New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
Ar-ca-no-metry?? gotta google that. brb
No outcome yet..i’m kinda worried by the way his hands shine, matching the colours of the five.
Arcanometry is obviously an arcane type of metry.
It has yet to be standardized, so don’t put too much weight on not being able to find it.
Is that Imperial or Metric?
Does this imply the existence of some manner of Scienceomancy?
You mean colours, right?
It’s obvious: Stories in comics are told in arcs, therefore, ARCanometry is the science of comic story-telling.
I think on the matter of colors it could easily be reflected light off of the tubes. In order from right to left we have red, green, (brown/natural), blue, and yellow. From his perspective, that’s proper order of colored tubes.
The “Arcano” part is obviously referring to the fact that there is magical shenanigans going down. It’s the “metry” bit that’s interesting. I think it’s being derived from “geometry”.
Arcane geometry could mean many things. It could mean Arkerra is more real than Daedalus realizes (he’s accessing a foreign plane), or that it wasn’t real before but is now (he created a universe without realizing it), or it could mean the world is real only if the players are there.
I personally think it’s one of my first two guesses. Daedalus clearly doesn’t have complete control over the situation, so it’s not “just a game”. I think that Arkerra is more real than Daedalus realizes. Whether that’s in the magical sense (Neverending Story) or the technological sense (Tron) remains to be seen.
Literally I think it’d be measuring secrets, or hidden things.
Well, so much for all the theories that Arkerra is real.
There’s something to the thought that Arkerra is real to them… and that there is something more than “mere” technology going on here. I guess we know now whether the characters retain any conscious knowledge of their “player” lives.
there’s still hoping. like the cultist said “no other way unless you’d act before gods”. They gotta beat god in his own game
He said “synthesized universe”, which is… interesting. While this does confirm that Arkerran lore, etc. are unreal, could the “arcane” component mean he LITERALLY built a universe, with pre-set history and lore, and actual physical substance? I like where this is headed, wherever it goes.
So it’s all just a game. No getting around that now. Sad.
I’ll still follow the comic. It’s still well-drawn, comes out on schedule, and isn’t offensively stupid, which is all I really require to keep a comic in my bookmarks. But it’s just going to be a comic I read instead of a comic I look forward to. And it certainly isn’t the comic that I was captivated by even though there were only a half dozen strips posted at the time.
Arkerra is not a vibrant fantasy world with a sassy modernist flair, populated by quirky and engaging people. It’s just a holodeck program played by some gamers I’ve barely met, for reasons that are both ambiguous and unsatisfying.
In earlier comments, one of the authors promised us that our emotional investment in the first 8 chapters will still pay off. Yet I can see nothing but diminishing returns. Whatever. All I have left is morbid curiosity and the memories of how good things used to be.
He specifically said ‘In the eyes of the world,’ as in ‘it’s only a game to the stupid people.’
Rattle that around your brainbox for a few minutes.
Whoa, world = stupid people. I’ve always had my suspicions but this is just…
Truth hurts doesn’t it.
yeah it does. :) good thing all the “world” people out there can’t see it.
Yeah, what total morons.
In the eyes of the world, you make a great point.
In the eyes of the world, that was a great dis.
The only real sad thing is that they should have startet the comic that way and not make 8 wonderful chapters of a good fantasy world that turned out to be syntethic mix of modern technologie and modern magic(?).
The whole dissapointment that most people feel (that includes me) could have been easily avoided if they had only taken that chapter as chapter 1 (or as a Prolog,chapter 0 ).
Yeah, I’ve been trying to hang on but it was good before and now it isn’t. I keep thinking it will get better but it really hasn’t.
Au contraire. I say so much for all the theories that Arkerra is just a computer game. It’s clearly not. And when magic is involved the line between what is and isn’t real is far more blurred than in a clever Matrix knock-off.
Of course, whiners are gonna whine. At this point, some people are just actively looking for evidence to confirm that Everything Is Ruined ™. While you consider this strip proof that everything is over, I consider it a sign that the plot is going to get even more interesting from here.
Indeed. I think some people continue to read this strip just so they can keep commenting on how they’re gonna stop reading this strip.
Yes, whiners are going to whine. You, however, offer only valuable and insightful critiques. I’d point out how that’s a bit of a double standard, but that would be whining, I’m sure.
Negative subjective opinion=whining. Positive subjective opinion=what? Boosting? Cheerleading?
