Of Eldrazi And Elder Ones 2



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Introduction

If you’ve been keep­ing tabs on the brood­ing and mul­ti­tudi­nous labyrinth of archives oth­er­wise known as the inter­net, you may have real­ized that we are expe­ri­enc­ing a Lovecraft Renaissance. From antholo­gies such as Leslie S. Klinger’s The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft — designed to be a collector’s gem — to the phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal inspec­tion pro­posed by Graham Harman in Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy, as well as Alan Moore’s newly‐inspired comic series Providence, the pulp hor­ror writer dom­i­nates an entire sub­genre of mil­len­ni­al cul­ture. Alongside these texts, writ­ers such as Nnedi Okorafor, Daniel José Older, and China Miéville have spo­ken and writ­ten at length to address the racial hatred for the Other which seed­ed much of Lovecraft’s work. These con­ver­sa­tions have been inte­gral to chal­leng­ing the prob­lem of white exclu­siv­i­ty in geek cul­ture as well as cat­alyz­ing the World Fantasy Organization to no longer use Lovecraft’s bust as the model for their award. The removal of his vis­age proves that soci­ety is ready to grap­ple with the com­plex­i­ty of his work and under­stand how his work sought to dehu­man­ize peo­ple of color, rep­re­sent­ing them as ele­ments of chaos threat­en­ing to top­ple the European world.

Unavoidably, the trope of “civ­i­liza­tion ver­sus chaos” endures along­side Lovecraft’s lega­cy and remains a tan­ta­liz­ing theme which many other fan­ta­sy fran­chis­es con­tin­ue to bor­row for their own nar­ra­tives. Wizards of the Coast, the own­ers of the trad­ing card game Magic: The Gathering, recent­ly adapt­ed Lovecraft’s themes in a card set titled “Battle for Zendikar.” The art­work and text on these cards and frag­ments of lore doc­u­ment the strug­gle between the sur­face inhab­i­tants of Zendikar and a trin­i­ty of cos­mic hor­rors, known as the Eldrazi, who emerged from beneath the plane. This con­fronta­tion stands out against the con­ven­tion­al array of famous con­flicts in Fantasy (e.g. Horde vs Alliance or Sauron vs Men and Elves) because the Eldrazi rep­re­sent a strug­gle for phi­los­o­phy and not pol­i­tics. When read as a series of por­traits, the Eldrazi cards assem­ble into an argu­ment against the under­ly­ing mechan­ics of essen­tial­ism gov­ern­ing the Magic mul­ti­verse.

As you may know, Magic sells itself to a spec­u­la­tive fiction‐inclined audi­ence by offer­ing a com­plex card game wrapped in the veil of “High Fantasy” imagery such as mer­folk, gob­lins, and wiz­ards. Players con­struct decks of Magic cards and play by cast­ing spell and crea­ture cards with the intent to reduce their opponent’s life total from twen­ty to zero. At the core of this game sys­tem lies the Polynesian con­cept of mana. Casting a spell requires mana, an ener­gy that can be obtained from basic land cards: moun­tain, for­est, swamp, plain, island, respec­tive­ly aligned to the col­ors: red, green, black, white, and blue. Although through­out the years numer­ous ways of pro­duc­ing mana have been designed, the tra­di­tion­al deck requires basic land cards to be “tapped” (or acti­vat­ed) for mana each turn a play­er wish­es to cast a card. Because each basic land pro­duces only one kind of color, play­ers must decide which col­ors of spells they want in their deck and then select land cards that will pro­vide the nec­es­sary col­ored mana. The chal­lenge of deck­build­ing hinges on the prob­lem that run­ning more col­ors in your deck per­mits access to a greater vari­ety of spells but also car­ries the risk of dilut­ing your power, since your chances of get­ting the right color of mana at the right moment dimin­ish.

