Why all the best game developers play Tarot

1 week 6 days ago

I'm not sure I trust the Page of Cups. As imagined by Pamela Colman Smith and A.E. Waite in the 1909 Rider-Waite Tarot, he's a cocky young man in a floral tunic, standing by the seashore hefting a goblet. There's a fish peeking out of the goblet and the Page appears to be gossiping with it, perhaps sharing a joke about the artist, because honestly, what kind of artist paints a guy talking to fish. Or is he thinking about offering us the cup? The set of his jaw is ambiguous.

When drawn in an upright position, the Page suggests a flash of inspiration reeled from the mind's ocean, or a dazzling opportunity. In this guise, he's been a good friend to Ami Y. Cai, a game creator and illustrator from Kentucky - though in her first Tarot deck, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's Shadowscapes Tarot, the symbolism has been flipped around a little, the Page depicted as a mermaid peering into a steaming bowl. “Sometimes sparks come to me through conversations, or while I'm doing something else,” Cai tells me over Zoom. “So when I see the Page of Cups, I know that a creative opportunity is coming my way.”

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Author
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell