Alternative Play? Twine as a Digital Storytelling Platform

Abstract (in English): 

In this panel moderated by Lai-Tze Fan, we examine Twine at ten, exploring the ongoing influence of this hypertext platform on pedagogy, play, and literature:

What We Talk About When We Talk About Twine (Moulthrop) - Creating digital stories and games involves many cultural registers. Just as important is the unmapped, semi-formal culture that underlies communal, open-source software. In the case of Twine, this can involve distinctions among versions of the core software, associated scripting languages, and "story formats." Learning this buried lore can reveal a technologized "artworld," in Howard Becker's term, and raises questions of hierarchy, value, and the nature of creative work in what is essentially a gift economy – questions that may ultimately apply to any form of art.

Twine at 10: Reflections on Pandemic Storytelling (Salter) - Hypertext and games platform Twine recently marked its ten year anniversary, complete with a celebratory game jam. Twine’s affordances as a web-driven, open source tool drive its renewed significance as a platform for rapid response storytelling, enabling users to build playful, poignant responses to the many challenges of 2020 as exemplified by Mark Sample’s 10 Lost Boys; Cait Kirby’s September 7, 2020; and Adi Robbertson’s You Have to Ban the President.

Twine, The EpistoLab (Laiola) - A frustrating element of teaching with Twine is the platform’s limitations with real-time collaboration across devices. Before COVID, when the classroom could operate as a lab, this limitation could be solved by students gathering around a single machine. But when shared machinery and gathering becomes impossible, Twine offers another model--“the epistolab.” The epistolab follows an epistolary model of collaborative work, dispersing colLABoration across times and spaces, and prompting a reevaluation of the roles that simultaneity and liveness play in collaboratory, pedagogical work.

Twine as Literature, Not Literacy, in the Program(ming) Era (Milligan) - In the 21st century digital humanities, “digital literacy” has seemingly become the humanistic endgame for how we conceptualize, rationalize, and advertise the skillsets we impart; In e-lit, Twine as well is often presented to students in these terms. As the potential shortcomings of literacy as sole pedagogical outcome, however, become increasingly clearer (for instance -- as we reckon with its limitations to prevent insurgency-through-misinformation in the US), I propose another way to teach Twine and its promise of digital storytelling differently: through a model, based on the creative writing workshop, that highlights the literature and literary possibilities of Twine. 

The panel will conclude with an open discussion of Twine’s future as a platform

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Record posted by: 
Milosz Waskiewicz