Sunday, May 20, 2007

BYBS: Planescape

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This BYBS is about a computer game (yes, a computer game) called "Planescape: Torment." It is a unique experience that will not only take up some time, but will also cause you to contemplate the bigger questions in life.

The story is one of discovery and spirituality. Discovery because the player takes on the role of an immortal who cannot remember how he came to be; or even what his name is. Appropriately enough, the character is called "The Nameless One."

Hard to believe it, but yes, Planescape is what I would consider a spiritual game. I suppose one could call it "intellectual," but an experience which causes me to think about things like "good," "evil," "regret" and "what can change the nature of a man?" transcend the intellectual and cross into the spiritual realm.

The setting itself is what you might call "the after-life." Events take place in a sort of meta-physical world call Sigil, the city of doors. The idea is that one can get to all sorts of different world and places from Sigil, and the city serves as a sort of cross roads for the universe.

The game contains elements like a place where players can go to banter philosophy or word play with others. In true form, the location is called the "brothel for slaking intellectual lusts." The simple notion of such a thing: a place where one could go to indulge in a range of intellectual activities, is so original that it sets the place apart from all other fictional environments I know of.

Now many computer games out there are trash; plain and simple. They do, however, provide an experience that is distinctly different from say, reading a book or watching a movie. This particular game capitalizes on that fact and adds in plot elements and situations that would be original in any medium.

Given my outlook on life, I consider things that make me think to be blessings. Something like Planescape, that makes me think about the bigger aspects of life, fits in nicely with BYBS.

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  • You can try to find a copy of this game in the "bargain bin" of local computer stores. If you cannot and are still interested, then you can try the following links or perhaps some other sites that specialize in adbandonware.
  • Planescape: Torment was developed by Black Isle Studios. I assume that it is copyright or trademarked or some yaddie-yadda by them.


msdemmie said...

Now this sounds fascinating - guess what I am going to be hunting for.

Happy BYB Sunday !

Whatever said...

Glad I piqued your interest :-) Computer games are not for everyone, and this one is 7-8 years old, so it may be difficult to find. Take a look at the HotU site and the "Abandonware" ring if you have trouble.

Sandy Carlson said...

That's interesting. I enjoyed this post because I don't know a darn thing about computer games and probably should because my daughter will be moving past Club Penguin and Webkinz at some stage. Your ideas of spirituality in the ordinary are like those of a Buddhist priest who blogs. He's at if you feel like browsing. God bless your Sunday!

Blue Panther said...

Computer games have always fascinated me too. Though, as you said, some of them are trash, some of them can be really addictive.

One time, me and my friend spent the whole night playing pinball (the regular one that comes with windows).

Sandy Carlson said...

Just checking in to see what's new with Whatever!

stev said...

i enjoyed planescape tremendously!

nordom! nordom! nordom!


interesting the way you compared life to the planescape world tho. hmmm...

any fav character from the game? mine's the floating skull (obviously ;)

Whatever said...

Morte for the win! :-) Though I thought they were all very well thought out. I liked the Githzergi, Getheri...whatever guy from limbo :-)