Be a Fictional Character!

I just saw Stranger than Fiction, which is a totally squeal-worthy movie. And it gave me a great idea for a game.

Here’s the invitation: Join me in creating a fictional character in a real-time story of our collective design. Let us, in the words of Speed Levich, be “the authors of ourselves, co-authoring a gigantic Dostoevsky novel, starring clowns.” You create your character: no magical powers or endless wealth, but you can have a checkered background, vocational skills, and social connections. You can even be yourself. I will manage the world, ensuring that you all have dilemmas to juggle and that your actions effect the other characters, and I will publish a public narrative. At least one of you will die. At least one of you will reap good fortune at another’s expense. At least one of your plots will break the third wall. How do you join? Reply to the post and I’ll give you instructions.

And you should all see Stranger than Fiction. The central idea is sublime and the movie’s explorations of that idea’s textures are more than enough to make the sappy romance plot palpable. Ultimately, I think the movie’s reach exceeded its grasp (I can’t say how without spoiling), but not before leaving me panting and sated. And only yesterday I had long discussion on the self-referencial nature of post-modernism and the effect of existentialism’s maxim that “the meaning of life is the living of it” on contemporary society. Uncanny.

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