Today I want to focus on some positive stuff, some stuff I really like. The world is going to shit, along with my mental faculties perhaps, but the easiest way I’ve found to distract myself is through horror.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but there is the VHS series. A series of horror movies with a narrative framework, which consists of people stumbling upon disturbing VHS tapes. I’ve watched the first four in the series, of which the 1st and the 4th were the best so far. As a child I used to make stop-motion videos myself with Lego, I had my younger brother and my friends do the voices for me. But then they made me go to the gymnasium. I never left the gymnasium. I’m still there.
Sticking with the theme, there is the haunted PS1 game aesthetic. Playstation 1 games had to work with limited computing power and the way to do so led to an eerie aesthetic, even in games that were not necessarily intended to be eerie: Distorted faces from low polygon graphics, a creepy fog in the distance, strange camera angles that made you feel barely in control, all through an old CRT television screen in your room.
There’s a whole bunch of games that try to replicate that aesthetic now. And one of these happens to be the background for an amazing music video:
All of this is an incredible work of art, that just 4000 people have seen. And the honest reality is that this sort of stuff is both my medicine and my disease. When I look at something like this I feel comforted, but simultaneously I feel sad that I just can’t get myself to produce a work of genius like this. My harddrive is littered with partially finished music videos and video games. In my defense, my computer just isn’t fast enough to properly use Unity for game design.
Moving on, I’ve mentioned “A short hike” before.
Well, imagine the soothing aesthetic style of A short hike, but with the unsoothing theme of a game set in purgatory. That gets you “Herbert in Purgatory Hotel“.
Again, we’re dealing with a work of genius. It takes about half an hour to finish this game at most, it’s short and easy. But look at the aesthetics, the theme. And it has a total of five people who thought it was worth commenting on.
Finally, something really funny. AI generated Spongebob. The channel is currently here, but it keeps getting constantly banned. Just before one ban, Squidward began to sing a beautiful song:
I think this is probably the best way to treat AI. AI is not about to disappear. We’re best off treating it as a joke. AI adjusts itself based on the information we feed it. As long as we keep feeding it crap and stupidity, it continues to behave like a hilarious absurdity.
And the nice thing about AI Spongebob is that it’s not intimidating, in the sense that nobody who worked on it did something genius. A bunch of people made the Spongebob series, then some people designed a game off it, then some people came up with AI, then someone took the 3d models from the old Spongebob game to build an engine, coupled AI systems to the engine, set up a discord server and there the main genius happens: Random anon autists suggest topics of conversation for the characters. Calling this AI is ultimately just a way of obscuring the massive amounts of human labor that go into this.
Code-monkey nerds on the subreddit are already complaining that AI became utterly useless for programming and other stuff. What happened? People feed it crap, so it starts producing crap. Everytime you succeed at making AI say something racist, they go in and lobotomize it further.