New Video Game That Is Inspired by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson wrote close to a whopping 1800 poems during her lifetime. But sadly, she could only publish ten of them. Now, 136 years after her death, Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets in America, her work is very much alive in pop culture, song lyrics, band names, television series titles, and the list goes on and on. And there’s an interesting latest addition to the line of Dickinson-inspired modern creations. Are you ready for the EmilyBlaster?

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EmilyBlaster is a 1980s-style free video game that is based on the work of Emily Dickinson. A poem appears on screen before starting each gameplay, and the players have to shoot down the words from the sky. The game cycles between Dickinson’s poems like “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain,” “Because I Could not Stop for Death,” “That Love is All There is,” among many others. The goal of the game is to shoot the words in the correct order to create the selected poem.

EmilyBlaster is inspired by a fictional game from the upcoming novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. The book tells the story of two childhood friends who create video games together after reconnecting in later life. Sadie, one of the friends, creates the EmilyBlaster, based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. According to the author, the memorable phrasings and compact verse of Dickinson make for perfect targets to shoot!

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Much like the novel, in EmilyBlaster, poetic fragments fall from the top and track along the bottom of the screen. During the gaming process, the player has to shoot the poem fragments with an ink-shooting quill, to assemble one of the poems by Emily Dickinson. If successful in the game, the fictional player earns and collects points to decorate a room in Dickinson’s Amherst house.