Friday, November 23, 2007

Final project

I mentioned this in class, but perhaps I can extend it here. I'm thinking I could do a narrative of the video game Scratches. It seems to fit with our House of Leaves theme. I want to do a paper with a thesis like

"House of Leaves uses technology in unusual ways to create a feeling of fear/intrigue. Can the same be done using a computer? Can people use computer games to invoke a primal, strong feeling like fear? Can they draw us in, making a digital page-turner?"

I don't know if I want to write it as if I'm playing a game, or if I'm the main character. The former will let me jump out of character and comment on how the game is making me feel. The latter will make that harder, but I can still do it with comments like "This house is really creepy." The former would be more to-the-point, but the latter would be more fun to write (and read).



JamesGz said...

Sounds like a sweet idea, definitely a cumulative project if you're combining gaming with House of Leaves. I think the questions you ask in your thesis are already a foregone conclusions though, at least in my mind.

As far as how you would write the story, I have an idea, although it may be too simple:

Take the whole process one step further and bring it closer to House of Leaves by writing the story from the main character's point of view and go back and add some footnotes of your own, describing your emotions/reactions when you find this narrative of the protagonist. So it's a story inside a story, very much like House of Leaves.

This might just end up in you copying Danielewski's style, but it's a mere suggestion, so it can tweaked.

Mike K said...

That might work because the game has an epilogue where another person goes and checks out the house years after the 'incident' w/ the first guy.

Come to think of it, the first guy, Michael, moving because he wants a place to write but happens upon this mystery that he gets wrapped up in...sounds similar to HoL...perhaps TOO similar.

Adam Johns said...

I like James' variation on your project, Mike -- and he's right about the foregone conclusions, although I think you recognize that as well.

What I'd like to have a better sense of is your intellectual agenda. What do you have to say about the relationship between video games and more conventional narrative forms?

I have a friend who once taught a class called "The Rhetoric of Video Games," which explored these kinds of questions.

Now, you can certainly do it as a creative project, but you want to think about what you're trying to accomplish.

Also, this sounds like a lot of fun.