Dream Recall: Retro Game Recursion

DS(1) from 2017 in which I was reunited with a childhood friend to embark on a hyperdimensional journey aided by a mysterious retro game console. I remember faux wood paneling on the console, which resembled an Atari, and bulky game cartridges which seemed oddly primitive for what they ended up being capable of. I can’t remember what cartridge we selected, but upon turning on the console the television screen turned into a portal through which we entered into the game as a completely immersive experience.

The game environment seemed like a low-resolution version of the room we were already in and we discovered that it was complete with a console of similar design which opened into a game within the game- leading towards infinite recursion into lower and lower resolution simulations of the same environment. Things quickly got too low-resolution to function and we found ourselves struggling to figure out how to return to base reality.

I was inspired to call this friend, who I hadn’t spoken to in several years. “Reminds me of this book, Ready Player One.” he told me after recounting the dream to him. I ended up reading the book, enjoyed it’s nostalgic appeal, and was excited to learn there was a film adaptation on the way. It ended up being a terrible movie for many reasons- in part because the resolution was too damn high!

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