For the past few days, I’ve been playing David O’Reilly’s enchanting Mountain. And by playing, of course, I mean propping it up on my iPad stand near my desk and letting it sing to me. Or keeping it close to my kitchen stove and alternating between recipes and twirling my mountain in space.
Because Mountain is a thing to be watched. You draw small pictures of different prompts like your fears or loves and Mountain will generate a disembodied peak that rotates in space for you. It will say strange and magical things as the mountain reflects on its rote existence: “I’m reminded of my childhood on this turbulent night.” Or, “I feel great serenity in this magnificent day.” “I don’t really know what I am. Is that weird?” Strange objects like a giant birthday cake or an anvil will hurtle towards your mountain and embed themselves on its face, only to be subsumed slowly by the mountain’s glacial growth. That’s about it.
So it was with great surprise that I awoke the other morning and found this message on the screen:
I was asleep when “it” happened, when my mountain was descended upon by Fluffy. I don’t know what Fluffy looks like. I can’t find anyone else who this has happened too. And a cursory Google search reveals this:
It’s part of a series by a single deviantart creator who is obsessed with a giant moth from the world of My Little Pony, whom he/she has named Fluffy the Bringer of Darkness. That’s it. I have no idea what’s going on and I’ve sent a note to O’Reilly for some clarity. Who is Fluffy? What is Fluffy? Why is Fluffy?
What’s ironic is that one of the standard critiques of games like Mountain lack a clear “win condition.” It’s a phrase coded into our understanding of games; that games are something to be bested. But the thing is that Mountain can’t be beat, only observed. But it seems that there’s a clear now that there’s a “loss” condition.
The Event does provide a foil to our assessment of Mountain and the argument that it provides a worldview more akin to deism, the belief system of Benjamin Franklin. There is a god (you, in this case), but he/she/it is not too interested in us. Davis Cox wrote for us:
After the creation of the universe, deists argue that god simply allows life to exist and does not intervene in earthly affairs. That makes us the inhabitants of a theological snowglobe, if you will.
But this mysterious happening means that if you are god, then Fluffy is the devil. Fluffy comes for us all.
UPDATE: London-based illustrator Adam Walker has also encountered the Fluffy and defended his mountain by “mashing the keyboard and building a shield.” I was unaware that was even an option. Here’s his take.
— Adam Walker (@thisisnevermore) July 23, 2014