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About the Story
Nominee, Best Game; Winner, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Winner, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Implementation; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation; Nominee, Best Use of Multimedia - 2014 XYZZY Awards
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Physically Interactive Fiction: With Those We Love Alive
With Those We Love Alive is a free Twine game by Porpentine, a moving visit to a mundanely monstrous world. Her writing is so carefully measured, vivid yet small bursts, and a soundtrack by Brenda Neotenomie wraps the world around you. It is a beautiful and terrible game.
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
The work itself is beautifully made, the words and images striking, the music effective, the mechanic of skin-drawing evocative and lovely. But . . . it was also painful and demanding to experience.
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Two Queers Play! The Porpentine Power Hour: Slime Time Live
It's time again! Join the queers as we play a whole bunch of games by amazing game designer and queen of the slime girls Porpentine!
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Number of Reviews: 6
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First up, a confession: I'm really bad at high-concept stuff. To me, games are just games and as such I always feel like I'm missing something important with Porpentine's work - some point of contact that other people have and I don't.
But even then...
Even when I'm not getting the full experience -- playing, as it were, with a towel wrapped around my head...
With Those We Love Alive is a really, really good game.
The writing is brilliant. The world just the right level of underspecified to sink its claws into your imagination. Crammed with clever and interesting detail, but delivered with that sparse Porpentine style. And you can play through it in an hour.
I recommend this game to everyone. Even if you're not normally a fan of Porpentine's games, or find them inaccessible, or just too weird to play... give this one a shot.
"With Those We Love Alive" was the first piece of online interactive fiction of this kind that I remember engaging with. Before it there had been webcomics, DeviantArt choose-your-own stories, Quizilla supernatural romances, online forum roleplays. But even among all of those, this was different. I got a marker and stared at the screen, sucked into this world surrounded by the darkness of my room, navigating imagination through the kind of ever-fraying sleep deprivation that is unique to schools.
I was an impressionable young creative who had a mind soaked in unreality and a longing for things as strange as I was. I played through much of the story in one sitting, within one night, and I believe I came to some conclusion after another day of play. Two nights, and even though it was eventually tucked away into some obscure corner of memory that I no longer have access to, I cannot overstate the deep emotional and inspirational impact it left on me. I have never forgotten this story-- not its name, its themes, its format, its style of worldbuilding. I was starstruck by how it constructed itself out of the mundane grotesque, how it structured the story navigation to allow for repetitive exploration while also rewarding curiosity. I had never considered before the possibility of creating a story like this, in this style, or having these kinds of themes. It was also, I believe, the first time I had ever encountered a canonically trans protagonist. I do not recall whether I was aware of my own genderfluidity at the time, but witnessing our main character apply what is explicitly an estrogen patch in the form of a glyph awakened something in my mind that would have remained neglected for years otherwise. I hadn't known that this sort of artistic expression or worldbuilding experimentation was allowed. I hadn't known it was possible.
All of that to say, now that I do have an account on this forum and have come across this game again, I did replay some of it. I have a more nuanced appreciation now that I am mature, but age and experience could never be what influence this review. No matter what my more modern experience of the game is, I would be doing everyone a grand disservice if I did not allow my younger self to finally be able to express the way this game bound itself onto a part of their soul. With each new symbol I was instructed to draw on my body, I was absorbing the game and this experience deeper and deeper into my skin, until it embedded itself upon my artistic psyche forevermore.
Thank you, Brenda and Porpentine, for being such a formative part of my growth. I hope to be able to pay homage to this gift you have given me with my own creative works in the future.
I liked this one very much. There are bunch of reasons, but mostly because of the shared intimacy that comes with drawing on you own skin. I also became very aware how different genders manifest their reality and get manifested (if that makes sense) in very different ways. This leeds to very different ways of talking about our bodys "and using them" for world building. These are all pretty naďve points, but than again I'm but a naďve human… I liked that it was more of an experience than a skill based game. (Spoiler - click to show)And it made me kind of emotional, although the end came a little abrupt.
The Queen, by Elliot Yokum
Inspired by With Those We Love Alive by Porpentine.
In the End, by Joe Mason
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
Your best friend has just died, and life drags on miserably. Would death be better than this? [--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]
|Red Radish Robotics, by Gibbo|
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
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