Queens Quest 7

This one spoke to me on so many levels!

Being of the generation before gaming was what it has become today, my love for computer games lay in the realms of the classic adventure game genre. I actually learned English by myself playing Sierra On-Line titles like Space Quest, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and of course the King’s Quest series, which the title of today’s Edit piece plays on.

In the beginning, these games purely relied on text commands like “Open door”, “Pick up gem”, “Look around” combined with the arrow keys to move around and interact with the surroundings. After each iteration the graphics improved, and from the third, or fourth iteration in all the series they became pure point-and-click games instead, which was one of the most popular game genres at the time. Game series like Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Simon The Sorcerer, Gobliins, Broken Sword and so many more in addition to the Sierra On-Line ones, are to me what the word computer game really means. Although, when the technology evolved and the demand for 3d games became the norm, these games slowly disappeared as the masses no longer wanted the old fashioned, no-skills-needed, two dimensional adventures, but craved the Warcrafts and Starcrafts of this world, and their evolvements. Today, gaming is a multi-billion industry – even turned sports! And these old classics no longer qualifies as games in some communities…

Queens Quest 7

…is a reaction to this. It borrows so many elements from the old classics, that it warmed my nostalgic heart. Although this is a hyperfiction story, it still captures the atmosphere of the old Sierra and Lucasart games with its absurd and ridiculous humour. But the main story is the one taking a stance against the new generation of gamers not aknowledging the classics as real games.

WhenI started Queens Quest 7 I sort of expected it to be like the old King’s Quest series, with the 8bit graphics and text commands, although realizing quickly this was a hyperfiction piece I didn’t mind it at all. First off it seemed like any other King’s Quest story, waking up in your chambers and getting a description of what you surroundings are, but then, when you move outside of the chambers and explore further, you realize you are not in a medieval narrative, but rather in a post modern environment aboard a space ship orbiting a planet called Video Games. When exploring the ship and talking to others aboard, you get, in addition to a lot of references to old adventures in both King’s Quest and Monkey Island, enough information to realize that the planet Video Games is really a reference to video games as a phenomenon and a concept, and that they, as old games,  are no longer welcome back there even though they were there first. This is obviously a direct play on gamer-gate that occurred a couple of years ago where gaming communities all over the world started to negate these type of game genres as not games. It got kind of out of control with a lot of harassment and even death threats, when trying to rid their communities of the non-worthy.

This piece of elit looks at this situation from the view of the classical games itself, and portrays it as an actual character in an environment close to the classic genre. On the planet Video Games the Masaganerds (gamers) rule, and there is no longer a place for the classics. However, as you proceed in the story you go through a narrative where you kind of fight for your place in the universe, not really fitting in in any other genres, and ultimately are faced with the options of “Destroying Video Games, and rebuilding it from the ground”, or “Inevitably let it destroy itself”.

Elit, or game?

The eternal question within the realm of electronic literature seems to be “where is the line between it being electronic literature or a game” to me, lies around these old classics. But to me, like the masaganerds of this piece, why can’t it sometimes be both? It seems to me that both media have many of the same goals, and neither of them are games nor literature in the conventional way anyway… But I’d have a good story told to me through a screen any day, wether it be electronic literature or a video game 🙂

This was AWESOME

As I opened with, this one really hit home on so many levels. It made me long for the time I spent hours upon hours on these games, woke up the joy of playing a video game, which has been dormant for years, and urged me to download several of the old titles. I don’t know about you others, but me being of that generation really hope this type of game will re-emerge, and maybe more iterations of the old series will come? I see that many of these have been revamped and republished on platforms like iOS and Wii, and the Broken Sword series even got a fifth iteration with the good old fashioned 2D graphics after one incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign. That is proof that there are more out there like me, and thank you for writing this awesome piece of elit!

Here are some old titles you should check out:

Space Quest I-VI
King’s Quest I-VII
Police Quest I-IV
Leisure suit Larry I-VII
The Secret ofMonkey Island
Monkey Island 2: LeChucks Revenge
The Curse of Monkey Island
Escape from Monkey Island
Tales from Monkey Island
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Gobliins 1-4
Simon the Sorcerer 1 &2
Touche: Adventure of the 5th Musketeer
Broken Sword 1-5
Beneath a Steel Sky
Lure of the Temptress

…and so many more…

Dannyboy out

Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky…

So, for my first blog post for this class, we got to choose between three different Elit works;  –Like Stars in A Clear Night Sky, –Soliloquy, and –RedRidinghood. Me being both fairly new to the world of Electronic Literature and almost blind, I went for the first one. Like many of the elite texts I’ve come across so far you kind of go into it with both many and few expectations of what to find, annualize quickly wether or not they were met. This particular piece opens with a voice talking in a foreign language (no idea what), the voice is accompanied with a black background that slowly turns into a night sky filled with stars, and of course subtitles to translate what the voice is saying. Due to my vision loss I weren’t able to pick up everything he was saying, though I assume, after exploring te piece, he was talking about telling stories that concerned him about people and such that have had meaning for his own life.

After the voice had stopped speaking, and I were left to myself with the night sky full of stars, I started moving my cursor around, and just as I had expected, some of the stars showed me prompts to tell a story of his (the man with the voice). So by clicking on one of the stars I got access to the first story. The first story I got was about his sister and how she had met a man and they had fallen in love. But the story also revealed a backside to the happiness, both the disapproval of her parents, and the difference in their expectations of life.

After reading the first story, with was “written in the stars” in plain white text, I started at once “expecting” what would come next. Would it be a continuance of this story? A side story? Another perspective? So I moved on to another star and clicked it.

During the second story, my mind kind of wanted this story to be related to the first one I read, making me think for a second that this was the story of the man that had met the sister, but after reading on I realize this story didn’t relate at all, at least mot in the way my mind wanted it to. So I sort of “turned off my mind”, and pursued the rest of the stories, one by one, seeing if the I would grasp some kind of relationship between them.

But after reading all of them (I THINK I got them all) I sort of felt a connection between them, even though these were totally independent stories with no apparent relationships at all. The only thing they all had in common was exactly that, they were totally individual.

The feeling I’m left with after exploring this piece is that of when you stare into the night sky, wondering how people’s lives, or other events plays out on the other side of the world. The randomness of how you pick the star, or even the serene, almost primitive music in the background accompanied with birds tweeting about, actually did a good job of project that feeling in me. Almost as if I were in God’s position peeking into people’s lives. Just to observe…

I have no idea if this were the author’s intention, but I’m fairly sure I’m at least on to something here.

 

So until next time folks, Dannyboy is out 🙂