Storyland

Storyland was found here (Elit Collection 1) and the description of Storyland is “The computer-generated combinatorial story is one of the oldest forms of digital writing. Storyland, with its simple circus frame, plays with this tradition by performing recombination of the sort seen in cut-up and in Oulipian work. The system repeatedly plots amusingly repetitive stories, inviting the reader to consider, to read its scheme for composition.  Author description: Storyland (version 2) is a randomly created narrative which plays with social stereotypes and elements of popular culture. Each sentence is constructed from a pool of possibilities, allowing each reader a unique story. The reader presses the “new story” button, and a story is created for that moment in time. It is unlikely that any two stories will be identical. Storyland exposes its narrative formula thus mirroring aspects of contemporary cultural production: sampling, appropriation, hybrids, stock content, design templates. It risks discontinuity and the ridiculous while providing opportunities for contemplation beyond the entertainment factor.”

Just clicking around to find something interesting, Storyland sparked my interest right off the bat because of the circus-like effect that it played on me.  I haven’t been to the circus in a long time, but I remember what it was like.  In a sense, it was kind of scary.  This seemed to have that same effect on me.  With the creepy music in the background and the black background, it just had an eeriness about it that I couldn’t rid myself of.  Here are a few examples of the creepy stories that it offers.

You can just keep clicking new story after new story and come up with a bunch of different of these types of stories to read.  I’m not sure why, but it was almost mesmerizing just reading through them.  I honestly wasn’t too interested in the stories but the fact that it was like one of those musical boxes.  First the music starts and the Storyland title flashes around.  Then the text appears almost on a timer and then it ends.  You can click on a new story after that or just be done.  The other works that I have come across this semester have been very interesting but on a different level.  Those pieces of electronic literature seem to be very strange in terms of structure.  A lot of flashing lights and strange symbols with weird music seem to be the majority of the previous works that I have dealt with.  This, however, does not contain any of that.  It’s just text, a little bit of music, and that’s it.  I believe that I enjoy it so much because of the simplicity that it really does offer.  There isn’t much to it other than rhythmic style.

The author described the stories as ‘unique’ which I believe is the only way too describe them. Some of them may not make a lot of sense, but I don’t think they were meant to be very whole.  I appreciate the oddness that the author provided in this piece and I would invite others to view this as well.  Electronic literature, obviously, is considered to be a ridiculous array of genres in terms of style.  There have been a lot of weird styles that I have come across, but nothing has drawn me in quite like this one.  It’s almost like it puts you in a trance.  You just kind of lose yourself in what is going on.  Maybe it’s the music.  Maybe it’s the flashing words in the beginning.  Maybe it’s the plainness that draws me in.  I’m not sure exactly, but I like it.  I do think that everyone should check this out even for a brief moment to see what I’m talking about.  I know that we could all benefit from having something refreshing in our life every once in a while.

  3 comments for “Storyland

  1. Natalie Nash
    April 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I came across this work as well for the last blog post and I was going to do it at first because (at first I didn’t have sound) it seems cheery with the bright colors. It seemed like a fun children’s story or something but after hearing the creepy music and reading a couple of the stories I had to stop for fear of clown nightmares! haha. And I too couldn’t get past the simplicity/creepiness and I felt maybe there was something more I was missing but I wasn’t sticking around to find out!

  2. crystal
    April 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    umm and the story is creepy because….

  3. April 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    This wasn’t a scary story.

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