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The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
Created by

Ryan North

15,352 backers pledged $580,905 to help bring this project to life.

$200,000 dollars unlocked, more story, and hamletbook.com

Today we broke $200k, or in other words, we are at 1000% funding. 1000%, you guys. Thank you so much. You've blown past two sets of stretch goals -- the first a "best-possible-case scenario" and the second "okay wow seriously THIS is a best-case scenario" -- in a little over a week.

I'm not sure where this is going to end, but that's one adventure we're all choosing together. Thank you for sharing the project! To that end, I've registered hamletbook.com so now we've got an easy-to-say and easy-to-remember URL to tell people! This should be much easier than what we were currently doing, which was pulling strangers aside, cupping our hands around their ear, and whispering "kickstarter dot com forward slash projects forward slash breadpig forward slash to be or not to be that is the adventure with dashes instead of spaces."

This $200k goal is something special. Remember how I was hinting at all the world being a stage but some parts of it being a literal, actual stage?

HERE'S WHAT WE'RE GETTING.

To Be Or Not To Be: The Play Of The Book Of The Play. Shakespeare in Busan is going to transforming this book into a stage performance in South Korea as an incredible improvised play. AND since people all over the world are supporting this project, the performance will be livestreamed worldwide, and when a choice comes up, the entire internet will be able to vote. The play will be directed by webcartoonist and Machine of Death author Ryan Estrada. He feels sorry for his poor stage manager who has to have sets and props ready for thousand of scenes that you might not even choose, but HE KNEW THE RISKS.

Is it insane? ARE WE ALL LITERALLY INSANE?? It is impossible to tell.

And wow, you've forced me to come up with new stretch goals! Here they are:

  • $225,000 = ???
  • $250,000 = 100 free books will be sent out to schools, libraries, colleges and universities! If you'd like your school or your favourite organization to be on the list, forward this page to your teachers or professors, and have them contact us!
  • $275,000 = ??
  • $300,000 = ??!?!?!!?

So mysterious, right? All I can say is that that last tier will affect every version of the book: digital, paperback, and hardcover! But -- but HOW??

So! Storywise, Ophelia/us had just poked some logical holes in the Ghost's plan for revenge, one of which was that Claudius might become a ghost too. Our choices were OPTION SENSIBLE (Continue talking the ghost out of murder) and OPTION KILL SOME DUDES (Make a counterargument for murder being a good idea).

Voting was tight, but a final rally (seriously, this was the first time where the losing choice was winning until that last page of votes) puts KILL SOME DUDES in the lead with 57% of the popular vote. As always, rhymes were appreciated, as was the post asking Ophelia what the matter is. Perhaps she is... chicken??

So, we as Ophelia are now going argue against ourselves in the same breath (a skill available only to the most skilled orators) and:

Make a counterargument for murder being a good idea

"On the other hand," you say, meeting the gaze of both Hamlet and the ghost, "The greatest proof that immortal ghosts aren't possible is that we're not overrun with them right now."

The ghost blinks. He hadn't considered that.

"You're the first ghost I've seen, Hamlet Sr., and if ghosts lived forever I'd expect I'd already have been bothered by caveman ghosts long ago, each of them demanding that I go smash in some other caveman's descendant's head to make up for when THEY got their head smashed in hundreds of generations before I was even born. Old hatreds lasting forever, ancient slights never forgotten, the embarrassing prejudices of our grandparents multiplied a thousand times..." You trail off, imagining how frustrating it'd be to explain better coping strategies for dealing with the pangs of despised love, the law's delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes to an angry and confused and immortal pre-linguistic caveman who can walk through walls.

"Right!" says the ghost, considerably cheered. He holds up one finger. "So either immortal ghosts have better things to do with their time, which is good," he says. He then holds up a second finger. "Or, I'm the first immortal ghost, which is good because then they're really unlikely and we can't expect that Claudius would be the second one." He pauses, and holds up a third finger. "OR, I'm going to ghost-die some day, which is bad."

"Not that bad," you say. "After all, you've died once before and you came through it alright. You can float now."

"True." says the ghost, floating. "Okay. So! Are you guys in or what? Will you help me murder Claudius and avenge my death??"

Your call, Ophelia! Vote for one of these choices in the comments, and we'll pick this up Monday!

OPTION MARTY: Tell the ghost you are in
OPTION DOC: Tell the ghost you are out

Comments

    1. Creator Karen Luk on December 4, 2012

      Airbending!

    2. Creator Rebecka on December 3, 2012

      We're in Marty.

    3. Creator Jake Pacheco on December 2, 2012

      Option Doc.

    4. Creator Eagle884 on December 2, 2012

      Marty!

    5. Creator Roxane Tourigny on December 2, 2012

      Hum... Option Marty

    6. Creator Susan Schomburg on December 2, 2012

      Option MARTY!

    7. Creator Melody Strmel on December 2, 2012

      Though murder's a sin that's most hearty
      Her coronation would make a great party
      Claudius dies with much haste
      Denmark would not go to waste
      In her best interest, Ophelia picks MARTY.

