Posted: April 11
There are objects in the world. Some fall under the category 'Games'. Some fall under the category 'Art'. But is there a category for an object that falls under both? There is. That category is called 'Bridge Constructor'.
Perhaps you think, "No! Bridge Constructor is not an art game; it is an engineering game." To which I say, "Non Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle, non!" Then I finish my thought in English because that is all the French I know. Remember, you are not actually constructing bridges in the real physical world
(apologies if you thought that this game might let you do that). You are creating simulations, models, dreams of your inner self. What you create on screen is you; you are what you create on screen. I repeat: once you play this game, there will be bridges inside of you.
It should also be known that this game tells the story of a world. Do you wonder what drives the cars, the trucks, the tankers? Wonder no more my friend: it is a race of little insect people. Ants? Bees? Weevils? I do not know: insects. All I know is that they cannot fly. If they could, they would not need bridges.
-------------- The Story of JD7QW --------------
Designate JD7QW buckled the seatbelt around his carapaced waist, its legs quivering as it did so. It tried to hide its fright, but even from outside the tanker truck the Planner noticed.
"JD7QW," the Planner said, its mandibles clicking furiously, "this is no time for fear. You are performing the function for which you were produced, as am I. By testing this bridge we are expanding the reach of the Colony and celebrating the greatness of the Queen. That is all we can do. That is all we shall do."
Not daring to look at the Planner, JD7QW nodded while fixing its gaze straight ahead. The bridge in front of it was very wooden and very straight. It also appeared very fragile, like sunlight on water. How could it hold the weight of the enormously flammable tanker? "I imagine that there are supports underneath?" JD7QW asked, doing its best to hide its anxiety. "Steel? Perhaps concrete?"
"Such questions!" the Planner snapped. "I will answer, but know that I will be filing a Protest when I return to the Colony." It shook its engorged head. "It appears that the Breeders are producing defective Designates."
Again JD7QW did not dare turn around. Instead it looked up. The sky was cloudless and blue, so clear that the ghost of the moon could be faintly seen even in the daytime. I would like to fly there
, the Designate thought suddenly. Such wonders I would see!
But of course it couldn't. Only the Queen was allowed to have wings.
The Planner continued. "There is no steel. There is no concrete. There is wood and only wood. But -" The Planner's voice softened. Surprised, JD7QW peeked over. The Planner's mandibles had slowed, its multi-faceted eyes had grown clouded and dreamy. "- but oh, the design, the joins and triangles and descending supports, the interlocking wheels of pressure and release, the. . ." Caught up in the Planner's vision, it allowed itself to think: Someday I shall be allowed to dream as well.
Then the Planner shook its head. Its voice turned to jagged stone. "No more! You are impudent, JD7QW. Drive now. Go."
It stepped back. Unwilling and unable to disobey, JD7QW depressed the gas pedal and the tanker truck rumbled forward.
A short segment of paved road lay between the truck and the bridge. It took both an instant and an eternity to cross. Then JD7QW felt the wheels beneath him clunk
as it rattled onto the wooden bridge, and right away it knew that it would not survive that day.
The bridge was already beginning to sway, the surface to buckle. A series of grand snapping noises echoed within the ravine, each one like the shattering of an enormous tree. The truck began to descend
; frantic, JD7QW pressed the gas pedal with all its strength. The truck jerked forward, and for a moment the Designate thought that the vehicle might simply plow through the air to the other side, an invincible and impossible metal beast.
Then the wooden surface below him imploded, and the truck fell in earnest.
JD7QW barely had time to squeeze its eyes shut, to gag at the vortex in its stomach, when the fuel tank exploded. Free of its burden, the cab of the truck shot up into the air, and the sudden reverse in sensation caused JD7QW's eyes to fly open in surprise. And what it saw through the broken windshield was blue, endless blue, with the ghost of the moon traced far above.
It knew there wasn't much time left. With legs that were no longer trembling, it pressed the release on the seat buckle.
The Designate shot out of the vehicle immediately. Below him, the truck cab had already slowed and was falling back to earth. But not me
, JD7QW thought. Now I shall fly. I shall fly to the moon.
And it began to smile as it dreamed of what it might find there.
There is a JD7QW inside all of us. If not for yourself, play this game for it.