Mastering Tedium

Entrant 2019

Juno Morrow


Mastering Tedium is a tongue-in-cheek laundry simulator. A text adventure in the spirit of games such as ZORK (1980), Mastering Tedium uses the regular chore of laundry to juxtapose life's necessity of action with the futility and impermanence of acting for those aware of their own mortality. Mastering Tedium draws upon the prose of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa and his musings on the tedium of everyday life.

Excerpt from Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet:

"It is said that tedium is a disease of the idle or that it attacks only those who have nothing to do. But this ailment of the soul is in fact more subtle: it attacks people who are predisposed to it and those who work or who pretend they work (which in this case comes down to the same thing) are less apt to be spared than the truly idle.

Nothing is worse than the contrast between the natural splendour of the inner life, with its natural Indias and its unexplored lands and the squalor [...] of life's daily routine. And tedium is more oppressive when there's not the excuse of idleness. The tedium of those who strive hard is the worst of all. Tedium is not the disease of being bored because there's nothing to do, but the more serious disease of feeling that there's nothing worth doing."

Can the task of laundry, with its unending pressure—forever looming, ever truly be completed?