Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Midterm Draft: Like Sandpaper it's Pretty Rough.

This is a very rough draft of my midterm project. It's a choose your own adventure having to do with a night at a college party and the many different outcomes that could become. I haven't fully developed all of the endings and here I've only included one so far, but I have a lot of crazy ones in store, rest assured. I'm planning on writing two short essays to go along with this. One is on interactivity, and the other is on how technology affects our lives and our need for it as a generation. I have them both outlined but the outlines need some work. Im hoping to post the rought drafts of those by this weekend. The first idea is that technology cannot be fully interactive, but it can have a certain level of interactivy. I talk about how even though it is interactive, your choices can still be influenced by other factors. You do not have the ability to make 100% of the choices in interactive fiction. The second idea stems from a conversation I had with someone a few weeks ago about how technological advances are dumbing down our generations ability to act in live social situations. People can't go places without their cell phones and PDAs anymore, and people are becoming more dependant on technology to commnunicate rather than talking face to face. Also how we have become dependant on it in many aspects of our lives. I'll appreciate some input.

1 It’s Friday night (and the feeling’s right). Let’s be honest, you’ve had a rough week. Midterms haven’t been exactly the whipped cream on top of the pie. You deserve to go out and have a little fun. Your two suitemates Helen and Becca are excited to take you out to this “cops and robbers” themed party. They are heading to the costume store in a few minutes, and they insist you come along. Your other suitemate, Debbie, asks you if you want to have a quiet night in with Chinese food and a “Friends” marathon. She just bought a gallon of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream (your personal fave.)! You are really beat from your hectic week, but on the other hand you could really use a night to let loose…

If you choose to go to the costume store with Helen and Becca, and throw inhibitions to the wind, turn to page 3.
If you choose to stay in with Debbie, turn to page 5.

3 “Thank God you decided to ditch Debbie Downer,” exclaims Becca, “We’re going to have so much fun tonight; I promise. Although Becca’s promises don’t always end in euphoria, you still feel relieved and very anxious. You start looking around for your costume and find a really awesome looking cop one. Helen and Becca are both being robbers, and you consider this but decide you’d rather carry handcuffs (uh oh!) “You know Gary is going to be at the party tonight; the one you think is cute,” says Helen. “Yeah and I heard he is going as a robber so you can catch him,” giggles Becca. Your friends are juvenile, but you really do think he is cute. His slim, muscular body and his green eyes… perhaps something could happen there, you fantasize to yourself. Come back to planet earth, silly! You still need to pay for your costume and get ready.

Turn to page 8

4 “Baby, I’ve missed you,” says Kyle. The alcohol is starting to settle in and you start to feel flattered by Kyle’s compliments. You seem to forget that he was always a jerk who loves lines. You drink more and reminisce about old times when you two were together. You start to forget why you even broke up in the first place. He asks if you want to leave this “beat joint,” and go back to his dorm room. Tempting, I know. You heard he was with this girl named Stacey, but where is Stacey tonight?

If you decide to go back to Kyle’s dorm room, knowing what is going to happen turn to page 6.
If you decide to stay at the party some more and say goodbye to Kyle, turn to page 9.

6 The two of you stumble back and you begin to ask yourself if this was such a good idea. You get to the dorm and Kyle immediately comes on to you. This was to be expected. You start to get hot and heavy when there is a knock at the door. “Shit, it’s Stacey,” Kyle whispers, “You need to hide right now.” You think to yourself: “this really isn’t fair.” If Kyle wanted you so bad then he should be straightforward with Stacey.

If you listen to Kyle and hide under his bed, turn to page 28.
If you refuse to hide, and go get the door, turn to page 27.

7 Uh-oh! While standing in the keg line you start feeling really faint. Someone next to you asks you what is wrong… After that you black out. Looks like you should have listened to the “paranoid parents”…

The End.

8 You and your roommates are getting ready and Becca gets a call from Gary. “Put it on speaker!!” Helen squeals. She does. “Hey Becca, what’s up? Are you going to the party tonight?” says Gary. “Of course I am silly!” shouts Becca. Gary then suggests that she bring you along. It’s obvious he thinks you’re a cutie! You get ready in absolute bliss, thinking about what a good time you’re about to invest in. It’s like what you learned in economics class last week you decide; the opportunity cost of not going to the party is a whole lot more than going! (phew!) You finish getting ready and as you’re walking out the door, you remember you brought your car to campus after winter break…

If you choose to drive to the party, knowing you might be drinking, turn to page 13
If you choose to take the short and convenient bus there, turn to page 14

11 “Hey Kyle, it’s been a while! How are you doing?” (you giggle to yourself because you just rhymed, but he was never one to laugh at your jokes). He seems really excited to see you and he tells you you’re looking real good. He always was a charmer and he’s looking pretty good himself. Why did you guys break up again? He pulls out his own stash of alcohol and offers you some. “Let’s go in the other room,” he asserts. You do miss spending time with him and it could be fun, but Gary and your friends are waiting on the other side of the room. Is Gary really that cute?

If you go with Kyle to the other room, turn to page 4
If you decide to tell Kyle it’s still over and head back with your friends, turn to page 25

12 That’s so much better; now you don’t have to worry about beer spilling all over the place when you’re trying to get down. There wasn’t that much left in it anyway. Dancing in so much fun, whoever’s ipod is playing has really good music. Remember the days when you had to change CDs every few songs? That sucked. After a while you start to grow really tired (Justin gives you a work out!) and Gary asks if you want to go get another beer. You spot your cup on the bar and pick it up. You finish what’s inside and go upstairs to get more.

