Reviews by Felix Larsson


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Tilt!, by Mona Wuerz

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Pinball Satori, September 22, 2009
by Felix Larsson (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Related reviews: literary, *

It’s pinball. You’re the ball. The first time you fly off, the experience will likely be as disorienting to you as it must be to the poor ball, and the game is soon over; by the third time, however, you will probably have got the knack of it. The game is replayable, in a sense—the sense in which any game of pinball is replayable: you can always try to score higher than before.

(Wuerz’s writing, a times, hints at pinball as an allegory of life, again with you as the ball. Come to hink of it, there’s obviously a deep buddhist meaning to Tilt!: (Spoiler - click to show)there you are, a ball, trying to make sense of a world you’re thrown out into without a say in the matter and telling yourself you have some control, though in truth you’re at the utter mercy of outside forces—those outside forces, on closer inspection, being you(!), the player, who you actually are (the ball and its world being empty—mere virtual objects devoid of any real existence) and who, moreover, is no real party to the virtual pinball world, except for playing this very game of Tilt! over and over again in the pursuit of ever increasing high-scores in your (i.e. the virtual ball’s) next (virtual) life—until, at last, you suddenly realize the futility of it all, stop clinging to an illusory pinball world and are awakened to the truths of its emptiness and your own power and purity.)

Somewhere, by Kazuki Mishima

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Unassuming experiment in interactive poetry, September 16, 2009
by Felix Larsson (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Related reviews: *, literary

The work tries a curiously traditional IF take on poetry (rather than e.g. a hypertext one like Arid and Pale): There is a PC, who moves around in a two-room world, there are three objects and an NPC, and the basic standard commands are implemented (X, GET, ASK ABOUT, PUT IN). The poem is written from a 1st person perspective, though.

In spite of that mostly traditional IF setting, there is nearly no interactivity: You (i.e. the ”I” of the poem) can examine the few things in the world, but apart from that there is only a single course of action open at any point in the poem. Twice the PC asks himself a yes or no question, but even then the choice doesn’t change the course of events or the point of the poem.

Interactive Fiction can certainly be very poetic. Indeed, Mishima himself has written such works. But I don’t think this particular poem presents an experience or an idea, a truth or a mood, a pun or whim, an image or an approach to language &c. &c. in any poetically compelling way.

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