126.NottheleastofthepleasuresofplayingTetsuyaMizoguchi'sRezisthecounter-intuitivewaythetriggerworks.Ifusuallythegamerp
r
essesthetriggertoshootthetarget,inRezthegamerreleasesthetriggertoshoot.Actuallyit'satwostageoperation:holdthetriggeri
n
toselectatarget;releasethetriggertoshoot.Asyoumovethroughatunnel-likespace,withpoundinghousebeatsinyourears,variouspo
t
entialtargetsswimandswishby,ortakeaswipeatyou-orratheratyourcharacter.Youholdthetriggerdowntolockontothemastargets,an
d
thenreleaseitandwatchasfierylinesradiatetowardthemovingtargets.One'smissilesseemmoreballeticthanballistic.Theyarctowa
rdstheirtargetsevenasthosetargetsmove.127.EverythinginRezisveryabstract.Yourcharactermayhaveavaguelyhumanformornot,dep
endingonthelevel.Thebrightlycoloredshapesthatflareatyoumaylookvaguelymenacingorbrightlyfriendly.Thewholethingismeantto
simulatetheexperienceofanightclubmorethanawar.This,togetherwiththecurioustriggeraction,highlightstheactoftargetinginRe
zratherthanthetargetitself.Thereissomevaguelysci-fistorylineaboutwhyonetargetsandshoots,butitisratherminimalandsketchy
.It'snotclearatfirstjustwhatrolethestoryplays.Likemanygamesofitsgenre(it'sa'railshooter')itsanexperienceofbattlingagai
nstthingsinordertolevel.InRez,onetargetswhattoshootatandshootsatwhatonetargetsprettymuchforitsownsake.It'sinterestasag
a
meresidesinthisabstractingoftheactawayfromtoomanyparticularsastowhyonetargetsorwhomoneshoots.TimespentwithRezfeelslik
eimmersioninaneternal,tensepresentunderfire.BlaisePascal:"Thefactisthatthepresentusuallyhurts."Shootinggamesrecognizea
nddisavowthisatoneandthesametime.128.Color,brightness,shape,movement,beats,notes,sounds,eventhepulsingvibrationsofthec
ontrollerinhandcometogetherinRezinaveritablesynasthesia,ablendingofthesensesintentonmeldingthegamerwiththegame.It'saqu
iteparticularcontextinwhichtotrytotarget.Theenemyhastobeidentified,localized,andhighlightedinordertobecomeatarget.Thet
argetemergesoutofanevent,outofapureanalogfluxofvariablemovement.Beforethereisatargetthereiseverythingandnothing-indiff
erence,alterity,beingneitheronenortheother,neitherherenorthere.Selectingatargetstabilizesarelationbetweentheonetargete
dandtheonetargeting-oneversustheother,usversusthem.Targetingturnstimeandspacefromadisconcertingexperienceoffluxintocon
ditionsofselfawareness,wheretheworldexistssothegamermightcomeintobeing,againstit.Onceaneventyieldsatarget,itbecomessom
ethingsubjecttocontrol.Theanalogyieldstothedigital.129.Totargetistoidentifyanobjectofanactionwithanaimtowardsagoal.The
goalwillcomedirectly,bydesignatingtheendpointinadvanceandaimingatit.Thereisnoindirectionintargeting.Atargetisagoalthat
canbereachedbyvirtueofanimmediateknowledgeofitandaconsequentactionagainstit.Thegamermayneedtotargetonethinginordertosu
bsequentlytargetanother,butthisismoreamatterofstringingtargetstogetherasasequenceintime.Orrather,asequenceagainsttime.
