Elegy For A Dead Planet: The Poetry of Video Games

Elegy For A Dead Planet: The Poetry of Video Games

If you thought "a winner is you" was the pinnacle of video game writing, think again. If you bristled at dialogue in a game like Gears of War, then we've got the game for you.

Elegy For A Dead World is a game that puts players in a very different and unique role. The game uses different prompts such as fill-in-the-blanks and open-ended, unfinished lines that give the player the chance to write their own story.

I felt the frigid air and realized...

I saw them everywhere, the...

Players are presented with the option to explore three doomed, destroyed worlds, each of which is based on a poem by Keats, Byron, or Shelley. Rather than becoming a gun-toting space jock or a sword-wielding warrior of Middle Earth, the player becomes something more gentle. The player becomes a poet.

Hardcore Gamer on the prompts in Elegy For A Dead World:

Prompts don’t necessarily restrict a player as even the suggested templates can be edited out, but there is interesting variety in the types of cues that you can work with. These hints include preset narratives with missing blanks to fill in, ideas for composing a poem, templates for a letter, and even exercises where the player gets to put on their editor cap and fix errors in paragraphs presented to them...The prompts are a worthwhile inclusion that certainly add some some form of tangible objective, and there is a wide array to choose from. However, if you choose to disregard these prompts entirely, then you can basically go free form and compose your own literary work from scratch.

At the end of the game, rather than leaving a pile of dissolving corpses behind, the gamer finishes with a real, even PRINTABLE, poetry booklet. Yes, at the end of the game, the player is given the option to print a booklet of his work, complete with images from the game.

The game has received high ratings, has been praised for its fresh gameplay and premise, and is an interesting entry into the world of gaming and what video games are. 

The aforementioned Hardcore Gamer:

Elegy for a Dead World may be a jarring departure from traditions, but unlike the more pretentious attempts at alternative gaming experiences we’ve seen in recent times, this is one idea that should be encouraged.

You can find Elegy For A Dead World on Steam.

My big question, has anyone played it yet?

Oh, and PS, I love Gears of War. Scars, dialogue and all.

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R.T. Riess's picture
R.T. Riess from Syracuse, NY January 9, 2015 - 9:34am

I've not played this game yet - as a matter of fact I've not heard of it until this post.  Thanks a lot! This seems to be a great alternative to some of the current games inflating the market.  Although you might not take it as a direct "writing aid," I'm sure it may jar loose some of those ideas in your head.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 10, 2015 - 9:29pm

that is a really nifty idea.

docawesome's picture
docawesome from Dallas is reading Texas by James Michener January 11, 2015 - 3:20pm

But how does it compare to "All your base are belong to us?"