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About the Story
Per Hivekind's 12.3.14 Update, you are required to shut the account of dead users. As it is your first day on this job, you must only close one: Mike Stanvinchi's. How will those closest to him take it? Play and find out.
47th place - tie - 27th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2021)
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Number of Reviews: 7
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This piece follows a content moderator in an online community who faces the decision of closing out the account of a person who has recently died.
The interactivity of the game fits well with the story, as we get to browse through chat conversations that people in Mike’s life have continued using for various reasons: an outlet for anger and disbelief, a way to grieve by speaking to him, etc. The decision of whether to close the account or not is a heartbreaking one, especially if this piece is played after its companion piece and we know how much the characters are struggling with Mike’s loss.
I was expecting more of a consequence at the end for not closing the account (e.g. having to face the supervisor), which might have made the decision feel more weighty. Also, the game might have a bit less impact on its own without the context of its companion piece, "Weird Grief."
In this game, you are a moderator of a social media site who looks through messages to a social media account for a user who is suspected to be dead. You get to look through messages to the person to see if you think they're actually dead or not. This isn't a mystery game--it's very clear that the person in question has died. This setup allowed you to see the way grief affected people over time, without awkward time jumps. I thought that was a clever way to explore the theme of grief.
In the second half of the game, there's a (Spoiler - click to show)group chat with timers on each person's messages. I felt a little impatient with the timers, but at the same time, I thought it was a cool way to simulate a group chat. I think an animated ellipsis could have helped me to wait without worrying that something was going wrong.
Your choices don't impact much of the narrative. However, the hypertextuality of choosing what message to read really immersed me in the role of reading the messages as an outsider. This game has the same characters as Weird Grief. I preferred this game to Weird Grief. Also, if these games were inspired by real-life loss, I hope the author is doing okay.
This game is one of two entered by Bez in this competition, the other being 'Weird Grief', and the two tie into each other.
In this one, presented in customized Twine, you are a moderator for an online community, and have been asked to begin closing accounts of dead customers.
Gameplay is divided into two components: reading through old messages, and entering a group chat with everyone involved.
The game has illustrated avatars for each important character, as well as a few other pieces of art.
The second section of the game is all on a timer. It's not too long, but I tend to multitask while playing IF (the format lends itself well to pick-up-and-put-down play), and I tabbed away to work on other things while waiting for the text to complete, only to come back and see it had wiped the screen and started new messages. I also had to leave in the middle of some text to use the restroom, and missed a couple of other parts because of that. So for future players, I'd recommend dedicating a set amount of time to read through the second portion.
The text includes frequent strong and mild profanities and depicts traumatizing events as well as reference to sexual activities.
Overall, I found the game polished and descriptive, with an emotional impact. The nonlinear interactivity in the first half worked for me, but the second half was a little rougher, so I'd give this a 3.5, which I'll round up to a 4 for IFDB.
|Weird Grief, by Naomi Norbez|
Average member rating: (11 ratings)
Mike Stanvinchi is dead. Juniper, who was in a polyamorous threeway with Mike and his spouse, Roger, must navigate her relationship with the surviving partner. But grief isn't always easy. . . Help her navigate it in the few days during...
|Jigsaw, by Graham Nelson|
Average member rating: (77 ratings)
New Year's Eve, 1999, a quarter to midnight and where else to be but Century Park! Fireworks cascade across the sky, your stomach rumbles uneasily, music and lasers howl across the parkland... Not exactly your ideal party (especially as...
Choice of the Star Captain, by Dorian Hart
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
Fight on the front lines of the war between humanity and the hideous Blobs. (Not that anyone has actually seen a Blob up close, but everyone knows they have tentacles. Surely they’re hideous!) Go on stealth missions, run alien blockades,...