Creative Task Option 1 – Creative Writing

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You can post your creative response – or link to it as a URL – on this blog by choosing “add new post”.

Now you have worked through the study activities and considered L A Noire as a text with genre conventions and a particular mode of narration, this activity requires you to create something new to show your textual understanding of L A Noire in a practical context.

The reason for our focus on genre is that this videogame is explicitly designed as a text that shares conventions with literature and film as well as other games. In the first section of Bradygames ‘Signature Series’ guide to L A Noire, the player is told “Our story opens with a voiceover narrator giving an overview of Los Angeles in 1947. It sets a classic noire tone”. This is an important detail because it shows us that an understanding of what is meant by ‘noire’ is required for the gameplay – to solve cases – rather than it just being a separate category for academics and reviewers. The instructions in this guide combine a practical ‘how to’ style with language that echoes the Noir conventions of the game, such as “Watch the bittersweet conclusion as Captain Donnelly appears with unexpected news about the shakeout. Although things don’t play out as Phelps or Galloway expected, ‘young Phelps’ receives a reward of sorts: a promotion out of Homicide to the LAPD’s glamour desk, Administrative Vice, based in Hollywood”.

Creative Task Option 1 – Creative Writing:

L.A Noire – the Collected Stories is a collection of short pieces of Noir literature based on the game. http://www.rockstargames.com/lanoire/features/stories/

Consider how these three extracts a) relate to the game, from your gameplay experience and b) demonstrate conventions of the Noir literary genre – as we focused on in the study guide.

Extract 1 -

The 101 took me out of downtown and up into the Valley, and then I followed a curving road up to Mulholland and proceeded to drive down my own little memory lane high above the city. Before I knew it, I was recharting the peculiar topography of Bonnie and Me. The old familiar places looked strange in the naked daylight. I pulled onto the overlook where we’d first kissed and was startled by the number of houses clinging to the side of the hill. I thought we had been utterly alone up there in the darkness, perched on the rim of the bowl that was Los Angeles, where no one could see us. Now it felt like the entire city had been watching. (from ‘Hell of an Affair’ by Duane Swierczynski).

Extract 2 -

All summer I kept hearing people say desperate. Actors are always eavesdropping on strangers, picking up phrases, gestures, stuff we can use. And wherever I went, whenever I listened in, I heard: desperate, desperate, desperate!

At the pharmacy, I heard a dame say “Hon, if my landlord evicts me, things are gonna get desperate.” A buddy of mine said, “if my girl in New York doesn’t call soon, man, I’m desperate.” I overheard a bum on Skid Row say “That jerk better pay me back, I don’t care how desperate he is.”

The funny thing was, this was 1947. Desperation was yesterday’s mashed potatoes. Happy days were here again. The Depression was over, we’d dropped the bomb, we’d won. Guys like me had defended our country, and girls appreciated that. I’d been in the battle of Okinawa. That was pretty much all I had to say and gals would feel like it was their personal mission to heal whatever was broken. (from ‘School for Murder’ by Francine Prose).

Extract 3 –

“Any idea who might have wanted her dead?”, Coats asked.

“She had slipped a little”, Ali said. “That’s all I know.”

“Slipped?”

“Guess it was my fault. I tried to help her, but I didn’t know how. I married Harris and I had money and I gave her a lot of it, but it didn’t help. It wasn’t money she needed, but what she needed I didn’t know how to give. The only thing I ever taught her was how to make the best of an opportunity.”

(from ‘Naked Angel’ by Joe R. Lansdale)

 

Access the collection and read any 3 of the stories. Also have a skim through the others, so you have an overview of what aspects of the game are covered by the stories.

Next, read some of the fan fiction available here – http://www.fanfiction.net/game/L_A_Noire/

Returning to the game, find a section, theme or element that is not represented in either the short story collection or the fan fiction and write your own short story, using Noir fiction conventions based on the game.

Upload the story to the project blog. If you choose the fan fiction option, you can upload your story to the fanfiction site and share the link on the project blog.

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