unpacking manuel’s tavern

Credit: http://www.cartographic.net/panos/MainNorthL.html

The famous Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta, Georgia is under renovation until the spring and the owners have set out to create way to virtually travel through the tavern. My English class at Emory University has taken on this assignment to help preserve the history of the artifacts on the walls at Manuel’s Tavern. I chose to research Liefmans, a Belgian brewery, and it’s extensive history.


“‘I’ve never heard of it.’  That is what my father, the man who I thought was a beer enthusiast, replied when I asked him what he knew about Liefmans beer.  My father’s unfamiliarity combined with the fact that Wikipedia only had a forty-eight-word entry, made me wonder how Manuel’s Tavern gained a sign of such a foreign brewery…”

Read More @ http://eng181.jordansmall.org/unpacking-manuels-tavern-liefmans-cuvee-brut/

Unpacking Manuel’s Tavern

Unpacking Manuel’s

dear esther

Credit: Flickr - Tom Watts
Credit: Flickr – Tom Watts

At the beginning of Dear Esther, the character is standing on a dock looking at a massive island with many different paths set out for me to follow. I got so frustrated that I restarted the game about three times because I thought I went the wrong way. I soon realized that there was no “goal” in this game which was very frustrating. I was also very frustrated that I couldn’t touch anything. After I accepted that I had no goal and pretty much no hands, I tried to enjoy the story and just explore the island and see everything it has to offer.

I ended up at the beach where I found a cave with phosphorescent paint on the walls…it was chemistry. Honestly I’m not sure what the story was because it was difficult for me to understand what the narrator was saying but I think Esther was his wife who died from some sort of accident. I’m not sure how chemistry was involved. The path’s with candles ended up leading me toward the red light and then my character jumped off the tall signal tower which I thought was strange, but then I think I turned into a bird or something because I just flew off into the night.

Dear Esther is a beautiful game. The detailed landscape felt so realistic with the wind blowing the plants and hearing my own character walking around. The best part was the cave which was just breathtaking, I wish I could see it in real life. Although I really didn’t like the game because there was no purpose, I enjoyed the setting very much. I was able to appreciate it more once I got past the fact that there was no goal or purpose but I was able to appreciate the intricate beauty of the game.

“gone home” reflection

gonehome_1280x800Credit: https://thefullbrightcompany.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/gonehome_1280x800.png

Gone Home sets the player to be the main character Katie who comes home from her trip to Europe to find an empty house. The setting is an eerie house late at night with a thunderstorm booming outside…classic horror movie. The first thing I found was a note from a girl named Sam telling me not to find her but that I would meet her someday which made me think Sam was in trouble or kidnapped. As I progressed through the rooms of the house, finding hidden keys and secret passages, I learned more about myself and my family members.

The game was very interactive, allowing lots of freedom but also keeping the character on the main path through the house. The items in the house seem scattered but selectively placed for the player to find at the right time. Various letters, books, notes, and diary readings reveal the dark secrets behind not only the family but also the history of the house. The 90s setting was very difficult for me to understand just because it wasn’t a time period that I was familiar with, however I appreciated how thorough and well-developed it was.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a story doesn’t have an official ending, which is what occurred in Gone Home. After exploring the massive house being scared that around every turn there would be a dead body or ghost or other monster, there was no resolution with the family story. It was very upsetting because I became attached to the story; I wanted to know where my parents were, if Sam was doing okay, etc. But overall, I enjoyed the game and the techniques it used to tell the story.

identity badge


Credit: Jordan Small

I chose this image because skiing has always been a huge part of my life. My family and I go on a ski trip every year, usually to Steamboat Spring, Colorado and it is the best vacation. I have come to appreciate these trips and the quality time I get to spend with my family because while we are there, we forget about the work and stress of every day life and focus on each other. I did not have any difficulties creating the badge.

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