Lost Memories Dot Net

Lost Memories Dot Net

Lost Memories Dot Net is a game created by Nina Freeman and Aaron Freedman. The game is designed to emulate a blog created by a 14-year-old girl. Throughout the game, the player is instructed to interact with the main character’s friend and discuss various dramatic incidents such as love triangles. The game is accompanied by beats that transcend into magical sounds throughout the game. Although there are illustrated elements within the piece, the game is heavily occupied by dialogue that creates a narrative about teenage friendship. The game also enables the player to explore how the internet existed in 2004, with websites that are illustrated to fit this aesthetic.

Lost Memories Dot Net is set up like an Internet Explorer browser from the mid-2000s, replete with blinking tabs and messy user interfaces. The game cycles between browsing Nina and her friends’ personal blogs, although it doesn’t feel invasive; each one is as much as shrine to a favorite anime and games character as it is an archive of private thoughts.
— Allegra Frank, https://www.polygon.com/2017/7/10/15930836/lost-memories-dot-net-nina-freeman

Much like Freeman’s other games about womanhood, identity, and transition, this piece offers a up close and personal insight into the world of a teenager. For many, the developmental years of a teenager is often spent with the intense confusion of navigating through an isolated world which is your high school. The internet has provided a space for those who are experimenting with the notion of their true self or an alternative self.

 Image Courtesy of Artist Nina Freeman

Image Courtesy of Artist Nina Freeman

I’m not sure if I have an exact reason for choosing to make games... I just really enjoy making them! I am especially interested in experimenting with game design in order to create work that helps players embody other characters. I used to do a lot of theatre, and creating games that help players act almost like they’re in a play is a real motivator for me as a designer.
— Nina Freeman, Email Interview Questions

Unlike a standard traditional paper diary that you keep hidden under your bed, blogs have been an outlet for those who feel as tho they need a platform to communicate. Blogs are often started to be able to share, thoughts and ideas to a broader audience. When one is a teenager, the idea of “being heard” is a rare occurrence. Lost Memories Dot Net is a way to explore the notion of isolation as a teenager whilst being heavily involved with the drama that is happening internally among the universe of high school.  

Putting myself into these stories in a vulnerable way has definitely taken practice. I’m more and more comfortable with each project. I have learned to separate my present personal life from them, because it could be uncomfortable to feel like critics are talking about me when they talk about the game. Yes, they are talking about me, in a sense, but they are really talking about the character I created based on me. That distinction is important.
— Nina Freeman, https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/nov/16/nina-freeman-punk-poet-game-designer-cibele-interview
 Write here…

Write here…

Nina Freeman’s game Cibele, is a game about falling in love. Within the virtual world in role-playing games a player will meet another player online from various parts of the world. Sometimes those interactions can develop into romantic relationships and the relationship between the two players must be navigated through the real world. Within the game the two occupy a single space together, after the game is over they are apart again, sometimes on opposite sides of the country as in Cibele. Much like Lost Memories Dot Net, the characters within these pieces occupy very real experiences a person can feel within these spaces.

Both of the games you mentioned specifically were inspired by events in my personal life. They’re not exactly autobiographical though—mostly just drawing on real events, which I shaped into the story that you experience in the game. I’m really interested in ordinary life stories as a writer, so I often draw on those kinds of stories from my own life. I think my interest in this kind of storytelling comes from my background in poetry, and the poets of the 70s and 80s in America. Their work was often very personal and about real life, and I still feel very inspired by that writing.
— Nina Freeman, Email Interview Questions
 Image Courtesy of Artist, Anna  Anthropy

Image Courtesy of Artist, Anna Anthropy

Anna Anthropy’s, Emotica, is a zen inspired video game that evokes the idea of meditation through the organization of creating a garden from emojis. Much like Nina Freeman, Anna Anthropy is exploring the space of video games in order to question the ever changing cultures of our society. Emoji culture began with chat rooms in the early 2000s on the internet. These spaces of communication provided a way out for those looking to connect outside if their circle. Many teenagers flocked toward these spaces as a way to discover more about the contents of the internet.

For most of my adult life I had assumed that first of all there were no games being made by individual people, and specifically that there were no games being made by queer people for queer people. So finding out that that was something people could do and were doing was incredibly exciting. I suddenly saw a space for myself to do a thing that I’d wanted to since I was a kid. Someone can just make a game like they would make a poem or a sketch… A game that’s a sketch. That’s really powerful.” Are Anna and Merritt planning to collaborate, I ask? They burst into laughter. “We’re dating!” Anna says. “So I guess sort of…
— Anna Anthropy, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2013/apr/10/anna-anthropy-twine-revolution

Video games have historically been created for a specific audience by a specific audience, cis, white, heterosexual men. Independent games have provided artists a new medium in order to explore areas of life that have not historically been discussed by mainstream media.

I have shown games in gallery settings—Lost Memories Dot Net was made for the Manchester International Festival, and was shown there in an installation made by another artist. Otherwise, I often show at games festivals.
— Nina Freeman, Email Interview Questions
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