The Game of Life

By: Chelsea Irizarry

Some background: The Game of Life is based of the game Passage. Similarly to Passage, The Game of Life is a memento mori playable fiction game. I believe The Game of Life builds on interactive fiction and electronic literature as a whole due to its endless possible interpretations as well as its plentiful use of metaphors and references. The Game of Life was created as my final project for Electronic Literature course in 2017 during my undergraduate study at the University of Mary Washington. Passage can be controlled using both the arrow keys and the buttons on the screen.

I originally create The Game of Life as project for a different course and then decided it was a better fit for this Electronic Literature course. My original final project for Electronic Literature was a critical study on the game Limbo, although, I quickly realized I enjoy coding rather than writing essays. When I began the project in Applied Digital Studies, I had do idea how to create a online game. I originally began the process by taking the JQuery and Javascript course on Code Academy and looking through sample code. After realizing I would not have enough time to code a game from scratch. I found a online code for a game similar to flappy bird that I could work with. From here I had to determine what each line of code did and I edited as needed.


As you play The Game of Life, the screen displays the different stages of a modern day person's life (Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Young Adult, Adulthood, Late Adulthood, and Death). Similarly to Passage the game has a time cap at 3.5 minutes, although can be shorter depending on your life choices. You will notice the year starts at 200000 and quickly increases in time, this is an important feature to the idea of the game. The year begins at 200000 because that is the estimated time for human existence on Earth, time continues before and after each individual's life. Time is the only true unit of measurement for a person's life. This being said you may navigate and experience life however you please just remember death always comes whether you decide to speed through life or reminisce your entire life.

Throughout life, everyone encounter some type of obstacle resulting in a course of action. The obstacles people encounter usually differ with age. Infants are completely reliant on their parents and usually encounter few tasks that are less difficult than later in life. Infants are solely required to focus their energy on waking up and learning to move their bodies. As a child you are presented with more tasks such as learning to make friends, how to read and write. During young adulthood and adulthood the person tend to be the most active and busy trying to become self-reliant and determine how to survive. During late adulthood you try to live life to the fullest and try to beat death, but death always comes. Due to this note, I decided to create each obstacle symbolic by the image, height, and reoccurrence to the tasks and difficulties of each stage of life In The Game of Life you may let it stop you in your tracks, you may retreat, or you may just get over the hurdle and continue on with life.

Lasty, I would like to state The Game of Life was a pleasure to work on and I hope it is just as enjoyable to play!