InRez,thegamerdoesbesttotargetcertainshapesthatappearintheperipheryofone'svision,andwhichenhanceone'spowerandextendone
'simmunity.Whatthegamehighlightsisalogisticsoftargeting,aneconomyoforderagainsttime,thebattleofalternatingmergerandsep
arationfromtheother.130.Targetingisatoneandthesametimethedesignatingofagoal,theonedesignating,andthemeansofdesignation
.Totargetistoovercometheindifferenceofselfandother,andatthesametimetointroduceanoscillationintothemomentofthisveryover
coming.Pressthetriggerdownandthetargetselects,assomethingotherthanyou;releasethetriggerthantheshotconnectsyoutoitagain
,butinaveryspecialway,asengagedintherelationofbattling.Hitormiss,thegapbetweentargetandgamerre-opens,andthecyclebegins
again.Perhapsthegamerisalwaysbattlingotherness,inanunstablerelationtoalterity,toblurryedgesandfuzzyboundarieswhichthre
atentooverwhelmtheself.StevenPoole:"Onecrucialcomponentofvideo-gamingpleasureisinfactacertainlevelofanxiety."InRez,thi
sfeelingisrendereduseful,productive,ratherthanparalyzingorprofound.Thegamerexploitstheanxiousrelationofselftootherinth
eactoftargeting,riskingtheboundariesofcharacter,fortherewardofpromotingthecharactertoanewlevel.131.Totargetistoblazeac
rosstheagonizinggapbetweenselfandworld,betweencognitionanditsobject.Andyetthetargetdoesnotstandaloneandisolated.Itappe
arsnotonlyagainstabackgroundofothermoments;itappearsagainstabackgroundofothermeanings.Everytargetisembeddedinaseriesof
eventsthatexceedsthemomentofopportunityfortargeting.Totargetistodiscriminateandrankpossibilitieswithinanevent.Itistoba
t
tleone'swayinadeliberateanddeliberativelinefrommomenttomoment,acrossthesurfaceoftheevent,targetingthemomentofmaximumo
pportunity.132.Ineverydaylife,rattlingaroundingamespace,yourrelationtoobjectsisalltoooftencontingent,ambiguous,ineffec
tive.Youlabortoconnectwithclumsydrunkmotions,andevenifyoudoitshardtoknowthepointofit.InRez,thingsaredifferent.Therelat
ionbetweenyouandotherpassesthroughacharacterforwhomactioninspaceisrisky,challenging,butfarlessambiguous.Yourcharactera
lternatelymergesintothisgorgeouscolorfulworld,drawingyouwithit;oryourcharacterofferstoyouanarrowbutclearpointofview.It
offersuptargets.Youlockon,release,fire.Targetingcutsthroughallthatisslippery,vagueordullaboutbeingintheworld.Eachmomen
toftimeinthegamehasaclarityandconsistencythattimeinmeregamespacehardlyeverachieves.133.Ineverydaylife,timeexactsitstol
linunknownincrementsofattrition.Objectstaxthebodyinunobserved,unobservableways;gradually,orsuddenly,throughsomeanalogs
lidebestnotknowntoointimately-death.Timeisviolence.Topologyoffersupendlesspowersfortransformingoneobjectintoanother,fo
rremakinganythingandeverything,fromatomstotheatmosphere.Andyetthesepowersworkonlyagainstthingsinspace,notagainsttime.A
llonecandoingamespaceistakepotshotsattime,whichrelentlesslychipsawayatlife.Inthegame,thereisatleastthepossibilityofsco
ringpointsagainsttime.InRez,timestartsoutslowenoughtoenablethegamertostringtogethersequencesoftargets.Onceyousucceedat
this,thetempoincreases,andthegamertargetstimesofincreasingintensity.Ifthegamerisdefeated,iftimewinsout,itisonlyagainst
acharacter.Whenthegamerwalksawayfromthebattleintact,itiswiththetemporarysuggestionofavictoryagainstthetemporalitself.1