Plate I: The Color Wheel

Plate I: The Color Wheel

Wizards added fur­ther stakes to the color choice by assign­ing each color cer­tain fla­vors of playstyle. In plate I, each hue rep­re­sents arche­types that dic­tate the card’s image and mechan­ics in order to cre­ate a uni­fied aes­thet­ic for the game. The moment an oppo­nent drops a cer­tain kind of land the play­er can begin to pre­dict what kind of chal­lenges that opponent’s deck will cre­ate accord­ing to the color wheel. From a mechan­i­cal stand­point, the sys­tem pre­vents the mul­ti­tude of cards from over­whelm­ing play­ers and allows them to nav­i­gate through binders and boxes of cards to find the ones their deck might need. However, when viewed through a philo­soph­i­cal lens, the wheel also per­pet­u­ates the notion of essen­tial­ism: the idea that beings come with a pre­de­ter­mined essence. The color wheel express­es essen­tial­ism by pair­ing each sec­tion of the cir­cle with an irrec­on­cil­able coun­ter­part to promise an eter­nal strug­gle among the cards and the char­ac­ters they depict.

When the Zendikar plane first appeared in 2009, Wizards of the Coast billed it as “the adven­ture plane” full of traps, mon­sters, hid­den trea­sures, and numer­ous strug­gles between fan­tas­tic races. As one fel­low Magic crit­ic, Jesse Mason writes: “There are some ref­er­ences through­out the cards telling me that Zendikar is dan­ger­ous… but isn’t this, like, every plane in Magic?” I would extend the sen­ti­ments fur­ther; every fan­ta­sy world is dan­ger­ous. No one pens a medieval­ist past‐that‐never‐was and doesn’t fill it with fell beasts capa­ble of killing even the might­i­est band of adven­tur­ers. There is no myth with­out mon­ster. Zendikar is not just a dan­ger­ous place, it is every dan­ger­ous place, every Dungeons & Dragons cam­paign, every Conan ripoff, and every RPG to appear on pix­e­lat­ed Gameboy screens. While other sets of cards revolve around themes such as the Khans block (designed around rov­ing Mongol cul­ture) and Theros block (a buf­fet of mino­taurs, medusas, and Mediterranean metrop­o­lis­es), Zendikar acts as a kind of thought exper­i­ment on the end of American medieval fan­ta­sy where a pure crys­tal of Campbellian mon­o­myth might be dis­tilled from the col­lec­tive uncon­scious of Lord of the Rings lovers and Narnia zealots. It is the final fan­ta­sy. And they decid­ed to destroy it.

 

Eldrazi at a Glance

The Eldrazi hail from the Blind Eternities, the space beyond the planes, and they act as char­ac­ters with­out genre. While spells pre­vi­ous­ly depend­ed on col­ored mana, the Eldrazi work their destruc­tion in col­or­less magic. They are not bound by the rules of the color wheel and instead fuel them­selves on the absence of these sym­bols, fla­vors, or styles. From this per­spec­tive, they rep­re­sent the per­fect Lovecraftian Other that threat­ens to dis­solve the known order of the uni­verse. Lovecraft schol­ars use to term Cosmicism to describe the effect of sen­tient beings feel­ing insignif­i­cant against the incom­pre­hen­si­ble size of the uni­verse. For exam­ple, the Eldrazi card “Ruin Processor” con­tains the fla­vor text: “The Eldrazi con­tin­ue to sweep through the wastes, com­pound­ing destruc­tion that already seemed absolute.” The inher­ent con­tra­dic­tion of the quo­ta­tion between com­pound­ing and absolute puts pres­sure on the weird­ness of the Eldrazi and their capa­bil­i­ty to decon­struct the mean­ing of lan­guage in Zendikar. These beings do more than con­quer, they scour and drain and con­sume until they exceed our con­cep­tion of decay. It shows that the writ­ers use the Eldrazi to lit­er­al­ize Lovecraft’s abil­i­ty to warp and bend the logic of lan­guage to its break­ing point so that any sense of nat­ur­al col­laps­es on itself.

Yet, the Eldrazi also break the first rule of Lovecraftian hor­ror: the read­er should never be able to visu­al­ize the mon­strosi­ties described by the poten­tial­ly insane nar­ra­tors. In Weird Realism, philoso­pher Graham Harman argues that Lovecraft loved the lim­its of lan­guage itself and the gap between what his nar­ra­tors see and write. One descrip­tion of para­dox­i­cal geom­e­try encoun­tered by sev­er­al sailors in his short story, “The Call of Cthulhu,” cap­tures this qual­i­ty of his prose: “he was swal­lowed up by an angle of mason­ry that shouldn’t have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse” (377). If Lovecraft can­not com­mu­ni­cate even the sim­plest ele­ments of archi­tec­ture then it seems like his Other‐worldly bes­tiary ought to be off‐limits to illus­tra­tors every­where.

