051.Ofwhatuseisthepasttoagamer?PeterLunenfeld:"Forthemostpart,itsblood,mischiefandroleplayingthatgamersrevelin.Theyliveinanalternativeuniverse,asolipsisticonescriptedbydesignerswhoseframeofreferenceextendsnofurtherbackthanPong,Pac-ManandDungeonsandDragons.Thevisualandstorylinetropest
hatmostofusbringwithusasculturalbaggageare…allbutforgottenancestralmemories,thrownoff,onpurpose,toocumbersometobeofanyuse."Inthisnewworldthatappearsindifferenttohistory,withonlyhallsoffameforitschampions,chroniclesofitsbigbattlesandchartsofitsgreatesthits,accountingforhowthisdigitalg
amespacecameintobeingpresentssomethingofachallenge.Perhapsitisbesttoapproachitinitsownstyle,asaseriesoflevels,eachofwhichappearstothegameronbattlingthroughtotheendofthelast.Ifoneisdefeated,onestartsover.Butremember:thesearethegrindlevels.Thegoingishardhere,evenalittleboring.Youmaynee
dtoattemptitmorethanonce.Ingamespace,timeismeasuredindiscreteandconstantunits,andwhileonecannotalwayswinalevel,onecanalwaysstartoveranddoitagain.052.Clicktostart.Hereisanewworld.Thefirstlevelopensontoatopic(fromtheGreek'topos',orplace).Hereatopicisaplacebothonthegroundandwithinlangua
ge.JacquesDerrida:"Thethemes,thetopics,the(common-)places,inarhetoricalsense,arestrictlyinscribed,comprehendedeachtimewithinasignificantsite."Onecanplaceone'sfootonatopicbecauseonecanplaceone'stongueonit.Oronecanpointtowarditandsay:"thereitis…".Allaroundthetopicitisdark,unknown,unmap
ped,withoutstories.Movearoundabitandyoubumpintoothers,fromothertribes,othersettlements.Viaothersonelearnsofstillothers.Thetopicsstarttoconnect.Amapforms.Oncethereisamap,thereisthetopographic,whichtraceslinesthatconnectthetopics,andwhichdoublesthetopicalwiththespaceofmapsandtexts.Thes
eoutlinethecontoursinspaceandtimeofwhatwasthetopical,redrawingandrewritingitasacontinuousandhomogenousplane.Thelinesofthetopicaretracedintothepage;thelinesonthepagearetracedbackontotheearthastopography.Historyisastoryandgeographyanimageofthistopography,inwhichtheboundariesareforeverb
eingexpandedandredrawn.Thisplaybetweenthetopicalandtopographicisthefirstlevel.053.Inthefirstlevel,everytopicalfeaturethatresistsinscriptionasacontinuousspaceiserasedandreplaced.Impassablemountainsyieldtheirpassages,joiningonceseparatetopics.Everyrecalcitrantpeoplewithitsownindigenous
toposisexterminatedandforgotten.JamesFenimoreCooper:"Inashorttimetherewillbenoremainsoftheseextraordinarypeople,inthoseregionsinwhichtheydweltforcenturies,buttheirnames."Thenamespersist,onmaps,orinbookswithtitleslikeTheLastoftheMohicans.Thefirstlevelisthisdissolutionofthetopicalintot
hetopographic,whereanoralloreiserasedandreplacedbyinscription:Linesonmaps,linesonpages;linesthatevolvefromtrailtorail.Thefirstleveliswherethetopographicunfoldsasthelinebetweenwhatischartedandwhatisuncharted.(SeeFig.3)Thestorylinedwellsbetweentheautonomyofthetopicalandtheauthorityofth
etopographical,alwayslaggingbehind.054.Inthecinema,mappingandwritingmeet.Theemergenceofthetopographicanditsstruggletosubsumethetopicalbecomesthegreatthemeofwesterngenre,aboveallofthedirectorJohnFord.JimmyStewart,thefrontierlawyer,bringingthewildwesttobook,runsupagainsttheoutlawgunsli
ngerLeeMarvin.WhenStewartshootshiminashowdown,Stewartbecomesalegend,andasenator.OnlyitwasJohnWayne,thehonorableoutlaw,whoreallyfiredthefatalshot.InTheManWhoShotLibertyValence,cinemafunctionsastheformthatcanrevealretrospectivelytheworkingsoftopography,itscreationofastorylinethatjustif
iestheimpositionofthethinbluelineofthelaw.Thecompletionofthetopographicisthesubjectoffilmnoir.Herethetopographichasconnectedallofspaceinaloosenetwork,andonecannotrunbeyondthefrontiertoescapeit.Oneescapeswithin,lookingforill-lit,interstitialtopics,liketherailyardsandwholesalemarketsof
JulesDassin'sThievesHighway.Here,onthe'wrongsideofthetracks'thereisstillaspaceforillicitdesire,andanescapefromboredom.055.Whatclosesthefrontierforfreeactionistheenclosureofthespaceofmovementwithinaspaceofcommunication.Thelinesplits,intoonethatmovesobjectsandsubjects,andanother,faster
onethatmovesinformation,thelineoftelesthesia,ofthetelegraphthentelephone.InHighNoon,SheriffGaryCooperlearnsthroughthetelegraphthathislawlessnemesisarrivesonthemiddaytrain.InTheNakedCity,thispoweroftelesthesia-perceptionatadistance-iseverywhere.Thepolice,forensics,thecoronerareallbrou
ghttogetherviatheswitchboardoperator,enablingandovercomingadivisionoflaborwiththetelephone,andcompactingspaceintoatemporalevent.Weseethepolicemanmakeacall,theoperatormakingtheconnection,andthecallbeinganswered.Telesthesiaallowsthespeedingupandcoordinationofmovementalongallotherlines,
settingtherailwaytimetablesbywhichvastarmiesofgoodsorsoldiersmaybemobilized.Telesthesiamakespossiblethecompletionoftopographicspace,wherevastterritoriesarecoordinatedwithintheboundsoftheline.Astelesthesiadevelops,fromtelegraphtotelephonetotelevisiontotelecommunications,topographicspa
cedeepensandhardens,butalwayswithgapsandexclusions.FilmNoirdwellsinagapbetweenthefreeactinanunmarkedspaceandtheimpositionoftheline.Youcanrunbutyoucan'thide.056.Eventually,eventheoutofthewaytopicwithinthetopographicismappedandstoried.InDassin'sNightandtheCity,madeinpoliticalexileinLon
don,thewholeofspacehasbecometelegraphic.Thereisnoescape.Thiscompletesthefirstlevel.Topologybeginswhenthetopicalceasestohaveanyautonomy,whenthelinealongwhichcommunicationflowsclosesthegapbetweenmapandterritory.Theopenfrontierisenclosedinafieldofcalculation.Historyandgeographyceasetodw
ellbetweenthetopicalandthetopographical,alwaysrushingtokeepup.Historyandgeographyaresubsumedwithinatopology,whichtendstowardsacontinuousfieldofequivalentandexchangeablevalues,instantlycommunicableeverywhere.Wherethetopicalwasonceboundedwithinthelinesofthetopographical,itisnowconnecte
dalongthelinesofthetopological.Thefixedgeometryoftopographygiveswaytothevariableformsoftopology,inwhichthelinesconnectingpointstogetherlendthemselvestotransformationwithoutrupturefromoneshapetoanother.Thestorylineofoutwardmovementiscomplete;thegamespaceofinteriorplaycommences.Welcome
tothesecondlevel.057.FilmNoircomestoanendwhenitisnolongerpossibletoimagineanythinggreatbutevillurkingoutofbounds.Ifsomethingpassesundetectedforanylengthoftimeitisbecauseithasnovalue.Theeraofthegreatopenlydeclaredvillainsisover.Intopologicaltimes,thebadguyspassasnormalorcorruptthelaw.
