This blog post will be a closer look at the specifications of tragedy that it should be “an imitation of an action” and follow what would have happened rather than what did happen.
By “imitation”, this does not necessarily mean the literal fictionalising of an event, but rather can be used to indicate an acceptance of play and entering into a magic circle, accepting a series of constructed rules. In this case the Nuzlocke requires that a participant hold themselves to a set of self-imposed rules in addition to those built into the Pokemon game system. In doing so, a participant is not only playing out an imitation of a youth aiming to defeat the Pokemon League and become the greatest trainer of the region, as in any mode of Pokemon gameplay, but is also enforcing an imitation of reality ordinarily filtered out of the games in the form of character death. In this way Nuzlocke Let’s Play videos filmed in real time still qualify as Aristotlian Neo-Tragedy.
Additionally, Aristotle makes a point of stating that, while a poet must place the tragic elements of their text as more important than honest rendering of events (fictionalisation to maintain this isn’t so much welcomed as encouraged), “there is nothing to prevent some of the things which have happened from being the kind of thing which probably would happen”, once again making room for the unaltered events of a let’s play to still qualify. Below is a recent example of the tragifying of events within a co-op series by TheKingNappy and ShadyPenguinn. (Warning not to watch this with earphones on).
I’ve begun work on a Digital Artefact to present as my final project, specifically a Nuzlocke comic of my own play experience, which will come with an accompanying essay to connect it to significant Cyberculture theories. The first page of the comic, as an example of what should be expected of the final product, is included below.