IF Comp ’10 – XYZ’s East Grove Hills!

October 5, 2010

You know XYZ, they’re that ABC cover band with really low self-esteem.  I used to love their hit single “The Look Of Oh Who Am I Kidding She Doesn’t Even Know I Exist.”

[spoilers begin here]

It was five minutes before the end of the world. Well, the end of the world for us, anyway. Yue, Jenny, and I spent those five minutes trying to barely scrape by on some sort of presentation in AP Lit.
This is a take on the apocalypse I don’t think I’ve seen before.  I am intrigued.

Maybe it was just my boredom. About my boredom. It was only a few minutes in, and I was already getting bored.
I know I’m not allowed to say anything about anyone else’s stream-of-consciousness writing style, but that “about my boredom” fragment strikes me as really odd.  There’s something odd, not necessarily bad odd, but odd, about this whole game so far.   It might be the first-person perspective, but I feel like the game is sharing a lot — “we were the weird kids in school, my sister is really my cousin and I love her but not in an incestuous way, the world is going to end in five minutes” — and I am all “dude Thomas Wu I just met you.  Can we slow down?”

On the other hand, as a former weird kid in school, I have no doubt that if one of us wanted to tell you about the apocalypse, this is exactly how it would go down.  (Oddly.)  So, points for veracity!

Have I always been this awkward? Yes, I have. Even when I was in China before my real parents died.
See, that is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about!  You could ask me how I am.  We could, I don’t know, chat about the weather.  Maybe in the course of time we would become friends and it would not be super weird for you to just blurt shit like this out every time I go north.

>talk to her
[1] “Hey.”
[2] “Uh, hello”
[3] Say nothing
Being offered a choice between “hey” and “uh, hello” cracks me up.  I’ll be ultra-suave and go with “hey.”

“Well, I wanted to talk about what I usually talk about. But the people I usually would talk to are all dead.”
Oh.  It’s going to be one of those conversations.

It’s true. My sister was the only person who (I think) actually enjoyed being around me. And she’s dead.

Okay, so, add “school shootings” to the list of things I do not enjoy games about, somewhere between “children dying” and “the Holocaust.”

Yue put the most work into it, and I tried to make an interactive fiction game. Inform 7 was harder to work with than I thought. Still, I managed to get a basic framework done. Despite being failtasticly bad, it was barely playable, and had a semblance of a plot which had nothing to do with the book. I never did finish it in time for the presentation. After what happened, I turned back to my failure of a game. Jenny and Yue were going to be in it. I was going to be in it, too. It’s the game you’re playing now.
I am not sure what to do with this information.  In fact, I am super confused.  So I’m going with “tilt head to left, squint.”

>tilt head to left, squint
I seem to want to talk to someone, but I can’t see whom.
Dammit, Squint, I need you!  Please come home.

There is not a lot for me to do in this game.  Actually, I don’t think I’ve done anything at all except examine stuff or conversate while text plays out around me.  This is sub-ideal.

Um, okay, Yue just told me about her plan to start a social group for all the weird kids and the game ended.  That was strange.  I’m not sure I necessarily mind being held by the collar while someone shouts a short story at me, but maybe next time I’d prefer a happier story, or at least something by Shirley Jackson.

One comment

  1. I don’t know whether it says more about the game or us that our reviews for EGH were independantly the same review. Same quoted passages and everything.

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