    8. Creator Kate Merriweather on December 2, 2012

      The Lovely Dross of My Reply

      Roses are red
      Violets are blue
      Marty dreams that Claudius is dead
      While Doc thinks we should be true
      To light we each must be led
      Traveling so far as to wear out each shoe
      Does Ophelia wish to see her enemies be bled?
      Truly. She says she's in... (to selling seashells) to you
      Murderous seashells, sharp like runners on a sled
      This wandering path, the story has taken, in lieu...
      The Cake is a Lie
      And Claudius Must Die.

    9. Creator Jessica Hopkins on December 2, 2012

      Don't be stupid, be a smarty,
      Everyone should vote for MARTY.

    10. Creator Karen Luk on December 2, 2012

      Marty, for a murdering party.

    11. Creator Richard Luijten on December 1, 2012

      Oh and p.s. totally Marty.

    12. Creator Richard Luijten on December 1, 2012

      Oh my god, it'll be on stage in Busan!?
      I have to tell my girlfriend to go see it even if I can't be there. She's an English Lit major in Korea. Man, I hope they'll postpone it a few months so I can go see it too.

    13. Creator Daniel Brown on December 1, 2012

      Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,
      This we all surely know.
      But Ophelia's smart, King 'H' is undead,
      Junior... he's sort of a bro.
      Trust, I have, in brains to lead them
      But this ain't gonna be no party.
      The blood shall flow! The die is cast!
      Our voices ring out for 'MARTY'!

    14. Creator Randy on December 1, 2012

      Option Marty, sounds like a party?
      Sorry, I'm terrible at rhymes.

    15. Creator braidy on December 1, 2012

      Marty

    16. Creator Joie on December 1, 2012

      I think Marty! Claudius, that conniving murderer should be punished! :D

    17. Creator Walter Cooke on December 1, 2012

      Are we IN or are we OUT?
      This is what it's all about,
      Buy more time and live in sin,
      Looks like everyone here is IN!

    18. Creator Matt Stout on December 1, 2012

      What the heck, Option Marty.

    19. Creator Kelduiniel on December 1, 2012

      King Hamlet's ghost seems a knavish sort of lout,
      So as Ophelia I shall have to vote OUT.

      (DOC, that is.)

    20. Creator Jacob Wittenberg on December 1, 2012

      Nobody calls Marty McFly a Chicken, and nobody will call Hamlet and Ophelia one either, 'cause WE ARE TOTALLY IN, GHOST. Totally in to do some murders.

    21. Creator Mary-Ann Wyatt on November 30, 2012

      Make like the logical Vulcan Spock
      Tell the ghost you choose OPTION DOC

    22. Creator Alex on November 30, 2012

      No! Argh! I just realized I called the ghost Claudius! I meant Hamlet Sr.! Aaa!

    23. Creator Emily Boegheim on November 30, 2012

      OPTION DOC. Unlike Hamlet Sr, Hamlet Jr and Ophelia have to *live* with the consequences of their actions. We hope.

    24. Creator Steven Pensyl on November 30, 2012

      [On stage, MARTY is reading aloud from a book titled TO BE OR NOT TO BE: THAT IS THE ADVENTURE]

      MARVIN: Billy? This is Marvin!.....Marvin Shakespeare! Your cousin! You know that new play you've been lookin' for? Well listen to this!

    25. Creator Billy Seguire on November 30, 2012

      Like a soup, so rich and hearty,
      Do I choose the option: Doc.

    26. Creator BillD4 on November 30, 2012

      I really think I should discuss this with my father... I'm out, Griff. What are you, deaf and stupid? I said no! [commence hoverboard chase]

    27. Creator Discopanda on November 30, 2012

      Option Doc!

    28. Creator Benjamin K Parker on November 30, 2012

      In answer to this queried poll
      I bang my head, shout "Doc'n Roll!"

    29. Creator Sarah McGrath on November 30, 2012

      Please, I urge, don't make me shout;
      Choose option doc; Ghost, I am out!

    30. Creator Andrew Oswell on November 30, 2012

      We are so in. Marty get the uranium.

    31. Creator Hannah Frank on November 30, 2012

      Come on man, start this party,
      Go for it, and please be hearty,
      Make Claud late, yeah make him tardy,
      So I vote for option Marty!

    32. Creator Danny Phelan on November 30, 2012

      Marty lets fly

    33. Creator Benjamin Liu on November 30, 2012

      Option MARTY

    34. Creator Peter Ruggles on November 30, 2012

      Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
      I shall quickly choose Doc.

    35. Creator Frederick Douglas on November 30, 2012

      Option Doc; let's switch back to not being totally on the murder ghost's side.

    36. Creator Amy Lipkowitz on November 30, 2012

      Man, I want to be on the winning side for once. OPTION MARTY

    37. Creator Timothy Romero on November 30, 2012

      Why bother with the ridiculous self-counter-argument if you're not gonna KILL SOME DUDES, Marty?

    38. Creator Kelly Tran on November 30, 2012

      OPTION MARTY: Tell the ghost you are in

    39. Creator Sean Kilpatrick on November 30, 2012

      As Carroll displayed with the Jabberwock,
      Vorpal Swords lead to Option Doc

    40. Creator Adam Ford on November 30, 2012

      I'm actually pretty disappointed with myself about that comment I just made???