Deep Roots Live On

Sorry for yet another intermediary post, I’ll see about doing a write-up on my Skyrim mod later tonight.

You may recall from yesterday that I mentioned a communication paper I’m working on. The paper itself is of no consequence, but its subject led me to research the fan culture surrounding the Myst games (of which I was a large part for several years). As a result of this research, I discovered something that I did not know, or perhaps did not yet want to know – the community is still there, living, breathing life into the Cavern. I thought it had faded from coherence gradually over the course of a couple years, culminating in the death of the forums I called home this past Christmas, but not so. Faced with destruction, the community found a way and made a home on the Uru Live forums, of which I was never even a member. With the consolidation of everything Myst-related that forum has become the headquarters of activity, and it is indeed pulsing with life.

This surprised me, and left me somewhat conflicted, as though I had purposely forgotten such a large part of what made me, me. I lost a good two or three hours simply browsing those forums, as I did long ago, and I found myself feeling not only nostalgic but also energized by what I saw. Perhaps it is not as understandable to someone who has never played the Myst series as I and so many others have, to someone who has not walked the piers of Channelwood, or has not ridden the crystal sphere through Amateria, or has not seen the cleft in the desert and swam amongst the stars. These games have been around as long as I have, and they mean more to me than any others since. It might be that I only just realized this last night, faced with the realization that I had abandoned what I count as a large part of my heritage.

For the first time in a long time, I wanted to draw something. Anything.

My browsing of the forums led me to looking at digital worlds people had made in tribute to the series, in all their variable beauty. I went through an archive of early concept art, I saw the games through the designers’ eyes, and even though only a tenth of all that art went into the actual games, I felt myself remembering ideas and feelings that had long lain dormant.

And as the final nail in the coffin, I realized that I had forgotten my collection of savegames and additional fan-made worlds, even my installation of Uru itself, when I switched to my new computer.

So, what am I to do? I have named this website after a proverb in the games, I owe my art style and likely my writing to the series, and yet I don’t know if I can integrate myself into the new culture which has arisen. My life has moved on, or rather along a different path, while I thought the community was just a happy memory. Have I diverged too far to relate to what’s going on now? I don’t know.

And so for now I suppose I will wait, and watch. As the saying goes, I will look deep, ponder, and recognize all that is hidden. Perhaps it is possible to go back, or perhaps I have moved too far to regain what I once had. We will see.

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