[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 112, Issue 23

Mark Chen markdangerchen at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 03:10:39 EST 2014

I agree with Felan. Also, I don't really view Twine in the same vein as IF
where there's a parser. The process of thinking what to type at the prompt
is different than choosing from a list of options. IF to me is more about
problem solving than it is about exploring a narrative. Twine's more like
the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books but reappropriated and transformed by a
mass consumption platform, allowing a low-barrier entry for all sorts of
voices to share their stories. (And yes, this is way over generalized...)

There is something to the idea that tools constrain, though. Picking
Construct or GameMaker biases a designer towards certain types of games,
just as picking Twine does. Experimentation can come from rebelling against
the constraints of the tool (using Construct to make a visual novel maybe?)
as well as rebelling against the common voice (using Twine to tell a
personally meaningful story).


On Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM, Felan Parker <felan.parker at hotmail.com>wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> I'd like to hear more from the practitioners on this, but a few thoughts
> in response to Rob.
> First, while Twine is clearly part of a longer tradition of interactive
> fiction and hypertext, I don't really see how that constitutes a
> "recapitulation of the status quo." These have always been marginalized
> practices, and don't represent any kind of hegemonic force.
> Second, the Twine new wave has been constituted in distinct communities of
> practice and reception from those early text-based gaming traditions. For
> the most part these are new artists are adopting these tools, and new
> audiences are being exposed to text-based games (thanks in part to the
> accessibility of the end product compared to a lot of earlier IF software).
> Kara's earlier post clearly demonstrated the value in this accessibility.
> Third, I think it is insufficient to say that Twine games are "the same"
> as these earlier traditions or merely a "recapitulation". Sure, there are
> plenty of Twine games that operate in familiar IF genres (The Matter of the
> Great Red Dragon for example: http://fearoftwine.com/14.html), but the
> games that have become most strongly associated with the platform are
> weird, queer, honest, and experimental. In the broadest terms, these games
> may share the "forms" of earlier IF and hypertext, but their content is
> distinct and they have a specific aesthetic sensibility and political
> orientation.
> Consider porpentine's Howling Dogs (
> http://aliendovecote.com/uploads/twine/howlingdogs/howlingdogs.html#2o)
> http://aliendovecote.com/uploads/twine/sauna.html), or Merrit Kopas'
> Conversations With My Mother (
> http://mkopas.net/files/conversations/conversations.html), or Hannah
> Epstein's PsXXYborg (https://www.facebook.com/PsxxYborg), or Kara's
> recently-released Cyborg Goddess (http://cyborg-goddess.com). I could go
> on, but you get the idea. Why would we want to dismiss these weird and
> wonderful works? I wouldn't dismiss a new comic artist because she
> "recapitulates" the form of earlier comics. I am honestly confused.
> Felan
> > Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 21:00:05 -0700
> > From: rob at robmyers.org
> > To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 112, Issue 23
> >
> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> > On 28/03/14 07:48 AM, Felan Parker wrote:
> > >
> > > Twine is a very different beast from Game Maker or Unity.
> >
> > It is. It is however not a very different beast from Storyscape. And its
> > users recapitulating the forms of 80s interactive fiction and 90s
> > interactive multimedia using it is a good example of my argument.
> >
> > - Rob.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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Mark Chen, PhD | @mcdanger | markdangerchen.net
Indie Game Designer, Ed Tech Researcher, Consultant, Adjunct Prof at
Pepperdine, UW Bothell, and UOIT, Accidental Hero and Layabout
This was sent from a PC with a full-size keyboard; misspellings and brevity
are entirely my fault.
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