IFcomp 2016: Fallen Leaves

Still on my adventures without access to my playlist, I picked another game at random. “Fallen Leaves”, which professes to be more of a poetry generator.

I don’t get it.

Well, it looks like we’re making a poem. We choose a combination of verb and adverb, and then a sonnet appears; our choice of action occurs in the final couplet, and the rest of the sonnet … the rest of the sonnet makes no sense whatsoever. Are we supposed to hammer at this until it does make sense, or at least sufficient sense that we’re satisfied? If so, I can see no way to get there, aside from randomly guessing at combinations of verbs and adverbs.

It is only because I somehow stumbled on an error that I know there’s some sort of machinery going on in the background, and the formation of the main body of the poem is not randomly generated. But it IS obscure. Wilfully abstruse, maybe? At any rate, it feels as though my choices do nothing, and I am going nowhere: it feels as if each poem I generated says exactly the same thing, albeit with a different collection of unrelated words, in which case I might as well just stop at the first poem.

Someone told me once, that difference between a game and a toy is the presence of an objective. As such, “The Sims” is a toy, not a game; or so this person asserted. “Fallen Leaves”, if you accept that there might be fun in plugging in verb/adverb combinations to see what abstrusity pops out, is also a toy rather than a game. It certainly isn’t a story. And if it were breakfast, it would be a total surprise*. I think I taste cheese and maple syrup and mixed berries. I’m not sure how it’s put together. There’s also a small cup of jasmine tea, steaming.

*That’s from the following joke:

Jim: What are you having for lunch?
Bob: Oh, it’s a surprise.
Jim: How can it be a surprise? You live alone and make your own lunches.
Bob: I made it with my eyes shut.
(Bob opens his lunch box. Both men stare at the contents.)
Jim: How are you going to eat THAT?
Bob: With my eyes shut.

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