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About the StoryBuried is an ergodic literature game created in tandem by Tara Copplestone and Luke Botham as a proof of concept for Copplestone's M.Sc dissertation, and was subsequently entered into the 2014 Heritage Jam competition where it won the 'best remote team entry' category.
The game itself takes the form of ergodic literature, an interactive story inspired by the choose your own adventure style books. You play as a young archaeologist who has just returned from a field season and is grappling with the ups and downs of personal life, academia, archaeology, the past, the present and hopes for the future.
The choices you make propel you down one of 17 unique paths, each of which is further modified 50 times before a (albeit fleeting, and temporary) conclusion of the story is reached. The structure of the game invites you to play it again and again. To explore the 'what if's' of archaeology as it relates to you personally as well as to the wider academic and public spheres. Whilst playing you will be challenged to think about the seemingly simple concept of 'burial' in a multiplicity of ways, you will be asked to form your own ideas, make your own decisions and shape both your introspective and world views on the topic.
Those who are archaeologists themselves will find copious references to familiar concepts as well before being challenged to consider the underpinning frameworks and structures of the discipline alongside how these can and do shape the wider discipline. Those who have no experience with archaeology are offered pathways to explore the multivariate elements of the discipline in a progressive and easy to understand way.
The simple visual style and reliance on pure-text stresses the important role which the written and spoken word have in the transmission, recording and interpretation of the archaeological record.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:An academic exercise in archaeological interactive fiction , February 3, 2016
It is a medium-sized, puzzle less game that is meant to be a sort of academic essay. It was submitted as a dissertation, I believe, and parts of it read like one, but it is not completely dry, and manages to have some fun.
The authors seem unaware of the field of interactive fiction. They describe this as a proof-of-concept of "ergodic fiction", which is defined by the 1996 book Cybertext as fiction that requires human participation and choices to shape the experience. It is clear from the book's definition that almost all of interactive fiction is ergodic fiction, and in fact most interactive fiction is "cybertext", which is ergodic literature requiring calculation.
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