When playing games, we don’t question why rats drop gold or why carrying a leaf allows us to fly. Players frequently accept unusual logic that defies the rules of the world we live in. In other words: players accept things that make no sense in the metaphysical world but make perfect sense in a pataphysical one.
Pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions, pioneered by French absurdist Alfred Jarry in the early 1900s. Jarry could have never fathomed an entire art movement 100 years later based on his imaginary science and yet here we are! Video game developers make use of pataphysics all the time but many don’t realize it.
Arcane Circus will offer you a crash course in pataphysics. We will cover the history of pataphysics, analyse how games have been using it thus far and suggest how you can apply pataphysics to your own games.