“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Queen Mab Videogame

Shelley's poem with notes, Queen Mab, will be 200 years old in 2013. With another Shelley scholar I'm designing an online videogame “edition” of the text. This will include facsimiles of the first edition, and the various pirate copies.

Despite being “kicked upstairs” by Matthew Arnold as “an ineffectual angel,” Shelley and in particular Queen Mab was very popular with Chartists, socialists, Marxists and anarchists throughout the nineteenth century.

My colleague—Alan Weinberg—and I both think that the book is still current. In other words we don't want to make something that is purely a reproduction of the past. We want something that will give people some kind of grip on its strangeness and its relevancy.

Among other things, Queen Mab contains Spinozan cosmological arguments (note 1 is about the speed of light); arguments for vegetarianism; proto-socialist and pro-feminist arguments; a major statement on atheism; and more and more. It's very speculative really.

But it was disguised as a children's book (hence the title). I thought it would be interesting to make it as a videogame.

If you have any ideas on how to proceed or you'd like to join us on this venture just write me. I know Domnic Fox (of Cold World fame) is into Shelley. I had  very nice chat with Ian Bogost about it yesterday.

1 comment:

allwhitelegos said...

This sounds absolutely brilliant! Just the sort of thing I'd love to work on. But, first things first I must read the poem!