Wizards ignored such advice and pro­ceed­ed to draw dozens and dozens of sup­pos­ed­ly alien Eldrazi to dec­o­rate their cards and pro­mo­tion­al mate­r­i­al. What we have then is a prob­lem of media trans­la­tion and the dis­so­nance between Lovecraft’s lit­er­ary devices and the visu­al require­ments of a table‐top card game. The prob­lem doesn’t need a solu­tion so much as it requires exam­i­na­tion to under­stand the stakes of adapt­ing Lovecraft and all the bag­gage that comes with his the­o­ry of hor­ror.

In plate II, I chose the “Eldrazi Skyspawner” as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the grotesque pas­tiche employed by Wizards artists to gen­er­ate the “feel” of cos­mic hor­ror. The artist, Chase Stone, craft­ed an Eldrazi that is both fetal and preg­nant with fur­ther off­spring. The veiny pur­ples of the Skyspawner’s hyper­plas­tic uterus stretched beyond capac­i­ty work to com­plete­ly sub­vert the image of a mater­nal fig­ure. The Skyspawner is most­ly ver­te­brae, some ten­ta­cles, and a few ves­ti­gial arms. A major­i­ty of its vol­ume con­sists of anoth­er hor­ror grow­ing with­in.

Plate II: Eldrazi Skyspawner

Plate II: Eldrazi Skyspawner

Despite the bizarre com­bi­na­tion of phys­i­ol­o­gy, per­haps the most jar­ring effect of the piece is how the mon­ster rests in sus­pen­sion above the cloud­line. The buoy­an­cy remains unex­plain­able since the Eldrazi lacks any known biol­o­gy for flight. The image is a valid attempt at Lovecraftian hor­ror because it works to jux­ta­pose so many moist and slimy parts into a sin­gle col­lage. And yet, for all the impos­si­bil­i­ty, the mon­ster still exists. The act of con­ceiv­ing it, con­nect­ing the brush­strokes, and print­ing it on a card, made it real­i­ty; Lovecraft’s acute/obtuse angle remains unfram­able.

In the design doc­u­ment pub­lished by Wizards in April of 2010, dur­ing the first Zendikar block, they out­line the hall­mark fea­tures of each of the Eldrazi brood lin­eages. These lin­eages rep­re­sent the mutat­ed, diver­gent spawns of the three pri­ma­ry astral beings known as: Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre; Emrakul, the Aeons Torn; and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth.

By design­ing a set of pre­scrip­tive sig­ni­fiers (Ulamog’s brood typ­i­cal­ly bears bony face­plates) Wizards forces us to think about the Eldrazi in terms of geneal­o­gy and nomen­cla­ture. I can imag­ine some xeno­bi­ol­o­gist open­ing a boost­er pack of Magic cards and method­i­cal­ly iden­ti­fy­ing each mon­ster. And while these design doc­u­ments help guide the team of artists it also betrays their cen­tral premise of bring­ing Lovecraft into the realm of Magic. Compare the Skyspawner to the famous descrip­tion of a stat­ue of Cthulhu: “If I say that my some­what extrav­a­gant imag­i­na­tion yield­ed simul­ta­ne­ous pic­tures of an octo­pus, a drag­on, and a human car­i­ca­ture, I shall not be unfaith­ful to the spir­it of the thing” (“The Call of Cthulhu”). In the quo­ta­tion, the nar­ra­tor admits he can’t label the form, he can only encour­age his read­er to over­lap other known con­cepts, and even then, the audi­ence can only grasp “the spir­it of the thing.” The Skyspawner may be gross and out­landish but it exists as a phys­i­cal enti­ty — as the thing itself made of con­stituent parts — while Cthulhu is a Venn Diagram beyond the cusp of com­pre­hen­sion.

 

Eldrazi Under the Knife

The Eldrazi seem less like Eldritch hor­ror and more like an anato­my text­book gone wrong. Indeed, when set side‐by‐side, sim­i­lar­i­ties emerge. Plates III and IV rep­re­sent the card “Forerunner of Slaughter,” with art by James Zapata, and an anatom­i­cal image of the mus­cu­la­to­ry sys­tem by 16th cen­tu­ry artist, Andreas Vesalius.

