by Anonymous

Episode 3 of A Study in Stateful Media with Narrational Agency

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Miserly loves company, November 4, 2022
by jakomo
Related reviews: ectocomp2022

A neat 500-word short story from 1916 about a skinflint who suddenly becomes generous, now in the public domain so available for reproduction. The modern co-author adds an impressive cover art image and a short bonus section in the middle of the story, where the interactivity lies. A text-box lets you type an appropriate noun to end a sentence. Contextually, this should presumably be a synonym for "miser" but it also allows many other words (and will tell you if it doesn't recognize what you type). The result is a short chunk of text with one line of dialogue altered depending on what you wrote. It then proceeds with the rest of the story, unaltered and unaffected by this little interactive detour.

Why the extra section is presented in a different form to the rest of the story (a play script instead of prose) is difficult to fathom. Why this interactive section is supposed to elevate the original short story is equally difficult to fathom. As an overall concept, there is potential in a twine-like choice-based system that hides the explicit choices behind a type-what-you-want text-box, but it definitely requires a longer work, with multiple choices that matter, to do it justice.

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