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“Interpreting and Writing Interactive Fiction in Philosophy,
English Composition & Game Design Courses”
Sherry Jones | Phi...
Watch the Live Webinar!
IF as a Narrative Space for Posing Questions
● IF offers a narrative space for modeling hypothetical and real
world questi...
Interdisciplinary Study Enhances IF Design
● Posing questions through IFs not only requires learning technical
skills, but...
Is IF Paradise Possible?
● IF paradise - Player + Game
Designer co-construct/co-author
infinite narrative possibilities.
●...
IF and the Level of Player Agency
● The branching nature of IF narrative structure
requires the IF designer to offer choic...
IF Is Not Always About Escapism 1
Invisible by Ruiting Ji is an
IF about homelessness in
Montreal, Canada. To help
players...
IF Is Not Always About Escapism 2
36 Questions by Deirdra "Squinky" Kiai is an IF, made with Twine, “about falling in
love...
IF and Rhetoric Studies
● In my English Composition course, students analyze and create
persuasive IF works as social comm...
IF and Ethical Theories
● In my Ethics course, students analyze and create IF works that
pose hypothetical scenarios that ...
IF, Game Design, and Storyboarding
● In my Game Art course, students analyze and create IF works as
game design storyboard...
Sherry Jones
Philosophy | Rhetoric | Game Studies
http://about.me/sherryjones
Link to Slides: http://bit.ly/ifstudy
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"Interpreting and Writing Interactive Fiction in Philosophy, English Composition, and Game Design Courses" by Sherry Jones (May 18, 2015)

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May 18, 2015 - This is my presentation for the NWP Educator Innovator webinar series. See news for the webinar below:

"Game Design Across the Curriculum: Interactive Fiction-ing" (Part 2) (May 18, 2015)
http://educatorinnovator.org/webinars/game-design-across-the-curriculum-interactive-fiction-ing-part-2/

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"Interpreting and Writing Interactive Fiction in Philosophy, English Composition, and Game Design Courses" by Sherry Jones (May 18, 2015)

  1. 1. “Interpreting and Writing Interactive Fiction in Philosophy, English Composition & Game Design Courses” Sherry Jones | Philosophy | Rhetoric | Game Studies | http://about.me/sherryjones Link to Slides: http://bit.ly/ifstudy IF Work: “No One Has to Die”
  2. 2. Watch the Live Webinar!
  3. 3. IF as a Narrative Space for Posing Questions ● IF offers a narrative space for modeling hypothetical and real world questions. The design of narrative spaces serves as an abstraction of the real world. ● Using IF, we can help students understand how the construction of a narrative space helps pose questions, and determines the way the question can be posed. ● Some IFs attempt to offer answer to the questions posed by way of consequences, while other IFs offer a series of questions with no clear answers, leaving the player to fathom the possibilities.
  4. 4. Interdisciplinary Study Enhances IF Design ● Posing questions through IFs not only requires learning technical skills, but also learning, through interdisciplinary lenses, the principles that are actively expressed through the IF medium. ● Principles from rhetoric, psychology, philosophy, semiotics, cultural studies, and more, can be discovered in IF narrative design. ● Before asking students to design IFs, we should offer students methods for analyzing IFs to discover the “tools” for designing impactful and innovative IF works.
  5. 5. Is IF Paradise Possible? ● IF paradise - Player + Game Designer co-construct/co-author infinite narrative possibilities. ● Are players co-authors of an IF work? ● Can both the player and the IF author have simultaneous control over the gameplay and narrative? ● Can the game fulfill the player’s need for control?
  6. 6. IF and the Level of Player Agency ● The branching nature of IF narrative structure requires the IF designer to offer choices to the player, thereby offering players an illusion of agency to influence the plot of the IF narrative. ● However, the level of player agency afforded is always contingent on the goal of the game. ● Let’s see some example IF titles that offer limited player agency.
  7. 7. IF Is Not Always About Escapism 1 Invisible by Ruiting Ji is an IF about homelessness in Montreal, Canada. To help players experience what it is like to be a homeless person in Montreal, the rhetoric of the game is DESIGNED to offer players few choices, giving players senses of despair and desperation for having to make difficult and inescapable decisions as a homeless person.
  8. 8. IF Is Not Always About Escapism 2 36 Questions by Deirdra "Squinky" Kiai is an IF, made with Twine, “about falling in love through the power of psychology as the world is about to end.” The IF offers both a strong authorial voice (from the IF author), and chances for the player to “converse” with the author about his/her own desires and aspirations. Its IF structure allows player to explore interpersonal play with the author.
  9. 9. IF and Rhetoric Studies ● In my English Composition course, students analyze and create persuasive IF works as social commentary/activism. ● Students design narrative space in IF with rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos) in mind. ● In order to persuasively express a social message through their IF works, students also apply Gerard Genette’s narratological poetics (structural semiotics) to write sentences and paragraphs with specific narrative voice, narrative distance, narrative mood, narrative perspective, narrative time, etc. that can influence the reader’s/player’s reception of the IF work.
  10. 10. IF and Ethical Theories ● In my Ethics course, students analyze and create IF works that pose hypothetical scenarios that follow an ethical theory. ● Students create fictional IFs that present an ethical paradise, while also challenging the logic of that ethical system. ● Example student IF project retells the events of the Tiananmen Massacre using 1st person narrative voice, with the player taking on the role of a Chinese soldier. Based on the ethical theory (deontology vs. utilitarianism) selected, the player is limited to thinking and behaving in certain ways during the events. ● IFs are used as critical thinking and logic testing exercises.
  11. 11. IF, Game Design, and Storyboarding ● In my Game Art course, students analyze and create IF works as game design storyboards. ● Rather than draw series of sketches as a storyboard, students first write an entire IF work to test game concept. ● Abstract vs. High Fidelity Art - Using IF, students can envision and reflect on which narrative scenes and characters should be graphically depicted, and decide whether to provide abstract or high fidelity art for desired level of immersion in games. ● IF is used to cultivate students narrative design ability with psychological principles.
  12. 12. Sherry Jones Philosophy | Rhetoric | Game Studies http://about.me/sherryjones Link to Slides: http://bit.ly/ifstudy Presentation by:

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