Scattered Thoughts on “Pry”

I’ve decided I’m going to try to list this as a database rather than a narrative.

  1. I’m glad Pry was left for last because I think this piece has the most sophisticated digital presentation of all of the platforms we’ve explored. We started with Ice Bound Concordance, which had the potential in my opinion to be the most sophisticated (should its digital technology have been the most up to date) for a few reasons: first, its embodied technology. Like Between the Page and Screen, Ice Bound Concordance used the built-in camera on digital devices to project additional meaning into physical space for the viewer/reader/player; second, the depth of its message. Unlike Between the Page and Screen, which made some strong and valid points about the meanings of language and life, Ice Bound Concordance took several hours to complete and made several new commentaries through each chapter and mechanism for engagement provided. Why do I think Pry was more sophisticated? It’s worth exploring the ways in which the dating of technology affects electronic literature. In my view, the aesthetic and functional performance of technology relative to other mediums of the time is paramount to its effect on the reader. Perhaps an affordance of most traditional books is that we expect very little regarding its display of words across the pages. Digital literature faces this problem more seriously. We must be captivated (as a function of our expectations of competitive technological storytelling methods of the time) by the presentation of the work, or the work’s meaning diminishes. Pry is sophisticated, beautiful, and created with cameras and digital platforms that appear modern and current in my imagination. For now.
  2. Speaking of, one of the most effective techniques available for communicating first-person narration throughout the story is the requirement that both fingers be attached to the screen for the viewing of the entire section. The story will progress if you don’t maintain active attention to keeping your fingers in the right position. That requirement of touchscreen technology on app-based platforms feels very relatively new to me, in comparison to the clicking and arrows of other stories we’ve explored in this course.
  3. Another effective technique was the ridiculously high quality of the camera work. I felt astounded that it was even showing on my phone at such a high quality. The role that this played in communicating messages involving loss of vision cannot be understated. When we are watching a first-person and the picture blurs, it is a stand-out moment, as the quality of the camera work feels so close to the normal experience of seeing that a blur registers as our own vision as readers actually failing. Or perhaps this game was just very effective in having me internalize the main character’s psyche.
  4. Lots to say about the unconscious versus the conscious. I’m sure we’ll talk about Freud in class. My favorite symbol of understanding and talking about these concepts comes from the idea of the iceberg, where the conscious are the thoughts and perceptions that are completely visible, the pre-conscious are the things that are within reach of bringing to the visible, and the un-conscious are the things so repressed and buried that we can’t even access them on a regular basis.
Graphic obtained from a personal blog explaining to their readers the Freudian concept of the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious levels of the mind. Here is the link to the source.
[So it ended up being a list of narratives. I guess that’s how this goes.]

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