Dear Ms. Brann
Sing goddess in rejoice. Fortuna has taken me to your commencement speech through Facebook post. It is truly ironic how social network proved its usecase at this juncture. Anyhow, I cannot express how delighted I am to be at your presence once more. Recollections of the days at St John’s, conversations we had in Galway Bay, and your spoken and/or unspoken expressions pass. I feel like I am still too immature to communicate all that I mean to convey. But for some reason I feel that the time is here.
I acquired a new identity. My nickname is Agwn(ἀγών) and I am a Consul of Luduim. The idea initiated from a book, Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga. It is a great book that I came across after the graduation. The book explains how society, including its culture, law, academics, war and peace, originated from a series of play. Court system originated from chivalric duals where the two parties disdained each other with words and swords; poetry originated from festival where the youths nakedly sung to one another in the mood of seduction; philosophy originated from riddles presented in sophistry. Aside from how much it reminded me of St John’s, I felt that the modern age is in desperate need of playfulness. That is how I started a new community.
Ludium comes from Latin word Ludus and suffix ium. It means “The land of play”. Agwn is the socioholic prime mover, the first Ludens. We acknowledge that the age of digital transformation is dawning. Expedition to the digital world, so far, is at primitive colonization. Soon, there will be digital natives whose physicality is ingrained in digital objects. Like how Americans inhabited the new world, they will dwell in the digital world; their identity will be defined by data and their assets will be stored in digital wallet. As we wait for the time to come, Ludium develops a system that ensures seamless interchange between the old and the new through playful contents.
What that means is that I opened a space and run community programs. The space is called Salon Adderall. Like how Adderall is the source of focus for ADHD party people, Salon Adderall is the space of focus for Ludens. People gather here to eat, converse, study, read books, draw pictures or play however they so please. Programs are called Ludis. You can find Ludis on our website, choose whatever Ludis you want to join, and play a good time.
Later on, we will implement the experience of Ludis via digital platform. It is still at its planning stage but the idea is in place. In a nutshell, we provide Ludens “A room of one’s own”. Virginia Woolfe was totally right when she said that you need a room to be creative. Ludens can display digital objects that they accrued while playing Ludis. These objects will have market value. In other words, you have your own digital house with your assets stored. And you connect to different spaces, both physical and digi-physical, with your Ludens identity. The concept, in contemporary terms, is the most similar to metaverse. It is an attempt to forge virtual reality to become “The Reality”.
You may have noticed that I am questioning the meaning of reality. Plato presented us with the riddle: What if we are living a shadow’s play? What if the system of ladder has no true light in anyway? For a very long time, I was haunted by the riddle. I was afraid that everything was meaningless. But now, I am trying to be courageous, even a little audacious. More importantly, I take the responsibility. I serve Ludium and all Ludens within. Because it is fun.
I am conducting a few Ludis myself. On Monday, for instance, we write in the spirit of Haruki Murakami, a famous Japanese writer, and drink Irish Whisky. He wrote an essay called “If Our Verses Were A Glass of Whisky” where he traveled to Scotland and Ireland to find the authenticity of Single Malt Whisky. To be authentic self, we write “Mundane Recipe” by imagining one day of the next week. We keep the future diary and share the story of ourselves. In this way, our Ludis has its own story, activity, and menu in harmony with one another. We plan to compose Ludis for everyday, both lunch and dinner, that are installable in other spaces.
There are challenges. Prolonged pandemic, and the distrust surrounding the situation are making it difficult for us to run the business. We are always short on resources and the schedule never runs as planned. People I know give advices that, unfortunately, add confusion. Some say it is too ahead of time; others say it is too behind. But I have faith: in Ludium team, Directus we call ourselves, and Ludens. I cannot estimate whether the voyage will take 150 days or 40 years. Flood or dessert it maybe, I am ready. You told me, after the last Collegium, that I will be singing, wherever I go. Here is my song. Its lyrics and tunes are coming into the light.
You said feel free to call. I will be a little bit more brash as I apt to be. I dare you to try video conference with me. I will ask people around the area to set up the call. I will arrange time and open rooms. Please let me see you, hear you and communicate with you. It would have been much better if we were “reachable by touch without touching” but, God willing, we gotta do what’ within the realm.
I will be more than looking forward to be with you.