Cinemaasthemachineforimaginingtheopenspaceoutsidethelineisconsignedtothepast.Topologyannouncesitsnewambitionsthroughradioandparticularlytelevision,asignalforeverywhereandnowhere,potentiallyinterestedinanyoneoranywhere,aCandidCamera.Thekeygenresforworkingoutthesubsumptionofthetopograp
hicintothetopologicalarethesituationcomedyandthegameshow.Onagameshow,anyonecanbetakenoutofeverydaylifeandbroughtintothemagiccircleoftelevision;onasitcom,televisioncanextenditselftotheeverydaylifefamiliartotheaverageviewer,anywhere.Sitcomandgameshowannouncethecomingofatopologyinwhicha
llofspacemightbedoubledsimultaneously,withoutlag,bylinesofimage,linesofsound,whichasyetstillbroadcastoutofcentralnodes.Thelinesrunonlyonewayandindiscriminately,butincorporatesanyoneandanythingofvalue.Whatisexcluded,fromitspointofview,hasnovalue.Theromanceoftheoutsiderisdead.058.Whatc
ompletestopologyandpreparesitforthenext-unknown-leveliswhenthelinesplitsagain,intoanaloganddigital.Theanaloglinesofradioandtelephoneandtelevisiongivewaytodigitallines,whichreachbacktotheprecedentofthetelegraph,butextenditsdigitalcodetoanincreasinglyflexibleandallembracingwebofcommuni
cationlines.Gradually,thedigitalextendsandexpandstothewholeoftelesthesia.Theinternetincorporatestext,sound,images,thenmovingimages.Thecyberspaceoftheinternetbecomesmobileandportableandturnsintothecellspaceofmobiletelephony.Thiscombinationofthespeedoftelesthesiawiththedigitalcodeiswha
tmakespossibleavastandinclusivetopologyofgamespace.Thisisthethirdlevel:TheworldoftopologyistheworldofTheCave(tm).Anyandeveryspaceisanetworkoflines,pulsingwithdigitaldata,onwhichplayersactandreact.Inworkandplay,itisnotthenovel,notcinema,nottelevisionthatoffersthelinewithinwhichtograsp
theformofeverydaylife,itisthegame.JulianDibbell:"…inthestrangenewworldofimmaterialitytowardwhichtheenginesofproductionhavelongbeendrivingus,wecannowatlastmakeoutthecontoursofamorefamiliarrealmoftheinsubstantial--therealmofgamesandmakebelieve."059.Ifthenovel,cinemaortelevisioncanrevea
lthroughtheirparticularsanallegoryoftheworldthatmakesthempossible,thegamerevealssomethingelse.Forthereader,thenovelproducesallegoryassomethingtextual.Theworldofpossibilityistheplayofthelinguisticsign.Forthecineaste,theworldofpossibilityisaplayoflightandshade.Forthegamer,thegameproduc
esallegoryassomethingalgorithmic.Theworldofpossibilityistheworldinternaltothealgorithm.So:apassagefromthetopictothetopographic,mediatedbythenovel;apassagefromthetopographictothetopological,mediatedbytelevision;apassage,mediatedbythegame,fromthetopologicaltoasyetunknownspaces,apointwh
erethegamerseemstobestuck.Isitreallythecasethatthegamermerelyrevelsinbloodmischiefandroleplaying?Oristhereadeeperunderstandingofthecavethatcanbehadfromgamingwithinit?060.Startoverwithanothernewworld.(Thistimewithalittlegamertheory.)Welcometothefirstlevel:Thenovelisalineofacertaintype
,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities,astoryline.Itarisesatthemomentwhentopicgiveswaytotopography.ForGeorgLukcs,whatistobevaluedisthehistoricalnovelanditsabilitytotracealineacrossanhistoricalmomentandrevealtheforcesatworkinit."Itistheportrayalofthebroadlivingbasisofhistoricalevents
intheirintricacyandcomplexity,intheirmanifoldinteractionwithactingindividuals."Thehistoricalnovelshowshistoricaleventsthroughsecondarycharacters,perhapsnotunlikethereader,andanhistoricaleventasbeingatthesametimeatransformationofeverydaylife.Andyetthenovelsuffersfromthisparadox:Toillu
minatethetopographic,thenovelhastohideitsownform.Ifitexploresthepossibilitiesofthelinewithinitspagesitopensitselftoa'formalism'thatleavesthereaderbehind.061.Thefirstlevelcontinues:Cinemaisalineofacertaintype,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities,anilluminationofthedarkcornersoftopogr
aphy.ForWalterBenjamin,whatistobevaluedisthe'opticalunconscious',cinema'smachinicvisionofaworldthatisitselfmachinedwithadensegridoflines.Cinemacanexpandorshrinkspace,extendorcompresstime,itcancuttogetherimagesofdiversescalesorforms-intimationsoftopology.Itcreatesa'Spielraum',aplayroo
m,fordividingupthemachineworldotherwise.ContraLuk‡cs,Benjaminopenstowardstheformalpropertiesofthelineattheexpenseofitsrepresentationofanhistoricalsituationasatotality.Butwhatdoesn'tchangeisthatthespectator,likethereader,isexternaltothelineitself.Cinemacanshowhowtheworldismadethroughi
tscutsandmontages,anindustrialprocesswiththeuniquequalityofshowingitselfasworks.Yetthereisstillaseparationbetweenthosemakingthecinemaandthosewatchingit.062.Thefirstlevelends:Thenovellanguishes.Cinemafailstorealizeitsallegoricalpotential.GuyDebord:"Butthislifeandthiscinemaarebothequal
lypaltry;andthatiswhyyoucouldactuallyexchangeonefortheotherwithindifference."Boredomreigns.063.Thesecondlevelbegins:Radioisalineofacertaintype,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities.ForBrecht,whatistobevaluedinitisacertainunrealizedpotentialforthelinetopointbothways:"Radioisone-sideda
nditshouldbetwo.Itispurelyanapparatusfordistribution,formeresharingout.Sohereisapositivesuggestion:changethisapparatusoverfromdistributiontocommunication.Theradiowouldbethefinestpossiblecommunicationapparatusinpubliclife,avastnetworkofpipes.Thatistosay,itwouldbeifitknewhowtoreceiveas
wellastransmit,howtoletthelistenerspeakaswellashear,howtobringhimintoarelationshipinsteadofisolatinghim."Radiocouldbelikeapublictelephony.Butitisallanalogflow;itlacksadigitalcode.Itradiatesfromonepointtoeveryother,withoutdistinction.Itlacksthetransformationalgeometryoftopology,wherea
nythreespecificpointscouldbeconnected,anywhere,andstillmakethesame'triangle'connectingsenderandreceiverandthethird'line'-telesthesiaitself.064.Thesecondlevelcontinues.Televisionexpandsthelineofradio,butdoesitaddmuchtoit?Doesityieldmuchbywayofaspaceofpossibility?FredricJameson:"Theblo
ckageoffreshthinkingbeforethissolidlittlewindowagainstwhichwestrikeourheadsbeingnotunrelatedtopreciselythatwholeortotalflowweobservethroughit."Televisiongeneralizesthelineofcommunicationasananalogflow.Thedigitalhasnotyetprevailed.065.Thesecondlevelends:Thetensionbetweenthetopographic
