USE OF GHOSTS
21. Each chapter is further governed by certain guiding principles, different
for every chapter. These are generated by reference to various iconic
22. These 'ghosts' are symbolic of 25 different people or objects. In
most cases these icons are representative of real people, for instance
Andy Warhol or Barbara Cartland. They may also represent imaginary or
fictional characters, for instance Count Dracula, or groups of people,
for instance the Spice Girls. Certain material objects or concepts could
also be used, for instance the National Enquirer (a newspaper).
23. These 25 ghosts are chosen by the mutual agreement of both writers
at the beginning of the process.
24. To start the game, Player B choses three ghosts from the list. Player
A then chooses one of these three as the initial ghost. This is used to
generate the first chapter of the work.
25. Player A replaces the chosen ghost with a new one. The writer also
replaces one of the other two remaining ghosts with a new one. This list
of three ghosts (two new ones, plus one remaining from the initial three)
is then transmitted, along with the new chapter, to Player B.
26. The game precedes, with each writer always having three ghosts to
choose from, until the final chapters, when less ghosts will be available.
27. Whenever an ghost is used, it is removed from the overall list of
25. In this way, as the work progresses, the number of ghosts falls correspondingly,
until, finally, with the writing of the twenty-fifth chapter, all the
ghosts are used up.
28. Each individual ghost generates certain creative values or procedures,
which the writer uses to produce the corresponding chapter. These values
may be based upon either the style or the substance of the person or concept
represented. For instance, a Batman ghost could lead to a text based on
the visual impact of a comic book's pages; or to the use of bizarre sound
effects; or to a narrative based on revenge taken for the murder of a
character's parents; or to a text that has a secret identity, and so on.
There are many possibilities, from the merest lateral glance, to the ghostly
figure actually turning up as a character in the piece. Pure pastiche
may also be suitable for a number of chapters, but on the whole, the writers
should attempt to avoid such obvious analogies, seeking instead to uncover
more interesting relationships between the ghost and the generated text.
29. In addition to the 25 ghosts, each player chooses one extra, to act
as a joker or cheat-mode ghost. This joker may be played instead of one
of the three ghosts offered to the player. The writer then chooses which
of the three offered ghosts the joker replaces, and this ghost is removed
from the game. In this way, at all times there are exactly 25 ghosts,
one for each chapter.
30. Joker ghosts can be used once only, and must be played before the
last row of the grid is reached. For instance, in the 7x7 game, the joker
must be played before chapter 42. In the 5x5 game, jokers are to be played
before chapter 20. In the 3x3 game, only one joker is available, to be
used before chapter 6 is reached. In this shorter game, the joker belongs
to the player who first decides to use it.
31. Use of the jokers is entirely at the player's discretion; they do
not have to be played.
©2002 Jeff Noon
& Steve Beard
Surface Impression Ltd
Mappalujo is supported by South East Arts, Codex
Books & Surface