We’re All Mad Here – Crowd Design Time!

Dear Insane Children, 

As we continue our exploration of the story, places, and people of Alice: Asylum, we now enter into The Mad Hatter’s Domain. This area is representative of the “Bargaining” stage in Alice’s PTSD. 

Over on the Asylum Wiki we have a few notes scribbled down including this tidbit: 

(Hatter) spends his days working on a (mad) plan to put Wonderland right again. “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t … but I can!” Hatter can’t finish his work until certain (elements, emotions?) are collected. And he’s plagued by a certain gremlin – he’s convinced it was Alice he saw but now that she’s here and offering to help that theory no longer makes sense. 

Crowd Design Some Insanity

We’ll talk about Hatter’s Domain and the concept of Bargaining during this week’s Crowd Design Session over on Discord. 

Don’t know what a “Discord” is? It’s basically a super functional online text-voice chat thing… Imagine Skype but 1000x better. There’s an FAQ where you can learn more… Just CLICK THIS LINK

We’ll start the conversation at 6PM PST on Monday, November 11th. 

The Bargaining Stage

Hatter’s Domain represents Bargaining – the 3rd Stage in the Kubler-Ross Model of Grief. This stage is often characterized by an attempt at negotiation with one’s self, or a personification of the trauma (an individual perhaps), or a higher power – all as a way of regaining some notion of “control” over a situation. Of reverting to the previous state of Slumber. 

Confronted by Chaos, we find ourselves in an upsidedown world where things no longer make sense. The ground has gone out from under our feet. Our compass no longer points north. And nothing – especially other people – can be trusted. Reality is shattered. 

We are dissolved

Bargaining contains a lot of “If only…” statements. As in, “If only I had treated her better.” or “If only I had gotten a second opinion.” or “If only I promise to be better, will you give me…”

These represent an attempt at the impossible – to travel back in time and start over at some moment before the arrival of Chaos. 

The problem is that there is no moment which procedes Chaos. Chaos is transformation. It is inevitable. It is everywhere and always.

Bargaining is an attempt to resist The Inevitability of Transformation. About as useful as trying to resist time.

If we do manage to reach some sort of bargain – it only delays our transformation.

When we give up on Bargaining we abandon the hope of returning to the pre-Chaos state of being. We give up on clinging to our former self. We abandon our ego. 

And Then We Transform

What follows is Depression – a natural function of Ego Death. Depression is the state in which we’ve lost our Reason To Be. Makes sense… our Ego is Dead. There is literally NO POINT to anything anymore… and we need a new reason to be.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. 

Hatter and Alchemy

In Wonderland there’s no such thing as “Chemistry” as we know it. But there is the strange art of Alchemy. This melds together the physical (chemical) world with the psychological (mental) world – and links them together around the concept of Transformation. 

Hatter is Wonderland’s resident Alchemy Expert and has been hard at work on… 


Could be that he’s trying to piece Wonderland together again after the explosion (Chaos) that recently ripped it apart. He might even think he’s responsible for that explosion. This would be a sort of Bargaining with the nature of Wonderland’s reality. “Let’s put Wonderland back together again…”

And in order to do that he needs Alice’s help in collecting certain Elements. 

Whatever the case, Hatter’s Domain is wrecked…

Share Your Ideas!

I have quite a few ideas around this domain, what it represents, what Hatter is exploring, and more… but I want to hear what YOU think!

Let me know in the comments below. And join us for the Crowd Design Session tomorrow!

Let’s flesh out this Domain and make it surreal! 

Enamel Pins and Troubled Dreams

One more topic for Crowd Design tomorrow – Jen continues her efforts of designs for a set of Enamel Pins. Here’s an interesting design based on The Queen and Tentacles (my favorite)… 

She also did a revision of the Cheshire Cat pin based on a bit of feedback from me… Am I really the only one who saw “balls” between his eyes? Talk about bad dreams!

And a Teapot Cannon… 

Jen wants to know if the pins should all be Silver & Black or if there might be a few (like the Teapot) with a bit of color. 

What do you think? 

Let us know in the comments below!

Notes from Font Lord

He wants me to let everyone know that shipping times are (once again) longer than expected. This appears to be a global phenomenon and we have no idea what causes this or when it might get better. Basically, things are taking longer to ship around the world than usual… so if you are waiting on something (and have a tracking number in hand) you might see it “stuck” in transit for longer than usual. That includes tracking which does not appear to update for 5+ weeks! Yikes! 

3×35 and Chaos Necklace people – you’ll see your Survey Emails THIS WEEK. Yay! 

From Shanghai with Chaos,


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