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About the Story
Repair your Body!
Number of Reviews: 1
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If you have tried other work by Porpentine, you probably have some idea whether you'll like this: it too is about the relationship to your body, about reclaiming your sexuality for yourself, about culture and the way society frames gender. It is also about video games and the game as body.
It is not about any of these things in a way that resembles an ordinary plotted story. It uses music, voice, colored links, images, sometimes links to outside resources and video. It is not contained in the files of the game, but reaches out into the real world.
At one point, the protagonist's body is represented by a huge page of links, an overwhelming number of nodes, some of them active, some not, painfully colored. The process of navigating this page, bringing more nodes alive, might be seen as a kind of puzzle, but it is meaningful less as a puzzle than as a metaphor for the strangeness of the self; of parts that are numb, parts that are in pain, parts that are aroused.
In other sections, the piece hints at a more IF-familiar world model, of spaces to move through and directions of travel, and then subverts that model by offering attitudes and emotional stances as moves, alongside the usual EAST and WEST.
"HOW TO SPEAK ATLANTEAN" needs to be experienced more or less completely before it becomes comprehensible, because it uses confusion and alienation intentionally. I suspect some people will feel lost. I was a bit at sea myself during certain bits, but when I came to the end, I felt I had been told something interesting, something that would be hard to sum up in any fashion other than by handing on the piece to someone else.
So. I liked it, and found it both personal and artful.