Plenty of people are disappointed with the strip, myself included. I agree with pretty much everything Thor said. From my perspective, Arklerra’s a consequence-free holodeck program-via-World of Warcraft spoof, and that’s not nearly as interesting as it was in it’s previous incarnation of a fully realized fantasy world.
That’s my opinion, and I’m not expressing it via whine.
Your grasp of the subtle truths of life and of my awesomeness are appreciated. :-)
Actually this lends a bit of credibility to the idea that it IS real. If any of you have ever played the MYST series of games and read the books…
Atrus’ father Gehn kept writing worlds within books that he could link to. He was convinced that he was creating these worlds and that it made him the god of them. However, Atrus discovered that the world’s were not being created by them. By writing these descriptive books they were merely linking to the closest world that matched that world’s description (at the time of first linking).
It could be theorized that Mr. Purple is merely linking to the world of Arkerra and he only thinks that he is creating said world. only instead of using a magic book made with magic paper and magic ink he is using a computer augmented by magic.
There’s pissing on some of the last hopes for actual worrying about the world, there.
I’d so hoped this wouldn’t happen. I’d hoped we’d have a reason to give a damn about the planet, and not just the characters.
There is the possibility that this is a simulation modeled upon the real one, and this was just a test run.
So, i guess that makes Daedalus the most sucessful vilain around. After all, he seems to have destroyed the world for so many people…
Personally, i like the way the story is going. T, Phill and Jhon are doing a wonderful work.
Who- …who are you talking to?
Hehe, Dedalus is literally playing God. Gettit? “Playing”. :P
what sort of hit dice does he have?
A Holy Shitload.
When H.R. attacks he’s a Holy Roller.
Are you suggesting Dedalus plays dice with the universe?
No Mr. Einstein, I expect you to die…
Ooops sorry, wrong movie.
“Stop telling God what to do, Albert.”
What movie is that?
Not only does God play dice, he cheats.
-Academician Prokhor Zakharov,
“For I Have Tasted the Fruit.”
I dunno about Phil, but you guys get my gold star for working in a quote from Alpha Centauri.
I love that game so much.
I TOLDJA IT WUZ MAGICAL! :D
I wonder if my local school of witchcraft and wizardry has courses in that…
I don’t know about your local schools, but Miskatonic University has it as an option in the third year of the Mathematic course.
Yup, it’s one of the courses you can take instead of Non-Euclidean geometry.
Awesome! I’ma transfer there for next year. I mean, it’s Miskatonic. What could possibly go wrong?
say high to Harry and Ron for me.
I have to admit that this is a huge letdown, or rather another stake in the idea of “Guilded Age” world being real. I really liked this series when I picked it up about a year ago because it was a story that took place in a genuine fantasy world. Of course there were a few instances where the fourth wall was stretched (the achievement for best being one) but these were so few and far inbetween that I could have cared less. I really liked the idea that these characters were working to protect and improve a world on the brink of some horrible crisis, now I’m not so sure. While I won’t use this page as a condemnation of the series, I will say that it fills me with more doubt that the story will be able to pull itself back up to it’s previous standard. Best of luck.
The world is real. He specifically said that it’s only a game to everyone else.
It’s like watching a documentary on, say, war. For you, it’s a show. For them it was life and death.
Synthetic materials are still real.
Because a Synthetic world has no “real” past,no real memorys only the one’s that the people who made it ,gave it.
Thats why the thing he said in the third panel is the most true: “Arkerra is not Real. Its a synthesized Universe”
It doesn’t have a history, but it has a present and a future.
It was made. Once it’s made, it’s real. By your logic, Arkerra just needs to be around for 20 minutes and it will become real because it will now have memories beyond what he gave it.
When magic man in the sky glued our universe together, was it fake because it was made?
Great. That means we can tell everyone that World of Warcraft is real, and they aren’t wasting their lives when they are playing it.
The NPCs in WoW are not sapient. Stop being so bad at this!
And the NPCs in Arkerra are? What point, if any, are you trying to make?
That would indeed be an implication of having created a synthetic world, as opposed to a fictional one. No one’s ever called WoW a synthetic reality to the best of my knowledge.
Anyway, you don’t like this, and that’s cool. I have no interest in the debate. You ask what point was being made and it looks to me like he was saying that that this is a universe with genuine, albeit manmade, life. I don’t have a solid stance on the issue, gonna wait until we actually get some solid information beyond a cryptic monologue from an enigmatic figure before I start deciding I know stuff.
You can get into some pretty messy philosophy dealing with what is “Real” and what isn’t. Think about it: How do you know ANYTHING is real? Every experience, every feeling, every sensation could all be nothing but a figment of your imagination and there’s no real way to prove that it’s not.
It’s a deep rabbit-hole that has swallowed great minds since the time of the ancient Greeks. (Check out the wikipedia page on “Reality” under my nametag if you want something to mess with your head a bit).
Incidentally, and for the same reasons, World of Warcraft can be considered real, and, to many people, the experiences and relationships developed there ARE very real. The fact that this comic is exploring these themes (especially in this digital age) is intriguing, even though it’s not what I expected when I signed on.
To be QUITE frank, I liked the comic better before it got into these themes, but this is better than just the “Payet Best show” that had some (namely me) worried a few weeks back.
Does it contain the square root of -1? no? then it’s real!
Honestly, I feel the only real mistake they’ve made is allowing comments. Ever since they’ve started down the rabbit hole, there’s just been a ton of passive aggressive “change it back” crap, and I’m really hoping they don’t.
Haha, don’t worry. We won’t!
Yay! I offer a humble sacrifice to your beard sir.
Just make sure it’s not a burning offering.
God? oh great he’s one of “those” ;)
Has someone been reading “Heroes Die”?. I would love that
I’ve been thinking that that’s where this is heading.
“Does that make me your ‘God?’”
…Actually? No. My God would be more creative in His hand signs.
Dedalus is the God of partying. Hence the throwing horns.
His consort is Drunk Woman, the near-future version of Penny and Aggie’s Drunk Girl.
This calls for: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwDg9pUZ90
More answers! Yays.
For people who are disappointed because this ‘arcanometry’ makes the GA-verse less likely to be “real”… come on. It’s basically a tarted up name for magic, and literally ANYTHING can go screwy with magic.
Maybe it’s an alternate dimension that persists forever now that players have plugged in. Maybe it gets wiped if H.R. pulls the plug, but the consciousness of the players can get trapped in there. And maybe they’re deliberately bending the definition of ‘real’ here. If it’s an artificial, digital construct, but players have to plug in Matrix style and the world exists for essentially forever, would you consider it ‘real’ for the people inside? Is it a construct if the NPCs are scripted or programmed, but real if they develop their own sentience?
why is everybody mad? Once again HP has some wisdom to drop on you:
“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
-raises hand in anticipation for a high five-
Is it the Arcanometry that’s making the acid trip galaxy? Because if it is, I want it.
Also, I wonder if we’re going to find out more about the background of the game or the players this week.
Vegeta! What does the Arcanometer say about his power level?
It’s over 9000!!!!
Huh, I must’ve had the scanner on upside down.
“…NGC 5555, known by its common name, Acid Trip Galaxy, is one of the most remarkable spectacles in our…”
nah, it is just that the damn world editor always opens zoomed way out to the galaxy and then he has expand everything until he can get the parts he is working on. The UI team has a CR about it but it may slip to post-release since it isn’t customer-facing. >:-(
“Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology” – The Daedelus Corollary
I still think the original saying may be closer, but with that rainbow galaxy, who the fuck knows.
I thought he was casting colour spray.
With the way everyone is willfully misinterpreting what he’s saying, he may just have.
It seems like there is plenty of room for varied interpretations. Why is the one you disagree with automatically the wrong one?
Why is everyone not enjoying the current storyline a “whiner” and “willfully misinterpreting?” Aren’t we allowed to not like the changes?
He’s pretty concise in what he’s saying, but for some people a tree just can’t simply be a tree.
You’re right, though. The people who come back every update to bitch about how much the comic sucks and how they won’t read it again sure do have some legitimate complaints. Nope, no whining here.
If anyone has a right to feel wronged, it’s the authors, who are getting bitched at incessantly for their vision every single update day.
The story is already written. Don’t mail the book back to Stephen King and tell him to change the fucking ending because you don’t like it.
Oh, Indomitable Eric….this is probably waaaay inappropriate of me but read your response here mingles so well with your on-screen name and well…I am completely turned on by it. :)~
One does what one can. ;)
I thought he was just summoning a milky way because he was hungry.
In that case he needs to conjure some cornflakes as well.
chocolate bar and cornflakes?
I don’t know. If you melt them together in a pan chocolate and cornflakes are really quite tasty.
Perhaps, but it seems a waste of good chocolate mixing it up with grains and such. Give it to me rawww, wrig-g-g-g-g-ly.
You mean, as chewing gum?
And we wish to catch a fish so juicy SWEEET?
