March 22, 2024

Give A Dollar To The Rebbe: Three Digital Tales For Not-So-Serious Heads

By Peyos Maximus

In November of 2022, Tom Haviv and I started to wonder: could we use chat GPT to teach us  how to make a video game, and then use GPT and Stable Diffusion, an AI image generator, to actually generate the game? The idea felt exciting and strange. GPT had just been unleashed on the public, and among other things, it was very good at teaching users how to program—providing everything from general instructions to specific pieces of code. Aside from some very basic HTML, I didn’t know how to program anything. How cool would it be to make something using AI while holding hands with the AI all the way through the process? Who was programming who? 

What came next were myriad manic hours learning how to use Twine, a “choose your own adventure” game building program, hundreds of hours chatting with GPT and generating image after image on Stable Diffusion, all the while seeking a playful proficiency with these new tools.

It was hilarious asking the AI to describe things that it could not possibly know, like the feeling of being at a Grateful Dead concert. It felt wild having Stable Diffusion generate taboo images, like “matzoh ball soup pornography centerfolds.” I loved generating cryptic storylines using Twine to send the reader down labyrinthine paths of discovery. If you have not yet dared to try using AI, let this be an invitation: open your heart and click! 

And now, without further adieu, I present to you: GIVE A DOLLAR TO THE REBBE: THREE DIGITAL TALES FOR NOT-SO-SERIOUS HEADS. These games are mystical by nature and mischievous by design. They are available for download and can only be played on a computer, not a phone or tablet.

THE SEARCH FOR JERRY—a text based adventure in which you are lost at a Grateful Dead show. 

SHMUTZ.ZIP—a riveting, scandalous, hasidic tale.

OVERNOCTURNE—an illuminated text, cryptic and cyclical.

Ariel Abrahams is an Aquarius and a constant experimenter. He creates artworks as medicine that take form in group gatherings, long walks through the night, writing, drawing, sculpture, and sound. He has been a resident at greeceworks and Flux Factory. He currently spends his time learning from his two-year-old Zoey.