Interactive Fiction: Blindness – Borders

December 20th, 2008 by Susan

Everyone who has played with IF is aware of learning boundaries and that this element when met ("You can't go that way") helps to define the storyworld.

In Jose Saramago's novel, Blindness, the first victims of the epidemic are locked away in an empty mental institution and Saramgo draws out the map of the building, borders being extremely important in keeping the inmates behind gates, away from the outside world. At the onset, even the building is divided into two main areas separated by a hallway where the afflicted, and those who were in contact with them are kept apart until there are too many people, almost all blind. The intricacy of the hallways and the three wards on each wing of the building become a maze to be traversed by the blind in order to get food or to the main entrance.

When there is an uprising against the one ward and it is set on fire, all the inmates must find their way to safety, and safety means the same as what freedom had meant prior: outside the building,

But the "game" is not won. For the blind, the world outside of the building is unchartered, unknown. The very fact that it is an open expanse whereby all directions lead somewhere, where there is no wall to guide one's way, is perhaps their greatest loss of all. Since most were blind (or unaware of a need to know) on the trip to the facility, they have no clue how to leave it and return to their homes, It would be very interesting to see how one would deal with this in IF.

"A road runs parallel to the front of the building. To the north there is a town about a mile away; to the south, the open universe.

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