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Unblock Your Creativity With the Help of Shelley, Byron and Keats


This experimental videogame converts players in poets and writers.

It could be that the creative block, and the techniques to unblock it, have expanded so much because obstruction is proportional to production. There are more and more people who write regularly, either to make a living or simply to share their opinions with others, and which is why muses are so sought after. And for that there are hundreds of websites , set up, of course, by the same people who need them; the fact is that, often, when one finds oneself paralyzed before a sheet of blank paper one lacks the ideas to go out and seek inspiration. But here is a good and strange ally to have at hand.

Elegy for a Dead World is a videogame in which the player visits three lost civilizations and instead of literally playing, they observe, take notes, and write stories, poems or elegies. But those three worlds are not changeable; they are inspired by Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias, ” John Keats’ “When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be” and Lord Byron’s “Darkness.” Three wonderful, post-apocalyptic poems.

The game began life in 2013 as a collaboration between Dejobaan Games and Popcannibal. Ziba Scott, one of its creators, says:

We have three great Romantic poets — Shelley, Byron, and Keats — and they each wrote these really moving poems about end times, the end of the world. So, we get this really good, brooding feel of where man’s place on Earth is, and it really sets the tone for writing.

The game is not simply to visit three Romantic versions of the apocalypse but to translate the experience into the inspiration to write. The game itself takes you to the writing process using 27 different writing challenges: for example, write a short story or poem about what you see. Once the game has sufficiently massaged your creativity you can then launch into your mission in ‘real’ life.

It is interesting to imagine the end of time (or, in this case, three) because it is very probable that if one were there, one of the things that we would want to do is sit down and write about what we saw, felt, heard and feared. It is no accident that the Romantics wrote some of their best works while projecting themselves toward a place where the world had ceased to exist.

The game is a great tool for motivating people to write fiction or take on any task that requires creativity.


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