So in this blogpost we were supposed to review a work of electronic literature. I kinda did this last week as I wanted to see how electronic literature has evolved from the 1st to the 3rd collection, but in today’s blogpost I will choose only one piece of e-lit to review. I looked around the three collections for a long time until I finally decided I would review “Galatea” by Emily Short which I found at the 1st collection of electronic literature. I chose to review Galatea because it reminded me a little about Façade as both these works are interactive and with no real solution, but many different possible outcomes based on what you say to the NPC.
I’ll start off with some backstory for this game. Galatea is supposedly based on Pygmalion. The myth of Pygmalion is about how Pygmalion made a statue of a woman and then proceeded to fall in love with the statue, which was named Galatea and also came alive. The description of the work goes like this: “While Galatea is framed as an interactive fiction piece, the system shares many qualities with the long line of “chatterbots,” going back to Joseph Weizenbaum’s mid-1960s Eliza. Conversation with Galatea is not as free as with Eliza but can unfold in more interesting ways as the topic, Galatea’s mood, and the history of conversation progress. The results of different discussions can sometimes even lead the user to uncover different stories that, while consistent within themselves, suggest different possible worlds”. In other words, Galatea is basically a chat-bot you’re talking to in this piece of electronic literature and your main goal is basically just to talk to her, uncover information and keep escalating the conversation until you come to some sort of conclusion/ending.
I actually found Galatea to be a little hard to interact with (at least at first). In order to interact with her, you’ve gotta use one of two commands or certain verbs. The first command is “Ask about” (or simply “A”). All you need to do is basically just to enter “Ask about” or “A” and then you write what you want/the topic you want to ask about. The second command is “Tell her about” (or “T”). There are only a few verbs Galatea understands, and those are “TOUCH”, “SMELL”, “LISTEN, “TASTE” and “LOOK”. I spent my time playing this by asking about Pygmalion and about how Galatea was made. She told me about how it was when she came alive and much about Pygmalion’s travels and how he hated people but still liked to interact with strangers on his many travels. It was really interesting to just see what she had to say about these topics and I just got really absorbed into the whole thing. The ending I got wasn’t really all that spectacular, kinda anti-climatic really. “You are both silent. There seems no more to say” “***THE END***”. I guess we both ran out of words, which was fine as it took me almost an hour to come to some sort of ending.
However, reviewing a piece of electronic literature wasn’t the only thing I did this week. I also tried to make a twitter bot, but failed miserably. I will probably try again though. This is also my 10th, and therefore last obligatory blogpost. If I decide to make the twitter bot, I will post it here but if I don’t, this will be the final blogpost on this blog.
It has been kinda fun documenting what’s been going on in Dikult 103 in this blog and it has been a good way for me to use the information I’ve learned through this course and has also made it more motivating for me to keep up with the course. I’ve used this blog to sum up the important happenings of the week each week, so it’s also something I can look back to whenever I might need to.