Presentation Title

Agency and Autonomy in A Dark Room

Presenter Information

Lily JurskisFollow

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Digital Humanities, Digital Literature, Agency

Biography

I am currently a Freshman Yeager Scholar at Marshall University. Growing up, my mom would use car rides to explain the synopsis of whatever book she was reading. By the time I was in third grade, would sit at the playground and explain the plots of Slaughterhouse Five, Oryx and Crake, and Catcher in the Rye to kids who hardly seemed interested. Looking back, it’s no wonder that today I’m a sincere lover of literature and pursuing a double major in English and Art. My favorite topics to explore in art and writing are those of gender, memory, and intertextuality.

Major

English

Advisor for this project

Kristen Lillvis

Start Date

19-4-2018 9:15 AM

End Date

19-4-2018 10:30 AM

Abstract

How much control do we truly have over our lives, given circumstance, history, and the actions of others? To what degree can we meaningfully alter the trajectories of our lives? These questions of autonomy and how to authentically explore it through writing has puzzled and delighted writers for years. Through the relatively new field of electronic literature, a new set of tools for exploring autonomy through user-interactive texts is brought to the table. The text-based roleplaying game A Dark Room, developed by Doublespeak Games, explores the conventions of traditional storytelling in an entirely user-driven plot through a series of vague second-person prompts. Works of electronic literature such as this turn the reader into a participant in the text, creating an interesting overlap between the gaming concept of agency and the philosophical concept of human autonomy.

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Apr 19th, 9:15 AM Apr 19th, 10:30 AM

Agency and Autonomy in A Dark Room

How much control do we truly have over our lives, given circumstance, history, and the actions of others? To what degree can we meaningfully alter the trajectories of our lives? These questions of autonomy and how to authentically explore it through writing has puzzled and delighted writers for years. Through the relatively new field of electronic literature, a new set of tools for exploring autonomy through user-interactive texts is brought to the table. The text-based roleplaying game A Dark Room, developed by Doublespeak Games, explores the conventions of traditional storytelling in an entirely user-driven plot through a series of vague second-person prompts. Works of electronic literature such as this turn the reader into a participant in the text, creating an interesting overlap between the gaming concept of agency and the philosophical concept of human autonomy.