By Jon Bois
I ran across this tweet this morning, and sort of grudgingly clicked through, expecting to be disappointed, or at the most mildly amused. Guys, I concur with entirely: this is the single most creative use of the internet as a storytelling medium I’ve seen so far!
I love me some web comics, and artists are doing some very interesting things with animation and layout online, but this is next level. This isn’t going to sound like a compliment, but I mean it as one – it reminded me a bit of Infinite Jest, mostly in the sheer scope of characters and the futuristic world (17776 is the year), but also in riffing on sports (football here, instead of tennis).
Infinite Jest was unbelievably innovative for a printed book, of course, but with the internet, Bois (and several editors, designers and a developer) is able to use video and sound to create something really unique! (For what it is worth, I do not enjoy or understand football at all, and I still really enjoyed this, so don’t let that stand in your way.)
Oh man, this is really good and I can’t believe I didn’t run across it when it first came out! Although I would definitely say that while they call the game “football”, what they actually mean is “calvinball” 😀
However, I’m actually going to argue that it’s not “the single most creative use of the internet as a storytelling medium”, but it is the most creative use that is also readily accessible to the general public. Which is important.
Because it actually reminds me a lot, in form and function (not in plot), like a simplified version of Homestuck: https://www.homestuck.com/story. But Homestuck is massive and complicated and I never really managed to get past the opening bits to get to the good stuff, while with 17,776 I had to consciously slow down and still got through the whole thing in three days.
Thanks for finding 17,776 and telling me about it because: wow! it’s so good!
I literally clicked on this in a whatever, I guess I should see what Anna is on about. And it was so good! Even seeing your review, it was better and more interesting and involved more . . . pathos than I was expecting.