Turn to page 7

14 You’re glad you didn’t end up taking your car, now you can do whatever you want and not worry about having to drive home, right? Anyhow you get off the bus and walk down the street to the party. It’s really dark and kind of scary, thank God your roommates are there with you. Some random guys about your age sitting on their porch cat call at you. (you are looking good tonight!). They ask if you want to come in for a drink. You know the party is only a block away but you think to yourself what could be the harm of stopping by for a small bev (short for beverage)?

If you convince your roommates to go in and “have a drink,” turn to page 17.
If you ignore their calls and continue onto the party, turn to page 20.
If you decide to yell at them and tell them they are being gigantic “assholes,” turn to page 23

18 What the hell, why not let loose!? So you go down to the dance floor in the basement and the new “Justin Timberlake tune” is playing, or whatever you kids listen to these days. You spot Helen and head over towards her. You all start to get your groove on, respectively. As Gary puts his arms around your waist you think to yourself, “thank god I chose to party.” It’s getting a little crazy and you wish to put your drink down on the bar nearby, just so you can dance a little more. You’ve been warned not to ever leave your drink unattended at a party, but that’s just paranoid parents right?

If you decide to put your drink down and dance without it, turn to page 12
If you decide it is best to keep your drink with you and not go too crazy on the dance floor, turn to page 19

19 You start to get a little thirsty if you will and ask your friends if they want to go get some more booze. You head up the stairs and you realize the party got a whole lot more crowded than when you arrived. Oh well, the more the merrier! You look around at all the costumes and you spot your ex boyfriend, Kyle Scott, in the corner in a cop getup. You want to go say “hello,” but your friends are calling you to do a keg stand. The line is very long, but you feel rude because Kyle has spotted your law enforcing self.

If you go and talk to Kyle and tell your friends to wait, turn to page 11.
If you follow your friends’ chants and go do the keg stand, turn to page 24

20 You and your friends arrive at the party. It looks really bumpin’ and you can’t wait to get inside. You’re ecstatic that you arrived early because there is an enormous line behind you. You see Gary inside and you immediately get butterflies. “How 7th Grade of me,” you think. You get your cup (for free because you’re a female; thank god for that rule!), and enter at your own risk. “Lets go dance!” says Helen, but you’re wondering where the keg is located in this humble abode.

If you go and dance with Helen before you fill your cup, turn to page 15.
If you decide to locate the keg and fill ‘er up, turn to page 21.

21 There is a bit of a line at the keg, but there’s a huge plus! Gary is standing right in front of you. He looks so dreamy, it’s almost unreal. You give him a tap on his shoulder and he turns around. “Hey! What’s up?” you exclaim. He replies, “Nothing, I was just looking for you.” You start to blush against your will. “Be cool,” you think to yourself. You continue your small talk with Gary. (It should be a lot easier to talk to him once you’ve had a few in you). You hate how you’re so awkward in real life; if this convo was online your words would be flowing like Niagara Falls. Your mom always tells you talking online so much would dumb down your social skills (but you hate admitting she’s right). Finally you get your beer and Gary asks you if you want to go dance. You’d like to hang by the keg for a while so it will be less awkward, but this could be a one chance thing.

If you decide to stay and hang by the keg turn to page 16
If you decide “what the hell,” and go dance with Gary, turn to page 18


Adam Johns said...

You crazy kids these days. I remember back when we had to brew the beer ourselves, and our “playlist” was a guy in a tiger skin pounding two rocks together. That was me, by the way.
Anyway, this is genuinely funny – it’s goofy and fun, and your intermittent focus on communication technologies is interesting. Am I right in thinking that if the character stays home with Debbie she ends up spending the night texting or writing email or something? Even I remember how the drunken emails would fly on Friday night –t he intersection of technology and alcohol could be interesting here.
Beyond that, I’m mostly curious about what the two essays are going to be like. It’s hard to know without seeing them, but I have two obvious questions:

1) Are you really better off with two than one, or is there a way you could focus more clearly on one?
2) Is there a way you could combine the two? Is your argument about the nature of interactivity and its possibility really rooted in the communication technologies that you’re interested in? That’s a speculation, but I wonder if they’re related in your mind.
Hopefully I’ll be able to comment on the essay(s) when you post it/them.

Dan said...

So I read what you wrote and its clear some ideas and endings have not yet been developed. I doubt I have to suggest that you should finish it, although I am curious as to what these endings entail

I am the type of guy that likes to find a reason behind things, for example a lesson to be learned. I see amongst some of your points you hint at drinking alcohol and going to a boy's dorm is perhaps not a great idea.

While this is certainly an important message to convey, maybe you could include some stronger lessons of higher morality you would like people to think or learn about. I don't want to sound like a preacher so my suggestions will be a very broad one such as right/wrong concerning societal issues including racism. That suggestion is more like an example and it would most likely be hard to include in this particular "choose-your-own-adventure" but I am sure you get the idea of greater issues than the choice between alcohol and a boys dorm.

The reason I make this suggestion is because the story seems to be for a semi-mature (college age, female) audience. I think people at that age can certainly grasp and learn more complex things while being kept entertained.

At last, do not be offended by what i said: This particular type of story just does not appeal to me (most likely because of my gender). It was well written and not boring.