Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mid-Term Rough Draft

Here is my mid-term rough draft, like everyone else who has posted recently there is an extreme emphasis on rough.

Brian Kerkan


Narrative and Tech

Night of the Living Dread!!!!

It’s Friday night, 11:30 pm. You had been waiting all evening for your friends to call but, as usual, they haven’t. It has been a boring night and you have tried to find various things to pass the time. First you hopped on the computer and attempted to weave you way through some interactive fiction games unfortunately they almost made you brain melt with how intoxicatingly boring they are. After failing to acquire any sort of satisfaction from the stone age technology you look around the room for other things to do. Then out of the corner of you eye a shiny new PS3 catches your attention. Your parents had bought it for you last week and it has barely been played due to the enormous amount of reading that has been necessary for a certain technology class you are currently enrolled in. While contemplating which game to play the phone, currently residing in the corner of the room, begins to ring.

If you decide Playstation 3 is too new school for you and interactive cra…..I mean fiction is the route to go turn to page 3

If you decide that answer the phone is for losers and you want to get right into the shiny new PS3 action turn to page 2

If you think that it is a good idea to answer the phone turn to page 4

Having realized that interactive fiction is for old-timers and that answering the phone is for people who like telemarketers you opt for the vibrant colors and hi-def action of the PS3. The library of games is compelling, your parents are the kind that when they buy something they go all out so 10 games sit before you in semi circle of next generation glory. One in particular grabs your attention, you haven’t heard of it before or seen it at any of the games stores. The cover art is bizarre and cheap with a look of wear upon it. The title read “Zombies ate my parent……and eventually me”. The other various games spread across the floor vary from sports to role-playing games with a bit of fighting game mixed in for flavor.

If you choose to play “Zombies ate my parents…and eventually me” turn to page 14

If you choose to play a fighting game turn to page 5

If you choose to go with a sports game turn to page 6

If everything else looks unappealing and you’d rather eat up a bunch of time with an RPG turn to page 7

You have decided you want to “kick it old school” tonight and go way back to the origins of gaming with some classic interactive fiction. After firing up the old pc you search around the internet a bit and find a wealth of interactive fiction games. Two in particular stand out “Zork” and “Playing interactive fiction is for losers so play this one instead”. After examining some reviews you find that most reviewers proclaim “Zork” to be a classic stating that quote “it makes you appreciate how far games have come”. “Playing…..” on the other hand has two types of reviews. Some say it’s an amazing interactive game that will restore your faith in the interactive fiction form while others warn that opening the game infects you computer with a horrible virus that may cause nuclear missiles to launch leading to a sequence of events that could destroy the earth.

If you believe playing Zork is the best option turn to page 8

If PIFIFLSPTOI sound like more your cup of tea go to page 9

You decide its more respectful to answer the phone, besides it might be the friends you have been waiting for. As the reach the phone it is on its third rign you scramble to pick it up and quickly say “Hello”. A voice comes from the other end “Hello we have an exciting opportunity for you” the voice sounds slightly familiar. “You have been selected for a free vacation to…..” the guy on the other end continues. Caught in another telemarketers trap, ugh. You consider hanging up but you’ve already listened to half the recorded message by now.

If you choose to hang up go to page 10

If you stay on the line go to page 11

After carefully taking the disc out of its case you pop Ultimate Fighting Game into the PS3. The title screen pops up and you choose the first games mode. After getting beat on for a considerable amount of time by the inhumanely hard computer you switch game modes and still the computer is unbeatable. The game is frustrating and yet it is so frustrating you keep playing and playing becoming more angry at the impossibility of this game. Soon the rage within you is approaching an unacceptable level you could quit now and let the computer defeat you or you could push forward and show this computer what’s what.

If you continue playing go to page 12

If you decide to call it a night go to page 13

After considerable internal debate you opt for a sports game, it doesn’t matter which one they are mostly all the same. Since you realize that sports games aren’t exactly your best field of gaming the difficultly level is set on rookie. You pound the computer into submission again and again every time more satisfying then the last. After what seems like a while you look up at the clock on the wall, it’s 4:30 in the morning. You don’t want to feel like a hardcore gamer and yet the feeling of superiority is incredibly inticing.

