A coupleÂ of years back I wrote an essay on games that create a story as part of the gameplay, which was published as part ofÂ theÂ excellentÂ collection Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (ed. Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, MIT Press, 2007) which I have huckstered here before. The contents of the book are slowly migrating online (didnâ€™t like the weather in the real world is my guess) and my piece has just gone live. You can read it here.
Iâ€™ll warn you now that much of it was written in a small hotel on Skye that turned out to be run by a man who had taught me history some twenty years earlier, sitting in the lounge after a tour of the Tallisker whisky distillery earlier in the day, in a tearing hurry to (a) meet the deadline and (b) to find somewhere with internet access that would let me plug a USB stick into their machine. It turns out the Scots arenâ€™t big on giving foreigners access to their ports, not since they learned their lesson in 1072.
Nevertheless I think the piece holds up, and raises some interesting points about a neglected area of game design. I believe thereâ€™s a way to make comments on the MIT site though I couldnâ€™t find it; have a poke around and if you canâ€™t locate it then do come back here and weâ€™ll chat in the comments.
Do you ever have that thing where you can remember a snippet of a lyric but you have no idea what the rest of the words are, or what the song was? I do too, but with me it’s folktales.
If you can identify the folktales these two incidents come from, I would be profoundly grateful if you could let me know. I’m guessing it’s 25 years since I read either of them, my google-fu is weak, I have frankly too many books of this stuff to go looking, and AskMetafilter is too cool to be asked this kind of nonsense.
1. Female devil or imp is sent to tempt man (or possibly gets stranded in the world and meets a man). They fall in love and she agrees to marry him. On entering the church for the first time her tail falls off and she has to kick it out of sight. Northern European, I think. It may not be an actual folktale but a piece of fiction written in a folkloric style. Can’t remember any more than that, though I continue to reference it whenever I mention non-religious people going into a church, to the general confusion of anyone who hears me.
2. Man and woman stuff. One of them (I think it’s him, and he may be a king) has had a candle made with a wedding-ring hidden in the wax. As the candle burns, the ring falls out at an important moment. Again, I can’t remember any more than that, but I think this tale is better known than the one before.
Any common theme you detect between these two stories is entirely coincidental.