Game Enjambment: Super Emeralds

Game Enjambment: Super Emeralds

Game Enjambment is a reoccurring poetry series on games and gaming.

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Level Up Your Poetry, Part 4: Games, Prose Poems, and Liminality

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 4: Games, Prose Poems, and Liminality

Video games occupy a liminal space, a threshold between digital and physical worlds. Our choices and actions in one directly influence the other. Video games conform to their own sets of rules, which may or may not mimic the laws of physics, morality, etc. In this sense, they share quite a bit in common with prose poems. (more…)

Game Enjambment: The Labyrinth Proper

Game Enjambment: The Labyrinth Proper

Game Enjambment is a reoccurring poetry series on games and gaming. (more…)

Game Enjambment: Where in the Zoo Is Carmen Sandiego?

Game Enjambment: Where in the Zoo Is Carmen Sandiego?

One summer, in what's now called the Oregon Zoo—
back in the mid-nineties, way back, when a chain
of metal clamped my teeth, before I knew
what to do with my wild and dark mane,
long before I grew comfortable lining my eyelids—
I donned my ZooTeen volunteer t-shirt and worked
at the Carmen Sandiego scavenger hunt stations, where kids
solved puzzles and earned stamps. Her henchmen lurked
at various sites, actors glimpsed near the hippos
or giraffes, and once in a while, Carmen herself above
the old elephant exhibit in lipstick-red clothes
and raven hair, an elusive embodiment of
Latina moxie and wiles.    I volunteered
at the entry station, instructing young gumshoes
in the rules of the game. At break time, I disappeared
for lunch on a bench near the goats, watching the zoo's
detectives disperse. Two girls approached my bench
and asked, in nervy unison, "Are you Carmen
Sandiego?"
                    "No."
                              Then, I pictured myself in a trench
and fedora. Vermilion. What would be the harm in
saying "yes"?    But the sleuths had already returned
to their bold quest for the dashing mastermind thief.
Imagine that red coat belted, collar upturned.
But I get to hide in plain sight.    What a relief.
Level Up Your Poetry, Part 4: Games, Prose Poems, and Liminality

Level Up Your Poetry, Part 3: The Name of the Game Is Immersion

In my two prior essays about the craft of video game poetry, I’ve touched on the roots of poems inspired by art and other media (i.e., ekphrastic verse) and broken down some examples of my own work to show how digital games can inspire wildly different homages. Now, I’d like to dig into one of the best practices of poetry in general, something that should be a natural fit for gaming poems in particular: creating an immersive experience for the audience. (more…)