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IF Comp ’12 – Porpentine’s howling dogs!

October 12, 2012

mysterious game…hyperlink powered, yes, but what ethos does it promote? a death ethos? my god…or perhaps it is for those interested in visions, gender, peradventure, the hyphen between dream-notdream, fascination?

I’m not going to lie, it’s like this blurb was written specifically to make me not want to play this game.  I say this more as an acknowledgement of my own failure of depth than an indictment of the game and its blurb.  Know what kind of blurb would make me want to play a game?

You are on the moon and it is awesome and there are robots and then you get to eat cake.

Huh.  In other news, Dinner Bell now takes place on the moon.  Anyway, I’m going to play howling dogs, because I hear the author’s last game had sex in it, and I like sex.  And cake.  Sometimes I like to have sex while eating cake and you can’t stop me because I am a grownup.  I sure do wish I had a robot.

[spoilers begin here]

Once he was awake he could hear that not only was the patient next door but the two hundred dogs kept in the hospital courtyard for use in the laboratory had also been threatened by his sobbing and clearly were howling
Man, I bet he sure did feel like an asshole for disturbing other life forms with his misery.  Should I make the official call that this game is depressing now, or give it a couple screens to see where it goes?

Every day you think of ways this photo could have been improved: better lighting, better surroundings, closer to see the subtleties in her expression, further back to see her form and better imagine embracing her…
I have never felt this way about a photograph that is being used as a surrogate for someone I care about, but this sentence does convince me that the PC loves this person.  Not every game with a love interest gets to this point.  Some of them, you wonder if they’re even trying.

A certain person was tasked with describing a garden for the records of an empire. To assure objectivity, they were shown this garden through a slit in a piece of opaque black paper.
Okay, what?  I was just in a strange institution.  Is this a scientific study, or am I being used in some way, or what?  I guess I am supposed to be wondering that and the game has done its job.  You go get ‘em, game.

You feel certain that the garden permits a feeling of privacy and enclosure at regular intervals despite the relatively small size of the garden, due to the height and closeness of the trees, as well as the gentle canopy of long green leaves proliferating from the tip of each tree.
Is it just me, or is that a weird thing to feel certain about?  I mean, it sounds like a thing that is just true.

I am going to describe this garden aesthetically, because that seems like the entire reason to even have a garden.  (I just angered all of my friends who are botanists and/or oxygen enthusiasts.)

Shouts and sudden downswing of some sharp or heavy or sharp and heavy, wearisomely edged, grippable, heftable, you can hold it in two arms, or one, it can, at any rate, be lifted from the earth, thing
As a person who derives genuine joy from badly written sentences, I sometimes have problems gauging the quality of really arty writing.  Is this good?  It doesn’t make me feel anything, which is generally what I like in my arty writing.  It is, however, moving very confidently towards whatever the hell it is going for.  Have you ever noticed that you can say anything with the inflection of a joke, and people will laugh?  It really works.  You can even judge how smart your friends are by seeing how long it takes that little flicker of confusion to cross their faces when they realize what you just said wasn’t funny.

Okay, so the weird activity room stuff is connected to the images in the sanity room.  That is a thing, I guess.

The shower is a peaceful time for you, a way of demarcating space within extremely limited space, moisture and temperature standing in for spatiality.
What, you mean the place where I soap my balls? *

The phone is vibrating under the blanket, muffled enough to ignore if you will keep holding me.
Okay, this sentence I like.

You are something I digest and shit out.
This girl really needs to work on her pillow talk.  Yikes.

I say light, but a better phrase would be “capacity to behold irrespective of light”.
That confused me for a second, but it actually makes a lot of sense when applied to a text game.

Outside the bedroom I can think freely about the events of last year. More than three hundred days have elapsed, so how strange that only now would I be driven to kill you.
Huh!  Okay, now I am interested.  Hm, the game wants to know if I want to be complicit in killing him.  I haven’t even heard what happened last year, so I’m afraid I’ll have to decline.  Sorry!

Oh, you want me to watch?  That’s cool, I guess.

“Testosteronated” is a good word.

Damn, the description of her photograph changed.  I probably should have looked at it before that last activity room session.

The drop-coffins are falling.
Drop-coffins?  Who the fuck thought that was a good idea?

High above the martial vapors you know the Death Ship is rattling gantries and frames to release more invadorial cargo.
I like this sentence also.  It was Invadoriel, wasn’t it, who got kicked out of Lothlorien for arms dealing?

Your sisters and brothers in death crunch to the surface of this doomed planet.
“Don’t you think this is a bit morbid?”
Took the words right out of my mouth there.

A hurtling mortar opines that it saves processing power to merge the death element.
That is a weird thing to opine!  Do you?  Or don’t you?  You can’t have an opinion about a fact, right?  I swear I learned that in school somewhere.

I am enjoying the experience of playing this game.  I don’t know if it’s anywhere near the experience the author intended me to have (well, a generic me), but it is weird and mysterious enough that I am digging it.

The mud is analyzing alternatives.
Whatever you say, game.  Whatever you say.
You’re sitting at a fine table sipping tea.
If you like.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, there’s a bit where the text is blurry and unreadable like those allegedly humorous t-shirts about being very drunk.  I’m going to try to read it and get a headache and maybe go insane and split my cranium open and slimy things with legs will crawl out.  I hope you’re happy, game.  Oh, it wants to know if I believe myself a prophet.  No.  No, I don’t.

“Women are half of humankind. Does God waste?”
Fuck yeah!  You tell ‘em, hungry nun!

You are the empress of the starry diadem, lordess of the sun-cursed towers, visionatrix of the inner sea, controller of foundries, trade routes, war zones, of anything laws may touch and everything susceptible to grace.
See, I keep telling people this, and all they ever do is stare at me.  “Visionatrix” is another good word.  I am learning so many good words.

They prepare you for the day you shall be assassinated by draping your body in red streamers and arranging you aesthetically across carpets and divans.
You are instructed in
the art of dying in the proper lighting
I AM HOPEFUL FOR MY FUTURE

The empress has always saved herself for death, because death will only accept a maiden. If the empress is not pure in death, how can she birth the next empress?
For all know each empress is born of the union between woman and death, and they are known by the fleshless foot that tears their mother.
We are getting into some Khazar Lexicon business up in here and I am not complaining at all.

Hm, another thing I am taught is the art of emulating the appropriate saint with my death pose.
Fortunately the saints died in an absurd number of ways.
Laughed out loud; frightened the neighbors.

We bring back choice specimens, chained to elephants—a church, several fine houses, and a cafe. We have questioned them all closely but they will not reveal their origins.
Why did this game fuck around for so long before getting to this vignette?

Your zoo now has one of each kind of bird in the world.
Fuck yeah it does.  My zoo is bad-ass.  Also my hiking boots are awesome and this mountain is being dominated by me.

Hmm.  You know, I quite liked that, once I embraced that it was never, ever, going to make sense.

*  I said “balls” there because the joke needed a monosyllable with the correct amount of vernacular crudeness to counteract whatever the hell is going on in that other sentence.  Also, balls are inherently funny.  I still don’t actually have testicles.  Maybe someday.

One comment

  1. […] (Orestes Drunk and Pylades Fasting), “Laughed out loud; frightened the neighbors.” (Jenni Polodna). To touch Orestes and make Jenni laugh are high accolades in my view. What I would regard as […]



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