Doll Games, a collaborative web project by Shelley and Pamela Jackson,
documents the elaborate and perverse doll games they played in the early
1970's. It also addresses the doll game in general, considering it as
a collaborative narrative form, a folk theater in which little girls,
and a few boys, rewrite the characters of their Barbies and Skippers to
act out scenes (funny, grotesque, sexual) that Mattel never dreamed of.
The Doll Games has several layers: the authors tell true stories, and
include bonafide evidence that survives from those times (miniature books
and letters "written by" their dolls), but they also footnote and theorize
in a faux-academic manner, address readers through fictive Kinbote-like
editor. this "scholarship" is slippery tone: it's funny, sometimes mean
it. The whole project sits uneasily between fiction nonfiction, serious
inquiry parody: authors find subject matter very strange moving. many
photographs that accompany texts have two purposes: to document dolls
(like artifacts dug up from an archeological site), capture abiding mystery.
These investigations are the core of the project, but The Doll Games is
actively soliciting contributions, so its focus will change over time,
turning from a private, exclusive obsessional world toward a public, inclusive
one (see their note to contributors).
Shelley Jackson is a writer
and artist, best known for her 1995 hypertext novel Patchwork Girl; Pamela Jackson is an independent
scholar with a PhD in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley. Like the original doll
games this hybrid work is an amalgam of their interests.