Immediately, the com­par­i­son shows us that both artists are inter­est­ed in form. The beings depict­ed do not mat­ter as char­ac­ters or per­son­al­i­ties but rather as the man­i­fes­ta­tion of lig­a­ment and sar­com­ere. Long strings of mus­cle fiber stand tense and carry the weight of the entire humanoid struc­ture. Vesalius achieves his pre­ci­sion through the thin mul­ti­tude of lines that flows over the bulges of sinew and holds the torso taut. At sev­er­al points along the body, he chose to slice cer­tain mus­cles to show where they attach to the skele­ton and how they might freely drape from the human fig­ure. The figure’s face looks away from the view­er, either embar­rassed, shocked, or per­haps vocal­iz­ing dis­dain. He is beyond naked; hun­dreds of lit­tle sym­bols cover his indexed body and remind us that Vesalius’ work rep­re­sents the antithe­sis of Lovecraft’s “spir­it” of descrip­tion. The ink fig­ure attempts to con­vey as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble so that physi­cians may cor­rect­ly iden­ti­fy the mus­cles on their own patients (or cadav­ers). Vesalius’ entire cor­pus of work always attempts to be the body even as it doc­u­ments the body.

The Forerunner of Slaughter” appears dynam­ic and unthink­ing, like Slender‐man in a marathon. If Vesalius saw Zapata’s work I imag­ine he might be envi­ous of our mod­ern lux­u­ry of color print­ing since the con­tem­po­rary artist builds upon Vesalius’ tech­niques through the use of shad­ows and exag­ger­at­ed flesh tones that empha­size the lig­a­ture around the Forerunner’s mon­strous quadri­ceps and latis­simus dorsi. The image reminds us that Eldrazi are not like other mon­sters of the Dungeons & Dragons vari­ety. Whereas tra­di­tion­al Greco‐Roman mythol­o­gy con­sists of hybridized mon­sters such the cen­taur or sphinx, the Forerunner’s mon­stros­i­ty emerges from the rein­ven­tion of a man. It takes on the Classical human form built around the aus­tere white face, wide chest, and thin hips. Even though other Eldrazi appear more mon­strous or more vermin‐like in design, they empha­size tis­sue and inte­ri­or biol­o­gy instead of exter­nal ani­mal forms. They are organ­ic mat­ter with­out cul­ture com­pa­ra­ble to the way Vesalius drew bod­ies with­out iden­ti­fy­ing fea­tures of skin or creed. Despite the gnarled fin­gers and extra set of fore­arms, the Forerunner could eas­i­ly model bipedal motion as Vesalius’ flayed man might ter­ror­ize the town in the back­ground. Zapata could not escape man as the mea­sure of all things and so the Forerunner emerged not from the spir­it of mon­stros­i­ty but the pre­ci­sion of anato­my.

According to Dictionary​.com, the word “anato­my” derives from the Latin anato­mia which came from the Greek terms: ana‐tome or ‘cut­ting up’. The word, crit­i­cal to our under­stand­ing of biol­o­gy, con­trasts with the other end of the sci­en­tif­ic spec­trum where the term atom (from Greek a‐tomos), mean­ing ‘indi­vis­i­ble’, pro­vides physics and chem­istry a fun­da­men­tal unit of mat­ter (Although sci­ence cur­rent­ly states that there are small­er units than the atom, the promise of the “indi­vis­i­ble” pro­pels the study of Higgs Bosons and other par­ti­cles that would pro­vide the fun­da­men­tal forces and equa­tions to gov­ern the cos­mos). Anatomy resists the atom. Everything that claims to be irre­ducible — whether we cat­e­go­rize it as “a mas­ter­piece,” “a clas­sic,” or “pure enter­tain­ment” — demands exam­i­na­tion under the scalpel. Just as the Eldrazi broodlings owe their form to the three titan­ic pre­de­ces­sors, we can observe the lin­eage of art when we trace the Eldrazi’s image back to the work of Vesalius and that hereti­cal dar­ing to dis­sect the body and make it vul­ner­a­ble and pro­fane.