If you continue playing to go page 12

If you call it a night go to page 13

Wanting to kill time, and forget about the shame you feel from being ditched by your friends you decide hacking and slashing through ogre and orcs in an RPG is the best option. You pop in Elder Scrolls: The Never-ending Game. The menu screen loads and you enter the game. The character you create has a plethora of customization options and 13you try as hard as you can changing this and that, messing with the flesh tone sliders and the facial shaping feature to get the character to look just right. You customize the armor, abilities, and starting weapon down to the very last detail. Upon finishing your character you take a look at the time it already 5 am! But you just finished making your character and really want to try it out.

If you decide to continue playing go to page 12

If you decide to go to bed go to page 13

You decide that going with the tried and true Zork is the best bet. After finding a downloadable version of the game and taking the necessary steps to ensure playability you begin on your Zork adventure. You walk north, walk south, climb in windows, open doors, go through forests all the while having an excruciatingly hard time finding the correct command that actually does something. After four hours you have managed to find a sword, some treasure, and a game that will help you lose your sanity. Stealing a glance across the room the glint of the shiny new PS3 catches your eye again.

If you continue playing Zork go to page 15

If you decide Zork is boring and opt to play the PS3 go to page 2

After deciding that a gamble is the way to go, you take the necessary steps to install “Playing…..” despite the risk of world destruction. The game loads, the screen prompts you to press enter. There is still time to turn back now, forget about interactive fiction forever, and possibly save your hide. The screen is bright and enticing the font and color contrast seem to lure you in, assuring you that everything will be alright if you just press enter.

If you throw caution to the wind and press enter go to page 16

If you better judgment kicks in and you decide no game is worth dying for go to page 17

Ugh fooled again pulled into the ploy of another fiendish telemarketer, oh well it could have happened to anyone. Before the person can say another word you slam the receiver down, stamp around a bit, and then retire to bed. The next day you go to the mall and surprisingly there are you friends altogether. They begin to walk towards you and one of your close friends, Eric shout “What the hell man”, “I was just messin’ with you last night you didn’t have to hang up on me dude that was not cool”. After a considerably long explanation you manage to “cool his jets” and patch things up. You hang out with your friends the rest of the day and have a great time.

The End


Adam Johns said...

I did think this was funny, at least at the beginning. Here’s the annoying but inevitable question: why? In all fairness I thought this was funny for a while, mostly at the beginning – but here’s the thing about satire. It needs to go somewhere, develop some sort of life or meaning of its own. Getting in a couple digs at interactive fiction is all well and good, as is parodying the CYOA form – but at the end of the day you aren’t really working with what at least I see as the potential fo the idea.

What you have here is a interactive games/text full of interactive games/texts – but it doesn’t feel that way, because you never interface in any meaningful way with any of those games or texts. The zombie game is clever (since lots of horror stories, with Evil Dead or The Ring as perfect examples, are about texts/videos changing the “real” world, or breaking down barriers between the real and fictional worlds. But because you just jump from one thing to another, without spending any real time or effort ona nyhting in particular, you aren’t pulling anything like that off – what is the value of interactivity which just briefly satirizes a bunch of different things so hastily that they almost blend together?
What is the value of the interactivity here, in other words? If it’s satire, what are you satirizing? To the extent that it’s interactive, what is that interactivity for (or do you want to satirize that)? Your goals remain unclear to me.

Meg Patton said...

It seems that each of your endings will be determined by which type of video game or fiction you choose, am I right? I agree with the teach in the fact that I get that you are satirizing something but I can't quite grasp what. Are you trying to work with the interactivity of video games? I think that you should maybe write a somewhat short essay to explain your purpose here. If you're interested on the effect of video games on a persons social life, or how interactive they can be, maybe you should write an essay on that. It is interesting and well written, but I am kind of confused as to what point you are getting at. Also you might want to make headings or page numbers at the top to make it easier to follow. I found it kind of difficult. Good work for your rough draft though.