Gaming Provides A New Way To Not Get 'Ulysses'

Gaming Provides A New Way To Not Get 'Ulysses'

We've all experienced the thrill of watching a movie and using it to complete a book report. The high of the original idea. The excitement when you turn it in. The humiliation when your teacher points out that you called the main character "Demi" instead of "Hester."

Now, thanks to a successfully crowd-funded project, you might be able to PLAY the book instead of reading it, as Eoghan Kidney plans to use over €4,500 in donations to create a virtual reality game based on James Joyce's Ulysses. 

Unlike the NES-style platformer, The Great Gatsby, Ulysses: Proteus [part 1] promises an experience that relates events and context from the book and from outside sources with the ultimate aim of lending players and readers a better understanding of Joyce's...rather dense text. 

From the crowdfunding video:

They will hear Stephen’s thoughts as they are written — but these thoughts will then be illustrated around the user in real-time using textual annotations, images and links, A user can stop walking (therefore stopping Stephen walking) and explore these illustrations, gaining insight into the book and adding to the enjoyment of it.

Elizabeth O’Connor, an assistant professor of English at Washington College, points out that the pros of this game's existence come due to the fact that Ulysses is a text that's not meant to be understood the first time. She feels that listening to it on audio is a good way to experience it in addition to reading, and that the game might provide yet another avenue by which readers can understand it. Or, alternatively, perhaps the gaming experience will help readers actually finish the book.

On the con side, because gaming allows readers to shape the experience, a gamer might lollygag or end up emphasizing certain experiences in the book that were meant to be taken differently.

For now, you've got The Blagger's Guide To James Joyce by Cath Murphy to carry you through.

Any gamers out there played any book-based games? Or for that matter, read any good game-based books?

Image of Ulysses (Wordsworth Classics)
Author: James Joyce
Price: $1.99
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (2010)
Binding: Mass Market Paperback, 736 pages
Image of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
Author: Jane McGonigal
Price: $8.81
Publisher: Penguin Books (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 416 pages

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Comments

Josh Zancan's picture
Josh Zancan from Crofton, MD is reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck August 11, 2014 - 5:31pm

Pretty pessimistic headline for a relatively positive article.

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman August 13, 2014 - 10:13am

Haha, too true. Inside baseball, I think that reading what the creator said about it made me a lot more optimistic. I think I expected to hear only about what an amazing book it is, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the purpose of the game wasn't "because Ulysses is awesome" but rather to help clarify a tough read.