In keep­ing with these terms, “Battle for Zendikar” stands as a philo­soph­i­cal wager between the essen­tial­ism of the fan­ta­sy genre and exis­ten­tial­ism as expressed by the Eldrazi images. The exis­ten­tial phi­los­o­phy emerged dur­ing the first half of the 20th cen­tu­ry amidst the dev­as­ta­tion of the World Wars and the sci­en­tif­ic advances that chal­lenged pre­vail­ing world­views of both nature and the human con­di­tion. In the words of Sartre, the exis­ten­tial­ist doc­trine states: “exis­tence comes before essence,” and that no pre‐existent struc­ture of morals or val­ues ought to gov­ern human action. The idea forces us to con­sid­er that no sin­gle book, the­o­ry, or faith can out­line what it means to be human and, there­fore, the exis­ten­tial alter­na­tive demands that each indi­vid­ual ques­tion their views until they find a path or project that gives them mean­ing.

Suddenly Eldrazi titles such as “the Aeons Torn,” or “Butcher of Truth,” no longer sound like the mad­den­ing titles of behe­moths but actu­al descrip­tions of the way 20th cen­tu­ry sci­en­tists learned to chal­lenge pre­vail­ing beliefs. As made famous by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ chap­ter IV of Watchmen, where the super­hero Dr. Manhattan expe­ri­ences simul­ta­ne­ous time accord­ing to the the­o­ries of quan­tum mechan­ics, par­a­digm shifts break our assump­tions about the world. When artists like Moore and Gibbons choose to poet­i­cal­ly depict a new con­cep­tion of chronol­o­gy they force the audi­ence to reex­am­ine their own under­stand­ing of real­i­ty. Art that engages with sci­ence encour­ages us to recon­sid­er some­thing as sim­ple as a watch; the aeons had, in a sense, been torn and resewn accord­ing to Einstein’s the­o­ries. In line with the metaphor, the Existential view of life always threat­ens to butch­er truth and make way for a more com­pelling stance or project. The rejec­tion of the indi­vis­i­ble essence means that any­thing can be prepped for the autop­sy table. If the Eldrazi carry the bur­den of Existentialism, the next ques­tion must be: what ought to be made pro­fane in the world of Magic?

Plate V: “Omnath, Locus of Rage”

Plate V: “Omnath, Locus of Rage”

 

The Heartland

According the game’s lore, the Eldrazi had been locked deep inside the plane of Zendikar, but there was a time when their spawn escaped and threat­ened the over­world inhab­i­tants. The Zendikar denizens fought back and, as evo­lu­tion dic­tates, only the most vicious crea­tures sur­vived the Eldrazi attack. As a result, Zendikar claims its own lin­eage of life­forms who all feel affin­i­ty for their home­land as if they share a genet­ic need to defend it from the cos­mic invaders. This aura of “Zendikar pride” actu­al­ly bled into the land so that when the Eldrazi final­ly awoke the land mass­es them­selves joined in the fight to pro­tect their world. These cards appear as Elementals, the most pow­er­ful of which can be seen in Plate V, as “Omnath, Locus of Rage.”

Immediately, the term Elemental con­jures an out­dat­ed and essen­tial­ist view of the uni­verse as made up of pri­mal ener­gies. The impli­ca­tion of the Zendikar Elementals is that they laid dor­mant and wait­ed until the plane need­ed them most to turn the tide against the Eldrazi invaders. They are the antipo­dal for­ma­tion of Sartre’s state­ment: they are the fun­da­men­tal exam­ple of essence pre­ced­ing exis­tence, and — like the Golem of the Prague — they arise from the ide­ol­o­gy they pro­tect in the direst of times. Omnath’s title oper­ates both in rela­tion to the titles of the Eldrazi titans but also as a resis­tance to the exis­ten­tial hor­ror they rep­re­sent. “Locus of Rage” sug­gests that the land seethes with mal­ice against its com­mu­nal enemy and Omnath emerged as a con­sol­i­da­tion or crit­i­cal den­si­ty of the land’s emo­tion­al response.

