The Playground

Mobile EditionsThere is one story that has been niggling me for as long as I can remember. A story involving the  relationship between a boy of school age, his grandmother and a frightening, possibly-supernatural force that comes between them. Dreaming Methods is riddled with fragmentary glimpses into this strange relationship; Dim O’Gauble, The Flat, The Diary of Anne Sykes, The Scrapbook. No matter how far around the houses I go to produce work that shuffles away from this personally obsessive concept, I always end up being drawn back to it and attempting  to generate another multimedia perspective on this complex – yet only ever glimpsing –  piece of fiction.

I’m at it again at the moment, this time from a much more direct angle. Nightingale’s Playground is a work that brings a lot of vintage Dreaming Methods themes and ideas together in a more coherent and accessible way than previously attempted. It’s a large-scale piece that spans several recent time periods – as well as a number of different delivery methods and formats.

Surprisingly, the backbone of it has been a return to writing in its purest form – a fictional story, fairly straight-forwardly written, with the intention of being delivered without much multimedia manipulation or enhancement in the form of a bare-bones ebook (epub) document. Whilst in some ways this goes against my principles of what digital fiction is – or what it should aspire to be – in proper Dreaming Methods style, the static-form text does not stand alone. Even the epub tself contains a number of bizarre visual tricks and is ultimately just an enticement to experience the digital fiction editions of the work.

Nightingale's Playground - in development

Nightingale's Playground - in development

To make sense of it all (or relative sense anyway), the reader must experience and piece together all of the elements of the story – mobile-device formatted Apps, browser-based Flash projects, even a brief but deeply atmospheric 3D-game environment where the reader/user takes the position of the protagonist’s viewpoint. Whilst it may not be possible or even desirable for a reader to download and experience each digitally formatted project, it does offer a multitude of possible angles on a story which plays around with the very concept of fragmented realities.

As always, even in this situation, the written text element still remains throughout; the writing now able to exist – via one of the development methods –  in true 3D space: floating within virtual room spaces and hanging from hallways like cobwebs.

One Response to “The Playground”

  • mlgodwin:

    … just “subscribed” to get the launch announcement for this work. anticipation.