The Ungathering

August 4, 2011

This morning, the youngest created a card game by drawing and cutting out little figures. On each turn you can play a card, or use an active card to attack, trap other cards, and so on. The results of all battles are fairly determined by him not by rules but in an entirely autonomous process of spontaneous choreography. After one such battle, I was shocked when, his combatant having been defeated, he screwed it up to be thrown away. My amazement was soon joined by shame as I watched him continue the game, thoroughly untroubled and absorbed. Unlike the deck-building fetishism of Magic: The Gathering, this is a noncollectible card game. Cards—or the knights, traps, snakes, fire-breathing monsters or other, largely undetermined creatures or capacities they constitute—last only as long as their fortune in a single game. Each individual character requires a new act of creation—and the capacity to do so is unlimited. Simply draw and cut them out.  Having rescued these scrunched up cards from among the coffee grounds feels like a massive betrayal. They will go back in the bin, and I’m uncomfortable with even this photo. Fuck negentropy—there is no entropy here. Nothing to redeem.

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2 Responses to “The Ungathering”

  1. Neil Says:

    yup. Nothing to redeem. and yet you DID “rescue” the discarded characters. You DID photograph them. and im glad you did. im complicate in the betrayal. coz i want the memory. ahh…the folly of age and….wisdom?

    Rather, give me the wisdom of the youngest, the look on his his face as he, by whatever unseen rules, determines that his character has lost. first consideration, followed by mild consternation and very quickly simple resignation. the paper is screwed up and, so casually, sooo easily, dropped to the floor.

    if ur gonna play the game grandad….best be ready to move on…


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