The fish Glimmer

Glimmer by Andy Campbell (2009) is a Dreaming Method interactive fiction. The scene opens up of a package where the the name and address are blurred out. Pieces of text would float in front of you and you had to be quick to read them before they disappeared. You were able to maneuver the screen itself by moving the mouse, up, down, left, right, imitating how a some video games would play out. Some of the floating texts were options to take you to the next layout and part of the story.

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The story itself seemed kind of scattered until the end where the layout consists of bubbles floating and the noise of kids laughing. The story was about a little girl who drowned at the bottom of the pool because her hair got caught in a grate. The background noise of the laughing children and the actual text did not match at all. This is what I thought was interesting, how it didn’t make sense to have such happy sounds playing while a tragic event was occurring, but it did make sense at the same time because occurrences like that do happen. Before the girl had drowned in the pool, kids were playing around and having fun but the laughter of the kids didn’t stop even when it did happen.

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This particular IF was interesting because it consisted of many different artistic elements that made it hauntingly beautiful. The background music and sounds followed along with the different artistic layouts. For example, there was a scene of an ocean and the sounds would be of waves crashing against the shore. I was not entirely sure of the significance of the orange plastic goldfish. It seemed as if it played some important meaning of the IF.

What do you guys think of it? It’s short and easy to get through so I would recommend playing through it! Let me know in the comments down below.


  3 comments for “The fish Glimmer

  1. bosco1213
    April 20, 2014 at 2:47 am

    I did find the goldfish to be rather strange. I believe it was there to relate to the girl in orange from the flashback who’s mouth opened and closed like a fish. My question is: Who sent the plastic goldfish ?
    I really liked how this IF immersed the reader in flashback with the sound of the ocean. It really felt like I was at the scene where the drowning to took place. Like you said, the children’s laughter did seem out of place and it ended up breaking the immersion for me. I wonder if that portion of the IF could have been executed differently.

  2. asanixay
    April 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    The game can be frustrating for those who need to take their time reading the text. However, what catches my attention is the story about the girl drowning in the pool while the other kids were having fun. Though it can be seen as cruelty, the children most likely do not fully understand the concept of death. Even so, it is rather frightening to know that a child is suffering while another child is having fun. One idea I have on the plastic goldfish is that it can symbolize how the death of most pet fish aren’t as big a deal as the death of a dog or cat. Most fish owners don’t have an emotional attachment to their fish, and simply replace their deceased ones. The drowned girl could represent the goldfish while the laughing children can represent the fish’s “owners”.

  3. Steve Rechter
    April 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    This was a really odd experience for me. I was entirely sucked in by the presentation and atmosphere of the piece; I love the the combination of artistic, swirling images overtop of the shots of the ocean. Despite this, the story, as you noted, is quite offbeat and seemingly uncentered. Beyond the relationship of water between the drowning girl and the plastic fish, I’m really at a loss. I couldn’t believe when it ended out of thin air, leaving me confused in the water while holding a mysterious plastic fish. Oh well This is a memorable piece for me, even if it may be more due to its oddities than successes. It got me to feel something at least.

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