Self-referentiality of Fallen London universe

When writing another post, I described the game as collecting snippets of stories. Snippets… This reminded me of a reflection I had immediately after started playing FL.

I wonder how many of you noticed this as well. Perhaps &quotduh, it’s obvious to everyone&quot. Perhaps not. I don’t know.

As an old-fashioned postmodernist, I really appreciate how self-referential FL is. It’s a game about collecting stories about a world where people collect stories. What is playing FL if not chasing after Intriguing Snippets and Cryptic Clues? Putting them together in your head to form Extraordinary Implications? All the Enigmas that remain untouched still? Having an Inkling about the Identity of a character they mention? Or perhaps enjoying the Nostalgia of Romantic Notions contained within? Or a different emotion altogether - a Tale of Terror! Such wide range of Qualities a story can have to build Dramatic Tension. And after all that, you’re left cherishing The Memories of a Tale that you have experienced.

And this is just scratching the surface of all those moments where the narrative seems to reference the very desires that drive you in this narrative-based game or people in general, historically, to create the tropes and structures and themes on which the stories within this game, and not just this game, are built upon. The world as a cultural Bazaar of narratives. The longing and yearning of the Heart.

It’s really front and center here. It was so striking (and refreshing, and innovative) to me to realise that a Whispered Hint is a currency. Even more striking in Sunless Sea, which is where I started my adventure in this world - the most coveted haul in what seems to be at first glance a trading game is not food or raw materials but a story. In fact even the material objects seem often to be story-generating or story-containing objects. The memories contained in Red Honey. The regrets in the needle of a Fluke.

…collecting stories about collecting stories…

edited by The Unzeen on 11/13/2020
edited by The Unzeen on 11/13/2020