Deja Vu Dreaming: Dreaming in Sequels

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Image Source: i-Spirit.ca

We all know that dreams are strange beasts.  Psychologists tell us that our dreams are our brain’s way of trying to make sense of the world and to process the days’ (weeks, months, years) events and integrate them into our psyche.  So, dream logic is strange, wonderful, and the source of both inspirations and nightmares.  I’m a writer, and a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, so I expect my dreams to be strange and I try to harness that “strangeness” and turn the most coherent of dreams into characters, or plot ideas, or stories, etc.

Last night, however, I experienced a type of dream that I usually only experience rarely (maybe once a year or once every two years) that I’m going to call the “sequel” dream.  It is a dream that tells a fairly coherent narrative (at least, for a dream) and then fades away upon waking so that you remember only small flashes or bits of the dream, but by the end of the day even those flashes are gone.  I hate those because they were usually so vivid that if I could have awakened before the dream faded, I would have written it down in my journal of ideas for stories.  Yet, I experience a curious phenomenon where I will (much) later, either dream the same dream again (I call it Deja Vu Dreaming), but this time I will remember most if not all of the dream AND have the feeling of Deja Vu, somehow recalling that I’ve already dreamed the dream once before all ready.  Or (like tonight), I’ll have that Deja Vu dream experience, but this time my mind will actively create additional segments to the dream (it will turn the dream into a sequel, of sorts).  Again, I will remember that I’ve dreamed the dream before, but I will also get new additional “chapters” to the dream-story.

I first noticed this phenomenon as a child, but I really became invested in documenting the dreams when I decided to become a writer.  The previous most recent example is a dream that I still haven’t found a way to turn into a story just yet, but it involves a Sidhe (Elf-like faerie) who marries a mortal, but there is a “creepy” house that disapproves of the marriage (this is just a synopsis of the dream–the dream itself is more complicated as the house is more of a “horror” house than it is creepy.  Yet, the horror part of the house didn’t come to me in the first dream, but rather in that second Deja Vu-Sequel dream.  Last night’s dream was more of a “police procedural” as I used to watch a lot of (the original) Law & Order reruns on TNT on my free days working at the public library.  I found myself trying to negotiate a hostage situation and then chasing the perpetrator when the situation went sour. Again, upon waking I remembered that I’ve dreamed that dream before and I remembered so much more about the dream upon waking.  As I don’t write police procedurals, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to work this dream into a story, but at least the dream allowed me to be introspective about my dreams and dreaming process.  Maybe my experience will allow you, the reader, to become more introspective about your own dreams.

As long as they aren’t nightmares, I’ll take Deja Vu – Sequel Dreams any day.

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E3 and me: The Crew 2

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Image Source: Rayman-Fanpage.de

This time I want to talk about another racing game that’s caught my eye: The Crew 2 (TC2).  This game is a sequel to The Crew by Ubisoft.  The Crew’s claim to fame is that it offers an open world map of the United States for players to drive through.  Players can start in New York on the East Coast and drive seamlessly though the game’s roads, highways, or even off-road and travel to Los Angeles or San Fransisco on the West Coast.  Now, while the map is highly condensed, it can still take anywhere from 30 – 45 minutes to travel the length of the map and there are quite a few unique elements to the game that I really enjoyed such as road discovery, landmark discovery, modifying vehicles, and a mostly satisfying in-game soundtrack delivered via radio stations.  The Crew was denigrated for its story and many reviews thought that the game’s visual’s were not up to “next generation” standards (which the devs. addressed by “up-rezzing” the graphics as part of a patch) and they supported the game rather well, I thought.

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Image Source: Techno Buffalo

TC2 seems to up the graphical fidelity even more and it looks like from the gameplay trailers that the map may be even larger than the previous game (and if not, it certainly looks more diverse).  It appears that they might be dropping the “story” mode to the game and going with more of a festival/win at all the various disciplines approach to the game.  Speaking of disciplines, the game is devoted into 4 main areas: Street Racing, Off-road racing, speed boat racing, and air racing.  It also looks like you can jump seamlessly between the various modes even in mid-race, although I’ll have to see how that plays in game to see if that is going to be as cool as it sounds.

The Crew’s large open world, its (in my opinion) inoffensive story, and its great game play made it a mainstay for me and helped me to keep my sanity during my second year of teaching middle school.  I’m hoping that The Crew 2 helps do much same now.  I’m cautiously optimistic about this game as well.

Here is the reveal trailer for The Crew 2.