Ergon Logos: The physical vs. the logical

If you have not played (or maybe the better word is read) Ergon Logos, you really should.  Click here to check it out.  This is a hypertext and by definition, the player chooses what path they take to find something else about the main character.  The hypertext starts out with a black background with white writing.  First words of the story tell the player that the main character is a hero.  From that point on, it has the feeling that the main character is really a video game character.  He keeps on saying things like “an unquestionable authority controls me” and “freedom from a malevolent god,” which imply that he is not in control of himself.  This is an interesting observation from the character that is being controlled by the player itself.  The black background stays until you get to a few options.  There is one option where the main character finds the “damsel in distress” and instead of being drawn to her, he sees it more as an obligation rather than out of love for the girl.  Another is about an encounter that the main character has with a monster where he has very strong feelings for it.  There are also several endings where the main character falls off a jump or gets killed by the monster.  This sends the player into a new background.  The background turns white and the writing is black.  In this part of the hypertext, the character is much more philosophical, talking through the problems of his own mind.  I think it was an interesting choice that Paolo Pedercini made by naming this piece of art.  I looked up Ergon and found that it had to do with physical while Logos has to do with logic.  The black portion of the art is all about the physical actions of the main character while the white portion is about his thoughts and what he thinks about being controlled.

All of that explanation aside, I think that this is a great addition to electronic literature.  Not only is it challenging to normal thought but it is unique.  I liked the set up.  The words were very quickly moving across the screen which made it difficult to internalize what the author wanted us to understand.  However, it made it more like a video game feel which is engaging.  Like in The Colossal Cave Adventure, the reader has to imagine what they are reading.  Pedercini forces the player to think about the choices they are making because they are playing a character who is in complete understanding that he is being controlled by you.  He also subverts normal romantic roles by making his character more attracted to the monster than to the beautiful damsel in distress.  Over all, this game is fun, interactive, and intellectual.

  1 comment for “Ergon Logos: The physical vs. the logical

  1. February 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    As you know, this is a work I rather enjoy. I’m just curious, how did you come across it? It’s somewhat buried even on the author’s site, perhaps because he actually seems kind of ambivalent about it.

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