According to one famous linguist, what makes humans special is our ability to deal in recursion. To take different clauses or concepts and nest them within each other like Russian dolls. And from these beautiful, simple, recursive mergings spring near-infinite forms of expression. Anyway, whether or not recursion is the essence of the human mind, it is fun to mess about with.
If you haven’t, you should try. Take a photo of yourself holding a photo of yourself holding a photo of yourself. Or turn your webcam towards the screen and watch the picture loop in on itself in a never-ending spiral. Or, if you’re feeling especially bold in a zoom meeting, unmute yourself, feed the speaker output back into the microphone, and surprise your valued colleagues with the unfiltered scream of infinity. There’s something hopelessly arresting about recursion and, although a few different games have played with it, it’s underexplored design space. Enter Patrick’s Parabox, ‘a mind-bending recursive puzzle game about boxes within boxes within boxes within boxes’.