How do you revive a 150-year-old literary classic in the digital age? (Forget the fact that it's a shame you should have to.) You present it in a way that the wouldn't-be readers of this generation can relate to, the biggest thing on the Internet right now, Facebook games.
Game designer David Fox has made brilliant use of Moby Dick author Herman Melville's surname, and transformed arguably his greatest work into a Facebook game of sorts. Scratch that.
It's not really a Facebook game. MelVille simply applies common Facebook game tropes like energy, experience points and levels to the actual novel of Moby Dick in its entirety. Players, or rather readers, spend one energy for each page turned, and it refills at a rate of one energy per minute. (In true Facebook game fashion, you could always pay up in Facebook Credits, if you just can't wait to turn the page.)
Each page turned also grants readers with one experience point, signified by a familiar star that bounces across the pages as you turn them. Player--ahem--readers then can share their progress with their friends. While there isn't anything glaringly wrong with Facebook games to begin with, this is perhaps one of the most justifiable excuses for wasting time playing them.
Giving "Sorry, I had to harvest my strawberries" as the reason you were late for your date probably wouldn't have nearly the same oomph as "Sorry, I got lost in Moby Dick. Wonderful read, isn't it?" Congratulations, Mr. Fox--you just released the most profound Facebook game to date.
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play read MelVille on Facebook Now >
Have you ever read Moby Dick sans Facebook game? While this is clearly a clever form of satire, would you ever read the book the whole way through on Facebook? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.