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Final Project and Reflection

Introduction to the piece:

Lost in Memory is an interactive fiction electronic literature piece that explores themes around what makes us human, trauma and its effects on the mind, the role of memory in our humanity, and what we are willing to sacrifice to attain healing. The reader places themselves into a futuristic world in which many of the issues of today have been solved, but at a great cost to humanity. The reader must make choices around memory, action or inaction, and will find that not all paths lead to resolution – but there is an ultimate end that signifies a new beginning. This piece is an homage to one of my favorite genres, science fiction, and specifically to works like Never Let Me Go, The Handmaids Tale, Redshift and Portalmetal, and With Those We Love Alive. This piece is dedicated to my sister, who was the first one I created worlds with when we were kids playing with action figures, and to my brother, who was my first audience and eventual co-creator during my teenage film making phase. I consider this piece to be a fictionalized personal reflection, as much of it is inspired by the experiences I have had in my own life around trauma, memory, and the hope of healing. My hope is that this will be a piece that brings the reader into an atmosphere of suspense and reflection, and that it will begin a conversation about trauma and memory.

Click here to enter into the story – Lost in Memory

Reflection

This piece started as a completely different concept and transformed into what you have before you today. Originally, I wanted to make something that would highlight what it is like to be queer, and this would be done in the form of a strange information collection. This information collection originally was going to be a bunch of LGBTQ pop culture quizzes that would branch off into poems that highlighted the significance of each movie, book, or fact. When I realized that poetry seemed to be the main go to for a lot of people in class, I decided I wanted to change things up and that I would attempt to write a story. I also felt like I wanted to open the story up so more people would be able to relate to it, so I slowly discarded the LGBTQ element – though one will find there is still a queer element that exists to this piece.   

Lost in Memory started out as me just deciding I would have fun. I dedicated this story to my sister because I realized as I was creating it that it reminded me of the way she and I would play as kids. We were always creating and remixing stories. Whether it was with barbies, action figures, or play acting with our friends, we would play for hours and simply improvise each line of dialogue and every plot twist. As I wrote this, I just asked myself what next? And then I wrote what came to mind. What I didn’t expect is how much of it would end up being a kind of fictionalized embodiment of a lot of the hurt and sadness I carry inside. I thought my other piece would be too personal and that I was taking a step back, but this one has turned out to be similarly personal – just in a more “transreal” way, as Micha Cardenas calls the mixing of the real with the fictional.

This piece is far from ‘complete’ and I probably should have used a different medium than Twine. I do love the navigational format of Twine, but I think the amount of content is maybe more than is really meant for Twine’s layout. That said, I really enjoyed learning a completely new tool I have never used before, and I hope to use it again in the future. As for my story, I hope to continue working on it and turn it into something more. I don’t know if electronic literature is my thing, so I would probably want to return to a traditional book format, but this helped me get the bare bones of something going, and I would love to pursue this idea in a deeper way.

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