Well, not a game, per se. There’s no gameplay and no storyline and no final boss battle. There’s no leveling and no skill-building and no farming. No gold, no XP. Instead, it’s just a virtual environment to be explored like an open-world game, for the purpose of prompting would-be writers to actually write.
Lots of people want to write but are then intimidated by the blank page. And traditional writers’ adages don’t necessarily help.
Enter Elegy for a Dead World, a game to encourage novice writers to shut off the self-doubt and just write.
The three lost worlds feature beautiful scenery, moving music, and are inspired by Percy Shelley’s Ozymandias, Lord Byron’s Darkness, and John Keats’ When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be. They create a strong, moody atmosphere that becomes the breeding ground for feelings and ideas. (Experimental Game Turns Players into Poets and Writers)
Elegy uses prompts to get writer-players started, but unlike most games there is no scoring, no standard, and no jumping puzzles. (I’m really, really bad at jumping puzzles.) Developer Ichiro Lambe explains, “The most important thing for us is that someone sits down and has a positive experience, doing something creative. We avoid doing any kind of scoring, or handslapping, because writing can be personal and frightening enough, without attaching a score or anything negative to it.”
Ain’t that the truth. Writing is one thing, but showing it to others is like getting nekkid. It’s exposing your soul for aesthetic judgment. But Elegy tries to make it it less intimidating.
And it’s also a typing game. So if Typing of the Dead isn’t doing enough for your keyboarding skills, this is another choice.
Also published on Medium.