In the spirit of filmmaker and comedian Taika Waititi, I wanted to create some moments of misdirection for the audience. The song “Ricky Baker, It’s Your Birthday” is from Waititi’s hit comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The ability to create branching paths in Twine was helpful for creating misdirection for the user, creating a false sense of control. It resulted in this interesting push and pull between myself and the potential user as to who is really control of the game.
When we play a game are we curating and filtering our experience because we’re using the controls or is it ultimately the author who created and gave us the controls in the first place? Immersion seems to be a two-player game no matter if we’re playing alone or with others. There is another user behind the hardware (or the platform) and software of the game and experience. Together, the creator and user create a new belief together rather than suspending their disbelief.
This is why a journey in a lonely forest as depicted in my Twine story isn’t truly lonely. I’m there with the user, guiding them to the end of the story. There at the very end, I share something I love with the user. It’s like a reward at the end. I’m just grateful someone would take the time to experience my Twine story, even if it does “troll them” a little bit.
Even the software is subject to the technological limits and design decisions of the hardware. There is no process if there isn’t a central processing unit. So even the Twine program and I are even subject to something higher than us- a platform consisting of the computer servers and internet hosts. It’s the cold, raw hardware making artistic experiences possible. This means the gaming immersion experience is a product of both aesthetic and technical design decisions.