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Literary nerds, brace yourselves. The developers, writers, and artists at Dejobaan Games have finally created the ultimate game for you.

Game Review: ‘Elegy for a Dead World’ Encourages Literary Gaming

elegy for a dead worldLiterary nerds, brace yourselves. The developers, writers, and artists at Dejobaan Games have finally created the ultimate game for you. It’s called Elegy for a Dead World, and it is an intricate ode to communal storytelling.

You are a space traveler who wanders through desolate landscapes, attempting to piece together civilizations that have long since passed away. Since no one accompanies you on these missions, you play the makeshift roles of historian, archeologist, and anthropologist. During this side-scroll adventure, you are meant to observe your surroundings, write what you see, and catalog your thoughts.

Inspired by our writing predecessors

This game won’t be a let-down for English majors or generally well-read players. The worlds that you traverse are inspired by the authors Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Keats. You’ll be tempted to pull out old tomes or Google your favorite poems throughout this adventure, to be reminded by the verses that lend inspiration to this game. You don’t have to be well-versed in these particular authors’ works to appreciate the beautiful and haunting isolation of each landscape. The allusions to these authors just add new levels of meaning to each location.

Writing and reading as a community

One of the most intriguing concepts in Elegy for a Dead World is your ability to publish your narration for other players to see. This enables each Point of Interest to have endless possible interpretations and countless meanings. The locations are a blank slate, and you can alter history through your narration. As you journey through the game, you will be prompted at regular intervals to record your findings. As the video game trailer explains, “Once you have completed your analyses, it will become a matter of public record. A final elegy to these dead worlds.”

After you play through a section of the game, complete all of the data entries, and publish your work, it is arranged in a mini book-style layout for the world to read. Your log entries are decorated with screenshots of scenes you passed during your travels. When you click on “Read someone else’s work,” you’ll get to see their interpretation on the same environment.

Learning potential

If you’re thinking that this game could have immense potential in the classroom, Dejobaan has already thought of that. The developers are already sharing their love of literature with about 100 schools that are now using this game in the classroom. According to the Elegy for Educators page, the company has donated 1,500 game keys for instructional use in classrooms. The developers note that this game has immense potential for English as a Second Language courses, since it can encourage students to practice phrases, grammar, and sentence structures. This page also identifies schools worldwide that have adopted Elegy for a Dead World into their curricula.

It’s easy to see how the meld of gaming with writing composition can have some encouraging results in the classroom. This game may help students build greater confidence in their writing abilities outside of word processors and composition books, providing them with the freedom to exercise their creativity in a beautiful game environment.

Survival through writing

This game hints at the idea of immortality through creation. After all, you’re the lone survivor, since the rest of your exploration party perished in an accident while traveling between worlds. Your rescue is uncertain, so you continue with your exploration. It’s possible that your log entries will be the only part of your game character and the only accounts of these civilizations that survive.

Elegy for a Dead World is an evocative tribute to great literature and the act of writing. You can find it on Steam for Mac, Linux, and Windows.

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About Jenna Cyprus

Jenna is a freelance writer who loves the outdoors; especially camping while relaxing with her family.

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