Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Cult of Xocolatl

NB: This whimsical tale was inspired by the little game of 'Social Chocolate' that Jane McGonigal and friends have put up. They should not be blamed for what follows:

The Cult of Xocolatl

The citizens bustled about their town, seeking out and avoiding in turn whichever of their fellows they encountered. As they went about their businesses, none were aware that a predatory meme had recently come to lay in ambush; waiting in frozen anticipation for the right moment.

There! One individual, coming closer, closer...


Blinding! Obvious! Undeniable! The touched forgot all else but the rapturous indoctrination of:

...! ...!

All around, most were oblivious to what had occurred. Nevertheless, in time, others approached the stilled prophet. Reaching out, they received, in turn, a share of the vision that had been granted to the eXalted One, who came to be known as the 'Column of Light', a conduit of vision:


However, the newly adoring saw, not the vision, but the one who had received it. So, the refrain they added changed the message:

-Col! -Col!

The growing cluster of these acolytes did not escape notice. Others drew close. The eXalted One was surrounded by the priesthood now, and commoners felt only what they passed on: not the vision, even the witness to a vision, but the news of the witness. Even so, many were encouraged by the prospect of A Tiny Light of glowing comfort in what was, it came to them, a grey despairing existence. They pressed in, to heed the words of the message.

Others shrugged indifferently.

Still others sought to dissuade their companions from something best not associated with. Yet always, slowly, inexorably, the congregation grew; raising voices in a self-evident hymn of rapture:

⊗-Col-ATL! ⊗-Col-ATL!

And so the meme fed, and there was bliss!

To make your very own 'Cult of Xocolatl'

1. Go to the Social Chocolate website
2. place your mouse cursor anywhere on the playing area
3. go and have a cup of hot cocoa, and see what happens!

NB: this is quite contrary to the spirit of the game but it's interesting to see how many of the goals are fulfilled by doing effectively nothing. As Steve Jackson once said, it always pays to playtest the dumb strategies!



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