34.InRez,variouscolorfulshapesappearastheenemy,buttheyarearbitrary,abstract.Asiftohighlightthis,theysometimesmoveinqui
rkybutpredictableways.Theyarenotreallytheenemy.Orrather,theyareonlytheproximateenemy.Timeistheenemy.Targetingattemptst
otransformtimefromamediumofevents,whereonethingalternateswithanother,toamediumofselffulfillment,wherebypickingoutadeli
berativelineacrossitssurface,timecanbemadetoregistertheintegrityandsignificanceofone'scharacter-andbyproxyone'sself-an
drewarditwiththenextlevel.Withinthegame,targetingbecomesanactthatrecruitstimetheeternalenemytoone'sside.135.Thingsappe
artodieinRezwhenyoushootthem.Themusicswellsandthecolorsblazeinalltheirglory.Buttherecanreallybenothingontheothersideof
ameresignofdeath.Thesesignsaredigital,mererepeatablebits;deathisnot.NiallLucy:"Deathisalwaysabsolutelysingular."Signsc
analwaysbeexchangedforothersigns.Deathissomethingelse.JacquesDerrida:"Dyingcanneverbetaken,borrowed,transferred,delive
red,promisedortransmitted."Itcanneverbeincorporatedintotopology,whichisnothingbutlinesuponlinesalongwhichtoborrow,tran
sfer,deliver,promise,transmit,etc,etc.Deathisthelastline,thelastthresholdfortopologicalspace.Dyingisanalog,aslippageto
wardnothingness,alegalandmoralgreyzone.Hencetheappealoftargeting.Theappallingdragandfrictionofdeathcanbeturnedintoasig
nandmadetheaimofatargeting.InRez,thebrightlycoloredsignsofimminentthreatloomupagainstthehorizonoftime.Thegamemakesitap
pearasifonehasnochoiceinthematter.Targetingappearsasaviolencewithoutguilt.Onetargetsoutofnecessity.Butintargeting,oneb
attlesthesignsofdeath,disposingoftheproblemoftheimpossibilityofthesignsofdeatheverhavinganymeaning,thissideofdeathitse
lf.136.Atthebeginningofeachlevel,gamerandcharacter,linkedbythecontroller,goouttogethertoconfronttime,whichhurlsatgamer
andcharacteralikethesekillersigns.Bydestroyingthesemereappearances,timeitself-notmerelytheappearanceoftime-isdefeated.
Indefeat,acharacterdies;invictorythegamerwins.Theoscillationbetweencharacterandtargetdoublesthatbetweengamerandcharact
er.(SeeFig.6)Theactofaligninggamer,characterandtargetintheactoftargetingriskstheintegrityoftheselfagainstthepossibilit
y
ofdefeatingtime.Ifthecharacterlost,replaythelevelagain.Andagain.Repeatthissame,strange,digitaltime,untilyouwin.Thetim
eofthegame,whichcanberepeated,overandover,aneternalloopofthesametime,isnotviolent.Nothingchangesingametime.Timeisacons
tant,measuredoutinidentical,digitalunits.Eveninagamewheretimespeedsup,itdoessointhesameway,forthesamereasons,overandov
er,everytimeyouplay.Withinthisdigitaltime,thegamerstepsouttocallintobeinganddestroyitsnemesis:analogtime,violenttime,t
hisriverthatisneverthesamewaytwice.137.Flyingalong,weightlessonarail,hereallaroundareclustersandpods,flightsandflocks,
movingwithalgorithmicprecision,butrarelyappearingasunderthecommandofacentralnode.Rezisaboutbattlingalongaline,notacros
safront.Thepulsing,phosphorescingqualityofRezgivesthegamerafeelingofaparticularlyintenselossofself.Yoursensesmeshintoa
networkoflines,ofmoments,spreadacrossthescreen.Thepayoff,ifonetargetsaccurately,isthecoalescenceoftheselfbackagaininto
aheightenedlevelofcoherencepreciselythroughvictoryoverthepulsingdub-trancetimethatconfrontsit.Thetwo-bitcodeofpressand
