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Shelley They Can't Be Serious: Elegy For A Dead World

Look upon, ye mighty

That Dejobaan, always making intense games of sensory-overload and destabilising weirdness. The last thing they'd over do is make something calm and reflective. Something inspired by the Romantic poets, for instance. Perhaps something that's about observing and note-taking. Something like Elegy For A Dead World.


Elegy For A Dead World, a side-scrolling game about keeping and sharing a diary which documents lost civilizations, is a collaboration between the Aaaaaaaaaa(etc) dev and Ziba Scott of Girls Like Robots. It seems, from afar, somewhat mysterious, and Dejobaan suggest it may be even more so in practice. "There's no game to play," bossman Ichiro Lambe told IndieGames. "You go through the world, observe, and make notes -- or stories -- or poems -- or songs -- in your journal. You then close your journal and send it back to Homeworld (Steam Workshop)."

In turn, you can browse and rate others' journals, and examine how close or distant they are from your own assessment of what happened to the lost people of the titular dead world. You take the role of "a speaker for lost worlds. You investigate 3 long-dead civilizations. You report on who they were, what they did, and how they died." Mostly, you'll be doing this sort of thing:

I understand a little, but not a lot. I imagine it'll be more an experiential thing, and thus a red rag to all those 'not a game' plonkers, but the stated inspirations of the Shelley, Bryon & Keats, XKCD's lovely Time and Lambe's childhood experiments in scenery-browsing games has me paying attention. Not that I have the words to describe it, of course. They should have sent a poet.

Elegy's been submitted to this year's IGF, so we should be seeing more of it rather soon.

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Elegy for a Dead World

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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about video games.