Monday, October 10, 2016

Fantasy Adventures

I was going to say I was lazy this morning and skipped yoga, but really, I skipped yoga because I wanted to get more work done. I need to finish proofing that book, and then I have a lot of other things to take care of, like finding an illustrator to do some cover work for something new I have in mind. I have a vivid mental image of the style I want, but haven't been able to find someone who does that, and when I've found a book that has something similar, I can't find info on the artist. I want something kind of cute and semi-cartoony, similar to what's on the Enchanted, Inc. books in tone but a different style of art. Everyone who's been recommended is closer to manga than I want, or else more newspaper comic-style. I think I could probably best describe what I have in mind is the kind of illustrations on the slightly arty humorous greeting cards -- the Hallmark Shoebox Greetings style.

In other news, I watched the first two episodes of Westworld, and it was certainly thought-provoking. It's based on the 1970s Michael Crichton movie about an immersive Old West theme park/live-action game in which there are robot "hosts" that interact with the guests. The hosts can't harm the guests, but the guests can do anything they want to the hosts. It's unfortunately probably rather realistic that a lot of the guests use this as an opportunity to rape and murder, though there do seem to be some guests who just go to play out an adventure, like finding gold with a prospector or joining the sheriff's posse to track down bandits. Things get tricky when the hosts start becoming a little too realistic and become more self-aware, so they're affected by the trauma they keep getting put through. I do hope that the series gets into how a human is affected by committing violence against something that seems very human, even if it isn't human. The series is done by the people who were behind Person of Interest, so I can imagine there will be all kinds of delving into what it is to be human and how humans can go too far.

Anyway, I found myself thinking about what kind of theme park like that I'd want to visit. Since I have no desire to rape or murder anything, I wouldn't really need robots to create the environment, unless it's strictly a case of ensuring that the storylines play out or for purposes of hygiene -- less historical stench and less risk of disease if all the animals and most of the people are robots. Really, I suspect I'd be kind of a wimp about adventures. I don't even like regular theme parks all that much because I don't like being scared, even if it's a "safe" scared. I wouldn't want even the illusion of being in danger, regardless of whether I knew I couldn't actually be hurt. I also like my creature comforts. I'm not into sleeping on the ground, and I don't even like Renaissance festivals that use Port-a-Potties instead of having real bathrooms.

So, if I were going to have a theme park like a Westworld, I decided that I'd want a Narnia experience. You go to an old house, and you open a door to find a magical world where there are fantasy creatures and talking animals, and you can go on quests and adventures, with technology simulating magic. There would also be accommodations built in, so that you'd stop for the night at a place where there's a nice mossy spot on the ground (a concealed mattress) and a secluded pond with a waterfall feeding into it (a camouflaged tub and shower). Toilet facilities would be hidden in a cave. A "magic spell" would result in meals appearing. There might be hints of a potential threat to give your quest a ticking clock, but it would mostly be about puzzles to solve and characters to interact with. Mostly, though, I think I prefer reading about adventures to living them. There are all kinds of things I like reading about that I wouldn't want to experience myself.

Though if I were going to write that story, it would involve someone who thinks that's what they're getting, but there's a glitch, and they get transported to a real fantasy world.

Not that I need more story ideas.

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