Can you all believe that we only have four classes left for the semester? Through the course of the semester we learned about my different genres of electronic literature. This is the point of the semester where we get to create our own piece! Honestly speaking, I had my idea for my elit project since the beginning of the semester. It was inspired by a class I took last semester titled, Advanced Poetry Writing. From this course, I birthed a Chapbook of poems titled Mad Black Buddhist. From these poems, I went from finding my poetic voice to facing a full on pandemic. Through these poems, I was able to have a spiritual awakening that would set me on the path of open mindness.
In yesterday’s class, I was paired with my lovely Nives and the brilliant Tom to figure out the beginning elements of my projects. Below are some notes I took from our discussion:
Poetry – Drawing – Music. I want to turn my poetry from my Chapbook: Mad Black Buddhist. These poems are a reflection of me during the earliest stages of the pandemic
I decided to turn my poetry into an instagram experience, which ironically, due to being on my phone so much is one of the main elements that made me go a little crazy during the early stages of the pandemic. I am looking to add artwork to each post of poems.. Maybe add a video and audio into it.. Still doing some research!
“The Hunt for the Gay Planet” is a was created by Anna Anthropy in 2013. The piece is an easily navigable satire full of humor, decisions, exploration, and twists. The piece is instrumental in entertaining and captivates an audience because of the development of the characters. It represents the development in the contemporary world in which same sex marriage is becoming a common practice and acceptable trend in the society. In particular, the plot development creates a world or an environment where the gay community is less understood and intimidated and thus living uncomfortable and unhappily. In retrospect, this creates an element of fear and stigma in these individuals who are forced to limit themselves in expressing their ideologies in society. Therefore, they have to ‘hunt’ for a planet where they can live openly and happily as gays and truly themselves. Though the author uses satire to develop her topic, the piece is commentary as it is clear how these people are ostracized in the world today. For instance, before 2013, only six states in the United States of America had permitted marriage among gay people. Later the civil right of gay marriage was reinforced in sixteen states out of fifty states in the USA. The author used the gay community rights movement’s continued and prominent issue during that era to develop the work. Like many other electronic literatures, the work is made of a pitch-black background. Since the story revolves around the LGBTQ community, many people would expect it to have a colorful adventure such as a symbolic flag. The quirky undertone on the black-pitch background is appropriate as it takes the readers on a special adventure on the gay planet, Lesbionica.
Anna Anthropy has described herself as a fat gay hex living with her black cat. Her aim of creating this piece was to help the readers differentiate between queer and gay since the two words are highly mixed and matched. The basis of the work is founded in Zork, which was created in the early 1980s. The author of the work, the hunt for the gay planet, gives many links at the lower edge of every page giving the reader a channel of selection. She uses attractive admissions and Star Wars fonts on every page that captures the attention of the reader. The author uses various phrases and words that illicit the physical responses and emotional responses to the verbiage. She hits the reader’s mind with contextual words that help them formulate the meaning of the words straight, queer, and gay (Cmakharm). The entire piece is set such that it is an emotional work revolving around the three words.
Structure and Styles’ Development
Anna Anthropy’s work is a hilarious and impactful satirical piece where the hunt is satirized as a star-wars game that permits the romance of homosexuals on an isolated planet. The Star Wars are sprinkled throughout the work, for instance, when the proponent says going to a “seediest hive of scum and villainy.” The entire story is made of ridiculous occurrences and goofy puns that make the title ‘hunt’ a hilarious satire. One of the ridiculous occasions is when the proponent surveys the planets and come across ancient tools. ‘Could these be gay tools?’ the protagonist asks herself (Cmakharm). The author has equipped the work with a lot of witty quips. She ironically points out the idea of walking straight through a dimmed tunnel without thinking straight. Another hilarious irony is seen when the police tie her up, and the conflicting feelings within her libido annoy her. The hilarious irony in the work highlights the ridiculousness surrounding the current video games culture that features straight male proponents and occasionally sprinkles them as afterthoughts.
