This week’s piece that Amber has selected for presentation, Redshift and Portal Metal was intriguing right off the bat. I am such a huge fan of the end of the world genre. Much of my own work comes from such ideas and ideas regarding the end of the world that are portrayed in the Bible’s Book of Revelations written by Saint John.
I thought it was quite interesting that the main character is described on the editorial home page as a trans-woman. I had no idea if that was a woman in the process of becoming a man or was this a man in the process of transitioning into a woman. As I went through the piece I felt that whether this was a man or woman on the way to becoming something new didn’t really matter. Men and women will always handle decision-making differently. So it didn’t matter what gender I was on my way to be as I navigated the decisions.
I really enjoyed the idea that I was able to chose what type of hero I wanted to be. I could either be the hero that takes off in search of adventure or I could be the hero that remains behind to fix what’s left. I had to be both. The other thing I very much liked about the choice during the experience was that once a decision is made, the verbiage that appears often came with a good heaping serving of guilt. I found my character lamenting about going in the direction of the decision I had just made. I went one way only to have the text reveal that the character actually wanted to go the other way. I liked that very much. The turmoil of inner voices. It related a human quality to the experience. Wherever the videos were shot it gave me a feel as though I was in another time and another place. A place wasn’t necessarily good or evil. To me it simply just what was.
Karel’s choice, Red Riding Hood Remake was tempting. I instantly was attracted to the dark urban feel. I love comic books and picture books always have. The art on the editorial home page was striking and had me thinking about a little boy and his hooker mom. I will also pick up and read any comic book adaptation. It could be a comic book adaptation of Julia Child and I would still read it. I have used comic book adaptations in my own classroom to help my students better understand text.
The soundtrack to the piece was enjoyable on its own. I love hard rock. I have banged my head with the best of them at Bon Jovi, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest to name a few. However, for me the soundtrack got in the way of the story telling. It was often too loud or it was the only thing being presented at the time. That made it hard to focus on what I was supposed to be searching for. Maybe I am old as Sun says.
The interface was also troubling for me. As I clicked on the links I could find over the music, the interface had to open another browser window. The music suddenly stops, a new window opens to a colorful screen, and then the music blares once more. There is no button on the screen to mute the music or even lower it that I could find. Even muting my computer did not help.
Both of these pieces served as a reminder of what I should do and should not do when creating my own piece of electronic literature. I need to be a specific as I can about my characters. I need to have a very human feel to them. Music is important but I will be careful to not overdo it. Story and plot must be relatable in some way. That can be accomplished by REMIXING a classic, or borrowing elements from a classic and making those my own.