It’s not even a week out from the election and already the pundits are clamoring!
“it’s all Corbyn’s fault”
“Boris will deliver”
We are, to be frank, more than a little fed up with Real World politics. So, we thought this an excellent time to tell you about our newest game, Tinfoil Hat.
We tried to capture the zeitgeist and, to abuse the metaphor, have tied him up until he squealed. The theme of this game is Conspiracy Theories. Did the moon landings really take place? Who was the man behind the grassy knoll? Do vaccines cause autism or just profits?
Players construct a Rant about how ” the CIA are causing all of us to ignore the Alien Invasion by means of Hello Kitty normalising Animal Human Hybrids, and how Fake News outlets are hushing up how Henry 8th started it all with his pal the immortal Keanu Reeves, when they…… “
I would like to make crystal clear that all the references in this game are intended to be taken tongue-in-cheek. All four of us have degrees that include science, and one of the things that teaches you is to look for the evidence – to ask how did those people reach those conclusions. Part of science is a willingness to change your mind in the face of new evidence.
One of the best stories of science development is Phlogiston. The Ancient Greeks knew that only some things burned, because they had fire in them. When you burned wood, you could see the fire coming off it!
During the Renaissance, scientists posited that things which burned contained phlogiston, and that burning things lost phlogiston. One could restore it by reacting the dephlogisticated material in a phlogiston rich environment – for example, soot.
Breathing was the expelling of excess phlogiston into the air, but air could only hold so much phlogiston. Meanwhile plants absorbed that excess phlogiston from the air in order to grow, explaining why they burnt so well once dried.
Once atomic weight was discovered, they decided phlogiston had an atomic weight of -16. Does 16 sound familiar? It’s the atomic weight of oxygen. Phlogiston theory was very close to correct – in that it was precisely the opposite of reality.
Now we understand that burning things aren’t losing negatively weighted phlogiston, but gaining positive oxygen. Sometimes the end product is heavier ( e.g. tin or lead oxide), often some of the fuel’s weight has been lost in smoke and carbon dioxide. We can even work out what should happen if we oxidize something. But we still don’t perfectly understand how fire works – as evidenced at any barbecue.
As gamers, we talk about magic. According to Clarke, magic is just science we don’t understand yet. So, until we can read minds, we’re going to have to keep talking. And Ranting. And blogging about game development.