Interactive and collaborative fiction – two links

In the Guardian, Alex Hearn reported on an interactive Twitter game named Wanderer. This is a typical choose your own adventure — but with a mutliplayer element [*]:

We’ve become used to franchises such as Call of Duty propping up a lacklustre single-player campaign with a compelling online offering, but the Wanderer takes that and raises it to the next level.

Embedded within the game itself is a fully fledged social experience with more that 300 million active participants. While it may take a while to get the hang of things, the “Twitter” mode is utterly compelling.

Start the game by visiting @wnd_go. Thereafter, each choice in the game is represented by a separate account (your initial choices are @wnd_run or @wnd_hide). Clicking on the Twitter handle you’ve chosen will send you to the corresponding account page, which presents a single tweet describing the consequences of your choice and linking onward to a couple more accounts/choices.

This reminds me tangentially of another project I’ve been meaning to post about here. Late last year I received a Twitter message from @cowriteX telling me about a collaborative writing environment.

CoWrite is a turn and vote based speed writing environment reminiscent of the parlour game consequences. Players contribute on a sentence by sentence basis, and votes from the wider community determine the final shape of a story.

A group of people write a story together. At every point, everybody can propose a next sentence. Everyone can see what gets written in realtime, keystroke by keystroke. At the same time everybody can vote which sentences he or she likes best. After a time limit of some minutes, the sentence with the best voting ‘wins’. This means the sentence gets appended to the story, and the other sentences get dropped. Then again, everyone in the group can propose how to continue from there.

* UPDATE — Having now played the game, it’s clear the ‘multiplayer element’ is Twitter itself. Ho ho. The game is extremely limited, though the presentation is lovely. As it stands, there’s not really much more than a fun gimmick here. And nothing wrong with that. I came across another review in the Irish Times.

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