These forums for Electron Dance were closed on 09 December 2014.
On The Matter of the Great Red Dragon
  • I like to think of The Matter of the Great Red Dragon as an "Author is Undead" scenario.

    From my perspective, it seemed a no-brainer that Jonas was spinning his views on identity politics into the story at the end (the phrase on people looking for sin stood out to me). But Jonas has denied any allegorical intentions.

    So here I am, using my knowledge of the author to interpret the work - The Author As Content - and Jonas is claiming no, the author is dead. Stop bringing the author in here. But that's easier said than done.

    Any thoughts?
  • And who is Jonas to give an authoritative view on his game? so what if the author says the author is dead and that it might not be appropriate to bring the author into this? The author is not the center of interpretation, and therefore his comments that the author is dead have no particular authority; we may use our understanding of the author in that case, because the reader is the site of interpretation and therefore the reader has the authority to bring in the author.

    I hope you have tissues cause I just blew your mind.
  • I didn't interpret that the same way, HM. The closing passage I read as a communitarian commentary on late capitalism and individual identity, rather than a more specific critique.

    Ha, I was about to say "but I think you know my views on this subject anyway", before realising that the post I promised to write in that comment thread never materialised, because before I finished it my conclusion was generally arrived at anyway. The author is context.
  • Who says it's just one thing? I can tell you that the list of things on my mind when I made this game included the state of modern literature, the idea of the hero in storytelling, the charm of old-school RPGs, the rise of postmodernism in art as well as politics, the glorification of subjectivity and moral ambiguity... and a whole bunch of other stuff. It's as much about why we have Jack Bauer instead of Aragorn as it is about identity politics.

    I don't do message games, but that doesn't mean there aren't themes that will often crop up in my work.

    Hmm. I'll let you discuss, but there's a blog post about the role of the author in the creative process that I really need to write.

    I leave you with this, from a staunch Catholic who shares few of my politics and yet is a major influence:

    "Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear." - G. K. Chesterton
    Post edited by JonasKyratzes at 2014-03-03 16:27:34
  • Whatever guys, Twines about dragons are so 2012.
  • And the world didn't even end!!! Man guys and gals, remember that?
  • I am currently reading Caribbean by James Michener. Mayans are involved.
  • HM said:

    From my perspective, it seemed a no-brainer that Jonas was spinning his views on identity politics into the story at the end (the phrase on people looking for sin stood out to me). But Jonas has denied any allegorical intentions.



    The word "sin" also stood out to me, but I do not think The Matter of the Red Dragon is allegorical. The story is about big moral ideas, like the role of the hero and integrity. The game also brings your own morality and sense of duty into play. In a way, all of the game's endings point back to the same question: did I do the right thing? The most interesting thing about the game is that it can indicate what moral principles are most important to you (e.g., keeping your word).

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