Haiku Hero

Since our audience tends to be literary nerds, many of you probably already know that today is National Punctuation Day in America. To celebrate, we’re going to do a game about the pinnacle of language, which is of course the haiku. It is a 3-line poem with the first line having 5 syllables, the second having 7, then the third having 5 again. Most of them involve swearing, at least when I write them.

Haiku Hero is a game where you write haiku while a computer gives you arbitrary restrictions, such as words to include, letters to use (or not) and other random rules. In my favorite mode, “survival,” you have a constantly decreasing timer, and completing haiku increases the remaining time. This mode sounds simple, but when you complete a masterpiece of a haiku only to realize you’re not making up the time difference, the pressure is very real, and some hilarious haiku can pop out. In the next mode, “deadline,” you have a simple 5-minute deadline in which to write as many haiku as you can. Finally, there’s “endless” mode, which basically lets you write haiku to your heart’s content.

The computer also verifies your haiku so you can’t skirt the rules and use weird pseudo-words like “argh.” It will also catch if you mess up and use something that’s not a word like “haikus” instead of “haiku.” In this way it’s much like Erik, our editor, only less angry.

The simple addition of a time limit, random rules to obey and a computer verifying the haiku really makes for an intoxicating mix. You get the sense that the computer is judging your haiku, which is largely because it is. The pressure adds to the creativity, and when the game is over it lets you post your haiku masterpieces to Twitter, Facebook, Buzz and email. Honestly, it feels very much like writing to me. “Oh damn, I only have 30 seconds left. Quick, think of something!”

Why You Should Check This Out: Haiku Hero shows that games can simulate more than just music. With a very simple game concept, this game remains simple and approachable while at the same time managing to evoke some of the feel and rush of writing. Plus, sharing your haiku is a fun way to show off your skills (or lack thereof).

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Comments

I feel it important to note that this game's dictionary does not recognize "wassailing" as a word.

In this way it’s much like Erik, our editor, only less angry.

It's mathematically impossible to be more angry.

LOOK UPON MY JOLLY AVATAR AND DESPAIR.

No money, no love
I wish I could make it home
It sucks to be broke

In this forum post
I discuss the front page game
With employed gamers

Don't touch me right now
A clown just walked by my door
And I cannot sleep

Pressure element
Makes this game harder for me
Failing at haiku

How appropriate that the formatting on the site within IE makes me want to read everything like poetry now.

Quite easy to fool.
Incoherent sentences.
Defeats the point though.

UnclGhost wrote:

Quite easy to fool.
Incoherent sentences.
Defeats the point though.

Exactly! Just play
Don't try to fight it, have fun
It will rock your face

Which word to use
I think I will try abuse
why did it refuse

headleym wrote:

Which word to use
I think I will try abuse
why did it refuse

You're doing it wrong.
Rhyming is for English poems
like "Roses are red."

my

ClockworkHouse wrote:

You're doing it wrong.
Rhyming is for English poems
like "Roses are red."

my small rebuttal
Rhyming can be asinine
roses are cliche

Should I even note
Senryu versus Haiku?
There's a difference.

Senryu, Haiku
Five seven five not a must
Don't get me started.

Every freakin' post
In this thread makes me happy
Also: beer. And cheese.

Non-alcoholic?
Might as well consume soy cheese.
Bacon is the divine.

I sat on the stoop
My head towards the sky. I
got poop in my eye.

I believe I was asked to use the word "stoop" and many o's.

wordsmythe wrote:

I feel it important to note that this game's dictionary does not recognize "wassailing" as a word.

Also, Bodacious.

That is mad fun. I will spread it to the masses via my Facebook status, for that is what young people do in this day and age.

Especially right after college, I dreamed up haikus like a fiend, just to entertain myself on walks or during work. I had a small collection of them. Some pretty, some funny, some raunchy, some senseless. So the challenge of creating a haiku I consider intelligible while working with the game's restrictions is seriously entertaining for me.

Use the word "CONE"

Cones covet the sphere
for to be round and without
any point at all

Walking with a limp
Cane comes to poor man's rescue
They call me tripod

This game is awesome.
It brings me a lot of glee.
Now to spread the word.

Amoebic wrote:

Should I even note
Senryu versus Haiku?
There's a difference.

Humans excel at
differentiation, but
also conflation.

Sometimes grey seems black
or sometimes it's nearly white.
Lighting's important.

Seriously though:
Form is elastic.
True haiku, senryu
cage more by content.
This and most above are neither.

That said,
playing with Western version of haiku
sounds fun.

Hans

A humble brothel
can't underestimate me
unless I bring stuff

Too long: didn't read
Don't need Flash to write haikus
Just a pen will do.