Posted in Electronic Literature

Icarus Needs and The Hero’s Journey

I would first like to point to the appreciation of the simplest navigation that is this game. This genre of literature for this Hypercomics, where the road goes through a narration of webcomics that solely relies on the reader’s navigation. This game took me approximately 27 minutes to finish. After 10 minutes of playing around with moving Icarus, I started to understand the navigation and goal of the game. The up, down, left, and right arrows act as the controls to move Icarus. The piece is set as a narration quest to find Icar’s love Kit. The navigation is pretty simple after playing around with it. 

Outside of the interface of navigation, I would like to go into further depth of discussing the content of the piece. Interestingly enough, while I was experiencing Icarus’ tale, I could not help thinking of The Hero’s Journey. I learned about The Hero’s Journey as an undergrad student, but I was reintroduced back to it just recently by one of the college students I tutor I work with. Since Icarus is on a journey/adventure to find his love, I thought it would be cool to break this piece down within the steps of The Hero’s Journey!

Breaking It Down

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. In the beginning you set up your hero (or heroine) and his story, then you throw something at him that is a great source of conflict and takes him into a whole heap of trouble. After facing many foes and overcoming various obstacles the hero saves the day and wins the girl.

If only writing a movie was that easy…

Below you can find the 12 steps that make up the Hero’s Journey.

The Ordinary World 

We are first introduced to Icarus as his awakening from the floor of the house is on. He wakes up and realizes that he fell asleep playing the game again. From this, we know the Ordinary World for Icarus is house, and the coach (he fell asleep on).

The Call of Adventure

From playing the game, I realize that Call of adventure seemed more apprean than The Ordinary World (since we first introduced our protagonist on the floor). But nethertheless, The Call of Adventure for Icarus is when he realizes he must find his girlfriend, Kit. 

Refusal of the Call 

I would not necessarily say Icarus refused the call to the adventure (I believe he wanted to find Kit very badly!). I would say he was more so surprised where he ended up and that he had to save Kit.

Meeting the Mentor 

Does the little narration voice guiding Icarus count as a mentor? In my perspective, the narration voice asks as a guide for Icarus (in player mood, the voice kind of gives subtle directions on what to do next.). I found the voice very useful!

Crossing the First Threshold 

Icarus is navigated through a common household, outside, under water, in a blimp … I think the threshold was crossed numerous times.

Tests, Allies, Enemies 

I think this attribution of The Hero’s Journey is what made this piece so engaging. Icarus is put against many obstacles and foes, and it’s our job as the readers to help Icarus! The special literary part of this piece is the literature is found through conversation with the: narrating voice, enemies who after Icarus, items that must be achieved, and the search to find Kit. Who said video games can’t teach reading?

Approach to the Inmost Cave 

This portion of The Hero’s Journey is displayed when we are being chased towards the cliff by the angry mob (he stole the mud ball). This where he finally finds Kit.

The Ordeal 

I would say the biggest ordeal at this point in Icarus is when he is falling out of a hot air balloon.

Reward 

Icarus’ end reward was finding Kit (even though it seems as if she is saving him in the end).

The Road Back/Resurrection 

There was not too much of these two portion of the journey that was evident in Icarus.

Return with the Elixir

Icarus finally awakes from his dream and learns… to never sleep while playing the game!

Overall Experience

I enjoyed the entire experience of this piece! I would arguably say that this is my favorite one!

Author:

Educator|Mentor|Artist|Aspiring Traveler|Student "Make a difference about something other than yourself." - Toni Morrison "Be the person you needed growing up."

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