Mantrap: Playing BILLY BUDD

An experiment in "doing things with novels" using Ivanhoe in Hunter College's ENGL 399 course



I’ve been thinking about how to make the research involved in playing this game more collaborative. We’re so accustomed, in the humanities, to working alone when we write research papers, but in this instance, such an approach seems silly, since we have three Melvilles, three Budds, and so on. So I propose the following as a general guide:

  • ACQUIRING: if you find something useful, scan it and/or copy out relevant passages
    • to scan, either use the book scanners on the 4th floor of the library or use a cellphone scanner like Scannable
    • if you use the library’s scanner, put the file on my jump drive, which I’ll bring to the library sessions: I’ll deposit scans in a Google Drive folder we can all access
    • if you use Scannable or similar, email files to me, and I’ll put them in the drive
    • if you have good notes on a source, paste them into one of three Google Docs I’ve set up in this folder in the Drive
      • one for research on characters
      • one for research on Melville
      • one for research on editors/publishers/critics/transformers
    • If you have suggestions about features you’d like in the game or anything regarding the Ivanhoe interface itself, fire up and make a comment, using the allred399 tag + an ivanhoe tag. I’ll pass the feed of these comments to the developers, which I’m sure they will appreciate!

And if you have suggestions for improving or extending this collaborative research, chime in. We’re making this up as we go, all of us!