Now you’re getting it. :P
“. . . And you can keep Nasssty Chipssses!”
Ponder Stibbons, Agatha Heterodyne, and Larry Niven would like to object to that title.
Best Quiz team ever!
First comment I’ve made, but I’ve been reading GA from the very start. I had to address this because I see so [i]many[/i] people complaining about the direction of the comic. To which I reply…why is Arkerra, as a world, any less real than our own? It’s populated by living, thinking creatures with emotions, dreams and aspirations (which is an assumption, but not a gross one), and it seems that the players actually perceive the game world through the mentality of their characters. Is the world any less ‘real’ because its inhabitants are techno-magical in genesis? These ideas have been touched on plenty of times in media such as The Matrix, .hack and Star Ocean: Til the End of Time. I, for one, look forward with baited breath–and with the burning desire to have my questions answered.
Of course Arkerra is not real. It’s an invention of T Campbell, Phil Kahn, and John Waltrip.
So far, we’ve enjoyed a coherent narrative about a vibrant fantasy world. Chapter 9 has introduced another layer of the story, in which a particular character, Dedalus, created Arkerra, within a world that looks like ours, using people like those we know.
This doesn’t make Arkerra less real than it was to begin with. In a way, since there’s now explanation within the outer story for the violations of the fourth wall in the inner story, the overall story is more coherent and consistent.
The inner story is still there. There’s now more story.
Also, the outer story apparently involves a wizard — an arrogant and powerful wizard, and likely an evil one. So, it’s still looking like there’s a lot of fantasy here.
really? I don’t get the vibe that Daedelus is evil. I see him more as a caretaker of a responsibility he neither expected nor prepared for.
I limited it to “likely”, as it’s not completely clear how much responsibility Dedalus bears for this. However, it appears he bears a lot, that he created the situation, benefitted from it, and expects to further benefit from the enslavement of five people.
Also, the title page of this chapter showed Dedalus, with the subtitle, “The one where the real villain shows up.”
At this point, you need a fairly contrived explanation to show that Dedalus is not the real villain.
No need for a contrived explanation. Soloran pointed out a simple and easy one, and just because he created the world doesn’t mean that he controls it despite the God comment. Most children don’t listen to their parents or become exactly what they want them to be.
He created this world, probably using a vast army of employees working independently of eachother in the name of secrecy. If not an army of computer programmers, he used his spell book and waved his hand in just the right motion to conjure exactly what he wanted. Regardless of how far off the mark I am, I still doubt, “a responsibility he neither expected nor prepared for”, would describes it. Love the comic by the way. I’ve been following since the beginning.
Ceci n’est pas une jeu de rôle.
Un jeu de rôle? Merci pour la nouvelle manière de dire RPG.
C’est pas tres nouveau si vous etes Francais. :3
Je pense qu’on dit “jeux de rôle”, ne pas “jeu” en français.
um… never mind. Just confusing plural and singular again.
In the interests of discussion, I don’t think that’s quite how the psychology of it works. In order to enjoy the comic, or any other fiction, we “pretend it’s real” a little bit, so that we can become invested in the characters and care about their problems. If we just think of it as a constructed world with constructed problems, we care less about it, since it’s all fiction and none of it matters anyway. We have to pretend a certain amount of reality in order to get emotionally involved.
Now, that’s easy to do with any well-written fiction, but it’s a lot harder to follow two different levels of reality at once like this. We can either accept the reality of the fantasy world, that all their problems and trials are real and matter. Or, we can accept the modern reality, that the fantasy world is a computer simulation. But trying to do both at once is a bit of a brain strain. I’m sure the situation will eventually get resolved, but until it does it’s harder to care about what happens in Arkerra, since at the same time we’re being asked to accept that it’s all fake.
But IS Arkerra fake? What if there are two Akerras, the one that we’re seeing now, and the real one that we haven’t visited yet but know because of this sim?
This is probably the best sum-up of the detractor POV I’ve seen so far: philosophize all you like, this introduction of a world-within-a-world blunts the emotional impact for some.
Granted, since I have, emotionally speaking, the attention span of the squirrel-dog from Up!, it’s not that big a problem for me, and I look forward to seeing what you guys have in store next.
I would also like to point out that following two worlds with two different set of rules is only as hard as you make it. If you try to force it to fit a narrow perspective or the rules of a completely different world such as ours, of course it isn’t going to fit and of course you’re going to get annoyed and feel it doesn’t work. Of course any fantasy world needs to have some element of reality to ground it, but it shouldn’t be strangled by it.