andtopologicalisalsoonebetweenadecliningsphereofrepresentation,willandinterest,andoneofanewtoposthatisstatistical,digital,simulated-algorithmic.Thetopographicisincomplete.Itcanprojectitslinesacrossspaceandannihilatetime,butitcannoteffectivelymarkormeasureoutthespaceitencloses.Ithasso
mefeeblemechanisms-theopinionpoll,forexample.Throughthelaboriousmeansofseekingoutandrecordingopinion,topologicalspacecanbegiventheappearanceofagency.JeanBaudrillard:"Itis,paradoxically,asagamethattheopinionpollsrecoverasortoflegitimacy.Agameoftheundecideable;agameofchance…Perhapsweca
nseeheretheapparitionofoneofthesecollectiveformsofthegamethatCailloiscalledalea-anirruptionintothepollsthemselvesofaludic,aleatoryprocess,anironicmirrorfortheuseofthemasses."066.Thethirdlevelbegins.Wherethetopographicdevelopsonedimensionoftelegraphy-itsflowofinformationacrossspace-th
etopologicaldevelopstheother-itsintricatecodingandaddressing.Wherethetopographicisananalogflow;thetopologicalisthedigitaldivide.Itisalineofaanothertype.Itisalinethat,forabrief,burningmoment,reignitedthedreamsofanewtopos.Butthecycleaccelerates.IfittooktwentyyearstogetfromBrechtorBenja
min'soptimismtoDebord'sboredom,thesamecycleinnettimetookperhapsfiveyears.GeertLovink:"Cyberspaceatthedawnofthe21stcenturycannolongerpositionitselfinautopianvoidofseamlesspossibilities."Whattopologyyieldsisnotacyberspacebutagamespace.Theideaofcyberspaceisstilltoolinkedtoimagesfromthew
orldofradioandtelevision,offlowand'seamless'movement,ofaccessandexcess,oflinesrunninganywhereandeverywhere.Topologyisexperiencedmoreasagamespacethanacyberspace:fullofrestrictionsandhierarchies,firewallsandpasswords.Itismorelikeaboundedgamethanafreespaceofplay.Onceagain:ifitisfree,iti
svalueless.Thoseoddlineswithintopologywhereanythinggoesaretheonesofnoconsequence.067.Thethirdlevelcontinues.Gameshavestorylineslikethehistoricalnovel,whicharcfrombeginningtoend.Gameshavecinematiccutscenes,puremontagesofattraction.Gamessubsumethelinesoftelevisionjustastelevisionsubsum
edcinemaandcinemathenovel.Buttheyaresomethingelseaswell.Theyarenotjustanallegorybutadoubleform,anallegoryandanallegorithm.Appearanceswithinthegamedoubleanalgorithmwhichinturnsimulatesanunknownalgorithmwhichproducesappearancesoutsidethegame.068.Stuckagain.Startover.Anothernewworld.Wel
cometothefirstlevel.Let'sloopbacktoLuk‡cs,andask:ratherthatinsistonthepossibilitiesofthetechnicityofthelineitself,perhapsthere'ssomethingtobesaidforthepossibilitiesofacertaingenrethatmakesuseofit?Bonuspoints!Skipstraighttothethirdlevel:Thestrategygameisagenreofacertaintypewithinaline
ofacertaintype,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities.ClickontheGovernmentpulldownmenuandchooseRevolution.YourRepublicturnstoAnarchy.Certainparametersshift.YouareplayingSidMeier'sCivilizationIII.Itisnotsomuchanallegoryforworldhistoryasanallegorithmforgamespaceitself.Everythinghereisar
elationbetweenquantifiableprocesses.Everythingisaquestionoftheallocationofresources.There'saperversesenseofbaseandsuperstructure.YoucanchangetheformofGovernmentbutthere'snotmuchyoucandotochangetheunderlyingformofproduction.Investinscienceandqualitativetechnicalchangesaccumulate,which
inturnexpandmilitary,culturalandpoliticalpossibilities.Investinculturetokeeptheplebsfromrevolting.Interestingly,civildisordercomesfrombelow,butrevolutionscomefromabove,butthesearejusttwofunctionswithinanalgorithm:asmallvariablewithabigeffect;abigvariablewithasmalleffect.069.Gamespace
turnsdescriptionsintoadatabase,andstorylineintonavigation.SidMeier,knownasavoraciousreader,turnshistoryandanthropologybooksintostrategygames.CivilizationIIIevencomeswithitsownCivilopedia,areferenceworkfortoaparallelworld.Butthisismorethantheremediationofoldformsintonew.Rather,thealgo
rithmconsumesthetopographicandturnsitintothetopological.Inthedatabase,alldescriptionisnumerical,equivalentinform.Inprincipleeverythingwithinitcanberelatedtoortransformedintoeverythingelse.Anewkindofsymmetryoperates.Thenavigationofthedatabasereplacesanarrationviadescription.Thedatabas
eexpandsexponentially.Ratherthanapoliticsofallegory,aneconomicsofallegorithmoperates,selectingandreducingpossibilities.070.ThisishowtheworldappearstoagamerplayingCivilizationIII:Therearedependentandindependentvariables.Gamers,throughtrialanderror,willworkoutwhicharewhich.Theychangeov
ertime.Inthefirststage,youexplore,pushingbacktheinkyblackshroudtomakeamap.Thenyougrowthepopulation,avastarmyoffarmersandminers.Youhavetomaximizeuseablespace.Onceyourcontinentfillsupwithcitiesandtheirhinterlands,expansionbecomesqualitativeratherthanquantitative.It'sallaboutknowledgean
dtechnology.Thequalityofwarfarechangesalongtheway.Itexpandsinspace,digsdeeperintoreservesofresources,thenbecomesaqualitativeraceforbiggerandbetterlinesalongwhichpowercanreticulate.Thegamerisamanager,confrontinguncertainlywithaninventoryofresources.It'sahardgametowinatfirst,butafteryo
uhavebeatenit,youplayitagain,andagain.GlenFuller:"Ithasacomplexarrayoflogicsforwardingoffboredom."Itdrawsthegamer'sattentionnottothestorylinebuttothecombinationsofelementsfromwhichanygivenstorylinemightbeselected.071.InCivilizationIII,timeisessentiallyofapiece.Itishomogenous,empty,bu
titcanbedividedintoequivalentunits,justlikespace.Thustimecanbeconfiguredandreconfigured,producingendlessvariationsonthecascadingsequencesofcauseandeffect.Historyisindeedabsentfromthegame,absentassomethingfinished,asastorylineinthepasttense.Whatreplacesitisahistoryworkshop,amodelofhis
toryastheintuitionofalgorithmsandtheirconsequences.Thegamerisadesigner.Designers,likeallmanagers,operatewithingivenlimits.Thisishowtheworldappearstothegamedesigner:Therearedependentandindependentvariables.Designers,throughtrialanderror,willworkoutwhicharewhich.Theywillchoosecultural,
businessandtechnicaloptionsthatmaximizelongtermadvantages.Ifitdoesn'tworkout,theywilldoitover.Timeisessentiallyofapiece.Itishomogenous,butitcanbedividedintoequivalentunits,justlikespace.CivilizationIIImodelsnotsomuch'civilization',asthegamedesignbusiness,whichinturnmodelsgamespace,or
