April 7th – The Festival of Trigslaw’s Dimension

There several ways to get to Trigslaw’s Dimension. All of them involve a computer made by The Buentoillican Computing and Entertainment Systems Cooperative (BCESC) between 1999 and 2005 with a Dynamic 820 graphics card, but how you progress from there is where the paths diverge. The Dimension was only discovered in 2009, when Kit Matheezor accidentally turned her computer off with her toe during the final boss battle of Twins: Beyond Good and Evil. When the computer rebooted it didn’t take her back to the operating system login screen, but back into the game. Her character was in black space, from which there was no escape. Somehow she accidentally performed the requisite combination of jumps, short sprints and fruitless attacks before rebooting the computer once again. It was then that she saw Trigslaw’s Dimension.

Matheezor, who thought that the strange landscape was a secret hidden part of Twins, raved about the discovery to her friends, who inevitably thought she was lying when they couldn’t replicate the results themselves. She even brought her own particular copy of the game over to try it out in their computers, before she realised that it must have been something to with her computer instead. It took her a further three years to perfect the method of reaching the Dimension, but by that time others had found alternative routes.

In 2010 Class Vindverson walked out to his kitchen to make a cup of herbal tea, leaving what appeared to be a long-outdated word processor (that he had found on a floppy disk in a drawer in his father’s old bureau) loaded on the screen. Whilst he waited for the kettle to boil, his cat walked across the keyboard, coincidentally pressing an extremely fortuitous combination of keys. When he returned to his desk, Vindverson was face-to-face with the Dimension.

By late 2010 rumours had been circulating around the City, popping up occasionally in computer enthusiast’s magazines, of people who had stumbled across a route to the Dimension. Some passed the entire concept off as nonsense, whilst others began searching for similarities between each story in the hopes of gaining entry themselves. Progress was slowed slightly as, unfortunately, some of these stories were indeed fabrications, but as it turned out this didn’t matter; the most popular route in was just around the corner.

Today many people will gather in their homes, libraries, enthusiast’s collections, in fact anywhere that houses a BCESC computer with a Dynamic 820 graphics card, hoping to catch a glimpse of Trigslaw’s Dimension. They have been gathering in this way since 2011, when Guilliame Ugirin eventually decoded the enigma and found an easily-replicable method of entry to the Dimension: he typed the name of the Dimension’s creator, Martineau Trigslaw, where his password should have gone when logging into his computer, on the day she was born. This simple feat was the culmination of three years’ work, in which time Ugirin had understood early on that the Dimension was an integral part of the computers’ construction, hidden on a number of tiny data drives throughout the system, coded to trigger only under highly specific circumstances.

Somehow the Dimension has been so well integrated into the computers that attempting to change the date of the computer’s clock (to enable more frequent access on days other than today) actually locks the user out from the dimension for an entire year. This integration also meant that Ugirin would have to find a non-mechanical way of unlocking its secrets; instead of attempting to locate and hack the tiny data drives, he extensively researched the designers at BCESC, trying to understand who made it and what drove them.

Those who are lucky enough to see the Dimension today will first see a black screen, with the words ‘WELCOME TO MY DIMENSION’ written in white sans-serif lettering. This will then fade away, revealing a first-person view of a house overlooking a beautiful river. The house is small but pretty, with rose bushes and jasmine growing up its sides. A rope swing hangs from a tree in the back garden. A man and a young boy live here, performing small household chores and playing simple games. The boy will occasionally get on the swing and be pushed by his father. They do not react to the computer user, who is given no obvious signs of having a body. Down in the basement a woman types feverishly on a computer. They eat together at meal times, and the man and woman sleep in the same bed when night comes, but the woman seems cut off, separate somehow. It ends when you turn off your computer.

Unfortunately, Ugirin was never able to ask Trigslaw what drove her, as she died of cancer in 2002. Her former partner and son are little help either; they only found out about the Dimension when the rest of the City did. Whilst physically they bear a striking resemblance to the figures in the Dimension (albeit somewhat older), they say that little else about the world compares favourably to their real life together. ‘She was a kind partner and caring mother,’ said her son, Fennik, in an interview with Computer Science Weekly, ‘nothing like how she seems in the computer. Nothing at all.’

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Day of Finishing Lists
  • The Otter and Water Vole Conservation Festival
  • ‘I Will Just Sleep On the Sofa Until She Gets Home’ – A Modern Relationship In Named Pictographs – The Private Viewing