In my experience it’s better to accept the rules established by the fictional worlds we read as more important than our own personal rules. Accept it as a living breathing world you’re visting with it’s own established existence rather than going “It’s a fictional world that should follow these rules as according to blahblahblah”
Thanks for summing the position up for us. Fortunately, for me at least, it doesn’t work like that. Finding out that this fantasy world was created by another fantasy world doesn’t reduce my emotional involvement with the characters. I can almost see how it could, for some people, but I’m having trouble understanding. I also don’t want to understand, because apparently said understanding ruins the comic, and I’m too emotionally invested to want that!
It doesn’t ruin the comic, and it doesn’t make it impossible to keep the same level of emotional investment. It makes it more difficult, is all. There’s an extra level of mental ‘trickery’ involved.
As an analogy, imagine you’re reading a story, and some particularly implausible narrative development occurs. If you can successfully suspend your disbelief over the implausibility of the twist, you can keep enjoying the story just as much as before. But people are different, obviously, and react in different ways, so not everyone is going to be capable of the same level of suspension of disbelief in the same circumstances, and some people will enjoy the story less because of that.
I don’t mean to imply that this is an implausible plot twist, that’s just an analogy. I’m pointing out that, quite simply, some people are okay with this development and some people aren’t, and it’s not necessarily a matter of conscious decision.
Sentora: That’s not what I’m talking about at all.
I don’t see much difference, but do explain where I’m wrong.
By the way Daedelus is totally Phil with his beard shaved of (evil Phil) or an older T Campbell.
Would the shaved beard be the equivalent of the Evil Goatee?
yes exactly. see here:
Phil totally has the highest in facial hair morality the “Full Beard.” therefore shaving that off makes him evil.
Real? What is “Real”? If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.
Just because the world is a “game” to everybody else, why can’t magic make it as real as earth to those who inhabit it? Especially when we combine magic with what appears to be third generation tech. I for one am still really stoked for seeing where this story goes and can’t wait for each update.
kudos to the creative team!
Shit’s about to go all craazyyyyyyy!
Can she just not sleep?
I assume, then (however dangerous assumptions may be), that it is Daedalus’ wish to make Arkerra “real”? He seems disappointed admitting it’s still a game.
He created an entire universe and the only benefit of this god like act is a nerdy MMORPG and a spot on G4.
Well, let’s say there is an actual God. To him/her/it, if he/she/it made this universe, would not said God believe this universe is fabricated? What if there were other on-lookers in the same area as this God? Would they too believe our Universe is a fake?
I find the idea amusing that our world may be a byproduct of someones sick and twisted imagination. Yes, not only did he see what you did, he rolled a D20 to make you do it!
Really, I wonder just where one goes to find candles that big. This is something I’m genuinely curious about.
You don’t find them. They find YOU.
I’d be…a bit scared to take a match to candles capable of finding me. 0_0
Unless of course they want to be lit. Like animals in some stories (e.g. Hitch-Hiker’s) bred so that they want to be eaten.
Google search 12×3 pillar candle.
Ah, part one of the “Create Your Own Universe” Kit.
I LIKE THIS PLAN
NO QUALMS, GO AHEAD, CONTINUE.
This update makes me inordinately happy.
Not even I know why.
Hahaha… Mwhahahaha-aaa… mmmmmwwwwahahahahahaha… hmmmMmmMmwahHAhaha. MWHAHHahaHhhhahhahHAAAAAA!
-pats your back-
Daedelus is very nearly rocking out with his right hand.
Or…he’s secretly Spiderman.
yes, and he is spinning the universe into existence.
Hmm, HR’s actually casting the swirly lights right at the tubes. Perhaps he’s resurrecting Byron & Co so it coincides with Best’s actions.
My thought process for this page:
“Oooo, very interesting…and again with the purple…mmm…pretty colors…
*scrolls down* Hmm…whiners, whiners, whiners *yawns, scrolls back up*
Whoa there. Panel 2…Best’s Booty, ahoy! XD”
I am a simple creature sometimes.
Ok, a lot of the time.
Nothing wrong with admiring Payet’s posterior. ‘Tis a mesmerizing bit of behind.
He knows how to use it for the best end, after all.
to you, his end justifies his means.
I have no problem with the way the new comics are headed. I like the extra layer being added to the story and the fact that shit just got seriously meta. I’m interested in seeing not only Moustashibros(too lazy to scroll up for his real name) schemes but also the continuing adventures of out main four.