topologyasitpresentlyexists.072.Thisishowtheworldappearstogamertheory:Seenfromthepointofviewoftopology,withitsdensedatabasesandnavigatingtools,thetopicalworldwithitslooselyconnectedtopicswasaworldoflimiteddataandfewpossibilities.Transformationsofonethingintoanotherwerepurelymagical.T
hetopographic-andtelegraphic-flattenedoutthedifferencesbetweentopicswhiledescribingtheminmuchmoredetail.Atensionarisesbetweenenricheddescriptionandthepovertyofstoryline,burstingtocontainit.Theexpansionofdescriptionneverthelessopenedtowardsallegory.Accumulationsofimagesburstoutoftheir
storylinebounds.Itopenedtowardsapoliticsofallegory,ofthewritingandmappingoftheworld,andalsotowardsutopia,arrestingthefluxoftheworldinidealform.Topologyclosesthefrontiersofspacewithinitslines,andexpandsthedatasetagain,butbyreducingdatatoequivalentcalculablepoints,itisabletobreakwithst
orylineasprincipleoftemporalorder,replacingitwiththealgorithm.Storylinebecomesgamespace.073.StrategygamessuchasCivilizationIIIpresentsanallegorithmoftopologyasgamespaceandthegamerasitsmanager.Itsubsumesthetext,audio,imagesandmoviesintothedatabase,whilethealgorithmcalculatesthemovesof
allitselementsrelativetothegamer.Itcollapsesthedifferencebetweentheeverydayandtheutopian.Itembracesalldifferencesbyrenderingallofspaceandtimeasbeingquantifiable.Topicaltimesresoundwiththemythofthetactician.Topographictimesinscribestoriesofgranddirectorsofstrategy.Topologicaltimescall
formanagersofstrategy.Historyappears,retrospectively,asnotonlytheexpandingfrontierofwar'stheatre,butalsoitsqualitativetransformation.Itistheunwindingofalinewhichdivideseverythingintomanageablechunksofdata.Theactualdispositionofresourcesisdoubledbyadatabasewhichmapsnotfixedlocationsbu
tmeasuresoffungibility.Thealgorithmcanproduceeverypossiblecombinationoftheresourcesmappedinthedatabase-andafewimpossibleonesaswell.Thepossibleandtheactualreversepositions.Itisthepossiblethatisreal.Ifthealgorithmcanproduceitasanoutcomefromthedatabase,itexists.Themysteryiswhytherecalci
trantdebristhatlitterstheactualsometimesrefusestogetoutoftheway.Thisinsistenceontherealityofthepossible,onwhatresideswithinresources,istheAmericandream.074.Finally,thenextlevelappears:theexpansionoftopologyoutwards,beyondAmerica,tomakeAmericaequivalenttoalloftimeandspace.Americaitsel
f,asaconstruct,asastructureoffeeling,isalwaysonlyavailableviaparticularmediatinglines,whichmaydomorethanmerelyrepresentapre-existingAmerica.TheformofthelinemayitselfparticipateinthecreationofAmerica.TheremaywellbeanAmericathatresidessuccessivelyinthenovel,inthecinema,intelevisionandt
hegame,andisshapedbyeach.Each,inturn,presentshistoryitselfasapassingonofmemoryfromoneformtoanother.CivilizationIIIrecapitulatesnotonlyworldhistorybutmediahistory.It'sambitionisnotonlytoembracetherecordingoftheworldbuttheworldofrecording.InCivilizationIII,thetransformationofspaceandti
me,fromtopictotopographytotopology,isaneffectofthedevelopmentofthelineswithwhichtomarkandmanageit.Thisdoubledevelopment,whichatoneandthesametimedeepensandproliferateslinesofthepossibleandtheactual,canbecalledAmerica.Itiswhatisbothdesiredandfearedundertherubricofthatname,whichnolonger
marksaparticulartopic,butstandsfortheverycapacitytomarkandmanagespaceitself,astopology.075.Thelinemakesitswayacrosstheworld,makingitbymarkingit.Thelinepassesacrossvalleys,pages,mountains,rivers,tracingtrails,roads,railways,highways,doublingitselfwithtelegraph,television,telecommunica
tions,doublingitselfagainasthecodeofthelettermigratesfromtexttotelegraphandexplodesintothemyriadlinesofthedigital.Thelinemakestopics,mapsthemintothetopographic,thenfoldsthetopographicintoadigitaltopology.Thelinedoessomethingelseaswell.Foreverylinedrawnareaninfinitenumberundrawn.Every
lineisanallegoryofthepossibilitiesforalineofitstype.Thelinemayalsointimatethepossibilitiesoflinesofanothertype.Butthepossibilitiesofagiventypeoflinearenotinfinite.Allegoryalwaystouchesthevirtual-whichonemightdefineasthepossibilityofpossibility-viaaparticularline.Ateachleveloftheactua
lunfoldingofthelineacrosstheworld,itoffersaglimpseofthevirtualinitsownimage.Thisisthelimittoallegory.Ifallegoryyearnsforsomethingahistorical,atoposbeyondallparticulars,itdoessooverandoverinthemostparticularandmediatedway.051.Ofwhatuseisthepasttoagamer?PeterLunenfeld:"Forthemostpart,i
tsblood,mischiefandroleplayingthatgamersrevelin.Theyliveinanalternativeuniverse,asolipsisticonescriptedbydesignerswhoseframeofreferenceextendsnofurtherbackthanPong,Pac-ManandDungeonsandDragons.Thevisualandstorylinetropesthatmostofusbringwithusasculturalbaggageareallbutforgottenances
tralmemories,thrownoff,onpurpose,toocumbersometobeofanyuse."Inthisnewworldthatappearsindifferenttohistory,withonlyhallsoffameforitschampions,chroniclesofitsbigbattlesandchartsofitsgreatesthits,accountingforhowthisdigitalgamespacecameintobeingpresentssomethingofachallenge.Perhapsitisb
esttoapproachitinitsownstyle,asaseriesoflevels,eachofwhichappearstothegameronbattlingthroughtotheendofthelast.Ifoneisdefeated,onestartsover.Butremember:thesearethegrindlevels.Thegoingishardhere,evenalittleboring.Youmayneedtoattemptitmorethanonce.Ingamespace,timeismeasuredindiscretean
dconstantunits,andwhileonecannotalwayswinalevel,onecanalwaysstartoveranddoitagain.052.Clicktostart.Hereisanewworld.Thefirstlevelopensontoatopic(fromtheGreek'topos',orplace).Hereatopicisaplacebothonthegroundandwithinlanguage.JacquesDerrida:"Thethemes,thetopics,the(common-)places,inarh
etoricalsense,arestrictlyinscribed,comprehendedeachtimewithinasignificantsite."Onecanplaceone'sfootonatopicbecauseonecanplaceone'stongueonit.Oronecanpointtowarditandsay:"thereitis…".Allaroundthetopicitisdark,unknown,unmapped,withoutstories.Movearoundabitandyoubumpintoothers,fromother
tribes,othersettlements.Viaothersonelearnsofstillothers.Thetopicsstarttoconnect.Amapforms.Oncethereisamap,thereisthetopographic,whichtraceslinesthatconnectthetopics,andwhichdoublesthetopicalwiththespaceofmapsandtexts.Theseoutlinethecontoursinspaceandtimeofwhatwasthetopical,redrawinga
