Speaking of iPhone apps, what would your Moby-Dick application look like? The iTunes store offers a few downloadable versions of the text (though, sadly, no annotated version yet) as well as audiobooks, musical recordings, a schweet study guide by Shmoop, and the whole 1956 film starring Gregory Peck … but no app that really brings the book to life in a new, iPhone-specific way.
Anna Leach of the blog Shiny Shiny proposes one such app: a simple whale-locator service that would identify any nearby whales and take you to their blogs (or, we’d add, their Twitter feeds).
Some friends and I had a different idea: a Moby-Dick video game. Blogger Matthew Wasteland has previously laid out the inherent problem with such a product. If you allow for alternate endings to Ahab’s quest, have you leached out of your game all the greatness of the novel?
That’s what makes our Moby-Dick game app idea so brilliant (if we do say so ourselves). It’s mainly just a view of the sea—sometimes calm, sometimes stormy, throw in a little St. Elmo’s fire now and again—and you only ever see the white whale after you’ve been playing nonstop for … what, hours? months? It’s theoretically possible to harpoon the sucker, but by the time you get a chance to do it, you’ll be begging for Ahab’s (virtual) fate.
Anyway, that’s our concept. If you have a better one, let’s hear it in the comments.
Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.