I was in the open beta for WildStar
, an SF MMO, back in 2014. I then subscribed for three months. The game had lots of good
in it; but it didn't hold me. Something fundamental was missing. And it was stupid hard. You really couldn't just log in and have fun. And the game's population collapsed so quickly that the open regions were always barren. I was alone in an MMO.
In any event, the music was part of its goodness. There was a piece that looped in your in-game house. It was beautiful. I made a point of returning to my house at the end of every session, in part to roleplay slightly, but mostly so that I could take my character home, tuck her into bed, and linger.
I found the piece on YouTube. It's called "Plotting Our Course
." Do listen to it. It's so pretty. The melancholy is perfect. The composer made something wonderful — yet it was merely incidental music in a failed videogame. Who will remember it? Though it is not lost, it seems so precariously preserved.
And I think again of the status of art at the consummation of the world. In a post of mine from 2017, Superfluous in Heaven
, I supposed that art (specifically music) might be pointless in the afterlife; and yet I hoped that it would be retained somehow. Will all mankind, newly resurrected, learn of every achievement of beauty, even the most minor? If a thing is genuinely beautiful, wouldn't God value it, too?
Will man's creations be not abandoned?
To be sure, it's hard to imagine God preserving Saw III
or Big Mouth.
Nothing would be in Heaven that God did not love; and God cannot love what is ugly. But what of MacBeth
? Or The Big Sleep
? Or Taxi Driver?
Where is the line between being ugly and portraying ugliness? Do we value things that God cannot? Is our valuation so corrupted? Or does God love Breaking Bad
as much as any right-thinking human?
I don't know. All I know is that WildStar
contained a bit of art utterly without ugliness and I'd like that bit to endure.