ndrewritingitasacontinuousandhomogenousplane.Thelinesofthetopicaretracedintothepage;thelinesonthepagearetracedbackontotheearthastopography.Historyisastoryandgeographyanimageofthistopography,inwhichtheboundariesareforeverbeingexpandedandredrawn.Thisplaybetweenthetopicalandtopographici
sthefirstlevel.053.Inthefirstlevel,everytopicalfeaturethatresistsinscriptionasacontinuousspaceiserasedandreplaced.Impassablemountainsyieldtheirpassages,joiningonceseparatetopics.Everyrecalcitrantpeoplewithitsownindigenoustoposisexterminatedandforgotten.JamesFenimoreCooper:"Inashortti
metherewillbenoremainsoftheseextraordinarypeople,inthoseregionsinwhichtheydweltforcenturies,buttheirnames."Thenamespersist,onmaps,orinbookswithtitleslikeTheLastoftheMohicans.Thefirstlevelisthisdissolutionofthetopicalintothetopographic,whereanoralloreiserasedandreplacedbyinscription:L
inesonmaps,linesonpages;linesthatevolvefromtrailtorail.Thefirstleveliswherethetopographicunfoldsasthelinebetweenwhatischartedandwhatisuncharted.(SeeFig.3)Thestorylinedwellsbetweentheautonomyofthetopicalandtheauthorityofthetopographical,alwayslaggingbehind.054.Inthecinema,mappingandwr
itingmeet.Theemergenceofthetopographicanditsstruggletosubsumethetopicalbecomesthegreatthemeofwesterngenre,aboveallofthedirectorJohnFord.JimmyStewart,thefrontierlawyer,bringingthewildwesttobook,runsupagainsttheoutlawgunslingerLeeMarvin.WhenStewartshootshiminashowdown,Stewartbecomesale
gend,andasenator.OnlyitwasJohnWayne,thehonorableoutlaw,whoreallyfiredthefatalshot.InTheManWhoShotLibertyValence,cinemafunctionsastheformthatcanrevealretrospectivelytheworkingsoftopography,itscreationofastorylinethatjustifiestheimpositionofthethinbluelineofthelaw.Thecompletionofthetop
ographicisthesubjectoffilmnoir.Herethetopographichasconnectedallofspaceinaloosenetwork,andonecannotrunbeyondthefrontiertoescapeit.Oneescapeswithin,lookingforill-lit,interstitialtopics,liketherailyardsandwholesalemarketsofJulesDassin'sThievesHighway.Here,onthe'wrongsideofthetracks'the
reisstill
aspaceforillicitdesire,andanescapefromboredom.055.Whatclosesthefrontierforfreeactionistheenclosureofthespaceofmovementwithinaspaceofcommunication.Thelinesplits,intoonethatmovesobjectsandsubjects,andanother,fasteronethatmovesinformation,thelineoftelesthesia,ofthetelegraphthen
telephone.
InHighNoon,SheriffGaryCooperlearnsthroughthetelegraphthathislawlessnemesisarrivesonthemiddaytrain.InTheNakedCity,thispoweroftelesthesia-perceptionatadistance-iseverywhere.Thepolice,forensics,thecoronerareallbroughttogetherviatheswitchboardoperator,enablingandovercomingadivi
sionoflaborwiththetelephone,andcompactingspaceintoatemporalevent.Weseethepolicemanmakeacall,theoperatormakingtheconnection,andthecallbeinganswered.Telesthesiaallowsthespeedingupandcoordinationofmovementalongallotherlines,settingtherailwaytimetablesbywhichvastarmiesofgoodsorsoldiersma
ybemo
bilized.Telesthesiamakespossiblethecompletionoftopographicspace,wherevastterritoriesarecoordinatedwithintheboundsoftheline.Astelesthesiadevelops,fromtelegraphtotelephonetotelevisiontotelecommunications,topographicspacedeepensandhardens,butalwayswithgapsandexclusions.FilmNoirdwel
lsin
agapbetweenthefreeactinanunmarkedspaceandtheimpositionoftheline.Youcanrunbutyoucan'thide.056.Eventually,eventheoutofthewaytopicwithinthetopographicismappedandstoried.InDassin'sNightandtheCity,madeinpoliticalexileinLondon,thewholeofspacehasbecometelegraphic.Thereisnoescape.Thiscom
plet
esthefirstlevel.Topologybeginswhenthetopicalceasestohaveanyautonomy,whenthelinealongwhichcommunicationflowsclosesthegapbetweenmapandterritory.Theopenfrontierisenclosedinafieldofcalculation.Historyandgeographyceasetodwellbetweenthetopicalandthetopographical,alwaysrushingtokeepup.H
istoryandgeographyaresubsumedwithinatopology,whichtendstowardsacontinuousfieldofequivalentandexchangeablevalues,instantlycommunicableeverywhere.Wherethetopicalwasonceboundedwithinthelinesofthetopographical,itisnowconnectedalongthelinesofthetopological.Thefixedgeometryoftopographygive
swaytothevariableformsoftopology,inwhichthelinesconnectingpointstogetherlendthemselvestotransformationwithoutrupturefromoneshapetoanother.Thestorylineofoutwardmovementiscomplete;thegamespaceofinteriorplaycommences.Welcometothesecondlevel.057.FilmNoircomestoanendwhenitisnolongerpossib
le
toimagineanythinggreatbutevillurkingoutofbounds.Ifsomethingpassesundetectedforanylengthoftimeitisbecauseithasnovalue.Theeraofthegreatopenlydeclaredvillainsisover.Intopologicaltimes,thebadguyspassasnormalorcorruptthelaw.Cinemaasthemachineforimaginingtheopenspaceoutsidethelineisconsi
gnedtothepast.Topologyannouncesitsnewambitionsthroughradioandparticularlytelevision,asignalforeverywhereandnowhere,potentiallyinterestedinanyoneoranywhere,aCandidCamera.Thekeygenresforworkingoutthesubsumptionofthetopographicintothetopologicalarethesituationcomedyandthegameshow.Onagam
eshow,anyonecanbetakenoutofeverydaylifeandbroughtintothemagiccircleoftelevision;onasitcom,televisioncanextenditselftotheeverydaylifefamiliartotheaverageviewer,anywhere.Sitcomandgameshowannouncethecomingofatopologyinwhichallofspacemightbedoubledsimultaneously,withoutlag,bylinesofimage
,linesofsound,whichasyetstillbroadcastoutofcentralnodes.Thelinesrunonlyonewayandindiscriminately,butincorporatesanyoneandanythingofvalue.Whatisexcluded,fromitspointofview,hasnovalue.Theromanceoftheoutsiderisdead.058.Whatcompletestopologyandpreparesitforthenext-unknown-leveliswhenthel
inesplitsagain,intoanaloganddigital.Theanaloglinesofradioandtelephoneandtelevisiongivewaytodigitallines,whichreachbacktotheprecedentofthetelegraph,butextenditsdigitalcodetoanincreasinglyflexibleandallembracingwebofcommunicationlines.Gradually,thedigitalextendsandexpandstothewholeofte
lesthesia.Theinternetincorporatestext,sound,images,thenmovingimages.Thecyberspaceoftheinternetbecomesmobileandportableandturnsintothecellspaceofmobiletelephony.Thiscombinationofthespeedoftelesthesiawiththedigitalcodeiswhatmakespossibleavastandinclusivetopologyofgamespace.Thisisthethi
rdlevel:TheworldoftopologyistheworldofTheCave(tm).Anyandeveryspaceisanetworkoflines,pulsingwithdigitaldata,onwhichplayersactandreact.Inworkandplay,itisnotthenovel,notcinema,nottelevisionthatoffersthelinewithinwhichtograsptheformofeverydaylife,itisthegame.JulianDibbell:"…inthestrangen