Omnath’s appear­ance in Plate V stands in the shad­ow of the Eldrazi’s Vitruvian per­fec­tion. Like the Forerunner, it too wields two sets of arms poised for destruc­tion, yet it lacks the human pro­por­tion. Unlike the Forerunner’s sculpt­ed legs, Omnath does not rel­ish in the aes­theti­za­tion of flesh but in the neces­si­ty for move­ment, for mak­ing its will known through­out the domain. Around its body glim­mers an aura of green and red light­ning. The col­ored light­ning reflects the card’s sum­mon­ing cost: both red and green mana are need­ed. According to the color wheel (Plate I), the Elemental strad­dles the bor­der between instinct and impulse and emerges from Magic’s meta­phys­i­cal space. Although Elementals take on ani­mal or humanoid forms, they lack the vis­cera of the Eldrazi and their bod­ies remain indi­vis­i­ble and unex­plain­able with­out the pre­scrip­tive frame­work of the color wheel. In other words, Elementals act as alle­go­ry; they assume the ideals and truths gov­ern­ing the Magic meta­verse.

Perhaps the most rel­e­vant impli­ca­tion of these inter­pre­ta­tions is the par­a­digm shift con­tained in the newest set released in January 2016. Oath of the Gatewatch, which con­tin­ues the fight against the Eldrazi, adds new a col­or­less mana sym­bol to the game and con­tains Eldrazi cards that require this type of mana. The Magic com­mu­ni­ty watch­es how the new shift in power affects the game, though I won­der if col­or­less mana will per­sist in future card sets or if they are lim­it­ed only to where the Eldrazi flour­ish. The irony of col­or­less mana is that all basic land cards that cur­rent­ly exist are already col­or­less cards. The Eldrazi sim­ply make it evi­dent that the pre­con­ceived notions of col­ored magic are an illu­sion, and that all land essen­tial­ly works the same by pro­vid­ing mana ener­gy, no mat­ter the ide­ol­o­gy or arche­type cat­e­go­rized in the color wheel. “Battle for Zendikar” pro­duces a ques­tion of noth­ing­ness since the Eldrazi force us to rec­on­cile that all land (and every­thing “nat­ur­al”) exists first and fore­most with­out the dogma forced upon it by the color wheel. It is an exis­ten­tial argu­ment, an unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly Modernist the­sis for the genre of High Fantasy, but evi­dence of the genre’s mat­u­ra­tion away from Tolkien’s absolutes.

Conclusion

But what does this have to do with Lovecraft? For all of Wizards of the Coast’s inces­sant blog­ging that they’ve cre­at­ed Lovecraftian hor­rors, these close read­ings show that the Eldrazi, though mon­strous, vast­ly diverge from Lovecraft’s the­o­ry of descrip­tion. As I’ve out­lined in these inter­pre­ta­tions, the artists clear­ly want­ed to access the idea of eldritch hor­ror but they achieve visu­al dread by depict­ing the human inte­ri­or instead of the alien Other. While Lovecraft’s hor­ror can never truly be pinned down, the Eldrazi rep­re­sent ani­mat­ed autop­sies parad­ing in the light of day.

What might just be hap­pen­ing is an attempt to engage with Lovecraftian imagery and themes with­out res­ur­rect­ing other ele­ments of his char­ac­ter. After all, stereo­types and racial slan­der­ing depend on essen­tial­ist beliefs that cer­tain peo­ple are innate­ly and inher­ent­ly infe­ri­or to oth­ers. What bet­ter way to chal­lenge the author’s prej­u­dice than to invent mon­sters that reject the essen­tial­ism of spec­u­la­tive fic­tion and pulp mag­a­zines? What I am not claim­ing is that “Battle for Zendikar” wants to erase Lovecraft’s racism. Nor do I believe “Battle for Zendikar” assumes a post‐racial soci­ety where fic­tion is free of social injus­tice. “Battle for Zendikar,” like every set in Magic, is its own free‐standing text with its own under­ly­ing sup­po­si­tions and rela­tion to genre and fan­ta­sy. It is an attempt to imag­ine Cosmicism with­out insult­ing other groups of peo­ple. The Eldrazi are here to stay in the world of Magic and I’m sure their pres­ence will con­tin­ue to cause upheaval to the tra­di­tion­al spell­cast­ing sto­ries of good and evil. What we can observe in the nar­ra­tive unfold­ing between artists, game design­ers, and count­less play­ers is the social urge to reju­ve­nate ideas of past gen­er­a­tions while intro­duc­ing and blend­ing togeth­er new con­cep­tions of what cos­mic hor­ror might mean and how alone we might truly be.

Sources