“I think video games are closer to fiction than anything else these days.” – Haruki Murakami (2004)
Just a quick post – I’ll write more when I have had chance to use this in the classroom.
I discovered Proteus during the Christmas holiday while browsing through some lists of the best indie games of 2012. There is some debate over whether Proteus is actually a game. There’s no winning or losing and no obstacles to overcome – just amazing exploration and discovery. Either way, it’s certainly a joy to explore and it struck me that this would provide a fantastic stimulus for writing in the classroom.
With my recent use of Minecraft in the classroom I’ve intentionally avoided using the game as a prompt for writing, as the inherent value seems to be in the creation. With Proteus there is no creation, but there is a very intriguing setting, which seems to lend itself perfectly to creative writing – specifically, descriptive writing using the senses.
The game takes place across four shifting seasons. Things happen – although you can’t leave a mark on the world, your presence in the world does influence the surroundings. Animals appear and disappear – bees, frogs, crabs. Trees shudder and shed leaves. There’s mystery – strange standing-stones, lights doing unusual things, stars and sunsets. And the music and sound is amazingly immersive, ever-changing depending on the individual’s location. (With reference to the reactive soundtrack, one reviewer in PC Gamer described it brilliantly as “The best song I’ve ever played…”)
I’m really looking forward to introducing Proteus to my class – I’ll report back here when I have.