ewworldofimmaterialitytowardwhichtheenginesofproductionhavelongbeendrivingus,wecannowatlastmakeoutthecontoursofamorefamiliarrealmoftheinsubstantial--therealmofgamesandmakebelieve."059.Ifthenovel,cinemaortelevisioncanrevealthroughtheirparticularsanallegoryoftheworldthatmakesthempossib
le,thegamerevealssomethingelse.Forthereader,thenovelproducesallegoryassomethingtextual.Theworldofpossibilityistheplayofthelinguisticsign.Forthecineaste,theworldofpossibilityisaplayoflightandshade.Forthegamer,thegameproducesallegoryassomethingalgorithmic.Theworldofpossibilityistheworl
dinternaltothealgorithm.So:apassagefromthetopictothetopographic,mediatedbythenovel;apassagefromthetopographictothetopological,mediatedbytelevision;apassage,mediatedbythegame,fromthetopologicaltoasyetunknownspaces,apointwherethegamerseemstobestuck.Isitreallythecasethatthegamermerelyre
velsinbloodmischiefandroleplaying?Oristhereadeeperunderstandingofthecavethatcanbehadfromgamingwithinit?060.Startoverwithanothernewworld.(Thistimewithalittlegamertheory.)Welcometothefirstlevel:Thenovelisalineofacertaintype,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities,astoryline.Itarisesatthe
momentwhentopicgiveswaytotopography.ForGeorgLukcs,whatistobevaluedisthehistoricalnovelanditsabilitytotracealineacrossanhistoricalmomentandrevealtheforcesatworkinit."Itistheportrayalofthebroadlivingbasisofhistoricaleventsintheirintricacyandcomplexity,intheirmanifoldinteractionwithact
ingindividuals."Thehistoricalnovelshowshistoricaleventsthroughsecondarycharacters,perhapsnotunlikethereader,andanhistoricaleventasbeingatthesametimeatransformationofeverydaylife.Andyetthenovelsuffersfromthisparadox:Toilluminatethetopographic,thenovelhastohideitsownform.Ifitexploresth
epossibilitiesofthelinewithinitspagesitopensitselftoa'formalism'thatleavesthereaderbehind.061.Thefirstlevelcontinues:Cinemaisalineofacertaintype,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities,anilluminationofthedarkcornersoftopography.ForWalterBenjamin,whatistobevaluedisthe'opticalunconscious
',cinema'smachinicvisionofaworldthatisitselfmachinedwithadensegridoflines.Cinemacanexpandorshrinkspace,extendorcompresstime,itcancuttogetherimagesofdiversescalesorforms-intimationsoftopology.Itcreatesa'Spielraum',aplayroom,fordividingupthemachineworldotherwise.ContraLuk‡cs,Benjaminop
enstowardstheformalpropertiesofthelineattheexpenseofitsrepresentationofanhistoricalsituationasatotality.Butwhatdoesn'tchangeisthatthespectator,likethereader,isexternaltothelineitself.Cinemacanshowhowtheworldismadethroughitscutsandmontages,anindustrialprocesswiththeuniquequalityofshow
ingitselfasworks.Yetthereisstillaseparationbetweenthosemakingthecinemaandthosewatchingit.062.Thefirstlevelends:Thenovellanguishes.Cinemafailstorealizeitsallegoricalpotential.GuyDebord:"Butthislifeandthiscinemaarebothequallypaltry;andthatiswhyyoucouldactuallyexchangeonefortheotherwith
indifference."Boredomreigns.063.Thesecondlevelbegins:Radioisalineofacertaintype,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities.ForBrecht,whatistobevaluedinitisacertainunrealizedpotentialforthelinetopointbothways:"Radioisone-sidedanditshouldbetwo.Itispurelyanapparatusfordistribution,formeresha
ringout.Sohereisapositivesuggestion:changethisapparatusoverfromdistributiontocommunication.Theradiowouldbethefinestpossiblecommunicationapparatusinpubliclife,avastnetworkofpipes.Thatistosay,itwouldbeifitknewhowtoreceiveaswellastransmit,howtoletthelistenerspeakaswellashear,howtobringh
imintoarelationshipinsteadofisolatinghim."Radiocouldbelikeapublictelephony.Butitisallanalogflow;itlacksadigitalcode.Itradiatesfromonepointtoeveryother,withoutdistinction.Itlacksthetransformationalgeometryoftopology,whereanythreespecificpointscouldbeconnected,anywhere,andstillmakethes
ame'triangle'connectingsenderandreceiverandthethird'line'-telesthesiaitself.064.Thesecondlevelcontinues.Televisionexpandsthelineofradio,butdoesitaddmuchtoit?Doesityieldmuchbywayofaspaceofpossibility?FredricJameson:"Theblockageoffreshthinkingbeforethissolidlittlewindowagainstwhichwest
rikeourheadsbeingnotunrelatedtopreciselythatwholeortotalflowweobservethroughit."Televisiongeneralizesthelineofcommunicationasananalogflow.Thedigitalhasnotyetprevailed.065.Thesecondlevelends:Thetensionbetweenthetopographicandtopologicalisalsoonebetweenadecliningsphereofrepresentation,
willandinterest,andoneofanewtoposthatisstatistical,digital,simulated-algorithmic.Thetopographicisincomplete.Itcanprojectitslinesacrossspaceandannihilatetime,butitcannoteffectivelymarkormeasureoutthespaceitencloses.Ithassomefeeblemechanisms-theopinionpoll,forexample.Throughthelaboriou
smeansofseekingoutandrecordingopinion,topologicalspacecanbegiventheappearanceofagency.JeanBaudrillard:"Itis,paradoxically,asagamethattheopinionpollsrecoverasortoflegitimacy.Agameoftheundecideable;agameofchancePerhapswecanseeheretheapparitionofoneofthesecollectiveformsofthegamethatCa
illoiscalledalea-anirruptionintothepollsthemselvesofaludic,aleatoryprocess,anironicmirrorfortheuseofthemasses."066.Thethirdlevelbegins.Wherethetopographicdevelopsonedimensionoftelegraphy-itsflowofinformationacrossspace-thetopologicaldevelopstheother-itsintricatecodingandaddressing.Wh
erethetopographicisananalogflow;thetopologicalisthedigitaldivide.Itisalineofaanothertype.Itisalinethat,forabrief,burningmoment,reignitedthedreamsofanewtopos.Butthecycleaccelerates.IfittooktwentyyearstogetfromBrechtorBenjamin'soptimismtoDebord'sboredom,thesamecycleinnettimetookperhaps
fiveyears.GeertLovink:"Cyberspaceatthedawnofthe21stcenturycannolongerpositionitselfinautopianvoidofseamlesspossibilities."Whattopologyyieldsisnotacyberspacebutagamespace.Theideaofcyberspaceisstilltoolinkedtoimagesfromtheworldofradioandtelevision,offlowand'seamless'movement,ofaccessan
dexcess,oflinesrunninganywhereandeverywhere.Topologyisexperiencedmoreasagamespacethanacyberspace:fullofrestrictionsandhierarchies,firewallsandpasswords.Itismorelikeaboundedgamethanafreespaceofplay.Onceagain:ifitisfree,itisvalueless.Thoseoddlineswithintopologywhereanythinggoesaretheon
