Device 6 (2013)

Let's talk ergodic literature with iOS text game DEViCE 6

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Device6.m4a

Summary

This week, we draw lots of parallels to somewhat-obscure post-postmodernist English literature in a discussion about DEViCE 6, a game by Swedish developer Simogo. Device 6 is an iOS-exclusive title heartily inspired by 1960s-era spy films, most notably "The Prisoner", and it plays as an interactive text adventure fiction combined with escape-the-room puzzles across 6 separate 'episodes'.

The game plays with a mild illusion of choose your own adventure, but doesn't quite work out that way by the end. Our host this week, Nate, has a lot to say about the parallels between this game and ergodic literature (a form of literature that requires more out of the reader than basic text); Nate's most prominent example being Mark Z. Danielewski's seminal 2000 work House of Leaves, a book that attempts to answer the questions and fantasies of early media experts prophesizing about what the internet would do to the written word. That is to say, reading House of Leaves is crazy; its text is constantly in changing styles, with some passages being backwards, upside-down, laid out in spirals, or told through margin liners of someone else's inane notes and scraps, for the most part in immersion-constructing ways. And from this, there are some clear but toned-down inspirations in the 'interface' of Device 6, Nate thinks, and we'll talk a bit about that and why that book might interest you if you liked aspects of this game (and vice-versa), in addition to the J.J. Abrams contribution to the world of the ergodic.

It isn't just about books this week though, as we ponder the puzzles in Device 6, their difficulty, the story of the 'game', the divide between reading and playing, and just how similar this is after all to Fullbright and Emotive Pixels both's classic Gone Home.

Relevant links!

Cast

Will Atkinson

Brian Pachucki

Esteban Santana Santana

Nate Stevens

Alberto Malfavon

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