twisty little passages all alike

(Photo credit: Sara Fuller.)

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.


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 changeā€¦

Creative Commons License


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

Leave a Reply