Colette is a work of interactive fiction that questions the role of the reader, and explores the unique ways in which agency, interpersonal relationships, and environmental conditioning can define a person’s identity. The reader is placed in the mind of the titular Colette as she tries to piece together the life she had before a tragic accident robbed her of her memory. The piece purposefully blurs the line between audience and character by giving the reader almost full control over Colette’s actions. By typing simple text commands into the interface, the reader can choose where Colette goes, what she explores, whom she interacts with, and what decisions she makes throughout her journey. The world and narrative of the story change depending on how the reader chooses to interact with the text, making each reader’s experience with the piece truly unique.
With Colette, I intended to explore and question the unique space between self and other that a person inhabits while he or she is assuming the role of another person. The work explores the joy of self-expression, the exhilaration of role-play, the crisis of self-dissociation, and consequences of assuming a false identity. This is not only true of the character in the narrative, but of the reader as well. Just as Colette must decide between being the person she feels she is, and being the person that she’s told she was before her amnesia, the reader must decide if he or she will assume the role of Colette, or merely use her as a conduit for his or her own self expression. As Colette discovers, and ultimately questions her identity throughout the narrative, it was my hope that the reader would simultaneously begin to question the role that his or her participation plays in the narrative as well.
Colette was submitted as my Senior Project at Bard College in Spring of 2014.
Made with Inform 7.
You'll need an IF player in order to open and read Colette. In particular you'll need a player that is compatible with your machine, and can open Glulx files. Some reputable players can be found here on the Inform 7 site. For Mac users, I've personally had the most luck with Zoom and Lectrote.
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