why isn't this a doom 2 mod: a manifesto by the packbats
A downloadable manifesto
current estimates are that the computing industry will have doubled the number of transistors it can fit in its integrated circuits every two years for fifty years
this pattern created a habit of a question: what can we do now that we couldn't do before
this habit has created forty years of machines which the computing industry wants us to landfill - machines which are uninteresting to its money
but why should we discard them?
a professional person in 2022 who wanted to do scientific computing or computational linguistics or the like would learn python or ruby or matlab or other suchlike practical languages
pico-8 is very poorly suited to these purposes - it cannot do much or very quickly
...which is to say it is in the same ballpark as a 1990s graphing calculator
moore's law has scaled our expectations every two years, but a 1990s graphing calculator could carry you through most engineering computations
go boot up the mainframe (the desktop) (the laptop) when you need to do the full finite element analysis or whatever, but simple models tell you most of what you need to know
the most common request people make of the pico-8 dev is to make it bigger, more powerful, do more
moore's law scaled their expectations
the windows version of the indie platformer Celeste requires 1.1 GiB of hard disk space
about half of that is graphics, about half of that is music
it makes sense, but it scales our expectations
we read a pdf once that made our computer chug
a thousand words or so, four pages
the pdf was thirty megabytes
the docx was only eleven kilobytes - why did no-one notice the pdf was so big?
our computer doesn't really crash a lot - it's a nice machine, four gigabytes of ram and an integrated graphics card
it froze up yesterday trying to read a web page
the document it tried to read was only three hundred words that time
...but the author wanted a nice subtle ripple effect in the background and hammered the gpu to make it
why didn't they notice what they were asking of people's computers to create that?
why did we write this?
because our computer is good and the computing industry wants to put it in a landfill because they can't use it
and that leaks out all over the place (three hundred words and it crashed our machine)
the computing industry has built a community that does not know how to be gentle
and we want to bring that gentleness to the forefront
we are artists - we care about our expressions, our communications, our audiences
we are not here to create carbon dioxide and fill hard disk platters
our ancestors had to think about the lightfastness of their pigments and how well they'd last
please, let us think about the machines we build for and how much we ask
let us write our essays in plaintext or markdown or raw html - tell our stories so a teletype could convey them
(or a screenreader, or a braille display)
let us make bitsy explorations and twine gamebooks and low-poly 3d environments
walk our hardware demands as far back as we can, take a breath, and ask, "what should I take from people when they listen to me?"
let us embrace how much we can do with so little
we have never played or modded doom 2
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