Though the reading supplied a lot of very good examples, I thought I’d offer up a few more, mainly to illustrate a key point that Hayles only addresses in passing: when is an interactive narrative a game, and when is a game an interactive narrative?

The first is “Every Day The Same Dream” by La Mollenindustria, a gaming company that makes what they call gamevolution, games that use core game mechanics to protest modern working conditions in a global economy. I won’t say much else for those that might want to play (it only takes a few minutes to “beat” the “game”). If you need a hint, in order to get to the “ending” of this “game,” make sure that you interact with everything possible, and do what the “game,” in this case the corporate work structure, does not want you to do.

While “Every Day The Same Dream” is an interactive narrative with game elements, “Time Fkuc” is a game with an interactive story in so much as its meaning changes depending on how you play the last level. The “conformist” ending is a dark look at how humans inevidably obey those that command them, in this case the game telling the player that the last puzzle is unsolvable and that the only way to beat the game is to die. The “freedom” ending, reachable only if you can “solve” the last puzzle (I won’t ruin it for you), is a much darker narrative about the dangers of trying to find an existence outside your own and of seeing things that may or may not be there (as in the game’s title).

So, are these “games,” “narratives,” “texts,” or some new weird and interesting combination?

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