil War.
When an investigative journalist famous for her work on healthcare stretches her wings in setting out to describe a surreal conspiracy among military and intelligence people to take over communities across the globe through their nursing homes, she comes under the spell of a world whose persons, places and things are engaged in violent conflicts more invisible and intractable than any she had ever been able to imagine.
It contains stories of a group of military contractors and is based on “real life” persons, places, and things around the world who “belong to” various groups. These groups (known as Like-Reality Belonging Groups) are all involved in the adaptation of famous written stories. These stories are being enacted in theater groups and simultaneously being made into films similar to Masks in the Sun.
A doctoral dissertation called Naming the Cause: A Cultural Critique of the Alzheimer’s State and subsequent renderings of it.
A social networking scheme called The State (A User’s Guide), that serves as a communications base for Emblem, I. Its webmaster is critical of and breeding suspicion of the stories from Emblem, I, as well as its processes and their authors.
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A number of other organisational and personal websites and social media sites linked to the stories.
Geocaches and virtual caches in points around the world.
Phone numbers, email addresses, and other means of exploring characters and story elements.
Photos of all sorts taken and posted both by characters and players. Some will be surveillance photos.
Theatrical Shorts, in which actors will interact with players online, by telephone, and in person, showing key players different places where story events continue to take place, more details about characters, and so on.
Video Shorts, including kinds of surveillance footage of different characters, some containing leads, clues and so on, and others being dramatic re-creations of events within serialised faux documentaries.
Sound Shorts, including recorded surveillance of meetings, musical pieces, and interviews with different persons.
Emblem, I : Manifesto of Sorts
I, Gabriel Embeha, am publicly calling for a full out conspiracy—against the (bankrupt) states of the world. I am not calling out a conspiracy but calling for one. This must be a popular conspiracy, of maybe billions of fixed souls.
We have reached a time in human history where every person will one day need to choose between becoming a future player, or a future game figure. Emblem, I is every person’s way to opt out of both.
Unfortunately for many, one of the keys to success in this conspiracy I am calling for is to be found in the social experience of dementia as it can be seen in cases of Alzheimer‘s disease. While this disease and related forms of disability are very strange, anxiety provoking and dreadful to most people, they seem to have also become relatively easy and convenient to put out of ones mind. While you might not yet be able to understand why, overcoming this state of self-distraction and denial is the one of the greatest, most urgent challenges of our age.
For those under 70 or so, this reality, its images and fears are even easier to avoid due to the fact that so very few under 70 will become disabled in such a way. In addition, the tendency for most persons to socialise with those near their own age makes it so they will have few if any friends likely to be disabled in this way. The exceptions to this may involve elderly family members but, if you are under say 40, this is often more of a situation for the children of those family members (your parents’ generation) and less for you (their less immediate relatives). Whatever the case, dealing with these kinds of disability in yourself or others is perhaps the most avoided and avoidable situation in a contemporary life. In the end, we tell ourselves, it is really not worth worrying about, especially because there is no cure, and no way to change the brain, heart and body to avoid it.
But consider this. Have you ever thought of how convenient this situation is, how such a common tragedy happening to so many individuals, friends and family members remains so well ignored by so many supposedly there to protect and defend us? Why is this? Have you ever considered there might be something strange going on, something bigger going on that makes these persons not really try to deal with it, to help us become more immune to the ravages of such disabilities? Have you ever considered there might be something hidden, having to do with how we are discouraged from studying and changing brains, hearts, and bodies in ways that may make a cure or coping more likely? What could be the possible reasons why those whom could do relatively nothing, or allow so little to be done? Could there be some set of vested interests that they are protecting, maybe even without completely knowing what all of these interests might be?
Oddly enough, while so many of us over the course of our lives will direct our energies to so many causes in the name of history, posterity, the nation, its children, and even overall public health, very few of us, unless forced to as a member of the healthcare profession, will ever positively affect those suffering from such disabilities or even work to lessen our own future suffering. Even those who link liberation, health and welfare to the virtues of selfishness or self-interest have no interest in working to lessen their own direct or indirect suffering. In fact, these persons may be the least likely to do so. Curious.
This being the situation, one might say that Alzheimer’s and related disabilities are being accepted by very many as some sort of unavoidable, end-of-life punishment that only Scrooge-like selfishness and money grubbing will be able to save us from, using money to live out our last years beyond the power of others. Ironically, though, this behaviour seems only to expedite and more likely assure the very demise such persons are so confident they are avoiding.
Out of this comes the story of Masks in the Sun, and the need to take part in one of the related as if reality exercise called Emblem, I.
Can films combined with as if reality exercises, things that are supposed to be entertainment, to enhance and improve your destiny and that of others, even decades from now?
You have only time to spend, a little reading to do and share, a little mystery to encounter, but so much to gain in answering this question. Masks in the Sun and Emblem, I are neither exercises in reality nor fantasy. They involve an alternate reality of sufferers, dreamers, and players that make us stronger, more just and loving, and more prepared to encounter the meaning of life itself. If you think of wild, entertaining, all engrossing and fantastical experience when you hear the term “delirious,” and if you have come to feel distraction is an acceptable, manageable norm, you especially need to experience Masks in the Sun and play through Emblem, I.
St. Gabriel, PAM