In trying to describe our (upcoming) Utopias project, we settled on explaining it as nine interlinked utopias - each utopia a "world" developed in a game engine by a member of the collective. We hope that this explanation at least manages to convey the task we set ourselves for this project in practical terms, but of course we run the risk of this project being quite literally evaluated as "nine people's ideal worlds, explained in 3D simulations".
In reality, the project is much more of a sprawling mess of ideas. Which is how the extended version of the project name came about - "Utopias: Navigating Without Coordinates". During the long development time of the project, we became aware how much "utopia" was not necessarily a place or an ideal we could attain but rather a process of trying to navigate the territory that lies between us and change. On the one hand, this very much describes the practical process of learning to organise a collective. We are navigating without coordinates (or at best, hazy ones).
utopia is cooking meals to share after long sunday dev sessions, utopia is trying to figure out how to find the time to develop a game when we all have "real jobs", utopia is fumbling our way though collective non-hierarchical decision-making. utopia is trying to imagine that things could be different, utopia is trying not to be crippled by how things are.
utopia is not a literal place, this isn't a 3D simulation of a utopian world, utopia is the process, utopia is trying to find our way to utopia, utopia is navigating without coordinates, utopia is reaching forward into darkness and reading the way with our hands, utopia is looking with our fingers when our eyes fail us, utopia is rubbing the meaning out of snail skins and utopia is ciphering fish tails with fingertips.