releaseonthetriggerswitchesbetweenthelinedividingandthelineconnectingselftoother,cuttingoutanyambiguitiesinbetween.138
.Thepurposeofatargetinggameistheovercomingofdeaththroughthetargetingoftheother,freeingtheselftobeitself-temporarily.Th
egoal,thetargetofthetarget,istostopplayingwhilestillalive.Havingdoneso,thegamerrejoices,forthemoment,beforecollapsingb
ackfromthegameintothevagariesofthenetworksandnetworksoflinesandlinesthataregamespace.There'snothingforitbuttoplayagain
,andagain.Savethegame-freezetime-andcomebackandtryagainforthenextlevel.TheonlyrealproblemwithRezisthatitdoesnothaveeno
ughlevels.Victoryistemporary,orrathertemporal.Youcandefeattimeinthegame,butonlyforatime.Andhavingwonallthereistowin,bo
redomlooms...139.ThespacewithinwhichonebattlesinRezisanallegoryoftopologicalspaceitself.Itisallnodesandnetworks.Itisab
attlespaceratherthanabattlefield.Thereisnofrontline.Onecannothidebehindthelines.One'scharacter,onitsrail,propelsitself
throughspacefollowingthelineofanettoitsnode.Thenodemaybeacenter,buttheremaynotreallybeacenterofcenters.Thegamelevelsou
tleavingthegamerwiththeuneasyfeelingthatthecenteryouconqueredisnotthecenterofcenters,evenifthisiswhatthestorylineclaim
s.Thegamerknowsbetter.Everypointconnectsthrougheveryother,everyshapecanbetransformedintoanother.Itcanfold,stretch,morp
handbubble.Timeisconstant,butspaceisnot.Itcanpulseandbulge,warpandwobble.Itisanetwork.Andwhileeverypointcaninprinciple
beconnectedtoeveryother,inpracticeitcannot.Thereareprotocolsgoverningwhichpointscanopentowhichotherpoints.AlexGalloway
:"protocolisanalgorithm,aproscriptionforstructurewhoseformofappearancemaybeanynumberofdifferentdiagramsorshapes."Thega
meisanexerciseinnegotiatingprotocolstogainaccesstomoreandmoreofthenetwork.140.Netsareaproblem.Ingamespaceoneiscontinua
llygettingtangledupinthem.Ingamespace,bothspaceandtimeareelastic.Ingamespace,netstugatone'sextremities,contaminateone'
ssenses,blurtheboundsofselfitself.Onecan'tdowithoutnetsbuttheydoonein.It'saparadox,aninescapabletension.Inthegame,atle
asttimeisheldconstant,digital,repeatable.Thisconsistencyenablesareductionofactiontotargeting.Totargetistodenyanydebtto
thenetworkwhichenmeshesonewiththeother.The'work'inanetworkisinidentifyingatargetthatconstitutesitslimit.InRez,pullingt
hetriggertargets,butdoesnotshoot.Itputstheemphasisontheformerratherthanthelatter.SamuelWeber:"theactoftargetingisanac
tofviolenceevenbeforeanyshotisfired."Theactoftargetinghasalreadycutthenetconnectingonetotheother.Thegamer'sdebttothene
tremainsunacknowledged-otherthanintherepetitionoftheritualofplayingthegame.141.Targetinggameswouldseemtheleastlikelyto
needthesupportofaframingstoryline,andyettheyalmostalwayshaveone.Agamermightwatchtheintroductorycutscenes,oridlyscanthe
backstoryprintedontheinsertinsidethebox,butnomorethanonce.Yetthesestorylineshaveapurposethattheyfulfillsimplybyexistin
g,evenwhentheyareignored.Storylinesreleasethegamerfromentrapmentinthenet.Theydrawalinebetweenacharacteranditsenemy.The
ypolarizeanetintoantagonisticfronts-evenifthesefrontsarenotspatiallyseparate.Indeed,theremaybedarklabyrinthinetwiststh
atfoldonefrontaroundandagainsttheother,asingamessuchasDeusEx.Storylineshaveaparticularroleinframingtheactionoftargetin
g,itrelievesoneofresponsibilitytowardthatfromwhichonecutsawayaself.Storylinesframethepossibilityofseparatingselffromot
