Booktype Library

 English |  Español |  Français |  Italiano |  Português |  Русский |  Shqip

ELO 2015: The End(s) of Electronic Literature

The End of the White Subway

Stuart Moulthrop (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)

Performances and Screenings, Festival Exhibition
Wednesday, August 5 • 20:00 - 23:00 (Egget)


"The End of the White Subway" is a strange little text-game that bears some resemblance to a text adventure or interactive fiction... more or less the way a toadstool resembles a geranium.

Is this a game? If being a game requires consequential decisions, controllable actions, differential outcomes, and quantification (score), then it's a game.
If your definition includes fun, well...

This project is really more like a time simulator -- though in some ways every game is that. It invites you to think about the passing of time (all those moments you'll never get back), the way things change even as they stay the same, what you think you are doing when you can't do much of anything, and how you know when it's time to leave the train.

What You Can Do

Ride the train from station to station: either click Continue or simply press any key while you are in Train mode. (You'll need to click once in the text window, or use the Continue link initially, in order to set focus.) Each station of your passage comprises a screenful of text. The text is always different, or perhaps always the same.

Look at things: The Earth is full of them. Examinable objects show in red when under the cursor. Click to inspect. Some objects are described in text, some with images.

Collect things: You may add objects to your Inventory after you inspect them. Clicking the Inventory link at left shows you what you have. You are only allowed to hold seven things. The system will automatically delete the oldest item if you exceed the limit.

Delete or Expend things: Every item in your inventory is preceded by an X. Click here to remove the item. Some items go quietly. Others perform certain actions before they disappear.

Read (or not) a story: Occasionally the view will change from Train mode to something more coherently narrative. Read (or not) and then follow the link to return. This story has a beginning and an end, and a beginning and no end.

Ask for help: Use the Help link at left. Ask for as much help as you can stand.

Exit: Use the Exit link whenever you feel you are ready. Leaving the train ends the game.

Technical Notes

The game is built entirely in Javascript and plain-vanilla HTML/CSS. This means it is stateless, so remember that leaving the page means wiping out your game.

Recommended browser is the current build of Firefox (Mozilla). The game will run in Safari with minor visual glitches. Internet Explorer doesn't recognize keystrokes to advance the game, but seems to handle all other aspects.

I haven't even started debugging this thing, so expect trouble.

There has been error in communication with Booktype server. Not sure right now where is the problem.

You should refresh this page.