Will they ever wake up?
Does the project have any mental side effects?
Will the world they’re living in be brought into being as an actual universe accessible to the rest of the world?
Why were these 4 in particular chosen over a host of people who probably applied.
But sweet mother of Christ, I miss the days where the comments section was filled with wit, satire and actual humor; as opposed to this watered down piddle that is various amounts of separate people making the same bloody complaint over and over again.
We get it. You don’t like the way things are going, but you’ve complained about it quite enough, thankyouverymuch.
I wish I had a bad pun to contribute to this. Sorry folks.
I’ve seen the people whining about the whiners making as much of a stink as the people dissatisfied with the plot, and thus keeping anything humorous from showing up with -their- inspired diatribes.
Thats all Folks!
When coming up with an obscure pun about complaints, taste is no object! you just have to carp diem.
Magic carp diem or just the regular one?
On a scale of one to ten, that one was just barely worming onto it.
For those not following along at home, to object, and to carp are verbs meaning to complain :)
I was referring to: http://files.sharenator.com/magikarp_Pokemon-s275x300-56464-580.gif
But suppose I spelled it wrong.
Don’t worry, I got the joke.
You’re the only one who understands me.
Though I admit I had no idea one may actually “carp” about something. Sounds fishy to me.
Don’t worry your joke made a splash.
Yeah and then it sank.
It got me, hook, line, and sinker. But I suppose it floundered for some.
So help me… they will not find the bodies… >_<
I got the joke too. I was just doing a few more laps…
The proper fish-based response to obscure puns is being smacked by the Salmon of Correction.
Someone is bound to counter with the Salmon of Doubt, though.
So Daedalus has… magic fingers. /rimshot
He feels it in his fingers.
Jazz fingers SPARKLE!!!
I’m still pretty sure that Arkerra is a real fantasy universe, and will be revealed as such in due time. If the comic continues in this same direction for a few chapters without making the reveal, I may change my mind, and I would be sad, but right now I don’t see anything to convince me otherwise. Why should be take what some guy with a stupid tie believes to be gospel truth? Who does he think he is, God?
“Synthesized” is a very interesting word choice. Additionally, if Byron and Syr’nj need to “act before Gods,” and H.R. is God . . .
The Rainbow Galaxy: Where Haters gotta hit the Road.
While I understand that some people are still disappointed in the direction the story seems to have taken, I just wanted to throw this out here: On March 4, in the Penny and Aggie forum, T said:
In Guilded Age, Phil and I are writing one super-story. Originally planned at 24 chapters, it will probably end up being 32.
Thirty-two chapters. And we’re now only near the end of Chapter Nine. To me, that suggests that the story, and the question of what’s real and what isn’t within the comic, are far more complex than any of us, except for Phil, T and Jason, yet understand. I doubt the question is anywhere close to being settled at this point.
Having said that, I can’t blame people who, having expected a straightforward sword-and-sorcery comic when they started reading, may not wish to stick it out for twenty-three more chapters. And as long as those who’re dissatisfied are being reasonably civil about it, which for the most part people have been (it was only when Dedalus was first introduced that I recall posters not being civil, and that was mostly just the same two people insisting on posting over and over in the same thread), I’m cool with it.
24 or 32 chapters, with the first 8 comprising the “first act”.
Math senses tingling – there’s a pattern here…
But yes, clearly there’s a goodly amount of story left to tell.
Having said that there must be, over 32 chapters in total, much more to be revealed, I wanted to mention that today’s update does help explain something for me. Some time ago, a commenter, arguing that Phil and T hadn’t thought the overall direction through, said that if it was meant to be clear in retrospect that Arkerra is a game, a simulation…then why do we see Syr’nj writing a contemplative letter to her father in the game?
From Dedalus’s “But to you five…it is real. It is the universe,” it seems that the five players, whatever their expectations going into this project, have become so totally immersed in the simulation that they not only don’t realize it’s a simulation, they’ve forgotten everything about who they were and what they did before entering those tanks. That, as far as they’re concerned, they are Byron, Syr’nj, Gravedust, Frigg and Payet, and no one else, and always have been. It’s an extreme example of the “lotus eater” motif (named for an episode in Homer’s Odyssey) found in many a work of fiction, where someone’s trapped not physically, but mentally, in a simulated reality they don’t realize is simulated…at least at first!
