BACK 'IN THE SPIRAL': Open Beta Docs of a Fragmented Creation Story Finally Surface...


As we all know, the older, more treasured(?) medium of books or even 'the art of scrap-booking' has almost itself been scrapped. Yes, there existed the notion that a writer publish a well-prepared story or body of information that was set in stone - or print - and possibly revisited for new editions. Well, that was an earlier age, and a slower time. And before that; even slower: hand-written books were formed decoratively by scribes as works of art within a hyper-religious age. Passing on or duplicating information was a costly, skilled, error-prone process...



As we all know, 'books' evolved rapidly into open docs, and now exist as these living, or sleeping, rated entities, from low to highly interactive 'open documents' that readers follow and pin to their accounts, and are notified when major updates or changes occur. They can harbor all kinds of interactive media. A bit like game-worlds.

And this is what - it seems - our elusive, good-intentioned old 'professor of game-worlds' Benjamin Fielding favored when he asked his old Spiral developer friend John Leaven to preserve something of the story of their vision.

And here we have them - the emerging 'books' about the Spiral's formation and the beginnings of 'Fountellion', its gemstone, still shining today. You can read this collation of emails, accounts, blog entries and development notes here at The Spiral Times: 'In The Spiral'. The collator makes it clear that much of it came from collaboration with John Leaven, one of Fielding's closest friends and allies. At last, the rocky story of 'Fountellion in The Spiral' becomes a little clearer.

And what of this?...Well, time will tell, but there are strong hints in the book (and it's quite well-known) that the professor possessed also an original, 'game-book' of Fountellion...Yes, really. That he put together a sort of scrap-book or Source-book edition of his Spiral fragments, hand-written, with diagrams, insight outlines, sketches and private thoughts and entries. It would be almost a religious text, today, by the sound of it.

As ever, the move to find such a book fits with the whole oeuvre of a Fielding project. There will be these digital editions and 'followed content' but people will also - if it is ever found - physically want to see this tangible game 'bible' or scrapbook for themselves. They may order their own copies so they can gaze down on the light reflecting off the nascent ideas and shapes of Fountellion.

And the very possibility that this one book exists, subject to the winds of the Source, 'set in stone' and filled with direct markings stays in keeping to its whispering legacy and message... Slow down. Turn pages. Fountellion wasn't a dream. This thing was real in a larger sense. And its magic was very much a part of our world, not separated by any technology that brought us closer to it again.

For here and now - living in the aftermath of its creation - we can only welcome these books, for finally do we get to learn about some of the history, people and events in the virtual Spiral formation - and form our own subjective understanding - and appreciation - of the struggle behind it. For it is easy to be judgemental of others, battling with the restrictions of their time and natures, but these documents allow for some much-needed insight to surface... and pay tribute...

So for now, patch in or pin the live doc and you might witness the gathered fragments change or grow before your eyes...