This literary game which can be equally used to create prose and verse is a tribute to the Surrealist parlor game known as the “exquisite cadaver” and the paper-based Mad Libs created by Roger Price and Leonard Stern in 1953 (for more details, read Montfort’s introduction to the Literary Games issue of Poems that GO). This program originally created in Perl allows people to create texts and tag words to become “dreamfields.” When someone blindly fills in the dreamfield, it reconstructs the text with the reader’s input. Hilarity ensues.
This work is currently not functioning online. The Internet Archive has “crawled” this work 62 times since 2003, which means that one can access earlier copies of this work along with different dreamfields ready for you to fill in. This is an imperfect preservation of the work, however, because you cannot read the works produced. At least you can get an idea of what were some of the works created with this framework.
And if you’d like a taste of how this works, try out “Newspaper Ads” by Price and Stern: the very first Mad Lib in their first of many books.
Featured in Poems That GO.