IP_DEBUG and the Human Condition
by: Victor Lobelia | January 4, 2002
To the best of my knowledge, "easter egg" is
computer game-speak for any snippet of media, whether
it be graphical or audio, that the programmers
deliberately sneak into a game for their own
amusement. I like the idea, and certainly approve on
the grounds that it is only natural for the "Gods" who
create these electromagnetic universes to place hidden
artifacts of their own personalities within them.
However, for the sake of the following observational
meanderings, I would like to append and extend this
definition to include: unconsciously adding
allegorical elements into the debugging function of
the game for the enlightenment of the human race, made
possible by long hours of intense concentration,
excessive caffeine (perhaps marijuana?) use, and sleep
deprivation that induced periods of trance in which
symbols from the collective unconscious that map the
terrain of the fundamentals of reality and social
interaction are made spiritually clear to the
programmers and thus, manifest.
An easter egg at work...
Although my argument could extend to such debug
functions as "ip_timemultiplier" (demonstrates time as
a malleable and artificial human illusion), "TAB
character shifting" (raises many questions about the
nature of identity), "i key cutscene view" (a
demonstration of precognosis), or the "F9 teleport
command" (quantum metaphysics in action), I wish to
focus on the three Graphics Rendering Modes
(Ed. note: see cheats/bugs page). Each of
which represent a singular state of awareness.
I. Normal View - The Fool
This is the view with which 99 percent of Hitman
enthusiasts are soley familiar. They stray the course
of the game, searching for targets, searching for
clues, searching for weapons, yet never searching for
meaning. The player knows that he wants to kill Lee
Hong. He knows he wants that safe combination. He
knows he wants to make it to that motor boat, but he
doesn't know why. This superficial level of awareness
is not the result of density, however, a prolonged
existence in this three-dimensional world (which is
actually only two-dimensional) of endless spectacles,
suspicious gazes, and death screams can actually
create an environment of spiritual atrophy.
This illusory playing field becomes reality for the
duration of the session, and as veteran players must
admit, even for a short while after the session ends.
The laws of the game spill over to the player's "real"
life, and for a few moments, people seem like
polygon-based automatons just waiting for the fiber
wire to be slipped around their necks. This is the
material world. The code is all layed out. The
paramaters of the missions are presented by some
unseen authority at the beginning of the game, and the
player does everything he can to succeed. The player
is not trying to figure out WHY the man on the
sidewalk is staring so brazenly. He does not know WHY
a beautiful girl like Lei Ling chose a life of
prostitution. He cannot be bothered with explaining
WHY some walls disappear when you get close too them.
His concern is completing the mission. His goals are
fleeting. They amount to a void.
Ahh... sweet, sweet normality
However, this state
of ignorance does not always have to be so vacuous.
It is known that if the right attitude is held, there
can be bliss and poetry in the game life of one who
exists in the here and now. There is the Hitman who
takes time to admire the beauty of the waterfall in
Lee Hong's garden, or to watch the show in the
Hungarian strip club. A sensuous man who drifts
through and savors his hallucinatory environment. The
visual artist, the innocent child. In the mystical
Tarot deck, the Fool. In the Kabbala, the number
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