That last bit makes me wonder…
And oh yeah, almost forgot… so the reason we see Syr’nj leisurely writing a contemplative letter to her father is that Ms. Former Neo-Hippie With the Cat believes she is Syr’nj the Wood Elf, with a Wood Elf father and such, and is writing to him because this is now in effect her life, and writing letters is what one did back then.
Which I wouldn’t be surprised if her father gets as an email, or if Syr’nj’s relationship with her father mirrors her real life self’s.
Which I wouldn’t be surprised if her father gets as an email
Hee! Not quite sure how that would work, exactly. But then again…magical implements and hand-wavy-colour things, so…why not. :)
Um. Hate to break it to you chaps but we did Ghost in the Shell already.
Kinda disappointed but oh well. I’ll keep reading since there’s some fun left to be had here, but the investment in the world is simply spoiled now. Care levels are dangerously low.
Exactly what does this have to do with Ghost in the shell? Make more sense please.
And that’s not even counting the expansion packs!
The numbers alone make me giddy and happy and I don’t care if you call me a square for rooting for the guys <3
GA gives me a reason to stay awake in the morning after my kid goes to school. Reading the comments is sometimes a chore because of all the repetitive negativity, but the humor and wit are still there, some of the time :P
Folks who don’t like the comic’s current arc: go away for two weeks and then come back, you’ll be spared the suspense and the effort of complaining. Plus, if someone else complained first, just reply to their comment and say you agree with them – again less of your precious time and effort go to waste.
I think that there are more people complaining about the complainers than there are original complainers.
Didn’t Obi-Wan say something about that?
People complaining=whiners, people satisfied…still no answer. There’s only a dismissive nickname if what you say is negative.
It’s like criticizing the gubmint. You don’t like it it, get out of Arkerra! These colors don’t run!
Four of the five are dead in Arkerra. So what does that make Arkerra, if not Best’s playground?
Holy shit, I just realized there are five tubes and six members of the group. I don’t think we’ve seen Bandit’s irl figure. Is she an NPC?
Bandit is a hacker who accessed the Arkerra universe after buiilding her own tube out of old pieces of programable toaster ovens.
Nay, from bits of old tubes stolen from the internet!
In a cave! From a box of scraps!
The internet… is not a big truck.
Not so fast! Country singers have started singing about the internet… They might not be so different after all ^0^
Bandit’s a rogue program from Blizzard, trying to take down the competition.
Bandit is a teenaged FastJack.
Bandit is stuck in Escape from Cyberia.
Interesting, so Mr. Daedalus is trying to make Arkerra a real universe (Of which, of course, he’s is the God/GM of) because that what it seems to feel to me.
Oh I hope the party comes back soon, I miss them.
I just noticed that, in the last panel, the flash of color seems to spring directly from HR’s awesome ‘stache. Could this be the source of his powers?
Am I permitted to agree in the form of another webcomic?
Well if the link would have worked, my agreement would have taken the form of Dan McNinja’s ‘Stache of Authority (Issue 5 page 6 for anyone who cares to compare).
He’s the facial hair equivalent of Samson.
Well, what do you know! The book and the candles weren’t mere props to enhance the mood for the person running the NPCs. And I finally got that exposition I was impatiently waiting for a couple of weeks ago.
As I said before with my first comment here, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re quick to jump to the obvious conclusions/matrix references.
Big D’s choice of words are significant. “A game in the eyes of the world.” “A synthesized world” We have evidence of Gastonia and Akerra being real in seeing that magic and magical artifacts exist in this world. Then there’s the term of Arcanometry, which hints at a scientific application of magic or a theory of how magic works. Something big is going on here, especially since this is chap 9 of a 32 chapter epic.
This is far more interesting that just being a random fantasy comic in my opinion.
I find “synthesized” interesting because you can “synthesize” something, except it’s also real—such as synthesized opals.
Yes, good catch. Synthesized and “made up” are two very different things.
I’ve been reading The Ego Tunnel, by Thomas Metzinger, a philosopher who works on the problem of consciousness, with a lot of reference to neuroscience and other modern scientific work.
One of the basic assumptions is that the conscious self is synthesized; how this came about is part of the question, and part of that question is the question of why it is useful.
The developing consensus is that consciousness is a good way to synthesize a lot of distinct sensory inputs and other information in an ambiguous situation, in order to choose an action. On top of that, human consciousness allows us to construct imaginary scenarios, compare them to reality, and try to work out how to achieve one of those scenarios.
And that requires some mechanism for working out which world is the real one. Metzinger suggests that it’s about a basic biological feedback — our body provides a carrier signal, which allows us to recognize the real world, to which imaginary worlds are compared.