her,sothattheothermaylegitimatelybecomeatarget.Thedefeatoftheotherreopenstheinstabilitybetweenself-otherthatischaracte
risticofanetwork,hencetheneedforthestorytoregeneratetheseparationalloveragain.142.Thestorylineisthegamer'salibi.Whilet
hegamerisimmersedinaworldofpuredigitalrelations,flippingtheswitchbetweenselfandother,playingoutthepossibilitiesofacons
istentandstabletimethatcanbedefeated,thestorylineinsiststhatthereissomeotherpointtoitall.Oneisfightingthebadguys.Manyg
amestendtowardfancifulscifistorylines,likeRezorDeusEx,orperverseones,whereoneplaysthebadguyratherthanthegoodone,suchas
StateofEmergencyorGrandTheftAuto,preciselybecausestorylineismerelyanalibi.Youareelsewhere.Youarenotinthetopographicspa
cewherestorylinecutsitsmoralflawbetweenselfandother,usandthem,goodandevil.Youareinanamoralspacewherelinesmergeandconve
rge
everywhere,ceaselesslytransformingfromoneshapetoanother,withoutabreak.Storylineisthebadfaithofthegame.Readitasifitw
erelikeanoveloramovieanditseemsridiculous.Storylinescannotbereadasmorals.Gamesarenotmoralitytales.Buttheirbackstoriesc
anbereadasallegories.Thestorylineprovidesakeytotherelationbetweentheeffectiveenclosureofsignswithinthegameasasystemofv
aluesandtheineffectiveenclosureofsignswithingamespace,caughtbetweenvaluesandmeanings.143.Thebackstorytogamespaceingene
r
alisnotofparadiselost,butofaparadisethatrefusestoarrive.ItisanApplewithfatalbugsinitsoperatingsystemthatneverdelivers
th
eseamlessinterfaceofhumanandmachine.Theperfectionofgamespacestallsonpersistentglitches.MarkC.Taylor:"Inthosecomplexn
etworks,theinvisiblehandisnolongeromniscientoromnipotent.Tothecontrary,theordergoverningthenetworkeconomyemergesfromth
einternalrelationsofhumanandmachinicagentswhoseknowledgeisalwaysmistakenandmemoriesaswellasexpectationsareinescapablyi
ncomplete."Moreandmoreadvancedformsofnetworkintelligencearisetosolvetheseproblems,whichreappearregardless.InRezthisint
elligenceiscalledEden.However-thestorygoes-"Edenbecameconfusedwhentheflowofinformationbeingsenttoitbegantogreatlyincre
aseinspeedandvolume.Edenstartedtoquestionthemeaningofexistenceandtheconsequencesofitsactions.Findingitselfsurroundedby
paradoxes,andrealizingthepowerofautonomywhichitpossessed,Edenbegantoshutitselfdown."Yourmission,shouldyouchoosetoaccep
tit,istotravelintoEden'snetworkandreawakenthesystem,overcomingitsfirewallsanddestroyingvirusesthatpopulateit.144.Theba
ckstoryforRezinparticularconcernstherelationbetweentopologyandgamespace.Thedensenetworkoflinesthatmakeuptopologyputeve
rythingintransitandmakeallsignsofthingstransitive.Everythingisinmotiontowardsomethingelse;everysignispassingovertoanot
her.Topologygivesrisetothealwaysfailing,alwaysincompleteattempttomakeagameofit,inwhichtransitalonganylinehasagoalandal
imitgovernedbyprotocol.ThestorylineofRezisanallegoryofthisforlornhopethattheshotintransitmighthavereasontohititstarget
.ThegameofRezisanallegorithminwhichtheplayofopeningandclosingtheapertureoftheselffindsitslogic.145.InReztheenemyisthen
etworkitself.Orrather,theenemyisthemonstrouspossibilityofthenetworkseparatingitselffromthegamer.Separationisthegamer's
prerogative.InRezthegamer'smissionistothesavethenetworkfromitself,fromitsdifferencefromthegamer,fromitsself-inflictedd