Its format structure highly enhances the satirical nature of the game. The work, ‘hunt for the gay planet’ is structured like an old science fiction adventure story. The quest of the heroine across the galaxy is full of suspense. For instance, when the heroine, the heroine does an extensive exploration of the ancient cave and finally finds an isolated carving depicting two persons, a male, and a female, holding hands. The resulting anti-climatic change in the piece yields to the subversion of the average gamers’ adventure expectations. The author has used many ironic expectations’ subversions throughout the work, like when she finds a paradise-like planet.
The author does careful crafting of the vivid descriptions of the lush grass and placid waters. She also develops a sense of intrigue and mystery to the reader when she introduces certain psychic forces that wrest the protagonist’s mind. She culminates the whole hilarious sequence using a psychic whale that magnificently fronts on water and asks her whether she have a boyfriend. Despite the entertainment scene, the proponent is frustrated as the galaxy assumes her sexuality and normalizes heterosexual relationships. The action is justifiably frustrating and tiring for fictional lesbians in the space and the gay community in real life. Anna concludes the work with a brilliant satire. She uses a sloppy between the heroine and the lover that subverts straight male viewers’ expectations with fetishistic views of gay relationships (Jason). This ending kiss takes the past act of hero tropes and applying them to the video game. Here, the female proponent uses her intelligence to disarm the evil queen, saving the day, rescuing the girl and the whole galaxy against straight stifling.
This week I took some time to plan out the events in my story, taking Dr. Zamora’s suggestion moving forward as my next step. It has been slightly challenging to think of how the story is going to break at different points, but it has been fun nonetheless. What I have tried to focus on is listing out the main events that will happen throughout the story and trying to fill in the details from there. That is where a project like this is going to flourish, in the details. Once I have the entire thing mapped out, I will conduct more research into all of the aspects that still nedd to nbe ironed out, and I believe this will open even more doorways for me to continue to construct my project. One thing I have also thought about briefly is how I want to put all of it together, as the more that I have thought about it, I think Dr. Zamora was right where this project will end up being more of a screenplay than a novel, and that both excited me and scares me, as that is something else that I need to do research on and see how to put all of this together. Not a ton of progress, but progress either way. See you all later!
The tentative idea I came up with was to create a 3D anatomical interactive brain similar to the GIF above. I plan to utilize hypertext throughout the different parts of the brain. I’ll use the solid black background that most electronic pieces are famous for. This piece will highlight the specific parts of the brain that are most affected by OCD. I will do some more research on this and include it in my interactive model of the brain. Each section of the brain will have a nerve receptor that you can click on which will reveal a intrusive thought, rumination and a obsession of mine. During the breakout rooms Tom gave me some great feedback. He suggested that I compartmentalize my brain into different categories. So for example I’ll have a section on: LOVE, FRIENDS, FAMILY, WORK etc. Then when you click on one of these options I will reveal the thought I had about each specific category. These will be warped versions of my thoughts and feelings due to my illness. Very real and distorted thoughts that come to mind when you’re in the throws of OCD. In any other healthy functioning brain these same thoughts and feelings would not be as disruptive or disturbing. It’s important to showcase this distinction so that the participant can fully grasp and comprehend the complexities of this disorder.
Throughout the twenty plus years that I’ve suffered from OCD people have asked me time and again what it’s like to live with OCD. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What exactly is your brain telling you to do? Well since inquisitive minds would like to know! Creating this electronic literature piece is the perfect opportunity for me to explore this further and to show people what living with OCD is like. It’s much more then just counting, skipping or organizing your cabinets until your canned goods are perfectly lined up in a neat row. Furthermore, I hope it cancels out some of the stereotypes and false assumptions that people have about this complex disorder. I also would love to help lessen the shame and guilt that comes along with a OCD diagnosis. Destigmatizing this disorder in particular would also be a goal of mine when undertaking this project. If I bring the raw, gritty, unedited, real life version of what living with OCD is like, then we’re one step closer to more understanding and empathy for the millions of sufferers. It’s also important to note that newer research suggests that OCD is now considered a brain disorder not a mental illness/disorder. This is based off of newer scientific research in the field. Even more reason for me to explore the brain further. I’m excited to continue with work shopping in the coming weeks. It sounds daunting but I’m up for the challenge. Stay tuned…
The official class site for Dr. Mia Zamora’s Fall 2020 Electronic Literature course.