“Galatea Text Game” by Paweł Machnik

The video game titled Galatea was created by the British author Emily Short. To further illustrate her creative process, we can say that the game was indeed written because it is a text game without graphic effects. When it comes to using the reception of the ancient tradition, the author refers to the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea.

The game is aimed at young adults & adults and it may contain content inappropriate for children.

“Galatea” cover [source]
The opening screen of the game [source]

The action of the game begins during the opening of an AI (Artificial Intelligence) exhibition. The player notices Galatea who is placed on a pedestal with an information plaque. She is illuminated by spotlights and wears an emerald dress.[1] The player’s task will be to talk to her:

A conversation with a work of art. “47. Galatea. White Thasos marble. Non-commissioned work by the late Pygmalion of Cyprus. (The artist has since committed suicide.) Originally not an animate. The waking of this piece from its natural state remains unexplained.” [source]

At a certain point, when the player is about to leave, Galatea says, “They told me you would come”. From now the development of the story can take various scenarios that will depend on the player’s decisions expressed via words and actions.[2] The author of the game created 70 different endings and there are hundreds of ways to achieve these endings.

Emily Short at “Digital Cultures ” 2018 talking about “Galatea” and her other creations

Galatea has been awarded numerous awards:

  1. Best of Show, Portrait – 2000 IF Art Show
  2. Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best NPCs; Winner, Best Individual NPC –2000 XYZZY Awards
  3. 16th Place – Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2011 edition)
  4. 41st Place – Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2015 edition)
  5. 4th Place – Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition)
  6. Honorable Mention – The Top Five IF Games (Adventure Gamers, 2002)

See more:

  1. “Galatea” text game – link
  2. Emily Short’s blog – link
  3. Galatea, in: Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia – link
  4. “Galatea” in “Electronic literature collection” volume one – link

Post written by Paweł Machnik, MA student of the Cultural Studies – Mediterranean Civilization, participant in the Grant Seminar Our Mythical Childhood at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw

Post elaborated by Dorota Rejter

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