So, Arkerra is a synthetic world, but from our point of view, so is the real one. The bubbles deprive them of sensory information that allows them to recognize the real one.
Arcanometry = Arcane + Geometry. Fun new MacGuffin you got there. Scratch that, not that, more like Plot Device. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlotDevice
To be fair, you have to look at the root words here.
Arcana- means hidden, secret, or (more recently and more likely) magic.
-metry means the process of measuring.
So arcanametry could be measurement of magic, or using magic to measure, or some other combination of the two. We don’t actually know enough at this point to guess whether there is some crucial magic-involved measuring going on, or if it’s a fun-sounding buzzword produced from proctogenesis.
A little too early to roll out the Tv Tropes brainrot honestly. As Thor pointed out, we don’t know enough to slap a label on it.
Ok, I give. I give.
Where is your God now?
Behind a computer screen, playing a GM toon.
I choose to believe that this is actually taking place several hours after the last comic (in “Arkerra hours”), and that Best and the spirit have been arguing about who’s going to do the digging that whole time.
SPIRIT: “How can I do the digging? I don’t have any hands!”
He could use his sleeves as scoops.
Love it! The addition of Arcanometry seems to take the edge off of the whole “They’re just playing a video game” aspect of it.
I did get a kick out of how advanced the technology is, but on the left hand side of the middle table is an analog monitor. :)
Hey, they’re in the basement, after all. I bet the drawers in the table are full of old PCI cards and mouseball mice.
Blablabla… “it’s not a *real* fantasy world now, it’s a game” rantrant… “this comic goes down 10 places on my top 10 webcomics” whinewhinewhine… “now i don’t feel emotional attachement to the characters anymore”
To get things straight, things are still unclear in the comic, so without next few pages we can’t REALLY tell what’s going on there, we can only ASSUME. And using only assumptions as basis 80% of people commenting here just proved themselves to be idiots. And that they would care for made-up characters in a made-up world depicted in a comic, as long as it wouldn’t involve videogames of any sorts. Seriously… Pathethic.
Yeah, what kind of loser actually cares or empathizes with the characters in fiction or the world in which they reside?
Complete idiots, I say. /eyeroll
What did I tell ya, D = Randall Flagg
Loved the Dark Tower series so much…
Purple haze… All in my brain…
Excuse me while I kiss the sky!
Better than in the membrane?
^– Really, it’s all that needs saying regarding final panel.
I know I’m probably alone in saying this, but this revelation feels rushed to me. I mean, it feels like Dedalus is explaining things solely for the reader’s benefit.
Actually, you know what would make this page really awesome? If there were no text bubbles at all. Seriously, go back up and reread it as if there were none. Sure, it wouldn’t explain much, but it works so damn well.
As awesome as that would be, think of how many more “THIS SUUUUUUUUUUUX IT MAKES NO SEEEEEEEEEEENSE” comments x.x
Ok, comic is on track again
I shall fallow you again!
I dig it.
… but Best still does not, apparently.
I have no idea why this is a let down to people. You don’t find it MORE interesting that they’re in a game? I want to know what happens now! What IS this world, why did Daedalus (and co.?) build it like this? Why are these specific people being used for it (if there actually is a reason, which there very well might not be–I can’t remember if there were hints as to that)? Who CARES if it’s a game–for me, that makes it more interesting than before. Before it was a fantastic fantasy comic. Now it’s a fantastic fantasy/sci-i comic with serious depth and interest. In the words of M. Night Shamwow (well sort of), “WHAT A TWEEST!”
And additionally, I don’t know why this would make anybody care less about the characters. From the way they act outside the game, it seems like they’re…pretty much the same in Arkerra. Seems like there’s nothing to NOT like about these gamers if you liked the people in the game.
Point being, I think people are jumpin’ way ahead of themselves. Maybe you don’t like THIS plot point…but who’s to say they won’t continue developing it and make it worth your while again?
Just my two cents, I guess. I can’t wait to see where this goes, since it…well it could go a lot of ways.
Well, my prince, it seems you got far enough along your quest in the time I gave you to pass. Time to come home.
Okay, long time reader, first time commenter. It only just now dawned on me how similar the name Guilded Age is to the phrase “gilded cage”. Somebody probably pointed that out ages ago, though…>.>
We’ve got a canary yellow singer in the Guilded Age.
If this guy’s office is on the 13th Floor…
… I want in.
Ohnoes not megalomania D= No good can come of this.
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