Review #2

Inanimate Alice, Episode 1: China by Kate Pullinger and babel is a part of the Electronic Literature Collection that is uniquely different from other pieces. It’s a flash based piece that has many diverse elements to it. The “Literature” part of the piece is an intriguing story. The story is based around a little girl who lives with her parents in a remote part in China. She often gets lonely being a only child. We are only with her for a short time but we see her go through a day of unrest while her father is lost then later found. Traveling through the story there is many elements that add to the experience. To navigate this linear story you just have to press “>>” or solve a small puzzle to go on the next sequence, very similar to flipping pages in a book. There is many visuals that surround the text which go together to provide a bigger picture. Sound also accompanies the text and visuals which we can only assume is to make to piece more dynamic. But being dynamic is also the problem of this piece. This is meant to be Electronic Literature, but at many times it seems too Electronic. The moving visuals, the puzzles and the wrenched sounds all distract from the literature. Any sane person would mute their speakers right away. Most of the time I found myself ignoring the text because there is so much going on. A person like myself gets distracted easily. Maybe we need practice at this type of literature because it’s easy to get lost in. It took me a few run through before I got the meaning and it seems that every time I view it again I find something new. It’s hard to rate something like this because it has so many parts in it. I think it’s easier to rate the individual parts then the piece as a whole. The story I liked because I found it very believable. The visuals were very enjoyable because they did a good job at catching my eye. But the sound was wretched and the piece was better without it. People will all relate differently to this piece and that’s the best part.

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