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The Quixotic Engineer

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Screwfly Solution

The Screwfly Solution

In keeping with my love of excellent short stories, particularly dystopian science fiction, I highly recommend Raccoona Sheldon's Nebula Award-winning The Screwfly Solution. The title is a reference to the sterile insect technique used to eliminate the Screwfly worm in the USA, Mexico and parts of Centreal America. The story is a shocking one, dealing with themes of sexuality, violence and femicide, and is told in a great disjointed style through a combination of several narratives, letters and newspaper articles.

Read the story first (seriously, do it!), then consider the following: wouldn't it be great to see a video game set in the middle of an end-of-the-world scenario (not after one)? One where you start out in the near future, in a big city living a normal life. You start to hear dangerous rumours, maybe a deadly manmade pandemic, a militant religious organization, or some other Margaret Atwood storyline. From there you could have branching paths: do you petition the government? create a militia? go into hiding out in the country? Perhaps there could even be an element of randomness, where sometimes the rumours really are just rumours and you end up a paranoid conspiracy theorist!

This idea would definitely need some polishing and refinement (and I may have drawn liberal amounts of inspiration from Indigo Prophecy), but properly executed I think it could be really interesting. Leave a comment if you have any ideas on how this game could be implemented (or just call me crazy! That works too).

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