Melatonin

I dreamed of kicking bears after they chased me up a tree.

I dreamed of children armed with baseball bats and riot gear; perfectly masked so as to hide their innocent faces from those befallen by their wrath.

Perhaps for a few moments I dreamed your face made of stars and the world reborn from the blackest sea and all the blue monsters rising up from the depths onto new lands, the old world seemingly forgotten, unspoken, unseen, and unseen, to be

invisible like the dreams of middle-aged men, kicking their wives while they sleep, steeped in a silent malaise and weighing options to best cope with the inevitable betrayl of that which they tried to drown in those dark depths.

I dreamed of shooting and looting and reaping and raving and winning and losing and running stark naked across a barren field and being

in the end, afraid and tired, worried for the children and that which is coming for them.

I dreamed of kicking bears in their sharp-toothed mouths.

I dreamed of hungry children marching to claim their birthrights.

Melatonin

Just Be Patient and Let the Game Come to You

Never underestimate
the appeal of nothing.

A white sheep
jumps over a steel fence
        over and
   over again.

You count the sheep
when it jumps.

You recall this
as a trick
to help you sleep;
to help you sleep
in a world
that abhors sleep.

Still that sheep
keeps jumping
     over and
back.

And you keep counting
until you hit
a reset button,
the reset button
that resets
the reset button.

That resets the sheep
that keeps jumping
like a level of a game
you can’t beat.

That jumping sheep
begs another reset.
And you are forced start over
         and go back
and wait again.

The reset button
abhors the reset button.

Now your sheep is the reset button.

The reset button abhors the reset sheep.

Your sheep jumps across but doesn’t jump back.

So you must restart the game one last time.

(Now you start getting the sense of the game’s story, and the game’s structure – it’s a game about a person who runs out of life, but still wants to live for a while.)

What this poem doesn’t do is tell you the story of why the sheep are jumping the fence. It is, however, a great way to demonstrate the jumping sheep game to potential players without confusing them too much – you make it plain and simple: the sheep jump over the fence. You count the sheep. You try to sleep.

Use this to establish a story, use this to explain gameplay, but definitely use this to tell a story about the game of being able to fall asleep. This helps make the game easier to learn.

You can also use this to show how the game is structured.

You can use this to detail what the structure tells you about the game you are playing, what the structure tells new players about the game the game they will play…about the story of a jumping sheep that gets tired and wanders off to find a place to settle down for the night…

Just Be Patient and Let the Game Come to You