Pry Open Diverse Storytelling and a Beautiful Cinematic Experience

Image result for pry tender claws
A screenshot of Pry by Tender Claws where the reader must trace braille characters to make the story progress similarly to a blind person reading.

Farinsky Blog 10: Cinema Writing

Pry is an incredibly engaging work about a young man returning stateside after serving in the Gulf War. The prologue immediately pulls the reader’s curiosity through it’s setting, and powerful cinematography. Pry’s visuals do not feel like video game cut scenes, the user gets an impression that this novella purposely created a movie to embed throughout each chapter. The quality of production is high and contributes to the feeling the user is “playing a movie” instead of “playing a game”.

My personal favorite part was the braille chapter. I thoroughly appreciated the mechanics of using fingers on the touch screen of an iPad in the same way blind individuals use raised braille characters and fingers to trace each line. I immediately felt like I was learning to read- mirroring the narrative where the main character’s mother is teaching her son to read the braille characters.

The video playing on screen (similar to the image above) behind the braille characters and one’s finger is often the same quality/style of a home-movie or “found footage” which makes the scene incredibly intimate. During my experience I found having part of my hand covering the screen unobtrusive compared to other sections “prying” open the main character’s eyes.¬†Perhaps this is due to my lack of familiarity with iPads since I have never owned one personally, and I was borrowing from WSUV’s collection to view this work. However I specifically recall several moments during the second chapter where I was trying to get a grasp of maneuvering the environment and felt I missed pieces of plot because my hand was covering part of the screen that had a small yet critical detail.

Pry is an impressive work that really captures a perfect synchronous environment of iPad and E-Lit. My only complaint for the beginning half is the gem system which makes little sense to me in context of narrative or function- but is driving my completionist tenancies absolutely bananas.