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A Non-Fiction Twine that Stings, June 9, 2017
While it's unwise to judge a book by its cover, I tend to make inferences about an IF by its development system. TADS is for computer people, Inform7 is for very precise non-programmers, and textadventures.co.uk is mostly for youths.
Twine is unlike other choice-based IF systems because it has a history of providing an digital literary voice for oppressed communities. What I like best about this example is that it publishes real accounts. The traditional way to publish short first-hand accounts and brief primary sources is by collecting excerpts into anthology books. Here, in contrast, the various accounts are triggered by the reader's choices. (Spoiler - click to show)Even better, the final choice leads the reader to an activist website! So the Interactive Non-Fiction continues with the reader's real-world choice of what to do about this issue, starting today!
Two questions for the comments:
1) Are these eyewitness accounts harmed by the second-person narration? These happened to real women, not to the fictitious IF character named "You."
2) Is it unjust to present a dangerous incident of harassment with a clickable set of options? (Or even with a parser's command line, for that matter?)
(Spoiler - click to show)I was offended when one of the women was being attacked and I was given the option to "react" or "wait." I'm SO glad that neither choice led to more abuse towards her than the other. But putting that choice there strongly suggests, to me at least, that the victim is somehow responsible for what happened to her. She should have made the other choice. Then again, I could just be mentally imposing some of the unfair Twine-game choices I've seen onto this literary work. Again, neither choice was a wrong choice. I'm just uncomfortable that it looks like she has to make the right choice.
I read this piece once in English and three times in Castilian. The English translation is quite good, but uses a tamer, less stinging choice of words. If you know some Spanish, I recommend the original. (Even if you have to use a dictionary. It's short.)