Gilbert Lowe overcomes his childhood frustrations of text adventure games, and takes Northern Powerhouse for a spin with his teenage daughter.
I was a 12 year old ignoramus in 1983, the year I first got my hands on a Commodore 64, the Zork series was in full swing and soon after, Hitchhiker’s was released. The Tri-Lambs and Omega Mus amongst my classmates were obsessed. But did I indulge? Not a chance. Those “games” were too much like homework for me. Borrrrrrring, why would I want to spend hours or even days pondering over whether or not to open doors, envelopes and even more doors when I could be mastering The Way of the Exploding Fist? ‘Text Adventure Game’: a contradiction in terms if ever there was one, as far as I was concerned.
Now it’s thirty three – or should that be eighty two – years later and my hand-eye coordination has predictably rendered my fighting days a distant memory. So when I was presented with the opportunity to open those doors and envelopes and even more doors all these years later my reply was, unsurprisingly, a less than enthusiastic “Erm, sure, ok, I suppose so. Can’t wait, I guess”. And who better to drag along for the ride with me than my hyper-critical eighteen year old daughter – to call her reluctant would be an understatement. One tough crowd to please indeed. Continue reading Gilbert plays NP:LTS
As an already established fan of anything that revolves around dystopia and futuristic fiction, I was excited by the concept even before I had a chance to start playing the game. Speculative fiction is interesting to me not only because it allows for us to indulge in thought experiments of future world settings, but it also gives us a chance to reflect on the world we live in. Often these are vast, complex ideas that can be difficult to explore and understand. However, when playing Last Towns Standing, the enthusiasm of the participants is clear, and it pleases me to see that they clearly thought deeply about their vision of The North in 2065.
Northern Powerhouse 2065 is in Hull, the most high tech and advanced city left standing. To be fair, Wigan had to deal with a nuclear fallout and Burnley is controlled by robots, so even without the bioengineered pets and chip implants it’s still a nice place to live – comparatively. After all, you can work for FutureGen (just don’t ask about the lab under the Humber) or go to school at the Education Centre.
The Northern Powerhouse 2065 exhibition comes to Wigan! Ground Zero after the nuclear incident in 2035, it’s a harsh environment but one makes do with the old tech lying around. Teletext anyone? To celebrate were some of the Young People who wrote the game and a drop-in Bots vs Bods workshop with Radamés & Hwa Young on the 12th March.
You find yourself in Burnley Library, looking at an exhibition case of old games. You daydream in the cool corridors of the basement… the gentle whirr of microfiche machines in the background take you to another place… Continue reading Type your own Adventure
We are pleased to announce the launch of Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing – an online text adventure game made by Re-Dock, with young individuals from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull. This online game is created by young people, where they imagine what life might be like 50 years in the future in their respective community.
Hello and welcome to 2016! It’s been over a year since Text Adventure Time started and I’m happy to report the finish line is almost within reach.
After 5 workshops with 8 artists working with over 30 young people across three cities – we’re just about ready to unleash Northern Powerhouse : Last Towns Standing to the world. It’s taken awhile to come up with a good title but we’re all pretty pleased. Below is a sneak peak…
The year is 2065. Humans, robots and cyborgs inhabit the world, and it’s still difficult to cross the Pennines. Wigan is a harsh place to live (after a nuclear explosion in the year 2035) with dead zones where technology doesn’t work, Burnley is over run with robots, with an enslaved population of artificially created humans, but Hull is a pretty nice place to live as long as you work in the two main industries of advanced robotics or bioengineering.
Saturday 7 November saw the second summit for Networked Narrative take place, and with it the conclusion of the Text Adventure Time project, an online game that young people from Wigan, Burnley, and Hull have been working on since April. Ilona Walker reports back
The project, led by Debbie Chan from FACT and artists from Re-Dock, aims to interest young people in art who are from areas that usually have a lower level of engagement. The project will result in a game, which will be launched online in January 2016, alongside a collection of ‘artefakes’ – objects from the dystopian world created during the project – which will be shown in a touring exhibition in the new year in Wigan, Burnely and Hull.