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Coin Opera 2: Fulminare's Revenge

T he worlds of gaming and poetry collide and combine for a second time in this, the gargantuan sequel to Sidekick’s first mini-book, Coin Opera. Once again, Dr Fulminare has set the latest generation of plundering wild-head poets loose on the whole four-decade span of electronic gaming, compelling them to seek out mystery and meaning in the entire panoply of virtual realities. But the scale is grander, the rewards richer, the effects dazzling in their variety.

Collecting together existing game-poems by well known writer-performers like Ross Sutherland and Nathan Penlington, and adding into the mix newly commissioned work from a plethora of young British and American writers, Coin Opera 2 uncovers the surprising similarities between the two mediums: the hidden rules and restrictions, the role of rhythm and structural repetition, the need to occupy that vital space between ‘too hard’ and ‘too easy’ which snares the human imagination – and, perhaps most fundamentally, the importance of play.

These are poems that don’t just respond to the bright and bounteous interiors of the games that inspired them, but mould and reshape them, mimic and tinker with form and convention, fuse and confuse our world with theirs. Whether it’s a poem made entirely out of Playstation controller inputs or Lemmings as a metaphysical tale of transcendence, Caligula cynically gunning for a role in Final Fantasy IV or a lament for the conquered giants of Shadow of the Colossus, two-player head-to-head and collaborative poems or mega-size boss poems, Dr F has all the ingredients he needs to make his dreams of vengeance and world domination a reality.


The book also features a foreword by games journalist and comic writer Kieron Gillen and an introductory essay by the editors exploring the potential in both mediums. Not only that, but a mini-glossary in the back makes a handy cheat sheet for anyone apprehensive of gaming or poetic terminology.


We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the printing costs of Coin Opera 2. There are tiered rewards for anyone willing to invest, including bonus booklets of even more fabulous experimentation and a poster of the entire cast rendered as sprites in the style of Samurai Shodown on the NeoGeo Pocket Color.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting up a variety of related articles and features. Contribute to the Kickstarter to receive updates or keep an eye on If you'd like us to write something for your blog or website, let us know!

Related links and articles:

The Kickstarter page
Gender / Gaming / Literature
Poetry Guest-Appearing in Games #1: Mark of the Ninja
'The Rise of the Pixel Poets', Pxlbyte's review of the original Coin Opera

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