Library Of Blabber: Procedural Books, Infinite Library

I like visiting libraries and bookshops in countries where I don’t speak the language, as a kind of tourism of stories I will never read, experiences I will never have, knowledge I will never accrue. That’s what Library of Blabber [Itch page] feels like. It’s a procedural library full of procedural books you can pick up, flip through the pages of, but never read.

Created for this month’s Procedural Generation Jam, Blabber has infinite corridors stretching off in all directions for you to wander through. Stop in one of its rooms and you’ll find bookshelves full of books with nonsense titles. Pick them up and you’ll find that they’re 70-100 pages of nonsense long. From the game’s Itch page:

“Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ story The Library of Babel, and Jonathan Basile’s libraryofbabel.info project, this ‘little’ game is focused on exploration and the fun of meaningful discoveries in the noise of random data. Although it does not posses the mathematical correctness and ‘purity’ of the original story, it still does contain enough pages of nonsense worthy of several hundred lifetimes…”

“The fun of meaningful discoveries” is the key, You won’t find a readable book anywhere in the library. In my time browsing through dozens of generated novels, I didn’t find a readable sentence. Instead it was about hunting for individual words, or maybe the occasional string. I found a book called “Hi Hi Wit” and another called “No”. I flipped through the pages till a few words caught my eye; “the hates”, “had youth not”.

The greater randomness means that it’s never as sublime as Secret Habitat, which procedurally generates art with distinct styles and places them within procedural art galleries. But it’s worth your time.

Thanks, Free Game Planet.

From this site

12 Comments

  1. Napalm Sushi says:

    I discovered The Library Of Babel for the first time this year and was instantly fascinated by its sprawling, maddening cosmology. It’s a perfect illustration of why information is only as useful as the methods used to filter it.

    • Jorum says:

      It’s a wonderful idea. The Library of Babel contains scattered within in the complete and true account and understanding of everything and everyone, it tantalizes with the lure of supreme knowledge but is actually completely useless.

  2. Jorum says:

    I created a Borges Library of Babel book-generator in excel once (of all things).
    Glad to see someone making something more immersive than excel :)

    BTW you can read Library of Babel here and you should as it’s very interesting philosophical concept. link to hyperdiscordia.crywalt.com

  3. Damn You Socrates says:

    There is a project to accurately model the Library as described in the story at link to libraryofbabel.info. Sometime next year the project hopes to have the entire library of 10^4677 books (there are about 10^80 atoms in the observable universe) contained in a file a few MB in size.

  4. TheAngriestHobo says:

    The book of rap is small and lo-res
    No one can read the damn thing
    It’s full of crap like words (no pictures)
    And constructions of programming.

  5. melancholicthug says:

    As soon as I read the title I knew it was about Borges. Everyone should read his works, it’s beyond great.

  6. inwrd says:

    I ended always walk to left side. Some sort of glitch, i think. Indieee gaaames…

  7. Andoni says:

    As a big Jorge Luis Borges enthusiast, I expected the library would’ve been something a bit more along the lines of what’s described on ‘La biblioteca de Babel’. Still, great job.

  8. drygear says:

    “It’s a procedural library full of procedural books you can pick up, flip through the pages of, but never read.”
    Oh, so it’s like that one episode of the Twilight Zone.

  9. Devan says:

    Hmm, I hadn’t heard of the Library of Babel before, but this indie game reminds me of Subreddit Simulator.
    link to reddit.com

    How awesome would it be if the contents of these books were generated on-the-fly using markov chains like that?