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Conquer Faulkner

As the player of "Conquer Faulkner," you are trying to read your way through all of Faulkner's most famous works. This one person game starts with some of Faulkner's easier texts (short stories, in particular) and work your way up the levels until you reach the most difficult texts (Absalom, Absalom! or The Sound and the Fury would probably serve as the final two levels). For each novel there is a deadline for when you need to have the book read by, and if you do not complete the reading, you lose the game. You also lose the game if your reader completely loses focus and falls asleep (see the scale that measures how focused the reader is).

There are a number of ways to keep your reader focused while reading Faulkner. On the right-hand side of the screen there are items that you can give to your reader such as coffee, sugar, or food. However, the amount of each of these is limited and so you need to make sure you use them sparingly. If your reader has TOO much caffeine or sugar, there will actually be a negative effect and your reader will lack all focus.

Distractions will constantly be attacking your reader, such as "cliffhanger" text messages and words in the novel that you need to define. Text messages will need to be kept under control, and the correct answer for vocabulary words is the only way to keep your reader's focus up.

Unfortunately, it will take an insane amount of time to beat this game. You will need to spend lots of time at each book, especially with the final two. However, if you do manage to beat "Conquer Faulkner", you will win a high I.Q., a complete set of Faulkner's works, and a pat on the back from Willie Faulk himself (or at least the cartoon version).


"Conquer Faulkner" is trying to represent the difficulty that is associated with reading William Faulkner. The game is by no means meant to say that Faulkner novels are bad, but instead that they are incredibly tedious and time-consuming – they are some of the more difficult texts to read in the English language. This difficulty is shown via the lack of genuine character action in the game - your "person" is simply reading the text over and over again, with time passing slower and slower. Although the levels become harder because the texts are more difficult, there is never much of an increase in skill required for the new levels; it’s more of a need to remain focused for a longer period of time. The same interruptions occur and the same stimulations occur, which are meant to represent how dull the process can quickly become.

The distractions that challenge you while playing the game are authentic distractions that you would face when reading Faulkner; the complexity of his language often causes readers to lose focus and become unable to understand what is happening in the story. Text messages, phone calls, or passing friends are other distractions that can very easily let your mind wander away from Faulkner and eventually have an extremely difficult time returning to it.

Although beating “Conquer Faulkner” is possible, it would require lots of time and lots of completing the same process over and over again. It is presumed that after a certain amount of time, the player of the game would become bored of the tedious process and start to lose faith in the light at the end of the tunnel – an occurrence that happens regularly to people who are reading Faulkner. After playing this game, future readers of Faulkner should anticipate the experience to be tiresome but very much possible, with rewards given upon completion that cannot be obtained from any other experience. The feeling of, “I’ve read Faulkner, so I can read anything,” should resonate with players of the game who do go on to read his literature.



my housemate is in a Faulkner seminar. this game is SO TRUE. good luck!!

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