So the personification of the waves fought against the personification of the currents, until the personification of the sea took away their form, so that they could not fight. They are of the sea, without the sea they do not even exist. But what does it even mean for two abstract concepts to fight? How can one abstract concept frighten another? When we give human images to these ideas, we expect them to behave in human ways, but they are still fundamentally not human.

Do the Gods Spar?

The game Action Potential is in one sense an exploration of this question: between two beings who cannot be hurt or killed, what sort of competition could arise? Between two ideas given human form, or two human images projected onto two ideas, how would their conflicts play out?

A major idea driving the development of Perpetual Dawn is to imagine these gods, these personifications, as in some way embodying ideals or aspirations. I don't envision them as perfect, because I want them to stand as ideal models that reflect our human contradictions and complications. Action Potential is one sort of game I imagine these ideal entities might play.

Action Potential is like the little bit of martial-arts sparring I learned as a child: you aren't fighting to win, but sparring to learn. The conflict serves as a context for the sparring, to give it purpose and direction, but we enter the ring as friends and we leave the ring as friends. It embodies the ideals that I learned as I was learning to play games like Street Fighter, the things that some of us aspired to even as we fed off the rush of winning, even as we demeaned each other, there was still that ideal to move toward.

When Garos and Fodos spar in Action Potential, it is not completely without drama. They still harbor some resentment, and still desire to defeat each other. Even so, they enter the game knowing that it is only a game, that it has defined rules, a beginning and end.

When Mirabella spars, it is for the pure joy that comes from doing a thing well. She has no desire to dominate anyone, though she certainly would like to impress them with her skill. For her there is no hostility in the game, and so she feels none  of the fear that she felt when her brothers were really fighting with hatred for each other. The context of the game makes it safer.

Old Wander does not spar. Before the time when Action Potential takes place, Old Wander became tired of the stories he had begun and never finished. He chose to cease existing altogether, and in his place he created Melmoth and Gloria, his last two stories, who would go and finish all of his stories in his place. Melmoth and Gloria do spar, they do so together, acting almost as a single being. They spar for the challenge and purpose that it provides, because it is something they take on for their own selves, not a story that they are cleaning up for Old Wander's sake.

There are others who might be introduced to the game later. For now I think that five characters are enough to begin with. Later additions could include the Sculptor who made the world at Old Wander's request, and held it in place until Melmoth and Gloria were created to take that burden from her. There are also the Insect King and the Usurper King, of the ancient and mysterious insect-people, who are close friends and rule together, even though half of the insect-people think that one should be the rightful ruler, and half think that the other should be king. 
 





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