The Shaolin Afronauts – Flight of the Ancients

Video games transport us into the shapeshifting, time travelling, righteous assassin invincables of our dreams. Many provide heavenly stages of Choices for a user to effortlessly craft an avatar of their vision… alas, flick a screen back and forth, or covet another’s amour, well c’est la vie! Lets transfigure once again into something I really like. Games are manifestations of fantastical and science fictional ideas on possible environments, living things, and dangers which we have dreamt about or invented, perpetuated in stories. Games summon these aspirational objects and project a representative physicality that satiates curiosity, and enables desire of users. There’s fulfilment, even empowerment in embracing realities one craves. Who cares about superficiality? Witness this reality we share in our mass consciousness as it collapses into the world wide web of advertising and droll amusement. So lets transform our physical bodies once again! It doesn’t matter what we look like, it’s about what happens in our minds; in first person point of view camera are you really just sitting there? …and yet, I remain seated. I see indulgence instead of exploring possibilities. Novel mechanics and material improvement weighs heavier on minds than ideological substance or diversity of achievement and its challenges. Trivialisation of a body leads to real life neglect and it’s a fine education of fast hand-eye coordination; Carpel tunnel syndrome, premature blindness, with other hidden costs are mere tutoring fees. The endgame is this: it is easier to succeed in a game than in real life. Try getting a bank loan for your small business idea; that’s a difficult ‘quest’.

Video games will soon deliver near-total lucidity of any imaginable reality, why not escape the fascination on personal technical ability and material wealth; hell, even drop the explosions and fantasy. Possibilities can be anything up to exploring human nature, about how we behave in multifarious circumstances  e.g. biographical games that traces remarkable lives through intrepid circumstances; be the first research scientists who discovered herbal medicines, finding the plants in puzzling terrains, jungle, deserts, collecting 10; survival game in a conflict zone, acting neutral to feed hidden families, building weapons from what you find in the ravaged city. Players go through the same troubles. Child soldiers. Genocide. Slenderman suddenly doesn’t seem so scary. Whatever. Games of the moment fail to realise a potential at exploring our reality, and until they do I’m not that interested.

This is The Shaolin Afronauts debut LP Flight of the Ancients, dropped in 2011. I’ve heard it once and loved it, smooth swinging funk, that keeps ya’ll knees bouncing. Enjoy that sun!

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