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twine bundle, february

here are some twine games i have enjoyed in the past while.

select a decision is a series – two volumes at present, more if the “about” page is being up-front with us – that captures the beautiful, contradictory, tangential style of the early choose your own adventure books really well, its own whimsical digressions occasionally approaching the sublime. doesn’t dip into the “bad translations are funny” well too much to be annoying, thankfully. i’d like to see these as actual physical books, i say as someone publishing an actual physical choose your own adventure book.

fuck that guy is pretty hot gay smut. i like the scene where you suck the dj’s cock, even though it’s the least hidden.

never have i ever is a digital game designed to be played with real alcohol. you may recall i have a relationship with those.

reset is i think my favorite game to come out of the recent twine jam. it fucks with the player’s perception in some fun ways – a layer twine authors don’t often mess with. it also contains a transhumanist kink scene, which is obviously of interest to me – although i was talking to one of my partners about this game the other day, and we agreed that the domme character in this story comes off as manipulative, despite the author’s stated intentions otherwise.

bigger than you think wasn’t actually made in twine, but is a neat hypertext game nonetheless. it’s about storytelling, about mystery and the compulsion to mystery, about games as compressed oral tradition. it also contains a few puzzles that i had to solve through haphazard try-everything-everywhere guessing, and a few that whose solutions struck me in a flash of insight.

hungry is an interactive sex dream – not about sex but flavored by sex, a tour through a subconscious landscape flavored by the bodily urges that haunt our minds like phantoms, getting a word in here or there while we’re dreaming. i like games about dreams that make me feel like they understand the logic of dreams, the changingness of them.

what’s in a name? is a game about biphobia in queer communities, about escaping one closet to find yourself landing in another. it’s a good example of how important twine has become to my experience of videogames – a couple weeks ago, i could never have said i’d played a game about internalized biphobia. now that’s changed. this is history – the history of games – and you are there.

and last, memorial is just that – a memorial to a dead brother, a record of a relationship, a collection of photos, words, memories. and what’s more, it fits this format so well. some of the transitions are heart-stoppers. i felt the ice in my veins. this is what videogames look like now.


  1. Memorial is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. One of the best uses of Twine I’ve seen yet.

    2/10/2013 at 1:09 am | permalink
  2. mks wrote:

    nummy calvalcade of culture/spirituality :3

    “Paleopuritanism and Neopuritanism …As psychologist Theodore Schroeder pointed out, “obscenity” is the modern form of “black magic.” Both concepts are operationally meaningless; there is no instrument which, pointed at a book or painting, will tell how much “black magic” or “obscenity” is in it. These things are in the nervous system of the observer. Attributing them to books, art, ideas, etc., in the external world, and seeking to punish the perpetrators, is the same kind of hallucination that produced the witch-hunts in which nine million innocents were killed. Clarification of this issue explains what the Buddhists mean by “maya.” One could lead a group of both old Puritans and new Puritans through a gallery featuring photographs of flowers without any problem arising, even though flowers are the genitals of plants, as everyone who passed Botany 101 knows. However, try to navigate that group through an exhibit of photos of animal genitalia and almost anything could happen, when the emotional imprints are activated. The external stimuli (natural sexuality) are the same, but the imprints are different. Contemplation of this parable should clarify what Buddha meant in saying that most people see only their own “maya” and never experience objective fact at all. Of course, if the exhibit featured human genitalia… a great deal of angry speech about “smut” from the first group and “sexism” from the second would be heard. All of this speech would confuse the internal glandular-emotional emergency imprint with the objective external stimuli, and there would be a desire to punish the photographer.”

    – Robert Anton Wilson

    2/10/2013 at 3:50 am | permalink
  3. Healy wrote:

    Yay, you mentioned the Select a Decision series! They’re some of my favorite twine games. Re: physical books: I wouldn’t be surprised if the games already were plotted out in physical form; they don’t have any state tracking of any kind, and there are a few cleverly done branches that poke fun at this. I actually sort of suspected they might be working prototypes for a future Kickstarter campaign. It’s actually got quite an ingenious structure for such a simple CYOA; the story-telling sequence in the second game alone is pretty much the exemplar of interactive fiction satire. In this respect it reminds me a little of Sam Kabo Ashwell’s The Cavity of Time, although that was made in Undum, not Twine.

    Also, I liked that you linked to What’s in a Name. I’ve always had problems categorizing my sexuality and that helped me make some sense of it.

    2/15/2013 at 10:26 pm | permalink

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