This is a very brief Constellation Games post. Spoilers for the chapters that have already gone out to subscribers.
In chapter 16 Save the Humans finds a vector after all, and the consequences of following it cut humanity off from space indefinitely. Ariel’s reaction is to get sad-drunk on the Internet and write about video games. The more he’s learned about Af be Hui’s career as a game designer, the more insight he’s gained into what first contact can do to a civilization, and that’s the focus of his big despairing game review. Don’t ignore the opening paragraph, though, because there’s a sneaky connection hidden in it. From July 28:
Can a video game be a work of art? Eggheads have been asking this question for twenty years, even though the answer is obviously “yes”. We live in a world in which any random shit can be art. Think of anything bad to say about video games and there’s something worse that everyone agrees is art. Torture-wince movies are art. Commercials are art. A fire extinguisher is art, if a designated artist designates it as art.
From The Tempest, Act II, Scene 1:
Ariel: My master through his art foresees the danger
That you, his friend, are in; and sends me forth—
For else his project dies—to keep them living.
JUST SAYIN’. I know this seems trivial, but the deeper we get into the book, the more the archaic use of “art” for “magic” resonates. Get ready for Part II!