Hamlet Text Adventure

A couple of weeks ago I spent a thoroughly entertaining morning on the internet collaboratively solving the Hamlet Text Adventure with Mr Losowsky. It’s really rather good, filled with plenty of good literary in-jokes and engaging retro gameplay. This has to be one of the first computing things that really demands/takes advantage of the fact that I’ve spent most of the last 15 years or so studying the Humanities and thus I’m enormously happy with it. If you’re finding any of the puzzles too hard note that the thing is written in javascript and adroit manipulation of the ‘view source’ command in your local browser will allow you to see the answers. Does take the fun out of it a little though.

Hamlet-the-play is interesting in and of itself though. When I was studying it for A level I felt that nothing in the world could be worse. Then of course I had to study Waiting For Godot and new layers of unhappiness were uncovered. Actually the only Shakespeare I liked at School was Tweflth Night, which was lucky as we studied it twice, careful readers will note a barely concealed affinity to Sir Andrew Aguecheek in my enfeebled prose. Yet I have found that this grounding in Shakespeare, alas not in the correct spellnig of his name, has stayed with me and that the older I get the more resonant and powerful it seems. Much as it pains me to say this my teachers may have been right in forcing me to do things i didn’t like ‘for my own good’ and I bitterley regret spending more time perfecting the ability to raise a single (left) eyebrow than memorising quotes.

I regret may things of course, in all probability too many. If there is an opposite to ‘je ne regrette rien’ it’s me. I constantly replay situations and conversations in my head, often from many years ago, in which I said or did things I consider to be stupid. This Malcom Gladwell article on The Art Of Failure has a particular insight into this form of thinking too much, choking as it is called in sports. Yet, all the same I seem to be able to wake up every day and walk forwards, striding confidently onto the train in my armour of little white earphones trying not to dance at the unsupressable joy of being able to breathe and listen and enjoy and write badly. I’ll rearrange these thoughts, spellcheck etc. later but I need to dash out and get my interview suit drycleaned. Another one on Thursday, who knows? Soon I might have a job.