Final Essay Description

My final essay is going to be a Twine piece that takes heavy influence from Robert Coover’s “The Babysitter”. Coover’s piece has been the most fascinating work we have explored in class, and I want to use electronic literature to expand what he sought to achieve with “The Babysitter”. In order to do so, my piece is going to follow an average day for someone suffering from intrusive thoughts and maladaptive daydreaming.

Intrusive thoughts are common within people suffering from common mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, giving them involuntary thoughts that can become distressing, obsessive, upsetting, and more. Combined with maladaptive daydreaming, a much more intense form of daydreaming that often disrupts human interaction and connection with the real world, these thoughts can feel so real that the sufferer may have a hard time remembering what events actually happened and what was simply in their head.

I think this is a really fascinating topic to explore in this medium to both attempt to combat the stigmatization of mental illness and create a nonlinear storyline. Like many modern hypertext fiction writers, I am choosing to use Twine to produce my piece. Doing so will give me the visual advantages of the software to lay out my story as well as give the readers a simple platform to traverse the story. With little explanation of what the piece is about, I hope to confuse the readers much like “The Babysitter” does, but do so in a way that catches their attention and encourages them to look through the piece multiple times to understand its meaning.