esofnoconsequence.067.Thethirdlevelcontinues.Gameshavestorylineslikethehistoricalnovel,whicharcfrombeginningtoend.Gameshavecinematiccutscenes,puremontagesofattraction.Gamessubsumethelinesoftelevisionjustastelevisionsubsumedcinemaandcinemathenovel.Buttheyaresomethingelseaswell.Theyare
notjustanallegorybutadoubleform,anallegoryandanallegorithm.Appearanceswithinthegamedoubleanalgorithmwhichinturnsimulatesanunknownalgorithmwhichproducesappearancesoutsidethegame.068.Stuckagain.Startover.Anothernewworld.Welcometothefirstlevel.Let'sloopbacktoLukcs,andask:ratherthatinsi
stonthepossibilitiesofthetechnicityofthelineitself,perhapsthere'ssomethingtobesaidforthepossibilitiesofacertaingenrethatmakesuseofit?Bonuspoints!Skipstraighttothethirdlevel:Thestrategygameisagenreofacertaintypewithinalineofacertaintype,whichopenstowardscertainpossibilities.Clickonthe
GovernmentpulldownmenuandchooseRevolution.YourRepublicturnstoAnarchy.Certainparametersshift.YouareplayingSidMeier'sCivilizationIII.Itisnotsomuchanallegoryforworldhistoryasanallegorithmforgamespaceitself.Everythinghereisarelationbetweenquantifiableprocesses.Everythingisaquestionofthea
llocationofresources.There'saperversesenseofbaseandsuperstructure.YoucanchangetheformofGovernmentbutthere'snotmuchyoucandotochangetheunderlyingformofproduction.Investinscienceandqualitativetechnicalchangesaccumulate,whichinturnexpandmilitary,culturalandpoliticalpossibilities.Investin
culturetokeeptheplebsfromrevolting.Interestingly,civildisordercomesfrombelow,butrevolutionscomefromabove,butthesearejusttwofunctionswithinanalgorithm:asmallvariablewithabigeffect;abigvariablewithasmalleffect.069.Gamespaceturnsdescriptionsintoadatabase,andstorylineintonavigation.SidMe
ier,knownasavoraciousreader,turnshistoryandanthropologybooksintostrategygames.CivilizationIIIevencomeswithitsownCivilopedia,areferenceworkfortoaparallelworld.Butthisismorethantheremediationofoldformsintonew.Rather,thealgorithmconsumesthetopographicandturnsitintothetopological.Intheda
tabase,alldescriptionisnumerical,equivalentinform.Inprincipleeverythingwithinitcanberelatedtoortransformedintoeverythingelse.Anewkindofsymmetryoperates.Thenavigationofthedatabasereplacesanarrationviadescription.Thedatabaseexpandsexponentially.Ratherthanapoliticsofallegory,aneconomics
ofallegorithmoperates,selectingandreducingpossibilities.070.ThisishowtheworldappearstoagamerplayingCivilizationIII:Therearedependentandindependentvariables.Gamers,throughtrialanderror,willworkoutwhicharewhich.Theychangeovertime.Inthefirststage,youexplore,pushingbacktheinkyblackshroud
tomakeamap.Thenyougrowthepopulation,avastarmyoffarmersandminers.Youhavetomaximizeuseablespace.Onceyourcontinentfillsupwithcitiesandtheirhinterlands,expansionbecomesqualitativeratherthanquantitative.It'sallaboutknowledgeandtechnology.Thequalityofwarfarechangesalongtheway.Itexpandsinsp
ace,digsdeeperintoreservesofresources,thenbecomesaqualitativeraceforbiggerandbetterlinesalongwhichpowercanreticulate.Thegamerisamanager,confrontinguncertainlywithaninventoryofresources.It'sahardgametowinatfirst,butafteryouhavebeatenit,youplayitagain,andagain.GlenFuller:"Ithasacomplex
arrayoflogicsforwardingoffboredom."Itdrawsthegamer'sattentionnottothestorylinebuttothecombinationsofelementsfromwhichanygivenstorylinemightbeselected.071.InCivilizationIII,timeisessentiallyofapiece.Itishomogenous,empty,butitcanbedividedintoequivalentunits,justlikespace.Thustimecanbec
onfiguredandreconfigured,producingendlessvariationsonthecascadingsequencesofcauseandeffect.Historyisindeedabsentfromthegame,absentassomethingfinished,asastorylineinthepasttense.Whatreplacesitisahistoryworkshop,amodelofhistoryastheintuitionofalgorithmsandtheirconsequences.Thegamerisad
esigner.Designers,likeallmanagers,operatewithingivenlimits.Thisishowtheworldappearstothegamedesigner:Therearedependentandindependentvariables.Designers,throughtrialanderror,willworkoutwhicharewhich.Theywillchoosecultural,businessandtechnicaloptionsthatmaximizelongtermadvantages.Ifitd
oesn'tworkout,theywilldoitover.Timeisessentiallyofapiece.Itishomogenous,butitcanbedividedintoequivalentunits,justlikespace.CivilizationIIImodelsnotsomuch'civilization',asthegamedesignbusiness,whichinturnmodelsgamespace,ortopologyasitpresentlyexists.072.Thisishowtheworldappearstogamer
theory:Seenfromthepointofviewoftopology,withitsdensedatabasesandnavigatingtools,thetopicalworldwithitslooselyconnectedtopicswasaworldoflimiteddataandfewpossibilities.Transformationsofonethingintoanotherwerepurelymagical.Thetopographic-andtelegraphic-flattenedoutthedifferencesbetweent
opicswhiledescribingtheminmuchmoredetail.Atensionarisesbetweenenricheddescriptionandthepovertyofstoryline,burstingtocontainit.Theexpansionofdescriptionneverthelessopenedtowardsallegory.Accumulationsofimagesburstoutoftheirstorylinebounds.Itopenedtowardsapoliticsofallegory,ofthewriting
andmappingoftheworld,andalsotowardsutopia,arrestingthefluxoftheworldinidealform.Topologyclosesthefrontiersofspacewithinitslines,andexpandsthedatasetagain,butbyreducingdatatoequivalentcalculablepoints,itisabletobreakwithstorylineasprincipleoftemporalorder,replacingitwiththealgorithm.S
torylinebecomesgamespace.073.StrategygamessuchasCivilizationIIIpresentsanallegorithmoftopologyasgamespaceandthegamerasitsmanager.Itsubsumesthetext,audio,imagesandmoviesintothedatabase,whilethealgorithmcalculatesthemovesofallitselementsrelativetothegamer.Itcollapsesthedifferencebetwee
ntheeverydayandtheutopian.Itembracesalldifferencesbyrenderingallofspaceandtimeasbeingquantifiable.Topicaltimesresoundwiththemythofthetactician.Topographictimesinscribestoriesofgranddirectorsofstrategy.Topologicaltimescallformanagersofstrategy.Historyappears,retrospectively,asnotonlyt
heexpandingfrontierofwar'stheatre,butalsoitsqualitativetransformation.Itistheunwindingofalinewhichdivideseverythingintomanageablechunksofdata.Theactualdispositionofresourcesisdoubledbyadatabasewhichmapsnotfixedlocationsbutmeasuresoffungibility.Thealgorithmcanproduceeverypossiblecombi
