twisty little passages all alike

We tell stories to make sense of our lived experiences. We play games for the same reason. What feels like entertainment seeps into the neurons and lets us embody and enact what our ordinary lives disallow: genders, ethnicities, sexualities that are not our own; conflict zones we will never enter; professions and institutional orientations that seem alien to our way of being. Although we may opt out of fictional identities, immersive role-play encourages us to disrupt our usual frames of reference, step into new ones, and re-view the world from a new, potentially uncomfortable vantage point.

The games below were penned by me for instructional purposes using Twine. All of my own work is under an Attribution/Non-Commercial/Share-Alike Creative Commons license. While they were written for media studies courses, I have successfully implemented them in writing courses as well. I’ve reflected on their pedagogical efficacy under the courses in which they were used, all of which can be found in my portfolio.

To play, download the .zip archive of the game to your local drive. Open the .zip archive and extract or drag-and-drop the folder it contains to your local drive, then run the game in your Internet browser by opening the .html file from within that folder. For audio effects, make sure your volume is on.

tw for textual descriptions or mentions of traumatic material such as wartime abuses, rape, and prejudicial killing.


SELLING UPON TRUST

Made using Twine 2 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
tw for discussion of war, audio of gunfire

Relatively young for the profession, you are Ali Cornwall, a living legend who embodies success. You graduated from columnist at The Daily Mail to freelance writer for Reuters to West Africa war correspondent at BBC. Your fearlessness in the field, stringent fact-checking, incredibly high standards, and natural storytelling ability has helped your career soar, as viewers can emotionally connect with you, recently landing you the coveted position of anchor for BBC London. “Ali Cornwall” is now a household name, and you think you want for nothing. But there’s new talent circulating, and you can’t help but hear about Giles Hall, the man who filled your shoes as war correspondent in West Africa, proving himself through his reporting on Ebola, Sierra Leone, The Gambia. Nothing is certain in this business. And with your upcoming broadcast, everything may be about to change…

Creative Commons License


UNEASY LIES THE HEAD

Made using Twine 2 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
tw for rape culture, news photo of extrajudicial hanging, audio of screams

You are “Radhika Mitra,” an Indian woman who lives and works in Delhi as the editor-in-chief of The World Daily, and presently the reportage and testimony about a string of local rapes awaits your review and approval before it goes to press. You have been warned numerous times. You have received threats. Your family and friends are supportive but don’t quite understand why this issue is so important to you. “Rape is the baggage of being a woman,” they say. You want to change this view, desperately. You also want to protect those who serve you. You also don’t want to die…

Creative Commons License

this is about the body the mind the academy the clinic time and pain

This autoethnographic account of fibromyalgic experience in academic culture and clinical and therapeutic settings interrogates how we think and talk about pain, how we engage each other about each other’s pain, and how language, gesture, clinical protocols, technological interventions and reformations, academic expectations, and social norms around propriety attempt to delimit pain and bodily experience to standardized normative expressions. Institutions and standards, from pain questionnaires to requirements within the academy, ask us to quantify pain in ways that minimize chronicity, contingency, and idiosyncrasy to craft acceptable experiences of pain and embodiment to which we must conform in order to be believed.

I collect these narratives and materials from the lingering resonances of clinical and professional encounters that chronic illness has made “infra-ordinary,” Georges Perec’s [1973] (1997: 205) term for an everydayness whose banality requires exorbitant attention and interrogation. In accordance with Perec’s exhortation to “question your tea spoons” (207) and Lisa Keränen’s (2011) call for hybrid methods like biocriticism, “a sustained and rigorous analysis of the artifacts, texts, discursive formations, visual representations, and material practices positioned at the nexus of disease and culture” (225), this project looks at a broad set of medical texts, academic communications, technologies, agents, objects, and practices from my quotidian experience of fibromyalgia. It asks: What can a body do? What are the rhetorical stakes of care and cure? How have technologies and discourses calibrated hegemonic ideals of wellness and neoliberal responsibilization in relation to chronic pain and how we “do time”?

To which there are no ready answers.


soundwriting / accidental bumps in a world of threat

“Causes are a physician’s horizon.”

Ceronetti, 1993, p. 25
soundwriting / massage therapy with a pvc pipe.