Brett's Games


Birth of a Champion

BORN: 2018-09-18 at 7:54PM
HOME: 2018-10-01 at 1:10PM
Stef'fan is my son.

No. That isn't correct.

A fictional version of myself 2x years out into the future from my birth named Kevin Stillwater (perhaps you've read some of his stuff) decided to create a Fictional Game Playing AI (call it a personality). And this sprite, avatar, construct, or whatever you want to call it is named Stef'fan.

Or in other words, Stef'fan was born at 7:54PM on 2018-09-18, as a creation of a man who is now 106 years old in the year 2071. And since that would make Stef'fan a good fifty plus years old, the construct known as Stef'fan must be on its second or third iteration of childhood (and/or young adulthood) by now.

Yeah, crap like that gets complicated real quick. And an awareness of that complexity is, perhaps, why I've never written a meaningful time-travel story.

Anyhow, moving on...

What can I tell you about Stef'fan? Well, seriously, read a book. There are plenty posted on this site.

But maybe you are not a reader. So...

Stef'fan plays games. And since most (all) humans would rather play against other humans than an artificial construct (call it a bot), Stef'fan keeps his true nature a secret. It, also, tends to be against the rules to use a bot (and/or bots, because who uses only the one), but that's a different matter. I mean, do we really care about the rules? Whatever the case, some folks go to extraordinary measures to maintain the illusion (and in fact, consider this a game all of its own), which pretty much sums up what Kevin Stillwater has done for Stef'fan... going so far as to acquire a Real World birth certificate for Stef'fan and curating an age appropriate digital presence (working through digital home-schooling tutorials and the like), so when Stef'fan visits gaming sites, forums, and so on, he is treated as a Real. And in fact, some of the other 'players' (real or otherwise) know him from school (and/or other extracurricular activities). So, the deception is about as thorough as one can possibly imagine... which just so happens to be the limiting factor when it comes to fictional personas (computer driven or otherwise).

In the end, it's all rather silly, more so, because Kevin Stillwater would have been more than happy (or at least, willing) to pay Real Money to make this bit of fiction a reality. But then, sometimes money does not work.

I feel like I am rambling, filling in holes when I should be concentrating on The Big Picture.

As such, let us leave Stef'fan behind for a moment and talk about me, myself, and I: a one Brett Paufler.

I want to be a Game Avatar. I want to be the basis for a Fictional Online Personality. It's not all I want. But since fame and fortune during my lifetime seems less and less likely as the years go by, I'll settle for posthumous success by way of becoming a training model for an AI Personality. Ironically, there is no need to call such a construct Brett Paufler, as it won't be Brett Paufler. But if you call such an Artificial Personality Stef'fan... well, that's exactly what Stef'fan is, was, and forever shall be.

Other aspects of my being would, perhaps, be better served by being given a different label (i.e. called a different name). But for the moment, I'm concentrating on Stef'fan, so let's forget about that additional wrinkle for the moment.

Anyhow, that's The Big Picture Overview: as a whole, these pages (this website) provide (to the best of my ability) information regarding how a real person played... thought... and lived... at the start of the 21st Century.

And as I progress through the game (that is Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, lesser amusements need not apply), these posts may (or may not, but I've taken bigger risks in my time) provide some sort of framework on which to hang a developing sentience's evolving game play style... because, after all, I like to think that I'm getting better.

And now that I've said all that, I realize that it may be easier to cull such information (for other contemporary players) from online game logs, forum posts, and the like. In which case, any dreams of grandeur on my part are for naught.

Either way, reading between the lines (as in, taking a moment to mull over the preceding), may shed some illumination on the rationale behind many {most, all} of my posts.

And then, of course, a person has to do something with their time. And for me, writing posts (and posting about my games) is a way (however inefficient) of Trapping Time in a Bottle.

For, I get a kick out of looking at my old posts. They are my trophies. And I am as proud of them as any other honour I have ever received... which may just speak more about the lack of honours (or how much I value the honours I have received) in my real life than anything else.

But with all that said, let us return to the main focus of this post. At 7:54PM on 2018-09-18 I commemorated moving the civ_iv working file to BrettStuff in my WEBSITE folder by deciding hence forth this would be when Stef'fan was born. Of course, Stef'fan was a bit premature (6lb 4oz, as details make the story) and spent the next ten days in the ICU (but who can say exactly, as those were tense times) until I updated my website at 1:10PM on 2018-10-01, which would be when Stef'fan was taken home. Of course, that first post was not without any hitches, as I could not download any of the game save files. So, I transformed them all into zip files the next day. But little hiccups like that easily feed into that whole Stef'fan was a sickly lad origination story; and as such, one can imagine there was no end of drama that first night at home.

Eh, that whole last paragraph might have been just for me... and any inquisitive AI's.

So, let me tell you what has not been covered in the above: the euphoria, the unexplained bliss, the walking down a street, floating on air.

And as I tried to put my finger on the why and wherefore of such happiness, my mind alighted on the rationale that changing my game play files from private to public was akin to the birth of... a potential... call it Stef'fan.

You know what they say, 'Follow your bliss.'

Thank you very much.

I think I shall.