nationoftheresourcesmappedinthedatabase-andafewimpossibleonesaswell.Thepossibleandtheactualreversepositions.Itisthepossiblethatisreal.Ifthealgorithmcanproduceitasanoutcomefromthedatabase,itexists.Themysteryiswhytherecalcitrantdebristhatlitterstheactualsometimesrefusestogetoutoftheway
.Thisinsistenceontherealityofthepossible,onwhatresideswithinresources,istheAmericandream.074.Finally,thenextlevelappears:theexpansionoftopologyoutwards,beyondAmerica,tomakeAmericaequivalenttoalloftimeandspace.Americaitself,asaconstruct,asastructureoffeeling,isalwaysonlyavailableviapa
rticularmediatinglines,whichmaydomorethanmerelyrepresentapre-existingAmerica.TheformofthelinemayitselfparticipateinthecreationofAmerica.TheremaywellbeanAmericathatresidessuccessivelyinthenovel,inthecinema,intelevisionandthegame,andisshapedbyeach.Each,inturn,presentshistoryitselfasapa
ssingonofmemoryfromoneformtoanother.CivilizationIIIrecapitulatesnotonlyworldhistorybutmediahistory.It'sambitionisnotonlytoembracetherecordingoftheworldbuttheworldofrecording.InCivilizationIII,thetransformationofspaceandtime,fromtopictotopographytotopology,isaneffectofthedevelopmentof
thelineswithwhichtomarkandmanageit.Thisdoubledevelopment,whichatoneandthesametimedeepensandproliferateslinesofthepossibleandtheactual,canbecalledAmerica.Itiswhatisbothdesiredandfearedundertherubricofthatname,whichnolongermarksaparticulartopic,butstandsfortheverycapacitytomarkandmanag
espaceitself,astopology.075.Thelinemakesitswayacrosstheworld,makingitbymarkingit.Thelinepassesacrossvalleys,pages,mountains,rivers,tracingtrails,roads,railways,highways,doublingitselfwithtelegraph,television,telecommunications,doublingitselfagainasthecodeofthelettermigratesfromtextto
telegraphandexplodesintothemyriadlinesofthedigital.Thelinemakestopics,mapsthemintothetopographic,thenfoldsthetopographicintoadigitaltopology.Thelinedoessomethingelseaswell.Foreverylinedrawnareaninfinitenumberundrawn.Everylineisanallegoryofthepossibilitiesforalineofitstype.Thelinemaya
lsointimatethepossibilitiesoflinesofanothertype.Butthepossibilitiesofagiventypeoflinearenotinfinite.Allegoryalwaystouchesthevirtual-whichonemightdefineasthepossibilityofpossibility-viaaparticularline.Ateachleveloftheactualunfoldingofthelineacrosstheworld,itoffersaglimpseofthevirtuali
nitsownimage.Thisisthelimittoallegory.Ifallegoryyearnsforsomethingahistorical,atoposbeyondallparticulars,itdoessooverandoverinthemostparticularandmediatedway.051.Ofwhatuseisthepasttoagamer?PeterLunenfeld:"Forthemostpart,itsblood,mischiefandroleplayingthatgamersrevelin.Theyliveinanalt
ernativeuniverse,asolipsisticonescriptedbydesignerswhoseframeofreferenceextendsnofurtherbackthanPong,Pac-ManandDungeonsandDragons.Thevisualandstorylinetropesthatmostofusbringwithusasculturalbaggageareallbutforgottenancestralmemories,thrownoff,onpurpose,toocumbersometobeofanyuse."Int
hisnewworldthatappearsindifferenttohistory,withonlyhallsoffameforitschampions,chroniclesofitsbigbattlesandchartsofitsgreatesthits,accountingforhowthisdigitalgamespacecameintobeingpresentssomethingofachallenge.Perhapsitisbesttoapproachitinitsownstyle,asaseriesoflevels,eachofwhichappea
rstothegameronbattlingthroughtotheendofthelast.Ifoneisdefeated,onestartsover.Butremember:thesearethegrindlevels.Thegoingishardhere,evenalittleboring.Youmayneedtoattemptitmorethanonce.Ingamespace,timeismeasuredindiscreteandconstantunits,andwhileonecannotalwayswinalevel,onecanalwayssta
rtoveranddoitagain.052.Clicktostart.Hereisanewworld.Thefirstlevelopensontoatopic(fromtheGreek'topos',orplace).Hereatopicisaplacebothonthegroundandwithinlanguage.JacquesDerrida:"Thethemes,thetopics,the(common-)places,inarhetoricalsense,arestrictlyinscribed,comprehendedeachtimewithinas
ignificantsite."Onecanplaceone'sfootonatopicbecauseonecanplaceone'stongueonit.Oronecanpointtowarditandsay:"thereitis".Allaroundthetopicitisdark,unknown,unmapped,withoutstories.Movearoundabitandyoubumpintoothers,fromothertribes,othersettlements.Viaothersonelearnsofstillothers.Thetopi
csstarttoconnect.Amapforms.Oncethereisamap,thereisthetopographic,whichtraceslinesthatconnectthetopics,andwhichdoublesthetopicalwiththespaceofmapsandtexts.Theseoutlinethecontoursinspaceandtimeofwhatwasthetopical,redrawingandrewritingitasacontinuousandhomogenousplane.Thelinesofthetopic
aretracedintothepage;thelinesonthepagearetracedbackontotheearthastopography.Historyisastoryandgeographyanimageofthistopography,inwhichtheboundariesareforeverbeingexpandedandredrawn.Thisplaybetweenthetopicalandtopographicisthefirstlevel.053.Inthefirstlevel,everytopicalfeaturethatresis
tsinscriptionasacontinuousspaceiserasedandreplaced.Impassablemountainsyieldtheirpassages,joiningonceseparatetopics.Everyrecalcitrantpeoplewithitsownindigenoustoposisexterminatedandforgotten.JamesFenimoreCooper:"Inashorttimetherewillbenoremainsoftheseextraordinarypeople,inthoseregions
inwhichtheydweltforcenturies,buttheirnames."Thenamespersist,onmaps,orinbookswithtitleslikeTheLastoftheMohicans.Thefirstlevelisthisdissolutionofthetopicalintothetopographic,whereanoralloreiserasedandreplacedbyinscription:Linesonmaps,linesonpages;linesthatevolvefromtrailtorail.Thefirst
leveliswherethetopographicunfoldsasthelinebetweenwhatischartedandwhatisuncharted.(SeeFig.3)Thestorylinedwellsbetweentheautonomyofthetopicalandtheauthorityofthetopographical,alwayslaggingbehind.054.Inthecinema,mappingandwritingmeet.Theemergenceofthetopographicanditsstruggletosubsumeth
etopicalbecomesthegreatthemeofwesterngenre,aboveallofthedirectorJohnFord.JimmyStewart,thefrontierlawyer,bringingthewildwesttobook,runsupagainsttheoutlawgunslingerLeeMarvin.WhenStewartshootshiminashowdown,Stewartbecomesalegend,andasenator.OnlyitwasJohnWayne,thehonorableoutlaw,whoreall
yfiredthefatalshot.InTheManWhoShotLibertyValence,cinemafunctionsastheformthatcanrevealretrospectivelytheworkingsoftopography,itscreationofastorylinethatjustifiestheimpositionofthethinbluelineofthelaw.Thecompletionofthetopographicisthesubjectoffilmnoir.Herethetopographichasconnectedal